Cloudspire Game Elements

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Discovering Cloudspire Game Elements

Hi there! Have you ever heard of Cloudspire? If not, get ready to dive into a fascinating world of strategic gaming! Cloudspire is a game that combines elements of tower defense, resource management, and strategy. In this game, you will take on the role of a faction and compete against other factions to control territories and ultimately determine the fate of the world.

The game board is divided into different regions, each represented by a tile with various terrain types. These tiles are placed together to create the overall map, which will be unique for every game you play. Each region has its own specific features and benefits, so choosing where to expand your territory becomes a crucial decision.

One of the key aspects of Cloudspire is the construction of towers. These towers are not only used for defense but also for resource generation. Depending on the region you control, different towers will be available to you. Each tower has its own special abilities and attributes, allowing you to customize your gameplay and strategy. Balancing offense and defense is essential to success in Cloudspire!

Another important game element is the faction characters. These characters are unique to each faction and have their own special abilities and skills. They can be used to explore the game world, attack opponents, gather resources, or defend against enemy attacks. Using your faction characters effectively and strategizing their movements can give you a significant advantage in the game.

The game also introduces a card-based system called “spires.” These cards represent the actions you can take during your turn. By strategically choosing which spires to activate, you can perform various actions such as spawning units, constructing new towers, or attacking enemies. The spire system adds an extra layer of depth and planning to the game, requiring you to think ahead and adapt to changing circumstances.

Lastly, Cloudspire features a dynamic and engaging combat system. When conflicts arise between factions, battles are resolved through a combination of dice rolling and tactical decision-making. The outcome of a battle is influenced by various factors, such as the strength of the attacking and defending units, bonuses from the terrain, and even a touch of luck. Winning battles is crucial for claiming territories and gaining an advantage over your opponents.

Overall, the game of Cloudspire has a rich tapestry of game elements that intertwine to create an immersive and challenging experience. From constructing towers to commanding faction characters, utilizing spires to engaging in combat, each decision you make will shape the course of the game. So, are you ready to embark on a strategic journey and conquer the world of Cloudspire?

Source is the heart and soul of Cloudspire. You’ll gather Source as you play the game, in a variety of ways. Most notably, you’ll earn it as income with each wave and as rewards for defeating enemy units or spires. Think of Source like a valuable currency that you can use to strengthen your faction in many different ways. Here are some examples:

  • You can use Source to build new spires
  • You can spend it to upgrade your existing spires
  • With Source, you can advance your fortress
  • And of course, you can use it to make purchases from the market

There’s something really cool about each fortress – it has this awesome Source tracker that tells you how much Source your faction has. You know, Source is like this magical energy that your faction can use. Anyway, each faction can hold up to 20 Source by default. But here’s the thing – if you get more Source than your faction can hold, it just disappears into thin air. Poof!

Source Wells

Now, listen up, because this is where things get really interesting. Some hexes have these special things called Source Wells. See, each hex also has its own terrain, which is like the type of land it is. If a unit can move on or through a hex and that hex has a Source Well on it, then that unit can use the Source Well. But there’s a catch – the Source Well has to be on the right kind of terrain for the unit. Oh, and one more thing – the Source Well has to be visible. So if the Source Well is covered by a unit or something else, it doesn’t count.

By the way, Fortress Source Wells don’t count as regular Source Wells, in case you were wondering.

Oh, and here’s another fun fact – anything that can only happen on a regular hex can’t happen on a Source Well. It’s like a special rule or something.


When I play the game, I always start by looking at the isles. They’re these big hex groups that make up the World of Ankar. Each isle has one or two Source Wells and different types of terrain.

Terrain Types

In Cloudspire, there are five types of terrain: Path, Plains, Forest, Mountains, and Water.

When it comes to the different types of terrain in the game, we have the forest, the path, the plains, the mountains, and the water. Each of these terrains presents its own challenges and opportunities for movement.

As I explore the game, I notice that some of my heroes and minions have a terrain allowance icon on their chip, which tells me the types of terrain they can move on. However, most minions don’t have this icon, so they can only move on path terrain.

Now, let’s talk about the difficulty levels of non-path terrains. We have different tiers, with water being the most difficult to traverse and plains being the easiest. The terrain allowance icon on units actually indicates the most difficult terrain they can move on.

Here’s the interesting part – units can travel on any hex with their indicated terrain type, as well as any hexes with terrain types of lower difficulty. This means that the terrain allowance allows us to move on or through certain types of terrain. To make it clearer, take a look at this chart that shows which terrain types we can move on or through with each terrain allowance:

My Faction’s Fortress: My Safe Haven

The fortress is like my faction’s headquarters. It’s where we store our precious Source and where we have special structures that only our faction can use. The fortress gate is crucial because it’s the main entrance and we must defend it from our enemies. Losing control of the gate is something we cannot let happen under any circumstances.

