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War of the Ring (First Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Gandalf the Grey-card drawing question rss

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Adam Green
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If Gandalf the Grey is the guide his card says you can draw a character card if you use an event action die to play a character card. If you use a Will of the West die as a event action die can you still draw a character event card?

Thanks!
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Kevin Chapman
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Yes. When Will of the West dice are used as a specific Action die type, they behave exactly as if that type of die were being used.
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Red Dragon
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Krieghund wrote:
Yes. When Will of the West dice are used as a specific Action die type, they behave exactly as if that type of die were being used.

I don't have the card to read the exact text, since I'm not the owner, but in the game I played, we read and reread the cards and and rules and faq, and finally decided it meant a natural palantir must be rolled and used to play a card in order to get the replacement card, and that using a will of the west as a palantir would let you play the card, but not get the replacement. I don't remember the wording, but there was something about it that led us to that conclusion. When played that way, Gandalf as fellowship leader was still powerful enough that I kept him all the way to Mordor. If he essentially got an extra die every time any die came up palantir or will of the west, he'd be way too powerful, but that wasn't what we based the decision on.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Red Dragon, are you still adding a WotW used to move the FSP to the Hunt Pool after the move? Same principle applies to Palantirs IMO. Also, note that using Palantir/WotW when Gandalf is the Guide only works with CHARACTER cards, not with Army cards. So no Mustering forces (say Riders of Rohan) and drawing an extra card.
 
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Kevin Chapman
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Red Dragon wrote:
I don't have the card to read the exact text, since I'm not the owner, but in the game I played, we read and reread the cards and and rules and faq, and finally decided it meant a natural palantir must be rolled and used to play a card in order to get the replacement card, and that using a will of the west as a palantir would let you play the card, but not get the replacement. I don't remember the wording, but there was something about it that led us to that conclusion.

Hey, no fair, Red Dragon! If you're going to question my answer, you need to present your evidence.
 
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Red Dragon
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Krieghund wrote:
Hey, no fair, Red Dragon! If you're going to question my answer, you need to present your evidence.


Working on it.
 
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Rick Holzgrafe
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Red Dragon wrote:
Krieghund wrote:
Hey, no fair, Red Dragon! If you're going to question my answer, you need to present your evidence.


Working on it.


My buddy Red passed this one on to me, since I was his Shadow opponent in this session, and I own the game and have access to the cards and rules. It seems to come down to a matter of subtle interpretation, as follows:

The Gandalf the Grey character card says: "If you use an Event Action Die..." (emphasis mine)

The rulebook defers to the Player Aid for a detailed description of how the Action Dice are used.

The Player Aid says of the Will of the West result: "Can be used as any other Action Die result..." (emphasis mine).

If the Aid had said "Can be turned into any other Action Die result" then there would be no ambiguity; a Will of the West would become an Event result. Or if the Gandalf card had said "If you use any Action Die" then there would be no ambiguity. But as it stands, one can argue that used as isn't the same as turned into.

I actually argued for the liberal interpretation, allowing Will of the West to qualify. But Red felt that, strictly interpreted, the Gandalf card is specifying an Event Action result and no other, not even a Will of the West.

 
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Kevin Chapman
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You were right. "Can be used as" means literally that. It means that a Will of the West can be used as another die type, and as such behaves in exactly the same manner as that type. I don't see any ambiguity. If you're using it as an Event die, it behaves as an Event die does. If you're using it as a Character die, it behaves as a Character die does. This is confirmed in the FAQ in a related question:

Quote:
Q The Rules state that you should put the die in the Hunt box every time a die is used to move the Fellowship; does this apply to all dice used to move the Fellowship (e.g. dice used to play an Event card that allow you to move the Fellowship) or only the Character dice used to move the Fellowship?

A Only the Character Action Dice (including those dice turned into Character dice with the Elven Rings and the Will of the West dice used as Character dice) used to move the Fellowship are added.
 
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Red Dragon
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Thanks, Rick, for finding that. I still see the ambiguity (just because a shoe can be used as a hammer doesn't mean the shoe is a hammer). Even this quote makes a distinction between "turned into" and "used as":
Quote:
Only the Character Action Dice (including those dice turned into Character dice with the Elven Rings and the Will of the West dice used as Character dice) used to move the Fellowship are added.


Supposing there was a game in which there was a carpenter, and there were four objects, a screwdriver, a hammer, a saw, and a swiss army knife. Suppose the rule said "If the carpenter uses a hammer to pound in a nail, he can pick up another nail immediately without using an action" and another rule said "A swiss army knife can be used as a screwdriver, a hammer, or a saw." What if the carpenter uses a swiss army knife as a hammer, to pound in a nail - does he get to pick up a nail without using an action, or is it enough of a benefit that he can pound in the nail at all, when no hammer is available? The hypothetical rules are ambiguous, but the answer would probably be "no".

