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New Cards, Balance, and Ambush change

Hello friends!
 
The next big game update is going live on April 2nd, and with it we have lots of exciting game changes. We previously discussed inspiring new ranks and the Officers Club, now we want to go over changes on the game level.
 
Read on to explore all about new cards, balance changes, and a change in the Ambush mechanic!
 

Ambush

Ambush has been a somewhat troublesome ability, especially at the mid-level tables, sometimes leading to stalled board states or a single unit completely shutting down the enemy. We’re changing the ability to give players a better chance if they find themselves in this position.
Ambush will only work in the first combat in a turn
This means players can “suicide” a unit into a big unit with ambush to give other units of theirs a chance to deal with the annoying ambush unit.
 
This change of course weakens units with ambush a bit, so we are adjusting the stats on a few of them to compensate. Not all units with ambush are changing, only those we want to “push” a bit. Here’s a list:
 
 
 
 
 
 

Anti-air removal

The next big thing is the removal of anti-air as a unit type of its own. This follows in the footsteps of anti-tank and tank destroyers going the way of the Dodo at the end of Alpha and leaves us with 7 card types remaining.
In order to keep the game lean and mean we are removing the anti-air subtype
Removing anti-air is something we’ve been mulling for some time. Besides being fairly complicated, there were not that many anti-air cards in the card pool, none of which were really lighting up the stage. Especially egregious they were failing in their anti-air role. Existing anti-air units are being changed into different card types, as follows:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The anti-air units are changing into either artillery or tank units. This increases the saturation of these unit types, so we will be keeping a close eye on how the metagame adapts.
 
The amount of blitz tanks for the Germans increases a lot for instance, so it is possible we will have to address that, by adjusting the power level of Blitzkrieg for example. But we want to give you a chance of a clean slate here, so happy brewing!
 

Balance changes

We’re doing some balance tweaks on a few fronts.
 

Blitz

First, we’re curbing air units with blitz a bit. Blitz on air units is very strong, and we admit we may not have taken that enough into account when setting their stats. So we’re doing a balance pass on them, as follows:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Smokescreen

Secondly, we want to reduce the amount of smokescreen on units, especially units that can attack without taking damage back (bombers and artillery).
 
One of the reasons for doing this is that there are other units of these types coming in with smokescreen (see for instance the 37mm Anti-Aircraft Gun above). Here are the changes we’re making:
 
 
 
 

Ramp decks

We’ve been looking at ways to increase the staying power of the more expensive units to make them stronger targets for ramp decks (there are other ways we’re looking at strengthening ramp decks that may or may not make it in before the open beta).
 
 
 
Note that the ability on the Iosef Stalin II tank triggers regardless of who sends it back to hand, so if you can get it back into your hand, congratulations, you get a duplicate.
 

Artillery

We also want to curb a bit the potential of using buffs on dangerous units like artillery, with the following changes:
 
 
 
Finally, there’s an assortment of tweaks to a few cards:
We’ve been toying around with the Katyusha unit several times, trying to get it to the right spot on the power curve. We want to strengthen it a little bit, to highlight its iconic status and underline the cheap nature of building and operating these units.
 
This change is intended to emphasize the anti-air part of it - in its previous incarnation it felt more of an afterthought. This makes the order in which you attack with your units even more important if you anticipate your opponent having this.
 
This is another change to keep air units a bit more in check - the amount of cards that buff air units are getting a bit high and we want to limit their impact more.
 
This change is purely for balance reasons. Now that we have more US units in the card pool, several in the 3 or less kredit bracket, the value of this card is becoming too high at just 2 kredits. At 3 it is still strong (at the very least you’re always getting 2 cards for 1), but not so strong as to be almost an auto-include in any British deck.
 

New cards

Time to check out the new cards coming in the update!
 
Note that as we are nearing the end of the closed beta, this will be the last update with new cards. From now until the open beta later this month, we will be focusing on fixing bugs, polishing and optimizing the game, so new cards will be put on hold for now.
 
Let’s start with the cards already revealed by our community streamers (for example ScoutKard, thank you!):
The train is intended as a hard-to-deal with unit for German control decks to gum up the board and quickly avalanche into victory.
This card is intended to strengthen German aggro decks and emphasize the frontline matters theme they have. Note that this creates a copy of the base version of the targeted unit, adding it to the frontline, so make sure there is room before playing the card.
 
 
Kamikaze fits well into the burn strategy of Japan, but also can run amok in a deck using the Japanese air units that boost order damage. Note that Kamikaze is only spawnable through Last Rites, it is not a standalone card.
 
The Argyllshire Highlanders underline the defensive strength of British units and hints at a territory we want to explore more in the future for them - that of being guarded matters.
Due to popular demand, we’re adding this very unique tank from New Zealand. We imagine it is going to be a huge hit.
The Sexton is a powerful addition to the British artillery deck, combining strong stats with solid defensive abilities in smokescreen and continuous pinning.
This is the German entry in the powerful cycle of 0/4 units each nation has. It supplements well the German sub-theme of discard and can punish decks that discard their own cards (like with Naval Supply Run). We want to be careful about not having discard become too strong a theme in the game, as it can be frustrating to face, but we feel it still belongs in a WWII game as a solid sub-theme.
 
 
These two cards reinforce a sub-theme of the Soviets, that of Light Infantry. With these two cards, alongside existing Light Infantry cards like No Surrender or BP-43 Armored Train, Light Infantry units can easily become a force of their own and strengthens the go-wide strategy of the Soviets, such as with Mass Attack. Note that Reserves only counts your own previously played Reserves.
The Soviets are getting their own temporary kredit boost card. War Production can be quite powerful, but puts interesting restrictions on deck building and playing. Note that if you have 2 or more of them in hand, the first one played will discard the others before they can be played, so while having four in your deck increases the chances of drawing one, it also increases the chances of drawing duplicates.
This is the Soviet version of the 0/4 units, completing the cycle. The Soviets do not have a lot of HQ defense boost, but they do have a strong friendly unit destruction theme and this unit fits well into either more controlling Soviet decks, or decks aiming to spawn a lot of small units and benefit for destroying them. Boosting your HQ makes sure you live long enough to reap the benefits of all the destruction.
The Thunderbolt continues the theme of strong mid to late game fighters for the US. Note that the draw triggers whether the Thunderbolt is attacking or defending.
A high-end artillery piece that demands immediate answer. It emphasizes the “splat” damage of US units - lot of power, but a bit undirected.
 
The M26 Pershing was a late-war US tank that could go toe-to-toe with the best tanks of the era. It underlines the frontline-matters theme of the US, and the unorthodox ways in which the US can defend themselves. If you can plant this in the frontline and protect it, you basically cannot lose the game.
Admiral Yamamoto completes the “general” cycle for the nations. Like the others (Patton, Monty, etc.), it highlights a particular theme of the nation while still being rooted in the historical focus of the person in question.
 
We also have a host of bug fixes and visual updates coming in the patch!
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