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The Shadow Vault - Water


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#1 RebekahWSD

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:59 PM

Greetings! There is a slight rules question with the game, which our local gaming group has started playing.

In the Shadow Vault map, there is a river, which connects the different map pieces together, and which you can swim across, according to the rules. However, the core rules say you can't move through an enemy creature. So the Overlord has just been parking cheap monsters along the entrances to the river, making it impossible to use at all. Is this legal? (well, it's legal currently according to the rules, we think) It just seems as though this shouldn't be allowed, or there should be some way to move along the waterfall even if there's spiders blocking the entire river.

 

Thank you for the assistance.



#2 Antistone

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:15 PM

Is this the Interlude 1 quest? I haven't played it, but when reading through it I noticed a similar loophole with the staircase, where you can move through it, but (unlike in 1e) apparently can't trace line-of-sight or attack through it, so if there's an enemy figure standing on the other end, you're just stuck. Though, the staircase is behind a locked door, so that's probably less likely to come up…



#3 any2cards

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:57 PM

Haven't played this specific quest as of yet, but I would be most likely to make my ruling based on previous Descent V1 rulings where it was determined that an OL cannot make any play which would result in an impossible situation, or in this case, an impassable situation.  There were situations in the past where an OL could park a monster which created a situation where the heroes could not finish or otherwise get out of the dungeon (RTL).  This was ruled to be illegal.



#4 RebekahWSD

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:24 PM

Unfortunatly, or fortunatly, it doesn't actually stop forward progression, it just forces the players to take the much longer, and far harder route through the dungeon, making it very very difficult for the players to win. It makes the encounter unbalanced, or at least, it makes the special rule as though it doesn't exist, making it pointless to have in the encounter. (Mind you, I'm only watching the game, and posting on behalf of the group, given I'm not playing)

Until then, I suspect the group will just play other encounters until it's figured out if it's appropriate or not.



#5 LinkN

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:17 PM

Personally, I would rule that whenever special movement or placement rules would place a figure in an unavailable space, the current player chooses the closest space instead.  This rule's already in effect for monster spawning in most cases.  This would affect both the staircase (if a monster's on the other token, the hero just pops out next to the monster just fine), and the river/waterfall. 



#6 jjcole

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:56 AM

 I haven't played this quest yet, but is there a reason they can't attack the monsters the OL is using to block the path? Blocking paths come up a lot for us, and as you say it's usually with cheap monsters, so all it does is slow the heroes down until they can kill them and make a path through, which usually only requires killing one of them.

If they can be attacked I don't see a problem with it, if not then I agree that errata or house rules should be in place to deal it.



#7 RebekahWSD

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 03:11 AM

The creatures can be attacked, but the setup of the map is rather serpentine, forcing the players to wind around the longer way, instead of being able to use the river, which they could swim on, cutting the length by off by quite a bit. It's not a matter of just attacking the one creature positioned directly on the water square, but also all the other creatures sitting in the way. And even if they get to the other side of the river, and kill the creature blocking the river…the Overlord will just move a creature to the next river/waterfall tile, starting the trek over again.



#8 Bindlespin

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:02 AM

 To be honest, that just sounds annoying by design and not a "rules" problem at all. Still don't have the game. Can't wait to play it.  



#9 Llenyd

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 12:24 PM

RebekahWSD said:

It's not a matter of just attacking the one creature positioned directly on the water square, but also all the other creatures sitting in the way. And even if they get to the other side of the river, and kill the creature blocking the river…the Overlord will just move a creature to the next river/waterfall tile, starting the trek over again.

Once you kill the creature positioned directly on the water, how would there be other creatures sitting in the way?  The special rules say "a figure may swim from ANY of the water spaces."  There are six water spaces on that tile, so you should be able to kill one monster, move onto the water, and then swim from that spot.  Blocking the tunnels leading to the river would actually be easier than blocking the river itself.



#10 Antistone

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 12:35 PM

I believe we're talking about positioning monsters on the destination side of the special water jump.  Basically, there's a great big long map, with occasional shortcuts that let you quickly jump ahead; but if a monster is sitting on one side of a shortcut, and you're on the other side, and you can't attack through the shortcut, then there's no apparent way to make use of that shortcut.  If you can get close enough to attack the monster, you're already on the other side of the shortcut, and so you no longer need to use it (though maybe you can open it up for another hero).

And of course the monsters could hypothetically be layered so that you need to kill monster X just to get line of sight to kill monster Y…though that might be very uneconomical with 2e's permissive LOS rules.

And that still leaves the question of whether this is really the most efficient thing the overlord could be doing with his limited number of monsters.  I don't think I'm equipped to answer that one right now.



