Golem Arcana Expanded Rules
The goal of this document is explain everything going on “under the hood” of the Golem Arcana game app. As such, it will discuss all the game mechanics in detail, but will not attempt to teach the user how to play. The in-app tutorials and videos accomplish that task much better. With that out of the way, let’s dive right in!
The goal of this document is explain everything going on “under the hood” of the Golem Arcana game app. As such, it will discuss all the game mechanics in detail, but will not attempt to teach the user how to play. The in-app tutorials and videos accomplish that task much better.
With that out of the way, let’s dive right in!
The Best of Both Worlds
The Best of Both Worlds
Golem Arcana offers a whole new way to play tabletop games by harnessing the power of your smartphone or tablet. As you play, an app on your phone or tablet serves as a sort of referee, freeing up the players to concentrate on devising strategies to crush their enemies and give their friends, on the other side of the table, grief. Thus, Golem Arcana combines the tactile and social fun of a tabletop game with the accessibility and constant updates of an online game. It’s the best of both worlds, offering up a unique experience that neither could deliver on its own.
The key to the game’s seamless connection between the tabletop and your mobile device is the Bluetooth-powered Tabletop Digital Interface (TDI) Stylus. You can tap any of the game pieces with the Stylus to send information to the Golem Arcana app running on your smartphone or tablet. The app adjudicates the game, helps the players understand the rules, manages record keeping, and provides the kind of dynamically evolving gameplay previously found only in online games.
- After you download the Golem Arcana app from iTunes, Google Play, or the Amazon Appstore, your next step is power up the TDI Stylus and connect it to your smartphone or tablet. Follow these simple instructions.
- The TDI Stylus ships with batteries already installed. Remove the red tab to allow the batteries to make contact.
- On your smartphone or tablet, make sure Bluetooth is enabled.
- Turn on the Stylus by pressing the power button. You’ll see the light on the Stylus blink blue.
- In the Golem Arcana app, tap “Stylus Manager” in the main menu and then tap “Scan.”
- Once the app locates your Stylus, a default device name (a random string of numbers and letters) will appear. Tap the Stylus’ name on the screen.
- The app will request a four-digit PIN. The default PIN is 0000. Use your device’s keyboard to enter the default PIN and tap “OK.”
- Once the Stylus is connected, you should enter a custom name and PIN for your Stylus. This will make it easier to identify and pair with your Stylus when other Styluses are close by, such as at Organized Play events or conventions.
- If your device loses contact with the Stylus during play (by walking too far away from the table, for instance), the app should automatically re-pair when it detects the Stylus again. In future games you only need to select your personally named Stylus and enter your PIN to pair it.
Using the Stylus
Using the Stylus
- The TDI Stylus connects Golem Arcana’s figures, cards, and map tiles to the game’s app.
- When tapping a Golem card, the Control Card, or a Map Tile, point the Stylus straight down.
- When tapping a Golem figure’s base sticker, hold the Stylus at roughly a 45-degree angle to tap the angled surface of the figure’s base.
- When touching the screen of your mobile device, turn the Stylus around to use the conductive tip on the back of the Stylus.
- The Tutorial Scenarios included with the Golem Arcana app will walk you through how to use the Stylus to scan and activate the various playing pieces and their individual capabilities.
If your Stylus stops working:
- First, try rebooting the Stylus. (Power it down by pressing and holding the power button. The Stylus’ LED light will flash red, then go out.) Press the power button again to restart.
- Next, try replacing the batteries.
- If neither of those steps gets you up and running, try restoring the Stylus to its factory defaults by pressing all three buttons—confirm (the large button), page (the small button) and power (the tiny button)—simultaneously and holding until the LED turns purple.
Core Game Concepts
Core Game Concepts
The App Handles It
In the rules below you will see lots of statistics which need to be tracked and lots of calculations the game needs to make—but don’t panic, because that’s what the app is for. The Golem Arcana app tracks everything so you don’t have to, and then presents the information to you for tactical decision making. After all, did you start playing games to be a bookkeeper or a General?
Golem Arcana is played in a series of Rounds. Within each Round, each player has one Turn. Players must intentionally end their turns by tapping “END TURN” on the control card or selecting “END TURN” in the left-hand in-game menu. Some scenarios have specified Round limits and will automatically end when the last player ends his or her turn for the specified Round.
To-Hit Values & Dice Rolls
When a Golem is targeted with an attack ability, a To-Hit number is displayed above the Target. Attack To-Hit numbers are the percentage chance of success. For example, a To-Hit of 95 means the attack has a 95% chance of success—so high To-Hit numbers are good. When rolling the dice, the attacker must roll EQUAL TO or LESS THAN the To-Hit number of the attack—so rolling low is good.
Doubles: In Golem Arcana, rolls of doubles are always good. If the attacker rolls a double above the To-Hit number, then instead of missing, the attack is a Lucky Hit. If the attacker rolls a double equal to or less than the To-Hit number, then the attack is a Critical Hit and does extra damage (1.5 times the normal Damage rating of the attack).
Regions and Figure Placement
The Golem Arcana battlefield is made up of a collection of map tiles. Each tile has a 3×3 grid of squares on it called Regions which govern movement and combat. Each Region is large enough to hold four single-based Golems (Warsprites and Ogres), two double-based Golems (Titans), one quad-based Golem (Colossus), or a combination of single- and double-based Golems. There is no facing in Golem Arcana, so how the figures are arranged within a Region has no effect on the game.
Game sessions of Golem Arcana represent battles between powerful magical armies. Armies are assembled from a variety of unit types, each with its own statistics and abilities, but each army has attributes of its own as well.
Name: When creating an army, you can enter any name you wish, but we suggest keeping the name under 20 characters long.
Faction: Eretsu, the world of Golem Arcana, is at war as empires battle and factions within those powers clash with each other almost as much as their enemies. When creating an army, you select which of the three factions the army will support.
Arcana: Arcana represent different methods of magically crafting Golems. Golems of a particular Arcanum can only be commanded by Knights or Blood Knights from the same Arcanum. Each Faction can use Golems of multiple Arcana.
Banner Design: Each army is represented in the app’s user interface by a banner designed in the app’s army builder tool. Banners can be printed out to use with your figures.
Army Point Value: Every game piece is rated with an Army Point Value (APV), and every scenario places a limit on the total APV of the armies players can use in that scenario. The army builder tool helps players design armies to one of four levels: 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000.
Action Point Pool: Most Golem and Knight actions cost Action Points (AP), which come from an army’s shared Action Point Pool. At the end of a player’s Turn, the army’s Action Point Pool is refreshed. This happens at the end of the Turn because there are status effects which can affect the value of the Action Point Pool during another player’s turn.
Mana Pool: Mana is a special “currency,” used to power Blessings, Curses, and Miracles from Ancient Ones, as well as power some special Knights and Relics powers. Mana is gathered during the game in various ways (see Mana below).
Victory Points: Armies earn Victory Points (VP) by accomplishing scenario objectives. Scenarios are won by accumulating a number of Victory Points as established by each scenario.
In Golem Arcana there are four different types of game pieces that make up your army: Golems, Knights, Ancient Ones, and Relics.
Golems are the most important units in your army. Without at least one Golem, you don’t have an army. Golems are necessary tocontest Regions, to earn Victory Points (VP) or earn Mana.When an army’s last Golem is destroyed, the army is removed from the battle. Golems are represented in the game by the pre-painted physical models and their corresponding data cards that show their abilities and attributes.
Each Golem must be commanded by a Knight. A Knight is a digital character that only exists in the app, and is assigned to a Golem during army creation. There are three classes of Knights: Golem Masters, Knights, and Blood Knights. Golem Masters are the lowest rank that can command a Golem. They provide no additional combat abilities and have an Army Point Value (APV) of zero. Knights have a single magical combat ability, and Blood Knights, being directly descended from Ancient Ones, may have two or more combat powers or abilities. Both Knights and Blood Knights have APVs corresponding to their abilities’ usefulness.
Ancient Ones are the non-corporeal spirits of superpowered beings that inhabited Eretsu long before the current age. These powerful spirits have APVs associated with them in order to bring them into battle with you. Like Knights, Ancient Ones are digital objects, and only exist in the app. In exchange for Mana (see below) Ancient Ones grant Miracles and Blessings, which benefit your army, as well as Curses that punish your enemies.
Relics are powerful artifacts you can assign to a Golem during army creation and carry into battle. When activated, a Relic either provides an immediate powerful effect or summons a magical Construct in the current Region that persists on the battlefield. Relics are represented by physical cards, much like the Golem data cards.
Read on for more detail about each of these four game pieces.
Golems are represented on the game board with pre-painted figures. The individual Golems you play are part of your army, and are called ally or allied Golems (as are Golems fielded by other players who are on your team). Individual Golems your opponents play are called enemy Golems, and are part of an enemy army. There may be more than one enemy army.
All Golems have a basic set of game data. This information can be found both on the Golem card and in the Golem Arcana app.
Name: Each Golem has a name, such as the Devil Djinn or the Fen Lord. You may play multiple Golems with the same name in your army. Your opponents may also use the same Golems as you in their enemy armies.
