Friday, May 30, 2014

Alpha/Omega Christian Card Game Rules Forum

A very basic version of the rulebook is provided below. If you have any questions or ideas for rule variations, please leave them in the Comments section. I'll respond with any clarifications needed, and if we use your idea for an official rule variation, we'll give you full credit for it.

Thanks!
Steve



What is Alpha/Omega?

Alpha/Omega is a Christian, cooperative card deck building game suitable for any number of players, including solo play.

This Christian card game is based both on the Bible and Christian history. You’ll see this, for instance, in the names of the angels and Fallen Angels included in the Starter Deck. Some of the angels and Fallen Angels are mentioned in the Bible. Others are known through Christian tradition.

All images in Alpha/Omega are sourced from classic or public domain works of art.

What You’ll Need

To play Alpha/Omega, you’ll need:

·         A six-sided die
·         At least 1 Good Starter Deck, complete with an Objective and Calling Cards
·         1 Opponent Starter Deck

How to Play

Alpha/Omega is played in a series of rounds in which each Good player draws and performs actions for the Opponents, then performs actions from their Good deck.

Objective

Each Alpha/Omega card deck will come with an Objective or series of objectives. The Objective card from the Starter Deck appears below.

You and/or your teammates will work together to achieve your chosen Objective and win the game.

An Objective is achieved when the total Strength Rating of the Good cards in play exceeds the total Strength Rating of the Opponent cards in play by the point value shown on the Objective card.

The Opponents win when the total Strength Rating of the Opponent cards in play exceeds the total Strength Rating of the Good cards in play.

Set Up

1. Separate the Good deck from the Opponents deck and shuffle each thoroughly. Place them face down on the table.

2. Select an Objective card and follow any setup instructions given on the card. Some Objectives do not have additional setup instructions.

3. Each player then draws 7 Good cards. You may draw from a common Good deck or players may draw from their own Good decks.

Note: You may customize your Good decks to exclude any number of Good cards, but you cannot add more of a certain card than has been published in each deck. For example, you cannot include more than 1 Holy Trinity Event card in your deck because only 1 Holy Trinity card has been included in the published decks. Also, each Person card (including Supernatural Person cards) may only be played once per game. For example, if I was playing with a partner, I could have a Gabriel card in my deck and my partner could have a Gabriel card in their deck, but if my partner draws and plays a Gabriel card before I do, I cannot later play my Gabriel card when drawn, even if Gabriel is no longer in play, because Gabriel has already been put into play once this game. (See the website for the growing list of cards published and the number you are allowed to include in each deck.)



On Your Turn

1. Opponent Phase. Draw an Opponent card and put it in play. That card immediately carries out an attack or performs its ability if possible. The first Opponent card you draw each game will not be able to attack or use abilities at this stage unless a Good card has been put into play during the Objective set-up phase.

If you draw an Opponent Item or Event card, it is applied to the first Opponent Person card in play able to take advantage of it. If there are no Opponent Person cards in play, the Item or Event card enters play but has no effect until an Opponent Person card is put into play. The first Opponent Person card put into play immediately equips any Items or activates any Event cards waiting in Opponent play. Unequipped Opponent Item cards may be attacked while they await an Opponent Person card to claim them.

Opponent cards always attack the Good Person card, Place, or Item closest to being defeated or with the lowest Strength Rating on the table until that Good Person card, Place, or Item is defeated and then continuing on to the next lowest. They may attack one of your cards or another player’s, whatever Good Person card, Place, or Item is closest to being defeated or has the lowest Strength Rating when that Opponent card takes its turn. In case of ties for the closest to being defeated or having the lowest Strength Rating, you may choose which Good card the Opponent card attacks. Note that some Good and Opponent cards vary from this rule. Each Opponent card may only attack one Good card per turn. Place the appropriate number of damage tokens on the Good card after each attack.

When a Good card is defeated, it either joins Opponent play or is discarded face up next to your Good deck.

