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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Friday, November 20, 2009

Two more minor (but important) changes to Solo

The Vitality limit under your Shield has been reduced from 50 to 36. Fifty was way to high and made the game to easy, without fear of advancing the Doom Counter. 36 is still more than the base game, but not much more.

Your Champion's Vitality no longer increases for the reasons listed above. However, your Shield's Vitality limit will still go up by 2 for every 100 experience points.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Solo Adventures 2nd Edition Tweaks

More rules changes/clarifications that need to be made...

1. Creatures can move out to your Shield to reinforce it, just like in the regular rules. Your Shield is turned to receive the reinforcements and can't move for that turn. This advances the Doom Counter.

2. Opposing Ranged Attackers may not be used as primary or secondary attackers, and may not be attacked unless their ranged attack was used to modify a matchup.

3. Paladin replaces Wraith as a potential opposing Champion. Not only is Paladin more powerful, it also makes more sense thematically; you would expect a Paladin to be a Champion!

4. Unused opposing ranged attackers are shuffled back into the Ranged Attack Deck. They only go on a Threat Track if they were used in combat and survived.

5. When your Champion gains 100 experience points and its Vitality increases by 1, your Shield's maximum Vitality increases by 2 instead of 1.

6. Teleport Tower is modified as follows: replace all text with "Place ANY one Creature in the Teleport Tower during the Draw and Organize Phase. This Creature may teleport to your Shield after your movement roll (but before you move). For 1 Power Stone you may start with the Teleport Tower in play, but draw 1 less card for your opening hand."

7. The option to return to your Stronghold at the end of a turn for a number of Power Stones equal to the number of creatures under your Shield is only available on the easiest (Gloomy) level. I may change this after I evaluate it more.

More is sure to come as I continue to test out the 2nd Edition...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Solo Adventures, Talking Strategy Part 1 – Restrictions, Themes, Deck Construction, Setup, Maps, and Card Draw

While I'm working up the post for a sample game in Solo Adventures, I'd like to talk about strategy. This is the first of a 4-part series dealing with strategies in Solo. The series will break down as follows:

Part 1: Deck Restrictions, Themes, Deck Construction, Setup, Maps, and Card Draw

Part 2: Movement, Encounter Rolls, and constructing the opponent’s combat hand

Part 3: Combat, including Stronghold Combat, Champion Challenges, Guardian Challenges, wounds, and healing

Part 4: Experience, Treasure, the Threat Track, the Doom Counter, and beating the game

As you would expect, Solo requires completely different strategies than the base game. This is mostly due a number of factors:

• random creatures faced in combat, rather than a themed or planned opposition;
• little need to worry about losing due to controlling spaces or Shield kills;
• protecting your Champion from wounds;
• having only 1 Shield;
• a completely different movement system;
• different deck construction rules (no Magic Items or Terrain in your deck).

Your strategy must take into account all of the factors listed above.

We start our discussion with a look at restrictions, theme, and deck construction. When we refer to restrictions, these are the ways in which your deck does not change from game to game. These rules apply limits to what you are able to do. For example, a minimum deck size of 50 cards, a maximum of 3 Shields in your deck, and drawing 10 cards to start the game are all examples of restrictions.

A theme is a deck design in which there is some kind of commonality among the cards that allow them to work well together and conform to an idea or characteristic. An example of this would be an Undead-recycle theme, where the creatures are mostly Undead, with Spells and Magic Items that support Undead creatures, and the ability to recover them from your discard pile and put them back into play.

Deck construction is building your deck so that it fits a theme, conforms to restrictions, and is as efficient as possible. A well-designed deck should give you a good chance to win.

Let’s take a look at restrictions as they apply to deck construction:

• Minimum deck size: 50 cards
• No Magic Items and no Terrain
• No more than 3 shields
• No more than 5 of any one card
• No copies of your Champion in your deck
• Shields must match

