Worlds Asunder Card Game
Taking you where dreams are made of stars
The Worlds Asunder Card Game (WACG) is a competitive card game for 2 players, with a science fiction theme and atmospheric lore.
The game is designed for players who like the randomness of card shuffling combined with the short-term logic required to find the best combination of card abilities, on the spot.
The game can be played by casual players right out of the box with excellent balance. There is a single deck of cards, no other play components.
The main mechanics are: shuffled cards, card drawing, turns, rounds, card playing, abilities (= rules applied when cards are played), unlocked abilities, combo actions (= combining the abilities of multiple cards played in a single turn), and management of limited resources. The game may be customized by creating custom rules and cards.
The rules are few and create a fast paced and balanced gameplay, but also create the potential for decisions which can easily switch the balance. There is just enough pressure for the players to feel that they might lose at any moment, but without making the casual players feel like it's impossible for them to win against advanced players. At the end of a game, when you draw the line, you realize that you're playing for fun and for twists in what you thought was your win.
The math part of the game is as basic as it gets: the players only have to compare the total sway of the cards played during a turn. There are no bonuses to add or penalties to subtract, no tokens or counters to move around and account for. It's all about adaptation to the environment on the spot, and long-term strategy.
The system's logic is based on the diversity of the (rules of the) abilities present on the cards, and has an emphasis on combo actions. Combo actions emerge fluidly from the abilities, and have to be created on the spot by the players. To master the game, a player has to master combo actions.
Playing consists of turns during which the players may execute various actions.
The purpose of a game is to engage more sway then the rival during each turn, but a game is won by the player who wins the last turn and round. Everything builds toward that last turn.
The typical game duration for advanced players is (consistently) 30 minutes. Beginner players (who already know the rules) need about 60 minutes.
Factions: Free Space Alliance (FSA), United Planets Alliance (UPA).
Legend: DSS - Deep Space Station, US - United Ship.
There are 132 cards, each with a themed name, lore and face image. There are some extra cards for the rules (summary) and abilities.
The game is published in a print-it-yourself format.
Most of the time, a player has to engage (= play from hand) during his / her turns cards whose total sway (= numeric card value) is at least equal with the total sway of the cards engaged by the rival, thusly successfully obstructing the rival.
Normally, during a turn, a player may engage only 1 card, but the abilities of the engaged cards allow for more cards to be drawn, engaged or moved. The engagement of multiple cards in a series is called combo action and forms the game's backbone. Combo actions with 10 cards are not rare, and even with more than 20 cards have been seen.
Sometimes, a player will fail to obstruct the rival because he / she will not be able to create combos that are powerful enough, and will lose the round. In such a case, the player must discard 1 ruin or triumph card, which reduces his / her chances to win the last round of the game and the game.
See the rules below for the license.
Here are the rules in PDF format.
Here are the rules in OpenOffice format.
Here are the summary rules.
An alternate, extremely complex design is available here. This is only for game designers who want to explore possibilities.
If you want to print the cards yourself, download the archive with cards (saved as image files).
The existing images are taken from Hubblesite. Their license allows free commercial use; see their license for details.
Future: the cards to print will be updated with AI generated images.
The simplest way to print the cards is at a photo shop, on 125 * 88 millimeters / 4.9 * 3.5 inches (B7, ISO 216 format) photo paper. Printed on normally sized playing cards, it feels claustrophobic to read the lore, but it is cheaper.
The texts of the cards can be seen here.
If you want to use your own images for the cards and then print the cards yourself, download (right-click, save as) the mosaic file which can be opened with Mosaic. The cards were created with Mosaic.
Professionally printed copy
You can purchase a professionally printed copy from GameCrafter.
The printing cost (also include the transportation) is significantly higher than if you were to print the cards at your local photo shop, but the quality and handling of the GameCrafter cards is much better.
The cards are slightly longer, specifically 140 * 89 millimeters / 5.5 * 3.5 inches.
You have to split the deck in two in order to shuffle the cards, but they are easier to shuffle than the cards printed at a photo shop.
For soundtracks to listen to, for an epic experience, see this.
You can download all the wallpapers from here.
The wallpaper images have a credit line in the bottom-right corner, but that will not bother you when your desktop will resize them because the text will either be cut off the screen or it will be under the taskbar; use the "Fill" resize mode.
Here are the previews:
You can read here a technical / mathematical explanation of what fluons are.
Added epic cards.
Added some clarifications.
Changed the name of the game from "Gardener of Thoughts" to "Worlds Asunder".
Significantly revamped the rulebook. The rules remain compatible with previous versions.
Made it explicit that several turns make a round, and that players can win rounds.
Merged the reserve area into the experience area; cards may be put in it only with abilities.
Merged all the abilities; some were previously listed as custom abilities.
Added unlocked abilities, with massive strategy implications for advanced players.
Replaced the "Secondary ability" with the "Recruitable" custom rule.
Corrected the "Omen" ability rules: "The player may take and look at 4 cards from the top of the destiny, may move 1 of the cards to the ops, and must put the others at the bottom of the destiny, with their faces down, in any order. The card to move to the ops must have either no faction or the player's faction. This ability may be executed only if the player has less than 7 ops cards."
Added the "Endurance" custom ability.
Corrected a rule in the "Winning turn" section to balance the gameplay: "If the turn loser has no reserve cards, or there are no destiny cards and no ops cards (for both players), the game ends and is won by the turn winner." This correction is useful for when a player has a covert card during the finale, because engaging this card may have (until now) ended the game too abruptly.
Added a rule in the "Obstruct" section to balance the advanced gameplay: "If there are no destiny cards, each player must move the experience cards to the ops."
Corrected the rules of the "Sabotage" custom ability.
Public release of the simplified version of "Gardener of Thoughts" card game version 1.