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The MechE

Question on Andira Runehand's ability

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Posted (edited)

For Andira Runehand's hero ability, do monsters get to roll defense dice? The rules say "Defense dice are used to cancel damage only during an attack. If an ability causes a figure to suffer damage for any other reason, that figure cannot roll defense dice to cancel any of that damage." Does Andira Runehand's ability count as during an attack? Or is there another rule that says whether the monsters do or do not roll defense dice against her ability?

Andira ability: "Each time a hero within 3 spaces of you suffers 1 or more damage from an attack, the figure that performed the attack suffers 1 damage."

Edited by The MechE

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They do not roll defense dice.

Andira’s ability is not an attack- it triggers when damage is suffered from an attack, immediately after the attack is resolved.

Generally speaking, if an ability or skill causing damage does not include the phrase “...perform an attack...” then it is not an attack and defense dice are not involved.

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7 minutes ago, Lightningclaw said:

They do not roll defense dice.

Andira’s ability is not an attack- it triggers when damage is suffered from an attack, immediately after the attack is resolved.

Generally speaking, if an ability or skill causing damage does not include the phrase “...perform an attack...” then it is not an attack and defense dice are not involved.

My friend mentioned this: "You do not role defense dice against damage from an attack. You roll defense dice from damage caused during an attack. Also...reflective ward as an example, that is also during an attack."

Would this apply for Andira's ability since it applies for reflective ward?

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Posted (edited)

By the wording of the Descent Rulebook you roll defense dice for all damage caused DURING an attack not just FROM an attack. One of the two attached pictures shows this.

The other attached picture is of the Overlord card “Reflective Ward” ruling. People were fighting over and asking about this card so much that they had to set it straight and explain it.  This Andira ability is the exact same situation since Andira’s passive is a “reflective damage” passive.

From the rules wording yes you can roll defense dice vs reflective damage during an attack and Andira Runeheart’s ability falls under this.

Fun Note: Shared pain from spiritspeaker class damage is also “during an attack.”

 

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Edited by Hawkman67609er

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Posted (edited)

That rule does not give all figures the ability to cancel damage from any source with defense dice if an attack is currently being resolved. It confines defense dice to use when the figure is the target of an attack or has been affected by an attack.

Edit: or has been *dealt* damage

As for as Reflective Ward is concerned, I think that is a case of dealing damage vs. suffering damage. See the ally skill Aura of Might, which deals damage and allows defense dice.

Andira Runehand’s ability just says “the monster that performed the attack suffers 1 damage.” It doesn’t say “Perform an attack targeting that monster with an attack result of 1 damage”.

It is a fair question, thanks for bringing it up.

Someone asked a similar question some years back: 

 

 

Edited by Lightningclaw

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Posted (edited)

Reflective ward is the worst worded card of all the game. I personnaly use the wording from the FAQ

To be simple, let's say you only roll defense die against an attack roll, die versus die. No dice, no roll. If a figure suffers damage from any other way, there is never dice roll. In french, we talk about "sentence without remission", using the word "irreducible" or "incompressible"

Edited by rugal

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The problem with not rolling defense dice for all damage during an attack is that the Q&A on reflective ward would need to “reflect” that. (Pun intended) This is Q&A we are talking about here straight from the designers themselves. This isn’t Errata’ed in. This is Q&A, stuff that are already in the rules but they have to explain it to us.

I also believe it not to be the creator’s intention to create the most healthy 12 wound 1 option only healer with a passive that does a free 20 damage every encounter with no counterplay at all, not even Avarik heals that much. That passive literally kills the entire goblins forces in 2 turns If you can’t defend yourself.

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Posted (edited)

Counterplay does exist- monster groups with lower figure counts care less about her ability.

If you have Reanimates or Skeleton Archers (those guys are fantastic by the way) they ignore Andira’s ability entirely, unless they have 1 health.

Other high count monster groups (Bandits, Cave Spiders, Zombies) have enough health that Andira’s ability will damage them but not reduce the number of rounds they have before the heroes kill them anyways.

-To provide an example of that, (hopefully this makes sense) a minion cave spider may have lost 1 health from Andira’s ability. Unless a hero deals exactly 2 damage, Andira’s ability has not impacted the monster’s lifespan- it either dies outright or the heroes have the spend more actions on killing it.

As far as goblin archers are concerned, if a hero group wants forgo attacking to let Andira’s ability passively kill archers, then they would be taking as many as 10 attacks from a group of archers. That will easily kill one or more heroes- one of whom could be Andira.

Let alone that most quests requiring goblin archers frequently reinforce them.

My current group is using Andira, and it isn’t proving to be a big problem for our Overlord- it rarely makes a difference in whether a monster dies or not.

(Incidentally, we’re playing Labyrinth of Ruin, which is a goblin-heavy campaign, and not many archers have died due to her ability)

In summary, Andira’s ability looks scary (and she is a high-tier healer) but I have found it doesn’t turn the action economy of the game on its head or anything. 

