Unofficial FAQ v1.06

3.0 GENERAL RULES

3.1 Most Creatures have bulleted terms after their name. Are all of these Races?

A: According to page 6, the following are Races: Aliens, Assistants, Humans, Robots, and Time Lords. The trait “Unique” is simply called the “Unique rating” (page 2). Further traits are not described by the rule booklet. These include labels like “Doctor III”, “Bomb”, and “Weapon”.

3.2 The Deck Formation rules (page 12) say that I can have no more than 4 identical cards in my deck. What does “identical” mean?

A: This is a matter of some debate because of the existence of The Doctor cards, which have the same name but different characteristics. There are essentially two ways to interpret this rule.

1. All of the Doctors are the same person, and are thus identical. Only four Doctor cards are allowed in a deck, with one in play at a time.

2. All of the Doctors are distinct; one of each may be in play at a time.

A compromise solution which maintains play balance is to allow each player to have a Doctor in play, as long as they are different Doctors. Only four Doctor cards are allowed in a deck.

3.3 What does Unique mean then?

A: If a card has the trait Unique only one such card can be in play (page 16), even if they are in different Time Zones. Thus, if Jo Grant exists in the Present, she cannot exist in the Future! Talk about time paradoxes!

3.4 The Deck Formation rules say that I must have *at least* 3 Watcher cards. Three Watchers are placed in their respective Time Zones at the start of the game. Does this mean that I can have other Watchers in my deck and play them during the course of the game?

A: Yes, Watchers are just like any other Creatures and can be stocked in your deck.

3.5 Why would I want to put Watchers in my deck when they are so wimpy?

A: Watchers are Creatures like any other. They can be attacked, attack, and give Support (if you play a Star Base or some other card to increase their Support value). Watchers are different in that:

1. They have no race and hence cannot be targeted by race-specific Flashes and effects. 2. They don’t count as Creatures when determining if Episodes can be played. Thus you can avoid having Episodes played on you if you keep at least one Zone free of Creatures other than Watchers.

3.6 What happens when one of my Watchers is destroyed? Does that Time Zone cease to exist? Can I still play cards into that Zone?

A: Watchers can be destroyed like any other Creature. When this happens the Time Zone remains, though it may be empty. The Watchers have no special significance other than the fact you get to start the game with three of them. Also, they do not count as Creatures when determining if you can play an Episode card.

3.7 When I take a Hit the top card from my Time card stack is discarded and the next one turned over. The rules state (page 18) that if the new Time card is the same colour as the one I just lost, I take another Hit. Isn’t this totally a matter of luck?

A: Yes, but note that the text says “the attacker *may* immediately make another Hit” (our emphasis). If you wish, make it a house rule that you never take multiple Hits. Then the distribution of cards in your Time card stack will have a lesser effect on who wins the game.

3.8 I’m confused by the Prepare For Combat phase. What is the exact sequence of events leading up to combat?

A: The rules make this unnecessarily complicated; this may help:

1. Player declares an attack, choosing one of their Creatures as the main combatant. They may either target one of the defender’s Creatures as the main defending combatant, or let the defender make the choice.

2. If the attacker did not declare a defending combatant, the defender has two choices. Either they choose one of their own Creatures as the main defending combatant, or they take a Hit.

3. The defender may now play or Side cards as appropriate.

4. The attacker may also play or Side any cards they need to assist their attack.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until both parties are satisfied that they have done their best to win the combat.

6. Combat is resolved.

Remember that only Standing Creatures who were put into play on a previous turn may be main combatants.

3.9 Okay, that makes sense, but I’m a bit hazy on step 6. What does the table on page 19 mean and how is combat resolved?

A: Every Creature has Energy and Substance values. If a Creature is attacked by another with greater Energy *and* Substance (compare each separately), that Creature is destroyed. Attackers may be destroyed in the same manner as defenders.

Thus, if a 2 Energy 3 Substance attacker is up against a 1/4 defender, both will survive. If the attacker adds 2 more Substance, they will reign victorious, but if the defender comes up with 2 more Energy the attacker will be vanquished.

