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Beginner's Guide

I've decided to write this guide as a means to help newer players develop their skills in the world of Culdcept Saga. I hope this guide assists both newer players and veterans alike.

Culdcept Saga is a game that many look at as a hybrid between any Collectable Card Game (CCG) and Monopoly the Board game. Most commonly, Magic: The Gathering is used in the analogy so far as the CCG is concerned. For the most part, they're right. The very basic aspects of this game are the players walking around a large board, claiming territory with "Cards" that cast spells or summon creatures, and after acquiring a goal amount of manna, they win.

Pretty basic stuff, right? If this doesn't appeal to you, then perhaps you shouldn't play it, however, there is a depth to this game that grabs people. Whether it's the strategist, the artist, the collector, the casual kid that just wants to blow a few hours playing a board game, this game has something for everybody that gives it a chance. So before you knock the game for its bizarre style, give it a try. It may take a while to grasp, but once you do, it's well worth the 40 dollars to buy it.

Premise:

The premise of the game, as I explained in the intro is two to four players walking around a board attempting to collect a goal total of manna. They collect manna from various sources; Tower, tolls, spells, lap bonuses. Each player has to reach each tower on the map. After all towers have been reached, they make their way back to the castle and complete a lap. While they are attempting to reach the towers, they use their Books or Decks and summon creatures to occupy land. When an opponent lands on their land, they have the option to pay a toll or to try taking the land with 'of their own creatures. When 'player has enough manna to win, they must reach the castle. When they reach the castle, they win.

Basic Turn:

To understand how this game works you have to understand the process that takes place. Each turn is broken down into several phases. Draw... Cast... Roll... Summon/Battle or Territory option... End turn.

Draw:

This is the phase when you draw a card from your deck. You have a maximum of 6 cards for your hand. Any draw exceeding this will result in a discard. You are given the option to discard whichever card you don't need.

Cast:

The Casting phase is where you can choose a spell and cast it. This can be either zapping an opponents creature for damage... Draining an opponent's manna... Drawing extra cards for yourself... etc. This is the phase where you use your spell cards.

Roll:

This is the phase where you roll the dice. A random dice generator will appear and roll a number from 1-10. The maximum number of the dice is determined by the map being played. Various spells can be cast to effect what the dice will roll.

Summon:

If you land on an empty territory, you have the option of summoning a creature and taking over the land. If you land on an opponent's territory, you have the option of attacking with 'of your creatures and potentially taking it over.

Battle Phase:

The battle phase is the point where and attacking creature attempts to destroy a defending creature. Each creature has Strength (ST) and Health Points (HP/MHP). A creature will attack and deal their total ST in damage to the opponent's HP. IE 30 ST will take 30 HP from the opponent. There's a lot more to the battle phase, but that deserves its own section.

Territory Ability:

Territory abilities are various actions you can take when you cross 'of your territories. These are Level Land, Creature Movement, Terrain Change and Creature Ability.

Level Land: Leveling land costs manna, but it increases tolls and land bonus provided.

Creature Movement: You can move your creature onto an adjacent territory. Note: Defensive creatures cannot move.

Terrain Change: Terrain change allows you to change the elemental aspect of the land. This will be explained in further detail later.

Creature Ability: This will allow you to use the occupying creatures special ability.

End Turn:

This is the end of your turn. Congratulations.

The Board:

Now let's break down the board. The board has at the very least, 'Tower and 'Castle. As the game progresses you will be introduced to lots of interesting twists and turns. Some boards have multiple paths to follow. Other boards have several areas you can warp to and from. There are several different types of tiles you can land on: Fire, Earth, Wind, Water, Neutral, Morph and Multi-color lands. There are also several Special tiles that have a unique feature to the game. These are the Castle, Tower, Shrine, Dark Shrine, Light Shrine, Fortune Teller, Warp, Mandatory Warp, Temple, Fountain and Action tiles.

Fire/Earth/Wind/Water:

These are your basic elemental tiles. You can place creatures on these and collect tolls when your opponent land on the tile in question. You also have the option of summoning a creature to do battle with the land holder. If you manage to kill the creature, you take over the land and don't have to pay a toll. If you place a creature of the same element on the land, they will receive a "Land Bonus" which is basically extra health. (10HP x land level) This makes it important that you place same color creatures on lands as it will make it more difficult for your opponent to kill them and easier for you to take their money.

