Recruits: A Key Component of Squarriors the Card Game

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Uncle Sam the Crow Wants YOU To Join The TIN KIN ARMY!

Each member of your tribe in Squarriors the Card Game is a valuable part of the whole. Unique, named, Creatures that begin the game in your tribe are some of your greatest assets but adding Recruits during gameplay can shift the winning balance. These random animals start small but can be trained into useful beasts which rival the starting crew. As they progress, certain specializations occur giving them advantages in specific situations and allowing any player to cover holes in their strategy by properly promoting Recruits.

Usually, Recruits are obtained in exchange for Power but there are specific cards that make getting one even easier. Any player can buy a Recruit during their turn but Recruits cannot attack, move, or otherwise Expend on the first turn they enter play. They’re new to the gang and still adjusting. Although level 1 Recruits cost 3 Power, training them to level 2 or level 3 costs only 2 Power per level. It’s easier to improve the people you have than to find new people.

A level 1 Recruit has the lowest, most basic, stats and is easy to lose. However, he can do basic things like stand guard to prevent automatic Domain withering, Expend to help with another card’s ability, or even be sacrificed for a variety of reasons: the Amoni like to eat their weak and regain strength. In some situations, a single Recruit can even make a much larger difference in determining who wins or dies during Dominance battles. They can also make meager attempts to block Stealth or Manipulation attempts or even add their limited Will to Leadership Challenges.

There are two types of level 2 Recruits: the Student and the Soldier. Each of them gains a single Blood, making them a little more durable in combat, and one other stat: a Student gains Will, a Soldier gains Might. Student’s will now be a little better at helping win Leadership Challenges and Manipulation Attacks while the Soldiers will add a real punch to Dominance or Stealth battles. Of course, a player may pay 5 Power all at once to buy either level 2 Recruit but they will still be subject to the same turn 1 limitations as a level 1.

Players can also play 7 Power and buy a single level 3 Recruit in any of 4 types. This is more Power than a player would normally be able to generate in a single turn and represents a considerable amount of effort invested. These badass tribe members gain a third Blood point, making them as sturdy as a mouse, and get a bonus stat during their specialized attack. A Rogue gains Might during Stealth attacks (or while blocking them) and a Warriors gains Might during any Dominance battle he is involved with. Influencers gain Will when trying to Manipulate other Creatures and Leaders gain Will during, you guessed it, Leadership Challenges.

In addition to all that, an often overlooked feature to these level 3 Recruits is that they gain a Strategy type like Unique Creatures have. In the matching type to their specialized attack, they will now benefit from other cards that target these types. This can often be a major effect that gives these already awesome Recruits a serious advantage. Especially later into the game, it can be easy to start to rely on Recruits to actually make any progress.

We think that this dynamic concept will provide more depth of options to our players. Having a balanced access to tribal growth gives players a more level field upon which to conquer one another. We also have some very exciting things already planned for Recruits in future Squarriors expansions!

To learn more about specific Recruit cards, please visit and “like” our Facebook page!

Whatever Your Code, A Tribe Needs Power

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Developing an in-game currency or resource has been one of the greatest challenges for Squarriors the Card Game. Our “Power” system is still evolving and will continue to grow in future expansions. Spending it allows you to play Tactic cards from your hand, recruit new members of your tribe, activate Creature’s abilities, and more. However, the most interesting and developed aspect of Power is actually where it comes from.

Each of the three Domains in STCG start with a Power value. As long as the sum total of all three Domains is equal to or less than 12, players are free to set these values to any number on a six-sided die. During the game, these values will increase and decreased based on the players’ actions and duly represent the current state of the game at any point: generally speaking, a player with a higher total of Domain values should be considered “winning.”

Whenever a Domain’s Power value is reduced to below 1, that Domain is destroyed and the entire point of STCG is to eliminate your opponents’ Domains. Any player that loses 2 of their 3 Domains is removed from the game. The last player is considered the winner. When players succeed at certain actions on their turn, they are given the opportunity to raise or lower various Power values depending on the specific action. Having access to Power to spend makes controlling these values easier.

