Jan, Ken, --Oh To Hell With This Feel The Wrath Of My Sailor Pluto Card!!
Sailor Moon Collectible Card Game

Starter Deck
In a time when various CCGs are being released left and right, how does this highly-anticipated game stack up? As it turns out, not only is it up to par, but it manages to use a solid gameplay system that doesn't imitate any of the others -- all while keeping it compatible with the Guardians Of Order already-released Sailor Moon Roleplaying Game! Our reviewer played it with another die-hard fan of the series as well as taking it to work and facing off extensively with a co-worker who has never watched Sailor Moon, and either way it provided a bundle of entertainment. (Don't worry, it was always during lunch break! Well, almost always...)

In this particular CCG, you play both a team of Sailor Scouts and a horde of monsters and villains; your opponent does the same. Your goal? To defeat their Enemies using your Sailor Scouts - or have your Enemies take out all their Sailor Scouts.

To help you accomplish this, you're able to (if you have the right cards) upgrade your Scouts to more powerful levels, bestow special powers on your monsters, recruit secondary characters with specific abilities, and give your Scouts magical items to use. In addition, you can cause various events to happen that affect gameplay.

There are 160 cards in the set, and their power goes up as their rarity increases. The first 60 cards are "Common" and can be collected fairly easily but have only basic powers; the next 60 are "Uncommon" and harder to find, but more powerul; the next 30 are "Rare" cards, which are very hard to collect but are very powerful. The last 10 cards are the Ultra-Rare Foil Chase Cards; these are extremely hard to come by but are overwhelmingly powerful. They even have a beautiful prismatic finish to let everyone know what an achievement it is to own one -- and how much they should fear the player that has it! (Our reviewer opened 24 Booster packs of 11 cards before getting a single Ultra-Rare Foil Chase Card! The odds say that you have about an 8% chance of finding one per Booster pack, or, in other words, 1 out of 12 Booster packs.)

Jan Ken Pon diagram
Having poweful cards won't always guarantee victory, though; an element of chance has been built into the Sailor Moon CCG in that in order for some cards to work, you have to win at Jan Ken Pon. What's Jan Ken Pon? It's the Japanese version of Paper Rock Scissors - which Anime characters play quite frequently to make important decisions. (We don't recommend trying that yourself!) Just play Paper Rock Scissors, but instead of saying "1, 2, 3" say "Jan, Ken, Pon!" There's a rather hilarious illustration on the back of the game manual showing what the hand signals are.

The cards are divided into five types: Power cards, Scouts/Knights, Enemies, Events, Items, and Persons. The game system is explained in full detail in the manual (which is very easy to understand compared to some certain other Anime CCGs) but the following should give you an idea of how gameplay works. The card types' roles are as follows:

Example Power Card

Power cards: These are what you use to fuel the special abilities of all the cards in the game. Scouts and Knights need Power to attack, Villains and Monsters need Power to do nasty things to the Scouts, certain Items have to be charged with Power before they can be used, etc.

There are three types of Power, corresponding to the three stats in the Sailor Moon Roleplaying Game: Body, Mind, and Soul. Abilities, attacks and such all require the appropriate type of Power; for instance, Sailor Mercury uses her brain for her abilities so she needs Mind power to function, while Sailor Mars uses her soul so she needs Soul power. Tuxedo Mask needs Body power for his physical attacks with his cane, roses, etc.

Example Scout/Knight
Scouts/Knights: These will be your primary tools for attacking the opponent's Enemies. Scouts are, of course, the Sailor Scouts; Knights are basically Darien's various forms (Tuxedo Mask, Prince Darien, etc). After you've charged them up with enough Power cards, they can use their various attacks (detailed on the card itself) to defeat Enemies.

In addition to doing a certain amount of damage to an Enemy (you have to do damage greater than their Health to defeat them), some attacks have special effects; for instance all of Sailor Mercury's attacks have a chance of freezing the enemy in ice if you win a round of Jan Ken Pon.

Each Scout/Knight starts out at Level 1 (their power level when they first show up in the series) and can be charged up to a more powerful state if you play their higher-level card. Upgrading gives them more health as well as access to new powers. For example, Sailor Mars at Level 1 has 60 Health and can use her Mars Fire Ignite attack (30 damage). At Level 2, she goes up to 80 Health and can use her Mars Firebird Strike (50 damage). Level 3 brings 110 Health and Mars Celestial Fire Surround (70 damage) and the ultimate, Level 4 (an Ultra-Rare Foil Chase Card) brings 140 Health and upgrades the damage of the Celestial Fire Surround to 90 points as well as lowering the amount of Power required for all her attacks.

In other words, if you upgrade her to Level 4 then your opponent's knees may begin knocking in fear, or fainting may occur.

