Sequence of Play

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Each turn has the following phases:

Spirit Phase

  • Growth
  • Gain Energy
  • Play and pay for Power Cards

Fast Power Phase Fasticon.png (Cards and Innate)

Invader Phase

  • Blighted Island Effect
  • Base Game + Branch & Claw + all Jagged Earth Event (except first turn)
  • Fear Effects
  • Ravage: Invaders Damage the land and Dahan Dahanicon.png. Add Blight Blighticon.png if the land takes 2 or more Damage. Surviving Dahan fight back.
  • Build: If Invaders are present, add a Town Townicon.png or City Cityicon.png.
  • Explore: If a source of Invaders is adjacent/present, add an Explorer Explorericon.png.
  • Advance Invader Cards

Slow Power Phase Slowicon.png (Cards and Innate)

Time Passes

  • Played Power Cards go to personal discards.
  • Damage and Elements go away.


Spirit Phase

Each Spirit does three things, in the following order:

  1. Grow: Choose one option (unless stated otherwise) next to “Growth” at the upper-right of the Spirit Panel. Each section is a single choice. You must do everything shown, but may choose the order. (For more on Growth options, see page 14.)
  2. Gain Energy: Gain an amount of Energy equal to the highest uncovered number on your Energy Presence Track. Place any gained Energy on or near your Spirit Panel.
  3. Play and Pay for Power Cards: Select the Power Cards (Fast and Slow) that you will use this turn. The maximum number of Power Cards you can play each turn is the highest uncovered number on the Card Plays Presence Track (even if you have enough Energy to pay for more). You must immediately pay Energy for all Power Cards played, even Slow ones. Likewise, you immediately gain all Elements from played Power Cards, even if the Powers’ effects are Slow. Do not resolve the effects of the Power Cards yet.

Fast Power Phase

Players resolve Fast Powers - both Innate Powers printed on their Spirit Panel and Power Cards they played. Power resolution can be done mostly simultaneously. When timing becomes important, Powers may be resolved in whatever order the players want, so long as no Power interrupts another partway through.

If a player discovers they do not want to use a Power’s text effect (or cannot use it), they may choose to skip it entirely. Sometimes, a Power Card will be worth playing purely for its Elements (see Elements Gained, page 16).

You can’t delay using a Fast Power until the Slow Phase, even if you want to. Use it now or forego it.

Invader Phase

The Invader Phase has the following parts:

  1. Blighted Island (once appropriate)
  2. Fear
  3. Invader Actions
    1. Ravage
    2. Build
    3. Explore
  4. Advance Invader Cards

1. Blighted Island

If the Blight Card has flipped to ‘Blighted Island’ follow the instructions there. If you have trouble remembering to do this, put a Blight from the box onto the Fear Space as a reminder.

Base Game + Branch & Claw + all Jagged Earth Event

Draw and resolve one Event Card (except the first turn).

In the Core Game, the Invaders are perfectly predictable, save for what lands they will next be interested in. But in truth, all living things - the Invaders, the Dahan, and Beasts of the wild - sometimes act in unanticipated ways. To represent this, Events occur during each Invader Phase, after any Blighted Island effect and before resolving any Earned Fear Cards.

2. Fear

If any Fear Cards have been earned (see Fear and Terror, page 12), pick up the whole facedown stack, flip it over and resolve the cards one at a time in the order they were earned. Then discard them to the Fear Discard Space on the board. Use only the effect listed next to the current Terror Level. This could be higher than when the card was earned. Fear effects last only for the current turn.

3. Invader Actions

The Invader Board has three Action Spaces: Ravage, Build, and Explore. The Invader Card in an Action Space determines which lands will be affected by that Action. (If there is no Invader Card in a space, no action is taken.)

3a. Ravage Look at the Invader Card in the Ravage Action Space on the Invader Board (if any): the Invaders Ravage in each land of the shown type only. First, Invaders deal Damage to the land and Dahan. Then, any surviving Dahan fight back.

