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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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guardians Total Combat! Sample Game

As promised, here is a sample game that illustrates how this rules variant works:

Player One's Deck:
Dry Heaps
Dry Heaps
Babes Bribery
Babes Bribery
Beer Bribery
Beer Bribery
Gold Bribery
Gold Bribery
Warhola Snake Standard Bearer 17
Warhola Snake Standard Bearer 17
Amber Well (e)
Ancient Ogre (m)
Angel of Death (e)
Archangel Magnus (e)
Arnath Lord of the Skies (m)
Axeman (m)
Ba Choomba (e)
Baal-a-Gog (e)
Bantam Drake (x)
Barrow Wight (x)
Big Groaning Cankerd (m)
Black Lung (x)
Black Unicorn (x)
Bold Mold (x)
Bone Fright (x)
Captain (m)
Cyclops (x)
Dead Cats (x)
Death (e)
Energy Toad (e)
Fangis the Hunter (m)
Festus (m)
Fire Walker (e)
Hook Toed Gnasher (m)
Flame Geyser (e)
Goldthwait Jumper (x)
Great Ba’te (m)
Great Black Ri’shar (m)
Great Fanged Ogre (m)
Greater Air Elemental (e)
Greater Energy Elemental (e)
Haba Naba Kaba (m)
Ice Ogre (m)
Inititate of Entropy (e)
Koset of the Light (e)
Kurgan Blademaster of the Exiled (m)
Na' Boob (m)
Magma Elemental (e)
Magnate Justice (e)
Marshal (m)
Mendu Sada the Havoc (e)
Monolith of Chaos (e)
Mummy (x)
Nubian slave Girl (x)
Plague Walker (x)
Prince of the Lost (m)
Rachur Field Marshal (e)
Razor Sliph (x)
Roaming Steam Geyser (e)
Rot Rat (x)
Sloarch (m)
Shadow of Ashes (x)
Skeletal Minion (x)
Slackback Chak (x)
Snogwort (m)
Succubus (e)
Tanniker Smith (m)
Vampire (x)
Wailing Specter (x)
Water Nymph (x)

Mortals: 20
Elementals: 20
External: 20

Player Two's Deck:
Standard Bearer Dark 16
Standard Bearer Dark 16
Babes Bribery
Babes Bribery
Beer Bribery
Beer Bribery
Gold Bribery
Gold Bribery
Power Lunch
Power Lunch
Bone Shambler (x)
Brap Back Goblins (m)
Brown Backs (m)
Corporal (m)
Corruption Stream (e)
Crackhatch at Large (m)
Crystal Flash (x)
Dead Cats (x)
Death (e)
Desert Giant (m)
Devil Dog (e)
Devil Hedgehog (e)
Dragon Wing Lord (x)
Druk (e)
Eats, Cockroach king (x)
Golden Fleecer (m)
Gorgal Skag (e)
Greenback Chak (x)
Grilbus (m)
Grim Skull (x)
Groatie (m)
Grotto Troll (x)
Haba Naba Daba (m)
Humungus Fungus (x)
Ice Elemental (e)
Ice Spirit (e)
Jibber (m)
Joomjaba (e)
Kikijub (x)
Lancer (m)
Land Drake (x)
Light Elemental (e)
Lizard Skin Lynn (e)
Lorg Mole (e)
Merchant (m)
Moon Spirit (e)
Orella of the Mist (e)
Pesky Varmit (m)
Phantom Stalker (x)
Phil Bar Fly (m)
Plague Walker (x)
Polar Ice Ogre (m)
Razor Shiefa (x)
River Giant (m)
Rogue Spectre (x)
Rotten Guy (m)
Roving Force Inferno (e)
Schneeble (x)
Shadrune (x)
Sleeping Spirit (e)
Silver Server (m)
Sun Spirit (e)
Swordsman (m)
Thackle (m)
Valley Troll (x)
Vapor Elemental (e)
Vesuvious Rex (x)
Water Spout (e)
Wind Spirit (e)
Wraith (x)

Mortals 20
elementals 20
Externals 20

Player One chooses Harkin as his Guardian. Player Two chooses Rak Nam. Both players shuffle their decks and draw 12 cards.


Player One draws: Ancient Ogre, Baal-a-Gog, Babes Bribery, Black Lung, Black Unicorn, Dead Cats, Energy Toad, Great Black Ri'shar, Mendu Sada the Havoc, Razor Sliph, Rot Rat, Succubus. Upcard: Hook Toed Gnasher.

