So… what actually happens during the turn when playing Heretic Operative? 

First off, you take your actions – you have two Action Points (AP) to spend doing things like moving, researching spells, and using special abilities.   During your action phase you can also do things that don’t require AP, like spending Influence to grow the Heretic network of Operatives and Townsfolk.  This is the main phase of the game.

Once you are done taking actions, you must encounter an Adventure card in every location where you have an Operative present.   These adventures require you to make difficult choices, like whether to risk exposure to save innocents in danger, or how to best avoid a Church Templar that is on your trail. Each location has a unique set of Adventure cards.   There are around 270 encounters currently in the game, and we plan to add even more as post-release content, so the mix of encounters you will face can be very different from game to game.

Then the Cult takes a turn, advancing their plans and putting new threats out on the map.  If you let the Cult run unchecked they will rapidly start creating their own powerful network of influence.  Cult Activity causes more cards to be played from both the Cult deck and the Event deck, which can create a lot of trouble for the Heretics.

That’s just a high-level view, but here is the full official turn order:

  1. Upkeep – “per turn” effects and other book-keeping.
  2. Story – progression to next Story chapter, if conditions are met.
  3. Action – player Operatives spend Action Points
  4. Adventure – each Location with an Operative is activated
    1. Draw an Adventure card and choose a primary Operative to encounter it
    2. Combat occurs in that Location, if needed
  5. Enemy – the Cult, Church, and “monsters” take actions
    1. Automatic movement and generation of Cult Activity
    2. Draw Cult or Event cards as the enemy meter fills
A closer look at part of the UI – what turn & phase you are in, and AP remaining

Of course, there are a lot of details still to go into for each of those phases, which we will get to in future mechanics blogs.    But next up is another core backbone of gameplay – resources and economy!