A Guide to Girls’ Frontline Luffberry Chess Minigame
Greetings Commanders, today we’ll be taking a look at Girls’ Frontline’s latest minigame, Luffberry Chess. It’s safe to say this doesn’t operate quite like normal chess, so let’s hop right into explanations.
Looking at the main screen, you’ll notice there are three game modes: Simulation, Custom Room, and Tournament Match, all down at the lower left. While you’re getting the hang of the rules, you can use Simulation games to play with three AI players and get the grips of the game. If you want to set a maximum number of players and choose your privacy settings, you can use the Custom Room. If you’re the competitive type, you can get randomly matched to Commanders and earn points based on your ranking, going up in Honor levels to earn rewards. Remember that Tournament Mode is only available when there’s a tournament season available.
When you start a match, you’ll want to choose an Echelon, and you’ll want to be flexible about it. You can’t change it mid-game, and the proper setup will be key to dealing with certain factions later. Your Echelon will have up to eight pieces, all of which can be any gun type except MGs and SGs. Finally, you can change the costume for your chess piece based on unlocked T-Dolls and costumes within the piece’s gun type.
Once the game starts, a die roll will dictate the order in which the Commanders of the game get to select their factions. There are four factions to choose from, and the Commander with the highest roll gets to choose first. Factions all have unique Technology Skills, so keep that in mind when selecting your faction. After the factions are set up, you choose the Echelon you’ll be playing with.
On the board, you’ll have an HQ where your pieces are first deployed. When placing pieces, if a piece isn’t already on the board, you can pick any piece from your echelon and place them, as well as choose which direction they’ll go (clockwise or counterclockwise). You can only place up to three pieces on the board at a time. If your piece is at a color-matching Heliport, you can summon a Chopper Lift and fast-travel a certain distance.
The board will also have different colors corresponding to the factions. If your piece aligns with the color, you can trigger the Turbo buff and gain extra movement forward. Each unit has different Turbo buffs, so not all units will be able to get the same amount of extra movement.
Now onto the Luffberry Tokens Store. When a round starts, all Commanders get a certain amount of Luffberry Tokens. You will get a standard allocation every round, and you will receive extra Tokens based on how many pieces are out. Commanders can only have up to 100 of these Tokens.
These Tokens are used in the Token Store, which you can access at the start of each round for a limited amount of time. You can purchase Effect Cards and Item Cards, with better cards coming the later the game goes on for. In addition, you can spend Luffberry Tokens to reroll the cards you can currently purchase. You can also Lock certain cards you don’t want to lose once a reroll happens.
Effect Cards grant passive buffs for different guns and can be stacked. You can only have up to 5 Effect Cards. Just be warned that upgrading via duplicates has a limit, and once a card reaches its maximum level, it can’t be purchased anymore. Item Cards grant a one-off skill, and you can only have 3 of these at a time. You’ll need to discard excess cards if you go over your limit. You can also sell cards you don’t need anymore, and if you’re at your limit of cards, you can also swap with the store to get rid of the old card and get a new one.
Now for actually playing the game. I’m going to show you a picture of what this game looks like before anything happens. This image may frighten you at the sheer amount of crap going on, but I promise you, it’s not that complicated; the UI is just a bit of a mess.
Navigating the UI
Let’s break this mess down just a bit. I’ll divide up the UI that you see into smaller chunks for some more precise explanations
See, that’s not too scary! Just a little busy. Let’s move on to the rounds and what they’re comprised of.
Each round has every player make one turn. Each turn is divided up into a Movement Phase, Attack Phase, and Action Phase.
Starting with the Movement Phase, you’ll start by choosing to use a faction’s technological skill, and Item Card, or a piece’s skill. Once that’s done, you’ll roll a die to see how many steps on the board you’ll get to take. If you roll a six or a one, you can make another movement or deploy a piece. Keep in mind that a piece’s Mobility stat and any buffs from Effect Cards will have an impact on your total movement. You can also press on a piece to preview its movement/attack range, with a glowing marker showing where it’d end up once it moved, and the red sections showing where it can attack.
For the Attack Phase, if your piece is within the attack zone of another player’s piece, you can enter the Attack Phase. If there are two enemies on one section of the board, you can select which one to attack. The damage dealt is based on a combination of current Effect Card buffs, the attacking piece’s Damage stat, and a number of Combat Dice Rolls. If you win the fight, you get a single point. If your piece’s HP drops to 0, they’re dead, and you’re now out a unit. If you land on an enemy unit’s spot on the board, you can perform a sneak attack, where you force them to only roll one die while you roll two.
Whether you win or lose, the Attack Phase will end, and you’ll move into the Action Phase, where you can either activate a faction’s technological skill, use an Item Card, or use your piece’s skill. Once you’re done, you will press on “End Turn,” and the next commander will get to go.
One extra thing that happens after a certain number of rounds is an Air-Drop. You can choose between Targeted Deployment (Receive an Item Card that lets you deploy an extra unit) or Wealth Detection (gives you 5 Luffberry Tokens). You can see how long until these happen in the upper-left corner of the interface.
When any one player gets five or more points, the current round will become the final one. Once it’s done, points are tallied to order the rank of the players. You can tie with another commander, which results in them sharing a rank. If you ever are wanting to brush up on the rules or check out some stats, there’s a Data and Logs section on the left part of the Luffberry Chess Lobby Menu.
That’s the gist of how to play Luffberry Chess. While the learning curve is sharp, hopefully, this guide makes it less of an uphill battle. This is a very fun and well thought out minigame that, while in need of a UI overhaul, will probably last for quite a while in the game as another way to show off their raifus and their tactical skills to other Commanders. As always, stay tuned for more guides and news for Girls Frontline!