The object of Speck: Pioneers is simple. Help your Speck NanoBots colonize all the chips on each circuit board. Play a Campaign (through a series of levels) or play Battle Mode (against up to 3 players, human or NanoBot).
The very basics:
- Each player's turn starts with a set number of Specks (based on how much of the board you control) and a roll for more.
- Click the chips your NanoBot(s) hold on the board to add all the Specks you get to one or any of those chips. The more Specks a chip has, the better your chance of colonizing your opponent's chip.
- Try to colonize an opponent's adjacent chip (connected by a white line) by clicking on it when you have more NanoBots in your chip than they do.
- With many Specks already in your chip, or a good number roll in your favor, you will succeed in winning a chip from your opponent.
- When you colonize all the chips on the circuit board, you win that level or match.
Beginning your turn
You start each turn with a given number of Specks (ranging from 2 to 6) based on how much of the circuit board your Specks occupy. You are also given bonus Specks based on a “roll” of 1 to 3. So you may get as little as 2 or as many as 9 Specks at the beginning of each turn. Once you receive your new Specks, click any chip you currently control to distribute all your new Specks in any combination you wish.
"Colonizing" is your attempt to take over an opponent’s chip. These are Pioneers, after all! You may attempt this between any two chips connected with a white line. Your chances of colonizing an opponent’s chip is based on the number of Specks on each chip. To colonize an opponent’s chip you must:
- Have more Specks than your opponent, and
- Roll the difference, or less, of the number of Specks.
Example: Let’s say you are Bomber (blue) and it’s your turn. You decide you want to attempt to colonize Beta’s (red) chip. Tap on Bomber to indicate you wish to use him and then click on Beta to indicate you want to attempt to colonize that chip. The “roller” will then begin to cycle randomly from 1 to 6. In the example above there are 10 Bombers versus 6 Betas. To successfully colonize Beta’s space you need to roll a 4 or less (because 10-6=4). Your odds of successfully colonizing an opponent’s chip are better if you have 4 or more Specks than your opponent. If you only have 1, 2, or 3 more the odds favor your opponent. When trying to colonize, there are two possible outcomes:
Let’s say you rolled a 5 in the example above – success! You now occupy both chips. You can now move your Specks back and forth between the two chips involved in the colonization attempt by tapping on either chip. Note: At least 1 Speck will remain on each chip.
As part of your strategy, you may wish to advance all your Specks to the colonized chop or you may wish to keep some behind (see examples below). When you are done distributing your Specks, click “Next Move” to confirm. At this point, you can either attempt to colonize another chip or end your turn. Note: You can move the maximum number of Specks to a chip by touching and holding on that chip until you hear the longer beep.
Let’s say you rolled a 3 in your colonization attempt and you failed to colonize. Well, that's no fun. Not only that, you are penalized for your bold move by having one Speck removed from your chip. Now, as an optimist, you may continue to make colonization attempts after previous failed attempts, but each time the odds of successfully colonizing a chips are reduced since you lose 1 Speck for each failed attempt.
You may make as many moves during your turn as you like, anywhere on the circuit board. For example, you may have three heavily-fortified chips and want to move them all across a circuit board. You must click “Next Move” after each move to signal that you are ready to move on to your next move.
Ending your turn
When you are ready to end your turn, click “Next Move”. The button in the lower right will change to “End Turn”. Click the “End Turn” button for the next opponent’s turn to begin.
You can make as many colonization attempts as you like during a turn, anywhere on the circuit board. However, even when your Specks win, those noble minions get tired from so many battles in a row. As a result, the Specks involved in those successful colonizations will be penalized with a fatigue counter (which subtracts from the number of Specks you have available in that chip) for each chip they colonize beyond the first.
Example: Above, the blue player (Bomber) began at the far left chip and made three successful colonization attempts to the right. Bold move. As a result, he gained several chips on the circuit board. The blue player's Specks, however, have become tired from all the effort and a fatigue counter appears in those chips. If the player chooses to colonize the last chip on the right, he/she would need to roll a 4 or less since (7-2)-1 fatigue=4. If successful, those two spaces would each have [-3] fatigue counters on them.
You can't keep a good Speck down though. At the beginning of each player's turn, the fatigue counters on that player's chips are reduced by 1. If he/she chooses to use Specks with existing fatigue counters, then even more fatigue is added for any additional successful colonization attempts. If fatigued Specks are not used to colonize chips, then their fatigue counters eventually go away after enough turns of resting.
- Empty chips are free for the taking so long as a player has at least 2 Specks (one to colonize the empty chip and one to leave behind). You do not need to colonize empty chips on the board to win though.
- If a player has 6 or more Specks than a chip he/she is attempting to colonize, that player can automatically colonize the opponent’s chip without having to “roll” (since they could basically roll anything and successfully colonize the chip).
- Help: Click and to access in-game help and instructions
- Zooming: You can zoom in and out of circuit boards by double-tapping. Larger levels have more levels of zoom than smaller levels.
- Move all Specks: You can move entire groups of Specks back and forth after successfully colonizing by tapping and holding on the chip you want them to move to.
- The more you play and win Campaigns, the more levels and robots you earn.
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