Cloudspire Glossary Lexicon

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Welcome to the Cloudspire Glossary Lexicon!

Hey there, fellow Cloudspire enthusiasts!

If you’re new to the game or just looking for a refresher, you’ve come to the right place. This Glossary Lexicon is here to demystify the game’s terminology and help you navigate the vast world of Cloudspire with ease.

So, let’s dive right in!

1. Faction

A Faction refers to one of the unique groups in Cloudspire. It represents a particular race or civilization, each with its own strengths, abilities, and playstyle.

2. Tower

A Tower is a central component in Cloudspire. It represents a Faction’s home base and acts as their primary objective. The goal is to defend your Tower while simultaneously trying to destroy your opponent’s.

3. Spire

A Spire is a smaller structure that supports a Faction’s Tower. It provides various benefits and plays a crucial role in expanding your influence across the game board.

4. Units

Units are individual game pieces that represent an army or group within a Faction. These units can be deployed strategically to attack, defend, or support different areas of the game board.

5. Upgrade

An Upgrade represents an enhancement or improvement for a Faction’s Tower, Spire, or Units. Upgrades can provide new abilities, increase power and defense, or unlock special actions.

Well, that’s it for now! I hope this Glossary Lexicon has shed some light on the world of Cloudspire. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned player, having this knowledge will certainly give you an edge on the battlefield. So go ahead and conquer Cloudspire with confidence!

Good luck and happy gaming!

When you’re playing this game, there are some important terms that you need to understand. Let me break them down for you:

Active: When a unit can take turns and be interacted with, it is considered active. It’s like they’re ready and waiting to do something.

Adjacent: If two hexes share a side, they are considered adjacent. Units, spires, and landmarks in those hexes are also considered adjacent to each other. It’s like they’re close neighbors.

Attack: During the Onslaught Phase of the game, there’s a stage called Attack. When a unit or spire attacks, it deals damage to its target. Units deal damage based on their attack stat, while spires roll attack dice to determine their damage. It’s like they’re fighting back!

Attack Upgrade: Hey there! This orange chip with an icon is pretty awesome. It actually boosts the attack power of a unit by 1. And guess what? It also increases the number of spire attack dice that a spire can roll by 1. So it’s like a double whammy of attack power for you! How cool is that?

Attack Stat: Attack stat is how much damage you deal when you attack or retaliate. It’s like your punching power!

Barracks: The barracks is where you keep your faction units and spires when they’re not in the game. It’s like their special clubhouse. The area next to the barracks is where you put stuff you buy from the market and heroes you’ve already sent out to battle.

Basic Side: The basic side is the default side of faction chips such as units and spires. It’s the side they are deployed or constructed on initially. Talent, fortress advancements, or special effects may allow them to be flipped to their promoted/advanced side. Blocked: When an opposing unit or friendly minion occupies a hex and prevents your minion from moving into or through it. This impedes your progress on your mark, using your full movement. Build Option: During your turn in the Build Phase, you have different choices known as build options. These include constructing a spire, upgrading a spire, placing an earthscape, or advancing your fortress. Campfire Mode: Campfire mode occurs when your heroes become inactive because no other faction has units in play. However, you still have minions in play.

Closer: I want to talk to you about something called ‘Closer.’ It’s a concept that comes into play when you’re trying to determine the distance between two things on a game board. Specifically, we’re talking about a unit and its mark. When you’re counting the distance in hexes, you need to take into account the starting distance and the ending distance. Here’s the catch – if the ending distance is shorter than the starting distance, you’re going to count through units, but not through spires or landmarks.

Command Points (CP): Now let’s move on to another important topic – Command Points, or CP for short. CP are a resource that you can use during the Prep Phase of the game. They allow you to select units from your barracks and deploy them on the game board. Each faction is given an equal amount of CP, and the specific amount is determined by the current wave of the game. So, during the Prep Phase, you’ll need to carefully consider how to best use your CP to deploy your units strategically.

