The Rats feature units, skills, weapons, siege weapons, structures, and upgrades. There are only two basic Rat units: the Male Rat and the Female Rat, both of which are produced at the Nest. Stronger armies are created by giving weapons and skills to individual rats. Each weapon and skill must be learned in a specific tech structure.
Siege weapons, which are very powerful cards, must be built and operated by rats with the Siegeman or Siegemaster skill. Upgrades, which can make your rats more effective, are researched at the Laboratory.
Rats tend to be very strong in the later stages of the game, as they are the only race that can produce long range units. The key question for the Rat player is: how do you defend long enough to get to the tech options that you can win with?
- Main article: Rat Tech Tree
During the build phase, you can engage cards to have them perform various actions, such as gathering resources and building structures. When bringing new cards into play, be sure to check the Rat Tech Tree to make sure that you have fulfilled all of the tech requirements.
- To gather ambria, you must have a ready rat in your base. Engage the rat once, then take an ambria counter. You can do this once with each rat, and there is no maximum number of resource counters you can hold at a time.
- To gather water, you must have a ready rat and a Reservoir in your base. Engage the rat once, place it underneath the Reservoir, then take a water counter. Each Reservoir can hold up to 2 rats at a time.
- To bring another rat into play, you must have a ready Nest. Pay the cost of the rat card (2 water), place the card face-down underneath the Nest, then engage both cards 1 turn.
- To build a structure, you must have a ready rat. Check the structure card to find its cost and build time. Pay the cost, place the card face-down underneath a rat, then engage both cards according to the build time attribute.
- To research an upgrade, the structure which researches it must be ready. Check the upgrade to find its cost and build time. Pay the cost. Place it face-down underneath the appropriate structure, and engage both cards according to the upgrade's build time attribute.
- To teach a weapon to a rat, check the weapon's build time. Place the card face-down underneath a ready rat, engage both cards according to the weapon's build time, then place both cards underneath the appropriate tech structure. Each tech structure can hold up to 3 rats at a time, even if they are learning different weapons or starting on different turns.
- To teach a skill to a rat, follow the above instructions for weapons.
- To build a siege weapon, check the card's cost and build time. Pay the cost, place the card face-down underneath a ready Siegeman or Siegemaster rat, then engage both cards according to the siege weapon's build time attribute.
After the build phase, you may move any ready rat or siege weapon to an adjacent location. By default, any card that moves must engage once. Some cards have reduced movement speed, which means that they must engage twice after moving.
At the end of the move phase, check to see if there are any locations in which combat can take place. If so, move on to the combat phase. If not, skip to the cleanup phase.