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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Grim Darkness of CONQUEST! (Pt II)

In Part One we looked at the cards and CONQUEST from a general point of view. In this article we'll talk about the game turn, and scoring.

The game is divided into 4 phases. The first is the DEPLOY PHASE. This is when you play army units, supports, attachments, and any events you may have. Army units played from your hand on this turn may be placed at a planet, so the game board will look something like this:

One of the 5 face up planets (the one farthest from the 2 face down planets on turn one) will be desginated as the FIRST PLANET with a small token.

Once both players have passed (either having no more cards to play or having no more resources to pay for cards), the game moves to the COMMAND PHASE. In the first step of the Command Phase, each player secretly commits their warlord to one of the face up planets using a small dial. Players reveal the dial simultaneously, and move their Warlords as well as any army units at HQ to the planet. Army units moved in this way are exhausted (same as tapped for you magic the gathering players).

In Phase 2, starting with the first planet, you check to see who has command of the planet, and thus reaps the command rewards. Remember the "command icons" on the unit cards in the previous article? No? Here's a refresher- they're the little hammer icons in the center left. The Leman Russ has a whopping 4 (more than most!). Here's how it works:

If there are no Warlords present OR both players' Warlords present, compare the total number of command icons. The player with the most wins the command struggle.

Otherwise, if only one player has a Warlord present on a planet and the other player doesn't, the player with the Warlord automatically wins the command struggle at that planet.

When you win the command struggle, you draw the number of cards (bottom left) and gain the number of resources (bottom right) indicated on the planet card.

Now that the Command Phase has been done, it's on to the BATTLE PHASE. Starting with the first planet, players alternate attacking with ready units on a planet. Attacks are simple- declare and exhaust an attacker and declare what enemy unit his target is. Then deal the attacker's ATTACK value in damage to the Defender. The defending unit's owner may discard a card with an indicated armor value to reduce the damage.

Units who have received damage equal to or in excess of their hit points are automatically discarded. Once there are no more ready units at a planet, the players (starting with the first player) have the opportunity to retreat one or more units. Retreated units simply return to the HQ in whatever state they were currently in. After both players have made the decision to retreat or not, all units are readied, and the process starts over again until one (or both!) sides have no surviving units at a planet.

Warlords who receive wounds equal to or in excess of their Hit Points are Bloodied (flipped to their bloodied side). If a bloodied warlord is killed, its owning player loses the game! Warlords can retreat at any time when they are normally given an opportunity to attack (they exhaust and return to HQ instead of attacking).

Battles always occur at the First Planet, and where at least one Warlord is present. After winning a battle at a planet, the winning player may activate the "Battle" ability printed on the planet card.

The player who won the battle at the first planet (and only the first planet) adds the planet to his victory display, and returns all of the surviving units from the first planet to his HQ area. In subsequent turns, when he commits the Warlord during the command phase, they will follow him (but arrive exhausted).

Finally, the round ends with the HQ Phase. The first face down planet is revealed (if any are still face down), and the first planet token is placed on the next planet down the line. Then each player generates 4 resources, and draws 2 cards. Finally, the initiative token is passed to the next player and the game goes on until one player controls 3 planets with the same symbol or a warlord is defeated.

Check back soon for more articles about CONQUEST!

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