CP Cost: When you want to bring a unit from your barracks into the game, you need to pay CP. The units that are already positioned beside your barracks can be deployed without any CP cost. Likewise, your starting hero doesn’t require any CP to be deployed.

Convert: Imagine that you can take control of a unit as if it belongs to you. When you convert a unit, it becomes one of your own faction minions, and its effects on the game are considered accordingly. If the converted unit is defeated, it goes back to its original faction’s barracks. If the unit is a landmark or a mercenary minion, it is discarded instead.

Defeated: When a unit or spire loses all its health points, it is considered defeated. In such cases, other defeated faction minions and spires are returned to their respective barracks. However, defeated mercenary minions and spires are discarded. Defeated heroes and landmark minions are completely removed from play.

Deploy: When you move a unit from your fortress gate to a hex group, it is referred to as deploying the unit.

Throw Away: Put the component in the appropriate pile for discarded items. It will not be taken out of the game. If the initial stack or deck runs out, discarded components will be shuffled and drawn from.

Earthscape: These are small groups of hexes that can be bought in the market. After purchase, you can place them during the Build Phase if you have influence. You can cover Source Wells and paths with Earthscapes, but there must always be a path connecting every fortress.

Gear: Gear is a chip with blue borders that provides extra abilities to a hero when equipped. Each hero can have one piece of gear at most. Once a hero has gear, it cannot be removed. If the hero is defeated, the gear is discarded.

Event: During the Event Phase, a card is drawn that can potentially shake things up. These events have the power to change the rules, introduce side quests, or hinder players in various ways for the current round.

Exploration: Exploring is the only way to interact with unrevealed landmark chips. After the spires have fired, you have the opportunity to explore any landmark that is next to one or more of your units. Take a peek at its hidden side without revealing it to your opponents, and then decide whether you want to reveal it or not.

Faction: Each game of Cloudspire features selectable races, known as factions. Each faction comes with its own unique fortress, reference sheet, and an array of units and spires that are exclusive to that faction.

Faction Unit: A faction unit refers to any minion or hero that belongs to a specific faction. This category includes both purchased mercenary units and converted landmark minions.

Me: I get to be the first player in each part of the game and every round during the Onslaught Phase. Once a new wave starts, the first player role moves to the next person in a clockwise direction.

The Power of Fortification Upgrades: Those yellow chips with the icon have a special role. When a unit has a fortification upgrade, it’s like having an extra layer of protection. Instead of losing a health chip, the fortification upgrade takes the hit first. It’s like having a shield! And when it comes to spires, a fortification upgrade on the bottom is even more important. It keeps the spire safe from harm because it takes a stronger attack to knock it down. You see, the spire needs to be hit twice as hard to be destroyed. That’s why having a fortification upgrade is a game-changer – it makes your units and spires harder to defeat.


Fortress: Your faction’s home base. It’s where you and your allies gather and strategize. Think of it as your headquarters, a place of power and protection. Inside the fortress, you’ll find the valuable resource called Source. It’s like the lifeblood of your faction, fueling your abilities and advancements.

Fortress Advancement: These are like upgrades for your faction. During the Build Phase, you can construct special buildings and structures within your fortress. These advancements bring significant improvements to your faction, boosting your strength and capabilities. Plus, they add to your fortress power, giving you an advantage when the game ends.

Fortress Gate: Imagine it as the main entrance to your fortress, the gateway that stands between you and your opponents. This hex is crucial because it acts as a shield, protecting your fortress from enemy attacks. This is where your units are deployed from to engage your foes. And be warned, if your fortress gate takes damage, it fights back. It launches a counterattack that deals 1 damage without mercy. This retaliation has unlimited range and happens even if the gate is destroyed. So, protecting your fortress gate is of utmost importance.

Fortress Power: Your fortress power is a combination of how healthy your gate is and the number of advancements you have. It determines who wins after four waves unless the game ends earlier by defeating all but one gate in one wave.

