Peoples thoughts on magic card or town upgrades?


Was going to post this on steam but this is probably a better place for it, where all the experienced players are who may be most resistant to change! Has the idea of magic cards been discussed already? I feel like a lot of units could be re-designed and replaced by magic cards, there could be a lot of ways to implement them but i think the Zombies would need their own form of magic cards to compete.

Alternatively, each faction city could have its own basic upgrades that could also fill in for what some cards already do. They’d cost gold or mana or population depending on the race. You could only do one upgrade in a city and have a few good options like increased training time, bonus defenses, more gold income, added mana income, the ability to deploy trained troops a league away, train troops with combat experience, add a second training que and more.

Personally i really like the co-op aspect of the game, bringing and offering cards that your allies can sometimes use, and i think thats where Magic Cards could shine. With every race bringing their own small selection that can be shared with allies or used on them without them having to own a city of your faction. Or just having all the players cards pooled together globally and drawn from as needed, so you may just bring cards that mostly benefit allies situations.
Adding new units could fill all the roles of magic cards but you run into deployment issues when using a unit just for a spell.

Then giving zombies their own tricks could make them more unpredictable than ever. I had the thought that whenever they take a capital city, they spawn and use a card somewhere. There will be a warning indicator that will show you what the card is and where the effect will take place.


I’m not complety against this idea, I told @Dwarfurious in a chat that the only reason the game doesn’t have these is for simplicity. We thought “characters” would be more appealing to collect han a one off power you could cast.

But if the game is successful on steam we can start adding things like this.

Another idea from the early game design is equipment that you can give to your heroes. Magic weapons for strength bonuses. Armour for saves etc ect.


Yeah i was thinking of equipment too since thats more Dwarven. But in the end would it really be any different from magic cards? I dont think it would really NEED its own catagory. They could cost Gold instead of Mana but then again you could just have a BLESS WEAPONS spell that does the same thing (for a limited time?) If there is a distinction i think it would be neat if you could only cast spells in a range around your current Wizard/Mage/Priest/Shaman cards. So if you dont have one of those around, you cant put your spell anywhere but on your own towns. This could add new uses for new units, maybe some spells require Merchant or Rogue units. Could also salvage equipment or magic cards from burning bodies in capital cities, sifting through the ruins. Or “Equipment” cards could require forging in cities before you can use them. Blacksmiths and Wizardtowers could be added to the map as another point of interest to secure/defend.
Hope you find success on Kong as well


I don’t know if spell cards are necessary for the game. I do think they would improve the game but I bet it would require alot of development time to make it worth it. It would add another kind of card to buy and add more variety without having to create a new unit for every single magic ability. I do think there needs to be better ways for players to work together, though whatever the devs end up doing we need ways to help our allies other than sending reinforcements hiking across the map over the course of a couple days. Things like the long range mages and the teleporting tangle mage are great for that, but its not enough.

If we do get magic cards though, alot of stuff is going to have to be looked at and rebalanced. Will mage units still have their abilities? What unit will cast the spells, if any? Will the spells be single use? how we hold and draw cards will have to be redone or tweaked also.

I think it would be neat if instead of mages with one spell, we had different mages that can cast spells along with some bonus specific to that kind of mage. Some examples would be making specific kinds of spells more powerful at the cost of not being able to cast other spells(like enchantress for buffs/debuffs), being able to sacrifice population to reduce cost(elder shaman), or getting a discount when on a manapool(pool priestess). Really, there is tons of variety and strategy that could be added here.

Also, I say mages and spells, but this could work for non-magical abilities as well like arrows or fortifications. It would be nice if non-magical abilities had a downside other than costing mana, but I doubt that would be worth it. I do think that we would need something to limit what abilities each unit has, to prevent wizards from setting up fortifications and stuff like that.


I’d really like to see a way to invest gold/valor/mana into upgrading existing units stats/abilities. There are currently no expensive mages even though some of them are more powerful/useful than dragons. Maybe we just need a few high cost mages with an array of abilities. Or we can use the existing ones and upgrade them in a way that wouldnt require new card art. But that would be a new mechanic, and that means more tutorial to cover it and rebalance of zombies. I think zombies could use some unique abilities too though.


There have already been a bunch of brainstorms on how to make the Zombies more unique, so no doubt the devs already have a bunch of it on their to-do list :slight_smile:

I’m not sure i would ever buy many upgrades for any specific town, unless it’s a direct tangible improvement like extra fortifications. If it’s to do with training troops, you would ususally just be better off by using the money to buy more units. Even more so since towns can run out of troops pretty quickly if you continuously train there.

I’m not sure about the spell cards. It seems like a bunch of extra work and complication for something we already have heroes for. How do you think they would significantly improve the game?

