Welcome to the Colossal Arena! Today, for your amusement, eight fierce creatures will battle each other in a five round tournament. You have come to the arena to wager your hard-earned gold on these gladiators in the hopes of winning a fortune. Bet early and bet often to back your favorite creature, because wagers are worth less and less as the competitors are eliminated. In the end, only three creatures will survive...will they be the ones you backed?
In Colossal Arena, 2-5 players take on the role of fans at the colossal arena wagering on monstrous gladiators. The fan who leaves the arena with the most gold at the end of the tournament is the winner!
Win the most gold by betting on creatures that make it through the tournament. The earlier a bet is placed, the more valuable it is. Beware, however, for betting heavily on a creature early in the tournament increases the odds that it will be eliminated by your opponents. At the end of the game, the player whose bets are worth the most gold is the winner.
The game is divided into five rounds. Each round consists of one or more turns for each player. At the start of the first round, play begins with the starting player. After that, play continues clockwise. At the end of each round, one creature is eliminated from the tournament.
During each player’s turn in a round, combat cards are played below their corresponding creature cards. These cards form a line called the combat row. New cards are placed so they cover up the old cards that have already been played in the current combat row below the same creature. The top card determines the creature’s current combat value.
If, at the end of a player's turn, all remaining creatures have a combat or spectator card played on them in the current combat row, and if there is a creature with a single lowest combat value in that combat row, then this creature is eliminated from the tournament. When a creature is eliminated, turn the eliminated creature card face down. Then begin a new combat row below the previous combat row and start a new round. At the end of the game, you will usually have a total of 6 rows of cards (the row of creature cards, and one row of combat cards for each of the 5 rounds of play below that).
Each player has 5 bets that he can make over the course of the game. These are represented by his 5 bet tokens. At the end of the game, a bet pays out if it is placed on a creature that has made it through all 5 rounds of combat. Each bet pays out a certain bet value at the end of the game based on when it was placed, as shown below.
Round Placed Bet Value
In addition, each player has the option of making one secret bet in the first round that is worth 5 gold if it pays out. Secret bets are explained in more detail later.
A creature’s backer is the player who has placed the most valuable bets (as measured by bet value) on that creature. For instance, if a player has placed a bet on the Wyrm in both round 1 and round 2, then the total value of his bets is 7 gold (4 for the bet in round 1 plus 3 for the bet in round 2). Unless another player has a total bet value of 7 gold or more on the Wyrm, that player is the Wyrm’s backer, and can use the Wyrm’s special power each time he plays a combat card on the Wyrm (as explained later). If two or more players are tied for the highest bet value on a creature, neither is that creature’s backer. Secret bets don’t count towards a player’s total bet value on a creature unless they’ve been revealed. Placing and revealing secret bets is explained later in these rules.
Each player’s turn consists of four phases:
Important: If you place a secret bet in phase 1, then you skip phase 2.
In this phase, you may:
To place a normal bet, place 1 of your 5 bet tokens in your chosen creature’s column, just above the current round’s combat row (see diagram). Bets cannot be placed on an eliminated creature. Remember that your bets’ values are determined by the round in which they are placed. Also, no more than one player can bet on each creature during each round. For instance, if another player has already bet on the Cyclops this round, then you cannot bet on the Cyclops this round.
To place a secret bet, choose a combat card from your hand that corresponds to the creature you wish to bet on. Place it face down in front of you, then place one of your bet tokens on top of it. For example, if you have the Magus’s combat 3 card in your hand, you may place it face down in front of you with one of your bet tokens on top of it to make a secret bet on the Magus. The combat card is used only to indicate which creature you are placing your secret bet on and it is discarded if you later reveal your secret bet. If a secret bet pays out at the end of the game, it is worth 5 gold. Keep in mind the following restrictions regarding secret bets:
Instead of placing a bet during your turn, you can choose to reveal your secret bet to the other players. To do this, turn the combat card underneath your bet token face up and show it to the other players. Next, place the bet token above the corresponding creature card (not above the current combat row) and discard the combat card. You may wish to reveal your secret bet in order to become the backer of a creature, since a revealed secret bet has a bet value of 5. Additionally, you may be forced to reveal your secret bet when the Magister card is played. Unlike placing a secret bet, revealing a secret bet does not cause you to skip phase 2 of your turn.
In this phase, you may:
Note: Remember that you cannot play a card in the same turn that you make your secret bet.
When you play a combat card, place it in the current combat row in the same column as the creature depicted on the card. You may not play combat cards depicting eliminated creatures. If there is already a card in that position, cover it up completely with the new card—the old card is overridden and players may not look at it while it is covered by another card.
Note: Players can only play combat and spectator cards on creatures that have not yet been eliminated.
Additionally, when you play a combat card on a creature, if you are that creature’s backer, you may immediately use the creature’s special power.
The creature powers are described in detail later on, but there are several rules that apply to all of them:
When you play a spectator card, place it in the current combat row in the same column as any surviving creature of your choice (as if the spectator card were a combat card depicting that creature.) However, playing a spectator card cannot activate a creature’s special power. In fact, a combat card that is played on a spectator card cannot activate a creature’s special power either!
Example: Scott plays a spectator on the Magus, covering up its current combat card. On the next turn, Will (who is the Magus’s backer) plays a Magus combat card on the Magus, covering up the spectator. Because the Magus combat card was used to cover a spectator, Will cannot activate the Magus’ special power!