Edited by Lightningclaw

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately the counterplay of having lower monster group numbers isn’t quite what it seems to be as fire breathe and other area of effect moves that big models have most of the time (aracura, shadow dragon, hybrid sentinel, and meriod to name a few) can hit up to 7 targets at a time with familiars and hero allies out on the field. You’re telling me that isn’t the exact same thing as reflective ward? For every target you fire breathe you take yet another heart.

might I also add that other targets of fire breath roll their defense dice.

Edited by Hawkman67609er

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Fire Breath very specifically affects (very similar to targeting) other figures, which means they are affected by all surge abilities and any OL card boosts. 

Andira’s ability is not an attack and triggers when damage is suffered, after resolution of the attack.

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I understand that it can be interpreted in different ways, it does not say suffers when the attack resolves, it suffers the heart at the same time you’d suffer hearts from the overlord card “reflective ward“ would deal damage.

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Posted (edited)

I am certain defense dice are not involved with these abilities.

I have sent a question to FFG concerning this, specifically quoting the paragraph in the rulebook and asking if it allows defense dice with abilities such as Shared Pain, Andira’s ability, and the Magic Staff’s surge ability. I also emphasized the phrase “during an attack”, asking if the word “during” allowed these abilities.

It may be some time before I receive a response (IF I get a response). I am hoping the upcoming release of Lost Legends and the livestream may prompt some answered questions.

If I receive a response I shall post it here.

Edited by Lightningclaw

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There is a difference between dealing damage and suffering damage, which makes both Andira Runehand's hero ability and Spiritspeaker's Shared Pain different to Reflective Ward. Therefore the FFG FAQ answer about Reflective ward would not be applicable to either of these other two cases.

No idea what Fire Breath has to do with any of this...

11 hours ago, Hawkman67609er said:

I can’t just ignore the creator’s rules and F&Q like that.

The "creator's" rules and FAQ frequently contradict themselves, partly due to the fact that there were multiple people answering questions clearly without talking to each other... Back when anybody bothered to answer any questions...

People like @Sadgit and @Zaltyre could probably point you at specific examples of these contradictions, they've been looking at this stuff a lot longer than I have.

If you want something to treat as gospel, make it the CRRG. That's a live document with actual informed interpretations of rules, backed up where possible by FFG answers, which gives you a logical and sensible way to interpret the rules/texts which are unclear. While it includes things like the FAQ answer on Reflective Ward, that's included as an exception rather than a rule since it doesn't fit with many other rules/explanations/common sense...

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Might I ask where it says the difference in the rulebook between suffering damage or dealing damage or is it just implied? Is it in the errata or FAQ?  Because all I see in the rules is “defense dice are rolled to cancel “damage” during an attack.

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It isn't explicitly stated in the rulebook, but the fact that Deal and Suffer are both used as keywords implies that they are not interchangeable.

The distinction is most clearly necessitated by Jain Fairwood's hero ability... Which is why step 5 in the Steps of Combat section in the CRRG (p6) does explicitly define it.

The problem with trying to find a reference in the official rulebook for all of your rules needs is that a) it's completely out of date and b) there are a lot of conflicting/unclear 'rules'/card texts around. That's why the CRRG is more than four times the length of the official rulebook...

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Posted (edited)

The problem is not that these are conflicting rules, the problem is that they are backing each other up.

These aren’t conflicting rules though they are clearly plain English and they follow up with each other including the FAQ and rules if you assume that damage taken and damage suffered are still “damage during an attack”.

fire breathe was another topic on how someone brought up that big monsters counter Andira’s ability better since you take less hearts but the fact that most big monsters have AoE attacks like firebreath for example they would be taking multiple hearts a turn as they are attacking more than one hero.

Edited by Hawkman67609er

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Posted (edited)

There are several answers by FFG representatives that clearly refer to dealing damage and suffering damage as two separate individual substeps of the deal damage step (step 5) of an attack. Here are two examples with corresponding sources:

Q. If Jain Fairwood converts all damage suffered to fatigue, do game effects triggered by damage still apply? The original question involved spending a surge to apply the Poison condition, but there are other effects as well. It was argued that because damage is step 5 of combat, the surge in step 4 would still be able to poison Jain because (potential) damage was rolled.

A: Yes, Jain Fairwood would still be affected by game effects that trigger off of dealing damage. For example, a surge ability that gives poison would apply to a target as long as the attack dealt 1 damage, regardless of how much damage the target actually suffers. 

Source: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/11004401#11004401
 

Q: When "Doom" is applied during an attack, does the effect of that condition trigger during that same attack?

A: Yes, because there is distinction between the timing of damage dealt and damage suffered. After applying shields, any remaining damage is dealt to the hero. At this point, conditions are applied. Any damage dealt is then suffered by the hero. Therefore, Doom does have an affect during the attack in which it is applied.

Source: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/128661-doom-and-weaken/?tab=comments#comment-1364848

 

There are many abilities that cause figures suffer damage outside of an attack. Clearly, affected figures cannot roll defense die against this kind of damage and it is usually immediately applied. Although Andira's ability happens to trigger before the attack is resolved, it is still separate from the damage suffered from the attack results (hearts rolled in step 2 + additional hearts added e.g. by surge abilities, Hero abilities, etc.).

