Played PL for the first time this week and really enjoyed the elite experience! however, our group had some problems with the timing during combat.
With attacks and defenses that have an optional cost (spending fuel to boost projectile damage for example) does the attacker need to declare whether he will pay this cost before the defender organises his defense?
Most certainly, yes, he has to do so.
Similarly, what about cards that require other cards to be drawn (prayer to unknown god/double strike).
Resolve those (eg. draw more cards) at the time when its played.
Otherwisely you will have timing issues.
The only way we could make it work in a way that seemed fair was to have the attacker allocate attacks to specific defenders and to declare all optional costs/draw bonus cards etc, before the defender allocated defenses.
So player A v B & C
Player A: (draws his double strike's second card and adds the effects, then decides on targets) 'I'm hitting player B with a doublestrike for 5energy/5proj attack and player C with a succesful hit for 2/2.
Player B: 'well I defend using this card and take 1 damage'
Player C: 'I use both my defense cards and am not hurt'
Still not sure where that leaves defense cards that need some further action/cost. Maybe they all should be worked out just after the hands are revealed? Or are attack cards with an optional cost designed to be very powerful as you can wait until you see if they are defended, and if not boost them during the resolution stage?
All of these (and many other) combat problems are corrected with the new battle system introduced in Phantom League: Pilot Academy in October.
But until then, I have to say that usage of all fuel using or additional cards giving powers must be announced at the time the card in question is played.