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Spoils of War Preview: Channeling Your Anger (Minis)

04-20-2009 (Mon), 01:10

Channel is a new keyword debuting in Spoils of War. It tags some abilities to let you know that you’re not done casting them until you or an enemy says otherwise.

By Matt Hyra

Channel is a new keyword debuting in Spoils of War. It tags some abilities to let you know that you’re not done casting them until you or an enemy says otherwise. In the online game, channeled effects typically last 3-6 seconds. During those moments, the channeler stands in one spot, focusing all its attention on a target or a patch of ground. For that duration, the fire/ice/arrows/wind/whatever rains down on enemies in the affected area. Mind you, not all channeled effects are attacks—just most of them. And almost every channel effect is an area of effect (AOE) found amongst the spellcasting classes.


Here are the rules for channel in the minis game:


When a channel ability is played, resolve it as normal. Then, put a channel counter on the card to show that the channel is active.


At the start of a character’s turn, if it has an active channel, that character may choose to continue the channel effect. If the character chooses to do so, it pays the card’s channel cost, which appears at the top of the text box (for example, Channel  1 means the character advances its clock by 1). It doesn’t matter if the channel card is already exhausted.


Continuing a channel effect counts as that character’s action for the turn. The channeled effect must have the same targets as it did on the previous turn. 


Remove the channel counter if any of the following happens:


  • An effect adds ticks to the channeling character.

  • None of the previous targets for the channel are legal anymore.



Channelers tend to attract a lot of enemy attention, as no one appreciates a continuous cascade of pain raining down on them. A smart channeler doesn’t give them any other option. If you find a way to see your opponents all a few ticks ahead of the master clock, get ready for a good long channel session.


Should be easier to see what I mean if you see a card, right? Here you go . . .



Playing Rain of Fire is just like playing any other AOE action bar card. You pay the cost, target a space, choose two other spaces to hit as well, exhaust the card, roll your dice, and resolve the attack. Now, put a channel counter on the Rain card. You might have no intention of continuing the channel when your Warlock next acts, but your opponent doesn’t know that.


If you can protect the Warlock for those 2 ticks, the Rain starts falling at a much faster pace, with a 1 tick reduction when you channel it. Paying a channel cost counts as the character’s action for the turn, but that doesn’t mean the character’s turn is over. If you decide you’d like to move or play an instant, feel free. The channel breaks, but at least you got a second use out of it.


When a channel is active, it suddenly becomes the focus of the entire game for the next several ticks. To stop a channel, simply deal some damage to the channeler or move it out of its current space. You can also interrupt the channeler’s LOS to its target character or space. The caster is just standing there, so how hard could it be? Once you stop it, you won’t have to deal with it again until next round, at least. Oh, except for . . .



Have I blown your mind? Equipment with channel!? Doomfinger is the ultimate pinger weapon, bypassing any defenses your opponent may have available. When you use it for the first time, pay your 2 ticks and put a channel counter on it, but don’t exhaust it. When your turn rolls around again, you can pay the 1 tick for the channel or pay 2 ticks and choose a new target, removing the old channel counter and adding a new one. It’s probably the most efficient and consistently available finisher in the game. When you need to do 1 point of damage and need to do it a few times during a round, there is no better tool.


Getting a channel to run for 4-5 ticks is what we call “living the dream.” To live the dream, you’ll need to build your party around your channel of choice. Channel effects are a great way to put pressure on your opponents to act in ways that might mess up their game plans. Once they know it’s there, your opponents will be so paranoid about allowing your channel to run unchecked they may waste ticks to keep a character available to stop it. Either way, you win.

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