1. Fortress Advancements

Your Key to Power

Fortress advancements are like gaining superpowers in Cloudspire. They let you make your faction stronger in big ways, and they also add to your fortress power when the game is over.

Every faction has its own unique advancements. This means each faction gets to play in a different way. Even within the same faction, you can mix things up and try new strategies.

Advancements are part of fortress structures. They are organized in order, with each one numbered. You have to build the Level 1 advancement first before you can build the Level 2 advancement. It goes on like that, getting more powerful and exciting each time. Let’s mark an advancement as built by putting a peg in the hole next to it.

Your faction’s reference sheet has all the information about the special abilities you get from each fortress advancement.

If you construct an advancement that gives you a die, put that die in the corresponding slot. Your faction reference sheet will explain how to use each fortress advancement die.

If something happens and you lose a fortress advancement, remove the peg to show that it’s gone.

The Fortress Gate

The fortress gate is the most important part of your fortress. It’s what protects your fortress from your opponents.

During the Prep Phase, you choose which units to deploy and put them at the gate. During the Onslaught Phase, your opponents can attack the gate, but they can’t enter the fortress.

When your fortress gate is attacked and you still have units that haven’t deployed, you can choose to have the attack hit the topmost unit instead of your gate. However, units on the gate cannot use their special abilities, although they can still retaliate normally.

Your fortress gate starts the game with 10 health. When an enemy unit attacks your gate, its health is reduced by the amount of damage taken. The gate always retaliates when it’s damaged, dealing 1 damage back to the attacker. This retaliation has unlimited range and occurs even if the gate is defeated. Unfortunately, this damage cannot be reduced.

If your fortress gate’s health drops to 0, it is considered defeated and no longer defends your fortress.

Pillaging the Fortress Gate

When I conquer a fortress gate in the game and there are still other gates remaining, the game doesn’t end. Instead, I get to plunder the fortress of the defeated faction immediately.

My Source increases by the same amount as the defeated faction’s Source, but it cannot exceed my Source capacity. At the same time, the defeated faction’s Source is reduced to zero. We remove the gate health tracker from its slot to indicate that their fortress gate has been brought down.

Once a fortress falls, no other faction can claim it for the rest of the current wave. If I had the defeated faction as my mark, I must choose a new mark right away, following the predetermined order.

Fixing Your Gate

If my fortress gate has been conquered, it doesn’t mean I’m out of the game. In the next wave’s Income Phase, after receiving my Source income, I need to repair my gate.

To fix your gate, you gotta bring it back to 3 health by getting rid of fortress advancements. Each sacrificed advancement adds 1 health to the gate, so go for the highest level ones first.

If you’ve sacrificed all your fortress advancements and your gate is still below 3 health, then you gotta use Source to repair it. Spend some Source, 2 for each health, until your gate is at 3 health. You can’t go higher than that, though.

Now let’s talk about Spires and Faction Units. Spires are like the towers in your fortress, and Faction Units are the heroes, minions, and other units under your control. During the Prep Phase, you’ll use command points (CP) to choose your units, and during the Onslaught Phase, you’ll deploy them.

Faction units are super important in Cloudspire. They help you defeat enemies, explore landmarks, and protect your fortress.

Each faction has 3 heroes (with a gold border) and 12 minions (with a bronze border) unique to them. Although heroes and minions have some differences, they have similar stats and functions.

Here’s what you need to know about minion units (identified by the bronze border):

1. Unit Name

2. Health Stat

3. Attack Stat

4. Movement Stat

5. Talent(s)

6. Source Reward

7. CP Cost

And here’s what you need to know about hero units (identified by the gold border):

1. Promoted Icon

2. Upgrade Chip Capacity

3. Terrain Allowance.


When it’s time to get ready for battle, I choose which units I want to bring and place them in a special stack called the deployment stack. This stack is like a waiting room for my units, and the order in which they are placed determines the order they will appear in the actual battle.

Minion Deployment

During each wave, I can choose as many minions as I want to deploy, as long as I have enough Command Points (CP) and units available. I can deploy them individually or in groups. The choice is mine!

If I decide to deploy them individually, I just need to put their health stat underneath each unit. I can place them in any order I prefer.

When I play the game, I can have as many minions as I want in a group. However, I can only form a group during the Prep Phase. To form a group, I just need to stack all the unit chips together. It’s important to stack them in order based on their movement stat, with the minion with the lowest movement stat on top.