LURE PLAYER: If a Good player loses a Good Person card to Opponent play 3 rounds in a row, that player must roll a 6-sided die. They must then take their next turns equal to the result of the die roll playing 1 card from their hand and using any cards they currently have in play to attack the Good cards of another Player instead of attacking any Opponent cards. Good Players may attack the Lured Player’s cards just as they would Opponent cards and the Lured Player’s Cards count toward the Opponents’ Strength during the Strength Check phase at the end of the round.

2. Draw Phase. Draw 1 card.

3. Play Phase. Play 1 card. You do not have to play a card.

Note: You may hold an unlimited number of cards in your hand, but can only play 1 per turn unless otherwise noted on the card.

4. Action Phase. Perform attacks or use abilities of your cards in play. Cards still attack at their full Strength Rating when damaged. Each Good Person card may only attack one Opponent card per turn unless otherwise noted. Place the appropriate number of damage tokens on the Opponent cards.

When an Opponent card is defeated, discard it face up next to the Opponent deck. If you target and defeat an Opponent Person card that is equipped with an Item card, the Item card is immediately applied to the first Opponent Person card in play able to take advantage of it. If there are no Opponent Person cards in play, the Item card remains in Opponent play and the first Opponent Person card put into play immediately equips the Item card.

CALLING: Instead of performing actions 2-4, a Good player may draw a card from the Calling deck.

5. Multiplayer Phase. The next Good player then performs steps 1-4.

6. Clean-Up Phase. After all Good players have performed steps 1-4, the first player performs attacks or uses the abilities of each Opponent card in play, starting with the Opponent card that has been in play the longest and continuing through each active Opponent card. Opponent cards drawn in the current round do not get a second attack. Any Opponent Person cards, including Lured Astray Person cards, that have not yet acted this round, do so now.

7. Strength Check Phase. Track the Balance of Strength at the end of each round by subtracting the combined Strength of all Opponent cards in play from the combined Strength of all Good cards in play. Defensive Items, Places, and damage do not add or subtract from either the Good or the Opponents’ total Strength Rating. Include only offensive Strength scores.

Card Types and Abilities

Good Supernatural Person cards

Icon: The cloud icon indicates that this Person card is Supernatural

Ability: Some cards will have optional abilities; others will have automatic abilities, so be sure to read each card carefully when playing it.

Strength Rating: Person can inflict these points of damage per turn and can sustain these many points of damage before they are defeated.

Playability: You may only play Person cards under your control. You cannot transfer a Person card to the control of your teammate. Control of a Person card transfers only when it is Lured Astray. If a Person card is returned from Opponent play, it is placed back under the control of its original owner. You can use a Person card’s abilities for the benefit of your teammates and/or their cards. For instance, if I played the Michael Person card, I can use Michael to take an attack for one of my other Person cards or for one of teammates’ Person cards.



Good Place cards

Icon: The Earth icon indicates that this is a Place card.

Ability: All Place cards will give some benefit to either the Good players or the Opponents. There will not always be a Place card in play, but only 1 Place card can be active at a time. When a new Place card is drawn from the Opponent deck, it automatically replaces the current Place card. Good players can change the Place by drawing and playing Place cards from their deck.

Strength Rating: To remove a Place card without replacing it with a new Place card, you may attack the Place. When it takes damage equal to its strength, place it in the appropriate discard pile. Opponents attack Good places just as they would any other Good card.

Playability: Unless otherwise noted, the effect of the Place card applies to every player.



Good Event cards

Icon: The scroll icon indicates that this is an Event card.

Ability: Event cards perform actions that last for one full round unless otherwise stated on the card. A full round for timing an Event card’s effect is defined as the phase in which it was put into play. If the second player plays an Event card, that Event card is in effect until the second player is able to play their next card. The Event card is still in play even after the normal round sequence is over.

Strength Rating: Event cards have no Strength Rating because they cannot be attacked or defeated.