Fortress Structure: These are a group of advancements you have to buy in a specific order as shown on your faction sheet.

Friendly: Friendly refers to a unit or spire that belongs to you or an ally.

Gate Health: Gate health is tracked using the gate health tracker chip. When your gate takes damage or is repaired, your gate health decreases by the amount of damage taken. Your gate health starts at 10, and if it goes down to 0, your gate is defeated.

If you’ve ever played with Minions, you know that grouping them together is a powerful strategy. When Minions are grouped, they become a unified force, combining their strength and abilities. The topmost minion sets the standard for the group, determining their stats and talents.

When a group of Minions takes damage and their health runs out, the next minion in line steps up and takes over. They instantly receive a boost in health, gaining as much health as they had before. This allows the group to keep fighting even when individual Minions are defeated.

It’s important to note that heroes cannot be grouped with Minions. Grouping is reserved for Minion units only.

Let’s talk about health units and health spires. Health units represent how much damage a Minion can take before being defeated. This is shown by the number of red health chips stacked beneath the Minion’s unit chip.

On the other hand, health spires indicate how many attacks a Minion can endure before being taken down. The number of upgrade chips under the spire chip shows the remaining durability of the spire.

Understanding the concepts of grouping, health units, and health spires is crucial in order to maximize the effectiveness of your Minions. By employing these strategies, you can elevate your gameplay and achieve victory in the world of Minions.

Health Stat: When I deploy or reveal a unit, I place health chips underneath it. These chips represent the unit’s health. There is a maximum number of chips that a unit can have.

Hero: A hero is a special unit with a gold border. It belongs to a faction and has the freedom to move and attack. The hero’s abilities are only limited by its stats and the type of terrain it can navigate. I can have a maximum of 2 heroes deployed at a time.

Hex: A hex refers to a single space on the playing field, whether it’s an isle or earthscape. Even the fortress gate is considered a hex.

Hex Group: This term can refer to either an isle or an earthscape. It represents multiple contiguous hexes that form a group.

In Play: Anything that is currently on the play area, whether it’s a chip or a hex group, is considered to be in play.

Inactive: Any unit that cannot take its turn or be interacted with in any way is considered inactive. This includes heroes in campfire mode and minions that are grouped underneath another minion.

Influence: To create a towering spire on a Source Well or establish a stunning earthscape, there’s an important element at play called influence. You possess influence over a group of hexes under certain conditions: if it’s next to your fortress gate, if it already contains a spire under your control, or if it’s adjacent to a hex group with a spire you control. Additionally, you have influence over the Source Wells in your fortress, and no other faction can claim influence over them.

Isle: The game begins with the placement of large hex groups called isles, which together form the play area.

Item: Items are powerful chips that can be snagged by nearby heroes. Each hero can carry only one item at a time. When a hero is defeated, they drop the item onto the hex they were previously occupying.

Landmark: When setting up the game, we place chips facedown on each aisle’s Source Wells as Landmarks. These Landmarks are only accessible through exploring until they are revealed.

Landmark Minion: A Landmark Minion is a revealed Landmark with a bronze border. These minions don’t move or attack, but they will retaliate if attacked. They are considered opposing units to every faction.

Leading Minion: Your Leading Minion is the minion closest to your mark. This minion is always the first to move during your turn in the Onslaught Phase.

Level Up: When I defeat an enemy unit or a spire, I can either get promoted or receive an upgrade. Heroes level up by defeating enemies or spires. If I’m on my basic side and I have reached the maximum upgrade capacity, I will be promoted. Otherwise, I will receive an upgrade. Minions have different ways to get promoted depending on their faction. Generally, minions don’t receive upgrades.

Limited Build Option: During the Onslaught Phase, at the start of my turn, I have limited options for building. I can either construct or upgrade a spire. In a single Onslaught Phase, I can perform a maximum of 2 limited build options.

Mark: At the beginning of the Prep Phase, a mark is determined. This mark indicates which faction’s fortress gate all of my minions need to make progress towards.

