How to Play G:BoC

Genesis: Champions of Battle is played by two or more players. Yes, that's right - you can play with 3, 4, or 5! You can play in teams or a free-for-all. Everyone needs a champion and a deck. Also, you need one arena.

If you don't have an arena you can create your own. No need to buy one. Or, you can download a printable arena from Haunted Castle's website. Either way is good. You only need one play mat for a game.

Besides the arena, you will need at least two players (you can play with more.) And each player must have a deck, called a timeline. You also need ways to track Health and Aura. Aura is spent in casting spells and beckoning monsters.

Timelines are 50 cards. You build decks much like you would build an army for a miniatures games. You get a certain number of points that you spend in buying any cards you want. Like in miniatures, if you want an Mongol army of nothing but cavalry, then buy all cavalry. But, remember, the Mongol army needed Chingis Khan to be successful. Building a Genesis timeline around a single card is NOT recommended.

You will also need a way to track health and aura. Health can increase or decrease. When your health reaches zero, you lose the game. Aura also needs to be tracked. When you run out of aura, you can't cast any more spells or beckon summons. Different champions start with different levels of health and aura.

Players take turns within a round. A round gives every champion and every summon a turn. If there are two champions and two summons in the arena, then there will be four turns, well unless of course a champion beckons more summons. The same player starts each round taking a turn, which can the player's champion or a summon. As each completes a turn, that champion or summon is marked with an exert token. Exert tokens can be anything - a penny, a plastic gem, or whatever.

Taking a turn means moving and playing cards. You can move, turn 90 degrees or both. If you choose not to move or move/turn only once, you can play cards of either action or swift speed. If you move/turn twice, you can only play swift speed. Besides moving you can play cards and use abilities. Several cards and abilities cost "Exert", meaning that those actions will end your turn - stop taking actions and mark your summon or champion with an Exert token. Many cards and abilities do not cost Exert.

May seem simple at first, but it can get complicated because the non-turn player gets to interrupt what the turn player is doing. Everything, except movement, gives the opponent(s) a chance to play a swift ability. And, of course, when an opponent plays a swift ability, everyone else can play a swift ability on top of the previous swift ability. In other words, the players are stacking abilities one on top of the other. Once both players are done, the top ability takes effect, then the next one down, and so on. However, when an ability takes effect, everyone gets another chance to add to the stack. Think of a stack of cards getting taller, shorter, taller, shorter, and eventually falls all the way down. This makes the game interesting.

But that's not the best part.

The best part is the arena.

Think of the game of 3d figures in the Episode IV of Star Wars that Chewbacca and R2D2 played. Summons moving around attacking each other, champions in the middle of the fight, and players controlling what is happening. Maneuver is important in this game. You may be wondering how this happens. The game uses a mechanic called Awareness. Not every card, but most, have a 3x3 grid at the top of the card. A white arrow represents where you are standing and facing on the grid. Red dots represent which spaces in the arena that you can effect. For example, if you're throwing a punch, you probably can only effect the space directly in front of you. Therefore, a card like Power Punch has one white arrow and one red dot in the space where the white arrow is pointing - directly in front. Another card, called Landslide, effects 6 spaces in front of the caster. It's called an Area of Effect spell. Awareness is very important. You may have a hand of great cards, but all of them play to the front. And if an enemy manages to find its way to your side (or flank), you're in trouble.

That's pretty much all you need to know to get started.