If there are any ties in the movement stat, I get to decide the order. I also need to place health equal to the health stat of the topmost minion underneath the entire group. But remember, only the top minion is considered active. The order in which I deploy the group doesn’t matter, whether they’re grouped or ungrouped with other minions.

Once the minions are grouped, they act as one unit and use the stats and talents of the topmost minion. And they have to stay grouped until the top unit’s health reaches 0.

When I defeat the top minion, a new one takes its place and immediately gets the same amount of health chips as its initial health. The extra damage I dealt to the previous minion doesn’t affect the new one.

When a new unit is revealed within a group, it continues from the same point in the turn as the previous unit. So if the top unit has already attacked before being defeated, the new unit won’t be able to attack. However, if the new unit is attacked, it will still retaliate as usual. Any unit that is grouped under another unit is inactive and cannot be targeted or interacted with in any way.

Deploying Heroes

Heroes are fascinating beings. They are unique and cannot be grouped together. When it comes to deploying heroes, there are a few rules to remember. You must place each hero either before or after your minions, but never between them. It’s like a puzzle that needs to be solved strategically. You have the option to split your heroes, deploying one before your minions and one after them.

Now, let’s talk about deployment. In Wave 1, you can only deploy your starting hero, which doesn’t cost any CP. As you progress, you can have a maximum of 2 heroes on the battlefield in each subsequent wave. It’s important to balance your hero choices and consider their strengths and abilities as you deploy them.

Now, let’s discuss movement.

Units in the game have certain limitations when it comes to movement. They cannot move on or pass through a hex that already contains other units, spires, landmarks, or any other chips. It’s like walking through a crowded street – you need to find a clear path to your destination.

Minion Movement

Minions move in a specific order. They follow a path towards your mark, which is the opponent’s fortress gate that you declared during the Prep Phase. They move turn by turn, inching closer to their objective. It’s a strategic dance that requires careful planning and anticipation.

When I’m a minion, I have to use my entire movement stat to get closer to my mark. It’s important to keep moving forward if I can. But if I can’t use my full movement, I still need to make progress by using as much of my movement as I can.

Sometimes, I might not be able to make progress towards my mark. In that case, I have the option to make a lateral move. This means I can move to the side, but I can’t get any closer or further away from my mark. The most important thing is that I can never move in a way that takes me further from my mark.

  1. When it’s my turn as a grovetender, I focus on moving my minions strategically. The most important minion for me to move is the treed, as it has the unique ability to navigate through the forest. Its position is crucial since it’s closer to its target than the war briar. Minions must always use their entire movement range and make progress whenever possible. However, they cannot traverse through or land on other units or spires, which means the options for the treed’s movement are limited.

The grovetender’s next top minion is the war briar. This minion has a couple of movement options that both use up its full movement stat and allow it to move forward. Since it doesn’t have a terrain allowance icon, it can only move through the path, so it needs to move towards the path hex that’s next to the brawnen fortress gate. In both of its movement options, the war briar is considered to have made progress because it started its movement 3 hexes away from its mark and ended its movement 2 hexes away, getting closer.

Making Progress

When we say a minion is “making progress,” it means that the minion ends its movement on a hex that’s closer to its mark than the hex where it started.

When you’re trying to figure out if a hex is closer to where your minion started, you need to look at the shortest distance in hexes from the hex your minion began moving on to its mark. You also need to do the same for the hex or hexes where it might end its movement. In other words, you want to know if the destination hex is closer to your minion’s mark than the starting hex.

Now, when you’re counting the distance, keep in mind that you should include all the hexes that your minion passes through, but not the ones with other units on them. You don’t need to worry about spires or landmarks either.

It’s important to remember that once your minion moves out of a hex, it can’t go back to it on the same turn. And here’s something interesting: even though your minion’s ending position has to be closer to the mark, it doesn’t have to make progress with every single hex it moves onto. So it’s not necessary for it to make the most efficient progress possible. It’s a bit of a puzzle, isn’t it?

In the world of minions, I’ve learned that the key to movement is always starting with my leading minion. You see, the leading minion is the one that’s closest to its mark, the one who sets the pace. And if there’s ever a tie, I get to choose which minion takes the lead.

Now, not all minions have a special icon that allows them to move across different terrains. Most of them can only move on or through path terrain. It’s like sticking to the known path instead of venturing into the unknown.

But sometimes, with the help of a talent or other magical tricks, I end up with a minion on terrain where it shouldn’t be. Maybe it’s a swampy marsh or a rocky mountain. In those cases, I have to be smart and find the shortest route to valid terrain while still making progress. It’s all about adapting and finding a way forward.

