Monad is a fascinating game of skill for 2 to 4 players. Advance planning is essential as each player attempts to strategically trade, buy and leap his way from the lowest cards to the highest.
Trading will advance a player a step at a time towards his ultimate goal. Buying, while letting him advance faster, requires more cards than trading. Leaping is done to bypass other steps but is usually costly.
Each player must make his decisions skillfully in the race to obtain the required number of valuable Monads - and win the game!
- 58 Card Deck (7 sets of 6 colors plus Identity
and Bonus cards)
- 10 Monad Disks
The special deck of playing cards is sorted into seven different sets, as shown below. Each set contains six different colors - three warm colors (red, orange and yellow) and three cool colors (purple, blue and green).
Each Bonus card shows three bonus combinations of these colors (red/purple, orange/blue and yellow/ green); only one of the six colors appears on each of the other cards.
Each of the Common, Bi, Tri, Quad and Quint cards has a point value which appears in the center of the card; the Bonus and Identity cards function only as reference cards and thus have no point values.
When Trading, Buying or Leaping, cards rank as follows: Common (lowest), Bi, Tri, Quad and Quint (highest).
The number of Bonus, Common and Identity cards used in a game varies according to the number of players. After sorting the deck into sets, remove the following cards and return them to the storage box:
2 Players - Remove 2 Bonus cards, 12 Commons (two of each color) and 4 Identity cards (any colors).
3 Players - Remove 1 Bonus card, 6 Commons (one of each color) and 3 Identity cards (red, orange and yellow).
4 Players - Remove 2 Identity cards (yellow and green).
After removing the specified cards, place one Bonus card face up on the table in front of each player. Shuffle the remaining sets separately and place one Identity card face up on the table next to each player's Bonus card.
Arrange the Bi, Tri, Quad and Quint cards in columns in the center of the table as shown. Stack the 10 Monads (disc-shaped objects) face up to the right of the Quint cards. Deal six Commons, one at a time, face down to each player.
There are no Commons on the table prior to the first play. The discard pile will be created by the first player. The drawing deck is created when one player, during his turn, "flips" (turns over) the discard pile.
Each player picks up his hand of six Commons and play begins. Player to dealer's left has first turn and play moves clockwise.
The object of play is to advance from the Commons through the Bi, Tri, Quad and Quint cards to the Monads by trading, buying and leaping. During your turn, you may make as many trades, buys, or leaps as you wish.
(All transactions are made with the table, not with other players). If you cannot or do not wish to make any of these plays, you may use your turn to either draw from or "flip" the Commons, or to pass.
Trading is the most common way to advance. From your hand, you trade two cards of one set for the top card from the column of the next higher set. One of the traded cards must be a warm color and the other a cool color.
(An easy way to remember warm and cool colors is to look at your bonus card; warm colors - red, orange and yellow - are on the right marked with a "w" and the cool colors - purple, blue and green are on the left and marked with a "c").
Two commons may be traded for a Bi, two Bi cards for a Tri, etc; trading two Quints entitles you to a Monad. If there are no cards of the next higher set on the table, you must wait to trade.
Traded Commons are placed face up in the discard pile; other traded cards are inserted face up at the bottom of their columns so that only the symbols are visible. The top card of the next higher set is added to your hand; a Monad is placed on the table next to your Bonus card.
Example: First player trades two Commons - a yellow and a blue (warm and cool) - for the top Bi which is blue. Next he trades two more Commons - a red and a green - for the top Bi which is yellow.
Then he trades his blue and yellow Bi cards for the top Tri. (If this was later in the game and there were no Tri cards on the table, he could not trade his Bi Cards).
If the two cards you trade match the colors of one of the three combinations on the Bonus card (red/purple, orange/blue or yellow/ green), you are entitled to a bonus of the top card from each set lower than the traded cards, including a Common from the drawing deck.
(If any set is not on the table, you lose that part of your bonus; a Common may not be taken from the discard pile). There is no bonus for trading Commons. You may take only one bonus during a turn.
If you do not take your bonus immediately following the trade, you forfeit that entire bonus. However, it may be wise to pass up a smaller bonus if you can trade for a larger one later in that turn. To indicate that you have taken a bonus, turn your bonus card face down on the table; at the end of that turn, the card is turned face up again.
Example: A player trades a green and a yellow Bi for a Tri, which entitles him to a bonus of a Common from the drawing deck.
However, he chooses not to take this bonus as, later in this turn, he plans to trade a purple and a red Quint for a Monad, which will give him a larger bonus of a Quad, Tri, Bi and Common.
The color on your Identity card identifies the Bi, Tri, Quad and
Quint cards you may use as wild in trading (to represent a card of a different set - usually higher). Only one wild card may be used per trade; one of the traded cards must be a warm color and the other a cool color.
When using a wild card, you may not collect a bonus even if the colors match a combination on the Bonus card.
Example: The player with the yellow Identity card holds a purple and a green Quint and a yellow Bi. Using his Bi (wild card) and one of the Quints, he trades for a Monad. (Trading the green Quint and the yellow Bi will not give him a bonus).
Buying is frequently done when players have difficulty obtaining cards for trading. When buying, only the point value in the center of each card is considered.
You buy the top card from a column by playing any two or more cards with a total point value equal to or greater than the value of the card being bought. (No "played' card may be of the same or a higher set than the card being bought).
You may buy a Monad with cards totaling 80 or more points. Played cards are placed at the bottom of their columns (Commons in the discard pile). The card you buy is added to your hand; if you buy a Monad, it is placed on the table next to your Bonus card.
Regardless of the total value of the played cards you never receive "change".
Example: One player (after trading Commons for Bi cards) finds he has two warm Bi cards. Unable to trade, he buys the top Tri card with his two Bi cards and one Common. The total value of the played cards is 7 - equal to the value of a Tri.
Leaping is done to bypass one or more sets in your quest for Monads. To leap, you must first "prepare" by making at least one other play (trading or buying) in that turn. Leaping consists of playing four, five or six differently-colored Commons at one time.
In exchange for four differently colored Commons, you may take the top Tri; for five Commons, you may take a Quad and for six, a Quint.
Drawing and Flipping
If you do not wish to trade, buy or leap, you may use your turn to either draw from or "flip" the Commons. Drawing is mainly done to build up your hand.
Whenever there is a Common drawing deck, you may draw the top card as your turn.
If there is no drawing deck but there is a discard pile, you may "flip" the discard pile (turn it face down without shuffling or otherwise changing the order of the cards) to create a drawing deck; this constitutes your entire turn.
Passing is permitted only when you are unable to trade, draw trom or "flip" the Commons or buy a card or Monad using two cards of the immediately lower set and enough additional cards to reach the required total.
To pass, you must show your hand to prove you are unable to do any of the above.
Example: A player's hand consists of a Bi and four Commons. There is no Bi on the table but there is a Tri.
Since, at this time, there is neither a drawing deck or a discard pile, he may show his hand and pass. (If he held two Bi cards and four Commons, he would be forced to buy the Tri).
End of the Game
The number of Monads necessary to win varies with the number of players; first player to obtain the required number wins:
2 Players - 5 Monads
3 Players - 4 Monads
4 Players - 3 Monads
Rules for Team Play
If four players wish to play in teams, partners sit opposite each other. Game is played in usual manner and first team to obtain 5 Monads wins.