Jesse is back with an inside look at what happens after your successful Kickstarter campaign. Should you go to distribution? His answer may not be what you expect!
Written by: Jesse Bergman
In our last Reign of Terror spoiler, you learned about the Protoan and a few of their new mechanics. This week we are going to talking about the scavengers of the waste, affectionately known as Exsularian. Before we jump into the main course of new cards coming out, let us do a quick overview of the Exsularian as a faction.
For those of you devout fans of the fiction, you may already know a little bit about this faction. The Exsularian get their name from being outcasts of Jotune society. During the purging known as Ultimundus, the Jotune exiled hundreds of thousands of citizens into the wastes of Sularia. Tens of thousands would die in the brutally harsh conditions post Fracture, but many would live. There were also survivors outside of the Jotune society that joined with these exiled groups. Collectively, they became known as the Exsularian.
The Exsularian tribes under the guidance of the Council of Elders wandered the wastes fighting for every scrap to survive in the worst conditions possible. Many have evolved and mutated over the better part of 600+ years. Some believe that they have tapped into magical energies, found post Fracture, to harness powerful abilities that make them virtually indestructible. Others seem to be mutated beyond human recognition and have become something far different than their Jotune brethren. Others have suffered immeasurable pain and suffering due to their living conditions. But all are Exsularian and are survivors.
The Exsularian lack the resources and raw firepower to go toe to toe with the Jotune or Synthien. Instead, Exsularians choose to tactically engage their enemies based off of advantages presented on the battlefield by either their opponents or themselves. The Exsularian featured inside of Reign of Terror, will find you doing exactly that. Opposing combatants and sites are simply not safe from the Exsularian’s tricks.
Dead on Arrival fits the bill on how the Exsularian intends to keep opponents off their game and give them the distinct advantage on the battlefield. Opposing battle commanders will have to be concerned that each combatant deployed is now at risk of never even surviving to attack or defend them. Not only is this a powerful loss of a combatant, but it also is a small form of resource denial. If you are playing Exsularian, be prepared to play around Dead on Arrival.
Dead on Arrival also introduces a brand new mechanic into the world of Sularia. PREEMPTIVE gives a distinct advantage to the player going second in the game, or the off-initiative player. When a player is off-initiative, preemptive cards have their threshold reduced to the numerical value listed on the card. These slight improvements to the timing of a tactic have very large gameplay implications. This ability enables a tactic to reach unprecedented power levels when playing off-initiative. When playing against the Exsularian, it may no longer be advantageous to go first over them. PREEMPTIVE cards will push Exsularian opponents to drastically alter the way they plan to play the game right from the get-go when the initiative choice is made.
While defuse has been discussed in previous releases, this is the first time we have actually seen it as a hard counter/removal card in the game. Dead on Arrival simply ensures that your opponent’s powerful combatants never see the battlefield.
Removing an opponent’s combatants is powerful and necessary to the greater strategies of an Exsularian battle commander, but it does not serve as enough of a deterrent and additional control help will be necessary. In the last article, we showed the Agropholid Hatchery and in this article, we want to show you the Exsularian's equivalent site, Stockade.
Stockade is a 2-influence cost site with a whopping 6-defense value. This site is both problematic and difficult for opposing battle commanders to deal with during the early game. Its real power is in the site’s ability. Each time a player activates Stockade they may activate a combatant controlled by their opponent with a sularium cost of three or less. While this site is not going to handle the largest threats of many of the factions, it can handle those lower impact but equally powerful low-cost combatants of the Jotune, Protoan, and even the support cast found in the Synthien. Combined with Dead on Arrival and Exsularian now possess the one-two punch to help secure their victory.
While controlling the game is powerful, it is simply not enough, control cards do not push the player closer to a victory but instead push their opponent further from a victory of their own. The Exsularian player will need an outlet to win. That outlet is the ability to play a powerful combatant on the battlefield that have a real impact on the game. The Mutant Savage represents a powerful threat and one that can be used to continuously pressure down your opponent game after game.
