When one of your operatives ends the Adventure phase in the same location as an enemy, combat occurs. Sometimes, this happens because the Adventure result has spawned an enemy, but there are also roaming Cultists and monsters that will engage you in combat. Combat is always between one Operative and one enemy, so you fight each enemy in turn if there are multiple.
The core tension in each combat is unleashing your best attacks vs the costs – usually in gold or corruption – that they require. You have 3 rounds to generate a total # of Battle Points, and each card you play adds to your total. Once you reach the enemy’s Combat Rank, you win! Or, if you still haven’t after 3 rounds, the enemy will do some damage to you and you can try again on another turn (or run away!).
Each Operative has some innate combat moves – scholars may start with knowledge of a few spells, and veteran fighters start with techniques learned on the battlefield. Throughout a game, you add to your arsenal in combat, and putting together a good set of combat abilities is required to fight some of the tougher end game enemies. These cards come in a few different flavors:
- Mercenaries are fairly reliable to hire at Copec’s Tavern, but require gold each time you deploy them to battle. Without a good source of income, they may not be there when you need them most.
- Spells are the most powerful and devastating of all your choices, but they must first be researched, which requires Lore, Arcane skill, and time. Casting the strongest spells is a sure way to win most combats, but each one you cast builds up Corruption – too much and your strongest allies may suddenly become your strongest foes.
- Items and other treasures can be acquired through adventures or purchase, and some rarer artifacts can provide a great boost in combat. These are some of the most effective sources of combat power, but are hardest to reliably obtain.
But that’s just an overview of how the Combat System works in Heretic Operative. Join us next time for a more detailed dive on how damage types and enemy abilities work.