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Subject: The Zen of combat sheets rss

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Michael Leibig
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Greetings,

I have been poring over the rules of this game as I move from playing Realmspeak to playing the physical game (with a first edition set). I spent a lot of time puzzling over the problem of when a combat sheet is introduced for a denizen or hireling. I think I have found the guiding principle behind the rules, and I wanted to post it, to see if I am correct. If I am, then I hope it might help others understand the rules, which are complete, but can be convoluted.

The central idea of combat sheets is that they are owned by the defender. If a denizen is chosen as a victim of an attack, they are given their own sheet. Characters' sheets, for example, are primarily used to resolve attacks against them. Consider, if a character is hidden and attacks an unsuspecting monster, the first turn when the character picks a target, that combat goes on its own sheet with the monster defending and the character attacking. Because monsters that didn't attack in a round become assigned at the end of the round, it will go off its own sheet at the end of the round and will now get assigned to someone in the lure or the encounter step of the next round.

To restate, the rule is that all defenders get their own sheet.

The reason this seems tricky is that normally when you are a defender, you target the denizen that is attacking you, and so it seems you are both attacker and defender. However, the game definitely doesn't see it that way. Once you get chosen as the object of an attack, you are a defender (with your own sheet) and you combat is resolved on that sheet.

Characters do have the freedom not to target someone on their own sheet, but denizens do not. If denizens have someone attacking them on their sheet, they must target someone who is attacking them.

The rules get very convoluted about what happens when a denizen who chooses to attack someone who is already the attacker on some other sheet. The rule is very simple. If a denizen gets attacked, that attack is moved to its own sheet, because that denizen is now a defender. The hireling that attacked him will go on that new sheet as the attacker.

All defenders get their own sheet. If someone attacks you, then you get a sheet.

I think that is right. However, as a relatively new player, I do have a nagging doubt in the back of my mind. Is that correct? I would appreciate any commentary from those who are more experienced.

Sincerely,

M. Leibig
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BrentS
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I think the best way to avoid confusion is to consider that everybody has a combat sheet. Give every character, denizen and hireling their own sheet at the beginning of each combat round and place them on it. With the rare exception of a Tremendous monster that has hit and picked up a target, nobody is assigned to anybody at the beginning of a new combat round. Denizens and hirelings will move around during Luring-Random Assignment-Deployment, and only when that is all finished are you safe to remove combat sheets for hirelings and denizens now assigned to somebody else's combat sheet.

You should always keep your character's combat sheet active, even if nobody is assigned to it.....this is where you will place your attack (hidden if it is targeting another character).

.....and I'm not sure from what you've said whether there's some confusion, but it's also important to differentiate between assignment at the beginning of the round and targeting, which comes later in the round. Most denizens and hirelings have no choice of target, the nature of assignment (where they end up) dictating who they target, but characters always have a choice of any available targets in the clearing (unless they Charged another character earlier in the round), and hirelings with multiple opponents on their own sheet get to choose one of them in the targeting step.

Brent.
 
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Michael Leibig
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Brent,

I saw your other hireling post and that definitely cleared up a lot of things. I like the way of conceptualizing it as "everyone has a combat sheet," and that is definitely not how it is presented in the rules. And certainly in practice, no one has a big enough table to do that, but it does clarify the thinking. The rules seem to approach it is there are character combat sections out, lots of denizen chits on the table, and some spare empty combat sections lying around unused at all at the start of combat. Then, you only pull out a new spare combat sheet when a denizen gets specified as the target of an attack (either by luring, or in deployment). I do see that the rules use the word "assigned" for this process and differentiate it from choosing a target for your attack, which is a mechanical process about which there is no choice. When a denizen is "assigned to attack" (as in rules 8.3.5) they are made the attacker and the object of their attack becomes the defender, but that is not when the denizen actually designates who he will use his chit on. This happens at the melee step in the "selection of targets". (Hopefully, Brent, you are nodding at this point, thinking, "Yeah, he gets it," rather than shaking your head and thinking "Doof.") I suppose then the problem is that rules are very careful to use assign for this process but when assignment happens someone becomes an attacker and someone else the defender, even though these denizens and characters might not ultimately use their chits to attack each other.

I do have one question about what you wrote:
Quote:
With the rare exception of a Tremendous monster that has hit and picked up a target, nobody is assigned to anybody at the beginning of a new combat round.


Rule 8.6.1 says "...all monsters and unhired natives who are assigned to characters remain assigned to them. All other denizens hired or not, become unassigned." (The part I left out is about red side up Tremendous monsters.) That seems to say that denizens who were attacking characters are not unassigned at the beginning of a round and would not start the round on their own sheets. Is that correct?

Again, thanks for all the help.

Sincerely,

M. Leibig
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BrentS
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Oldman20 wrote:
\

Rule 8.6.1 says "...all monsters and unhired natives who are assigned to characters remain assigned to them. All other denizens hired or not, become unassigned." (The part I left out is about red side up Tremendous monsters.) That seems to say that denizens who were attacking characters are not unassigned at the beginning of a round and would not start the round on their own sheets. Is that correct?



Ah yes, sorry, you're quite right. Still thinking solo from my original example. If you are the only character in your clearing, then all unassigned enemies would assign to you in Random Assignment so it's functionally the same......but yes, if you're in a clearing with another character then it's important that enemy denizens remain assigned to you on subsequent rounds so that they're not free to Randomly Assign to another character. They're yours until they're lured away, deployed against or dead.

Sorry for confusing things.blush

Brent.
 
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