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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hi everyone,

This is a dream come true for me. The SanGuoSha English app that I have been wishing for so long is finally available on iTunes for download!

Simply search for "Sanguosha" in iTunes store to find it. Or you can click on the link below to bring you there directly.

Link to iTunes Store:

[Left] SanGuoSha English app icon freshly downloaded at 4th column, 2nd from bottom. The download time takes a bit longer, but it makes the app itself much faster to run. [Right] Characters icons browsed left to right. Tap on buttons below to browse other allegiance. Notice the "Options" button in brown at the top left? That allows you to navigate to playing cards or game rules.

[Left] One glance ability translations for each card. Font colour backing is colour coded to the allegiance. Background image is the card image itself for you to verify if you are at the right place. [Right] All playing card translations are also included.

Quick guide to the rules for use on-the-go.

I have promised that it would be super-fast and very intuitive to use for non-Chinese speaking/reading friends. Don't take my word for it! Test it out for yourself!

"Is it going to come out on Android as well?"

The quick answer is YES, though my partner is adamant that we only push into Android if the iTunes version sees significant download numbers.

So if you're an SGS player, do download the app and post your reviews and feedback on iTunes. We would very much appreciate it if you can find any bugs and problems so that we can improve on the next version!

Thanks for your support! 杀!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sino-Games opens in USA

Posted by Ricky Chua On 12:29 PM 2 comments
Hello readers from USA!

Come May of 2013, Sino-games will set up shop in the US and be able to deliver your SanGuoSha purchases to you in a fraction of the current duration!

The best part is, the current shipping prices will be completely eliminated for US customers (with exception of Alaska and Hawaii), so you will pay for the product price ONLY. That is a saving of $99.90 if you purchase the Final Pack!!

We hope you are as excited about this new launch as we are! Here's looking forward to bringing your SanGuoSha faster, cheaper, and more reliably!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kingdom Wars Playing Guide

Posted by Ricky Chua On 6:33 PM 11 comments
Hello!! Welcome to this guide for Kingdom Wars (KW)!

This guide assumes that you already have experience playing SanGuoSha (SGS) and you are familiar with most of the mechanics in the game.

(If you have NEVER played before SGS and, for some reason, you have a box of KW in your hands, please read through the game rules of SGS first to familiarize yourself.)

Ok... here we go!

Deal out 1 Health card per player as per normal

You might notice that ALL the health cards are either 3 units or 4 units of health (each "circle" represents 1 health). There are no longer 5 unit health cards.

You might be tempted to ask if the "halves" in each circle matters. No they don't... you can pretty much ignore them.

Deal out 7 Character cards per player 
(5 Character cards if more than 9 players present)

This is the first major change that separates KW from SGS. You must select TWO characters with the same allegiance. Suppose you are given the following 7 cards to choose from...

Here are some pointers for selecting your characters:
1. Don't even bother considering the Shu (Red) character, because there is only 1 Shu character (that's Huang Yueying 黄月英 by the way with her new artwork). With this hand, Shu allegiance is totally out for you.

2. Look for chinese characters at the bottom right of the character portrait (see Figure below), just above the abilities text box. If there are words there, it means this character has possible synergistic partners. If you happen to ALSO have the synergistic partner in hand, you definitely should choose these 2 characters. Synergistic partners have special bonuses for you that can be a life-saver or a game-changer! More on that later...

Since we have both Lu Bu and Diao Chan in hand, we should choose them!

3. Notice the units of health have been reduced? You need to add up the health units of both your characters to determine your maximum health (eg: 2.5 units + 1.5 units = 4 units max health for you).

Note that if the sum is 3.5 or 4.5:
- You need to round down to the nearest whole number (3.5 becomes 3)
- You are entitled to a special bonus during gameplay. More on that later...

Generally speaking, the Tactical characters have 1.5 health and the Attacking characters have 2 health. Only two characters have 2.5 health, Guan Yu 关羽 and Lu Bu 吕布.

4. After you have decided on which 2 characters to choose, DO NOT tell any player your choices and DO NOT expose your character cards... Keep it secret!

Set the Game area
"Everybody on the ground now!"

1. You should have flipped to the side of the Health card with the correct number of health units.
2. Place your 2 character cards faced down next to your Health card.
3. Note that the character card nearer to the health card will be your Main Character 主将 and the other is your Supporting Character 副将.

The only difference in gameplay between Main and Supporting is that the main determines your gender when both your characters are revealed.

4. Deal every player 4 playing cards (as per normal in SGS) and the game begins!!

Exposing the 1st Character Card
"Reveal your hidden abilities!"

Most of the game mechanics is identical from here on. The only thing in your way are the faced-down character cards. What do they mean??

When a player has both character cards faced down since the start of the game, this player has the following properties:
1. This player does not belong to any "Kingdom".
2. The "hidden" characters have no gender
3. This player cannot use any of the character abilities from his character cards

Sooner or later, a player will choose to flip over a character card either to (1) reveal his Kingdom or (2) to use the character's abilities.

The character cards can ONLY be flipped over under the following two scenarios:

A: It is the beginning of that player's turn.

B: That player wants to activate one of the character abilities. This means you can expose your character card outside of your turn as long as you want to trigger your ability.
(Eg: If one of your hidden characters is Guo Jia 郭嘉, and another player inflicts damage to you outside of your turn, you can choose to flip over your Guo Jia character card to activate his ability to draw cards)

Note that the gender of your character will be that of the character that has been exposed.
Important: You do NOT need to expose your Main Character first. Either character can be exposed first.

Exposing the 2nd Character card
"Let our Powers Combine!"

The moment you flip over your 2nd character card, time stops! The entire game is frozen to allow the following bonuses to occur immediately...

1. If both characters are Synergistic Partners...
You can choose 1 of the following 2 options:
(A) Regain 1 unit of health
(B) Draw 2 cards

2. If the sum of health units of both characters is 3.5 or 4.5...
You can draw 1 card from the deck

3. If your characters fulfill neither of the previous 2 conditions...
You sad monkey. Nothing happens. The game goes on.

Note: The bonuses stated above in points 1 and 2 are only activated the first time both your cards are flipped over.

Game Objective
"Screw the Rulers! Its every Kingdom for themselves!"

This is one of the most fundamental change between SGS and KW, and I personally think the change in Game Objective is the reason why KW is so much more fun that SGS.

There are no longer the 4 roles (Ruler 主公, Loyalist 忠臣 etc) that we used to find in SGS. Instead, every player is teamed up according to the Kingdom (allegiance) that their characters belong: Shu (Red), Wei (Blue), Wu (Green) and Grey (Heroes).

The figure above should help illustrate this better. At the beginning of the game, everyone's character cards are faced down, but let's just imagine we are able to see through their character cards and determine the characters they are using. Andy and Calvin are both using Shu characters, therefore they belong in the same kingdom. Ben, Daniel and Flory are both using Wu characters, so the three of them are teamed up in another kingdom. Edward is a sad little guy as he is the only player using Wei characters, so he is on his own. Therefore in this game, there are 3 different kingdoms.

The objective for Andy and Calvin are to eliminate the rest of the players, such that only Shu characters remain. This is similar for Ben, Daniel and Flory, where they want to kill off all the other players leaving only Wu characters.

Edward's job is similar... though probably more challenging! He needs to use real-life diplomacy to convince the other players that they need him around to balance the power... then somehow kill off everyone else to be the last man standing!

Now what if the following scenario below occurs?

There are 5 players who chose Shu characters and only poor Ben has chosen Wei. Bloody hell! Ben is as good as mince meat!! This is where the other big change in KW comes into play... the new role known as "Ambitionist 野心家”.

The Ambitionist Arises - "If half the total number of players have revealed similar allegiances, the next player(s) who reveals the same allegiance will become an Ambitionist(s)"

That statement might be a little confusing, so let's use the next figure below as an example. There are 6 players, so half of that is 3. Let's assume that Andy is the first to reveal one character card. He reveals he is from Shu. The next player to reveal is Calvin, who is also from Shu (2 players from Shu so far). Daniel follows suit and is the 3rd player to reveal he is from Shu (3 players from Shu so far).

