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Object of the Game

In Summoner Wars you are playing the role of a Summoner. You have been endowed by a Summoning Stone with the ability to call forth mighty warriors and cast powerful spells to aid you in your battle against an opposing Summoner.

The object of the game is to destroy your opponent's Summoner card. When you are the only player with your Summoner card left in play, you win.


  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Battlefield Board
  • 5 Six-Sided Dice 20 Wound Markers
  • 225 Cards

Unit Cards

Unit Cards represent the forces, called Units, which make up your army. Everything from your all-important Summoner down to your lowliest Scout, are Units represented by a Unit Card.

Anatomy Of A Unit Card

1 Attack Value: When attacking with a Unit, roll a number of dice equal to that Unit's Attack Value.

2 Summon Cost: This is the number of Magic Points you'll have to spend to bring the Unit onto the Battlefield.

3 Special Ability: Special rules unique to the Unit.

4 Range Symbol: Unit Cards with a bow symbol on them can attack cards that are up to 3 clear straight line spaces away. Unit Cards with a sword symbol on them must be adjacent to other cards to attack them.

5 Unit Name: Champions and Summoners have unique names like Lun or Krusk. Common Units have generic names like Shaman or Warrior. Some Special Abilities and Event Cards will reference Units by name.

6 Unit Type: There are 3 different types of Unit Cards: Summoners, Champions, and Commons. Some rules, Special Abilities, and Event Cards will make reference to certain types of Unit Cards.

7 Life Points: Each colored dot represents 1 Life Point. When attacking, you will place 1 Wound Marker on a Unit Card for every Hit rolled against that Unit. When a Unit Card has a number of Wound Markers equal to or greater than it's Life Points, that Unit is destroyed.

8 Character Art: An artistic representation of the Unit. Character art has no effect on game play.

Event Cards

Event Cards represent special events like the casting of a spell or the rallying of your forces.

Event Cards are made up of just 2 parts: The card's name and its effect on the game. Event Cards can be played on your turn during your Play Event Cards Phase.

Wall Cards

A Wall Card is a special type of Event Card.

Wall Cards do not have a card name or a game effect listed on them; only a picture of a wall and a number of Life Points. Walls are not Units, but can be attacked and destroyed like Units.

However, Walls are not affected by Abilities or powers which only affect Units. During the Event Card Phase you can play a Wall Card by simply placing it on any empty space on your side of the Battlefield.

Walls serve 2 purposes. The first is protection. Walls give your Units something to hide behind and they block your opponent's movement. Second, they are a summoning point. When summoning Units to the game they must be placed adjacent to a Wall Card that you control.

Walls can be attacked and destroyed just like Units. Be careful - if you control no Walls you cannot summon more Units to your aid.

Vine Walls

The Swamp Orcs have a special kind of Wall called a Vine Wall. The back of each Vine Wall card has the basic rules for Vine Walls printed on it.

The full rules for Vine Walls are as follows. (The italic text in the rules below is omitted from the Vine Wall basic rules for the sake of brevity).

Vine Wall cards are not shuffled into your deck. Instead, each player that has Vine Walls listed on his Summoner's Reference Card starts the game with that many Vine Wall cards in a Vine Wall Pile off of the Battlefield.

Whenever a card instructs a player to place a Vine Wall, remove a Vine Wall from that player's Vine Wall Pile and place it as directed. Vine Walls are considered Wall cards for all purposes with the following exceptions:

  1. Life: Vine Walls have 2 Life Points.

  2. Placement: Vine Walls can be placed on any space on the Battlefield, including on your opponent's side! A Vine Wall can be placed on a space where a Unit already exists, place the Vine Wall under the existing Unit. However, you can never place a Vine Wall on a space where a Wall (including a Vine Wall) already exists. A Unit cannot be summoned onto a space containing a Vine Wall, but they can be summoned adjacent just like any other Wall.

  3. Movement: Units can move or be placed onto a space containing a Vine Wall. When a Unit moves off of a space containing a Vine Wall, roll a die. On a result of 3 or lower, that Unit receives 1 Wound Marker and cannot move off of the Vine Wall space. On a Result of 4 or higher, that Unit moves normally. A Unit can never use an Event or Special Ability to move through a Unit that is on a Vine Wall.

