-- Gameplay – The History – Part 2
Gameplay – The History – Part 2AUTHOR: Espen Thomassen Sæverud // CATEGORY: Gameplay Comments Off
Welcome back to Part 2 in this series on the history of the UHR-Warlords gameplay. If you haven’t read Part 1, you can find it here.
Special abilities has been a part of the game for a long time now. We created a bunch of them to make the Creatures stand out from each other and to create diverse and interesting gameplay. Only a subset remain today and we think they are the best ones. Backstab (Assassin) is the latest addition to the Special Abilities.
In addition to being cool, Special Abilities work as a balancing tool. When you create game pieces you want them to feel and work as they look. So you want a Giant to have a strong attack and a great constitution. You want the Wizard to be puny, yet powerful. The Special Abilities help level the playing field and makes for versatile gameplay.
The Assassin has, as mentioned, the Backstab ability. He inflicts 3x damage if he can attack his target from behind (diagonally and straight). He is not very powerful in face to face combat, but if lucky he can take down a Giant in a single strike with the Backstab.
Magic was always supposed to be a part of the game, but how it’s been used have changed a lot over the course of development. In the early prototypes the Creatures where the ones to use the magic and their magic ability determined the effectiveness of the spell. So a Wizard would be far more proficient than a Giant for example.
This way was interesting, but brought along new problems like: Would the Creature using it get spent after this? Would the position of the Creature constrain the eligible area of use? And how would this be done smoothly on a touch-based device? All the questions led us to change the behavior and use of the Runes to the one we have today. You, the player, hold the power to use the Runes directly, and freely.
In UHR-Warlords there are eight (8) Runes. Each of them are very different in their use. In online multiplayer you can choose which two to take into battle. This choice can be imperative to the outcome of the battle and you are not privy to your opponents choice. For a long time this was not the case. We found that seeing your enemy’s choice in Runes made for a back and forth selection that was unfavorable for the tension. You will of course learn what your opponent chose when your Ranger gets crippled by the Bolt.
Uhrkraft. Say what?
Uhrkraft is really what the game is about. It is used for everything, by everything. With no Uhrkraft, you can do nothing. As mentioned in Part 1 the Creatures used to have Action Points (AP) and this determined their usage that round. With the introduction of movement and attack patterns came Uhrkraft.
It’s the only currency in the game and it is key to success. One uses Uhrkraft to rally Creatures, to use Runes, to move Creatures and to attack. When your Uhrkraft is empty it’s time to hit the “End turn”-button. This mechanic is a meta game all on its own. You need to make choices based on your current amount of Uhrkraft in order to succeed. But fear not for using it as it replenishes every round.
We always wanted the game to be “equal opportunity”, meaning that at the start of every game, both players have the same opportunities. No upgraded Creatures or empowered Runes. The prowess of the player determines the outcome. So each player start with 10 Uhrkraft and this is replenished every round.
To make things interesting and to incentivise forward movement, we introduced Uhrkraft Springs. These springs gives the controller +2 Uhrkraft per round (if held at the start of the turn). A spring is controlled by letting one of your Creature’s occupy the tile where the spring is.
Utilizing these in your tactics could prove imperative. Holding one Spring would give you 12 Uhrkraft at the start of the round. Holding two would grant you 14 and so on. Controlling the board’s Uhrkraft Spring could be key to winning the battle.
The Strongholds were part of the game from the start, but in another capacity. Early on they were meant as a “re-kitting” station which were not a part of the actual battleground. But we found that placing them on the battleground as a passive partaker of the game suited them better. Losing one inflicts 2 loss in Lifeforce so they act as an important target.
For a long time the ranged Creatures (Ranger and Wizard) could target and fire against the Strongholds. We found that this skewed the gameplay a bit and so we removed their ability to do so. Each Warlord has his own Stronghold. Protecting them is vital if you want to win.
The 2 loss in Lifeforce may not lose you the battle, but having an enemy Creature in strike distance of your Stronghold is a bad omen. If one was to be destroyed, Rallying(spawning) new Creatures to the tile in front of it would be disabled.
This is the end of Part 2 in the series on the history of gameplay in UHR-Warlords. Look out for the third and last part soon. BONUS: Here’s a little extra: The music from Frosthald. Enjoy! May the Uhrgods be with you always!
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