Now if Edward reveals his character card, he will be the 4th Shu character. Since half of all the players (Andy, Calvin and Daniel) already belong to one allegiance, Edward can no longer be part of that kingdom. Thus he becomes an Ambitionist. Same for Flory!

Every Ambitionist is their own Kingdom. They have no teammates!

What if there are odd number of players? How do we determine who is Ambitionist?

The basic rule is that any one kingdom cannot consist of more than half the total number of players. So in a game of 5 players, every kingdom can only have 2 players max. The 3rd player with the same allegiance becomes Ambitionist. Similarly for a game 7 players, the 4th player with same allegiance becomes an Ambitionist.

Rewards and Punishments for Kill

Since the old Roles from SGS are gone, the rewards and punishments for killing off other players have also been revamped. It gets a little more dramatic when players with both cards still hidden are involved. I will list out the rewards/punishment according to different scenarios:

(A) Both killer and victim have at least 1 character card exposed
- If killer and victim are from different Kingdoms !!REWARD!!
The killer gets to draw as many cards as there are players from the victim's kingdom just before death.
(Eg: There are 2 players from Wei Kingdom. I am from Shu kingdom and I kill off one of them. My reward is draw TWO cards since there were 2 players from Wei before that player died.)

- If killer and victim are from the SAME kingdom !!PUNISHMENT!!
The killer must discard all his on-hand and equipped cards.

(B) The killer has both character cards hidden
- The killer gets NO REWARD or PUNISHMENT.

(C) The victim has both character cards hidden
- The victim must reveal his character card such that his Kingdom can be determined. Rewards and punishments will be administered as in (A)
- Revealing of the character's kingdom can result in the victim becoming an Ambitionist as long as the Ambitionist rules apply to the victim. In such a scenario, the victim is viewed as an Ambitionist and rewards are meted out to the killer accordingly (draw 1 card).

I believe that is about it for this playing guide! I hope you have found this useful!

Till the next post, enjoy Kingdom Wars!! 杀!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The OFFICIAL SGS English App (for iPhone)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 5:40 PM 4 comments

I have been living in a cave... figuratively, of course.
SGS English app icon
Frankly, it's downright embarrassing that I haven't created an app for all you readers. The only one out there is created by Kevin Quan from Canada, and i must say it works well. A big "Thank You" to Kevin for acknowledging this blog for the translated contents!

Still... i wanted to create an app with my inputs behind it; an app that i can truly call "my own". An app which is specially catered to the SanGuoSha players out there who need INSTANT TRANSLATIONS.

I'm proud to announce that the "SanGuoSha English Translation" app is complete!

Check out the last icon in the 3rd column...

I set out to design an app that must fulfill the following criteria:

1. Lightning fast loading speed - from the time you click the card you need, to displaying the info should be almost instantaneous! We went made the extra mile to make this app as "bare-bones" as possible, such that the very first screen you see is already character cards selection.

2. Just ability translations, no stories! - You no longer need to scroll down just to get to the ability translations (which is what most people are looking for). The ability translations jump right at you the moment you select your card needed.

3. Easy to use and intuitive - You should be able to find ANY card you are looking for within 3 seconds. Not only are the cards arranged categorically, but also alphabetically within the categories. 

4. Catered to users with ZERO Chinese ability - If you have no clue what the name of that character is, you will still be able to find your card easily! Simply go to the correct category based on the colour of the allegiance, then match your card in hand to the same image in the app. 

5. Condensed "How to Play" - Another "bare-bones" effort to get you the info you need. This is not a hand-holding walk-through, but a touch-and-go summary so that you can quickly find that rule that's been bugging you.

This free app will be available in a couple of days time (currently approval stage at iTunes). Watch this space for updates!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sūn Quán 孙权

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:06 PM 2 comments
Translated description:
"Young and Virtuous Ruler 年轻的贤君 (nián qīng dè xián jūn)"

Wikipedia link: Sun Quan Wiki

Who is he:
One of "the Three", Sun Quan is the ruler who ultimately formed the Kingdom of Sun Wu 孙吴. He took over the reigns of ruler from his elder brother, Sun Ce 孙策, at the age of 18 and led the Wu Kingdom till his death at 70 years old. He is the longest serving ruler of the era. Compared to Sun Ce who was known as the "Little Conqueror 小霸王", Sun Quan was not as strong a combat fighter, but he was able to win the hearts and respect of his generals and people. He was surrounded with loyal and capable talents, which he prudently retained. The Kingdoms of Sun Wu and Shu Han 蜀汉 formed an alliance to resist Cao Cao 曹操's attacks. However, Sun Quan's short alliance with Liu Bei 刘备 became a sore point as the wits of Sun Wu were no match for the prescient Zhu Ge Liang 诸葛亮. Regardless, the Kingdom of Sun Wu lasted longer than both Cao Wei 曹魏 and Shu Han. It was the last to be defeated by the Si Ma 司马 family, which marked the end of the Three Kingdoms era and the beginning of the Jin Dynasty 晋朝.

Character ability 1: "Balance of Power 制衡 (zhì héng)"
During your action phase, you can discard any number of cards (both on-hand or equipped) and draw the same number of new cards from the deck. Limited to once per turn.

Character ability 2: [Ruler ability] [Enforced ability] "Rescued 救援 (jiù yuán)"
When you are rescued from the brink of death by other Wu characters via the use of PEACH 桃, you recover 1 additional unit of health (from zero health to two units of health).

Ability's relation to story:
"Balance of Power" refers to Sun Quan's decision to ally with Liu Bei so as to counter the immense army of Cao Cao. Before the battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战, Cao Cao has already amassed an army far greater than either Shu Han or Sun Wu. With the alliance, both the kingdoms were able to restore the balance of power and prevent a complete runover by Cao Cao. "Rescued" could be referring to Zhou Tai 周泰's rescue of Sun Quan from numerous near-death encounters. Though it is unfair to single-out Zhou Tai for commendation, the story places great emphasis of Zhou Tai's sacrificial (sometimes suicidal) charges to rescue Sun Quan.

Additional info from the story:
1. Most famous achievement - Setting up the Wu Kingdom and having ruled it well from 18 to 70 years old.

2. Cause of death - Sun Quan died of old-age, though it can also be reasonably said to be due to illness. Either way, he was not killed in action. Besides, living till the age of 70 in that era is a feat on its own.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. If he uses BLAZE and does'nt have the required suit card to do damage, can he use his ability to change cards before BLAZE is concluded?

Ans: No, he cannot use change cards midway through the use of Blaze. The use of the blaze card + discard of card to cause damage should be tightly knitted as 1 action.

Dà Qiáo 大乔

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:05 PM 3 comments
Translated description:
"The Flower of few words 矜持之花 (jīn chí zhī huā)"

Wikipedia link: Qiao Sisters Wiki

Who is she:
The wife of "The Little Conqueror" Sun Ce 孙策. Da Qiao is a very minor character in the story that has virtually zero air-time. The elder of the "Two Qiao sisters", she is supposedly incredibly beautiful, but a person of few words. She can play the Qin (an ancient stringe instrument) and sing as well as her younger sister, but she seldom openly performs. It is said that she only performs for her love, Sun Ce. In the story, she became part of Zhu Ge Liang 诸葛亮's trick to ruse Zhou Yu 周瑜 to war with Cao Cao 曹操, though her effect on him was not as pronounced as that of Xiao Qiao 小乔.

Character ability 1: "National Colours 国色 (guó sè)"
During your action phase, you can choose to use any card (both on-hand or equipped) with a "diamond" suit as ACEDIA 乐不思蜀.