I do like the idea of Equipment cards or the like, boosting basic stats and such for a cost. We could give them additional abilities, but i’m not sure if that can be easily implemented in the current game, or if it would seriously unbalance stuff.
The upgrades would have to be cost-effective enough to not just use the money to buy another hero/unit, but it can’t make heroes into unslayable demigods either.


I’m liking the idea of making towns more than just unit-producing places to defend. If we would have the option to have a city increase its fortifications and train troops to become more expertly, this would make them more significant compared to the towns. While a city’s fort bonus and greater population already gives it a higher priority to defend, they do feel like just another town in peaceful areas.

How about this: If you can look ahead a day or two and see that the city will soon be on the frontlines, you can choose to build better defenses instead of training more men. It will take longer (Say 12h) and it’s not cheap, but it will be for the best if that city becomes a chokepoint for your troops to intercept the undead. And it would make the troll’s pikeman card a fast way to buff up defenses rather than the only way.

And the ability to train your men to higher exp in cities is a good one as well. I suggest; it’s cheaper than training new troops but not nearly as efficient. And the more men in the troop, the more expensive. F.e.: Humans exp +1str gets a 500str troop to 550str, this costs 50 gold. This means it’s 1 gold per 1 str. The humans cost 250 gold for those initial 500str, so 0.5 gold per str if you were to train new humans, twice as cost-efficient. However, the training takes 3h and if you were to have a small troop of just 5 humans the training will be cheaper (5x1=5gold) as well. Typing that out, it might be smart to put a minimum cost in place, like soldiers<25, still 25 gold.

This way, already experienced but decimated soldiers can be trained cheaper (though the costs will rise exponentially per xp level) and players can buff up the troops against a force that will arrive in <6 hours. You can also spend that little amount of money you have left after buying new troops. And for all of this to be worth it, you’ll have to merge your experienced troops with new ones before fighting, after which the training will become rediculously expensive because the troops now number into the hundreds and you can’t unmerge them.

I disagree with the magical cards thing. There is already a bit of an entering barrier for new players, having to get a respectable collection of cards in order to play on par with the big boys, more cards would make this issue more prominent. Right now it’s not yet too bad. The equipment however would be more interesting. If this wouldn’t be a collectible card issue, it would make the gap smaller and it could even out the race differences a bit. F.e. Dwarves don’t really use a lot of mana, so giving them mana-improvements upon their weapons, like enchanting their axes.

And a small suggestion of my own; how about making certain units like the cavalery trainable in cities? Right now they are only summonable in card-form, if they could be trained in cities (higher costs and training time to compensate) it would be interesting as well.


I could see people abusing that system pretty easily though. Get one or two units to low numbers through combat, send them to the nearest city to train for relatively little money, and in a day or two you have units with a massive xp power boost which you can merge with your main forces to double the strength of your armies.
You could prevent it by making the minimum cost high, or preventing trained units from merging, but those solutions would cause other problems in turn.


True enough, I can imagine something like that needing a lot of nerf-ing. That’s why I suggested exponentially increasing costs for one, f.e. the first xp to be 50 gold, the second to be 100, the third 250, the fourth 750 etc. (Not really exponential, I know)


That would probably work. Though it would have to be carefully balanced (1-1 gold-power exchange is reasonable, but I don’t think 5-1 would be very attractive for most situations ^^ ).

Alternatively, we could give cities some temporary abilities.
For example, allow them to turn 1/2 their pop into a (relatively weak) militia unit for 24 hours. This unit would not pay income, and be permarooted to the settlement. After 12 hours they auto-activate their “disband” ability which returns the pop to the settlement. It would also trigger the 6 hr training timer, and maybe cost mana/gold, and require the presence of “proffessional” troops.

This would allow you to temporarily beef up a cities defense at relatively low cost, but at the risk of losing a lot more population (and thus, income and potential troops) then usual. This would also remove some of the weird effect where an entire walled city is blighted by a couple of zombie straggelers, without any resistance whatsoever.

You could also make it a more permanent thing: You recruit the whole population into a permanent militia unit, which is still rooted to the spot, and with an extra fortification bonus (since it’s their hometurf). This would help you hold chokepoints, but would require you to deliberately “sacrifice” an entire city. It should also have a decent cost, so people dont just grab all the doomed cities they can and turn them into temporary roadblocks.


Also, love your avater, it’s really cute!


Sounds like you’re tying down your troops for days though, not to mention throwing away troops just to get the numbers small. I like the magic card aspect of being able to help players from a bigger distance, right now only Trolls can really do that with the tangle mage.


[quote=“shde2e, post:10, topic:5620, full:true”]
That would probably work. Though it would have to be carefully balanced (1-1 gold-power exchange is reasonable, but I don’t think 5-1 would be very attractive for most situations ^^ ). [/quote]

Actually, that would be preferable. The higher the gold-power ratio, the more soldiers you’ll eventually have to merge with your experts to make it worthwhile. So for high experience units, you would need troops of hundreds of men ready to make that difference count. It would make the training of 8+ units something not too common because the soldiers they’ll merge with already have a lot of xp defending unless you’re making troops far into peaceful territory.

