Ninja All-Stars: Combat
Combat is an important mechanic in Ninja All-Stars. Combat centers the Ninja All-Stars dice which represent the elements of Kagejima. While rolling more dice is always an important part of winning combat (and lots of fun!), there are many strategies and tactics a ninja must master to ensure a combat works in their favor. This article will cover the core mechanics for combat, and also offer several useful tips and tricks to ensure your clan always emerges victorious!
When a ninja attacks another ninja they roll a number of dice equal to their Attack (AT) attribute. The defending ninja rolls a number of dice equal to their Defense (DF) attribute. The results of the two rolls are compared, and dice are eliminated based on their opposing elements.
When two dice eliminate each other, remove them from the pool of rolled dice. Dice that the attacker rolled can only eliminate dice that the defender rolled and vice versa. All possible eliminations must be made.
Once all eliminations have been made, the player with the most dice remaining chooses one of the remaining dice as the result of the attack. The player may choose a die from either the attacker’s or defender’s dice. When both players have the same number of dice remaining, the attacker chooses the result.
The result of the attack is determined by the element of the die chosen:
- Spirit: The attacker is Injured.
- Fire: All ninjas in the attacker’s influence zone, including the attacker, are stunned.
- Air: The attacker may move the defender up to 3 spaces in any direction.
- Water: The player who picked Water as the result may move the attacker up to 3 spaces in any direction. The defending player then places the defender in the attacker’s front influence zone.
- Earth: The defender is stunned.
- Void: The defender is Injured.
As you can see the results of a combat can vary tremendously, and just rolling the most dice does not ensure a favorable result.
The “best” result can also vary depending on which challenge is being played for the game. While challenges such as Brawl or Protection favor casualties with and the selection of Void or Spirit, other challenges such as Capture the Medal or King of the Hill will place greater weight on movement based results. Even the Fire result can become favorable when a ninja is surrounded by many enemy ninja!
The amount of dice a ninja rolls can have a large impact on the ultimate outcome of a combat. Fortunately, there are several ways a ninja can modify a combat to help stack the battle in their favor.
Assists: Friendly ninja may assist the attacker and defender in a fight, granting them additional dice. A ninja cannot assist if they have a Stun token, or if they are in the influence zone of an enemy ninja, other than the attacker or defender. See Gameplay Concepts for more info on influence zones.
The attacker gains +1 Attack for each additional friendly ninja that is in the defender’s influence zone.
The defender gains +1 Defense for each additional friendly ninja that is in the attacker’s influence zone.
Thanks to their incredible speed, Kunoichi are ideal ninja for providing assists bonuses. The large-based oni are also excellent at providing an assist thanks to their natural resilience and large influence zones!
Back Strike: Not surprisingly ninjas like to stab enemies in the back! When an attacker is in any of the three spaces that are in the defender’s back influence zone, the attacker gains +1 Attack.
Stealth: Ninja’s are also super sneaky, when a ninja in stealth attacks another ninja, the attacker gains +1 Attack.
Pairing Back Strike and Stealth together ensures a strong hit that can be tough to overcome. The defender can mitigate this however. Stealth is also a excellent defensive ability, and forces ninja to successfully search before they can attack.
The Moon Deck is also a key component to modifying the outcome of a combat. Cards in the Moon Deck allow you to add extra dice to your roll, reroll your own results, or even force your opponent to reroll a result.
Often the secret to mastering combat in Ninja All-Stars is less about who gets to choose the final result of the combat, and more about ensuring the dice that are available favor your desired outcome!