Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Guardians Rules, Part 3

Guardians is a great Collectible Card Game formerly produced by FPG, Inc. The game is no longer supported, except by fans who have played the games since its inception or since picking up discounted cards.

One problem with picking up discounted cards: if you can't find a starter deck, you don't have the rules. (There are other things you may not have either, but the rules are the most important.)

This is an effort to correct that problem. What follows are a quick set of rules for playing the game. They get more complex as the go along. All that is listed is what you can do, not what you should do. For playing tips, go elsewhere.

part 3 of 4
(version 0.2)


Example 1:
Chris's Shield:

  • Super Model (1/4)
  • Snogwart (8)
  • Archer (6)
  • Wraith (8)
  • Wild Nymph (4)

Bill's Shield

  • Floyd, the Flying Pig (2)
  • Ugly Wart Fiend (1)
  • Baal-a-Gog (12)
  • Devil Dog (6)
  • Ice Spirt (5)
  • Gn'Omish Gnomes (4)

Chris attacks Bill in Swamps. Chris announces that he is playing a command card. Bill decides to cast one of his own.

Chris casts a Spell: Vitales Dark Cloud (4 point AOE). Bill uses a creature command card: Floyd, the Flying Pig (+2 to your primary attackers, Floyd is destroyed.)

Bill will lose two creatures if Chris's Spell takes effect, so he casts a Dispel Magic. (Thankfully, he had one.) Chris is unable dispel the Dispel Magic (he could if he had his own Dispel Magic, but in this example, he doesn't), so Vitales fizzles.

Next comes the primary attackers.

Bill selects the Ugly Wart Fiend (no Babes bribery unless the Ugly Wart Fiend is bribed first) to protect Baal-a-Gog, which he'll play later. Chris plays the Wild Nymph simultaneously.

Wild Nymph is Vitality 4, +1 OCB. Ugly Wart Fiend is Vitality 1, +2 for Floyd's bonus. Bill has no ranged-attacks. The Fiend cannot receive channeling, and if it could (via a Power Lunch), it could only receive one point of channeling anyway. So the Fiend is beaten. The Nymph card is placed overlapping the Fiend.

Chris next plays the Snogwart against Bill's Devil Dog. The Devil Dog is immune to fire, but the Snogwart does not have a fire-based attack. The Snogwart has a terrain bonus for Dry Heaps, but they're not in the Dry Heaps.
Snogwart is 8, +2 for OCB. Devil Dog is 6, +2 for Floyd. Snogwart wins.

Next, Chris plays the Wraith and Bill plays the Ice Spirit. The Wraith can receive up to 16 points of channeling, but the Ice Spirit is immune to Undead and the Wraith is Undead.
Wraith is 8 (but does no damage). Ice Spirit is 5, +2 OCB, +2 for Floyd. Ice Spirit has 9 to the Wraith's 8. Chris has two options: channel to the Wraith to raise its Vitality (though no damage will be done) or use the Archer, which will also raise the Wraith's Vitality, but won't do enough damage to kill the Ice Spirit. The other choice is to do nothing, let the Wraith die and then, if he has a secondary attacker, kill the Ice Spirit later.

Chris decides to spend a stone. For this example, his Guardian is Tes Let who has CMP 7, so spending one stone will add 7 points of Vitality to the Wraith for a total of 15. Both creatures survive, but the Wraith is rotated 180 degrees to show that no damage has occurred to the Ice Spirit.

Each player has two creatures left, though neither knows how many the opponent has. Chris has put down 20 points of Vitality. Bill has put down 14.

Bill knows that there are only 10 points left to fight, his Baal-a-Gog is in good shape. And if he has saves the Gnomes, they'll be enough to kill that miserable Wraith. Gnomes could also kill the Snogwart or Wild Nymph as well, but the Wraith is the deadliest of the creatures he's seen so far. But if he Chris has more than one creature, then Bill doesn't get any secondary attacks.

Chris knows that he has 10 points of stacking, but they're only worth 7 points of fighting. (The Super Model is Vitality 1, but stacks as 4). The Super Model won't be able to kill the Ice Spirit as a secondary attacker (if she gets to attack as one) and will probably only kill something if it's bribeable by Babes. Chris also guesses that Bill has more than one creature left. Why? Because Bill dispelled an AOE attack that would have destroyed only one creature in play, and it has Vitality 1. Seems like a waste of a Dispel Magic for one point. He probably has at least one more small creature.

Chris decides to play the Super Model. Bill plays Baal-a-Gog.

