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A Few Nightvault Rules Questions


Sleboda
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Hi all,

Over the past few days I've played 8 games of Underworlds involving the Thorns of the Briar Queen (2 against, 6 with) and they have done well.

The games have, however, popped up a few rules questions. I thought I would post them here to get input from the masses. So, here we go:

  1. Nighthaunts "can" move through other models and blocked hexes. Great. The rules for Push make it clear that this means they can be pushed in such a way as well.  But ... what about an enemy with Knockback? If they smack a Nighthaunt model, is that model driven back (a special Push) through models and blocked hexes as well?  Whose choice is it?
  2. Swarming SomethingOrOther. Can the same fighter that is moved through a model twice count? I would have said no if not for the precedent of the Guard card FAQ that lets the same fighter count twice.
  3. If a Ploy moves a fighter into a lethal hex, did the ploy itself cause the damage? There are cards that trigger on an Attack action or Ploy that damages a model. You could easily argue that the Ploy did not cause the damage.

That's it.

I sorta have a feeling that the ethereal nature of Nighthaunts will bring up some interesting rules situations.

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These are all pretty tricky. For what it's worth here's my take:

1. I lean on yes, but I couldn't say that with any sort of certainty. I'm expecting that this is going to require a FAQ. The rule book mentions that you can't push a fighter into a blocked or occupied hex unless "specified otherwise". I would assume the nature of Nighthaunt movement would count as "specified otherwise" but this feels pretty up in the air to me.

2. The guard FAQ does present us with a basis for how to approach this. Battle Without End and Swarming Spirits both use the same wording "Score this [...] if two or more friendly fighters [...]" which leads me to believe that yes, one fighter can trigger Swarming Spirits if that fighter moves through an occupied hex twice.

3. I wouldn't say that the Ploy caused the damage. Using some of the wording in the rulebook: "If they were pushed into that hex during an Attack action (pg 18) the damage from the lethal hex is considered to be separate to the damage caused by the Attack action."

I'll admit I can see it being argued that since the rules go out of their way to call out Attack actions specifically that they're a special case, but I don't personally think that a ploy would be treated differently. The ploy moved the fighter, but the lethal hex itself did the damage.

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On (1) I'd say "sort of both".

The NH ability allows then to move through hexes but they must finish in an empty hex.

It's a bit semantic, but the wording suggests to me it's the destination hex that is relevant to the blocked/occupied rule, not the hexes between.

So in the case of a standard drive-back, the NH can still be trapped as they only move one hex - if none of those hexes are clear, they can't be driven into them so they're trapped.

If Knock back increases the distance, then as long as the destination hex is empty then I'd say they can be pushed *through*.

 

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On (2), I'd say no. The Guard card sets the precedent that the same model can meet the condition multiple times.

The Guard card condition is friendly fighters returning.

This trigger for this is that on at least two occasions a friendly model has returned to the board, so the same model can meet this condition twice.

In the case of Swarming Spirits, the trigger is that on two occasions a friendly model made a move that took it through an occupied hex. The trigger is two moves that meet the condition, rather than two occupied hexes.

So you can't jump through two models and claim it.

If you were able to make two moves with the same model (using a ploy or similar) in a single phase that took it through an occupied hex each time, using the Guard card as precedent this would allow you to score it.

 

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28 minutes ago, BaldoBeardo said:

On (1) I'd say "sort of both".

The NH ability allows then to move through hexes but they must finish in an empty hex.

It's a bit semantic, but the wording suggests to me it's the destination hex that is relevant to the blocked/occupied rule, not the hexes between.

So in the case of a standard drive-back, the NH can still be trapped as they only move one hex - if none of those hexes are clear, they can't be driven into them so they're trapped.

If Knock back increases the distance, then as long as the destination hex is empty then I'd say they can be pushed *through*.

We're essentially waiting on eth FAQ confirmation to the contrary since the Twitch stream saying that the "passes through" text only applies to move actions, no pushes or knockbacks.

As it's the push/Knockback issue that is problematic when the ghost is being attacked, it's likely that his will be confirmed. Wording is very imprecise on these guys.

 

So:

Activation movement: you can pass through.

Push*/knockback : you cannot pass though.

 

*And this would include Varclav's push action.

