How To Play: Arena

Clarification of The Hard-Written Rules.

The ‘ROC’ are Arena 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 a StarArena_Classic, so that they may never get lost.

Note: This preview is set with the Game-Board left in the Display-Frame for presentation purposes! You Do-Not play with the Game-Board left in the Box a/o Frame, Take it out and place the Game-Board on your tabletop to start a game.

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!

Arena Rules

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 (home base) 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/Game-Port. 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 Rule 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!

In conclusion…

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’ comes along and 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.

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