Original Rules Concept

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Contents


Intro.

Disclaimer & info

  • Last rules revision: 7:th of August 2017. These rules as suggested here are ready for playtesting.
  • These rules are currently intended for developers that work on the same ruleset as snowdrop, which is dubbed "the Original Rules Concept", or ORC in short. Their primary purpose is to function as playtesting rules. This means that it doesn't matter much if a wider audience and the public understands them or not as they're internal.
  • This document will exist in a very short quick-start version once it's been more finalized after the playtesting phase of the development. For the time being, all rules that will be up for dev. testing are gathered here.
  • Lingual edits are allowed by anyone as long as they keep the semantics and logic of the game and the intention of a rule fully intact and don't change how the game works. This is especially true if English is your native language and/or you master it better than the original authors of the document.
    • Rule-edits are not allowed unless being cleared with snowdrop first.
  • The ORC intends to live up to the General Design Document & the Local Design Document for the ORC.
  • All content in here can and will likely change as we continue development, concept- & playtesting and revising. Nothing in here represents the finalized game nor should it be seen as set in stone.
  • Questions? Please mail snowdrop@wtactics.org as it will be easiest to reach me that way, or if they are general please check the FAQ or our forum to see if the answers are already there.

Basics

Gaia is:

  • Customizable, modular and an ever evolving community driven project sprung from the open souce board- and cardgame initiative WTactics.org
  • A fully featured and deep tactical card game where players are commanding forces in a fantasy world where conquest and survival is the goal.
  • An open source project released under GPL2 or later. The game is free and libre. Everyone has the liberty to modify, duplicate and spread it.

Winning

The game is won by 1) being the first to destroy all of the opponents regions by lowering their Health Points (HP) to zero or 2) be the first one to achieve a certain amount of Victory Points (VP).

Draws

  • In the rare case where all remaining players both lose all their regions during the same turn the player with the highest amount of victory points is the winner.
  • If that is also equal then the game is considered a draw.

Best of

To really find out who has the superior army and mindset we recommended you to play the game best of three or best of five. Draws are not taken into account in a best-of-series.

Setting up the Game

Number of Players

Basic play requires two players. The game also fully supports several multiplayer formats that allow three or more players to participate and is also playable in pure co-op modes where the players combat fight to overcome the system instead of each other. For the sake of simplicity and to flatten the learning curve we will stick to the most common setup in the world of customizable card games - the classical 2 player game, where one player versus the other.

Materials for Play

Make sure you have the following materials for each player before you start a game:

  • 20 tokens for all kinds of stuff
  • Something, like pen and paper or 2 x d20, to track the HP of your region and your Victory Points.

Table Layout

The playing table is divided into imaginary areas. They may be marked out with ropes or a custom made playmat, but it's not necessary due to their simple forms. Each area has it's own separate properties and functions. The below table overview is an example of how a game could be setup. It shows only the table side of one of the players. Each additional player should have the same table layout.


 Notice small.png      will vary In a normal game of WT the number of cards on the table will vary greatly during the course of the game. Typically there would be fewer cards in the start of the game and more of them as the game progresses. The amount of cards that each player has on the table during any given time will also vary.


Table layout orc.png


Front (1)

Creatures in the Front may help launch an attack or defend against enemies.

Kingdom (2)

Creatures are the only type of cards that can be played in the kingdom. While they are there they are considered servants and belong to a domain. See the rules about servants and influence to learn more about their specifics. The Kingdom is divided into 3 piles of cards, each representing one of the three domains.

Region (3)

The region pile, called Chapter, keeps your region cards face down, with only one active region turned face up. When a region is defeated by your opponent by having it's HP reduced to 0 that region is discarded and the next one beneath it is revealed. Some region cards also have distinct symbols on their top right side - they show how many cards the player gets to draw directly when he/she loses the region.

Region cards come into play for free and lack a gold cost and other pre-requisites. The player that loses the last region is the one that also lost the game.

Vault (4)

Gold is used as the games primary way to pay for the cards you wish to play.

  • Each turn a player may put one of the cards in hand face down in the Vault.
  • Cards that are placed in the Vault become gold resource cards.
  • Each resource card produces 1 gold each when it's marked.

Deck (5)

The player comes to the game with selected cards put in a pile, shuffled and face down. That pile is called the deck. This area is from where the player draws new cards every time it becomes his/her turn.

Grave (6)

The area where all the discarded, used up or somehow wasted or killed cards go, like for instance dead creatures and used Event cards. All cards in the grave are face up. Any player may search through any players grave at any time. The order of the cards in the grave should however be kept intact, meaning that the most recent discarded card would be on the top and first on the grave, the next most recent card second, and so on.

Card States

Entering & In Play

When a card is legally moved onto or otherwise activated on the game table it is entering play:

  • Creature cards enter play most often by being played from hand into either a domain in the Kingdom or directly to the Front.
  • Region cards enter play by being revealed from the top of the region pile (Chapter), and they always stay in the region pile while active.
  • Resource cards enter play by being placed face down, from hand, into the Vault.
  • All other card types enter play in the Front.

If nothing hinders a card from entering play it is then considered to be in play, given that all it's costs and pre-requisites have been met for it to enter play. Typically that would be all permanents that are on the table, like your creatures, equipment and spell.

Events and Magic are technically speaking also in play for a very short moment: They enter play, are in play, resolve and then become discarded into the grave - thus, they leave play.

