Androo S
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Continuing from session 1A (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/493866/a-six-player-desc...), here is the evening session of our first day of a five-hero Road to Legend Campaign. I split the first day into two threads because it was extraordinarily long thanks to our being snowed in. (Once again, thanks to the great session reports here that I'm using as a formatting guide. Blue text is commentary, red is rules mistakes/questions, (+1) indicates hero conquest, [+1] is for the overlord.)

I didn’t write down all of the equipment between the sessions because we left everything set up while we shoveled snow. But here is the situation to the best of my memory:

The Hero Party [19 conquest]
Landrec the Wise: (Blessing). Equipment: Leather armor, Cone of Fire, Immolation XP: 19
Tahlia: (Unmovable) Equipment: Dragontooth Hammer, Axe, Chain Mail, XP: 19
Kirga: (Rapid Fire) Equipment: Crossbow, Chain Mail, Crystal Shield, Archer’s Charm XP: 19
Runewitch Astarra: (Spiritwalker) Equipment: Screaming Eagle Staff, Ghost Armor, Bane, Crystal of Tival XP: 19.
Nanok of the Blade: (Cleaving) Equipment: Leviathan, Axe. XP: 19
Party Equipment: Staff of the Wild, 1125 gold

Overlord [18 conquest, 3 xp]
Avatar: The Beastlord
Plot: Obsidian Shackles
Cities Razed: None. 3 Siege tokens on Vynelvale
Overlord Upgrades: Sir Alric Farrow (at Vynelvale) Focused, Lawlessness, Toughened, Siege Engines
House Rules: 5 threat per turn. Doom and Evil Genius in play for free at each dungeon
Dungeons explored: Starfall Forest, Thelsvan Highway

We pick up with Alric about to siege Vynelvale, the heroes in Tamalir, and my pants in the dryer. In solidarity with my character, Nanok, I played much of this round without “armor.” Also my pants were soaked from the snow.

Week 5 (19 – 18)
The beastman lord picks up another conquest [+1] and Alric places the last siege on Vynelvale.
We realize the overlord is going to get one turn to raze Vynevale no matter what we do. Really wanting Leadership and Born to the Bow, we decide to go anyway and hope we have a chance to fight Alric.
The heroes run to Riverwatch (no encounter, again) and pick up the Mace of Aver for Nanok, the Cloak of Deception for Astarra and the second Crystal of Tival (Tahlia). Still no bows for poor Kirga. We also get our first rumor (The Hunting Wyrm) which rewards one hero with the ironside ability. The flavor text hints at an ice wyrm on the third level that we are definitely not ready to face. The wyrm’s ghost ability nullifies our strongest attackers. We place the rumor at Blackwing Swamp hoping we pick up some upgrades for our range and magic users before we have to go there.

Week 6 (19 – 19)
The overlord gets his weekly conquest [+1] and rolls two dice for the raze of Vynevale. He hits on both of them and Vynelvale falls. Good-bye Born to the Bow. Good-bye Leadership. We cry. Not wanting a fight, Alric moves back to the safety of Applewood Forest. Interestingly, the overlord revealed later he would have withdrawn if we had come after Alric right away. Apparently the beginning of a previous campaign led to such a quick death of his Lieutenant that he wasn’t convinced it was possible to complete a raze. In contrast, the heroes’ fear of fighting Alric with only shop weapons delayed us in clearing the siege.
Unable to pursue Alric, we trudge back towards Tamalir in defeat, stopping at the Gardens of Tarn (+1, still no encounters).

Gardens of Tarn Lvl 1 (#19 Downward Spiral). A long spiraling hallway ends with a master Giant leader named Lodall who inflicts sleep on successful attacks in addition to the normal stun, reach, and sweep. The overlord places a wall of skeletons in front of the glyph. But Astarra is able to use running and fatigue to get 14 movement points and move close enough to trigger the glyph anyway. Kirga moves to the first gold pile and manages to cover line of sight down both long hallways. Landrec, Nanok, and Tahlia all return to the town and pick up the Shadowblade and Morningstar for Nanok.

More skeletons are spawned and Astarra is killed [+2]. However, the sacrifice worked as the town heroes are able to spring through the activated glyph and do lots of damage. Nanok cleaves the monsters around the glyph to clear the way (the master skeleton comes back to life). Landrec follows and wastes a blast on a large group of monsters when it is ruled the lone deep elf among the skeletons gives shadowcloak to all of them (We eventually came to this decision using the ironskin ruling in the FAQ but there was quite a bit of debate.) Landrec uses his second attack on the master skeleton who comes back yet again. Tahlia tries to kill the deep elf blocking the way to the chest, but misses after the overlord plays dodge. Astarra also comes back and tries to kill the elf, but perhaps still woozy from being sacrificed, she misses too.

