Title:
Trading card game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed toward a method for playing a trading card game between a first player and a second player. In one embodiment, the method includes the steps of determining that the first player has an initiative, which allows the first player to perform a plurality of steps during a first cycle prior to the second player performing any of the steps during the first cycle. Subsequently, the second player can perform a plurality of steps during the first cycle. The initiative then shifts to the second player, at which time the second player can perform a plurality of steps during a second cycle prior to the first player performing any of the steps during the second cycle. In another embodiment, the method includes temporarily eliminating one of a first card and a second card from play and reorienting the deactivated card on the play area to be recognizable as a card that has been temporarily deactivated from play. The method can also include calculating a score of the game based on a difference between a value of the first card and a value of the second card.



Inventors:
Hummel, Mike (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Hyra, Matt (Vista, CA, US)
Mandel, Danny (Encinitas, CA, US)
Donais, Jeff (San Marcos, CA, US)
Hewitt, David (Oceanside, CA, US)
Tewart, Kevin (Vista, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/107210
Publication Date:
10/19/2006
Filing Date:
04/16/2005
Assignee:
The Upper Deck Company
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
The, Law Office Steven Roeder OF. G. (5560 CHELSEA AVE, LA JOLLA, CA, 92037, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for playing a trading card game between a first player and a second player, the method comprising the steps of: determining that the first player has an initiative; the first player performing a plurality of first steps during a first cycle prior to the second player performing any of the plurality of first steps during the first cycle; the second player performing a plurality of first steps during the first cycle; shifting the initiative to the second player; and the second player performing a plurality of first steps during a second cycle prior to the first player performing any of the plurality of first steps during the second cycle.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising the step of alternating shifting the initiative between the first player and the second player before each of a plurality of cycles following the second cycle.

3. The method of claim 1 further comprising the step of the first player performing a second step during the first cycle prior to the second player performing the second step during the first cycle, the second step occurring following the second player performing the plurality of first steps during the first cycle.

4. The method of claim 3 further comprising the step of the second player performing the second step of the first cycle prior to the initiative shifting to the second player.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of the first player performing a plurality of first steps includes using a second card to increase a value of a first card that is controlled by the first player, the first card and the second card being substantially similar.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the step of the first player performing a plurality of first steps includes attacking a third card of the second player with the first card, the outcome of the attack being determined at least in part by comparing the value of the first card to a value of the third card.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein the step of the first player attacking a third card includes calculating a score of the game based on a difference between the value of the first card and the value of the third card.

8. A trading card game that is played using the method of claim 1.

9. A method for playing a trading card game between a first player and a second player, the method comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of cards to the first player including a first card and a second card that are substantially similar, the first card and the second card each having a same value; providing a plurality of cards to the second player including a third card, the third card having a value that is measured against the value of the first card; and the first player using the second card to increase the value of the first card.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein the step of using includes eliminating the second card from play for a remainder of the game.

11. The method of claim 9 further comprising the step of the first player attacking the third card of the second player with the first card, the outcome of the attack being determined at least in part by comparing the value of the first card to a value of the third card.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the step of the first player attacking the third card includes calculating a score of the game based on a difference between the value of the first card and the value of the third card.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein the step of comparing includes determining that one of the cards is defeated, and further comprising the step of reorienting the third card to be recognizable as a card that has been temporarily deactivated from play.

14. The method of claim 13 further comprising the step of the second player activating the third card so that the third card is no longer deactivated from play.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein the step of activating the third card includes reorienting the third card to be recognizable as a card that has been activated.

16. The method of claim 14 wherein the step of activating includes the second player choosing between the third card and a fourth card to become activated, and further comprising the step of eliminating the fourth card from play for a remainder of the game.

17. A trading card game that is played using the method of claim 9.

18. A method for playing a trading card game between a first player and a second player, the method comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of cards to the first player including a first card having a value; providing a plurality of cards to the second player including a second card having a value; the first player defeating the second card with the first card based at least in part on a comparison of the value of the first card and the value of the second card, the second card becoming temporarily deactivated from play; and reorienting the second card to be recognizable as a card that has been temporarily deactivated from play during the trading card game.

19. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of the second player activating the second card so that the second card is no longer deactivated from play.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein the step of activating the second card includes reorienting the second card to be recognizable as a card that has been activated.

21. The method of claim 19 wherein the step of activating includes the second player choosing between the second card and a third card to become activated, and further comprising the step of eliminating the third card from play for a remainder of the game.

22. The method of claim 18 wherein the step of defeating the second card includes the first player increasing the value of the first card with a fourth card that is substantially similar to the first card.

23. The method of claim 22 further comprising the step of eliminating the fourth card from play for a remainder of the game.

24. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of calculating a score of the game based on a difference between the value of the first card and the value of the second card.

25. A trading card game that is played using the method of claim 18.

26. A method for playing a trading card game between a first player and a second player, the method comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of cards to the first player including a first card having a value; providing a plurality of cards to the second player including a second card having a value; the first player defeating the second card with the first card based on a comparison of the value of the first card and the value of the second card, the second card becoming temporarily deactivated from play; and calculating a score of the game based on a difference between the value of the first card and the value of the second card.

27. The method of claim 26 wherein the step of defeating includes the second player reorienting the second card to be recognizable as a card that has been temporarily deactivated from play during the trading card game.

28. The method of claim 27 further comprising the step of the second player activating the second card so that the second card is no longer deactivated from play.

29. The method of claim 28 wherein the step of activating the second card includes reorienting the second card to be recognizable as a card that has been activated.

30. The method of claim 28 wherein the step of activating includes the second player choosing between the second card and a third card to become activated, and further comprising the step of eliminating the third card from play for a remainder of the game.

31. The method of claim 26 wherein the step of defeating the second card includes the first player increasing the value of the first card with a fourth card that is substantially similar to the first card.

32. The method of claim 31 further comprising the step of eliminating the fourth card from play for a remainder of the game.

33. A trading card game that is played using the method of claim 26.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Playing card games have been popular for many years. However, with the advent of computer games, the relative simplicity of classic playing card games appears to have taken a backseat. Many of today's computer games do not require an opponent, allowing individuals to play alone with no personal interaction, one-on-one or group competition. Further, many of the old style playing card games are necessarily restricted by the inherent limitations of the standard 52-card playing card deck which can lack sophistication, creativity, diversity and complexity. Consequently, an increasing number of individuals appear to be gravitating toward somewhat more anti-social, less interactive computer games.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed toward a method for playing a trading card game between a first player and a second player. In one embodiment, the method includes the steps of determining that the first player has an initiative. The initiative allows the first player to perform a plurality of steps during a first cycle prior to the second player performing any of the steps during the first cycle. Subsequently, the second player can perform a plurality of steps during the first cycle. The initiative then shifts to the second player, at which time the second player can perform a plurality of steps during a second cycle prior to the first player performing any of the steps during the second cycle.

In another embodiment, the method includes the steps of providing a plurality of cards to the first player including a first card and a second card that are substantially similar. The first card and the second card can have at least one of an attack value and a defense value. The method also includes providing a plurality of cards to the second player including a third card, with the third card having one of an attack value and a defense value that is measured against one of the attack value and the defense value of the first card, and the first player increasing at least one of the attack value and the defense value of the first card with the second card.

In still another embodiment, the method includes the steps of providing a plurality of cards to the first player including a first card having a first value, providing a plurality of cards to the second player including a second card having a second value, the first player defeating the second card with the first card based on a comparison of the value of the first card and the value of the second card, the second card becoming temporarily deactivated from play, and reorienting the second card to be recognizable as a card that has been temporarily deactivated from play.

In yet another embodiment, the method includes the steps of providing a plurality of cards to the first player including a first card having a first value, providing a plurality of cards to the second player including a second card having a second value, the first player defeating the second card with the first card based on a comparison of the value of the first card and the value of the second card, the second card becoming temporarily deactivated from play, and calculating a score of the game based on a difference between the first value and the second value.

