In the game Forbidden Desert, players can be buried when there are too many sand counters on their location. Tiles with more than one sand counter on them are considered blocked.

The Navigator can move any other player up to three spaces during his turn by spending one of his actions.

The Climber can move through blocked tiles, and can bring one player with her as she moves. Players on the same tile as the Climber, including the Climber, are never buried.

Let's say that the Climber is on the same spot as two other players, the tile they're on has a gazillion sand tokens, the Navigator is on another spot in the board, and it's the Navigator's turn.

Example: Each matching pair of square brackets represents a tile, and the players on the tile are listed inside. The letter in parentheses indicates the name of the tile (used only for naming purposes). The number of "SAND" words in curly brackets indicates the number of sand tokens.

[(A) Navigator] [(B) ] [(C) Climber, Archaeologist, Meteorologist {SAND, SAND, SAND}] ...

Can the following combo be achieved for one action point from the Navigator?

  1. Navigator uses up one action point to move another player, and chooses to move the Climber for up to three unblocked spaces.

  2. For the first space, Navigator moves Climber from (C) to (B) (Right to left, i.e. <<==). Climber brings the Archaeologist with her.

  3. For the second space, Navigator moves Cliimber from (B) to (C) (Left to right, i.e. ==>>). Climber leaves the Archaelogist on tile (B).

  4. For the third space, Navigator moves Climber from (C) to (B) (Right to left, i.e. <<==). Climber brings the Meteorologist with her.

For one action, Navigator has rescued all the people from the blocked tile using the Climber's person-carrying abilities.

Is this combo legal?

4 Answers 4


I don't have my game/rules with me, but I don't think that is a legal combination.

My understanding is that the Climber can take someone with him, but that someone would have to go with him for his entire move (on that particular action). So he would not be able to pick up another player in the middle of his movement.

If the Climber were using his own actions, each tile is a new action so he can pick up or drop off as he chooses. but if using a single action given by the Navigator, I think all three tiles would have to include the same set of player tokens.

This is the way I have played. I'll have to double check my rules to see if there is any clarification.

(And I assume this is your question on boardgamegeek).


The rules specifically state that the Climber "may" take 1 other player with her when she "moves," which I take to mean that it's the Climber's prerogative whether or not she takes anyone "when she moves," so I would say, "Yes," the combination is valid.

  1. The Navigator moved another player (the Climber) up to 3 unblocked (for the Climber anyway) tiles per Navigator's action.

  2. The Climber took 1 other player with her when she moved. (The spirit of the Climber seems to be an ability to tether a non-Climber to the Climber -- possibly with a quick-release D-ring. I can see how the Climber simply untethered (no action) the Archaeologist, went back for the Meteorologist, quickly tethered (no action), and delivered the Meteorologist to safety.

Very clever indeed!


Climber: He may also take one other player with him whenever he moves. Navigator: The Navigator may move another player up to 3 unblocked tiles per action, including tunnels.

The Navigators power is to move a player. This may be up to three spaces. If the word move is to mean a single journey then I would say no, the two are not saved. If on the other hand it is a series of steps then it is OK to do so. The rules do not cover this usage well enough to be clear about it. My guess is no. With this kind of usage the Navigators power can also be used throughout the turn in 1-3 tile steps.

Ex: Act 1a: Via the Navigators power) Move Climber to Well one tile. Act 2: Navigator meets climber (1 move). Act 3: Navigator reveals well. Act 1b: Move Climber and Navigator to Tunnel (second Climber tile move). Act 4: Navigator clears one sand. 1c: Move Climber to another tunnel.

In my mind the rule: Climber: He may also take one other player with him whenever he moves. Is a point A to point B reference like the jet pack, which should not allow for the complete redistribution of the players.


According to "Three questions i ask Matt Leacock(Game Designer)" (https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1412989/three-questions-i-ask-matt-leacockgame-designer), this is allowed:

So lets say there are two people on a blocked tile [a] and climber on unblocked tile [b] and the navigator is on [c] also unblocked. On the Navigators turn, he can move the climber 3 spaces for 1 action. So can he move the climber to the blocked tile [a] pick up a guy, move back to [b] drop off that guy and then move back to [a] essentially making both of those players now on unblocked tiles? all in 1 action of the navigator?

Yes. That's fine -- nothing prevents it.

Emphasis added

  • 1
    That's not the question, the question is about switching who is moving in the the middle of the 3 space move.
    – bwarner
    Nov 11, 2016 at 15:18
  • @bwarner - Actually, the link shows the full situation described is allowed. I've proposed an edit (grr for not having enough rep on this site to unilaterally make them). Any chance you could approve and then ping me? (I downvoted before following the link, but now can't change to an upvote until someone approves my edit....)
    – AndyT
    Nov 11, 2016 at 17:00
  • That link isn't super authoritative. It basically says "I asked this question and here's the answer I got". It is much better to have an answer where the designer answers with their own account. As is I feel like this is just another opinion.
    – bwarner
    Nov 14, 2016 at 19:25

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