Arcana: An Arcanum is a specific magical methodology for crafting Golems. There are currently only four Arcana known of in the realm of Eretsu. Certain factions may only use specific Arcana in their armies (see Army Creation).
The four Arcana are:
The Durani Arcanum teaches how to craft Golems from the mana captured and amplified in the precious stones and metals of the earth.
The Gudanna Arcanum was only recently rediscovered. It teaches how to craft Golems from the soil of Eretsu mixed with the blood of the crafting Sorcerer.
The Urugal Arcanum uses the mana latent in the bones of creatures that once lived. Its Golems are built of the bones of the giant beasts of Eretsu, the Knights’ ancestors, and even their victims.
The Zikia Arcanum draws upon the mana of living things to achieve the magically enhanced and accelerated growth of Golems from living wood.
Size: There are four classes of Golems: Warsprite, Ogre, Titan, and Colossus. The differences between them are indicated by their stats, Army Point Values (see Army Creation), and the size of their bases.
|Base Size||APV Range||Notes|
|Warsprite||Single||< 90||Usually these small, fast, lightly armored Golems have two attacks, and are commanded by a single Knight.|
|Ogre||Single||90–150||The cornerstone of Golem armies, Ogres represent the median in terms of armor, Health, and speed. They usually have two attacks and are commanded by a single Knight.|
|Titan||Double||150–225||The largest Golems most people ever see, Titans usually trade mobility for having three attacks and heavier armor. They are commanded by a single Knight.|
|Colossus||Quad||300+||Walking mountains, Colossi have four attacks, custom rules for each Colossus type, and are commanded by three Knights.|
Health Points (HP): The printed Health value is both the Golem’s initial Health value and the maximum Health the Golem may have. The Golem’s current Health value represents how much Health the Golem has remaining until it is destroyed and removed from the game.
Armor: The Armor of the Target of an attack reduces the Damage an attack will do, thus reducing the amount of Health the Target loses from the attack. Armor may be increased and decreased by certain special effects (see Attacks).
Dodge: Dodge reduces the chance an attack will hit. It may be increased and decreased by certain special effects (see Attacks).
Movement: Each move action costs AP. Once initiated, a move action is governed by the number of Movement Points of the movement ability. For example: if a Golem’s Walk is rated at 1AP/3MP, it would cost 1 Action Point to use and allow 3 Movement Points worth of movement. Each Region costs 1 or 2 MP to enter depending upon the mode of movement and the Terrain within it.
Some Golems may have more than one type of movement ability available (for instance Fly and Walk), or two of the same type of movement at the same or different AP costs or MP available (for instance Walk and Walk).
Golems move in one of two patterns: either orthogonally or omnidirectionally (called Nimble).
Golem Attack Abilities
Golems can have one passive ability and up to four attack abilities.
Passive Ability: Some Golems have a passive ability. These abilities are always in effect, and the app will adjust all affected values accordingly. Players don’t have to remember to activate these powers.
Attack Abilities: Attacks are the primary means to deal damage to enemy Golems. Each attack ability has its own statistics, and many include status effects which alter the values of specific statistics on friendly or enemy Golems or Knights.
Ability Name: Each passive ability or attack has its own name and description.
Attack Type: There are two types of attacks in Golem Arcana: Melee and Ranged.
Melee Attacks can usually only be made against Golems in the SAME Region that the attacking Golem is in. Melee attacks are not subject to the effects of Cover bonuses for the Region they take place in. Status effects which affect attack Range DO NOT modify the 0 range of Melee Attacks.
Ranged Attacks can only be made against Golems OUTSIDE the attacker’s Region and within the maximum Range of the attack. The Range of the attack is indicated by the number next to the lightning bolt symbol. When determining whether a Target is within Range and line of sight of an attack, the attack is considered to be from the center of the attacker’s Region to the center of the Target’s Region, not including the attacker’s Region in the total Range.
Activation Costs: The base of an attack’s To-Hit number is the Accuracy rating of the attack, which is expressed as a percentage chance of success. For an attack to hit, the attacking player must roll equal to or lower than the attack’s net To-Hit value, which is the sum of the attack’s Accuracy, the Target Golem’s Dodge rating, Terrain Cover values, and other applicable modifiers (see Combat).
Accuracy: The base of an attack’s To-Hit number is the Accuracy rating of the attack, which is expressed as a percentage chance of success. For an attack to hit, the attacking player must roll equal to or lower than the attack’s net To-Hit value, which is the sum of the attack’s Accuracy, the Target Golem’s Dodge rating, terrain cover values, and other applicable modifiers (see Combat).
Damage: Base Damage represents the base amount of Health a given attack will take from the Target Golem if it hits. An attack’s Base Damage can be reduced by things like the Target Golem’s Armor, and increased by things like Critical Hits (see Combat).
Area-of-Effect (AOE) Attacks: Most attacks in Golem Arcana affect only the targeted Golem, but AOE attacks simultaneously target all Golems in the targeted Region. AOE attacks ignore Cover modifiers. Depending upon the attack type, applicable Targets can be: all Golems, all other Golems, all Enemy Golems, or all Allied Golems. In the case of an AOE, a To-Hit number will be calculated for each Target in the Region. A single dice roll for the attack is compared against each To-Hit value to determine which Targets were hit and which were missed.
Special Effects: In addition to an attack’s Damage, many attacks temporarily affect other statistics of the Target Golem, or even affect the Knight commanding it. An attack’s special effects are sometimes more important than the attack’s Damage, as they can be combined with other attacks for devastating impact.
Golem Information In-App
Each Golem must be commanded by a Knight, and each Knight is unique in your army. You cannot add a Golem to your army without a Knight associated with it. Once assigned to a Golem, that Knight is no longer available to be placed on another Golem in the same army.
Knights have the following characteristics:
Faction: Each Knight is a member of a faction (Durani Empire, Gudanna Dominion, or the Mercenary Kings) and can only be used in armies of that faction.
Arcanum: Each Knight is a member of one or more bloodlines descending from the Ancient Ones and thus the Arcana which they founded. Knights can only command Golems of certain Arcana.
Golem Class: Knights are trained to command one or more Golem classes: Warsprite, Ogre, Titan, or Colossus. Knights can only command Golems of particular classes.
Elite and Special Units: Knights who are members of elite or special units (such as the Knights of the Charred Reavers) may be restricted to only being able to command certain elite Golems, or only a Golem from their specific special group.
During army creation, the Army Builder tool will filter the selection of Knights, and only present Knights that can command the currently selected Golem.
Having ascended from the physical plane eons ago, the Ancient Ones are powerful supernatural beings which can be called upon to support your army in combat. Ancient Ones have APV costs and can be added to any army, since they are not associated with any petty human faction.
To select Ancient Ones in game, tap the Stylus on the Control Card icon, or use the app’s side menu.
Ancient Ones may have one or more of the following types of abilities:
Miracle: Miracles instantly affect all allied or enemy Golems (or sometimes both) on the entire board. You may activate each Ancient One’s Miracle once per Turn. Miracles cost Mana to activate, but take effect immediately.
Blessing: A Blessing is placed in a single Region and positively affects all allied Golems currently there, or which enter the Region while the Blessing is present. Each Blessing costs Mana to activate, and stays in the Region where it’s placed until you decide to move the Blessing to a new Region, or until it’s moved or dispelled by an opposing player’s action. Each Ancient One may only have one Blessing on the board at any time.
Curse: A Curse is placed in a single Region and negatively affects all enemy Golems currently in the Region, or which enter the Region while the Curse is present. Each Curse costs Mana to activate, and stays in the Region where it’s placed until you decide to move the Curse to a new Region, or until it’s moved or dispelled by an opposing player’s action. Each Ancient One may only have one Curse on the board at any time.
The Mana Costs of Blessings and Curses: Most Blessings and Curses have higher Mana costs to initially activate, and lower Mana costs to move the Blessing or Curse to a new Region. That is, most Blessings and Curses cost less to move than the first time you cast them.
Blessing and Curse Limitations: In addition to the limitations above, each Region can only ever have one Blessing and one Curse in it at a time. Blessings and Curses also cannot be placed in Water Regions (Shallows, Deeps, or Swamps). Blessings and Curses can be placed in Pit Regions or Elevated Regions.
Relics are powerful artifacts assigned to a Golem for it to carry into battle. Relics are represented with physical cards, and you must have the corresponding card in order to use the Relic in the game. Relics, like Knights, are assigned to Golems during army creation. Once you assign a Relic to be carried by a Golem in your army, you cannot have another copy of that Relic in the same army.
Relics have the following characteristics:
Name and Lore: All Relics have a name and lore description.
Size: The smallest symbol represents a Warsprite, and then the larger symbols represent Ogre, Titan, and Colossus respectively. The size of a Relic indicates the the smallest Golem it can be assigned to. For instance, if a Relic indicates an Ogre may carry it, that means a Warsprite cannot carry it, but Ogres, Titans, and Colossi can. In the example shown to the left, this relic indicates Warsprite as its smallest, so any type of Golem could carry it.
