Fray | Champions of the Every-Verse | Preview Series #3

Fighting the Battle: Combat


By Mark Stogdill

Fray: Champions of the Every-verse is a combat game at its core, soaked in the blood of great villains and heroes chosen as Champions of the Watchers from throughout time, history and fictions and brought together to battle to the death in the mystical Arena of the Grand Center, the nexus point of all of time and space. Winning, losing, death and dishonor are decided by strength, courage and cunning as the players assume the role of the Watchers to test the mettle of their Champions and fight to be the last one standing.
Combat is decided through a mix of dice rolling and resource management as champions levy attacks and special abilities against their opponents. During the Champion Phase each player rolls 3 Battle Dice to see how much Attack, Defense and Movement they can muster for the round. The Battle Dice have 3 different icons, Axe, Shield and Boot. The Axe represents attack, the Shield represents defense and the Boot represents movement. The results of the roll are then used to activate abilities in the current round or saved as stored tokens on the Champion Sheet for use in the following turn.

Each Champion comes with a standard set of abilities for attack, defense and movement. On the Champion Card there is a list of special abilities that are unique to that Champion and are resolved during the active player’s turn, using resources gathered from rolling the battle dice. Thematically, this turns into Captain Redbeard the pirate using his flintlock pistol and rapier to both press the attack and defend himself at the same time. Mechanically, this leads to a one Axe, one Shield move that allows Redbeard to attack an enemy champion and improve his own save for the following round. Otherwise, you could store some of those resources and go for a more powerful attack in the following round or even do a combination of both.

Furthermore, each champion has a single powerful ability that can only be used once per game. All abilities are themed to that specific Champion and their backstory, (backstories for each Champion and the realm they hail from will be included with the game materials in the box). During the Combat Phase each Champion in play may resolve ONE ability (unless otherwise indicated). Abilities are broken up into two types, Standard and Unique.
For Standard Abilities, the Champion may choose to make an attack against an enemy using one of the Attack icons either rolled or stored. The attack is resolved with any modifiers in play and is resolved as normal. A Champion may also choose to defend themselves instead of making an attack, using one of the Defense icons. Defending gives the Champion +1 to their save profile until the start of their next turn. Players can also use the Boot icons for movement bonus as previously described, such as adding extra movement or performing a Guarded Withdraw to prevent any counterattacks as they reposition themselves in the Arena.


Each Champion also has several unique abilities listed on their Champion card. Next to each ability there is either a set of Attack or Defense icon or a combination of both. This is the ‘cost’ to activating that ability. These abilities represent the powerful, and sometimes vicious or devious, things the Champions can do. Unique abilities can provide various bonuses to the Champion themselves or friendly Champions as well as additional attack penalties against their enemies.

Each of the 12 Champions in Fray:Champions of the Every-Verse has their own card with unique abilities and once per game abilities.


Each Champion has 1 once per game ability and 2 unique abilities in Single Mode play. Champions gain 3 unique abilities in Team Mode. The last Team Mode ability the Brain Sandwich team likes to refer to internally as their ‘Ultimate Form’, as each one is very powerful and usually affects multiple Champions. When my Champion uses their last ability against an opponent I like to think of it as Goku from Dragon Ball Z going Super Saiyan. These abilities are only available in Team Mode since many times they are designed to resolve multiple effects against potentially more than one Champion.

Death by a Thousand Cuts - Mitsu’s “Ultimate Form”

When resolving an attack of any kind the player whose Champion is the target of the attack rolls a D6. If the score is equal to or greater than the Champion’s save value represented on their Champion card (including any modifiers) the Champion's armor deflects the attack, or they are able to safely dodge out of the way and no damage is taken. If the Champion is unsuccessful in their Save roll against the attack, the attacking player then rolls for damage. The damage die has the following damage values on it: 4, 6, 8 and Critical Hit (8 plus the Axe icon). The damaged player subtracts the value of the roll from their Champion’s Hit Points. A Critical Hit, in addition to doing 8 damage, also adds a -1 modifier to the affected Champions save for the remainder of the round. Champions start with 20 hit points each (though Hit Points can be modified through item cards). Once a Champion’s hit points are reduced to 0 the Champion has been killed and is removed from the Board for the remainder of the game. If a Champion has a Companion in play at the time of their tragic demise, then the Companion is also removed as if it had been slain.

Fray: Champions of the Every-verse is a winner take all game. A player wins once their opponents have no more champions left in play and they are the last ones standing. The Watcher’s run a brutal contest and it must always be decided in blood. Join us next time as we take a deep dive into the item cards, tokens and components that make up the game and discuss what each does and why.

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