The present invention is also directed toward a trading card game that utilizes one or more of the above methods.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of a layout of a trading card game in progress having features of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a top view of a first embodiment of a trading card having features of the present invention;

FIG. 2B is a top view of a second embodiment of a trading card having features of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a flowchart of one embodiment of a cycle used during the trading card game.

DESCRIPTION

The present invention is directed toward a trading card game that includes a plurality of trading cards (referred to herein as “cards”).

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a layout of the trading card game 10 in progress. Although the trading card game 10 is described herein as a two-player game, this is for convenience of discussion only, and it is recognized that any number of players can play the trading card game 10. In one embodiment, each player can have a deck consisting of a plurality of completely distinct cards 12. Alternatively, each deck of cards 12 can include certain cards 12 that are duplicated within the deck. Any number of cards 12 can be used in the deck for each player. However, in one embodiment, each deck can include at least approximately 40 cards 12. In yet another embodiment, each deck must include at least 60 cards 12.

For representative purposes, cards 12 showing an “F” are positioned with the face of the card facing upwards, and cards 12 showing a “B” are positioned with the backside of the card 12 facing upwards. Cards 12 that are face up are either “ready” or “exhausted”; cards 12 that are face down are “stunned”. In one embodiment, cards 12 are considered ready when they are upright and are face up. Further, cards 12 are considered to be “exhausted” when they are turned sideways and are face up. Cards 12 are stunned when they are turned sideways and are face down. In one embodiment, cards 12 enter the game readied, unless otherwise instructed.

FIG. 1 is a representative layout of one embodiment of the trading card game 10. In this embodiment which shows a two-player game, a first player has a first card region 14A, and the second player has a second card region 14B. Each card region 14A, 14B includes various subregions, although for ease of discussion, only the first card region 14A will be described in detail herein. The subregions of the first card region 14A can include a resource row 16, a support row 18, a front row 20, a deck area 22 and a KO area 24. These subregions 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 can be located in any position convenient for the first player provided that there is consistency from the first player's card region 14A to the second player's card region 14B. For example, the subregions 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 of each card region 14A, 14B can basically be mirrored. Moreover, each player may hold one or more cards 12 in that player's hand 25. The cards 12 illustrated in FIG. 1 are for convenience of discussion only, and will be referred to for purposes of describing the characteristics of the cards 12, the subregions 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and the overall play of the trading card game 10.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the resource row 16 is positioned closest to the first player. The support row 18 is the next row farther away from the first player and the front row 20 is the furthest subregion from the first player within the first player's card region 14A. These three rows 16, 18, 20 are collectively referred to herein as the play area 26.

The deck area 22 includes one or more cards 12 that are drawn at various times during the game 10, as explained below. The KO area 24 is where cards 12 that are “knocked out” are placed when they will no longer be used. The deck area 22 and the KO area 24 are positioned to the right side of the play area 26, although the positioning of these areas 22, 24 can be varied.

FIGS. 2A and 2B are simplified illustrations of two embodiments of the cards 212A, 212B, respectively. Any of the cards can include some or all of the features illustrated on card 212A in FIG. 2A and/or card 212B in FIG. 2B. Stated another way, each card can include one or more features shown on the cards 212A, 212B in FIGS. 2A and 2B, but need not include all of the features. The types of cards 212A, 212B that can be included in the trading card game 10 can vary. In one embodiment, the inclusion or exclusion of certain features can distinguish one type of card 212A, 212B from another. Further, during the description of the types of cards 212A, 212B herein, reference will necessarily be made to the layout illustrated in FIG. 1 for clarity.

For example, the trading card game 10 can include one or more character cards, equipment cards, location cards and/or plot cards, as non-exclusive examples. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2A, the card shown is a character card 212A. The character card 212A can represent a hero, a villain, or any other type of character depending upon the design requirements of the trading card game. Each character card 212A can indicate the name 228 of the character on the card 212A, as illustrated in FIG. 2A. Further, each character card 212A can include one or more features described in greater detail below.