Activation Cost: The cost to use a Relic’s ability. Different Relics may be activated with AP, HP, or Mana (see Action Costs).
Types of Relics:
Building an army is an expression of your command strategy. The balancing of mobility, sustainability, firepower, and combination plays is unique to each army design. An army consists of Golems, Knights, Ancient Ones, and Relics, and each piece in an army has an Army Point Value (APV) which reflects an abstract value of its utility. Armies are designed to specific APV totals to assure games are balanced. The typical army sizes are 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 APV.
To create an army, choose BUILD in the app’s main menu, and select ARMIES in the resulting pop-up.
Each army you create belongs to a faction. You need to choose that faction before you can create a new army. That army will always be associated with that faction.
There are three factions to choose from. Each faction can use Golems of specific Arcana, so the faction you choose is often related to the Golems you wish to use in your army. The factions are also central to the storyline of the game lore. You can find out more about the story and the factions’ role in the evoling world of Eretsu at: http://golemarcana.com/welcome-to-eretsu.
Faction Name Faction Icon Allowed Arcana
Once a faction is chosen, the app will only present Golems and Knights that can be used with that faction.
ARMY POINT VALUES
Once you have chosen your faction, you will be given a list of all Golems available to that faction. All pieces in army creation are ordered by their Army Point Values. The APV is the cost of the piece (Golem, Knight, Ancient One, Relic) in your army. This cost is only listed during army creation, and is not printed on the Golem or Relic cards.
A running APV total of all units in your army appears in the upper right corner of the Army Builder interface in the app. This total is important to track so that you can make sure your army’s total APV will be allowed in the scenarios you want to play (see Scenarios).
Currently, scenarios are created with the following maximum APVs: 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 points. In order to play in a scenario, the army you field must have a total APV less than or equal to the maximum APV of the scenario you want to play.
GOLEMS, KNIGHTS, and RELICS
After selecting a Golem for your army, the app will filter the Knight and Relic selections to ones available for that Golem.
Each army can have a unique banner design which will represent it in the app and on the board. A banner design consists of a banner shape, a pattern, a color, and most importantly, a sigil. Once designed the banners can be saved in JPEG format and then printed out to use with your miniature figures.
Every Golem Arcana game is defined by the elements of the selected scenario. This allows the gameplay of Golem Arcana to be extremely diverse and offer very different strategic and tactical challenges.
The elements of a scenario are:
Title & Descriptions: Each scenario has a title and a general description of the gameplay and often storyline setting of the scenario. The description also includes the army restrictions and victory conditions for each player position.
Player Positions: A scenario can have from two to eight player positions. Some scenarios will allow less than the maximum number of players, but others require the maximum number.
Player position criteria can include:
- Army APV Total: Each player position has a maximum army APV. In most scenarios the APV limit will be the same for all player positions, but this is not always the case. The highest player position APV determines the APV rating of the scenario (the APV displayed when selecting a scenario).
- Deployment Zones: The player position determines the army’s deployment zone on the map. In most scenarios the deployment zones are designed to be balanced and not offer an advantage to any player position, but there are some HBS-published storyline scenarios which use deployment to reflect aspects of the story.
- Permitted Factions: Sometimes in storyline battles a player position must be occupied by an army of a specific faction.
- Specific units required: Scenarios can potentially require a specific Golem, Knight, or Relic be part of the army for a specific player position.
- Specific units banned: Rarely, scenarios can ban the inclusion of specific Golems, Knights, or Relics from the army used in a specific player position.
Map Tile Layout: The number of map tiles and their position and orientation are determined by the scenario. As a general rule, the larger the APV rating of the scenario, the larger the map will be. Some asymmetrical or non-rectilinear map layouts create voids between map tiles. These voids are treated like impassible cliffs for movement and combat. Golems cannot move into or fire through them. Beyond the placement of map tiles, the scenario defines the following map elements:
Deployment Zones: The location of each army’s one or more deployment zones. Once selected by a player, the deployment zone(s) of the player position will display a small version of the player’s army banner.
Deployment zones are not necessarily contiguous, which means each player will need to chose which of his or her Golems to start in different areas of the board. Some scenarios don’t provide enough space for a player to initially deploy his or her entire army, in which case players will have to select which Golems start on the board and which will enter later via move actions to one of the deployment zones.
Capture Regions can grant Victory Points (VP) to any player position (identified by the white Capture Region icon) or only to specific player positions (in which case the Capture Region icon will match the banner color of the corresponding army). HBS-published scenarios can introduce scenario-specific behaviors for Capture Regions, which will be explained in those scenarios’ descriptions. For rules on Capture Regions, see Playing the Game.
Mana Well Regions: To gain Mana from a Mana Well, one or more of your Golems must begin YOUR Turn in the Mana Well Region with no enemy Golems in the same Region. Scenarios dictate how much Mana your army gains for controlling a Mana Well and how long Mana will be dispersed before a Mana Well is exhausted, but by default, Mana Wells distribute 6 Mana per Round for 2 Rounds. Mana Well Regions are indicated by the Mana icon. This icon indicates their location at the start of the game, but gameplay, story events, and various powers and abilities may change Mana Wells’ contents and locations during the game. Tokens in the Golem Arcana Starter Box can be used to indicate Mana Well locations on the Board. For rules on Mana collection and uses, see Playing the Game.
Victory Conditions: All scenarios are won via the accumulation of Victory Points. Each scenario dictates how many Victory Points are required to win and how Victory Points are earned. Scenarios will feature one or more ways to earn Victory Points. While these objectives are often the same for all players, they can be different for each player position. The common ways to earn Victory Points are:
VP for Golem Destruction: When a Golem is destroyed by an Enemy army, the army that delivered the killing blow will receive Victory Points for doing so. The VP can correspond to the class of the destroyed Golem (usually 1 VP for Constructs & Warsprites, 2 VP for Ogres, 3 VP for Titans, and 5 VP for Colossi), or may be awarded in relation to the destroyed Golem’s APV (usually 20% of the APV).
VP for Capture Regions: As mentioned above, Victory Points can be earned for controlling specific Regions.
VP for Objectives: HBS-published scenarios can include a wide variety of special objectives which can reward the players with Victory Points, Mana, or even extra Action Points.
Game End: Several events can trigger the end of a Golem Arcana battle:
Last Man Standing: The game ends when only one player still has Golems on the board. This is most commonly when all enemy Golems have been destroyed, but can also occur when opposing armies still have Golems that haven’t been deployed.
Victory Point Total: Some scenarios end when a player earns a set number of Victory Points.
Round Limits: Some scenarios are limited to a set number of Rounds. The game ends when the last player in the Round finishes his or her turn.
Objective Completion: Some HBS-published scenarios include special objectives which may end the game when completed.
Deployment & Turn Order
After all players have selected player positions and chosen which armies to use, the host player (the owner of the device the game is being played on) selects the method of determining deployment and turn order.
The app offers three methods to determine deployment and turn order:
Lowest APV to Highest: The app compares the total Army Point Values of all players’ armies and assigns deployment order based on the lowest to highest APV. If each army’s APVs are the same, it will take the lower numbered player position as shown in the scenario description.
Player Position Order: The app assigns deployment order corresponding to the numbered player positions.
Random: The app randomly picks the deployment order.
The order players deploy is also the turn order for the remainder of the game. If an army is eliminated, then its place in the turn order will be skipped from that point forward.
Not Deploying Some Of Your Army
You have the choice to not deploy all your Golems at the start of the game. If you choose not to deploy a Golem, you can deploy it later during one of your Turns by using one of that Golem’s movement abilities and selecting a Region in your deployment zone. This deployment move action uses all of the deploying Golem’s Movement Points.
Rules For Off-Board Golems
Some particular rules affect Golems that aren’t yet deployed:
- Miracles do not affect undeployed Golems.
- Some scenarios may have a Round limit on deployment. This is specifically noted in the scenario description.
- Golems that aren’t deployed within the Round limit, or Golems not deployed when a player has no Golems left on the board, are lost and cannot be deployed.
Playing the Game
PLAYING THE GAME
With armies built and deployed, the app is now the rulebook, gamemaster, and recordkeeper. That said, there are some important points that players should know up front that will help you understand exactly how the app adjudicates the rules.
In Golem Arcana, we use the terms Round and Turn. A Turn is the period in which an individual army uses its actions, which ends when that army has no more Action Points available, or no more actions to perform. A Round is one complete cycle in which all currently active players’ armies have played their Turns. There are no actions that interrupt another player’s turn.
Each ability a Golem, Knight, Relic, or Ancient One uses in the game has an activation cost. Activation costs can be in Action Points, Mana, or even the Health of a Golem.
Action Points are the single most important resource in Golem Arcana. Most Golem actions have AP activation costs, like the attack pictured below. AP actions are subject to Cooldown, which changes the number of AP an action requires to use (see Cooldown).
The Action Point Pool is an attribute of the army, not of an individual Golem. Your total AP must be shared between all the actions you wish to do each Turn. There will not be enough AP available for every Golem to perform every action, so you must choose wisely how to use your AP each turn. The current Action Point Pool value is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen as seen below.
