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Subject: Comments on v. 1.4 of the Rules rss

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Lee Valentine
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Edit: I edited the hand for #1 after complaints.

1) Two Haunts and a Blink Dog are in a Dungeon.

I have a hand of 2 Arcane Energies, 2 Magical Auras, a Militia, and a Flaming Sword. I enter the Dungeon and draw four cards. After the draw I have a Militia with a Flaming Sword, a Dagger, Iron Rations, and 2 Battle Fury cards plus the other draw spells.

The militia cannot attack anything. There are two contradictory rules concerning this:

a) Note: Once you’ve chosen to enter the Dungeon, you must choose a Monster to attack, regardless of whether or not you can defeat it.

b) Some Monsters have traits or Battle Effects that prevent a party or Hero from attacking. If your party cannot attack a Monster, it cannot be chosen in Step 3 of a Dungeon action.

Unless I missed something, then this, my friends, appears to be a rules contradiction and a full failure of the rules to resolve.

My solution is simple: leave all Light Penalties and other Battle Effects in Step 4 of the Dungeon where they belong. Quit dragging them into Step 3. Let people select any monster they want. If you want them not to be able to just sink a Monster to the bottom then just say that the attacking player must have a total Attack value of +1 or better from Trophies, Items, Spells, and Heroes to move an undefeated monster to the bottom of the deck. Say explicitly that a character who cannot attack has all his Attack and Magic Attack Values reduced to 0 (instead of just the "not be calculated" language that's there currently). This is a MUCH simpler solution to the problem. People can now visit the Dungeon, select the Haunt, and fail to do anything productive (including failing to return the Haunt to the bottom of the deck), but the rules fully resolve. You don't need special rules about Light being a Battle Effect but not happening in step 4 or other bizarre special cases.




2) Two Haunts and a Darkness are in a Dungeon.

My only Hero is a Militia with 5 Fireballs. The rules say:

Some Monsters have traits or Battle Effects that prevent a party or Hero from attacking. If your party cannot attack a Monster, it cannot be chosen in Step 3 of a Dungeon action.

Same problematic rule. Also, the term "party" is not defined. Clearly my Militia can't attack, but my Fireballs can do 15 damage with 5 Light and don't need a Hero to be used. So I should be able to attack and win. Party should be defined. Spells like Fireball need to be addressed in the "Cannot Attack" rules. Again, I think this rule concerning monster selection should be incinerated instantly and replaced with the above rules I suggested in #1 above. The rule causes problems that could be easier solved without it.



3) The rules state that all non-Multiplied Modifiers, including Disease, are applied before multiplications. So Attack +3 and a Disease which is halved is Attack +1. If you are getting a value halved anyway, then you can effectively neutralize a Disease if you can attach it to an odd base Attack value.

In contrast, in another thread Ryan has stated that when an Attack value is reduced to 0 this happens before you can apply the Disease penalty. This seems like an inconsistency if Ryan's correct. Reduction to 0 would then appear in a different place of the order of operations than halving, even though both are effectively multipliers.

Regardless the rulebook doesn't say when or how the reduction to zero occurs. It only says that Disease must be applied to a value of +1 or greater (which doesn't tell you when to apply it). Ideally, reduction to 0 should occur through multiplication and it should be handled with the same procedure and timing as a halving process.


That's all for this post.

Lee
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Robert
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In situation one, I would posit that you cannot enter the dungeon in the first place. But yes, we need some clarification for that specific case and your light moves to stage four sounds like it might be the best idea.

In situation two, "party" should probably be defined in such a way that YOU are included. Fireball is an anomaly as it is currently the ONLY spell that does direct damage without requiring you to equip it. I would resolve such a case by saying YOU can attack Darkness even if none of your heroes can. The same should apply to any monster that is not immune to magic attack or specifically requires the presence of a certain card in your party. At least I believe that is consistent with the rules as written.

In situation three. I don't understand why folks are having so much trouble understanding the disease card. It says "Attack -1". How much clearer do we need them to make it? Do we also not understand that a Militia counts as "Attack +1"? I'm not trying to insult anyone, I'm really just curious. Maybe it's because I teach mathematics and I am used to adding and subtracting numbers all day long, but of all the cards that I had confusion about, Disease was at or very near the bottom of the list.

-Esch
 
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Lee Valentine
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Oh, and I may have missed it, but you really should say explicitly in a section on Destroying cards when and if a Destroyed card continues to produce its effect. In the Village and in a Battle a Destroyed card that has generated an effect continues to persist in providing its effect.