Each character card 212A can have a version 230 immediately under the name 228. Some character cards 212A have different versions 230 that represent various times in the history of that character. In one embodiment, for example, a player can have up to four copies of one or more versions 230 in that player's deck. In alternative embodiments, the player can have greater or fewer than four copies of one or more versions 230 in that player's deck.

Character cards 212A can be unique. In one embodiment, each player may have only one copy of a named character in play at a time, regardless of the version 230 of the character. When a specific character card 212A is recruited as provided herein, any other character cards 212A by the same name 228 that are controlled by that player are placed into that player's KO'd area 24 (illustrated in FIG. 1). Alternatively, a player may have more than one character card 212A with the same name 228 in play at a time. Still alternatively, some character cards 212A may not be unique.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2A, the card 212A can include a recruit cost 232A. A player may recruit a character card 212A by spending resource points equal to the character's recruit cost 232A, as explained in greater detail below.

Most character cards 212A are part of a team which can be indicated by a team name 234 that is provided on the character card 212A. Character cards 212A that are on the same team 234 can reinforce their fellow teammates and combine with them for team attacks, as set forth below. If no team name 234 appears, the character card 212A may not be a member of a specific team.

Further, in one embodiment, some of the character cards 212A can include a flight symbol 236 indicating that the character card 212A exhibits flight characteristics. For example, the flight symbol 236 can be a pair of wings, a specific color or any other suitable symbol or marking. A character card 212A “with flight”, if positioned in the front row 20 (illustrated in FIG. 1), can bypass or fly over an opposing front row character card 212A of the second player to attack a character card 212A in the support row 18 (illustrated in FIG. 1) directly behind it (hereinafter referred to a “protected card”).

Character cards 212A can include a range symbol 238 indicating that the character card 212A has “range”. The range symbol 238 can be any suitable recognizable symbol, color or other marking. The range symbol 238 indicates that the character card 212A can attack one of the second player's cards from the support row 18 of the first player. As a further example, the first player's character card 212A with both the flight symbol 236 and the range symbol 238 can attack the second player's protected card in the support row 18 of the play area 26 of the second player.

An attack value 240 of a character card 212A represents the ability of the character card 212A to fight. Further, a defense value 242 of a character card 212A represents the resistance to attack of the character card 212A.

The character card 212A can also include graphics 244 illustrating the character that the character card 212A represents. Alternatively, the graphics 244 can be provided for some other purpose.

The character card 212A can further include rules text 246A that describes rules that are to be followed by the players, or a resultant effect of the character card 212A, once the character card 212A is activated.

FIG. 2B is a simplified illustration of a card 212B and can be representative of an equipment card, a location card and/or a plot twist card. The specific card type 250 can be directly indicated on the card 212B. In one embodiment for example, the equipment card 212B can represent gear, weapons and vehicles that character cards 212A can use. Somewhat similar to character cards 212A, the equipment card 212B can include a recruit cost 232B. The equipment card 212B can be recruited by spending resource points equal to the recruit cost 232B of the equipment card 212B, as explained below.

In one embodiment, one character card 212A may not be equipped with more than one equipment card 212B at a time. In an alternative embodiment, one character card 212A can utilize multiple equipment cards 212B. Further, in one embodiment, the equipment cards 212B cannot be moved between characters. However, in an alternative embodiment, equipment cards 212B are transferable between various character cards 212A. Moreover, in one embodiment, equipment cards 212B can only equip character cards 212A within that same player's control.

In one embodiment of the game rules, when a character card 212A is removed from play, any equipment card 212B that is attached to the character card 212A is placed in its owner's KO area 24. Alternatively, the equipment card 212B can be transferred to another character card 212A, or utilized in another manner.

Additionally, the equipment card 212B can also include rules text 246B that provides direction to the player regarding the effect of the card 212B in the game 10. In one embodiment, the equipment card 212B also includes options text 247 that describes one or more options that the player has for use of the equipment card 212B.