The monsters come after Nanok but he dodges with a feat. The elf goes after Landrec who also plays a feat. He is able to interupt and make a melee attack. Oops. The unarmed melee attack does no damage.
On the heroes turn, Landrec redeems himself by blasting three skeletons including the master who finally stays dead. Astarra gets the gold pile and the chest, but there are no copper treasures again (+1). Nanok and Kirga clear out the rest of the minions and the Giant Lodall finally opens the door.

A Beastman war party shows up and Landrec avoids dark charm again. A regular beastman moved to attack Tahlia who interrupts with her guard. She wants to use her movement to move up and attack the master beastman and then move back to get out of the reach of Lodall. The Overlord insists she can not split up the movement points on her guard. We can’t find anything in the rules either way. So the heroes relent and Tahlia kills the regular beastman instead.
With only the red beastman left, intricate plans to kill Lodall with power potions are made. Of course they are quickly ruined when a crushing block falls on Nanok. The plan is scrapped and instead the heroes wipe out the last minion. Seeing the overlord had no threat we place rest orders and get ready to go after the Giant on the next turn.
Lodall moves up and manages to reach Landrec with an attack that puts him to sleep.

Landrec stays asleep. Several battle actions later, Nanok scores the killing blow (+2). A razorwing spawn kills Landrec [+2] but the rest of the heroes make it to the portal. A testy level with more rule debates than I would like and some frustrating misses and undying, but the conquest came out roughly even again. The trap bonus of the level never came into play, and I almost forgot to mention it here. Whether that was due to the overlord lacking the needed cards or just forgetting about it, I can’t say.

CONQUEST: Heroes: 27, Overlord: 10/25, Total: 52

Gardens of Tarn Lvl 2 (#43 Cavern of the Wyrm). Our first Tomb of Ice dungeon! With the very same monster from the rumor we’re avoiding! The Ice Wyrm leader meant we didn’t have much chance of clearing this level, but there were two chests and two glyphs.
Astarra swept one side of the dungeon to grab the chest (axe of returning, 3 potions), gold pile, and glyph (+3). Kirga repeats on the other side for the glyph (+3) and gold, but doesn’t have quite enough movement points to open the chest. Nanok and Landrec return to town to come out the glyphs next turn and Tahlia hangs back to prevent spawns behind the party.
A Beastman War Party is spawned near Astarra and she dies [+2]. Kirga opens the second chest (Knuckle Dagger) and moves next to the glyph to try and flee. Before he can, he’s swallowed by the Ice Wyrm. We choose the heroic path and move back to town to leave him to die. Two turns later, he’s digested [+3]. We remember the ring of protection exists, and buy it for Astarra. Time to flee!

CONQUEST: Heroes: 33, Overlord: 15/30, Total: 63

Week 7 (33 – 30)
[+1] for the new week, and the overlord buys Lord Merrick Farrow. Alric returns to the ruins of Vynelvale.
The heroes train in Tamalir. Nanok buys 2 black melee dice, and Tahlia gets a black melee die of her own. We also buy the boat and draw another rumor. It has a reward that wouldn’t come into play until the final battle, so we keep our current rumor at Blackwing Swamp. The party has 550 gold remaining and we call it a night.


Despite losing Vynelvale, I’d have to say our first session was a success. The rule changes for five heroes seem to be working well so far. Conquest points are pretty much even and that includes the heroes being lucky to not have any encounters on trails. The hero strategy so far has seemed pretty much optimal and the overlord has made a few mistakes, yet we only have a three point lead. The blitz has worked well so I am curious to see what happens when we start to go deeper in dungeons. I would say both the hero party and the overlord have been playing fairly cautiously as this is basically a new game for all of us and no one knows exactly what to expect. I think we will see more aggressive play as each side gets comfortable with the world map-based strategies.

After the overlord and Astarra went to sleep, the rest of us stayed up planning our strategy for the next session. Kirga is still using the shop crossbow and is desperate for some upgrades and we need to beef up our magic attacks in anticipation of battles where Tahlia and Nanok will be less effective (soaring encounters, tomb of ice dungeons). So we’re looking at completing another dungeon for cash before going to Forge or Greyhaven to train, while staying close enough to chase off the Farrows if they make a move on Riverwatch. Then, secret master training, the rumor, and the legendary dungeon should be enough to take us to silver. If the plows don’t show up, we’ll be there soon!

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Corbon Loughnan
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Androo wrote:
A regular beastman moved to attack Tahlia who interrupts with her guard. She wants to use her movement to move up and attack the master beastman and then move back to get out of the reach of Lodall. The Overlord insists she can not split up the movement points on her guard. We can’t find anything in the rules either way.