  4. Attacking: A Vine Wall can be attacked even if there is a Unit sharing a space with it. A player must declare whether he is attacking the Unit or the Vine Wall before attacking. Units on a Vine Wall space are considered to be adjacent to that Vine Wall and can attack it. A Vine Wall blocks line of sight just like a normal Wall, even if there is a Unit on top of it.

    However, it does not block line of sight to or from that Unit on top of it. Those Units that share spaces with Vine Walls can attack and be attacked from any direction unless blocked by another card.

  5. Destroying: When a Vine Wall is destroyed, it is placed back onto the owner's Vine Wall Pile rather than a Magic Pile.

Some Special Abilities, such as Blerg's Adapt Ability, refer to cards that are placed underneath them and impact them in some unique way. For the sake of interpreting the rules surrounding such Abilities, Vine Walls are NOT considered to be a card under those Units.

Remember that a Unit on a Vine Wall space is considered adjacent to that Vine Wall, even though they are sharing a space.


The Battlefield is where the action happens. The Battlefield comes in 2 halves, separating your side of the Battlefield from your opponent's side. The Battlefield is further divided into card-sized spaces. These spaces will be used for measuring distance and card placement.

On either end of the Battlefield are 3 marked areas for the cards you'll use during the game: The Draw Pile, the Magic Pile, and the Discard Pile.


  1. Unfold the Battlefield and place it on a flat surface between the players with the card piles facing the players.

  2. Remove the dice and Wound Markers and place them off to the side of the Battlefield in separate piles within reach of all players.

  3. Each player chooses a card deck. Each card deck has a unique color and symbol which denotes which cards belong in that deck.

  4. Every deck includes a Reference Card to aid the player. Keep this handy.

  5. Each player checks their Reference Card and puts their "Starting Setup" cards on the Battlefield as shown on their Reference Card. Each player should place their cards so that they can be read right- side up from their side of the Battlefield. This will help you easily identify which cards you control on the Battlefield.

  6. Players shuffle their remaining cards and place them face-down on their Draw Pile section. Players start the game with NO cards in their hand.

  7. Each player rolls a die. The player with the highest roll chooses who will take the first turn. Re-roll ties. The player who takes the first turn of the game must skip phases 1 - 3 of the Turn Sequence, and instead must begin their turn with the Movement Phase. During that first Movement Phase the player going first can only move with up to 2 Units, instead of the normal 3. The player may then complete the rest of that turn normally.

Game Turn

Each turn in Summoner Wars is divided into 6 phases, which must be played in order.

  1. Draw
  2. Summon
  3. Play Event Cards
  4. Movement
  5. Attack
  6. Build Magic

After a player completes all 6 phases, it becomes their opponent's turn.

Phase 1: Draw

Draw cards until you have 5 cards in your hand (Example: if you start your turn with 3 cards in your hand you will draw 2 cards). If your Draw Pile is empty, you can no longer draw cards and must finish the game with the remaining cards on the Battlefield (including the Magic Pile) and in your hand.

Phase 2: Summon

During this phase you may summon Units to the Battlefield. To summon a Unit you must pay its Summon Cost by spending Magic Points. To spend a Magic Point, remove 1 card from the top of your Magic Pile and place it face-up in your Discard Pile.

To spend 2 Magic Points remove 2 cards from the top of your Magic Pile and place them face-up in your Discard Pile, etc.

For example: you want to summon your Goblin Champion Kreep to the Battlefield. Kreep has a Summon Cost of 4, so to summon Kreep you must first remove 4 cards from the top of your Magic Pile and place them face-up on your Discard Pile.

Next you must place the summoned Unit onto an empty space adjacent to a Wall Card that you control. If you do not have enough cards in your Magic Pile to pay a Unit's Summon Cost or there are no empty spaces adjacent to a Wall Card that you control, you cannot summon that Unit. You can summon as many Units as you have in your hand and can afford to pay the Summon Cost for, so long as there are enough empty spaces adjacent to Walls that you control.


A card is only considered adjacent to another card when it occupies 1 of the 4 spaces directly next to that card. Spaces that are diagonally connected to other spaces are not considered to be adjacent.

Phase 3: Play Event Cards

During this phase, you may play Event Cards, including Wall Cards. There is no limit to the number of Event Cards you can play in a single turn. Event Cards are played 1 at a time and are resolved immediately. After playing an Event Card, place that card face-up in your Discard Pile.

