Relic Knights Gameplay: Base Mechanics
Relic Knights Gameplay:
Relic Knights is a fast-pace tabletop miniatures game deeply inspired by anime and pop-culture. Take on the role of a knight, and battle for the fate of the Last Galaxy with overwhelming firepower, over-the-top martial arts, or brain-melting psychic attacks!
The game mechanics are designed to bring the cinematic elements of the Relic Knights’ universe to the tabletop. Following in a long tradition of tabletop wargames, players build and paint their own unique cadres before pitting them against each other on the table, using positioning, resource management, and strategy to achieve their goals and win the game! However, Relic Knights brings some exciting, new mechanics to this genre of game.
Each unit a player selects for their cadre will have its own stat card that lists its actions, abilities, and skills. The wide variety of actions and abilities gives each unit a unique place in your cadre!
When it is your turn, you will activate two units using command tokens. Activating two units at once allows you to set up interesting combos; you could use the first unit to push the second up the field to score an objective, have the first unit place an Area of Effect token that buffs the second unit, or just attempt to get off two powerful attacks!
When a unit activates, it moves, performs an action, and then may move again. Have a look at Bang-Bang’s speed skill (represented by the winged icon). Her speed is 5-5, meaning that she can move up to 5” before taking an action, and then move another 5” once it is complete. In this way your units can duck and weave out of terrain, shooting before diving back into cover. This creates an incredibly cinematic and tactical experience!
Of course, taking an action is just as tactically interesting as positioning your units. In Relic Knights, the outcome of combat is decided by using cards instead of dice. Each player has a deck of esper cards, cards with unique symbols that correlate to the different types of esper found in the Last Galaxy: essence, creation, order, entropy, chaos, and corruption.
When you use an attack with one of your units, the action will list an esper cost which must be paid in order for the attack to be successful. As an example, have a look at Bang-Bang’s Dead Eye attack. Dead Eye has a cost of two green (creation) esper, which must be paid in order for the action to be successful. In order to pay the cost Bang-Bang flips three cards from the top of her deck. She flips three because Dead Eye is a ranged attack and Bang-Bang’s ranged skill is 3-2 (three is the number of cards flipped while attacking with a ranged action, and two is the number of cards flipped while defending against one). If Bang-Bang flips at least two green, the attack is successful. If she does not, she may play cards from her hand in order to pay the esper cost.
This gives units a wide range of skills and roles on the table, while also allowing you to allocate the cards from your hand as a resource, choosing the attacks that are the most important to use your cards on, ensuring they succeed. But don’t use cards on every attack! You can run out of your most valuable esper quickly, so be careful with how you use your cards.
You’ll also notice that under the Dead Eye attack are two red (entropy) esper symbols, along with the option to gain damage 4. If Bang-Bang pays two red as well as two green, the attack will deal an additional 4 damage. This is called a Press. Presses allow you to increase the power of your attacks, and add interesting tactical options to every action you take!
Of course, if a unit is attacked, it doesn’t have to just sit there and take it! When a unit is attacked it may use a defense action in order to respond. This could do anything from giving the unit shielding in order to reduce the damage of the attack, to causing backlash and dealing damage back to the attacker!
Unlike most miniature games, Relic Knights does not have traditional rounds. Instead, the game lasts until one player has scored enough victory points in order to win. This way the game is never cut short, it always ends at a climactic point, at the height of an epic combat! Players take turns maneuvering and making their attacks, racking up victory points along the way. You can score victory points by grabbing objectives or destroying opposing units, and you even gain additional points for taking out the enemy leader! Once one player has enough points to win, the game ends, so you’re never left wondering what could have happened if you had one more turn.
Of course, this is just a brief overview! Relic Knights is a rich and tactically deep game which brings the cinematic excitement of anime to the tabletop. If you want to check out the full rules, you can download them here.
Relic Knights is returning with a brand new edition!
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