The market consists of a variety of things, like merc minions, merc heroes, merc spires, equipment, and earthscape hexes. During the Market Phase, each player can buy something from the market. However, only one earthscape can be purchased in each Market Phase. Merc: “Mercenary” is shortened to “merc”. Mercs are units and spires that can be obtained by making a purchase from the market. Minion: Minions are units that have a bronze border. They are required to make progress each turn and must attack if there is a valid target. Minion Type: The type of a minion is its name. For example, harrier, battleborn, etc.

Movement Stat: It’s all about how far your minions can move. They can go as many or as few hexes as you want, taking into account the type of terrain and making progress.

Non-Path Hex: Any hex that isn’t a path. If something specifically mentions a “non-path hex,” it won’t apply to a Source Well.

Opposing: This means something that belongs to your opponent. Landmark minions are opposing to all factions.

Path: Imagine a pathway – a terrain made up of hexes – that needs to connect every fortress. This pathway is available for all units to traverse, allowing them to move freely.

Pillage: Have you ever defeated a fortress gate, only to find that the game continues? That’s what we call pillaging. When you pillage, you not only gain an increase in your Source, but you also decrease the Source of the defeated faction to zero. The amount of Source you gain is based on the defeated faction’s available Source, up to your Source capacity.

Play Area: The play area consists of all the isles used during setup and any additional earthscapes that are added during the game. This includes the hexes where the fortress gates are located.

Progress: Progress is made when a unit ends its movement closer to its destination than where it started. It’s all about moving forward and getting closer to your mark.

Promoted: When a piece advances, it transforms into its upgraded form, discarding any previous enhancements. If this happens during the Onslaught Phase, it also receives any additional health points gained from the upgrade. Heroes can achieve promotion when they level up while already fully upgraded. Minions, on the other hand, have specific methods for promotion that vary depending on their faction.

Advanced Side: The faction chips have a designated side called the promoted/advanced side. You usually don’t deploy units and construct spires on this side, unless there is a specific talent, fortress advancement, or other effect that allows it.

Range: Range refers to the number of hexes a unit or spire can attack from. By default, all units and spires have a range of 1. It’s important not to confuse this with the Range talent number.

Range Upgrade: You know those green chips with the little icons? Well, they’re pretty nifty. They let you increase the number of hexes a unit or spire can attack and retaliate from by 1. But here’s the catch – you can only use this upgrade if the unit has the talent # Range.

Repair: Imagine this – your fortress gate gets beat up and defeated. But fear not! There’s a way to bring it back to life. In the Income Phase, you can recover your fortress gate health and bring it back to a solid 3.

Relic: Now let’s talk about relics. These special cards are given to players as rewards, usually for defeating a landmark. And let me tell you, relics are pretty darn cool. They come with special abilities that give you an advantage in the game. So keep an eye out for those relics – they can really turn the tides in your favor.

Getting a Relic Reward: Whenever I defeat a faction, I get to draw a relic card. It’s like a little bonus for winning!

Removing from Play: If a component is no longer available for use during the game, I have to put it back in the box. That way, it’s out of the way and won’t cause any confusion.

Dealing with Retaliation: When I attack a unit, it might retaliate. This means it automatically fights back! The unit can only retaliate once per turn, and it will only retaliate if it’s still in the game. The amount of damage the attacker takes is equal to the target’s attack stat.

Discovering a Revealed Landmark: When a landmark chip is faceup, it’s called revealed. This means I can interact with it! I can explore it, use it to my advantage, or maybe find something special.

Playing a Round: When it’s time for the Onslaught Phase, we take turns playing. Every round starts with the first player and ends when the player to the right of them finishes their turn. It’s a back-and-forth cycle that keeps the game moving!

Select: I get to choose my heroes and minions from the barracks before the battle begins. I’ll need to spend the CP cost for each one I select.

Source: Source is the most important resource in the game. I can earn it during the Income Phase and by defeating enemies. I can use source to build and upgrade spires, strengthen my fortress, and buy things in the market.

