Welcome to the Guardians CCG Page

This is a site dedicated to the Guardians collectible card game released by FPG in the mid '90s. This was a great game featuring beautiful artwork and a complex battle system. The game is now out of print and some cards are extremely difficult to find.

Here you will find alternate rules and game mods (including solo play), homebrew cards, and links to other Guardians sites.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Complexity of Guardians vs. the Novice Player, Part 1

In my previous post I talked about all the different factors that come into play in a game of Guardians. Let's revisit that list:

Guardians, Mortals, Elementals, Externals, Bribery, Off-color Bonuses, Terrain Bonuses, Command Cards, Shields, Movement, Flying, Strongholds, Vitality, Channelers, Channeling Receivers, CMP, Stronghold Upgrades, Stronghold Downgrades, Creature Magic Items, Accessories, Storage Depots, Storage Hands, Creature Pens, Text Boxes, Ranged Attacks, Secondary Attacks, Spells, Standard Bearers, Shield/Terrain, AOEs, Healing, Destruction, Immunity, Power Stones, Reinforcing, Retreating, Stronghold Bonuses, LDL, MDL, LUC, Upcards, Placing Terrain, Disputed Terrain, Winning the Space, Rubbling Strongholds, Draw and Organize Phase, Movement Phase, Combat Phase, Terrain Settlement Phase, Vitality Limits, Stacking Penalties, Unchallenged Cards, Creature Class, Creature Size, Play Deck, Discard Pile, Base Draw...

Whew! I didn't think that was ever going to end!

One of the things that makes Guardians so wonderful is all the different mechanics that can be utilized to achieve victory. However, those same mechanics hold Guardians back from widespread appeal. Trying to remember all the terms, rules, and exceptions is an exercise in frustration. I believe this is one of the reasons why Guardians was not accepted on a widespread level as other games like Magic, Warlord, Pokeman, and World of Warcraft. Those games are easy to pick up and play in a matter of minutes, while Guardians is far more complex. Described as a combination of "the card play of Magic with the strategy of Chess", that's not really a good analogy for Guardians. The original Magic the Gathering game contained far fewer rules, and a person could learn how to play in about 5 to 10 minutes. Chess consists of only 6 unique pieces per side, each with movement limits, on a 8 by 8 square board. Not to simplify Chess too much - it is a very strategic game - but rather I'm referring to the ease with which  the pieces and movements can be learned.

Guardians is a far different beast, and has so many features that it seems unnecessarily complex to learn. This has for certain limited the pool of players that would be interested in playing. Case in point is my roommate Kelly, during the time in which we first obtained the game. We didn't really understand the concept of secondary attacks at first. After I did some more reading, I tried to explain it to Kelly, but at that point he was done. There was too much to remember: movement mechanics, combat modifiers, and all the other rules simply overloaded his brain. It is, indeed, too much to remember for the casual gamer. This resulted in leaving me stuck with a bunch of cards and no one to play against.

So I present the following questions:

1.  Can Guardians be made simpler to teach the rules and entice more people to play?

2.  Is there an easier way to teach someone to play other than the tiny rulebook, the FAQ, and CJ's excellent rules supplement?

In this post, which is the first of 2 parts, I'm going to focus on the first question. I believe there is a way to simplify Guardians so that people can learn it in about 10 minutes. I present to you two lists: one of things to keep, and one of things to get rid of, in this simpler environment. My reasoning will appear afterwards.

Things to keep: Guardians, Strongholds, Shields, Creatures (Mortals, Externals, Elementals), Spells, Bribery, Off-color Bonuses, Movement, Vitality, Channeling Receivers, CMP, Text Boxes, Destruction, Immunity, Power Stones, Retreating, Stronghold Bonuses, LDL, MDL, LUC, Upcards, Winning the Space, Rubbling Strongholds, Draw and Organize Phase, Movement Phase, Combat Phase, Terrain Settlement Phase, Vitality Limits, Storage Hands, Play Decks, Discard Piles, placing Terrain, and Base Draw.

Things to get rid of: Command Cards, Channelers, Stronghold Upgrades, Stronghold Downgrades, Creature Magic Items, Hand Magic Items, Accessories, Storage Depots, Creature Pens, Secondary Attacks, AOEs, Terrain Bonuses, Flying, Ranged Attacks, Standard Bearers, Shield/Terrain, Healing, Reinforcing, Disputed Terrain, Stacking Penalties, Creature Class, Creature Size, and Unchallenged Cards.

