Quickstart Rules

Object of the Game

Object of the game

  • Players strive to bring the opponent to 0 Influence Points (a standard game starts with each player having 25 Influence Points, determined by each player’s starting Faction card).¬†Faction - Unlikely Heroes - Front
  • The players try to outsmart and out-maneuver each other by playing cards from their hands; these cards can come in the form of Characters that can be used to attack the opponent, Locations and Items that bring continuous advantages to the table, or Tactics that are one-time use cards that can be used to surprise the opponent and turn the tide of battle.


Mulligan Rule

Mulligan Rule

  • At the beginning of each game, players take turns placing any number of cards from their hands on the bottom of their decks and drawing the same amount. Each player may do this one time.
Number of Players & Types of Cards

Number of players

  • The Spoils is designed for two players, but many players also enjoy ¬†multiplayer formats.

Types of cards

  • Characters: Can be used to attack your opponent or his locations, or to block an attack.
  • Locations: Provide continuous advantages to your forces, but can be damaged by your opponent’s cards and attacked by his characters.
  • Items: Provide continuous advantages to your side until they are destroyed, which can happen either because they have been used or because someone (typically the opponent) has played a card that destroyed the Item.
  • Tactics: Provide single use advantages to your game. Can be played at any time both during your own turn and the opponent’s
  • Resources: Use these to pay for the above cards. In addition to actual resource cards, ANY CARD can be played face-down as a resource.



Faction Abilities

Faction Abilities

  • The faction is “who you are” / “what you play”.
  • Each faction holds certain special abilities that you can use during your turn or even on your opponent’s turn.
  • For this demo we will only be looking at the Tournament Faction (shown below – click to enlarge).
    • Faction ability: Draw:
      • At any time during your own or your opponent’s turn you may pay 3 to draw a card.
    • Faction ability: Resource:
      • At any time during your own or your opponent’s turn you may pay 4 to play a Resource
    • Other factions may have other abilities, but we will let you discover these when that time comes.

Faction - The Tournament Faction - Front

Start of the Game

Start of the game

  • Both players search their deck for two Staple Resources and put them into play.
  • Decide randomly which player goes first.
  • Starting player draws a starting hand of 8 cards from his deck.
  • The player going second draws a starting hand of 9 cards.
  • Each player may then look at his hand and choose any number of undesired cards and place those cards on the bottom of his deck and then draw the same amount of new cards from the top of his deck.

Staples Resources

Resource - Deception - ShadowResource - Deception - Shadow








Non-Staple Resources

violence warlord resource

What Happens Each Turn

What happens each turn

  • Start of turn:
    • Restore: On each of your turns, all of your cards become ready again (Resources become unattached and all of your non-resource cards restore).
    • Develop Rule: On each of your turns you must decide whether to draw a card from your deck or to play a Resource (you cannot do both).
  • The turn:
    • During your turn you may do as many things as you want as many times as you like and in any order you want, as long as you can satisfy all costs. Therefore, you may:
      • Use faction abilites multiple times, such as drawing extra cards or putting extra Resources into play (as described above)
      • Attack as many times as you like.
      • Play cards from your hand
      • Use abilites on cards that are in play (on the table)
  • End of turn:
    • When a player announces that he wants to end his turn the opponent gets a final chance to do something before the turn ends.
    • All damage on Characters is reset to zero (damage on Characters is not carried over the next turn, but note that damage on Locations remain).
    • Turn passes to the next player.
Playing Cards

Playing cards

  • Cost to Play: This is the number located in the top left corner of a card. This can be paid using any of your Resources; just attach a number of Resources equal to the numeric cost to your faction (see below for information on attaching Resources). Note that you will get these Resources back on your next turn, it is not a one time use.
  • Threshold: Just below the numeric cost there will be a number of icons. These icons are the card’s threshold; meaning that in order to play the card you must have this many icons on your Resources in play (attached or unattached). You don’t have to use these specific Resources to pay the cost of the card, you just need to have them on the table somewhere.
  • Other costs: There may be additional required costs that must also be fulfilled (these could include choosing a Character in play, discarding a card, or it could even be a restriction on when you may play the card, such as “Play only during your turn” or “Play only when attacking”).
Attaching and Unattaching Resources

Attaching and Unattaching Resources

  • Whenever you have to pay a cost, you pay by taking the appropriate number of Resources (the numeric cost) and move them to your faction. This is called Attaching Resources.
  • At the beginning of your next turn, all of the attached Resources become ready for use again. This is called Detaching Resources.
Depleting and Restoring

Depleting and Restoring

  • Depleting means to mark the card as being used (many players mark this by turning it sideways).
  • Restoring means the card becomes ready to use again (they become “undepleted”). This typically happens at the start of your turn, but there are ways to restore cards outside of this. To restore a card, undo whatever you did to deplete it.
Combat: How to Attack and Defend

Combat: How to Attack and Defend

  • You may make as many attacks as you wish on your turn as long as you have characters to do so (normally a Character is only able to attack once per turn). To attack, announce if you are attacking your opponent directly or if you are attacking one of his locations.Choose which of your characters are forming an attacking party and deplete those characters.
    • Under normal circumstances this means that a Character would only be able to attack once per turn, but you could make as many attacks in a turn as you like provided that the Characters are ready.
  • Your opponent may then assign blockers to defend against your attack.
  • You may only make attacks on your own turn.
  • You may only make blocks on your opponents’ turn.
Combat: Resolving Damage

Combat: Resolving Damage

  • In combat, the main thing to note is the three characteristics listed in the top right corner of the Character card: Strength + Life + Speed.
    • Strength: How much damage your Character deals.
    • Life: How much damage the Character can sustain.
    • Speed: Characters deal damage in order of Speed, with the highest Speed number striking first.
  • The player controlling the Characters that are dealing damage decides how this damage is distributed to the opponent’s Characters. Any Characters that have been dealt lethal damage are then put into the discard pile (lethal damage means it has taken damage equal to or great than its Life stat).
  • Should all of the defending Characters be destroyed, any attacking Characters that haven’t dealt damage yet then deals damage to the target of the attack (either a Location or the opponent’s Faction).
  • Note: Damage dealt to a Location or to the opponent’s Faction remain until they reach zero. In the case of a Location, it is then destroyed and put into the discard pile. If your opponent’s Faction reaches zero Influence, you win the game.
Free Flowing Game Turn

Free Flowing Game Turn

  • Unlike many other games, there are no “phases” in The Spoils. There are things that happen at the start of the turn and things that happen at the end of the turn, but in between your turn plays fluidly.
  • As long as you are still able to satisfy the costs, you can continue to play cards, draw cards, attack etc.
    • As such, an example turn sequence could look like this: “Draw a card + Attack + Draw a card + Attack + Attack + Play a resource + Play a card from your hand + Draw a card + etc. + Etc. + End your turn”
Comprehensive Rules

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Download the Basic Rules

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