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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 planning draw.
  2. Planning phase (initiative order)
    • All players take turns playing planning cards. Each player may play one card, then the next player may play one, and so forth until nobody wishes to play any more cards. Locations, Opponents, Allies, and many event cards are played in this phase.
  3. Active character selection phase (initiative order)
    • Each player, in initiative order, selects one character from their team and moves it into the city.
  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.

This game is all about combat. Combat between kaiju, as well as combat between kaiju and other things like buildings, allies, and military opponents. Winning the game is all about picking what fights you can win, and surviving the fights you can't win. Knocking out an opponent's kaiju is tempting - but it's often hard to do in a single fight. If you go first, think about how your opponent will respond. You don't want to leave any easy targets on the board for them if you don't have to!

Planning cards offer fun effects, but they aren't essential to the game. For your first game or two, it's very reasonable to just skip phase 1&2 for all players, and just get comfortable selecting kaiju and starting fights. Combat is the core of the game - everything else is just a modifier for 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 to the Shield, if any. 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!

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 come back here when you are comfortable with combat.

Playing Planning Cardss

There are five types of Planning Cards: Locations, Opponents, Allies, Scars, and Events.

  • Event cards are played during the planning phase - when players alternate playing cards from their hands. Some events (Such as “Taunt”) specify that they are played at other specific times. (Taunt's text reads “Play this when you challenge an inactive character.”)
  • Scar cards are played at the end of any combat. You play them onto a character who just fought and survived that combat without being knocked out. Generally you play them onto your own character, but in some cases you might choose to play them onto an opponent. Scars generally give a modest improvement or additional ability to a character - they represent the battle-hardened veteran. Unless otherwise specified, each character may have only one scar card attached to them at a time.
  • Location and Opponent cards are only played during the planning phase, and are used to build the environment that your kaiju battle in. The first location or opponent card played defines the immediate area around your fighting kaiju. Additional cards are played out in a row - representing other places in the city that you might travel to as you battle. (See the next section for more details.)
  • Ally cards are only played during the planning phase, and become members of your team. Ally cards have a requirement on them which at least one member of your team must meet before playing that ally. Allies are not (usually) kaiju, and so they do not heal and can NOT refuse challenges. They may be selected as active, and make take actions just like a kaiju.

Building and Moving the City

Battles take place in a growing & changing cityscape - composed of whatever bits and pieces players have put into their combat decks. Mostly a city is made up of locations (like buildings) and opponents (like military vehicles).

At any given moment, battles are being fought next to just one of these pieces - whichever card is at the end of the line of cards making up the city. During the game players might Move (usually because of a combat card, but other cards or abilities can cause a move as well) - each time you move 1 space, simply take the currently adjacent city card, and put it at the end of the row. If you “move 2”, just move the first card, then move the second card. If you move far enough, you'll come right back to where you started!

The card next to the current battle will sometimes affect how that battle plays out. Any card in the city can affect the overall game - opponents often attack or otherwise try to damage kaiju, for example. Office Complexes make the whole city tougher. Nuclear Power Plants generate kaiju energy. And so forth.

Key Terms

  • Combo - After playing this card, you keep the initiative! (Has no effect if played without the initiative.) Combo cards are a great way to attack again and again without giving your opponent a chance to respond!
  • Knockdown - Your opponent must discard a combat card at random. Eliminating options from your opponent is always good. Knockdown effects go especially well with Finishing Blow - which deals +3 damage if your opponent is out of combat cards!
  • Damage Effect - This effect happens ONLY if the combat card deals damage. For example, Damage Effect: +1 damage means “If this card deals damage, increase the damage dealt by one.”

Team Fights

In some situations, you might have a Team Fight - where multiple characters enter on one or both sides of the combat. These play out just like normal fights, with just a few differences:

  • If the effect that started the team-fight indicated that you should draw cards, do so immediately. If unspecified, draw 1 card for each additional character you added to the Team Fight.
  • When you are The Sword, any or all of your characters may play cards. Declare targets as you play each card.
  • As The Shield, you may play cards ONLY for the character(s) targeted by cards by The Sword. Select cards after attack cards have been played (face-down), along with an indication of which single card they are responding to.
  • As The Shield, you may NOT play CounterAttack cards with a character who is not targeted by The Sword!
  • Shield cards apply their toughness ONLY to the single card they are responding to. Yes, getting attacked by multiple characters simultaneously hurts.
  • If you have multiple characters, and play cards for some but not for others, you are not PASSING your turn. Only if you choose to play no combat cards at all is it considered a PASS, for purposes of ending the combat.

Winning the Game

Cards in the city can also be attacked and damaged for GLORY. The glory earned from defeating a location or opponent is the black number in a yellow box in the top-right corner of the card.

Kaiju cards do not have a GLORY number - they are always worth 5 GLORY (unless otherwise specified by rules text.)

Many event cards are worth GLORY - the rules on the card specify their value.

If you are asked to put random planning cards into your GLORY pile, put them face-down to prevent confusion. face-down cards are always worth 1 GLORY.

If you are told to “gain” GLORY with no specific card to represent it, use tokens.

When any player has 20 or more GLORY, the game ends immediately and that player wins. If multiple players reach 20+ GLORY at the same moment, the highest total wins. If there is a tie - the player with the most glory worth of characters still conscious wins. If that number is the same - the game is a tie!

If at any time only one player has characters left on their team, that player immediately wins the game, regardless of how much GLORY everyone has.

trading_cards/card_game_rules2.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/28 16:52 by simon_strange