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Fury of Dracula (Second Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Trail cleared while at sea rss

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Mark L
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This unusual situation came up in our last game, and I thought I'd see what you all think.

I was playing Dracula, and I went to sea from Rome. From the Tyrrhenian sea I moved into the Mediterranean. At that point a vampire encounter in my trail matured. So my trail was cleared down to one card; the Mediterranean.

Now at that point, was it legal for me to move back into the Tyrrhenian sea? The rules (page 10) specify that hunters can't double back while at sea, but all it says about Dracula is that he can't use his powers while at sea, which effectively restricts him from backtracking (emphasis mine -- but note that they say "restricts" not "prevents"). The Tyrrhenian Sea card was in my hand, so our group decision was that I could play it as usual.

It seems a little like using the rules of the game to defeat the spirit, but it's a pretty special and specific case. Certainly I couldn't find anything in the rules or FAQ to forbid it. One of the players felt that the situation was unusual enough that it was reasonable to imagine Dracula influencing the ship's captain to turn back or something!
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brian
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If the card is available, you can reuse it, even if it means back-tracking at that point.
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H-B-G
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I think, when the rules were written, this case was not considered and it was thought that the denial of the use of Double Back would cover this situation. In fact according to the rules as written maturation required an action phase which could not happen while Dracula was at sea, so this situation could not arise (granted this is erratad in the FAQ, but this consequence was not considered).

The original GW rules, which I take as a guide on this are specific that neither Hunters or Dracula may double back at sea and that is how I would rule.
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Mark McEvoy
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
If the card is available, you can reuse it, even if it means back-tracking at that point.


Disagree. The last paragraph of the section on sea travel:

"Players doesn’t need to decide on a destination port in advance. Providing he does not return to a sea zone or his starting port, the player is free to take any route."

(bolded emphasis mine).

It was a very poor choice of word in case 2 to say "A hunter cannot backtrack...", as it really should have said "A player cannot backtrack". The later more general statement quoted above (bad grammar and all) clarifies that the no-returning-to-a-past-sea-zone applies to "players", not just "hunters".
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Valery Prikhodko
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The Rulebook clearly state on page 10:

"2. A Hunter cannot backtrack to a sea zone".
and
"3. Dracula cannot use any of his Powers while at sea."
and
"4. A player cannot return to the port he embarked from without first disembarking in another city and starting a new sea voyage."

As we can see rule #2 apply to hunters only, rule #3 apply to Dracula only, rule #4 apply to both Dracula and hunters. So the answer is yes. If sea card is available nothing prevent the Count to use it.
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George
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DaveD wrote:
I think, when the rules were written, this case was not considered and it was thought that the denial of the use of Double Back would cover this situation. In fact according to the rules as written maturation required an action phase which could not happen while Dracula was at sea, so this situation could not arise (granted this is erratad in the FAQ, but this consequence was not considered).

The original GW rules, which I take as a guide on this are specific that neither Hunters or Dracula may double back at sea and that is how I would rule.


Very interesting point about encounters not maturing while Dracula is at Sea because he wouldn't have an action phase... until the FAQ Errata changed/clarified it!

I haven't played in a long time, I'm guessing people generally follow the Errata rule? Seems like playing it the other way would reduce Dracula's desire to stay at sea even more. I briefly scanned the rules folder but didn't see this discussed....
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Mark L
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thatmarkguy wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
If the card is available, you can reuse it, even if it means back-tracking at that point.


Disagree. The last paragraph of the section on sea travel:

"Players doesn’t need to decide on a destination port in advance. Providing he does not return to a sea zone or his starting port, the player is free to take any route."

(bolded emphasis mine).

But that only tells us that movement at sea is freely available except in those cases. It doesn't say those options are always forbidden. If they're normally impossible but allowed in special circumstances, the quoted statement is still true.

Returning to the port you embarked from within the same sea voyage is explicitly forbidden. Backtracking within sea zones is explicitly forbidden for Hunters, but not explicitly forbidden for Dracula.

