Contributed by Daniel Caton
NEEDED: 1 pack of 52 cards per player
RANKING: A(14), K(13), Q(12), J(11), 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
SPADES = Soldiers. Soldiers can attack lives or other soldiers. They must wait one turn before attacking after being sent out onto the field. During phase 1 they may be moved back to a players hand once per game: on one just occasion during each game you can as part of phase 1 take any number of soldiers from your layout and return them to your hand. The amount of resources needed to bring out a soldier and the amount needed to attack is equal to the value of the soldier.
CLUBS = Spells. Spells have the ability to destroy an enemy’s soldier, defender, or resource if their value is equal to or greater then that of the soldier/defender/resource. Spells are cast directly from a player's hand - they are nevr brought out onto the field. The amount of resources needed to cast a spell is equal to its value. Spells cannot be combined to make a larger spell. A spell may be countered by an opponent’s spell of equal or higher value to cancel its effect, unless the countering spell is itself countered by an equal or higher spell, and so on.
DIAMONDS = Resource. Resources are essential to the game; one resource may be put out at the beginning of each turn, resources are what bring out all other things and allow attacks and defends, also they can only be used once a turn but the next turn they may be used again. Multiple resources may be combined to allow a more powerful spell/soldier/defender to be used. A larger resource than needed may be used to bring out a card, attack, cast a spell, etc., but the remaining power of the reource is then wasted for that turn. Resource cards cannot be split - for example you cannot use a 10-resource to bring out a 6-soldier and a 4-soldier - only one or the other.
HEARTS = Defenders. Defenders may protect lives and resources from spells, and can protect soldiers from spells and other soldiers. Defenders cannot protect other defenders. The number of resources needed to bring them out and to defend with them is equal to their value.
OBJECTIVE: take out the opponent’s lives
BEGINNING: Each player draws 6 or more cards. Five form the player's hand. The remainder are set aside and represent the player's "life". (NOTE: 5 cards must be in the player's hand at the beginning of their first turn. The player decides how many life cards to use.) Then play is carried out like so:
PHASE 1: Player draws 1 card and puts out a resource if he/she would like to.
PHASE 2: Player then uses resources to cast spells and bring out soldiers and defenders. When casting a spell, the caster must declare the target of the spell and then the opponent decides whether to counter. When a spell is directed at a resource, the target resource can be used to help fuel a countering spell.
PHASE 3: Player then attacks (using soldiers), declaring which opposing soldier is being attacked. If the opponent has no soldier out then the player may attack one of the opponent's lives. The opponent may use a defender to block the attack, provided that the defender has been brought out and there are sufficient resources to operate the defender. If blocked by a defender with higher value then the soldier is destroyed. If the defender has a lower value then the soldier then the defender is destroyed. If the target was a soldier then the soldier with less value is destroyed. If the soldiers’ values were the same then they are both destroyed. If the attacked player has no soldier and does not block then the one of the opponent’s lives is moved to their hand.
PHASE 4: Player may use any extra resources (resource cards that have not been used in phases 1-3) to cast spells and bring out soldiers and defenders.
After Phase 4 the next player goes. This continues until one player runs out of lives at which point the player that still has lives left is declared the winner.
A card that is on the field can be "sacrificed" by moving it to the top of your discard pile. Aces, Kings and Jacks can only be sacrificed during phase 1 or 4 of your own turn. Kings can be sacrificed in phase 1 or 4 of your turn or during phase 3 of your opponent's turn.
ACES: By sacrificing one of your own Aces (other than spells) you may take the top card of your deck and make it into a life, and all of your soldiers double their value for one turn.
KING: By sacrificing one of your own Kings (other than spells) you may bring out all of the soldiers with a value of 7 or less from your hand. All of the soldiers brought out by this effect may attack on their first turn out.
QUEEN: By sacrificing one of your own Queens (other than spells) your opponent is forced to destroy one card of his/her choice from the field - either a soldier, a defender, or a resource card.
JACK: By sacrificing one of your own Jacks (other than spells) your opponent is forced to discard all soldiers from their hand. And you get to play all of your resources from your hand.