17 December 2008

Elements of Brood War

An overview of the new components in the expansion to StarCraft

This article contains a handful of significant addition in Brood War including the planets, modules, the defend order, and a sneak peak at scenarios. PlanetsAt the start of designing this expansion, we knew that we wanted to include 6 new planets. Not only would this add more variety, but it would allow us to include some interesting locations such as space stations and mining platforms. Lastly, this addition allowed us to introduce new area types, unit restrictions, and rules for larger galaxies.

Specific Unit LimitsIn order to make the new air-to-air units more viable, we decided to create a new type of area. These areas have special unit limit icons displaying either the “ground” or “flying” texture. Such areas may only be entered by units of the specified type.From a thematic standpoint, these areas represent deep space, water, or enclosed locations that certain units cannot enter. From a design standpoint, this allowed us to make specialized units like Firebats and Valkyries more viable. Strategic AreasThe other new planet feature is the Strategic Area icon (gold hex). A player that controls a Strategic Area may treat all of his orders on the same planet as if they were special (gold) orders. In addition, his special orders on the planet are do not require the associated module.Not only did this allow us to make areas of military importance, but it opens up new strategies for players. Should you take the Strategic Area first, or go straight for the enemy base? ModulesBrood War provides three new modules with varying abilities. Although each faction receives all 3, the cost for them varies from faction to faction. Not only do these modules provide useful abilities, they also give players something to spend Gas on early in the game.

Support Module

Cost (in gas) - Zerg:2, Terran:1, Protoss:2This module is for players who wish to focus on assist units, but not at the cost of military strength. It simply allows the player’s first assist unit in each area to not count towards the area’s unit limit. Not only does make his assist units more versatile, but it makes areas easier to defend with more military units.

Defense Module

Cost (in gas) - Zerg:2, Terran:2, Protoss:1This module is for players who wish to equalize the attacker’s inherent advantage. It allows him to switch two of his unit’s skirmishes when he is defending. This allows him to keep his heroes out of dangerous skirmishes, or place his heavily armored units into the line of fire.

Offensive Module

Cost (in gas) - Zerg:1, Terran:2, Protoss:2This module is for players who wish to attack his enemies at any cost. It allows him to sacrifice his own transports in order to ignore his opponent’s Air Support modules. Not only does this let him directly attack opponent’s bases, it also makes his opponents think twice about buying the Air Support module.Defend Order

This new order type provides two benefits for defensively minded players. It is also unique as it is never placed in the order stack, and is instead immediately resolve during the planning phase.The first benefit this order provides, is it allows a player to reinforce an area that he controls. Quite simply, it allows him to move units into a friendly area before his opponent can attack.Second, it allows him to place a guard token in the area. He may later discard this token at the start of a battle to give his units +2 health in each skirmish. Although this is a one time benefit and cannot be added to other health bonuses, it can save a player’s units during a crucial battle.Scenario PlayScenario play was one of the most requested features for Brood War. Each of the included scenarios is designed for a particular number (or range) of players, and follows a particular story line from the StarCraft universe.Each scenario lists the setup of the Galaxy, starting units, and victory conditions. They are each unique, flavorful, and a new challenge for veterans of StarCraft: The Board Game. For example, the below scenario is designed for two teams of two. The victory depends on if one team can retrieve two important artifacts from deep within enemy territory.Click below to download “The Quest for Uraj and Khalis” by Daniel L. Clark

Click the above image to download the scenario (pdf, 1.15 mb)

Thank you for tuning into our preview articles for Brood War. While these articles have detailed the highlights of this expansion, they really only scratch the surface. These previews have detailed some of the new options provided for players, without even mentioning the specifics of 165 new cards and countless other components. I guess you’ll just have to pick up Brood War and see the magic for yourselves!-Corey Konieczka

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