Empyrean: Battles of Ra'fien is a strategic and combative tabletop game. It combines the deep deck-building elements of a card game and the tactical mechanics of a territorial conquest board game, along with some other unique qualities and innovations.
Empyrean: Battles of Ra'fien is a strategic combative tabletop game. It combines the deep deck-building elements of a card game and the the tactical mechanics of a territorial conquest board game, along with some other unique qualities and innovations. In our game players will master and combine multiple skill-sets into their strategies. By allowing players to control more than just one aspect of the game, each battle is truly skill based. If you lose or win a game you won't feel like it was cheapened by luck.
Empyrean is an Expandable Card Game (ECG). This means when you buy the box you will receive every card in the first set, as well as a board and game pieces. When expansion sets come out, you will buy the expansion and get all of the new cards and pieces as well. No more buying booster packs and hoping to get the cards you need. No more overpaying independent vendors for a specific card just to be competitive. We give you everything in the box and then it's up to you to build your strategy.
Empyrean does a few things different from other games. For starters we have implemented a full strategic board (with it's own mechanics) as the playing field in addition to the card mat. So you play a troop card on the card mat, it then becomes a game piece on the board. Each Troop has it's own rank, abilities, and traits which determine how it moves and interact with the different tile types, elevation levels, obstacles, or if it can claim resource nodes and strategic positions.
Unlike most card games, there are a choices players make towards their strategy that do NOT go into the deck. Just like building deck synergy, you will choose cards for your advanced deck, artifact cards which unlock during a match, your army of up to 5 troops, and a General to lead your strategy!
We wanted a rich and deep combo system, but we didn't want to do it exactly same as its already been done. We decided that in order to truly add some surprise moves in a match and allow ingenious strategies to be developed, there should be more you can do with the cards in your deck. Thus our Advanced Card system was born. These allow us to give you more customization and control within your Deck without needing to increase the card limit of a deck. These will allow players to be able to morph, extend, or chain card effects mid-game. It has led to a really fast paced and fun combo mechanic. Also combos do not just exist by stringing a few cards from your hand together, you can also implement troop abilities into a combo as well as artifact cards, in fact it is encouraged! A well played combo will involve many troops and effects to pull off a power play.
How to Play
Gameplay Basics Overview
There are hundreds of cards in the first set of Empyrean and you have access to all of them. There are some deck-building rules, but here are the basics. You must first choose a Hero (a 5-Star Troop), then build your 40-Card deck full of Troops, Actions, Objectives, and Hidden cards. You can mix and match cards from all Aspects and Cultures, but synergy should be your focus. Your deck must have 40 cards in total. You may have up to 2 copies of a card in your deck, however some cards have further restrictions which will be covered more in depth as we approach launch.
Your Advanced Deck may contain up to a total of 15 Cards.
There are 3 win conditions for a match. Reduce the enemy Player's Life to 0. Destroy the enemy Hero. Or Capture 3 of the 4 Advantage Points on the field. Some strategies can definitely be geared more towards achieving 1 of these objectives.
Each Player draws 5 Cards before the game begins. Either player can shuffle up to 3 cards back into the deck and draw the same amount. After this the game begins and player 1 draws one card.
Each Player begins the game with 3 Aether and their Power Marker set to 3. Each turn Players increase the Max Power by 1, so as the game goes on each player gain more power. Power is what you use to play cards.
You may only play Action Cards, Artifact Cards, and Hidden Cards within your Play Areas and these areas can vary based on how you have played the game. The Play Areas include the Base, a claimed Advantage Point, a claimed Resource Node, and within a 2-Tile radius of any ally Unit on the field.
You may deploy Troops within your Base, a claimed Advantage Point, a claimed Resource Node, and within a 2-Tile Radius of a 3-Star or higher ranked Troop. So claiming points and strategically moving your high ranked troops around can be critical in controlling the field.
There are a lot more refined mechanics that are covered in the rule-book.
There are 2 resources in Empyrean. Power, which generates automatically each turn, and Aether which generates by various actions and means.
Power will restore to full and increase it's marker by +1 at the start of each turn. Power begins at 3 in the start of the game and increases to a Max of 10. Claiming an Advantage Point will reduce your overall Power Cost for your cards, and there are some other effects that may affect Power.
Aether is the primary resource of the game and can be obtained through various means and effects. Players begin the game with 3 Aether each and have a maximum Aether storage of 8. If you capture a resource node you will generate 2 Aether each turn. There are various other ways to generate Aether as well.
You use Aether to play Process Actions, to use your Troops' special abilities, to power up card effects, to recharge Artifact Cards, and more. You should be generating and exhausting Aether constantly as you play.
Combat is a major aspect of Empyrean. Units may attack on your turn, however some may attack on your opponent's turn. Normal Units cannot attack or move on the same turn they are deployed, however there are some special Units that can.
To enter Combat and attack a foe you must first consider a number of factors. Your troop's Combat Range to start, either Melee or Ranged.
When a troop attacks or is attacked, that troop becomes Exposed, meaning you turn the card horizontal and apply it's exposed Talent stat in the following combats that round-if a troop is attacked twice it rotates again becoming Vulnerable. So to take down a powerful enemy, you may need to plan a tactical multi-attack to destroy it.
These are all explained in much more depth in the Rule-book.