KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
Dear friends!

The first-ever KARDS expansion "Allegiance" is ready for release on December 10. With Allegiance, we will see fundamental changes and exciting new opportunities coming to KARDS. Fantastic times!

So far, we have revealed that new nations and new mechanics will arrive with Allegiance (check out the previous two blogs here and here). In this blog, we are going to cover several other changes and adjustments coming with Allegiance.

Before we go into the details, here is a quick refresher about Allegiance:
  • Two new nations become playable as ally nations: France and Italy
  • 150 new cards in total with 22 for each of the the existing five nations
  • Elite cards can no longer be used for ally nations
  • 3 new core abilities: Resistance, Mobilize and Alpine
  • New in this blog: 26 completely new achievements
  • New in this blog: Balance updates for eleven existing cards
  • New in this blog: Draft matches include now France and Italy as ally nations and yield expansion card pack as reward until end of this month

Let's dig into the details!

Allegiance Lands
The new expansion has 150 brand new cards that are only available by opening Allegiance packs or National packs. As bonus, if you are a new player, the starter decks have been adjusted a little and have a few Allegiance cards each.

Draft will include choices from both sets. The new ally nations - France and Italy - are available as options, but only as allies. To compensate for their limited card pool the rules for picking a card for them is a bit less restrictive than for the other nations, so you can expect a bit more variance in rarity picks when it comes to these two ally nations.

To celebrate Allegiance, the guaranteed fixed you get as a reward for drafting will be an Allegiance pack until the end of December! After that, the pack will be of the base set again. Other rewards remain the same.

We’ve also updated the store to allow for purchase of Allegiance packs, because that’s how we can buy our kids new shoes.

Achievements Unlocked
We are adding 26 new achievements to the game.

In addition to achievements based around playing some of the new cards (for instance playing French cards or Alpine units), we have also added achievements for ranking up and for drafting. Plus, we finally have the Countermeasure achievement. There are also two new hidden achievements to discover.

Because of the new achievements we have reconstructed the achievement rewards a bit to stretch them over more achievements. We also used this opportunity to make the rewards more consistent based on levels, which will result in some early achievement having better rewards, at the expense of some of the later ones. This, alongside the new achievements, should help brand new players gain cards faster.

Card Balances
Finally, we are making slight adjustments to 11 base set cards. Some of these changes we’ve been sitting on for awhile but didn’t want to deploy because of the World Championship, others are linked to the localization project, and some we just wanted to fiddle with. Without further ado, let’s get to them.

The Crusader is a mainstay of many British decks, often paired with Commandos. Having two key units both having Smokescreen puts too much reliance on enemy having removal orders as an answer, so we decided to remove Smokescreen from one of them. The Crusader seemed a better fit for a change, and the higher defense can actually be relevant, for instance against Gunship Mission and Eagle Claws. Plus it aligns it better with other British tanks, which tend to have higher defense than attack.

This change was actually prompted by localization requirements, but we actually find it hits the mark balance wise as well. Swapping Smokescreen for 1 defense weakens the unit a little bit, but the unit was a tad too powerful beforehand, so we’re very happy with this adjustment.

Another victim of the too-many-words committee, but here we felt we had wriggle room for an improvement. The new version not only reads better and fits better with similar effects on other cards, but also is slightly better in most cases. So a win-win on all fronts.

This one is a result of the thematic-matter committee poking its nose in. As can be seen on the picture this particular version is being flown by a French pilot, a member of the Group the Chasse Normandie 3, a regiment of French pilots that flew for the Soviets. To reflect that partnership we are altering the Yak 3 slightly, making it particularly powerful when allied with France.

Yet another victim of wordiness, the Ambush ability had to go. Increasing the attack to 3 is particularly powerful for this unit because you want to trade it with another unit to trigger the destruction effect and now there are many more trading partners to choose from. To reflect this, we increased the op cost to 2, as air units with attack of 3 with an op cost of only 1 is too powerful.

This seems like an innocent change. It’s not like increasing the damage of your orders has been lighting up the big stage recently, right? Right? Guys?