A Disease, however, must be used during Dungeon step #2, but the examples imply that their values don't continue to factor in after they are destroyed.

This seems to be an inconsistency.

A further inconsistency: you MUST use a Disease as a Dungeon Effect during Step 2 (according to the Enter the Dungeon rules), but once you've used the Disease for its intended purpose (hurting you) then the rules on p. 11 prevent a card from being Destroyed by a Dungeon effect (such as a Cleric).

Personally, I'd handle all of this by inserting a Disease step into the Dungeon rules. Insert it right after Step 2. Or alternately note that Disease cards only have impact on you during a Battle step (if that doesn't limit your design space too much).

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Lee Valentine
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Escher26 wrote:
I don't understand why folks are having so much trouble understanding the disease card. It says "Attack -1". How much clearer do we need them to make it? Do we also not understand that a Militia counts as "Attack +1"? I'm not trying to insult anyone, I'm really just curious. Maybe it's because I teach mathematics and I am used to adding and subtracting numbers all day long, but of all the cards that I had confusion about, Disease was at or very near the bottom of the list.

-Esch


Esch, if you teach math then you understand order of operations.

one of two cases must be true:

1) Take the following steps in order

a) Sum your positive attack values (other than multipliers)
b) apply all subtractions (including disease)
c) Apply multipliers, including halving, doubling or reduction to zero
d) apply light penalties

OR

2) take the following steps in order
a) Sum your positive attack values (other than multipliers)
b) Reduce that value to zero if necessary
c) apply all subtractions (including Disease)
d) Apply multipliers, including halving or doubling (but not reduction to zero)
e) apply light penalties



The base formula for the game is

((Attack Value + Additive or Subtractive Modifiers) * Attack Multipliers) = Total Attack Value (excluding Light and Magic Attack)

Diseases are explicitly slotted into the subtractive modifiers section before any multiplication occurs (rules say so).

So, if halving is a multiplier of 0.5 and reduction to 0 is a 0 multiplier, then if I have a guy with a base attack value of +3 I can pile three diseases on him and then apply a multiplier to 0 if he's fighting a monster who is immune to his attack. So, I could negate all the diseases by tossing them on a guy who is getting reduced to zero anyway.

If the reduction to zero is a special case that occurs not as a multiplier but is a modification to the Attack Value prior to its use in this formula then you'd have to pitch the three Diseases onto someone else who can normally harm the monster. Why? There's a rule that says Attack bonus must currently be >0 to apply a Disease to it. Therefore the Diseases take full effect.

Pure order of operations problem that Jeremy brought up in another thread. As a math prof, I'm certain you'll understand order of operations and why the impact of diseases is not obvious with regards to effects that set attack values to zero unless it's made explicit WHEN and HOW in the order of operations reduction to zero occurs.

If you still don't understand then I can't explain it any better. It's a very simple, obvious flaw in the rules to me.

If reduction to zero happens before the insertion of attack value into the above formula, then it's handled different than all other multipliers (an inconsistency/special case). If it is handled as a 0 multiplier, then Ryan's answer was wrong.

Since I'm assuming Ryan knows this answer, then the rulebook is missing information and the designers are going to apply yet another special case that is not handled like all other multipliers.

Lee
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Ben Hawks
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Escher26 wrote:
In situation one, I would posit that you cannot enter the dungeon in the first place. But yes, we need some clarification for that specific case and your light moves to stage four sounds like it might be the best idea.


Let's say instead of that militia, you had a Chalice Paladin. You will be able to draw a card after you go into the dungeon, and if you draw a militia or a light source you will be able to fight something. Would you be allowed to go into the dungeon? If so, and you don't draw something that would allow you to attack, what happens?
 
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Dane Barrett
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hudarklord wrote:
1) Two Haunts and a Blink Dog are in a Dungeon.


When I was reading this on my RSS feed I thought you were beginning to tell a joke!

hudarklord wrote:
My only Hero is a Militia with a Flaming Sword, 2 Iron Rations, and 2 Battle Fury cards. He cannot attack anything. There are two contradictory rules concerning this:


Why would you choose to enter the dungeon? My group can't be the only ones that calculate whether they are able to kill/attack something before going in.
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Lee Valentine
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banjothulu wrote:


Let's say instead of that militia, you had a Chalice Paladin. You will be able to draw a card after you go into the dungeon, and if you draw a militia or a light source you will be able to fight something. Would you be allowed to go into the dungeon? If so, and you don't draw something that would allow you to attack, what happens?


