A Very Basic Introduction to Weiss Schwarz

So I’ve been giving a basic introduction of every game I play. I have only 3 games left to discuss. Weiss, Ponies and Vanguard, let’s do this.

Weiss Schwarz

I started playing this game at Katsucon in February. If you’re an anime fan, then this is the card game for you. Just find your favorite show and then play it (or be annoyed that your favorite show hasn’t been translated into English yet…)

Goal

In Weiss Schwarz you take turns attacking your opponent with various anime characters in order to level them up. The player who reaches Lv 4 loses the game, however as you level up you can then play stronger cards.

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Card Types

In Weiss, there are units, events and climaxes.

Units are characters from whatever show your deck is based on. They have levels between 0 and 3. You can only play a certain unit when you reach the level on the card and have that color card on your field (other than lv 0 cards).

Events cost Stock (Mana/Energy) the in-game resource to give various effects (like Spells/Sorcery).

Climaxes are a strange type of spell. They give perks to attacking units when played, and have special effects when revealed during damage calculation.

It took us over an hour to figure out how fighting worked in Weiss Schwarz. I honestly think this game has the most intricate combat system of any of game I’ve learned. Anyway I’ll try to sum up your turn in order as simply as possible.

Draw Phase: You draw 1 card

Clock Phase: You can place a card in your Clock to draw 2 more cards

Now what does that mean?

(Your clock is essentially the battle reward system from Naruto. As you take damage the top card of your deck is placed face-up in your clock equal to amount of damage you took (min. 1). Once you have 7 cards in your clock you level up. The clock phase allows you to accelerate your own leveling up in order to get more cards and be able to play stronger ones.

Main Phase: You can move units on any of the 5 board spaces (3 units can be front stage, and 2 can be back stage). Characters lined up against each other in the front row can fight one another. Back stage units cannot be attacked.

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This is picture I took of a board-state I got into. Hopefully it gives a decent visual.

Combat Phase: In the combat phase you have the characters lined up fight (and yes like in Magic you tap your units to have them attack/use effects). The power stats at the bottom decide who wins in the fight. Damage is based on that character’s soul is which a black symbol at the bottom of the card which is affected both by how you attack and what you trigger. Trigger: before resolving damage you flip the top card of your deck if that card has a wings symbol on the top right it increases the Soul damage by that many points.

To elaborate you can attack in 3 different ways in combat:

Frontal Attack: Same as all games, your unit fights the enemy unit and the opponent takes damage equal to your unit’s power + the trigger check.

Direct Attack: You attack an empty front space to hit the opponent directly. This attack gives your unit +1 Soul. + the trigger check.

Side Step: You unit dodges the enemy unit in front of them to attack directly. This attack has your unit’s Soul subtracted from the unit you side stepped + the trigger check.

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Example time, if this Saber card with 2 Soul, side attacks this Madoka with only 1, then Saber can hit the player for 1 damage + the trigger check.

All the cards you reveal are added to your stock (mana). Also if your opponent reveals a Climax card while checking for damage all the damage from that attack is negated.

The last thing is if your unit loses you can pay 3 Stock to save them from being discarded. Defeated units go to the Waiting Room (Graveyard/Discard Pile).

I may have missed something (or been wrong) as I’ve played this game very sporadically for a few weeks. That being said I would say this game is really very satisfying just for being able to play a deck of your favorite show. It’s very complicated, but I swear if you play a few games it becomes easy to follow. I can’t do it justice just explaining it and it took a kind stranger at the convention to help us learn it. You can get the full rules here. They’ve only translated like 10 decks into English, but if there’s a series you like I’d go for it. Anyway thanks for dropping by.

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