Not in Play

  • A card that is not in the in play state is considered to be not in play.
  • All the cards in a players hand, army deck and grave are examples of cards that are not in play until their owner pays for them and meets other criteria so that they can be put in play.
  • Card types that can stay on the table (permanents) are put "in play". They are in play until they leave the table.
  • Event and Magic cards are in play for just during the turn and moment while they are played, after resolving. When resolved they are moved to the grave and are no longer in play.

Removed from Game

A card that is removed from game is not considered to have the in play state or the not in play state: A card that has been removed from the game ceases to exist for all intents and purposes for the remaining duration of the game. Removed from game cards are not placed in the grave. They are placed in a pile more distant from the game since there will be no interaction with them while playing that current game, ever. The cards that were removed from game will be shuffled into the deck after the game has ended.

There is a huge difference between cards not in play and cards removed from the game: Cards not in play are still a part of the game and might come into play at some point, depending on what tricks you may have in your deck. Cards in hand or in the deck or in the grave are an example of cards not in play.

Card Layout

Card Layout
  1. Cost & Faction Logo: If the card has a gold cost, it will be shown here as a number. The cost is the amount of gold you will have to spend to be able to play the card. The Faction logo - in this case a leaf for the Gaian faction - shows which faction the card belongs to.
  2. Card name / types: Every card has a unique name. Each part of the name also doubles as a subtype.
  3. Additional Card subtypes: This line contains the types(s) of the card. Each card type is governed by specific rules found in this document, while subtypes are usually associated with rules found on other cards.
  4. Card Text: Additional abilities of the card are written in this area.
  5. Combat Statistics: The first red circular value is the units attack (ATK). Second green shield value is it's defence (DEF). These values are used to determine what happens in a combat.
  6. Footer: Info about a) How many copies of the card that is allowed in a deck b) The cards id-number followed by a dot and.. c) The cards specific version number to keep track of if you have the most current revision d) misc. info.
  7. Coloured border: The border around a card reveals what faction it belongs to. Our Elf Druid has a green surrounding border, revealing - together with the faction logo in 1 - that this is a card belonging to the faction Gaia.
  8. Card Art: The illustration has no impact on the rules of the game or anything else. The card art is of purely aesthetical value and also helps the player to id. and remember cards in addition to theme the game.

Card Types

Gaia provides the players with different card types that have their own associated rules:

Creatures

Creatures are the backbone of every army, they are the courageous forces that will bring a player glorious victory (or a miserable defeat that is best forgotten).

During the Entrance phase a player may put new creatures into play by paying their gold cost and then placing them into one of the two regions - the Front or the Kingdom. Creatures that are part of the Front can attack the opponent, as well as defend against oppositional forces. Creatures that are part of the Kingdom are able to defend against the opponent's creatures, but can never be a part of the attacks launched against them.

Unlike other cards, creatures have specific and distinct values that show their fighting skills in combat:

  • Attack (ATK): The offensive skills a creature has when in combat. This is the number of damage the creature will inflict on the enemy creatures (either in Front or Kingdom) or the enemy region.
  • Defense (DEF): Amount of damage a creature can take before it dies. That happens when the ATK value of the attacking creature (attacker) is equal or greater to the DEF value of the defending creature that tries to stop the attack (blocker).

When other cards modify these combat values they are often paired and written in the form of x/y, where x is ATK and y is DEF.

  • Example: +5/-2 would mean that a creature would gain 5 more to it's ATK and lose 2 of it's DEF.

Creature Types

All creatures also belong to one or more creature type. Creature types are words separated by spaces in the creatures name and subtype line. An example of a a couple of creature types a creature could have is: Leader Beast Caster. Leader would be one, Beast another type, and Caster a third creature type. They don't necessarily relate to each other in any way even if it may look like it in some cases.

Creature types have no function by themselves but are very relevant in many situations when other cards interact with the creature cards.

Token Creatures

Some cards create creatures from thin air. Such creatures are then represented by something on the table, most often custom tokens that the player has chosen for the purpose (beads, coins, gems et.c). Token creatures have the subtype token and mostly function like normal creatures, with some exceptions. Token creatures:

  • Can't ever be placed or moved into a domain - they can't become servants or part of the Kingdom.
  • Can't be put in hand/deck/grave - whatever would try to move them to that kills them instead and removes them from the game.

Italic text Beyond the above, everything else is identical to normal creatures. Token creatures can mark, be equipped, enchanted and so on.


Servants

While creatures are in the Kingdom they are far away from the fronts of the war. As such they are partaking in everyday duties in their society and considered to be civil servants as long as they stay within as domain in the Kingdom.

  • Servant is a special subtype to the Creature type of cards that is always added to the creature whenever it is in the Kingdom.
    • A creature is either a servant and inside the Kingdom or it is not a servant, meaning it is outside of the Kingdom (i.e. front, hand, deck, grave et.c)
    • The subtype "Servant" is applied whenever a creature enters the Kingdom somehow, and it is removed when it leaves the Kingdom.
    • The subtype "Top" is added to servants whenever they are the top card of their domain. There can only be one top servant in each domain.
  • Only the top servants may use any of their abilities. These creatures are considered to be in play and all card text on them, types, abilities, movement et.c. apply as usual.
    • All other servants that have any other position in a domain pile may not use their abilities, move, mark, assign, attack, defend or anything else until they become a top.
  • Top servants can not attack from the Kingdom using ATK/DEF.
    • The top servants of each domain may however help to defend by using it's DEF-value the same way as they would in the Front, in normal combat, but the top servants do never strike back while defending from the Kingdom. While defending in the Kingdom the top servant also lose all their abilities.
    • The top servants regain their abilities after the combat has been resolved and ended.