Quote:
It was a very poor choice of word in case 2 to say "A hunter cannot backtrack...", as it really should have said "A player cannot backtrack". The later more general statement quoted above (bad grammar and all) clarifies that the no-returning-to-a-past-sea-zone applies to "players", not just "hunters".


I don't think it can be just a poor choice of wording. The paragraph immediately before it starts "Characters must always move while at sea", so why doesn't this paragraph also refer to "a character" rather than "a hunter"?

I think it was intended to highlight the difference between Hunter movement (can normally backtrack but cannot do so at sea) and Dracula movement (can normally backtrack only with powers, which are forbidden at sea, which effectively prevents him from backtracking too).

Why make that distinction unless it means something? I wonder if there are Event cards that allow Dracula to clear or partially clear his trail?
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Mark L
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soosy wrote:
DaveD wrote:
I think, when the rules were written, this case was not considered and it was thought that the denial of the use of Double Back would cover this situation. In fact according to the rules as written maturation required an action phase which could not happen while Dracula was at sea, so this situation could not arise (granted this is erratad in the FAQ, but this consequence was not considered).

The original GW rules, which I take as a guide on this are specific that neither Hunters or Dracula may double back at sea and that is how I would rule.


Very interesting point about encounters not maturing while Dracula is at Sea because he wouldn't have an action phase... until the FAQ Errata changed/clarified it!

I haven't played in a long time, I'm guessing people generally follow the Errata rule? Seems like playing it the other way would reduce Dracula's desire to stay at sea even more. I briefly scanned the rules folder but didn't see this discussed....


Yes indeed, I do follow that rule. My edition actually has the FAQ incorporated into the rulebook so it never occurred to me to do it differently.

I suspect DaveD is right; when the rules were written, Dracula not having an action phase at sea would have prevented this issue, and it's only the FAQ that has created it.

But then why is that ruling in the FAQ? Why specify that Dracula can mature encounters when at sea? I suppose the writer(s) of the FAQ may have been unaware that they were creating an issue, but you'd think that they'd be careful about introducing a rule like that! As everyone who's created house rules knows, rules are not independent and changing one thing can have unintended consequences, which is why you need to be careful...

But I think it's clear that the rules (and FAQ) as written don't actually forbid Dracula from backtracking in this case. Perhaps it's worth introducing as a house rule, but I think Dracula has enough disadvantages in this game, and it's a rare enough occurence; my fellow players felt it was fair to allow me to do it. I'm inclined to leave it at that.

Still, I'm glad to see everyone's thoughts! It's certainly helped me think it through more clearly. And I may still change my mind...

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Mark McEvoy
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xipuloxx wrote:
Why specify that Dracula can mature encounters when at sea?


Because the alternative is Dracula being able to easily get two (or three!) New Vampires to mature at the same time (by having them already off-the-trail and pending maturation when Dracula makes landfall).
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Mark L
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thatmarkguy wrote:
xipuloxx wrote:
Why specify that Dracula can mature encounters when at sea?


Because the alternative is Dracula being able to easily get two (or three!) New Vampires to mature at the same time (by having them already off-the-trail and pending maturation when Dracula makes landfall).

Ah, of course, I hadn't thought of that! cool
 
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George
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thatmarkguy wrote:
xipuloxx wrote:
Why specify that Dracula can mature encounters when at sea?


Because the alternative is Dracula being able to easily get two (or three!) New Vampires to mature at the same time (by having them already off-the-trail and pending maturation when Dracula makes landfall).


Well, the alternative I was thinking of was that the encounters would drop off and be lost while Dracula is at sea... not saved up to mature during Dracula's next turn. That would be an interesting way to play, but I don't think that was ever the intent so I'm not advocating it. The errata clarification of always letting encounters mature makes more sense to me.
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Godstar
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Just ran into this situation tonight and the way I played it was that Dracula could not backtrack through a sea zone that was already on the track since there would be no way to express in card terms the direction of movement on the track if you went back in the direction you came. I was under the impression that you had to play a card from your deck available onto the track during your movement phase, so it doesn't make sense that you could somehow use the same card two times on the track without being forced to move it back up the left side of the track, thus leaving an empty space. So we all agreed that there would be no backtracking unless the desired card was off the table. Not sure if this is correct in terms of interpreting what's allowed by the rules, but it seemed to make the most sense.
 