BLAM! Baal-a-Gog is destroyed. Bill could bribe by Gold, if he had one, but he doesn't. So it's gone. Baal-a-Gog goes immediately to the discard pile and cannot be "heal"ed. (On a technical note: Baal-a-Gog is still considered to be "lost" if you have a spell or ability that allows you to reclaim "lost" creatures.)

Chris plays the Archer last. Bill plays the Gn'Omish Gnomes. The Archer has Vitality 6. The Gnomes have Vitality 4, +2 for Floyd. Push. No one wins. Both creatures survive.

Chris announces that he has no more creatures (which is obvious because he has played 30 points). Bill announces the same (he's also played 30 points).

All of Chris's creatures survived. Total vitality is 30. Bill has Ice Spirit and Gn'Omish Gnomes for a total vitality of 9. Bill has to retreat (and hopefully reinforce quickly!).

Example 2:
I pulled some random cards out of a starter pack for this. I want to illustrate what happens when the cards are played in different orders.

Terrain is Woods, no ranged attacks.
Brian's Shield:
1. Wood Nymph (8)
2. Ice Ogre (9)
3. Sun Spirit (12)

Matt's Shield:
A. Amber Well (4)
B. Gorgal Skag (4)
C. Black Lung (14)
D. Rock Spirit (5)

I want to illustrate how differently the same cards can be played and the different results.

There's only one command card here, the Rock Spirit, which only applies to Strongholds, which this isn't, so there isn't any reason to play it.

Example 2a: 1A, 2B, 3C, D.

Wood Nymph vs. Amber Well: 8 + 3 (terrain) vs. 4 + 0 (OCB). Amber Well is squished. (But that's okay because you want the Amber Well beaten.)

Ice Ogre vs. Gorgal Skag: 9 + 2 (OCB) vs. 4. You can't channel against Ogres; Skag doesn't receive channeling, and even if it did, it couldn't accept enough. Skag dies.

Sun Spirit vs. Black Lung: 12 + 6 (OCB) vs. 14. Sun Spirit wins. Black Lung isn't immune to fire and can't receive channeling. It is beaten.

Brian announces he's done. Matt still has the Rock Spirit, which is a 5 with an OCB of 1. That's enough to kill any of Brian's creatures (note that the Wood Nymph's terrain bonus goes away as does the Ice Ogre's and Sun Spirit's off-color bonuses). Matt attacks the Sun Spirit.

Sun Spirit vs Black Lung & Rock Spirit: 12 vs. 14 + 5. Sun Spirit cannot defend, channel, etc. Rock Spirit is unbribeable. Sun Spirit is beaten.

Brian has Wood Nymph and Ice Ogre for 17. Matt has the Rock Spirit for 5. Matt retreats.

Example 2b: same as above, but with bribery.

If the Ice Ogre had been bribed away, the Gorgal Skag would have survived. The end result is Wood Nymph for 8 vs Rock Spirit and Gorgal Skag for 9. Brian has to retreat; Matt gets (or keeps) the space.

Example 2c: 2A, 3B, 1C, D.

Ice Ogre vs Amber Well: 9 + 2 (OCB) vs 4 -- Amber Well is beaten.

Sun Spirit vs Gorgal Skag: 12 vs 4 -- Gorgal Skag is beaten.

Wood Nymph vs Black Lung: 8 + 3 (terrain) vs 14 -- Wood Nymph is beaten.

Rock Spirit is not powerful enough to beat Sun Spirit (4 + 5 vs 12) unless you can make it a channel receiver and then channel to it. However, the Amber Well's special ability will let the Rock Spirit beat the Ice Ogre (8 + 5 vs 9). Rock Spirit beats Ice Ogre.

Brian has 12. Matt has 19. Matt keeps control.

Example 2d: 2D, 3A, 1B, C.
Ice Ogre vs Rock Spirit: Rock Spirit dies.
Sun Spirit vs Amber Well: Amber Well dies.
Wood Nymph vs Gorgal Skag: Gorgal Skag dies.
Black Lung vs whatever: whatever it wants to kill dies. That nasty Sun Spirit would be a good choice.

Brian has Wood Nymph and Ice Ogre (17); Matt has Black Lung (14). Matt retreats. Again, if Ice Ogre had been bribed, Matt could have won the space (and the Gorgal Skag would have survived).

Confused? That's normal. Try it out a few times and you'll get the hang of it.

Homebrew Card

Sliver Cleric:
Mortal, Vitality 4, OCB 0, Small, Beer, CMP 0, red bar. All Slivers are immune to Undead. (Ability is lost if this card leaves play.)

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