In beginning deck construction, we start with a Shield in play. Subtracting the other 2 Shields from a total of 50 cards leaves 48 cards slots left to fill. Let’s look at a few essential building blocks. First, we need at least 2 Stronghold Upgrades. Why is that? Two reasons: a) they provide some kind of bonus or ability that, unlike a Spell or Magic Item, can’t be dispelled and b) if you don’t place Upgrades on your Strongholds, your opponent can place Downgrades there and cause you some pain. Keep in mind every time the Doom Counter changes, there’s a chance a Downgrade is coming at you. For your upgrade choices, a Teleport Tower is almost a given; it’s the best way to get creatures out to your Shield. You might even want 2, although a Sacrificial Altar may be more desirable for its ability to generate Power Stones. You should also consider having 2 Downgrades, one for opposing Stronghold #1 and one for Stronghold #3 to make your path through a little easier (Stronghold #2 can usually be taken right up the center). Remember, creatures defending in Strongholds usually get good bonuses for doing so, and a quick look at the Encounter Table reveals that Stronghold combat is tougher – a higher encounter chance, a greater chance to use bribery and ranged attacks, and a tougher level mix. Do yourself a favor and make it a little easier to punch through those Strongholds to the opposing Guardian. So that’s a total of 4 Upgrades/Downgrades, leaving you with 44 cards remaining.

You now have creatures, spells, and bribery cards to consider. I recommend a bare minimum of at least 3 of each bribery card (total of 9) to deal with sticky situations, so that leaves 35 card slots remaining. Spells in Solo are a little restrictive – you have to earn experience to learn new Spells, so try to limit Spells to no more than 2 or 3 different ones at 3-4 copies of each. Dispel Magic is going to be the most useful in countering opposing Spells and Command Cards. Three copies each of two Spells leaves us with 29 card slots. These remaining cards should be creatures, which are going to be invaluable for replenishing a depleted Shield.

Themes come into play based on the type of deck you want to run. Besides the undead-recycle theme, you can have flying, heavy channeling, stompy (large creatures), weenie (lots of small creatures), Terrain bonus, Demons & Devils, Knights & Angels, Barnyard Animals, Slag Beasts, Card Advantage, and lots more. For examples of some good deck themes, check out CJ’s blog.


For Terrain, you’ll want to choose types that are favorable to you and not favorable for the opponent. For instance, having Woods means you won’t have to face opposing ranged attacks, and using Jungle prevents your opponent from using Command cards. Add in a third Terrain that gives your creatures bonuses, such as Swamps or Rivers and Lakes, and you’ll be in good shape.

When it comes to Magic Items, there are a few that are almost a must-have. Anvil of Heaviness is a big help in getting through a Stronghold space. Footlocker of Conflagration is invaluable for finding a Shield when you need to remove a wound. Sarcophogus of Haidra works great at getting upcards into your hand, and gives you more room in your Storage Depot by not taking up space there.

Finally, choosing your Champion is the most important decision you can make. Of the 6 “standard” champions, the two weakest are Paladin and Beelzebub, and are best suited for the two easiest difficulty levels. Paladin is a good choice for a Knights deck, for the bonus he gives to other Knights, and an immunity to fear for your other Mortals. Beelzebub’s special ability does not really give you any kind of advantage, so he’s probably the weakest Champion.

The next highest difficulty level should be played with either Eternal Witch Lord or Old Nick. If you are leaning towards an Undead theme, Eternal Witch Lord is a strong choice for his ability to keep them alive after combat. Combined with an Altar of Takuli, you can expect very little attrition under your Shield. Old Nick, like Beelzebub, doesn’t have much of an ability, but his high vitality usually helps discourage ranged attacks and secondary attacks against him, and he typically uses fewer Power Stones to defend himself.

For the hardest difficulty levels I recommend Dragon Wing Lord or Lake Serpent. Both use AOEs that are very useful, as many of the opposing creatures you face will come from Deck Levels 1 & 2, most of which are going to get blown away by that AOE and help limit secondary attacks. Wing Lord has a little stronger AOE, but his cousin Lake Serpent gives you a good AOE combined with a Rivers and Lakes bonus, so play it with Rivers and Lakes Terrain and creatures for maximum effect.

If you decide to go with some other creature as your Champion, if it has a Vitality of 12 or less, make sure you put in plenty of healing safeguards (Altar of Takuli, creatures that can heal like Arwyddyn or Slag Bunny), and don't forget to pack your Power Lunches before heading out on the job. For example, Death would be a really cool Champion, both functionally and symbolically, if you could keep it alive and Power Lunch it for Champion combats.


