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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Sunday, November 30, 2008

CJ's Blog

If you haven't been over to Tanniker Smith's blog, check it out. There's lots of good stuff there, which he has transferred over from his web page.

I've changed the link in the sidebar from his webpage to the blog.

Found another error

I found another error in the sample game part 1. During playtesting, I had decided to make a change to the magic item rule that said you may only have 1 item per Doom Counter value, but I forgot about this during the sample game. The sample game part 1 text has now been modified to account for this.

It is also apparent that this rule causes a large buildup of gold, which becomes useless. I'll have to come up with a mechanic that either reduces gold or gives you something else to spend it on.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting ready to post part 2...

However I noticed a serious error in part 1. On turn 10, after moving into the the third stronghold space, an encounter happens. However, the text skips right into the battle with the opposing champion.

Somehow (through the magic of MS Word) it appears I accidently deleted the combat sequence on the third stronghold space. I had written everything down, so I can't fill in the missing part from memory. I've edited the entry and we'll just have to move on to part 2...


The battle was supposed to be with K'Hutek, not Harkin. I've decided to replay the game, and have deleted the whole sequence. I will repost the corrected version at the beginning of part 2.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Day!

I'm pretty jacked today. It's not every day a completist like me is able to add to his collection, but that's exactly what happened. I picked up 3 Drifter's Nexus cards I did not have before: Etherwave Magna Lock, Randy Creek Regulars, and Vikia Tso'Shan'Lu.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Back from the Barrow Downs - Sample Game Part 1

Well, the rain is finally coming tomorrow, so it's a good time to post the first sample game. I will post it in three parts, with this being the first part.

I’m going with an Undead/Rivers and Lakes theme with heavy channeling and creature recycling, I’ve chosen Grahzue for my Guardian and Necropolis Park (using text errata) as my Stronghold.

I rolled a 2 for the opposing Guardian to the left (Grahzue), so I re-rolled a 6 (K’Hutek); a 3 for the opposing Guardian straight across – Tes Let; and a 4 for the Guardian to my right – Harkin.

I rolled a 4 for the opposing Stronghold to the left – Khnumian; a 3 for the opposing Stronghold straight across – Carreg Amroth; and another 4 for the opposing Stronghold to the right – another Khnumian.

I choose Eternal Witch Lord as my Champion, Warhola’s Snake 9 as my starting Shield, and Rivers and Lakes, S.S. House of Babes, and Jungle for my Terrain. For Magic Items I’ve chosen Altar of Takuli, Anvil of Heaviness, Champs the Wonder Dog, Footlocker of Conflagration, Gift of Isis, Heliopolos Temple of Re, Medellion of Skyphos, Petrified Heart, Sarcophogus of Haidra, and Scarab of Bounty.

My Deck consists of the following: Warhola Snake Standard Bearers 6 & 17, 3 each of Babes/Gold/Beer Bribery, 1 Sacrificial Altar, 1 Teleport Tower, 3 Sewage Backups, and spells and creatures for a total of 55 cards.

For movement, I’ve decided the following: 1=Dry Heaps, 2=S.S. House of Babes, 3=Rocks of Rhuadan, 4=Rivers and Lakes, 5=Jungle, 6=Mountains.

I’m missing a few cards: Arnath Lord of the Skies (replaced with a 2nd Dead Cats, Crackhatch at Large (replaced with a 2nd Death), Eats Cockroach King (replace with a 2nd Evil Baron Stoner), Golden Fleecer (replaced with a 2nd Grilbus), Mendu Sada the Havoc (replaced with a 2nd Minataur), Orella of the Mist (replaced with a 2nd Razor Shiefa), Rachur Field Marshal (replaced with a 2nd Rot Rat), Vesuvious Rex (replaced with a 2nd Sloarch), and Tanniker Smith (replaced with a 2nd Zombie).

In the Command Deck I’m also missing Slor Overlord of the Wastes (replaced with a 2nd Sorcerer).

I shuffle all decks and lay them out. Then I lay out the map, starting with Terrain space 1:

Jungle, House of Babes, Rivers and Lakes, House of Babes, Rivers and Lakes, Dry Heaps, Rivers and Lakes, Rivers and Lakes, Rivers and Lakes, Rocks of Rhuadan, Jungle, Mountains, House of Babes, Jungle, Rocks of Rhuadan, Dry Heaps, House of Babes, Mountains.

I draw my opening hand of 11 cards (the starting Shield is the 12th card): Dispel Magic x2 (my first spell learned), Sewage Backup x2, Skeletal Minion, Beer Bribery, Grand Avatar, Mummy, Moheidra, Angel of Death, and Gold Bribery.

