Reveal: Will you choose to make your Champs: Battlegrounds’ apprentice a cleric or an acolyte?
The official time to get on the Champs: Battlegrounds hype train is now if you’ve aren’t on board already. What is Champs: Battleground, you ask? It is the newest Multiplayer Online Squad Strategy (MOSS) game coming out for iOS and Android devices from the good folk over at Quark Games. You’ll take a squad of six champions, of your choice, against either AI or human opponents on a grid battlefield with different elevations. There are different factions and dozens of champions to choose from.
Oh, the unique kicker, this tactics game is in real time. No slow-pansy turn-based action here. Each champ has an energy bar telling the player when it can move, attack, or use an ability. You must manage your units in a timely manner and think tactics fast on your feet. Do you move, attack, heal, flank – what is the right move for you to defeat your opponent?
Think back to the Final Fantasy Tactics "jobs system" of yore; you start as one class and have the option to evolve it into a specialty playing off one of the abilities of the core class. Evolving a character doesn’t mean it’s more powerful, just more specialized. So just when you think you have an understanding of a champion you love, suddenly you’re slapped with three options. Do you evolve it to one of the specialties or leave it as is?
Apprentice (Tier 1):
This brings me to the reveal of the champion: "The Apprentice." She is the starter caster champion for the humans. The Apprentice can both heal and deal damage via abilities. While she can attack with her weapon, her bread and butter comes from her special abilities. This human caster is just one of many human champs. This tier 1 unit can eventually evolve into her tier 2 specializations -- either the Cleric or the Acolyte. Here are the Apprentice’s abilities:
Heal: gives a friendly champ more hit points to keep them in the good fight longer. Pair this spell with a tanky friend and forget how to die.
Fire Bolt: an offensive spell to punish foes foolish enough to be in range. This spell excels at picking off low-HP foes trying to hide/escape. Always remember, if your Apprentice is spamming fire bolts, you won’t have energy for those clutch heals.
Cleric (Tier 2):
The Cleric plays the role of healer on a squad. Upgrade your apprentice to the tier 2 Cleric if you want a caster in the back row who can shield potential damage from foes and heal those who do take the hits. While the Cleric has energy left, your units may find hope where none existed before. I’m already predicting heal bait strategies. Like many other games, protect your healers! Here are the Cleric’s abilities:
Shield: Forms temporary protection around a friendly champ. This spell will increase the champ’s defensive stat and let it take a bit more of a pounding before destroyed. Watch the other player for early shield casts; it’s a tell for who is important.
Replenish: Think of this as the upgraded version of Heal. Replenish will give a friendly champ a large amount of HPs back. If the enemy cleric isn’t doing anything, expect a huge replenish incoming.
Acolyte (Tier 2):
Not into endurance battles? Want to go big or go home? Is healing for sissies? Well then, upgrade your Apprentice into a tier 2 Acolyte. This version drops heals and picks up more damage. They still have a shielding spell that can be cast on friendly targets, but other than that she wants nothing more than to destroy.
Spirit Shield: this spell will offer a live saving protective barrier to an ally. Between your nuke fests, it’s good to watch out for those protecting you every now and then. The inferno can wait – sometimes.
Fireball: this is what makes the Acolyte hurt. These fiery orbs of doom do massive damage for a high cost of energy. See to it that your units are safe before unleashing a blaze of death upon your foes.
Keep an eye out for Champs: Battlegrounds coming out in the next few weeks for smartphones and tablets. To learn more, check out the official site, the Facebook page, Quark Games’ Twitter page, and, of course, GameZone for updates.
Historian, teacher, writer, gamer, cheat master, and tech guru: follow on Twitter @AndrewC_GZ