Doctor Who: The Card Game is a strategy card game featuring 127 cards. The objective of the game is to have the most Victory Points at the end of the game.
In Doctor Who: The Card Game each player takes on the role of the Doctor and his companions in defending locations across time and space from a variety of enemies AND they also play the role of the forces of evil by sending enemies to invade the locations belonging to other players.
The number of actions you can perform in your turn varies depending on how many cards you are able to play, as you must always end your turn by passing 3 cards to the player to your right. Play continues in this manner until the end of the game.
Official Rulebook Edit
INTRODUCTION Daleks, Cybermen, the Silence... the list of threats is endless and no place in the universe is ever truly safe from danger. However, there is one being who has made it his mission to defend the defenseless, help the helpless and save everyone he can: a mysterious stranger, a force of nature who has seen his own planet die, a madman in a box!
Doctor Who: The Card Game is an action packed adventure for three or four players. To win the game you will have to use your wits and courage to:
- Defend the universe as the Doctor and his companions.
- Send the Doctor's enemies to conquer the places your competitors are trying to protect.
- Save the universe!
- This rulebook
- 4 sets of player pieces, each one consisting of 5 TARDIS counters and 5 Dalek counters
- One set of game cards [127 in all]
- 4 Starting Location cards
- 1 End of the Game card
- 30 Time Points
OVERVIEW OF THE GAME In Doctor Who: The Card Game you take on the role of the Doctor and his companions in defending locations across time and space from a variety of enemies AND you also play the role of the forces of evil by sending enemies to invade the locations belonging to other players.
Types of Card There are four types of card in the game:
Defenders - the Doctor and his companions. Locations - places in time and space that need the Doctor's help. Enemies - a variety of aliens and creatures intent on conquest. Support - allies, gadgets, and events that will help [or hinder] the Doctor.
On your Turn During the game players will take it in turns to perform actions, which will involve playing cards. You can never have fewer than three cards in your hand. Once you have finished your actions you must pass three cards to the player to your right.
The number of actions you can perform in your turn therefore depends on how many cards you are able to play. This will vary as you can retain cards from earlier turns in your reserve and you can buy extra cards with Time Points.
Play continues in this manner until the end of the game.
The Playing Area During the course of the game you will play a number of cards in front of your position. Most of these will be face-up Location cards that you have played. Behind your line of Location cards you can also keep up to two cards in reserve, which are played face-down. Certain Support cards are played here too, face-up.
Other players can play Enemy cards face-down onto your Location cards. You can play Defender cards on your own locations, either to defend them or to repel an enemy attack.
The End of the Game The game ends immediately if you have all five of your Dalek counters or all five of your TARDIS counters in play at the beginning of your turn. Otherwise, the game ends when, after the End of Game card has been revealed and the End Game period has commenced, a player can no longer take their go.
Winning the Game At the end of the game you score points for Locations that you have protected and locations that you have conquered. The player with the most points wins the game.
STARTING THE GAME Each player should choose a colour and take the matching set of Dalek and TARDIS counters.
Find the four Starting Location cards and the End of the Game card and put them to one side.
Shuffle the Starting Location cards and deal one to each player [if there are three players then place the last card to one side].
All of the players reveal their card and place it in front of them. The player with the highest value Starting Location, as shown by the number under the card name, becomes the first player.
Shuffle the remaining cards and deal out 5 cards to each player EXCEPT the person sitting to the right of the first player, who only receives 2 cards.
Count out 20 cards, face-down, and place them in the centre of the table. Place the End of the Game card face-up on top of these cards, then the remaining cards on top to create a draw deck. During the course of the game players will need to discard cards. The discard pile should be created next to the draw deck.
Place a pile of Time Points by the side of the draw deck.
You are now ready to begin playing the game!
