Flash Duel features 20 characters from the Fantasy Strike universe.
Fantasy Strike is an Olympic-style tournament that takes place in a fantasy martial arts world fractured by political conflict. Stone golem Garus Rook founded the tournament series to bring together the many provinces of the authoritarian Flagstone Kingdom, and plant the idea of a different way of life.
Flash Duel is a simple, fast card game for 1 to 5 players that simulates sparring matches amongst Fantasy Strike characters practicing for an upcoming tournament. You only need to score one hit to win a round in most modes, so it's all about jockeying for position on the 18-space board to land that hit. If you don't land the necessary blow in time, then timeout rules determine the winner based on last hits and distance moved.
There are seven different play modes in Flash Duel. That’s a lot of modes, but don’t be overwhelmed. If it's your first game and you're using the physical set, just try the Simple Mode versus a friend (it doesn't use the character ability cards, just the numbered cards), then move on to the Full Game. The Full Game has a whopping 190 different character matchups, so that’s plenty for you to explore.
If you’d like even more variation (but a bit more setup), the Custom Clockwork mode lets you build your own character. There are almost 500,000 different possible Clockwork characters you can build. All those modes are for 2 players, but sometimes you have more...or fewer! There’s a solo mode that lets you practice against an automated opponent, and a series of achievements to earn for doing so (Physical game only). With the online game you may practice against the Flash Duel bots if you don't have an opponent, or aren't confident enough yet.
If you have four players, you can try the 2v2 Team Battle mode. For even more co-op fun, the Raid on Deathstrike Dragon mode lets up to 4 players team up against a 5th player controlling the powerful dragon! The dragon can be hard to beat, but if you want even more of a challenge, you can try the Betrayal at Raid on Deathstrike Dragon, where one of your teammates is secretly working against you! Not for the faint of heart.
- At the beginning of each round shuffle 25 numbered cards, put them face-down on a pile on the table, then each player draws 5 cards. The 25 cards should have 5 copies of each number from 1 to 5.
- Put your pawn on your Start space of the track.
- Flip a coin to determine who goes first. In later rounds, before players draw cards, the loser of the previous round chooses who goes first.
- Set aside the 5 win tokens for now. Take a win token each time you win a round. The first player to win 3 rounds wins the game.
- Do one of these: Move, Push, Attack, or Dashing Strike
- If you did an attack or dashing strike, your opponent must respond or he loses the round.
- Discard any cards played this turn.
- Draw until you have 5 cards, then your turn ends. Your opponent takes his turn.
- Choose exactly one "main action" on your turn:
- 1) Move. Play any card from your hand to move your character that many spaces forward or backward. If you would move back off the edge of the board, move to the last space instead. If you would move on or past the opponent, instead move up to him, then stop in the adjacent space.
- 2) Push. You can only push if you're adjacent to the opponent. Play a card to push the opponent back the number of spaces on the card. For example, if you push with a 4, the opponent moves back 4 spaces, you stay in place, and the opponent will end up 5 spaces away from you. If he would be pushed off the edge of the board, instead he's pushed only to his Start space.
- 3) Attack. To attack, play a card from your hand whose number is the exact number of spaces to the opponent. For example, if he is 5 spaces away and you want to attack, you can only attack with a 5. You can strengthen your attack by playing more cards of that number. If you are 5 spaces away, you could attack with two or more 5s for a more powerful attack.
- 4) Dashing Strike. To dashing strike, first play a card to dash toward the opponent, then immediately play another card as your strike. The strike must be the same number as the distance to the opponent after the dash. You can strengthen your strike by playing more cards of the same number. For example, if the opponent is 8 spaces away, you could dash with a 3 then play a pair of 5s as the strike. If you would dash onto or past the opponent you instead stop next to them, allowing you to strike with a 1. Note: You can’t dashing strike if you’re already adjacent to the opponent.
- Surviving an Attack or Dashing Strike
- When you attack, your opponent must block or lose the round. When you dashing strike, your opponent must block or retreat (his choice) or lose the round.
- To block an attack or dashing strike, the opponent must match your attack cards (or your strike cards in the case of a dashing strike) with the exact same cards of his own. For example, if you attack with a 3, he must play a 3 to block. If you attack with two 1s, he must play two 1s to block. If you dashing strike with a 2 as the dash and a 4 as the strike, he must play a 4 to block. He will then start his turn with fewer than 5 cards because players only draw at the end of their own turns.
