Gaining and Losing Time

Akira and Hoshi’s Nuclear Magnetoplasma engines thrummed as they raced towards the asteroid and the precious actium claim. Neither wished to break interstellar law by activating their weapon banks and risking the interference of a Peacekeeper. However, that didn’t mean there weren’t ways to mess with your rival.

Akira planned to infect Hoshi’s engines with a virus but timing was everything. He needed to delay just long enough so that Hoshi couldn’t respond with her antivirus.  Waiting… waiting … Now!  The sudden noise and light stunned him.  When his senses cleared, he realised he’d missed his opportunity.  Hoshi had jammed his systems, and now his viruses were in Cooldown.

All the cards presently have placeholder artwork, and the entire graphic design is being redone.  The final cards will definitely have awesome artwork!

In our previous post, we showed how each player has various commands at their disposal, each command takes an amount of time to play, and each player has a total amount of Command Time available to them, limiting the number of commands they can play in one turn.

Command Time Marker 8At the start of the Command phase, each player places their Command Time Marker on the time position equivalent to their starship’s Command Time.

We also discussed the two steps in playing a command: placing and execution.  First, a command is placed under the time position at which it will execute.  After both players have placed one command, then the command at the lowest time position executes, and the instructions on the cards are actioned.

In this post, we’ll show that a player’s total Command Time for their turn is not fixed, and can change during a turn.

Jammin’command cards red8

Both players have the JAM Command.  This command has two steps:

  1. The player force their opponent to lose  1time (time).
  2. The player rolls 2 dice, plus 1 die for each of their Sensor skills.  For example, a player with icon 7 scanners reverse (Sensors skill) of 2 would roll 4 dice.  Each die has 2 faces with the Die - Success (success) face.  For each 2 of those the player rolls, their opponent loses 1time (time).

Losing it

The effect of losing time is that the opponent’s Command Time Marker gets moved back along the time positions, reducing their total time available.

Even worse, if their opponent has planned a command, and their time marker gets moved behind its time position, then the command cannot be executed.  It would still go to Cooldown, so couldn’t be played until 2 turns later!

Example

Akira (blue) is the First Player, and has planned his BUILD command at time 3.  Hoshi (red) has planned her REPAIR command, also at time 3.  Both players have 7 Command Time available.

BUILD REPAIR

As the First Player, Akira’s BUILD command executes first.  At its conclusion, he places his TRANSMIT VIRUS at time 6.  Hoshi’s REPAIR then executes.  She has time available to play her ANTIVIRUS, but she knows her ANTIVIRUS may not stop all of Hoshi’s viruses, so tries a different strategy first, and plans her JAM at time 5.

BUILD TV

REPAIR JAM


JAM eg 7to6At time 5, Hoshi’s JAM executes next.  She forces Akira to move his Command Time Marker back one time position.

By itself, this has no effect, since the time marker is at 6, and Akira’s TRANSMIT VIRUS command is also at 6.

In JAM’s second step, Hoshi has icon 7 scanners reverse (Sensors skill) of 2, so rolls 4 dice.  She rolls Die - SuccessDie - SuccessDie - Variable Die - Blank.  The 2Die - Success force Akira to move back another time position.


JAM eg 6to5Akira’s Command Time Marker is moved back to 5, and is now behind his TRANSMIT VIRUS command.  He will not be able to execute this command.  Even though it didn’t execute, his TRANSMIT VIRUS command still goes to Cooldown, so can’t be played next turn.

Gaining Time

As well as losing time, players can gain time.  Some Tactics Cards include an instruction such as ‘Gain 1 time’.  Whenever a player gains time, they move their Command Time Marker forward the number of time positions specified on the card.  This may give them sufficient time to play a command with a higher time value, or may allow them to recover from an opponent’s JAM, and play their next command.

Example

tactics cards35In the example above, Akira has the Tactics Card “INCISIVE”.  After losing time to Hoshi’s JAM, Akira plays the INCISIVE card, and gains 1 time.  This moves his time back to 6, and he can now execute his TRANSMIT VIRUS command.

Losing Time 5to6

Summary

In the first post, we discussed how important the timing of the commands can be.  Often one player will want to delay planning a command as much as possible to maximise its effectiveness.  In addition, some cards counter others.  If a player wants to play a critical card without risk of it being countered, they will want to play it as late in the turn as possible.  

Complicating this is the threat of the JAM command, reducing your opponent’s available time and wasting their commands.  To defend against this threat, and to give yourself some flexibility, you can obtain Tactics Cards that gain time, or that cancel your opponent’s attempt to make you lose time.

In the next post on Fusion: Space Combat game mechanics, we’ll take a step back and give an overview of the whole game.If you’d like to read more about the Fusion world, you can read The History of PRISE and FUSION technology and FUSION Pilot Training.

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