Character ability 2: "Displacement 流离 (liú lí)"
Whenever you become the target of ATTACK 杀, you can discard any card and divert the ATTACK to a player within your attacking range. This player cannot be the original player that used the ATTACK card.

Ability's relation to story:
There is almost no reliable link bridging these abilities to the story line. All we know is Da Qiao is beautiful, so beautiful perhaps that her beauty can mesmerize the enemies into forgetting about the battle? Pure conjecture, of course, and I have not found any direct link. The same with "Displacement". The actual translation for 流离 means to live like a wandering refugee, but there is no mention of her after Sun Ce's death that suggests anything like this.

Additional info from story:
1. Most famous achievement - Marrying Sun Ce?! Not being misogynistic here but I have not found anything of value. Please share if you have!!

2. Cause of death - Unknown! It was never mentioned in the story or in historical texts.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. When Da Qiao redirect an attack against Zhu Ge Liang and he has no cards in hand, does it work?

Ans: No it does not work. Zhu Ge Liang cannot become the targetbof ''Displacement'' at all if he already has no cards on-hand.

2. If a character becomes the target  of ''Displacement'' , can he play ''Dodge'' or MUST he take damage?

Ans: He can play DODGE. Displacement only transfers ''ATTACK''. This is in contrast to Xiao Qiao who transfers damage that cannot be dodge.

3. If Da Qiao deflects the attack and kills another player, who gets the kill count? Da Qiao or the player that used the attack ?

Ans: The kill goes to the player who used the ATTACK and not Da Qiao.

4. If it was Lu Bu then the redirected attack will have to discard 2 Dodge to Dodge Lu Bu's redirected attack?''

Ans: Yup! Since the ATTACK came from Lu Bu , the victim needs to use 2 dodge cards.

5. Can the card duel  or Barbarian or Raining Arrows be redirected?

Ans: Nope. She can only redirect ATTACK and nothing else.

6. Can I steal or dismantle or negate the diamond card played by Da Qiao as ACEDIA?

Ans: Yes it is considered a tool card.

Gān Níng 甘宁

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:04 PM 1 comment
Translated description:
"The Pirate with Silk Sails 锦帆游侠 (jǐn fān yóu xiá)"

Wikipedia link: Gan Ning Wiki

Who is he:
There is something about Gan Ning I personally admire, and that is the "I don't give a shit about rules and convention" attitude. As a youngster, he was a pirate, looting and murdering and wreaking havoc. It was because of this background that he was rejected from joining Liu Biao 刘表's service. However in his later days, Gan Ning proved himself to be a fearless leader with unconventional tactics. His most glorious moment came in his night raid on Cao Wei 曹魏's camps as a distractionary tactic.

Character ability: "Surprise Raid 奇袭 (qí xí)"
During your action phase, you can choose to use any of your cards (both on-hand and equipped) with "clubs" and "spades" suit as DISMANTLE 过河拆桥.

Ability's relation to the story:
There does not seem to be much link between his storyline character and his ability to use DISMANTLE. However the name of the ability is with reference to his famous night raid on Cao Wei's camps. Yet that raid did not cripple any of Cao Wei's supplies or operations, so even there the link is weak. This ability is likely one for the game mechanics rather than fidelity to the story.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Gan Ning's night raid on Cao Wei camps. After Sun Quan 孙权's attack was resisted by Zhang Liao 张辽, Cao Cao 曹操 himself claimed to be bringing a huge reinforcement to back up Zhang Liao. Upon hearing this, the Wu advisor suggested a distractionary raid on Cao Wei's camps. Gan Ning not only volunteered, he brought only 100 men and promised that all 100 would come back alive. In the commando style raid, Gan Ning had his 100 men randomly strike different areas of the camp swiftly and set fire at numerous places. The enemy was disoriented by the scattered flames and did not know where the attack was coming from or how many were attacking. Gan Ning then quickly retreated, all 100 men unharmed, leaving the Cao Wei camp smoldering. It was thus that Sun Quan famously said, "Meng De (Cao Cao's other name) has Zhang Liao while I have Gan Xing Ba (Gan Ning's other name)".

2. Cause of death - Gan Ning was heavily sick but insisted on moving out for the battle of Yi Ling 夷陵之战, he was killed in action by the barbarian king Sha Mo Ke 沙摩柯 (loyal to Liu Bei 刘备) with an arrow to the head.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. Can I play ''Negate'' card on the dismantle played by Gan Ning?

Ans: Yes you can. Gan Ning's black cards if used as Dismantle can be viewed as a tool card.

2. Can negate ability be used multiple times per turn , or just once ?

Ans: Multiple times. As many times as you want.

Huáng Gài 黄盖

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:03 PM 3 comments
Translated description:
"Sacrificing the Flesh for the Country 轻身为国 (qīng shēn wèi guó)"

Wikipedia link: Huang Gai Wiki

Who is he:
The veteran of Wu Kingdom 吴国, Huang Gai served 3 members of the Sun family beginning from Sun Jian 孙坚, then his eldest son Sun Ce 孙策, and finally Sun Quan 孙权. Fiercely loyal, he is best remembered for his sacrificial role in the battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战. So prominent was his role, in fact, that his name has become synonymous with the "Trojan Flesh ploy 苦肉计" in the story. More about that the sections below.

Character ability: "Trojan Flesh 苦肉 (kǔ ròu)"
During your action phase, you can choose to lose 1 unit of health and draw 2 more cards from the deck. This ability can be used repeatedly in a turn.

Ability's relation to story:
A marvelous fit! Huang Gai suffered terrible pain and physical abuse, all for the sake of gaining a strategic advantage (ie: deceiving Cao Cao 曹操). In this card game, this effect is reproduced well whereby the additional cards can make a big difference.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - The ignitor of the flames that burnt Cao Cao's fleet. The ploy is the brainchild of Zhou Yu 周瑜 and Huang Gai, where Zhou Yu needs Huang Gai to feign his defecting over to join Cao Cao. However Cao Cao knows that Huang Gai is very loyal, thus more extreme measures need to be used. An elaborate show was set up in the Wu camp whereby Huang Gai interrupts Zhou Yu and advises surrender. In a show of fury, Zhou Yu orders Huang Gai executed. The other generals and advisors all plead for Huang Gai's life and Zhou Yu finally relents, lightening the punishment from death to 50 strokes of the staff. Huang Gai's flesh was bloodied and torn after the beating, but everyone was fooled. Cao Cao's spies reported this incident and thus it became believable that Huang Gai's defection was real. When the time came for Huang Gai's defection, he sailed over to Cao Cao's fleet with small boats filled with flammable material. By the time Cao Cao realized it was a trick, it was too late. Huang Gai set the boats aflame and the fire spread throughout Cao Cao's army. Thus Cao Cao suffered the greatest defeat in his career.

2. Cause of death - After the battle of Red Cliffs, there was a break out of robbers at Chang Sha 长沙. Sun Quan delegated Huang Gai to settle the matter but Huang Gai died of illness before the mission was accomplished.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. Can Huang Gai use his ability between Duel with another character ?

Ans: No. His ability cannot be used ''in-between'' cards meaning from beginning to end of Duel , his ability cannot be used.

2. Can he use this with one health remaining? Like use it then immediately Peach himself after?

Ans: Yes he can, but he must be saved from brink of death before he can draw the cards.

Lǚ Méng 吕蒙

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:02 PM 3 comments
Translated description:
"Crossing the river in White Robes 白衣渡江 (bái yī dù jiāng)"

Wikipedia link: Lu Meng Wiki

Who is he:
One of the most prominent generals from the Kingdom of Sun Wu 孙吴, Lu Meng started out as a military general with scant knowledge of tactics and strategy. Following his rising appointments in the Wu Kingdom, Sun Quan 孙权 himself advised Lu Meng to read in his spare time. Lu Meng wisely did so and his wisdom and knowledge made great leaps in a very short time. So impressive was his improvement, in fact, that Sun Quan's able advisor Lu Su 鲁肃 commented the famous phrase:

"When the clueless Lu Meng is under Wu Kingdom's nurturing, one must re-evaluate him in a different light. 吴下阿蒙, 刮目相看"

Character ability: "Self-Mastery 克己 (kè jǐ)"
If you did not use any ATTACK 杀 cards during your action phase, you can skip the discard phase.