Now, before you get the pitchforks out, let me clarify this. I'm not advocating changing the rules; I'm calling for removing some of the concepts for the sole purpose of teaching the game. As someone learned the game and became comfortable with it, you could introduce these removed concepts little by little back into the game environment. Here's why I chose what I did:

The two most complex parts of the game are combat and managing Shields. Combat in particular is problematic; while all the different factors that come into play make things interesting, it overloads a new player:

"Okay, play your command card. I'm playing mine too. Mine dispels yours, they contradict each other but mine has the higher upcard number. Now go ahead and play your first match up creature. Wow, that's a big creature, I'm going to bribe it. Your going to cast a spell? Okay I play Dispel Magic and dispel your Spell. Your creature goes back to your Creature Pen. My creature is now an unchallenged card. Okay, play your next attacker. You've got an AOE, I lose one of my creatures, it is not immune to fear. No bribery is occurring, so apply your off-color bonus, terrain bonus, and Standard Bearer bonus. I'm going to spend a stone and channel to my creature, which is enough to beat yours. Okay play your next attacker. No bribery again, apply your off-color bonus. No that creatures does not get a Terrain bonus. It does get your Standard Bearer bonus. Okay I'm going to use a range attack to defeat your creature. Did you want to bribe my range attacker? No, okay so your creature is beaten. You still have creatures left, so you can do secondary attacks. No, all your bonuses from the first creatures go away. Are you going to channel? Okay then you can apply your off-color bonus, Terrain bonus and Standard Bearer bonus. You add all that to the primary attacker's total..."

It sounds easy enough for those of us experienced in playing, but to the novice that is just ridiculous. By stripping away secondary attacks, AOEs, Terrain bonuses, ranged attacks, standard bearers, and unchallenged cards you simplify the environment greatly. As I stated above, this stuff isn't going away, it's just going on the back burner until the novice is ready to tackle it. Similarly, by stripping away flying, stacking penalties, reinforcing, healing, standard bearers, and Shield/Terrain, you greatly simplify Shield management.

I firmly believe that a simpler learning environment would draw in new players. As they learn the game and become hooked, the more advanced concepts become easier to for them to comprehend. Like anything learned, you need to establish a good foundation in order to build up to higher concepts and complexities.

In the next post (part 2), I'll tackle the second question: is there an easier way to teach someone to play other than the tiny rulebook, the FAQ, and CJ's excellent rules supplement?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Spells vs. Hand Magic Items: What's The Difference?

The Problem

I define a Spell as a magical action taken by a Vierkun, either in response to an opposing action, or as a basis for setting up other actions or establishing an environment favorable to the Vierkun and/or unfavorable to an opponent. Think of it as an incantation from a spellbook, as words that have power, or as an energy that can be bent or shaped to one's will. A Spell is "stored" in the Storage Depot, and is discarded when used, unless the card text states otherwise.

My definition of a Magic Item is a physical object, rather than an action, that is used in a way that achieves an output similar to a spell. The difference lies in it being a tangible object that you can hold in your hand, such as a magic wand, a magic sword, or a magical potion. A Hand Magic Item, or HMI for short, is also "stored" in the Storage Depot and discarded when used, unless the card states otherwise.

There are 26 HMIs and 74 Spells in Guardians, including all expansions through Necropolis Park. Quick, considering only the cards from the Revised set and not any of the expansions, tell me how many cards affect or reference only Spells and do not affect HMIs?

If you said zero, you're correct.

To recap, what do a Spell and a HMI have in common?
  • They are both stored in the Storage Depot
  • They are both double bordered on the back
  • They are discarded when used (unless otherwise specified)
  • They can be played at anytime (unless otherwise specified)
  • They are both dispelled by Dispel Magic
  • No cards in the base set differentiate between a Spell and a HMI
When Guardians was first created, there was literally no difference between a Spell and a HMI, other than the appearance of the card types, and the concept I outlined above, where one is an action and the other is an object. Note that I am not talking about Creature Magic Items (or Accessories, which came later), as these are very different from HMIs.

This is something that has been bothering me for a long time, as I tried to figure out why HMIs even exist. If they work exactly like a Spell, and can be dispelled like a Spell by Dispel Magic, why are they needed? Sure, I guess it's neat having magic doohickeys that do things, but wouldn't it be less confusing to just create a Spell that achieves the same effect, and let Creature Magic Items simply be Magic Items?

Take a look at all the things you must consider when playing a game: Guardians, Mortals, Elementals, Externals, Bribery, Off-color Bonuses, Terrain Bonuses, Command Cards, Shields, Movement, Flying, Strongholds, Vitality, Channelers, Channeling Receivers, CMP, Stronghold Upgrades, Stronghold Downgrades, Creature Magic Items, Accessories, Storage Depots, Storage Hands, Creature Pens, Text Boxes, Ranged Attacks, Secondary Attacks, Spells, Standard Bearers, AOEs, Healing, Destruction, Immunity, Power Stones, Reinforcing, Retreating, Stronghold Bonuses, LDL, MDL, LUC, and Upcards (I'm sure I've left a few out but you get the idea). Is having two different card types that act exactly the same way really necessary in this type of an environment?

