image: double feature by Erick Rabang

The first to five Feng Shui Sites wins!

The standard way of winning a game of Shadowfist is to be the first to control or Burn for Victory (or any combination of the two) five (5) Feng Shui Sites. (Any card in your burned-for-victory pile counts toward this goal of five Feng Shui Sites.)

The only way to do this is to play Characters and attack your opponent's Feng Shui Sites. You must seize or burn for victory your fifth Feng Shui Site. You can only play a Feng Shui Site to win if no one else on the board has one to attack.

You can also win if all of your opponents draw the last card in their decks

(play area map)

You'll need a table or other flat surface to play cards on as the game progresses. You will need counters of some sort to keep track of things such as damage, Power, or other odd bits during the game.

Each player has his or her own layout as described in the image. There are three regions of the board for each player. Cards in play are currently involved in the battle. Cards that are Out of Play are not currently involved in the game, but have the potential to become involved. Cards that are Out of the Game cannot affect the game any further.

See the detailed play area with annotations

(card anatomy)

The cards holds many pieces of information you need to use it in the game.

1)  Title and Subtitle: The title is the card's name. The subtitle identifies the card type for non-Characters (Edge, Event, Feng Shui Site, Site, and State) and provides a flavorful descriptor for characters. All words in the title and subtitle are the card's designators, except for card types, articles, and prepositions.

2)  Expansion Symbol: This symbol identifies the set in which the card was printed.

3)  Fighting/Body: For Characters, this number represents their Fighting score. This is the amount of damage it inflicts and can receive before being smoked. For Feng Shui Sites and Sites, this number is in a circle and represents the amount of damage it can take.

4)  Rules Text: Most cards have rules text that describes how the card works. This text can include Special Abilities, limitations, abilities and effects. Italicized flavor text can also be found here, but has no effect on the game.

5)  Resource Provisions: Faction and talent symbols in this corner indicate the resources available in your pool.

6)  The artist's name and the art's copyright date.

7)  Play Cost: All cards (except most Feng Shui Sites) have a printed cost. This is the amount of power you must spend plus the number of resources you are required to have in your resource pool to be able to play the card. Ming I requires 6 power and three l.

8)  Power Generation: Site generate Power during your establishing shot equal to the value inside the diamond. Face-down Feng Shui Sites generate a default of one (1) power.

image: Gambling House by Steven Snyder

In Shadowfist, players use power and resources to play cards.

Power is the currency of the game, usually provided by your Sites. Your power accumulates from turn to turn unless it is spent or stolen.

Resources are an intangible representation of your army’s presence or influence in the Secret War. Your Characters are the primary resource providers in the game. Your resources accumulate during the game and do not deplete as long as they are in play or the smoked pile.

Resources accumulate during the game and do not deplete as long as they are in play or the smoked pile. Your first Foundation Character (a Character that does not require resources but provides them) will allow you to play a “ramp” Character (a Character that only requires one resource and provides another), and so on, allowing you to play your top tier Characters that require three or four resources.

Image: Grandfather Leung by Carlos Cara Alvarez

There are two "Golden" rules.

First and foremost, the rules text on a card takes precedence over the rules in the rulebook. Basically, every rule can be appended with "... unless the card says otherwise."

If two cards contradict one another, the card judged further from the rules wins. If neither card can be judged further, then the card that resolved more recently takes precedence.

Example: Brass Monkey, "Monkey" Chang, and Solar Farm have abilities that prevent Characters from intercepting, thus overriding the rules about interception. However, Loyal Defender’s rules text is “Cannot be prevented from intercepting.” His ability is judged as “further from the rules” and trumps the other three cards because it negates those abilities that themselves negate the rules about interception.

Comprehensive Rulebook, pg 6.

image: Yu Canghai by Ikaan Studio

Characters are your main fighting pieces. They are used to defend your own Sites and Characters and attack those of your opponents.

In addition to attacking and turning for effects, all Characters have the ability to turn to change location (a column to the left or right of its current location or to an opponent's site to intercept) and can turn to heal all damage on them (during their controller's turn).

image: Scroll of Pain by Rodolpho Langhi

Events represent sudden shifts in the game.

They never enter play, being played directly into the smoked pile, but they generate an effect that may affect cards in play.

Events may be played anytime during any player’s Main Shot. Even though Events are played into the smoked pile, this does not count as smoking a card for purposes of triggering effects.

image: Undisturbed Meditation by I Made Marthana Yusa

Edges represent lasting changes in the conditions of the Secret War.