I arrange my cards: Eternal Witch Lord, Skeletal Minion, Mummy, Moheidra, and Angel of Death go under my Shield (total vitality of 42). Grand Avatar goes under my left Stronghold. The Bribery, Dispel Magic, and Sewage Backup cards go in my Storage Depot.

I place my warband on the center Stronghold space because the movement options are a little better.

I start the Doom Counter on 1, turn over my upcard – another Dispel Magic – and roll for the first Event (no cards printed yet) – Firestorm. I roll a 4 for Spells – no Spell in play.

I roll 5 dice for movement:2, 3, 3, 3, 5 (House of Babes, Rocks of Rhuadan x3, Jungle). I turn my Shield and move forward to House of Babes and remove the dice that was a 2. There are no encounters on Terrain space 2 when the Doom Counter is on 1, so no encounter roll takes place. This leaves me with 3, 3, 3, 5 for movement. I could use the Jungle result to move left one more space, but I decide to wait, so I finish my turn on space 2. With no encounter, I move to the Wrap Up phase.

No Spell is in play, so none get discarded. The Event card (Firestorm) is buried. My next turn starts.

Turn 1 summary: If I had started on the left Stronghold space instead of the center, I could have moved a lot farther.

Turn 2 (Doom Counter = 1)

Grahzue has a base draw of 3. Since all 3 Guardians are still alive, I use the LDL modifier of –1. However, Grahzue has a LUC of +1. The Dispel Magic is a 3, and with no cards on the Threat Track or the opposing Discard Pile, I roll 3 dice and get an 8. I have the lower upcard, so I get to draw 3 cards. I draw the Dispel Magic, Fire Walker, and Power Lunch (my second spell learned). I pick up my Storage Depot and Creature Pen and add it with my draw to make my Storage hand. I’ve got 3 Dispel Magic, 2 Sewage Backup, 1 Power Lunch, 1 Beer Bribery, 1 Gold Bribery, and Fire Walker. That’s 9 cards, and I would have to discard down to 7, so I play Fire Walker on my right Stronghold, and a Sewage Backup on the left Stronghold of K’Hutek and the other on the right Stronghold of Harkin.

I turn over my upcard: Energy Leech. Event is Cretaceous Park. I roll a 6, no Spell.

I roll for movement: 1, 3, 3, 4, 6 (Dry Heaps, Rocks of Rhuadan x2, Rivers and Lakes, Mountains. I move right to Rivers and Lakes and remove the die showing a 4. Why move right instead of forward? No encounter checks are made on space 3 when the Doom Counter is 1, but if I move forward into space 5 there would be an encounter check.

I then move forward to space 6, remove the die showing 1, and check for encounters. For space 6, with the Doom Counter at 1, the encounter chance is 2-4. I roll 2 dice and get 8 – no encounter. I use my Mountains movement to move right to the Mountains Terrain (space 18). My encounter chance is now 2-8. I roll 11, so no encounter, and skip to the Wrap Up phase.

No Spell is in play, so none get discarded. The Doom Counter is still 1. The Event Card (Cretaceous Park) is buried.

Turn summary: all quiet so far.

Turn 3 (Doom Counter = 1)

I roll again for LUC and get an 8, so I have the LUC and draw the Energy Leech upcard, another Beer Bribery, and Wraith. I make my Storage Hand. Grand Avatar goes back under the left Stronghold, face down, and Energy Leech and Wraith go on top of the right Stronghold with Fire Walker (total vitality 22). That leaves 3 Dispel Magic, 1 Power Lunch, and my 3 Bribery cards in the Depot.

My upcard is Barrow Wight. Event is Day of the Beast. I roll a 4 for Spells (no Spell).

I roll a 2, 3, 4, 4, 4 for movement (House of Babes, Rocks of Rhuadan, Rivers and Lakes x3). I move forward to House of Babes and remove the die. Encounter chance is 2-8, I roll 11, no encounter. Skip to Wrap Up.

No Spell in play, Doom Counter is still at 1. Day of the Beast is buried.

Turn Summary: I’ve been lucky so far, but I know next turn will be a fight.

Turn 4 (Doom Counter = 1)

A roll for LUC is 11, so I still draw 3. I take Barrow Wight, and also get Greater Energy Elemental and Wailing Specter. I put Greater Energy Elemental face down under my center Stronghold, Barrow Wight on my left Stronghold (total vitality 20), and Wailing Specter on my right Stronghold (total vitality 30).

My upcard is Grotto Troll. Event is Everyone For Themselves. I roll a 4 for Spells (no Spell).

Since I declare I’m moving onto the Opposing Left Stronghold of Harkin, I don’t roll, I simply move there. Encounter chance is 2-10, I roll 9 – combat!

