EDIT: PLEASE SEE THIS POST FOR AN UPDATE: http://www.kongregate.com/forums/1/topics/2505?page=1
I just typed up the rulesheet for PAX, and I thought I’d post it here to get everyone’s reaction about both the card game and about how easy my rules are to understand. If something is confusing, let me know! Also, feel free to post your reactions to the game’s finally released rules. Also, read below for a super awesome preview of Rumiko, the very first card we released. Now you can find out what the hell she actually does! Oh, and here’s an updated shot of the interface (still more changes to come, though).
Kongregate Card Game Rule Sheet
The Kongregate card game is all about anticipating your opponent’s next move. Sometimes performing the “best” action isn’t truly the best, as predictability can render a super awesome attack worthless. Pull up a chair and settle into your opponent’s brain, and let the mind games begin.
There are three different gameplay modes: 3vs3, 5vs5, and 5vs5 with items. Players will be able to build decks from the cards they’ve unlocked on Kongregate. For the purpose of PAX, players will play random 3-card decks chosen from the complete set of 16 characters. Items are also disabled.
Each character has a health pool, 100 energy, and 4 unique abilities. Within your deck of 3 or 5 characters, only 1 is active at any given time. All characters replenish 20 energy at the end of each turn, and inactive characters recover 1 health. Each character also has an innate passive ability, explained on the individual cards. If a character’s health ever reaches 0, he/she can no longer be used for the remainder of the game.
The game begins at close range. Certain attacks can only be performed at close or long range, while some attacks can be performed at both ranges. Many characters are particularly strong at a specific range.
Each turn has two phases: the maneuver phase and the combat phase. Players do not take turns; both players select an action during each phase. Actions are chosen in a double-blind fashion, and your opponent’s move will not be revealed until both players have selected an action.
The Maneuver Phase
Each turn begins with both players picking a range (close or far) or deciding to pass. Selecting “close” or “far” costs 50 energy, so players will typically choose to pass. If both players choose opposite ranges, the current range will remain the same.
The Combat Phase
Once the range is determined, both players select an action with their active characters. They can choose to use an ability (most of which are attacks), rest, swap out, or intercept. Once the combat phase has ended, all characters recover 20 energy (maximum of 100). Inactive characters recover 1 health as well. The game then goes back to the maneuver phase.
During the combat phase, each player can choose to use 1 of their active character’s 4 abilities, assuming that character is at the correct range for the ability and that character has enough energy. The energy costs for each ability are indicated on the attack button. If both players choose to attack, the attack with the highest speed will occur first. Some attacks can interrupt the opponent’s attack if they occur first, and characters who are killed by the first attack cannot perform their own slower attack.
During the combat phase, characters can choose to rest, performing no action but recovering 20 additional energy (40 total).
During the combat phase, you can choose to swap out your active character for an inactive one in your deck. If your opponent chooses to attack and you choose to swap, you will dodge the attack and not take any damage (unless the attack specifically says it hits a fleeing opponent).
If you believe your opponent will choose to swap out, intercept! If you’re right, the intercept will deal 35 damage and prevent the swap from succeeding. However, if the opponent chooses not to swap out, the intercept will have no effect.
Rock, Paper Scissors!
To recap, normal attacks are the staple damage, but they can be dodged by swapping out. Intercepting prevents swapping out, but it won’t do anything against an attack.
Damage Types and Defense
Each attack has a damage type associated with it: physical, light, or dark. Each character has an innate defense against all 3 types, indicated at the front of the card. The defense number is subtracted against each attack of that type. Furthermore, some attacks hit multiple times. For example, an attack that does 25 light damage against someone with 4 light defense will deal 21 damage. However, an attack that deals 5 light damage 10 times (5×10) will only deal 10 damage against 4 light defense. Single attacks are generally better against high armor, while multiple attacks are generally better against low armor.
That’s it for the rules. And now for a RUMIKO PREVIEW!
Rumiko is probably the most “slippery” character in the game. As her card text indicates, she has a 50% chance to avoid being intercepted when switching out. This makes things a bit interesting for the opponent, as intercepting becomes less of an attractive option, even when you’re pretty damn sure Rumiko is going to switch out. Let’s say her health is low, she has no energy, and she’s going against someone who’s better at close range than she is, with the range set to close. Do you intercept, knowing that even if you’re right, she has a 50% chance to avoid it anyway? And if you’re controlling Rumiko, what do you do, knowing that the intercept option is less attractive for your opponent?
On to her moves!
- Shuriken Barrage: 40 energy, only at “far” range, 9 speed. Deals 12 × 4 physical damage.
Rumiko is definitely a long-range character, and her Shuriken Barrage is her primary attack. At 40 energy, it’s pretty cheap, and against an unarmored foe, can deal up to 48 damage (most characters have between 60 and 85 total health). Against an enemy with high armor (Onimaru with 10, for example), it does significantly less damage: a mere 8.
- Ninja-port: 20 energy, only at “close” range, 7 speed. Deals 15 light damage. If Ninja-port hits, range is set to far.
Ah, more slippery tricks from Rumiko. As a standard attack, Ninja-port is pretty cheap, even if it only dishes out a mere 15 damage. Its main advantage is that it provides a cheap way to set the range to far during the combat phase. Only one other character in the game can do this (and he sets the range to close instead). It’s rare that you’ll want to spend 50 energy changing the range to far with Rumiko, as Ninja-port is far more efficient. It can also be used to set the range to far for a different character that specializes in long range even more than Rumiko does (such as Andromeda, the archer). Keep in mind, however, that Ninja-port must hit for Rumiko to teleport, so it won’t work if the enemy switches out or interrupts the attack (though with a speed of 7, only Helene’s shield bash interrupt ability is quick enough to knock it down).
- Poison Dart: 20 energy, both ranges, 7 speed. Deals 15 dark damage and poisons the enemy for 3 turns, dealing 5 damage each turn.
Poison Dart is a pretty versatile attack, as it can work at both ranges, and the poison effect is not mitigated by armor at all. It’s also really cheap at 20 energy, and it provides a good alternative to Shuriken Barrage if your opponent has high physical armor, but low dark magic defense. The poison damage also persists even if the opponent switches out, so it’s a good, efficient “investment” attack if you’re a bit low on energy.
- Eviscerate: 80 energy, close range, 8 speed. Deals 20 physical damage and has a high chance (70%) to stun the opponent for 1 full turn.
At a whopping 80 energy cost, Eviscerate is among the most expensive moves in the game. It works great as an “oh crap” maneuver if Rumiko is low on health, stuck at close range, but has lots of energy. With a speed of 8 and a 70% stun rate, it’s also highly likely to interrupt the opponent’s attack, canceling it altogether. Additionally, the opponent will not be able to to anything next turn. This makes Rumiko free to switch out, fire off a poison dart, or teleport to far range, knowing that there isn’t anything the other guy can do about it. She doesn’t quite have enough time to teleport away AND fire off a Shuriken Barrage for the duration of the attack, but she can at least set it up and hope that the opponent doesn’t mess things up.
Well, that’s it for now! Hope you guys enjoyed the preview!