Now that winter is finally here, the bad-weather committee informed us that, due to heavy blizzards, achieving precision with your bombing was getting progressively harder. So we promptly changed this card, end of story.

This was a tough choice to make, because Rescue Mission is such a fun card. But sometimes tough love is what the baby needs and this card was becoming too ubiquitous in durdly decks all over. And we are not fond of cards being ubiquitous because it’s such a difficult word to spell.

Data indicates that players are not interested in combining their arms to get the most out of Combined Arms, so we are improving Combined Arms to allow for stronger combination of arms. Simple, right?

They said we couldn’t do it, but we didn’t listen to the naysayers and went ahead and did it. There are a bit too many ramp cards in the environment and more coming in the expansion. Changing this card was best because it already does a bit too much and we want pure ramp cards to shine more.

The variance on this card was already a tad high and with numerous new US infantry units arriving with the expansion, we felt the variance needed to be reigned in a bit. There is still a fair amount of randomness in the card - you can get a 2/2 or a 5/5 for instance, but it is getting more reliable.

That’s it for the base set changes. Note that as there are a few elite cards changing, if you feel this negatively affects your recent crafting decisions, feel free to contact us and we’ll work something out.

Otherwise, we are getting super stoked for delivering Allegiance. Keep your eyes out for the patch notes that details all the features and fixes found in the update.

See you on the battlefield!

KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
Congratulations to the winner of the KARDS World Championship 2019:
GEARBOT - KARDS World Champion 2019

In a dramatic and nerve-wracking World Championship finals on December 8, Gearbot won the best-of-five series against GKZhukov with 3-2.

Over the past three months, more than 1,000 players from around the globe have battled to reach the finals for a chance to compete for the title of the first KARDS World Champion and for part of the $6,500 prize pool.

The four best players were ready to battle it out at the KARDS Headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Four Champions
Before we go into the details, let's have a look at our four champions qualified for the semi-finals!

Have a look at each of the info sheets.

First: Honourable Mentions
This final weekend of the World Championship kicked off with the semi-finals and the battle for 3rd place.

GKZhukov and Gearbot won the semi-final matches relatively clearly against Drogear and Fenrir with 3-0 and 3-1.

Fenrir won the match for the 3rd place against Drogear and scored a solid 3-1 victory.

Reaching the semi-finals of the KARDS World Championship against almost 1000 contestants is a major achievement. Congratulations to Fenrir and Drogear!

The Final Battle

The final battle between Gearbot and GKZhukov couldn't have been more dramatic. The pressure on both players was immense.

While Gearbot was considered by the community to be a tad bit stronger, GKZhukov certainly had shown a convincing and strong presence in the semifinals.

The five final matches showed a tug of war between Gearbot's unconventional and strong LAST RITES + M6A1 SEIRAN combo featuring a more defensive style throughout the opening and middle game.

While Gearbot started strong and scored an early victory 1-0, GKZhukov was able to claw back and evened out the score to 1-1.

The following matches were testimonies for the great skills of both players. With excellent tactical maneuvers, great strategic planning and cunning mind-games, it was an exciting display of what the best KARDS players are capable of and a joy to watch! KARDS is indeed quite easy to learn, but you can also go extremely deep. The battle waged forth and back until the score was 2-2.

The final match had to decide!

This final match was a mini-drama in itself, it was unclear till the end who was going to win. After 11:34 minutes in that final match and 16 turns, Gearbot won the final match and the title of KARDS World Champion 2019.

Fair sportsmanship all around as GKZhukov immediately shook hands and congratulated Gearbot for winning the finals and for becoming the first KARDS World Champion.

The Results

The full and final results of the KARDS World Championship Finals:

1st place and KARDS World Champion 2019: Gearbot
2nd place: GKZhukov
3rd place: Fenrir
4th place: Drogear

Match for the 1st place: Gearbot vs GKZhukov 3-2
Match for the 3d place: Fenrir vs Drogear 3-1

Semifinals 1: GKZhukov vs Drogear 3-0
Semifinals 2: Gearbot vs Fenrir 3-1

The recordings of the semifinals and final are available on KARDS YouTube.