When you play a referee card, follow the directions on the card and then place it in the discard pile. There are two kinds of referee cards: the two Prefects, and the Magister. When you play the Magister card, choose a surviving creature. Any players who have made secret bets on that creature must immediately reveal their secret bets. This may result in the sudden change of the creature’s backer. (Remember, revealed secret bets are worth 5 gold.) When you play a Prefect card, you may pick up any visible combat card and put it in your hand. This includes any combat card that is on top of any pile in the current combat row or any combat row from a previous round.
Your hand may sometimes consist of nothing but combat cards for creatures that have already been eliminated. If this happens, then none of your cards will be playable. In this case, you must show your hand to the other players to prove that you have no legal play and skip playing a card this turn. However, you cannot pass if you have playable cards.
During this phase, you may first discard up to 3 combat cards depicting creatures that have been eliminated. You may discard them in any order, but you must show each card to the other players as you discard it to prove that it belongs to a creature that has been eliminated. After discarding, if you have fewer than 8 cards in your hand, draw cards from the draw deck one at a time until you once again have 8 cards in your hand. If you draw the last card from the draw deck, the game ends immediately. Do not check to see if a creature is eliminated this turn. This is the only way the game can end with more than three creatures remaining.
As the last thing you do in your turn, check to see if a creature is eliminated. A creature is eliminated if it has the single lowest combat value in that combat row and all remaining creatures have a combat or spectator card played on them in the current combat row. If a creature is eliminated, this ends the current round.
The game ends either at the end of the 5th round of play or the moment that the last card is drawn from the draw deck. All players immediately reveal their secret bets and calculate the total value of the bets they placed on any creatures that have not been eliminated. The player whose bets are worth the most gold is the winner.If there is a tie for the most gold, then the winner is the tied player who took the most recent turn.
Players are free to make deals with the other players, but these aren’t binding. In addition, a player cannot show any of his cards to another player unless forced to by the rules, such as when discarding in phase 3 or through the use of a creature’s special power.
When you activate the Amazon’s special power, you may choose to draw 3 cards (no more, no less) from the draw deck and add them to your hand. If you draw the last card in the draw deck by activating this power, the game immediately ends.
When you activate the Colossus’ special power, you may choose and retrieve one of your bet tokens as though you had never bet it in the first place. You may even retrieve tokens that were placed on creatures that were eliminated! If you retrieve a bet token attached to your secret bet, discard the attached strength card.
When you activate the Cyclops’ special power, you may choose another player. Randomly draw half (rounded up) of that player’s cards from his hand and set them face down in front of him without looking at them. The player cannot use those cards in any way on his next turn. He must return them to his hand during phase 3 of his turn, after discarding cards but before refilling his hand to 8 cards.
When you activate the Daimon’s special power, you may immediately place one bet on any creature in any combat row that does not already have a bet there, including previous combat rows. For instance, if it is currently the 4th round, you may place a bet on the Unicorn in the 1st combat row if there isn’t already a bet token there. This bet’s value is 4 gold, just as if it had been placed during the 1st round. You cannot place a secret bet with this power.
When you activate the Ettin’s special power, you may immediately play a second card as though you had an additional phase 2 this turn. You may not activate the Ettin’s special ability more than once per turn.
When you activate the Gorgon’s special power, you may pick any one other player and name a creature that has not yet been eliminated. That player must give you one combat card depicting that creature if he has one. If he does not, he must show you his hand to prove it. You may not tell the other players the contents of that player’s hand. The player cannot give you a card that has been placed face down due to the Cyclops’ special power, and does not show you the face down cards.
When you activate the Magus’s special power, it does not take effect until phase 3 of your turn. However, during phase 3 of your turn, you may discard combat cards depicting surviving creatures as well as those depicting creatures that have been eliminated. Also, you do not have to show each card to the other players. Instead, you may stack all of the cards you are discarding for the turn on top of each other and place the stack on top of the discard pile, face up. You are still limited to discarding no more than 3 cards, however.
When you activate the Seraphim’s special power, you may choose another creature that has been eliminated and immediately activate its special power. You can only use this ability on creatures that have been eliminated so far this game, not on the four creatures set aside before the game started.
When you activate the Titan’s special power, you may choose another player who has at least 3 cards in his hand. Draw 3 cards from that player’s hand and look at them, keep 1 card of your choice, and return the other 2 to the player without showing them to anyone else. You may tell the other players what the cards were, but you cannot show them the cards. You cannot draw from cards that have been placed face down due to the Cyclops’ special power.
When you activate the Troll’s special power, you may pick up one visible combat card depicting the Troll from a previous combat row and add it to your hand.
When you activate the Unicorn’s special power, you may swap any two visible combat cards depicting the same creature (even the Unicorn). For example, if the Wyrm currently has a strength 4 combat card, but has a strength 8 combat card showing in the previous combat row, you can swap the two cards, moving the strength 8 combat card to the current combat row, and sending the strength 4 combat card back to the previous combat row.
When you activate the Wyrm’s special power, you may discard any one visible combat or spectator card from any other creature in the current combat row. Any card revealed through this ability’s use is now the top card for that creature. Once you pick up a card to discard it, you cannot change your mind.