3.10 Can you tell me exactly what you can and can’t do in a chosen Time Zone?

A: The rules are quite explicit about this matter (page 14). Concisely: each turn, you choose a Time Zone, which we’ll refer to as the Chosen Time Zone (CTZ). For the remainder of your turn, the only place that you may play Creatures and Resources, attack, or use Special abilities is in your CTZ.

You may play Episodes and Flash cards anywhere. Furthermore, you may Side creatures in any Zone to solve an Episode.

On your opponent’s turn, you can only Side cards in the CTZ your opponent chose.

3.11 How do defensive cards, those which specify “until end of turn” or “this turn” work? If I Side such a Resource on my turn, surely its effect is gone by my opponent’s turn.

A: Side these cards on your opponent’s turn and their effect lasts until the end of *their* turn. Nothing in the rules states that Creatures and Resources cannot Side on your opponent’s turn, as long as they are in the CTZ chosen by your opponent.

3.12 Do I have to pre-empt my opponent’s actions by Siding a defensive card (on their turn) before they announce a combat?

A: Let’s look at an example. Say you have a Trionic Lock (which can Side to prevent an opponent’s Resource from Siding) in play. Your opponent starts their turn, and immediately Sides one of their Resources. One interpretation would be that it’s now too late to use the Trionic Lock on it, since the Lock only *prevents* the Resource from Siding. Now that it *has* Sided, it’s too late.

A second interpretation would be that as long as you Side the Trionic Lock immediately, your opponent’s Resource is effectively locked. Unless you enjoy speed play (“I Sided it first! No! I Sided it first!”), we recommend this option.

3.13 This isn’t technical enough for me. Do you have any formal timing rules we can use?

A: We can adopt timing rules similar to those used in other games. Assume a card can be played as a reaction to an event as long as it directly affects that event. Then, another card can be played as a reaction to the first, and so on. When players have finished playing their cards, the result is an effect chain.

Let’s look at an example. Player A Sides Ace to destroy Player B’s TARDIS. The Siding of Ace is an event to which other cards can react. Player B plays HADS, which “prevents any damage or effect against a TARDIS until end of turn”. This is a valid response since it directly affects the event in question. Player A then throws down Time Stop, which “prevents the playing of any one Flash card which must then be discarded”. Player B responds with Barbed Wire, which holds “one Creature until end of turn. Creature may not Side, attack, or defend”.

In what order should effects in a chain be resolved? Games like Shadowfist and M:TG resolve effects in the opposite order to how they were played. In other words, the last effect played resolves first. However, these games have very specific card text which has been designed for this method of resolution. Doctor Who does not, and it is our opinion that resolving effects this way would require dozens of rulings on individual cards.

If we resolve events sequentially as they occur in the chain fewer interpretation difficulties arise. In our example, Ace Sides, then HADS prevents the TARDIS from being destroyed. Next, Time Stop cancels out the playing of HADS; at this point the TARDIS is again in jeopardy. Finally, Barbed Wire holds Ace so she cannot Side. The TARDIS is safe.

Choose a method of resolution which suits you and your play group. Just be sure and let everyone know before you begin playing!

3.14 Okay, say my opponent Sides Ace to destroy one of my Resources. Does the previous answer mean that I can immediately Side the Resource to get one last use out of it?

A: It depends on how you choose to resolve effects.

If you use the method outlined above, then the answer is “no” since your use of the Resource is not a reaction to Ace Siding in the required sense. Your Resource does not specify Ace, unlike the Trionic Lock in the previous example which does specify the card it’s reacting to (“target Resource”).

If you are a fan of M:TG, then the answer is “yes” since Magic always allows you to get one last use out of a card before it is affected by the effect in question.

3.15 The rules talk about “damage” but only say that this is “the act of inflicting an effect which would weaken an opponent.” I’ve got a couple of cards (The Eye of Orion, Sanctum) which prevent damage, but I don’t know when to use them.

A: First, note that damage has nothing to do with combat. This is attested to by the rather cryptic sentence on page 19: “The values of Energy and Substance in combat are not used to damage, but as degrees of strength, with the stronger main combatant the winner.” Damage is only affected by cards which explicitly mention “damage”.

