Transformers Deck-Building Game: How Does It Work?
Range, Block, and Encounters
Transformers Deck-Building Game utilizes three main resources: Power, Range, and Move. Of the three of these, Range is the one that gets the most questions. Range allows a card to project and utilize its Power at a distance. It is the number of spaces away from a given card/space, measured in orthogonal spaces. The direction in which one counts Range can change if needed, as long as the spaces continue to be counted orthogonally.
You can buy or battle cards within Range, though you cannot activate a Site's ability because you're not actually at the Site. The one caveat about Range is that Range only projects the Power that is on the same card; that is, it does not grant that Range to all cards you play on your turn, only its own. This is indicated on the card with a visual reminder in the form of a yellow halo that extends between the card's Power and Range icons. This means that to buy or battle a card at Range, each card used for Power must have a Range greater than or equal to the orthogonal distance to the target card.
For example, if a player has Helping Hand (2 Power, Range 2) and Roll Out (1 Power, Range 1), then they can either buy/battle a card with a cost of 2 which is two spaces away from them (two ahead, or one ahead and one to the side) since only Helping Hand can reach, or they can buy/battle a card with a cost of up to 3 which is one space away, since both cards have enough Range to reach that card.
One thing about Range that is not always obvious on the card is that Range also allows Block cards to be used at Range. A Block card is a card with the Block keyword on it, either in the game text ability or in the Energon ability. Blocks can be used to avoid the effects of an Attack, and are activated either by discarding the card with Block in the game text ability from your hand to your discard pile, or by paying the Energon cost to activate a Block Energon ability on a card in play. Energon ability Blocks cannot be used from your hand. Blocking from hand is not the same as playing a card, so when the Block is discarded, no other text on the card is activated and no resources are generated, though the Range can still be used. Some Block cards have text after the Block keyword. In this case, the text ability is activated only when the Block is used. Blocks may also be found on the character cards, and can be activated by paying the Energon cost.
Blocks can be used to block for you or for another player, but each player may only play one Block per Attack, and each Block can only Block one Attack for one player. A decision must be made: will you protect yourself, or will you protect another player within the Range of the Block card? Even in Competitive Mode there are reasons that blocking for another player may be beneficial. When an Attack occurs, start from the attacked player and proceed clockwise to see if anyone will Block the Attack for that player. If no one is willing, or within Range, to Block, then the attacked player must suffer the effect of the Attack.
Blocks can also be used to avoid Attacks that are the result of the Ambush on an Encounter card. When an Adversary Robot is revealed in a space where one or more players are present, any Player in that space who is an Adversary to that Robot is Ambushed (eg: Autobot players are Ambushed when a Decepticon Robot is revealed). To resolve an Ambush, draw an Encounter card from the Encounter deck and resolve its Ambush effect (top) against any Ambushed character. If you reveal an Adversary Robot and no players from the opposing faction are present in that space, no Ambush occurs. All Ambushes are Attacks, so their effects can all be Blocked, whether by the player being Ambushed in that space, or by someone else who has a Block with sufficient Range to reach that space. You can also avoid the Ambush by using abilities which flip cards in other spaces (eg: Patrol). You cannot be Ambushed if you're not in the revealed space!
You will also resolve an Ambush when you Move (or are moved) onto a space which contains an Adversary card, but this Ambush only affects any of the characters who just moved into the space (ie: not any who were already there). Remaining on that space for more than one turn does not incur any additional Ambushes, but moving away from the space and returning would. If you teleport into a space, you are not Ambushed, so you do not draw an Encounter card.
When revealing a Boss, instead of resolving an Ambush, resolve the Boss’s “Reveal Attack” against each Adversary player in the Matrix, regardless of their location. The Boss may also instruct you to resolve an Ambush afterwards, which also is against all players (this is noted on the Encounter card). Note that the Reveal Attack does NOT include the following Ambush, so Blocking the Reveal Attack does not Block the need to draw an Ambush card, nor does it Block the Attack on the Ambush card. If you would like to Block the Ambush's Attack, that must be done separately from Blocking the Reveal Attack, which either means you need to have 2 Blocks in order to Block both, or you must make a decision about which one you're going to Block.
By now, it's probably been noticed that there is a bottom half to the Encounter cards. This half is used during Boss Confrontations. When you Confront a Boss, after you have asked for Assists and before you choose to accept and resolve Assists, you must draw an Encounter card and resolve the Boss Confrontation (bottom) effect (recall that before drawing the Encounter card is the cut off for deciding to cancel the Confrontation if you do not receive any Assists). Note that most Boss Confrontation Encounters are NOT Attacks, and therefore cannot be Blocked. Only the Boss Confrontations which have the Attack keyword may be Blocked.
Crushing Blow may be Blocked, as it is an Attack; however, Out of Gas may not be Blocked.So, whether you're buying, battling, or blocking, you are now equipped to do it from a safe distance away, given the right cards. That's all for now. Roll out!