(Subject for a future post: the unnecessary complexity of Guardians, or "trying to do too much")

In theory, the first expansion, Dagger Isle, gave the game designers a second chance to establish differences between Spells and HMIs in the form of new cards. In actuality, Dagger Isle only added one card that affects HMIs and Spells differently. That card was Champs the Wonder Dog, which retrieves (any) Magic Items. It also happens to be the only broken/banned card in the game, so that difference was very quickly nullified.

It wasn't until Drifter's Nexus was released that distinctions between HMIs and Spells began to be made on multiple cards. In fact, the Guardians released in both the Drifter's Nexus and Necropolis Park expansions each have abilities tied to that distinction. Let's take a look at HMIs and the cards that affect them:


A list of Hand Magic Items (HMIs)

10 Gallon Voodoo Hat
40,000 Useless Warhammers
Anvil of Heaviness
Champs, the Wonder Dog
Eye of Missile Mayhem
Hammer of Doom
Head of Gudea
Holy Grail
Little Voodoo Hat
Medallion of Skyphos
Monolith of Power
Obelisk of Bablos
Oppressed Slaves
Oscar the Wonder Chimp
Potion of Movement Essence
Rock of Far Rolling
Rocks of Skull Cracking
Rooster
Rosetta Stone
Sarcophagus of Haidra
Shroud of Grahzue
Standard of the Elements
Tablet of Ancathus
The Great Balderoon
Voodoo Hat
Voodoo Hat Rack

Total = 26


Cards That Distinguish Magic Items (and HMIs) From Spells

Sikura (Drifter's Nexus) - a Guardian that can dispel any Spell for 2 Power Stones. It cannot dispel (any) Magic Items or Command Card abilities.

Eisnmir (Necropolis Park) - a Guardian that draws a card whenever an opponent plays a HMI.

Cratur Hobbs (Drifter's Nexus) - a 4 Vitality External Command Card that allows you to bribe a creature by discarding any Magic Item from your Storage Hand.

Oscar the Wonder Chimp (Drifter's Nexus) - a HMI that returns a Spell just cast to your Storage Hand for one Power Stone. It is the opposite of Champs - Oscar can retrieve Spells but not Magic Items.

Zelda, Bag Lady Bug (Drifter's Nexus) - a 2 Vitality Mortal who gains +4 Vitality for each HMI discarded from your Storage Hand.

Geldspar (Necropolis Park) - a 4 Vitality External that prevents HMIs from being played.

Pharaoh Djoser (Necropolis Park) - a 2 Vitality External Command Card that prevents Spells from being played.

Sebek, Queen of Magicians (Necropolis Park) - a 6 Vitality External Command Card that allows you to discard a Spell to choose and draw another Spell from your draw deck.


Analysis

Including Champs, that's only nine cards in the game that make a distinction between HMIs and Spells. Six of those nine cards are costly to play, requiring discarding a card or burning a Power Stone to function, and have a negative effect on the use of HMIs, which in turn has a negative effect on playing Eisnmir. Nine out of 676 is a very small number and does little to address my contention that HMIs are unnecessary and that the same effect could have been achieved with a Spell.


Suggestions

It's clear that the difference between Spells and HMIs was becoming more important to the designers as time went on, since DN and NP both introduced a Guardian (probably the most important card in the game) that played upon that difference. It is sad to note, however, that there are only 26 HMIs out of a total 676 cards in the game. Many of them in DN are some of the rarest cards in the game (Standard of the Elements, Little Voodoo Hat, Rosetta Stone, Oscar the Wonder Chimp, etc.), so you don't expect to see those in play often (if at all). That is a very small number of cards to be worried about. Sure, some of them are frequently used, such as Hammer of Doom or Holy Grail, but it is still a tiny subset of the game.

The small number of HMIs comes into play when studying Sikura and Eisnmir. Sikura cannot dispel HMIs, which increases their usefulness, but the small number of cards means the threat to Sikura is minimal. In contrast, Eisnmir was the one card in the entire game that held the greatest potential to make HMIs very important (and different from Spells), through the use of card advantage. However, by making the card draw dependent on your opponent playing HMIs (rather than yourself playing them), that small number of HMIs means that Eisnmir's ability is much weaker than Sikura's. I have seen many opponents play Sikura, and many decks designed around Sikura's ability; I have never played against Eisnmir, nor have I ever seen a deck designed around Eisnmir's ability.

