Most of the Encounters in TMB will result in a battle () of some sort. Sometimes the Baddies you face are specifically defined on your Encounter Card, but more often, the Encounter will include "BQ: Baddie Pts" as part of the battle set-up (use this by default if a battle choice does not mention a BQ). Let's start there.
Battle Queue (BQ)
Every battle must start with the creation of a Battle Queue that contains the Baddies you will be facing for the fight. To build this queue, you must refer to your Encounter Card and then assemble a stack of Baddie chips using your Baddie Active Stacks.
Unless you have scouted specific Baddies (which turns them face up), the queue should always be assembled face down so the Baddies are unknown before the battle begins. Also, when creating this queue, greater Pt Baddies should always be placed higher on the stack than lesser Pt Baddies.
If the BQ calls for a specific Baddie or type, search your Baddie Active Stacks first, then out of play Baddies.
"BQ: Baddie Pts" is a short way of saying you need to create your initial Battle Queue by calculating your Baddie Points (Baddie Pts).
Step 1: Current Day x Number of Gearlocs in Party (i.e. Day 4 x 3 Gearlocs would be 12 Baddie Pts)
Step 2: Draw Baddies to equal Baddie Pts using highest Pt Baddies when possible (i.e. 12 Baddie Pts means 2 5Pt Baddies, and 2 1Pt Baddies).
Step 3: Stack 'Em (i.e. 2 1Pt and 2 5Pt Baddies would be stacked top down: 5, 5, 1, 1).
Easy! Don't forget to factor in any other Encounter requirements or Skill modifications that could affect this number. Sometimes this can affect your Baddie Pts total BEFORE you draw your Baddies (i.e. going from 18Pts to 20Pts has a HUGE effect on which Baddies will be fought).
Other times, Baddies are added to your BQ AFTER it's been created. All of this is determined and explained on your Encounter card, so read it carefully!
Battle Set-up Sequence
Now that you understand BQ basics, lets go through the battle setup from start to finish.
Trigger "before battle" effects and Skills such as Tantrum's 'Rage' Skill.
Use Encounter Card instructions to build your BQ.
Place top Baddie from BQ in its appropriate Lane and Battle Mat position (also its HP, Lane Marker, and Initiative Die). Continue placing Baddies until there are 4 on the mat or the BQ is empty. *See pages 12-13 for more on Baddie placement and Initiative.
Roll Gearloc Initiative Dice. Add them to Ini Meter.
Place Gearlocs from their Prep Area onto Battle Mat in appropriate positions (with existing HP).
Make sure your Round Counter Die is set at R1.
Trigger "start of battle" effects and Skills such as Picket's 'Shield Wall' Innate.
You are ready to battle! Each unit will now take its turn starting with the top initiative spot!
Baddie BQ - In Battle
During battle, you may still have Baddies in your BQ (due to having more than 4 Baddies to start or from Skills like "Signal", which calls more Baddies to the fight). These Baddies will not join the battle until there are less than 4 Baddies on the Battle Mat.
If that is the case, once the round ends, the top Baddie(s) from the BQ will join and assume the first available Lane Marker(s) and Initiative Dice (see page 13 'Initiative Dice During Battle').
Place the Baddie in the Lane that matches its Lane Marker and on the position matching its Attack Form.
If that position is occupied, the Baddie will instead take the first available Baddie position (starting with Lane 1-4) that matches its Attack Form. Then, it will try lanes of the other Attack Form.
In Battle Baddie Turn
All Baddie Skills are unique and trigger at very specific times throughout the battle depending on the Skill. Be sure to review all Skills shown on Baddies currently on the Battle Mat so you know when they apply.
For Baddie Skills that require a target, that target must be within attack range in order to apply that Skill (i.e. Poison, Corrosive, etc).
Baddie Movement and Targeting
Baddies do not move and can target any opposing unit on the Battle Mat. Baddies may move up to 2 adjacent positions per turn. They will always target and move toward the closest (route with fewest positions) opposing unit.
If there is a tie for "closest", use its (discussed on page 14) to determine which unit it pursues. A Baddie will always take the shortest possible route toward a position adjacent to its target.
If no positions are available adjacent to any target(s), the Baddie will not move. Or, if already adjacent to an opposing unit, it will not move.
Baddie's Turn Sequence
- Effects Trigger: Resolve applicable Effect Dice sitting on the Baddie chip (i.e. Bleed, Poison, Disable, etc).
- Determine Baddie's Target(s).
- Move: Move Baddie if and not adjacent to an opposing unit (up to 2 adjacent positions toward closest ).
