The physical card game and the online version are starting to diverge, since the programmed version can be changed and fiddled with, but the physical cards can't be changed unless there is another print run. So, if you have the physical card version, here's my stab at the best rule set possible given the originally printed cards - I think you'll find it plays much better than the original rule set. Read on below...
Infectious Disease Card Battle
Rules Edition 2.0
Players: 2 / Ages: 12 & up / Playing Time: 50 minutes
Since the game was first released, the rules have been updated. Please disregard older versions and use these rules instead. We think you will have a better experience.
THE BACKGROUND STORY:
The Lords of Pestilence are near final victory in their ruthless war of infectious domination.
There was a time when the Apothecary Healers who defended humanity were nigh invincible. But times have changed. The Lords of Pestilence have grown more powerful, while many Apothecary Healers have grown old and weak. As innocents die, the people begin to despair. How will humanity survive?
On a remote island called Soma, there is still hope. A brilliant young tactician has developed new ways to orchestrate the Apothecary Healers in battle. Already, several attacks have been repelled, saving thousands of lives. Now it is up to this young leader to orchestrate the Apothecary Healers and turn the tide in this never-ending battle, and protect humanity’s future.
1 New instruction booklet, Rules Edition 2.0
20 Green gemstones, representing “ATP” (adenosine triphosphate)
1 Outdated rules sheet, Rules Edition 1.0 (disregard)
OBJECT OF THE GAME:
Each player starts out with 13 life points. If your opponent reaches 0 life, you win.
One player commands the Apothecaries (white-bordered cards) and the other player commands the Lords of Pestilence (black-bordered cards). Both players use ATP (the green gemstones) to “pay” for playing cards. The Lords of Pestilence (“Pest”) player attacks the Apothecary player, and the Apothecary player defends. The Pest player tries to evade Apothecary defenses and deal damage, while the Apothecary player tries to destroy the attackers.
Remove the following cards from the game permanently, they are no longer used:
Lords of Pestilence Cards:
Rest & Relaxation
Each player takes 3 ATP gemstones, keeping them in an ATP zone on their playmat.
The playmat is arranged symmetrically to allow right handed or left handed players the arrangement of their preference.
Each player shuffles their deck and draws 6 cards, keeping their hand hidden from their opponent.
ABOUT THE CARDS:
There are three kinds of cards: Combatants, Spells, and Items. To play a card from your hand, you must pay its ATP cost. The Lords of Pestilence player pays ATP to the Apothecary player. The Apothecary player, however, pays by returning ATP to the general supply. In this way, the more the Lords of Pestilence player spends, the more the Apothecary player can spend.
Combatants are played face-down onto your Sanctuary area, and may be used later in battle. Players are expected to be honest about paying ATP costs. Players can look at their own face-down cards any time, and move them around to prevent the opponent from knowing which face-down card is which. When a Pestilence combatant is destroyed, or an Apothecary combatant is exhausted, it leaves play and goes to the discard pile.
Spells have an effect, then are discarded. Some spells set up a conditional effect that might happen later in the turn.
Items are played face-up and stay in play for the rest of the game, unless destroyed. Others give the player a new once-a-turn ability.
See ADDITIONAL CARD EXPLANATIONS for more details.
Healing Blade cards have some or all of the following:
2) ATP cost in the upper left corner
3) Type (Combatant, Spell, or Item)
4) Series (for sequels/expansions)
5) [D] Description: describes the effects of the card, and/or the background story of a combatant.
6) [V] Vulnerability: a list of Apothecary combatants that can destroy this card
7)  First Line of Defense: a list of Pests that this card can destroy as a first line of defense.
8)  Second Line of Defense: a list of Pests that this card can destroy as a second line of defense.
9) Card artist’s name
10) Collector number – card’s number within a set and which set it’s from
11) Apothecary or Pestilence symbol
HOW TO PLAY:
Each turn is divided into 5 steps:
1. Lords of Pestilence Preparation
2. Apothecary Preparation
3. Reveal/Play Tricks
1. Lords of Pestilence (Pest) Preparation:
a. Gain 4 ATP from the general supply at the start of your turn.
b. You may play any number of cards from your hand, paying ATP costs to the Apothecary player. You may also use once-a-turn item abilities.
c. Prepare attackers. Move 1 or more combatants onto the Battlefield, face-down, or else lose 1 life.