According to the chart, I draw 1 from Encounter Deck Level 1, 1 from Level 2, and 2 from Level 4. I draw and shuffle them. Chance of opponent Bribery card in play is 1-3, I roll 5 (no bribery). On Khnumian defenders get +3 vitality.

We both have 4 attackers, but my opponent has a Command Card. I turn over the top card of the Command Deck: Dachas, Supreme Leader. Since I don’t have any AOEs, Dachas has no effect, so I don’t waste a Dispel Magic.

I lead with Angel of Death to try to get some Power Stones. I turn over Angel of Death’s opponent: Iron Lord. Iron Lord’s AOE is not strong enough to affect Angel. Angel is 13, Iron Lord is 10 + 3 (Stronghold bonus) for a total of 13, a push. I don’t have a Babes Bribery, and I want to beat Iron Lord, so I Power Lunch it and turn Greater Energy Elemental to give Angel +2. Angel wins 15 to 13.

Since Iron Lord has a decent vitality, I play Moheidra next. For the opponent I turn over Polar Ice Ogre. Moheidra is 10, Ogre is 13: 10 + 3 (Stronghold Bonus). Again, no Babes Bribery. Polar Ice Ogre wins.

Next is Eternal Witch Lord. For the opponent I turn over Dead Cats. Witch Lord is 17, Dead Cats is 6: 3 + 3 (Stronghold bonus). Easy win for Witch Lord.

Last is Mummy. The opponent is Haba Naba Kaba. Mummy is 7, Haba Naba Kaba is 9: 4 + 3 (Stronghold bonus) + 2 (Dead Cats). Haba Naba Kaba is bribable by Gold, and if I don’t do it, I’ll lose Mummy, so I bribe Haba Naba Kaba with Gold.

I have Skeletal Minion as a secondary attacker. I want to take out Polar Ice Ogre. During secondary attacks, Moheidra’s card text goes away, so her vitality goes back to 0. Skeletal Minion can beat Ogre, though. Since Ogre’s card text goes away, I can channel, so I turn Grand Avatar to give Skeletal Minion 10. Ogre’s Stronghold bonus also goes away, and Minion has an OCB of +1 for 11. Ogre is 10, so Minion beats Ogre.

The battle is over. I’ve won with 35 vitality vs. 0. Unfortunately Witch Lord can’t do any healing, because he can only heal undead and the Event (Everyone For Themselves) has made all creatures classless, which means I can’t use the Necropolis Park ability either. I rubble the Stronghold space, and I do get 23 experience points and gold for beating Iron Lord, Polar Ice Ogre, and Dead Cats. I turn over the top card of the Magic Item Deck and it’s Helieopolos, Temple of Re. I have enough gold, so I buy it for 21, leaving me 2 gold. Angel of Death gained me 1 Power Stone.

Dachas, Supreme Leader is placed on the first space of the Threat Track, and Haba Naba Kaba gets shuffled back into the Level 1 Encounter Deck. Iron Lord, Polar Ice Ogre, and Dead Cats go into the opponent’s Discard Pile (in that order), while Moheidra goes into my Discard Pile. Eternal Witch Lord, Angel of Death, Mummy, and Skeletal Minion are remaining under my Shield.

No Spell in play, Doom Counter is still at 1. Everyone For Themselves is buried (good riddance!).

Turn summary: a slight bump in the road, but I’m still cruising.

Turn 5 (Doom Counter = 1)

My upcard is Grotto Troll (value of 3) vs. Dachas, Supreme Leader (value of 5), the last card on the Threat Track. I still get the LUC. I draw the Grotto Troll, and also a Devil Dog and Rogue Specter. Leaving all creatures where they are currently, my Storage Hand has 3 Dispel Magic, 2 Bribery, and the 3 creatures I just drew, for a total of 8. I place Grotto Troll on the left Stronghold (total vitality of 23). The other 2 creatures go in the Pen.

My upcard is Ix, Overlord of the Waters. Event is Strike. I roll a 6 for Spells (no Spell).

I’m going to move to the center Stronghold space, so no movement roll. Encounter chance is 2-10 again, I roll a 4…encounter!

I draw from the same Encounter Decks as last time, and shuffle. Chance of opponent Bribery card in play is 1-3, I roll 6 (no bribery). Defenders get +3 vitality again.

Command card is Stinking Spirit. None of my creatures are less than 5 vitality, so no effect.

1st matchup: Angel of Death vs…Cyclops. Angel is 13, Cyclops is 15: 12 + 3 (Stronghold bonus). To save Angel I bribe Cyclops with Beer.

2nd matchup: Eternal Witch Lord vs…Flame Geyser. Witch Lord is 17, Flame Geyser is 10: 6 + 1 (OCB) + 3 (Stronghold bonus). Witch Lord wins.

