Welcome to the third installment of our introductory Rivenstone gameplay series. These blogs are meant to cover some of the basic rules of the game, giving you a taste of what the tabletop experience will be when the game launches later this year.
If you’re just joining us, you can find previous blogs exploring the gameplay as well as the fiction of Rivenstone on our website.
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In today’s post, we’re going to break down a couple of stat cards and explain the basics of their various icons and rules.
As discussed in our previous blog, there are three types of models that make up a player’s warband: heroes, followers, and barracks. The rules for these various models are presented on their stat card, which indicate what type of attacks a model can make, how durable and fast they are, what special abilities they have, and so on.
Let’s start by taking a look at a follower stat card for the Shattered Empire.
The top half of the card displays the stats for the model’s various attributes such as their Speed or Ingenuity, while the bottom half shows the weapons the model is equipped with as well as any special abilities they are capable of using in battle. The two halves of the card are split by the keyword bar, which we covered in detail in our previous blog.
Speaking of additional blogs, there are plenty of rules we will discuss in further depth based on the stats we are explaining today. For example, today we’ll talk about how the Strength stat tells you how many dice you roll when attacking, but we’re not going to cover the rules for attacking today. That will be its own blog.
For now, let’s take an overview of what each of the icons on a stat card means.
Followers have a unique stat called Muster, which indicates how many models make up the group. This stat is used to determine how many models from a group you add to your warband, how many models you spawn from your barracks in later turns, and how many models you activate at a time when you have a follower activation.
Speed indicates how fast a model is, and is split between two values. These values let you know which size measurement tool to use when the model marches during its activation. When a model walks it uses just the first value. However, if a model walks and then runs during its activation, it uses the first value followed by the second value. We’ll be breaking down how movement and actions work in a later blog.
Here on the Line Troopers, we can see that they have a walk speed of Medium, and a run speed of Short.
Defense represents how evasive, tough, or well-armored a model is; in other words, how well they can avoid taking damage. This stat determines how many dice a model rolls when making a defense roll against an attacker.
Health indicates how hardy a model is, and most importantly how much damage it can suffer before being destroyed.
Stamina represents a model’s physical and mental constitution. The higher a model’s Stamina, the more times it is capable of activating each round of the game.
Ingenuity represents how intelligent or mechanically skilled a model is. This stat determines how many dice a model rolls when harvesting rivenstone deposits on the battlefield, passing tests to operate a complex piece of machinery, unlock a vault door, or any other number of logic- and skill-based obstacles.
Leadership represents a model’s commanding presence on the battlefield. The stat determines which measurement tool you use to determine if other models are within a model’s leadership range, typically to receive a benefit of some sort.
Weapons and Abilities
Arguably the most impactful aspect of a model’s stat card is the weapons they bring to battle and their unique abilities.
Weapons come in one of three flavors: Melee, Missile, or Magic. This is indicated by the icon at the front of the weapon’s stat bar.
Here we can see that the Line Trooper’s Short Sword is a melee weapon, as indicated by the sword at the front. This is called the weapon’s Type.
The value after the weapon’s type is its Range, which lets you know how far away an enemy can be from the attacking model to be in range of the attack.
Following this are the weapon’s Strength and Damage stats, which are indicated by the fist and broken heart icons respectively. Strength determines how many dice a model rolls when attacking. Damage is split between two values: normal damage and critical damage. Most times an attack deals its normal damage value when it successfully hits an enemy, but if the attack is also a critical attack it will deal the higher damage value instead.
The Line Trooper’s missile weapon is its Ordnance Buckler, which has the same standard stats as the melee weapon with a couple of small differences.
First, the buckler’s type is shown to be a missile weapon by the arrow at the front of the stat bar. Second, the range of this weapon is noticeably larger than the melee weapon.
Melee weapons only have a single Normal Range. Missile and Magic weapons have both a Normal Range and an Extreme Range. An enemy model is in Normal Range if it is within the first measurement distance on a weapon’s range. The enemy is in Extreme Range if it is within the combined first plus second measurement distance on a weapon’s range. If an enemy is beyond Extreme Range, then it is out of range and cannot be attacked.
Finally, we see that the Line Trooper has the Body Block ability. Models can have multiple abilities on their stat card. These abilities give each model a unique tactical role on the battlefield. Some models may be more durable than others, or hit harder, but their special abilities can often make them desirable additions to your warband.
By now you’ve probably also noticed that every weapon and ability has flavor text underneath it. This is a great way to get a bit of quick lore on each model, strengthening the narrative of every game you play.
Hero Stats and Special Ability Icons
Now that we understand the basics of a follower stat card, let’s take a look at a hero stat card and how it differs.
As you see, the Shard Knight has most of the same stat types as the Line Trooper, but there are a few key differences. Heroes don’t have a Muster stat, as they are always a single model instead of a group of models.Instead, heroes have the following:
The top stat is the hero’s Infuse stat, which is how many rivenstone shards the hero must consume to infuse itself (more on that in a moment). The bottom stat is the hero’s Bounty stat, which indicates how many Victory Points your opponent gains each time this hero is destroyed.
Before we discuss hero infusion, there’s two other key differences on this card worth mentioning: abilities that cost an action and abilities that require a model to consume rivenstone shards.
Quick Note: Rivenstone shards are a resource you gain as you play the game by having your models harvest rivenstone deposit terrain on the battlefield.
Here we see one of the Shard Knight’s abilities that costs it one of its two actions during its activation. An ability only costs a model one of its actions if it has the diamond-shaped icon at the end of the ability’s name.
And here we have an ability that requires the model using it to consume some of your harvested rivenstone shards. This is indicated by the shard icon at the far right of the ability name and the number dictating how many shards must be consumed to use the ability.
Mark of Conquest is also a great example of how the heroes you choose to include in your warband can shape your entire strategy of winning the game. Every hero has their own special way of scoring victory points, and building around these abilities is vital to winning the game.
Heroes have another major distinction from followers and barracks: they are capable of utilizing harvested rivenstone shards to empower themselves. During a hero’s activation, they can choose to consume a number of rivenstone shards equal to their Infuse stat to flip their stat card to its infused side.
When a hero infuses, they immediately heal any damage they’ve suffered! This, in combination with the stronger stats and abilities, makes hero infusion a powerful tool in your arsenal. Once infused, a hero stays that way until it is destroyed. If that hero is spawned back into play later it returns to the battlefield on its normal non-infused side.
While the majority of a hero’s infused stat card is the same as its normal side, many stats and abilities will become more powerful. It is easy to see what stats are improved, as they are highlighted with a glow effect. Similarly, any text on special abilities that has changed is highlighted with bold text.
This makes it easy for a player to quickly see what has changed on their model when they change states.
Barracks Stat Cards
Finally, we take a look at the fairly simple stat cards of barracks. While barracks are models, they cannot be damaged, destroyed, or affected by your opponent in any way. You’ll always have a barracks from which your models spawn as the game plays out.
With this in mind, barracks do not have any attribute stats at all! Instead, they only have abilities, which indicate which actions they can take during their activation.
Thank you for joining us for this installment of the Rivenstone gameplay blog series. Join us next time as we dive further into more rules!