(This means he need not discard any cards despite having more cards than he has health units. Note that the use of ATTACK outside of his turn (such as in response to BARBARIANS 南蛮入侵) does not require him to discard his cards either.)

Ability's relation to story:
There appears to be two possible links for "Self-Mastery" to the story. This first is philosophical, where Lu Meng's diligence in his studies is a result of being able to master his time management and overcome his procrastination. He once complained to Sun Quan that he did not have time to read, but Sun Quan aptly replied that himself is busier than Lu Meng yet he can find the time to read.

The second is directly related to the game ability. As displayed in the translated description, Lu Meng crossed a river in white robes for the purpose of deceiving Guan Yu 关羽's troops. Lu Meng's troops hid their weapons and pretended to be merchants (who were dressed in white in those days). Only at the last moment did they break their cover and surprise the enemy. This is indeed very similar to Lu Meng's game character! Always undercover and nondescript, but when he explodes he can be extremely lethal.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Defeating Guan Yu. One of the key reasons for Guan Yu's defeat was Lu Meng's capture of Jing Zhou 荆州. Lu Meng subsequently treated the citizens of Jing Zhou extremely well, leading to Guan Yu's troops (mainly recruited from Jing Zhou) to desert Guan Yu and return home. With a depleting army, Guan Yu escaped to Mai Cheng 麦城 and was ultimately captured and executed by Sun Quan.

2. Cause of death - Guan Yu's death did not mark the end of Guan Yu. Instead the ghost of Guan Yu possessed Lu Meng at a celebratory banquet thrown by Sun Quan. At the banquet, the possessed Lu Meng grabbed hold of Sun Quan and swore revenge. Lu Meng then collapsed and died. This story ultimately spawned the Demi-God Guan Yu 神关羽 character.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. When Lu Meng uses ATTACK in a  DUEL, does he need to discard cards after that to his health level?

Ans: That depends on when the DUEL card was used.

1. If Duel is used within Lu Meng's turn (ie. Lu Meng is the one who use the DUEL card), and he uses an ATTACK card during the DUEL process, he will need to discard cards at the end of that turn)

Note the following 2 scenarios where Lu Meng's use of  Duel will not need discarding of cards:

(A) If the victim of Lu Meng's Duel does not respond to the Duel with an attack . Instead the victim chooses to suffer damage immediately.

(B) The victim responds with an attack but Lu Meng chooses not to respond with an attack. In this case, Lu Meng suffers damage.

In both Scenarios(A) and (B) , Lu Meng does not use an Attack  card and therefore need not discard at the discard phase.

2. If the Duel is used outside of Lu Meng's turn (such as he is now the victim of Duel by another player ), Lu Meng does not need to discard cards even if he responds with attack.

Lù Xùn 陆逊

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:01 PM 3 comments
Translated description:
"The meek scholar with Valiant talents 儒生雄才 (rú shēng xióng cái)"

Wikipedia link: Lu Xun Wiki

Who is he:
The ultimate Decepticon. An idiom that describes him best would be "don't judge a book by it's cover". For the readers unfamiliar with the story, this geeky, nerdy scholar that looks like he cannot survive a papercut is the person who is responsible for the death of Liu Bei 刘备. He used his scholarly persona to trick his enemies into putting their guard down. This was used to great effect in Sun Wu 孙吴's capture of Jing Zhou 荆州, which resulted in the death of Guan Yu 关羽. Two of the biggest names in the Kingdom of Shu Han 蜀汉 owe their demise to this kid. Geeks rule!

Character ability 1: [Enforced ability] "Humility 谦逊 (qiān xùn)"
You cannot become the target of STEAL 顺手牵羊 and ACEDIA 乐不思蜀.

Note that this is different from those tools being "ineffective". Lu Xun simply cannot be targeted at all for these two tools. Therefore if you accidentally used these cards on Lu Xun, take it back into your hand and use it on someone else. Do not discard them since you are not considered to have even used them at all.

Character ability 2: "One after another 连营 (lián yíng)"
Whenever you lose or use your last on-hand card, you can immediately draw one card from the deck.

(This means Lu Xun will always have at least one card on hand at all times.)

Ability's relation to story:
"Humility" describes Lu Xun's careful management of his troops and his unwavering focus on defeating Shu Han. I suppose that the reason he cannot be targeted for STEAL is to imply the opposite of a careless, arrogant leader. As for ACEDIA, it made sense that he cannot be targeted since Lu Xun's patience and focus on defeating Shu Han clearly destroys the meaning of that tool.

"One after another" describes Lu Xun's victory at the battle of Yi Ling 夷陵之战, where his use of fire to incinerate Liu Bei's forces is compounded by Liu Bei's decision to have all his camps close to each other and within the forested region. The words 连营 is a short-form of the full phrase 火烧连营七百里, which means "the burning of a string of camps connected together for 350km".

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Defeating Liu Bei at battle of Yi Ling. After a stalemate, Liu Bei taunted Lu Xun to lure his troops into an ambush. Typical of the humble man that he is, Lu Xun kept his cool and ignored the taunting. Lu Xun knew it was not yet time for the attack. Liu Bei finally gave up and the stalemate continued, but the weather was very hot and dry. Liu Bei made the decision to move all the camps into the forest for some shade. Lu Xun siezed the opportunity and set fire to the dry forests. The blaze burned most of Liu Bei's troops and supplies while their escape route was cut off. Liu Bei suffered severe losses and retreated. He never recovered from the loss and died soon after.

2. Cause of death - Lu Xun fell into disfavour of Sun Quan due to his support for Sun He 孙和 as crown prince. Sun Quan removed Lu Xun from office and had him reprimanded on many counts. Lu Xun was filled with grief and fell ill. He died soon after.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. Can Lu Xun (or any character for that matter) choose to discard cards during his turn? If so, his turn would never end, so Im assuming the answer is no.

Ans: The answer is no. Discarding of cards can only take place in the discard phase. Once in that phase, the player can no longer use cards.The turn ends after the discard phase.

2. Does this mean that you can only ever discard on-hand cards without using them when you need to discard to your current health at the end of your turn? Could you choose to discard more than that?

Ans: Yes a player can only discard cards that the end of the turn (discard phase) and only if there are more cards on-hand  than there is health. A player cannot discard more than that .

3. If Lu Xun uses Draw 2 and its his last card, does he draw 3 cards . One for his abilty and 2 for the Draw 2?

Ans: Yes he draws 3 cards.

4. For Iron Shackles, if he chooses to discard Iron Shackles as his last card ,does he get to draw 2 cards ? One for the shackles and one for his ability.

Ans: Yes if he uses redraw for Iron Shackles, he draws 2.

Sūn Shàng Xiāng 孙尚香

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:00 PM 7 comments
Translated description:
"The lady with bow and arrows 弓腰姬 (gōng yāo jī)"

Wikipedia link: Sun Shang Xiang Wiki

Who is she:
Best remembered as the martial-arts loving wife of Liu Bei 刘备, Sun Shang Xiang is the younger sister of Sun Quan 孙权. Since young she loved martial arts and even has all her maids carry swords wherever they go. She was offered to Liu Bei as his third wife by Sun Quan and on the surface it appeared to be a strengthening of the Sun Wu 孙吴 and Shu Han 蜀汉 alliance. The reality, however, was the marriage offer was a trap plotted out by Zhou Yu 周瑜 to lure Liu Bei into the Kingdom of Sun Wu and hold him ransom in return for Jing Zhou 荆州. Yet in one of the most lauded schemes of Zhu Ge Liang 诸葛亮, Liu Bei not only successfully marries Sun Shang Xiang but also escapes back to Shu Han with her. In his rage, Zhou Yu orders his troops to kill Liu Bei even if it means having to kill Sun Shang Xiang, but the chase met with an ambush from Zhu Ge Liang and Zhou Yu ends up losing both Sun Shang Xiang and thousands of troops.

