Greetings! I’m Ken Nagle, design lead for Transformers TCG. Today I have a battle card reveal for War for Cyberton: Siege II, which is Wave 4 of our releases.
War of Attrition
My preview battle card today is War of Attrition:
War of Attrition is following the footsteps of other “green collect-me” mechanic battle cards like Focus Fire and Sonic Scramble:
As game designers, we like battle cards like this. In the system design, each battle card we design is somewhere along a spectrum, roughly described as this (with Wave 1 battle cards to describe them):
- Situational 4 damage once – Grenade Launcher
- Reliable 3 damage once – Leap into Battle
- Repeated 2 damage – Primary Laser
- Prevent 1 damage repeatedly – Armored Plating
- Prevent 2 damage once – Medic!
- Unreliable prevent 3 damage once – Force Field
It doesn’t exactly line up like this, but it’s a close enough approximation. We arrived here for a few reasons:
- The human brain finds it easiest to add and subtract small positive integers. Since we’re an analog game, players have to do the math themselves. In particular, going above then below the number 10 repeatedly is big step in harder arithmetic, so one of my game design philosophies for Transformers TCG is that attacking for 10 or more is a momentous occasion and not every turn.
- The offensive damage numbers are about 1 point greater than the defensive numbers to help ensure the game moves along to a conclusion. After all, players can play any battle cards they want so we bias the system towards offense being the default.
With the “collect 3” mechanic on War of Attrition, the card gets to break this scale and be on both the top end of both the offense and defense spectrum at the same time by both doing 3 damage and repairing 3 damage. Since we know the player must go through most or all of the battle deck to get there, we can reward this patient gameplay pattern with a much swingier effect.
War of Attrition also showcases that we default to the offensive option – its base effect is to do 1 damage (instead of a base effect to repair 1 damage).
However, the real reason War of Attrition exists, is that we needed another green action for the Air Strike Patrol. Introducing a new member of the Air Strike Patrol, Raider Nightflight!
Today we saw the new preview of War of Attrition and how it mechanically gets to potently play both offense and defense because of its methodical nature. Truly, if you play this card like I do, it will feel like an actual War of Attrition with your opponent’s health slowly but surely melting away as you keep your characters healthy, much to their frustration.
Thanks for reading this preview. I hope you enjoy War for Cybertron: Siege Part II on sale November 8th!
Until next time, may you bide your time to strike when opportunity knocks.