Friday, July 18, 2008

Guardians Rules, Part 4

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 4 of 4
(version 0.2)


After Combat has ended, you must determine who won.

The attacker discards his beaten creatures and gathers together his remaining creatures. The defender does the same. Each player than adds the total Vitality of his creatures -- NOT THE STACKING VITALITY! Don't use the red penalty number, if the creature has one. Also, creatures who did no damage due to immunity (e.g., a Sun Spirit does know damage do a Devil Dog) DO count for control of the space.

The only exceptions are creatures who were bribed (there not on the space anymore, even if they did technically survive) and creatures that, for whatever reason (Spell, command card, etc.) are out of play and don't count for control of the space.

If the attacking Shield has more Vitality than the defender, it wins control of the Space and the defender must retreat his Shield (even if already turned) one Space in any direction, as long as it lands on a space under that player's control. He may retreat to a space that has another of his shields on it, but if he does so, one shield is discarded (this counts for the opponent's goal) and creatures are also discarded so that it is under the 30 point limit. If either of the two Shields involved were turned, the remaining shield is turned.

If the defending shield has the same Vitality as the attacker or more, that shield retains control of the space and the attacker retreats. The attacker MUST retreat one space in the direction it came in even if it traveled TWO spaces before combat, even if it has a shield there already (combine Shields as above).

The loser in combat has the choice to destroy the entire Shield and all creatures within it (this counts for opponent's goal) -- this may be prudent if a weak turned Shield would be forced to retreat onto one of its own unturned Shields. By discarded the entire Shield, the remaining Shield can turn and attack its opponent (which may or may not have been weakened from the prior fight.)

If the loser CANNOT retreat because it has no space under its control to retreat to, the Shield is automatically destroyed.

Examples: Allen flies over one of Bob's Shield to attack Bob's second Shield. If Allen wins, Bob must retreat one space in any direction to space under his control. He may, if he wishes, to retreat into the space that has the other Shield. If he does that, one Shield is discarded and Bob can only keep up to 30 points worth of creatures. The remaining Shield is turned if either of his two Shields had been turned before the combat.

If Bob wins the combat, Allen must move back one space in the direction he came even though he originally travelled two. HOWEVER, the space is occupied by Bob's other shield. Therefore, Allen's shield is destroyed.


The most important rule in healing creatures is that only the winner can heal creatures. The retreating Shield is considered to left their fallen comrades behind. (Demon Hordes of Kabod are an explicit exception to the rule; card text always overrides the rulebook.)

The second rule to remember is that you cannot use a creature that you just healed to heal a second creature. (For example, if you had five Demon Hordes of Kabod and three died, the two survivors can only heal two others. The fifth one is lost.)

Obviously, healed creatures DO NOT count toward control of the space becuase you have to have control of the space to heal creatures.


After all Shields have been turned and all movement completed, the final phase occurs: the Terrain Settlement Phase.

First, if your opponent has no Shields in the Disputed Lands and all the lands either have one of your Shields or one of your terrain on them (or are under your control by default), CONGRATULATIONS! you won.

Otherwise . . .

For each of your Terrain cards in the Disputed Land area that has one of your opponent's Shields sitting on it: remove your Terrain card. Your opponent does the same for your Shields. This represents the terrain changing hands.

Next, for each of your Shields that is sitting on a disputed land space that has no terrain card, you must play a terrain card from your hand. If you do not have a Terrain card to play, you may spend a stone and place any card from your Storage Hand or Creature Pen face-down in the terrain space, with the word "Guardians" facing you to indicate that it is your card. This face-down card is not considered to be any of the basic terrain types.

If you don't have any cards to put down, or do not have stones to pay for a face-down card, or just choose not to play a Terrain card (you don't have to even if you have them), you can instead discard a creature from beneath the Shield. This creature is discarded -- it doesn't become a face-down terrain card; the space remains terrainless.

If you discard the last creature, the Shield is destroyed (this counts for your opponent's goal).

You CANNOT replace your own terrain card, unless you have some means of removing the existing one (such as a Hammer of Doom or Ancient Tome of Dispansation).

If you place a terrain card and your opponent plays Hammer of Doom before the end of the phase, you are required to play another card (or drop a creature).


If no one has won, go back to the Draw & Organize phase. Take note of the number of lands under your control and under your opponent's control (include the ones that you control by default). If you control more than you opponent, add your MDL (most disputed lands) to the number of cards that you draw. If you have fewer, subtract your LDL (least disputed lands) from the number of cards that you draw. If you're tied, don't modify the number.

Next, whoever had the lower Up-card on the previous turn, draws extra cards equal to the LUC (low Up-card) bonus.

Your previous Up-card is the first card you draw, with the following exceptions: if your Guardian is Tes Let, you have the option to discard the Up card and start drawing with the next card (this is his ability and if printed on the card); if you are not entitled to draw any cards this turn, discard the Up-card and turn the next card as your Up-card.

If you run out of cards, you do NOT lose automatically (though it's pretty likely that you'll lose eventually). However, you cannot draw any more cards into your hand -- you have to play with what you have. Randomly draw a card from your discard pile as your Up-card.

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

Homebrew Card

Mortal, Vitality 5, OCB 1, Large, Barnyard Animal, CMP 0, red bar. +3 Vitality when shield is attacking.

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