So what exactly can be done about HMIs being just like Spells? I'm not sure there is a good answer to that question. The cards have been created and printed and they are what they are; that's not going to change. Even in the Champion's Odyssey set that I designed, the only HMI that I created was my take on the Stanley the Wonder Goat artwork that Phil provided - and it could have just as easily been a Spell. Here's a couple of thoughts on how implementing some house rules for HMIs could make them more easily differentiated from Spells, more frequently used, and just shake up your playing environment for a change of pace. You could apply one idea, some of them, or all of them:

1. Start the game with some of your HMIs already in your Storage Hand prior to your opening draw. This requires fishing them out of your deck before starting the game and then shuffling the remainder of the deck. You could probably limit the number that you start with to be equal to your Guardian's base draw, but for maximum chaos, start with as many HMIs in your Storage Hand as you want (observing the Storage Hand limit at the end of the turn, off course)!

2. If you are going to play Eisnmir, change its text to draw a card whenever you play a HMI. If you want to get really crazy, make it you or your opponent. This could encourage people to play Eisnmir more while loading up on HMIs. Think about it: HMIs not only make Eisnmir better, Sikura can't dispel them, and with as much as Sikura is used, there would be some great battles between Eisnmir and Sikura.

3. Count all HMIs as Spells. This contradicts the advantages of options #1 & #2, but supports my contention that HMIs and Spells are the same.


Conclusion

None of these ideas are perfect, in fact they all might be terrible, but I couldn't really think of something better. To me, there is a fundamental mechanic missing that makes Spells and HMIs different. Maybe that's by design - maybe they are just different for "flavor", and maybe I'm just being cranky by demanding that there be a difference. But in a game full of flavor and loaded with complexity, is it really necessary that they be different? Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Buster Scrimbo's Card Profile #5: Dork Age

Type:  Spell
Set:  Necropolis Park

Text:  "Play as a Command Card. Your Creatures WIN any primary match-ups in which they are beaten by more than 10 Vitality, unless the match-up opponent is a Guardian."



Buster Scrimbo's Analysis:

"That daggum Tookle! Always gots lots o' l'il folk runnin' 'round and makin' a mess o' things...eatin' all the food and drinkin' all the beer that they can git their grubby mitts on, stealin' folks gold, and just generally causin' havoc...then when ye try to put a stop to such nonsense, it be like kickin' over a beehive and watchin' the evil little beasties come after ye with their stingers! Rumor be that one o' Tookle's wee folk found this Spell when snoopin' 'round the Necropolis and mass-produced it. Those midgets be up to no good if ye ask me! And that feller on the Spell's artwork looks like he might be mad...ye'd have to be, to create a Spell like this.

Anyhoo, the last thing Tookle needs be more help, but this Spell be doing that very thing. Sure, lots o' folks could use this spell, but Tookle benefits the most. Those l'il folks take a whollopin' in combat, but now when they get smacked down, they can beat anything from Dragon Wing Lords to Old Nick. It shuts down channelin' (who wants to channel into a matchup in order to lose?), and the more combat modifiers the opposin' fella has, the more likely he be to lose. But the pain don't end there, no sir. You ain't seen nothin' until you seen a handful o' Idiots rush into combat and beat everything thanks to this dadgum Spell! Thank the Gaurdians that there be some ways to counter it, mainly Dispel Magic or Sikura's ability, but in a pinch, the standard Tookle counter o' a good-sized AOE will fend off the annoyin' critters. Or ye could use 40,000 Useless Warhammers, which evens things out quite bit and might give ye an advantage if ye got some modifiers.

Say, did I ever tell ye about the time when I was in Mystfall and talked to the King about startin' some Fairy-tossing contests? My money woulda been on that Huge Rock Giant fella, but it were just a fool's dream since the King got bent outta shape and had ME tossed through that fool Gateway! Hoowee, talk about whackin' a hornet's nest..."

Friday, December 26, 2014

Buster Scrimbo's Card Profile #4: Death Pit of Djoser

Type:  Stronghold Upgrade (Right Side)
Set:  Necropolis Park

Text:  "You may place one Undead creature face-up in the Death Pit during the Draw and Organize Phase.

Command Ability: Spend one Power Stone to add the Undead from the Pit to your Combat Hand, but only if the combat takes place on one of the two spaces directly in front of this upgrade."


Buster Scrimbo's Analysis:

"If yer ever wanderin' through Necropolis Park and ye take a wrong turn into the Death Pits of Djoser, ye best beat a hasty retreat. That Death Pit be a nasty place fer sure. Ye don't wanna be pokin' around there at night, by cracky! Zombies, Vampires, Witch Lords, Wraiths...there be some scary folks hangin' out around  them parts, and the howls and screams in that place might even make a Paladin a little weak in the knees!

