DESIGNING THE BATTLE: ATTACK PHASE – PART 3

Written by Jesse Bergman


Attack (third times the charm)!

A few weeks ago I discussed the command window step of the attack phase. While that article was a bit heavy, this article will have a little less weight. We get to discuss how damage is dealt this week. In the attack 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 – Part 3

Alpha Strike Step

  1. Combatants that are either ATTACKER or DEFENDER with the keyword ALPHA STRIKE become activated.

  2. Any combatants with the keyword value SPECIALIST and/or BARRAGE have their ability trigger and are placed on the command chain in an order determined by the player with priority.

  3. Any combatants or sites involved in the attack with the keyword value ALPHA STRIKE get to deal their damage accordingly. (See Damage Dealing step for resolution.)

  4. The attack phase proceeds to the next step.

What is happening here? Let's jump through this quickly because ultimately the Alpha Strike Step does the same thing as the damage step, only sooner. 

First, any combatants with the Keyword value: ALPHA STRIKE become activated. Once we've moved past the command window step discussed last week, nothing can prevent a combatant from dealing damage. This is the point in the attack where they actually become activated. Next any combatants with the keyword values SPECIALIST and/or BARRAGE have their ability's trigger and go on the command chain in a order set by the player with priority. We will come back to these keyword mechanics in a later article so don't get too hung up on them now. Third, combatants with ALPHA STRIKE deal their damage following the damage resolution steps, which we will layout below. Finally we move to the Damage Step.

Damage step

  1. Combatants that are either ATTACKER or DEFENDER become activated.

  2. Any combatants with the keyword value SPECIALIST and/or BARRAGE have their ability trigger and are placed on the command chain in an order determined by the player with priority.
  3.  Damage is applied in this order:

    1.  Combatants

    2. Sites

    3.  Player

  4.  If an attacking combatant is being defended by another combatant or combatants, the attacking combatants Attack Value is compared to the defending combatant/s Defense Value.  If the attacker has enough attack value to reduce the defender/s Defense Value to zero, any remaining attack is passed through to the site. If the Attack value is high enough to reduce the Defense value of the site to zero then any remaining Attack value is applied directly to the player being attacked.

    1. If the attacker is defended by multiple combatants the player controlling the defenders gets to decide in which order the Attack value is applied to their combatants. 

    2. The attack value must be applied to one combatant until its defense value is reduced to zero, and then the attack value must be applied to the second defender until its defense value is equal to zero, and so on until all defenders have received attack value.

    3. Each defender that has its defense value reduced to zero is placed into the damage pile.

  5. The attacking combatant is dealt damage equal to the total attack value of the defending combatant/combatants.  If the attack value of the defenders is high enough to reduce the defense value of the attacker then the attacker is placed into the damage pile. 

    1. If the defenders attack value is not high enough to reduce the attacker’s defense value to zero then the remaining defense value is considered that combatants defense value until the discard phase of the turn.

  6. The site gets to deal its attack value to an attacking combatant/s.  The player controlling the attackers gets to choose which attacker will absorb the attack value. 

    1. If the attack value of the site is high enough to reduce an attackers defense value to zero then that combatant in placed into the damage pile, and the next attacking combatant is chosen to absorb the attack value of the site, this continues until all attackers have taken all the attack value of the site.

  7. Damage resolution repeats this above process until all attackers and defenders have resolved their damage. 

  8. If a combatans defense value was reduced to zero it is placed in the damage pile.

  9. Place all ATTACKERS and DEFENDERS who had their defense value lowered to zero into the damage pile.

  10. Any sites which were placed in the damage pile deal damage to its controller, equal to its influence cost.

  11.  After all damage has been resolved the game steps into the discard phase.


Woah Right?

That is a giant wall of text for sure! Sorry about that, there are a lot of rules in how damage is applied but it is really much simpler than it seems.

  1. Much like the Alpha Strike step, combatants with ATTACKER or DEFENDER now activate.
  2. Combatants with the KEYWORD values SPECIALIST and/or BARRAGE trigger their abilities.
  3. This step is where we actually start getting to deal damage. The damage chain is Combatant -> Site -> Player. What does this mean exactly? It is simply saying that an ATTACKER's  attack value must go through the defense value of a combatant first, then a site, before it can hit the player directly. That's it in a nutshell, so even though we have a lot of rules at play here always remember, combatants absorb attack value first, then sites, before a player loses any health.
  4. All sub-step 4 is saying here is that, if an attacking combatant was defended by more then one DEFENDER combatant, then both defenders can absorb the attack value before we move any additional attack value to the site/player. It also indicates that the defending player gets to choose the order that attack value is absorbed during this step. However, the defending player must apply all or part of the attack value into each defending combatant one at a time. In otherwords, if I have two combatants with a defense value of 4 and 2 respectively,  and they defend an ATTACKER with 4 attack value, I cannot put 3 attack value into the defender with a defense value of 4 and 1 attack value into the defendign combatant with a defense value of 2. Each combatant has to absorb as much attack as it's defense value will allow for.  Finally the rule states that if a DEFENDER has his attack value reduced to zero he will end up in the damage pile. 
  5. The attacking combatants will also take damage, and this step indicates how that damage is applied to an attacker. The attacking combatant may not take enough damage to have it's defense value reduced to zero. This will modify it's defense value until the end of the current turn.
  6. Is saying that the site also gets to add its attack value into the mix and attacking players must absorb its attack value as well. However, it is done seperately, which means that the site damage could be applied to another combatant that didn't take damage from defending combatants.
  7. We then repeat these steps until all ATTACKERS and DEFENDERS have dealt and taken damage accordingly.
  8. This step tells you what to do with ATTACKERS AND DEFENDERS that had their defense values reduced to zero.
  9. This step says, that once all damage has been resolved, any sites that had it's defense value reduced to zero are placed in the damage pile. When this happens it's controller loses additional health equal to the influence cost of the site.
  10. Now we move the game forward to the Discard Phase.

Thats it for dealing damage! Congratulations, this covers the heaviest parts of the turn, later this week or early next I'll have an article up regarding the final two phases of the turn and what goes on there. Thanks for being a loyal fan to our game, and watch for the coming Kickstarter, we are just a little over 1 week away!