Oh, and here’s an important tip: when it’s the very beginning of the Onslaught Phase, and I’m just starting out, my units are all at the fortress gate, ready to make their move. But here’s the thing – I can only move one unit at a time, and I have to start from the top and work my way down. It’s like a queue system, where each minion patiently awaits their turn to step into action.

When you first start playing, it’s normal for some of your units to still be at the fortress gate after you finish moving, especially if you deployed slower minions.

Stopping Progress

Your minions can be stopped by other units, both from the enemy team and your own team.

If there’s an opposing unit or one of your own minions occupying a hex that your minion needs to move through, your minion will be considered blocked. They can still make some progress by using whatever movement they have left.

Sometimes, your minion will need to defeat the opposing unit that’s blocking its path before it can continue moving towards its goal.

If one of my heroes blocks the movement of one of my own minions so that the minion can’t move forward its full movement, I’ll displace the hero.

My minion will move into the hero’s hex, and we’ll swap positions. In a single turn, I can displace my hero multiple times if it’s blocking the progress of more than one of my minions.

Remember, a minion’s path isn’t considered blocked if it can still make progress towards its mark while using its full movement requirement. Even if there’s a unit in the way of a more optimal path, as long as the minion can make progress, it’s not considered blocked.

When it’s my turn in the game, I get to move my hero, Jaelana Nestor. But this time, I think I’ll leave her in place and focus on moving my minions instead.

  1. The joust is my main minion right now because it’s the closest one to the naroran fortress gate. So, I’ll start by moving the joust first. It has a movement stat of 2, which means I can move it up to 2 spaces. Luckily, there’s a clear path for the joust to move freely without being blocked by Jaelana, so I’ll use its full movement stat to make progress towards our goal.
  2. The harrier can’t use its full movement score of 4 because it’s blocked by the friendly joust minion on the left and Jaelana is in the way on the right. This means the harrier can’t move as far as it wants to. Just remember, heroes can’t block their minions’ movement, so the harrier will move into Jaelana’s hex.
  3. Jaelana will have to move back one hex because she is displaced. This will make way for the harrier, but it still won’t be able to use its full movement because of the opposing narora minion.

Moving Your Heroes

You have complete freedom when moving your heroes. They can move in any direction as long as it’s within their terrain allowance. You can choose to move them a little, a lot, or not at all.

When it comes to playing the game, there are a few rules to keep in mind. You have the ability to move your heroes either before or after your minions, but you can’t interrupt your minions’ movements to move your heroes. However, you can split your heroes’ movement so that one hero moves before your minions, and the other moves after.

It’s important to note that heroes are not allowed to stay on the fortress gate hex. If a hero can deploy from the fortress, it must do so.

Returning to the Fortress

If a hero wants to return to the fortress, it simply needs to move back onto the fortress gate hex. Once there, the hero will immediately regain full health and be placed beside your barracks.

Once a hero has returned to the fortress, it cannot be deployed again in the same wave. However, it can be deployed in a future wave without having to pay its CP cost again.


All units in the game have a default attack range of 1. This means that units can only attack enemies and structures that are adjacent to them.

To initiate an attack, a unit must have a viable target. Viable targets include enemy units (including landmark minions), enemy structures, and enemy fortress gates that are within range.

You have the freedom to choose the sequence in which your units attack. When one of your units engages in combat with an enemy unit, it inflicts damage equal to its attack power. The targeted unit then loses health points equivalent to the damage it received.

If you attack a structure, the bottommost attack or range upgrade of the structure will be removed when it sustains 1 or more points of damage. However, if the structure has a fortification upgrade at the bottom, you need to deal at least 2 points of damage to remove it.


When your unit attacks an enemy unit but doesn’t defeat it, the enemy unit will retaliate if it can. Retaliation means that the enemy unit will deal damage to your attacking unit equal to its attack stat.

An enemy unit can only retaliate once per turn, and only if your attacking unit is within its range. Retaliation does not include any talents or advancements that affect attacks.

A fortress gate can retaliate multiple times per turn, and it can retaliate from any range. Each time it retaliates, it deals 1 damage to the unit that attacked it. Spires, however, do not have the ability to retaliate.


If one of your units defeats an enemy unit or spire, your faction will receive the reward listed on the defeated chip:

In my quest for knowledge, searching for answers, sometimes I stumble upon something truly amazing. Take, for example, the mysterious concept known as cryptography.

Have you ever wondered how secrets are kept safe? Well, let me introduce you to the fascinating world of encryption. Encryption is like a magician’s trick, but instead of hiding a rabbit in a hat, it hides information in a jumble of letters and numbers.