3rd matchup: Mummy vs…Na ‘Boob. Mummy is 7, Na ‘Boob is 15: 12 + 3 (Stronghold bonus). Mummy dies.

4th matchup: Skeletal Minion vs…Devil Hedgehog. Hedgehog is removed due to Stinking Spirit, which makes Minion a secondary attacker. I use Minion to attack Na ‘Boob, Minion (+1 OCB) + Mummy is 13 while Na ‘Boob is 12. Na ‘Boob dies.

I win the battle 35 to 0. Eternal Witch Lord heals Mummy, and I get 1 more Power Stone (total of 10). I also get 18 experience and gold. I can't draw another magic item until the Doom Counter reaches 2. The opposing center Stronghold gets rubbled. I also gain 1 more Stone thanks to Angel.

Cyclops get shuffled back into its Encounter Deck. Flame Geyser and Na ‘Boob go into the opposing Discard Pile. Stinking Spirit and Devil Hedgehog go on Threat Track 2 and 3.

No Spell in play, Strike is buried.

Turn summary: Things seem to be going my way…

Turn 6 (Doom Counter = 1)

My upcard is Ix (vitality 5) vs. Devil Hedgehog (vitality 4). I don’t have the low upcard, so I only draw 2: Ix and Dispel Magic. I put Ix on my left Stronghold (total vitality 28). My Depot has 4 Dispel Magic, 1 Beer Bribery, and 2 creatures.

My new upcard is Dead Cats. Event is Ice Age. I roll a 5 for Spells (no Spell).

I’m going to move to Harkin’s right Stronghold space, so no movement roll. Encounter chance is 2-10 yet again, I roll a 6…another encounter! Once again I draw from the same Encounter Decks and shuffle. Chance of opponent Bribery card is 1-3, I roll 5 (no bribery). Defenders do not get the +3 vitality bonus thanks to the downgrade I put on this Stronghold.

Command Card is Grand Poobah Schnee, I could Dispel Magic but decide to simply change my attacking order to compensate.

1st matchup: Angel of Death vs…Hook Toed Gnasher. Angel is 10 (13, -3 for Ice Age), Gnasher is 13 (base 12, - 3 for Ice Age, + 1 for Schnee, +3 OCB). No channeling, no Babes Bribery. Angel of Death dies.

2nd matchup: Mummy vs…Baal-a-Gog. Mummy is 4 (-3 for Ice Age), Baal is 15 (12, -3 for Ice Age, +2 for Schnee, +4 OCB). Mummy Dies.

3rd matchup: Skeletal Minion vs…Ice Spirit. Skeletal Minion is 2 (-3 for Ice Age), Ice Spirit is 10 (5, not affected by Ice Age, +3 Schnee, +2 OCB) and is immune to undead. Skeletal Minion dies.

4th matchup: Eternal Witch Lord vs…Mad Fiend. Witch Lord is 14 (-3 for Ice Age), Mad Fiend is 5 (1, +4 Schnee). Witch Lord wins.

I lose the battle 24 to 14. I gain 1 experience and 1 gold.

I roll to see if Necropolis Park can save my creatures: I get a 3 for Mummy and a 6 for Skeletal Minion. Mummy is discarded, Minion goes into my Pen. Mad Fiend goes into the opposing Discard Pile. Grand Poobah Schnee goes on Threat Track 4 and Hook Toed Gnasher goes on Threat Track 5. The Doom Counter now moves to 2. All creatures on the Threat Tracks are removed and shuffled back into their Encounter and Command Decks. Now Baal-a-Gog goes on Threat Track 1 and Ice Spirit goes on Threat Track 2.

No Spell is in play, Ice Age is buried. Since I have 25 or less vitality under my Shield (I only have 17 from Eternal Witch Lord), I burn 5 Stones, leaving me with 5, and return Witch Lord and my Shield to my center Stronghold space. Greater Energy Elemental is under that space, but it and Witch Lord together only make 29 and pass the 30 vitality limit.

Turn summary: It’s amazing how fast your fortunes can change. What a disaster. I could have dispelled the Poobah, but it wouldn’t have changed matchup results thanks to Ice Age. Time to retool…

Turn 7 (Doom Counter = 2)

My upcard is Dead Cats (vitality 3) vs. Ice Spirit (vitality 5). I have the LUC, so I draw 3 this turn. I take Dead Cats, and also draw River Giant and Power Lunch.