Movement

Up to one creature per turn may perform a movement between the Kingdom and Front or vice versa by it's controller if it is:

  • The movement phase during the controlling players turn.
  • The creature is unmarked/unassigned.
  • The creature is the top servant of it's domain pile.
  • The movement takes the creature from Kingdom to Front, or from Front to Kingdom. Moves between two domains are not possible.

To move a creature from one zone to the other do the following:

  • Mark it
  • Announce the move
  • Place it in the target destination.

Front

Creatures located in the Front may both attack and defend.

Kingdom & Domains

The Kingdom has three different domains in which it excels and that could help the player establish tactical or strategical advantages during the course of the game, as well as earn him/her victory points. A creature in a Domain is called a servant. The domains are called Politics (P), Science (S) and Faith (F). They are represented by three piles in the Kingdom, one pile for each domain. There are zero up to an unrestricted amount of servants into every domain at any given time.

  • Every creature must be placed in one of the three domains while in the Kingdom.
  • The player decides which domain the creature is placed in when the creature enters the Kingdom. The player then places the creature on top of the chosen domain pile, face up.
    • That creature is known as top servant.
    • The top servant may be moved to the front from a given domain (see rules for Movement).
  • A creature can be played directly from hand into the Kingdom and a target domain. If so, that creature is placed above all other in the domain and becomes top servant.

The player may normally only interact with the top servant of each domain (i.e. moving, defending, using abilities, marking et.c.)

Life & Death

  • If all damage has been resolved in a battle and the result is that a creatures defence (DEF) was equal to or lower than the attacking creatures attack (ATK) then the defending creature dies.
  • Dead creatures are placed in the Grave. All cards attached to it except equipment go to their owners grave.
    • See Equipment pickup rule discussed in a separate paragraph to learn how to salvage equipment from dead creatures.
  • Modifiers that somehow lower a creatures DEF to or below zero kill the creature.
  • Damage that a creature suffers during a turn goes away when the turn in which the damage was dealt ends.

Equipment

  • Cards with the Equipment cardtype are considered to be Equipment.
  • A creature may carry one Equipment card from each Equipment subtype at the same time.
    • Equipment effects only stack if the Equipment cards either lack subtypes or have different subtypes.
    • Example: A creature has an "Equipment - Weapon" card called "Damocle's Sword". It is now not possible to give the creature an additional "Equipment - Weapon" card.
  • Equipment may only come into play by being given, attached, to an ally creature. Hence that creature becomes equipped.
    • A creature is unequipped if it has no equipment cards attached to it.
  • An equipment is unattached if it is in play but not equipped by a creature.

Where equipment goes

  • Equipment stays on a creature until a) the equipment is removed by an effect or b) the controlling player unattaches it or c) the equipped creature goes to the grave, hand or a domain.
  • Equipment follows the creature to the grave if it is not picked up when the creature has died and the turn ends.
  • Equipment follows the creature to oblivion if the creature is removed from the game.
  • Equipment is not allowed to enter the domains: When a creature is moved to a domain it drops the Equipment in the Front. To rescue the equipment another creature in the front needs to be able to pick it up before end of turn.
  • Equipment that came back into a players hand by following the creature that carried there becomes, when it reaches the hand, unattached from that creature. The equipment is then considered to be like any other card in hand, and has to be paid for and attached to a creature again in order for it to come into play once more.

Discarding Equipment

A player may discard an attached equipment from one or more of ally unmarked creatures during the play phase: The controlling player announces it, marks the equipped creature, and the chosen equipment is then moved to the grave.

Reassign Equipment

An equipped creature in the front may, during it's controllers play phase, give one equipment that it is carrying to another target ally creature in the front. To be able to perform that action the giving creature as well as the receiving creature must both be unmarked and unassigned. The player marks both the giver and receiver, moves the equipment card from the equipped creature and attaching it on the target ally creature in the front, making it equipped.

Drop & Take equipment

  • When a creature dies while in combat it drops all it's equipment on the ground: The creature is discarded and put into the graveyard while the equipment is left on the table unattached to any other creature. All of it's equipment cards are considered to be dropped on the ground for the time being.
  • Each unmarked ally creature in the front is allowed to pick up one of the dropped Equipment cards during the play phase.
  • To perform the pick up the player must announce that it is being executed and mark the creature that does the pick up. The player then attaches one of the Equipment cards the dead ally creature was carrying to the creature that picked it up.
    • This action costs no gold in contrast to reassigning equipment.
  • Notice that all effects and restrictions of a an equipment or a creature are still in place even if a pick up is attempted.
    • Example 1: If a goblin tries to pick up equipment that explicitly states that it can only be Equipped by Humans then the goblin will not be able to make the pick up since picking up also entails equipping it.
    • Example 2: A creature with the ability "Unarmed - This creature can't use Equipment" can not pick up or otherwise use Equipment.
    • Example 3: If a creature already carries an "Equipment - Armor" it can't pick up an additional equipment that has the armor subtype.
  • A marked creature can't pick up any Equipment since it can't meet the mark criteria.
  • A player can use any amount unmarked creatures to pick up dropped equipment, but each creature may only pick up one piece of Equipment per turn.
  • At the end of turn each player discards all his/her dropped equipment that wasn't picked up from the table.

Regions

Regions are special cards that you keep separated from your draw deck by having them in their own pile and area on the table. The region pile (chapter) is composed of just a few cards and it's order is pre-determined by the player. Region cards can be recognized by their HP value in the bottom right corner, a heart shaped container.

All Region have a specific place they are allowed to be put into the chapter, determining the order of the cards. This position in the chapter is shown in roman numericals, I, II and III, meaning that the card should be first (on top of the chapter), second or last (at the bottom of the chapter).

