Monday, August 27, 2007

Armageddon Empires Play Guide: Part Two

For Part One of this play guide, go here.

Turn two begins and I lost the roll for initiative--my turn is second and I have eight action points (AP) available.

Here's a look at the map and my hand (five of six cards--one is not visible without scrolling):

Remember, you can click on the screenshot to see it as a much larger image.

You can see that several cards are not grayed out, which means I could deploy them based on my available action points and resources. Let's take a look at these cards, because it will help me explain some basic concepts.

As I said in part one of this guide, you can always hover the mouse pointer over a card to get a detailed unit information window, but it will save you time to get familiar with the "shorthand" version presented on the card itself. Let's take a look at that now.

In the upper-right section of the card, you'll see how many action points (AP) and resources are needed to deploy the unit. resources required for deployment--in this case, 2 action points (AP) and 1 of all four resource types. This is consistent across all unit types.

On every unit card, you'll see three numbers just below the unit picture, and three more numbers at the bottom of the card (which you can see in the screenshot above). Here's what those numbers mean, depending on unit type:

Unit Type------Ground-----Air----------Hero
Top Left----------Attack-------Attack------Command
Top Center-------Defense----Defense-------Fate
Top Right-------Resistance----Fate-------Resistance
Bottom Left-----Movement--Movement--Movement
Bottom Center--Hit Points--Hit Points---Wound Points
Bottom Right-----Range------Range--------Empty

Here are some brief category descriptions.
Attack: number of dice used by unit when attacking (max 10).
Defense: number of dice used by unit when defending (max 10).
Resistance: damage resisted when facing "unconventional" attacks, like biological weapons.
Fate: each point allows you to re-rolled a die during a combat turn.
Movement: Potential per turn in number of hexes.
Hit Points: what you'd expect. Shown as current/potential.
Range: attack range when using the combat grid (more about this later).
Command: only for heroes, this rating tells you how many armies this hero can command without unit penalties.
Wound points: also only for heroes, how many (in essence) hit points they can lose before being assassinated or captured.

I'll discuss heroes at a later point, but for now, let's look at the differences in ground and air units and how they're deployed.

Here's an easy way to understand the difference in terms of how it affects your hand. When ground units are deployed, they are deployed at any based, attached to an army, and the card is removed from your hand (it goes from being a card in your hand to a piece on the board, in other words).

Air units, though, don't join an army--they fly combat sorties from any base. And these cards don't get removed from your hand when you deploy them--they stay in your hand unless they're destroyed in combat. When you want to use one, just drag it onto the target. It can be used as often as you want, as long as you have enough action points/resources to initiate the combat sortie. And if you want to see an air unit card, the first card to the left of the screen in the above screenshot is the F-227 Nightwing air unit.

For this turn, let's take a look at the second card from the left--the MoRV-IV Leopard. This ground unit doesn't have stealth capability, but it can do reconnaisance, and it has low deployment costs, which makes it an excellent early-game unit.

I deploy the Leopard by dragging the unit card onto the base. Then I click on the base attachment (the "1" in a rectangle), create an army ("Recon East"), and drag the unit card onto the army to transfer it.

After closing out the army screen, I right click on the rectangular attachment to the base and select the Recon East army, then left-click on an adjoining hex to move it (in this case, I moved two hexes). When I reached the second hex, I got this message:

When you have units scouting, you will sometimes find caches of resources or weapons, and all you need to do is choose "claim" to add them to your stockpiles. If this unit had discovered a continuing source of resources, I would have used a different procedure to capture those resources every turn (which we'll do later).

After moving the Recon East unit, I still have two action points remaining. I use 1 AP to move the Recon West unit, but scouting three hexes reveals no caches or resources.

I'd like to draw a card, since I now only have five in my hand, but I need 3 AP and only have 1 remaining.

The early game goes much, much more quickly than the play guide makes it seem. I'm trying to introduce and explain concepts as we go along, but when you play, these early turns go quickly.

Part Three of the play guide will be up on Wednesday. I promise it will take us past turn three.

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