Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and all manner of other wheeled transportation are zipping around the Matrix in Transformers Deck-Building Game. The core set only contains ground-based vehicles, but as more expansions bring more varieties of playable characters, how does movement work for other forms of transportation? And what if you have multiple forms of transportation? This is the subject of today's article.
One of the three main resources in this game is Move, which is indicated by a green arrow. These arrows can be found primarily on non-Damage Basic cards, a few of the Starter cards, Robot and Maneuver cards, and the Alt Mode side of the Character cards. They may also occasionally show up in a few other places, but those are rarer. The number on the arrow icon indicates how many "Move points" are generated by that card when played (or present at the start of each turn in the case of Move on Character cards).
Each card's Move value is specific to itself (we will see why in a bit), so it's important to mark from which card the spent Move comes. When you spend the entire Move on a card, you can rotate the card to show that it has been used. Alternatively, if a card has more than one Move on it, but you are only spending some of it presently, you can place one of the -1 Move tokens on the card to indicate how much Move is remaining. Similarly, spent Character card Move should also be indicated by placing -1 Move tokens onto the card. Move can be spent in three ways: to Search, to move your character in the Matrix, or to activate other game effects as described on cards.
This turn, the player used one Move from the Recon card they played and one Move from their Alt Mode.
When a player's character is on a facedown card, they may spend one Move to Search that space, which turns the card in that space faceup. If this is an Adversary, it will trigger an Ambush as we saw last time. Some cards, such as Sites, allow players to spend Move while in that space in order to activate an effect. For example, Autobot Base allows a player to pay 2 Move to get rid of Damage, and Energon Mine - Small allows them to pay any amount of Move to claim the same amount of Energon from the Site.
Finally, Move can be used to move your character around the Matrix. Unless otherwise stated, all movement in the Matrix is orthogonal (horizontal and vertical), and one Move can move a character to an adjacent space (adjacency is also only orthogonal). So a diagonal movement could be accomplished with 2 Move, one forward and one to the left, for example.
But clearly there are Cybertronians who are not wheeled vehicles, nor do they travel on the land. What about Transformers who appear on Character or Robot cards like Starscream or Jetfire? Are they restricted to orthogonal movement? And are there any other ways around this? The answers are technically yes, and yes! For these situations, there is the Flight keyword. Cards which have the Flight keyword, such as Jetfire (Robot), Starscream (Robot or Character), or Jump (Maneuver), are able to use the Move on that card to travel diagonally; that is, 1 Move can allow the player's character to move 1 space orthogonally OR diagonally. It's important to restate that this keyword, and its associated diagonal movement, only applies to the Move value on the same card. In other words, it does not grant diagonal movement to any other Move you may have from other sources. This is another reason why it is important to track the sources of used Move by using the -1 Move tokens. Flight is much more prevalent in the A Rising Darkness standalone expansion.
There are yet other Cybertronians who use technology or inherent abilities to travel instantaneously. In this game, this is represented by the term Teleport. Teleport allows a character to move without spending Move. It is a special, free type of move ability that is separate from any Move granted on the card by way of the arrow icon. A Teleport ability may have a value listed, which indicates how many orthogonal spaces away the character can move. If a value is not listed, then the character may Teleport to any space in the Matrix (it may also state this explicitly). For example, Mirage can Teleport one space when Blocking, but Skywarp can Teleport to any space, though if defeated by an Autobot instead of purchased by a Decepticon, the victorious Autobot may Teleport 1 space as a reward. One really powerful benefit of Teleport abilities is that Teleporting onto an Adversary's space does not incur an Ambush; however, since it is still technically a type of move, any other game effect that triggers when moving to a space will still apply when Teleporting, eg: if a card, such as Tar Pits, requires extra Move to enter its space, Teleporting there would mean the standard move to that space has no cost, but the extra penalty cost must still be paid.
Whether using Technology or not, Teleporting around the Matrix is fun…
Tox-En will still take your Energon if you head there, and Sky Lynx and Tar
Pits still require extra Move to enter their spaces.
With the introduction of Astrotrain as a playable character in Promo Pack #2, we find our first glimpse into the world of multi-changers, and with them, an additional rule regarding Move. Multi-changers are Transformers with more than one Alt Mode. When Converting, a multi-changer can choose to change to any of their different modes. It's possible that multiple modes may have Move values on their card, and they may even have different Move values. For example, Astrotrain has 1 Move in his train Alt Mode and 2 Move in his shuttle Alt Mode. If a player Converts between modes several times in the same turn, the Move on the mode's card does not reset. That is, any Move spent in one mode also decreases the Move value in other modes. Again, using Astrotrain as an example, if he starts in train mode and spends the 1 Move, then Converts into shuttle mode, he will have 1 Move remaining to spend. Alternatively, if he starts in shuttle mode and spends 1 or 2 Move, but then Converts into train mode, then he will have no more Move while in that mode, and will have to Convert back to shuttle mode if he wants to access the remaining 1 Move this turn. The same as other characters, all Move does reset at the end of your turn.
Whether driving, flying, or teleporting, remember that abilities are resolved immediately when the card is played, and that resources are specific to the card on which they appear. Be sure to carefully plan your turn, and keep track of which Move has been spent, as even a 1 Move with Flight used properly may mean the difference between making it to your preferred space or not. Until next time, roll out!