FIG. 2B can also represent a location card 212B, depending upon the features appearing on the card 212B. The location card 212B can depict an important place within the context of the trading card game 10. In one embodiment, the location card 212B can be placed face down in the resource row 16 (illustrated in FIG. 1) and may only be flipped face up from the resource row 16. In other words, when a location card 212B is positioned face down in the resource row 16, at an appropriate time during the game, the location card 212B can be flipped over to make activate its rules text 246B. In one embodiment, once the location card 212B is flipped up, it may not be turned face down again.

The location card 212B can also include a threshold cost 252. The threshold cost 252 represents the minimum number of resources that must be in included in the resource row 16 for the player to be permitted to turn the location card 212B up. The numeric value of the threshold cost 252 can vary. In one embodiment, the once the threshold cost 252 has been met, the location card 212B can be turned up at any subsequent time. Further, any number of location cards 212B can be turned up, as long as the threshold cost 252 for each has been satisfied.

In accordance with one embodiment of the game 10, once a location card 212B is turned face up, it can stay in play and can continue to count as a resource on each turn. As an example, certain location cards 212B can have powers that can be activated or they can provide continuing modifiers to the game 10.

FIG. 2B can also represent a plot twist card 212B. The plot twist card can be representative of a surprise situation that affects the game 10 or the character cards 212A within it. For example, one player can play one of the plot twist cards 212B from that player's resource row 16 as the player has a number of resources equal to or greater than the threshold cost 250 of the plot twist. In this embodiment, the plot twist card 212B can be turned face up and the instructions on the card 212B are followed.

Further, in one embodiment, the plot twist card 212B can be left in play and it can continue to count as a resource, but the plot twist card 212B does not serve any other purpose unless it has an ongoing power icon 254 indicated on the card 212B. A plot twist card can continue to have active powers when it is face up in the player's resource row 16. In one embodiment, a plot twist card 212B with an ongoing power icon 254 can be played as described in the rules text 246B of the card 212B. Any rules text can become effective as soon as the plot twist card 212B is turned face up, and can continue to be in effect as long as the plot twist card 212B remains face up in that player's resource row 16.

Further, the plot twist card 212B can include flavor text 256. The flavor text 256 can be in the form of a quote of a character depicted in the game 10, or it can be information or data relating to a particular character in the game 10, as non-exclusive examples. In one embodiment, the flavor text 256 has little or no effect on the game 10.

The plot twist card 212B can also include a collector number 258 that provides the owner of the card 212B with information regarding whether the card 212B belongs to a particular set of cards. In addition, the collector number 258 can indicate the relative commonality or rarity of the card 212B for collection and trading purposes.

Plot twist cards 212B can provide a one-time modifier to the trading card game 10, and can remain in play afterward, functioning as a resource. Further, in one embodiment, plot twist cards 212B may not be turned face down.

In a non-exclusive alternative embodiment, the plot twist card 212B can be played from the resource row 16 and/or directly from the player's hand 25 as long as the player has a number of resources in play equal to or greater than the threshold cost 252 of the plot twist card 212B. The plot twist card 212B can be shown to the other players and the instructions on the card 212B followed. The plot twist card 212B can then be placed in the player's KO area 24 instead of the player's resource row 16. Further, plot twist cards 212B can be unique, or they can be duplicative such that several copies of the same plot twist card 212B may be in play at the same time.

Importantly, any of the card types 250 that are described above can include features from any of the other card types 250. To illustrate one representative non-exclusive example, in order to avoid repetition, it is recognized that although options text 247 was not specifically described in the context of the plot twist card 212B, the plot twist card 212B can include options text 247 on the card 212B.

Playing the Game

Although it is recognized that the rules of the game can vary widely depending upon the desires of the players, the rules of one embodiment of the game will now be described. In one embodiment of the trading card game, each player begins the game with a predetermined amount of endurance, e.g. 50 endurance, as one example. The endurance represents the staying power of that player's team of character cards. The object of the game is to reduce the opponent's endurance to zero. In this section, frequent reference will be made to the components of the game illustrated in FIG. 1.