Ah, I had a similar idea but forgot to add it to my first post. It would be less frustrating if cities and villages would have a small force (f.e. 100 for villages and 300 for cities whose troops have been extracted). This would however require some additional terms to ensure this doesn’t shaft the zombies. If they would have to deal with the hour-long countdown before combat, the difficulty would go way down. The zombies simply couldn’t spread as fast early-on. So maybe that there is no such countdown if there are only militia involved?

Or make it so that every zombie can only kill so many people. F.e.: One zombie of 12 strenght wanders into a village with 50 civilians. 12 vs 50, the village loses 12 civilians but doesn’t fall. But just 5 zombies would do the job of finishing them off. This messes with the lore and thought that just one zombie would need to wander into a village to end it, though it won’t happen that often that the zombie strength would be outclassed by the population.

The idea I intended to include was actually mercenaries, 12h or 24h units that can be whipped up as a last resort. Or units that will go out and attack only one target you select(They’ll be neutral units), and who’ll refuse to attack anything they won’t win against.

But militia would work better. For the last suggestion, maybe make the militia thing valour-cost to prevent early-game use.

Men, I know you are scared. You have not received even the basic training that our soldiers got. You don’t have the military grade weapons we use to fight the immortals with. You don’t even have the time to say goodbye to your families before the undead will be at our doorstep. But you are the only thing standing between us and those zombies. You are the last hope of your family and friends. You are the last stand of this community.


It’s meant for positions you already need to defend, so you would already have a garrisson there anyway. Also, how would you be throwing troops away? At most you lost civilian population, but thats the inherent risk in getting “free” troops.

Good point. Although at that point wouldn’t it be better to just create more troops? I usually have some high-level troops running around on the frontlines anyway, so I can often just merge my new troops with those, which makes training them rather pointless unless you want to create a whole new front.

How about zombies take over instantly, but take an inital damage hit after doing so (possibly killing them all, but the settlement is dead either way). This would then be compensated once the bodies start rising and reinforcing the zombies.
And if the zombies got wiped out, it takes longer before the bodies begin rising, so that small groups of zombies can take something over, but still get significantly delayed?

That seems like a pretty good idea. It would work thematically, and make it mostly viable lategame (unless you really wanted a city to survive, or a zombie unit to die).


[quote=“shde2e, post:14, topic:5620, full:true”]
Good point. Although at that point wouldn’t it be better to just create more troops? I usually have some high-level troops running around on the frontlines anyway, so I can often just merge my new troops with those, which makes training them rather pointless unless you want to create a whole new front.[/quote]

Exactly, in most cases you won’t really need to train a few troops to immeasurable heights, this will keep the training thing down to just quick +1-3 xp strategies. Actually killing zombies will be the best strategy, that’s probably something we’d want to keep. Depending on whether you have such veteran troops near your new recruits, you won’t need the training at all. When there are days between your steamrollers and your rookies though, many people might be inclined to train after all instead of waiting a day or two for them to meet up.

That could work. Or maybe that the civilians had the chance to burn some of their fallen before they too were killed. 1 zombie with 12str enters a 50 civilians village. 12 vs 50: √50= 7 bodies are burned. 12 vs 38, √38= 6 bodies are burned. 12 vs 26, 5 bodies are burned. etc. This would mean there would be only 50-22 bodies in that village. Obviously more zombies would quickly tip the scales to 100% conversion though.

Blush Aw, thank you!


I agree on basically everything here :slight_smile:

That sounds like a neat idea, but it might just end up crippling the zombies in the long run without delaying them in the short term. If the inital zombie unit is too small, they end up with less bodies to raise, but the towns still get blighted whenever one walks over it. And I believe that the original point was to add some self-defence to the towns (well, it was actually upgrading towns before that).
It could be a neat idea for a hero power though. Kind of like the cyclops priestess.


Referring to training a fraction of a stack of troops :stuck_out_tongue: no the barricades


Ah, that makes more sense :slight_smile:

Yeah, you’d be throwing some troops away, but you probably needed to kill those zombies anyway, so it’s not that big of a loss. And you’d only be tying down one or two now-reduced units. Heck, you could just use one who suffered attrition through natural combat.


Good discussion guys,



I would see some neutrals cards usable for all factions that affect settlements,dens and mana pools. Like adding a population growth, sealing pools (or trap them), allow settlement to crate more units/deploy card per turn, “grow” a minor settlement into a major settlement, faster training speed. Maybe some minor defense (like the twins), an apothicary (an additionnal saving throws in this city).

In counterpart, undead might have chances to get an “event” (bonus) when they blight something.

And i’dd like to add, congratulation for your great game.

NB. English isn’t my maternal langage