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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Your General Guide to Combat

  1.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #1
    Creative Director Alex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Your General Guide to Combat

    Hello! Welcome to Factions, we're super happy to have you!

    First I’ll go over basic gameplay mechanics (including some things you may not know, even if you’ve won a dozen matches) and then we’ll talk about classes in another guide! I've added answers to the most common questions in red for your convenience.

    Be sure to try out the tutorial in the game, several times if you need to! For easy reference, here is the a tutorial screen we used during the beta that might help, which you can study it at your leisure (right click and open the image in a new tab to see the full size):


    • The front row can almost always be reached in the first round, on most maps. The back row is generally safe in the first round, but some characters can use willpower to reach you, so protect your Archers.
    • Passives will trigger immediately after deployment, so you may want to arrange your Raiders in way that takes advantage of their Shield Wall passive.
    • If you have placed a unit you can still click them again to move them somewhere else.


    • In the lower left is your current character’s stats. These are as follows:
      Armor (blue shield): blocks damage.
      Strength (red fist): health AND damage. Str - arm = damage.
      Willpower (gold star): used to increase damage, move further, or use abilities.
      Exertion (green chains): how much willpower you can use on a single action.
      Break (black broken shield): how much armor damage you can do.
      Ability (purple lightning bolt): your ability level (rank 1 for now, rank 2 and 3 to follow).
    • The ring around your portrait shows your time remaining. Each character currently gets 60 seconds per turn, but 30 seconds for expert mode and tournament.
    • The ? button will bring up the overview information during combat.
    • The flag button in the lower right corner will toggle all characters stat banners on the board. You can also toggle this using the tab key.
    • The initiative bar at the bottom of the screen shows the order that each character will move. Click any portrait to highlight them on the board. Likewise, clicking any character on the board will highlight their position in the initiative.
    • There is an info bar at the bottom that when clicking on a character will describe their abilities.
    • You can click and drag to move around the screen at any time.


    • While in movement mode, mouse around to see who is in range and how much damage you can do to them. You can’t undo a move once you’ve done it.
    • The blue tiles are normal movement range. The gold tiles are your bonus range, which cost 1 willpower each to move onto. Look at the movement arrows - the number of gold arrows you see is the cost to move there.
    • Click an enemy at any time to see their movement range. This will help you plan how far to move.
    • Right-click to quickly move to a tile without having to confirm it.
    • You can create a path by left-clicking on a series of tiles (even though the check mark appears you can click additional tiles). Your range will close in on each click, showing how much range is left. This will let you dodge traps if you think your opponent has put one in your way.


    • When attacking an enemy you choose whether to damage their strength or their armor.
    • Clicking the sword attack button will show your character’s range. If you’re in range of an enemy their tile will pulse. You can also directly click an enemy’s tile to attack them.
    • The number beneath an enemy in range is how much damage you can do to them.
    • The amount of armor damage you can do is always equal to your Break stat (the broken shield icon), which you can see on your stat panel in the lower left.
    • The only time there is a chance to miss is if you would do less than 1 damage. Your chance to hit is shown as a percent above the attack button: if you see 60% above your attack button, that means you have a 60% chance to hit. Think of it this way; if you have to worry about missing, you probably need to lower their armor more.


    • Willpower is used for three things: hit harder, move further, and activate your ability.
    • Willpower does not replenish over time! Once you have used it up, it’s gone, so use it wisely.
    • If you click your character and choose Rest BEFORE moving, you’ll restore 1 willpower but end your turn. Resting does not restore strength or armor.
    • The amount of Willpower you can use on your turn is determined by your Exertion stat (the green chain icon in your stats on the lower left). If you have an Exertion of 3, you can move three spaces, or do three extra damage. If you only have an Exertion of 1, you can only use 1 Willpower at a time. This makes a huge difference to your strategy! Each character is different!
    • Using your active ability costs 1 willpower each time. Passive abilities are triggered automatically and cost no willpower. Know the difference!


    • In the early game, damage armor first! It may be tempting to lower an enemy’s strength a few points to cripple them, but it is has been statistically proven that breaking armor is the path the success.
    • Take advantage of the size of your characters. Varl are giants who take up 4 spaces instead of the usual 1 for humans. They do a great job of blocking enemy movement and they can protect weaker allies by making them too far to reach. On the flip side, Raiders can use their smaller size to slip through avenues that enemy Varl can’t push past.
    • Factions is like chess: You Always Get a Turn. This means that even if you have less characters left, those characters alternate with your opponent, even if he outnumbers you. If you’re winning this can really work against you in some cases. Your enemy may have two powerful characters moving every turn, while your stuck with a unit out of position because its turn now comes later. It’s up to you to know when to maim and when to kill - sometimes leaving an enemy with 1 strength is better than killing them, to force the enemy to use turns with less effective units.
    • Pillage! occurs when one unit is left. When one unit is left, alternate turns stop, and the team with more units has their guys go one after another. Note the team reduced to 1 unit gets his/her turn before he/she gets rushed. Allowing them to hold out/get the first hit in and win if strong enough.
    • Conserve your Willpower. You may think it makes sense to expend all your willpower immediately to get an early advantage, but consider saving at least 1 point. Adding 1 willpower to an attack will do 1 extra damage, but if you can save that point for a Warhawk’s Tempest ability at the right time you may be able to turn that 1 willpower into 10 damage or more.
    • Once you have a good grasp on the flow of the game and understand the stats you’ll find that abilities are the key to winning. You may only use an ability once a game but it can often be the deciding factor.

    This thread will be constantly updated as new classes are released and the game is refined. Feel free to ask anything about the combat.
    Last edited by raven2134; 02-21-2013 at 12:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    ... If you have an Exertion of 3, you can move three spaces, or do three extra damage. ...
    I hope my memory is not fooling me, but if not I think this might be misleading, since you can actually move three extra spaces AND do three extra damage (assuming you have enough willpower).

  3. #3
    Yes, you're right. I think the sentence, as-is, is misleading on that point (and so is a line in the tutorial that says something like "...add three to move or damage each turn").

  4. #4
    I'd really like to see the thread where it was proven that breaking armour is the key to victory. I'm new to the forum, so if you could direct me, that'd be nice.

  5. #5
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Manila, Philippines
    You won't find such a thread, I think that was based on the dominant strategy at the time. I don't know if it's still statistically proven with the current statistics/metrics, but there is no doubt it is a core strategy and a reliable one to do.

  6. #6
    Okay, thanks for the info. I believe that it's a useful strategy, and I won my last game with it, but if someone claims "statistical proofs", my interest goes up

  7. #7
    Superbacker netnazgul's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by The New Romance View Post
    I'd really like to see the thread where it was proven that breaking armour is the key to victory. I'm new to the forum, so if you could direct me, that'd be nice.
    The best way to victory is to win, that's it Generally it's preferred to break armor early then hit strength later. But sometimes you should think about sequences of turns - if you strike some strength now, you'll not be able to kill unit later in one hit, but if you strike armor, you'll get higher retaliation from this character.
    If you don't know where to put it - put it in the pillage

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