Regions affect which benefits or disadvantages the player gets when interacting with the domains, among other things. Regions have an HP value and can be attacked by the opponent. Unlike with creatures, damage dealt to Regions does not heal on end of turn. Lowering the HP to zero or below of the opponents last region is one way for the player to achieve victory.

Events

  • Events are cards representing one time effects that try to resolve instantly. In CCG terminology these are more widely known as interrupts or instants.
  • You may play an Event card at any time, even on your opponents turn as a response to what he/she has done.
  • After an event has been used and the resolution of it decided it is always discarded, and that happens the same turn it was played.
  • When you play an event, you follow the instruction provided by its rules text, then you put it in your grave.
  • Keep in mind that whenever you play an Event, your opponent may do the same in response, and back and forth until nobody want to play more Events.
  • Events resolve from the top down: The last event to be played by a player happens first, then event that came previous to that event, and so on.

Magic

NOTICE: The word magic is unfitting the theme and way it works mechanically. It will be repladed by something else, like for example "Scene" or "Action". Others: (Political) Scheme, Plot, Event - > Action

  • In the realm the use of magic is either cast or ordered by somebody connected to one of the three domains, like for example a wizard (Faith), a corrupt leader in society (Politics) or an elder (Science).
  • Magic can only be played during the player's own turn and his/her play phase.
  • Magic doesn't cost gold resources to come into play and no gold resources are marked in the vault: To play a Magic card it's corresponding domain must contain creatures that have a total gold value that is equal to or larger than the cost requirement shown on the magic card.
    • Example: The magic card "Suffocate" has a cost of 3 and it's a Magic spell that is linked to the Faith domain. The player sums up the gold worth of all his/her creatures in the Faith domain in Kingdom and notices they are worth 5 gold together, meaning he/she can play the Suffocate card. No gold is ever used up, and this can be done over and over as long as the domains meet the gold values required by the Magic cards.
  • All magical cards and effects stack.
  • Once a magic card has been played it is discarded into grave, meaning that magic cards are not considered to be permanents.

Spells

  • Spells can only be played during the player's own play phase.
  • Spells are always
    • targeting a creature, a kingdom, a domain, the front, an equipment or a region.
    • attached to it's target, making it enchanted
    • permanently in play on the table until some effect removes them.
  • Spells stack.

Spell Go

  • Spells that are attached to a creature/equipment that goes back up to a hand are placed in the grave.
  • Spells that are attached to creatures/equipment that are removed from the game follow that card and are also removed from game.
  • Spells that are attached to a creature (or equipment a creature is carrying) that moves to a domain stay attached to that creature/equipment and in effect while the creature is the top servant.
  • Casting a spell works the same no matter if it is the top servant of a domain or a creature in the front that is being targeted by the spell.

Spells on Areas

To cast a spell on a playing area like target Kingdom or Domain, the player lays down the spell inside or next to the area, stating what it targets and where it is put down when it comes into play.

Gold & Resources

Resource Cards

  • Each card in Gaia can either be played face up, using it's normal card text and functionality or become a gold resource card instead by being placed face down inside the Vault.
  • A player may only lay down one resource card into the Vault per turn, and only during the players own play phase.
  • A resource card produces 1 gold each turn, if and only if it becomes marked for that purpose.
  • At the end of turn all leftover gold that hasn't been used disappears: Gold can't be accumulated in between turns.
  • The players resource cards replenish at the start of his/her next turn by becoming unmarked.-

Card Costs

Normal Gold Costs

This card costs 5 gold.
  • Creatures, Spells, Equipment and Event cards have a gold cost that has to be paid in order for them to enter play.
    • A gold cost could be 0, X where x is something specified in the cards text, or T where T is a target cards gold cost.
    • Magic and Regions don't cost any gold. They come into play in other ways.
  • Gold costs are printed with a huge number in the cards top right corner, inside of the faction symbol.
  • There may be additional pre-requisites that has to be met for a card to be able to come into play beyond it's gold cost.
    • Example: The card "Love of Peace" costs 4 gold, but may only be played if you control 3 elves.

Variable Gold Costs

Cost of X

This card costs X gold.
  • Apart from integers, a card can have a cost of X, as well as X with a modifier. If that is the case, X is always defined in the card text.
    • Example: A card costs X + 2. It's text says that X is equal to the ATK value of the target creature. The target creature's ATK is equal to 3, thus we'd have to pay 3 + 2 = 5 gold to play our card.

Cost of T

This card costs T gold.
  • T is also around as a cost, as well as T with a modifier. T is always equal the target cards gold cost.
    • Example: A card costs T - 3. The target cards gold cost is 5, which means that we have to pay 5 - 3 = 2 gold to put our card in play.

Paying a cost

  1. The player looks at the card's gold cost.
  2. The player then marks the corresponding amount of unmarked resource cards in the vault to produce that much gold.
  3. The gold has now been spent, regardless if the card actually gets resolved or not.
  4. The card is put into play if it isn't somehow hindered (meaning, it actually does resolve).
  5. Additional cards can be played by repeating the steps above.

Prerequisites

In order to play a card one has to be able to pay it's cost and, if any, meet all the conditions it requires to be true for it to come into play or it's effect to be activated. The more powerful the card is, the higher is the cost, and/or the trickier the prerequisites become.

If there are any prerequisites they will be written on the card, as a part of the card text field. They are often custom, straight forward and vary in nature.

Examples

  • [Event card] I can only be played if you control less creatures than your opponent(s).
  • [Equipment card] I can only be attached to a Northener.
  • [Magic card] I may only be played if you have 6 cards in hand after I have been played.