Player Two draws: Babes Bribery, Death, Groatie, Gold Bribery, Ice Elemental, Ice Spirit, Phantom Stalker, Polar Ice Ogre, Roaming Steam Geyser, Roving Force Inferno, Smoke Spirit, Swordsman. Upcard: Gorgal Skag.

Hook Toed Gnasher's 12 is higher than Gorgal Skag's 4. Player One goes first. Since neither player has drawn an Event, Standard Bearer, or Terrain, both players pass. They form up their 30 Vitality combat hand.

Matchup #1: Dead Cats (Player One) vs. Swordsman (Player Two). Leading with Dead Cats is the obvious move, because you *want* it to die and give all your other creatures +2 Vitality. Dead Cats is 3 Vitality, Swordsman is 6. Dead Cats is beaten, mission accomplished for Player One.

Matchup #2: Black Lung (player One) vs Smoke Spirit (Player Two). Black Lung is 14 Vitality, +2 Dead Cats for a total of 16, no ranged attacks per Smoke Spirit, and Spirit is 7 and accepts channeling. Player Two bribes Black Lung with Babes. Smoke Spirit is now unchallenged.

Matchup #3: Mendu Sada the Havoc (Player One) vs. Roving Force Inferno (Player Two). Mendu is 11 with +2 Dead Cats for a total of 13, Inferno is 12. Mendu wins.

Seconary Attacks: Player Two has an Ice Spirit, which is a 5, and plays it next to Roving Force Inferno. Spirit + Inferno are 17, Mendu is beaten.

Round 1 goes to Player Two, with 17 Vitality; he gets the MDL. Player One ends with 0 Vitality and gets LDL. Dead Cats and Mendu Sada go to Player One's discard pile and Black Lung goes back to his Creature Pen. Roving Force Inferno goes to Player Two's discard pile and Swordsman, Smoke Spirit, and Ice Spirit go back to his Creature Pen. Player One still has a Babes Bribery, while Player Two is still holding a Gold Bribery.


Player One draws 2 (Harkin's Base 3, -1 LDL): Hook Toed Gnasher and Flame Geyser, upcard is Greater Air Elemental (16). Player Two draws 4 (Rak Nam's Base 3, +1 MDL): Gorgal Skag, Rogue Spectre, Grim Skull, and Crackhatch at Large, upcard is Bone Shambler (3). Player One goes first, but both players end up passing. They choose their combat hands.

Matchup #1: Razor Sliph (Player One) vs Polar Ice Ogre (Player Two). Sliph is 5, Polar Ice Ogre is 10. Player One bribes Ogre with Babes and Sliph is unchallenged.

Matchup #2: Rot Rat (Player One) vs. Rogue Spectre (Player Two). Rot Rat is 2, + 1 for Fear, for a total of 3. Rogue Spectre is 6. Spectre wins.

Matchup #3: Great Black Ri'shar (Player One) vs. Death (Player Two). Ri'shar is 17 with a 3 point fear AOE (ineffective here), Death is 7 and destroys Mortals affected by fear. Ri'shar is not immune to fear and is destroyed.

Secondary Attacks: Player One has an Energy Toad, which is a 5, and plays it next to Rot Rat. Toad + Rat are 7, Spectre is beaten.

Round 2 goes to Player One with 10 Vitality; He gets the MDL. Player Two ends with 7 Vitality and gets LDL. Great Black Ri'shar and Rot Rat go into Player One's discard pile, while Razor Sliph and Energy Toad return to his Creature Pen. Rogue Spectre goes into Player Two's discard pile, while Polar Ice Ogre and Death go back to his Creature Pen. Player Two still has the Gold Bribery card.


Player One draws 4 (base of 3, +1 MDL): Greater Air Elemental, Skeletal Minion, Archangel Magnus, and Standard Bearer Snake 17, upcard is Plague Walker (5). Player Two draws 2 (base of 3, -1 LDL): Bone Shambler and Druk, upcard is Valley Troll (3). Player One goes first and plays the Standard Bearer, which gives him +2 CMP when channeling. Player Two passes and both players make their combat hands.

Matchup #1: Archangel Magnus (Player One) vs. Ice Elemental (Player Two). Magnus is 11 and can receive channeling. Ice Elemental is 15. Player One spends a stone and channels 8 (Harkin's 6, +2 standard bearer). Magnus wins 19 to 15.

Matchup #2: Baal-a-Gog (Player One) vs. Gorgal Skag (Player Two). Baal-a-Gog is 12, Gorgal Skag is 4. Skag gets fragged.