Tahlia
When Tahlia discards a Guard order to make an interrupt attack, she may move a number of spaces equal to her speed before or after attacking

Ok, first point. Tahlia's ability has been clarified on older official forums by FFG staff to actually be MP rather than spaces moved - in line with the actual rules which have the incorrect 'spaces moved' terminology in the Action descriptions (DJitD pg8) but the correct 'Movement Points' terminology in the movement rules on Pg9.

Second, the third to last bullet point on movement (DJitD pg 9) covers what happens when MP and attacks are combined.
A figure may make attacks at any point during its movement. For example, a figure with a speed of 4 may move 2 spaces, attack, and then move another 2 spaces
This is a general rule for movement when there is also an attack, (not a special rule for Advances).
I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think Tahlia's ability wording is sufficient restrictive to counter the basic rule.
The 'or' in "before or after" could be an 'inclusive or' or an 'exclusive or'. There is no way to tell just from that sentence (glorious english language - NOT!) so we need outside confirmation. Since the basic movement rule would make it an 'inclusive or' I believe you would need something a lot more definitive in order to change the basic rule.

So in summary, she can split her movement as you desired and the evidence is the third to last bullet point on pg 9.

Edit: inserted the missing NOT!
 
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Retired Hurt

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I'm not the biggest expert about the English language, but f an "exclusive or" was meant, shouldn't the wording have been "either before or after" ?
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Merrimac wrote:
I'm not the biggest expert about the English language, but f an "exclusive or" was meant, shouldn't the wording have been "either before or after" ?


That would certainly be clearer!

Inclusive and exclusive 'or's are often left purely up to context - especially by sloppy writers, because verbal communication can often make it clear by emphasis or pauses and sloppy writers can just read what they wrote with their own internal 'verbal' dialogue making it quite clear to them what they meant.

Descent is nothing if not sloppily written.
 
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Retired Hurt

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At that brings us to the second question : given that an exclusive "or" can be written as "either - or", while an inclusive "or" is difficult to write in any way but "or" without being clumsy, shouldn't we understand that, sloppy or not, the latter was intended ?
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Merrimac wrote:
At that brings us to the second question : given that an exclusive "or" can be written as "either - or", while an inclusive "or" is difficult to write in any way but "or" without being clumsy, shouldn't we understand that, sloppy or not, the latter was intended ?


First, it isn't difficult to write without being clumsy. You just use 'and/or' which is clear and simple.

Second, the reason we shouldn't understand it that way because we have a clear and definitive existing rule for combining attacks and movement.

It really is slightly ridiculous to take a wording that is as ambiguous as it could possibly be and then claim it as definitive and counter to an existing rule. Especially as the ambiguous passage already includes a sloppily incorrect wording ('move spaces' instead of 'gain movement points).
I mean, you are taking one of the few clear and definitive rules passages (the bullet point) and trying to overrule it with something known to be incorrectly written in part and completely ambiguous in the other part.
 
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Androo S
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corbon wrote:


Ok, first point. Tahlia's ability has been clarified on older official forums by FFG staff to actually be MP rather than spaces moved - in line with the actual rules which have the incorrect 'spaces moved' terminology in the Action descriptions (DJitD pg8) but the correct 'Movement Points' terminology in the movement rules on Pg9.


This is the part that was the primary hang up. Do you have a link or was this on the board that no longer exists? Either way, we discussed it further and I'm okay with the conservative Overlord ruling. With only 3 movement as it is, the situation where Tahlia would split her movement rarely comes up. And as long as we know how we're going to play in advance we can plan around it.
 
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Retired Hurt

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Corbon, I'm sorry, but you seem to have missed one important fact : "special" abilities are there to overrule basic rules, not to confirm them. Whence we should take their wording as basis, not basic rules. And if there is some ambiguity, we shouldn't solve it by using the rules they are designed to supersede.

And by the way, the basic rule for "movement before / after combat" is an "inclusive or", it has been used efficiently by many OLs (sniping tactics), so why don't you understand it that way ?
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Merrimac wrote:
Corbon, I'm sorry, but you seem to have missed one important fact : "special" abilities are there to overrule basic rules, not to confirm them. Whence we should take their wording as basis, not basic rules. And if there is some ambiguity, we shouldn't solve it by using the rules they are designed to supersede.

I haven't missed it, this is already being achieved by the bulk of Tahlia's special ability. We have one small section of that special rule that is ambiguous and both interpretations will still have it as very much a 'special ability' that is completely unique, but one (interpretation) follows the usual rules method in a secondary area and the other one creates a special rule inside a special rule. Sorry, but that is not a very credible argument.
Compare that with the reroll dice special abilities (Trenloe and Lyssa?). In order for them to not clash with the normal rules they have a clear exception so that they can't be combined with Aim/Dodge. The clear inference (which should really be the default position logically anyway) is that special abilities break the rules in their particular special area but mechanically follow the general rules as much as possible while doing so.

