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I played an odd game of Shadow Hunters the other day. There were five players: two Shadows, two Hunters and one Neutral. I was dealt the Neutral, Charles.

For the unaware, his win condition states:

At the time you kill another character, the total number of dead characters is 3 or more.

His special ability is:

After you attack, you may give yourself 2 points of damage to attack the same character again.

Partway through the game, the following situation presented itself:

  • It was my turn and I'd just attacked a player that was so damaged one more attack would surely kill them
  • I was within two points of death
  • One character had already died

I declared that I was going to use my ability, revealing my card, and electing to attack the wounded player again, given that I would take two damage in doing so. I rolled a good attack and killed the player in question. I then subtracted my two damage killing myself. Three characters were dead, as my win condition required. My group were happy to award me the win under such strange circumstances, but I'd like to clarify:

Was this a legitimate move in this scenario? Did I win?

Also, given that the already-dead character was a Shadow and the nearly-dead character was a Hunter, was this the only way I could have achieved a solo victory in this game?

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2  
Nice entry in the 'bizarre titles' competition. –  DJClayworth Sep 12 '12 at 20:50

4 Answers 4

I don't know of any official rulings on the game, but I would not interpret that as a win for Charles.

The sticking point is:

At the time you kill another character, the total number of dead characters is 3 or more.

So what was the total number of dead characters when you killed the Hunter? Your interpretation is that it was 3, because a Shadow was dead, the Hunter was dead, and Charles was dead.

However, I don't think this works - at the time you killed the Hunter, Charles must have been alive; dead characters can't attack, after all. Thus, Charles would have died after killing the Hunter, which means that at the time you killed the Hunter the total number of dead characters was 2.

Fundamentally, the reason why this situation is confusing is because Charles should not have been able to attack at all. I'm not sure if it's an official rule (I'll check later), but a lot of other game mechanics assume that if you reach maximum damage at any point during your turn, your turn ends and your character is dead - for instance, if you have two health remaining and draw the Spider card, you're dead and your turn ends, you don't get to attack.

Since Charles' ability deals two damage to him first, and then allows him to attack, by triggering your ability you should have simply died without doing anything.

As for the last part of your question, I think there is no way for Charles to be the sole winner in a five player game. As soon as three people who aren't him are dead, the game is over; thus, he either wins a joint victory alongside the Shadows or the Hunters (by taking the last kill), or he doesn't win.

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good answer but it's missing a part referring to the last section of the question. Since the 5 players were 2 shadows and 2 hunters, is it impossible for Charles to win other than the dubious victory described in the OP? –  Bazzz Sep 5 '12 at 16:48
    
@Bazzz Actually that's not quite what the original question was asking, since it's definitely possible for Charles to achieve a joint victory (winning with either the Shadows or the Hunters). –  Tacroy Sep 5 '12 at 17:27
    
good point, and +1 for the added information in your answer. –  Bazzz Sep 5 '12 at 19:45
    
Thanks for the answer. There seems to be some uncertainty surrounding this question. From a strict reading of the rules, I'm inclined to agree with your very literal interpretation that Charles shouldn't be able to attack (but should just die if he declares that he intends to). +1, but I'm going to refrain from accepting your answer since it is (by your own admission) just conjecture and I'd be interested to see if an official answer is available somewhere. –  Johno Sep 6 '12 at 13:24

Most games that I play have rules that have been very carefully play tested, and which can be parsed carefully for a correct interpretation. Assuming this to be true, then the sequence described in this rule is very clear:

After you attack, you may give yourself 2 points of damage to attack the same character again

  1. Charles attacks;
  2. Charles reveals the special ability, and gives himself 2 damage.
  3. Charles performs the second attack allowed by the special ability (but, as per the other rules, only if still alive).
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In some board games, once a skill is triggered, it will take the full effect no matter the character is dead or not.

So I think, even if Charles was dead when he killed another character, he won the game. It is a kind of sacrifice attack.

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I don't think that - Charles dying and his ability triggering to kill the 3rd player - is a win condition for Charles. This is because any post-mortum win condition is explicitly stated (ie - be the first to die / etc).

I'd say this would set the precedent for whether or not someone can include their own death in a body count/ tally (if its not explicitly stated, the assumption should be that they died and can't win).

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