Combat

Starting Combat

At the beginning of combat:

  • The Garbage Collector passes by.
  • Everyone reloads. The CPU's Draw stat is currently equal to the number of MCs.
  • The MCs start at the indicated location on the battlefield.
  • The first round begins.

Rounds

At the beginning of each round, select which card you will play. If you can play multiple cards, select all of them at once. Put these cards in your play area. If you don't have enough cards, you might want to Reload (see below.)

Count upward from 2 through King. This is called the "initiative order." When the count reaches a card you have played, you take a turn. Aces can be used as either low or high values. Jesters can be used as any card. Each card can only be used once.

On your turn:

  • At the start of your turn, automatically gain Move points equal to your Move score, up to your Max Move. Excess points are lost.
  • You can use your card to make an attack. Each card can only be used once.
    • You can move the card you attacked with to the Team Hand if you haven't already done so this round.
  • You can use each of your bonus actions once, if you haven't used them yet this round.
  • You can move if you have enough Move Points.
  • Attacks, bonus actions, and movement can happen in any order.

Once the last card has been used, the round ends. The CPU's draw stat is now set as the number of MCs, plus the number of areas they currently occupy on the battlefield. The CPU then reloads.

If all characters from one side are incapacitated or unwilling to fight, or if the CPU breaks up the action with another event, the fight is over. Otherwise, start the next round.

Attacks

When you use your card to attack, there are three things that might typically happen:

  • If your card is below your Accuracy rating, you miss.
  • If your card is above your opponent's Evade rating, they dodge your attack.
  • Otherwise, you hit. Subtract your Damage rating from their HP.
  • Aces automatically hit and deal double damage.

Attacks with range 0 can only hit a character in your current area. Attacks with higher Range count outward from your current area to hit targets in nearby ones.

All shooting is done in a straight line. You cannot shoot into areas that are around corners from your current area. Also, there must be an open movement path on the battlefield between your character and your target. If a "Line of Sight" link is explicitly specified on the battlefield, ignore the straight-line and open-path requirements.

The Sorcerer's blast power is an attack. Hacking is not an attack, but it does happen at the same time as their attack, using the same card.

Interrupts

Interrupts are a special kind of action that can be completed even when it is not your turn.

Each character has an Interrupt meter that starts at zero at the beginning of the game. It is charged by doing certain Role-related activities. When it reaches 10 charges, you are ready to activate your Interrupt, though you may need specific cards to fully complete it. You can play those cards as soon as you get them, even if it's not your turn. Once the last one is played, your Interrupt ability takes place.

Your Interrupt charge meter cannot go above 10. When you execute your Interrupt, drop your meter back to zero.

Movement

To move, you spend Move Points on your turn to go from one battlefield area to another, as indicated on the map. If you don't have enough points for that route, you must wait until the next turn to gain more Move points. You can move into or out of enemy-occupied areas during your movement, but not through them. You can move before and after your attack if you have enough Move points.

Many mobs have movement rated in Auto units, like Auto/1 or Auto/3. This means that they can automatically move into an adjacent area the indicated number of times per round. For the sake of simplicity, most mobs do not track Move points. Only mobs that act (via the CPU playing a card for them) can move; the rest are waiting.

MCs can also spend 3 Move Points to draw a card or change equipment. Bosses can use 3 Move Points to draw a card.

See also the Battlefields section for battlefield-related rules, many of which relate to movement.

Team Hands

As your Team Hand builds, you will gain specific bonuses as shown on the chart below. Each time you move up the chart to a more powerful effect, apply the listed Boot effect to the next MC's action. This represents a powerful combo action involving your two characters. You should also begin applying the listed Uptime effect, which will last until the current Team Hand is discarded and applies to every MC.

Hand Boot Uptime
Five of a Kind All MCs have status effects removed and HP restored All MC status bytes are locked.
Royal Flush Quad damage and ignore Armored All MCs are Armored
Straight Flush All MCs may reload right now All MCs gain one Interrupt Charge per round
Four of a Kind CPU immediately discards best card MCs cannot be pushed.
Dead Man's Hand Raise MaxHP Raise Damage +1
Full House All MCs may draw one card right now CPU draws one less on reload
Flush Nullify enemy's Uptime effect Can count card as 1 higher or lower for initiative
Straight Double damage and ignore Armored Raise Evade +1
3 of a Kind CPU must discard one from Team Hand Raise Connect +1
Two Pair Double damage Raise Resist +1
Pair Raise damage Raise Accuracy +1
High Card No effect No effect

Straights are 5 in a row. 5-of-a-kind can be achieved with Jokers. A Royal Flush is 10-J-Q-K-A. A Dead Man's Hand is two aces, two eights, and no 5th card.

Boot effects are only for the next MC and do not stack. Uptime effects do stack. Remember that the most powerful Uptime effects will not be seen unless someone has an ability that increases the size of the Team Hand to 6 or more, because Uptime ends when the Team Hand is discarded.

The CPU's team hand has identical effects, but for mobs instead of MCs.

Reloading

Most MCs have "Reload: Action" and must use an action in order to reload. This takes their entire round.

Some MCs (like the Ronin) have "Reload: Out". They reload for free as soon as they are out of cards, but can also spend an action to reload if they desire.

Some abilities might grant "Reload: Turn", which means only needing to miss one turn instead of the full round. This is only really useful for MCs who take multiple turns per round, like the Gunslinger.

The CPU reloads at the end of each round and cannot reload earlier unless a boss has Reload: Turn. Remember that the CPU's Draw stat is equal to the number of MCs plus the number of battlefield areas they occupy.

Ending Combat

At the end of the fight, the Garbage Collector passes by, unless the CPU declares otherwise. In such cases the Garbage Collector waits until the CPU says so. For instance, you might face two back-to-back fights as the CPU declares "Here comes another challenger!" and brings in a new group of mobs. Such events are comparatively rare, but very dangerous, as you will not be healed between the fights and any existing status effects will continue to be in place.

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