Thus the famous saying: "To lose a lady in addition to losing numerous troops 赔了夫人又折兵"

Character ability 1: "Marriage 结姻 (jié yīn)"
During your action phase, you can choose to discard 2 on-hand cards and pick any male character that is not at full-health. By doing so, both the male character and yourself will recover 1 unit of health each. Limited to only 1 use per turn.

Character ability 2: "Warrior Lady 枭姬 (xiāo jī)"
Whenever any equipped card is removed from your equipped items area, you can immediately draw 2 cards from the deck.

(Note that 2 cards can be drawn for each equipped card that is removed. This applies also to changing the equipped item (ie: replacing one weapon with another weapon).

Ability's relation to story:
"Marriage" is, of course, referring to her marriage with Liu Bei. The inside joke is this ability is commonly scandalized into "Intercourse" and since it can be used with ANY male character, she has become a slut of sorts. It does not help that her character art gave her a pair of huge jugs spilling out of her top. "Warrior lady" refers to her love for martial arts, but little connection is made with the mechanics of the ability with the storyline.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Her "escape" back to Sun Wu. In another ploy, Sun Shang Xiang was tricked into believing her aging mother was very ill. At the time, Liu Bei was away conquering the Western regions near Cheng Du 成都. She decided to leave for Sun Wu and bring with her Liu Bei's son, Liu Shan 刘禅. This threw up a huge fracas as Zhao Yun 赵云 and Zhang Fei 张飞 braved enemy arrows to convince her to return. Alas, Sun Shang Xiang would not listen, but relented in returning Liu Shan. Upon finding out it was a ploy, Sun Shang Xiang was extremely upset. She never got to see Liu Bei again.

2. Cause of death - Legend has it that Sun Shang Xiang committed suicide after hearing about Liu Bei's death. She threw herself into a river and drowned herself.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. What if Sun Shang Xiang is not at full health, but all the male characters are at full health, can she still use her healing abilities?

Ans: No she cannot.It must be with a male who is not at full health.

Tài Shǐ Cí 太史慈

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:59 PM 5 comments
Translated description:
"Ardent and Loyal Warrior 笃烈之士 (dǔ liè zhī shì)"

Wikipedia link: Tai Shi Ci Wiki

Who is he:
One of the early generals before the Three Kingdoms were formed, Tai Shi Ci was one of Sun Ce 孙策's most capable generals. A man with a criminal past, Tai Shi Ci was denied higher positions and responsibilities by his previous leader Liu Yao 刘繇. In one instance, Tai Shi Ci battled Sun Ce and were equally matched. This gave Sun Ce respect for Tai Shi Ci. When Sun Ce eventually defeated Liu Yao, Sun Ce promised Tai Shi Ci acknowledgement of his capabilities with important positions. Tai Shi Ci accepted and thus became a loyal and capable general under the Kingdom of Sun Wu 孙吴 till his death.

Character ability: "Justice of Heaven 天义 (tiān yì)"
During your action phase, you can conduct Points Duel 拼点 with any other character. Limited to one use per turn.

If you win the Points Duel -
1. You will have unlimited attacking range
2. You can use 1 additional ATTACK 杀 card in that turn
3. Each ATTACK can target 1 additional character.

If you lose the Points Duel, you cannot use ATTACK till the end of that turn.

Ability's relation to story:
There does not seem to be much relation to the story, though there is some history to how this ability came about. Before the Fire Expansion Pack 火包 was released by Yoka Games, people have already created their own Tai Shi Ci character which allowed him to equip two weapons simultaneously. I guess Yoka Games took note of that and modified it into the ability we see today.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Rallying his troops to join Sun Ce within 24 hours. When Tai Shi Ci agreed to join Sun Ce, he asked Sun Ce for one day's absence to convince his troops to continue joining him under Sun Ce's leadership. Sun Ce note only agreed, he even told Tai Shi Ci to tell his troops that those not willing were free to leave and will not be subjected to martial law. Sun Ce's advisors told him to be wary of Tai Shi Ci taking the opportunity to escape, but Sun Ce had faith in Tai Shi Ci's integrity. Indeed, Tai Shi Ci kept to his word, returning within 24 hours and bringing with him every single one of his men to join Sun Ce.

2. Cause of death - In the story, Tai Shi Ci was fatally wounded by an arrow from Cao Wei 曹魏's Zhang Liao 张辽 at the battle of He Fei 合肥之战. However, historically Tai Shi Ci died of illness at age 41.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. What do you mean by Points Duel 拼点?

Ans: You can refer to ''How to play'' Part 5 Points Duel'' on the left column for more details.

2. For Points Duel, if Tai Shi Chi wins, does he get all the 3 effects or just one of them ?

Ans: He gets all 3 effects .

3. If Tai Shi Chi has Heaven Scorcher Halbert equipped and he wins the points duel , does that mean his last ATTACK can kill up to 5 people? 3 from weapon , 3 from his ability?

Ans: Not 5 but 4. Here's how its calculated.

After winning points duel, every one of his ATTACK can target 1 additional player. Therefore if his ATTACK is his last card and he has Heaven Scorcher, usually he can target 3 players but now +1 more player to that total 4 players can be targeted with that one last ATTACK card.

4. Can he attack then point want? Because that would allow him to bypass the effect of '' Cannot use attack at all for that turn''.

Ans: Yes he can use ATTACK first before Points Duel. It would allow him to use at least 1 attack in that round. BUT that first attack would just be a normal attack , targeting only 1 player.

In Summary,

Use Attack before Points Duel
Pros: Guaranteed at least 1 attack use
Cons: Effective attacks used is limited to 3.

Use Points Duel before Attack
Pros: Effective attacks used =4
Cons: May not be able to use attack at all if lose the points duel.

5. Can Tai Shi Chi use jiu sha( attack + wine ) after winning the points duel to cause 2 damage to 2 different players or can this only be used without wine ?

Ans: Yes ,wine can be use with the attacks even after winning the points duel.

6. Does his ability stack with the effect of weapons ? For example , if Tai Shi Ci equips a Zhu Ge Crossbow , does that mean he has unlimited numbers of  attacks , each attacking 2 players.

Xiǎo Qiáo 小乔

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:58 PM 5 comments
Translated description:
"The Unconventional Flower 矫情之花 (jiǎo qíng zhī huā)"

Wikipedia link: Xiao Qiao Wiki

Who is she:
Wife of Zhou Yu 周瑜 and younger sister of Da Qiao 大乔, Xiao Qiao is the starry-eyed girl next door famous for her musical talent. As explained in my post on Da Qiao, the two sisters were one of the major reasons for the Kingdom of Sun Wu 孙吴 going to war with the Kingdom of Cao Wei 曹魏, which quickly resulted in the battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战. Xiao Qiao was notably more vocal and expressive than her aloof elder sister, thus it seemed like Xiao Qiao was the more musically talented of the two, but it has been argued that Da Qiao is equally skilled in music and just chooses to play only for her beau Sun Ce 孙策.

Character ability 1: "Heavenly Scent 天香 (tiān xiāng)"
Whenever you receive any damage, you can choose to pass the damage on to any other player by discarding an on-hand card that has a suit of "hearts". The victim that receives the damage gets to draw X number of cards from the deck, X being the total amount of health loss (measured from the character's maximum health level) after the deflection.

(Xiao Qiao is left unscathed once the damage is passed to another player. For example, Xiao Qiao receives 2 units of damage and she discards ONE on-hand card of "hearts" suit to pass the damage on to Zhang Fei 张飞 (who currently has 2 units of health left with a maximum health of 4). Zhang Fei loses 2 units of health due to damage passed by Xiao Qiao, however he does not get to draw 4 cards (Max health = 4, subtract current health = 0, equals 4 cards to draw) until he has been rescued from the brink of death.)

