Donald Diercks III
We played this game for the first time this past weekend. Overall, I think this is my new favorite game! However, in my opinion the Foe Showdown rules could use a little clarification.
The rules state that if you start your turn on, or move onto, a Foe then you do a Foe Showdown instead of your Encounter. The Move amd Draw steps aren't mentioned, so this led us to think that those steps still take place. Therefore, when a player started their turn on the Foe token, they went through their Move and Draw steps as normal. This didn't make sense for 2 reasons. Firstly, because then they are off the Foe token. Secondly, since they get no Encounter step they are forced to take the 1d6 sanity loss from not acquiring a card. But that was what the rules stated, so that's how we played. The way we played it looked like this:
3. Foe Showdown
4. Lose = 2d6 Sanity lost, win = loot
5. Still sane? Take a Bonus Move and proceed with steps 6 and 7. If no sanity, suffer Madness.
6. Lose 1d6 sanity and replace the highest Brute Force card with the one drawn
7. Still sane? Explore and Recover. If there are one or more Adversaries on the board(which you aren't allowed to do anything about,) then lose 1 sanity for each. No one was ever still sane.
We played the entire game this way and subsequently lost. In 2 cases the players actually won the Showdown but the added sanity loss at the end caused them to suffer Madness. After the game was over, one player begged to allow it to continue on grounds that the rules were terribly unclear and couldn't possibly be right. We decided to clean it up and try another day.
Tonight, I scoured the rulebook and found a single word which alters everything. In the glossary, in the definition of Foe, the word "Immediately" is used. This is the only place in the book where this is stated. By that definition, the entire first half of the turn should be skipped. There is no Draw, and if you start your turn on the Foe token, there is likewise no Move. My new understanding is that it goes like so:
1. The Showdown happens
2. Lose = 2d6 Sanity lost, win = loot
3. Insane? Suffer Madness. Still sane? Get a "Bonus" move and proceed with 4. I guess this is to make up for not getting a move to start with?
4. Explore (including sanity loss for Adversaries you weren't allowed to Encounter) and Recover
This makes much more sense and would have given a much easier, more likeable impression of the game. I realize that I went into great detail here, but my hope is that this will be able to help others more clearly understand the rules in the future.
If you start your turn on a foe token, you do not move, draw, or encounter, you immediately showdown the foe. The encounter phase is skipped. After the showdown, if you are still sane, you may explore, and recover. If there are adversaries on that level, you still take a sanity hit. There will be no new card drawn so you will not need to take another 1D6 sanity hit for that.
Once a foe token is in the same location as a player, they are both locked in place. The only way for that player to get out of fighting the foe is if someone moves onto the foe token during their move phase at which point they will immediately start a showdown with the foe. If any foe cards are drawn after a foe is locked onto a target, it does not move, you also no longer perform the foe movement action. The foe target also cannot move away.
Also be sure to check out the tutorial videos, all super short and to the point at www.ravingspire.com
I agree the rulebook is very poorly organized. The tutorials help, but I still had questions. Think I have it down now. It is a very good game.