Sunday, January 08, 2023

The Basics of Combat in CTE

(You can read the previous chapter here.)

CTE - CHAPTER THREE

The Basics of Combat


Four Zones

At its core, CTE is a board game played with cards. The "board" is the table in front of you. This imaginary board is made up of four zones. Zones are made up of rows of cards. A card's function is defined based on the zone where it has been played.


  1. Tableau Area - The area closest to you where you place your ready to play cards.

  2. Play Area - The area just above the tableau area. This is the play area. The play area is where the draw and discard piles reside. 

  3. Threat Area - Above the play area. This is the threat area. Monsters in the threat area are close enough to attack your character. 

  4. Shadow Area - Above the threat area. This is the shadow area. Monsters in the shadow area are too far away to attack your character.


Game Setup


A - Create Play Area and Tableau

Shuffle the cards and place them face down in the play area in front of you to create the draw deck. Then draw three cards and place these face up directly in front of you just below the draw deck to create the tableau area.


B - Place Monsters Into Threat And Shadow Areas

For each monster draw one card from the draw pile one at a time. Red cards are threat cards. Place these in the threat area (the middle zone.) Black cards are shadow cards. Place these in the shadow area (the top zone.) Cards in the threat and shadow zones represent monsters. These cards are used to track the monster's position relative to yours. The numbers, faces, and suits of the cards don't matter unless the monster's Mojo states otherwise. 


Card Play

When you are called upon to play a card, choose and play one card from your tableau area to the discard pile, (You cannot play a card if it has been turned face down.) and then draw a new card from the draw pile to replace the card played. (You will always end with three cards in your tableau area.) 


Add any bonus for the action being taken to the value of the card. Aces, Kings, Queens and Jacks are all special cards called Royals. These have a value of 7 each.


If you play the trump suit for the action being taken, flip a new card from the draw pile and add its value to the card played. Continue to do this until a card that is not of the trump suit has been added to the total.



Combat Sequence of Play

Combat is played in a series of rounds made up of several steps taken in the order described.


  1. Counter ♣ (Optional) - You can try to out maneuver one monster by playing a counter ♣ action versus that monster's Menace. If your card play is greater than or equal to the monster's Menace then you can move that monster from the threat zone to the shadow zone, or from the shadow zone to the threat zone.

  2. Choosing to Flee (Optional) - If all monsters are in the shadow area, then you can flee the combat. 

  3. Hack ♥ or Shoot ♠ - You may now play a card from your hand to strike at the monster. The hack ♥ action can only be used against a monster in the threat area. The shoot ♠ action can be used against a monster in either the threat or shadow areas, but you must be using a weapon with the "ranged" keyword. If your card play is equal to or greater than the monster's Menace then you inflict damage on the monster equal to the difference, plus additional damage equal to Harm ♥. Reduce the monster's Might by this amount. If this reduces the monster to zero Might or less than remove the monster's card from play.  If no monsters remain, you have won the battle!

  4. Defend ♦ Against Monster Attacks - For any monster cards remaining in the threat area, you must perform a defend ♦ action. If your card play is equal to or greater than the monster's Menace then you have successfully defended and take no damage. Repeat this for every monster in the threat area. (Monsters in the shadow area don't attack.)

  5. Resolve Damage - When taking a defend ♦ action, if your card play is less than the monster's Menace, you have taken damage, and you must immediately choose one card in your tableau area and turn it face down. You will always have three cards in your tableau, but you cannot play face down cards. If after suffering damage all cards in your tableau are turned face down, you have been defeated. The consequences of defeat depend on the specifics of the encounter. 

  6. Resist Toxins - If you are suffering from the effects of a toxin you can attempt to remove it. Take a detox ♦ action. If your card play is equal to or greater than the monster's Menace then you have successfully removed the effect. You must perform a separate detox ♦ action for each different toxin effect.

  7. Monsters Move -  If you have survived the monsters' attacks, for each monster remaining, draw one card from the draw pile one at a time and move the monster according to the color on the card drawn. If the card drawn is red, move the monster card to the threat area. If the card drawn is black, move the monster card to the shadow area. Place drawn cards on the discard pile after resolving their effects.

  8. Return to Step 1: Counter ♣.


Now that you understand the basics of combat, it's time to fight some skeletons.


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