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The Colossal Kaiju Combat card game simulates 2-5 players controlling teams of giant monsters (kaiju) battling for glory. This usually involves attacking & knocking out kaiju from the opposing teams, but glory may also be earned by destroying buildings, fighting the military, or other sources.

The first team to accumulate 20 glory is the winner!
(Alternatively, if all but one team is eliminated, that team wins regardless of their current glory total.)


Each player needs to have their own deck in order to play. Place your characters and your team card faceup in a row in front of you. Shuffle your planning deck and put it to the left of your characters, then shuffle your combat deck and put it to the right. Leave space next to each deck for a discard pile. (each deck uses its own discard pile exclusively - combat cards NEVER go into the planning discard pile, and vice versa.)

Here's what your play area should look like, more or less:

IMPORTANT! : Tokens will be needed throughout the game for things like recording damage to cards, tracking Energy Tokens, and gaining Fury. Get a collection of pennies, dice, flat marbles, or whatever works best for you.

To begin a game each player does the following:

  • Draw 5 combat cards to form their COMBAT HAND.
  • Take 10 Energy Tokens, plus bonus tokens equal to the highest POWER value on your team.
  • Determine which team goes first, using the INITIATIVE score on team cards.

Order of a Turn

Each Turn is broken into five phases to clarify what is happening when. In some phases all players act simultaneously, but in most players act sequentially in initiative order. The distinction is noted next to each phase.

  1. Discard & Draw phase (simultaneous)
    • All players may discard any number of planning cards, and then draw planning cards from the top of their deck until the number of cards in their hand is equal to their team card's planning draw.
  2. Planning phase (initiative order)
    • The first player may play a planning card from their hand. Then the next player may play a card, and so on around the table until everyone has played everything they wish to play.
  3. Active character selection phase (initiative order)
    • Each player, in initiative order, selects one character from their team and moves it into the middle of the table.
  4. Action phase (initiative order)
    • Most of the game takes place during this phase. Each player, in initiative order, takes one Action with the active character they selected in the previous phase. The four basic actions are Attack, Challenge, Rampage, and Roar. (You may also Pass.)
  5. Healing phase (simultaneous)
    • Players heal 1 damage from each of their inactive kaiju.

Playing the Game

Before we get into the specific rules about how to play, let's talk about the flow of the game. Each team gets to pick one fight (with their action), in initiative order. Going first gives you your choice of targets. But getting wounded in the first fight can be very dangerous, because the later teams might smell blood and try to finish you off! Remember that each team gets to start 1 fight, and plan carefully!

Winning the game is all about picking what fights you can win, and surviving the fights you can't. Know how much damage you can reliably dish out, and play carefully. Or play risky, and try to just dominate! (That works sometimes.)

You'll use Planning cards to introduce other targets for you to fight, to buff your kaiju or weaken opponents, and otherwise tweak the game situation. But the core of everything is just kaiju-on-kaiju combat.

In that spirit, we're going to explain the rules about combat first, and save rules for the Planning Deck until later.

Active characters and taking Actions

In general you want to select your most powerful / least damaged character to be active. Active characters are “at risk” - because they will almost certainly fight one or more opponents, and take some damage during the turn. Move all active characters into the central fighting area of the table, so everyone can see which characters are fighting this turn. Inactive characters won't be fighting this turn. (Unless they accept a challenge, which happens only rarely.)

Once all active characters are selected, they each take 1 action in initative order. There are 4 basic actions, which mostly break down into “who would you like to fight?”

  1. Attack - Your active character enters combat with another active character. (This is the most common action.)
  2. Rampage - Your active character enters combat with the city, starting with the closest card.
  3. Challenge - Your active character challenges an inactive character to combat. (Kaiju may decline a challenge with no ill effects, unless a card says otherwise. Non-kaiju characters such as allies must accept challenges!)
  4. Roar - gain 2 Energy Tokens, then either draw 2 Combat Cards OR discard any combat cards you wish and draw back up to 5. (This is often the ONLY way to gain more Energy Tokens, and is a great way to ditch a bad combat hand.)

Combat Basics - the Sword & the Shield

Combats always occur between exactly two players, who alternate between being “The Sword” and “The Shield”. The player who initiated the fight throws the first attack as “The Sword” - trying to deal damage. “The Shield” plays a card to try to mitigate that damage, then the players switch roles back and forth until combat ends. All combat cards have either a black Sword icon or a white Shield icon in the top-right corner, to indicate when they are meant to be played. The exact flow of combat is as follows:

  1. The Sword may select a combat card and places it face-down. (If The Sword doesn't wish to play a card, jump to step 4.)
  2. The Shield may select a combat card and places it face-down.
  3. Both cards are revealed, and damage is calculated.
  4. Players now switch roles, with the Sword becoming the Shield, and vice-versa.

Combat ends when one side is KO'd, or when both players no longer wish to play Sword cards.

Sword cards have a Damage value on them, while Shield cards have a Toughness value. Subtract the Shield's Toughness from the Sword's Damage to determine the amount of damage done, if any. Put tokens on the damaged character to track their total damage. Remember that whenever a kaiju is dealt damage, that team gains 1 Fury! (More about that later)

Some combat cards require or give the option to discard additional combat cards as part of their cost. These discards happen while cards are face-down. If your opponent is discarding cards, be prepared for a powerful strike! (Remember, The Sword plays a card, including discards, before the The Shield selects a response.)

Combat Modifiers: Attribute Icons, Styles & Types

In addition to the printed number, many Damage and Toughness values are modified by Attributes such as Claws, Tail, Wings, Horns, and so forth. The eight attribute icons are:

Claws Horns Spikes Teeth Tail Wings Armor Shield Armor(red) Shield(red)

Treat each white attribute icon as a “+1” if the character playing the card has the indicated attribute. A red icon indicates a “-1” if YOUR OPPONENT has the indicated attribute. (For example, weapon cards often deal less damage if your opponent has the SHIELD attribute.)