PLAYING THE GAME Play starts with the first player taking their turn. Once they have finished they hand 3 cards to the player to their right and the player on the left takes their turn. Play continues in this manner until the end of the game. The game ends when either the End of the Game card has been revealed of a player has all five of their Dalek or TARDIS counters in play.
When it is your turn you can perform as many actions as you want. However, at the end of your turn you MUST pass on three cards to the player to your right, leaving yourself with no cards in hand. Thus you can never have fewer than three cards in your hand. You then draw two cards from the draw deck. The player to your left then starts their turn.
The actions that you can choose from are:
- Play a Location card.
- Play one ore more Defender cards on one of your Location cards.
- Play one or more Enemy cards on another player's Location card.
- Play a Support card.
- Place cards in your Reserve.
- Buy cards with Time Points.
- Discard one or two cards in exchange for Time Points.
Each action is discrete and can be performed more than once during your turn. Normally you must complete one action before performing your next action, although some Support cards can be played during an action [which will be clear from the text on the card].
Action: Play a Location Card During the course of the game you will create a line of Location cards in front of your position. You will already have one Starting Location in front of you.
When you play a Location card you place it next to one of your other Location cards.
You then take a number of Time Points, as indicated on the card.
If the supply of Time Points is exhausted then you take the points required from other players, you choose who [and you could choose to take them from more than one player].
Action: Play Defender Cards There are several different types of Defender cards in the game; including several incarnations of the Doctor and his companions. You can never play two or more of the same type of Defender card on a Location card.
As an action you can play one or more Defender cards on one of your Location cards.
If you place the Defender card or cards on a Location card that is not under attack, then you place them face-down. Make sure the Location card is not completely covered - it is important that all players should be able to see the Victory Point value of the card.
You can play Defender cards on a Location card that already has Defenders on it, as long as you do not end up duplicating the same Defender card [you can always peek at your own Defender cards]. You can also play Defender cards on a Location that has a TARDIS counter on it. Once played you cannot withdraw Defender cards from a Location [with the exception of Rory].
If you play the Defender card or cards on a Location that has one or more Enemy cards on it, you resolve the conflict immediately. Note that it is important that you declare all of the Defender cards you wish to play before revealing any Enemy cards. You will find the rules on how to resolve a conflict explained on pages 10 and 11.
Action: Play Enemy Cards As an action you can play one or more Enemy cards to attack one Location belonging to another player. All Enemy cards must be of the same type [Daleks are an example of an enemy type, as are Cybermen and Silurians] or state on them that they can be combined with a different enemy type [for example, the Master or the Clerics].
If you place your cards against a Location that is not defended then you place them face-down. You then take one of your Dalek counters and place it on top of your cards to show that you control that attack. The cards should be placed so that it is clear which Location card they are attacking, but not obscure the victory point value of the card.
You can add Enemy cards to one of your attacks, as long as the card or cards you play can be legally played with the cards already in play [you can peek at your Enemy cards if you wish]. The cards you add are played face-down.
Note that you cannot attack a Location that is already under attack from another player, nor can you join with another player's attack. You cannot attack your own Locations. Once played, you cannot withdraw Enemy cards from an attack.
If you play your Enemy cards against a Location that is defended by one or more Defender cards then you must resolve the conflict immediately [see pages 10 to 11].
If you play your Enemy cards against a Location that has a TARDIS counter on it then you immediately discard the cards you intended to place and return the TARDIS counter to the owning player [hint: it is usually best to remove a TARDIS counter with a weak Enemy card]. Any Defender cards on the Location card remain face-down. You can, as a subsequent action, play another Enemy card to the Location once the TARDIS counter has been removed.
Action: Play a Support card Support cards have a range of different effects, which are described by the text on each one. The majority of Support cards are played as actions - you just follow the text on the card. You can never play a Support card face-down on a Location card.
Some Support cards remain in play, whilst some are discarded after use. The effect of each Support card is explained in more detail on page 14.