Subscribe to KARDS YouTube as we will upload the individual tournament matches and footage in the following days.

KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
Welcome to the Finals of the KARDS World Championship 2019

Live broadcast on Twitch

Over the past three months, more than 1,000 players from all around the globe have battled to reach the Finals of the KARDS World Championship 2019 for a chance to compete for part of the $6,500 prize pool.

Now, the four best players, our KARDS Champions, are ready for the last battle!

Live Stream
Reserve some time this weekend! Tune in to the KARDS Twitch channel and follow the action:

Saturday, December 7, at 8:00 p.m. UTC / 3:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, December 8, at 7:00 p.m. UTC / 2:00 p.m. ET

Watch live and see which one of our four champions will outmaneuver and outgun their opponents to be crowned the world’s top KARDS player 2019.

The live steam will also reveal additional Allegiance expansion cards, have discussions with the KARDS team, and of course commentary and match analysis. Don't miss it!

The Finalists
Over the past three months and via three different stages, each increasingly more challenging, the Finalists have proven themselves. Have a look at our champions (alphabetically ordered)!

Drogear started playing KARDS in the Early Beta and has been with us ever since. He is a dedicated KARDS veteran with more than 1300 hours of playtime and serious knowledge. Drogear is from Sweden.

The recorded best position for Drogear is 4th place in Season 7.

Drogear's favorite nation in KARDS is British.

Fenrir started playing KARDS in June this year and has rapidly gained knowledge and skills. With close to 400 hours of playtime on record so far, he is an adversary not to be taken lightly! While Fenrir is a Chinese citizen, currently living in the US.

The recorded best position for Fenrir is a 17th place in Season 8.

Fenrir's favorite nation in KARDS is Japan.

Gearbot started playing KARDS in Early Beta and has one of the oldest accounts in KARDS, only surpassed by few. With almost 500 hours of playtime, he has spent his time to efficiently improve his skills and KARDS knowledge. Similar to Drogear, Gearbot is also from Sweden.

The recorded best position for Gearbot is a 1st place in Season 7.

Gearbot's favorite nation in KARDS is Japan.

GKZhukov surprisingly started playing KARDS almost on the same day as Fenrir (June 2019) but has a less playtime. With a bit more than 250 hours of playtime, he has impressively climbed the ranks and was able to reach top positions in a surprisingly short amount of time. GKZhukov is from the UK.

The recorded best position for GKZhukov is a 9th place in Season 8.

GKZhukov's favorite nation in KARDS is Britain.

Our four champions are ready for the final challenge now! Who will have the final upper hand in the end? The veterans with the most playtime and experience, those that have proven to climb the ranks fast in a short amount of time?

Who are your favorites?

The Final Battles
The format of the Finals is similar to the previous Championship tournament:
  • A best-of-five series with pre-locked decks

The winner of the semi-finals on Saturday will proceed to the Finals on Sunday. The losers will compete for the third place.

The decklist will be published shortly after the selection period has ended on Friday, Dec 6, at 23: 59: 59 UTC.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, for the latest news!
Especially keep an eye on the #KWC19 hashtag.

General KARDS Championship Info
if you would like to have a refresher or if you are just looking for further info about the KARDS Championship, look no further! We have all the info listed below.

Announcing the KARDS World Championship
Championship Stage 2
Championship Stage 3 - Recap Week 1
Championship Stage 3 - Recap Week 2
Championship Stage 3 - Final round
Celebrate the Finalists of the World Championship

YouTube Championship videos


KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
Hello friends!

Let's reveal the new game mechanics coming with the arrival of the two new ally nations France and Italy in the Allegiance expansion on December 10!

In true KARDS spirit, these new mechanics are rooted in history and continue our efforts to give KARDS a genuine WW2 feeling.

Are you ready?

The two new abilities in Allegiance are called Mobilize and Alpine.

Mobilize is mostly found on French units and Alpine is mostly found on Italian units, but there are a couple in other nations and going forward these keywords are considered available in any nation.

