Clarification of The Hard-Written Rules.
The ‘ROC’ are Area-Rules for Maps and are an addition to the ‘ROE’ that specify how to do Card-Battle. The ROC are printed on the back of StarArena_Classic, so that they may never get lost.
Since the GIF wont stop for a second and prevents you from viewing the ROC clearly, here they are… The Hard-Written_Rules of how to ‘Behave and Conduct’ yourself on ‘this’ Game-Board!
Since there was very limited space: The ROC is short and could be construed as cryptic. This page will offer ‘Clarifications’ of the few Hard-Written Rules. (It really is not a difficult game to play, but I have seen people get flustered mid-play, like it was their first driving lesson in a car, suddenly panic and mix-up all the basics? Without an Instructor present; Inexperienced players might crash?)
Hard-Rule #1: Opening-Ceremony.
Before ‘starting’ any New-Game, the Game-Board must be ‘Reset’ to Perfect-Alignment. All the Colors and Game-Quadrants are In-Sync and symbolize Unity & Harmony. The image below is the StarArena in Perfect-Alignment.
Then ‘Each’ of the 3 layers above the Base-Plate _named: Holo-Port_ are given +2 Turns and the Game can commence.
Season-Ring +2 Turns (The Round-One)
King-Ring + 2 Turns (The Octagonal-Star)
The Arena + 2 Turns (The Top-Layer)
When that is done, the Game-Board will look like this:
Hard-Rule #2: Use Stairs To Reach Arena.
These Hard-Written Rules follow the ‘order of appearance’ on the back of the Game-Board. The idea was to get certain easy Hard-Rules established upfront, before pressing forward to the more dynamic rule-sets.
Most of the Hardware Game-Cards are Boots-On-The-Ground Infantry-Type Characters, meaning; Movement By Foot. When on foot; The Arena (Top-Level) can only be reached via one of the 4 Stairs!
Hard-Rule #3: Arena-Corners are ‘SAFE’ From Upward-Attacks.
This refers to the 4 Corners between the 4 Stairs on the Higher-Level of The Arena ring. Again, this Hard-Rule concerns the majority of Game-Cards that are about CQB, Close_Quarter_Combat. Believe me when I tell you; The moment you step onto the Arena_Platform, you become a Target for all other players, because you are close to the gold!!
Those corners are like those in a boxing-ring and give you a break from conventional battle, like H2H; Hand-To-Hand and CQB Attacks. The player standing behind you one-level-lower cannot attack you.
Mind you, there are cards with ‘Range’ a/o ‘Long-Distance’ modifiers that circumvent this rule! So; Don’t Get Too Comfy And Plan To Camp-Out In These Corners!!
Hard-Rule #4: INSERT-COIN(S Each Time You Step Into The Game ‘FROM’ Holoport!
The moment you step into The Arcade: You Must Insert-Coin To Play. This Coin is placed on the Most Top Square of The Arena and becomes: “Treasure a/o Winnings for the Victor who manages to reach Sanctuary First!”
Hard-Rule #5: To Reach Sanctuary In Victory; It must Always-Be-Fought-For!
Extremely Skilled a/o Strategic players can get to the top of the Game-Board ‘without’ doing any Card-Combat, but in an Arena-Battle-Game; We do not permit the Prize-Pot to be taken without a Fight! There are and ‘never’ will be ‘Shortcuts’ from the Arena onto Sanctuary; It Can Only Be Won With A Successful Card-Battle!
Hard-Rule #6: The Aim-Of-The-Game Is To: Reach ‘Sanctuary’ First!
The full sentence is: Reach ‘Sanctuary’ First! (Top-Level-Square) And Collect The-Prize!! (Coins/Cards or Whatever The Stakes That Were Set.)
So: The Player Who-Reaches-The-Top-First, Takes-Home-The-Winnings!
The Game is ‘Reset’ (Read Rule #1: Opening-Ceremony) when somebody Wins and cleans out the Pot! Unless you are Playing for the Honor of Winning a Trilogy!! Then the Win-Conditions are: The First To Win 3 Game-Wins Is The Gunshin!!
Anybody that reaches Sanctuary first; ‘Always’ cleans-out the bank and takes home The-Coins. The Winner then must Re-Enter the game when it is His/Her Turn and Insert-Coin* again. And strive to achieve the 3 Wins needed to gain A Trilogy-Victory and Gunshin status!