Cost of Source: The number of Source units you need to spend in order to build or buy this unit or spire.

Looking for the right unit or spire to add to your arsenal? Are you considering the cost of Source? It’s important to understand how much Source you’ll need to invest before making your decision. After all, you don’t want to deplete your resources without gaining any real benefits. When it comes to choosing the perfect unit or spire, it’s crucial to take into account the cost of Source. With these factors in mind, you can make an informed choice that will elevate your strategy and give you a regenerate response on the battlefield.

The amount of Source a faction earns by defeating this unit or spire is what we call the Source Reward. It’s like a prize for winning a battle.

Have you ever noticed those blue circle things on some hexes? Those are called Source Wells. They’re important because they allow you to build spires. But here’s the catch: you can only build a spire on a Source Well if you have control over that hex. It’s like claiming your territory.

Now, what exactly is a spire? Well, it’s a fancy name for a stationary chip with a silver border. These chips don’t move, but they sure know how to defend themselves! If an enemy unit ends their movement within a spire’s range, the spire will attack them. This means you can strategically place spires to protect your territory and thwart your opponents. But remember, you can only build spires during the Build Phase or at the start of your turn during the Onslaught Phase. And don’t forget, you can only build them on Source Wells that you control.

Spires Fire: Imagine this: it’s your turn in the game, and you’ve just finished moving your units across the battlefield. Now comes the exciting part – the Onslaught Phase! During this phase, something called the Spires Fire happens. It’s like a burst of energy from tall towers on the battlefield. You see, during the Spires Fire, each player takes turns checking if their opponent’s units are within range of their towering spires.

Here’s how it works: let’s say it’s my turn, and I’m the opposing player. I look around to see if any of your units are close enough to my spires. If they are, it’s time to get fired up! My spires will launch an attack and roll dice to determine the amount of damage they inflict.

But hold on, there’s a catch – each spire can only fire once per turn. So, even if multiple units are within range, my spires will only attack once. It’s like they’re conserving their energy for maximum impact.

So, during the Onslaught Phase, the Spires Fire adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the game. You have to be mindful of your unit’s positioning and keep an eye on your opponent’s spires. Will your units be targeted? Can you defend them? It’s a thrilling aspect of the game that keeps you on your toes!

Spire Reward: When you defeat an opponent, you can build a spire on this Source Well without spending any resources. You can do this even if you don’t have enough influence.

Starting Hero: You can deploy your faction’s hero for free. This hero is the only one you can deploy in the first wave.

Getting Started Upgrades: Upgrade chips are what a spire starts with when it’s built. You can put them under the spire in any order you like.

Super Skills: These are special abilities that a unit or spire can use. You’ll find the details of these abilities and when they can be used on the reference sheets.

Landscapes: These are the different types of hexes you’ll encounter on the hex groups. Each type of terrain has its own requirements for units to move on or through it.

Terrain Allowance: Think of the icon as a symbol that tells you how well a unit can move across different types of terrain. If you don’t see an icon, it means that the unit can only move on certain specific paths.

Ungrouped: This refers to units that are on their own, without any additional units below them. When it comes to heroes, they must be deployed in this ungrouped manner.

Unit: A unit is a term we use to describe minions or heroes. However, it doesn’t include spires or non-minion landmarks.

Unrevealed: When a landmark chip is facedown, we call it unrevealed. You can only interact with it through exploration.

Upgrade: An upgrade refers to chips that can be added to units or spires. These chips can increase their attack power, range, or provide fortification. If a spire has upgrades, they also act as its health.

Boost Limit: You can only use a certain number of upgrade chips to enhance a unit or spire.

Appropriate Targets: You can target enemy units (including landmark minions), enemy spires, and enemy fortress gates that are within range.

Wave Breakdown: A game of Cloudspire is divided into distinct waves. Typically, a game consists of 4 waves. Each wave is made up of 6 different phases.

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