Each player can track his/her own endurance throughout the course of the game. The players can use any known method of determining which player will gain the “initiative” to start the game, as described below, such as by coin flip or roll of the dice. Each player can then draw an opening hand of a predetermined number of cards. In one embodiment, the opening hand consists of four cards, although this number can be greater or fewer than four.

In accordance with one embodiment of the game, if a player is dissatisfied with the opening hand, that player may immediately place the cards on the bottom of that player's deck in any order and redraw four new cards. In one embodiment, each player may do this only once per game, and only at the start of the game.

The game according to the present invention is played in cycles, phases and steps. During a cycle, players can put resources into play, recruit characters and fight battles. One player begins the cycle with the initiative. That player is able to perform his steps first that cycle.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating an embodiment of one cycle 300 of the game, which includes various phases 360, 362, 370, 374 and steps 364, 366, 368, 372. It is recognized that in different embodiments, this cycle 300, including the indicated phases 360, 362, 370, 374 and steps 364, 366, 368, 372 can be re-ordered. Further, one or more of the indicated phases 360, 362, 370, 374 and/or steps 364, 366, 368, 372 can be omitted from the game entirely, or can be duplicated within one cycle 300.

During a draw phase 360, all players draw a predetermined number of cards. For example, in one embodiment, each player draws two cards. However, greater or fewer than two cards can be drawn during the draw phase 360.

In one embodiment of the game, the player with the initiative (as determined above) begins a build phase 362, and performs the three steps of the build phase 362 in order. Once the player with the initiative completes the build phase 362, the next player completes the same three steps of the build phase 362 in order. This continues until each player has completed all three steps of the build phase 362, which in one embodiment includes a resource step 364, a recruit step 366 and a formation step 368. Each step 364, 366, 368 of the build phase 362 is described in detail below.

During the resource step 364, the player may choose any one card from that player's hand 25 to put into that player's resource row 16 face down as a resource. The card can be placed to the right of the previous resource that was put into play. In one embodiment, any character cards 212A or equipment cards 212B placed into the resource row 16 may not be turned face up.

At the start of the recruit step 366, each card 12 in the player's resource row 16 generates one resource point. Resource points can be spent recruiting character cards 212A and/or equipment cards 212B. Any unspent resource points are lost at the end of the recruit step 366. To recruit a character card 212A or an equipment card 212B, a number of resource points must be spent that is equal to the recruit cost 232A of the card 212A, 212B. A newly recruited character card 212A can be placed face up into either the front row 20 or support row 18. Equipment cards 212B must be attached to or associated with a corresponding character card 212A.

During the formation step 368, the player can rearrange that player's character cards 212A by moving them into new rows or new positions in that player's front row 20 and/or support row 18.

After each player has completed the build phase 362, the player with initiative can then begin a combat phase 370. The combat phase 370 includes an attack step 372. During the attack step 372, one or more of the character cards can attack the character cards of another player, one at a time. For example, the first player can choose one face up front row character card 212A to be the attacker and an opposing unprotected character card 212A to be the defender. An unprotected character card 212A is a character card 212A in the front row 20 or a character card 212A in the support row 18 with no character card 212A in front of it.

As indicated previously, a character card 212A with a flight symbol 236 can fly over a character card 212A in the front row 20 to attack a protected character card 212A behind it. Further, a character card 212A with a range symbol 238 can attack from the support row 18. Additionally, a character card 212A with the flight symbol 236 and the range symbol 238 can attack from the front row 20 and/or the support row 18, into either the front row 20 or the support row 18.

The attack begins by “exhausting” the declared attacker card. In one embodiment, a card becomes exhausted by turning the face up card sideways. Alternatively, other suitable means of showing that a card is exhausted can be utilized.

To resolve an attack, first the attack value 240 of the attacker card is compared to the defense value 242 of the defender card. In one embodiment, if the attack value 240 of the attacker card is less than the defense value 242 of the defender card, nothing happens to the defender card. Further, if the attack value 240 of the attacker card is equal to the defense value 242 of the defender card, the defender will be stunned, as described in greater detail below. If the attack value 240 of the attacker card is greater than the defense value 242 of the defender card, the defender will be stunned and the defender player will take an endurance deduction equal to the difference between the attack value 240 and the defense value 242.

