[Infinity Wars] – Attack, Defend, and Zone play. – I want positional element!!

Summary: Today let’s talk about another interesting aspect of the IW, which is “Zones.”  Though this is not unique to Infinity Wars, games like Shadow Era, Magic do not use.  So is this a good idea or bad idea?  Here is my take.

Whose turn is it? Who makes a decision?

Depending on a game, attacking by character (creature) gives different player the decision making power.

In Magic the gathering, attacker decides to attack and select which of his creatures are going to attack.  All attacks are directed to opponent’s player.  Then before the actual attacking phase takes place, opponent’s player i.e. defender is given a choice whether to block the attack or not.  When making such decision, defender can make very detailed decision e.g. which creature’s attack to block by which of your creature(s).  This to me seems more defender driven mechanism.  The benefit of this approach is “interactive/dynamic feel.”  Defending player don’t just stare screen until his turn comes.  This is persisting theme in Magic.

On the contrary, game like Shadow Era has goal to make true turn based game i.e. each player’s turn is uninterrupted.  So with this approach, attacker gets all decision making power. I.e. he/she decides to attack opponent’s hero, or creature. So defender just watch what happens.

In Infinity Wars, because it uses “simultaneous play” each players decides action with predicting what opponent’s does next.  But because of how this is built, they have made it so that each player decides which of his/her characters are going to attack and others are to defend.  Somewhat similar to that of Yu Gi Oh as you assign your own creatures as defender or attacker that particular turn.  But unlike Yu Gi Oh, attacking/defending on both end resolves (nearly) simultaneously so defender won’t necessary make decision which specific attacker to block, but you do have power to decide which order to attack or defend!!  Basically, you make decision of your own characters by predicting what opponent does, but won’t actually know until the action starts to resolve as your opponent does the exactly same.

If you have never played other TCG, this concept may be difficult or perhaps completely opposite and feels too simple and don’t see why this is interesting approach.  But in order to achieve this, Infinity Wars essentially created two battle field zones: Attack zone and defend zone.

Zones

Basically here is how it works.

From left to right, attack zone characters attack.  From left to right defend zone characters defend but next character only goes up if previous one gets killed.

Let’s take a look at a actual example:

attack

This is a snap shot from Detailed video clip on Infinity Wars official kickstar site.

Basically your zones are closer to bottom of screen and opponent’s is closer to top of the screen.  You have one character in your attack zone (right) with 10/6 stats and your opponent has no defender in his defend zone.  So when your attack resolves, your opponent player(fortress) takes 10 damage.

Whereas, your opponent has 4/2 character in the attack zone and you have three characters in the defend zone with each having 1/1 stats.  Since each attacker can only attack once, what happens here is your left most character gets killed and your opponent takes 1 damage.  The other two 1/1 characters remain in defend zone.

Now this is how attack and defend works in the Infinity Wars.

Potential of Positional Element

This is interesting part (at least for me).  Since you specify order of your creatures, and attack and defend zones are separated, you basically have positional information.  By this I mean you are actually assigning a position of your character i.e. you are specifying to place a character in Attack Zone second from left.

Because with this information you can potentially create card interactions specific positions.

Interzonal Interaction – Ability to BOND while in the attack/defend zone with friendly creature who is in the same position in the defend/attack zone.

Here Bonding is something I define as summing two creatures attack but use higher of the two health point, and if one dies other dies.

So if creature A is in your attack field third from the left, if you also have a creature in your defend zone third from the left, those two creature bonds.

Intrazonal interaction – Ability to add +1/1 to creature next to it.

Opponent interaction – Ability to affect opponent creature facing your creature.  For example, a creature in front of this creature is blinded i.e. it cannot attack or defend.

Though I have not confirmed if any of this will ever happen but definitely feasible, and personally seem to add another layer of strategy or at least new type of game play.

Conclusion:

Separating characters into attack and defend zone with capability of specifying orders of attack or defense by positions of the cards are interesting and probably absolutely needed concept to make simultaneous play possible.  But personally, they have now opened a potential of new game mechanics “position/formation.” and certainly hope they would utilize this.

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