Action: Place Cards in your Reserve You may want to keep one or more cards to play in a later turn. As an action you can play 1 or 2 cards from your hand in to your reserve. You can keep up to 2 cards in your reserve. A card played to your reserve should be placed face-down if front of your position, behind your line of Location cards. You must make sure it is clear to other players which cards are in your reserve so as to not give the impression that they are defending a Location].
Any card in your reserve can be picked up and added to your hand at any point during your turn - it's like having a larger hand to play from. Picking up a card from your reserve does not count as an action and can be done while performing another action.
Action: Buy Cards with Time Points As an action you can buy one or more cards by paying 5 Time Points for each card you wish to take. You draw the cards from the top of the draw deck. You retain any unspent Time Points.
Action: Discard Cards for Time Points As an action you can discard 1 or 2 cards, placing them on the discard pile. You take 1 Time Point for each card you discard. You can repeat this action on your turn, discarding 1 or 2 cards each time.
RESOLVING CONFLICTS Conflict occurs whenever a Location card has both Defender and Enemy cards played against it. The conflict should be resolved as soon as the active player has declared which card or cards they are playing on the Location.
All Defender and Enemy cards at the Location in question should be turned face-up. Each player takes Time Points if they revealed a River Song, Donna or Weeping Angel card. If the attacker revealed The Empty Child card then they take a Time Point from the defender, if possible.
Every Defender and Enemy card has a strength value, as indicated by the number on the top left of the card. Each side now calculates their strength [some Support cards have the potential to add to the defender's total].
If the defender's total strength is equal or greater than the attacker's total then the defender wins. All defending and attacking cards are placed on the discard pile. The defending player places one of their TARDIS counters on the Location card to indicate that the Location is now under the protection of the Doctor.
If the defender's total strength is less than that of the attacker then the defenders have lost the conflict. If the defender already had a Rory card on the Location when it was attacked then they retrieve it and place it back in their hand. All of the remaining defending cards are discarded. The attacker may also have to discard cards too. The attacker must discard Enemy cards to match as closely as possible the strength of the defender, but without exceeding it.
Remaining Enemy cards stay played on the Location, face-up and can be attacked [or reinforced] in subsequent turns - but now the defender knows how strong they are so can plan your defense even better!
Note that a Location card is never physically captured by a successful attack during the course of the game. The card stays exactly where it is. It is only at the end of the game that points area awarded for controlling Locations, so if you lost to an enemy attack you can still try to defeat it again in a later turn, to reclaim control of it.
ENDING YOUR TURN Although in theory you can have as many actions as you wish, in practice the number of actions you can perform is limited by the number of cards and Time Points you have. You MUST end your turn by passing on 3 cards to the player to your right, leaving yourself with no cards in hand [the cards in your reserve don't count].
Once you have done this you draw 2 cards from the draw deck. The player to your left now starts their turn. When they have finished their turn they will hand you 3 cards, so you will have 5 cards in your hand to start your next turn with [plus any from your reserve].
ENDING THE GAME The game will end immediately if at the beginning of your turn you have all five of your Dalek counters or all five of your TARDIS counters in play. You do not take your turn. Each player adds up their victory points, as explained below, and a winner is declared. The game is also close to ending if the End of the Game card is revealed. A special 'End Game' period must now be completed, where players play out their remaining cards. Once this period is over victory points are counted up and a winner is declared.
If the End of the Game card is revealed during your turn, as the result of performing actions that require the drawing of cards, then you place the End of the Game card to one side and continue with your turn normally, drawing as necessary from the cards that were covered by the End of the Game card. When you have ended your turn you pass on three cards to the player to your right, as you would do normally.
However, you now pick up five cards instead of two. If the End of the Game card is revealed at the end of your turn, as a result of you picking up two cards, then you place the End of the Game card to one side and pick up enough cards to bring your hand up to five cards.
The 'End Game' period now starts with the player to your left going first.
