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Alice's Army is a collectible card game where 2 players pit their hard-earned cards against each other in a battle to the death. The game was originally introduced with March 2011's item of the month the Sorcerers of the Shore Grimoire and is played at Ye Wizard's Shack Game Shoppe. To play, players need at least 5 cards of different types (or 6 if they wish to bet a card). Cards from both the player's inventory and Hagnk's may be used, while cards in the player's closet, display case or mall store may not.
All of the decisions are made before any cards take action. Players place 1 card at a time, simultaneously, until 5 cards have been placed, then sit back and watch as the cards battle it out. A major part of the strategy in the game involves reacting to what cards your opponent has already played. As cards are placed, each player gets the opportunity to predict and counteract what strategy they think the other player is trying to use.
Both players select a card (simultaneously) to be placed in rank 1, face up. Then both players select a card (simultaneously) for rank 2, and so on, until all 5 ranks have been filled.
A player may only play one card of each type.
When all the cards have been placed, the battle begins. The battle consists of a series of rounds fought between the cards of each side. During each round, the cards in rank 1 will inflict one base attack on each other, and may then apply special abilities. Cards not in rank 1 may also apply their special abilities during each round (depending on the card). At the end of the round, any dead cards are removed from play, and any remaining cards are moved up (toward rank 1) as far as they can go. (See below for a more precise round description.)
Each card has an attack stat and an HP stat, with many also having a unique special ability. When a card is in rank 1, it will deal its attack stat in damage to the other player's card in rank 1, and vice versa. When a card runs out of HP, it is dead, and is removed from play.
A player wins if he eliminates all of his opponent's cards, but as both players' cards attack simultaneously, ties can happen where both sides are eliminated in the same round. In this case, both player's bets are returned to them.
If the health of all cards remains the same for 6 rounds in a row, the first rank of both teams will be killed by "ennui of inefficiency". This is to prevent infinite loops. Note that it's possible to be in a stalemate situation where one player has to get lucky to win. (You can test this yourself by playing a friend who will place a Wall/Nurse/?/Cleric/Guard and place in your row a Wall/Nurse/?/?/Sniper) Eventually both teams will stay the same for six rounds, OR the Sniper will get lucky enough to kill the Guard.
The sequence of play is recorded as follows:
- Rank 1 cards attack each other
- Rank 1 cards perform special attacks (if applicable)
- Death caused by rank 1 attacks are removed
- Sniper shoots
- Death caused by sniper are removed
- Nurse and Cleric heal. Whichever is in lower rank heals first.
When playing against another player, players can set up a meat bet, where each player wagers some meat and the winner takes all. The meat amounts that may be bet are limited to zero, 1,000 and 10,000. When under Ronin or Hardcore restrictions, the wager and winnings are taken from/placed into Hagnk's.
In addition to any meat bet players wish to make, they may also bet a card, known as an ante. In order to play an ante, players must have 6 or more different card types available. Foil cards will never be selected as an ante unless the players choose to play for a foil card ante, in which case only foil cards can be used in the match (so you need at least 6 foil cards).
When playing an ante, one card type is randomly selected from each player as the ante. Each card type available is equally likely to be chosen, regardless of the specific numbers held (so having 500 Ninjas and 1 Bowman will still result in each being just as likely to be selected as the ante). A player is not allowed to play his ante card during the match, even if spares are available, so be sure to take advantage! Some players closet all of their uncommon and rare cards before a match so they cannot lose them, in the hope of winning a rare or uncommon ante from another player while only risking commons, but of course this leaves them unable to play any rares or uncommons themselves.
In the event of a tie, each player's meat and card wagers are returned.
There is no single winning strategy, as every card has a counter.
The Coward and Horseman cards each change their position during the pre-game placement when placed. The Coward is designed to be placed as the first card, and will always move to the back of the row, swapping its position with each card placed. This allows the player to "delay" the placement of his cards, allowing him to place an appropriate counter to the cards the other player is placing (e.g. you will be placing the card that ends up in rank 1 as your second card, so you can see what card it will be up against). This only works if the other player doesn't do the same, of course. As a drawback, the Coward card isn't a very good fighter if it is left at the end.
The Horseman card will swap its position with the card you last placed (but only once, unlike the coward card). This allows you to change the position of an important card if your opponent placed a powerful counter to it at the same time that it may end up facing.
If the Mad Bomber card can get off an attack it will deal 1 point of damage to every card on both teams (in addition to its 2 attack on the opponent card in rank 1). This will kill the card itself (it only has 1 HP) but is guaranteed to kill all Mad Bombers, Ninjas, Clerics and Snipers on both teams unless one has a Martyr behind it. Obviously, you shouldn't play one of these cards without being backed up by a Martyr after placing your own Mad Bomber. Because it can be hard to get the Mad Bomber to rank 1, it is often placed as the first card. This will ensure that nobody plays any of the aforementioned cards without a Martyr, but leaves you a card down. This is a risky strategy.
Use the Martyr to protect vulnerable cards with low HP. A strong example is placing the Martyr after the Ninja. A Ninja in rank 1 is almost always guaranteed to kill the opponent's card but only has 1 HP, so placing a Martyr behind it will let it attack twice or more, killing off multiple opponent cards.
If you can get your Bowman in a face off against a 1-attack support card (shieldmaiden, page, nurse, etc.) then you've almost always immediately won the round. The low attack of the bowman and support card means they'll be fighting for a number of rounds, allowing the bowman to decimate many of the cards behind their support card. If you've played a Coward and they place a support card at some point, try your hardest to get a Bowman to fight against it.
Snipers and Clerics are extremely powerful cards to have at the back of your row if your opponent did not place a Lanceman, Mad Bomber or Sniper.
- Putting a Hammerman in your rank 1, and having an enemy with an arbitrary rank 1 with a Shieldmaiden in their rank 2 will not cause your Hammerman to do 1 damage. In fact, the Hammerman will not even have a message for doing 0 damage. So the Shieldmaiden does not make the damage taken a minimum of 1 when the actual attack value is zero. (Also useful knowledge for a Dervish).
- Putting a Page behind a Hammerman will give the Hammerman a base attack of 1, causing it to have a base attack message (which it otherwise does not).
- When a Bomber explodes and there is a Martyr in play, the Martyr will take two damage, and the card in front of the Martyr will take zero.
- A Hammerman facing <X, Martyr> will do ceil(X/2's max HP) in damage to the Martyr, not ceil(Martyr/2's max HP) to the Martyr.
- The Horseman's ability activates before the Coward's. Meaning if you place a Horseman after you place a Coward, you will NOT see the coward retreat behind it and the Horseman advance past another card. In this scenario the Horseman's ability does nothing.