The starting value of the Action Point Pool is determined by the scenario’s maximum APV. In other words, the larger the armies being used, the larger the Action Point Pool.
Scenario APV Action Points Per Player
Ending Your Turn & Unused Action Points
Because you can take actions with Ancient Ones or other abilities that don’t require AP, your Turn does not automatically end when your Action Point Pool is exhausted. You must intentionally end your Turn by tapping END TURN on the Control Card, or selecting END TURN in the onscreen side menu. If you end your Turn with unused AP, the remainder is NOT carried over to your next turn. Instead, each unspent AP is converted to 1 point of Mana.
Action Point Pool Modifications
When you end your turn, your Action Point Pool is refreshed to its starting value. The AP Pool is refreshed at the end of your turn rather than at the beginning because your opponents’ actions can modify your Action Point Pool such that when your turn begins, you have fewer AP available. There are also special effects which will add AP to the Pool, such as encounters in some storyline scenarios.
Mana is the second most common activation resource. The Mana Pool, like the AP Pool, is shared by your whole army, and isn’t limited to an individual Ancient One, Knight, or Golem. Unlike the AP Pool, the Mana Pool is persistent for the entire game, rather than just each Turn. In other words, once collected, Mana stays with your army until used.
Mana can be collected it from Mana Wells, converted from unspent AP, gained upon the destruction of a Golem or Construct, and awarded by scenario-specific events. More on each method below:
Mana Wells usually contain a limited amount of Mana, and become exhausted when all their Mana has been collected.
The amount of Mana a Mana Well contains can vary, but the default is:
- First collection: 6 Mana;
- Second collection: 6 Mana, Mana Well is exhausted.
Scenarios can specify different amounts of Mana for the first and second collections, or determine that there is no second collection at all.
The location and initial visibility of Mana Wells is specified by the scenario. If a Mana Well is initially hidden, players must discover it by moving a Golem into its Region. Each Region can only contain one Mana Well. Mana Wells don’t occupy space in a Region (see Movement).
Actions with special effects or Ancient One abilities can cause Mana Wells to be recharged or even created. In HBS-published storyline scenarios, new Mana Wells can appear or existing Mana Wells can disappear over the course of a game.
Information about a Mana Well can be found by tapping the Region containing the Mana Well with the Stylus.
When a Golem (or Construct) is destroyed, that Golem’s army gains 20% of the combined Army Point Value of the Golem and its Knight back as Mana. For example: if an 80 APV Golem with a 20 APV Knight (a combined total of 100 APV) is destroyed, its army will gain 20 Mana. This mechanic helps compensate for the loss of a Golem with a resource you can use, especially with Ancient One abilities, to catch up to your opponents.
Scenario-specific conditions may change the amount of Mana received when a Golem is destroyed.
Mana Per Turn
Some scenarios may grant Mana at the start of each player’s Turn. Read the scenario description carefully to see if Mana is granted in this manner.
Ability Special Effects
Many Golems, Knights, Relics, and Ancient Ones have abilities that can grant, manipulate, or even steal Mana from another army. Some even affect or create Mana Wells. Read the ability descriptions of each unit to see if it has any special effects that affect Mana.
In some storyline scenarios, Mana may be awarded for completing scenario objectives.
Some actions may require spending the Health Points of a Golem in order to use the action. Using an HP-activated action can cause you to destroy your own Golem if the Health cost to activate the ability matches your remaining Health, so be careful with these abilities.
Some actions’ special effects and Ancient Ones’ abilities can increase a Golem’s Health.
Most Actions activated with Action Points, Mana, or Health are subject to Cooldown. The Cooldown mechanic encourages players to use a variety of Golem and Knight actions rather than keep using the same one over and over, while still permitting them to use an action multiple times when they really need to.
In order to create this dynamic, each time an ability subject to Cooldown is activated its activation cost will double and it will accumulate a Cooldown period measured in Rounds. The Cooldown period starts at 1 Round for movement actions, and 2 Rounds for attack and Knight actions. Each time an action is used again before its Cooldown period is zero, the activation cost doubles, and the duration of the Cooldown period is increased by 1 Round.
At the end of your turn, the Cooldown periods for all the abilities of your entire army are reduced by 1.
Cooldown Move Example:
If a Golem has a Walk move action which costs 1 AP and you want it to move TWICE in the same Turn, the first Walk will cost 1 AP and add 1 to the Walk ability’s Cooldown period. The second Walk will have to pay double the activation cost, increasing it to 2 AP, and the Cooldown period for Walk will be increased from 1 to 2 Rounds. At the end of your Turn, all Cooldown periods will be reduced by 1, so this Walk ability will still have a Cooldown period of 1 Round. On the army’s next Turn, it would cost this Golem 4 AP to activate Walk, twice as much as last time. If you do not activate this Golem’s Walk, at the end of your Turn the last Cooldown point will be removed and the Walk ability will return to the initial cost of 1 AP.
Cooldown Attack Example:
If a Winged Preserver attacks with Stumbling Quake it will cost 2 AP the first time it is used. The activation cost immediately doubles and Stumbling Quake will accumulate a Cooldown period of 2 Rounds. If the Winged Preserver uses Stumbling Quake again, it will cost 4 AP and the Cooldown period increases to 3 Rounds. The activation cost doubles again to 8 AP and will remain there until all 3 points of Cooldown dissipate.
Unintentional Golem Destruction
Some Golem and Knight abilities are activated with Health, which means your Golem takes Damage when these abilities are used. This Damage is not reduced by Armor. Since such Health costs are subject to Cooldown, they double with each use until their Cooldown periods are reduced to zero. When using Health-activated abilities, be careful not to accidentally destroy your own Golem.
Golem, Knight, Relic, and Ancient One abilities can modify the Cooldown of some or all of a Golem’s or Knight’s activated abilities. These abilities can be used to affect the offensive capabilities of opponents, or to reduce the costs of your own actions. Each individual ability will specify when and how it modifies the normal Cooldown mechanics.
Maps, Tiles, and Terrain
Maps, Tiles, and Terrain
Map Tiles and Battlefield Maps
Each side of the double-sided map tiles contains nine Regions in a 3×3 grid. Battlefield maps are constructed by the placement of map tiles. Each side of a map tile can only be used ONCE in a map. If you own two copies of a map tile, you can build scenarios that use both the A and B sides of the same tile, but not two A sides or B sides.
Regions are an important concept for Golem Arcana game mechanics. Regions are used to:
- Golems (based on the Region’s Occupation Limit);
- Terrain type(s);
- Cover type(s);
- Relic Constructs;
- Ancient One Blessings & Curses (maximum of one each);
- Persistent special effects;
- Mana Wells;
- Capture Regions;
- Scenario objectives;
- Scenario encounters;
- Determine attack targets:
- Melee targets;
- Range of Ranged attacks;
- Targets of Area-of-Effect attacks;
- Targets of abilities’ special effects;
- Measure Movement
The Occupation Limit of a Region determines how many small Golem bases can fit in the Region. An empty Region has an Occupation Limit of 4, and thus the following combinations of bases could fit into the Region:
- 4 Warsprites or Ogres
- 2 Titans
- 1 Titan and 2 Warsprites or Ogres
- 1 Colossus
Regions can have Obstructions which lower the Occupation Limit, causing it to fit fewer small bases worth of Golems, or even reduce the Occupation Limit to 0. Relic Constructs do not count against a Region’s Occupation Limit. Regions can contain both allied and enemy Golems at the same time.
By tapping a Region with the Stylus, the app will bring up all characteristics, modifiers, and special effects currently affecting that Region.
Terrain and Cover
Each Region is assigned a Terrain type which can affect movement and combat. Some Terrain types, such as Plains and Hills, can be assigned different types of Cover, such as No Cover, Ground Cover, Medium Cover, or Heavy Cover. Other Terrain types have specific Cover types that always accompany them, such as Shallows, Deeps, Swamps, and Pits.
A Region’s Terrain type and Cover determine the Movement Points (MP) required to enter the Region. Regions can cost 1 or 2 MP to enter depending on Terrain type and Cover. Some Regions will have their MP cost increased by both Terrain type and Cover, but these MP increases are not cumulative. The maximum Movement cost to enter a Region is 2 MP for Walk movement and 1 MP for Fly movement. Some Golems can ignore the increased MP costs of particular Terrain types and/or Cover types, but must still pay the increased MP cost for any Terrain type or Cover that they don’t ignore.
Certain Terrain types impact combat by blocking line of sight, thus preventing Ranged attacks, or by providing Cover to Golems, making them harder to hit with Ranged attacks. The benefit of Cover provided by a Region depends upon the class of the Golem: smaller Golems receive more benefit from Cover than larger Golems. The Net Cover modifier (see Combat) is the sum of the Cover value for the Region of the Target Golem and ALL intervening Regions in the line of sight between the attacker and the Target.
|Walking MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Flying MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Cover Types: No Cover, Ground Cover, Medium Cover or Heavy Cover|
|Intervening Cover: Based on Cover Type|
Hills / Elevated
Mountains / Obstructed
|Walking MP cost to enter: Impassable|
|Flying MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Intervening Cover: Blocks line of sight|
Flying Golems can move THROUGH this Region, but cannot end their movement in it.
|Walking MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Flying MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Ground Cover: Warsprite +10|
|Intervening Cover: Warsprite +5|
Can be added to Plains and Hills.
|Walking MP cost to enter: 2MP|
|Flying MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Medium Cover: Warsprites +20, Ogres +10, Titans +5|
|Intervening Cover: Warsprites +10, Ogres +5, Titans +2|
Can be added to Plains and Hills.
