Advanced Matchplay Rules and explanations for
common scenarios and questions
This section addresses rulebook clarifications and rule additions in addition to the printed in the original rulebook sold in sets. As questions or situations arise, they will be added to this section. For full card text, please visit our Education Materials page for the pdf. NOTE: The Rulebook for Iron Phalanx vs. Dragonboat Raiders will overrule this rulebook upon its release, and eliminate the need for most of the expanations.
1. Rulebook clarifications
I. Rule 1 says you must have a deck of at least 40 cards but does not have a maximum deck size. There is no limit to the number of cards you may have in unofficial play, but in official play your deck cannot be larger than 70 cards.
The following cards are also exempt from the three-card maximum rule in official play and are limited to just one per deck: Ambush, Fort Caspar, New Orleans. All other cards are limited to 3 per deck, and 2 for Exceptional Combatants. There are no limits to the total number of weapon cards you may have in your deck.
II. Rule 6 says you must pay 1 point for each Combatant which attacks. However, this rule ONLY applies to successful attacks. The attack penalty is always waived when you have 9 State Points or less.
Example A: You've got Prince Estabrook with a Brown Bess Musket preparing to unleash a firestorm of bullets on your opponent's Belle Boyd. To attack Belle, you normally will pay 1 point. However, your opponent discards Sam Houston, whose effect blocks your attack and ends your Battle Phase . In this case, you don't lose a point for attacking.
Example B: In another situation, you have Prince unarmed, Caesar Rodney riding his Pooka (ahem, normal black horse) and holding a bayonet, and Deborah Sampson with a Winchester. Your opponent has one George Custer and one Marcus Reno in their Trench, and Reno has a bayonet. Both are in Attack mode.
Caesar, with a total ATK of 5 attacks Custer, with a total ATK of 4, and takes him out. Each of you loses 1 point: You for the attack penalty, and Custer for having 1 fewer total battle points than you. But if Sampson attacks Marcus, your opponent can discard Marcus' bayonet and Deborah's attack fails. In this case, you don't pay 1 State Point for your attack because it was unsuccessful. However, if you use Prince to attack, then you would pay 1 State Point to attack and both Combatants would go to the Museum (Prince has a total ATK of 3 and Marcus has a total ATK of 3).
If, however, you only had 7 State Points, you would never pay an attack penalty.
why is this rule here? Paying a penalty to attack gives you the chance to experience what a real general faces. In battle, there is always a cost to make a move! However, we want to encourage players to go forward and attack instead of stalling like George McLellan, and we don't want to punish players on the edge of a loss, so we only charge the penalty when the attack goes through, and only if they have 10 or more State Points.
III. Rule 7 says you are allowed to make any move that is legal in your first Action Phase, other than attack again. This includes the ability to move a Combatant from attack to defense mode, even if that Combatant has attacked during your turn.
To clarify, there is no limit to the number of times during your turn you may switch your Combatant’s battle positions unless a card effect says otherwise. Just like in a real battle, an army can launch an attack in the morning and then immediately form a defensive position to prevent an enemy from counterattacking. The same concept applies.
2. Overtime Rules
I. Rule 9 states the conditions for winning: When either you or your opponent has zero State Points, left or when one of you is unable to draw a card at the beginning of your turn, the match ends.
However, if a match ends with both players reaching zero State Points at the same time, the match goes to overtime. In an official match, Each player removes all Exceptional Combatants, any weapon with an ATK value of 4 or more, and the following cards: Ambush, Confiscation, Fort Necessity, Clay's Compromise. The match is then replayed but all players begin with 15 State Points, including drawing five cards to start the overtime. Only the 20 cards chosen may be used for the entire overtime period. The overtimes continue until there is a clear winner.
Example C: The match has gone on for a while, you're running out of candy and soda, and you're tired. You and your opponent are both down to 2 State Points. You have an unarmed William Sherman in your Trench and your opponent has an unarmed Deborah Sampson in Attack mode. Realizing you are out of cards to draw from your deck, you order Sherman to take out Deborah (hitting girls is okay in Heroes of History- they can handle it). Your opponent loses 4 State Points due to the difference between Sherman's ATK (6), and Deborah's ATK (2). However, Deborah's ability kicks in and you lose 3 State Points, taking you to zero as well. Your match goes to overtime.
In another scenario, swap Deborah with Caesar Rodney and suppose your opponent has a battlefield card active. During the battle phase, each of you is dropped to zero (Your opponent loses 2 State Points due to the difference in attack damage, and you pay 3 State Points to attack). However, Caesar's ability gives your opponent 1 State Point because s/he has a card in their War Zone. Your opponent now has 1 State Point, and you have zero. You lose.