#11 Steve-O

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 03:23 PM

As long as there's a way for the heroes to make forward progress, I don't see this sort of thing as a problem, rules-wise.  Annoying, yes, but not illegal or really worthy of special consideration.  The hero players and the overlord player are opponents.  They are at odds, and will naturally get in one another's way, sometimes more efficiently than others.

I don't have the game yet myself, so I don't know the layout of the map or the number of monsters the OL has at his disposal, but if he's using all of them (or most of them) to block off the river, then he doesn't have that many left to actually stop the heroes from taking the long way around as fast as they can, right?  Is there a time limit on the quest or something?

If any of the heroes can target the monsters blocking the path, then attack them.  If not, have everyone double move around the long way to cover ground faster.  (Slowing down only as needed to defeat monsters that are actually in your way.)  Those unfamiliar with 1e Descent might be coming into this game with the expectation that the heroes will always win and the OL is just there to put on a show.  This is not so (or at least it wasn't, and I rather suspect it still isn't.)  You're (probably) going to have to fight tooth and nail if you actually want to win as the heroes, so buckled down and get to business.



#12 Antistone

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 04:02 PM

Well, there's sort of a time limit.  IIRC, there's this special item that can be carried by heroes or by the overlord's lieutenant, and the first one to move off the edge of the map carrying that item wins.  So if the lieutenant can use the shortcuts and the heroes can't, then if the lieutenant ever gets a little bit of a head start with the item, it's plausible that he will be completely uncatchable.

That said, the item starts in the heroes' possession, and it's not clear to me that either side can stop a run by the other unless they're already in front of it, whether the shortcuts are blocked or not. I didn't play it, but it looked like the entire second half of the map might be just a formality, once the heroes either break through (or fail to break through) the initial blockade.



#13 Jerome

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

It seems pretty cheap and abusive to me.

Mind you I play as the overlord and the players have taken to keep a pet standing on entrance tiles so that I cannot reinforce with large figures… but even while tempting to do just to teach em a lesson… I guess I'm an honorable overlord? :P

 



#14 Steve-O

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:51 AM

Jerome said:

It seems pretty cheap and abusive to me.

Mind you I play as the overlord and the players have taken to keep a pet standing on entrance tiles so that I cannot reinforce with large figures… but even while tempting to do just to teach em a lesson… I guess I'm an honorable overlord? :P

You're certainly nicer than they deserve =P

FYI, if the heroes block the entrance tile, you can still reinforce to the closest legal position.  This is mentioned in the rules on the inside cover of the quest guide.



#15 Jerome

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:56 AM

Steve-O said:

Jerome said:

 

It seems pretty cheap and abusive to me.

Mind you I play as the overlord and the players have taken to keep a pet standing on entrance tiles so that I cannot reinforce with large figures… but even while tempting to do just to teach em a lesson… I guess I'm an honorable overlord? :P

 

 

You're certainly nicer than they deserve =P

FYI, if the heroes block the entrance tile, you can still reinforce to the closest legal position.  This is mentioned in the rules on the inside cover of the quest guide.

I just realized that while reading this post
http://boardgamegeek...684629#10684629

Thx for the heads up!

I think I'll keep this rule clarification to myself until its time to punish them for their bad sportsmanship



#16 Obi Wann82

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:41 PM

In this quest the heroes do start with the item and need to run through the entire map to the exit in possession of the item. However, if the OL can gain possession then he can run the item off the exit with the LT to win the quest.

 

The initial blockade once cleared of monsters reinforce way down the back not all that far from the waterfall and river tiles closer to the exit. So you can break the initial blockade but the OL can quite easily set up another couple without too much hassle.

 

My understanding of the river tiles are you can swim from the edge of the tile with the water moving into the next section, so from the river to the waterfall, of from the rivers edge to the river tile. But you must swim from the closest edge of the tile you are currently on to the next tile. We ruled that if a figure swims through the water to the next tile then they swim to the closest available space, much the same a OL reinforccements. This means the OL can block the entrance to the shortcut but not the exit. However, a canny OL can block all water tiles on the exit which we ruled would then give no spaces to swim to and would equate to drowning under the feet of the monsters if you attempted to use the shortcut.

 

We have played this quest twice and have found the best thing to do is wait until gettting to the river/stream tile and swim to the waterfall using any heroics at this time that allows you to gain extra movement from the hero carrying the item. For example we had Jain carrying the item. Syndrael used her heroic to grant Jain 5 movement points. Then on Jains turn used the heroic to move 10 spaces, her second action to move again (5 spaces) then use all available fatigue to move (5 spaces). This allows jain to move 25 squares in 1 turn !!!The was nothing the OL could do to catch up at this stage.



#17 Aidyzappiar

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:36 PM

There's an official reply to this in BGG's unofficial FAQ. Here it is: http://boardgamegeek...207151#11207151

(Answer is: OL has no way to block the stream)






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