Forbidden Desert FAQ: Terrascope

We’ve received a couple of questions about Forbidden Desert’s Terrascope equipment card, and at the risk of incurring Game Zeus’s wrath, we’ll answer your questions.


1) Does a desert tile need to be devoid of sand markers on top of it in order to peek at the tile?

A) No. The great thing about the Terrascope is that you can figure out where you need to go and whether ridding the desert tile of sand markers and excavating it is worthwhile.

2) Do you need to excavate the desert tile you used the Terrascope on?

A) No. Think of the Terrascope as getting a sneak peek of the desert tile without the mess of having to excavate the tile. Now if the tile in question is one you want to excavate after seeing it, feel free to clear the tile of sand markers and excavate it. But the helpful Terrascope can let you narrow the number of tiles you need to worry about. And time is a valuable commodity in Forbidden Desert. It might be the single most important commodity.

We welcome any other questions about other tabletop games you may have and if you haven’t seen our review of Forbidden Desert, here’s a link.

Hope your 2015 is off to a fantastic start.

2 thoughts on “Forbidden Desert FAQ: Terrascope

    1. Just getting back after a long hiatus–a very long one, yikes!–and saw your question. Thanks for asking, Rose.

      There’s nothing in the rulebook that says one way or the other about the player who used the terrascope sharing what they saw. However, the verb peek gives the impression that the “spirit” of the terrascope would be that the player who used it does not share what they saw. Or at least they can’t show other players the tile they saw.

      But again, you could share the information. There’s nothing in the rulebook that says you can’t.

      It may depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. There are strengths to both rule interpretations. Sharing information fosters cooperation. Not sharing can increase the game’s difficulty.

      Ultimately, I’d ask the gaming group you’re a part of how they’d like to play. It’s the best way to avoid hurt feelings.

      Personally, I don’t show my teammates what I saw (more of a roleplaying thing, like I’m physically looking through a fictitious terrascope that somehow has a single use), but I tell them verbally what I saw because we’re on the same team. And Forbidden Desert has other mechanisms in place to increase the game’s difficulty. I’d exhaust those options first.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s