War Battle Rules

The Basics

War battles play out differently from standard, tactical combat.

Each battlefield will be divided up into locations, which are connected to each other through paths. Units on the battlefield may only be stationed in a location. In most cases, an unlimited number of units may be stationed at a given location.

A unit is represented by a white card. No matter what, a white card always indicates a unit, regardless of its name. Many units might simply be labeled with the name of their commander, particularly enemy units. A unit can have up to three major characters assigned to it (one commander and two support characters), which grant it various bonuses.

A major character is represented by a blue card. All of the player characters will have their own blue cards, and typically they will get to assign themselves among their own units as they wish. Significant villains will usually be considered major characters too.

A red card represents an offensive attack power. Usually, offensive attack powers are connected to major characters rather than units themselves.

A green card represents a recovery power. Like red cards, these are typically connected to major characters.

A yellow card represents a utility power. Like red cards, these are typically connected to major characters.

All of these cards are connected together, usually with a paper clip, to form a full unit. In other words, you'll probably have a white unit card with blue character and power cards attached. All of these cards should move with the unit when it changes location.


A battle takes place in phases; one side takes a turn, then the other, and so forth. The side who gets the first turn can vary; sometimes it is set, in other cases initiative may be rolled.

Each army is limited to a certain number of actions per phase. An army's commander usually determines how many actions an army can take, but the default is three actions per phase.

A unit can take one action per phase unless a power specifically notes otherwise:


Most units have a movement rate of 1, which means that they can move from one location to an adjacent location. Some units may have special abilities which allow them to move more, and a few units may be mounted (or even flying) which grant them a movement rate of 2 or more.

Regardless of movement, a unit may not move through a location occupied by an enemy.


A unit may attack an enemy unit in an adjacent location. If there are multiple enemy units in the location that the attacker wishes to assault, the enemy gets to decide which unit will intercept. Once the battle begins, it lasts for three rounds unless one side retreats. Fortune favors the bold, so initiating an assault against an enemy gives that unit a +1 to attack and damage for that skirmish.

A unit can decide to to do one of three things in each round:

Attack (In-Battle)

The unit rolls initiative and attacks (the winner of the initiative roll attacks first, of course).

Defend (In-Battle)

The unit automatically wins the initiative roll. It receives +2 to defense and 2 points of resistance to damage, but does not attack.

Retreat (In-Battle)

The unit retreats. If it wins initiative, it retreats before the opponent gets a chance to attack this round. Otherwise, the enemy attacks first, then the unit retreats. When a unit retreats, it automatically moves one location away. If a unit does not have a valid location to move to, it cannot take this action.

Once the battle is concluded, no further action is taken unless one unit was defeated, in which case it is considered to be routed and removed from the field. A major character has a base 20% chance of dying if his or her unit is routed. This number may be modified by powers or abilities.


Instead of taking another action, a unit can tighten its defenses. If a unit chooses this option, it gains a +1 stacking bonus to defense and 1 point of stacking damage resistance until the start of its side's phase or until it moves (including a retreat).

Major Characters

In general, major characters will offer the following static bonuses to a unit:

+2 hit points per tier
+1 to attack rolls at paragon, +2 at epic
+1 to defense at paragon, +2 at epic

Characters who are base-class Leaders offer the following additional bonuses:
+2 hit points
+1 to attack rolls, damage, and defense (stacking with the above bonuses)

Characters who are base-class Defenders offer…
+2 hit points

Characters who are base-class Strikers offer…
+1 damage

Characters who are base-class Controllers don't have any special bonuses, but typically have more significant carded abilities.

Almost all major characters will offer special carded powers to a unit, in addition to the static bonuses above.

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