There are of course 4 maps that reflect the different difficulties of the game. Map 1 is your standard map, the Gloomy difficulty level. You have more movement options on this map than any other map. Maps 2 – 4 restrict movement, and in some cases you can only move in one direction. In these cases a flying Shield often comes in handy for reducing encounter rolls. I’ll cover movement in the next installment.

Card Draw

The ability to draw cards is usually not a big factor in the game. For one thing, once your Shield ventures out, it’s hard to get creatures under it, so most creatures you draw will be sitting on your Strongholds. Second, as you take down opposing Guardians, you start to gain a card advantage by first eliminating your LDL modifier, and then gaining the MDL modifier. If you really want to get a lot of cards in your hand, Finn is your best option. When you place Terrain, use Swamps and Tomb of the Bulzuru as 2 of your Terrain choices. There’s a good chance that when Terrain is placed at the start of the game, you will already have 5 Swamps in play, giving you an extra 2 cards to draw each turn. P’Tal is a solid alternative by being able to roll a D6 for your draw (with a re-roll on a 1, you are guaranteed at least 2 cards).

I hope you find this post to be useful. Next post, we’ll look at movement, encounter rolls, and setting up the opposing combat hand.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two Player Version of Solo Adventures

I was doing some thinking today (thinking is good, most of the time) and realized that Solo Adventures, despite the name, is playable for two players with some minor tweaks. I have updated the rules to reflect this. Here is the text as it appears in the rules:

"All Solo rules are followed, with exceptions listed below. The opposing player (player 2) has two objectives: get the Doom Counter to 8, and inflict wounds on Player 1's champion. Player 2 plays all 3 opposing Guardians, their Champions, and all opposing cards. Here's how it works:

1. Player 2 takes over all opposing rolls. This includes rolling for Spells, Bribery, Ranged Attacks, and opposing creature abilities that require a die roll. Player 1 still rolls for movement and encounters, stronghold survival, and his own creature, Spell, and Magic Item rolls.

2. After Player 1 has selected a Guardian and Stronghold, instead of making a die roll, Player 2 chooses the 3 opposing Guardians, their 3 Strongholds, and which location to place them at. After that is done, Player 2 chooses a Champion for each of the 3 Guardians, without showing Player 1, and puts them face down under each Guardian. Each Champion is only revealed at the time its Guardian is attacked, and Champion/Guardian combat resolves per normal rules.

3. Whenever Player 2 is required to play a card from one of his decks, he may pick up the top 3 cards (instead of just the top card) and choose which of the 3 cards to play. This includes the Spell Deck, Bribery Deck, Spell Deck, Command Deck, Shield Deck, Stronghold Deck, Ranged Attack Deck, and all Encounter Decks. In the case of Encounter Decks, if Player 2 is required to pull 2 cards from 1 deck, he may choose 2 of the top 3 cards. If he is required to pull 3 cards from 1 deck, he must use the top 3 cards and does not get to choose. Also, in the case of the Stronghold Deck, player 2 only draws and chooses when the Doom Counter changes, and gets to choose which Stronghold to place the upgrade or downgrade on. Unused cards are shuffled back into their deck.

4. Combat is played like the original game instead of the Solo version. AOE attacks resolve immediately, and primary attackers are played simultaneously. Additionally, player 2 may play creatures in his combat hand in any order, and may use bribery, channeling and ranged attacks at his discretion. He must still observe the "How to Play Opposing Guardians and Spells" rules for channeling and Spells. Remember that player 2 must choose his cards before combat starts, and may not bribe player 1's Champion."

If you and a friend are tired of the same old game all the time, give it a shot and let me know what you think. If it's too easy for player one, you can always start the Doom Counter higher or go with a harder map. I have no way of testing this, but if the two player version is viable I might have to change the name to reflect the fact that it's not just a solo game anymore...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Solo Adventures deck

Before I run through a sample game of Solo Adventures, here's a post of the deck, Terrain, & Magic Items I'll be using:

Terrain chosen: Jungle, Woods, Tomb of the Bulzuru

Magic Items: Altar of Takuli, Anvil of Heaviness, Champs the Wonder Dog, Footlocker of Conflagration, Gift of Isis, Heliopolos Temple of Re, Medallion of Skyphos, Petrified Heart, Sarcophogus of Haidra, Scarab of Bounty