Character ability 2: [Enforced ability] "Youthful Beauty 红颜 (hóng yán)"
You will always regard all cards with a suit of "spades" as the suit of "hearts".

This effectively means that her "Heavenly Scent" ability will also work if she discards a "spade" since it is regarded as a "heart". This also means that LIGHTNING will NEVER strike her since she is the one that conducts the judgement for LIGHTNING and it requires "spades" to strike. An additional bonus is that she has a stronger chance of overcoming ACEDIA since judgement card of "spades" will equal to "hearts".

Ability's relation to story:
Neither of her abilities have any link to the story. Despite her "Heavenly Scent" being horrifyingly powerful, there is just no mention in the story about anything related to her scent doing demonic damage.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Marrying the brilliant Zhou Yu. I know it sounds derogatory to say that marrying someone of stature is an "achievement", but she would probably have been viewed upon with envy in her time. Besides, there really isn't much material I can work with here.

2. Cause of death - Unknown. Conflicting stories mixed with contaminated legends have churned out an array of different endings for Xiao Qiao. The two most common are "grieving for Zhou Yu till she died of old age" and "dying of illness".

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. Who can Xiao Qiao deflect damage to?

Ans: Xiao Qiao can deflect damage to anyone including the attacker.

2. Since all spade cards count as hearts for Xiao Qiao , When she flips a judgement could Si Ma Yi substitute with a spade to hurt her?

Ans: No it cannot hurt her even if the judgement card is changed. The reasoning is the same as Zhang Jiao's lightning strike: the judgement card is considered as flipped by Xiao Qiao . Even if it was changed, it is still viewed as Xiao Qiao's judgement card .Hence spades will be viewed as hearts even if changed by Si Ma Yi.

3. If I equip Frost Blade  寒冰剑 and attack Xiao Qiao, what happens if she redirect the damage?

Ans: You can choose not to deal with her damage , in which case she can no longer redirect the damage. She would thus be forced to discard cards . This is one of the critical ways to disarm her. The weapon (Frost blade) works very well against her.

4. Who is the source of damage when it is passed on , Xiao Qiao or the player who dealt damage to her?

Ans: The player who dealt the damage. All retalliation/rewards goes back to the player who use the cards and not Xiao Qiao.

- Ruler attacks Xiao Qiao and she passes damage to Loyalist . Loyalist dies = Ruler discard all cards and equipment.
-Ruler attacks Xiao Qiao and she passes to Rebel . Rebel dies =Ruler gains 3 cards rewards.

5. Can Xiao Qiao detect /redirect Barbarians/Raining Arrows/Duel?

Ans: Yes and No
No: She cannot deflect the effect of these cards unto another player . Meaning she cannot ''deflect'' Barbarians and ask another player to use ATTACK to neutralize the card.

Yes: She can deflect the damage she suffers if she DOES NOT neutralize the card. Meaning , if someone uses Barbarians and she chooses not to use  ATTACK ,she sufferes 1 damage . She can transfer the damage to another player . That victim receive the damage straight-up , can no longer use the ATTACK to neutralize the card  because what is transferred is Damage  and not the card effect.

6. If Xiao Qiao is challenged with someone who cannot be avoided such as Huang Xhong or Ma Chao , can she deflect the injury?

Ans: Yes. It does not matter if the attack can be avoided. She transfers damage that she receives which mean the attack is already concluded by that point.

7. If Xiao Qiao is locked in Iron Shackles and receives the fire damage , does the damage travel through the chains when she uses her power ?
 i.e Does she get hurt before she is able to pass the damage and then return to health , or does she never receive the damage at all  ?

Ans: Xiao Qiao can only pass the damage on AFTER receiving damage. Thus it is logical to say that the fire attack is channeled to the relevant victims already.

8. If Zhang Fei is at 1 health and Xiao Qiao deflects 2 units of damage to Zhang Fei , and Zhang Fei is peached 2 times , woul that mean he is able to draw 5 cards?

Ans: No there is no concept of negative health in SGS. Even for  Zhou Tai , he is considered at zero health regardless of how many death cards he has. Thus the max number of cards to draw would be the max health of the victim, and no more.

9. If Xiao Qiao redirect the damage to another shackled player, would the shackled player receive the deflected damage + the transmitted damage from the initial attack?''

Ans: Yes. This unfortunate player would receive both damages.

10. Only Da Qiao can enter the ''initial target'' status for Iron Shackling right? Where as if Xiao Qiao is the initial target, she can't alter the initial target?

Ans: Yes, Da Qiao can enter the initial target, Xiao Qiao cannot.

11. If I am playing as Xiao Qiao and I am linked with IRON SHACKLES to another player who is the target  of Fire Attack ; can I loop the damage of the fire element back to the original target multiple times as long as I have the hearts cards to play?

Ans: You can deflect the damage you receive that was passed by the shackles. But that will only happen once , because the shackles will be broken. You can deflect infinite number of times , as long as you have the hearts or spades . Just that for the shackles,it breaks after each transmit

Zhōu Tài 周泰

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:56 PM 5 comments
Translated description:
"Body scarred like a Battle record 历战之躯 (lì zhàn zhī qū)"

Wikipedia link: Zhou Tai Wiki

Who is he:
If there was a commando spirit in any of the Three Kingdoms characters, it would be Zhou Tai. If I had my way, I would rewrite his description as "Never say die". He began his military career as a pirate-convert under Sun Ce 孙策, but Sun Quan 孙权 quickly took a liking and requested Zhou Tai be transfered over to his command. It was from then on that Zhou Tai would save Sun Quan's ass many times from certain death. In one significant scenario in the story, Sun Quan asked Zhou Tai to remove his clothing during a banquet and show his battle scars for all those present. Zhou Tai remembers the battle behind every scar, most of which he earned valiantly serving the cause of the Sun Quan's Wu Kingdom. It is thus that Sun Quan treats Zhou Tai as one of his most trusted and capable generals, as kin as a brother to him.

Character ability: "Refuting Death 不屈 (bù qū)"
When your health reaches zero (brink of death), one playing card must be flipped from the deck and placed on your character card. You not considered dead at this point and the game continues. Whenever you lose an additional unit of health from here on, an additional card will be further added on top of your character card. As long as none of these cards have the same "number" (ie: from ace to king), you will remain alive. Whenever there is a card or more placed on your character card, you will always be considered as being on the "brink of death".

1. Can the card displayed after Zhou Tai's health reaches zero be "tinkered" with by Si Ma Yi 司马懿 or Zhang Jiao 张角?

Ans: No. It is not a judgement card and cannot be changed by these 2 characters.

[Added Feb 2011] 2. Can other players use PEACH 桃 on Zhou Tai when he has "brink-of-death" cards displayed?

Ans: Only under specific circumstances. Other players can only use PEACH on Zhou Tai when:
(a) When Zhou Tai receives damage
(b) Right after a "brink-of-death" card is flipped.

3. What happens when another "brink-of-death" card has a number that matches one of the other cards already displayed?

[Updated Feb 2011] Ans: Zhou Tai DOES NOT die immediately. Instead the other players have the option of using PEACH to save him, or he can use PEACH or WINE 酒. Once saved, the most recent "brink-of-death" card can be discarded.

[Added Feb 2011] 4. Can Zhou Tai use PEACH or WINE in his turn to remove "brink-of-death" cards, even though he did not receive damage?

Ans: Yes. 

5. What is the largest number of health units that Zhou Tai can have in total before he dies?

Ans: 16!! 3 units of health deducted the normal way plus a possible 13 different cards can be displayed without any repeating number.

Ability's relation to story:
His ability "Refuting Death" is a wonderful match from the story! Many times Zhou Tai risked life and limb to save Sun Quan, each time getting injured and cut up but he survives! This ability is a tribute to the Zhou Tai that "never says die".

