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Closed Beta Scheduled for T-Minus: October 12th, 2011.

Tutorial: The Basics

Here’s a quick run-down on the basics of how you play Sword Girls!

In Sword Girls, you create a deck of 30 Cards. These consist of one Character Card, Follower Cards (your fighters), and Spell Cards, standard to any CCG.

These cards can be obtained either by purchasing them in the store (A random card per pack, or a starter deck), or by crafting them using materials you win by completing a Dungeon floor after defeating an AI, or completing a PVP match (with a pity gift even for the loser).

Cards come in four rarities: Common, Uncommon, Rare, D. Rare. Their rarities will affect both the Card Point value of the card (The sum of Card Points in your deck is how matchmaking is balanced) as well as the material cost of crafting it.

Every Card has four stats (ignoring Deck Limits): Attack, Defense, Stamina, and Size. Attack is the damage you deal to an enemy follower’s Stamina. Defense is removed from the attacking card’s Attack before dealing damage. A 4 Damage attack on a card with 2 Defense would deal 2 Stamina in damage. Size is (roughly) a measure of the power of a card, which limits it in Battle.

Every Card also belongs to one of four factions (ignoring Neutral Faction cards). These are Vita (Public School), Academy, Crux, and Darklore. Each Faction has it’s own style and themes in the artwork, recurring characters, and general play-styles. When you create your Sword Girls account, you’ll choose a starter deck of one of the four Factions, though you’re able to craft and use any Faction’s cards in your Deck(s), though certain cards will be much more viable to decks utilizing one Faction (if usable at all).

In Battles, each turn starts with a coin-flip. The first at the start of the battle decides who’s Character Card effect will take priority over the other in activation, and a coin-flip at the start of each turn decides who makes the first move. You’re allotted 10 Size and 5 Slots (sans the Character Card) to summon onto your field at any given turn. What this means is that you cannot have cards on your field who’s Sizes add up to more than 10 at any given turn, nor can you have more than 5 cards on the field (sans the Character Card).

You spend your turn placing cards face down on the field until you end your turn (or the timer runs out), and that’s when the cards are flipped over and their effects take place. After the coin-flip which decides who’s cards act first, spell cards are given priority, and every time a card activates on one player’s field, it then activates a card on the opponent’s field until all Spells are used and all Followers have attacked. When a Follower card is attacked, it will counter-attack if it isn’t destroyed (separate from that card’s main attack that turn).

When a Follower card is destroyed, the Size of that card is removed from the Character Card of the owner. Alternatively, if a Follower card attacks while the opponent has no Followers left to defend themselves, the Follower card deals damage to the Character Card equal to the Follower card’s Size.

Once a Follower is destroyed or a Spell is used, the card goes to the Grave. Unlike many CCGs in which you only draw one card a turn, in Sword Girls you draw at the start of your turn until you’re holding 5 cards in your hand. Although this leaves little risk of using many cards, it is possible to deplete your deck.

Once a Character Card drops to 0STA, the victor is named! At the end of a PVP game, both players are rewarded with materials (albeit the winner taking a larger share), as well as the opportunity to buy one of three single mystery cash cards at discount prices.

Continue Reading: In-Depth

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Tutorial: In-Depth

This is a guide which goes a bit more in-depth than the basic guide you’d want to read first.

The Dungeon mode is the easiest way to farm materials, as well as being the only source of acquiring Boss Cards! At a specific floor of the Dungeon dependent on the difficulty, you’ll fight the Dungeon’s Boss, who uses an unobtainable overpowered Character Card to take you down. If you pull through, you’ll get either an abundance of materials, or if you’re lucky, your very own copy of a player-balanced version of the Boss Card! As an added bonus, the first player to defeat each Dungeon will get the Boss Card guaranteed. Dungeons come in difficulties of Easy, Medium, and Hard, which differ in the amount of floors between each boss, as well as the challenge each floor will provide. Be warned: lose to the Boss, and you’re back down at Floor 1. Your progress in the Dungeon may only be suspended for a minimal time, unless you set up a Tent with Premium Currency.

