In Immortal Kingdoms there are a couple different types of blocking. And I'm hoping its not "too" confusing for the average player.
First off, a little explanation of battlefield positioning. Here is a picture of the battlefield again.
The five vertical positions near the middle of the battlefield are the "Front Line Attackers". This is important because these five defend the back seven.
If you have ANY creature in one of these five locations then that one creature can prevent MELEE attacks to any creature in the back 7 (the back 7 allies also cannot attack in melee but may do so with magic and ranged attacks).
So, the main thing here is that one creature can defend all back line creatures. I will go more into the strategy of this later and why I implemented capturing the fountain as a counter to only using one creature up front all the time.
Anyway, that should be pretty simple. The next form of blocking is less so. Just like most CCG's you can't simply just attack the other player. Like I said before in Magic the Gathering you have to block 1 vs 1 or the player gets attacked. In Immortal Kingdoms attacking the other player is different.
Even though range units and magic users can attack back line enemy units at enemy point they cannot simply attack the other player at any point. Instead, they must be "UnBlocked".
Take a look at the battlefield image above. Notice the small "Blocked" text boxes in the top right and left hand corners. These tell the player if that player can be attacked or not. This text box is just a place holder graphic however, as it will be a larger image later represented by a Opened/UnOpened Castle Gate when it is finished.
You are "blocked" from any type of attack (melee, ranged, spell) by the other army if you have 2 or less creatures/immortals than that army. With the exception if they have 0 creatures/immortals on the battlefield (you can always attack another player if they have no army on the field).
For example, if you are attacking and have 2 creatures and the enemy has 1 then you are Blocked (only 1 more creature).
If you are attacking with 3 compared to 1 you are Blocked (only 2 more creatures).
If you are attacking with 4 to 1 you are un-blocked (3 more).
The reason for this ratio is complicated strategy/game play wise. I want to allow for the use of powerful/interesting creatures but at the same time make it still very possible to use a smaller army/rush strategy viable.
And because the strategy aspect of the game is still up in the air in terms of balance and how everything plays out I can't be sure what strategies will prevail just yet.
So, my main question is "Is blocking too complicated for the average player" as it is now? Keep in mind it being blocked will be visually represented so you will always know if you are blocked or not but if people don't read the rules it they may not immediately know WHY.