You can level these lands from 1 to 5. Each level will take some of your money and get more expensive as you raise the level The benefit of this is the toll increases as well as the land bonus provided the creature is the same color. Consequently, it also becomes more expensive to change the element of the land. You can also "Chain" lands of the same element together. IE If you own two or more lands of the same color, they increase in value as well as toll up to 5 times. I'll explain this more in depth, later.

Neutral:

Neutral lands are lands that have no element. As such, they provide no land bonus and do not chain with other neutral lands. On the upside, they are cheaper to convert into a different element. Due to the initial nature of this land, converted neutral lands have a less expensive toll, but provide quick and cheap chains.

Morph:

Morph lands are lands that have no element until you place a creature on them. Depending on the element of the creature they will morph into that land. IE Earth creature changes it to earth, Neutral to neutral, Multi-color to Multi color. Because of the nature of this land, tolls will be less expensive, but they provide a fast and easy way to chain lands.

Multi-Color:

Multi-Color lands are unique lands that provide a land bonus to any elemental creature occupying it. It will not provide a bonus to Neutral creatures however. They also do not chain with other lands and provide a less expensive toll. Multi-color lands are also cheaper to convert to other colors providing fast and easy chains while benefiting elemental creatures with a land bonus prior to conversion.

Special Tiles:

Castle:
This is the most important tile in the game. For those of you familiar with Monopoly, this is GO. This is the start and end of each lap. When you pass the castle after visiting each tower, it will provide a lap bonus. This is a nice chunk of change so you can spend it on leveling land or casting spells etc. This will also heal your creatures by 10% of their Maximum Hit Points (MHP). If you land on the Castle, you have the option of accessing all of your land for territory abilities. This is also the place you need to be if you want to win the game. After acquiring the goal manna (TG) you need to reach the castle to win. If you don't hit the castle then you'll forever loop the map and not win.

Tower:
Each map has up to 4 Towers represented by directions. N, S, E, W. Each player must reach each tower then return to the castle for to complete a lap. When you reach a tower, it will provide you with a small chunk of change. This helps you cast spells and claim territory. If you land on a tower, you can access all of your territories.

Shrine:
The Shrine tile causes a random event to occur across the board. Some examples are Dealing 5 damage to all red and green creatures; All blue and yellow creatures lose 5 ST; Yellow symbol value in XXX Area drops by 10%; Receive X amount of green symbols from XXX Area. These are generally minor effects, however, given certain circumstances, they can save the game for you. IE Healing all green creatures when your opponent was just about to deal enough damage to all creatures and wipe out all your territory. Shrines also provide the side effect of "Whatever is worst for Trufenix".

Dark/Light Shrine:
Where normal Shrines affect the board, creatures, and symbols, Dark/Light Shrines will mostly target the players themselves. Dark and Light Shrines provide both positive and negative effects to the game. Dark Shrines provide more negative effects while Light Shrines provide more beneficial effects. This is largely random, as both shrines can and will provide beneficial effects as well as negative. Some common effects are: random player will lose a spell card from their hand; Choose from a list of seven different effects; Each player will receive 100g; Target player cannot have a turn until another player rolls an even number, and so on (click here for the complete list of effects). These effects can have a drastic effect on the game.

Fortune Teller:
The Fortune Teller gives you the option of finding the next creature, item or spell card in your deck. This can help you out should you be hurting for creatures or certain items. If there's a spell you really need and just want to cycle through the deck a little faster or if you just want more options in your hand. Can make or break a player in need.

Warp/Mandatory Warp:
Warp Tiles are tiles that warp you to another location on the board when you stop on them. Mandatory warp tiles are tiles that warp you regardless of if you stop on them or not. If you walk over a mandatory warp tile you will warp.

Temple:
Temples are where you can buy and sell symbols. Symbols are like stock exchange; IE you level or chain territory, symbols in that color go up in value. Buy low, sell high. Symbols really deserve their own guide. There's so much to cover regarding them (click here for an in-depth guide). Just know, this is where you can buy or sell them. You have this option every time you cross the Temple as opposed to only when you land on it.

Fountain:
The fountain discards your hand and refills it with the same number of cards. IE 4 cards = 4 cards, 5 cards = 5 cards, 2 cards = 2 cards. If you're in a pinch and you hate the hand that's been dealt to you, touch the fountain and get a brand new hand. Be careful near the end of your deck. If there are 6 cards in your hand and 3 left in your deck, it will stop at 3.

Action:
The action tile can only be found on two boards. It's a unique tile that will alter the actual path of the board. There really isn't much to say regarding these tiles. You'll understand them when you see them.

