In Forbidden Island, must the Engineer be either on or adjacent to a tile to shore it up?
From the manual:
Any character can shore up a tile that is either adjacent or underneath them. The engineer is listed as an exception because he can shore up 2 tiles per action. It doesn't indicate any other requirements or exceptions for the Engineer. It does distinctly say they must be for one action so you can't spread it around.
Some think that you can shore up two tiles away:
The group I played with argued that he could shore up two tiles in a straight "line". That is, one adjacent tile plus the one next in line, adjacent to that adjacent tile. So, shoring up a tile that has a tile between it and the tile he/she is standing on.
but the general consensus is this is incorrect. Nothing in the rules indicate that. The ability doesn't say he can shore up two adjacent tiles but 2 tiles which inherit the previous property of adjacent to the player.
The question is understandable.
The Engineer's ability reads "shore up two tiles for one action", and the shore action is defined as follows: "To shore a tile, simply flip it so its un-flooded side is facing up". As written, the rules place no limit on which tiles the Engineer can shore up.
But then one considers that other players are restricted to shoring up adjacent tiles. "You may, for one or more actions, shore up any adjacent tile (up, down, left, right) or the Island tile your pawn is on", and one might think this restriction is suppose to apply to the Engineer as well.
They'd be right. The restriction does apply to the Engineer as well.
Compare the Engineer's and the Explorer's ability.
The Explorer considers diagonal tiles to also be adjacent for shoring and movement purposes.
The more restrictive reading of the Engineer's ability gives it a free action almost every turn. This is a huge boon. It would be insane to also give it a power that's much more powerful than the Explorer's (considering all tiles to be adjacent for shoring purposes).
The same answer was previously given on Board Game Geek.