3.16 Well, how does damage work then?

A: Let’s take Meteorites as an example. This Flash card says “Choose a Zone. Inflict 3 Energy / 3 Substance damage on all your opponent’s Creatures, which have more than 1 Energy / 1 Substance.” Hence each target Creature has both its Energy and Substance reduced by 3. If both values become 0, the Creature is destroyed. Otherwise, it is still at full strength as far as combat is concerned, but is vulnerable to further damage or cards like The Happiness Patrol, which can destroy a damaged Creature.

3.17 Can you summarise for me how Siding works?

A: During the first phase of your turn you Stand all your Creatures and Resources to indicate that they are active and ready to be used. Cards are Sided when used for one of the following purposes: give Support, use Special ability, solve Episode, or engage in attack as main combatant.

In the last case the rules say to Side the card *after* combat (page 21) even though the main combatant cannot Side for any other purpose. If you find it easier, Side when announcing combat.

Once Sided, cards may not perform any of the above listed actions. Sided cards may not be main combatants; thus Sided cards do not block and cannot be defenders. Only Standing cards may Side. Cards may be Sided or Stood through effects. On the turn in which they are first played, cards may only Side to Support. The use of passive abilities (those without the oo infinity sign) does not require Siding.

Note that some cards state that others must Side for them to have an effect. An example is the Demat Gun which states, in part: “You must Side a Time Lord to use.” The Siding of the Time Lord obeys all of the above rules, though it does not count as a Special ability use of the Time Lord.

3.18 In which phases can a card Side to use any special abilities?

A: The rules do not answer this question, though it is fundamental to game play. There are basically three interpretations:

1. Side any time. 2. Side only during phase 3 (combat). Main combatants may not side once they are chosen. 3. Side any time except during maintenance phases. These would be 1abc, 2a, 4, and 5.

Take your pick.

3.19 Some cards specify that they affect all “Daleks” or “Cybermen” or some other type of Creature. Do these just affect the generic card (eg: Dalek) or do they also affect cards such as White Dalek?

A: Creatures should be taken to have designators based on the card name. If other effects target a designator then all cards with that text are affected. Hence, the White Dalek is indeed a “Dalek” and will be affected by cards that target Daleks.

This still leaves some grey areas. Is a Cybermat a Cyberman? Probably not.

3.20 Some cards (eg: Romana, Cybermat) have abilities which increase the Support value of other cards. How does this work?

A: Let’s take a specific example, that of the Chumblies. Their Special ability is “oo +1 Support to any Alien.” This means that they increase the Alien’s innate Support value. Thus a Prapilus with Support 1 would now have Support 2.

3.21 Why do some Flash cards have the infinity symbol? Can these be Sided?

A: This typo occurs on Time Barrier and Time Controller. Ignore the symbol.

3.22 Can Flash cards like Cyber Bomb target other Flash cards?

A: Cyber Bomb states “Destroys any one card in play.” So the question becomes, are Flash cards in play? On page 8 the rules state that Flashes “can be played at any time and in any Time Zone.” Thus, a strict reading would imply that the Cyber Bomb can target other Flash cards.

3.23 I’m confused by what is meant by “in play”. Can you explain?

A: A card that is in play is in a Time Zone (page 27). This distinguishes it from cards that are in the draw deck, your hand, the discard pile, or the Time card stack.

If a card “leaves play”, it goes to the discard pile. The following cards use the phrase in this way: Robot, Death Ray, Ring of Rasilon, Space Freighter, Trench, Underground Bunker, X-Ray Laser Cannon.

3.24 What about cards that are removed from the game?

A: There is one card which introduces a sixth area of play. 76 Totters Lane says, “oo Take a resource or robot card from any discard pile and remove it from the game. This card cannot be brought back into play in any way.” It is quite straightforward and does not conflict with the above interpretation. It merely adds another area, a pile for “removed” cards.

3.25 I’m still confused. On page 30 “out of play” is defined as meaning that the card stays in the Time Zone but for all purposes does not exist. How can this be reconciled with the above?

A: Simple, “in play” is NOT the opposite of “out of play”! Out of play is a special effect (kind of like suspended animation) generated by Ark in Space, Alliance, and Cryogenics. The effect of these cards is quite obvious from their text, though the choice of the phrase “out of play” is unfortunate.

Leave a Reply