But the Pit has its uses...in fact, the only thing that keeps this card from breakin' the game is that it be limited to the two spaces in front o' it. Addin' a card to yer combat hand usin' the Pit is a sneaky way to get around the 30 Vitality Limit of a Shield. Remember that when combat begins, ye pick up the creatures under yer Shield and, if desired, all yer Storage Depot cards. At that time, various card effects from Spells to Command Cards be in play, and ye cease to be bound by the Shield Vitality Limit durin' combat. So playin' the Pit as yer Command Card allows ye to choose some pretty heavy hitters to add to yer Combat Hand, like Arms o' the Earth, Barrow Wight, Eternal Witch Lord, or Wraith. The Pit text don't say much o' anythin' about what happens to the creature after combat if it survives. Well, just know that it becomes part o' the Shield, so it counts towards winnin' the space, but it also might force a discard o' a creature to get the Shield back under the Vitality Limit.

These be just a few examples o' what be possible with the Pit. Some folks say this place be way too powerful, but remember that a Command Card can be dispelled with Dispel Magic, so ye might want to keep a few handy. Say, did I tell ye about the time I had a wee bit too much to drink and wandered into the Pit, where I ran into a Shadrune? I had to change me shorts later and quit drinkin' fer a month..."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Buster Scrimbo's Card Profile #3: Captain South America

Type:  External (O-Men)
Set:  Drifter's Nexus

Text:  "When the Captain is played as a primary attacker, add your Shield's Up-card number to the Captain's Base Vitality."


Buster Scrimbo's Analysis:

"The Captain is one o' five O-Men that appeared out o' the Drifter's Nexus. Why do folks call 'em O-Men, yer askin'? Well, legend has it that X-Men were already took, and since X's and O's go hand in hand in game strategy, O-Men were good alternative. Plus ye can't ignore the fact that it sounds like the word "omen" when sayin' it out loud. Pretty darn clever if ye ask me!

When stacked up against the other O-Men, the Captain probably be the most useful, just ahead o' that Woolverine character. Captain only has 1 Vitality but stacks as a 10, so there be a pretty stiff penalty fer puttin' him under a Shield. Since ye wanna use Shields that have high Up-card numbers (at least 9 or higher to make it worth the stackin' penalty), ye gotta decide if losin' LUC (from all the high Up-card numbers ye'd be puttin' in yer deck) be worth havin' the Captain around.

The best fit as far as Shield sets to use has gotta be Dem Bones. With high Shield Up-card numbers (14, 16), high Standard Bearer numbers (15, 19) and the highest Shield/Terrain value of 15, the Captain will always have a Vitality o' 15 to 20 while stackin' as a 10! The Standard Bearers also be pretty darn helpful, 'cause the Captain has a lot o' vices (Babes, Beer, and Gold!), so one o' the Dem Bones Standard Bearers gives him +2 Vitality, while the other allows ye to change any one bribery icon - so ye could change a lips to a beer mug if he's about to be bribed by Babes, and it don't matter none if Captain already has a beer mug icon - yer allowed to change any icon to another icon, period...nothin' says ye can't have two o' the same!

Another Shield set that works good be the Dark set. Although the highest Shield and Shield/Terrain Up-card values ain't great (9-13), the Dark Standard Bearers have a value o' 14 and 16, and the one with 16 not only gives the Captain a 17 Vitality, it also keeps him from bein' bribed. Nice!

If ye can't stop the Captain from being bribed, ye may want to keep some Shadow Bank Job, Shadow Beer Heist, and Shadow Panty Raids handy, to prevent and steal opposin' bribery cards, which ye could combine with a Mighty Tiki God to pump up yer primary matchups.

Say, did I ever tell ye that I considered bein' a O-Man when I was younger? They was callin' me 'Pubcrawler'..."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Buster Scrimbo's Card Profile #2: Bellaret, Third Called

Type:  Elemental (Traithe)
Set:  Necropolis Park

Text:  "2 pt. ranged attack. Add the sum of the unmodified point values of any other ranged attacks already played on this match-up to Bellaret's ranged attack."


Buster Scrimbo's Analysis:

"What in the Nexus are ye doin' back here again? More learnin'? I should charge ye tuition! Anywho, this Bellaret gal be one o' the three Elementals known as Traithes, and they all come from the Necropolis Park area. The artist that drew 'em, Elmore, be a fine fellow - his Snarfquest be one o' the funniest tales ye ever heard spun.

