Last time we covered the basics of combat – you have 3 rounds to generate enough Battle Points to overcome the enemy’s Combat Rank. But there’s more to combat than just always playing your favorite cards.
Each attack has a damage type, which affects how the dice you roll for it behave. Fire dice can “heat up” and generate bonus damage if you roll matches. Blood dice can be rolled in large quantities, but if you get any rolls of 1, you will take a point of damage. Iron dice are the most common type of damage die, and they get a direct boost from the Physical skill of the Operative. There are seven different damage types in all, and which one is best can depend greatly on your overall strategy and available Operatives.
Your enemies have a few tricks up their sleeve as well. Many are resistant to certain types of damage dice, neutralizing your strongest rolls of 5 or 6. Cultists, monsters, and other enemies can use special abilities in combat, such as summoning reinforcements on bad rolls, inflicting poison, or ending the combat early. Boss enemies will often have extremely high Combat Rank values that require some additional story-related maneuvers to reduce down to a manageable level.
Many enemy abilities and other negative effects will trigger when you roll a 1 on any of your dice. This can impact your overall combat strategy, as it might be more effective to use your attacks that use fewer dice and hope you get lucky before dropping the big dice bombs that are more likely to leave you vulnerable. Beyond just taking damage, some of these negative effects give you penalties (like being Injured or Poisoned) that can last well beyond a single combat.
Combat in Heretic Operative is fast-paced while still giving you interesting strategic choices to make each round. Most combats can be won by casting your most powerful spells, but knowing how to maximize the value of your damage types and manage your resources is vital. Use those powerful spells, but remember that magic always brings Corruption…
Next time on the next mechanics blog we will discuss how Corruption works in detail!