Vive la France
The Mobilize help bubble reads:
Unit gets +1+1 at start of its turn. Unit loses Mobilize when damaged.
This means that as long as the unit with Mobilize hasn’t received any damage, it will grow by +1+1 at the start of every one of your turns. The units with Mobilize are generally priced in such a way that if they are damaged immediately, they are underwhelming for their cost, if they get the bonus once they are generally on par and if they get it two or more times they are starting punch above their weight.

Note that Mobilize is only lost on damage, not necessarily just combat. So a Bloody Sickle will remove the Mobilize, but a Mobilize unit with Heavy Armor could for instance fight and retain its Mobilize status as long as the Heavy Armor stops all combat damage. Upon losing the Mobilize status the unit will no longer gain +1+1 at the start of your turn, but it will retain any bonuses accrued so far.

The thematic idea with Mobilize reflects the general unready state of the French army at the outset of the war - they had plenty of manpower and some decent equipment, they just needed time to organize and gear up. Time was not what they got, which can be reflected in KARDS by fast blitz decks disrupting the Mobilize units before they can really get going. So when playing a Mobilize deck you want to delay and disrupt the enemy to give your Mobilize units time to grow into something fearsome.

Many of the Mobilize units have effects linked to maintaining the Mobilize status or losing it. Here is an example:

There are also cards that take units with Mobilize into account for play effects, restrictions, etc. Here is one example:

Note that a unit only counts as being Mobilized while it still has its Mobilize status, i.e. it hasn’t been damaged yet.

Another strong theme the French have is linked to the French Resistance, starting with the namesake card:

Resistance cards always go into the enemy hand.

There are several French cards that create Resistance cards when played, both units and orders. Resistance cards clutter up the enemy hand, the only way to get rid of them (apart from rare self-discard strategies) is by playing it, this both causes you to lose a kredit (for playing the card) and the top card of the your deck - if the resistance is strong enough it can even run you out of resources! This of course reflects the nuisance the French Resistance movement caused, tying up valuable men and resources.

Keeping the Resistance cards in hand can also be risky. Apart from the risk of losing a draw if you have a full hand, there are cards that become more effective the more Resistance cards the enemy has in hand. See for instance:

That’s it for France. Let’s take a look at the other new keyword, Alpine.

Italian Renaissance
The help bubble for Alpine reads:
When an Alpine unit is deployed or added it gets +1+1 for each other Alpine unit you control.
So the first one you play gets no bonus, the second one gets +1+1, the third one +2+2 and so on. This means that they can quickly snowball a basic unit into something very strong if left unchecked.

The thematic idea for Alpine is that while some Italian units performed at subpar level due to equipment and morale issues, there were many crack Italian units that fought extremely well during the war. The Alpini units were among those that performed well and the Alpine keyword reflects that on their own they are not that great, but if you manage to concentrate them they can become a very potent force. The reason for using the Alpine term is to allow other nations to dip their toes into this keyword, as most armies had some sort of mountaineer troops that can get the Alpine designation. Let’s take a look at a basic Alpine unit:

With just a single Alpine unit on the battlefield, this comes down as a 3/3 and draws you a card and it can be even bigger if you happen to have more - in other words, the mountaineers can snowball very quickly (pun intended).

There are also cards that support Alpine units or benefit Alpine units in some fashion. Some of these cards are Alpine themselves, others are not. Here is an example of the former:

Italy also has a strong theme of getting advantages while they are on the front foot. Many of their cards have effect boost or play restrictions based on battlefield position - if they are doing well, then these cards can be very powerful, but if they are behind they struggle. In addition, many of their cards start out strong, but can then become weaker the more opposition they face. So with Italy you want to seize the initiative and keep it. Here is one example of an Italian card that can be very strong while they have the upper hand:

Can’t Touch This
There is one final mechanic we want to showcase. It is only found on two cards in the new expansion, but we expect those two cards to make a splash. Here is one of the two, you have to wait until the 10th to see the other:

Even as a 3/3 for 2 is a decent value due to the protection clause and in a dedicated Alpine deck it consistently is at least 4/4, which is very solid for 2 kredits.

