• How It Works: Main Step: Fielding Characters



    Welcome back folks! This time on How it works we are going to be discussing core of the main step, fielding characters. We will discuss the ways we can pay for, accelerate and trigger fielding characters and the effects we can generate when we do, as well as a way to punish our opponent for fielding as well. First though, let's define what exactly fielding is.

    Fielding a character is the process of paying the characters fielding cost and then moving that character to the field zone from our reserve pool.

    This seems like a simple definition, but it is a mechanic that has a myriad of ways to be manipulated and today we will try to sort through as many of those as we can.

    First some quirky details that should be covered about fielding:

    -If a game mechanic lets you field for free or at a discount, but is on the card you are trying to field, that text still applies, despite the character not being active.

    -If a character is Moved, Swapped or returned to the field zone, this doesn't count as fielding. Card text will specifically say "field" if an effect is meant to field a character. As such, these mechanics don't trigger when fielded effects.

    -Fielding a character intrinsically involves making that character active. Any effects triggered by a fielded character count itself in any calculations, checks or triggers.

    -If a character is fielded, but would immediately be KOed, the effects triggered by a fielding would still apply.

    There are possibly other quirks that individual cards will create situations for, but that covers the broader spectrum of common issues. Now, let's look the inherent constraints of fielding characters. To field a character, the first things we need to do are, of course, draw and roll those characters, but then we must pay their fielding cost. Fielding costs are a subtlety to a character's stats that are often overlooked. A die with good stats and a total fielding cost (TFC) of 6 is much less efficient than a die with TFC 1. On a turn you roll a level two or three face and have to pay 2 extra energy just to field a character, you slowly lose advantage to an opponent that is simply paying his TFC 1. As such, getting discounts on fielding costs, or even fielding for free, can be a powerful tool. Constantine Con Artist is a great general tool for fielding anything for free, while there are other faction specific discounts such as Captain America, Sinestro and Wonder Woman. Other ways to manipulate the efficiency of fielding characters is to field them from an area that isn't the reserve pool. Transfer Power's action die effect allows us to do that from the used pile, while effects like Aunt May or Polymorph can allow us to "move" or "swap" characters from the Prep and Used. The difference between these affects is, as we mentioned above, the lack of a true fielding effect. If we were to polymorph in a character with a when fielded effect they wouldn't trigger it, because they are being swapped. However, if we Transfer Power them in, then we get their when fielded effect because Transfer Power says "field them for free".

    So far we've discussed ways to get characters from our reserve (or other zones) to the field, but some characters are more of an incentive to field than others thanks to their "when fielded" effects. The array of when fielded effects is too massive to discuss, but it is note worthy to mention Rare Warth as he is able to trigger a when fielded effect of a character you have in the field when he is fielded, instead of having a true effect of his own. Other when fielded effects are resolved by placing the die in the field (after paying the cost) and then resolving the effect. So, for things like Underdog, we would count the fielded die in the "how many" calculation, and for Hawkeye, we would give him any attack pumps before he does his damage to our opponent's character. There are also cards that watch when OTHER characters are fielded, such as Human Torch and characters with the teamwatch keyword, triggering their abilities as another character is fielded.

    There are very few things that can truly stop a when fielded effect from occurring, as even if the character is KOed from the fielding (things Venom or Manticore can cause happen), their when fielded effect will still trigger. Constantine Hellblazer is the most powerful, and unfortunately most pricey option for preventing when fielded effects, while Joker and Loki can prevent when fielded effects by preventing the fielding itself. Other cards can disincentivize fielding, such as Lyssa Drak or Blue Beetle, but they generally can't prevent the actual effect from triggering.

    In the end, Fielding characters is the moment where Dice masters steps away from other deck building games and steps into a strategic combat game. Other Deck building games give you ways to "scrap" or "trash" cards from your deck, while Dice masters thins it's bag by fielding characters, with the option of those dice circulating back into our bag after attacking or being rerolled to energy. It's this intrinsic thinning nature of fielding that is the heart of the economic value for the fielding mechanic, and something we must recall every time we roll a sidekick. Sure, we could reroll it to get energy, but if we field it, we not only get a character, but we also remove a die from our bag, meaning in future turns we're likely to get more energy, more reliably.

    There is much more that could be said about fielding characters, it's one fo the most versatile moments in Dice Masters, and I can really only generalize the bigger parts of it. If you have any questions about something you think I missed, or didn't explain well enough, or if you can add to the discussion, please comment below.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. agentj's Avatar
      agentj -
      Thanks for the explanation of this part of the game. Every Monday I look forward to your article. It amazes me how something so simple has so many options and ways to get tricky.
      I like to think reading your articles will allow me to become a Dice Master.
    1. pishposh's Avatar
      pishposh -
      I think it's important to note that characters are fielded one at a time and that sometimes the order in which they are fielded is really important.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by pishposh View Post
      I think it's important to note that characters are fielded one at a time and that sometimes the order in which they are fielded is really important.
      Fair point pishposh, you are entirely correct.
    1. GodricKinomoto's Avatar
      GodricKinomoto -
      "If a game mechanic lets you field for free or at a discount, but is on the card you are trying to field, that text still applies, despite the character not being active."

      I don't quite understand what this is implying. Can it be explained further or give an example ?
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      The new elf thief says, "fields for free if you have an energy in your reserve." This ability works, even in we don't already have another elf active. This is a new addition to the rulebook as of War of Light.
    1. Adimantium10's Avatar
      Adimantium10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GodricKinomoto View Post
      "If a game mechanic lets you field for free or at a discount, but is on the card you are trying to field, that text still applies, despite the character not being active."

      I don't quite understand what this is implying. Can it be explained further or give an example ?
      Typically all card text can only be performed if there is a copy of the die active (like "swarm"). Free fielding text is the exception.
      I saw that rule in the ASM book and was also confused. Now I understand.