Written by Jesse Bergman

Introducing Keywords

Hey everyone, welcome back to the designing the Battle Series.  In this next series of steps we are going to spend time talking about the ins and outs of keyword values. You may be asking what is a keyword value and why is it important to Battle for Sularia.

What is a keyword value?

A keyword value is a printed value on a card that usually triggers due to a game state, player action, or other triggered actions. This is all pretty cryptic, so lets look at a keyword value in its purist form.



You see here we have a Hekaton Warhulk from the Synthien faction. He has a Keyword value called SPECIALIST & BARRAGE 2:6 . We can always and quickly identify keyword values because they are presented in all capital letters. While I don't want to dive right into what SPECIALIST and BARRAGE do in terms of game play I wanted to provide a basic look at what a KEYWORD value may have on the card.

Typically keyword values trigger at very specific instances triggered by game states. Which means when the Warhulk is just sitting on the Battlefield neither SPECIALIST or BARRAGE 2:6 are offering any value. However as soon as we have another card in play such as Centropolis, SPECIALIST on a card quickly as relevancy.



Centropolis has a continuous modifier on it that states: All Synthen combatants with SPECIALIST you control get +1/+0.

So you can quickly see that after the establish effect on Centropolis has resolved, or the deploy effect on the Warhulk have resolved, the effect of +1/+0 is added to the Warhulk, just for having the Keyword SPECIALIST.

While SPECIALIST has other strategic value, I will cover it in detail in a later article. This article is intended to look closer at the Warhulk's ability of BARRAGE 2:6




Let's take a look at the rules for BARRAGE.


Cards that have the characteristic Barrage will read:

  • The first X indicates the number of adjacent sites that will be affected by the barrage. 
  • The second X indicates the amount of damage that will be dealt to sites affected by barrage. 
  • The attacking player chooses which adjacent sites are affected by barrage.  
  • The barrage damage applies during the normal damage step of the attack phase.  
  • Barrage damage cannot BLAST THROUGH to an opponent.
  • Any damage that exceeds the defense value of a site targeted by barrage will not hit the opponent.
  • If a combatant is also attacking a site that is affected by barrage the barrage damage applies to the site before the combatants normal attack damage (See Damage Sub-Step in Attack Phase)
  • Any additional damage applied to the site by a combatant will Blast Through to the player controlling the targeted site.
  • Adjacent sites are any sites in front of, behind, to the side, or diagonal from the site being targeted by the combatant with barrage.

Okay so that's a lot of rules but, it is really quite simple. The first X indicates how many adjacent sites can be targeted by the BARRAGE ability. The second X indicates how much damage will be dealt to the adjacent site targets. In our case  the Warhulk is able to target two adjacent sites and deal six additional points of damage to those sites. The player attacking with the Warhulk gets to choose his targets, and the BARRAGE triggers normally during the damage sub step of the Attack Phase. BARRAGE damage cannot BLAST THROUGH to an opponent directly, so if the BARRAGE damage is high enough to reduce the defense value of a site, then the site will be placed in the damage pile and the player controlling that site will lose health equal to the influence cost of the site. Finally, adjacent sites are sites in front of, behind, to the side, or diagonal from the site being targeted.

Our Warhulk can deal out a massive six damage to two adjacent sites! Our opponents have to be weary of this monster as he can definitely put the hurt on quickly.


In essence BARRAGE is a huge area of effect (AOE) ability that can quickly change the composition of the Battlefield. So there is one other card that we want to discuss today before ending this article. It is from the Jotune and is called Fire in the Sky.

So here we have a condition card providing a continuous modifier to all Jotune combatants with the FLIGHT keyword value. Yet another instance of keyword values stacking to create synergies and tricks. The BARRAGE 1:2 should be understandable by this point and should be pretty clear. However, one thing we have not clarified yet is what happens when two or more continuous modifiers or triggered modifiers give another object a keyword value.




It is safe to assume most Jotune FLIGHT combatants do not have BARRAGE as a keyword printed on the card. This means that once Fire in the Sky is played it is essentially "printing" that keyword value to the card. What may not be clear is that each instance of Fire in the Sky triggers another "printing" of the BARRAGE 1:2 keyword value. So what if we had the following cards in play?

One at a time...

Cloud Falcon has a printed keyword value FLIGHT, because we have two Fire in the Sky condition cards in play, it would also gain two separate instances of BARRAGE 1:2. In other words the Cloud Falcon would now have the keyword values: FLIGHT, BARRAGE 1:2, BARRAGE 1:2. This means when we get to the BARRAGE step of the damage phase we would need to trigger and resolve both BARRAGE 1:2 triggers. So essentially our Cloud Falcon could be used to apply four damage to one adjacent site, or two damage to two adjacent sites. This gives us a lot of flexibility is structuring and determining how we want to attack our opponents sites.

Hopefully at this point you have a very solid understanding of BARRAGE as a keyword value and how it works mechanically in the game. Of course if you have any questions, please feel free to comment here, or ask us on Facebook or Twitter your comments are very appreciated and welcome. As always if you are on the fence about Battle for Sularia our Kickstarter page has tons of info about the game, or you can see all of it in our about link above!

Thanks Commanders! Now get out there and play some games!