Cards:

Before we can build a book and start playing; we need to understand what the cards are. There are three types: Creatures, Items and Spells. There are also four Rarities to each card: Normal, Strange, Rare and Extra.

Rarity:

Normal:
Normal cards are your common cards. You get several of them at the end of a match win or lose. These are often simple creatures with no abilities or weaker items and spells that can fit in to most decks and not look out of place. Some N Cards are Mace, Minotaur and Hustle.

Strange:
Strange cards are your uncommon cards. They usually have an ability that is either detrimental or beneficial depending on the card. The creatures at this level are a bit more complex and have special abilities. Often S Cards have land requirements (I'll explain later) and are more expensive to cast. They also frequently have a niche that makes them less useful unless built into a specific book. Some S Cards are Lichenoid, Amethyst Ring and Aurora.

Rare:
Rare cards are just that, rare. They are the hard to get cards that have the ability to change a game's direction drastically depending on when and how you play them. Many R Cards work in ways you wouldn't think useful until you see their true potential. I've often looked at a R card and said "Huh?! Why would anybody want to use that?!" Then somebody online will show me why somebody would find that card useful and I won't know what hit me until it's too late. R Cards will make a player have to think outside the box. Some R Cards are Leprechaun, Claymore and Conspiracy.

Extra:
Extra cards are extremely powerful cards that you obtain through special circumstances during the game. These cards can be unbalancing and give players who have them an edge over those who don't. It is for this reason that E cards are sometimes frowned upon by veterans and are disallowed in League play. There are some special creatures that evolve after being played that also qualify as E cards, though they are not actually a part of your card stock. Some E cards are Grass Strider, Blade of Culdra and Zeromn.

Types:

Creatures:
Creatures are your basic land holders. Each creature has an elemental affinity: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Neutral. Each creature has a Name, Rarity, Cost, Land Limit, Item Limit, Territory Ability and/or effect, Battle ability, Strength rating, Health Rating and Maximum Health Rating.

Name:
This is the name of the creature.

Elemental Affinity:
This is the base element of the creature. The element of a creature is represented by card border's color. Red is Fire, Yellow is Air, Blue is Water, Green is Earth and White is Neutral. When a creature is placed on like-colored lands they will receive a land bonus. This is represented by additional health (10 x land level).

*Note: Neutral creatures have no elemental affinity, therefore cannot receive land bonus on any land.

Cost:
This is the cost of the creature. Some creatures have a summoning sickness or land requirement as well as magic cost. IE Some creatures require you to own at least 1 blue land before you can put them in play. Others require you to discard another card before they can be put into play. These prerequisites are represented by a +(symbol) next to the magic cost.

Land Limit:
This indicates that the creature cannot be placed a certain color of land. This is represented by a symbol of that color with a small red 'x' on the upper right corner. IE Certain creatures cannot be placed on or move onto green land. Others cannot be placed or move onto red land. No Land Limit means this creature can be placed on any land.

Item Limit:
This indicates what items a creature is unable to use in battle. This is represented by a scroll, tool, weapon or armor with a small red 'x' on the upper right corner. Weapon looks like a sword. Tool looks like a ring. Armor looks like a breastplate. Scroll looks like a sheet of wavy paper.

Territory Ability:
Some creatures have territory abilities. These are powers that the creature is able to perform for a small amount of magic. Some examples of Territory Abilities are:

- (30g): Gain 50g for every creature destroyed so far. Once used, the total number of creatures destroyed resets to 0.
- (0g) User gains (number of green creatures x 20g).
- (80g) Transforms target territory belonging to user into a blue land.

Global Effect:
Global effects are effects that take place simply by having the creature placed on the board. These are most easily identified as the living idol creatures. Global effects have a very adverse impact on any game. Some examples are:

- All Creatures cannot use Territory Abilities.
- Disables Movement and Exchange commands.
- All defending creatures gain 20 HP.

Creature Types:
In addition to elemental aspects, there are a few creatures that have even further classifications. These are defensive creatures and Item creatures. Defensive creatures are unable to use the move command or invade territory. Item Creatures are special creatures that can be used by any creature in battle. When used, an item creature will add their ST and HP to the equipped creature as well as any special effects the Item Creature possesses.

Battle Ability:
Battle abilities are abilities that occur during a battle. Some of these abilities are critical hits, neutralize colors, attack first etc. I will go into more detail on the different battle abilities later in this guide.

Items:
Items are... items that creatures can equip during battles to enhance their ST and/or HP. They can also provide special abilities the creature would normally not possess. Item cards are an integral part of the battle system. Many games have been decided by 'battle. Furthermore, that 'battle more often than not has been decided because of 'item showing up when it needs to. Item cards should NEVER be used frivolously. The four types of items are Weapons, Armor, Tools and Scrolls.