Just to make sure there is no ambiguity regarding the ability - this stops orders that directly target a specific unit. It can still be affected by cards that don’t have specific targets like Naval Operation or Death From Above. So while it stops a lot of heat, it is not a blanket protection against all orders.

That’s it for the second part of the Allegiance mechanics.

Stay tuned for one more dev blog to discuss other general changes coming with our big update on December 10th. In the meantime, let us know what you think in the comments below!

Learn more about Allegiance and read the following articles
Allegiance expansion announcement and pre-order deal
Revealed! Two new nations with Allegiance
Allegiance game mechanics - Part 1
Allegiance card reveals - Week 1
Allegiance card reveals - Week 2

Don't miss the live broadcast of the World Championship Finals on December 7 at 8pm UTC and December 8 at 7pm UTC!

KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
Top news from the KARDS Headquarters!

Reinforcements are arriving for KARDS! Two new ally nations enter the battlefield with the Allegiance expansion on December 10, opening a completely new world of strategic options.

On December 10, with the arrival of the Allegiance expansion, you can play with France and Italy as new ally nations!

New ally nations: France and Italy
With new abilities and keywords, the new ally nations let you explore and develop completely new strategies!

The French cards span the entire war effort with units from before the Fall of France through to the Free French Forces. With a strong Resistance theme, the French cards bring a new mechanic designed to disrupt enemy play and to disrupt your opponent’s hand.

The Italian forces are more aggressive as they are designed to seize the initiative by taking the frontline and overwhelming the enemy. Italian units benefit from operating together as they give buffs when played in unison.

Expanding the existing Nations
The existing nations get reinforcements as well with 22 extra cards for each. These cards bolster current strategies and enable you to explore fresh directions with each nation. Read more about changes of existing game mechanics and check out the card spoilers of week 1 and week 2.

Allegiance Offer
In the meanwhile, you can prepare yourself for the arrival of the new nations by taking advantage of the Allegiance card pack offer with a juicy discount of 45%. The offer includes an exclusive "Allegiance" cardback and 50 packs of cards, it is available only until December 9 and directly supports the development of KARDS.

More details on the way
Stay tuned as we will reveal more about the new keywords and abilities of the new nations in a blog post this Thursday, December 5.

We recommend to also keep an eye on https://playkards.com/ with the next card reveal!

Further Allegiance expansion info
Allegiance expansion announcement and pre-order deal
Allegiance game mechanics - Part 1
Allegiance card reveals - Week 1
Allegiance card reveals - Week 2
KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
With the upcoming KARDS winter expansion Allegiance on December 10, we will get two new nations and 150 new cards along with new game mechanics.

The road to Allegiance is spiced with reveals and exciting news. Part of the reveals are new cards that will become playable on December 10. Here, we give you a quick overview of what has been revealed the previous days and keep you up to date.

Let's have a look a the next batch of reveal cards now:

Further info: Steam post by KARDS team

CARRIER COVER is a US Order card and features one of the new game mechanics. When playing, you can choose between one of two possible effects adding a lot of flexibility.

This order is like a combination of The War Machine and Naval Bombardment and helps to adjust your tactics to the situation on the battlefield.

Further info: Twitch reveal with MattyGG

1st MARINES is another example of a strong US card. For 3 Kredits deployment cost, 1 operation costs and 3 attack/4 defense, it is already a reasonably good card.

The special effect however, Smokescreen for the HQ for one turn when it moves to the Frontline, opens exciting new opportunities.

Further info: YouTube video by baby

ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES is a new British Elite unit introducing an exciting new game mechanic. While in play, damage dealt to your HQ is diverted to this unit.

This aligns well with the strong British defensive capabilities. With deployment costs of 4 Kredits, we might see a new highly popular card here.

Further info: Steam post by KARDS team

The German SPOILS OF WAR order is one of the cards that introduce new mechanics. It costs 2 Kredits and allows you to peek at the top three cards of your deck.

Chose one card out of those three which you then draw into your hand, shuffle the other two to the bottom of your deck.