Playability: Some Event cards will only be applicable to 1 Person card or Item card at a time. You can choose whether the Event card applies to 1 one of your cards or one of your teammates. Only 1 type of Event card may be played on any 1 Person card at a time. For example, the Angel Michael cannot have two “Loyalty” Event cards played on him at one time, but he can have a “Loyalty” Event card and a “Courage” Event card played on him at the same time because they are two different Event cards.



Good Item cards

Icon: The spade icon indicates that this is an Item card.

Ability: Item cards provide lasting benefits to Person cards.

Strength Rating: Items can be attacked and take damage. When an item receives damage equal to its Strength Rating, place it in your discard pile.

Playability: Most Item cards will only be applicable to 1 Person card at a time. You can choose to equip the Item card to 1 one of your Person cards or one of your teammates’ Person cards. Item cards must be played on a specific Person card. Each Person card may only have 1 type of each Item card equipped at a time unless otherwise noted. For instance, an Angel may be equipped with a suit of Heavenly Armor, a Flaming Sword, and the Seven Lamps of God because they are different types of items, but he/she may not be equipped with two suits of Heavenly Armor, or a Flaming Sword and some other type of weapon because he/she cannot be equipped with two armor cards or two weapon cards.



Calling Cards

In addition to the game’s Objective, Callings present Good Players with a specific mission to achieve. When you achieve a Calling, you and/or your fellow Good Players receive the benefit listed on the card. Benefits range in their duration from one round to the remainder of the game.

Playability: Unless otherwise stated, the benefit received applies only to you and or/your cards.



The Opponent deck also has Person cards, Places, Events, and Items.

Supernatural Opponent Person cards

Icon: The fire icon indicates that this Person card is a Supernatural Opponent.

Ability: Supernatural Opponents, otherwise known as Fallen Angels, Lure Astray Good Person cards when they defeat them. This means that Angels who are defeated by Supernatural Opponents immediately join Opponent play and become Fallen Angels themselves who now also have the ability to Lure Astray Good Person cards whom they defeat. Angels normally do not carry their personal abilities with them when they join Opponent play, but they may retain their items and recover from any damage taken. Damaged items retain their damage points.

Good Human Person cards who are Lured Astray immediately join Opponent play, but do not gain the Lure Astray ability.

Good Person cards who are Lured Astray must wait until the end of the round to attack or use their abilities. They do not attack or use their abilities upon entering Opponent play.

There are special circumstances, indicated on the cards, that cancel the Lured Astray effect. If a Good Person card is defeated but not Lured Astray, such as when they are defeated by an Opponent other than a Supernatural Opponent or when they have been shielded from being Lured Astray, place them in your discard pile rather than in Opponent play.

Note: Some cards may indicate special abilities that will not be applicable until later decks are released.

A Note on the Use of Magic

Some Opponent cards will refer to the use of magic. As only the Opponent deck refers to magic, it is to be understood that magical effects are brought about by the influence and actions of Fallen Angels. Apart from the actions of these Fallen Angels, “magic” itself does not actually exist and therefore has no inherent power.



Example of Play

Steve and Mindy have chosen to play the Starter Deck objective, “And There Was…”. They have each drawn 7 cards from their Good decks.

Round 1
1st Player

As the first player, Mindy draws an Opponent card and places Abigor into play. Unfortunately for Abigor, there are no Good cards in play for him to attack at the moment, so he has to wait.

Mindy then draws a card from her Good deck and, choosing from the 8 cards now in her hand, decides to play Azrael.

Since Abigor is in play, Azrael attacks and defeats Abigor. Azrael’s attacking Strength of 7, plus his 1 additional damage point, brings Abigor’s defending Strength of 7 to -1, thus removing him from play.

2nd Player
It is now Steve’s turn. Steve draws an Opponent card and finds Black Blade. He puts into Opponent play, but since there is no Opponent Person card currently in play, the Black Blade does nothing for the moment.

Seeing that there is only a Black Blade in play, Steve decides that this item is not much of a threat and instead of drawing and playing a card, decides to draw a Calling card. He finds Squadrons at Once.

