16 October 2008

Mutantology 102: The Victory Zone

by Nate French

Once you've put together your Mutant Chronicles army (see Mutantology 101), the next step is to lead that army into battle. And since nobody wants to lose, the natural question to ask at this point is simple: "How do I win?"

In a general sense, you win a game of Mutant Chronicles when your army out-fights your opponent's army. During the game, the relative performance of each army is measured in victory points. The number of victory points required to win the game depends upon the format you are playing. To win a tournament game, for instance, a player will need to collect 30 victory points: one for each army slot that is available in that format of play.

When playing a miniatures game, few things are more satisfying than destroying one of your opponent's figures. In Mutant Chronicles, you will earn 1 victory point for every Bronze enemy unit you destroy, 2 victory points for every Silver enemy unit you destroy, and 3 victory points for every Gold enemy unit you destroy. This will be your primary source of victory points (you cannot win the game without destroying at least some of your opponent's army), but it is also possible to augment your victory point total by seizing and holding key battlefield points known as victory zones.

As you can see, the victory zones are specially designated areas on the map, over which a victory zone token will be placed. The number of victory points any victory zone is worth can be seen through a slot in the corner of the token. At the end of the round, when victory points are counted, you will also count points for any victory zone one of your figures is holding. You are considered to be holding a victory zone if one of your units is stationed on any part of that victory zone, and no enemy unit is also stationed on that zone. As a Mutant Chronicles battle progresses, holding these key battlefield points can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

"Munitions Bunker" and "Sniper Roost" victory zone tokens.

Victory points, however, are not the only contribution the victory zone can make towards the outcome of the battle. Each victory zone token has its own title and a special ability that can be of great tactical (and sometimes strategic) value to the unit or army that is holding that zone. For example, imagine stationing one of your heavy hitters on the Munitions Bunker. All of a sudden, that unit can attack twice each round! Or getting one of your sharpshooters up in the Sniper Roost, at which point there's nowhere for an opponent's army to hide!Sometimes, a hotly contested victory zone can become the focal point of an entire battle: "he who wins the Command Tower, or maybe the Communications Station, wins the day."

The final element that the victory zones and the victory zone tokens bring to the Mutant Chronicles CMG is an element of battlefield variation from game to game. There are 10 different victory zone tokens in the starter set, but only 7 of these tokens will be laid out on the map in any given game. At the beginning of the game, 7 of the 10 tokens are chosen at random, and set up (randomly, without looking at them) face down on the map. This ensures that every battle is different, even before you take into account the numerous armies and styles you and your opponents will bring to the table.

May your fight for the victory zones go well. Until next time, happy mutations.

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