2. Apothecary Preparation:
a. If you did not receive any ATP during the Pest player’s preparation, take 3 ATP from the general supply.
b. You may play any number of cards from your hand, paying ATP costs to the general supply. You may also use once-a-turn item abilities.
c. Prepare defenders. Choose no more than three of your combatant cards and move them onto the Battlefield, face-down.
3. Reveal/Play Tricks Step:
a. Reveal all combatant cards in the Battlefield.
b. Play tricks, if you have any. Tricks include certain spells, or the item Resistance Plasmid. Starting with the Pest player, each player announces a trick, or passes. When both players pass in succession, move on to the Resolution step.
Players consult the cards to determine the results of battle. Pest combatants either survive and damage the Apothecary player, or are destroyed. Pest combatants that can be destroyed, must be destroyed; Apothecary combatants are not allowed to voluntarily let them survive. Each Apothecary combatant may use any combination of first-line and second-line defenses to destroy one or more attackers. If more than one Apothecary combatant is able to destroy an attacker, the Apothecary player decides which one actually does the destroying.
a. 1st-line of defense step:
• The Apothecary player tells his opponent which Pest attackers are destroyed by which combatant’s 1st-line defenses.
• Destroyed Pest combatants are sent to the discard pile
• The Pest player loses 2 life for each destroyed attacker
• The Apothecary player gains 1 ATP for each Pest combatant destroyed with a 1st-line defense
b. 2nd-line of defense step:
• The Apothecary player tells his opponent which Pest attackers are destroyed by which combatant’s 2nd-line defenses.
• Destroyed Pest combatants are sent to the discard pile
• The Pest player loses 1 life for each destroyed attacker
c. Exhaust Apothecaries. An Apothecary combatant is exhausted, and sent to the discard pile:
• if it used a 2nd-line of defense
• if it destroyed 2 or more Pest combatants this turn.
Apothecary combatants that did nothing, or only used exactly one 1st-line attack, remain on the board.
d. Successful Attacks step:
• For each Pest attacker that survived, the Apothecary player loses 1 life and the Pest player gains 1 ATP.
All surviving combatants on the Battlefield return to their Sanctuaries, flipped face-down.
Players must do one of the following:
• If you have 6 cards, discard down to six
You are now ready to start a new turn.
WINNING THE GAME:
If, during any step of the game, your opponent has no more life points, you win. If any player has no cards left to draw, the player with the highest life total wins, or if life totals are tied, the game is a draw.
CHANGES TO CARD RULES:
Resistance Plasmid is no longer allowed on C. difficile or F. necrophorum.
If there is a discrepancy in the vulnerability and defense lists of two opposing cards, as long as a name is listed on one of the cards it is considered valid, and if battle results are unclear treat the defense as a 2nd-line defense.
RUNNING OUT OF ATP GEMSTONES:
You are not limited to the gemstones provided with the game. If you need more ATP, use any small items to represent additional ATP.
ADDITIONAL CARD EXPLANATIONS:
♣ : play during your preparation step
♥ : play during the Reveal/Play Tricks step
: play anytime (during either player’s preparation step, or during Reveal/Play Tricks)
If a card says it deals damage, that is the same as causing your opponent to lose a life point.
Adverse Side Effects - ♥ - Immediately lose 1 life for each Apothecary combatant on the playmat (including the Sanctuary). Later, during Resolution, the Pest player loses 2 additional life whenever you destroy an enemy combatant.
Broad Spectrum Therapy - - The moment this card is played the destroyed item cannot be used. If played immediately as an opponent is trying to use an item’s once-a-turn ability, the opponent does not get to use the ability, and must destroy the item instead.
Catch a Cold - - In addition to preventing damage during Resolution, It may be played immediately in response to a spell that would deal you damage, to prevent that damage. “Prevent all damage to you from your opponent that turn” lasts until the next turn begins.
Contaminated Hand - ♥ - You play the spell during the Play Tricks step, but gain the life immediately upon beginning the Resolution step, before 1st-line defense step.