At 9-sularium, Mutant Savage rivals the Hekaton Warhulk in cost and potential impact without that pesky sularium maintenance. While the Savage does not have a ton of cool abilities, it provides a brand new characteristic associated only with the Exsularian. Ruffian is the Exsularian's version of the Jotune warrior characteristic. You can expect to find greater synergy with ruffian throughout Reign of Terror and further down the road as the game expands.
As we now know the Exsularian are scavengers at heart and the last thing they want to do is pay full price for anything. They have learned to survive in the barren wastes for almost a 1000 years, and now that Sularia is healing they are ready to stake a claim for what they feel is rightfully theirs. Headhunter is a powerful combatant for the Exsularian that doesn't do the heavy combat lifting on her own but instead dials up exactly what the Exsularian wants for any given gameplay scenario. The fact that the Exsularian player can play that combatant for zero sularium is just incredible. At 6-sularium, Exsularian players are going to need to commit to that level of production, but if they can acquire those vital resources, success is sure to come.
Opponents of the Exsularian need to be mindful of how to keep them from gathering 6-resources. Once a Headhunter lands on the battlefield, a very problematic threat is headed their way. Dealing with Headhunter is no small task with her built-in 6-defense she is problematic for many builds to eliminate. Additionally, Exsularian battle commanders should never discount the defensive wall that Headhunter can present to their opponent. She can make life rather miserable for opposing battle commanders both through her ability or through traditional defensive capabilities.
That is it for this week’s article. We hope these four new cards found in our upcoming release of Reign of Terror have you as excited to play as it does us. We want to hear from you in the comments! What powerful things do you think the Exsularian might be gaining on top of the ones revealed here today? Are you more excited to play the Protoan or the Exsularian?
Join in on the conversation on our community page located here: BFS Community
Written by: Jesse Bergman
Reign of Terror is coming in February of 2018 to Kickstarter. It is a brand new stand-alone expansion for the game Battle for Sularia. As fans of Battle for Sularia, this announcement should really get the juices flowing. If you have been following along with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter then you have already started to see some of the artwork that has made its way to your desktop or device. If you have not, well what are you waiting for and join us there today!
Today's introductory article will reveal some of the 52 unique cards you will find in Reign of Terror. So grab your favorite beverage and let us jump right in.
Reign of Terror introduces two brand new factions to the world of Sularia. With it comes all new ways to defeat your opponents and to interact with the game. Reign of Terror brings two brand new factions into the fold.
If you want to learn more about the Protoan menace, read on, otherwise, if you want the cards and the ideas behind the Protoan to remain unspoiled, close your browser now.
First, a very brief glimpse into the Protoan, They were a pre-Fracture design, by Hyperionex, developed to gain power and authority in the world of Sularia. Unfortunately, for Hyperionex, the fracture happened before the bio-weapon, codename Protoan could be unleashed on the world. Now in modern-day Sularia the Protoan project has sat dormant, buried deep in a lab, undiscovered by the inhabitants of the world. So everyone thought…
A small group of Exsularian tunnel rats while digging around discovered a pre-Fracture facility from Hyperionex. Without regard, and with hopes of ancient treasures, they opened the doors and dived deeper and deeper into the facility. They have unleashed hell upon the world and now the Protoan are on the loose.
The Protoan gave us a great opportunity to explore this idea of what a bioweapon could look like if it was a creature instead of a microorganism. The answer to us was that it would have to be semi-intelligent and be very primal in its behavior. While early Protoan's were exactly that, what they have become is something far greater. Led by a hive mind mentality found in Earth's ants, and bees. Protoan hierarchy calls for an Alpha or Queen and many soldiers or workers all working for the greater good of their colony.