Matchup #3: Flame Geyser (Player One) vs. Swordsman (Player Two). Flame Geyser is 6, Swordsman is 9 (6 + 3 OCB). Swordsman wins.

Secondary Attacks: Player Two has Ice Spirit, which is a 5, and plays it next to Ice Elemental. Elemental and Spirit are 20, Magnus can't receive channeling now and is beaten.

Round 3 goes to Player One (his second round won), 12 Vitality to 11 Vitality. Archangel Magnus, Ice Elemental, Gorgal Skag, and Flame Geyser are discarded. Baal-a-Gog, Swordsman, and Ice Spirit return to the Creature Pens. Player Two still has that Gold Bribery.


Player One draws 4: Plague Walker, Shadow of Ashes, Great Ba'te, and Greater Energy Elemental, upcard is Wailing Spectre (8). Player Two draws 2: Valley Troll and Devil Hedgehog, upcard is Joomjaba (5). Player One goes first but both players pass and head to combat.

Matchup #1: Black Unicorn (Player One) vs. Roaming Steam Geyser (Player Two). Black Unicorn is 13 and can accept channeling. Geyser is a 6 and gets crushed.

Matchup #2: Succubus (Player One) vs. Phantom Stalker (Player Two). Succubus is 9, Phantom Stalker is 14. Succubus is beaten.

Matchup #3: Rot Rat (Player One) vs. Smoke Spirit (Player Two). Rot Rat is 2 + 1 fear, total of 3. Smoke Spirit is 7. Rat is beaten.

Matchup #4: Energy Toad vs. Bone Shambler (Player Two). Energy Toad is 5 and shuts down channeling, Bone Shambler is 3 and can't receive channeling because of the Toad, Toad wins.

Player Two wins again with 21 Vitality to Player One's 18 Vitality. Both players have won 2 rounds.


Player One draws 2: Wailing Spectre and Ice Ogre, upcard is Haba Naba Kaba (4). Player Two draws 4: Joomjaba, Orella of the Mist, Standard Bearer Dark 16, and Moon Spirit, upcard is Silver Server (7). Player Two goes first and plays Standard Bearer Dark 16 (which prevents his creatures from being bribed), forcing Player One to discard the Standard Bearer Snake 17. Player One passes and combat begins.

Matchup #1: Hook Toed Gnasher (Player One) vs. Crackhatch at Large (Player Two). Gnasher is 12, Crackhatch is 17. Gnasher is beaten.

Matchup #2: Wailing Spectre (Player One) vs. Druk (Player Two). Spectre is 8 with a 4 pt. fear AOE (ineffective here). Druk is 8 with an OCB of +2 for a total of 10. Druk wins.

Matchup #3: Skeletal Minion (Player One) vs. Ice Spirit (Player Two). Minion is 5 and can receive channeling, Ice Spirit is 5 but immune to Undead. Matchup is a push.

Secondary Attacks: Player One has Energy Toad and plays it next to Wailing Spectre. Toad and Spectre are 13, Druk is beaten.

Round Five goes to Player Two with 22 Vitality to Player One's 10 Vitality. He earns a third win.


Player One draws 2: Haba Naba Kaba and Axeman, upcard is Bantam Drake (8). Player Two draws 4: Silver Server, Corporal, Beer Bribery, and Land Drake, upcard is Corruption Stream. Player One goes first, but both players pass. Player Two has 3 wins and announces he is challenging Harkin and builds a combat hand. Player One chooses a card to play next to Harkin and prays for luck.

Matchup #1: Ancient Ogre (Player One) vs. Ice Spirit (Player Two). Ice Spirit is essentially a sacrifice so that the heavy hitters can go after Harkin. But Player One has been saving Ancient Ogre as a defensive measure to shut down channeling against Harkin. Player Two does not have a Babes Bribery to play on Ancient Ogre. Ogre wins and shuts down channeling.

Matchup #2: Harkin (Player One) vs. Smoke Spirit (Player Two). Smoke Spirit is 7 and can receive channeling but Ancient Ogre has shut channeling down.

Secondary Attacks: All Player Two has left is Land Drake. The plan was to have Land Drake attack Harkin, then have Smoke Spirit come in as a secondary attacker, receive channeling and win the game, but Ancient Ogre screwed that up. Land Drake and Smoke Spirit are not enough to beat Harkin, but Player Two can get rid of that pesky Ogre. Land Drake attacks Ancient Ogre and Ancient Ogre is beaten.