- To retreat from a dashing strike, your opponent can play any card from his hand to retreat that many spaces. For example, if he plays a 2, he retreats 2 spaces. If he would retreat past the edge of the board, retreat to the last space instead. He cannot retreat at all if he's already at the edge of the board.
- When an opponent retreats, he must recover next turn. He can't take any actions or play any abilities on a turn while he's recovering except to draw back to up to 5 cards.
- When the last card is drawn, time has run out. Both players reveal their hands and see if either or both have any cards that would allow an attack (not a dashing strike). If one player has more of these cards, he wins. Otherwise, the winner is the player who advanced the farthest on the board. If both players advanced the same distance, the round is a draw.
- Public Information
- The discard pile is public information and any player can look through it at any time. The number of cards left in the draw pile is also public information, and players can count how many cards remain any time.
The Full Game has the same basic rules as the Simple Game, but each player chooses one of the 20 Fantasy Strike characters before the game starts. If either player wants to choose characters using a double-blind method, you should do so. In that case, you each secretly choose a character, then simultaneously reveal your choices. Mirror matches are allowed (same character vs. same character) if you have a second copy of the game.
After you pick your character, put your character's three special ability cards face up on the table. Each ability card lists its timing trigger in the wood-panel area of the card and its effect in the larger canvas area below. The timing trigger tells you when that ability card is “lit up” and able to be played. When an ability’s timing trigger happens, that means you can choose to play the ability—it doesn’t happen automatically. If you choose to play the ability, flip the card face down to get the effect it states.
If you could use an ability at the same moment as your opponent could use one of his, the player whose turn it is acts first.
- One Ability Per Turn, Replenish Each Round
- You can only play one ability per turn. (You can play an ability on your turn, then a different one on the opponent’s following turn if you like though.) At the start of each new round (not the start of each turn!), you flip your three ability cards face up to replenish them.
- Time-Over and Public Information
- If the round ends in timeout (last card drawn), no more abilities can be played except for Argagarg's Pacifism.
Special ability cards are public information and either player can read the other’s ability cards whether they are face up or face down.
Custom Clockwork Mode
In this mode you can build your own clockwork soldier by mixing abilities from any characters. First, choose 12 character abilities at random from the entire set of 60. You and your opponent will draft 4 abilities each from this pool of 12. Flip a coin to determine who will choose first.
Choosing first is an advantage, so to offset that the second player chooses two abilities in a row. The complete order you choose abilities is: 12211221 (meaning player 1 chooses, then player 2, then player 2 again, then player 1, then player 1 again, and so on). You each place your 4 ability cards face up on the table and the player who drafted the first ability also plays first.
One Ability Per Turn, Replenish Each Round
As usual, you can only play one ability per turn. As usual, when the round ends (not the turn!), you replenish all your abilities by flipping them face up. It still takes 3 round wins to win the game.
Tweak Your Clockwork Soldier
If you lose a round, you may switch one of your abilities with one of the 4 unused abilities from the pool if you want. This lets you adjust your clockwork soldier if things didn't go as planned. The winner of the previous round must keep the same abilities for the next round.
This mode is intended for use with a physical copy of the game, as the online version has AI bots you may play against.
Playing Solo is similar to the Full Game, except you play against an automated "bot." Like a human player, the bot starts with a hand of 5 cards and draws back up to 5 at the end of his turn. Since you make the bot's moves for him, his hand is always revealed to you. On each of his turns, the bot draws a card, then plays according to these rules, in order:
1. The bot attacks if he can, and he always powers up the attack (with pairs, triples, etc.) as much as possible. 2. If he is adjacent to an opponent, he pushes with the card he drew for the turn. 3. If the bot can dashing strike using the card he drew as the dash and other card(s) from his hand as the strike, he does. The bot always powers up the strike as much as possible. 4. Otherwise, he moves forward (never backward) with the card he drew.
On your turns, the bot plays according to these rules: 1. Whenever you attack or dashing strike the bot, he draws an extra card, then blocks if he can. (Note: only a bot gets to draw a card in this situation; human players never do.) 2. If the bot can't block when you dashing strike, he retreats with the extra card he drew.
You may play against three characters:
- Dummy: You can play against a training dummy with no abilities.
- Rook Bot: You can play against Garus Rook, the stone golem who runs the Fantasy Strike tournament. Rook uses his abilities any time he is able to.
- Deathstrike Dragon: You can play against Deathstrike Dragon, if you dare! He has the three abilities listed below, and it takes two hits to defeat him. (Use the time-over rules from Raid on Deathstrike Dragon.) When you hit the Dragon with a pair or better, he must discard all cards of the same number as your hit. (For example, when you hit the Dragon bot with a pair of 2s, if he has a 2 in his hand, he must discard it.)
