Our combat mechanics have been the most tested and iterated rule set over this entire process so far. We tested both how cards are structured, and the actual combat mechanics. Here are the main changes.
Each unit card, from the beginning, has had 3 stats: Attack, Defense, Wounds. During combat, attack must be greater than defense to cause a wound, and a unit is defeated if it has 0 wounds at the end of combat. Buffs applied to units would give them +1 attack & +1 defense.
This worked fine for a while, but as we reworked some of our cards to increase game depth, we found units could get buffed to a defense of 5 or greater. When this happened, the unit became nearly indestructible, with a defense value so high, the attack power was never great enough to cause a wound.
So we made the following adjustments:
- Defense is now called armor
- Fewer cards start with more than 1 armor, and instead buffed wound values
- Armor stat is more expensive than attack or wound values
- Buffs applied to units now give them +1 attack & +1 wound
- Some cards can grant a specific armor bonus (like Archer Stakes)
Combat Mechanics Adjustments
There’s been a ton we have tested here, but we’ll just highlight two major adjustments – unit on unit combat, & the attacker’s choice.
Unit on Unit Combat
Previously, the attacker totaled their attack power, and assigned damage to units as they saw fit. If they had 10 attack power across 3 units, they could assign the 10 damage to 1 defending unit, or 1 to 10 defending units. Now each unit matches up directly to another in combat, and multiple units can attack one unit.
When we first moved to unit on unit combat, the attacker simply declared “I’m attacking” and the defender then got to choose which unit, if any, defended the attacker – similar to how MTG works. This created problems where even a moderately powerful unit was nearly impossible to destroy – and once one player got the upper hand they could hold it easily. So now the attacker chooses who they want to attack, and multiple units can attack a single unit.
Combined – these changes have made it easier to defeat units. This increases deck churn and limits one player’s attack force from snowballing into an unstoppable army of destruction.