Exploring New Mechanics of the Summer Expansion 'Covert Operations'

about 2 months ago

KARDS has always thrived on a blend of strategy, unpredictability, and the element of surprise. Among the myriad strategies players can employ, Covert mechanics will stand out as a particularly intriguing option. Covert decks offer a fun approach to gameplay, utilizing hidden units and deception to gain an upper hand. This article delves into the core aspects of covert mechanics and how they shape deck-building strategies, particularly focusing on Soviet, USA, and Japanese themes.

Covert Mechanics: The Art of Hidden Warfare

The essence of covert mechanics lies in the ability to place units face down on the battlefield, rendering them immune to most orders and abilities until they are revealed through combat. This mechanic introduces several strategic advantages:

  1. Covert Immunity: Covert units, being face down, are protected from almost all types of orders and deployment effects. This makes them invulnerable to targeted attacks, debuffs, or control effects that typically plague visible units. The only way to reveal and interact with these units is through direct attack.

  2. Strategic Deception: Covert decks often feature multiple covert units, allowing players to use these hidden cards to bait opponents into attacks. The uncertainty of what lies beneath each face-down card can force opponents into making suboptimal moves, thus giving the player a strategic edge. The longer these units remain face down, the greater the potential advantage, as they can be revealed at opportune moments to turn the tide of battle.

While many decks will feature several covert units, there are a few specialized cards designed to interact directly with covert units. These will be explored in future articles, offering deeper insights into enhancing covert strategies. The first of these articles will be posted on May 28 so stay tuned!

Soviet Covert Strategies

The Soviets are the masters of covert operations in this game, with several mini-themes and support cards tailored to bolster covert decks. Here are some highlights:

  • Support Cards: Soviet decks are rich with support cards that enhance the effectiveness of covert units, providing buffs, additional protection, or secondary effects when covert units are revealed.

  • SU-100 Blitz Tank: A notable unit in Soviet decks, the SU-100 blitz tank  benefits from the Counter Offensive archetype but also grows stronger when damaged. This mechanic encourages players to take calculated risks, using the tank’s status to absorb hits and then counterattacking with increased power. While this is not a covert card, it is one of several mini themes in the Soviet arsenal.

USA Retribution Mechanic

The USA introduces the retribution mechanic, which synergizes well with a reactive playstyle:

  • Outrage: When an opponent destroys your unit, you can become ‘Outraged,’ triggering the retribution mechanic. This generates retribution, which can be used to summon powerful cards.

  • Retribution Cards: There are 12 unique cards that can be spawned through the retribution mechanic. Upon activation, players can develop three cards and choose one to play.

This mechanic turns the opponent’s aggression against them, providing the USA player with strong countermeasures and strategic options.

Japanese Kredit Loss Deck

The Japanese faction offers a unique twist with their Kredit Loss Deck, emphasizing strategic sacrifices:

  • Sacrificing Kredit Slots: Japanese decks include cards that benefit from losing kredit slots, allowing players to exchange these slots for powerful effects or units. This introduces a complex layer of strategy, as players must balance resource management with immediate tactical gains.

  • Powerful Trade-Offs: By sacrificing kredit slots, players can play stronger or more strategic cards, creating opportunities to outmaneuver opponents despite the apparent disadvantage of reduced resources.

This theme encourages experimentation and mastery, rewarding players who can effectively manage their resources and anticipate the flow of battle. It is important to note that this can be a high risk, high reward deck and requires sequencing plays very carefully.

Stealth and Strategy

Covert mechanics add a rich, strategic dimension to tactical card games, where hidden units and deception play pivotal roles. The Soviet, USA, and Japanese Nations each offer unique takes on this mechanic, providing diverse strategies and playstyles. Whether you prefer the protective mystery of covert units, the reactive power of retribution, or the strategic depth of kredit loss decks, these mechanics ensure a dynamic and engaging gameplay experience.