Cryptography is the art of creating secret codes and decoding them. It’s like a secret language that only a chosen few can understand. Before I go any further, let me assure you that you don’t need to be a genius to understand the basics of cryptography.

Imagine you have a message that you want to keep safe, like a treasure locked away in a chest. You don’t want just anyone to be able to open that chest and see what’s inside. So, what do you do? You find a lock, a special kind of lock that only you and those you trust have the key to. This lock is called a cipher.

A cipher is like a secret code that transforms your message into something completely different. It’s like a magical spell that only the right key can break. And that’s why cryptography is so important. It keeps our sensitive information, like passwords and credit card numbers, safe from prying eyes.

But how does cryptography work? Well, let me explain. There are different types of ciphers, each with its own unique way of transforming our messages. Some ciphers rearrange the letters of our message, while others replace each letter with a different one. It’s like taking a word and mixing up the letters or swapping them for other letters.

One of the oldest ciphers is the Caesar cipher, named after Julius Caesar himself. With this cipher, each letter is replaced with another letter a certain number of positions away in the alphabet. For example, if we shift each letter three positions to the right, the letter ‘A’ becomes ‘D’, ‘B’ becomes ‘E’, and so on. It’s a clever way to disguise our message and keep it from prying eyes.

As technology advances, so does cryptography. Nowadays, we have complex mathematical algorithms that are practically unbreakable. These algorithms take our messages and encase them in a digital fortress of numbers and symbols, making it virtually impossible for anyone to decipher them without the key.

So, next time you send a message online, make a purchase, or log into your email account, remember that cryptography is working behind the scenes to keep your information safe. It’s like a silent guardian, protecting your secrets from the prying eyes of the world.

In conclusion, cryptography is a fascinating and vital field that plays a crucial role in our daily lives. It’s a secret world where words become puzzles and ciphers become keys. It’s the art of keeping secrets and the science of protecting information. And without it, our interconnected world would be a much more dangerous place.

Wow, check this out – you’ll love it! When you first start playing this game, you pick up a stack of cards called “relic cards.” These cards are super important because they give you special powers and abilities as you play. So, let’s say you draw one of these relic cards, you get to use it right away. Cool, huh?

You can go ahead and build a spire on this Source Well without worrying about any restrictions or costs! Isn’t that neat? You do have a limit on how many spires you can have, so keep that in mind.

Here’s an interesting thing: defeated units won’t fight back. So if you or your faction defeats a unit or a spire, you get a special reward. Pretty cool, right?

When you defeat a landmark, a mercenary minion, or a mercenary spire, you have to discard it. But if you defeat a hero, it’s out of the game entirely. Other units and spires get sent back to where they came from, their barracks.

Now, if a defeated minion was part of a group, you get to add some health chips. Just look at the health stat of the next minion in line and add that many chips under the defeated minion. And here’s the fun part: the next minion gets to continue its turn right where the last one left off! The defeated minion doesn’t get to fight back, though.

And here’s a special rule for heroes: if a hero defeats a unit, a spire, or a fortress gate, it levels up right away. It’s like a little power boost for the heroes.

When all minions in play are defeated, the current wave comes to an immediate end. The heroes that are in play at that moment will remain in their positions and start the next turn from where they are.

However, if all opposing units, including heroes, are defeated, but you still have heroes and minions in play, your heroes will enter campfire mode. In this mode, they will remain inactive, and the wave will continue until your last minion is defeated.

What is Campfire Mode?

When only one faction has units in play at the end of a turn, that faction’s heroes will enter campfire mode for the rest of the wave. They will not take any turns and cannot be interacted with in any way. Meanwhile, the minions of that faction will continue to act normally until they are defeated.

Example 1: I jump forward and strike the enemy, causing them a small amount of damage. In response, the enemy retaliates and inflicts the same amount of damage upon me.


Example 2: Let’s say I’m playing a game where I control a dispatch and a harrier. The dispatch has a special ability that allows it to attack from 2 hexes away. So, I decide to use this ability and attack the harrier, dealing 1 damage. The harrier is unable to retaliate because the dispatch is out of its attack range.

Now, let’s talk about the battleborn. It also attacks the harrier and deals another 1 damage, defeating it in the process. The harrier would have retaliated, but it can’t because it has already been defeated.

Minion Attacks

Minions are required to attack if they have a valid target. However, they can only attack once per turn. When a minion has multiple options for targets, it’s up to you to decide which one it will attack.

Hero Attacks

Heroes, on the other hand, have the choice to attack or not. They are not obligated to attack during their turn. Similar to minions, heroes can only attack once per turn.