To translate this information into gameplay you will find many of the Protoan's are type 1 combatants, which represent an almost a mythical power to them. Many in the world of Sularia have heard the tales of the Ashfall Plains, but very few have actually ever seen a Protoan. The first of which we will show today is SKOBN "Mythical Beast." SKOBN co-designed in part with our super backer of Blood, Profit, and Glory Scott Bean. He is an owner-operator of a great game shop in Fremont Neb. called Mythic Affinity.
SKOBN introduces two brand new mechanical ideas that you will find permeate throughout the design of the Protoan. First, you will find a powerful new keyword called CHALLENGE. Challenge allows a player to force a single combatant to defend the challenge regardless of the defender combatant's current status. This means that even those combatants that are activated or exhausted are not safe from SKOBN’s ability. SKOBN takes this ability and pushes it to the limit, with the option to challenge as many combatants as you so choose.
Second, SKOBN is now the most expensive combatant in terms of sularium cost found in the game. Fourteen sularium is a doozy and many of you are probably already asking, can the Protoan make Synthien levels of sularium? My answer... most of the time no; However, they are very capable of reducing cost because the Protoan player can leverage their presence on the battlefield to reduce SKOBN’s cost. If a Protoan player can muster enough sularium and token combatants on the battlefield SKOBN can become the most powerful and least expensive combatant in the game.
If SKOBN’s ability didn’t tip you off to another staple in Protoan design, then the next card should really hammer home the idea of token production. While different Protoan decks will leverage tokens in different ways, more on that later, the token generation cards are the backbone to the strategies the player wants to use. Protoan combatants and sites offer some awesome ways to produce them, and the first that we will share with you today is a powerful site, so feast your eyes on Agropholid Hatchery.
This site is the perfect tempo card for setting up your SKOBN plays. In order to help the Protoan maintain tempo, we needed to consider how the go wide philosophy of attacking with them comes to be a reality. With the continuous output of small Protoans tokens, these one attack, one defense combatants individually are really nothing to be worried about. However, savvy battle commanders will know that they present an ever-growing menace that can quickly overwhelm and consume your entire board.
With an influence cost of 2 and a reasonably solid defense of 5, Hatchery serves as an excellent card for the two construction cost you will pay to have it in the deck. On top of that Hatchery operates by producing the first token combatant the turn it is played. This combatant factory comes online fast and hard and forces an opponent to deal with it quickly.
While your opponent is trying to manage the Hatchery, and fearing for the impending arrival of SKOBN, another powerful combatant comes into the fray. Hive Queen, is yet another token production component.
While she herself isn't that powerful with only 3 attack value and 3 defense value, she brings the pain in yet another two 1/1 tokens. For a meager cost of four sularium, we are producing three new combatants on the battlefield! Hive Queen is a tempo card much in the same light as the hatchery. She continues to help build a board presence and offers a great opportunity to push your forces over the edge against the opposition.
Opponents have to start worrying by turn 4 or 5 when the Protoan have produced 4-7 1/1 combatants. All of a sudden, that SKOBN is very much in the range of sularium production to come crashing onto the battlefield.
The Protoans, as mentioned before, are very primal by nature. They do have some rules of society that from an outsider’s perspective seem somewhat unruly and out of control, but in the hands of a capable battle commander, they are a force to be reckoned with. Rite of Domination introduces just how unwieldy they can be at times.
The beauty of Rite of Domination is that a card like Hive Queen with only 3 attack and 3 defense can quickly become more powerful. In fact, if she can dominate the two tokens she produced herself she is easily a 7/7. If you can continue to push out tokens at an alarming rate, you may find more value out of sacrificing them to the Queen through Rite of Domination, it won’t take long before she is a real menace that rivals the greatest threats on Sularia. The savagery of the Rite is ever present and the Protoan player does need to be careful as once they initiate a Rite there is no reversing it and every turn they have to start fighting each other. The last thing you want is to have two key Protoans fighting each other.
That wraps things up for us this time; this is the first of many upcoming spoilers for the Protoan. We cannot wait to share them with each of you in greater detail and hear your reactions. The Protoan are unique to the world of Sularia and will invigorate both gameplay and deck building both with and against them.