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12 minutes ago, BaldoBeardo said:

On (2), I'd say no. The Guard card sets the precedent that the same model can meet the condition multiple times.

The Guard card condition is friendly fighters returning.

This trigger for this is that on at least two occasions a friendly model has returned to the board, so the same model can meet this condition twice.

In the case of Swarming Spirits, the trigger is that on two occasions a friendly model made a move that took it through an occupied hex. The trigger is two moves that meet the condition, rather than two occupied hexes.

So you can't jump through two models and claim it.

If you were able to make two moves with the same model (using a ploy or similar) in a single phase that took it through an occupied hex each time, using the Guard card as precedent this would allow you to score it.

I'd also disagree on this one. :)

The new token rule is actually kicking up a lot of little issues like this where you have to count thinks that a returned model did twice. Is the returned model considered a different fighter to the decesed one? It's going to end up being ruled as being the same fighter (because of upgrades), thus not counting towards anything that counts "different" as condition.

The trigger is not that on two occasions a friendly model made a move that took it through an occupied hex, it's that "two or more friendly models" made a move that took it through an occupied hex. If you count the returned guy as the same model, it's not two or more.

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59 minutes ago, Zimagic said:

I'd also disagree on this one. :)

The new token rule is actually kicking up a lot of little issues like this where you have to count thinks that a returned model did twice. Is the returned model considered a different fighter to the decesed one? It's going to end up being ruled as being the same fighter (because of upgrades), thus not counting towards anything that counts "different" as condition.

The trigger is not that on two occasions a friendly model made a move that took it through an occupied hex, it's that "two or more friendly models" made a move that took it through an occupied hex. If you count the returned guy as the same model, it's not two or more.

 

1 hour ago, Zimagic said:

We're essentially waiting on eth FAQ confirmation to the contrary since the Twitch stream saying that the "passes through" text only applies to move actions, no pushes or knockbacks.

As it's the push/Knockback issue that is problematic when the ghost is being attacked, it's likely that his will be confirmed. Wording is very imprecise on these guys.

 

So:

Activation movement: you can pass through.

Push*/knockback : you cannot pass though.

 

*And this would include Varclav's push action.

Yeah, capital letters/emphasis would help - my reading hinges on whether move is a thing or a THING.

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7 hours ago, Zimagic said:

the Twitch stream saying that the "passes through" text only applies to move actions, no pushes or knockbacks.

If that's how they rule it, then it needs more than a FAQ for the card. It needs to have the definition of Push reworded or a new card issued as a replacement for this one. 

As it stands, there is no debate that Varclav can use guys ability to Push two fighters through models to score the card. None.

 

@BaldoBeardo To be clear, I'm not claiming that one fighter moving through two models at one go would do it, just that per the Sepulchral Guard precedent it might be allowable that one fighter moving through two enemies would qualify.

 

@Skyeline

Your thoughts matched mine, including that there is nothing definitive to support the stances ... thus my post. ?

Edited by Sleboda
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26 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

If that's how they rule it, then it needs more than a FAQ for the card. It needs to have the definition of Push reworded or a new card issued as a replacement for this one. 

As it stands, there is no debate that Varclav can use guys ability to Push two fighters through models to score the card. None.

I get the feeling we're going to get an FAQ that adds specificity around how we should be treating pushes when it comes to cards that define "moved" or being allowed to "move" through blocked hexes. Addressing it at the root of the problem like this would save the trouble of having to deal with FAQing individual cards or actions (as much as possible, anyways). 

As it stands, I find it tough to believe that the intent behind the Varclav push wouldn't be allowing pushes through blocked hexes. They're still ghosts afterall and passing through blocked/occupied hexes is a big part of their theme. 

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I hear you on that, but it's just such an annoyance.

GW positions Underworlds as their genuine attempt at a tight, competitive rules set, going so far as to include a glossary of game terms, capitalize certain terms for distinction, and even point out how otherwise confusing things like Actions and activations are not the same things. Certain parts of the Nightvault book show, when compared to the same sections in the Shadespire book, that they are making deliberate choices in their word selection and rules layouts.

So, with that as the backdrop, if they are going to define Push* as they have, and then have cards that refer to moving models** (not taking a Move action), it would be a major blow to my confidence in anything I would read in the book that I might try to use to support my position on a rule.

