Introducing WILD REALMS (Part 3): Battles!
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
If you are coming in part way into this series, check out Article 1: Animals and Article 2: Realms before you continue reading here.
Besides the animals (and the unique art that illustrates them) of Wild Realms, another facet of game play is the different type of battles that occur. From attacking with your Alliance, to using animals' special abilities, to even intense game altering Realm Duels…there are many exciting aspects of combat in Wild Realms!
Let’s start off at the top (of the Animal cards) and talk about Strike Value.
In the "header" of every animal card, you will see the name of the animal on the left side. From there, a quick look over to the right corner brings you to that Animal's Strike Value. (See the image below. Strike value of seven is circled.) Every basic Animal in Wild Realms has a Strike Value—a number from 1–12 which is required to be rolled for a successful "strike" against the animal. Attacks are generally made by rolling three 12-sided (d12) dice. If one number of the rolled three matches an animal's Strike Value, that animal is removed from the targeted Player's kingdom and sent to the discard pile.
But you may be asking yourself, "Do I always roll 3—d12's? Is that all there is to attacking?" Great question! The answer is, "No, not every animal uses 3—d12s to roll an attack. Some use less and some don't use dice at all!" Exciting stuff for sure, but now you're asking, "Soooooo how do I know what to do for an attack?" It's easy! Here's the deal.
At the bottom of every card, there are several visual aids that guide you through the process of attacking with that animal. At the very bottom, you will see a Realm Icon. This icon designates which of the Four Realms that animal is native to and therefore can attack. If an animal is "from" the Land Realm (like our Giraffe in the images) then it can ONLY attack an opponent's Land Realm. Fire can ONLY attack Fire, Water ONLY Water, so on and so forth.
While the Realm Icon designates "what" an Animal can attack, the icon (and accompanying text) just above it designates "how" an animal may attack. The icon portion (as pictured by our Giraffe ally) is called the Roll Attack Icon and shows: A) how many dice to roll, and B) how many times to roll those dice. Our Giraffe friend has a Roll Attack Icon that designates to roll Two Dice, One Time. Alternately, sometimes a Roll Attack Icon (almost ironically) states DO NOT ROLL, as is the case with our Screech Owl animal ally below (see image).
Almost all animals have not only a Roll Attack Icon, but also instructional text that further defines/modifies an animals attack or in some cases grants special circumstances unrealted to "striking" an opponent's defenders. This text is referred to as the animals Special Ability and is a primary driver of the strategic underpinnings of Wild Realms.
It might be helpful to walk through a couple of examples. Let's use the Giraffe and the Owl (as pictured).
First up, when our Giraffe ally attacks, its Realm Icon (very bottom of card) limits its attack to Land Realms (shown by little "mountains" pictograph) ONLY. Once a viable Land Realm is targeted, the Giraffe's Roll Attack Icon shows we roll with 2—d12s to engage in combat. Finally, its Special Ability text indicates that (unlike normal), we "strike" with both rolled values, instead of a singular number from the rolled values. There! We've successfully attacked with the Giraffe.
Next up is our buddy the Screech Owl. Can you tell how to attack from its Roll Attack Icon and Special Ability text? (See image.)
I'm pretty sure you got it, but just in case, here is the proper way it attacks. You must target a Water Realm (Realm Icon at very bottom), then do not roll at all (per Roll Attack Icon) and finally your opponent must discard any (and all) animal defenders in the targeted Water Realm that are of the family group "Insect." See? Attacking in Wild Realms isn't that hard now is it?
Where to Attack
Knowing "what" and "how" to attack isn't enough though! It is also necessary to know "where" to attack. In any given game of Wild Realms, there are two "areas" (within your opponents' Kingdoms) in which you can attack during your turn. They are "Realms" and "Alliance."
Before we get into the details of "where," let us address a common criteria that is necessary for attacking these two areas. In order to attack either, you must have a "Leader" in your Alliance ranks. A Leader is an animals with a 3-point crown icon appearing under it's Strike Value (right side of animal card's header). Leaders serve several purposes in the game and are very useful overall, but in this case, we are only concerned with their ability to enable your Alliance to attack opponents. Now onto the "where." Hooray!
First-up is by far the most common and usefully place to attack—an opponent's Realm. There are two "states" of Realms in a Kingdom—"Unlocked" and "Locked." A Realm can be attacked in either state, but for our purposes we are concerned with Unlocked Realms. An Unlocked Realm is simply one of the Four Realms that doesn't have the proper number or combination (all 5 classes + 1 leader) of animal defenders to claim (Lock) it as a "settled" part of your Kingdom. Once a Realm is locked, it cannot be attack by normal means. (More on attacking a Locked Realm a little later.)
"How" this area (Unlocked Realm) is attacked, is exactly the process outlined earlier in this article. You must have a Leader in your Alliance, then you declare which animal from your Alliance will attack which opponent's Realm. (Be sure its Realm Icon matches the opponent's Realm you are targeting!) Then you proceed with the attack by following what the Roll Attack Icon and Special Ability text direct you to do. Easy!
Second is an area more commonly used to attack "from," rather than attack "to"—your opponent's Alliance. The Alliance is the part of a Kingdom where Animal allies are deployed for the purpose of combat. To attack an opponent's Alliance, you must have a Leader in your Alliance. Attacking an Alliance varies from attacking a Realm in two ways.
One—The attacking Animal's Roll Attack Icon and Special Ability text are ignored. The attacker simply rolls 3–d12s to attack.
Two—If the attacking Animal is a leader, all three rolled values are used to "strike." Otherwise, only one value may "strike."
All-in-all, it takes some clear thinking and planning to attack most effectively. Remember! The cost of attacking is that you must discard (win or lose) the Animal at the end of the attack. Be sure to think before you strike!
Specialized Combat: Realm Duels & Legendary Abilities
There are two extremely specialized (and therefore more rare) types of attacks that can occur in a game of Wild Realms. These are Realm Duels and Legendary Abilities. Each is unique in almost all aspects, so let's break them down.
As we now know, once a Realm is locked, Animal Allies may not attack it. However, this does not mean it is completely, once-and-for-all safe—these are the WILD Realms after all! LOL! If a player decides (and it is a tough decision) that an opponent is making too much progress in building their Kingdom, then they may decide to invoke a Realm Duel.
In order for a Realm Duel to happen, both the challenging and defending players must each have at least one Locked Realm in their respective Kingdoms. As long as this criteria is met, the Realm Duel may proceed.
The duel is carried out by each opponent rolling 1–d12. The highest number wins the roll and the player who lost "loses" (sets aside) one defender from their Realm. This repeats until all defending animals from one Realm have been lost. At the conclusion of the duel, the winner chooses to keep the opponent's Realm for their own or have it discarded. A massive gamble for sure! However, if done at the right time, this can lead to incredible positive momentum and a big win!
The third and final type of attack in Wild Realms, is actually not so much an attack as it is a game disrupting event. We are talking about the appearance of Legendary Animals in the game.
In each player's deck there are a limited number of "Unleash a Legend" cards. When drawn, these may be played at the start of a player's turn - but be careful! Even if you are the one to summon one of these rarest of beasts, their "unleashed" ability may effect even your Kingdom in a most bountiful or (more likely) devastating way!
The Wild Realms tabletop game is coming soon! Until then, "Stay Wild!"
If you haven't yet, please visit our Wild Realms page and sign-up to join our email list. We'll give you sneak peeks of Wild Realms (and our other games) before anyone else and you'll get notified when Wild Realms launches. Thanks for reading this week's blog and we look forward to talking all things REALMS in part 4 (the final) of this series. See you next week!