Heavy Cover / Obstructed
|Walking MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Flying MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Ground Cover: Warsprites +10|
|Intervening Cover: None|
No Blessings or Curses may be placed in Water Regions.
|Walking MP cost to enter: 2MP|
|Flying MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Medium Cover: Warsprites +20, Ogres +10, Titans +5|
|Intervening Cover: None|
No Blessings or Curses may be placed in Water Regions.
|Walking MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Flying MP cost to enter: 1MP|
|Cover: +50 for all Golems|
|Intervening Cover: None|
10 Damage upon entering the Pit.
+1 AP Breakaway Cost (see Breakaway in Movement).
-30 Accuracy for Ranged attacks.
Edges of the Map & Blocked Areas
The edge of any map tile is considered a blocked area and treated as if an impassible cliff was at the edge of the tile. Accordingly, when map tiles are arranged such that a void exists between tiles, no movement or Ranged attacks can travel through such blocked areas.
In most cases, the first action you will take in any scenario is moving your Golems into an advantageous position, whether to get the high ground for an attack, hide in the woods, get to a Mana Well first, or to try and flank your enemies.
A Golem’s movement ability has the following components:
- Movement Type
- Walk or Fly. Walk and Fly abilities have different Movement costs for entering different Terrain types.
- Activation Cost
- Normally AP and subject to 1 round of Cooldown.
- Movement Points
- The number of MP per move activation.
- Movement Direction
- Orthogonal (up, down, left, or right, like a Rook in Chess) or Nimble (orthogonal and diagonal movement, like a Queen in Chess)
A Golem may have more than one type of movement ability, or even multiple abilities of the same type with different activation costs and Movement Points. Only the particular movement ability used will gain Cooldown, which means Golems with multiple movement abilities can move multiple times in the same turn without suffering Cooldown penalties.
When a move ability is selected, the app highlights the Regions where the chosen Golem can move. The legal movement locations are determined using the following rules:
Walking Golems cannot move through Regions which contain enemy Golems.
Flying Golems ignore contested Regions.
Region Occupation Limit
Golems cannot move into Regions where there isn’t enough space for that Golem’s base, but they can move through such Regions.
To use a Golem’s movement ability in a Region which contains one or more enemy Golems with the same type of movement ability costs an extra Action Point. This is because the Golem must disengage from a Melee situation.
- Moving a Golem with a Walk ability out of a Region occupied by an enemy Golem with Walk or Fly will require you to pay the Breakaway cost of 1 AP in addition to the Walk ability’s base cost.
- Moving a Golem with a Fly ability out of a Region occupied by an enemy Golem with only a Walk ability is not subject to the Breakaway cost.
- Moving a Golem with a Fly ability out of a Region occupied by an enemy Golem with Fly will require you to pay the Breakaway cost of 1 AP.
The Pit Terrain type also imposes a Breakaway cost to represent climbing out of the Pit. If a Golem attempts to move out of a Pit Region in which an enemy Golem is present, it will cost an extra 2AP.
Golem, Knight, Relic, and Ancient One abilities can create special effects which alter aspects of movement (see Special Effects in Combat).
Some HBS-published scenarios may change the Movement cost to enter specific Terrain types, or alter other movement rules. If a scenario includes changes to movement, the specific changes will be stated in the scenario description.
A player is eliminated from the game when his or her army no longer has any Golems on the board. Golems are primarily removed from the board when other Golems’ attacks destroy them.
Calculating the To-Hit Value of an Attack
The core of combat in Golem Arcana revolves around the To-Hit number. Simply, the To-Hit number is:
(Attack’s Accuracy) – (Target’s Dodge) = (The percentage chance to hit)
The attacking player’s dice roll must be equal to or lower than this value for an attack to succeed (see Rolling the Attack Dice). While the formula above is simple, the complexities of Golem Arcana lie in the modifiers that adjust those numbers, which will be detailed below.
There are two forms of combat: Melee and Ranged. The primary differences between the combat types are how Targets are identified and how Cover modifies the To-Hit number of the attack.
Usually, Melee attacks can only target Golems or Relic Constructs in the same Region as the attacking Golem or Construct. Melee attacks can only target Golems or Relic Constructs in the same Region as the attacking Golem or Construct. Melee attacks have no range, so special effects which modify the attack Range have no effect on Melee attacks. Melee attacks aren’t affected by the Region’s Cover because both the attacker and the Target are in the same Terrain, and thus it doesn’t provide Cover.
Melee Area-of-Effect attacks can hit multiple Targets in the same Region as the attacking Golem or Construct. The description of the attack will also indicate who will take damage: all enemies, all allies, all other Golems and Constructs in the Region, or (rarely) everyone including the attacker.
Each potential Target of a Melee AOE attack will have a different To-Hit number because of varying Dodge values and special effects (see Rolling the Attack Dice).
For a Golem or Relic Construct to be the Target of a Ranged attack, it must meet the following criteria:
The potential Target must be outside the attacker’s Region, and within Range of the attack.
- Ranges are measured in Regions from the center of the attacker’s Region to the center of the Target’s Region. The attacker’s Region is not counted in the Range, but the Target’s is.
- The Range of an attack can be modified by the Terrain of the attacker, as in the case of Hills, and by special effects.
Line of Sight (LOS)
The attacking Golem or Construct must have a clear Line of Sight (LOS) to the potential Target.
- Mountains and the edges of map tiles block all LOS.
- If the attacker is not on an Elevated Region and the LOS passes through an Elevated Region, then the LOS is blocked.
- The Elevation of the Target’s Region does not block LOS. In other words, a Golem can fire uphill to hit an enemy Golem if no other hills block the attack.
- If the attacker is in a Region with Elevated Terrain then they ignore all other Elevated Regions when determining LOS.
The app checks LOS in a very specific way:
- To check LOS, the app uses circular collision volumes within each Region to represent the Region’s Terrain type. The circle touches the sides of the Region’s borders and thus doesn’t cover a small area at each corner of the Region.
- The app draws a line from the center of the attacker’s Region to the center of the Target’s Region. If the line passes through the circle of a Region which would block LOS, then the LOS is blocked.
- This means that if the LOS of an attack just clips the corner of a blocking Region, it will not block the LOS. This is to represent that Regions aren’t totally occupied, and that hills, mountains, and even buildings are rounded.
Ranged Attack To-Hit Values
While Melee attacks use simple calculations, Ranged attacks are affected by many more modifiers. The To-Hit equation for Ranged attacks looks like this:
- Contested region penalty
- Intervening Cover
- Target Region Cover
- Target’s Dodge
= To-Hit number
Attacker in Contested Region
The contested Region penalty is a modifier to the attacker’s Accuracy for using a Ranged attack while an Enemy Golem (or Enemy Construct) is in the same Region as the attacker. This penalty is -20 to the attack’s Accuracy.
Intervening Cover modifiers are added for every Region the LOS passes through between the attacker’s Region and the Target’s Region. The values of the Cover modifiers can be found in the descriptions of the individual Terrain and Cover types above (see Terrain and Cover).
Note: The Intervening Cover calculations depend on the app’s determination of LOS, and as such will not include intervening Cover values for Regions which the LOS only clips a corner.
The Target’s Region may provide Cover to the Target (see Terrain and Cover).
Area-of-Effect attacks target multiple Golems or Relic Constructs in the same Region. The description of the attack will indicate which Targets will be affected by the attack: all enemies, all allies, or everyone in the Region. Ranged AOE attack Targets must meet all the criteria for normal Ranged attacks. Because the Target of a Ranged AOE attack is a Region and not a specific Golem, Ranged AOE attacks ignore Cover and Intervening Cover and the list of To-Hit modifiers is shorter:
Attack Accuracy – Contested Region penalty – Individual Target’s Dodge = To-Hit number
Each potential Target of a Ranged AOE attack will have its own To-Hit number because of varying Dodge values and status effects from special effects (see Rolling the Attack Dice).
Rolling the Attack Dice
The To-Hit number represents the percent chance an attack will succeed. To resolve an attack, the attacking player must now generate a random number between 1 and 100 by either rolling two ten-sided dice or allowing the app to perform the dice roll. The attack hits if the roll is either EQUAL TO or LESS THAN the To-Hit number.
There are some dice combinations that can award additional effects. Whenever you roll doubles (11, 22, 33, 44, etc.), the attack is an automatic success no matter what the To-Hit number for the attack is.
- If the result of the roll would have missed (for instance: if the To-Hit number is 65 and the rolled outcome is 99), the app will indicate you got a Lucky! Hit and the game will proceed as if a normal Hit was made (see Calculating Damage).