I get that in Warhammer, and indeed all their previous games, they have taken, um, loose (to be generous) approaches to crafting rules and their interactions.  Frankly, there is very little in any of their other games that I have the faith to believe is written to work "as they intended." Underworlds is, supposedly, demonstrably and deliberately different.

If they change words or (worse yet) rule without a wording change that a movement (lower case) from a Push is not really a movement, then it makes it tough to believe that anything in the book can be taken as accurate.


* Per the definition clearly given in the Nightvault book: "Push: When a rule tells you that you can push a fighter, simply move their miniature the number of hexes specified by the rule ..."

** (pt 1) Varclav: "Push all fiendly Chainrasps up to 2^ hexes."

** (pt 2) Swarming Spirits: "Score this immediately if two^ or more friendly fighters moved through a hex occupied ..."

** (pt 3) Compare to Creeping Terror: "After this fighter makes a Move action, roll an attack dice (sic) for the first enemy fighter they moved through ..."

This is an example of how they use "Move action" specifically to make a distinction between that and other ways, such as pushes, to move models.

^ Another thing they need to tidy up. Number below a certain threshold are spelled out.  Two, not 2. Five, not 5. I would say they are simply not following a style guide that has this rule and that using the numeral is fine, but then they are not consistent. Is this picky? Heck yes, but in a game where they are really trying to show attention to detail so that the rules can be competitive (like other successful card-based tournament games), any lack of consistency undermines player confidence that the authors were paying close enough attention to achieve the goal.

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On 10/11/2018 at 4:25 AM, Sleboda said:

Hi all,

Over the past few days I've played 8 games of Underworlds involving the Thorns of the Briar Queen (2 against, 6 with) and they have done well.

The games have, however, popped up a few rules questions. I thought I would post them here to get input from the masses. So, here we go:

  1. Nighthaunts "can" move through other models and blocked hexes. Great. The rules for Push make it clear that this means they can be pushed in such a way as well.  But ... what about an enemy with Knockback? If they smack a Nighthaunt model, is that model driven back (a special Push) through models and blocked hexes as well?  Whose choice is it?
  2. Swarming SomethingOrOther. Can the same fighter that is moved through a model twice count? I would have said no if not for the precedent of the Guard card FAQ that lets the same fighter count twice.
  3. If a Ploy moves a fighter into a lethal hex, did the ploy itself cause the damage? There are cards that trigger on an Attack action or Ploy that damages a model. You could easily argue that the Ploy did not cause the damage.

That's it.

I sorta have a feeling that the ethereal nature of Nighthaunts will bring up some interesting rules situations.

Rules as written:

  1. On balance, I'd say the Thorns player can choose whether to use the ability, because the model in question is that player's model, not yours. As the Momentary Madness entries in the FAQ make clear, even an enemy fighter under your control is not a friendly fighter, and since you obviously can't choose whether your opponent uses an ability on an enemy fighter's card, you can't choose whether or not to use the ability in this case. If you opt to drive back the enemy fighter and want to push him into a blocked hex, your opponent can decide to move through it, given that driving an opponent back is a special type of push, and a push is a move, as described in the rulebook. (I am going to ignore Word of God on this via the Twitch stream because we're trying to get a RAW answer, not a "someone said something online that contradicts the rules" answer. While I'm on the subject, though, the rulebook doesn't clearly state who gets to choose which abilities to use, but it's obvious that your warband is under your control at all times [see Momentary Madness], and your opponent's warband is under his control at all times.)
  2. Using the text for the Warden's inspire condition, as well as the FAQ entries for the Warden's inspire condition and the objective card Battle with End, you can score Swarming Spirits if the same fighter moves through a hex occupied by an enemy fighter in this phase. RAW, this also includes Varclav's push ability, because the definition of "push" includes the word "move," which is the operative word on the card.
  3. The lethal hex caused the damage; the ploy didn't. This works similarly to Twist the Knife; the ploy is causing damage to be applied from another source, but that source caused the damage. (See the FAQ entries for Masterstroke and "When is a fighter considered to have dealt damage or taken a fighter out of action (e.g. for the purposes of Massive Assault or Precise Use of Force)?")

Cheers!

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On 10/11/2018 at 4:04 PM, Sleboda said:

If they change words or (worse yet) rule without a wording change that a movement (lower case) from a Push is not really a movement, then it makes it tough to believe that anything in the book can be taken as accurate.

