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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Part 4: Survival Mode

Posted by Ricky Chua On 8:45 AM 7 comments
Out of time? Here's a good way to have an adrenaline filled round in under 15 minutes.

You'd better run.

I was just plain curious. "What if we put the Ruler 主公 against every other player? 1 Ruler VS an army of Rebels 反贼." 

"Ridiculous! Retarded! No way!!"

Nobody wanted to test out this version of the game, there just wasn't a need to do something so off-the-planet. Then one day, we were left with 30 minutes to kill after playing more than 8 rounds straight. We no longer wanted to repeat the normal game (we had 6 players), so we tested this out just for fun.

Boy, was it thrilling!!

Here's how it works:
1. Grab as many role cards as there are players. Ensure that the RULER role is in there. All the other roles do not matter.

2. As per normal, everyone grabs a card. As long as you did not pick the RULER role, you are a REBEL. If you picked the RULER, good luck to you.

3. The RULER picks his character first. He gets to pick ANY character from the entire deck.

4. The REBELS get a number of character cards each (can be 3 or 5, up to house rules) and each Rebel picks 1 from those.

5. The mechanics of the game is identical. Every player starts with 4 cards, Ruler starts first. There are only 2 differences from here onwards.

Note: X = number of REBELS in play

- In the drawing phase, RULER gets to draw X cards or 2 cards, whichever is larger. 
>>> 1 vs 6, Ruler draws 6 cards. If 1 Rebel dies, then its 1 vs 5, Ruler draws 5
>>> 1 vs 1, Ruler draws 2 cards, since X is now smaller than 2.

- The RULER's on-hand card limit is increased by X (no. of health remaining + X)
>>> 1 vs 6, and Ruler is Cao Cao at full health, then Ruler's on-hand card limit is 5 + 6 = 11
>>> 1 vs 6, Ruler is Cao Cao at 1 health, card limit is 1 + 6 = 7

Is the game fair?
If you have not played this version yet, your first thoughts would be its impossible for the Ruler to survive even 2 rounds. But that may not be the case. Here's why.

- Ruler 1st turn advantage
Ruler draws a shitload of cards when he starts turn 1. It is possible that he can kill off 1 Rebel should he happen to have Crossbow on hand. Even if he does not, he would have a fair number of Dodges, no?

- Rebel distance limitation
It's not always easy to pick up a weapon. The Rebel furthest from the Ruler may not be able to reach the Ruler at all for, say, 3 rounds if he draws no weapons.

- Lots of cards = hard to kill
You already know what it is like to attack Lu Meng 吕蒙 when his hand is bulging with cards. It takes a lot more effort to peel the cards one by one from the Ruler before an attack finds it mark.

So there you have it! Our own creation of SGS auxiliary rule: Survival Mode!! If you compare the original SGS game to a scenic train ride, this is the roller coaster version.

Hope you enjoy the madness! Have fun and 杀!


  1. After played several games, i found Ruler hardly survive until 3rd round, even worst when it get 乐不思蜀 or 兵糧寸断。

  2. We played this version yesterday again. The Ruler didn't even survive Round 1.

    It cannot be under-emphasized that the character picked by the Ruler and the player's skill is paramount!

    Example: In one of our games, the Ruler won simply because the character selected was Zhang Jiao and the large on-hand limit almost guaranteed a "spade" on hand to switch the judgement card.

    Another example: Ruler picks Yuan Shao, draws a crap load of cards and just keeps releasing Raining Arrows. You'd be surprised how quickly the Rebels die out.

    Please test this out. Enjoy the carnage!

  3. It should be made Grand Melee mode, when you kill the RULER you become the ruler and get all of his items. The idea is to be the last one alive.

  4. Interesting!

    We should come up with a points-system for this too!

  5. does the ruler still get to use ruler abilities? specifically, yuan shao can keep 2 extra cards per hero in play in his discard phase and dong zhuo can flip a judgement to heal up when heroes cause damage

  6. Alot like the new Hu lao guan mode on

  7. Lol. Loved the Hu lao guan mode when my friend's account's membership was still active. Hate the fact that it's members only. Anyway, the ruler will die out way too fast unless you get Yuan Shao or lucky with Huang Gai


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