But if everyone else plays War of the Ring that way, I'll accept the rule.

In which case, Gandalf the Grey basically gets a free die from 1/3rd of the four or five dice rolled (and the free ones always being palantir). I can't imagine why anyone would deliberately kill him off, thus reducing his benefit to only a single die with uncertain value.
 
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Red Dragon
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Dam the Man wrote:
Red Dragon, are you still adding a WotW used to move the FSP to the Hunt Pool after the move? Same principle applies to Palantirs IMO.

Since that rule says when a die is used to move the fellowship, it gets added to the hunt pool, you would add the Will of the West die to the hunt pool when you used it to move the fellowship. (I've seen people ask whether a die used to play a card that moved the fellowship would also be added.) Now, if it said when you use a character die to move the fellowship, it gets added to the hunt pool, I would think it ambiguous whether to put the WotW die in the pool, or whether the lucky result of WotW would let you move the fellowship without adding to the pool. Fortunately, that rule isn't ambiguous.
 
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Kevin Chapman
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Red Dragon wrote:
Thanks, Rick, for finding that. I still see the ambiguity (just because a shoe can be used as a hammer doesn't mean the shoe is a hammer). Even this quote makes a distinction between "turned into" and "used as":
Quote:
Only the Character Action Dice (including those dice turned into Character dice with the Elven Rings and the Will of the West dice used as Character dice) used to move the Fellowship are added.

A distinction is made because two different things are happening. An Elven Ring turns one die result into another, but a Will is a "wild card" that can be used as any other result.

Red Dragon wrote:
Supposing there was a game in which there was a carpenter, and there were four objects, a screwdriver, a hammer, a saw, and a swiss army knife. Suppose the rule said "If the carpenter uses a hammer to pound in a nail, he can pick up another nail immediately without using an action" and another rule said "A swiss army knife can be used as a screwdriver, a hammer, or a saw." What if the carpenter uses a swiss army knife as a hammer, to pound in a nail - does he get to pick up a nail without using an action, or is it enough of a benefit that he can pound in the nail at all, when no hammer is available? The hypothetical rules are ambiguous, but the answer would probably be "no".

This isn't a good analogy. In your example, the swiss army knife is a substitute item that can perform a specific function of another item. In the case of Action dice, a Will is a wild card result that can be used as any other result is used. In effect, the Will becomes any other result. Your swiss army knife doesn't become a hammer, it just performs the same function. A better analogy would be a "magic tool" that becomes whatever tool you need.

Red Dragon wrote:
But if everyone else plays War of the Ring that way, I'll accept the rule.

Good!

Red Dragon wrote:
In which case, Gandalf the Grey basically gets a free die from 1/3rd of the four or five dice rolled (and the free ones always being palantir). I can't imagine why anyone would deliberately kill him off, thus reducing his benefit to only a single die with uncertain value.

He doesn't get a "free die" from 1/3 of the dice, since not all Events and Wills will be used to play Character cards. Also, having an extra action die every turn that can have any value is far better than having an extra Event die whenever you happen to roll an Event or Will and happen to have a Character card that you want to play.
 
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Red Dragon
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Krieghund wrote:
This isn't a good analogy.

By the actual words used on the cards, rules, and player aide, it isn't just a good analogy, it's an exact analogy, but if no one else agrees (well, at least one person had to ask, above), I'm not going to argue about it.
 
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Kevin Chapman
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Red Dragon wrote:
Krieghund wrote:
This isn't a good analogy.

By the actual words used on the cards, rules, and player aide, it isn't just a good analogy, it's an exact analogy, but if no one else agrees (well, at least one person had to ask, above), I'm not going to argue about it.

That really depends on your interpretation of the words. All I can say is that the intent of the words is as I say it is. However, as you say, others have asked before, so you're not alone in questioning it.

By the way, there's a reason why the wording in the rules for adding FP Action dice to the Hunt Box after moving the Fellowship is different from the wording of Gandalf's Guide ability. Only Character dice may be used to move the Fellowship, so it's not necessary to specify a die type, and "any die" is sufficient. However, since Event cards may be played either by using an Event die or a die of the type indicated on the card, the wording of Gandalf's ability is more specific. Gandalf's ability only applies when an Event die is used to play the Character card, as opposed to using a Character die. This makes it less powerful than it would be if you could use either type, since there are two Character faces on the die and only one Event face. So, the specific mention of Event die in the text is there to exclude the use of Character dice to play the card, not the use of Will of the West dice as Event dice.

The FAQ question concerning adding dice to the Hunt Box merely clarifies that only dice used directly to move the Fellowship (which can only be Character dice) are added. Event dice used to play a card which triggers a move indirectly (triggered by the card, not the die) are not added.

In any case, a Will of the West acting as one of these die types triggers all of the same effects as using the actual die type itself. I hope this helps.
 
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