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Trollfens: Source of Sickness - Rules Clarification

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#1 HPots735



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Posted 19 November 2013 - 09:26 AM

Please help me determine the correct way to play the Source of Sickness quest.  The only critical point of contention was the following:


When a plague worm is reinforced, does the overlord receive 2 fatigue tokens?


"Yes" argument:

Under "Infestation" the rules read "Place 2 fatigue tokens in the overlord's play area for each infested villager discarded."


Under "Reinforcements" the rules read "At the start of each overlord turn, he may discard an infested villager not being carried to place a minion plague worm in an empty adjacent space."


Thus a literal reading of the rules seems to indicate a "yes."


"No" argument:

1.) If a plague worm is killed by the heroes, the overlord will immediately receive 2 fatigue tokens at the beginning of her next turn.  As


a.) the heroes cannot remove any infested villagers until they happen upon the Mending Talisman

b.) there are 5 infested villagers

c.) the overlord needs 10 fatigue tokens to win


this circumstance leads to effectively untouchable plague worms.  All the heroes can do is run unless they want to give the overlord a quick victory.


2.) As the heroes need to be spending actions on searching to find the talisman, on discarding plague casks, and on curing infested villagers, to say nothing of combat initiated by overlord aggression, the heroes cannot run from the plague worms for long.


3.) Once the plague worms catch up to the heroes, the combination of their burrow ability and their width of 2 spaces enables even one plague worm to cut off escape routes for the heroes, and with more they can be completely trapped.


4.) If the overlord manages to discard the Mending Talisman, the heroes can be left in a circumstance where it can be demonstrated with absolute mathematical certainty that the overlord will win the quest, even though no victory conditions have been met yet, and may not be met for several more turns:


a.) overlord has 8 or 9 fatigue tokens

b.) 3 of those are from discarding the Mending Talisman

c.) at least 1 infested villager remains on the board


(Alternatively: The overlord has 6 or more fatigue tokens, 3 from the Mending Talisman, and there are at least 2 infested villagers remaining on the board.)


Thus all that is good and right in the world seems to indicate a "no."


What are your thoughts?

Edited by HPots735, 19 November 2013 - 09:27 AM.

#2 Kunzite



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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:26 AM

we played it where the villager is lost because it's not discarded at the spacial marked place. I'm not put off by that. I (the ol) won...

"Bide your time and hold out hope."

~Count of Monte Cristo



#3 griton



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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:35 AM

It's almost always better to go with the literal reading of the rules than to try and assume that they wrote the rules incorrectly because you feel that it would be unbalanced. Some quests are inherently (and possibly intentionally) more favorable to a given side (Overlord or Heroes) and there is a certain strategy of when (or even IF) you should attempt a quest based on your party composition.


Unfortunately I don't have the full quest text, so it's hard to say if there's something else missing.

#4 MadBat



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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:34 PM

I'm quite sure the quest reads you only get 2 fatigue per villager if you can bring him to the secret passage.

If you discard the token to get a worm, you just lost 1 possible fatigue permanently as the worm is only worth a single fatigue if you remove it from the map (again, on the secret passage).

So no, heroes don't need to run and no it never is an easy quick win for the OL.

Quite the contrary. If the OL messes up, he can quickly find himself in a position where he can never get the 10 fatigue tokens he needs to win.


Even your ex. 4 is not a win for the OL. Suppose the OL has 9 fatigue and 1 villager left on the map.

All the heroes need to do to win, is kill the monsters able to carry the villager and kill worms (or prevent them from reaching the secret passage).

With no monster, the OL would be forced to kill the villager and get a worm to try and flee with.

But should the heroes kill that worm... it's game over for the OL.


It's a hard quest for the OL to win.

I did win it, but just barely and because I could block the heroes for 2 turns straight thanks to lucky card draw.

#5 PlainWhiteBread



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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:31 PM

The CK makes this quest leagues easier for the OL, thanks to Kobolds having three Master monsters (with 4 move) to help move things along. Labyrinth of the Wurm gives the OL Lava Beetles, who have two Master monsters (with 5 move) to make matters even worse. Combined with a Lieutenant at the very apex of hero-side difficulty (Act 2 monsters being fought with Act 1 weapons), things kinda got out of hand and fast.

I know, I know... The CK kinda unbalances things. At this point in time, it makes me wonder how often FFG considers the CK when designing these quests.

#6 Steve-O



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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:33 PM

It's unfortunate that FFG chose to use the word "discarded" for both the Infestation special rules and the Reinforcements special rule, however, to me it seems fairly clear that discarding a villager to spawn a plague worm does NOT give the OL fatigue.


From the infestation rules, the fatigue is gained by Bol-Goreth or a master monster "discarding" a carried plague cask, villager of Mending Talisman while adjacent to one of the unique spaces.  In the Reinforcement rules, the OL may "discard" any villager not being carried to spawn a plague worm adjacent.

#7 HPots735



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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:12 AM

I agree with griton in that it is best to go by a literal reading of the rules when disputes arise.  An appeal to literalism tends to be the only way to resolve disagreements between the overlord and the heroes.


This policy led us to play the quest in accordance with the "yes" answer from above as a result of the way the rules were worded.  I suspect that this was not the way the quest was meant to be played.  This seems to be supported by the experiences of Kunzite, MadBat, and Steve-O.


I doubt whether the wording of this part of the quest is misleading enough to warrant an errata in the next FAQ, but I wanted to clarify the matter for my own gaming group nonetheless by appealing to the forums.  Further input strengthening one side of the argument or the other is still very much appreciated.  Thank you for your help.

#8 griton



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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:13 AM

Looks like Steve-O may have pointed out some further information. ProTip: Context is useful. (I don't have those quests yet, so I can't say). If it's specifically in a block of text that refers to Bol-Goreth or a master monster discarding a carried villager while adjacent to one of the spaces, then I think it's safe to assume that's what they're referring to. Is it possible they meant any other way to do so? Sure. But having the surrounding context is extremely important to making these kind of decisions.