- 1) Deep Breath
- 2) Perfect Counter
- 3) Black Diamond Hide
Black Diamond Hide
Have four people? Team up for 2v2!
- Choose your characters. One player from team A chooses one of the 20 Fantasy Strike Characters, then one player from team B chooses a character. Then the other member of team B chooses, then the second member of team A chooses.
- At the beginning of each round shuffle all 50 numbered cards, put them face-down on a pile on the table, then each player draws 5 cards.
- Put your pawn on your Start space of the track. Both pawns of team A go on one Start space, while both pawns from team B go on the other.
- Flip a coin to determine which team goes first. On later rounds, before players draw cards, the team that lost the previous round chooses who goes first.
- Set aside the 5 win tokens for now. Take a win token each time your team wins a round. Winning a round means defeating both members of the other team, even if one member on your team was defeated. The first team to win 3 rounds wins the game.
A player from team A takes his turn, then a player from team B. Then the other player from team A, then the other player from team B. Repeat this sequence (p1 A, p1 B, p2 A, p2 B) without changing the order for the rest of the round. Each round, you can switch who is p1 and who is p2 on your team.
In this mode, you can block or retreat while recovering, but not dashing block (see below). If you retreat twice before your next turn, you only have to recover one turn to make up for it. As usual, refill your hand to five cards at the end of your turn, whether you are recovering or not.
Other Team Battle Rules
- Talk with your teammate all you want. You can show each other your hand cards, too.
- You cannot advance past the front-most member of the other team.
- Remove your pawn from the playfield if you’re defeated, but don’t fret -- if your teammate wins the round, your team still wins!
- Both teammates can occupy the same space. If an opponent attacks or dashing strikes that space, both you and your teammate must separately respond to avoid being defeated. As usual, attacks must be blocked and dashing strikes can be either blocked or retreated from. You can push multiple opponents who are on an adjacent space with a single push.
When the last card is drawn, time has run out. Players reveal their hands to check for last-hits with each of their opponents. Each player checks with each remaining opponent to see who has more cards capable of an attack (not a dashing strike). For example, if you are two spaces away from an opponent, a last-hit is scored if either you or the opponent has more 2s than the other.
If after last-hits, at least one of your players remains while both opponents are defeated, your team wins. If after-last hits, one team has two players left while the other only has one player, the team with two players wins. If after last-hits, no one on either team is defeated or exactly one player on each team is defeated, the winning team is the one whose front-most member advanced farthest on the board.
If after last-hits, all four players are defeated, the round ends in a draw.
In the Team Battle mode, you have access to a new move: the dashing block. If a teammate is ahead of you and is threatened with an attack or dashing strike, you may dashing block to protect him. Play a card as your dash to move forward (not backward) just like with a dashing strike, then you and your partner play the appropriate cards to block. For example, if a teammate 5 spaces ahead of you is attacked with a pair of 3s, you could play a 5 to dash to his space, then you each play a 3 to block the opponent’s pair of 3s. You can’t dashing block while recovering.
Raid on Deathstrike Dragon
Master Menelker is powerful in his human form, but his true power shows in his dragon form, known as Deathstrike Dragon. Up to four mortals can team up to try to take down a fifth player controlling the Dragon.
Winning the Game
Deathstrike Dragon wins the game when he has crushed the dreams of all mortals by defeating every one of them. He only needs to score one hit on each mortal to win, but the mortals must score multiple hits on the Dragon to win as a team. Even a defeated mortal still wins if his team wins, so after he has fallen he can advise his teammates on strategy.
|# of mortals||Cards in draw deck||Dragon hit points||Dragon hand size||Dragon ability cards|
|7 cards||4 abilities|
|8 cards||6 abilities|
|9 cards||8 abilities|
All players including the Dragon draw from a common deck of numbered cards. The Dragon also gets more abilities and a larger hand size for each extra mortal he faces (see the table to the right).
If there are 2 or 4 mortals, use all 50 numbered cards. If there are 3 mortals, use only 40 (8 copies of each number 1 through 5). Also, if there are either 3 or 4 mortals, then reshuffle the discard pile and Dragon’s hand cards into the draw deck the first time the draw pile runs out during gameplay. Then the Dragon draws the number of cards he just discarded.
Before the game, the Deathstrike Dragon player selects which abilities he will use this game from the total set of 8 dragon cards and sets aside the rest. Deathstrike Dragon can only use one ability per turn, and he flips that ability card face down when used. He can use an ability on his own turn, and another ability on each mortal's turn though.