Guardian: Rak Nam

Stronghold: Carreg Amroth

Champion: Dragon Wing Lord

Starting Shield: Hescox Egyptian Motif 15

Additional Shields
2x Egyptian Motif Standard Bearer 11

2x Rock Spirit
2x Rey, Overlord of Trees
4x Cherub
4x Greater Energy Elemental
4x Bob, Snapping Gob
4x Nob, Rapacious Gob
4x Zob, Gurgling Gob
4x Wraith
4x White Unicorn
4x Energy Well
total = 36

4x Limited Big Time Rebate
4x Dispel Magic
total = 8

1x Sacrificial Altar
1x Teleport Tower
3x Sewage Backup
total = 5

3x Babes
4x Beer
5x Gold
total = 12

total cards = 63

I chose Rak Nam because this deck is heavy channeling and dude can hammer thanks to a large CMP, which is enhanced by Gift of Isis. I went with Dragon Wing Lord because of the AOE value for wiping out small opponents, which cuts down on secondary attacks against you. The Egyptian Shields are for generating Power Stones, and Limited Big Time Rebate is far superior to Make Juice for getting Power Stones, especially during a round of Champion & Guardian combat. Sacrificial Altar is also capable of generating Stones if needed.

Rock Spirit, Sewage Backup, and Anvil of Heaviness are great for overcoming opposing Stronghold bonuses. With Jungle, Woods, Tomb, Dispel Magic, and Rey, I should be able to prevent either Command cards or Ranged Attacks so I'm not hit with both during a combat. Dispel Magic is also very useful for negating nasty opposing Spells like Pestilence and Pepe's Slowdown.

Greater Energy Elemental and Wraith are in there due to excellent receiving of channeling. Energy Well makes a good channeler to other copies of itself and Elemental. Petrified Heart lets you count Well's base vitality of 4 under a Shield instead of the red penalty of 7.

Cherub and Unicorn get good bonuses or destruction of lots of creatures, plus Cherub can receive channeling. The Nobs make great situational secondary attackers.

Teleport Tower is a must for getting a creature to your Shield when you're out in the middle of nowhere, and Medallion can get Cherubs and Nobs out to your Shield too, while the Sarcophogus gets them into your Storage Hand and onto the Teleport Tower or Sacrificial Altar.

Scarab of Bounty boosts card draw.

Altar of Takuli can keep a creature alive after a critical battle, and Footlocker of Conflagration does the same for your Champion.

The name of the deck is "Channel Surfers". Let's see what happens...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Solo Adventures 2nd Edition tweaks

I've made a couple of changes to the 2nd Edition rules:

EDIT: One huge change I considered and forgot to incorporate was giving your Guardian 3 times its normal amount of Power Stones. It is impossible to beat 3 cooperative Guardians, their Champions, and all their creatures, while trying to return your only Shield home every now and then, with your normal amount of Stones. Unless you add about 15 Make Juice in your deck -and how much fun would that really be? Your increased level of Power Stones is also the reason the other Guardians are working against you - you have become far too powerful. This is what has led them to team up and marshal all their forces against the threat you represent to them individually. This has now been incorporated.

Opposing ranged attackers do not count towards control of the space (but Command Cards that are creatures do).

Tes Let and K'Hutek have been replaced with Sikura and Thak.

Shadow Strike and Summon Loghammer's Sapper were added to the Spell Deck. Voodoo Hat was moved from the Spell Deck to the Stronghold Deck.

An entire new section has been written to address how to play opposing Guardian channeling & special abilities, and opposing Spells (you'll find this section right before the Draw and Organize Phase rules).

You may remove any 3 movement die to move onto a space with Terrain that you chose for the game with a -1 modifier to your encounter roll. This was done because I was finding that winning a space and replacing the existing Terrain with one from the Terrain deck actual penalizes you by limiting your movement options. By the time you place 3 or 4 Terrain cards, if you don't roll that Terrain type you've really screwed yourself. So this option has been added to make sure you benefit from placing Terrain that is favorable to you, with only a very slight encounter penalty (-1), while avoiding getting hammered by the Doom Counter for not being able to move.

You may remove any 1 movement die for each opposing Stronghold space that you move onto.

I will soon be adding a Channel Deck for the higher difficulty levels that will allow opposing Guardians to place and use channelers under their Strongholds when the Doom Counter changes.