Time to rebuild my warband. I put all my creatures in my Storage Hand. I add Dead Cats, Barrow Wight, Wraith, and Skeletal Minion to my Shield, for a total vitality of 43. Grand Avatar goes back under the left Stronghold face down, while Ix, Fire Walker, and Grotto Troll go on top (total vitality 29). Greater Energy Elemental goes under my right Stronghold face down, while Devil Dog, Rogue Specter, and Energy Leech go on top (total vitality 29). River Giant and Wailing Specter go to my Pen. The 4 Dispel Magic and 1 Beer Bribery go in the Depot.

I turn over my upcard: Sewage Backup. Event is Great Forest Fire. I roll a 3 for Spells – no Spell in play.

Time for movement. I roll 3, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Rocks of Rhuadan x2, Rivers and Lakes, Jungle, Mountains). I move forward to S.S. House of Babes. No encounters on space 2 with Doom Counter at 2. On to Wrap Up.

Great Forest Fire is Buried. No Spell in play. Turn ends.

Turn summary: Shield is rebuilt, but terrible movement roll.

Turn 8 (Doom Counter = 2)

My upcard is Sewage Backup (20) vs. Ice Spirit (5). No LUC, so I draw 2, getting the Sewage Backup and also a Babes Bribery. I move River Giant and Wailing Specter to my center Stronghold so I don’t have to discard.

I turn over my new upcard: Corruption Stream. Event is Mystic Showdown. I roll a 2 for Spells (the first opposing Spell!) and turn over the top card of the Spell Deck: Small Mox. I lose 1 Stone (leaving me with 4).

Movement: 2, 3, 4, 6, 6 (House of Babes, Rocks of Rhuadan, Rivers and Lakes x2, Mountains). I move forward to Rivers and Lakes (space 5), encounter chance is 2-4, I roll a 3 – combat!

According to the chart, I draw 3 from Encounter Deck Level 1, 1 from Level 3, and 1 from Level 4. I draw and shuffle them. Chance of opponent Bribery card in play is 1, I roll 1 (Bribery card in play). I turn over the top card in the Bribery Deck: Beer. None of my creatures are bribeable by Beer, so the card will be buried at the end of combat.

Command Card is Mocodabi. That’s a nasty one, so I use a Dispel Magic to negate it.

1st matchup: Dead Cats vs…Snogwart. Dead Cats is 3, Snogwart is 8. Dead Cats dies.

2nd matchup: Wraith vs…Rock Lord. Wraith is 10 (+ 2 from Dead Cats), Rock Lord is 14 (+1 from OCB *2 for Mystic Showdown). Rock Lord is bribeable by Babes but Wraith can receive channeling. I turn Grand Avatar to give Wraith +6. Wraith wins.

3rd matchup: Eternal Witch Lord vs…Groatie. Witch Lord is 19 (+2 from Dead Cats), Groatie is 3. Groatie dies.

4th matchup: Barrow Wight vs…Merchant. Barrow Wight is 14 (+2 from Dead Cats, +2 from OCB * 2 from Mystic Showdown), Merchant is 1. Merchant dies.

5th matchup: Skeletal Minion vs…Evil Baron Stoner. Minion is 7 (+2 from Dead Cats), Baron is 5 (adds Minion’s OCB of +1, which is doubled by Mystic Showdown). Minion wins.

Combat ends. I win the battle 38 to 8. I gain 22 experience and gold. Since the Doom Counter is at 2, I can draw another magic item. It is Gift of Isis, which I put in my Depot, and leaving me with 22 gold.

Witch Lord heals Dead Cats. Beer Bribery, Mocodabi, Rock Lord, Groatie, Merchant, and Baron go into the opposing Discard Pile. Snogwart goes on Threat Track 3.

I move left to House of Babes. Encounter chance is 2-4, I roll 3 – combat again! I draw the same encounter card ratio as last turn. Chance of opponent Bribery is 1, I roll 5 – no Bribery.

Command Card is Gringe Commander, he can’t be dispelled.

1st matchup: Dead Cats vs…Smoke Spirit. Dead Cats is 3, Smoke Spirit is 9 (+1 OCB * 2 for Mystic Showdown). Dead Cats dies.

2nd matchup: Wraith vs…Ugly Wart Fiend. Wraith is 10 (+2 from Dead Cats), Ugly Wart Fiend is 1. Wraith wins.

3rd matchup: Eternal Witch Lord vs…Lying Scum. Witch Lord is 19 (+2 from Dead Cats), Lying Scum is 3. Witch Lord wins.

4th matchup: Barrow Wight vs…Humungus Fungus. Wight is 10 (+2 from Dead Cats), Fungus is 12, and will destroy Wight. I Power Lunch to Wight and turn Grand Avatar, giving Wight +6. Barrow Wight wins.

5th matchup: Skeletal Minion vs…Greedy Fiend. Minion is 7 (+2 from Dead Cats), Greedy Fiend is 1. Skeletal Minion wins.

