Isolate () was first introduced in the Jagged Earth expansion as an added effect from certain new Powers, representing a land hard to travel to, from, or through. It prevents Invader Explore Actions, and prevents Invader pieces (//) from using adjacencies unless you let them. Isolate is a single-turn effect marker like Defend ().
Isolated lands represent the Invaders being mired, trapped, or otherwise incapable of traveling. Blight cascades are not affected, as things which prevent humans from traveling don't affect ecosystem damage spreading.
- Isolate does not affect Blight cascades - Blight is not an Invader piece, so is not impacted. (Thematically, things which prevent humans from traveling don't affect ecosystem damage spreading.)
- Isolate does not change whether a land is Coastal. ('Coastal' is a land type defined by the land's adjacency to the Ocean. Invader-specific adjacency changes don't affect that.)
- Like all effects not marked by a change to the board, Isolate only lasts for the current turn.
- You can let Invaders in an Isolated land use some or all adjacencies for a given Action, if you like.
- If an Event Pushes Invaders, you can use Isolate to keep the Pushed Invaders from being able to go anywhere.
For this example, Explore takes place in the Mountains and Wetlands. Land #1 has been Isolated.
- Land #1 does not Explore, because it has been Isolated.
- Land #2 does Explore, because it is adjacent to the Ocean.
- Lands #6 and #7 do not Explore, because they are not adjacent to a source of Explorers.
The Utility of Isolate
Unlike skipping a Build or Ravage, Isolate isn’t a very strong effect, since you don’t know where the Invaders are going to Explore. Occasionally you can obtain guaranteed results: e.g., if a whole bunch of lands are only Explorable due to a a single land with / , or if an Adversary rule predictably moves Invaders (The Habsburg Monarchy) or depends on adjacency (The Kingdom of England). More often, it will be speculative – but Powers with Isolate often do other things as well.
If Oceans are in play, Isolating an Ocean doesn't affect whether lands are Coastal, but does prevent it from being a source of .
Scenario: Dahan Insurrection (base game) + Isolate
In the base-game Dahan Insurrection Scenario, the Military Response rule interacts oddly with Isolate. The simplest ruling is “Military Response ignores Isolate”. If you want a more thematic game, use “The new Invader must be added to a non-Isolated land. Ignore Isolate effects when determining which lands are closest’”.
Scenario: Despicable Theft + Isolate
If you use Isolate to make the shortest path to a board’s Ocean longer than usual, the Thieves will attempt that longer journey, even if it puts them onto another board. (In that case, on future turns they’ll head towards that board’s Ocean.)
The Habsburg Monarchy
This Adversary is notably easier for Spirits that tend to let lots of Blight get added (e.g., Vengeance as a Burning Plague) or for Spirits that can Isolate lands (e.g., Downpour Drenches the World).
Notes & FAQ
- Jagged Earth: New Rules: Isolate, pg. 10
- Jagged Earth: Appendix: Clarifications and FAQs: Events (and Fear) Work Differently than Powers - ongoing effects, pg. 28
- Jagged Earth: Appendix: Clarifications and FAQs: Scenario Dahan Insurrection (base game) + Isolate, pg. 30
- Jagged Earth: Appendix: Clarifications and FAQs: Scenario Despicable Theft + Isolate, pg. 31
- Jagged Earth: Adversaries: The Habsburg Monarchy Emperor Joseph, pg. 22