Be careful with your Scouts and Knights, though; if they take more damage from Enemies than they have Health remaining, they're out of action for good. If you lose all your Scouts/Knights, you lose the game! Luckily, if a Scout doesn't attack in your turn then they can spend some Power cards to regain health.

Example Monster
Enemies: These are what your opponent must defeat in order to win. Accordingly, you want your Enemies to be as powerful as possible. All Enemies are worth a certain number of Victory Points when defeated, depending on how strong they are; a player wins by defeating enough enemies to earn a pre-determined number of Victory Points (agreed on by the players).

Enemies come in two flavors: Monsters and Villains. Monsters are the normal everyday creatures that the Scouts fight, such as Vampeel or Droid Insectia; they're weak, but they're plentiful and they're only worth 1 or 2 Victory Points. Villains are the main enemies like Malachite, Alan or Prince Diamond.

Villains are much stronger than Monsters, but they're worth 3 or 4 Victory Points on their own so if one of them is defeated then your opponent might win right away. Additionally, Villains can't just pop out of nowhere; they have to replace a Monster from their series of the show that's already in play. (For instance Alan can't replace one of Queen Beryl's minions, and The Wiseman can't replace a Cardian.)

While you don't lose when all of your Enemies in play are defeated, this is still a bad thing because whenever you have no Enemies for your opponent to attack, the opponent can automatically defeat one of their own Enemies and earn points for it. Thus, keeping the opponent's Enemies off the field is one strategy for winning, since then you can rack up Victory Points without risking your Scouts!

Example Event Events: Events are cards that you can play to create a temporary effect. For instance, the "Cram School" Event allows you to draw two extra cards and the "Temple Blessing" Event heals a little damage from all of your Scouts. Other Events affect combat; the "Combat Training" Event adds damage to a Scout's attack for one turn, and the "Run Away!" Event allows one of your monsters to escape being defeated. Events can only be used once; after you play them, you must discard them.

Example Item Items: Items are like Events except that you play them before their effect takes place. You can play an item one turn and then use it three turns later. Items are things like Amy's VR visor, Rei's anti-evil scroll, and a Dark Moon spaceship. Some Items are actually equipped to particular Scouts or Monsters; for instance the Knight Armor is played on a Scout or Knight to protect them from damage and the Negaverse Sword is given to a Monster or Villain to increase their damage. Like Events, Items must be discarded after you use them once.

Example Person Persons: Persons are like Items except that they can be used repeatedly. You play them and then each turn they can do something helpful. For instance, Serena's Parents allow your Scouts to heal faster, Artemis lets you hold an extra card in your hand, and Sammy annoys your opponent's Persons so much that they go away. (And then there's Molly, the Official Power Source of the Negaverse [pictured here].)

As you can see, with 160 cards to choose from spread among these various types, all with different effects, there is a lot of versatility to this game. Even so, we'd love to see a Sailor Moon S expansion set! If this seems confusing, don't worry; the game manual has a much more thorough explanation.

Booster Packs: Just Like Christmas
The Sailor Moon CCG is available in three forms: Starter Pack, Character Decks, and Booster Packs. The Starter Pack contains two half-size beginner decks (so two people can play with one deck), some beads to keep track of damage, and a rulebook. This would be the best one to buy for those who don't know anyone that already has a deck, since you can let them use one of the 30-card decks.

The Character Decks are pre-constructed full-size (60 card) decks based around a particular character; there's a Sailor Moon deck, a Sailor Mars deck, etc. These are good for starting out if you know somebody who has the game (or a friend who's willing to buy another Character Deck), since you can face off with a full-sized deck and begin customizing and adding to it by buying Booster Packs.

Booster Packs are little packs of 11 randomly-inserted cards. Each Booster Pack contains 1 Rare card, 3 Uncommon cards, and 7 Common cards. There's also a certain chance that one of the cards in the pack has been replaced by an Ultra-Rare Foil Chase Card; Booster Packs are the only way to get these. Booster Packs are what you need to get the most of if you plan on having a powerful deck, since they contain more varied and powerful cards than the others. Just make sure that you get either a Character or Starter deck before you work on Boosters, since those two come with instruction manuals and lots of Power cards (and you'll definitely need a lot!).

The game's website is located at http://www.sailormoonccg.com, but as of this writing it's not online yet. You can purchase the Sailor Moon CCG at local comic shops, gaming stores and some video outlets. You might try some of the locations that have been selling the original RPG. The Guardians Of Order have posted a list on their site.


Collectible Card Game Site Open!

Months in the making, the Guardians Of Order have finally opened their Collectible Card Game (CCG) support site! Why is a support site so important in the world of card games? A support site, a good one, becomes a listening post for future versions, promotes tournaments, fosters a community and is the chief arbitrator concerning the rules of the game. If you like the Sailor Moon CCG, then by all means bookmark this site today!


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