Finally, many specific kaiju abilities or cards adjust a value based on the card STYLE or TYPE, which are words at the top of the card such as “bite”, “kick”, “charge”, “Quick Attack” and so forth.

Counterattacks & Techniques

Counterattack and Technique cards are special cards that slightly break the expectation of what it means to be a Sword or a Shield card.

  • A Counterattack is a Shield card, but it has a damage value instead of a toughness value. When you play this as the Shield, you are usually letting the opponent hit you for full damage, in exchange for getting a tiny hit back.
  • A Technique card has BOTH damage and toughness, and may be played as either a Sword OR a Shield, regardless of the icon at the top! (Technique cards also have the word TECHNIQUE next to their style type text.)

If a player ever selects & reveals an illegal card type, (playing a counter attack instead of an attack, for example!) discard it without effect. (Or let them fix the error if you are feeling generous.)

Paying for Combat Cards

The cost to play a card is expressed as a certain amount of FEROCITY (red boxes) AGILITY (blue boxes) and/or POWER (yellow boxes) in the top left corner. A character must pay these costs in order to use the card. Keep all combat cards played by a character in a row until the combat is over, so that everyone can easily see how much FEROCITY & AGILITY has been used thus far in the combat.

If you don't have enough stat points, you may spend Energy Tokens to pay for part (or all) of a combat card's cost. Yellow boxes MUST be paid for with Energy Tokens in this way. Spending these tokens allows you to exceed your base FEROCITY and AGILITY by a few points - but be judicious about when you do so, because they can run out quickly! Each character's POWER stat indicates the maximum number of energy tokens they may spend in a single combat.

If a player cannot afford to pay for their card (but the card is otherwise legal), it becomes a BLUFF. Bluffed combat cards have no effect unless your opponent's card is ALSO a bluff, or if they played no card at all. (running out of defense options opens you up to a lot of free BLUFF attacks from your opponent!)

Combat Ends - Prepare for Combat!

When combat ends, both players discard all remaining combat cards in their hand, and then draw back up to a combat hand of 5 cards. If your combat deck has fewer than 5 cards in it, draw all of the remaining cards and shuffle your combat discard pile to form a new deck. Continue drawing cards from your newly formed deck until you have 5 combat cards in hand.

Since drawing new cards happens at the end of each combat, it is possible to begin a combat with more than 5 cards (due to ROAR, for example) or less than 5 (responding to an AMBUSH, for example.)

Damage Fury & KO

Whenever a character is dealt damage, put a number of Damage Tokens onto that character's card to indicate the damage. These tokens may be healed by a variety of effects - usually 1 is healed if a character spends an entire turn without entering the Active area. (where fights occur!)

If a character takes damage equal to or greater than their FORTITUDE (including the team's Fortitude Bonus, which is usually +2) that character is Knocked Out (KO'd.) Put that character into your opponent's GLORY pile, where it is worth 5 GLORY to the player who dealt the final blow.

Whenever a character is damaged by an attack, that character's team gains 1 Fury Token. Place this on the team card and try to accumulate enough to activate a RAGE ATTACK! Note that a high team fury means that your team will need to be hit many times before activating your powerful rage attack, while a low team fury means you'll activate your rage attack more quickly.

Rage Attacks

When your team has accumulated 10 Fury (or whatever is specified on your Team Card) - you may activate your Rage Attack. This may be done at the start of combat, or between attacks. Rage Attacks do the following:

  1. Clear all Fury tokens from your Team Card.
  2. Deal 2 damage to all opponents your character is in combat with.
  3. Draw 3 combat cards
  4. Gain 4 Energy Tokens
  5. There is no limit to the number of Energy Tokens you may spend in this combat.

Rage attacks are great for dealing additional damage, beating up a team of attackers, or just getting yourself out of a bad combat situation. Certain teams rely more or less on Rage Attacks - and in the future there will be Combat Events and Team Cards which give access to new specific Rage Attacks.

IMPORTANT! We've found that "forgetting to gain fury when damaged" is the #1 most overlooked rule in the game. And without Fury (and the rage attacks they trigger) games can sometimes drag on for far too long. So to combat this problem, we've added in the "fury stealing" rule. It reads as follows:

"If a player does not add fury when damaged, then their opponent may gain that fury instead."

To be fair about this rule, you need to give your opponent ample time to forget - you can't just claim they've forgotten 1 second after cards are revealed! The best time to steal their fury would be when you have both played your next combat cards, but before you reveal them.

Remember that the goal of this rule is to help everyone to remember to gain fury properly! If a player is using this rule outside of this spirit, a judge may deem the steal to be illegal, at the judge's discretion.

Kaiju Abilities

Each kaiju has a special ability printed on the back of their card. It is the responsibility of that kaiju's owner to make certain that those abilities are respected during the game. Kaiju abilities are “stronger” than regular card abilities - so if a kaiju's rule text conflicts with another card's rule text - the kaiju ability wins.

The Team Card “from the deep” can make specific characters “immune” to kaiju abilities. This prevents any active use of abilites toward that character, and allows that character to ignore all effects of kaiju abilities - such as +1 damage with “PUNCH” attacks. Abilities which affect one's self, such as EVO Eira's transformation, or Giraffish / Loodicriz's “self revive” are not cancelled, as they do not affect the immune character.

That's everything you need to know to play the basic game, without a Planning Deck! Play a game, and when you are ready to add the Planning Deck, move on to our In-Depth rules.

trading_cards/card_game_rules.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/09 16:26 by simon_strange