Second, the attack value 240 of the defender card is compared to the defense value 242 of the attacker card. In one embodiment, if the attack value 240 of the defender card is less than the defense value 242 of the attacker card, nothing happens to the attacker card. If the attack value 240 of the defender card is equal to or greater than the defense value 242 of the attacker card, the attacker card is stunned.

In accordance with one embodiment of the game, when a character card 212A is stunned, the player controlling the card 212A loses endurance equal to the recruit cost of the character card 212A. The character card 212A is then turned face down in the exhausted state. A stunned character card 212A can remain in the row and column that it occupies, but it no longer protects a character card 212A in the support row 18 immediately behind it. A stunned character card 212A still counts as a character card 212A and retains its name 228, version 230 and team name 234. In one embodiment, a stunned character card 212A cannot ready, cannot be attacked, and its rules text 246A is inactive. Any player may look at any stunned character card 212A at any time.

When the attack value 240 of the attacker card is greater than the defense value 242 of the defender card, the player controlling the defender card loses endurance equal to the difference between the attack value 240 and the defense value 242 of the defender card.

If an opponent controls no character cards 212A or if all of his/her character cards 212A are stunned, the opponent's endurance can be directly attacked. This is accomplished by declaring an attack as normal, but since there is no defender, the attack value 240 of the attacker card is subtracted from the opposing player's endurance.

Once one attack is completed by one of the players, the same player may declare another attack. Attacks can continue in this manner until no more legal attackers remain, or until the player chooses not to make another attack. After the player is finished with all attacks, the next player in initiative order runs all his attacks.

In one embodiment, if one opposing character card 212A is larger than any single character card 212A controlled by a potential attacker, character cards 212A from the same team 234 can work together to take out a larger opponent. A team attack is a combined attack by multiple character cards 212A on the same team 234 against a single defender. Any number of character cards 212A can participate in a team attack, but they must all have the same team name 234 and each of the character cards 212A must legally be able to attack the defender.

To resolve a team attack, first the attack values 240 of all the attackers are added together and compared to a total of the defense value 242. If the total of the attack values 240 of the attacker cards is equal to or greater than the defense value of the defender card, the defender will be stunned. In one embodiment, team attacks against character cards 212A do not cause endurance loss.

Second, the player controlling the defender card chooses one of the attacker cards. If the attack value 240 of the defender card is equal to or greater than the defense value 242 of the chosen attacker card, the chosen attacker will be stunned.

When a strong attacker card is up against a weak defender card, there is the potential for large amounts of endurance loss. However, in one embodiment, a defending character card 212A can be reinforced, preventing all endurance loss. A ready character card 212A in the support row that is either directly behind or to the immediate left or right of a defending character card 212A with the same team name 234 may be exhausted to reinforce the defender card. When an attack resolves against a reinforced character card 212A, all endurance loss is reduced to zero. Reinforcement lasts until the end of an attack.

A power-up is one way to increase the attack value 240 and/or the defense value 242 of a character card 212A you control. You may power-up an attacker card or a defender card by discarding a substantially similar character card 212A from your hand 25. As used herein, a “substantially similar” card can have the same character and the same attack value 240 and/or defense value 242, although the card may be a different version 230, for example. As another example, the substantially similar card may have the same name 234 as the attacker card or defender card, although there may be other slight differences that would basically be inconsequential to the outcome of an attack, for instance. The powered-up character card 212A gains plus 1 on the attack value 240 and plus 1 on the defense value 242 until the end of the attack. Character cards 212A may be powered-up multiple times during an attack. In this embodiment, the discarded character card 212A goes to that player's KO area 24.