Player One has survived! Ice Spirit, Smoke Spirit, and Ancient Ogre are discarded, and Land Drake returns to Player Two's Creature Pen.


After a Guardian challenge, there is no MDL or LDL. Player One draws 3: Bantam Drake, Ba Choomba, and Fire Walker, upcard is Slakback Chak (10). Player Two draws 3: Corruption Stream, Phil Bar Fly, and Lizardskin Lynn, upcard is Plague Walker (5). Player One goes first but both players pass.

Matchup #1: Haba Naba Kaba (Player One) vs. Corporal (Player Two). Kaba is 4, Corporal is 8. Corporal wins.

Matchup #2: Greater Air Elemental (Player One) vs. Devil Hedgehog (Player Two). Elemental is 16, Hedgehog is 4. Hedgehog is beaten.

Matchup #3: Skeletal Minion (Player One) vs. Orella of the Mist (Player Two). Minion is 5 and can receive channeling, Orella is 4 with an OCB of +1 for 5, but Orella also has the ability to destroy creatures. D6 result is 1 (destroys Elementals, no effect on Minion). Player One channels to Minion for 5 CMP (now has 7 stones left), and Orella is beaten.

Matchup #4: Plague Walker (Player One) vs. Swordsman (Player Two). Walker is 6 (5 + 1 OCB), Swordsman is 6. Result is a push.

Secondary Attacks: Player Two has Joomjaba and plays it next to Devil Hedgehog. BLAM! Joomjaba destroys large creatures as a secondary attacker, and Greater Air Elemental goes down.

Player Two wins the round with 19 Vitality to Player One's 10 Vitality.


Player One draws 2: Slakback Chak and Standard Bearer Snake 17, upcard is Rachur Field Marshal (4). Player Two draws 4: Plague Walker, Babes Bribery, Greenback Chak, and Dead Cats, upcard is Haba Naba Daba (5). Player Two goes first but passes. Player One plays his Snake Standard Bearer and Player Two's Dark 16 Standard Bearer is discarded. Player One passes. Player Two announces he's challenging Harkin again, so Player One picks a card to play next to Harkin.

Matchup #1: Ba Choomba (Player One) vs. Groatie (Player Two). Ba Choomba crushes Groatie.

Matchup #2: Harkin (Player One) vs. Phil Bar Fly (Player Two). Phil is crushed, but that paves the way for...

Secondary Attacks: Player Two has Phantom Stalker and Corruption Stream. Not enough Vitality to kill Harkin, but Corruption Stream beats its opponent as a secondary attacker, and Harkin goes down.

Player Two wins!

Player One mutters about how he couldn't get a break - he was ready to pound Rak Nam with his Greater Energy Elemental, but couldn't get that third combat win...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Guardians Total Combat! (A Game Variant)

Welcome back, everyone! I managed to fight off Idiots and Pink Flamingos on my vacation, but I did have a brush with Death. Luckily I'm immune to fear, so I made it through. However, I've been very sick for the last week and a half. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm ready to be bribed by Babes..err, I mean, I'm ready to post more.

Let's get back into form with Guardians Total Combat! This is a game variant that boils the game down to, well, quite simply, lots and lots of combat. There's no movement, strongholds, or terrain spaces. It's meant to be fast-paced, in-your-face combat. It doesn't replace the standard game...the purpose of a variant is to try something new if you're feeling adventurous.

Without movement, terrain, and strongholds, your strategy is to focus on deckbuilding, combat order, and when to bribe and channel. Here's what you will need:

A 70 card deck
A Guardian
Power Stones

Your 70 card deck must consist of:
55-60 non-Command Card Creatures, which must have an equal amount of Externals, Mortals, and Elementals
10-15 Standard Bearers, Spells, Magic Items, Events, Terrain, or Bribery cards

What your deck may not have:
Extra Guardians
Upgrades & Downgrades
Regular Shields

The Rules

Each player places their Guardian and Power Stones on the table in front of them.

Shuffle your 70 card deck and have your opponent cut it. Place it face down in front of you to your left. Your discard pile will be on your right; the discard pile is where you will discard non-creature cards and beaten creatures.

The basics:

1. Only one Event, Terrain, or Standard Bearer may be in play at a time. For example if you play a Terrain card and there was already one in play, the one that was in play is discarded and your Terrain card becomes the one in play.

2. Events and Terrain affect combat globally. If you play a Woods and your opponent plays a creature that has a Woods bonus, he gets the bonus.

