In our Kinfire Focus series, we’re spotlighting a different part of gameplay in Kinfire Chronicles: Night’s Fall. Last week we talked about Character Selection, and this week it’s time to dive into Combat!
Before combat begins, each Seeker will shuffle their deck and draw 7 cards. Any Seekers that have armor on their Seeker sheet will also take that many Armor cards. You’ll place the enemies and Seekers according to the battle map card, and then assign enemy focus. Enemies will begin focused on the Seeker that matches their condition, such as most health, least armor, or closest Seeker. But don’t worry, you can always draw enemy focus to keep an injured ally in the fight.
Samples of enemy focus, starting battle setup, and Seeker starting armor
Rather than take standard turns, order is determined by the Destiny bag. A player will reach in and pull out a destiny chit, and whatever you pull out, that’s whose turn it is! There are 12 Seeker chits divided evenly amongst the players (so 6 each for a 2-player game, 4 each for a 3-player game and so on). There are also 12 number chits that correspond to enemy actions. Lastly, there are 3 Heart chits, which let you choose which Seeker’s turn it is, and 2 Darkness chits, which usually correspond to an enemy’s strongest attack.
Seeker chits, enemy number chits, and Heart chits on the time tracker
If you pull out a Seeker’s face, it’s that Seeker’s turn! You get one space of movement, and one action per turn. You can move then act, or act then move. Certain attacks will draw the enemy’s focus, so use them wisely. Other actions are labeled “Free Actions” and allow you to play another action immediately following, so keep an eye on your play order. Some cards will also allow things like an extra movement, status effects, or provide extra damage if you meet certain conditions.
After playing an attack, all other Seekers can play a boost card to help in ways such as increasing the damage, allowing the Seeker an extra movement, or letting the Seeker draw or discard a card.
Meteor Throw: Ranged attack, 3 aggressive damage (draws enemy focus), adds a hurt card. Duel of Honor: Return a chit to the bag and draw again. Scorpion's Strike: Melee attack. 2 non-aggressive damage. Player gains a movement
If at any point a player has no more action cards in their hand, they immediately discard the rest of their hand, draw a new hand of 7, and charge their lantern card, which is their most powerful attack. Each Seeker’s lantern is unique, and you can check out the Character Selection blog to see them.
If you pull out a chit numbered 1-12, the corresponding enemy will take that action. Enemies will always move towards the Seeker they are focused on, even if there are other Seekers closer. Just like Seekers, they get one space of movement, unless their action states otherwise. Then, if they are in range to attack, they will!
The other Seekers can play damage reduction boosts to help protect their allies, as long as their boost card matches the color of the attack. Luckily, most attacks are white, meaning any color will work. The Seeker being attacked can also reduce damage by the number of armor cards in their hand. They must then return one armor card back to the pile (think of it as a shield getting banged up. Still useful! Just not as much).
An enemy sheet with sample ways to reduce the damage
There are also Heart and Darkness chits in the bag. A heart lets you choose whose turn it is, and a Darkness chit is usually the enemy’s worst ability. Hearts and Darkness go on the time tracker, and when it fills up, all spent chits go back into the bag. This helps prevent an impossible situation, such as all the Seeker chits being out of the bag, and thus no way to attack or pass focus.
Remember, if even one of the Seekers falls in combat, you lose the encounter. It doesn’t mean you’ll lose the game, but you’ll be directed to a different card, and you will face some consequences. Whether it’s the bad guys escaping with the loot, or a valuable NPC staying behind to buy you time to escape, it will affect the direction of the story going forward. If your back is ever against the wall, it might be time to use a Fate token. You’ll gain these for accomplishing certain tasks throughout the game, and you can use up to 3 per battle encounter. When you use one, you’ll drop it into the void box (don’t worry about it, I’m sure it’s fine) and you’ll be able to pull 4 Destiny chits from the bag. You can then choose which of the 4 to play, returning the other 3 to the bag. This is particularly useful if you know a certain chit number spells an instant loss, or one of the Seekers has a particularly good move ready.
Of course every combat encounter is unique in the game. Different enemies, different maps, and different objectives and obstacles. So there's plenty more to explore that we just can't get into before the game is even released. But that just gives you more to get excited about!