Weapons:
Weapons are primarily offensive items. Your standard weapon will give a ST boost to your creature. An example would be a Mace giving your creature +20 ST. Some weapons add certain abilities to your creature as well. Such as, Attack First or Critical hit dependant on the color of the creature. Some weapons even add to a creatures HP as well as ST. Weapons are great for people who wish to attack, attack and attack. Though, weapons can be used effectively as a means of defense.

Armor:
Where weapons are primarily offensive, armor is primarily defensive. Most armor will add to a creatures HP in battle. Sometimes armor will add to a creature's ST as well. Similar to weapons, armor will add special abilities during battle. These abilities will be more or less defensive in nature. Some of these abilities are Neutralize X color or half damage received.

Tools:
Tools are items nearly every creature can use. They vary greatly and could be used as suitable substitutes for both weapons and armor in the case that a creature cannot use 'or the other. While substituting is a great use for these items, their real strength comes from the unique aspect they bring to a battle.

Scrolls:
Scrolls are an item that trumps nearly everything. Scrolls are powerful offensive items. They're attack bypasses Land Bonus, Neutralize and Reflection. Scrolls are the answer to fighting somebody with a nearly impenetrable defense. A standard scroll will hit for 30 damage; 45 if a critical hit. What this means is, even if a creature has 80 HP (50 Land bonus, 30 base HP) the scroll will ignore the 50 land bonus health and attack the base HP directly. Never underestimate a scroll.

Spells:
Spell cards are the spells that affect every part of the game. There are several different types of spells. Zap, Multi-Zap, Curse and Multi-Curse. For those who like nicer words, Curses are often referred to as Enchants.

Zap:
Zap spells are spells that directly affect 'target. That target can be ' creature or 'player, to include the caster themselves. Some examples of Zap spells are Magic Bolt, Drain Magic, Manna and Crusher.

Multi-Zap:
Multi-Zap spells effect multiple creatures or multiple players. Multi-Zap spells will bypass features that prevent zap spells from occurring. Some examples of Multi-Zap spells are Tempest, Aurora, Crusher Storm and Cramp.

Curse/Enchant:
Enchants are lasting effects that are placed on creatures or players. These can last anywhere from 1 round to the entirety of the game. Some enchants provide money, restrict or enhance movement or change creature stats in battle. Some examples of Enchants are Hustle, Fairy Light, Trespass and Haste.

Multi-Curse/Enchant:
Multi-enchants spells affect all creatures or players at once. Multi-Enchant spells will overwrite and/or bypass other enchant effects. Some examples of Multi-Enchant spells are Mass Phantasm, Reinforce, Gravity and Desert Storm.

Books:
Books are the set of playing cards you use to play a game. These are most often called decks as well. The most standard book will consist of 50 cards. There are options where 30-60 card books exist, but this is almost never seen in a standard game. Books are comprised of creature, item and spell cards. When every card in your book has been used, it will reset and you will have all of your cards back.

There are several different types of common books. I'll break them into generic categories: Magma, Storm, Mono-color, Neutral, Gimmick, Theme and Rainbow.

Magma:
Magma books are made of mostly red and green creatures. These colors complement each other and will often have spells or creatures that benefit both colors. Green is considered the 3rd most offensive color and the 2nd most defensive color. Conversely, Red is considered the 2nd most offensive color and the 3rd most defensive. Because of this, Magma books are well balanced, providing a moderate to excellent offense and defense. Red and Green also contain the only 'Immediate' (The exception being Neutral's Clockwork Owl) creatures. These creatures provide fast actions allowing for quick land chains and aggressive play style. Magma books are a very good choice for beginning players.

Storm:
Storm books are books that feature primarily blue and yellow creatures. Like red and green, blue and yellow colors complement each other and often benefit from the same spells. Blue is considered the most defensive and least offensive color. Conversely, Yellow is the most offensive and least defensive color. This can provide a somewhat harder to obtain balance. The pay-off though, is yellow creatures generally give you more bang for your buck. Blue creatures provide some of the best defenses in the game. Storm decks may not be as fast as Magma books however, once they have established themselves; it is difficult to topple them.

Mono-Color:
Mono-Color books are books made primarily of 'color. The pros of single colored books are that you're only gunning for 'type of land. This can also let you focus entirely on benefiting your color and hurting every other. Unfortunately, if you end up facing a deck designed to destroy or neutralize only your color, there could be problems.