Combat ends. I win the battle 38 to 7. I gain 17 experience and gold. Doom Counter is still at 2, so no magic item.

Witch Lord heals Dead Cats. Ugly Wart Fiend, Lying Scum, Humungus Fungus and Greedy Fiend go to the opposing Discard Pile. Gringe Commander goes on Threat Track 4, and Smoke Spirit goes on Threat Track 5. The Doom Counter is set to 3 and all Threat Track cards are removed and shuffled into their appropriate decks. I roll 2 dice for Stronghold survival (rubble on 2), and get a 3. Just made it!

I move forward to Rivers and Lakes. Encounter chance is now 2-5, I roll 9 – no encounter. I can’t move any further so I end my turn there.

Mystic Showdown is buried, no spell in play.

Turn summary: Poor encounter rolls have put on some pressure.

Turn 9 (Doom Counter = 3)

My upcard is Corruption Stream (2). There’s no cards on the Threat Track, so I use the top card in the opposing Discard Pile: Greedy Fiend (1). I don’t have LUC. I draw the Corruption Stream and also a Gold Bribery. Corruption Stream goes to center Stronghold.

My new upcard is Sacrificial Altar. Event is Get the Plunder. I roll for Spell: 4 (no Spell).

Movement: 1, 2, 3, 5, 5 (Dry Heaps, House of Babes, Rocks of Rhuadan, Jungle x2). I move left to the Jungle. Encounter chance is 2-9, I roll 6 – combat!

I draw 2 from Encounter Deck Level 1, 1 from Level 4, and 1 from Level 5. Bribery chance is 1-3, I roll 4 – no Bribery.

No Command Cards in Jungle.

1st matchup: Dead Cats vs…Black Lung. Dead Cats is 3, Black Lung is 14. Dead Cats dies.

2nd matchup: Wraith vs…Pesky Varmit. Wraith is 10 (+2 from Dead Cats), Varmit is 6 (+3 vs. Medium). Wraith wins.

3rd matchup: Eternal Witch Lord vs…Sun Spirit. Witch Lord is 19 (+2 from Dead Cats), Sun Spirit is 18 (+ 6 OCB). Witch Lord wins.

4th matchup: Skeletal Minion vs…Brap Back Goblins. Minion is 8 (+2 from Dead Cats, +1 OCB), Goblins is 4. Minion wins.

Secondary attacker: Barrow Wight vs. Black Lung. Wight is 14 as a secondary attacker (with +2 from Dead Cats). Black Lung dies.

I win the battle and get 33 experience and gold. The Doom Counter is 3, so I draw a magic item. It is Footlocker of Conflagration, so I pay the 2 gold, leaving me with 70.

Varmit, Sun Spirit, Goblins, and Black Lung go into the opposing Discard Pile. Eternal Witch Lord heals Dead Cats.

I’m not moving again so the turn is over. Get the Plunder is buried, no Spell in play.

Turn summary: not difficult thanks to Jungle effect. Now it’s time to go after K’ Hutek.

Turn 10 (Doom Counter = 3)

My upcard is Sacrificial Altar (8) vs. Black Lung (14). I have LUC. I draw the Altar, and also Grim Skull and Water Nymph. I play the Altar on the left Stronghold. I’ve got way too many creatures, so I put Grotto Troll my Storage Hand and use the Altar to sacrifice it and gain 1 Stone (total of 5). Water Nymph and Grim Skull go on my center Stronghold.

New upcard is Power Lunch. Event is Drought. I roll for Spells: 3 (no Spell).

Since I’m entering K’ Hutek’s left Stronghold space, I don’t roll for movement. Encounter chance is 2-11, I roll 5 – combat!

To be continued in Part 2...

Next: Sample Game Part 2

Friday, August 22, 2008

Not abandoned yet...

It is lamentable that I haven't posted anything new in some time. The problem is that summer in the Pacific Northwest = no rain, unlike the rest of the year. Therefore the outdoors beckon.

However, once the rains come again (probably one month away), I'll resume posting. Here are some of things I'm going to explore this fall:

1. Posting of sample adventure games.
2. Generation of new cards specific to the adventure game.
3. An in-depth look at some of the Necropolis Park and Drifter's Nexus cards that can be hard to find.
4. An in-depth look at the Seven Seas user-created set.

Until then, see ya!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Delays, delays...

I haven't posted for awhile. I went on vacation, went back to night school and am down 2 people at work which = overtime. I'll hopefully be back with some new postings in a couple weeks.

Until then, happy playing!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Guardians Solo Adventures, v1.0

Here it is...Guardians Solo Adventures. I haven't had a lot of time to playtest it, but there are some things that can be tweaked. I know there's much to read...look it over carefully.