The Traithes like to take other folks' ranged attacks and add 'em to their own. Bellaret, bein' Third Called, be the weakest o' the bunch with a 2 point ranged attack and a 4 Vitality. There be a total of 25 folks with ranged attacks, and Bellaret works well with all o' 'em, but perhaps none more so than Thunder Hawk, Tavinmoor, Doomwing, and Pirates. When workin' with Thunder Hawk, Bellaret adds the Hawk's 13 point range attack to her own, resultin' in a total 28 point range attack between the two! That be enough to take out biggies like Ba'tes, Titans, and even most Guardians, from two creatures that only stack as an 11, and that ain't countin' the primary matchup creature! And she be good with Doomwing too, creatin' a total 14 point attack. When combined with Tavinmoor, Bellaret's attack be 7 fer a total range attack o' 12 'tween the both.

Another good use fer Bellaret be to have her hangin' out with those scurvy Pirate folk. Eagle Eye McFinney gives her +2, and Gunner and Master Gunner give a good boost to her range attack, too. Put her under either one o' the Ox Standard Bearers fer even higher ranged attack values.

But where Bellaret really shines be as a sniper on a Ranged Attack Platform attached to yer Stronghold, where she can use her ability while shootin' into a combat happenin' up to two spaces away! With her on the Platform instead o' under the Shield, the 4 Vitality she woulda taken up can go towards a Cabin Boy, Gunner, or Scurvy Dog instead.

Sure, her ranged attack value ain't as good as Tavinmoor's or Jinshade's. But it ain't her ranged attack value that be special, it be her ability, and that ability be exactly the same as 'em other two Traithes, while only takin' up 4 Vitality under a Shield. That be downright impressive!

Say, did I ever tell ye about the time I mistaked Jinshade fer a Babe on the S.S. House o' Babes? That were a prickly affair fer sure! It all started when Jibber made me a dare..."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Drifter's Nexus & Necropolis Park cards on eBay - update

12/5/14 UPDATE:  The first 20 cards are gone, including a some that I only had 1 copy of. Don't procrastinate!

I dropped my price on eBay for DN & NP cards, they are now 20 cards for $10, that's $.50 per card!!! Where else are you going to see these hard-to-find cards? Be sure to check it out...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Buster Scrimbo's Card Profile #1: 10 Gallon Voodoo Hat

Type:  Hand Magic Item
Set:  Drifter's Nexus

Text:  "Play face-up next to an opponent's Guardian during the Draw and Organize Phase. Each 10 Gallon Voodoo Hat next to a Guardian reduces the maximum size of that player's Storage Hand by 1 card. The hat may only be removed or dispelled by burning 2 Power Stones."


Buster Scrimbo's Analysis:


"Denial ain't just a river in Necropolis Park, by cracky! Ye all know how Dispel Magic and Summon Gravity Well can disrupt an opposin' player's plans? Well, this funky lookin' hat be a pretty big pain too.  Remember that a Storage Hand is yer draw, plus yer Creature Pen, plus yer Storage Depot. Normally 7 cards be the maximum ye can have in yer Storage Hand after placin' cards on Strongholds, and anythin' more must be discarded, but this card reduces that number to 6.

Early in the game this don't have as much impact, as there usually be plenty o' room fer Creatures and Shields to be placed. As the game wears on, however, Stronghold spaces fill up with Creatures, Creature Pens fill up with bribed creatures, and players be forced to discard more and more cards. This card be especially effective if yer deck relies on bribery to force Creatures back to an opponent's Creature Pen, or fer "heavy hitter" decks that have lots o' high vitality Creatures, which start to logjam on Strongholds and rely on Creature Pens fer overflow.

Get 2 or 3 of these next to an opposin' Guardian and ye really put on the squeeze with a maximum 5 or 4 card Storage Hand. What an albatross! And dispellin' it costs a Guardian big time - 2 Power Stones usually be 25% - 33% o' a Guardian's total Power Stones, so dispellin' 3 cards would be a real pain in the keister! Note that the card also be immune to Dispel Magic and Sikura's ability, as it can only be removed or dispelled by burnin' 2 Power Stones.

It also be a good way to even the playin' field if yer opponent be winnin' MDL and LUC and outdrawin' ye. Don't say I never did learn ye nothin'! Say, did I ever tell ye about the time I was playin' dice with Barnacle Bazulee' and Cactus McFingers? Well, let me tell ye..."




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Feature Coming: "Buster Scrimbo's Card Profiles"

Something I've been wanting to do for a long time is talk about those super-rare Guardians cards from the Drifter's Nexus and Necropolis Park sets. The Traveler's Guide to the Mid Realms and CJ's site have a wealth of information on the Revised set and Dagger Isle, but there really isn't any coverage that I can find anywhere on the Internet regarding the two hard to find sets, and let's face it - the game is probably not going to see a bunch of websites springing up to discuss the game, let alone cards that are difficult to find.