Neutral:
Neutral books are booked made of mostly neutral creatures. Neutral decks may not get land bonus, but they make up for it in a number of ways. Several neutral creatures benefit each other. I like to think of them as jigsaw pieces. Each ' fits into a bigger picture. This is especially true with Idols in that, multiple Idol effects can lock down the game for other players. Neutral decks also don't have to worry about adhering to 'or two colors as land bonus isn't a concern. This gives great flexibility for creating chains as you see fit.

Gimmick:
Gimmick books are books that follow a specific card or combination. These are generally focused books relying on the stars to align to achieve 'goal. The problem with gimmick books is that they are unable to function outside of their specified goal. If a key card is destroyed or unable to be played, many gimmick books lack to flexibility to work.

Theme:
Theme books are books that feature a lot of similar cards. Mass damage themes would have lots of mass damage spells. Ant themes would have lots of ants and ways to get them on the board. Goblin themes would be like ants but with goblins. Technically, Magma and Storm books could be considered theme books. Theme decks can have a hint of gimmick to them, but they tend to be more balanced and capable of holding their own should a key card or two get taken out.

Rainbow:
Rainbow books have all the colors in them. These are harder books to run sometimes as they lack a primary focus. However, these books can work very well when designed with balance and flexibility in mind.

Book Construction:

Now that we know what everything is and have a general idea of what books are out there, we can finally get to book construction. Here are several tips to create a balanced book that will help you play the game easily and with some fun.

Book Type

Before you even begin building your book, you should take into consideration what type of book you're going to build first. Magma and Storm decks, as described above, are great for beginners. There are so many great cards to put in your books that some will get left out. If you can narrow what creatures you want based on color, you'll effectively eliminate large groups of cards from your pool of choice.

Ratio

A good starting ratio of creatures to items to spells is 50/25/25. In a 50 card book, this translates to 25 creature cards, 12 item cards and 13 spell cards. The higher ratio of creatures will ensure you have creatures to put down as well as take over lands you want. The even split between spells and items will provide a decent mix of spells and items for you to use as you need. Too many creatures and you'll run out of room to put them or wait forever for that 'item you need to help you take out or defend a particular land. Conversely, too many items and you'll be waiting forever to actually have land to take over or defend. This can hurt you even more as your opponent will be taking all the prime real-estate while you're discarding yet another Mace.

In addition, when breaking down the ratio of creatures in your deck a good set would be 40/40/10. EX: In a basic Magma book, you would have 40% Red creatures, 40% Green creatures and 10% Neutral creatures to add spice. Of course, you could also go with 50/50 and eliminate Neutral creatures altogether.

Watch out for Pre-Requisites!

Everybody loves big creatures. The bigger the better! Who wouldn't want 4 large powerhouses in their book ready to devastate the opponent? Why would we want to bother with the puny creatures when we can have nothing but monsters? The answer is simple, Pre-Requisites!

Every color has powerhouse cards. A majority of these powerhouses require you to have a certain amount of a certain color land before they can even be played. Even with the uncommon creatures, a majority still require 1 land of their color to actually be played. Speaking from experience, when a book is filled with too many creatures with pre-requisites, a player can go 15-20 rounds before they can even summon a creature. In the mean-time their opponent is grabbing everything in sight and your chances of a come back are getting slimmer and slimmer.

When constructing a book, make sure there's a solid foundation of creatures that don't require you to own land before they can be played. This will help get the ball rolling so you can get the rest of your deck started. Don't get caught in the greed factor of needing powerhouses to fill your entire book. Powerhouse creatures should be used to accent a good book.

There's an answer for everything.

Every card in this game has an answer. As you gain experience, you'll know what type of creatures or spells will give your book problems. If Idols are giving you a hard time, pack an Acid Rain or two. If mass damage is wiping out all of your creatures, throw in a Mass Phantasm to keep your creatures from dying. If spells like Drain Magic and Crusher are aggravating you, throw in a Granite Idol to prevent those spells from targeting you. Because these are usually "Just in case" cards, 'or two should be sufficient. Anymore and the flow of your deck might be thrown off.

Don't get discouraged.

If you lose a match with a deck you thought was unbeatable, learn from it. Just because your deck lost, doesn't mean it's a failure. Find out what was preventing you from winning and fix it. Maybe the ratio is off, maybe you weren't getting enough defensive items, maybe a certain idol just ruined your plans. Maybe the dice just hated you.

Variety is good.