Cross Resistance - ♥ - It only has an effect if Resistance Plasmid is already in play. Both combatants now share the Resistance Plasmid. If the original combatant with resistance or Resistance Plasmid is sent to the discard, the combatant that benefitted from Cross Resistance loses the extra resistance.
Decompose - ♥ - If the Apothecary combatant you chose does not end up in the discard after battle, nothing happens and the spell is wasted. If the card gains you life during Resolution, you gain that life during the Exhaust Apothecaries step.
Epidemiological Forecast - - Usually best played during the Reveal Tricks step to ensure that you draw a useful card at the end of the turn.
Life Cycle - - If this is played in response to an Apothecary spell that deals damage, gain the life before taking the damage.
Outbreak - - Sends opponent’s items to their discard pile. The moment this card is played opponent’s items cannot be used. If played immediately as an opponent is trying to use an item’s once-a-turn ability, the opponent does not get to use the ability, and must destroy the item instead.
Poverty & Filth - ♥ - If this is played immediately in response to a spell that would deal you damage, gain life before you take damage.
Preventative Therapy - - Play this immediately in response to your opponent playing a spell, after they pay you ATP. Wait until bidding is finished to see if the opponent’s spell works or gets canceled. You may not obstruct the playing of items or combatants, only spells.
Reinfection - - Normally you will play this during your Preparation step, but it can be played as a trick to gain life.
Resistance Plasmid - - This is the only item you may play from your hand during the Reveal/Play Tricks Step. Resistance Plasmid is not allowed on C. difficile or F. necrophorum. If you play Resistance Plasmid on VRE or VRSA, you may, during Reveal Tricks, choose another combatant to also benefit from the Resistance Plasmid. There can only be one Pest combatant benefitting from VRE’s or VRSA’s “Plasmid Transference” ability at any given time, and once chosen, you cannot name a new beneficiary until the prior beneficiary has died and a new turn has begun.
Revitalize - ♣ - You may use the once-a-turn ability immediately after playing the card, but you may only use the ability during the Apothecary Preparation step.
Shot in the Dark - - If an opponent immediately responds with a life-gaining spell or once-a-turn ability, or if the opponent played a life-gaining spell prior to Shot in the Dark, they gain life before taking damage from Shot in the Dark.
The Healing Arts - ♥ - When searching for a card, you must search for a combatant, not a spell or item. You are not obligated to put a card into play, you may choose to shuffle without finding a card. If you already have three combatants on the Battlefield, The Healing Arts allows you to add a fourth. You do not have to pay ATP costs for the card you put on the Battlefield.
Unconventional Therapy – You may use the once-a-turn ability immediately after playing the card, during your Preparation step.
ATP COSTS OF CARDS:
Lords of Pestilence
Catch a Cold
Poverty & Filth
Broad Spectrum Therapy
The Healing Arts
Shot in the Dark
Adverse Side Effects
SOME OTHER NAMES ARE LISTED BUT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS VERSION:
The following Apothecary names were listed on some cards to leave open the possibility of an expansion, but can be ignored for this version:
penicillin G or V (ignore the “G or V” – there is only one penicillin in this game)
Healing Blade Game Design by Francis Kong, MD & Arun Mathews, MD
Development by Francis Kong, MD & Arun Mathews, MD
Cover Design by Xiaolong Dai
Cover Illustrations by Gong Kun
Art Direction and Layout by Xiaolong Dai
Art by Liu Qiuhong, Mei Hanglong, Xia Xue, Zhu Wei, Gong Kun
Game play redesign and instructions v2.0 by Brandon Patton
Special thanks to Ira Fay, Ben Kunsberg, and Lena Schroeder for playtesting.
2012 NerdcoreLearning.com All Rights Reserved.
Healing Blade is a trademark of Nerdcore Learning.
This game is protected by international copyright law and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent of the publisher.
PLEASE NOTE: AS OF 2012 OUR WEBSITE HAS BEEN CHANGED TO WWW.HEALINGBLADE.COM (not www.thehealingblade.com)
Other games by NerdcoreLearning: Occam’s Razor: The Diagnostician’s Dilemma.
- Last edited Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:47 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:41 pm