A card can only come into play if it gets all of it's prerequisites met.

Marking & Unmarking

  • Creature and Resource cards in play are always in either a marked or an unmarked state. All other card types lack the ability to (un)mark.
  • A marked card also gets the used state.
  • Cards always come into play in their unmarked state unless otherwise stated.
  • The marked state is normally used to show that the card has been exhausted or used somehow.
    • Examples of when a card becomes marked: When a creature attacks, moves or uses an activated ability that requires it to mark.
  • An unmarked card is considered to be ready for use.
  • A card can only be marked once per turn.
    • An effect may unmark a card after it has been marked. There is no limit on how many times a card can become marked or unmarked if it happens due to an effect.
  • Every new turn the player must unmark all of his/her marked cards during the players own unmark/unassign-phase.
    • A card that is unmarked also gets the unused state.

Mark me

The Mark Me symbol

Different actions, abilities and rules require a card to mark when the player wants to use it in a particular way. Marking is a kind of common prerequisite, an action that needs to happen in order for the effect on the card to happen. Whenever the mark me symbol is shown (a horizontal rectangle with a symbol within, MarkSmall.png ) it means that you have to mark the card itself if you wish to use the effect that follows.

Example: MarkSmall.png, discard a card: Your Region gains up to 2HP that it has previously lost.

The example shows us a typical text that could be written on a Creature card. It states that if you have the creature in play + mark it + discard a card from your hand, you then heal your region.

Hints:

  • "Mark me" symbol is abbreviated as just (M) when being typed out as plain text.
  • In wiki you can input the Mark Me symbol inline in any text to create a 17x10 px symbol like this MarkSmall.png by writing {{M}}


Mark allies

The mark allies symbol, here showing that 3 allies have to mark.
Should the mark symbol contain a number inside it instead of the arrow it means that you have to mark that amount of other creatures instead of the creature itself. The creature that has the Mark Allies-prerequisite can not mark itself for that reason. Eligible targets for that purpose are your creatures in the front or each domains top servant.

Hints:

  • "Mark allies" symbol is abbreviated as (MaX) when being typed out as plain text, where X is the number of allies that are supposed to become marked.
    • Example: (Ma3).
  • In wiki you can input the Mark Allies symbol inline in any text to create a 17x10 px symbol like this M2.png by writing {{Ma|2}}. Replace the number two with any number between 1 to 7 to get the proper symbol.


 Notice small.png      Marking vs Marked There's a huge distinction between marking a card (switching a card from it's unmarked state into it's marked state) and discussing a marked card, which is a card that is already in it's marked state).


   Exclamation red small.png Disclaimer

How a player (un)marks/(un)assigns cards is not decided by the rules or us behind Gaia as a project due to legal reasons. It's up to the players to agree on it before playing, and there are many ways to mark a cards state. In many physical card games the cards are, for example, rotated 90 degrees so that they lay down horizontally in order to indicate a certain state. Rotating a card in this way is or was a patented idea in the U.S.A. Despite us being an international project with citizens that mostly abide under different laws in countries where US patents are totally irrelevant we would not wish to risk violating patent(s) that protect such amazing inventions or hurt the feelings or commercial interests of any parties holding such patents. Thus, we explicitly state that we do not intend to give anyone the idea that we encourage the usage of rotation to (un)mark/(un)assign cards. Furthermore we also don't take any legal responsibility for players actions or interpretations of our game.

Assigning

"A" for Assigning...
All creature cards are always in an assigned or unassigned state. Assigning a creature is a prerequisite that has to be met in order to activate that creatures specific ability.

Assigning works in similar ways to marking but also differs in a couple of important aspects from the marked state:

Assigning

  • Only unmarked and unassigned creatures with the assign symbol (Assign.png) that are in the front or top servant in their domain can be assigned during the players own play phase.
  • An assigned card also gets the used state and maintains that state while the card remains assigned.
  • To assign a card you need to pay it's assignment cost. This cost is indicated by the assignment symbol (a circle with an A in it), followed by a cost for the assignment. After the cost there is a colon sign (:) with text that reveals what happens while the card is in it's assigned state.
    • The assignation cost can vary and be nothing except for the assignation itself, a gold cost, a custom text, marking or some kind of combination of these costs/prerequisites.
  • When being assigned the cards must somehow be altered so that they clearly indicate that they are in the assigned state.
    • In theory the cards could be turned upside down to make it obvious that it has entered an assigned state (has become assigned).
    • We do not endorse the above a solution and refer to our disclaimer on the subject in this document.

Assigned Creatures

  • While assigned a card is considered to have no other abilities except the currently assigned one.
  • Assigned creatures can't attack or defend.
  • Assigned creatures can't mark or un-mark.
  • Assigned creatures may be targeted by any player.
  • While assigned a card keeps its faction belonging, attack and defense values, card and subtypes. The card is in play.
  • Don't automatically unassign in the unmark/unassign phase unless the player unassigns it.

Unassigning

  • Only assigned creatures may be unassigned.
  • Unassignment may only occur during the unmark/unassign phase.
  • To unassign a card the controlling player puts the card in the marked state. The card is then considered to be unassigned, but it can not mark or assign again during the same turn in which it was unassigned.
  • A card that is unassigned usually remains in the used state since it is then marked instead of assigned. In order for it to leave the used state it needs to also unmark.

Hints:

  • "Assign" symbol is abbreviated as just (A) when being typed out as plain text.
  • In wiki you can input the Assign symbol inline in any text to create a 10x10 px symbol like this Assign.png by writing '{{A}}

Round Structure

Gaia is played using individual player turns, that are divided into different game phases.