Try to spread out what type of creatures you're employing. Keep the max to 2 or 3. Four of 'type of card can hurt you as much as help. Certain cards like Marble Idol, which makes it so multiples of a creature cannot be played, or Suppression, completely remove all of 'type of spell from all decks, can put a massive dent in your plans. A large variety of creatures will stop Marble idol from locking you down. A large variety of spells will give you a chance to attack your opponent from multiple angles.

Adapt to the map.

Editing your book so it performs better based on the map can make a world of difference. If playing on a map that features multiples paths and 4 forts, Permission can help you cut down on the time it takes to lap. Conversely, cards like Permission shouldn't be needed on small linear maps where you will pass the fort no matter what. You're only depriving yourself of more useful cards and money, should you cast Permission prior to even passing a fort. If your afraid your opponent will be buying symbols at a temple, throw in a few anti-symbol cards just in case. If you know your opponent will have to pass over your land, put a Quicksand in your book to make sure they stop where you want them to.

Every card has a use. (except Living Scroll)

Living scroll really is useless, but that's a personal opinion. When you get new cards, take the time to think about how they can be used to the maximum benefit. Some cards may look worthless or do things that wouldn't be useful. Think outside the box for a moment and consider what the developer was thinking when they designed the card. Many cards create powerful combinations. Many cards require certain circumstances to occur to be useful. Part of the fun of this game is finding out what those combinations are and using them to devastating effect.

Battle Phase

Understanding the battle phase is an integral part of the game. Knowing what creature abilities are and how items affect a battle can assist you in overcoming seemingly impossible battles. Battles are broken down into three phases: Battle Start Phase, Attack Phase, Battle End Phase.

Battle Start

The Battle start section is the phase where all modifiers come into play. These modifiers are Creature modifiers; enchant modifiers; item modifiers and global effects. They also occur in that order.

Creature Modifiers:
These are the attacking or defending creature's personal abilities. They can dramatically affect a creature depending on what the circumstances are. An example of this would be a Red Cap. A Red Cap is a creature whose stats are 20 HP and 20 ST x the number of goblins on the board. If there are no goblins on the board then Red Cap is a whopping 0/0 creature. He dies instantly. Now, if there are 5 goblins on the board then the Red Cap is a 100/100 creature ready to destroy almost anything in its path.

Enchant Modifiers:
These are enchants that are cast on the player and creature that modify the creature accordingly. Some examples would be Hustle and Tough Song. Hustle is a creature enchant that provides them with +30/+30 in battle. It helps only the enchanted creature. Tough Song is an enchant that gives +20 HP in battle for the duration that the player themselves is enchanted. The will apply to every battle that takes place in that time span. So, if a Red Cap is enchanted with Hustle and has five goblins in play, he will first change into a 100/100 creature, then gain the +30/+30 from Hustle making him a 130/130 creature. With Tough Song he'd then be a 130/150 creature.

Item Modifiers:
These are the stats and effects that items have on a creature. Ring of Succubus would give a creature First Strike. This overwrites creature effects like Attacks Last. Conversely, Diamond Armor makes a creature attack last regardless of if they naturally Attack First. This is also the point when +ST/+HP. So the 130/150 Red Cap with a Mace would be a 150/150 creature. Mace gives +20 ST.

Boosts:
These are global effects provided by some idols and certain creatures. A few examples would be Borgess providing +20 HP to all Neutral creatures; Brontides giving +10 HP to all green or red creatures; Silver Idol providing all defending creatures with First Strike. These global effects occur with the proper circumstances. So, that 150/150 Red cap would become a 150/170 with Borgess in place due to it being a Neutral creature. With Silver Idol in play, he would also have First Strike if he were defending.

Attack Phase

This is the point when Creature A attacks Creature B. The order will always be Invading creature attacks first. Defending creature attacks last. If the defending creature has the Attack First ability or equipped item's ability, they will attack before the invading creature. If the invading creature has the Attack First ability, they will always attack before the defending creature even if they also possess Attack First. Equipping Attack First creatures with Attack First items does not make them any faster at attacking.

A very basic sequence of events would be the invading creature attacking the defending creature. The attacker will deal its ST total to the defending creatures HP. If this amount is sufficient to kill the defending creature, it dies and the battle then enters the Battle End Phase. If the defending creature survives it then attacks the invading creature dealing its ST rating to the attacking creatures HP.

Several creatures have bonus abilities that take effect once damage has been dealt. Most of these effects are nullified when no damage is dealt. An example of this would be Succubus reducing the opponent creatures ST to 0 when damage is dealt.

