Each hero on the screen has a little status bar above their head, The top part of the status bar contains a green health indicator, and underneath that, there’s a blue bar that gradually fills up. When it’s full, that character can act.
There’s an array of skill buttons on the bottom-right. Holding your finger down on one of these brings up a little box letting you know what that skill does. To unleash a skill upon your hapless foe, you just tap on a skill icon and then on a target. Pain ensues.
Each character in your team has an unlimited basic attack, but skills are not unlimited. Each one is on a timer, meaning you can only use it when its icon fills up with color. If you have difficulty seeing colors, you’ll be relieved to learn that you can also check on the progress of a recharging skill by holding a finger down on its icon.
During battle, you’ll notice that your opponents all have arrows over their heads. These indicate whether or not you have an elemental advantage over them. If the arrow is red, your attack is unlikely to do much damage. If it’s yellow, you’ll inflict a respectable but unremarkable amount of pain. If it’s green, you’ll devastate your target physically.
Status effects are visible in each character’s health bar. Buffs are indicated in blue, while debuffs are red.
And finally, your own avatar can step in and help whenever its magic is full. You can check this on the round gauge to the left of the screen. Tapping on this gauge unleashes your magic, and the beauty of this kind of attack is that it doesn’t use up any of your teams’ actions.
That’s all you need to know to get started, and armed with this information you’ll eventually be able to strategize with the best of them. Here are a few extra tips to help you on your way.
Focus your attack on one enemy at a time rather than trying to grind them all down at once. In particular, aim for the healers. It may be against the Geneva Convention, but killing enemy healers is relatively easy and once they’re vanquished their remaining comrades cannot be healed, so taking them out is a no-brainer.
Unusually for a strategy RPG, Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians lets you start each bout with fully charged character skills. In most cases you should use them straight away, to maximize the number of recharges (and therefore uses) you’ll get overall, and to get your opponents against the ropes early.
If you don’t want to play a battle yourself, most likely because the outcome is a foregone conclusion, you can tap the Auto button to have the AI take over for you, and you can also double or triple the normal battle speed. Naturally, if you feel the AI is failing to represent your military ambitions, you can always toggle back to manual control.