- If the result of the roll would have hit (for instance: if the To-Hit number is 65 and the rolled outcome is 11), the app will indicate you got a Crit! A Critical Hit deals 1.5 times the the attack’s Net Damage (see Calculating Damage).
- If the roll is 00 (a 100% on the dice), the result is a Super Crit! The super-critical hit deals 1.5 times the attack’s Net Damage, the activation cost is not doubled, and the attack doesn’t gain Cooldown!
Golem, Knight, Ancient One, and Relic abilities, and other special effects, may affect dice rolls. Additionally, some special effects occur on misses as well as on successful hits (see Special Effects).
Rolling Dice for an AOE Attack
In the case of Melee or Ranged Area-of-Effect attacks, which could have up to five targets (four small-base Golems and one Relic Construct), the dice are only rolled once, and the single result is compared to each Target’s To-Hit number. Because each Target will have its own To-Hit number, the AOE attack may hit some targets and miss others.
Once an attack has been determined to be a successful Hit, its Damage is then applied to the affected Targets using the following formula:
(Attack’s Net Damage*) – (Target’s Net Armor) = Final Damage
(Target’s Current Health) – (Final Damage) = new Health total
* The Net Damage of an attack is its Base Damage plus any modifications from special effects, such as Buffs and Debuffs.
In the event of a Critical Hit, the Crit Multiplier is applied to the Net Damage of the attack before the Target’s Armor reduces the Damage using the following formula:
(Attack’s Net Damage x 1.5 Critical Hit Multiplier) – (Target’s Net Armor) = Final Damage
Like Accuracy and Dodge, Damage and Armor values are often modified in the game by various effects. Checking the detailed information on a Golem or attack (by pressing both the confirm and page buttons together) will show all modifications being applied.
Note that many special effects use Base Damage to calculate their effects. Base Damage is the Damage an attack does before any modification. The Base Damage is always what is printed on the Golem card. For instance: an attack with Base Damage 25 has been increased to 35 with a Knight ability, but if a special effect states the Golem will gain Health equal to the Base Damage on a successful hit, then it will only gain 25 HP.
You can preview the Damage an attack will deal by checking the app before confirming the attack. The Health bar of the Target will show the amount of Damage the attack will do in gray. This predicted Damage does not include critical multipliers, but does take into account most other modifiers affecting the attack.
Once the attack is completed, the Final Damage dealt to the Target will be briefly displayed above the Target’s head. That number will also be displayed on screen until you proceed to your next action.
Golem, Knight, Ancient One, and Relic abilities, and other special effects, may all come into play when dealing Damage or modifying Armor. Read the descriptions of attacks and any other related abilities carefully, and remember that any applicable modifiers will appear in the app’s detailed information view.
Confirming After an Attack
Once Damage has been applied and displayed, the app will ask you to press the confirm button before proceeding. This is so you have a chance to review the results of your attack before moving on. When you confirm the end of the action, the screen will be cleared, and you can proceed to your next action.
In some cases, additional actions after an attack, such as displacement, must be confirmed before proceeding (see Special Effects).
Ability Special Effects
Many attacks have special effects that can affect more than just the Health of the Target. These effects can be used to used to create combinations with other attacks that make your army stronger or your opponent’s army weaker.
Special effects can be attached to:
- Golem passive abilities & attacks
- Knight passive & active abilities
- Ancient One Blessings & Curses
- Relic activations
- Relic Construct passive abilities & attacks
Types of Special Effects
Golem Arcana has six categories of special effects: buff, debuff, effects over time (EOT), splash, Displacement, and miscellaneous effects. These categories are shown in the app in various ways and are defined below.
A buff is any positive modification to a Golem or Construct, such as increasing the Accuracy of an attack. Buffed values will be highlighted green in the app.
This attack has a buff (+1 Range) from standing on a hill
Buffs will also be displayed in the detailed information view (accessed by pressing both the confirm and page buttons together) with the name of the ability that produced the buff. Attacks rarely buff enemy Golems.
A buff may last more than one Round, but its effect is static. For example: if the buff “+5 Armor for 3 Rounds” is placed on a Golem with 5 Armor, that Golem will have 10 Armor for 3 Rounds.
Abilities may only apply buffs under certain conditions. For instance: a passive ability may grant a Dodge increase, but only in Medium Cover. All such conditions are included in ability descriptions.
A debuff is any negative modification to a Golem or Construct, such as reducing a Golem’s Armor. Debuffed values will be highlighted red in the app.
This Golem’s Walk has been debuffed (MP set to 0 ) from an enemy’s attack
Debuffs will also displayed in the detailed information view with the name of the ability that produced the debuff.
A debuff may last more than one Round, but its effect is static. For example: if the debuff “-10 Accuracy for 3 rounds” is placed in a Golem, then it’s attack which normally has 30 Accuracy will be reduced to 20 Accuracy for the next 3 Rounds.
Abilities may only apply debuffs under certain conditions. For instance: a Curse may impose a Dodge decrease, but only on enemy Warsprites. All such conditions are included in ability descriptions.
Effects Over Time (EOT)
An effect over time is a special buff or debuff that has not only a duration, but changes over that period. EOTs may produce cumulative effects, or apply modifiers which change over the duration.
The most common example of a cumulative EOT is a Damage over time (DOT) effect, such as 5 Damage per Round for 5 Rounds. The Target of such an effect will ultimately take 25 Damage from the DOT.
An example of an EOT which changes values over its duration is a debuff that initially imposes -20 Accuracy, but diminishes by 5 every Round for 4 Rounds. This would result in the Target getting -20, -15, -10, and finally -5 Accuracy over the duration of the effect.
Effects over time always begin on the Target’s Turn. There are no modifiers that affect EOTs.
Attacks with splash effects can affect other Golems in the Region of the Target, but behave very differently than Area-of-Effect (AOE) attacks. The differences between the attack types are:
- AOE attacks potentially target all Golems (and any Construct) in a Region;
- An attack with a splash effect has an individual Target, and automatically applies that effect to the other Golems in the Target’s Region if it hits.
- AOE attacks deal the same Base Damage to all Targets they Hit.
- An attack with splash Damage can deal a different amount of Damage to the Target than to the other Golems affected by the splash Damage.
- Splash Damage can be additional to Damage-over-Time (DOT) effects.
Displacement is any effect that moves a Golem from one Region to another without an additional activation cost (see The Application and Resolution of Effects and Charging). Any ability that includes a displacement will also indicate what is displaced (the Target or the Attacker), the number of Regions of the displacement, and its direction.
The direction the Target or Attacker is displaced can be any of the following:
- Chosen: The player whose ability created the displacement will choose where the displaced Golem is moved. That player can choose up to the maximum number of Regions away, or choose not to move the Golem at all. For instance: if the displacement distance is 2 Regions, the player can move the Golem 2, 1, or 0 Regions away from its original location.
- Random: The app will randomly choose a direction to move the displaced Golem, and then will move that Golem in that direction up to the maximum number of Regions.
- Directional Push: The app will move the displaced Golem within the Range allowed by the displacement directly away from the source of the ability. If the displacement is caused by a Melee attack, the Target will be pushed toward its army’s nearest deployment zone. If the app cannot identify a legal destination Region for the displacement, the displaced Golem will not be moved from its original Region.
- Pull: The app will move the displaced Golem within the Range allowed by the displacement toward the source of the ability. If the maximum range of the pull displacement is not a legal location for the displaced Golem, the app will attempt to move it one fewer Region, and will continue to evaluate Regions on the path of the pull until it finds a legal location. If no legal locations exist on the path of the pull, the displaced Golem will remain in its original location. A pull effect will never pull the target past the source of the ability.
Attacks with displacement effects add an additional step to the normal combat resolution process. Once the Damage and any other special effects have been applied, the app will ask you to confirm the end of the attack, and then will resolve displacement.
If the displacement is random, a directional push, or a pull, the app will move the Golem on screen to its new location. You will be asked to confirm that the corresponding Golem figure has been moved to this location.
If displacement is chosen by the attacker, the app will ask you to tap a Region within Range of the displacement. Tap a Region with the Stylus, and the app will confirm whether that Region is legal, and move the displaced Golem there. After moving the corresponding Golem figure, you’ll confirm the movement, and proceed to your next action.
Special Displacement Rules
Resolving displacement can be complex, and is governed by some special rules which the app applies to displace a Golem:
- Movement costs for Terrain types are ignored when moving via displacement.
- Constructs cannot be displaced.
- Generally, special effects that have a condition or trigger based on movement will not trigger on a displacement. Some special effects can be triggered or may continue as active on the Golem that is displaced by a displacement. Specific abilities will clarify whether they activate purely on movement or whether displacement can trigger them.
- Golems can’t be displaced into Mountains, fully obstructed Terrain, or any Region where the Golem couldn’t normally fit into due to the Region’s Occupancy Limit.
- The app will always attempt to displace a Golem to a legal Region at the maximum Range of an effect’s displacement. For example: if an attack includes a directional push of 2 Regions, the app will always try to move the Golem 2 Regions away from the attacker’s position. If it can’t move the Golem the maximum distance, the app will attempt to move it one fewer Region in the same direction, or will repeat this assessment until it determines there are no legal Regions into which the Golem can be displaced, in which case the Golem will not move at all.
