I’m Ken Nagle, design lead for Transformers TCG. Today I’m presenting a systems rules change that we’ve been going over internally for a while now.
We think it’s important to make sure that we’re proactive in protecting the ongoing health of the game, especially when a set is released, and new interactions are introduced.
That is why starting today, we are going to introduce a “one extra turn only” rule to the game.
In the Beginning
As far as the system design goes, there’s a lot of “do one thing” in our game. Draw one card. Play one Action. Play one Upgrade. Flip one character. Then attack. Case in point – the reason you can only use the tap ability of a Micro Master even if you have multiple tappers is that it fits cleanly into the rules doc explaining all the other 1-things allowed in a turn, and it’s also another protection against too many things happening in a turn.
There’s inherent repetition to the game given that all battle cards automatically reshuffle when your deck empties. This is quite dangerous as far as repeating the game goes. We haven’t made any way to KO your own battle cards mostly on the basis that slimming down a repeating deck can (and will) take all of the variance out of the game completely.
Your played and flipped cards stay in the played area as another catch-all solution so you simply can’t play more of the same battle card 3 times in a turn – they are all in your played area and can’t be shuffled back in until you pass the turn.
But they can if your goal is to pass the turn into your own turn.
One Extra Turn in a Row
Given there’s one of each of the things mentioned, we’re going to enforce only one extra turn in a row going forward. The only card this affects is Peace Through Tyranny:
Note that this is a change to the game itself going forward. Peace Through Tyranny still has two orange battle icons, can still be played in tournaments, you can play 3 copies of it, and still can KO your own 6*+ character to take an extra turn. The only difference now is you can’t take more than one extra turn in a row. So, the 2nd Peace Through Tyranny in a row won’t create an extra turn for you. You can’t “stack up” extra turns.
We’ve been playing combo decks internally for a month now that can take many extra turns in a row. In fact, the combo decks can take every turn in a row until it finally finds a way to win the game. It can be a slow and laborious process, which is quite the opposite of a fast-paced battle between alien robots. It’s important to maintain both the speed of our game and the back-and-forth cadence that guarantees that each player is actively engaged in the game
We want players to actively tinker and discover things we didn’t. We like the potential of combo decks in the game but don’t want them to be the only powerful strategy. We did consider banning Private Red Heat like we had banned Swap Parts, but through testing and discussion we came to the conclusion that a deck that takes more than one extra turn in a row is almost certainly engaged in shenanigans that are outside the scope of healthy Transformers TCG play.
Note that Swap Parts will remain banned after this rule change. That card generates too much value for too little cost. The infinite turns deck was just the first outlet for that engine.
There will always be a “best card” no matter what. With a hard one extra turn rule, you can’t replenish your deck with every card from your played area in perpetuity. It’s certainly possible to do many, many things in a single turn of Transformers TCG, and it still will be, but you’ll need to make it count if it’s in an extra turn.
Note that it’s possible for you to take your normal turn, then you take an extra turn, then your opponent takes their turn, then you take your normal, then you take an extra turn, then your opponent takes their turn, etc.
As an upside to a hard one extra turn in a row rule, we should be able now to create more “extra turn” generating cards if we know they can’t be chained together.
For example, Elita-1 was going to have a KO trigger to take an extra turn instead of her Leap of Faith effect:
This is to showcase her time fluctuation abilities especially when the going gets tough. However, it didn’t take long in playtesting to see it wasn’t a balance-able ability. We felt Leap of Faith still feels enough like “an extra turn” without actually being one.
The final upside is that when you sit down to play a game, you know you’ll eventually get the turn back if your opponent takes an extra turn unless your opponent finds a way to KO all your characters during that extra turn.
That’s it for this system rules update. Having only one extra turn in a row should be invisible for over 99% of players and provide a healthier metagame for the 1% of players it affects.
Until next time, may we not be doomed to repeat our past mistakes; may we watch our opponents repeat theirs – once.