DESIGNING THE BATTLE – INFLUENCE PHASE

Written by Jesse Bergman


How to Influence

Last week I discussed the reset and the draw phases of the turn, this week we will dig into the influence phase.  This phase is considerably more involved the the previous two and will require this article alone to sufficiently discuss all the ins and out of the phase.  It is recommended to read my first article in this series found here before continuing with this article.  As a quick reminder I've listed the phases of the turn below.

The Turn 

The Turn is defined as each player taking the necessary steps of their turn before play is passed to the next player. The turn is comprised of the following phases of the game.

Influence Phase

The influence phase is where a player may place any card, called a command,  from their hand into the influence row face down.  Each card in the influence row generates a point of influence.  This calculation is made at the end of the turn and the total amount of influence generated during the influence phase is added to a pool called the influence pool.  Players may spend points out of their influence pool to establish sites in the play zone or pay any costs that require a payment of influence to resolve. After the player has played an influence card the command chain opens up and both players are allowed to add effects to the chain.  If both players pass on the command chain then the game steps into the site phase.

Steps of the Influence Phase

  1. Objects in play that say “at the start of your influence phase.” are placed on the command chain.  After all effects that read “at the start of your influence phase.” are placed on the command chain they resolve as normal.

  2. The player whose turn it is will play any command from their hand face down in the influence row.  This is not an action and cannot be responded to.

  3. Command chain opens and the player whose turn it is has priority.  Players may play effects on the command chain.  After all players have passed in succession then the command chain resolves

  4. The player whose turn it is calculates their influence and adds this number to the influence pool. Influence is calculated based on the total number of influence cards in the influence row plus any additional modifiers.

  5. Step into the site phase.


The Influence phase is the first phase of
the game where player interaction begins
to happen.


Step 1 is much like the draw phase in that there is a trigger modifier that the game is looking for.  If a player has an object in play with the terminology “at the start of your influence phase” they may place that effect on the command chain and after all such effects have resolved the game will step into the second step of the phase.

Step 2 allows the player to take a command card, all cards in a player's deck are command cards, and play it face down in the influence row.  This cannot be responded to by any other players in the game and it must happen each turn.

Step 3 is the first time a players actually get to add their own effects in the game.  The player whose turn it is has priority to open the command chain and add effects from activated abilities, tactics, or conditions.  The second player has an opportunity to respond to those effects and both players pass back and forth until all effects have been put on the command chain and both players have passed on playing additional effects.  This is called passing in succession.  The game cannot step forward until all players have passed in succession.

Step 4 is calculating the amount of influence that was made this turn. This is done by looking at the exact number of command cards that are in the influence row, either face down or face up. This total number is called Influence Generation.  The Influence Generation number is then placed into the Influence Pool and remains there until the start of the next influence phase for that player.

Step 5 is simply moving into the Site Phase where we can use our influence pool.

Some special strategies occur during the Influence phase and they are noted below with Influence Priority.

Influence Priority

Certain types of cards are more beneficial in the influence row then others. There is a preferred priority of cards to place from you hand into the influence row. They are as follows:

  • Condition Cards

Condition cards played from your influence row remain face up after being played and provide continuous modifiers until the end of the game or the influence card leaves play.

  • Tactic Cards

Tactic cards played from the influence row remain face up after being played but their modifiers are removed from the game during the discard phase.  

  • Site Cards

Site’s may be revealed and established out of the influence row, and the site is moved from the influence row to the site zone.  This will cause the player establishing the site to lose that influence point for the remainder of the game.

  • Combatant Cards

Combatant cards may be revealed and deployed out of the influence row and the combatant is moved from the influence row to the combatant zone.  This will cause the player deploying the combatant to lose that influence point for the remainder of the game.