The player who is currently taking his turn is named the active player. All other players are considered to be passive players even if they would do something (i.e. play Event cards) during the active players turn. When we refer to "the player" we most often refer to the "active player". In cases where we don't refer to the active player, we use the "passive" or "any" player terminology.

Mulligan

During each players first turn the player is allowed to do a Mulligan, once. The Mulligan can't be performed in a later turn, nor can it be performed after a player has accepted the cards that were drawn and proceeded within the turn structure.

To do a Mulligan the player:

  • Looks at all 7 cards the player drew.
  • Selects two of the cards in the starting hand and puts them into the grave.
  • Keeps 0 to 5 of the cards in hand to start with.
  • Shuffles the rest into the deck.
  • Draws new cards until the player gets 7 in hand again.

Turn Structure

A turn is made up of the following phases, where each name is followed by the postfix "phase":

  1. Unmark/Unassign
  2. Upkeep
  3. Tactical
  4. Draw
  5. Play
  6. Move or Attack
  7. Play
  8. Move or Attack
  9. Entrance
  10. Discard

The phases that are mandatory are the Unmark/unassign, Upkeep, Tactical, Draw and Discard-phases. The Play, Move or Attack and Entrance phases are all optional phases and can all be omitted by you if you choose to do so.

The phases must occur in the given order. Example: You can't use a Play or Move/Attack-phase once you have used your Entrance or Discard-phase.


Turn Phases

Unmark/Unassign

  • During the unmark and unassign phase a player must unmark all his/her cards that are marked. This replenishes them for future use.
  • In contrast, assigned cards do not automatically become unassigned: During the unmark/unassign-phase a player may unassign target ally creatures that is assigned.

Upkeep

  • Sometimes cards require that an upkeep cost is paid. This phase is only relevant when that kind of cards are around.
  • All such cards have explicit text that tell the players if that is the case. Such text is written in the form Upkeep cost ~ What happens is the upkeep isn't paid.
    • Example: Upkeep 3 ~ Discard card. means that the cards upkeep is 3 gold and that if it isn't paid then the card must be discarded.
  • The player always chooses if he/she wants to pay the upkeep or not.
    • If the upkeep is paid the card continues to be in play as usual and it's ~ effect isn't triggered.
    • Should the player choose not to pay the cards upkeep the text after the ~ is triggered.

Tactics

In the tactics phase the player compares his/her domains with the opponent domains in order to see if he/she has won any of the three possible tactical victories. To get to know the strength of his/her specific domain, the player sums up the gold cost of all unmarked creatures in it.

Example: The player has 3 cards in the domain called Faith. The first creature card has a gold cost value of 3, the second creatures gold cost is 2, and the third creatures gold cost is 5. Hence, the players domain point in the Faith domain is 10 (3 + 2 + 5 = 10)

Advantage (ADV)

When you have 2 or more domain points in a given domain compared to what your opponent has in the same domain, you may win that domains tactical advantage. If you want to do so you must claim it for it to take effect. Claiming the advantage is done by announcing the name of the advantage and the total sum in that particular domain. Example: "I have 8 Faith compared to your 5 and claim advantage of the Faith".

Unclaimed advantages can not be claimed after the player has continued into any other phase beyond the tactical. Check your active region card to see what happens when you have a specific advantage.

Domination (DO)

If you have won at least 2 of the domains you may claim Domination. If you claim Domination you get to choose one of the following:

  1. Get 1 victory point, or
  2. Get the Domination effect of your active region card.

It is not possible to claim Domination at the same time as Advantage effect(s) are claimed: Domination effects happen instead of and replace all Advantages. The separate advantage effects specified on the the Region card are not triggered at all if the player claims Domination instead.


Total Domination (TDO)

If you have won all 3 of the tactical advantages of Politics, science and Faith you may claim Total Domination instead of any advantage or domination: The separate advantages specified on the the Region card will then not trigger at all. Instead, you get to choose one of the following:

  1. Get 3 victory points, or
  2. Get the Total Domination effect of your active region card.

Draw

  • The player must draw up to 2 cards each turn if there are cards available in the Deck. The player decides him/herself if 1 or 2 cards are drawn and may look at the first drawn card before deciding if another one should be drawn.
  • This applies even if the player already has the maximum number of allowed cards to his/her disposal in hand.
  • If a player can't draw a card during the draw phase due to his/her Deck being depleted then the player loses the game.

Exhausting While in the draw phase the player may decide to draw up to 1 additional card beyond the 2 cards that are normally allowed. This is called exhausting and can be done once per turn. To exhaust the player needs to discard either a) target ally top servant or b) a card in hand into the grave.

A player that has performed an exhaustion may not put any resources into the vault during that turn or perform a movement.

Play

  • This phase is optional.
  • The play phases allows the player to use creature abilities & play cards if he/she wants to.
  • The inactive player always gets a play (response) phase after each one of the active players actions, i.e. to play Event-cards or use abilities.
  • The number of things a player can do during his/her play phase is limited only by that player's resources and cards.

Move / Attack

  • This phase is optional - the player chooses if he/she will use it.
  • The move/attack phase allows the player to either move with one creature or attack with any number of the creatures.
  • It does not allow the player to do both a move and an attack.
  • Whatever is done in the first move / attack phase can not be done in the second move / attack phase.
      • Each turn there's only one attack phase per player and/or one move phase per player.
    • Example: If you decide to move creatures in the first move/attack phase, then no creatures can move in the second.