In the Shop, you have a choice between Booster Cards and Starter Decks. Starter Decks are a moderately-priced deck of cards based on each Faction. These serve as either a means of trying out a different Faction if you’ve changed your mind since sign-up, or a quick way to try out a Faction-themed Deck without having to craft every card for it. These provide 20 free material cards as a bonus.

Boosters are purchased in Episodes. An Episode is a set of new Cards added to the game. In the Shop, there’s a Booster Card Pack of each Faction’s cards for every Episode. (Episode 1/2/3 Vita, Episode 1/2/3 Darklore, and so on). These provide you one random card from the pack at a low price, with the higher rarity cards being harder to get. Different Boosters may be priced differently, with Starter Packs being the cheapest. If you fail to get the card you wanted, it can still be used as Crafting Material.

Occasionally, there will be Event Cards. For some, for a limited time you’ll be able to either craft them outright, or purchase a limited edition Booster Card Pack with a chance of getting one of the Event Cards, or an assortment of materials which may be used towards crafting it. Once the Event ends, these cards are no longer obtainable.

In the Deck Menu, you’ll see your collection of cards, your Deck List, and the count of Cards and Card Points in the deck you’ve selected. You start off with two Deck Slots for free, but you’ll need to purchase any more you want to use. The max amount of Deck Slots you may own is 10. You’ll also be able to assign one of your decks as your default, as well as look through your collection through a variety of assortment options.

The Lab serves as a hub for the bulk of the game’s content. The Lab contains the following:

  1. Science Lab: The menu in which you browse through and craft all the cards available for crafting using your gathered Materials
  2. Cafe: This is the area where you can sacrifice your cards as gifts to your currently assigned Character Card. Doing so will increase one of the four stats (WIS/SENS/PERS/GLAM), as well as increase or decrease the LIKE stat. Once you fulfill the requirements, you’ll be able to use the Cafe to transform your Character Card into a new card altogether! You’re able to purchase gifts with Premium Currency.
  3. Gym: Here you’ll be able to Reinforce your Follower cards.  This is attempted at a set chance by sacrificing two Reagents, a second copy of the card you’re trying to reinforce, and set intervals of TP (Training Points). Reinforcements have a high rate of failure in which you lose your duplicate copy and TP for each failed attempt, though you can pay Premium Currency for a retry.
  4. Class Room: This area ties in with the Gym. Here you’re able to choose any of your Follower cards to train them, which gives them the TP they’ll need for Reinforcements. TP is provided merely for inactivity, at 10TP per hour of training, at intervals of 6/12/18/24 hours. You can pay Premium Currency to cut the remaining Training Time in half.
  5. Library: This is your Friends List. You’re able to add friends by username to your Friend List, send and receive private messages, as well as a ‘Help’ option which speeds up the training for the card your friend is training by clicking on their name.
  6. Campsite: Free Materials. You choose a Character Card to hunt materials for you for any amount of time under 24 Hours, and you’ll get free Ore material cards for it. You may also search for Accessory material cards, though this will cost a Premium Currency fee for each use.
  7. Alchemy: This is where you convert Materials into other Materials. You can convert your Ores to Ores of your choosing, likewise Accessories, at the rate of 4 for 1, with a daily limit of 5 uses. I don’t recommend it! You may also use this menu to trade a Double Rare for another Double Rare, with a daily limit of 1 use.
  8. Exchange: An extension of Alchemy. This is where you can take those Character/Follower/Spell Cards you don’t need and can’t be used towards crafting anything you want, and convert them back into raw Materials! Limited to 5 daily. Again I don’t recommend it.

Lastly is the Arena. The Arena is used both as a means for setting up a Practice game against a friend (or foe) which yields no rewards, as well as where you’ll go to participate in Ladder tournaments.