During the End Game period when it is your turn you can only perform one action. Once you have completed your action play proceeds to the next player. You do not pass any cards to the player to your right, nor do you refill your hand. You can perform any of the actions described in the main body of these rules. You cannot choose to pass and do nothing.
The game will end when it reaches a player's turn and they cannot perform an action, which means they have no cards in hand or sufficient Time Points to buy a card. If the draw deck is exhausted shuffle the discard pile to make a new deck.
If, during the End Game period, a player has all five of their Dalek counters or all five of their TARDIS counters in play at the beginning of their turn, the game ends immediately as normal.
WHO WINS? Players now calculate how many victory points they have gained. You add up the victory points on each Location card you have that is not under attack, i.e. does not have any Enemy cards placed against it. You also add up the victory points on each Location card that you have an attack against [as marked by your Dalek counters].
The player with the most victory points is the winner. There is no tie-breaker, so if two or more players have the same victory point totals then they share the honours of winning the game.
CARD EXPLANATIONS Although most cards have text on them explaining how they work it is not possible to deal with all possible situations. Please take some time to check below about exactly how some of the more involved cards work.
DEFENDER CARDS The Doctor - Although there are four different pictures of the Doctor in this set, they all count as the same Defender so you cannot play multiple copies to the same Location, even if they have different pictures on them.
River Song and Donna - You gain 1 Time Point when the card is revealed, either because it was already on a location that was attacked or because you played it to defeat an already existing attack.
Rory - To gain the effect on Rory's card he must already be in play on a Location card. If that location is attacked and the defenders are defeated then you return the Rory card to your hand. Note that he still adds his value to the defense first. What you cannot do is play Rory on a Location that is under attack to reveal the attackers, and then take the Rory card back into your hand.
SUPPORT CARDS Unless stated otherwise, playing a Support card counts as an action. Normally the card is discarded after use.
Sonic Screwdriver - You can turn face-up all of the cards in one attack against one of your locations. You also take one Time Point.
Psychic Paper - Same effect as Sonic Screwdriver.
Vincent Van Gogh - Same effect as Sonic Screwdriver.
Wilf - When you play this card you place it face-up in your reserve. You can now keep one extra card in your reserve, not including this card [so you could now keep up to three cards in your reserve]. The effect of this card can be combined with that of the Ood, which would allow you to keep four cards in your reserve.
Ood - The card has the same effect as the Wilf card.
The Valiant - If you lose a conflict as the defender then you can play this card, either from your hand or reserve, and retrieve all of the Defender cards involved. You place the Defender cards back in your hand. Playing this card does not count as an action, it is part of the conflict resolution.
Ironsides - When you play this card you place it face-up in your reserve. It counts as a card in your reserve. You can use the effect of this card whenever you are involved in a conflict as the defender. If you pay 1 Time Point you can add 1 to your defense strength. You may only pay 1 Time Point per defense in this way. You can do this after all cards have been revealed. Employing the effect on this card does not count as an action, although playing it to your reserve does.
Mr Clever - When you play this card you may remove up to three TARDIS counters from Locations of your choice. You return the counters to the owning players. You also take 2 Time Points.
Captain Jack - When you play this card you can choose one Enemy card presently attacking one of your Locations and discard it The card you remove can either be face-up or face-down. If this card was the only Enemy card on the Location, you may place a TARDIS counter on the Location.
Collecting on Debts - Same effect as Captain Jack.
TARDIS - When you play this card you and the other players check to see how many TARDIS counters each of you have in play. For each TARDIS counter a player has in play they take one Time Point. You, as the player of the card, take an additional two Time Points.
Crack in Time - This card has a similar effect to the TARDIS card, the difference being that each player counts up the number of Dalek counters they have in play. You, as the player of the card, take an additional two Time Points.
Chameleon Arch - You may re-direct one attack from one of your locations to that of another player. You cannot re-direct the attack against the owner of the attack, i.e. a player can never end up attacking one of their own locations. It does not matter if the Enemy cards in the attack are face-up or down. Keep the cards the same way up when they are moved. You do not place a TARDIS on your Location as you did not defeat an attack.
