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Guardians is a great Collectible Card Game formerly produced by FPG,
Inc.  The game is no longer supported, except by fans who have played
the games since its inception or since picking up discounted cards.

One problem with picking up discounted cards: if you can't find a
starter deck, you don't have the rules.  (There are other things you
may not have either, but the rules are the most important.)

This is an effort to correct that problem.  What follows are a quick
set of rules for playing the game.  They get more complex as the go
along.  All that is listed is what you *can* do, not what you
*should* do.  For playing tips, go elsewhere.

                           Guardians Rules
                             part 2 of ?
                            (version 0.1)


This is the heart of Guardians: two Shields going to combat.

Pick up all the cards under your shield into your Combat Hand.  You may
also pick up all your double-bordered cards from your Storage Hand. You
CANNOT take any of your creatures out of your Creature Pen.  That's the
reason that they're kept under the Guardian, so you can't pick them
up by accident. (Sure, it was an "accident".)

The attacker declares first if he is playing a command card.  (Not
*which* card, just whether or not one will be played.)

A command card is a sort of spell that takes place before you begin
combat.  It might be one of the following:  a Spell (like Ice Storm or
Vitales Dark Cloud) that states that it must be used as a Command Card,
a Hand Magic Item (like Medallion of Skyphos from Drifters Nexus) that
states it must be used as a Command Card, or a creature that has a
command ability.

A command ability differs from a regular ability in that it is preceded
by 'C' with a line through it.  Also, the spell portion of the text box
will be in italics.

After the attacker declares whether or not to play one, the defender
declares whether he will use one.  They are then revealed together.

You may each only play one command card.

If the two cards are contradictory, the one with the lower Up Number
is dispelled.  If they have the same Up Number, they're both dispelled.

Ex. 1:  Vitales Dark Cloud vs. Sorcerer

No contradiction.  Both AOEs take effect.

Ex. 2:  Visionary vs Seer.

Both require that the opponent state something about their creature
before combat, which is a contradiction.  Since both have Vitality 5,
both are dispelled.

Ex. 3:  Trumpeter vs Baleful Eye.

One requires that all Demons and Devils be played first, while the
other requires the opponent to announce the size of his creatures.
Strangely enough, these can both be done, so neither is dispelled.

Ex. 4:  Uras, Overlord of the Mountains vs. Slor, Overlord of the Wastes

They both change the terrain type for the rest of the combat.
Slor has the higher Up number, the terrain becomes Dry Heaps.
Uras is dispelled.  (And it is keeping with the spirit of the game
for the "Slor" player to announce, "Ha! I dispelled Uras!")

If the command card forces the two into combat, go to the Primary
Attack section, below.

AOE attacks

So what's this AOE attack on some of the cards?  AOE stands for "Area
of Effect" and it attacks every creature in the opponent's hand (but
not the ones that are on the table).

If the Sorcerer casts a 4-point fire AOE, every creature in the
opponent's hand that have a Vitality of 4 or less (Note: use the
actual Vitality, not the red Stacking number, if there is one.) are
discarded.  This can conceivably wipe out your entire hand.  It might
also have no effect at all.  Additionally, since this AOE is a "fire"
attack, all creature with immunity to fire are immune to this attack.

If the card had a "fear" AOE, creatures immune to fear attacks would
be immune to that attack as well.

If the card just says "AOE", there is only one creature that is immune
to it -- the Blackthwaite Jumper, which is immune to ALL AOEs.

The final type of AOE attack is, believe it or not, methane, which is
only used by two creatures: Cow and Mayor McEvil.  The rules for
methane are on the Cow card.  The creatures are NOT discarded, but are
set to the side, out of play, and cannot fight.  They can, however, be
attacked by the opponent.


Okay, you've gotten past the command card step.  Now, it's time to go

Each player picks one card from their hand and they are laid on the
table simultaneously.  Now it's time to see who wins.

But first ---


 -- there are a few steps before you get to actually kill each other.

Once both creatures are revealed, both players have the opportunity to
bribe his opponent's creature away.  There are up to three icons on
the bottom of the creature cards: a beer mug, a gold coin, and a pair
of lips (Babes).  If a creature has one or more of these, it can be
bribed away by the appropriate bribery card.

Bribery must be the first thing you do in a primary match-up.  If you
decide not to bribe, you cannot change your mind later when your
opponent does something really nasty that you weren't expecting.
Likewise, you must give your opponent the opportunity to bribe you --
you can't speed-play into something nasty and tell him its too late.

Standard example:

Sand Lord vs. Swordsman: the Sand Lord has Vitality 11 and is
bribeable by Babes, the Swordsman is a 6 that is bribeable by Gold.

Possibility 1: Swordsman bribes Sand Lord with Babes.  Sand Lord
player may also bribe Swordsman with Gold or leave him unchallenged.

Possibility 2: Sand Lord player bribes Swordsman with Gold.  Swordsman
can bribe or not, but he can't do anything else.