Battle End Phase

This is the wrap up phase of the battle. End Battle item effects and creature effects come into play. Poison poisons, Lunatic Hare swaps your HP and ST at this point. Wraith kills itself. The Senility enchant kills the creature enchanted. If the defending creature survives, they retain the land. If the defending creature dies and the attacking creature lives, the attacking creature takes over the land at this point.

Symbols

I've talked to many newer players and nearly every 'has questions regarding Symbols and how they work. This portion will be slightly different from the bullet format I've used in the other sections.

Symbols are like shares on the Stock Market. There are four types, Red (Fire), Green (Earth), Yellow (Wind) and Blue (Water). Think of these four colors as four separate companies vying for power on a map. As 'company gets bigger, the value of their shares increases. As another company gets smaller, their shares drop in value.

This is a very basic breakdown of symbols and their values. The actual in-game mechanics may differ from the following example. Say there are 20 total squares on a board: 5 Red, 5 Blue, 5 Green and 5 Yellow. The base value of the symbols would be 5. You take over 'Red space and change the color to Green. Now there are 6 green squares and 4 red squares. The base value of Red decreases to 4 and the value of green increases to 6. Yellow and Blue stay the same.

Now you take over another green square. This combines with your other green square to give you a chain of 2. With every link in a chain up to 5, the symbol value increases by 1. Now, Green should have a value of 7.

Now you level up 'of your green lands to level 2. This will increase the value by 1 as well giving Green a base value of 8. Get the picture?

While I have not taken the time to break down the exact mechanics that dictate symbol value, this is a very basic example of how they work.

There are multiple ways to attain symbols. You can purchase them from a Temple. Some creatures and items will give you symbols upon winning a battle. You can get symbols at random from the Shrine tile. There are also several methods to increase or decrease the value of symbols. Certain spells and creatures have abilities that directly affect players and their symbols.

So why would you want to buy symbols? There are a number of reasons for this.

1) Symbols are a great way to store your money away so other players can't steal it from you.
2) If you have the most symbols in 'particular color, you will receive a 10% magic bonus on your lap. If you have 2000g worth of symbols this will be an extra 200g stacked on top of your regular bonus.
3) If you buy symbols early and level up lands in the same color, the value will increase and you can double or even triple the value of your initial investment.
4) Owning symbols keeps you in the game even if your opponent takes all your land. IE You'll still have some money saved away even though you have no land to speak of.

Now that you've read some of the reasons to have symbols, give them a chance. They can play a very important part in a match and could mean the difference between winning and losing.

Tips & Tricks

This section will provide a few pointers to help your general play. I hope these tactics help you improve your game.

1. Pay the Toll.
There will be times when you land on a space that really isn't worth it. Certainly, you could summon your dragon of doom-de-doom and annihilate their goblin with extreme prejudice, but do you really want to? If the land is Neutral, level 1 and has a garbage creature on it, just pay the 16g Toll. You don't have to spend 100+ magic to summon a creature, have a battle and gain a nearly worthless land.

2. Keep some change.
It is always nice to keep some gold in your pocket while you play. Generally, 200-300g is a good number to stay around. Anything over that should probably be dumped into an investment, be it leveling a land or buying symbols. However, if it costs 700g to level a land up to maximum and you have 703g in your wallet, take the route of caution and level up 'lower. This will let you have money to be flexible with. If you buy yourself short, you leave yourself open to being attacked and not being able to afford defensive items or other spells and territory abilities that may help you.

3. Chain, Chain, Chain!
Chaining your lands is tantamount to winning most games. Not only do chains increase tolls, they increase land value as well. This makes your TG increase faster and your tolls hurt more when an opponent pays you.

4. Think outside the box.
This game is about combos. Every card has a use by itself (Except Living Scroll). Some of those uses might not be as obvious as others. If a card is confusing or appears useless, take time and consider why it was put in the game and how you can use it with other cards. Some brilliant books have been created based around 'card. Be careful about making books that are too focused on any 'card. In such cases, if an opponent has the perfect counter for your focus, you could be left in the dust without a chance of recovery.

5. Sell High!
When you get hit by a big toll, instinct says you should keep your big lands and sell off the scrap. In most cases this is essentially true. However, if you have excess large lands and get popped with a huge toll leaving you a few hundred in debt, go ahead and sell 'of your bigger lands. The payback will be tremendous and you can mount a come back or reinvest the excess gold in other more key locations.