*In the meantime, other players could achieve a Game-Win, and possibly pass through Sanctuary containing: 0 Coins. Tuff-Luck…
Hard-Rule #7: Who Starts The Game Is Decided By Jan-Ken-Pon!
The full sentence is: To Decide Who Starts The Game, All Must Play: Jan-Ken-Pon! (Paper, Scissors, Stone: Majority Rules.)
Now there is no way in hell I am going to explain something you should already know, if this rule-set is unfamiliar to you? Watch-This!
Hard-Rule #8: Throw Dice For Actions!
The full sentence is: Throw Dice (D8) For Actions! (Clockwise Turning a/o Moving.) Which is still very short and has plenty of room left for improvement. *I did a better job in the introduction of StarArena_Classic on BGG
At the Beginning of your Game-Turn, Before anything else: A Player Throws Dice For Actions! The Number-Outcome of the Dice-Throw determines how many Actions you may do in your Game-Turn.
These Actions can be spent in Two-Ways: 1) Turning 2) Moving! Or A Combination of the Two.
AND!! Always in Clockwise-Order!!
Counter-Clockwise Moving a/o Turning Is Forbidden!!
When you Enter in Card-Combat: Your Actions-Are-Paused! For Example, you throw an amazing eight. You turn the board to your advantage in 4 Clicks ( -4 Actions) and you move over the board 2 Steps ( -2 Actions) and you find someone you want to Battle!?
The ‘moment’ you announce a Battle: Your Actions are Frozen! And the Rules-Of-Engagement Kick-Inn!! In the example above: The Attacker has 2-Actions left to play.
TIP: Card-Battles can be intense!! Set the Dice to 2; So that you do not forget how many actions were left to be played after a successful Card-Battle.
In short: Win the Battle? You get to Continue your Turn: 2 Actions +1 Gained by a Victory = 3 Actions left to play.
Loose the Battle; Your Turn-Ends Then & There!! And you loose the remaining actions. Pass the dice to the Next-Player.
Hard-Rule #9: Leveling-Up From Own-Color To Own-Color Is: FREE!
Boy-o-boy, has this rule cost me endless discussions and ultimately come down to semantics, once again! This rule addresses ‘Color-Advantage!!’ The rule definition might not be flawless? But Color-Advantage can be explained as follows: When You Play ‘Green’ And You ‘Stand’ On ‘Green-Terrain’ And The Adjoining-Area Above You Is ‘Green?’ READ: EVERYTHING IS IN OWN_COLOR!
You Can Step-Up One-Ring Without Having To Do Card-Battle. (In the olden-days, we used to call this a; Free-Level-Up. And the word ‘FREE’ stuck, although it causes problems. Because: Yes, You may Level-Up without doing Battle, But it does ‘Cost You 1 Action’ for the move upward you undertake! So not entirely Free!! And that is what the argument is about. My Bad; But these are the hard-written rules on Prototype 001 thru 152. (Calling It ‘FREE’ is a Mistake: Revision needed.
BUT, There is More!
What It Comes Down To!!
Color-Advantage at its best is: Managing to Twist & Turn the Game-Board into Perfect-Alignment during your Game-Turn, standing on your Own-Color Holo-Port (base-plate) and Stepping _skipping Season & King-Ring_ onto The Arena In One-Step: At the Cost of Only-One-Action!!
The same is true in the example of Base to King-Ring in One-Step _skipping the Season-Ring_ at the: Cost Of Only One-Action. And a few other variations…
The Point is: Color-Advantage Means You May Level-Up From Own-Color to Own-Color (the Color You Play) Without-Doing-Battle. (Free from Battle) No matter how many rings you Level-Up (the Maximum-Advantage to be gained is +3 Levels in One Step) will cost you Only 1 Action.
But keep in mind: Hard-Rule #5!! No matter how skilled or strategic, or ‘Fragging’ lucky a player you are to achieve such an event: You must win in Card-Battle to make that last winning step to Sanctuary!
In short: Color-Advantage Is Important!!
Keep An Eye Out For The Possibilities And Watch-Out For Opponents Trying To Pull A Fast One On You!!
Hard-Rule #10: All Other Level-Ups Are Decided By Card-Battle!!
If you are unable turn the StarArena into Color-Advantage? You must walk up to another opponent on the board _if thrown actions permit you to do so_ or turn the levels so that another player comes to be positioned next to you, and: BATTLE!!
