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Subject: Path to Design Part Three: Mercy, Building, and Defend rss

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Travis R. Chance
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In our last post, I covered the faction known as the Hordes of Zurd, which focuses on cruelty and ruin. In this post, I will share more about the Sigilborne, who employ mercy and ingenuity to restore the realms to their former glory. In addition, I will provide more insight into the build action, as well as how defending a controlled province works within the game.

In the world of the game, the Sigilborne are a sect of ascetics. The first tenet one learns in the Cathedral of Scars is “there is peace beyond pain.” Within the religion, ritual scarring is a form of decoration and a measure of their devotion. Mercy is their way of life, but all must be marked and made anew.




The second tenet learned is, “let wisdom be our weapon, let faith be our walls.” The Sigilborne are the only and greatest opposition to the ruinous Hordes. Their architectural marvels tower from Pilgrimwalk to the stronghold of Queenskeep. As one might guess, this is mechanically reflected in their units and structures.



What the Hordes destroy, the Sigilborne restore. As seen above, Cathedral Builder is the exact opposite of the Horde Marauder shown in the last post. Whereas the Marauder is a strong aggressor that depletes the value of the provinces in which it is used, the Builder strengthens the defense of provinces. This allows for increased scoring and more necessary strength from a rival seeking to wrest control. As you promote the unit, it gains DEFEND (the little shield below their strength), as well as more ruin mitigation.

The third tenet learned is, “the wisdom of the past will drive away the shadows of our future.” Within the sect, everything is documented, archived, and safeguarded. Even the great songs of the Numerai can be found in their sprawling rectories. But what is knowledge without application?

Castle pieces on the board are not the only place structures can be found. Each player has a mat with the structures from the core factions in the game, as well as four general structures. As we learned in the last post, in order to build a structure the player must pay the requisite sum of labor. In addition, if they are building a structure specific to a faction, they must play at least one card of the corresponding faction to do so.



Not only do the Sigilborne excel at building, they are also quite capable of duplicating the structures of other factions—as seen with the Scribe above. This allows for versatile strategies, employing the tools of factions that may not yet be in your empire. At the end of the game, each structure built is worth a single influence. In addition, each Level 4 structure build provides different scoring potential.



DEFENDING


While the Sigilborne are not nearly as canny in the ways of war as the other factions, they are formidable defenders. Where as the Hordes have no units with DEFEND, the Sigilborne have four out of their nine different available unit types.

When a player attempt to conquer a controlled province, there is a slight procedural difference. First, the attacker declares how many units they will be using for the action by placing them facedown in front of them. The player that currently control the province, regardless if their leader pawn is present, can then declare how many units with DEFEND they will use, if any. Each player reveals which units they have selected. The defender immediately draws an amount of units to replace the ones just played.

Starting with the attacker, dice are rolled for the strongest unit played—the rest of which will simply add their strength values. The player attempting to defend the province then rolls dice equal to their highest strength unit. Players then resolve any rerolls. If the attacker matches or exceed the strength of the province AND the strength of the units with DEFEND played, they successfully conquer the province. Ruin inflicted by the attacker always goes to the province, while ruin inflicted while defending is dealt to the attacker’s units: they must lose a unit (or units) with strength equal to the ruin inflicted by the defender.

In this way, Path approaches area control in a very different and unique way. Players do not have to overcommit units to secure territories like in more traditional area control games. Nor are their potential defenses entirely known, once again reinforcing the “best of both worlds” combat system. And while a more Sigilborne player may conquer fewer provinces, they certainly will be more than prepared to defend them.

Thanks again for reading. Any questions about this post, others, or the game in general will be happily answered in the comments below! Be sure to set your calendars for our May 9th launch on Kickstarter. Also, subscribe to our BGG page to be alerted of more content.

Next week we will stray beyond the confines of the moral world as we introduce the Halax Guildlords.


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Simon Beal
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Spotted a typo on the Devout Scribe card: "consider" should be "considered".
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Caleb O
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The Devout Scholar has no inbuilt defence. However, with his ability, could you play him in defence and (if you have 12 mercy) add an additional 4 defence to the province? I think 'After playing this card' means it still gets activated. Is that right?
 
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Kevin John
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Ioannidas wrote:
The Devout Scholar has no inbuilt defence. However, with his ability, could you play him in defence and (if you have 12 mercy) add an additional 4 defence to the province? I think 'After playing this card' means it still gets activated. Is that right?


I think you are confusing the Cathedral Architect's ability with the Devout Scholar. The Cathedral Architect has a defense icon and from what I can tell from the rules, you would immediately add 4 defense (if you have 12 mercy) to a province you control (even one that is in the process of being conquered) as soon as you play it (including if that playing is for defending a province). This would happen right after revealing cards and the attacker has resolved all his card abilities, but before rolling dice.

The Devout Scholar is all about building on the tech tree.
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Big Head Zach
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Though, interestingly, if you have built the Pilgrim's Sanctum, the Devout Scholar could be the one selected to receive the Defense icon and therefore be played in that context.
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Caleb O
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kevinjohn3d wrote:
Ioannidas wrote:
The Devout Scholar has no inbuilt defence. However, with his ability, could you play him in defence and (if you have 12 mercy) add an additional 4 defence to the province? I think 'After playing this card' means it still gets activated. Is that right?


I think you are confusing the Cathedral Architect's ability with the Devout Scholar. The Cathedral Architect has a defense icon and from what I can tell from the rules, you would immediately add 4 defense (if you have 12 mercy) to a province you control (even one that is in the process of being conquered) as soon as you play it (including if that playing is for defending a province). This would happen right after revealing cards and the attacker has resolved all his card abilities, but before rolling dice.

The Devout Scholar is all about building on the tech tree.


Yeah, that was who I meant, and from that explanation it plays how I thought it would, thanks.
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Brice Lory
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This game is getting more and more interesting!

Quick question though... for Defend, I might have missed it, but when you play any number of Defending cards, you use them in the same was as when you attack, right? That is, that you will turn your highest value into a certain number of dice that is added to the value on your lower cards?


Thanks!
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Big Head Zach
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BBPrism wrote:
This game is getting more and more interesting!

Quick question though... for Defend, I might have missed it, but when you play any number of Defending cards, you use them in the same was as when you attack, right? That is, that you will turn your highest value into a certain number of dice that is added to the value on your lower cards?


Thanks!


Correct.
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Brice Lory
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bhz1 wrote:
BBPrism wrote:
This game is getting more and more interesting!

Quick question though... for Defend, I might have missed it, but when you play any number of Defending cards, you use them in the same was as when you attack, right? That is, that you will turn your highest value into a certain number of dice that is added to the value on your lower cards?


Thanks!


Correct.


Great! Thanks! That's what I thought.
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