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Travis Hall
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Godstar wrote:
Just ran into this situation tonight and the way I played it was that Dracula could not backtrack through a sea zone that was already on the track since there would be no way to express in card terms the direction of movement on the track if you went back in the direction you came. I was under the impression that you had to play a card from your deck available onto the track during your movement phase,

I think you've missed the point of this discussion, Jason. Your situation was not the one in question. Due to clearing of the trail, the card for the sea location Dracula wanted to travel to was in his deck in the case under discussion. In your case, it wasn't, and so the issues discussed above don't arise for you.

Under normal circumstances, Dracula cannot use a location card already in his trail, so you played that correctly. However, do note the other exception: the Double Back power, which specifically allows the re-use of a location in Dracula's trail. (Of course, Dracula can't use a power when at sea, but he can Double Back to sea when starting at a port.) All your reasoning for why cards should not be re-used is irrelevant in this case, because he power is specifically intended to allow it, and if you want to keep track of direction of travel and the like, that's up to you to figure out. The rules don't care.
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Godstar
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Ah, gotcha. Guess I was looking at it from the wrong direction, going out to sea, and not going from the sea to land.


Wraith wrote:
Godstar wrote:
Just ran into this situation tonight and the way I played it was that Dracula could not backtrack through a sea zone that was already on the track since there would be no way to express in card terms the direction of movement on the track if you went back in the direction you came. I was under the impression that you had to play a card from your deck available onto the track during your movement phase,

I think you've missed the point of this discussion, Jason. Your situation was not the one in question. Due to clearing of the trail, the card for the sea location Dracula wanted to travel to was in his deck in the case under discussion. In your case, it wasn't, and so the issues discussed above don't arise for you.

Under normal circumstances, Dracula cannot use a location card already in his trail, so you played that correctly. However, do note the other exception: the Double Back power, which specifically allows the re-use of a location in Dracula's trail. (Of course, Dracula can't use a power when at sea, but he can Double Back to sea when starting at a port.) All your reasoning for why cards should not be re-used is irrelevant in this case, because he power is specifically intended to allow it, and if you want to keep track of direction of travel and the like, that's up to you to figure out. The rules don't care.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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But note that

Quote:
"4. A player cannot return to the port he embarked from without first disembarking in another city and starting a new sea voyage."


Dracula still cannot return to the exact same port he started his journey in, even if the trail gets cleared.
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Mark L
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Statalyzer wrote:
But note that

Quote:
"4. A player cannot return to the port he embarked from without first disembarking in another city and starting a new sea voyage."


Dracula still cannot return to the exact same port he started his journey in, even if the trail gets cleared.

Fair point. But that is a case where something is explicitly forbidden by the rules. Doubling back at sea in general is not. (Which of course was what started this thread!)
 
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Domokos Arnold
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Another situation: can I (as Dracula) play the "Double Back" card to go back to the sea I just came from? For example my move was Tyrrhenian sea -> Mediterranean Sea -> Cagliari. Dracula is NOT on the sea, can he go back to the (f.e.) Tyrrhenian sea by the help of the "Double back" ability?
 
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Mark L
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ArnWald wrote:
Another situation: can I (as Dracula) play the "Double Back" card to go back to the sea I just came from? For example my move was Tyrrhenian sea -> Mediterranean Sea -> Cagliari. Dracula is NOT on the sea, can he go back to the (f.e.) Tyrrhenian sea by the help of the "Double back" ability?

As far as I can see, that would be fine. Double Back allows you to return to a location on your trail -- it doesn't specify it has to be a city. And since you're not at sea when you play the card, I can't see any reason to disallow it.
 
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Domokos Arnold
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Ok, thanks for the answer!
 
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