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(TFT) SPOILER TFT Deathtest Spiders

I ran this room not too long ago and realized I had run it completely wrong when I played solitaire. Here's my interpretation:

"Their MA is 4 but they move INTO your hex..." I interpret this to be a special condition that contradicts the usual requirement to move into your hex: "if the enemy has his back to a wall, is lying down, is prone, is kneeling, has a lower MA, agrees to HTH combat or is attacked through his side or rear hex." So, in other words, I interpret this to mean something like "even though the spiders only have an MA of 4, they can still enter your hex and initiate HTH combat without having to go through a side or rear hex or without having to pin you against a wall."

"NOTE: Combat with a spider is considered HTH combat..." I interpret that to mean that spiders must initiate HTH combat in the same way any other creature does:

"When a figure is attacked HTH, it immediately rolls one die to determine its defense against the HTH attack, as follows:

On a roll of 1 or 2, the defender drops his ready weapon and/or shield (unless ready weapon is a dagger) and fights bare-handed. Both figures fall to the ground in the defenderbs hex.

On a roll of 3 or 4, the defender drops his ready weapon and/or shield, but has time to ready his dagger if he has one. He will be able to use it in his next attack. Both figures fall to the ground in the defenderbs hex.

On a roll of 5, the defender does not drop his weapon, and the attacker immediately backs up to the hex from which he entered the defenderbs hex. HTH combat does not take place.

On a roll of 6, the defender does not drop his weapon, and AUTOMATICALLY gets a hit on the attacker even if the defender had already attacked that turn!) The attacker must retreat one hex as above. HTH combat does not take place. (If the attacker jumped the defender from behind, ignore a 6 and roll again.)" But then there is also the Melee Rule: "When two figures are rolling around fighting, any other figure can move onto that hex and join the brawl, using action (b) or (k), without rolling to see if the attempt is successful."

Using those rules, Wulf might gut a spider or two before the rest manage to jump on them, or at least cause a few to "back off". So, for example, say 6 jump on Wulf. Using my handy TFT Dice roller applet in Java Wulf rolls a 3, 5, 3, 3, 2, 1. Spider One successfully jumps on Wulf and causes him to drop his sword but Wulf does manage to draw his dagger. The rolls of Spiders Two to Six are ignored because Wulf is already in HTH and they can automatically join.

"Since it's HTH your DX is +4. The Spiders do NOT get a +4." I interpret that to be a reference to Melee rule: "Since figures in HTH combat are on the ground and/or grappling with their foe(s), they always get the +4 brear hexb DX adjustment." So Wulf gets +4 to his DX hitting the spiders in the back, but Wulf is probably still standing up, though he's covered in Spiders, so that's why they probably don't get the +4.

"If you ignore your own Spiders and hang onto your weapon, you can use it to strike at spiders on other figures...Hope you hit the Spiders and not your friend..." I interpret this to be special exception to the Melee rule: "Figures on the ground in HTH combat can ONLY attack the enemies they are in HTH combat with. They may attempt to disengage according to the disengagement rules." This special exception would allow Flavius, even though he's covered with six of his own Spiders, to help Wulf. The Melee rule that governs this help is: "If a standing figure attacks an enemy who is down in HTH combat with other figures, and misses, he then rolls for each other enemy in the HTH combat, and then for each friend, until he hits someone." To be honest, I'm not sure how a person could hold onto his weapon since that isn't an option in engaging in HTH. So I think that part must be an exception to the rule as well...you don't NEED to drop your weapon when engaged
 by the Spiders in HTH, but if you don't you can't strike them back in HTH, you only help a friend.

So let's play out Wulf and Flavius' attack by the spiders. We've already determined all six have jumped on Wulf. Now we roll for Flavius: 3, 6, 3, 4, 5. Just like Wulf, the first manages to engage Flavius so the rest do so automatically. Flavius may choose to drop his sword and draw a dagger, but instead he decides to hold onto his sword, trusting his armor to protect him. The Movement phase of the spiders ends.

During the movement phase of Flavius and Wulf, they couldn't normally move, since they're in HTH, but there is a special rule in Death Test that says they "stay with you whenever you move until they die or you do." I interpret this to mean that you can't disengage with the Spiders because they'll follow you. But let's assume Flavius and Wulf were adjacent to each other when they opened the chest, so Flavius doesn't have to move to help Wulf. The Wulf has adjDX 14, Flavius and the Spiders both have adjDX 12. Wulf attacks first.

Wulf has a Dagger. He rolls a 10 and hits a Spider. Any hit will kill the spider, so he only has 5 on him.

Now Flavius and the Spiders roll to see who attacks first, starting with Flavius' Spiders and then moving onto Wulf. Flavius: 4. Spiders: 6, 4, 5, 5, 3, 3, 6, 4, 2, 4, 4.

Instead of rolling "off" the fours in the interest of time we first just roll to see if it makes a difference. So first we roll four attacks against Flavius to see if any critical hits penetrate his chainmail: 6, 8, 14, 10. Three hit but none penetrate the armor. Now we roll the four against Wulf, with the understanding that Flavius might actually get to attack before three of the four: 10, 10, 8, 6. All four hit Wulf. That would be 8 hits, enough to knock Wulf down (which, incidentally, is irrelevant since he's already in HTH). It doesn't really matter if Flavius attacks before or after the Spiders, so he makes his attack now: 11. He hits and kills another of Wulf's Spiders. Now Flavius' remaining Spiders attack: 6, 6. Still no crits. Now Wulf's Remaining Spider attacks: 7, it hits for 2. 

The round is over. Wulf has taken 10 hits. Flavius has taken 0. Six Spiders remain on Flavius; only four remain on Wulf.

In the new turn there is no movement since everyone is in HTH. Wulf is at -2 AdjDX because he took more than 5 hits last round. That could be his deathknell, because everyone attacks at the same AdjDX. First his and Flavius' the roll-off against Wulf's remaining Spiders. Flavius: 3. Wulf: 6. Spiders: 6, 6, 4, 1.

Wulf still has to roll off against two of the Spiders. Wulf: 4. Spiders: 4, 4. Wouldn't you know it they have to roll-off again. Wulf: 1. Spiders: 3, 5. Poor Wulf gets attacked by two of the Spiders first: 5, 14. Wulf gets hit by the first one for 2. He's now at only 2 ST, which drops his AdjDX to 9. So one of the two remaining Spiders attack: 12, a hit. Wulf is killed. Flavius finally gets to attack: 12 he kills another spider. Finally, the Six Spiders on Flavius attack: 9, 13, 10, 13, 9, 7. None hit so Flavius is safe. 

In the next movement phase, there are 3 Spiders on Wulf's dead body hex. They move onto Flavius' hex so that they engage him in HTH. Since Flavius is already engaged in HTH, they don't have to roll.

Now Flavius is going to have to attempt to draw his dagger as per Melee rule: "A figure engaged in HTH combat may try to draw and ready its dagger (if it has one) by picking action (q). On a roll of 1, 2, or 3, the dagger was drawn and readied; otherwise, nothing happened." He basically had better hope that he draws his dagger and kills the Spiders before any of them crit him. 

Even if you want to be completely hardcore like you're being, by using nothing but pre-gens and 32-point characters at that, you should at least add Ragnar and Yzor (from Wizard) to the mix. Deathtest is supposed to be played with 4 characters. With Ragnar and Yzor to siphon off some of those Spiders, Wulf would probably survive.
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