Clean-Up and Strength Check
Since there are no Opponent Person cards that have been in play for more than 1 round, the Good Players are able to go straight to the Strength check. Mindy’s Azrael has a Strength of 7. The Black Blade is an offensive item rather than a defensive item, so it counts toward the Opponent’s Strength, giving the Opponent’s a Strength of 3, and the Good Player’s a net Strength toward the Objective of 4.

Round 2
1st Player

Mindy draws the Opponent Person card Agares. Since the Black Blade is still in Opponent play from last round, Agares equips it. He then attacks the Good card with the lowest Strength on the table. This is an easy choice because Azrael is the only Good card in play. With his 5 Strength and the additional 3 Strength from the Black Blade, Agares defeats Azrael.

Because Agares has the Lure Astray ability, Azrael now joins Opponent play.

Mindy then draws a card and plays the Event card Crystal Sea, preventing the Opponents from taking any more actions until Mindy’s Good draw phase next round. She and Steve then also look at the top 5 cards in the Opponent deck, gaining advance warning about what’s coming.

2nd Player
Steve does not draw an Opponent card because Crystal Sea is active.

Steve draws a card and then plays Michael, obviously working toward fulfilling his Calling card.

Steve uses Michael to attack and defeat Azrael.

Clean-Up and Strength Check
Because Agares was drawn and took action this round, he would not take action again, even if Crystal Sea was not in play. If Crystal Sea was not in play, Azrael would have attacked and defeated Michael had Steve not used Michael to defeat Azrael first. Comparing Michael’s Strength of 7 to the combined Strength of 8 for Agares and the Black Blade, the Opponents have 1 point toward winning.

Round 3
1st Player

Mindy does not draw an Opponent card because Crystal Sea is still active.

Mindy draws a card. Crystal Sea has now been in play for a full round and is no longer active. Mindy plays the Heaven Place card and draws 2 more cards to increase the choices she has available in her hand.

2nd Player
Steve draws the Opponent Event card Satan Lures Angels. He rolls a six-sided die and gets a 4. He then looks at the top 4 cards of the Opponent deck. Two of them are Fallen Angels (Paimon and Adramalech) and so enter Opponent Play. Since neither Paimon nor Adramalech was the actual Opponent card drawn (Satan Lures Angels was), they must wait to attack or take any actions.

Steve then draws 2 cards because Heaven is the active Place and then equips Michael with the Heavenly Armor Item card.

Finally, Steve attacks Agares with Michael. Michael defeats Agares, causing Agares to drop the Black Blade and allowing Paimon to equip it.

Clean-Up and Strength Check
Because neither Paimon nor Adramalech have taken any actions this round, they do so now. Paimon uses his Strength score and the Black Blade to attack the Good card with the lowest Strength rating, Michael’s Heavenly Armor. Paimon destroys Michael’s Heavenly Armor and removes it from play. Adramalech then attacks Michael directly and inflicts 5 damage. Comparing the Strengths, the Opponents have 13 compared to the Good player’s 7 for a total Strength Balance of 6.

A Few Rounds Later…
The Opponents have Alloces in play from a previous round. Mindy has Gabriel and Uriel in play. Steve still has Michael in play.

1st Player
Mindy draws the Opponent Event card Hail of Iron Globes. She rolls a six-sided die and gets a 2. This means that for this round and the next, Hail of Iron Globes will inflict 5 damage on each Good Person card in play. In this first round, Steve’s Michael takes 5 damage but survives, and Mindy’s Gabriel and Uriel both take 5 damage. Because Hail of Iron Globes does not have the Lure Astray effect, Gabriel is simply discarded and Uriel has 1 hit point remaining.

Mindy then draws a card and plays Unseated Hills, allowing her to discard Hail of Iron Globes before it can inflict damage for its 2nd round.

2nd Player
Steve draws Asmodee. Looking for the Good card with the lowest Strength, Asmodee finds and attacks Uriel, turning Uriel to Opponent play. Steve could have blocked Asmodee’s attack with Michael, but he would then lose the effect of his Calling card.