- An ability with a special effect that includes a displacement will affect all Golems unless otherwise noted in the ability description.
- Charging, a special combination of movement and Melee attacks, is a unique form of displacement, restricted by Golem class (see Charging).
- Warsprites can only displace other Warsprites;
- Ogres can only displace Ogres and Warsprites;
- Titans can displace Titans, Ogres, and Warsprites:
- Colossus can displace all other Golems.
There are many combinations of the displacement powers, so it’s important to read the description of the ability you want to use to understand how it may work.
Miscellaneous Special Effects
There are special effects which are unique and don’t fit any of the above categories, or are unusual combinations of the above types. This category includes abilities that affect other Golems’ abilities, turn Range attacks into Melee attacks, or temporarily grant Golems different movement abilities. These have their own rules, which will always be explained in the ability description.
The Application and Resolution of Effects
THE APPLICATION AND RESOLUTION OF EFFECTS
How special effects are applied is just as important as the effects themselves.
Golem & Knight Passive Effects
Whether a passive ability belongs to a Golem or its Knight, the effect from a passive ability is applied at the start of the game and remains in effect until the Golem is destroyed, or the effect is countered by another special effect.
In many cases, passive abilities include conditions that must be met before their special effects are applied. For instance: a passive ability might provide a buff of +20 Accuracy if the Golem is in Medium Cover. In this case, although the passive ability is always in effect, the buff is only granted when the Golem is attacking from Medium Cover.
Passive effects are usually buffs, but may include other elements of the different types of effects listed above.
Knight Powers (Active Abilities)
While many Knights have passive abilities, just as many have abilities that must be deliberately activated. These abilities are called active abilities, and require the payment of an activation cost (AP, Health, or Mana) in order to use them, just like a Golem’s attack ability. Most Knights’ active abilities’ activation costs will double and will incur Cooldown when used, just like Golems’ activated abilities. Some Knight abilities have activation costs of Health, which can double because of Cooldown. Players need to be careful not to accidentally destroy their own Golems when using these abilities.
Like passive abilities, many Knights’ active abilities affect the Golem the Knight is commanding. In these cases you simply need to confirm the activation of the ability. However, some Knights’ active abilities target other Golems or Knights, in which case you must select the target, like you would for a Golem’s attack.
Knights exist only in the app. To use a Knight’s active ability, select the Knight by tapping the helmet icon on the Golem’s base sticker or on the Golem card. You can also select the Golem the Knight is commanding and then cycle through its abilities with the page button until the Knight and its ability appear.
Golem Attacks With Special Effects
Golem attack special effects are always evaluated on the completion of the attack. The special effect evaluation takes place whether the attack hits or misses, because some special effects are only applied after a missed attack.
For example: the Brambled Widow’s Root Wrap is an attack with a special effect that reduces the Target’s Movement by 2 for 2 Rounds if the Target is in Medium Cover. If the attack Hits, but the Target Golem isn’t in Medium Cover, the attack will deal its Damage, but won’t reduce the Target’s Movement.
You can see what special effects were applied after an attack by opening the detailed information view (accessed by pressing both the confirm and page buttons together) right after the attack resolution, before confirming the end of the attack.
Ancient One Miracle Special Effects
When a player uses an Ancient One to activate a Miracle, its effect is immediately applied to all affected Golems currently on the board. In many cases, the affected Golems are all allies, but Miracles can also affect all enemy Golems, all Golems of a certain class, or other subsets and groups. Miracle effects will be displayed in the detailed information view of any affected Golem.
Ancient One Blessing & Curse Special Effects
Both Blessings and Curses are placed into a particular Region and remain in that Region until moved to another Region or dispelled. A Region can contain one Blessing and one Curse.
Like other abilities, Blessings and Curses can have conditions specifying which Golems their abilities affect. When a Golem is in a Region with a Blessing or Curse and meets the ability’s conditions, it will be subject to the ability’s special effect. This occurs whether the Blessing or Curse is placed in a Region which already contains one or more Golems, or when a Golem enters a Region that already contains a Blessing or Curse. When a Golem leaves a Region with a Blessing or Curse, the ability’s special effects are immediately removed from the Golem.
Region-Based Special Effects
Like Blessings and Curses, these special effects are only applied to a Golem or Construct when in a specific Region. These can be inherent effects like the Hill Range bonus (see Terrain) or effects placed in a Region by Golem, Knight, or Relic abilities.
If a scenario includes a special Region-based effect, it also falls into this category.
Stacking of Special Effects
STACKING OF SPECIAL EFFECTS
Since many special effects can affect a Golem at the same time, it’s important to know how all of these effects interact and stack with each other. Fortunately, the app will track special effects for you and determine when various special effects should stack and when they shouldn’t. It’s helpful though to understand how the app determines when special effects stack and when they don’t.
As discussed above, special effects can be generated by many different abilities. At the most basic level, when determining how special effects will interact with each other, the app considers two important factors: the source for each modifier and whether the source was an Ally or Enemy.
Special effect source categories include:
- Golems (G) & Constructs (C)
- Knights (K)
- Ancient Ones (A)
- Relics (R)
Each of these different sources can contribute modifiers to a Golem’s attribute or characteristic, such as Accuracy or Damage, and they will all stack together as long as there aren’t multiple modifiers from the same source(*).
In addition to the specific source of the special effect though, the app will also determine whether the source is from an Ally or an Enemy. So while a Golem will not benefit from multiple modifiers from the same Ally source, it could be affected by both an Ally and Enemy source simultaneously.
- Each attribute will only be affected by a single modifier from a given source(*).
- Ally and Enemy sources are considered unique sources and may both affect the same attribute simultaneously.
- If multiple effects from the same Ally or Enemy source are competing, only the most recent effect will affect the attribute or characteristic.
- Each effect will maintain its full duration and may still apply after a competing effect expires.
- (*)Ancient Ones and Relics are not restricted by Stacking rules.
Stacking: Ancient Ones and Relics
The Ancient Ones provide some of the most powerful magical effects in Eretsu. Ancient Ones are governed by their own restrictions, but are not bound by the normal stacking rules. Blessings and Curses are restricted to one of each in a particular Region, but multiple Regions may apply Blessings and Curses to a given ability roll. Miracles are restricted to use once per Turn, but multiple Miracles may be invoked from different Ancient Ones and each invoked Miracle may potentially affect the same attribute or characteristic.
Relics are similarly imbued with the powers of the Ancient Ones. Relics have powerful but limited special effects. In the rare instances that multiple Relics can be utilized to affect a single attribute or characteristic, all Relic special effects will stack.
Let’s look at a few examples from a battle between the Dominion and the Empire.
Zitala the Arcanist is piloting a Blood Channeler in combat against the Empire. The battle has been raging for a long time, but now Zitala is facing down a resilient Growling Phalanx, piloted by Sir Ramaka, unscathed by the battle thus far. Wanting to unleash as much damage upon the heavily armored Phalanx as possible, Zitala’s army invokes a powerful Miracle, Fury’s Claws, from the Ancient One, Urugal Har-Ten, granting all allied Golems +15 Melee Damage. Next, Zitala invokes the powers of a mighty Relic, Tarmonud’s Codex, which grants the Blood Channeler an extra 15 Damage to all attacks for this Round. Now, Zitala hits the Phalanx with a Precision Slice which will do its Base Damage of 25 plus 15 Damage from Fury’s Claws and 15 Damage from Tarmonud’s Codex for an impressive 55 Net Damage. If you Deep Dive, the attack’s Damage looks like this.
|Fury’s Claws (A)||+15|
|Tarmonud’s Codex (R)||+15|
The Blood Channeler hits the Growling Phalanx with an impressive blow, but it’s not nearly enough to stop the Phalanx. However, when Precision Slice hits successfully it Buffs itself with an extra 10 Accuracy and an extra 25 Damage. Zitala isn’t done yet though. He wants to make sure he crushes the Empire’s Golem with his next blow, so Zitala activates his Reckless Wrath, penalizing his own Accuracy by 20%, but boosting the Damage of his Blood Channeler’s next attack by 20. Here’s what all the Damage modifiers look like when you check the Deep Dive for another Precision Slice.
|Fury’s Claws (A)||+15|
|Tarmonud’s Codex (R)||+15|
|Precision Slice (G)||+25|
|Reckless Wrath (K)||+20|
As long as the various modifiers are coming from different sources, they can all affect the Blood Channeler’s Damage for its next attack. It’s even possible for more than one attribute to be modified at the same time for the same attack. In this instance, the Blood Channeler’s Accuracy is also under the influence of several modifiers while its Damage has been boosted.
|Precision Slice (G)||+10|
|Reckless Wrath (K)||-20|
Zitala launches his attack, but his Reckless Wrath proves to be his undoing as he misses Sir Ramaka’s Growling Phalanx with the second Precision Slice. His attempt at overkill leaves the Empire’s Titan functioning and now it can respond to the Blood Channeler’s attack.