They are played outside of your Site structure and may not be attacked. Edges may only be played during your Main Shot and not during an attack.

Edges are not considered to be at any Location. When an Edge is played, it remains in play just like Characters, Sites and States.

image: Sulphurous Cenote by Jereme Peabody

These are the means by which players win the game.

All Sites are the places Characters protect and where battles occur. These generate power during your Establishing Shot equal to the number in the diamond in the upper left corner.

Feng Shui Sites are played face-down to conceal their text from opponents until the controller voluntarily reveals the Site or it takes damage. Feng Shui Sites have no printed cost in the lower left corner because their cost is determined by your existing Feng Shui Sites in play.

If you control no Feng Shui Sites, you gain 1 Power when you play one. Each subsequent Feng Shui Site costs Power equal to the number of Feng Shui Sites you control. For example, to play your third Feng Shui Site, you must spend 2 Power.

Be careful, some Feng Shui Sites have a cost. They will still say "Feng Shui Site" on them, but must be played face-up.

image: Ominous Cave Mouth by I Made Marthana Yusa

Unlike Feng Shui Sites, a regular site (Non-Feng Shui Site) doesn't count toward victory. It counts toward your limit of playing one Site per turn though and generates power equal to the number in the diamond in the upper left corner.

Non-Feng Shui sites will have the power they cost in the lower left corner of the card.

image: Personal Assault Vehicle by Ikaan Studio

States represent physical objects such as weapons, vehicles or creatures. They can also represent abilities a Character posesses or even external influences.

States are played on other cards and remain in play as long as their subject is in play. If the subject leaves play, the State is smoked. States are always at the Location of their subject and cannot be attacked.

Unless the State is a Schtick, Vehicle or Weapon, the player who plays the State controls it, even if it is played on an opponent’s card. States may be played anytime during your Main Shot, including during an attack.

image: agent provocateur by I Made Marthana Yusa

At the start of the game, randomly determine the seating order and starting player. Each player then shuffles their deck and offers it to an opponent to cut (usually the player to their left).

All players then gain one power from the pool. (Players can keep a communal pool of counters, or each have their own.) Then everyone draws a hand of six cards.

Determine which player goes first.

image: church archivist by Mario Teodosio

An establishing shot in television and movies sets up, or establishes the context of a scene. It usually shows where and sometimes when the scene takes place.

In Shadowfist, the Establishing Shot is the beginning of your turn; it sets up the rest of your turn. No effects may be generated unless it specifically says it can be played during the Establishing Shot (or are triggered from effects activated during the Establishing Shot. Five phases make up the establishing shot:

1) Start your turn. (This is a placeholder phase for effects or cards which are triggered by the start of your turn.)

2) Generate power. Add up the Power generated by all your Power-Generating cards. Take that amount of power from the center pool and add it to your personal power pool. Skip this phase if you intend on discarding more than a single card during the discard phase.

3) Unturn. Unturn (rotate them 90 degrees until they're upright) all your turned cards. You may choose to keep any card turned that is using a 'turn and maintain' effect.

4) Discard. You may discard one card from your hand, placing it face-down in your Toasted pile. If you skipped Phase 2 (Power Generation) you may discard as many cards as you like. Discarding cards does not count as toasting, despite going to the same pile.

5) Draw. Draw cards from the top of your Draw pile until you reach your maximum hand size (normally six). If you already have cards in your hand equal or greater than your maximum hand size, you do not draw cards. (You do not discard extra cards either.)

image: battle suit by Ikaan Studio

The main shot is when the action happens during your turn. As it's your turn, you get to start the action during your Main Shot. Your opponents can't do anything until you've done something. The first thing that happens is an Open Scene to resolve any effects which happen at the start of your Main Shot.

In no particular order, you can play cards from your hand, use effects from cards you control and attack opponent's Characters or Sites.

Start a new Scene by playing a card from your hand or using an effect on a card you control.

Declare an Attack, you may declare multiple attacks each turn, provided you have succeeded in all previous attacks this turn and you control at least one Character that can legally attack.

image: Urban Monk by Diego Candia

When you are done generating effects and declaring attacks, you declare the End of your turn. This declaration is followed by an open Scene in which opponents may generate voluntary effects. If they do so, you may go back to your Main Shot, and the end of your turn is delayed.

If you declare the End of your turn and no opponents generate any effects, there is a final closed Scene in which all effects that trigger off of the End of the turn resolve. Such effects specifically indicate “At the end of the turn...”

image: Drop Bears by Larry Wilson

To declare an attack, you must control at least one Character that is an eligible attacker. When you declare an attack, turn all participating Characters, and identify the target of the attack. This is an indivisible step that cannot be interrupted by effects.