Entrance

This phase is optional. During the Entrance phase the player may put new Creatures into play in any one of the three domains (Politics, Faith, Science) in the Kingdom or as a warrior in the Front. Creatures that are put in a domain should be put on top of the domain, so they become top servants.

Discard

  • This is a mandatory phase.
  • If the player has more than 7 cards (>7) in his/her hand the player must select and discard any excess cards down to 7.
  • A player may not discard cards from hand in the discard phase if he/she has 7 or less cards in hand.
  • The player may discard his/her active region during this phase. If that happens, the next region beneath it is revealed and turned face up, and becomes the new active region.
    • It is not possible to discard the last region.

Abilities

Many creatures have special skills and some are able to perform different kind of actions. There are numerous ways how the creatures can interact with one and another without engaging in actual physical combat. These skills are called abilities, regardless of what they do, and if they have any drawbacks or not.

Abilities are not limited to just creatures – Equipment or Magic could have them as well, granting a creature additional abilities they wouldn't have without them.

There are three main types of abilities: Activated, passive and triggered.

Passive

A passive ability is one that is always in effect. As soon as the card with the ability enters play, the ability effect starts, and stops when the card leaves play.

Example: "All Elf Creatures get +2 DEF" is a passive ability.

Activated

  • In contrast to passive abilities, activated abilities requires the activation by the player.
  • To use a card's ability the player must pay the cost required. The effect of the ability will not activate before that is done.
  • Only the controller of a card may activate it's abilities. Usually that means the player that put the card in play by paying for it.

Payment for activation

What's always common for all types of costs and prerequisites is that we always reveal the cost first, followed by a colon separator (:), and lastly the effect/outcome is written. It looks like this:

Cost : Effect
Costs and pre types.jpg

Whatever is on the left side of the colon (:) is the cost or prerequisites. The text on the right side of the colon is the card's effect that will activate once you have met the cost and prerequisites demands.

There are three main groups of costs and prerequisites that are used to activate abilities: Gold cost, mark (self or other)/assign and custom.

  1. The first example (gray) shows us a custom prerequisite. Custom prerequisites are often text instructions on what needs to be done in order to activate the ability. If one can't or won't do exactly as the text says, then the ability is not activated. Custom prerequisites can be expressed in any way.
  2. The next example (purple) is straight forward: To activate the ability one would need to pay exactly 4 Gold. Not more, not less. If one can't afford 4 gold, then the ability can't become activated.
  3. The third example (blue) introduces marking as something that must be done first in order to activate the ability. Whenever one sees the horizontal rectangle it means that the card needs to be marked in order to activate that ability. If the card is already marked, it can't be marked again.
  4. Next example (green) also uses marking as a requirement to activate the ability. The difference from the previous case is that there is a number written inside of the rectangle. This means that one has to mark that many other creatures in play under ones control in order to activate the ability.
  5. Assigning (orange) works almost like marking (blue): See rules on Assigning for the differences.
  6. Lastly, we have a complicated example (yellow): It shows us that a card can mix any two or more types of costs and prerequisites with each other. Although there is no limitation to how they can be mixed, mixes are seldom as complicated as in this example.

Triggered

  • A triggered ability is activated if and only if it's trigger takes place and has been resolved.
  • Triggered abilities are not optional and must always be applied if possible.
    • If a triggered ability's effect can't be applied then nothing happens.
  • Example: Your opponent plays an spell on your Front that says "Pick up a non-Shadowguild ally creature to hand every time a Skeleton enters play". If you happen to have only creatures from the Shadowguild in your own deck then you won't have to do anything even if a Skeleton enters play.

Conflicting rules

As in many games some rules and mechanics may seem to contradict themselves and even do so at times. This is actually a feature and what makes the deep, complex and modular nature of a CCG possible to begin with. Always use the following two rules to resolve such situations:

Cards vs rules

  • If a card contradicts the core rules found in this document, the card wins over the core rules.

Effects vs effects

  • If an effects forbids something to happen while another allows it, the forbidding effect always wins.
    • Example: A creature has the effect "Can not fly." printed on it as card text. Playing a spell on the creature with the text "Target creature can fly." will not make the creature able to fly. The "not/no/can't" etc always outweigh what "can" happen.

Combat

General

The target of all attacking creatures is always the active opponent Region, with the goal to lower it's HP to zero or below. This is an indirect combat system that is common in many well established CCG:s where the defending player has to make tough tactical and strategical choices over time about how he/she will try to solve the situations. The defending player has the options to risk getting closer to defeat by not blocking the attack, or by losing some influence in the domains by sacrificing servants, or by using the ally creatures in the front.

  • Only unmarked/unassigned creatures may attack or defend,
  • The active player is the only one that can perform one or more attacks during his/her Attack/Move-phase.
    • When doing so the player must use one or more creatures in his/her Front.
  • In the same manner, the inactive player is the only one that may defend against attacks during the opponents turn.
    • When doing so he/she may use
      • one or more of his/her creatures in the Front or
      • any combination of the top servants in each of domains.
    • A creature is, depending on this, either an attacker or defender (blocker of an attack) while in combat. It is never designated as both while in one and the same combat.
  • If there are several combats battled out during the same turn they resolve in a specific order and are not considered to take place simultaneously.
    • Combat is resolved on a "per attacker basis": Each attacker is together with all it's blockers part of one single and specific combat.
    • The order of how a combat(s) are resolved could affect the outcome of other combats or states during that turn. Choose wisely.
    • The resolution order of several combats is decided by the attacking player, before the defending player announces a) if and how he/she will defend and b) which defenders he/she will assign to which attackers

Combat sequence

I.

