Fights in tight spaces are a game of attrition.
Your HP does not recover between levels, but each new set of enemies will have a nice full HP bar.
Therefore any exchange of blows should be seen as a big loss, if you take a 5HP hit to deliver 30HP of damage you have had a bad turn.
This means that when deciding which cards to play and what moves to make you need to answer three questions, in this order of priority:
1) How will I avoid taking damage this turn?
2) How will I avoid taking damage next turn?
3) How will I progress towards my objectives?
Avoiding damage this turn is the act of getting to space and ensuring that everything pointing an attack at that space is killed, disabled, or totals less damage than your block.
Avoiding damage next turn is the act of getting into a position that is likely to help you do that again next turn.
Progressing towards your objectives usually means dealing with damage to enemies.
There is no “one size fits all” answer to how to approach these priorities, but here are some things to consider:
- If you have several enemies pointing at you then one space of movement can negate several attacks. However pure movement costs cards, momentum, and combo and means making no progress so this is your “easiest” rather than “best” solution.
- If you can knock down, stun, kill, or reposition every enemy pointing at you then you will also take no damage. Never attack instead of defending yourself, but always consider if attacking can make you safe. If you have a card that does more damage as your combo goes up don’t forget to take that into account when doing the math on whether “attack everyone” is the answer.
- Blocking all damage is another way to avoid taking damage, but like moving it often means spending cards to not deal damage.
- The worst situation is to be surrounded with no escape. An easy way to avoid this is to end your turn with several (3+) empty spaces next to you to provide more avenues of escape.
- However again “easiest” does not always mean “best”. Even in a completely empty field, four enemies can surround you and you might not draw a special movement. Leaving the closest enemy to you on 1HP means having an almost guaranteed “out” wherever enemies and reinforcements wind up.
- Dealing with the most damage is often a consequence of considering your ordering. The fact that you consider “how to survive” as your top priority doesn’t mean it has to be the first thing you do. Planning your escape move and delivering some hits first can be strong.
- Pushing an enemy out of the level is the same as dealing damage equal to their remaining HP. The more HP the enemy has the more valuable that push. If you have lots of push cards try to avoid spreading out your damage so that when you get a killing push it’s high value.
- Pushing an enemy into another enemy damages both. Consider whether your “escape damage” move can also be a “make my push cards deal 8 bonus damage” move.
- Some enemies hit very hard. Some will counterattack each other. If you have swaps, grapples, shoves and other repositioning moves figure out how much damage you can make the enemy do to each other and compare it to your direct attacks.
- You can mouse over an enemy to see what order their attack is coming in. You can use this to check if a certain set of actions leads to an enemy being killed by their friend before being able to attack you.
- The best moves achieve more than one objective. Always look for “That’s good, but is there a way to do it that’s better”. When your forward kick dodges you out of combat and puts you in a harder to surround spot for the next turn and kicks a high HP enemy over a railing you are having a good day.
Fights in Tight Spaces – Special Attacks