This section deals with rules on how to play a chainsword game, assuming you have army lists and commanders ready. If not, please refer to Creating Commanders.
What you need to play a game of Chain-Sword Edit
- Two players, at least.
- The Chain-Sword playing board
- Your army's markers, grunts, traps, and your commander.
- Your army sheet and your commander card.
- A standard 52 card playing deck. [Including jokers]
- A coin, although this is optional.
Starting the Game Edit
- Prepare the chain-sword playing board.
- After laying down the chain-sword board, shuffle the 52 card deck and place it on one side of your playing table/carpet/wherever you choose to play the game.
- Each player then draws five cards. This is their starting resource pool.
- After looking over their starting draw, the players must now place all their markers anywhere within their territory. [the territory is color-coded for each player.]
- A coin is flipped [or a die is rolled] to determine who is on offense, and who is on defense. The winner of the flip gets to decide what he wants to be.
- The player on offense now makes his first move. He skips the draw phase, but may move each of his markers by one space for free.
QUICK TIPS: HOW TO LOSE THE GAME Edit
- Your commander loses in battle.
- You run out of grunts.
- You run out of resource cards.
- Everything dies everywhere forever.
- You're not having fun.
Playing the Game Edit
There are 6 phases in the game, they are: - Draw Phase
- Movement phase
- Combat phase
- Effect phase
- Cycle phase
- End phase
DRAW PHASE: Edit
The turn starts when you draw a number of cards from the deck equal to the total number of bonuses gained by your markers standing on resource points. The player on Offense does not get to draw any cards on the first turn.
The types of resource points:
- Plus signs represent one additional card drawn every turn.
- Bar signs represent one less card drawn every turn.
- Places with crowns on them signify that only commanders may take the resources available at these points. Gain a number of cards equal to the numbers indicated. Note that the crown's points must be facing the enemy to gain the bonuses.
- Places with positive/negative numbers indicate resource points made for specific players. simply gain the number of cards indicated, provided the number is facing your side. [it's yours if the positive/negative sign is to the left of the number.]
- Places with frames on them produce the same effects as the symbols within them, but lose their use for the effect phase. [to be explained later in the effect phase.]
- Some commanders may possess abilities that allow additional cards to be drawn during this phase. Check your commander sheet just in case.
MOVE PHASE: Edit
Move one marker of your choosing by one space in any of the four cardinal directions. You may not move into a space occupied by a marker you own. If you move into a space occupied by an opponent's marker, move into combat phase. Otherwise, move into Effect phase.
COMBAT PHASE: Edit
This phase is the meat of the game. During the course of the game, you will inevitably decide to destroy a marker or steal territory from a player - this system allows you to resolve such conflicts.
To start combat phase, the player who moved his marker must have a card to start a "Chain".
First, The attacking player puts down a card that must be numerically beaten by the defender.
If the defender can put down a numerically superior card, the "chain" continues, and the attacker may increase the previous value of his card by putting down another card. [adding the value to his previous card/s] The defender is then obliged to do the same, until one of the two players can no longer put down a card to beat his opponent's value.
If the defender/attacker puts down a card that simply matches the value of the total value of his opponent's cards, the chain is restarted. Both players move all the cards they've used up to this point to the discard pile. This is called a CHAIN RESTART. The attacker may decide to start a new chain, or to back off from the attack, returning his marker to its prior space. If he decides to back off, the effect phase is skipped.
The player who cannot beat or match the value of his opponent's cards has his marker removed from play. The attacker loses his attacking marker if he loses, and does not gain the space he attacked. Likewise, if the defender loses, his marker is lost, and the space it was standing on is given to the attacker. If the attacker wins, he continues on to effect phase.
All cards spent in battle go into the discard pile.
If a commander loses a battle, his player loses the game.
If your last grunt has lost in the battle, you've lost the game.
If a player runs out of cards to play during battle, he loses the game.
SPECIAL CARDS exist, such as Forced Stalemate, Overwhelming Odds, Commander's Victory, and Tactical Versatility. The effect they produce cannot be beaten by numerical cards, but can only be matched by the same type of card. [only overwhelming odds will normally work against overwhelming odds] Doing so results in a chain restart.
- JACK: Forced Stalemate - The battle immediately ends with the effect of a draw. The attacker returns to his prior space, and the defender does not lose his space. 4 pieces exist.
- QUEEN: Overwhelming Odds - The person who plays this immediately wins combat, destroying his opponent's marker. 4 pieces exist in a deck.
- KING: Commander's Victory - This special card can only be used if your marker in combat is a commander. This card trumps all other special cards, save for another commander's victory or a tactical versatility used in this manner. The effect is similar to overwhelming odds, in favor of the commander. 4 pieces exist in the deck.
- JOKER: Tactical Versatility - This card replicates any one resource card, numerical or special, upon play. However, it can't be changed once the player declares it's usage. 2 pieces exist in the deck.
EFFECT PHASE: Edit
After landing on a certain space, you have to check if the space has a frame. If it has no frame, then nothing happens, and you move to the next phase, the cycle phase.
If it does have a frame, then something happens upon landing:
- if it is a bar, then you have to discard one card upon landing.
- if it is a plus, then you may draw a single card.
- if it is a plus, with a number facing you, then draw the number of cards written.
- if it is a negative number, discard that many cards upon landing.
- If it is a crowned number, that means only commanders gain the bonus from stepping on these points. If a commander steps on this point, simply draw the number of cards indicated.
You may only suffer from the effects of a framed space once per turn. [A marker you own stepping on it during the draw phase counts.] That means a single marker crossing the sword line in the middle of the field can actually create a safe path for other markers for the duration of the turn. It also means that you cannot repeatedly step on framed pluses to keep drawing cards.
As an optional rule, you may place a small slip of paper on the 'spent' spaces, to mark them for convenience. These are removed upon the end of your turn.
After taking these effects into account, you move on into the cycle phase.
Note that traps can only be triggered during the effect phase of both player's turns.
CYCLE PHASE: Edit
In this phase, you may discard one card from your hand to move again. This card immediately goes into the discard pile. Doing so immediately returns you to the move phase, and you may instigate combat again, gather additional effects, and eventually, decide to move again.
Note that the number/effect of the card discarded for this purpose has no bearing on how many moves you can make - you can make any number of moves, provided you discard one card for each time you do so.
If this is the very first turn of the game, and you are on offense, you can simply go into move phase again - with the restriction that the marker you will move has not moved prior to this phase.
Many commander abilities can only be activated during this phase. Check your commander sheet for such abilities.
Deciding to no longer move any unit moves you into the end phase.
END PHASE: Edit
The end phase marks the end of a player's turn. However, there are things to clean up before giving the reins over to the opponent.
- If you have no more cards in your hand, you just lost the game.
- Check your resources at hand. If you have over ten resource cards in your hand, discard until you have exactly fifteen left.
- If there are less than six cards left in the resource pile, shuffle the discard pile back into the resource pile.
- if you're using the optional paper slips rule to mark spent effect spaces, remove them now.
- Take a deep breath.
- the opponent now starts his draw phase.
QUICK TIPS: HOW TO WIN THE GAME Edit
- Kill the Commander
- Destroy all the grunts.
- Force an opponent to run out of resource cards.
- kill everything everywhere forever.
- Frustrate your opponent until he's not having fun.