Units are the primary means through which players exert their influence. Units can accomplish objectives, and can prevent opposing units from accomplishing their own objectives (usually by killing them). Units can both move and attack enemy units in a single action, but only when their tick meters are full. All units start with 100 health, and attacks reduce this number. When a unit reaches 0 health, it dies, respawning several turns later.
A unit can move and fire only when its tick meter is filled up, which takes four ticks. The number of ticks units have at the start of a match is indicated by their initiative. Additionally, when a unit respawns after having been killed, its tick meter is full. After performing an action, the tick meter goes back down to zero.
Units can move up to the number of squares indicated by their movement rating (move). Obstacles may prevent movement, however: Units cannot move through obstructions, which include enemy units (friendly units and air units do not block movement), cliffs and other terrain features, and objective foundations totem bases, tree beds, and homesteads, whether constructed or not). Air units can fly over most obstructions, except for tree beds and constructed homesteads.
Units can attack enemy units and structures at the distance indicated by their attack range (shoot) after they move. If a unit cannot attack a target, the targeting crosshair will not appear. Unit ranges vary considerably: Some units can only attack units adjacent to themselves and others can hit enemies five tiles away. Units may also be unable to attack air units or adjacent units.
The damage dealt depends on the base damage of the attacking units, modified by the attack bonuses and health of the attacker, the defence bonuses of the target, and various other influences. The damage charts list the damage dealt for any given matchup.
A unit cannot directly attack other units on its team, but incidental effects of an attack can cause friendly fire.
Units' ultimate purposes vary by scenario. For scenarios based around objective items (Gold Rush, Claim Jumping, Totem Building), units pick up those items and deposit them elsewhere. For scenarios where only big shots can fulfill objectives (Cattle Rustling, Land Grab), non-big shots can only influence the objectives indirectly (by killing enemy big shots, destroying enemy homesteads, or herding cattle). For scenarios based around specific squares on the board (Wendigo Attack, Forest Guardians), the location of the units is key to winning the scenario.
Each unit has the following base attributes:
- Make: The unit's composition (Human, Steam, or Spirit). Most units are human. The Artillery, Dirigible and Steam Gunman are steam and tend to be resistant against units that fire bullets. The Thunderbird is the only spirit unit.
- Mode: Ground, Ranged or Air. Units that are always flying are Air mode. All other units are Ground mode when their range (Shoot) is below 4, and Ranged mode when it is 4 or more.
- Move: The maximum number of squares the unit can move during its turn.
- Shoot: The range at which the unit can attack other units. A unit's maximum movement plus its maximum range is sometimes referred to as its "effective range", that is, the maximum distance from which it can strike another unit.
Units can have attack and defense modifiers that give advantages and sometimes disadvantages based on the opposing units makes and modes. These modifiers can be viewed at the ranch. They are also indicated in the game with up and down arrows on the crosshairs.
In addition to their statistics, some units have abilities that make them unique. A player never needs to specifically activate a unit's powers. Powers are either constantly active, or triggered by other things, like, in the case of the Gunslinger's counterattack, the unit getting shot.
Interface and controls
Each player is assigned a color at the start of a match: All of a player's units will wear his colors for easy identification. A player selects one of his units by clicking on it. This will highlight squares that the unit can move to, and a crosshair will appear on enemies that the unit can attack. Clicking on a square will move the unit there, or queue up the movement if the unit's tick meter is not yet full (an advance order). If this movement would put the unit close enough to an enemy to attack it, the player then specifies which enemy to attack (clicking on the original unit at this point will cause it to select a target at random). A player can also have his unit attack an enemy without specifying how his unit should move: In this case, the unit will take the most direct route to the enemy it can find while staying as far away from its foe as it can. Finally, a player can have his unit move without attacking any enemies by holding down the shift key when selecting the destination.
- If the targeting crosshairs are filled with a question mark (?), then the target may be able to move before the player's unit can attack
- If the crosshairs are filled with a plus sign (+), then the target will not be able to move before the unit attacks
- If the crosshairs are filled with a skull icon, then the unit's attack will kill the target
- If the crosshairs are white, then the unit does not need to move to attack the target
- If the crosshairs are orange, then the unit does need to move to attack the target
- An arrow pointing upwards on the right of the crosshairs indicates a positive damage modifier against the target.
- An arrow pointing downwards on the right of the crosshairs indicates a negative damage modifier against the target.
Three different bars surround a unit's feet at various points—they all match the unit's color. A unit's health bar indicates its remaining health. Next to the health bar is the tick meter, which fills and depletes as the unit rests and acts. When the tick meter is filled, the ready bar appears behind the unit so that the player can easily identify which of his units are ready to act. When a unit receives an advance order, a mark is added under the unit. A circle indicates a move order. If the advance order involves an attack, the mark is a starburst
Frontier Town's unlockable units are the Steam Gunman and the Sharpshooter (and, formerly, the Shotgunner ). The Steam Gunman can be unlocked by obtaining the Big Winner badge (by scoring 500 points in one round), or by purchasing the Cannon pass from the Frontier Town general store. The Sharpshooter is enabled for use when a player obtains the Hot Streak badge (by winning five ranked games in a row), or buys the Sniper Rifle pass in the Frontier Town general store.
Indian Trading Post's unlockable unit is the Dog Soldier. The Dog Soldier can be unlocked either by earning the Soldier badge (by killing 10 human-controlled enemy units with a single unit in one round, without that unit dying), or by buying the Tomahawk pass at the Indian Trading Post general store.
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|Frontier Town units|
|Big shots:||Cavalry • Old Codger • Tactician|
|Units:||Artillery • Dirigible • Gunslinger • Sharpshooter • Shotgunner • Steam Gunman|
|Indian Trading Post units|
|Big shots:||Revolutionary • Storm Caller • Trickster Raven|
|Units:||Buffalo Rider • Dog Soldier • Dream Catcher • Thunderbird|
|Special units:||Locust Robot • Logging Robot • Super Locust Robot • Super Logging Robot|