Ticks are the units of time progression in rounds. Ticks are indicated by the movement of a needle within a gauge, located in the upper-right corner of the screen during matches. The needle moves periodically, and with each move another tick passes. When all ticks have elapsed, the round is over. Ticks also serve to determine when units can move. Unless otherwise affected, units can move every four ticks.
Tick variations in rounds
The precise duration and quantity of ticks can vary from round to round. In general, the number of ticks in a round depends on two factors: the amount of units (excluding Big shots) that each player can bring, and the "Duration" setting (note that these can only be set in back parlors). Normally, the amount of ticks in a round is the quantity 300/(amount of units+1). Setting the duration of a game to "Long" increases this amount by 30%, while setting it to "Quick" decreases it by 30%. A table of this relationship follows:
Duration of a Tick
The duration of a Tick in a Normal Speed game depends on a couple of things:
- How long the round has progressed
- The average # of alive units each player has
Ticks are given a base time of 2000 milliseconds, that 2000 is then factored by how far the round has progressed and scaled by the average # of alive units each player currently has.
The progression factor speeds up the game over time, eventually reaching 2/3 base tick time and capping the progression factor when the game reaches 10 minutes.
This means, in a standard ranked Forest Guardians round:
The duration between ticks starts at 2000ms*3 (average unit count) = 6000ms.
By the end of the round, the duration between ticks will approach 1333.33ms*3 = 4000ms*.
*Note: Won't be exactly 4000ms due to the incremental decrease, so probably somewhere closer to 4500-5000ms
In unranked table games, players also have the option of adjusting the duration of each tick, by means of the "Speed" setting. Applying the "Fast" setting will shorten the duration of each tick, whereas the "Slow" setting increases their duration.
Tick based cards and bonuses
Certain cards' and bonuses' effects are based on ticks or units' relationships thereto. They are as follows:
- Giddy Up will allow one selected unit to move again regardless of the tick count.
- Half Giddy Up will allow one selected unit to move two ticks sooner.
- Hustle will allow one selected unit to move every three ticks intead of four.
- Staredown resets the tick counter for an enemy.
- Snake Bite makes the effect unit take damage per tick for eight ticks.
- Firestarter the affected unit will inflict their target with fire damage for the next four ticks. The burned unit will take damage per tick for four ticks.
Tick based powers
Some units' powers are based on ticks or units' relationships thereto. They are as follows:
- Old Codger resets his opponents tick count with each shot from his blunderbuss.
- Dream Catcher resets her opponents tick count with each attack.
- Dog Soldier does an additional seven point attack to adjacent enemies per tick.
- Logging Robot does an additonal five point attack to adjacent enemies and trees per tick.
- Super Logging Robot does an additional seven point attack to adjacent enemies and trees per tick.