As a result, I've taken it upon myself to consult with someone for his thoughts about these profiles, Buster Scrimbo. Mr. Scrimbo, a Wanderer by trade, is quite the colorful character and has a wealth of knowledge to share, covering the many years in which he's been a resident of the Mid Realms. At first he was reluctant to dish out the dirt, but a couple of Beers had him babbling like Slimwit Man. After sending out feelers to other residents of the Mid Realms and getting few responses (there is a conflict going on, after all), Buster was in my opinion the best choice...I don't trust Jambo Slick any further than I can throw him, and I turned down an interview request from Eternal Witch Lord - man that guy gives me the creeps!

So this new feature, which I've entitled "Buster Scrimbo's Card Profiles", will appear from time to time on this site. Look for the first post in a day or two...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Drifter's Nexus and Necropolis Park Cards Being Listed On eBay

I've been sorting through my cards in preparation for an upcoming post featuring Drifter's Nexus and Necropolis Park cards. In doing so, I realized I have many extra cards that are not being used, and I can really use some money right now. I know these cards have become very hard to find, and as a result, I will be listing them on eBay for only US$1 per card. There will be some rares in there, but not many (most will be commons and uncommons) so you will want to to scoop them up as soon as possible. Here's how it's going to work:

I will list the auction as buy it now for 10 cards for $10. A list will be provided, the buyer will tell me which 10 cards they want. The next auction will work the same way but the sold cards will be taken off the list, so the supply will dwindle as each set of 10 is sold. I'll ship to the U.S., Canada, and Europe. International buyers will have to pay a currency conversion fee, all shipping costs, customs fees, duties and tariffs, but the package will have a tracking#.

Look for the first auction on eBay later today by using their advanced search feature and clicking the "By seller" on the left sidebar. My eBay ID is dreamaholic. Good luck my friends!

Here is the initial list of what I'll be selling. Remember, once they are gone, they are gone...this is all I have. The "x" followed by a number indicates how many copies of the card I have. If there is no "x", I only have one...

10 Gallon Voodoo Hat
Alarm Bells x3
Altar of Takuli x16
Ancient Tome of Dispansation x4
Ankh x4
Annoying Gnats in the Hood x19
Ba Choomba x4
Baezhu, Overlord of Twisted Ways x13
Barrow Downs
Black Locust
Blue Mountain Leechfoot
Buffy, Evil Hornbag
Buzz, Vampire Mosquito x3
Chant of the Osirans
Chief Lector Priest of Sethos x3
Clamjack Bomber x10
Dachas, Supreme Leader
Dead Cats x7
Dead-eye McGrue x4
Death Pit of Djoser x2
Disc of Siin x5
Doogop, the Greedy x4
Dork Age x5
Eater of the Dead x3
Etherwave Magna Lock
Evil Baron Stoner x4
Fan Bearer x6
Fatback Chak x2
Festus x1
Footlocker of Conflagration x2
Gateway To Mystfall
Gehrund, Field Marshal  x2
Geldspar, Court Magician x3
Gift of Isis
Gift of Osirus x4
Gopher x6
Gorcoo x4
Greenback Chak x4
Grunwald The Usurper x2
Heliopolos, Temple of Re x5
High Priest of Sethos x4
High Priestess of Isis
Humahuma x3
Icky Bugs x10
Imhotep, Visier of Djoser
Initiate of Entropy x4
Iron Force of Sethos x3
Ishtar, Queen of the Heap
Ix, Overlord of the Waters x14
Jimandu
Jinshade, Second Called x3
Joomjaba x4
Judge Dredge x2
Jungle x2
K'Hutek, Protector of the Fallen x4
Kurgan, Blademaster of the Exiled
Limited Big Time Rebate x12
Little Voodoo Hat
Longshot Louie x2
Lotus Flower Water Garden
Maitz Motel
Master Tactician x2
Mayor McEvil x4
Mayor McGreed x3
Medicine Man x11
Mighty Tiki God x2
Mocodabi x2
Moheidra, Mistress of Souls x3
Morb's Revenge x6
Mu Kir' Agavati, Second Disciple
Necropolis Park C x2
Necropolis Park L x7
Necropolis Park R x3
Noknaga x8
Nubian Slave Girl x6
Obelisk of Bablos x2
Odious Clamjack x5
Pharaoh Djoser  x2
Phil, Bar Fly x2
Plague Walker x2
Planes of Entropy x3
Press Leak x5
Priestess of Isis x6
Prince of the Lost x4
Pulse Wave x24
Red Master of Shadow x10
River Giant x10
Rock of Far Rolling x14
Rocks at Rhuadan  x7
Rosetta Stone
Rye Beaner x1
S.S. House of Babes
Saboteurs x12
Sales Weasel x4
Sarcophagus of Haidra x9
Scamp Jones x2
Scarab of Bounty x3
Secauris x6
Shackzu, Field Marshal x1
Shadow Bank Job x10
Shadow Beer Heist x7
Shadow Panty Raid x10
Shadow Strike x8
Shield / Terrain Dem Bones x1
Shield Dem Bones 14 x2
Shield Dem Bones 3 x3
Shield Egyptian motif 15 x6
Shield Egyptian motif 5 x6
Shield Standard Bearer Egyptian motif 11 x5
Shield Standard Bearer Egyptian motif 25 x6
Silver Server x4
Slackback Chak x4
Slatch Willer x9
Slim Jab x5
Slor, Overlord of the Wastes
Small Mox x2
Snake Pit
Sneaky Varmit x5
Spirit Mountain
Tavinmoor, First Called x4
The Minx x2
The Ol Switcheroo x13
Theib, Master of Scribes x3
Thief of Shadow x4
Tiger Baloo x16
Tiny Whining Cankerd x4
Tomb of the Bulzuru x4
Tree Ogre x6
U. R. First x2
Uras, Overlord of Mountains x12
Urufa, Queen of Goblins
Voodoo Hat Rack x5
Wanda, Evil Hornbag x1
Warwick's Conversion x6
Whalebone Rick x5
Woodland Troll x16
Woolverine x20
Xaz, Thief of Twilight x3
You Can't See Me, I'm a Vampire x3
Zelda, Bag Lady Bug x5
Zob, Gurgling Gob x2