The Dragon player starts by drawing up to his hand size, and he draws back up to that number at the end of each of his own turns.
The mortals play first and always take their turns in the same order, followed by the dragon’s turn. Mortals refill their hands to 5 cards only after they have all taken their turns, instead of at the end of each turn like in other modes. In a 5-player game, the turn order would be: 1p, 2p, 3p, 4p, then mortals all refill their hands (in turn-order), then the Dragon takes his turn, then refills his hand.
Whenever a mortal is defeated, Deathstrike Dragon takes an extra turn after his normal turn.
Other Raid Rules
Deathstrike Dragon can block or retreat while recovering, but he can’t take any other actions while recovering, except to refill his hand. If he retreats multiple times before his next turn, he only has to recover one turn to make up for it.
Deathstrike Dragon cannot advance past the front-most mortal. You might try to keep other mortals safely in the back so they can use their abilities, or you might try having all mortals advance and try to score hits. Remember to remove your pawn from the board if you're defeated.
More than one mortal can occupy the same space. If the dragon attacks or dashing strikes that space, every mortal on that space must separately respond to avoid being defeated. As usual, attacks must be blocked and dashing strikes can be either blocked or retreated from. The dragon can push multiple mortals who are adjacent to him.
Mortals facing the Dragon have access to the dashing block maneuver described in the Team Battle section. More than one teammate can contribute cards to a single block. For example, if the Dragon attacks player 1 with three 4s, players 2, 3, and 4 could dashing block to player 1’s space, and each contribute one 4 to the block.
When the last card is drawn, time has run out. (Remember that with 3 or 4 mortals, you reshuffle the discard pile into a new draw deck the first time it runs out and the Dragon redraws his hand; the second time it runs out, time is over.) Players reveal their hands to check for last-hits. The Dragon checks with each remaining mortal one at a time to see who has more cards capable of an attack (not a dashing strike). For example, if a mortal is 2 away from the Dragon, a last-hit is scored if either player has more 2s than the other.
If last-hits kill the Dragon, the mortals win. If last-hits kill all mortals, the Dragon wins. If neither of those happen, the tie is broken by whether the Dragon advanced farther than the farthest-forward mortal. If they advanced the same amount, the game is a draw. tr >
Betrayal at Raid on Deathstrike Dragon
In this even-more-difficult Raid on Deathstrike Dragon, one of the mortals might be a traitor who is secretly on the dragon’s team! You need exactly 5 players to play the Betrayal scenario.
Winning the Game
Deathstrike Dragon’s team wins the game when he has crushed the dreams of all non-traitor mortals by defeating every one of them. The mortals win when they defeat Deathstrike Dragon, whether or not they defeat or even reveal the traitor.
|# of mortals||Cards in draw deck||Dragon hit points||Dragon hand size||Dragon ability cards||2||50 cards|
|8 cards||6 abilities</tr>|
First choose your characters, then shuffle the five loyalty cards and deal one facedown to each player (including the Dragon). Exactly one of these cards is the Traitor card. If the Dragon gets this card, there is no traitor this game, though the mortals don’t know that! If one of the mortals gets the traitor card, he is the traitor though the other mortals don’t know that! Loyal mortals cannot reveal their loyalty card until the game ends (unless they are formally accused of being traitors).
Gameplay rules are the same as for the regular Raid on Deathstrike Dragon, except for all the stuff about the traitor!
If You're The Traitor
First, know about your important power. As the traitor, you can reveal yourself voluntarily at any time by showing your Traitor card--even if the Dragon attacks or dashing strikes you. At the moment you reveal, you can (if you choose to) name the exact cards in a loyal mortal’s hand. For example, “Bob has a pair of 2s, a pair of 3s, and a 5!” If you correctly name the exact contents of the mortal’s hand, that mortal is defeated. You may then try to name the exact hand of another mortal, and so on. If you incorrectly name a player’s hand, there is no penalty, nothing happens, but you can’t attempt to name cards in any other hands.
If you choose to reveal yourself, after you finish naming hands (or decide not to name any), put your pawn on the Dragon’s start space. You now fight alongside the Dragon, meaning you may dashing block to help each other, and that you now move forward toward the mortals and retreat toward the Dragon’s start space. No player can advance past the front-most member of the other team.