If your Guardians collection consists of 2 starter decks, this game isn't for you. It will work best if you have lots of boosters, especially from the base set and Dagger Isle, which can still be found around the net. Obviously the more cards you have, the more variety you'll have. My future plans are to release a set of at least 100 cards specific to this game using philbarfly's card templates.

I would appreciate any feedback/constructive criticism you can give, or any questions you might have. I'll try to post a sample game by the end of next week...

Here's the link (the rules are in Word format):


You can also follow the link to the right...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Alarm Bells are ringing...

There will be slight delay in posting the game...I found a few things I want to tweak based on my latest playtesting. Hopefully before the end of the week it'll be good to go...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Time to Make Juice

If you’re like me, you’ve got Guardians cards sitting around and can’t find anyone else to play. Maybe you’ve boxed them up, or they’re sitting in a folder full of 9 card pocket protectors gathering dust.

Last year I picked up two board games, Runebound and Arkham Horror. What intrigued me about the games, besides the gameplay and atmosphere, was the ability to play with a solo rules variant. So when I pulled my Guardians cards out of the basement a few weeks ago, then found C. J. Burke’s Event Cards and philbarfly’s Adventure Cards on the Web, I started to wonder if there was a way to play Guardians solo.

The quick answer is no. What I mean is, not the way the current game is set up. You can’t play both sides because you have to pretend you don’t know what cards the “other side” has, despite the fact that you are playing the “other side”. And victory is hollow, since you’ve basically beaten yourself.

To make a solo version work well, you can’t know what cards will be in play. You will know what’s in the opposing deck, but you won’t know how that deck is ordered. Unfortunately, this invalidates the mechanics of several cards that depend on being able to “see” an opposing card or hand. Still, exclusion of such cards is necessary. Victory will feel sweeter because you didn’t know what the next card you turned over would be.

There are some things, however, that you just can’t simulate. A human opponent has cunning and intelligence – he or she would know where to move a Shield, which creature to discard, when to burn a power stone, etc. There is really no way to simulate this in a single-player environment. The best you can do is introduce some randomization and hope it works out. Which lead to…

The adventure aspect. I felt that simply randomizing creature combat wasn’t enough – it was a shell of the original game. I almost immediately realized if randomization was to be utilized, the game needed something more, something to work at, a sense of urgency, and a feeling of accomplishment. Thus the adventure aspect was born. (This is not to be confused with the “Adventure Cards” on philbarfly’s site.)

Guardians has sometimes been referred to as a board game in a card game’s clothing. So I added elements to simulate things you might find in an adventure-type board game like Runebound or Arkham Horror. First, there is the map or board. Next, you have a character (I call it a Champion) who can take wounds, and whose death would cause you to lose the game. You have a way to progress your character or your “adventurers”, in this case experience and gold. You can buy items. You have a time limit, after which you are dead. Your enemies get tougher as the game goes on to continually challenge you.

I also used an idea or two found in the Traveler’s Guide to the Midrealms book by Dave Gentzler, specifically the “Into the Great Wide Open” variant.

In adding the adventure or board game elements, some things had to go – things like Terrain changing hands, Shields moving all over the place, the way movement works...there are about 85 cards that just don’t work (mostly Spells and Magic Items) under my rules, and 60 more (mostly creatures) that needed modification. However, I don’t think that’s bad out of almost a 700 card base, considering how radically different this concept is from the base game.

Make no mistake. These are not your basic Guardians rules. Although I tried to maintain the spirit of the original, I have made some drastic changes. But in reality these are only meant to be a baseline, to spark creative interest. If you come up with a mechanic that works better than something I’ve done, by all means use it, and post it here or over at the Yahoo! Group. There will be a lot of reading, and probably some initial confusion. I’ll also be posting some variant rules to make the game harder if it’s too easy, or easier if it’s too hard, and looking for ways to incorporate incompatible cards. I will also be creating some new cards just for this version of the game.

Right now I’m doing some last-minute playtesting. I should have it up by this coming weekend. So once I post it, try it out and give me some feedback. It’s not comparable to the base game, but if you pull out your cards and give it a chance, that’s a good thing. The Guardians CCG doesn’t deserve to be sitting in a box or in a book on a shelf, collecting dust.

So with the preamble aside, and in fond memory of Keith Parkinson - one of my heroes…stay tuned for:


Monday, April 14, 2008

From out of the Drifter's Nexus...

Welcome to Guardians CCG, a blog devoted to the out-of-print Guardians Collectible Card Game from FPG.

There is a lot to like about Guardians, which is only represented by a few decent sites on the Web. Check out those sites in the links in the Sidebar.