  • The attacking (active) player may choose to attack during a Move/Attack phase using any number of creatures in his/her Front.
    • Creatures assigned to attack are called attackers.
    • Please note the distinction between an attacking player and attackers: The former is a player that launched an attack, the latter are all Creatures that are currently attacking.
  • The player chooses and announces all attackers that will fight that turn by marking them & announcing them as attackers.
    • The target of these attacks is always the opposing players currently active Region.
  • In cases where there are more than one attacking creature the attacking player must announce and choose the order of the attacks, which is first, then second, and so on.
  • Once all the attackers are announced, the passive player gets a Response phase, that gives him/her the opportunity to play one Event card or one Ability (but not both at the same time).
    • The attacking player then gets the same opportunity, and this process is repeated until both players make a pass on the opportunity to play something in the Response phase. When the players pass on the Response phase the attack continues as follows:

II.

  • All creatures assigned to defend are called blockers for the duration of the battle.
  • The defending player must choose one of the following:
    • Defend against the attack(s) with the top creature (top servant) from one or more of the 3 Domains in his/her Kingdom.
    • Defend with one or more creatures from his/her Front.
    • Allow the attacks to go on undefended and let the Region lose HP that's equal to the total amount of damage dealt by the attackers.

III.

  • A player that decides to defend must clearly assign any number of creatures as blockers versus the target attacking creature.
  • A blocker can only defend against one single attacker per turn.
  • Blockers that are servants and therefore located in the Domains do not strike back on the attackers while blocking the attack. The servants can only be used to soak up damage that the attackers deal, and never deal any damage to an attacker themselves by using their own ATK-value.
  • A defending player has the liberty to choose to defend against all, none or some creatures, and let others roam unblocked so that they deal damage to his/her Region.

IV.

  • Each individual combat takes place.
  • In each combat the players take turns with Response phases.
  • When both players pass instead of responding to the other player's actions the combat is resolved:
    • Take into account all effects and modifiers, if any, and then compare the values of the attackers ATK value with the blockers DEF value.
      • If the ATK value of the attacker is higher or equal the blockers DEF value the blocking creature will die. If the ATK value of the attacker is lower than the blockers DEF value the blocking creature survives.
      • Regardless of the outcome the blocker successfully protects the defending players Region from that attacker.
      • Regardless of the outcome the blocker gets to strike back at the attacker if he/she is defending from the Front. Compare the blockers ATK value with the attackers DEF value - if it is equal to or higher than the attackers DEF value then the attacker will die.
  • When combat is over place all dead creatures into the grave piles, along with all Events that were used during the combat and also any Spells that were attached to the creatures.

Deck Building

Basics

  • Every player must have a main deck of exactly 60 cards, and in addition there has to be a separate region deck of up to 3 cards. This gives a total card count of 61 to 63 cards, depending on build.
    • The cards in the deck need to be well shuffled face down before a game starts. Do so in front of the opponent, and let the opponent re-shuffle if he/she wants to.
    • The region deck must have it's cards put in a specific order before the game starts. You are allowed to do this without revealing your cards in it to your opponent.

Details

Every player composes his/her pile of cards (the deck) of whichever cards he/she wants. Usually you would want to have prepared and tested a deck before you play a game. The deck building process is vital for the outcome of the game, so please take your time to fine tune and revisit your decks composition.

Each card has it's own unique identification number and a version that follows. These are the card numbers and card version numbers, and they're very important if you always want to stay up to date or compete with other players. The id card number for a card wont ever change. Any other info on the card may however become revised. Those updates will be reflected by the cards current version number. Huge changes in card versions are always announced at the site and well in advance before people are allowed to compete with them. For casual players this isn't really that important - play the way you all agree on.

It's usually allowed to have 4 copies of a card in the deck unless otherwise explicitly stated on a card. For a card to be considered an instance of itself it is enough for it to have just the same card number and/or card name. This means that while having different revisions of a card, they all still count as the same card for deck building purposes.

Two cards are however only equivalent if they share both card & version number.

The back of all cards in a deck must look identical. Having different backs or markings that can enable players to id the cards face down is considered cheating and prohibited.

To build a balanced casual deck it is recommended that it has:

  • At least 50% creature cards.
  • Up to 2 factions.
  • An even gold curve - a mix of both early mid and late game cards.
  • Strong synergy between many of it's cards.
  • A clear purpose.

Faction combinations

There are no rule related limits to how many factions a player may fit in a deck. Due to how the domains work, with only one faction being allowed in a domain at a time, it is not advised to play with more than 2 or 3 factions in the same deck if they're evenly distributed across the card count.

Region limits

It is only allowed to have regions from one single faction in the region deck. The faction of the region cards may, but does not have to, correspond to the faction belonging of the other cards in the main deck.

Example: A player decided to use three Red Banner region cards as the region deck. However, the same player also only put cards from Gaia and House of Nobles in her main deck.

Glossary

A

Ally: Another card that is in play and under the control of the same player. Terminology is used contextually.

  • Faction belonging is irrelevant to determine if a creature is an ally or not.
  • While a creature/card can't be an ally with itself, other creatures with the same name controlled by the same player may be allies if they are in play at the same time.

S

Sacrifice: Allows a player to kill his/her own creature with sacrifice that is in play. Sacrifice is usually a prerequisite for something else. Sacrifice may be activated by the player that controls the creature at any time. The creature is then put into the grave.

  • [Example] Sacrifice 2 creatures: I gain their ATK-values added to mine.
  • Notice that only creatures may be sacrificed. Other cards with similar mechanics are discarded.