version 1.0

About Takeover!: This new card game was developed by the clever minds of Manuel Garcia and Kevin Saddi. A fast-paced, easy-to-learn card game was what they had in mind when they started creating the rules for what you see now as Takeover! This game can be played with 2 or more players; the more players involved, the more fun the game will be!

Takeover! adds a blend of Speed, War, and other fun card games into one excitement filled fast-paced struggle to control all the cards and/or control more than your opponents. It is a game designed to be played with any number decks of normal playing cards, a pencil and paper to keep track of scores, and can be played anywhere.

Setting: In Takeover!, each player represents a strong political/army leader pitted in the struggle for absolute power (think Risk) of the world. There is a battlefield, where all the action takes place and the command center from where the player deploys his armies and assassins.

Objective: The object of the game is to control as many cards (spoils of war) than your opponents by capturing their cards using "assassin" cards.

Setup: If you’re playing with more than one deck, combine the two or more decks to create a huge deck. This will be referred to as the Resource deck. The Resource deck consists of attackers you deploy upon the battlefield. Once that is done, shuffle the Resource deck and deal each player five cards. Once every player gets to view their hand, any player "declares war" and draws a card from the Resource deck and places it in the middle of the playing field. Basically, this one player starts the game. The playing field shall be referred to as the Battlefield. War has begun at this point...

Deployment: There are no turns in this game! It is played in real-time; therefore the faster you are, the better you’ll be at this game. The card drawn to declare war (otherwise, the first card that’s on the Battlefield) is called a Trigger card. The Trigger is what usually starts the action. Whatever suit the card has (Hearts, diamonds, spades, or clubs), you want to "deploy" a card from your hand that matches the suit on the Trigger card.

example of play: Bob declares war and draws and turns over the first card on top of the Resource deck and places it on the Battlefield. It is a 4 of Spades. He deploys a 6 of Spades and then quickly refills his 5-card hand and as he is doing this, Jenny deploys 3 cards onto the battlefield: an Ace of Spades, 5 of Spades, and a 3 of Spades. She draws three cards from the Resource deck to refill her hand.

Once you have deployed cards onto the battlefield, you want to draw up to 5 cards to replenish your arsenal of cards in your hand. Basically, it’s a game of matching the suits and then capturing the pile of cards in the Battlefield with an Assassin as fast as you can.

Deploying Assassins: Assassins are represented by the "face" cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks). If you have an Assassin in your hand then you can deploy it onto the battlefield. Once that is done, you capture the pile of cards and discard the pile from the Battlefield and into your Spoils of War pile.

example of play: Continuing with the previous example, Bob then deploys an Assassin (represented by a Queen of Hearts). So he then claims the pile on the Battlefield which consists of 6 points (six cards). He puts these newly acquired cards in his Spoils of War pile. He then draws another Trigger card from the Resource deck and play continues as usual until someone deploys another Assassin.

Once the pile in the Battlefield is captured by an Assassin, play usually stops until all the players refill their hands with up to 5 cards maximum. After that, the player who deployed the Assassin then draws a Trigger card from the Resource deck and sets it in the middle of the Battlefield. Play continues as stated above until the Resource deck is out.

Note: The object of deploying Assassins is to capture the cards on the battlefield. So the larger the pile of cards on the battlefield is, the more points you will receive if you capture it with an Assassin! But beware, if you wait for the pile to grow too long, your opponent may capture it for themselves...

Peace Treaty: When no player can deploy a card (can’t match the suit on the card that’s on top on the battlefield), then someone can ask for a Peace Treaty. If you accept, then you take your existing hand and set it on top of the Resource deck. Once all the players that have accepted the Treaty (including the player who asked for a Treaty) have placed their existing hands on top of the Resource deck, then someone (usually the player who declared Peace Treaty) cuts the Resource deck anywhere, then deals 5 cards to each player who accepted the Treaty. DO NOT reshuffle the Resource deck. Thus, giving the players who accepted a new hand to play with.

If you decline the offer, then you keep your existing hand (perhaps you have something devious planned, like unleashing a horde of Assassins!) and the player who declared Peace Treaty still must place their existing hand on top of the Resource deck and do as instructed above as if the players accepted the offer.

example of play: An Ace of Clubs is on the battlefield and Bob and Jenny can’t deploy anything (or don’t want to). So Jenny asks Bob if he wants a Peace Treaty between them and Bob accepts. Jenny and Bob place their existing hands on top of the Resource deck and Jenny cuts the Resource deck anywhere where she pleases and then deals five cards to Bob and herself. She suddenly notices that she has a 5 of Clubs and deploys it right before Bob deploys his 7 of Clubs...

If Bob would’ve declined Jenny’s Peace Treaty offer, then Bob keeps his existing hand and Jenny places her hand on top of the Resource deck, cuts, and deals herself 5 new cards. Play then continues. If again, there is no player that can deploy, then either Jenny or Bob can declare Peace Treaty once again.

Coup d’etat: In Takeover!, anything can happen. Such as a dramatic event like a major takeover, revolution, or a social uprising. This is represented by what is called a Coup d’etat and is represented by the Joker cards. If a Joker card is deployed as a Trigger on the Battlefield, then the first player to have his existing hand of cards on top of the Joker card is successful (ie: You want to slam your hand with your cards to "control" the Joker card).

example of play: Jenny captures the pile of cards on the Battlefield. Both Bob and Jenny then refill their 5-card hands and then Jenny deploys a Trigger card from the Resource deck to startup play again. It happens to be a Joker and so with fast-as-lightening reflexes, Jenny immediately slams her hand over the Joker card with her 5-cards, beating Bob to it. Bob then hands her his 5-cards as she takes the Joker and her 5-cards on the Battlefield as booty, or Spoils of War!

That player is unaffected by the Coup d’etat and therefore claims the pile in the battlefield as Captured material and all the other player’s existing hands as a bonus! This is a great way to obtain a dozen cards at one time. This is where the element of Speed comes into play...

If you happen to draw a Joker card from the Resource deck when you’re refilling your hand, then treat it as an Assassin. Remember, only Joker cards that are directly deployed as a Trigger from the Resource deck are Coup d’etats!

Scoring: At the end of battle (when the Resource deck is absolutely out) that means all the players have run out of resources required to fight the war. Therefore, the game is over and players count how many cards they have in their Spoils of War pile. The player with the most cards wins that game of Takeover!


  • Game designed by: Kevin Saddi and Manuel Garcia
  • Rules written by: Kevin Saddi
  • Gametesting by: Manuel Garcia and Kevin Saddi
  • Takeover! Booklet published and assembled by: Kevin Saddi and Manuel Garcia

*Special thanks goes out to Ken, the owner of KJG Games Group for letting us put copies of our crazy game out so people can play Takeover!

http://www.saddi.com/kevin/takeover/ - Takeover! Webpage

The authors of this game give permission for these rules to only be freely distributed. The authors’ intent is not for money or fame, but just to develop a nice fun game for everyone to enjoy!

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Last updated: 18th November 2005