Further info: Twitch reveal by Vimesey

NIGHT WITCHES is a Soviet Elite order that costs 1 Kredit to play. It adds one POLIKARPOV PO-2 unit to your support line and shuffles back the NIGHT WITCHES into your deck.

Even though we do not know anything about the new PO-2 yet, the ability to be shuffled back into the deck is already exciting!

Stay tuned for further card reveals and subscribe to our social media channels such as KARDS Facebook, KARDS YouTube, and Twitter.

Use the comments below to discuss these new cards and let us know what your think!

Further info
Allegiance expansion announcement and pre-order deal
Allegiance game mechanics - Part 1
Allegiance card reveal - Week 1
KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
Collect your rewards from Season 8! The season has ended on November 30th, 23-59-59 UTC, and now your rewards are waiting for your in the KARDS client.

Simply log into KARDS - the rewards have been automatically delivered to your account.

We also celebrate the winner of Season 8. After a bit of a fight, the player Darkness emerged as winner. Congratulations for winning Season 8! Darkness has also won Season Season 5, which makes him the second player after SoraTsukishima winning two seasons.

Your rewards are waiting for you
Here is a quick refresher on the rewards you have received from Season 8:
  • For the first 5 ranks gained: One pack plus one standard Gold card.
    For every 5 more ranks gained: Either one extra pack OR the Gold card increases by one rarity. The total reward is as following:
    • 5 ranks unlocked: 1 Standard Gold card + 1 card pack
    • 10 ranks unlocked: 1 Standard Gold card + 2 card packs
    • 15 ranks unlocked: 1 Limited Gold card + 2 card packs
    • 20 ranks unlocked: 1 Limited Gold card + 3 card packs
    • 25 ranks unlocked: 1 Special Gold card + 3 card packs
    • 30 ranks unlocked: 1 Special Gold card + 4 card packs
  • For each Field Marshal reached: One national pack.
  • For reaching the Officer Club (minimum three Field Marshal ranks): The Gold card reward is increased in rarity one level. You get one extra pack.
  • Top ten players of the Officer Club: 5 extra packs.
  • The best player of the season, which is Darkness: Physical rewards including a KARDS seasonal winner metal plaque.

These rewards are yours when you have have scored at least five PVP victories during Season 8.
Log into KARDS and check out your rewards!

Don't forget, we have the Finals of the KARDS World Championship 2019 and the massive winter expansion Allegiance with 150 new cards and two new ally nations coming up

Stay up to date and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news!
KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
Season 8 in KARDS ends on November 30th (at 23'59'59 GMT). The more ranks you have gained, the bigger the reward.

Use remaining time to gain as many ranks as you can to get a big payout! You gain ranks by winning PVP matches.

This is the perfect opportunity to get a nice boost ahead of the KARDS winter expansion Allegiance.

Reward details

With the end of the season, you will receive special rewards like card packs and a Gold card. After you have received the rewards, your ranks will be lowered a bit.

As a reminder, here is what you will receive as seasonal rewards:
  • For the first 5 ranks gained: One pack plus one standard Gold card

  • For every 5 more ranks gained (see image below): Either one extra pack OR the Gold card increases by one rarity

  • For each Field Marshal reached: One national pack

  • For reaching the Officer Club (minimum three Field Marshal ranks): The Gold card reward is increased in rarity one level. You get one extra pack.

  • Top ten players of the Officer Club: 5 extra packs

  • The best player of the season: Physical rewards including a KARDS seasonal winner metal plaque

Season 9 starts on December 1st!

Have fun and best of luck for the rest of the season!

Further Allegiance expansion info

UBOAT - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Tim Stone)

A is for Alphabetised wargame and sim news. Every four weeks or so I hang up a streamer of industrial strength fly paper in The Flare Path dunny and see what wargame and simulation news stories adhere to it. Below is this month’s bag – 25 bite-size stories involving virtual vehicles and surrogate slaughter. If you wince when someone calls a locomotive a train, and can put these three battles – Trenton, Turnham Green, Trafalgar – in chronological order, you should probably click where it says… (more…)

KARDS - The WWII Card Game - Thomas
Exciting news from the KARDS team for December. The upcoming weeks are filled with events and updates such as the World Championship 2019 Finals on December 7/8 (live broadcast), the first-ever KARDS expansion Allegiance arriving on December 10, and the localized version of KARDS with five new languages.

