DESIGNING THE BATTLE: THE ATTACK PHASE – PART 1

Written by Jesse Bergman


Attack!

Last week I discussed the combatant phase. This week we will dig into part of the attack phase.  In this phase of your turn you get to use your combatants to declare attacks and deal damage to your opponent. The attack phase is the most complex phase in Battle for Sularia. It is the phase where most of the games heavy lifting and strategy come into play. It is recommended to read my previous articles in this series before continuing.  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.


Attack Phase

The attack phase in Battle for Sularia is made up of 5 substeps. These substeps have very different aspects and lots of little details. For 90% of your attacks these details won't come into question. As a player advances in skill, timing will play an integral role in gaining advantages over the opposing battle commander. Since this phase is too long to fit into one article I will have to break of the substeps. There are 6 substeps and they are as follows:

  • 7.1 Declare Attackers Step
  • 7.2 Declare Defenders Step
  • 7.3 Keyword Value Step
  • 7.4 Command Window
  • 7.5 Alpha Strike Step
  • 7.6 Damage Step

There is one thing that occurs before anyone can move into the declare attackers substep. This is a game state triggered event that looks for any triggered modifiers from cards in play. These cards will specifically have the wording "at the start of the attack phase" do something. These effects must be resolved first before we can move into declarations. So without any further ado let us learn how to attack.

7.1 Declare Attackers Step

Four things happen during this step.

1. The player whose turn it is declares any and all combatants he wishes to use as attackers into target sites controlled by his opponent. This step is pretty self explanatory, we choose which of our combatants we want to attack with and declare them into our opponents sites. The target sites must be legal targets at the time of the declaration, and if attacking the same site with multiple combatants, or a Joint Strike Force, all combatants attacking that site must be of the same faction.

2. Rotate all combatants who will be attackers 45° to the left to indicate they are attacking

3. The command chain opens up and the player with priority may take actions. After all declarations have occured either player has an opportunity to take action and play tactic or condition cards. Players may also take action by using payment abilities.

4. After all attackers have been declared the Attack Phase proceeds to the next step.

A combatant being declared as either an attacker or defender.

A combatant being declared as either an attacker or defender.

7.2 Declare Defenders step

Four things happen during this step.

1. The defending player may choose to add combatants of their own to aid in the defense of their sites. The player chooses which of their combatants to defend, against individual attackers. Multiple defenders may be used on an individual attacker.

2. Rotate all combatants who were declared defenders 45° to the left to indicate they are defending.  

3. The command chain opens up and the player with priority may take actions. After all declarations have occured either player has an opportunity to take action and play tactic or condition cards. Players may also take action by using payment abilities.

4. After all defenders have been declared the attack phase proceeds to the next step.

7.3 Keyword Value Step

Three things happen during this step.

 1. All declared “attackers” and “defenders” gain the keyword value “Attacker” and “Defender” respectively. 

2. Any modifiers that trigger from keyword value “Attacker” or “Defender” are added to the command chain and resolve “Last In First Out.”

3. The attack phase proceeds to the next step.

What is happening here? In simplest terms any effects that would trigger based on the keyword value of Attacker and Defender trigger here automatically and their modifiers are resolved onto all cards in play, which we call objects in play. For example: if we have a card that reads:

During a Joint Strike Force, this card and all attackers that you control that participate in a joint strike force with this card get +3/+0 this attack.

At this point in the turn the above referenced card would apply it's +3/+0 modifier to all attackers that were attacking with it on a target site. The opponent cannot react directly to this, the next time the opponent reacts to these keyword triggered modifiers, they will be fully applied to the cards it affected.

This is a good foundation to the opening steps of the attack phase. I will return next week with an additional article that discusses the command window. Things will get a bit heavier at that time, so don't be afraid to ask any questions you may have either in the comments or on our Facebook page.