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
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:
Upgrades & Downgrades
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.
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!