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At the start of your first turn, you should have 1 Stagnant Reservoir, 1 Festering Corpse, 1 Mosquito, the Infection I upgrade, and 6 Maggots in your base. These should all be face-up and oriented such that you can read the text on the cards. This indicates that the cards are "ready", a term that will be used throughout the tutorial.

Many actions in the game will require you to "engage" a card, which is indicated by the Engage symbol. To engage a card once, turn it 90° clockwise. To engage a card twice, turn it 180° clockwise. To engage a card three times, turn it 270° clockwise. Cards will never be engaged more than three times in a single turn.

During the first round of play, skip the prep phase and go directly to the build phase. The following list gives all of the actions you can take during your first build phase, with mechanical instructions in indigo and strategic notes in teal.

Phases (Turn 1)
  • Prep phase
Build phase
  • Move phase
  • Combat phase
  • Cleanup phase
Morph a Mosquito

Place a Mosquito card face-down underneath a Maggot, then engage both cards once.

Mosquitoes are used for a variety of purposes, including spreading the Virus and morphing defensive units.

Research an Upgrade

There are several upgrades for which you already have the tech requirements: Suppression, Infection II, Contagion I, Atrophy, Fatigue, and Delirium. Find the upgrade you want, then pay its cost by moving the specified number of Maggots from your base to your deck. Place the upgrade face-down underneath the Stagnant Reservoir or Festering Corpse, then engage both cards twice.

Upgrades are very important for the Virus, but they only become useful after you've started attacking your opponent.

As you can see, the Virus does not have many actions that can be performed during the build phase. There is one other important action that a Virus player should understand: morphing an Abomination. Technically, this occurs during the combat phase, which will be explained in more depth later on.

Phases (Turn 1)
  • Prep phase
  • Build phase
  • Move phase
Combat phase
  • Cleanup phase
Morph an Abomination

Use the Mosquito to attack a Maggot, which is as simple as declaring "I am attacking this Maggot with this Mosquito". Place an Abomination underneath the Maggot, then engage both cards once.

The Abomination is the only Virus unit which can deal damage directly. It can also be sacrificed later on to help produce more Maggots each turn.

When you've finished your turn, click on the next player's race below. If everyone has already taken their first turn, click "next" to continue the tutorial.

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