You may choose a Character or a front-row site as the target of your attack. All attackers move to the Location of the target. You don’t have to move the cards physically to the Location, but they are considered to be there for the purpose of other effects. (This is not considered “changing Location” for the purpose of triggering effects.)

image: Red Ally by Joana Rita Gomes

After all players are done playing effects after the attack declaration, all opponents, starting with the player left of the attacker and proceeding clockwise, may declare that they will join the attack. To join an attack, a player turns one or more of their Characters; these Characters are considered to have “turned to attack” and “declared as an attacker” for the purpose of effects, and move to the Location of the current target of the attack. The joining player is not considered to have “declared an attack”. If there are multiple targets, the joining player assigns attackers to targets as he or she sees fit. Players joining the attack may not assign attackers against cards they control.

image: Loyal Bodyguard by Diego Candia

After players have joined or declined to joint the attack, all players have the opportunity to declare interceptors.

Starting with the opponent to the left of the controller of the original target then proceeding clockwise. Each player only gets one chance to intercept.

Each player moves Characters, declares interception and resolves combat before the next player declares interception. Players may intercept any attacker that they do not control. This means the attacking player may intercept characters that joined the attack. Attacking Characters may not be declared as interceptors.

image: Beaumains the Mongrel Knight by Ikaan Studio

Every combat follows these steps:

1) Before combat starts, any player may start an open Scene. This is the last instance in which effects on cards that are “about to enter combat” can be used.

2. If there are any effects that occur upon entering combat, generate and resolve them now in a closed Scene.

3. Assignment of combat damage occurs next. All Characters inflict combat damage equal to their fighting on whatever they are in combat with.

4. Clean-up. A closed Scene happens, where effects generated during step 3 are placed. When this Scene resolves, Combat is over. The game continues with the next round of interception or, if the combat was with the target, goes to the End-of-Attack sequence.

After interception is completed, there’s a single single open scene, then the remaining attackers enter combat with the target. If the attackers’ controller seizes or burns for victory a Feng Shui Site during the attack, check if they achieved victory conditions between Feng Shui Sites in play and cards in their burned-for-victory pile when the Scene resolves. If so, the player wins and the game ends.

If the game does not end, but combat damage was inflicted on the target of the attack, the attack is a success, and the attacking player may declare further attacks this turn. If the target of the attack was not damaged by combat damage during the attack, the attack has failed.

If multiple attackers hit a target that can inflict combat damage, the controller of the target assigns the damage inflicted to attackers. Apply all damage and smoke any Characters whose Fighting is reduced to 0. Any face-down Feng Shui Site that receives damage is revealed. Any Site with body reduced to 0 may be smoked or seized. Feng Shui Sites with bodies reduced to 0 may be smoked, seized, burned for Power or burned for Victory. The choice is made by the player who declared the attack. If the Site is seized, the attacker now controls the site. All damage is removed from the Site, and the attacker places it into his or her site structure unturned where he or she could legally play the site. If the site is burned for victory, place it into the player’s burned-for-victory pile. The Site is removed from play and counts toward victory conditions. If the site is burned for power, it is placed into its owner’s smoked pile and the burning player gains Power equal to the number players plus one, to a maximum of 5. That player’s turn ends immediately with a final closed scene. Sites may only be seized or burned when their body is reduced by combat damage. All other damage will merely smoke the site. Effects may be triggered during this step, and generate as soon as they are triggered. All effects triggered in this step go onto the Scene in step 4.

4. After combat damage is resolved, there is a closed Scene onto which effects generated during step 3 are placed. The triggered effects are played onto this Scene in clockwise order. Players with multiple triggered effects may place them in the order of their choice. When the Scene resolves, Combat is over. The game continues with the next round of interception or, if the combat was with the target, goes to the End-of-Attack sequence.

image: insurance policy by ClickArt Studios

There is a closed Scene in which all End of Attack effects are generated.

Once the End of Attack Scene begins, no effect may cause the attack to resume. When the Scene resolves, all attackers return to the Location they were when the attack was declared.

If you seized a Site during the attack, you may place any attackers at the Location in which you placed the seized Site, rather than returning them to their original Location. If the last Site at the Location of the attack was seized, smoked or burned, the site structure is adjusted by moving Locations to the left to fill gaps. If the active player burned a Site for power, there is a final closed Scene in which all effects that trigger off the end of the turn are generated after the attack, and then the turn ends.