All that said, Power is created for each player at the start of their turn. After the previous player has officially ended their turn, a player gains Power equal to their then-highest Domain Power value. This currency does not reset at the end of a turn and can be saved across several turns to spend on one grand attack.

Power is the most important variable in effectively destroying enemy Domains but the Domain Power values are at the mercy of enemy attacks. Not only do these values change wildly from turn to turn, the decision of which value to alter at any given time is a crucial choice that can make or a break a game. Destroying an opponent’s Domain, reducing their Power generation, saving a low Domain you control, or boosting your own Power generation are all potential options at any given moment.

Furthermore, there are cards that will target and destroy an opponent’s Power, give passive boosts to your own Power generation, adjust Power costs of certain actions, and in other ways affect the importance of Power in the game. This shifting balance can dramatically alter the tides of battle between Tribes and gives losing players a reliable method of halting the snowball effect and reducing enemy efficacy in moments of desperation. We hope our Power system will open up Squarriors the Card Game for endless replayability and an engrossingly strategic metagame.

This isn’t how our Power game-mechanic always functioned. Not that long ago, we started each turn with Power equal to the sum of all our Domains and lost any unspent Power before the start of our turn. Your resource pool could still be saved after your turn to spend on opponent’s turns but would be lost if not spent before the start of your next turn. This was an inefficient and overly stressful method of currency management. Conversely, it also gave players almost too many options at the beginning of the game and made the game feel like a downward spiral instead of a ramping-up adventure. We also experimented with only using the LOWEST Domain value at the start of each turn but this made for some confusing decisions that rewarded players for making bad decisions.

In the past, STCG actually included 2 resources to manage: Power, which was more or less the same as it is now, and a Food which was used to upkeep Creatures each turn or season (yes, the game also had seasons at one point). Running out of Food could mean killing your own Creatures or sometimes even losing them to an opponent who was capable of feeding them. Upkeep does still exist in the game and Creatures still have a “Food” stat on their card, but this is done simply by comparing the total Food requirement of all a player’s Creatures to the total Domain Powers of all a player’s remaining Domain. As long as there is more total Power than total Food required, Creatures are fine. However, any Creature unable to be fed takes a point of Blood damage at the start of each turn.

These rules are subject to change before the game is launched; we are still Beta Testing STCG. However, we really enjoy being in this sweet-spot and it feels right where it is. If you’ve watched our livestreams or attended any of our game-testing events, this should help you understand a little better. If you haven’t, make sure you head over to our Facebook page and stay connected!

Is Squarriors the Card Game ready to launch today?

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I think we can all agree about that.

But, because that’s obviously false, I’ll elaborate.

We have a game that is fun to play. If you’ve watched any of our livestreams, it should be obvious that we love playing it and are insanely excited to see how other people play it. We want to put the cards in your hands yesteryear.

This game has gone through so many versions before reaching its current state. Elements of the game, such as feeding creatures, seasons, equipment, capturing strongholds, and more that we really enjoyed, have been removed the game, added back, and removed again for the sake of the game. Some of these have been transformed into other game concepts, some will be revealed in future expansions, and some are gone forever.

Still, minor text amendments and some continued testing are required before we can sell this game. We’re shooting some tutorial videos to help people learn better and are already working with multiple manufacturers to get these cards printed as soon as possible. Stay tuned to our social medias for updates on open game testing events if you want to help and be sure to preorder a Limited Edition Ghost Playmat if you haven’t already: it’s the perfect collector’s companion to the card game.

We’re hoping to have to have our Kickstarter launch within 45 days of this post. There are going to be some very cool early adopter bonuses and promotional items that you won’t be able to get anywhere else. We’re currently exploring foil print cards but lenticular printing has also been discussed. Let’s see other card games do that.

There will be some awesome announcements in the coming months beyond just Squarriors the Card Game, as well. And no, unfortunately, I’m not talking about an apocalyptic event wiping out all humans and instilling sentience within woodland critters.