3. Your Standard Bearers only affect your creatures, and your opponent's Standard Bearers only affect his creatures.

4. If your hand is out of creatures, your opponent plays secondary attackers and vice-versa.

5. Command Card conflicts resolve before combat, and are handled the same way as the base game.

6. All non-creature cards remain in play until an action occurs that forces them to be discarded.

7. Guardians start with all their Power Stones but do not get any more except through card effects and combat wins. Use the Stones wisely!

8. Creature special abilities are not used unless they are specific to combat (i.e. ranged strikes, secondary attacks, channeling, etc.)

That's it! pretty simple, huh?

Both players draw 12 cards to start the game. Separate your cards into a single-border pile and a double-border pile. Each player turns over an upcard. High upcard goes first. The player going first may play an Event, Terrain, or Standard Bearer; if the player chooses to pass, he may not play any of these cards until next turn.

Player Two follows with an Event, Terrain, or Standard Bearer. Remember that any new card played causes the card that was in play to be discarded.

Players alternate playing Events, Terrain, or Standard Bearers until both players pass. Now combat begins! Players make a combat hand from their Creature Pen, and may use up to 30 Vitality of creatures there.

Combat is very similar to the base game. This is the order of actions that occur during combat:

1. Command cards are placed. If there is a conflict, high upcard wins.

2. Command card AOEs are resolved unless bribery of the AOE creature occurs.

3. If bribery occurs, it must be before any further actions occur. Bribed creatures go back to the Creature Pen. The bribery card is discarded.

4. Check for destruction, AOEs, immunities, text boxes, etc.

5. Look at base vitalities. If there are no other modifiers or actions, this decides who wins the primary matchup.

6. Off-color bonuses, Standard Bearer bonuses, and Terrain and Event bonuses, if there are any, are added in.

7. Ranged attacks, spells, and channeling. This is the same as in the base game, except only Guardians can channel. Your Guardian spends a Stone to channel its CMP. The receiving creature cannot receive more than its vitality.

Once one player runs out of attackers, secondary attacks occur as normal.

When combat is over, players add up Vitality for all creatures that survived but weren't bribed.

Players put bribed and unbeaten creatures back in their Creature Pen. Opponent's creatures that are beaten go in their discard pile, and your creatures that were beaten go in your discard pile. Whoever won the last turn gains the MDL for the next turn while the other player has the LDL.

For the next turn, draw your Guardian's base draw modified by HDL/LDL numbers, using whichever is appropriate, and making sure to draw your upcard as your first card.

Play continues in the same manner as the first turn.

The first player to win 3 rounds may challenge the opposing Guardian on his next turn. The defending player may use one creature in his Creature Pen to help defend the Guardian. If the attacker succeeds, he wins the game. If not, he cannot challenge the Guardian again until he wins another round. If the opposing player wins his third round before then, the opposing player can challenge your Guardian. The first player to beat an opposing Guardian wins.

Example: Player One wins his 3rd round. On the next turn he challenges Player Two's Guardian but can't beat it. He wins the next round and challenges again, but still can't beat it. Player Two wins the next round (his 3rd round won) and challenges and beats the opposing Guardian. Player Two wins.

EDIT: Changed the victory condition from: the first player to run out of cards challenges the Guardian, to: a player can challenge the Guardian after winning 3 rounds. Also changed back to max of 30 Vitality during combat, and changed winning round based on surviving Vitality. Game closely mirrors original now.

Up next: a sample game of Guardians Total Combat!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Getting your Guardians fix

It will still be a few weeks before I resume adding content. I finish my degree with a final in my last class this week, then I'm getting my self-bestowed graduation present...I'm going on a trip to a major theme park for 9 days. When I come back, I'll start working hard on adding new content. I'll have some time as I don't start my graduate work until February.

In the meantime, check out C.J.'s blog. He's fired it back up for the summer and he's adding all the cool trifectas from his old site. Also, he's done a follow-up on my Applications of Math in Guardians with more detail, including a visual representation in Excel. Very cool! You can find it here.

Finally, through trades and auctions I've finally completed my collection, picking up the hard to find Black Locust and Gateway to Mystfall cards. Lately I've been receiving cards that have the cutting problem, where part of the bottom text containing artist info and FPG's copyright is cut off. It doesn't make the card unusable, but I can imagine the frustration of people paying good money back when they were new and opening booster packs only to find their cards had QA issues. I'm in QA myself, so maybe I'm making it a bigger deal than it really is. Anyway, the only card I don't have now is a Tweezle the Sneaky, but I suspect that 99% of people with Guardians cards are in the same boat, since very few were made...