Strategy Spotlight: Angles of Attack

Welcome to Strategy Spotlight, a series on the Chip Theory Games blog in which we break down some key strategies and rule reminders for the biggest CTG titles.

Around our office, we get a lot of questions about movement and attack in Too Many Bones. Everybody wants an edge on their Baddies, and it’s certainly in the anarchic spirit of Gearloc-kind to look for every underhanded, sneaky way to get an advantage. With that in mind, here is a brief guide to diagonal movement and diagonal melee attacks in Too Many Bones.

Diagonals in TMB: A Handy Guide

Q: Can I make diagonal melee attacks?

A: No. You can only make melee attacks against adjacent targets, and Baddies and Gearlocs are not considered to be adjacent to something unless they’re orthogonal to it. That’s a fancy word for “at a right angle.” The only exceptions to this are the krelln/mech spots on the sides of the Undertow Battle Mat, which aren’t exactly orthogonal to the other spaces on the map. Those spaces are considered adjacent to both of the “regular” Battle Mat spaces they’re next to.

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No time for analysis when you’ve got two adjacent foes!

Q: Can I move diagonally?

A: Usually, no. In this piece of Gearloc lore that I just invented, Gearlocs apparently have a deep and abiding respect for perpendicular lines, and as such they can only move orthogonally! Sorry, I don’t make the rules (Josh and Adam do)!

Q: “Usually”?

A: Right. There is one exception to this: In Undertow, Gearlocs can move diagonally once fatigue rounds start. They know they’ve got to finish the battle soon, or they’re toast, so they put aside their orthogonal ways until the last Baddie’s clock has been cleaned (the Battle Mat also has six more spots in Undertow than it does in the core game, so unlocking diagonal movement in the fatigue rounds makes more sense given the ground you may need to cover).

Q: Can anything move diagonally?

A: Yes! Daelore is a cruel world of movement inequality, and there are a few Baddies with a small foot icon that can move diagonally to that distant corner where you’re hiding for the up-close KO. It hardly seems fair, but if being an adventurer was easy, everyone would do it!

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Beware the feet!

Also, like Gearlocs, Undertow baddies can move diagonally once the fatigue rounds begin.

Q: Since you’re here, can you tell me anything else about Baddie movement?

A: What a specific question! It’s almost as if one of the other CTG employees told me it would be a good idea to include a section on this (thanks, Shannon!).

Just in case you needed a refresher, here are the basics on melee Baddie movement (ranged Baddies just chill and beat you up from afar).

  1. If they are adjacent to a valid target, they don’t move.
  2. They can only move two positions on their turn.
  3. They will move toward the Gearloc that they can attack in the fewest possible moves (so if a Gearloc has no open positions next to it, it will be ignored by non-adjacent melee Baddies).
  4. They will always move toward and attack the closest target, regardless of their preferred target (strongest, weakest). It’s only when they have to choose between more than one target – either when they’re adjacent to more than one target or are an equal distance from more than one target – that they will pick the one that is preferred.
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It’s only in cases like this where the Goblin Queen’s Guard would be forced to choose its preferred target. Sorry Duster!

Q: Is there anything else I need to know about anything diagonal?

A: No. This was a short one!

Q: Are you sure?

A: OK, OK, fine. It pains me to admit this, but… I didn’t realize until I was 26 that “Diagon Alley” in Harry Potter was a pun on “diagonally.” I know, I know…