6. Sometimes 'is enough.
Many newer players make the mistake of filling their decks with giant creatures in the hopes that they can steamroll the competition. After all, who can stop 4 Hardrock Dragons attacking land after land? Sadly, many can. Even though it's a big, nasty creature, every card in this game has a counter. It's hard to fit everything you want into 50 cards. When adding powerhouse cards sometimes 1 Hardrock Dragon goes much farther than 4. This also applies to other cards that are placed in a deck 'just in case.' The card will show up eventually, a lot of times it won't have a use; other times it'll be the perfect card for your present situation. Another side-effect of having too many of 'card will be its possible lack of use. If you have 4 Wall Transforms in your deck, eventually you will run out of things to change into walls. Then Wall Transform turns into a dead draw that could have been something else more useful.

7. The obvious target is not always the best.
A majority of players follow the rule "Attack the guy in first place." Everybody also knows that being in first can be a fleeting thing. More often than not Drain Magic hits the person with the most magic; Comet hits the biggest land; Crusher is used on the lead person; Trade goes for the Spud Folk. These are all logical and valid uses for their respective cards. What if the person with the second most magic has barely enough to win the game and your Drain Magic would be just enough to stop him from winning this lap? Why Comet the high level land with a goblin on it when you can Comet a potentially unstoppable force, bringing it back down to a more reasonable level for disposal? Why Crusher the leading person's last only spell card when the third place person has a card that could severally damage the game for everybody and potentially in it for them? Sure, Spud Folk has a nice ability, but trading for that Lightning Dragon would let you rain death on all green creatures anyway.

8. Familiarize yourself with the cards.
Take the time to learn what each card does and what its picture is. After playing long enough, you should be able to tell what a card is at a glance. This helps you better identify what your opponents are keeping in their hands. It can give you insight into their books and allow you to identify potential problem cards for books you design.

9. Bluff.
This has a number of uses. The art of the bluff is a way to psych your opponent out and get them to use items they normally wouldn't. If you have a creature parked next to an opponent's big land and they've been holding onto a Gaseous Form forever, move that sucker over and taunt them. Take the time to look at your attack items. Let them see that you could take their land right now with your +40 ST Battle Axe. After a suitable pause has taken place, don't select anything and watch them sweat. Did you play the Battle Axe? Better use Gaseous Form to be safe. Darn! They didn't use it! Now, he has no defense for when you stroll over his land and take it for real next time.

10. Scrolls Trump Everything. (Almost)
Apart from a few key creatures (and 'item) that neutralize scroll effects or even reflect them, scrolls bypass everything. Neutralize? Worthless. Counter Amulet? Worthless. Gaseous Form? Worthless. Tower Shield's half damage? Worthless. Frost Beast reflections? Worthless! Land Bonus? Worthless!! Get the picture?

11. The start button skips cut-scenes and Faustina's tutorial speeches in story mode.

12. Finishing Story Mode allows you to create Demon, Female, Birdman, Catman and Stoneman Avatars.

13. Keep them from what they need.
There will be occasions where an opponent doesn't have the land requirements they need to get rolling. If they're the unfortunate victims of too many pre-requisite creatures, make them pay for their mistake by taking over the ' land they needed to get started. Change it to a different color via Quintessence, Sink, Upheaval, Wild Growth or Weathering. Move the creature over with Telekinesis.

14. Just because it says you can, doesn't mean you can.
There are incidents where you will land on a land it the game will say "This creature can kill it just fine." Or "This creature won't even come close." The game is only factoring your creatures ST against their HP with Land Bonus. It's not factoring in the +20 HP they'll get from Poseidon while defending, or the First Strike ability the defender has. They won't consider the fact that you have Sinking Song on and only deal half damage, or that your 30/30 Magma Avatar will change into a 150/150 Magma Avatar once the battle begins.

15. THE GAME IS NOT OVER UNTIL IT'S OVER!!!!!
This is the cardinal rule of Culdcept Saga. I have been in games where a person is 'space away from the castle with 3000g over the goal and they ended up losing the game with 200g left to their name. How does this happen? It's easy. Say you pull out a Word of Recall and zap them onto the castle during your turn. Since they don't actually hit the castle, they're forced to do an entire lap before they can win. This gives you plenty of time to do what you have to and disable their lead. In a four way match, they still have 3 players to survive before they can win. If during those three turns, the gang up happens and they lose 3 big lands, they could find themselves well below the winning amount. If your 3 spaces behind them with enough money to win and you overtake them, you still win even if they have thousands more than you. The point is: Don't give up hope because it seems hopeless. This game is just as much about luck as it is skill.

Click here to continue on to the Intermediate Guide!

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 June 2013 15:34

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