The first gameplay mode that will be present in the 9Tales game is a standard PVP (Player Versus Player) 1v1 ranked mode. Most your games will happen against other people. However, it will also be possible to test your skills against a simple artificial intelligence (AI). 1v1 means that you will be playing against only one player at a time. Finally, ranked means that your skills and wit will be measured against opponents of the same skill level as you. There will be a ranking, and the more games you win, the higher you will climb that ranking.
Before launching your army into battle, you need to first choose your forces carefully. Your deck of cards will contain forty cards. You can have at most three identical copies of each unique card in your deck. Moreover, some cards are legendary, you can have at most six legendary cards in your deck.
Your cards will either be creatures that you will send into combat, or spells that can take your opponent by surprise.
Finally, each card belongs to a race, there are 9 races in the world of 9Tales (makes sense). Your deck can only contain cards from two different races at most.
The art of deck building consists of choosing the most efficient cards from the most efficient races, and then combining them in a deadly deck that is prepared to face any kind of opponent. It is not an easy feat, but one worth trying.
The basic rules
You start the game with twenty health points (HP), and the main way of winning is by getting your opponent health point to zero.
You will start the game with four random cards, and you have the right to exchange at most three of them with three new random cards. This is what we call the mulligan. At the start of each turn, you will draw one random card from your deck.
Another way of winning the game is if your opponent has to draw a card but his deck of cards is empty.
Let’s move on to the fun part : how to actually play cards and annihilate your opponent.
In order to play cards you will have to use your actions. You get two actions per turn. This means that you can, in theory, play two cards each turn.
However, your actions can also be used for other purposes…
Once you have played a creature card, or a slow spell card, your action ends and your opponent can then also play his card. If you don’t have any more cards you wish to play, you can click the pass button. Once both players pass, we move on to the battle phase!
There is another type of spells : quick spells. Quick spells can be played in succession, without giving your opponent the chance of responding to them. The only way to respond to a quick spell, is by playing another quick spell. This can create a cascade of quick spells and unexpected outcomes.
So, are all cards the same?
Although all cards only cost one action to play, they are not of the same power level. Stronger cards need more time to prepare!
Every card has a preparation counter, when you play a card into the board its preparation counter decreases by one until it reaches zero. And then each turn it decreases by one again. As long as a card’s preparation is not equal to zero you cannot use it. Moreover, your opponent cannot see it!
The preparation serves as a balance, stronger cards will need to wait longer before being able to get into battles.
The camp level
Another important specificity of 9Tales is the camp level.
Your camp is the zone where you play your cards, you can have at most eight cards in your camp. Both players start with a camp of level one. This means that your card’s preparation will decrease by one when you play them and every turn after that.
You can, at any moment, use three action points to level up your camp. If your camp is level two, the card’s preparation will decrease by two when you play them and every turn after that. If your camp is at level three, they will decrease by three and so on.
The camp level is an important component of a successful strategy, you will always have to think about if you want to level up your camp or use your precious action points to play cards.
After both players have passed, the combat phase begins. Our combat system is also special. In 9tales, you start your battle by choosing your attackers, you move all your attackers to the attack zone (left side of the middle of the board) then you press confirm. While you are choosing your attackers, your opponent is also doing the same. Only when both players have confirmed their attackers can you see the attackers of your opponents.
Attacking creatures will target the opponent’s health points unless blocked by a defending creature. After the attackers are declared, you can choose some of your creatures that you did not use to attack as defenders.
When a creature attacks the opponent’s health points, it inflicts damage to him equal to its attack. When two creatures battle, each one of them inflicts damage to the other equal to its attack. When a creature’s health points get to zero, it dies and goes to the cemetery.
After the fight is over, the turn ends and a new turn starts.
Spells, effects and keywords
Unlike creature cards, spell cards do not attack or defend. They apply an effect and get discarded after that. Some spells can inflict direct damage to your opponent or his creatures, other spells can make your creatures stronger, but most spells have unique and original effects.
Speaking of effects, some creature cards also have special abilities. We call them effects. These abilities generally have a trigger condition: When the creature is played, when it attacks etc …
Keywords are just effects that appear in many different cards. For instance many cards have the following effect: “When this creature attacks another creature, the excess damage is dealt to the opponent”. Instead of writing this whole sentence each time, we just call the effect Smash.
This is a quick overview of the rules of the 9Tales game. We did not go into the many details and intricacies of the game. The numbers, and maybe even some of the rules presented here will probably be improved when our community starts playing the game and giving us feedback. 9Tales is a collaborative effort between our team and our community!
Before publishing the closed alpha, we invite you to try out a demo of our game directly in our website… Coming soon.