Hey there! Let’s talk about a cool feature called Range in this game. Units with the talent Range have a special ability to attack and retaliate from a distance. They can target enemies up to a certain number of hexes away.

But here’s the catch – these hexes can be occupied by other units or even obstacles. So, make sure to consider the occupied hexes when calculating the Range for your attacks.

However, there are a few things you can’t count as hexes for Range purposes. These include non-hexes like gaps between groups of hexes or any part of the fortress, apart from the fortress gate hex.

Leveling Up

When it comes to leveling up, it’s important to understand how it improves your units. Leveling up can enhance your units’ stats and talents, but there are two different types of level ups.

The first type is promotion. This happens when a unit is flipped from its basic side to its promoted side, indicated by a star. However, when a unit is promoted, it loses any upgrade chips it had. If a unit is promoted during the Onslaught Phase, it gains extra health chips based on the difference between its basic side’s health stat and its promoted side’s health stat.

The second way a unit can level up is by receiving upgrade chips. When one of your units receives an upgrade, you can place an attack or fortification upgrade chip beneath their unit chip. If a unit with the talent # Range receives an upgrade, you have the option to choose a range upgrade chip instead.

When you upgrade your unit’s attack stat, it gets stronger by 1. This boost in attack power helps your unit deal more damage to enemies. Think of it as a temporary strength potion for your unit.


On the other hand, a fortification upgrade acts like an extra health chip. When your unit takes damage, the fortification upgrade is the first to go. It’s like having a shield that takes the hit for your unit, keeping its health chip safe. It’s a smart way to protect your unit from harm.


Lastly, a range upgrade increases your unit’s range by 1. This means your unit can attack enemies from a greater distance. It’s like having a longer bow or a more powerful spell that can reach targets farther away. With a range upgrade, your unit becomes a formidable force on the battlefield.


Leveling Up Minions

Each faction has its own unique way of promoting minions. Check your faction’s reference sheet for more information on how to level up your minions. It’s an exciting process that unlocks new abilities and powers for your minions.

Unlike units, minions usually don’t receive upgrades. They rely on their innate abilities to support your faction’s goals. So when it comes to minions, it’s all about strategy and using their unique skills to your advantage.

Leveling Up Heroes

Hey there! Let’s talk about leveling up heroes in the game. It’s a pretty cool feature that allows your heroes to become stronger and more powerful. So here’s how it works:

When you defeat a unit, spire, or fortress gate, your hero has a chance to level up. But before we get into that, let’s see if your hero has any space for upgrades. If it does, great! You can add an upgrade chip to your hero and increase its power. It’s like giving your hero a boost!

Now, here’s the thing: if your hero is already at its maximum upgrade capacity on its basic side, leveling up will actually promote your hero. How awesome is that? It’s like your hero is evolving into an even better version of itself!

But wait, there’s more. If your hero is already on its promoted side and at its maximum upgrade capacity, leveling up won’t have any effect. That’s okay though, because your hero is already at the top of its game.

Just remember, leveling up your hero is completely optional. You can choose to level up or not, depending on your strategy and playstyle. It’s all up to you!


In the world of the game, there are special places called landmarks. These landmarks have different characteristics and effects that can be really useful for players. Let’s take a look at what makes a landmark special:

  1. Landmark Name: Each landmark has a unique name that sets it apart from the others.
  2. Health Stat: This indicates the durability of the landmark. The higher the health stat, the more damage it can take before being destroyed.
  3. Attack Stat: Some landmarks have attack power. This means they can deal damage to other units or landmarks.
  4. Movement Stat: This is a special attribute that only comes into play if a faction gains control over a landmark. It determines how far the landmark can move across the game board.
  5. Talents: Talents are special abilities or effects that a landmark possesses. They can be really helpful in influencing the game and turning the tide in your favor.
  6. Spire Reward: Some landmarks offer rewards when they are explored or interacted with. These rewards can be valuable resources or advantages for the player who controls the landmark.
  7. Bronze Border: A landmark with a bronze border is an indication that it is a minion. Minions are units that can be controlled and interacted with during the game.
  8. No border: If a landmark doesn’t have a border, it means that it is not a minion. These landmarks are not considered units and cannot be controlled directly.

During the game setup, landmarks are placed face-down, covering the Source Wells on each isle. They remain hidden until explored by a player’s unit. When a unit explores a landmark, the player has a choice of revealing it or keeping it hidden. It’s important to read the talents associated with each landmark when exploring, as some talents may be triggered by exploration.