Desperate to avoid the destruction of his Growling Phalanx, Sir Ramaka attempts to crush the Blood Channeler with Stonefist, but misses. This triggers Sir Ramaka’s Warning Shot passive ability though and boosts his Accuracy by 15. With the extra Accuracy, the Growling Phalanx uses Golem Toss and throws the Blood Channeler into an adjacent Region and then hits the Gudanna Titan with Blinding Jewel, decreasing the Blood Channeler’s Accuracy by 15% for 2 Rounds.
|Blinding Jewel (G)||-15|
While modifiers from the same source are restricted, both Ally and Enemy sources are counted separately and can affect a Golem’s attribute simultaneously. The cumulative effects from the Ally and Enemy sources will contribute to the net value of the attribute or characteristic.
While the two Titans have been struggling, Zitala’s Valkali ally has closed upon their position. Seeing the Blood Channeler struck by the Phalanx’s Blinding Jewel, the Valkali activates the Mask of Burden and channels its energies into the Blood Channeler. Zitala’s Blood Channeler gains 10 Accuracy and 10 Damage at the cost of 15 Health per Turn. Trying to reclose the distance, the Blood Channeler targets the Growling Phalanx with Closing Strike.
|Blinding Jewel (G)||-15|
|Mask of Burden (G)||+10|
So competing effects from an Ally and Enemy source will both work to modify a given attribute or characteristic at the same time. However, If a Golem is affected by a special effect from a source that is already modifying a given characteristic, only the newest effect will modify the attribute in question.
Seeing the Blood Channeler preparing to make its Closing Strike against the Growling Phalanx and finish it off, the Empire’s Wildwood Dryad attacks Zitala with Grasping Vines to try and decrease the Blood Channeler’s Accuracy by another 10%. However, since Blinding Jewel is still present on the Blood Channeler, both special effects come from Golem (G) abilities, and both effects come from an Enemy army, they won’t stack. Checking out the Blood Channeler’s Deep Dive will now reveal the following:
|Mask of Burden (G)||+10|
|Grasping Vines (G)||-10|
By trying to stack up too many effects on the Blood Channeler, the Wildwood Dryad has actually improved the Blood Channeler’s Accuracy. Both effects are actually on the Blood Channeler, but only the most recent effect from the same source applies its modifier to the attribute. This is important to note because each effect still maintains its normal Duration, so if the overwriting effect expires, the original effect may once again modify the attribute.
The detailed information view for any Golem or ability (press both the confirm and page buttons together while the Golem or ability is selected) will display the original statistics and most modifiers currently in effect. Use this information to determine whether an attack’s special effect will stack with or simply replace an existing special effect.
A Charge combines a Golem’s primary Movement ability and a Melee attack into a single action. A Golem can only Charge if it couldn’t normally move into the Target’s Region because the Occupancy Limit is filled. In other words, if the attacking Golem can fit into the Target’s Region, it must separately move and then attack instead of combining the two actions into a Charge. Since the AP cost of a Charge is the sum of the movement ability and the Melee attack, there is no AP advantage in Charging.
There are five aspects of a Charge, which are resolved in order:
- The attacking Golem must meet the Charge criteria.
- The selected Melee attack and non-displacement special effects are resolved.
- The displacement of the Target Golem is resolved.
- The final location of the Charging Golem is resolved.
- The attack’s displacement and any subsequent special effects are resolved.
In order to use a Charge attack, the attacking Golem must meet the following criteria:
- Enough Movement to move into the Target’s Region. This is includes any added Movement cost for Terrain.
- Note: If a Golem has more than one Movement ability, the app will always use the primary one (that is, the first one listed) for Charging.
- The attacking Golem must have at least one Melee attack. If the attacking Golem has more than one Melee attack, you can select any of them to use in the Charge.
- You must have enough AP for both the Movement ability and the Melee attack, including any Breakaway costs that might apply.
If these criteria are all met, the app will highlight Regions the Golem could Charge when you select its Melee attack.
Resolving the Melee Attack & Attack Special Effects
The Melee attack is resolved as if the attacking Golem was effectively in the same Region as the Target Golem. However, any special effects that might affect the attack are determined based upon the starting Regions of the Charger and its Target. For example, a Blessing that improves the Charger’s Accuracy will need to be in the Region where the attack begins. A Curse needs to be placed within the Target’s Region to affect it. All non-displacement attack special effects whose criteria are met are applied.
Charge Target Golem Displacement
If the attack is successful and the attacking Golem is of equal or larger class than the Target Golem, or if the attack was a Critical Hit, then the Target is randomly pushed out of its original Region to an adjacent Region. The app will ask you to move the displaced Golem’s figure to its new location and confirm the move.
Charging Golem Final Location
If the original Region of the displaced Golem now has enough room for the attacking Golem, then it ends its movement in that Region. If the Region does not have enough room, then the attacking Golem will end its movement in the last Region it would have moved through to enter the Target’s Region. In other words, the attacking Golem will end up in the Region adjacent to the Target’s Region on the Charge’s path of movement.
Attack Displacement Special Effects
If the Melee attack includes a displacement special effect, it is not applied until after the Charge displacement is resolved. For instance: the Dune Viper’s free extra movement from its Slippery Strike will take place after all other effects of the Charge attack have been resolved.
Charging Using an AOE Melee
Charging with an AOE Melee attack offers the potential to displace multiple Golems from a Region. Because an AOE Charge has multiple Targets, the resolution of the Charge and resulting displacement is slightly different.
AOE Charge Target Golem Displacement
Each Golem hit by the Melee AOE Charge will be displaced if it’s equal to or smaller than the Charging Golem. The app will ask you to move each displaced Golem to the location indicated, one at a time, then press Confirm. If the displacement of previous Golems results in no legal location for a subsequently displaced Golem, that Golem will stay in its original Region.
AOE Charging Golem Final Location
If the Charging Golem can’t fit in the Target Region without displacing multiple Golems, then the Charge must succeed in displacing enough Golems to make room for the Charging Golem’s base in order for that Golem to end its Charge in the Target Region. If the Region does not have enough room after the Target Golems’ displacement, then the Charging Golem will end its movement in the last Region it would have moved through to enter the Target Region. In other words, the Charging Golem will end up in the Region adjacent to the Target Region on the Charge’s path of movement.
Charging, Movement, and Cooldown
Normally, a Golem will incur Cooldown on both its Melee ability and its Movement ability on an attempted Charge, successful or not. However, some special rules apply to the Charger’s Movement ability Cooldowns. If a Golem does not leave its current Region during a Charge, the Movement ability activation cost and Cooldown period will not increase. The army still pays the AP cost for the Movement + Melee ability, but the Movement ability does not suffer the usual penalties for Cooldown.
- If the Charging Golem is starting from further away than an adjacent Region, its Movement ability activation cost and Cooldown period will increase, because even if it misses or is not able to dislodge its target, it will still leave its current Region.
- If the Charging Golem is in an adjacent Region and misses its target, neither its Movement ability activation cost or Cooldown period will increase.
- If the attacking Golem is in an adjacent Region and cannot displace its target (because it is smaller Class than the Target, there is no room in the Region, or no valid Region to displace the Target), neither its Movement ability activation cost or Cooldown period will increase.
Colossus-class Golems are the largest physical game pieces you can play, and they also have some unique characteristics and rules.
Colossi and Charges
Colossus-class Golems have a quad-sized base which completely fills a Region. That means no other Golems can fit into the same Region. Because no other Golems can fit into a Region with a Colossus, any Melee attacks it makes, or made against it, must be Charges (see Charging).
Colossi Size Considerations
Due to its enormous size, a Colossus is almost treated as a walking mountain:
- Colossi block LOS like Mountain Regions.
- Colossi do not receive the +1 Range bonus from Elevated Terrain.
- Hills do not block LOS for Colossi.
- A Colossus will destroy obstructions in any Region it enters. This removes the obstructions’ restriction on the Region’s Occupancy Limit, and changes the Region to Medium Cover to reflect the rubble of the crushed obstruction.
Colossi Knights, Damage, Breakdowns, & Mana
Colossi are commanded by three Knights, all assigned during army creation. As it takes Damage, a Colossus will suffer Breakdowns, losing access to some of its attacks and Knights.
- When a Colossus drops below 60% of its Health, a random attack ability will be Shut Down and no longer be available to use.
- When a Colossus drops below 40% of its Health, a random Knight commanding it will be Shut Down and can no longer be used.
- When a Colossus drops below 20% of its Health, a second random Knight AND a second random active ability will be Shut Down.
These losses are cumulative as the Colossus’ Health decreases. If the Colossus regains enough Health to raise it over these Breakdown points it will regain its lost abilities and Knights at the same rate.
As a Colossus loses Health and passes these Breakdown points, its army will earn a portion of the Colossus’ destruction Mana ((Colossus APV + Knights APV) x 20%).
- When a Colossus loses enough health to go past a Breakdown point, it’s Army will gain 25% of its destruction Mana (60/40/20% Health).
If a Colossus gains enough health to go back over a Breakdown point, it will regain a lost Knight and/or Attack — BUT, when it loses enough Health to breakdown again, it will not gain another portion of Deaof Destruction Mana.