Exactly, Ben. That rule on limiting of selection of something you can't attack is there just to prevent monster cycling. So, remove the 2-3 special cases that just got added to v. 1.4 and specifically target the cycling rules for undefeated monsters. Let people enter the dungeon and select any monster they want to. If it screws them and the rules are changed to prohibit monster cycling for people who have no attack value higher than 0 then let people waste their turn. Don't create 3 byzantine rules to do the work of some simple ones.

Lee
 
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Vernon Evenhuis
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Maybe I'm just not enough of a geek, but I really just don't understand how people come up with the time and inclination to analyze rules to a recreational game to this degree. It's a game, not a legally binding contract...
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Lee Valentine
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db-one wrote:

Why would you choose to enter the dungeon? My group can't be the only ones that calculate whether they are able to kill/attack something before going in.



I needn't have had those cards in my hand when I started. I could have had a hand of 3 Arcane Energies, a Militia, a Flaming Sword, and an Iron Rations. That's a perfectly reasonable hand to enter a Dungeon and draw 3 cards with.

There are a number of ways to get into this situation and the rules don't resolve when it happens.

Lee
 
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Lee Valentine
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White Knight wrote:
Maybe I'm just not enough of a geek, but I really just don't understand how people come up with the time and inclination to analyze rules to a recreational game to this degree. It's a game, not a legally binding contract...



I'm a policy analyst by trade. Earlier in life I was a computer programmer. I love games. The worlds collide.


Lee
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Vernon Evenhuis
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hudarklord wrote:
White Knight wrote:
Maybe I'm just not enough of a geek, but I really just don't understand how people come up with the time and inclination to analyze rules to a recreational game to this degree. It's a game, not a legally binding contract...



I'm a policy analyst by trade. Earlier in life I was a computer programmer. I love games. The worlds collide.


Lee


Fair enough.
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Dane Barrett
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hudarklord wrote:
db-one wrote:

Why would you choose to enter the dungeon? My group can't be the only ones that calculate whether they are able to kill/attack something before going in.



I needn't have had those cards in my hand when I started. I could have had a hand of 3 Arcane Energies, a Militia, a Flaming Sword, and an Iron Rations. That's a perfectly reasonable hand to enter a Dungeon and draw 3 cards with.

There are a number of ways to get into this situation and the rules don't resolve when it happens.

Lee


Good point, I forgot I do this myself sometimes, although I tend to sway towards having a mathematical advantage before going in to battle. Yes, I quite often lose games because of it (and not just Thunderstone!).

It seems likely that if you can't attack, then you just skip the phases you can't do, discard your hand and redraw ready for your next turn. Yup I agree it should be noted somewhere in the rules, but a little thought prevents it from being a show stopper.

After all, if the situation shows you can't attack, you simply can't attack. You took a calculated risk and lost. The wasted turn could end up being penalty enough to lose a close game.
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Derek Mondeau
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Escher26 wrote:
Maybe it's because I teach mathematics


Then you must hate the way that adding a positive value is actually expressed as subtraction when it comes to light penalty.

-1 light = +1 light penalty = -1 light penalty

The above equation is totally true depending on what page of the rulebook you are reading.

So with a Nightmare in Rank 2 (-2 LP) we are told to "increase the light penalty of the rank Nightmare is in by 2". Okay got it. Simple math great! So, let's remove words and just deal with numbers.

-2 + 2 = -4

All the negative positive flip-flopping is needlessly confusing, especially to newbs. In the above example there are four different changes in value. "Rank 2" of the dungeon(positive). "BATTLE: -2 Light" on the card (negative). "Increase LP by 2" in the card explanation (positive). "-4 Light Penalty" is your final light penalty (negative).

2 Darkness + 2 Darkness = 4 Darkness. Simpler language that doesn't change the mechanic one bit.

I don't need a rules clarification. I would still like to see a complete rewrite of the explanation of the Light and Darkness.

Regardless whether they change this or not, you gotta be impressed with the amount of work the designers are putting into to getting the rulebook right.

I don't think Jim Pinto sleeps.
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Stephen Gassett
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White Knight wrote:
Maybe I'm just not enough of a geek, but I really just don't understand how people come up with the time and inclination to analyze rules to a recreational game to this degree. It's a game, not a legally binding contract...


This basically sums up my thoughts on all the mental energy spent in this thread. If I didn't like the theme so much and sense that there is a very good game here, I would have consigned this game to the 'not worth my time or effort' category a long time ago. I bought Thunderstone, and enjoy playing it, but I haven't printed out the updated rules yet for one simple reason - it's obviously still a work in progress, and is likely to see yet more updates, corrections, and/or clarifications before it's all said and done. And, of course, once the rules are honed and tweaked into a finalized version, it will be time for the expansion, and all it's likely attendant questions and unforeseen gameplay issues.
 