- Skills: Any Skill for this Baddie that does not list a specific time it happens, should be resolved now, if possible.
- Roll Dice: Roll all of Baddie's inactive Defense Dice and also roll its Attack Dice (only if target is within attack range). *If Baddie can target multiple units (-^) and they are in attack range, roll its Attack Dice for each.
- Resolve the Roll: Place rolled on Baddie, apply total rolled to target, and resolve any triggered Skills.
- Gearlocs React: Don't forget to trigger Gearloc Skills if they apply!
Gearloc Movement And Targeting
Melee Gearlocs may use [#] Dex to move [#] adjacent positions and target 1 adjacent Baddie each turn. Ranged Gearlocs may use [#] Dex to move [#] adjacent positions and may target 1 Baddie anywhere on the Battle Mat each turn. No 'line of sight' is needed.
Melee/Ranged Gearlocs may use [#] Dex to move [#] adjacent positions and target 1 adjacent Baddie each turn. Use the Gearloc Reference Sheets to learn how these hybrid Gearlocs may target non-adjacent Baddies on the Battle Mat.
Some Gearloc Skills may allow for selecting non-target Baddies, Battle Mat positions, or even multiple Baddies!
Gearloc's Turn Sequence
- Loot: Unless otherwise specified, use Loot anytime during your turn (even before triggering Effects).
- Effects Trigger: Be sure to check for Effect Dice on top of your Gearloc chip.
- Move Gearloc: You may use Dex to move adjacent (not diagonal) positions.
- Determine Target if Attacking: If your roll contains Attack Dice or Skill Dice requiring a target, select your target before you roll.
- Select and Roll Your Dice: Your remaining Dex represents how many dice you may roll. The dice you may choose from are determined by your current Attack Stat, Defense Stat, and available Skill dice (e.g. If I have a current Attack Stat of 2, Defense Stat of 1, and 3 available/rollable Skills, I have 6 dice I can choose from to roll. If my Dex is 3 and I did not move this turn, I can only choose 3 of those 6 dice options).
- Resolve the Roll: See next section.
- Baddies React: Sometimes Baddies have Skills that kick in after they are attacked.
Resolving the Roll
Important: As a Gearloc, you do not need to use the result of any dice you roll unless the Profession or rolled icon rules state otherwise.
For instance, if you roll Attack Dice successfully and then realize you are attacking a Dire Wolf with Lashback and don't want to hit it yet, you do not need to use your result.
Or, if you roll a Med Pack (Patches) Skill Die and the result is a 1HP heal instead of 3HP, you can choose not to heal and place that Skill Die back in its slot on your Gearloc Mat (Dex is still counted for the roll).
After your dice are rolled, feel free to do any of the following, in no particular order:
Resolve Target Damage & Effects: Total up and apply Damage and any other Damage results or effects from your Skills, to your target.
Resolve Non-Target Damage & Effects: Some Skills may apply to non-target Baddies. Others may be Instant Skills that do not apply to Baddies at all. Go ahead and use these Skills as desired.
Allocate Active, Locked & Backup Plan Dice: Place any rolled you want to use into open Active slots. You may also place any applicable Skills into your Active (or a Gearloc's Ally Active) & Locked slots. Also, you may place in Backup Plan slots as desired.
Use your Backup Plan: You may use your Backup Plan only once per turn. Remove [#] to use BP Skill that costs [#].
Easing into Too Many Bones
Invading The Ebon is no easy task. In fact, some Gearlocs may struggle finding success even on Day 2 of their adventure! Don't be disheartened! TMB was designed to be quite challenging.
When we suggest that first-time adventures should ask the guards for help (on day 2), we mean it! We also understand that it can take some time to fully grasp the intricacies of TMB and each Gearloc. Therefore, we have developed 3 play modes to help you get your feet wet.
You may want to start your adventure in the first mode until you find yourself being challenged to a degree that is comfortable for you, and then adjust accordingly.
Greenhorn Adventurer - Use this mode when just starting out and learning the game.
- Add 2 to your Gearloc's HP Stat before starting Day 1.
- Gain 1 Training Point before starting Day 1.
- If KO'd during your Adventure, dice in your Locked Slots are not removed.
Casual Adventurer - Use this mode when you have a basic understanding of the game.
- Add 1 to your Gearloc's HP Stat before starting Day 1.
- Gain 1 Training Point before starting Day 1.
Seasoned Adventurer - Use this mode when you are ready for the true challenge of TMB!
- No candy-coated Gearlocs.
- No training freebies.
- Too Many Bones, straight up.