Note: some Event Cards state that a certain requirement must be met before the card can be played. You must meet all listed requirements before playing such a card. Note: to play a Wall Card you simply place the card on any empty space on your side of the Battlefield.

Phase 4: Movement

During this phase, you may move up to 3 of your Units. They may move up to 2 spaces each. Cards cannot move diagonally. Cards cannot move through spaces occupied by other cards. Cards must end their move on an unoccupied space. No Unit can be moved more than once per Movement Phase unless an Event or Special Ability directs otherwise.

Some Special Abilities activate when a Unit moves. A player may announce that they are moving a Unit 0 spaces in order to activate such an Ability without having to move that Unit from its current space. Doing this counts as moving 1 of the 3 Units you are allowed to move during a Movement Phase.

Examples of correct movement

Phase 5: Attack

During this phase, you may attack with up to 3 different Units that you control on the Battlefield. The Units that you choose to attack with do not have to be the same Units that moved in the previous phase. No Unit can attack more than once per Attack Phase unless an Event or Special Ability directs otherwise.

If a Special Ability or Event allows a Unit to attack multiple times that Unit still only counts as 1 of the 3 Units you are allowed to attack with during this Phase. Resolve each attack before moving to the next. When attacking a Unit, if you destroy that Unit, place that Unit Card face-down on top of YOUR Magic Pile.

You may attack and destroy your own cards but a Unit cannot attack itself. When attacking with a Unit you must roll using that Unit's entire Attack Value.

Attacking with a Unit Card that has the Sword Symbol on it: Unit Cards with the Sword Symbol on them can only attack adjacent cards. Spaces that are diagonally connected to other spaces are NOT considered to be adjacent.

Attacking with a Unit Card that has the bow symbol on it: Unit Cards with the bow symbol on them can attack cards that are up to 3 spaces away. You can only attack a card that is within a straight line from the attacking Unit Card, either vertically or horizontally; you cannot attack diagonally. You cannot attack a card that is blocked by 1 or more other cards.

Example of a card blocking a ranged attack.

Ranged units must attack in a straight line

Resolving An Attack And Building Your Magic Pile

To attack, roll a number of dice equal to the attacking Unit's Attack Value.

There are 2 types of die results:

  • Rolling a 3 or higher is a Hit result.
  • Rolling a 2 or lower is a Miss result.

For every Hit result rolled, add one Wound Marker to the card that is being attacked. The Wound Markers are double sided. If you place the side WITHOUT the 3 on it face-up that represents 1 Wound Marker. If you place the side WITH the 3 on it face-up that represents 3 Wound Markers.

If your attack has added enough Wound Markers to destroy a card, you then place the destroyed card face-down on top of your Magic Pile, thus supplying yourself with more power to summon your Units to the battle on your next Summon Phase.

An Example Of An Attack

Splub attacks a Miner, rolling 3 dice (Splub's Attack Value is 3). One die shows a 2, another die shows a 4, and the last die shows a 6, so Splub has rolled 2 Hits (the 4 and the 6) on the Miner, adding two Wound Markers to the Miner's card.

Since the Miner only begins the game with 2 Life Points, the attack is enough to destroy it and the Miner card is placed on top of the Magic Pile of the player attacking with Splub.

Phase 6: Build Magic

During this phase, you may take any number of cards from your hand and put them face-down on top of your Magic Pile. This builds up your Magic Pile and frees up your hand so that you can draw more cards on your next turn. You may look at the cards in your own Magic Pile, but you cannot rearrange the order they are in.

Special Abilities

Every Unit Card in Summoner Wars has a Special Ability. Special Abilities 'break' the rules of the game in some way. Special Abilities take precedence over the regular rules. For example: the rules state that Unit Cards can only move up to 2 spaces each during your Movement Phase.

However, Units with the 'Swift' Special Ability may move an additional space when they are being moved during your Movement Phase.

Special Abilities are not optional, with the exception of Special Abilities that take the place of an attack. Special Abilities that take the place of a standard attack are always optional, as are Special Abilities that use the term "may", as in, "You may move up to 2 additional spaces".

Using a Special Ability that takes the place of a standard attack counts as using one of the 3 Units you can attack with during your Attack Phase.

End of the Game

You are victorious when you are the only player with a Summoner on the Battlefield.

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