Possibility 3: Swordsman player doesn't have a Babes, but does have a
St. Ballantine's Evocation (which destroys the Knight and its
opponent). He quickly plays it as soon as its obvious that he'll lose
anyway.  Sand Lord player screams "Wait a minute: I was going to bribe
you."  Swordsman player has to take back the spell. Oops.

Possibility 4: Swordsman player doesn't have a Babes, but does have a
St. Ballantine's Evocation (which destroys the Knight and its
opponent). He pauses and says, "Are you bribing me?"  Sand Lord player
says "No".  Bombs away.   Sand Lord player can't change his mind now
-- both creatures are destroyed.


There are Spells that can be cast "at any time".  You can cast one of
these now, or at any time AFTER bribery.  These include St. Ballentine's
Evocation, Power Lunch, etc.


If either creature has a "Destroys x" condition where x could be
"creatures bribeable by Gold" or "Mortals affected by fear" or
whatever, this takes place before anything else.

If the Merchant goes up against the Swordsman, the Swordsman is
destroyed and goes immediately to the discard pile.  However, if
the Swordsman had St. Ballentine's Evocation, it could have be
cast prior to the destruction step and thus destroying both creatures.
Or the Merchant could have been bribed by Babes to prevent the

AOE attacks

Not all AOE attacks are command cards, some use their attacks during
primary attacks. They are resolved after destruction. Thus, if a
Sorcerer goes up against a Merchant, the Sorcerer is destroyed before
the AOE can attack.  If the Sorcerer bribes the Merchant away, then
the AOE goes into effect and the opponent discards creatures.


Some creatures are immune to fire or immune to fear. Others are immune
to flying creatures, mortals or externals, etc.  If one creature is
immune to its attacker, turn the attacker around (so that its
head is facing the player who played it) to indicate that no damage has
been done.  The immune creature does damage as normal.

Text Box

Okay, so what about the other stuff.  Any other ability, spell, bonus
or whatever that is described in the text box goes into effect now.

Off-Color Bonus

A Vitality 6 swordsman against a Vitality 11 Sand Lord doesn't look too
pretty, does it.  But it isn't as bad as it looks.  White-border
creatures (a.k.a. Mortals) get an Off-Color Bonus against brown-border
creatures (a.k.a. Elementals) which get an Off-Color Bonus against
black-border creatures (a.k.a. Externals) which get an Off-Color Bonus
against white-border creatures.  Sorta like Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Confused? Hard to remember? It's easy: there's a little oval with a
number in it toward the bottom of the card.  The oval is the color of
the type of creature that it gets a bonus against.

In the example above, the Swordsman gets a +3 bonus against all
Elementals, like the Sand Lord.  That gives him a Vitality of 9.
Now he's only losing by two points -- and we're not done here.

The Sand Lord also has an OCB of 3, but it only applies against
black-border Externals, so he stays at 11.


Some creatures get a bonus based on the terrain the battle is
taking place on.  (The Sand Lord is unique in that it also has
a penalty for battles on a particular terrain.)

If the battle is taking place on the Dry Heaps, the the Sand Lord
gets a big 6-point Vitality boost, but if it's in the Woods, it
becomes a 6-point penalty.  Obviously, this can tip the balance
of the combat.

Can you change the terrain type?  Sure, two ways: first, if there's
an Overlord command card in play (from Drifters Nexus), the terrain
type has been changed already. Second, drop a Hammer of Doom to
destroy the terrain.  No terrain = no terrain bonus (there is an
exception, but let's not get into that now).  There are other cards
that fiddle with the terrain, but Hammer of Doom is the only one that
does it in the middle of a combat.


(These can take place in any order.)

Ranged Attacks

If your fighting in any terrain other than Woods, you can fire a
ranged-attack into any primary attack.  Only creatures that say
"n pt. ranged-attack" (where n is any number) can be used.

To play a ranged-attacker, place the creature next to your primary
attacker, but tilt it in toward the battle.  The amount of your
ranged-attack is added to the Vitality of your primary attacker.

For instance, the Sand Lord and Swordsman are still at it.  The Sand
Lord is Vitality 11, the Swordsman is Vitality 6 + 3 for his Off-Color
Bonus for a total of 9.  The combat isn't taking place in Woods (if it
were, the Sand Lord would have a penalty of -6, making him Vitality 5
and he'd be beaten!) so an Archer (Vitality 6, 3 pt ranged-attack) can
be played.  The Swordsman now has a Vitality of 12 and will beat the
Sand Lord unless he plays his own ranged attack, a Gold bribery or
something sneaky.

Ranged attackers can be bribed like regular creatures. They cannot be
attacked, not even by your opponent's ranged attackers.


This is the biggie.  Read it twice or three times.  Make sure you
understand it because the game depends on it.

Channeling is a way to boost a creature's Vitality temporarily to help
it win combats.

