Serpent Stones FAQ
What is Serpent Stones?
Serpent Stones is a fast-paced two-player card battle game inspired by the legend of a recently rediscovered 600-year old Mesoamerican board game.
How do you play?
Starting with five cards, you start every turn drawing one card from the deck, then playing one card from your hand.
What is the object?
Capture your opponent’s three Teotl Stones without running out of cards to win. Serpent Stones is played in rounds. Place a warrior card on your opponent’s Temple Stone to win a round and capture one of your opponent’s Teotl Stones.
What kind of game is Serpent Stones?
Combining the feel of playing a traditional card game with the abstract strategy found in many popular board games, Serpent Stones is a “card/board game hybrid” featuring a truly unique mechanic.
What are the Serpent Stones?
Legend says the game Itzcoatl was created to mimic a long forgotten warrior training exercise. Warriors would tether themselves together in a chain to form a “Serpent Team”. Two opposing teams would battle without weapons in an attempt to put a break in the opposing Serpent Chain. In the game Serpent Stones, the Serpent Stones are the fieldstones on the battlefield these tethered warriors can occupy.
What do you need to play?
The game includes (1) a Serpent Stones battlefield game cloth, (2) a deck of 72 cards and (3) six Teotl Stone tokens. All that is required is a flat surface big enough to play on to place the Serpent Stones game cloth.
What are the different cards classes, and how do you use them?
There are three different card classes in Serpent Stones: (1) Warrior cards, (2) Nahualli (attack) cards and (3) Teotl (god) cards.
Warrior Cards: Are used to build a Serpent Chain. They are the only cards you can play on the Serpent Stones.
Nahualli Cards: Attack opposing warrior cards with Nahualli cards. Play one on top of an opposing warrior card to attack it. Any other opposing warrior cards on adjacent Serpent Stones that match the “attack pattern” on the nahualli card are also attacked.
Teotl Cards: When played, Teotl cards feature an action that gives the player some tactical advantage during play. Once that action is taken Teotl Cards are then placed in the discard pile.
More information about how to use the different cards can be found here.
Can I attack my opponent's Warrior Cards that are on their Keystones?
Absolutely! Keystones are still Serpent Stones. Strike your opponent’s warrior cards from their Keystones to disconnect their entire Serpent Team. If you capture a warrior card on your opponent’s keystone, your opponent must figure out a way to strike or recapture that warrior card from their other keystone by going around their Temple Stone. (By the time they do you will most likely have already captured their Temple Stone and won the round!)
What is a sacrifice/double-sacrifice?
The sacrifice and double-sacrifice are multi-turn plays that allow you to use more than one card on a turn. If performed correctly a player can gain a substantial strategic advantage on the battlefield, but at a cost. The sacrifice requires a preparation turn and costs a card from your hand; the double-sacrifice costs two turns and two cards. More information can be found here.
What if you run out of cards in your hand during a round?
This is called the Wrath of Tezcatlipoca, a most unfortunate circumstance for that player. Regardless of the number of Teotl Stones captured by each player, the victim of the Wrath of Tezcatlipoca loses all their Teotl Stones to their opponent, whether on their Temple Stone or captured in a previous round, and is the immediate loser of the game.
What if both keystones are occupied by the opposing player’s warriors?
If both keystones are occupied by the opponent’s Warrior Cards, play continues until the opponent places a Warrior Card on the player’s Temple Stone, but because there is no place for the player to play an active warrior, the only way the player can possibly win the round is by the Wrath of Tezcatlipoca.
How does the intermediate variant of Serpent Stones work?
The most significant factor is how Nahalli Cards influence opposing warrior cards. For this example, let us assume you are playing on the side of the House of Jaguar.
With the Intermediate Variant, you can only play a Nahualli Strike Card on an opposing Eagle Warrior Card, and only affect adjacent Eagle Warrior Cards in the Nahualli Card’s attack pattern. Any opposing Jaguar Warrior Cards in the Nahualli Card’s attack pattern are unaffected.
A Nahualli Capture Card can only be played on an opposing Jaguar Warrior Card, and will only affect opposing Jaguar Warrior Cards. Opposing Eagle Warrior Cards are not affected.
The opposite opposing Warrior Cards are affected if playing as the House of Eagle.
How does the advanced variant of Serpent Stones work?
You no longer control a Warrior House, so you can use either Warrior Card on your Keystones to start your Serpent Team.
The Nahualli Card attacks are performed the same way as in the intermediate variant, except that the type of Warrior Card in your Serpent Team that is adjacent to the opposing Warrior Card you want to attack determines the type of attack you can perform.
If you have a Jaguar Warrior Card adjacent to an opposing Eagle Warrior Card, you can only play a Nahualli Strike card on it, and only Eagle Warrior Cards that are in the attack pattern are affected.
If you have a Jaguar Warrior Card adjacent to an opposing Jaguar Warrior Card, you can only play a Nahuall Capture Card on it, and only Jaguar Warrior Cards that are in the attack pattern are affected.
The opposite opposing Warrior Cards are affected if performing a Nahualli Attack from an Eagle Warrior Card.
End of the Fifth Sun FAQ
What is included?
End of the Fifth Sun includes: (1) eight expansion cards including one new Nahualli Strike Card and three new Teotl Cards, and (2) four Skull Wall Barrier Tokens.
How do you play?
The rules of Serpent Stones do not change. Simply add the eight additional cards to the Serpent Stones base deck.
What do you do with the Skull Wall Barrier Tokens?
Skull Wall Barrier Tokens block access to a Serpent Stone during a round. Before play begins, both players take one Skull Wall Barrier Token and place it on any Serpent Stone on the battlefield that is not in a Temple Row. The other two Skull Walls will be used during game play.