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Indalecio

[MoB] Juliden's Keep and Uncontrolled Power

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In Juliden's Keep the quest rules state that a surge must be spent for hero attacks not to miss.

I played Uncontrolled Power on the Mage earlier this day and decided to put two surges on the card and a third on a meaningless weapon surge ability, which means no surge on the required surge to make the attack connect.

My hero players objected, saying that the surge stated by the quest rules was imposed and not a decision by the player, meaning that I as the overlord could not choose to not put one down to it. My interpretation is that the quest added a surge ability to all hero attacks which essentially tells that the attack is a miss if not used, which still is a decision by the player to make.

I was dead sure about being right, but still promised to check it out with the community just in case.

Right or wrong?

Edited by Indalecio

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Also agree with Zaltyre and Any2cards. 

The rule here is you must first spend any surges required to make it not a miss before anything else.   For an example if you are adjacent to a shadow dragon and roll only one surge but cannot do enough damage to put any hearts on it you must still pay the one surge for shadow before you recover 1 fatigue. 

 

Also you cannot spend any surges unless it is not a miss.  So no using the cross bow 15+ spaces away after it was a miss due to range.

 

Indalecio likes this

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I actually think that this and similar situations are not sufficiently covered by the existing rules and uFAQ to give a definite answer.

For details see this and the following two posts. 

 

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Yes.

When working on the CRRG I actually collected rule issues that have been discussed on the boards in the past and could not be resolved by knowledgeable community members including Zaltyre. This list has 17 questions at the moment. I sent two of those questions (one on move actions and one on familiar activation) to FFG (Nathan) on 23/11/16. Unfortunately, I never got a response. I am not sure what to do with the rest.

I also send a draft of the CRRG as pdf on 12/12/16 to FFG, asking them if they would be interested to publish it (in a modified form) on their webpage or make use of it in any other way. No response.

Edited by Sadgit

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I submitted this one to FFG.

Not that I am not happy with the previous answers, but with FFG you never know if they said yes to that and no to something else everybody here would consider a variant of the same issue.

Sadgit likes this

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Well,

Quote

The Overlord can spend them in any order, so if he runs out of surges to spend before resolving the “don’t miss” surge ability, it is a miss.

Thanks for playing,

Nathan Hajek

My original question was cut in his reply, which is a shame because I don't have a copy of it (as I filled a form). Quoting for reference:

Quote

 ... state a surge must be spent for the attack not to miss. If the Overlord plays Uncontrolled Power, can the overlord choose not to spend that surge (provided there are others he can choose from...

I asked him to come back with a quote of my question if he still had it.

Soooo,

I as the Overlord can do exactly what I did, i.e. spend all surges on anything else than the one from the quest rules, including the ones listed on Uncontrolled Power. It means the attack not missing is NOT a requirement for spending the surges on Uncontrolled Power. The surge from the quest rules is not special in any way, as it is added to your pool of available surges. The requirement from Uncontrolled Power to be able to spend ALL surges is still satisfied in my case, and I can safely see the attack miss -  as long as there are enough surges available to bypass the one imposed by the quest rules (the two from the OL card since the hero is a mage, plus whatever the weapon used for the attack had printed).

Surges are therefore SPENT, but question remains if their effect will still trigger, or fail. I replied to Nathan asking the same.

 

 

 

Edited by Indalecio
Atom4geVampire likes this

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This is a big issue with FFG, they have unclear rules and give answers which appear to be conflicting.

That reply is in my view in conflict with this reply

https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Descent_Second_Edition_Unofficial_FAQ#toc118

» Combat

 

Q: Can you spend surges on a ranged "miss" to recover fatigue or activate other abilities?

A: If an attack misses, then no surge abilities can be spent. This means that an X, insufficient range, or lacking a surge to spend for "Shadow" causes an attack to miss. If by some means you convert a miss into a hit, then you are free to spend surges as normal. (1)

Q: Can you spend surges on a melee "miss" (fewer hearts than shields) to recover fatigue or activate other abilities?

A: Yes, can spend the surges if you do not deal damage on the attack. Not dealing damage is not considered a miss. (1)

 

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It can be they are not in conflict, IF you can allocate the surges but not get their surge effect. Which introduces a distinction between "allocating/spending a surge abillity", as in putting your surge results from the die into one of the surges available in your "surge pool"; and "applying the surge ability", which does what the surge ability says on the card.

In other words, if the attack is a miss then none of the surges matter, but technically you are still able to allocate them, like in my case. Like, if you get the X, you could - if you wanted to - spend that a surge from that yellow dice by allocating it into whatever you have on your weapon, so you´ve technically "spent" the surge, but it doesn't do anything. As opposed to my case, where I would be able to use that "spending surge" mechanism to empty the amount of surges available to force a miss on the attack. I wouldn't be able to force the Mage to suffer fatigue/damage like it states on the card, but surges are spent.