Creatures with a green bar in the lower right corner (over the letters
"CMP") can automatically receive channeling.  Creatures with a red bar
cannot receive channeling unless a Spell, command card or some other
effect allows them to.

Where does the channeling come from? Two sources: first, those
faced-down channellers that you placed under your stronghold during the
Draw & Organize phase; second, your Guardian.

To use a channeling creature, just reveal it. It adds the number of CMP
to the attacking creature's Vitality.  Channeling creatures may be used
once per turn on any turn of the game.  Some have restrictions on what
creature type they may cast to; others allow channeling to certain
creatures including ones that normally cannot receive channeling.

To use your Guardian to channel, simply spend a stone.  Your creature
gains the Guardian's CMP in addition to its Vitality.  You may spend
multiple stones to channel to a single creature, but if you run out of
stones, you can no longer channel.

LIMITS on channeling:  a creature can only receive up to it base
Vitality in channeling (effectively doubling it) unless the card says
otherwise.  For example:  if you first play a Power Lunch spell, the
Sand Lord can receive up to 11 points of channeling, regardless of
terrain and off-color bonuses (or penalties) or ranged-attackers.

A Valkyrie Spirit (CMP 3, channels only to Knights, including those
that normally cannot receive channelling) can give its full 3 points
to the Swordsman, and a second Vakyrie Spirit can give another 3 points.
However, a third one would be ineffective; the Swordsman have received
as much as he could handle.  Even the Guardian couldn't give him any


After you've finished adding in bonuses, casting Spells, channeling
and placing ranged attackers, figure out which creature has the most
Vitality.  Place the winning card so that it overlaps the loser to
signify victory.

Now you're ready for the next primary attack.  Each player picks one
more card and does it all over again.

This goes on until either player runs out of cards.  At that point, we
come to . . .


When one player has creatures left over, he gets to play secondary
attacks.  That is, you get to pick off any of your opponent's remaining
creatures.  You may attack his command card or any ranged attacker, or
you may attack a creature that won a primary match-up.  Your attacking
creature gets all bonuses from its text box, for terrain, for off-color
and channelling.  THERE ARE NO RANGED ATTACKS during Secondary Attacks.

HOWEVER, remember how the word "temporarily" was used before?  Well,
it's over now.  During second attackers, all Vitality bonuses from the
primary attacks are GONE.  All text boxes are, in effect, blanked out.
(The exception to this are text boxes that specifically apply to
secondary attacks or for the duration of the combat.)

While you may attack any creature, if you attack a primary attacker, you
get the full Base Vitality of your primary attacker as a bonus to your
secondary attacker.

Secondary attackers, like all attackers, may be bribed.


Chris played a Sorceror (as a command card), a Sand Lord,
Devil Dog (Vitality 6, immune to fire).

Bill played an Iron Crag Baggler (as a command card, dispels opponent's
command card), a Swordsman plus an Archer as a ranged attack, and a Fire
Walker (Vitality 9, fire-based attack).

Suppose Chris has remaining creatures, here are his options:
- he can attack the pesky command card, but he needs five points of
vitality (including bonuses and channeling) to kill it.  The Iron Crag
Baggler cannot defend itself, except to bribe the creature away.

- he can attack the Archer, but he needs seven points of vitality.

- he can attack the Fire Walker, in which case he needs only four
points because the Devil Dog already did 6 points.

- he can kill the Swordsman outright with any creature that attacks,
even a Vitality 0 Idiot.  This is because the Sand Lord is a 11, and
the Swordsman goes back to being a 6. Back you must have *something*
to attack him with, it isn't an automatic win.

Suppose Bill had a remaining creature, which is at most five points
of Vitality (beacause he's already played 25)

- he can attack the Sorceror, but needs nine points to kill it (which is
possible if his creature can accept channeling)

- he can attack the Devil Dog, but need a full seven points because the
Fire Walker didn't do any damage during the primary rounds.  That's why
the card is rotated 180 degrees as a reminder.  However, Bill doesn't
have to worry any more about that silly immunity to fire -- like all
other bonuses, it goes away!

Question: If the Sand Lord had been Power Lunched and then received
channeling to beat the Swordsman, what would his secondary need to kill

Answer: the Sand Lord is an 11, the Swordsman is a 6. He needs another
six.  All bonuses go away including the Sand Lord terrain *penalty*, had
there been one, including OCB, including the Archer's ranged attack.
Any channeling is lost, too.


Can multiple creatures attack the same creature during secondary

Absolutely, but its important to note that the "ALL BONUSES GO AWAY"
rule applies to your secondaries if you place a "secondary secondary".
That is, only the last creature you play gets its OCB, terrain bonus and
channeling.  All other attackers get only their base Vitality.

Confused?  That's normal.  Try it out a few times and you'll get the
hand of it.

Hopefully, I'll come up with a good sample hand that illustrates all
these points.

C. J. Burke