During GenCon, one of the things I took several pictures of (but admittedly, didn’t take very good notes on) was the number of symbols on each of the demo tiles. After GenCon, MERCS came out with an update which includes several screenshots of tiles, including many which were not included in the demo. A number of questions have come up about the meanings of the symbols on the tiles. I’m going to do my best to explain how they work.
Each tile has a different grouping of symbols representing possible stories associated with that tile. It tells us whether this tile should include quests, traps, treasure, or other elements. To my recollection, these are the explanation of these symbols.
This tile should include 1 lair. Larger tiles will sometimes include 2 lairs, and many smaller tiles will not include any lairs at all. Lairs make up the major fights of the game since minions respawn.
This tile includes 2 hunting packs. Hunting packs are “wandering monsters”. They are non-respawning monster groups that can add difficulty or variety to a quest. On some tiles, hunting packs are optional and the group can decide on how many to encounter, shown with a question mark.
This tiles will spawn a maximum of 5 treasure tokens. This is a key element, since heroes will want to maximize the treasure gained on each tile in order to be better prepared for future tiles.
When the challenges on this tile are completed the party will be awarded 6 gold. This gold is to be shared by the party, and will be useful if a merchant is encountered.
At the end of the end of the tile (after awarding gold) a merchant will be encountered. The party will draw a merchant card (that’s right, another card type!) that will determine how many and what types of items will be available.
Not all tiles are nearly as complicated. For example, this tile can contain a quest element, 2 lairs, and has the option of adding 1 or more hunting packs if things are going easy. This tile allows up to 6 treasure, but doesn’t have additional rewards at the end.
Hopefully I’m recalling everything correctly, and I hope this helps answer some of the questions I’ve seen come up since tile screenshots came out.