Since Mindy has now lost a Person card to Opponent play 3 rounds in a row, she now becomes a Lured Player. She rolls a six-sided die, gets a 3, and so must now use her cards to attack Steve’s cards for the next 3 rounds.

Steve draws a card and plays Raphael. He uses Raphael to heal all of the damage on Michael and then uses Michael and Raphael to attack. Because Michael has been in play for more than 3 rounds, Steve has the benefit of having fulfilled the Squadrons at Once Calling card. He can use Michael to attack twice, which he does, defeating Uriel and Asmodee. He then uses Raphael to attack and defeat Alloces.

Clean-Up and Strength Check
There are no Opponent cards left in play, so the Good Players are left with a Strength of Balance of 13 from Steve’s Michael and Raphael cards.

The Next Round
1st Player

Mindy draws the Opponent Event card 1/3 of the Angels Fall.

Both Steve and Mindy view the top 3 cards of their Good decks and place the first Angel they find into Opponent play. Mindy has found Apollyon and Metatron. Steve has found Camael. All 3 enter Opponent play, but will not take attacks until the Clean-Up phase. As the person who drew the card, Mindy’s Angels enter Opponent play first.

Playing as a Lured Player for the next 3 rounds, Mindy then draws a card and plays Ambriel. Ambriel attacks Michael for 4 damage.

2nd Player
Steve draws the Opponent Event card Foolishness. It causes Apollyon to attack both Michael and Metatron. Michael is defeated and joins Opponent play. Metatron is defeated and is discarded.

Steve draws a card and plays Jehudiel. Jehudiel attacks and defeats Apollyon.

Clean-Up and Strength Check
Because they haven’t taken actions yet this round, Camael and Michael attack Jehudiel. The Strength Balance is then 15 in the Opponent’s favor. This comes from Camael’s Strength of 4, Michael’s Strength of 7, and Ambriel’s Strength of 4. Note that even though Mindy’s Ambriel is only playing as an Opponent temporarily - because Mindy is a Lured Player - Ambriel’s Strength is counted toward the Opponents’ Strength. 

With so many challenges to face, it may take Steve and Mindy a few more rounds to get a foothold and achieve the Objective, but they can do it.  

Achievement Scoring

Not all Alpha/Omega games you play go the same way. See how well you did this time!

Give Yourself…
For…
2 Points
Each Good Person Card in Your Play at Game’s End
1 Point
Each Good Person Card in Your Teammates’ Play at Game’s End
3 Points
Each Calling You Achieved
1 Point
Each Calling Your Teammates Achieved
3 Points
Achieving the Objective in 10 Rounds or Less
5 Points
Never Becoming a Lured Player


Variations

Opponent Play: Rather than playing cooperatively, you may choose a player or players to control the Opponent deck. In this case, the Opponent player(s) follows the same rules as when playing the Good deck, drawing 7 cards to start and taking their turn after every Good player. Just remember not to role play the Opponents in real life ;-)

Easy Mode: Change the Order of Play to:
1. Draw 1 card.
2. Play 1 card.
3. Perform attacks or use abilities.
4. Draw an Opponent card and carry out its attacks or abilities.
5. After all Good players have performed their Opponent actions, the first player performs attacks or uses the abilities of each Opponent card in play, starting with the Opponent card that has been in play the longest and continuing through each active Opponent card. Opponent cards drawn in the current round do not get a second attack.
6. Calculate the current Balance of Strength.

All or Nothing: Instead of, or in addition, to declaring victory once you have achieved an Objective, play until you have defeated the entire Opponent deck.

Fast or Extended Play: For fast play, achieve or lose your Objective when the Balance of Strength reaches 25. For Extended Play, achieve or lose your Objective when the Balance of Strength reaches 100.

Campaign Mode: Normally, you would reset the Good and Opponent decks before setting a new Objective. Instead, put the Objectives in order and see how many you can achieve before exhausting your Good deck(s). Reset the Opponent deck as needed. The challenge of Campaign Mode will increase as new Objectives are published.

Read more about the Alpha/Omega Christian card game.

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