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Situation has Changed! Let's Play Yggdra Union!
Shield Of Doom

[table of contents]
Mechanics Update 1, or: What the Heck's Going On?
So, you might be wondering about the mechanics of this game, seeing as I just jumped in without really explaining anything. As such, I'm going to explain the basic gameplay mechanics now.

To start your turn, you need to select a card from the ones you brought to the battlefield. In the event that you have no cards to choose from, you lose the battle no matter what. Therefore, it's in your best interest to not screw around any more than you have to.

After you choose your card, you can begin moving your characters. Movement is shared between every member of your force, though, so you can't just have everyone rush across the map in a single turn. If, for example, you choose Steal, you have 12 movement to work with across your army. Since you can have up to seven units in the largest fights, this is important to consider.

Once you've moved next to an enemy, you can attack. Attacking is accomplished by pressing Square (or Start on the GBA version), then highlighting the enemy you want to attack and confirming. After that, you fight.

The fight, as stated, is between two units that normally contain eight characters each (some classes are listed as "large" and instead have four stronger members, though). In the GBA version, normal units instead have six members while large units have three.

Each clash begins with a charge that knocks out some of the defending unit's members, the power of which is based on a comparison between the attacking unit's Tec and the defending unit's Gen. This is normally followed by a counterattack, where the defending unit does the same to the attacking unit, again comparing Tec to Gen.

The charge has a chance of inflicting a critical hit, which is incredibly broken because it brings down the unit leader in addition to the damage it would normally do (this can even result in one-hit kills in extreme cases). The unit leader is more durable than a normal member, and controls the unit's ability to counter, rage, and use skills (all of which will be discussed in due time). After a critical hit, the defending unit will panic for a short time, during which they do nothing while the attacking unit crushes them.

After the charge and counter, the two units fight until only one is left. There are two things that determine how effectively a unit can damage another unit: Atk and unit affinity. While your Atk is naturally changed only under very specific conditions, unit affinity is quite variable. There are nine levels of unit affinity in total. Arranged from worst to best, they are:

The default unit affinity is Green Line, but there are quite a few factors that affect it:

Now, since it's kind of important, here's how the various weapon types interact with each other:

Every so often in combat, your unit leader will do what's called a flash attack. These are stronger than normal and have no elemental affinity, and their appearance is based on the unit's Luk.

When one side has fallen completely, damage is calculated. The factors that affect damage calculation are as follows:

The percentage you get after adding everything up is then applied to your card's power, and that's the damage you do. In the PSP version, though, the damage is first fed through the GEO Defense percentage.

Here's an example, which will show how the formula differs between versions. Say Yggdra is fighting an opponent whose Gen is exactly the same as her Atk, and she wins with the rest of her unit defeated. Let's also say, for the purposes of this demonstration, that the card she's using has a power of 1000. Let's further say that the target is in a fort (40% GEO Defense). In the GBA version, the damage calculation is as follows:

Now, let's examine the same fight in the PSP version:

As you can see, the new formula makes it easier to deal damage, which was a bit of an issue with the old one. In the GBA version, you'll often deal no damage whatsoever in close fights because the enemy happened to be standing on a fort tile. Not so in the PSP version.

Also of note are the skill and rage gauges. The skill gauge is used by the player to slightly influence a clash. It'll be used for card skills once they come into play, but when it's introduced on the next map it'll only be good for improving damage output.

The skill gauge starts out filled to a percentage determined by your Tec and the movement of the card you're using. It can be used to go Aggressive (which increases your affinity by two levels and gives your attacks an element if you have one, but drains the skill gauge) or Passive (which fills the skill gauge, but lowers your affinity by two levels). Worth noting is that enemies can be immune to your element, which will cause you to do no damage if you go Aggressive (outside of flash attacks, which are non-elemental). So now you know why Malachi kept losing with huge numbers advantages; he hacked himself infinite skill gauge and thus would never leave Aggressive mode against enemies he didn't realize were immune to his attacks.

The enemy has a different but equivalent system in the form of the Rage gauge. As a clash continues, this will fill up. After it fills up, the enemy enters Rage mode, where they gain a level of affinity and do elemental damage (and yes, you can be immune to their elemental damage). The meter then starts filling up again, and once it fills up a second time, the enemy enters Max mode, where they gain another level of affinity and lose their element. This is also when they'll be able to use card skills once they're available.

How Stats Work

As with most RPGs, Yggdra Union has several numbers that it uses to determine how effective your guys are. Naturally, you want these numbers to be as high as you can get them, because that means you can win more fights and that (usually) means you're having more fun.

The stats in this game are as follows:

Each stat maxes out at 6, and is displayed as some big stars and a bunch of little stars. The big stars are the stat itself, and the little stars are how close it is to increasing. Every time you level up, you gain one little star in a few stats. You also gain one or two little stars in a random stat for being the MVP of a battlefield. When you gain enough little stars, they're converted into a big star.

The requirements to raise a stat depend on what the stat is currently. It takes ten little stars to go from 1 big star to 2, 8 to go from 2 to 3, 6 to go from 3 to for, and so on. This is why Milanor getting +2 Luk was a good thing; he naturally gains enough Luk to end up with 5, so that extra 2 little stars will allow him to gain 6 Luk naturally.

There's one more stat, and it's a bit strange. This last stat is Reputation, and it's basically your killstreak. Every time you win a clash, it goes up by one (to a maximum of six like any normal stat), and it goes back to zero when you lose. Your army's total Reputation is listed on the menu from which you end your turn, and there are plenty of items (and one bonus area) locked behind Reputation checks. Some things actually require low Reputation to get, but for the most part you want high Reputation because it means you're winning a lot.

I hope that clarified a few things for anyone who was confused. I'll do another mechanics update later to explain Unions and items once they show up, and a third to explain skills.
4th Aug '11 12:58:58 PM flag for mods
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