Quote:
And by the way, the basic rule for "movement before / after combat" is an "inclusive or", it has been used efficiently by many OLs (sniping tactics), so why don't you understand it that way ?


Umm, I do? That's the basis of the argument for the interpretation of how to read the secondary part of Tahlia's special...
Movement before/after combat is an inclusive or (an and/or) so you can move before, after, or both before and after making an attack.
The same should apply to Tahlia's special ability because that is how movement + attacks are combined. So Tahlia's special is also an 'and/or' and she can move before, after or both before and after her guard attack.
The alternative is that Tahlia has a special ability (move when guarding) that also requires a special rule, and which is not clearly stated. Among other things, Occams Razor says Tahlia's movement is and/or.
 
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Corbon Loughnan
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Androo wrote:
corbon wrote:


Ok, first point. Tahlia's ability has been clarified on older official forums by FFG staff to actually be MP rather than spaces moved - in line with the actual rules which have the incorrect 'spaces moved' terminology in the Action descriptions (DJitD pg8) but the correct 'Movement Points' terminology in the movement rules on Pg9.


This is the part that was the primary hang up. Do you have a link or was this on the board that no longer exists? Either way, we discussed it further and I'm okay with the conservative Overlord ruling. With only 3 movement as it is, the situation where Tahlia would split her movement rarely comes up. And as long as we know how we're going to play in advance we can plan around it.


I think it was on the board that no longer exists. A brief search of the GLOAQ on the current offical FFG forum didn't help. Unfortunately the search function there is incredibly useless because I know that this has come up multiple times before and some other people have posted older links there at times. I remember the posting of it (I'm fairly sure it was KW himself but could be wrong) which means it was probably only one forum back so to speak, although I could be remembering someone else posting a quote from KW.

Sorry, there is not much worse than 'trust me, it's been covered before' without a link.
OTOH this one didn't really need an official post once you figure out that the rules themselves for movement (pg9) are clear but the descriptions under orders (pg8) are contradictory. There are no actual rules for 'moving X spaces', only rules for 'paying movement points to move from space to space'. It is clear that, like a number of incorrect examples (Jaes with Armour 1, hellhounds with aura for example), the 'move X spaces' terminology used in the explanation of orders (vs the pay MP to move spaces terminology used in the actual movement rules) probably is a relic of an earlier playtest version of the rules that just never got tidied up because of inept editing.
 
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Ian Giffen
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Hi.. I'm the OL for Androo's game.

I finally found the Thalia ruling burried in the GLoAQ thread on FFG forum.

To clear some things up, the card is NOT AT ALL ambiguous and is contrary to the wording of movement in the book.

Since it is a special ability it's rulling SUPERCEDES any ruling in a book, just as any game since the begining of time says all rules on cards/sheets overrule rullings in the core rule book.

That being said, apparently FFG says they worded it wrong, and she "gains movement points", not "can move her speed", which are two different things.

Since the "new wording" is now gains movement points", all rules governing that now take affect, which means she can split her movement.

I hate this ruling, seems to me the designers had a clear goal in her ability, and are now changing it, either that or FFG has worse editors than I thought... still love their games though.
 
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Gilles Duchesne
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grifter4264 wrote:
I hate this ruling, seems to me the designers had a clear goal in her ability, and are now changing it, either that or FFG has worse editors than I thought...

It's probably the latter, unfortunately.
The rules in general have a few "linguistic shortcuts" that can lead to confusion, like:
- Frequent references to "moving N spaces" instead of spending movement points.
- Frequent references to "targeting this figure" instead of "affecting this figure" or "targeting a space containing this figure" (because as per the rules, you always target spaces).

Before hearing about Kevin's ruling, this is how I ruled Tahlia's ability:
"When resolving a Guard order, before or after making the attack roll, Tahlia can receive & spend up to 3 Movement Points in movement or movement-related actions." (So no opening chests or doors or drinking potions, but jumping or going through stairs would be ok. Likewise, no moving & attacking & moving again.)

Frankly, I liked the way it worked, and it still seemed pretty powerful, and because of that I've been reluctant to play it "Kevin's way". soblue You can always discuss the matter with your own players...

grifter4264 wrote:
Since it is a special ability it's rulling SUPERCEDES any ruling in a book, just as any game since the begining of time says all rules on cards/sheets overrule rullings in the core rule book.

A word of advice about that, though. I've seen many games that mention this principle in their rulebooks, and several arguments where one side would use that rule to prove their point. In most cases, they ended up being proven wrong by the author or an FAQ ruling.

So really, when authors say "abilities on cards have precedence over the rules", they usually mean "over the itsy-bitsy bit of the rules that is specifically mentioned, because otherwise the ability wouldn't do anything". shake
 
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