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Immense bravery in rescuing Sun Quan at the battle of Ru Xu Kou 濡须口之战. Upon the failure of Sun Quan's attack, he found himself surrounded by enemy troops. Zhou Tai had already dashed to safety, but seeing that Sun Quan was nowhere to be seen, dashed into the chaos of battle once again. He told Sun Quan to follow behind as he slashed a path out to safety. Yet Sun Quan was once again surrounded very quickly and all seemed lost. Zhou Tai dashed into battle a second time, but this time the enemy was raining arrows on them. Zhou Tai told Sun Quan to dash straight out to safety as he covered to rear this time. They succeeded but Zhou Tai was injured in numerous places in his body. But that wasn't the end. After Sun Quan was safe, he dashed into the chaos a third time to rescue Xu Sheng 徐盛 successfully.

2. Cause of death - Zhou Tai died of illness at an old-age. It is estimated that he was 62 years old at the time of his death.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. How is Peach and  Wine  at the ''brink of death mode'' effective?

Ans: Using PEACH or WINE at the ''brink of death'' mode will let him remove one ''brink of death'' card each.

2. Can Zhou Tai keep his on-hand cards if his health is zero?

Ans: No,he cannot keep any on-hand cards whatsoever.He must use all of his cards or discard them all.

3.Does Zhou Tai have to remove all equipped cards(like weapons,horses,and armor)when he is on the brink of death?

Ans:No he does not. He can keep all his equipped items. The only penalty for being on the brink is he cannot hold any cards in hand at the end of the turn.

4.Does he die immediately when 2 brink-of-death cards have the same suit.

Ans:Yes.He dies immediately.

5.If Xiao Qiao deflects to Zhou Tai, does he draw brink-of-death cards or Xiao Qiao's ability cards first?

Ans:Xiao Qiao's victim will only draw the cards after every other issue has been concluded.For eg: if a player becomes zero life, the player must be rescued first before drawing the cards.

For Zhou Tai's case, the "death card" must be flipped first before he can draw the cards from Xiao Qiao's ability.

6.When Zhou Tai is on the brink of death can others heal him with peaches on their turns?

Ans: Yes. any player can heal him during their turns.Each heal will remove one of the 'death cards" from Zhou Tai.

7.If Zhou Tai's health is at -5 (5 brinks of death cards),now when Xiao Qiao receives 1 damage and uses her Deflecting damage ability to Zhou Tai (therefore 6 brink of death cards), does he get to draw 10 cards(6 brinks of death cards +  4 health unit)?

Ans:Unfortunately, NO. He can only draw up to maximum 4 cards. Although it appears that he has "negative health" but in actual fact his heath just remains at zero and he is being sustained by his ability. Therefore he can only draw up to 4 cards.

8.Does anything happens to Zhou Tai's "death cards" when his character card is flipped by Cao Pi?

Ans: Nothing happens to his "death cards" when he is flipped. His ability still works. The only difference is he skips turn.

Zhōu Yú 周瑜

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:55 PM 2 comments
Translated description:
"Supreme Commander-in-Chief 大都督 (dà dū dū)"

Wikipedia link: Zhou Yu Wiki

Who is he:
Nicknamed "Zhou Yu the Fair" for his good looks, Zhou Yu was the most famous of all Sun Wu 孙吴's advisors. Both a military general and a strategist, he became Sun Quan 孙权's able right-hand man and was the brains behind the battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战. Unfortunately for him, Zhu Ge Liang 诸葛亮 is just too incredibly clever. Despite coming up with schemes to rid Zhu Ge Liang, Zhou Yu simply cannot outsmart the unrealistically intelligent Zhu Ge Liang. The story seems to downplay Zhou Yu's achievements and make him seem second class and inferior to Zhu Ge Liang. Yet Zhou Yu's contribution to Cao Cao 曹操's defeat at Red Cliffs is incredibly significant and has guaranteed him a place both in the history books and in semi-fictional accounts of the era.

Character ability 1: "Dashing Hero 英姿 (yīng zī)"
You can draw 1 additional card during your drawing phase.

(This means he can draw 3 cards from the deck instead of 2 at every turn.)

Character ability 2: "Sow Dissension 反间 (fǎn jiàn)"
During the action phase, you can ask any one player to guess a suit (eg: hearts, diamonds, clubs or spades). This player while then have to pick one of your  on-hand cards and show it to everyone. If the selected card has the same suit as that which the player guessed, nothing happens. If it is not the same suit, the player loses one unit of health. Regardless of the result, the player will always get to keep that card which he or she picked. Limited to one use per turn.

1. Can a player refuse or use NEGATE 无懈可击 when "Sow Dissension" is directed at him or her?

Ans: No. There is no escaping this ability! The player targeted MUST pick one of Zhou Yu's on-hand cards and keep it.

2. What if the target player only has 1 unit of health left and guessed the wrong suit, but the card picked happens to be PEACH 桃 or WINE 酒? Can this card be used to save himself or herself?

[Updated Feb 2011] Ans: No. The player must be saved from the brink of death first before being able to take possession of the card. 

3. What if the player targeted is using Xiao Qiao and she guesses "hearts", but picked a "spades" card? Does her ability "Youthful Beauty" apply such that the "spade" becomes viewed as a "heart"?

Ans: Yes her ability applies. Thus if Xiao Qiao picks "hearts", she has a far higher chance of escaping damage since both "spades" and "hearts" will save her. This may have been a planned consequence by the game makers since Xiao Qiao and Zhou Yu are a couple.

Ability's relation to story:
Ok although history states that Zhou Yu was a handsome young man, but I don't see why he should get to draw 3 cards for being good-looking. So I'm bullsh*tting any connection this has to the story.

"Sow Dissension" is comes from a significant event leading up to the battle at Red Cliffs, where Cao Cao is tricked by Zhou Yu into executing the only 2 generals with experience at naval combat, Cai Mao 蔡帽 and Zhang Yun 张允. Unfortunately, that too has nothing to do with how the ability is played in the card game.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Defeating Cao Cao at Red Cliffs. Zhou Yu used a series of ploys to completely fuddle Cao Cao, all of which ran concurrently. These include getting Pang Tong 庞统 to trick Cao Cao into shackling his ships together, getting Huang Gai 黄盖 to feint defection so as to set the ships ablaze, making use of Jiang Gan 将干 to sow dissension between Cao Cao and his navy generals Cai Mao and Zhang Yun.

2. Cause of death - One of the most famous episodes in the story talks about Zhu Ge Liang "frustrating Zhou Yu 3 times". Zhou Yu was completely outwitted by Zhu Ge Liang and loss troops, Sun Quan's sister Sun Shang Xiang, as well as important nodes such as Nan Jun 南郡 and Jing Zhou 荆州. Zhou Yu literally vomited blood and died of frustration. Historical records, however, showed that Zhou Yu died while preparing for a battle, thus rendering the storyline as dramatization.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. Can Zhou Yu use '' Sow Dissension 反间'' if he has no on hand cards?

Ans: No he cannot. He needs to at least have 1 card in hand to use that ability.

2. What if the target player only has 1 unit of health left and guessed the wrong suit , but the card picked happens to be PEACH  or WINE ? can this card be use to save himself  or herself?

