The Beetles feature units, structures, forms, upgrades, and pheromones. One of the key mechanics that makes Beetles different from the other races (and many resource management games in general) is that there is no central deposit of resources. Instead, each unit gathers resources for itself.
Each Thinker can support one form (which unlocks a particular unit) or one upgrade (which makes units stronger). Units and structures are both produced the same way: after beetles have gathered resources, they cluster together, digest the resources, and begin morphing into the desired card.
Beetles tend to win by strength in numbers, by changing forms and upgrades to adapt to the opponent's decisions, and by rebuilding lost forces much faster than the other races.
During the build phase, you can engage cards to have them perform various actions, such as gathering resources and morphing structures. When bringing new cards into play, be sure to check the Beetle Tech Tree to make sure that you have fulfilled all of the tech requirements.
- To gather ambria, you must have a ready unit in your base. Engage the unit once, then place an ambria counter on it. Note that Harvesters can hold a maximum of 4 resource counters at a time, and all other beetles can only hold 1. There is no central deposit of resources.
- To gather water, you must have a ready unit and a Water Pod in your base. Engage the unit once, place it underneath the Water Pod, then give a water counter to the unit. Each Water Pod can hold up to 3 units at a time.
- There are two ways to split a Harvester:
- Remove a water counter from a ready Harvester, place a new Harvester face-down underneath it, then engage both cards once.
- Place a new Harvester face-down under a ready Harvester, engage both cards once, then place both cards underneath a nearby Water Pod. This takes up one of the Water Pod's 3 slots.
After the build phase, you may move any ready unit into an adjacent location.