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The rules nitpicking for this game is getting beyond a joke. I just can't see how folks are having so much of a problem with them. I play the game with my 8 and 10 yr old daughters and we haven't had a problem with the rules yet. I even thought the original rules where easy enough to understand if some common sense was applied.

As for the OP questions I agree with Dane, work out if you can kill something with the cards in your hand before you enter the dungeon and then you don't have so many rules problems, hmmmm common sense really.
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Trystan
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Rindel wrote:
The rules nitpicking for this game is getting beyond a joke. I just can't see how folks are having so much of a problem with them. I play the game with my 8 and 10 yr old daughters and we haven't had a problem with the rules yet. I even thought the original rules where easy enough to understand if some common sense was applied.

As for the OP questions I agree with Dane, work out if you can kill something with the cards in your hand before you enter the dungeon and then you don't have so many rules problems, hmmmm common sense really.


I have to agree with the above, my girlfriend and I have been playing from the original rules and not had much of a problem, when we were looking at the game in the first place I thought we were going to have to be looking things up and checking things every other turn but so far that's not been the case.

I suppose the thing is that in both mine and probably James's case we're not playing to win at all costs which is where some of the problems with very interesting interpretations of some cards have caused friction, where one player is getting a distinct advantage by doing something within the letter of the game if not in the spirit. I know years back I used to not enjoy playing Magic with people who were too serious about it as half the games degenerated into arguements about what could interupt what and which effects could occur in response to which other ones, I've always been more of the 'go go tramply elephants' kind of guy.

Anyway, I'd like to give my thanks to AEG and Ryan (slaqr) for supporting the game and hopefully this support will continue throughout the evolution of Thunderstone.
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John Anderson
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I do think question 1 is a little ridiculous, but it probably should be accounted for in the rules. Just a simple line saying if your party is not able to attack any of the monsters, you leave the dungeon and nothing happens.

As for common sense, I agree to some extent, although if you played by common sense you're probably getting some rules wrong. That's what some of us are trying to get squared away. Stuff like why a battle effect can affect a hero who wasn't part of the battle, etc.
 
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Lee Valentine
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trystanosaurus wrote:
The rules nitpicking for this game is getting beyond a joke. I just can't see how folks are having so much of a problem with them. I play the game with my 8 and 10 yr old daughters and we haven't had a problem with the rules yet. I even thought the original rules where easy enough to understand if some common sense was applied.



I played with the original rules too but only because the original rules had so many gaps in definitions and timing that I made up what made sense to me. The current rulebook adds rules that just weren't in the print edition, and sometimes rules that are contradictory or that you've never would have guessed from the original rulebook.


Quote:
As for the OP questions I agree with Dane, work out if you can kill something with the cards in your hand before you enter the dungeon and then you don't have so many rules problems, hmmmm common sense really.


As I noted later and as another poster chimed in on, you can have a handful of Dungeon effects that will let you draw 3-6 cards, have a perfectly reasonable hand to enter the Dungeon with while have NO WAY OF KNOWING what you'll draw. Then you get there and can't do anything. I edited the hand in the question to make it a little less of a neurotic case and more of a practical one.

I picked some of these rules to harp on because:
a) what they really are obviously trying to do is prevent people from gratuitously cycling monsters if they can't attack;

b) they then changed the light rules so that all Light Battle Effects occur at a different time than all other Battle effects. Why? To fix a perceived problem with Blink Dog that's not a problem at all;

c) and they put restrictions on monster selection that conflict with another rule, again to prohibit gratuitous monster cycling.

All they needed to do was really tighten up a few definitions and change the rule they should have changed: the one that affects whether you can cycle a monster to the bottom of the deck.

Lee
 
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Lee Valentine
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imondeau wrote:
I don't need a rules clarification. I would still like to see a complete rewrite of the explanation of the Light and Darkness.


It would require reprinting some cards to switch to a Darkness model. It would have been preferred and simpler, particularly with some Darkness counters in the game.


Quote:

Regardless whether they change this or not, you gotta be impressed with the amount of work the designers are putting into to getting the rulebook right.

I don't think Jim Pinto sleeps.


I am. I held off on a review until they got a more complete rulebook together so that I would feel comfortable giving the game higher marks.