The Unwritten-Rule (that everybody needs to know) is: You must be Next-To-Each-Other (adjoining positions) on either the Same-Level, or directly Above or Below each other you to ‘Initiate’ a Card-Battle! (With the exception of Hard-Rule #3)
*Reminder: When A Card-Battle Begins, Actions Are Paused. Depending On The Outcome and Brings Us To The Next…
Hard-Rule #11: The Defeated-Player Falls Down: -1 Level, The Victor Up +1!
In case you have read over it in the ROE: A Defeated-Player is a Defender that lost in Battle. (That Player Falls Down -1 Level) An Attacker that was NOT victorious in Battle, was simply; Not-A-Winner. That Players Turn ends then and there! Remaining actions are lost, end of turn and the dice goes to the next player. Both players that were in card-battle stay were they are. No one goes up or down and both players remain standing next to each other.
In this event we say; The Defender Played Well!!
Hard-Rule #12: No 2 Players May Occupy 1 Position!
The full sentence is: No 2 Players May Occupy 1 Position! (Decide By: Card-Battle Or Jan-Ken-Pon! )
In the previous rule it has been made clear that: Losers Fall Down A Level! Now what if somebody is already standing on that spot below? This is why the: No 2 Players May Occupy 1 Position Rules Was Set In Stone! …And over time became a Game-Mechanic.
When A Player is ‘Knocked-Down’ -1 Level and Lands On The Head Of Another Player (2 Players Occupying 1 Spot) They: Must Fight-For-The-Right Who May Stay!! It is by the discretion of the Player already standing there; If this done by Card (Battle) or Hand? (PSS, Paper-Scissor-Stone)
Generally this is decided by Jan-Ken-Pon to keep the Game Fast & Flowing!! If the Loser of the first Battle is Unlucky? 1 Level-Down becomes 2 Levels-Down!?
But either way, the tactic is to purposely drop a player onto another and try to force a Knock-Out of whichever player is out of luck, back to base, in one action. So that when they Re-Enter, they must Insert-Coin and in doing so, they are thickening the Plot & Pot!!
Hard-Rule #13: Sanctuary Can Only Be Entered Via Own-Color!
The full sentence is: Beware That; Sanctuary Can Only Be Entered Via Own-Color! (Via: Protocol-Picto on the Arena) To Collect The-Prize!
Make sure that you have enough Steps/Actions left after a Victory in Card-Battle to step onto Sanctuary from your Own-Color/Deck-Icon. Remember, Standing on the Arena for another 3 turns (assuming there a 4 players) before you may throw the dice again; Is A Long Time!!
Another Unmentioned-Oddity: Wind-Boosters!!
There where the Seasons-Change: You May Jump Two-Steps For The Cost Of One-Action!! This is because in the Story-Design; The Seasons Contain The Winds, And You Are Boosted Into The Next-Color-Quadrant!! The Wind Is In Your Back So To Speak.
Note: This Wind-Boost Is A Bonus-Move And Cannot Be Used To Attack-Each-Other, Because the distance between Game-Minis is more than one! All be it an anonymous arrowhead that counts as a spot! *Unless you use Range-Cards!
Game-Masters that ‘own’ a StarArena_Game-Portal can feel the distance between the two purple pawns in the image above is: Two-Clicks! You can actually hear; ‘Clicks’ when you turn the levels!!
A General Thumb-Of-Rules is: When there is No-Pictogram (i.e: Spot) on the Game-Board: You Cannot Stand There!! This is made easy to tell apart in the Ultra-Deluxe-Editions where the Game-Boards have Magnets, If your Game-Mini does NOT stick to the Map; You Cannot Stand There!
These are the Hard-Written-Rules, because they have endured over 20 years of service and have remained unchanged and withstood the test of times! (Okay, …Besides the; Free-Fiasco And A Few Oddities… )
Poured into the Concrete-Foundation of the StarArena, they oddly enough are also malleable and flexible as bubblegum when another clever-card figures out how to bend the rules of the MetaVerse! (The exception that proves the rule?)
For example: Heat-Seeking Long-Distance Missiles ‘OVERTHROW’ Rule #3.
Each New-Map or Game-Variation that will be released under the StarArena_Banner will come with an ROC, explaining the specifics of the terrain to be played on.