This article is a preview of Terrene Encounters, an upcoming project developed by studio CGC Games and published by Level 99 Games. Look out for it in the next few months on Kickstarter!
Terrene Encounters has a few supporting systems that bring the experience and flavor to life. Let's take a look at them.
- Traveler Spells
- Losing Timeline stability
- XP cards
Supporting System 1: Traveler Spells
The traveler you choose at the start of the game is your main character, and you will lose when they are defeated. Each Traveler comes with three spells that give them a unique arsenal and core strategy. Cast these on your turn and recover them using your Traveler's printed Rest ability.
Knowing when to rest is important. Travelers and Recruits can only act once per turn, which means you will be choosing between resting and attacking with your Traveler turn by turn. Given that the Traveler is also one of the strongest attackers on an average team, this is a big decision.
Spells grow more powerful as you gather Recruits from the Time Portals. Each Recruit provides elemental magic symbols, which power up specific spells in your arsenal. Often, you'll find yourself drafting a particular hero mainly to support your Traveler's Spell Power, rather than for their combat abilities. This is just one way that Terrene Encounters makes each hero draft meaningful in multiple ways, depending on the needs of your party.
Spells and their Interaction with Drafting
Every traveler has a Basic, Advanced, and Ultimate spell. The power of spells increase based on the elements you control. The game features 6 elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, Light and Dark. Across your three spells, all elements are present regardless of who you are playing, but spread out differently to create unique spells and drafting patterns. You can find these elemental icons on nearly every card in the game. Draft wisely!
You can use the first effect no matter what and it is always pretty good. However, if you have some elemental power, its effect will increase greatly. It's easy to power these cards up, since they need only one element to advance.
All spells have an effect that is decent without a power increase. If you want to increase the power of an advanced spell you will need to control two elements in a set. Jin's Meteor isn't easy to advance, but it's rewarding when you can pull it off. It scales dangerously, and deals direct damage to an entire battle group.
Ultimates are a highlight of the Traveler's ability. As with all spells, they are always usable. Scaling an ultimate even one level is hard work, but the payoff is worth it. Obtaining TWO sets of the requirements unlocks a devastating end game ability.
Support System 2: Stability
You win the game by killing your opponent's Traveler. Sounds easy, right?
All Travelers are able to unwind time and resurrect themselves, as long as they are able to appease the God of Time. Only once you have destroyed your opponent's Stability, can you truly defeat their Traveler.
There are three ways to damage your opponent's Stability, each lending to a particular play style. Adapting to the situation and using each appropriately is the key to victory. Lovox, the God of Time will force your opponent to sacrifice allies, experience, and more each time their timeline is damaged. Thus, players can attack their opponents' Stability strategically, in order to maximize collateral damage.
1. Defeating the Traveler (Offensive)
Focusing on the traveler is the simplest way to make an opponent lose Stability. When a traveler is defeated, they are flipped over and removed from any group they were in. At the start of their player’s next turn, they are flipped back over and can act immediately. Because travelers can act immediately, focusing on the traveler does not help your board state and could prove reckless, since despite their leader's death, they are still gathering Recruits and empowering spells.
2. Defeating two Recruits (Utility)
If at any time you have two defeated Recruits in your discard, those cards are banished and you lose Stability. Taking out characters reduces your opponent's board position and reduces their power, but it is only half as effective as defeating a Traveler.
3. Playing an Artifact (Defensive)
Artifacts are powerful high cost cards that make your opponent lose Stability instantly when played. You can find them in any time period. They also are paired with a powerful ability.
There’s no way for your opponent to remove the artifact from the table once played, so you can feel confident in the ability an artifact will give you. Collecting and playing artifacts is useful when you have a good defensive position and you have the tempo to play them effectively.
Remember those devastating effects on the stability card we mentioned? One of the choices is always to offer an artifact as tribute to Lovox. Collecting artifacts also protects you from the negative effects of stability cards.
After you shatter your opponent's timeline, you still have to defeat their Traveler one final time. There's always a chance for one final last stand!
Support System 3: XP Cards
Any time you defeat a card another player controls, you will gain 1 XP card. Attach this card to any character you control and they will level up and grow stronger!
XP Cards can be attached in three ways: The face of the card will give your Recruit a new grouping ability. Flip the card over, and you have the option of giving your Recruit an ATK or HP boost. Each character can have up to 3 XP. Choosing where to place your XP cards is another layer of the core grouping mechanic, since Recruits with XP will be more valuable and must now be protected. Try to place your XP in ways that stabilize and distribute your team's power, to cover weaknesses and bolster strengths.
These sub-systems highlight the core mechanics discussed before: Drafting and Grouping. The better you are are using your spells, the better you are at draft picks. The better you use your XP cards, the more effective your grouping will be. Finally, the better you are at countering your opponent's drafting and grouping decisions, the better you will be at destroying their Stability and defeating their Traveler for good.
Until next time,
-Chris Solis, Terrene Encounters Lead Designer