When a character is dealt damage, place that much damage on the character. When a character has damage on it equal to its health, it is immediately defeated.
Unblockable damage cannot be blocked by shields or card effects. Any shields on a character who is dealt unblockable damage remain on that character; the shields are ignored for the purposes of dealing the unblockable damage.
Unless specified, damage is neither ranged or melee. "That damage" is short for "that amount of damage".
Example: A player uses Deflect ( 145) to remove a die showing ranged damage and deal 2 damage to a character. The damage that was just dealt is not considered to be ranged damage.
Damage tokens come in values of one and three. A player can swap between these tokens as necessary in order to track the amount of damage on a character.
Damage dealt during the same action is usually dealt at different times since the dice are resolved one at a time. The only time multiple dice deal damage at the exact same time is when a die is being modified by other dice.
Any excess damage taken by a character above its health is ignored.
When a player distributes damage "as they wish:"
The player assigns their characters the amount of damage they will be dealt.
A player cannot assign an amount of damage greater than the remaining health plus the number of shields on the character, unless a player cannot assign any more damage to their characters and there is still damage remaining to be assigned, then the player must assign the remaining damage to their characters as they choose.
Once all damage is assigned, it is dealt simultaneously.
Example: A player has two characters with 1 remaining health each. They are forced to distribute 2 damage from the special on the F-11D Rifle ( 8). They must deal each of their characters 1 damage, instead of dealing one of the characters 2 damage. If one of those characters had 1 shield, then both of the damage could have been dealt to that character.
When a character has damage on it equal to its health, it is immediately defeated. Set aside its character card and all of its dice (both its character and upgrade dice), and discard all upgrades on it. (While set aside, the character and its dice are no longer in play and cannot be used).
When all of a player's characters are defeated, they lose.
Resources are the game's currency and are used to pay for cards, card abilities, and resolving dice. The amount of resources a player has available at any given time is represented by their resource tokens. Resources begin the game in the supply.
When a player gains resources, they take tokens from the supply. When a player spends or loses resources, they return tokens to the supply.
Each player gains 2 resources during the upkeep phase.
If the supply of resource tokens runs out, substitute a different token or track resources using a different method.
Shields block damage. Each shield blocks 1 damage that is dealt to the character. After blocking damage, the shield token is removed.
Shields block damage before it is taken. Shields must be used to block damage, if possible. Other effects that block damage do so at the same time, and can be used before or after shields, the same as any other simultaneous abilities.
Each character can have a maximum of 3 shields at one time. If an effect would give a character more than 3 shields, ignore the excess shields.
If the supply of shield tokens runs out, substitute a different token or track shields using a different method.
Whenever a player draws a card, they take the top card of their deck and add it to their hand.
When players draw multiple cards, the cards are drawn simultaneously.
If a player does not have as many cards left in their deck as they are supposed to draw, then they draw as many of the remaining cards as possible. If a player cannot draw any cards, then nothing happens.
A card is ready when it is in an upright position. Ready cards can be exhausted (turned sideways). A player instructed to ready a card should turn the card to an upright position.
A card that is already ready cannot be readied.
Ready supports and characters can exhaust to activate. Ready upgrades can only be exhausted through card effects.
A card is exhausted when it is turned sideways. Exhausted cards can be readied (turned upright). A player instructed to exhaust a card should turn the card to a sideways position.
A card that is already exhausted cannot be exhausted again.
Areas of Play
Each player has their own areas of play. These areas are either in-play or out-of-play.
Characters, Plots, & Played Cards
After an upgrade or support is played, it is added to the in- play area and is in play. Characters and plots start the game in play. Events are never in play; they are played, resolved, and discarded without entering the in-play area.
- The abilities on cards in play can be used.
- A card enters play when it transitions from an out-of-play area to the in-play area.
- "From play" is short for "from the in-play area".
This is where dice are rolled. Each player has their own dice pool. Dice are always placed on their matching cards when not in a dice pool.
- A player can only resolve dice in their own dice pool.
- Dice in a player's dice pool can be manipulated (removed, turned, rerolled, or resolved) or used as a reference for card effects that require a specific side to be showing.
A player's resources are kept next to their cards. The number of resources a player has is open information.
Battlefield (if controlled)
If a player controls the battlefield, it's kept in their in play area.
Cards in a player's hand, deck, discard pile, and set-aside zone are out of play and their abilities cannot be used until they are played or return to play, or a card says otherwise.
A card leaves play when it transitions from the play area to an out-of-play area. Remove all tokens from that card.
A player cannot have a card their opponent owns in their own out-of-play area.
Each player has a hand of cards. As an action, they are able to play a card from their hand by paying the card's resource cost.
- Each player has a hand size. A player's hand size determines how many cards they draw up to during the upkeep phase (after discarding any cards they want). The default hand size is 5 cards. A player does not have to discard cards when they have more than their hand size.
- The number of cards in a player's hand is open information, but the actual cards in it are hidden from a player's opponent.
Each player brings a deck of 30 cards to the game. During the game, the deck refers to the stack of facedown cards a player has not yet drawn.
- After being shuffled, the deck is kept with the cards facedown, and players cannot look through it or change its order except through game abilities.
- The number of cards left in a player's deck is open information.
The discard pile is a faceup pile near a player's deck where they place their discarded cards.
- The cards in a discard pile are open information. All players can look through any player's discard pile whenever they wish.
- The order of the discard pile is irrelevant. A player can adjust the order of the cards in their discard pile whenever they wish.
When an event is played, it is placed faceup on the table and is in limbo. It is no longer in the player's hand. Once the event resolves, it goes to the discard pile.
The event does not enter play, but it is considered to have been played.
Dice on Cards
When dice are not in a dice pool, they are placed on their matching card. These dice are not active, cannot be manipulated, and none of their sides are considered to be showing.
Each player has a set-aside zone. At the beginning of the game, some dice are set aside. These are dice that can enter play via cards.
Players can set aside any number of dice that match cards in their deck, or are referenced by cards in their deck. Players may hide these dice from their opponent using a tray or a dice bag.
Cards can also enter or leave the set-aside zone. Cards in the set-aside zone are open knowledge unless otherwise noted. Defeated characters are placed in the set-aside zone, and some cards, like Premonitions ( 131) or battlefields that are not chosen during setup, also use this zone.
This is where the various game tokens are placed. All tokens are taken from the supply when gained (resources), dealt (damage), or given (shields). All tokens are returned to the supply when spent (resources), lost (resources), healed (damage) or removed (shields).
If players run out of tokens, they should find a proper proxy.