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!

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