Or, Nathan comes back to me and says that the surges trigger despite the attack is a miss, in which case we can only rage quit this game!

 

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Uncontrolled Power

It could come down to some rule lawyerly type of thing but the card says you must spend all ~ and not just allocate them.  Does allocating count as spending?  My personal view is they need to trigger to count as being spent. 

If I understand your(Nathan's) rule, you can force an attack to be a miss, as long as you allocate the ~ to something.  So in this case you would say that you can assign one ~ to suffer one fatigue but as the attack is a miss the hero would not suffer the fatigue?

Regardless, I think issues like this are what is the biggest problem with descent.  Unclear rules which can interrupt a game night with rules bickering and ruin the fun.

 

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To be honest I am only trying to interprete Nathan's reply, but yes what you are saying is exactly what I think that implies: being able to assign a surge but not executing its effect due to the attack missing. It's the only way I can understand how this can work given Nathan's clear reply to this issue.

However I really think this causes more issues in the end, because this effectively introduces an additional step in the "spend surges" part of the combat phase. Like, "1-assign surges 2- execute surge abilities". Because in our example, the Overlord seems to be able to spend the surges one by one before even knowing the attack is a miss or not, and nobody knows if these surge abilities will trigger until the last surge is spent (the one from the quest rules, or something else). This last surge either validates the surges spent previously (attack is not a miss), or make them all fail?

Same problem arises when suddenly being possible to spend surges requiring a target but after you have "spent" these surges, and depending on how you execute their ablities, target is no longer valid for one reason for one of the surges effect (out of range, death, etc.), meaning the surge ability fails, BUT surge is still spent. That makes very little sense to me.

 

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Indalecio, while I agree that you may be correct (and certainly Nathan's reply lends credence to it) if there is a difference between "allocating" and "spending" a surge, this is the first I've heard of it. Surges are not spent as a whole. Rather, as each surge is spent, you gain its benefit- it would be quite strange to me to recover a fatigue, gain a Mp, and then lose them because the last surge was not spent on shadow.

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I will keep you posted if I ever get additional details from Nathan regarding this.

I also think this is unheard of, and sorts of redefines the surges as a mechanism.

or, perhaps even more plausible, Nathan just didn't think this one through :)

Zaltyre likes this

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While Nathan has done a lot to clean up descent rules, quite frankly I think he made a bad call here.  In the spirit of keeping the game friendly and not having your heroes rage quit on you, I would recommend you play this as a hit.  To play this as Nathan ruled really makes things more complex or invalidates the earlier ruling. 

 

BTW is there an official place where the ruling of needed to make attack not a miss before spending additional surges is posted?  I saw it in the unofficial FAQ but could not find it in the rule book for the official FAQ.

Edited by BenOverlord

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It wasn't in the original rulebook. It was a product of the apparent conflict between "you can't spend surges during a miss" and "there are surges that turn misses into hits" (increase range).

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Okay, so I got a second reply from Nathan:
 

Quote

 

Hi,

It's been a while since I played this game and got all confused about your question. Or maybe it was the booze, I don't know. Or these weeds. I don't remember.

But yes, you can tell your hero players to shut up, because they´re not in position to object. That's what I always do when playing with Kara. I´m the designer, for Christ's sake!

By the way I'm a big fan of your work, and would love to design an expansion with you on our side.

Cheers!

Nathan Hajek

 

OK joke aside, the real reply:

Quote

 

Hi ****,

First, here is your original question: 
 
Hi FFG, In Juliden's Keep (Mists of Bilehall), quest rules state a surge must be spent for the attack not to miss. If the Overlord plays Uncontrolled Power, can the overlord choose not to spend that surge (provided there are others he can choose from)?
 
When reading emails, I sometimes select a section with my mouse before hitting reply, which only replies to the highlighted text. Its not intentional, just a weird habit. Anyway…
 
Thanks for the follow up question. I goofed on this one. I had a little spare time, so I pounded out a few rules questions quickly. My first pass on yours left me thinking it was a simple one, and I didn’t do my research. Sorry about that. Given previous rulings, and for good reasons, surges must first be spent to qualify the attack as “not a miss,” then other surges can be spent. In other words, the reverse of what I said to you yesterday. Sorry about that. Thanks again for following up!
 
Nathan Hajek
Game Developer
Fantasy Flight Games
 
The information contained in this electronic message is privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the recipient named above. If the reader of the message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.

 

 
So, surges cannot be soaked up by Uncontrolled Power unless one has been previously assigned to the surge imposed by the quest rules. Phew.

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