This is clearer if you consider an attack that affects multiple figures:

Step 2: Shadow Dragon (SD) rolls attack pool, target rolls defense pool
Step 3: Check range, result: sufficient range rolled 
Step 4: SD applies Fire Breath using a surge, additional figures affected roll their defense pools
Step 5: In attacks affecting multiple figures the active player decides on the order in which damage is dealt and suffered:

Affected figure #1
5a) Deal damage = Hearts (attack results) - Shields (defense results)
5b) Suffer damage = damage dealt modified by certain abilities and effects (Jain's Hero ability, Doomed, etc.)
5c) Andira's Hero ability triggers if at least 1 damage was suffered in 5b. EDIT: Other effects that trigger when damage is suffered are resolved simultaneously.

Repeat steps 5a - 5c for all figures affected by the attack. If the SD is defeated before damage is dealt to all affected figures, the attack is immediately resolved and no damage is dealt to or suffered by the remaining figures.

Another example is the Wither ability of Changelings and Lord Merrick Farrow:
Ability text: Surge: The target suffers 1 fatigue.
Let's say the target of the attack has fatigue tokens equal to its Stamina.

Step 2: Changeling rolls attack pool, target rolls defense pool
Step 3: Check range, result: sufficient range rolled 
Step 4: Changeling applies Wither using a surge. The target immediately suffers 1 fatigue converted to 1 damage.
Although this damage is suffered as part of the attack, the defense result is irrelevant as the damage is not added to the attack result. Andira's Hero ability does not trigger in this step. An uFAQs has clarified that it only triggers on damage suffered in step 5b of an attack.

Step 5: Resolve steps 5a-5c.

Last example is the Knockback ability of Trolls, Splig, and Ynfernael Hulks:
Ability text: Surge:
Remove the target from the map, then place him on any empty space within 3 spaces of his original space. He counts as entering that space.
Let's say the target of the attack is moved into lava.

Step 2: Troll rolls attack pool, target rolls defense pool
Step 3: Check range, result: sufficient range rolled 
Step 4: Troll applies Knockback using a surge. The target is tossed into lava and immediately suffers 1 damage.
Although this damage is suffered during the attack, I think it is very obvious that the defense result is irrelevant here. The lava damage is not added to the attack result and immediately suffered as an interrupt, instead. Andira's Hero ability does not trigger.
Step 5: Even if the target is no longer in range of the Troll, damage is still dealt as range was already checked in step 3. Resolve steps 5a-5c.

Edited by Sadgit

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Posted (edited)

Reflective Ward is indeed the card with the worst wording in the game. FAQ and uFAQ have clarified that it works like this:

1. Play Reflective Ward in step 2 before dice are rolled
2. The hero as the option to cancel Reflective Ward by suffering 2 fatigue. As usual he cannot voluntarily suffer fatigue exceeding his Stamina.
3. If Reflective Ward was not canceled, resolve steps of the attack as usual until the "Deal Damage" substep is resolved (no damage is suffered yet).

Reflective Ward interrupt starts
4. The hero adds up all hearts of his attack results after step 4 (Spend surges). The defense result of the monster(s) is irrelevant.
5. The hero rolls his defense pool, canceling 1 heart for each shield result. He may use items and abilities that increase his defense result (shields etc.)
6. The hero suffers the rest of the hearts. No other effects from the attack, such as conditions, will apply to the hero.
Reflective Ward interrupt ends

7. If the hero was defeated, the attack is resolved and monsters do not suffer any damage.
8. Otherwise, resolve substep "Suffer Damage" as usual.


The FAQ on Reflective Ward clearly states that the interrupt includes a step in which the hero has to roll his defense pool. This is not true for Andira's Hero ability, Wither, Knockback and any other additional effect that causes the target to suffer damage during an attack. Although, one could assume that fluff-wise the abilities might work similarly, mechanistically they are very different. The original rulebook was printed 2012 before any of these effects had been introduced. Unfortunately, it was not updated in the last revision 2015. 

I hope that my posts help to clarify the questions on this.

 

Edited by Sadgit

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I have not been ignoring any feedback I am taking it all in, understanding it, and their point of view. Words are being inserted or changed from what they really are.  There have been many arguments of people to me reading off that defense dice are rolled “against” an attack or damage “from” attacks but it says “during an attack.” And many other examples like introducing the difference between “damage suffered”and “damage taken” but it says “damage” and damage is damage.  Reflective ward does in fact also strongly elude that the attacker can role a defense dice, not just the defender.

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Posted (edited)

I find it very interesting the point brought up if damage does in fact trigger after the entire attack action and you down the hero with your damage and there is no longer a hero there to trigger the aura does it still trigger?

Technically there is no hero on the board that took damage this turn and they most certainly aren’t within 3 spaces.

Edited by Hawkman67609er

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