If you reveal a landmark, it immediately regains health equal to its health stat (if it has one). A revealed landmark with a bronze border is a landmark minion, and it opposes every faction. Landmark minions don’t move or attack, but they will hit back.

If you choose not to reveal the landmark, it remains hidden. You can explore and reveal it in later turns.

Landmarks without borders are not considered units. They have unique abilities that will explain how to interact with them.

When a landmark is defeated or discarded, it goes into the landmark discard pile. If the landmark stack is empty and a landmark is needed, shuffle the discarded landmarks to create a new facedown stack.

The ancient traxxyr is a remarkable sight, easily distinguishable by its distinctive back and black border. It’s not something that appears without a specific reason, and it’s not quite like a regular landmark minion that you can encounter.

The Marketplace

In the world of Sky Islands, there’s a bustling market floating high above the ground. It’s a gathering place for mercenaries and resources brought up from the world below through magical gateways. Each group in this fantastical land has the chance to hire powerful heroes and minions, acquire blueprints for new structures, and purchase helpful tools to aid them in their quest for victory.

When I look at the market, I see a collection of chips and a glimpse of the earth below. These chips represent the various options available for purchase. Some are already face-up, revealing their true nature, while others are stacked face-down, waiting to be revealed and added to the choices.

When you’re told to search the market stack, start by looking at the market stack chips one by one, starting from the top. Keep going until you find the chip you need. After that, mix all the chips you looked at back into the stack. If you can’t find the required chip in the market, only then should you search the market stack.

If the market stack doesn’t have any chips left, mix the market discard to create a new market stack.


Mercs can be heroes (they have a gold border), minions (they have a bronze border), or spires (they have a silver border).

When it comes to playing the game, there are several important factors to consider. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Merc Units

In the game, there are special units called Mercs that you can purchase from the market. These units can be kept by your barracks and deployed when needed during the Prep Phase. The best part is that they don’t cost any CP to deploy. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Merc heroes are considered part of your hero limit per wave. So, if you already have two heroes in your wave, a Merc hero will count towards that limit.
  • When a Merc hero is defeated, they are permanently removed from the game.
  • If a Merc minion is defeated, they are placed in the market discard.

It’s also important to note that Merc units are considered faction units for any game effects that mention “faction units.” However, they are not considered units of your specific faction for effects that mention your faction by name. For example, if there’s a talent that affects “non-naroran units,” it will still affect Merc units controlled by the narora faction.

Merc Spires

Let’s talk about Merc Spires. They’re these spires that belong to factions. The cool thing is, unlike regular spires, they don’t cost any Source to build. That’s because the Source cost was already taken care of when you bought them. How convenient, right? And here’s another bonus: Merc spires also count towards your spire limit, so you can have even more of them!

1. Spire Name: The name of the spire.

2. Starting Upgrades: The initial upgrades that come with the spire.

3. Upgrade Capacity: The maximum number of upgrades the spire can have.

4. Source Cost: The cost of acquiring the spire.

5. Source Reward: The reward obtained by defeating the spire.

6. Talent(s): The special abilities or skills associated with the spire.

Merc spires are kept next to my barracks until I build them during the Build Phase. Alternatively, I can construct them at the start of my turn in the Onslaught Phase, using one of my two limited build options. If a merc spire is defeated, it is placed in the market discard.


Equipment items are marked with blue borders and provide additional talents to the heroes they are equipped to.

When it comes to equipping a hero, there are three key things to consider: the equipment name, talent(s), and source cost.

You can attach equipment to a hero when they are deployed at the fortress gate. The equipment chip is placed right below the hero’s chip. You and your fellow players can look at the hero’s equipment talents at any time.

Each hero can only have one piece of equipment. Once it’s attached, it can’t be removed. If a hero with equipment is defeated, the equipment goes to the market discard.


Earthscapes are groups of hexes that you can buy to change the landscape of Ankar. During the Market Phase, you can buy earthscapes for 2 Source. And during the Build Phase, it’s your turn to place the earthscapes you bought.

But remember, there are rules for placing earthscapes:

    When it comes to Earthscapes, there are a few important things to understand. Earthscapes are special pieces that can be added to the play area of the game. They can be placed on top of existing hex groups or next to them to change or extend the play area.

    When placing an Earthscape on top of existing hex groups, it’s important to make sure they are on an even plane. This means they need to be placed on a flat surface, so they don’t disrupt the game.

    If you want to extend the play area, you can add Earthscapes adjacent to existing hex groups. Just make sure that at least one edge of the Earthscape lines up with an edge of an existing hex group.

    When adding an Earthscape, you need to have influence in that area. This means that the Earthscape needs to be either on a hex group next to your fortress or on or next to a hex group that has one of your spires.