Wherever there are Invaders in the shown lands, Invaders deal Damage: 1 per Explorer, 2 per Town, and 3 per City. Reduce the total Damage by any Defend powers played (page 18), then simultaneously:

  1. Invaders Damage the Land: If 2 or more Damage is dealt, add a Blight to the land. (See sidebar.) This only happens once, no matter how much Damage is dealt. Partial Damage to the land is ignored.
  2. Invaders Fight the Dahan: Every 2 points of Damage destroys one Dahan. You must destroy Dahan as efficiently as possible; you cannot disperse Damage among multiple Dahan to avoid killing them. If a Dahan is dealt 1 Damage, turn it over to show that it is Damaged. Any surviving Damaged Dahan will recover at the end of the turn.

After Invader Damage has been fully resolved in a land, any surviving Dahan there fight back. Each Dahan deals 2 Damage to the Invaders. (See page 15 for Invaders’ Health.) The Dahan will fight back even if the Ravaging Invaders deal no Damage (for example, due to Defend Powers), but not if the Ravage Action has been skipped or stopped from happening altogether.

Spirit Presence does not fight back as Invaders do not directly attack the Spirits.

3b. Build Look at the Invader Card in the Build Action Space on the Invader Board: the Invaders Build in each land of the shown type only.

Wherever there are Invaders in the specified type of land, they add either one City or one Town:

  • If the land has more Towns than Cities, add a City. (You are not upgrading the Towns, you are adding a new City from the supply.)
  • In all other cases, add a Town.

Do not Build in lands without Invaders.

3c. Explore Turn the top card of the Invader Deck face-up. Invaders Explore in accessible lands of the shown type only, venturing forth from Towns and Cities or approaching from the Ocean. If the card has a flag icon and you are playing with an Adversary, first perform the Escalation effect (see sidebar). If there is no card to turn up, time has run out and you lose.

Add an Explorer to every land of the shown type which either:

  • Contains a Town or City; or
  • Is adjacent to a Town, City, or Ocean.

No matter how many sources are in or adjacent to an Explored land, you only add one Explorer. Explorers are added directly from the supply, not moved around on the board.

4. Advance Invader Cards

After Explore, slide all of the Invader Cards left: Move the Ravage Card to the discard, the Build Card to the Ravage Space, and the Explore Card to the Build Space, so that next turn they will Ravage where they Built this turn and Build where they Explored this turn.

Slow Power Phase

Players resolve Slow Powers, which may be either Innate Powers printed on their Spirit Panel or Power Cards they played. This works just like the “Fast Power Phase”, explained on page 8.

Time Passes

This is the wrap-up phase at the end of each turn.

Discard: Players discard all Power Cards played this turn into their personal discard piles. Damage and Elements Clear: All Elements go away. All Damage done during the turn goes away; if you turned any pieces on their sides to note partial Damage, turn them back.

If you’re using the reminder tokens for Single-Turn Effects, make sure to remove those at this time.

BC/JE Update

The Branch & Claw and/or Jagged Earth expansions added Events as well as new tokens with impacts during Invader Phase.

Spirit Phase

  • Growth
  • Gain Energy
  • Play and pay for Power Cards

Fast Power Phase Fasticon.png (Cards and Innate)

Invader Phase

  • Blighted Island Effect
  • Event (except first turn)
  • Fear Effects
  • Ravage (Including Strife Strifeicon.png): Invaders Damage the land and Dahan Dahanicon.png. Add Blight Blighticon.png if the land takes 2 or more Damage. Surviving Dahan fight back.
  • Build (Including Disease Diseaseicon.png): If Invaders are present, add a Town Townicon.png or City Cityicon.png.
  • Explore (Including Wilds Wildsicon.png): If a source of Invaders is adjacent/present, add an Explorer Explorericon.png.
  • Advance Invader Cards

Slow Power Phase Slowicon.png (Cards and Innate)

Time Passes

  • Played Power Cards go to personal discards.
  • Damage and Elements go away.