Rules Impressions: Doctor Who Card Game from Cubicle7
Yesterday, the fine folks over at Cubicle7 released the rules for Martin Wallace’s Doctor Who Card Game. I decided I’d take a look and see what we have here. The short of it is that it looks like a really interesting card game with a cool card passing mechanic that should guarantee that you have to make a lot of tough decisions, but the theme is a little extraneous. Theoretically, you are bringing new places into play that are under threat from the bad guys and the Doctor and his companions then have to protect those places from the enemies. However, all players play both good guy and bad guy cards in a given turn, so the theme just doesn’t resonate with me after reading through it (which could change with play and some of the individual cards seem quite thematic in and of themselves). That said, the art looks very nice and the game is considerably more complicated and interesting than I had expected. As always, these are my impressions from reading the rules. I have not played the game.
At the start of each game, players each start with one Location card. Location cards are what give you points at the end of the game, and playing them also provides with with Time Points that allow you to buy additional cards. All players except the second player (you’ll see why) receive five cards and the first player starts his turn. Players may play as many cards as they want so long as they have at least three cards to pass to other players. Along with locations, players also have Defenders, Enemies, and Support cards (which provide special effects like revealing hidden cards). During your turn, you play cards on your own Locations to defend them from attack (they are face down until that Location is attacked), play cards on opponent’s locations to attack them (attackers stay face down until both sides have cards, only one player may attack a location at a time), discard cards to get Time Points that may be used to buy cards in the future, and keep up to two cards in Reserve for future turns. Combat is done by comparing the value of the attackers to that of Defenders. No matter what, at the end your turn you must pass three cards to the next player and have no cards in your hand and then draw two cards. There are two end game conditions – One player having all of one of their piece types on the board (caused by combats, in which case the game ends immediately) or reaching 20 cards left in the deck (marked by a Game End card, in which case players take turns taking one action a piece starting with a five card hand with no new cards being drawn at the end of a turn until a player can not take an action, players may not pass).
It really looks like there will be some tough choices to make about what cards you play, what cards you discard, and which cards you pass to the next player in Doctor Who. It’s very much a Martin Wallace game and – perhaps – less so a Doctor Who game (except for, again, the rather excellent looking artwork). Still, those looking for a mutliplayer card game with a challenging action economy should take a look. The game will play in about 60 minutes, supports three or four players and is 10 percent off for early pre-orders as of this writing (July 25, 2012) directly from Cubicle7 and will MSRP for $29.99. It is due out in August or September. Check out the complete rules for yourself and take a look at the official Cubicle7 Doctor Who The Card Game page.