    You can also place Earthscapes on path terrain, but you need to make sure that there is always a path connecting each fortress. You can cover up some path terrain, but you always need to leave a path that connects all the fortresses.

    It’s important to note that Earthscapes cannot be placed on hexes that are already occupied. If there are any empty Source Wells, you can cover them with an Earthscape.

    By following these rules, you can strategically use Earthscapes to your advantage in the game. They can change the layout of the play area and give you more options for gameplay. So, next time you play, remember to consider the placement of Earthscapes and how they can elevate your strategy.

    1 You see this cool orange earthscape location just beyond your reach. But don’t worry, all you have to do is build a spire on a nearby island to bring it within your influence. Once you do that, you can place the earthscape right here.

    2 Now, there’s this red earthscape location that’s also out of your reach. Even if you build a spire on a nearby island, it won’t work because one of the hexes in this location is already occupied. Remember, you can only earthscape over empty hexes.

    3 Ah, here’s a green location that’s perfect for an earthscape. Just be careful when placing it because you don’t want to block the only path that connects your fortress to the others. Once you place it, you can build a spire on the earthscape by spending its Source cost. And guess what? The new Source Well(s) will also fall under your influence. How cool is that?

    4 The purple spot meets the influence requirement because only one hex from the earthscape needs to be within my area of influence. However, I can’t place an earthscape here because it wouldn’t be on a flat surface – it would be partly on the earthscape and partly on the table, which is not allowed.

    Once I’ve placed an earthscape, I can immediately build a spire on one of its Source Wells, if I’m able to. I have to pay the Source cost of the spire to construct it, and it must be on a hex that my faction controls.

    When determining if my faction has control over a hex where an earthscape is located, I need to look at the hex group at the bottom, if there is one. If I have control over the bottom hex, then I’m considered to have control over the hex with the earthscape on top.

    When playing a game involving hex groups, it’s crucial to understand how adjacency is defined. Hex groups that share an edge are considered adjacent, even if they are located on different levels of the play area.

    It is important to note that adjacency is not limited to hex groups on the same horizontal plane; it also extends vertically, providing a three-dimensional aspect to the game.

    The Significance of Adjacency

    The concept of adjacency plays a vital role in determining the relationships and interactions between hex groups. By recognizing which groups are adjacent, you can strategize your moves more effectively. Understanding adjacency allows you to plan your actions with greater precision, positioning your hex groups strategically to gain an advantage over your opponents.

    Examples of Adjacency

    To illustrate the importance of adjacency, let’s consider a few scenarios. Suppose I have a hex group of blue tiles on the top level, and another group of red tiles on the level below. Although these groups are not on the same plane, they are still considered adjacent because they share an edge. This adjacency allows me to create connections and form patterns between the two groups, influencing the overall state of the game. Similarly, if I have multiple hex groups located on the same level, their adjacency enables me to combine and merge them, expanding my influence on the board.


    Understanding the concept of adjacency in hex groups is essential for successful gameplay. By harnessing the power of adjacency, you can strategically position your hex groups, create connections, and influence the outcome of the game. So next time you’re playing a game involving hex groups, remember the significance of adjacency and use it to your advantage.

    Events are like little surprises that happen during the Event Phase. They can change the rules, create new tasks to do, or make things a bit more difficult for us.

    Starting from Wave 2, each wave begins with getting rid of the old event card and drawing a new one from the event deck. The new event will happen at a specific time during the wave.

    If the event happens during the Event Phase, we have to deal with it right away. If not, we’ll put it aside and follow the instructions when the right phase starts.


    Relics are like special rewards we get for defeating certain landmarks. They can give us cool abilities that we can use just once or keep using over and over again.

    So, here’s the deal: when you get your hands on “ongoing” relics, you have to flip them faceup right away. And get this, their effects stick with you throughout the whole game. It’s a secret though, so don’t tell the other players about it until you play the relic.

    Now, unless it says otherwise on the card, you can play relics whenever you want during the Onslaught Phase. But here’s the cool part – “single-use relics” give you an instant boost and then they’re tossed aside. So use them wisely!

    Now, brace yourself for this one. “Entire wave” relics are a real game-changer. As soon as you play one of these bad boys, it takes effect right then and there. Just make sure to put it facedown in front of you until the next Event Phase rolls around – that’s when you discard it. And guess what? You can collect as many relic cards as you want – no limits, my friend.

    Okay, now let’s talk about a worst-case scenario – imagine you really need a relic but there are none left in the deck. Well, don’t freak out just yet! Simply shuffle the discarded relics to create a fresh, facedown relic deck. Crisis averted!

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