Units move, attack, and make their impact when it is their time to activate. The Rank attribute determines the activation order of the units on the Battleground. Sometimes, there is a Rank tie, meaning 2 or more units have the same Rank attribute skill number. Knowing how to win tie-breakers naturally (With Captains!) is a skill that can really help your chances at victory!
RANK TIE BASICS:
INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO PORTION ON RANK TIES: 3:24-3:54
While there are 3 levels of tiebreakers in 2 player games, most Rank ties get settled at the first tiebreaker, which is who has the most Captains. Captains are extremely important units for a couple of reasons, but for the purpose of this post let’s focus on tiebreaking.
It does not matter the gold cost or Rank number or anything like that for a Captain to break a tie, it just matters that they are a Captain. If there is a rank tie and I have the 2 cheapest Captains in the game on the Battleground (including the basecamp) and my opponent has the most expensive, highest Ranked Captain on the Battleground, I win the tiebreaker, and my unit that is tied in rank gets to activate first.
Winning tiebreakers is also a passive ability for a Captain. Just the presence of a Captain counts, wether the Captain has activated in the round or not. Since a lot of Captains have a high Rank number, many times they will have already activated when rank ties come up. In fact, the current combat status of the Captain does not matter at all for breaking Rank ties.
For this reason, I like to always try to keep at least one and preferably 2 Captains on the Battleground as much as possible. Having a couple of Captains usually puts you in a great position to win Rank ties. Captains are known for the Command mechanic, which is a lot more flashy, but helping with Rank ties is equally important!
IF you and your opponent happen to have the same amount of Captains on the Battleground, then the next level of tiebreaker is who has more units on the Battleground (Basecamp included). This is one reason why sometimes it pays off to spend a little extra gold on an extra unit. The more activations the better, anyways. However, do not just play units and then leave them vulnerable. The more units on the board also means more opportunities for your opponent to eliminate units and obtain Victory points, so use discretion!
Rarely, in 2 player games, the need for the 3rd tiebreaker occurs (both players have the same amount to Captains and the same total amount of units).. When this does happen, the player with LESS Terrain Tiles wins the tiebreaker.
***In 3 and 4 player games, everyone has the same amount of Terrain Tiles, so the players with the units in the Rank tie roll a die, and the higher number wins the Rank tie and activates their unit first. ***
IMPORTANT! Winning a Rank tie does not mean that ALL of your units get to activate that have that Rank number, you just get to move one first (then your opponent).
Example: My opponent and I each have units with a Rank of 2. I have 2 units with a Rank of 2 and my opponent has 1. I have 1 Captain and my Opponent has 0. I win the rank tie. I get to choose which Rank of 2 unit to activate, then my opponent activates their unit with a rank of 2, then I activate my other unit with a rank of 2.
Why is this so important? It means you should always remember to act with urgency even if you win the Rank tie. Make sure you activate the unit that can score the most points or is in the most danger in these situations!
Winning tiebreakers is actually in your control, and by making it a priority to include and recruit Captains, you will find yourself able to manipulate the Rank cycle not only through commanding, but also through winning rank ties!
What are some of your favorite Captains? Join the conversation with a reply!