Lee
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Jon Bowker
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Rindel wrote:
The rules nitpicking for this game is getting beyond a joke. I just can't see how folks are having so much of a problem with them. I play the game with my 8 and 10 yr old daughters and we haven't had a problem with the rules yet. I even thought the original rules where easy enough to understand if some common sense was applied.

As for the OP questions I agree with Dane, work out if you can kill something with the cards in your hand before you enter the dungeon and then you don't have so many rules problems, hmmmm common sense really.


I'm gonna third this. I read the rules and have played several games with the packaged rule book and haven't had any major questions. I've even explained some of the changes and people prefer the original.

Holy christ people, just play the damn game!
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Robert
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Quote:
So, if halving is a multiplier of 0.5 and reduction to 0 is a 0 multiplier, then if I have a guy with a base attack value of +3 I can pile three diseases on him and then apply a multiplier to 0 if he's fighting a monster who is immune to his attack. So, I could negate all the diseases by tossing them on a guy who is getting reduced to zero anyway.


I think I understand where the confusion comes in. You don't APPLY disease to a hero in your party. It is a global reduction in your attack by 1. Just as a militia is a global increase to your attack by 1. Where does it say that disease affects a specific hero?

Quote:

All they needed to do was really tighten up a few definitions and change the rule they should have changed: the one that affects whether you can cycle a monster to the bottom of the deck.

Lee


Lee, THIS statement you just made is absolutely perfect.cool I agree with you 100% that the editing they are doing at this point seems to be making things FAR more complicated than they intended, and that at most, they could have solved the issues with a better card glossary and the one change you suggested about moving monsters to the bottom of the deck.

-Esch

(On a side note about order of operations, In Math, PEMDAS demands that all multiplication / division occurs BEFORE addition and subtraction, so we're already dealing with something that in T-stone is completely sdrawkcaB ssA. shake

 
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Robert Ell
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White Knight wrote:
Maybe I'm just not enough of a geek, but I really just don't understand how people come up with the time and inclination to analyze rules to a recreational game to this degree. It's a game, not a legally binding contract...


Maybe I'm just not enough of a geek, but I really just don't understand how people come up with the time and inclination to post worthless trolls in otherwise useful threads.

Keep up the great work guys. This game is really fun but the rules problems bog it down. Most of us are extremely grateful for the effort you are putting in.
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jim pinto

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hudarklord wrote:
Edit: I edited the hand for #1 after complaints.

1) Two Haunts and a Blink Dog are in a Dungeon.

I have a hand of 2 Arcane Energies, 2 Magical Auras, a Militia, and a Flaming Sword. I enter the Dungeon and draw four cards. After the draw I have a Militia with a Flaming Sword, a Dagger, Iron Rations, and 2 Battle Fury cards plus the other draw spells.

The militia cannot attack anything. There are two contradictory rules concerning this:

a) Note: Once you’ve chosen to enter the Dungeon, you must choose a Monster to attack, regardless of whether or not you can defeat it.

b) Some Monsters have traits or Battle Effects that prevent a party or Hero from attacking. If your party cannot attack a Monster, it cannot be chosen in Step 3 of a Dungeon action.

Unless I missed something, then this, my friends, appears to be a rules contradiction and a full failure of the rules to resolve.


There is a difference between CANNOT ATTACK and HEROES CANNOT ATTACK. So unless there are THREE BLINK DOGS in the dungeon, this is not an issue.

And if you're not doing your math before you enter the dungeon, not sure how the rules can help you there.

:)
 
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Peter Marchlewitz
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The clarity of examples really helped out. I haven't printed out v1.4 yet...but 1.3 was awesome!
 
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Lee Valentine
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jimpinto wrote:

There is a difference between CANNOT ATTACK and HEROES CANNOT ATTACK. So unless there are THREE BLINK DOGS in the dungeon, this is not an issue.


If there's a substantive difference between these with one Hero in your hand and no Fireballs, that difference is patently unclear to me from reading your rulebook.



Quote:
And if you're not doing your math before you enter the dungeon, not sure how the rules can help you there.


Jim, I've changed my example. You guys designed Dungeon only card draw effects. How are you supposed to do math on cards that you can't see until you've entered the Dungeon?

And as noted, the Disease cards seem to have a conflict with the Cleric's destroy ability. You MUST use the Disease as a step 2 Dungeon Effect (p. 4), which means it can't be destroyed by the cleric's optional effect later in that phase (p. 11), just as you can't Destroy an Iron Rations once you've used it for a bonus. Typically in logic when you must do one thing and you may do another, without more details, you carry out the thing you must do if it conflicts with the thing that you may do.

Lee
 
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