Focus on: Combat
Hello, Backers! As we enter the final stretch of our campaign, let’s finish up our focus on game mechanic updates with the big one: combat. We will cover adventuring and then attacking other players. Plus we have a shout out to a friends at Victory Point Games and their Kickstarter for Dawn of the Zeds, 3rd edition.
First, however, thank you for breaking the $150k stretch goal and unlocking the upgraded dice. Next up at $165k, we have new high-level hero cards. At $180k, there are additional quest cards to be had.
Combat occurs right after the start of the turn. You can choose to either explore an adventure deck or attack another player or pass and go straight to drawing resources. Adventuring and attacking are very similar, so we’ll cover adventuring in depth and then highlight the differences when attacking.
Your first choice is what army cards will participate in the adventure. We call this forming the party. You push forward from 1 to 5 troops and/or heroes (those dungeon hallways are too narrow to bring more people). These cards cannot be exhausted. Cards without Stamina will be exhausted after adventuring and will not be able to protect your city from attacks. You do have an opportunity to hire more troops or heroes after combat.
Here is our example party:
You then select which adventure deck to explore. With the Wilderness, it’s easy – there is only one deck. The Dungeon has three decks; one each for levels 1 to 3. Level 1 is the easiest, with the weakest monsters but the least valuable rewards. Level 3 is tough but also worth the most victory points if you are successful.
Reveal the top card from the chosen adventure deck. As an example, you could draw from the Level 1 Dungeon and encounter a Gul:
Now you resolve any abilities on the monster and your army and/or building cards. You choose the resolution order if there are multiple abilities. For the Overpowering Stench ability on the Gul, you have to choose Zacmar and, unfortunately, his Attack will not apply to this battle. Zacmar's discard-a-troop ability is also canceled by the stench.
You have a total of three Attack compared to the Gul’s Defense of 4. The Gul is not defeated. If you had a Blacksmith or Wizard’s Hut, you could have used that to add the extra Attack needed to beat the Gul. [Insert sad music.]
Now, you have to resolve the Gul’s Attack. Zacmar’s Armor 1 reduces the Gul’s Attack to 2. You could discard the Guard to cover the damage but there are other options, like treasure:
Endurance Potions are the most common treasure type. They are worth VPs at the end of the game, unless they are used up. The potion reduces damage by a die roll but is destroyed afterwards if the result is 3-6. Thematically, tiny sips only heal a little bit, but they last longer.
A roll of 2+ and the Gul’s damage is reduced to 0 and you won’t have to destroy any cards in the party. But if the damage is at least 1, you have to discard cards with a Defense equal or greater than the damage. Defense doesn’t reduce damage; that’s what Armor is for. Defense is how much damage the destroyed card absorbs.
As you can see, combat is fast and furious with a couple key decisions. You will almost always lose at least one card, so a cautious player will want to have some new troops or heroes in hand to replace them. However, troops and heroes are not worth any VPs by themselves at the end of the game so you will need to risk them to maximize your score.
Attacks against players are similar, except there is no limit to the number of cards that can be in the Attacking party. The target player decides which readied troops to defend with and which ones to hold back for a counter-attack when they are the active player or to defend against other players. Otherwise, you still add up all the Attack values. Players decide which cards to destroy to reduce damage. Any damage that gets through the defenders is turned into pillage damage that destroys buildings. Buildings destroyed by pillage are taken as trophies and are worth VPs to the attacker.
Finally, if the defender had any exhausted troops, they are readied after the attack to prevent or defend against future attacks from other players.
And that is combat. Thank you for reading! The preview rulebook is available from here.
If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below.
Thank you again for your support!
Our friend (and former co-worker) Alan Emrich started Victory Point Games in the attic of his house eight years ago. Chris and Scott have published several games through VPG and would not have started Zero Radius without that experience. VPG has recently launched a Kickstarter for the 3rd edition of their popular Dawn of the Zeds, a cooperative boardgame for 1-4 players. We’ve played the previous editions and had a lot of fun killing zombies. We are most certainly looking forward to this new improved edition!
They have already successfully funded and are now unlocking stretch goals. If you’re interested, check them out here.