3. Card effect clarifications
The following card effects are clarified below:
1. George Washington- "Cancel the effect of your opponent's Battlefield cards."
Your opponent may not take advantage of his/her battlefield. However, you may take advantage of their battlefield effect if you have Andrew Jackson in play. Your opponent may swap out their battlefield card but they still don't get the bonus until Washington is removed from the Trench.
5. Benedict Arnold- "On your opponent's turn, your opponent chooses one card at random in your hand. If it's a Combatant, then Arnold, and all cards attached to him, are given to your opponent for the next two turns, starting with this one. Return Arnold, and all cards attached to him, to your side after this effect expires."
If your opponent has Arnold and you use his ability to successfully take him from your opponent, you get Arnold and any attached cards. If you don't have room in your Trench for Arnold, then you cannot use this ability. If you have room for Arnold but not for his attached cards in your War Zone, send the attached cards to your opponent's Museum. if you discard Arnold or any of his attached cards during your two turns, send them to your opponent's Museum. If you attach new cards to Arnold, then your opponent gets them back after the 2 turns are up. S/he keeps your attached cards until s/he discards them for any reason (or you take them back), in which case they are sent to your Museum.
6. Clara Barton- "You gain 3 State Points every time your turn begins and Barton is in play. If you play Barton in attack mode from your hand, you get a one-time bonus of 3 additional State Points."
If you play Barton from your hand, you get 3 points even if you then switch her to defense mode before the end of your turn. If she's still alive after your opponent's turn, you get 3 more points.
12. and 16. Prince Estabrook and William Carney- "When you summon Estabrook/Carney, you may Special Order one Combatant to your Trench in attack or defense mode. Exceptional Combatants still require the proper tribute."
Estabrook/Carney may not be sent to the Museum on the turn your played them to bring out an Exceptional Combatant.
18. Dolley Madison- " When Madison is played in ATK Mode, you may play up to 2 additional combatants from your hand to your Trench as a special order. If she is summoned in DEF mode, you may play 1 additional Combatant as a special order. Exceptional Combatants are excluded from this effect."
Unlike Estabrook or Carney, you cannot play any Exceptional Combatants with Madison, no exceptions.
22. Oliver Perry- "Add +2 to Perry's total ATK if he is unarmed."
Immortal Vow is not a weapon card, so Perry would still get his unarmed bonus if Immortal Vow is attached to him. You may attach up to 3 Immortal Vows to any Combatant.
25. Deborah Sampson- "If Deborah Sampson is sent to your Museum directly from play, your opponent loses 3 State Points."
This effect is active even if you are the one who sends Sampson to the Museum.
27. William Sherman "Pay 3 State Points every time Sherman attacks. This is in addition to your normal attack payment."
Clarification: This penalty is waived if you have 3 State Points or fewer, you can never be set to zero by playing Sherman. As a bonus, keep in mind you can attach weapons or ATK boost cards to Sherman but the penalty is still the same.
29. Tecumseh- "If Tecumseh is unarmed, he may attack your opponent's State Points directly."
Only weapon cards count against this rule. Cards like Immortal Vow do not count against this rule, as they are considered hold cards and not weapon cards.
31. Bayonet- "Equip this card to one Combatant. If your Combatant is attacked, you may discard this card and stop the attack against your Combatant, including battle damage."
Unlike Sam Houston or Horatio Gates, this only stops one attack. So if your opponent uses a different Combatant to attack, you cannot use the bayonet again to block the attack.
32.and 35. Brown Bess Musket and Winchester. "Equip this card to one Combatant. Discard this card after 3 turns or pay 3 State Points to keep it in play for another 3 turns (repeat this effect as often as you want).
In future reprints these card will be rewritten to say you must pay 1 State Point at the beginning of your turn to keep these weapons
43. Constitutional Amendment- the third effect says "Players may Special Order an unlimited number of Combatants to their Trench on their turn by paying 2 State Points each (excludes the normal one-per-turn play or other card effects)."
Clarification- This ONLY includes cards already in your hand. You may bring forth Exceptional Combatants with this ability.
48. Old Ironsides- Yes, if you play a Combatant in DEF mode and equip this card to him/her, your Combatant is invincible for 2 turns, unless your opponent gets rid of Old Ironsides or your Combatant using a card effect.
59. New Orleans- "Gain 1 State Points every time you draw a card."
This ability excludes cards drawn when searching your deck for a card.
64. Fort Caspar - Clarification: the part about "without other penalty" means it excludes all penalites except for the normal rules. For example, you cannot bring back Robert E. Lee and the Gatling and play them without reassigning 2 Combatants to the Museum. However, if you had 2 Combatants and you wish to reassign them to the Museum in order to play Lee, you do not have to pay any other penalty from any other active card effect to play, should a card require further penalty. You would be allowed to play the Gatling Gun right away but this would count as your 1 weapon per turn.