In one embodiment of the rules, if an attacker card or a defender card is stunned or removed from play before an attack resolves, that card is no longer part of the attack. Further, if the attacker card is no longer part of the attack, when the attack resolves, nothing happens. For team attacks, the attack will still continue unless all attacker cards are removed from the attack. Additionally, if an attacker card is no longer part of a team attack, its attack value 240 is not included in the team's attack value 240. In this embodiment, if the defender card is no longer part of the attack, when the attack resolves, nothing happens and the attacker card(s) ready so they can attack again. When a player declares an attack, but before the declared attacker card exhausts, each other player has the opportunity to respond by using powers or playing one or more plot twist cards 212B. Sometimes, a response may make the declared attack illegal. When this happens, the attack is canceled and the declared attacker card is not exhausted. However, once the attack has begun, it is too late to make the attack illegal.

During the recovery phase 374, one or more of the following rules can apply. First, if any player has zero or less endurance, he is knocked out of the game. If all players have zero or less endurance, the player with the highest (closest to zero) endurance wins the game. If all players have zero or less endurance and there is a tie for the highest endurance, each of the tied players play another cycle.

Second, starting with the initiative player, each player can choose one stunned character card 212A under that player's control. The players recover their chosen character card 212A and all remaining stunned character cards 212A are put into their respective KO areas 24. As used herein, to “recover” a stunned character card 212A allows the player to turn the card 212A face up exhausted.

Third, all cards in play are readied, including the recovered card.

Fourth, the initiative is passed clockwise to the next player.

Fifth, the cycle 300 ends. The next turn begins with the draw phase 360.

In one embodiment of the trading card game, the cards can have powers. In this embodiment, there can be at least three types of powers which can be included in the rules text 246A, 246B. These types of powers can include a payment power, a triggered power and a continuous power.

The payment power can be identified by a specific symbol or graphic, such as an arrow, for example. The payment power requires the player to pay a specific cost to generate the card's effect. The text preceding the symbol or graphic is the cost to use that power and the text after the symbol or graphic is the effect that is generated. There are many different costs that a payment power might require, such as paying endurance, discarding certain cards or exhausting character cards under that player's control. The player may generate the effect of a payment power as many times as that player can pay the cost before the symbol or graphic. In one embodiment, the cost is to activate the card, which can be accomplished by turning the card sideways (exhausting it).

The triggered power can be identified by a particular keyword, such as “when”, “whenever”, or “at”, as non-exclusive examples. As soon as the trigger conditions are met, the triggered power automatically generates its effects. The triggered power can trigger multiple times in a cycle if the trigger condition is met multiple times.

The continuous power can be always active, and can continue to generate game effects as long the continuous power is on a card that is face up in play.

Whenever a player makes a play that generates an effect, each other player may respond by playing a plot twist card or by using powers. But sometimes more than one player will want to respond at the same time. A timing “chain” is used in order to sort out these types of situations. When a player generates an effect, the effect becomes the first link on the chain. As players respond with their own effects, more links are added to the chain. Finally, when all players are finished responding, the links of the chain start resolving one link at a time starting with the last link of the chain. Putting effects on the chain is governed by the rules of priority.

In one embodiment, the rules of priority can be as follows. When a new phase 360, 362, 370, 374 begins, the player with initiative has priority. When a new step 364, 366, 368, 372 begins, the player whose step it is has priority. When an effect resolves it is removed from the chain and then priority is given to the player whose step it is. If the chain is not occurring within a step, the player with initiative has priority. When a player has priority, he may either put an effect on the chain or pass. When a player puts an effect on the chain, he retains priority. He may put another effect on the chain or pass. Once the player passes, priority is given to the next player. That player may either put an effect on the chain or pass. This continues until all players pass consecutively. Then the last effect put on the chain resolves. Priority is then given to the player whose step it is. If the chain is not occurring within a step, the player with initiative has priority.

After each effect on the chain resolves, starting with the player who has priority, all players can add new effects to the chain. If a new effect is added, the chain continues to build until all players pass consecutively, at which point the chain starts to resolve again starting with the last effect added. When the first effect placed on the chain resolves, the chain is empty.

As indicated previously, the trading card game 10 can alternatively be played by three or more players, as a non-exclusive example.

While the particular trading card game 10 as herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.