Sina Weibo

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lethe's homebrew card game for Fate/Tiger Colosseum Upper Tarot Cards

Sounds bored enough? I know, I know. How many people would actually buy the limited version of Fate/Tiger Colosseum Upper and care about the card game? I know, I know. And most importantly, out of the people who are saying yes to the previous question, how many of them can actually find someone who's also interested to play this one with??? I know, I know...

But anyways, I happen to be one of the few who not only bought the package, read the rules, found someone to play with and was not satisfied with the original rules, then bothered to conceive a new set of rules and tested it a few times. It's quite balanced, especially for one deck of cards (what, you've tried more??). Yes, I have tried two decks of cards and it's fun with more cards (and probably more people, too). But I have yet to develop a way to make doubles more fun and special. Until then, 2 decks play the same way as one deck.

That said, let me go over some of the basics of the cards. First of all, they are tarot cards, so there are 22 of them numbered from 0 to 21, corresponding to the classics. You can always play the most common way to tell your friend's fortune with them-- just don't ask me how though :) There are 2 extra cards, one is the cover card of all characters, the other is the relationship chart, which is important to keep in mind in the game play, if you don't already know all of them from FSN/Fate-Zero. I don't have the saber-lion or the neko-arucu special cards that come with certain issues of a certain magazine, too bad...

Most of the cards have an element except for Fujimura Taiga (Tiger)--sword, bow or magic. In the original rules, they are each set to be short, medium or long range, which makes sense but also makes the magic ones way too powerful. So in my rules, they are just three different elements, and everyone can only move one space at a time. As Fate series feature, there are master/servant combos, some servants can go with multiple masters, and vice versa. Tiger herself still is as good as a combo. These are the ones I have kept from the original rules in general. I also use the original map included in the game for the layout:

Now I'll explain how to play this game.

What are required for the game:

1. At least one deck of Fate/Tiger Colosseum Upper Tarot Cards. If you don't have the originals, you can always print out some replacements.
2. A game map. If you don't have the original, you can always draw out one of your own.
3. Two people. If you don't have another person, you can always ...... place one of your Saber figures opposite to you and make all movements for her ___________OTL


It's a mixed type of game containing the draw-and-discard matching game element and accumulating as many loot as possible. The comparison of the final loot decides the winner.

To draw and discard:
Use all 22 cards (or 44 for 2 decks) and shuffle the deck. Distribute 6 cards to each player and place the rest in the center as the stock deck. Place 2 cards each at position 1 and 2, unrevealed. As the cards in the player's hands decrease due to canceling attacks or being captured, replenish from the docking deck to make sure there are 2 cards on the map and 4 cards in each player's hands. Waste cards go to the waste deck and loot go to the loot deck.

1. All combos are equal in power. All singles of the same elements are equal in power. Combos are superior in power than singles.
2. For singles with different elements, the one who attacks first is superior in power, the only exception being rule 3.
3. When a single servant and his/her master meet, no matter who attacks first, the master wins, i.e., a servant can not overpower his/her own master alone.
4. Tiger can defend any combo, but has no attack value.

5. Players can move one step either way with or without an attack, but cannot stay put.
6. If a player has two of his cards next to each other, he can swap the cards but can't attack in the same turn.
7. There should be always two cards on the map from either player until the stock deck is gone. At the beginning, start from 1&2 position. Replenishing from the 0 position afterward when cards on the map are consumed.
8. Players can not jump over the opponent's card.

Attack and defense:

Let's just name the attacker side A and the defender side B for simplicity.

9. Cards are hidden (the back facing up) until attack or under attack.
10. Players have to announce the nature of the attacks at the beginning of their attack (combo or single attack).
11. For combo attacks, A needs to reveal the card on the map and draw the corresponding card from the hand deck. B has to use combo or Tiger to defend, and this combo can be a map card plus a hand card, or 2 hand cards. If B does not have any combos, his/her card gets captured, while A mixes his/her own 2 cards, chooses one to leave on the map (face down again) and the other one to go to the waste deck. If B defends with an addition of a hand card for combo defense, the hand card cancels the attack and goes to the waste. However, A's map card has to take a counter attack of B's map card, in which case A can either defend with another hand card or the map card of the same element. If A cannot defend B's counter attack, A's map card gets captured. Regardless of the success of B's counter attack, A has to lose one card to the waste deck if B's defense is successful. If B uses 2 hand cards combo to defend, everything is the same as using 1 hand card except for B loses both hand cards to the waste deck after this round. B cannot unreveal his/her map card after this turn.
12. For single attacks, B can defend A by either the map card or a hand card. If the defense is a map card, both map cards will be canceled and go to the waste deck. If B defend by a hand card, the hand card will go to the waste deck, but A has to take B's counter attack under the same rule.

An Example for the combo attack and defense:
Let's say A has Shirou (sword) at A2 at the start and advances to A3. A announces "Combo Attack" and takes Saber (sword) from the hand deck to attack B1.B defends B1--Archer (bow) with Rin (magic), and Rin goes to the waste deck. Archer counter attacks. A defends with Rider (bow) and both Archer and Rider goes to the waste deck. A mixes Shirou and Saber and keeps Saber (face down) at A3. Shirou goes to the waste deck. A and B each draw 2 cards and B puts one of the 5 hand cards down at B0. B moves/attacks in the next turn. If B doesn't have any combos or Tiger card, Archer gets captured. If A doesn't have Rider or any other bow element card, Shirou gets captured.

Finishing up:
13. After the stock deck is gone, each player has to have at least one map card on the map until all hand cards are gone.
14. When there will be no change in distance in between the map cards, a game is ended. For example, A and B's last cards on the map go into a hide-and-seek chase and maintain their relative position. The leftover cards are summed into the waste deck.
15. Count the loot and the one who has more wins!

Variance and Expansion:
I would imagine 4 people -4 sides would be a lot of fun. If there would be a rule for pairs, it should be more powerful than singles but less than combos. To encourage an end-game with more fun, the leftover cards could be summed into each person's loot deck.

That's it! Thanks for reading a rather long and weird (?) chapter of my blog entry :)
And this is it, your reward for finishing reading the whole thing XDDD
If you happen to play it, let me know what you think about it :p

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