Ans: No. Death is always calculated first. Since the victim takes damage first he does not obtain the card until after someone heals him. Also if he does die from the ability  the card chosen remains with Zhou Yu

Lǔ Sù 鲁肃

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:54 PM 1 comment
Translated description:
"The Maverick Diplomat 独断的外交家 (dú duàn dè wài jiāo jiā)"

Wikipedia link: Lu Su Wiki

Who is he:
The initiator of the Shu Han 蜀汉 Sun Wu 孙吴 alliance, Lu Su was the man who sought a merger with Liu Bei 刘备 to resist the marauding army of Cao Cao 曹操. Lu Su knew that the alliance was the only chance that both forces had of survival, and thankfully, so did Zhu Ge Liang 诸葛亮. Lu Su initiated contact with Zhu Ge Liang and brought him back to Sun Wu to convince Sun Quan 孙权 to fight Cao Cao. However Zhu Ge Liang's cunning was beyond Lu Su's ability to manage, and Zhu Ge Liang insulted all of Sun Quan's advisors, Zhou Yu 周瑜 and even Sun Quan himself, while still succeeding to form the alliance. The minor ruckus caused Lu Su significant stress, but he was relieved nonetheless that his objective was met. An able and loyal talent, Lu Su took over Zhou Yu's post after the latters death, but Lu Su made a mess of things when he vouched for Shu Han returning Jing Zhou 荆州 to Sun Wu. Liu Bei repeatedly procrastinated returning the strategically important Jing Zhou and the this quickly built tensions between the two kingdoms. The struggle for Jing Zhou eventually led to the fall-out of the allegiance and open war between the these two superpowers.

Character ability 1: "Altruism 好施 (hào shī)"
In the drawing phase, you can choose to draw 2 more cards (total of 4 cards). If you have more than 5 on-hand cards as a result, you must give half of your on-hand cards (rounded down to a whole number) to the player with the least amount of on-hand cards (excluding yourself).

Character ability 2: "Alliance 缔盟 (dì méng)"
During your action phase, you can choose to force 2 players (other than yourself) to exchange their entire set of on-hand cards by discarding X number of cards, X being the difference between the number of on-hand cards between these 2 players. Limited to one use per turn.

Ability's relation to story:
"Altruism" has a very interesting link. In the story, Lu Su's charitable nature led to him "lending" Jing Zhou to Liu Bei, however Lu Su's altruistic nature goes much further than the story. The historical Lu Su was extremely charitable and constantly donated his assets to the poor in the time of extreme chaos (during the initial fall-out of Han Dynasty). He won the hearts of his citizens and it became his platform to rise to a state-level official.

"Alliance" needs little mention as his venture into Shu Han was the seed that grew into the Shu Han Sun Wu alliance. However this ability seems to have an antagonistic nature rather than the cooperative nature in the true sense of the word. It sets up a win-lose scenario rather than win-win.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Bringing Shu Han and Sun Wu together to resist Cao Cao. This act led to the battle at Red Cliffs 赤壁之战 which crushed Cao Cao's army and changed the course of history. It is no exaggeration to say that if not for the alliance, Cao Cao would have defeated both Sun Wu and Shu Han, and all of history as we know it would be different.

2. Cause of death - An illness took Lu Su's life at the age of 46. After Lu Su's death, the alliance between Sun Wu and Shu Han begin to crumble. Shortly after, Lu Meng 吕蒙 invaded Jing Zhou and executed Guan Yu 关羽. The death of Guan Yu precipitated into all-out war between Shu Han and Sun Wu, and thus the efforts of Lu Su vaporized.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. If the number of cards is the same between two other players , does that mean Lu Su need not discard any cards to use his second ability ''Alliance''?

Ans: Yes he can simply ask the 2 players with the same number of cards to switch hands without needing to discard any cards.

2. Can Lu Su discard equipped cards for the 2nd ability ''Alliance''?

Ans: Yes you can discard equipped cards to use ''Alliance''.

3. When there is more than 1 player with the least cards , does Lu Su gets to choose who he gives his cards to when he uses his ''Altruism '' ability ?

Ans: Lu Su can choose whom to give the cards to if there are several with the least cards.

4. For his ability ''Altruism'' , if he has 7 cards on hand , would he have to give 3 cards or 4 cards to the player with the least amount cards ?

Ans: Rounded DOWN to a whole number . So he would have to give 3.

Sūn Jiān 孙坚

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:52 PM 4 comments
Translated description:
"Emperor of Vigorous Combat 武烈帝 (wǔ liè dì)"

Wikipedia link: Sun Jian Wiki

Who is he:
Best known as the father of Sun Ce 孙策, Sun Quan 孙权 and Sun Shang Xiang 孙尚香, Sun Jian was one of the warlords who took part in the early coalition against Dong Zhuo 董卓. In fact, Dong Zhuo and Sun Jian were bitter enemies even before Dong Zhuo took control of the imperial family. One significant event in the life of Sun Jian was finding the imperial seal in a well in the palace ruins at Luo Yang 洛阳. Sun Jian wanted to keep the seal for himself and, thus, control huge power within his grasps. Unfortunately for him, he was betrayed and Yuan Shao 袁绍, then the leader of the coalition, confronted Sun Jian. Sun Jian vehemently denied having the seal, but Yuan Shao was convinced he was lying. Yuan Shao sent Liu Biao 刘表 to intercept Sun Jian, and it was under Liu Biao that Sun Jian's life met an abrupt end.

Character ability: "Lingering Spirit 英魂 (yīng hún)"
In the beginning of every turn, you can carry out either of the options listed below if you are not at maximum health (X represents the number of units of health you have lost thus far). Pick one other player to carry out one of the following options:

1. Draw X cards, then discard 1 card.

2. Draw 1 card, then discard X cards.

Limited to one use per turn.

Ability's relation to story:
The name "Lingering Spirit" should not be taken literally, but instead metaphorically describes Sun Jian's contribution to destroying Dong Zhuo. Being the first in the coalition of 18 warlords to attack Dong Zhuo, Sun Jian almost lost his life to Hua Xiong 华雄, but his initial strike was enough to cower Dong Zhuo and dampen his army's morale. Even after Sun Jian's death, the lessons learnt in his early attacks against Dong Zhuo served Dong Zhuo's enemies well. Thus there is a link to the ability with Sun Jian suffering damage first, yet able to leverage on that to assist his team mates or disconcert his opponents.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Giving the incompetent Yuan Shu 袁术 a piece of his mind. Yuan Shu knew that Sun Jian was to accomplish big things after the coalition disbanded, and thus sought to suppress him by denying him of supplies (Yuan Shu controlled the logistics of the coalition). Sun Jian told Yuan Shu that he spearheaded the coalition's attack not only to remove Dong Zhuo but also to avenge the Yuan family, and yet Yuan Shu chose not to aid him. Yuan Shu was deeply shamed after this "scolding" and promptly resumed supplies to Sun Jian.

2. Cause of death - Killed in an ambush by Huang Zu 黄祖. After Liu Biao intercepted Sun Jian, Sun Jian managed to fend off Liu Biao and his general, Huang Zu. As Huang Zu retreated, Sun Jian gave chase but fell victim to an ambush where arrows shot out from all directions. Sun Jian was caught in the line of fire and died under fatal arrow wounds at the age of 36. When Sun Quan established the Kingdom of Sun Wu 孙吴, Sun Jian was posthumously given the title of "Emperor of Vigorous Combat".

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. How is the second option useful?

Ans: For the second, if he's at 1 health, he could force someone to draw a card and then discard three. It could potentially be very good to temporarily stop harassment or to set up for someone with an Ancient Scimitar or for offensive card characters like Zhang Fei or Huang Zhong.

2. Does Sun Jian ability activate at the start of every player's turn? Or only his turn?

Ans: It is only activated at the start of Sun Jian's turn.

3. If the target player does not have enough on-hand cards to discard ( less than X after drawing 1 card) , must this player also discard his equipment cards(if any)?

Ans: Yes the person will be forced to discard equipped cards if there are no  more on-hand cards.

4. What if the targeted player has not enough cards (both on hand and equipped) to discard after draw one card ,(eg he has zero on hand and equipped card) ?

Ans: When the player has zero cards left , nothing further happens. Eg, the player only has 1 card . Sun Jian forces player to draw 1 ,discard 3 .The player draws 1 from the deck, then discard the 2 cards he now has to become zero. Though he needs to discard 1more , he does not need to owe that 1 card.

5. Can Sun Jian use his abilities on himself?

Ans: No it must be used on another player.

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