Friday, August 15, 2014

Update 8-15-14

Hello everyone,

I needed a long break after designing that last set of cards. Little did I know how long that break would be, but I truly did need it. Unfortunately that break will need to last a little while longer, as I have some pressing personal issues to deal with over the next few weeks.

Expect an announcement soon on my next project, and thank you for your patience. I'm not sure I'll be designing anymore cards for a little while, but I do have some other things up my sleeve...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Planar Conflict Hi Res Cards Update

All the Planar Conflict card fronts are now up in the shared folder on Google Drive. Next week I'll start working on the backs of the cards...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reworking Planar Conflict Hi Res PDFs

I have to re-do the hi res sheets available for download. I don't know what I was thinking. I was putting 3 copies of a card per sheet, when it should be 1 copy of a card per sheet. Not everyone needs the expense of printing 3 copies of each card. It should allow you to print 1 of each card, and then people can print out as many copies as they desire. My apologies if you've downloaded all the sheets so far, I'll be deleting them and reworking the new ones starting later on today.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Planar Conflict Hi Res Card Images

I've started creating and uploading hi res images of Planar Conflict cards on to Google Drive. I decided to go with a 2 by 4 layout...the main reason for this is that using an even number in each direction means I can make the margins an equal number from the edge of the page, which helps to align the front and back of cards. For example, the left and right margins are exactly .75 inches from the edge of the page. This would not be possible with a 3 by 3 layout, because the total width of the cards would be an odd number.

I also butted the cards up against each other. Even though this is more challenging to cut evenly, I've eliminated most of the white edges you get under the old layout, which separated the cards from each other and created more white edges. I also made the cards just a little bit larger than normal, as you will lose some material when cutting.

The images are once again in PDF format. Ignore the low res preview through Google - when you download you will get the full resolution. Here is the link to the shared folder for the images:

Planar Conflict Hi Res Images

As I finish more sheets I will add them to the folder, so check back regularly. I'll also create a back side sheet for each front side. When all the images have been uploaded, I'll put a link over in the sidebar. Please let me know if you have any problems with the images or the link. Enjoy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Planar Conflict Card #8 Revised: Abbaddon

Astute reader Talis Cat noted that the draw number on the back of Abbaddon was incorrect, it should be 1 instead of 3, based on the text on the front side of the card. While I was examining the text on the back side of the card, I noticed it was also incorrect. Initially I had enabled the Infernals to move around, but this changed in the final revision of the rules. So instead of having Abbaddon able to move 3 spaces, I gave it the ability to move 3 Shields 1 extra space for 1 turn. This means flyers like Pit Fiend have the potential to move 3 spaces in 1 turn. Here is the updated version of the card:


Look for hi res versions of the Planar Conflict cards to be posted starting next week. At that time I will provide a link to the folder in Google Drive where they can be found.