Bad Wolf - You automatically defeat one attack against one of your locations that contains one or more Dalek cards [which may be Davros or the Dalek Flagship]. The Enemy cards need to be face-up, as you need to know who is attacking. All the Enemy cards in the attack are removed, not just the Dalek cards. You place a TARDIS counter on the Location card in question.
Jammy Dodger - You automatically defeat one attack against one of your locations. It does not matter whether the Enemy cards are face-down or up. You place a TARDIS counter on the Location card in question.
K-9 - This card has the same effect as the Jammy Dodger card but you must also discard one Defender card from your hand or reserve to gain the effect.
Regeneration - When you play this card you can discard as many cards as you wish from your hand and draw the same number from the deck. You also draw a replacement card for this card, i.e. it counts as one of your discards.
ENEMY CARDS Papal Mainframe - If this card is in play against a Location card at the end of the game then that location does not score any victory points for either player.
Weeping Angels - You gain 1 Time Point when the card is revealed, which will either be when you play it against a defended location or it already is on a location that is then defended.
Silurians - Any attack with at least one Silurian card in it is automatically defeated if one of the defenders is Amy Pond. All Enemy and Defender cards involved are discarded. You still place a TARDIS counter on the location in question.
Dalek, Dalek Flagship and Davros - You can combine Daleks, the Dalek Flagship, and Davros at the same location.
Davros - You can play this card on a face-up attack that includes at least one Dalek card [which may be the Flagship] and take control of that attack. You remove the original Dalek counter and replace it with one of your own. You cannot take over an attack against one of your own locations. You can still play this card as a regular Enemy card, and can combine it with the Daleks or Dalek Flagship.
Madame Kovarian - If one of the Defender cards is River Song then she will immediately switch sides and add her strength to the attackers. This card can also be combined with The Silence, the Headless Monks, and the Clerics. Note that the defender still takes one Time Point when River Song is revealed. After a conflict, even if Madame Kovarian has been discarded but River Song has not, River Song remains an Enemy. This does not prevent the defender from playing a new River Song card to the Location as a Defender.
Cyberking - You can play this card on a face-up attack that includes at least one Cybermen card and take control of that attack. You remove the original Dalek counter and replace it with one of your own. You cannot take over an attack against one of your own locations. You can still play this card as a regular Enemy card and can combine it with the Cybermen.
The Empty Child - When you reveal this card you take 1 Time Point, if possible, from the owner of the location that you are attacking.
The Impossible Astronaut - This card can be combined with any other Enemy cards in an attack. When this card is involved in a conflict then you first check to see if one of the Defenders is River Song. If so then the Impossible Astronaut card is discarded, along with the River Song card. If there is no River Song card then any Doctor card in the defense is automatically discarded. If there is neither a River Song nor a Doctor card, then the Impossible Astronaut card does not contribute to the conflict [and may not be discarded]. Note that if you combine Madame Kovarian with the Impossible Astronaut, playing River Song to the same Location will cause the Impossible Astronaut to be first discarded, and then for River Song to become an enemy.
CREDITS Game designed by Martin Wallace Creative Director: Dominic McDowall Art Director: Jon Hodgson Managing Editor: Andrew Kenrick Illustrations by Andrew Hepworth, Jon Hodgson, Sam Manley, Scott Neil, Scott Purdy and Ben Wootten Graphic Design by Paul Bourne Rulebook layout by Paul Bourne
Overall strategy in Doctor Who: The Card Game involves:
- Playing Enemies on Locations worth significant Victory Points, while also being unlikely to be revealed.
- Playing Defenders on Locations likely to be attacked.
- Identifying patterns in opponents' actions during game play that give clues as to what their unrevealed cards are.
- Passing along cards that would not help your opponents.