My goal is to publish information of use to the Guardians community. I hope to post at least once per week.

Many thanks to philbarfly for his awesome work in keeping the community going!

Also thanks to C. J. Burke for Event Cards and just hanging in there...

I thought some info might be in order on why I started this blog...

From 1996 to 2006 I lived in a rural area with no gaming stores around and no high speed internet access, only dialup at a whopping 28k. I had heard of Magic the Gathering in its early days just from the media coverage it received, but I did not have access to the cards, or even money to buy cards. At that time there were no internet stores and no eBay. And when eBay did come along, prices were incredibly high; the novelty of bidding caused a frenzy.

Fast forward to 2001...I was now making a much better wage, but had no interest in trying to catch up Magic. One of my faults is that I am a completist, and Magic was going to be impossible to complete, at least financially.

One day my friend is over, killing time on the internet, and he says, "hey, check this out." He's an artist and he loves great artwork, and he shows me an eBay auction of a CCG like Magic with fantastic art, called "Guardians." It seems like it might be easier to complete than Magic, so we say what the heck and buy a couple of starter boxes.

A couple weeks later they arrive and we start tearing open the packaging. "Cool! Look at this one!" we exclaim to each other as each pack reveals more treasures. We read the rules (too briefly) and then dive into the game, but we miss the concept of secondary attackers until my friend says, "what am I supposed to do with these extra creatures in my hand?"

A closer look at the rules reveals we have been playing wrong. I try to get my friend to play again but he's not impressed with the combat and all the modifiers ("it's too complex"), which I feel is the best part of the game. So we don't play again, but being a completist and loving the art work I get back on eBay and buy a case of boosters. I complete my set except for Flame Cannon - a case of boosters and no Flame Cannon?!! - and I join the Guardians Yahoo! Group.

In the group people are talking about Dagger Isle, Necropolis Park, and Drifter's Nexus. So I go back to eBay and buy two booster boxes of Dagger Isle. Complete. But NP and DN are proving to be hard to find. I finally win an auction for some NP booster packs, but am nowhere near complete. So I win another auction for a complete set. I still want multiples of some cards that I only have one of though, so I bid on and win a booster box. Now I'm good with NP. I even win a Cheesy Con Tweezle and Exploding Tweezle from Dave Gentzler himself.

DN, on the other hand, is a pain in the ass. I finally win a booster box, but come up short for a complete set. But before I can get more, some guy (C. J. Burke refers to him as keylink) starts buying all the sets up at outrageous prices. Winning auctions is difficult for me to start with due to my connection speed. Meanwhile, I'm having another problem - I can't get anyone to play it with me.

A new hobby store opens up about an hour away from me and I drive in. No Guardians cards, no plans for Guardians games. However, they are coming out with a new game called Warlord: Saga of the Storm. Cards, tournaments, decent artwork, other players...I get hooked into the game...

...while Guardians cards sit in a box in the basement, unused.

The years roll by. I move to a new place in 2007 and get high speed internet. I dropped out of Warlord for various reasons years ago, and had turned to board games such as Runebound and Arkham Horror, and my Xbox 360.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, when I'm cleaning out the basement, getting ready to sell my old house, which I've been remodeling for a year. I open up boxes, deciding what I want to move and what I want to get rid of. I pull the lid off of a large card box containing 4 rows of cards in clear sleeves. I pull out a handful and thumb through them.

Guardians cards.

Seeing them rekindles my love affair with the artwork, and the complexity of battles. I haven't thought of Guardians in years, though. I got online, not expecting to find much. And at first I didn't. Many of my old links had dried up or hadn't been updated in years. But C. J.'s page talked about event cards, and some guy named philbarfly. So did the Yahoo! groups page, which has been surviving. So I went to see what was going on.

At philbarfly's site I experienced an epiphany, looking at cards that shouldn't exist but do, at new mechanics and artwork, at the blessing of Luke...wheels began turning in my head. I downloaded the Seven Seas cards, the event cards, the adventure cards, the card templates (thanks to philbarfly for emailing the files!), anything I could get my hands on. I sorted through my own cards to see what I was missing (still don't have that damn Flame Cannon!).

Now, "what good is that?" you might ask. With no one to play, the cards just aren't of much use...

I believe I have a solution. I'm working out the details, which I may need some help fine tuning, but I'm hoping the result is a use for these beautiful cards. More to come in my next post.

A blog seemed like a good tool to help keep a little interest in Guardians going, since I don't know a thing about creating web pages. Please feel free to comment...

Disclaimer: Guardians is a copyright of FPG. This blog is a fan site and has no affiliation with FPG. All artwork used in this blog is the copyright of its respective artist.