The Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) Wiki
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When a hero player performs an attack action, he may use one of his equipped weapons to attack a space containing a monster. The hero’s equipped weapon determines which spaces the hero may target for the attack. A weapon with the Melee icon may only target a space adjacent to the attacking hero. A weapon with the Ranged icon may target any space in line of sight of the attacking hero. Monster attacks follow the same rules when attacking heroes, except that monsters don’t have equipped weapons. Instead, the type of attack (Melee or Ranged) is listed on its Monster card (along with the dice used in the attack). Combat is performed by resolving the following steps in order:

1. Declare Weapon and Target

2. Roll Dice: The attacking player rolls his dice pool while the defending player rolls all necessary defense dice. If an attack affects multiple figures, each figure rolls its defense dice separately.

3. Check Range: When performing a Ranged attack, the attacking player must roll enough range to reach the target.

4. Spend Surges: After rolling the dice, the attacking player may spend any surge results to trigger special abilities.

5. Deal Damage: Any damage not canceled by defense dice or other effects is applied to each affected figure.

Declare Weapon and Target[]

The attacking player declares which space his figure is attacking. The target space must contain one enemy figure as the target of the attack. When heroes attack large monsters (monster figures that occupy more than one space), it is important for the player to declare which specific space he is targeting because of attacks with the Blast keyword. A figure may only target a space in his line of sight. A figure making a Melee attack can only target an adjacent space. A figure making a Ranged attack may target any figure in its line of sight (including adjacent spaces). The player must also declare which equipped weapon his hero is using. heroes may either attack with one equipped weapon or their bare hands. A hero attacking with his bare hands can only target an adjacent space and rolls only the blue attack die for his attack. Only abilities on the chosen weapon may be used; if equipped with two weapons, abilities on the other weapon are ignored for the attack. If the hero wishes to make a Ranged attack, he must choose an equipped Ranged weapon. Monsters cannot equip weapons. The dice rolled for the monster’s attack, as well as the type of attack, are listed on its Monster card.

Roll Dice[]

The attacking player creates his attack pool by gathering all the dice listed on his equipped weapon or Monster card, and then rolls them for his attack roll. If an ability allows a player to add dice to this pool, he must do so before the roll. If an X is rolled on the blue attack die, the attack is considered a miss and all other results are ignored. If an X is not rolled, the attacking player adds up all of the Heart results on the dice to determine how much damage is dealt by this attack. The defending player—any player controlling a figure affected by the attack—creates his defense pool by gathering all the defense dice listed on his Hero sheet (in addition to any dice provided by equipment and card effects) or Monster card and rolls them for his defense roll. If an ability allows a player to add dice to this roll, he does so before the roll. The defending player adds up all of the Shield results on the dice to determine how much damage is canceled on this attack. If multiple figures are affected by the attack, each affected figure rolls its defense pool separately, keeping track of its own results. After all attack and defense dice have been rolled, players may use any abilities that allow them to reroll dice. Players should note that some cards and abilities specifically refer to defense dice. Unless specifically stated otherwise, these references apply only to defense dice rolled as part of an attack. For example, a player cannot use the "Iron Shield" card to allow him to reroll an attribute test.

Check Range[]

Even though Ranged attacks may target any space in the attacker's line of sight, the attacker must roll enough range on his attack roll in order to deal damage to the target. Starting with the space adjacent to the attacker (of his choice), count the number of spaces to the target space. This number is the distance between the spaces. The numbers rolled on the dice are the maximum range of the attack. If the total range obtained from the attack roll does not equal or exceed the distance between the spaces, the attack is considered a miss unless the range can be increased.

Spend Surges[]

If there are any surge results (Surge) obtained during the attack roll, the attacking player may spend these surges on different abilities. Weapons, skills, hero abilities, and items may all have surge abilities for the attacking player to choose from. An attacking monster can spend surges to trigger certain abilities listed on its Monster card. Each individual Surge rolled during the attack roll may be spent once to trigger surge abilities. Each surge ability may only be triggered once per attack. However, if the attacker has access to two different surge abilities with identical effects, he can trigger both effects if he obtained enough Surge results. Up to one unused Surge may be used by an attacking hero to recover one fatigue. Monsters cannot use a Surge to recover fatigue. Note: Surge abilities may only be triggered during attacks unless otherwise specified.

Deal Damage[]

The target of an attack has the chance to cancel some or all of the damage from the attack. The defending player adds up all the Shield results in his defense pool. Each Shield result cancels one damage (Heart) from the attack. Any damage not canceled by a Shield is suffered by the defending figure. Ignore any excess Shield results. The defending player tracks the damage by placing damage tokens on his Hero sheet (in the case of heroes) or near the monster figure (in the case of the overlord). If this damage ever equals or exceeds the figure’s Health, the figure is defeated. Note: 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.

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