I hear what you're saying, but it won't shake my confidence in the rulebook as written. I mean, the FAQ entries for the Warden's inspire condition and Battle without End don't make it tough for me to believe that anything in the book can be taken at face value, and I'd bet the same holds for you. It just shows that they weren't clear on the wording.

That sucks, but it happens. I work full-time as an editor, and I did plenty of freelance work for a large American game company a few years ago. I also worked directly with GW staffers back in the day (2002–2006) on Blood Bowl. Unfortunately, stuff happens. Oftentimes, someone who doesn't know the particulars of a style choice will be involved in one part of the process, and someone else who should know better will overlook that thing later, like "2 hexes" for "two hexes." Or people will playtest so many different versions of a card that they'll assume it says one thing when it says something else entirely. It's unfortunate, but the game will survive. (That said, a ruling against the Thorns in this case would be much, much more serious than the weird rulings for "Battle without End" and the Warden's inspire condition.)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/11/2018 at 7:26 PM, Sleboda said:

If that's how they rule it, then it needs more than a FAQ for the card. It needs to have the definition of Push reworded or a new card issued as a replacement for this one. 

As it stands, there is no debate that Varclav can use guys ability to Push two fighters through models to score the card. None.

 

@BaldoBeardo To be clear, I'm not claiming that one fighter moving through two models at one go would do it, just that per the Sepulchral Guard precedent it might be allowable that one fighter moving through two enemies would qualify.

 

@Skyeline

Your thoughts matched mine, including that there is nothing definitive to support the stances ... thus my post. ?

Bit of a necro, but as the Battle Without End wording has been changed in the latest FAQ it would suggest it isn't the same fighter moving twice that would score Swarming Spirits.

 

 

Screenshot_20181026_130819.jpg

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They also issued a FAQ on the pushes of the Thorns.

Q: Can the fighters in the Thorns of the Briar Queen be pushed through blocked or occupied hexes?

A: No. They can move through those hexes when making a Move action (including as part of a Charge action) but they cannot be pushed (or driven back) into a blocked or occupied hex.

 

I am now awaiting the Errata to the definition of push, because as it is currently worded, there is zero support for their ruling.  I will, of course, abide by it, but it's a very disappointing answer - not because I dislike it (my warband will be just fine with it ruled this way) but because it undermines the ability of players to read the words of the rules and reason out the answer to other questions.  It opens the door for unscrupulous or unintelligent players to argue for or against pretty much anything and use "intent" or "maybe they meant something else" as justification.  It makes it feel like their other games, and not a game with tight rules designed for competition over cooperation or leisurely play. Very, very disappointing.

In other words, a player can now be shown very clearly what a rule is, have it explained using reason and the rules of grammar, and that player is justified in saying "Yeah, well, remember what they said about pushes, because that means this rule might also be different from what they wrote in the book. Maybe they meant to make it the way I think it should be (a way that is completely unsupported by what is actually printed)."

In other other words, players can now ignore what it printed and try to impose their wishes on the game instead of playing by the rules.

And the thing is, those of us who can read and understand what words and sentence structure means, well, we can no longer use the rules and our better understanding of them and of language to stop the other person from doing this. It's open season on the rules now.

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28 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

I am now awaiting the Errata to the definition of push

Here you go:

ERRATA

Page 17 – Pushes and other exceptions

Change the first two sentences of this paragraph to read: ‘When a rule tells you to push a fighter, simply push their miniature into an adjacent hex the number of times specified by the rule, in any direction each time (unless specified otherwise). Note that a fighter cannot be pushed into or through a hex that is blocked or occupied.’

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7 minutes ago, BaldoBeardo said:

The errata.

Yeah, just found it with a Google search.  Odd that it's not placed in an easy-to-find spot on the Underworlds page!

 

Now, armed with that Errata, it helps show the unscrupulous or unintelligent why they cannot do what I feared they would want to do.  If they try to say anything can be re-imaged to fit their vision of the game "becuase look! pushes!" I can show them that the designers realized they had to change the words to make their ruling work. So, they are showing us that you follow the actual words in the book and in order to be able to do that and make certain rulings, those words need to be changed. 

 

This is a positive.

Well done, GW.

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