This update is the first of a few s-bot-lights (get it?) on some of the bots and other features of Micro Bots. This time, we’ll be taking a look at the two bots gracing the front cover of the game, Turbo and Sparky, and diving a little into how to play with (and against) them.
Turbo is one of the recommended starter bots, and has the privilege of gracing the front cover of Micro Bots: Duel. So let’s take a look at this shiny blue bot.
Turbo, as you might guess from the name, is the bot that’s all about speed and mobility. This translates to Turbo’s Overdrive ability which allows Turbo to move along the range track just for the cost of some energy.
Typically, movement has both a risk and a reward – whilst it can effectively lower the opponents defence, it also does the same for you. Turbo’s ability to manipulate the range tracker allows you to get into short range, make an attack, and then retreat back out again. It also threatens the potential for extra defence, which might make your opponent play more conservatively without having to even use Overdrive.
This means that Turbo has a flexible playstyle, where their ability can be used to increase either your attack or defence, but situationally.
Strategies as Turbo
This mobility means Turbo wants to play a hit-and-run game, moving to short range to get a hit in at low defence and then getting to safety before the opponent can strike back. This comes at a fairly steep energy cost, but Turbo has other ways of manipulating the range marker. Paying close attention to the initiative values of the cards you play, and guessing your opponent’s choice, can allow Turbo to effectively take 2 turns in a row by going last and then first. A card like Pre-Empt is almost guaranteed to go first, and lets you get into a good position on a previous turn before escaping to safety with a successful attack.
Playing Against Turbo
Turbo leans towards the more aggressive side, as larger rows of weapon or support cards can overwhelm the amount of influence the range track (and consequently Turbo’s movement ability) has on the game.
Whilst Turbo’s Overdrive ability can be used to effectively provide extra attack or defence power, doing both is energy intensive and so Turbo may need to recharge more often. Taking advantage of this through conservative use of power tokens, as well as using energy for upgrade cards rather than one-time bot abilities, can let you build up the power to overwhelm Turbo.
A final, though challenging, play is to try to predict where Turbo wants to be and take advantage of the far ends of the range track. After all, Turbo can’t gain any extra attack power through movement if you’re already at short range, and equally can’t gain any extra defence whilst already at long range, nullifying Turbo’s unique power.
Sparky is our big yellow bot, which from the special effects (and colour) you might guess is all about Energy manipulation. Sparky funnels that energy into raw damage, aiming for short, brutal games.
Sparky is the bruiser of our bot lineup. Almost the inverse of Astro (who we’ll discuss in a later update), Sparky is all out aggression at close range, and the Energise ability is about as simple as it can get – spend 1 energy, gain 1 damage.
Sparky’s theme is energy manipulation, and this is mostly achieved through attacks like Energy Shot and Discharge Shot. Of course Sparky needs to hit for these to be effective, and that’s exactly what they are set up to do (with Energise making it that much easier to gain those effects).
Strategies as Sparky
Sparky really wants to be at close range, and have as quick a game as possible. If both players decide to sit at short range and exchange punches, this big machine is going to come out on top.
Sparky’s ability to punch through extra damage means they can make more use of lower value tokens, and regaining energy with Energy Shot can let Sparky go that little bit longer before a recharge. Upgrade Cards like Interceptor Array can be used to give a bit of defence as you build up your weapon row, whilst Charged Shot turns your already strong weapon row into overkill.
Playing Against Sparky
Whilst Sparky wants to be at short range, it should be no surprise that a counter strategy is to try to retreat to long range as much as possible. This forces Sparky to invest more energy, and more power tokens, into pushing damage through.
A great strategy against Sparky is baiting the use of Energise to take low amounts of damage (1-2) draining Sparky’s energy over several smaller hits rather than a few big hits. If Sparky is able to use Energise to bump up the damage to the maximum 3 just a couple of times, then that’s enough power to win the game without even needing to recharge.
Sparky is unlikely to have much in the way of defences, and is more reliant on power tokens to add that extra defence. So making smaller attacks that drain Sparky’s tokens can also force an earlier recharge whilst you build up a larger support row. If you can survive early aggression, you should be in a good spot to fight back against a weaker Sparky.