Let's have a look at the amazing new mechanics coming with the Allegiance expansion and reveal an important change also arriving on December 10. First the short version, then the details further below. With Allegiance you will be able to:
  • New orders: Select between two possible effects
  • New orders and units: Review the top three cards of your deck, and draw one. The other two cards go to the bottom of your deck
  • Have Elite cards only in your major nation as you cannot use Elite cards in your ally nations any more

This is only a fraction of the new expansion! Other big changes coming with Allegiance, the two now nations and their new game mechanics, will be presented a bit later in a dedicated blog.

Now, let's dive right into the details!

The Power of Choice
The first of these is an ability found on several US and Soviet orders that allow the player to select between two options when playing the card from hand. This essentially means that these cards act like two different cards spliced into one, which gives a lot of flexibility when playing based on the situation and what the opponent is up to. Naturally, this flexibility comes at a price, so the effect is a little more costly than if found on a card with just that one effect. Let’s look at one of the new US orders arriving with the winter expansion:

CARRIER COVER is like a combination of The War Machine and Naval Bombardment. Paying 4 kredits for this effect would not be great on its own, but the flexibility here makes this card much more useful in any game - against decks that are pressuring you, you can buy yourself time by sending a unit to their hand and against slower decks you can play this as ramp as you are less likely to need to spend your kredits on keeping yourself alive. It even has the extra flexibility of allowing you to bounce your own unit to hand, to save a damaged unit or re-trigger a powerful deployment effect.

As stated above, this mechanic is only found on orders right now. It is most common with the US, with Soviets also getting a few. We want this to be a primary ability for the US to reflect how their strong industrial base allowed for varied fighting capabilities and superior adaptability.

The Right Tool for the Task
Another new mechanic is a twist on drawing a card. Instead of drawing the top card of your deck directly, this mechanic allows you to look at the top three cards of your deck and select one to add to your hand. The other two are then placed on the bottom of your deck. Here is an example of one:

This new effect can be on either an order or a unit. It is limited to Germany in the new set. This ability is very powerful as it allows you to dig for the answers you need based on the situation and strengthens any kind of combos and synergies in your deck as finding the right pieces is now more consistent. The reason for making this a primary ability for Germany is to reflect their focus on flexible battle doctrine and tactical diversity.

Not So Elite
There is one more thing to cover and it’s a doozy. An important rule change for deck construction will be put into effect when the expansion goes live. From the 10th of December and onward, you cannot use ally elite cards in your decks. Existing decks will be invalid until updated. Only elite cards from the major nation are eligible.

There are several reasons for this change, let’s cover the most important ones:
  1. First of all, in most cases this reduces the overall count of elite cards in decks, making it easier for newer players to get a competitive deck together.
  2. Secondly, this strengthens the identity of each nation, as many of their most iconic and powerful cards are now only seen when they are the major nation. This improves the overall immersion and makes it easier for players to learn what to expect from each nation, both when playing them and for deck construction.
  3. Finally, this helps us down the road when creating new cards, not having to worry that it can go into any deck and be combined easily with any other card in the game. This helps in creating cards that we want to be exclusive to a main nation for thematic or gameplay purposes, an example of such a card is The Commonwealth. It also helps in creating cards later that we want to be mutually exclusive or would be too powerful together - by making them elites in two different nations we can ensure that they can never be played together, something we have no control over right now.

We’ve been testing these changes internally and the results have been very positive so far. The ban on ally elites opens up a lot of new possibilities and expands on what cards to use, as the same ol’ elite cards are no longer just an auto-include.

To reiterate, these changes are only happening when the expansion goes live on December 10 - the World Championship Finals are not affected for instance.

Let us know what you think about these new game mechanics in the discussions below!

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