If you’re the traitor, you want the other mortals to be defeated. You want to play intentionally poorly (“Sorry, I can’t save you with a dashing block right now”) but not so poorly that the others catch on. If anyone suspects your play is suspiciously bad and asks to see your hand, you can make people think that person is the traitor instead of you! How? Remind everyone that it’s a real traitor move to trick people into revealing their hands. Or, you can go the other way and say that someone else is playing intentionally poorly, and that they should show their hand to prove their play made sense. If they do, then reveal yourself and defeat them for free by naming their hand!
If You're A Loyal Mortal
If you’re a loyal mortal, you want to defeat the Dragon. Be on the lookout for mortals who seem to be playing intentionally poorly. One of them might be the traitor, but be careful because sometimes there is no traitor at all.
Accusing A Traitor
A mortal may accuse another mortal of being the traitor at any time. The accused then reveals his loyalty card. If the accused is a traitor, he is instantly defeated and removes his pawn from the board, but play continues until either the Dragon is defeated or all loyal mortals are defeated. If the accused player is not a traitor, then the accuser is immediately defeated and removes his pawn from the board.
If You’re The Dragon
You have the advantage here, so crush those mortals easily and hope that the traitor takes out at least one of them for you. If you get the traitor card, you can reveal it any time before you’re defeated to gain an extra hit point!
When the last card is drawn, time has run out. If the traitor hasn’t revealed yet, he reveals now and gets to stay on his current space. The traitor checks if he can last-hit each loyal mortal (even mortals behind him!), but the loyal mortals can’t last-hit the traitor. Then the Dragon compares last-hits with each loyal mortal.
If last-hits kill the Dragon, the mortals win. If last-hits kill all mortals, the Dragon wins. If neither of those happen, the tie is broken by whether the Dragon advanced farther than the farthest-forward mortal. If they advanced the same amount, the game is a draw.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, a dashing strike is a dashing strike and an attack is an attack. If something triggers on one of those, it doesn't trigger on the other.
Yes. If you would dash past the opponent, instead you stop in the space adjacent to him. You can then strike with a 1. This means that 1s are pretty valuable because there are several different ways to dashing strike the opponent with a 1 as the strike.
You can “move back” but you’ll end up in the same place, still on the Start space. You cannot “retreat” from the Start space though.
Nothing special happens, don’t draw any and keep going. It’s ok to have more than 5 cards if an ability caused this.
To "counter" an ability means to negate it. When an opponent announces they will use an ability, Grave can use Reversal in response and prevent the enemy's ability from ever happening. The opponent still turns their ability card face down. If the opponent’s ability would trigger when they move or dashing strike, look at the space they land (rather than the space they started on) to check if they activated the ability “from a dark space.”
If an opponent is adjacent to you and "pushes" you back, that does not end Dragon Form. Similarly, DeGrey's Spectral Push does not end Dragon Form, either. Dragon From doesn’t do anything when you compare last-hits after time-out.
DeGrey and Jaina don’t need to be adjacent to an opponent to use these abilities. They can use these to push from any distance (as long as the victim is on the correct color square, in DeGrey’s case).
In Solo Mode against Rook’s bot, if he has more than one higher card (or pair, etc.) he can block with, choose randomly amongst his valid options.
If the card drawn from the ability is the last card in the deck, then timeout happens and Valerie doesn’t need to block the attack. Instead, use the normal time-over procedure.
If you use Green Eye’s Epiphany to treat a 3 in your hand as a 4, you can attack an opponent who is 4 spaces away with it. You can power it up with another 4, but not with another 3.
During the Raid on Deathstrike Dragon with 3 or 4 mortals, this ability’s reshuffle does not count as the one reshuffle per game.
If the round isn’t over, you can still perform your turn's main action after using Poker Flourish.
You can use this to dashing block in 2v2 and during the Raid on Deathstrike Dragon. If the card drawn doesn’t help you dashing block, you discard it and you can still dashing block if you want.
Against the Dragon, this just draws a card and nothing else, but Poker Flourish is really good against the Dragon, so don’t fret.
As usual, you can only play one ability per turn. If you play another ability on the last turn, you can’t play Pacifism that same turn.
Use a coin or spare pawn for the Clockwork Soldier. When Onimaru is recovering, you still move his Clockwork Solider. In 2v2 or during a Raid on Deathstrike Dragon, remove the Clockwork Soldier from the board when Onimaru is defeated.
This works even on an opponent who is recovering (as long as they are on a dark space). Against Gwen’s Relentless Strikes, it forces Gwen to recover.
This ability lets Gwen start the game with 6 cards and draw back up to 6 instead of up to 5. It’s always in effect, even during the turns where you use another ability. If Lum uses Raise the Stakes against Gwen and wins the round, he actually wins all three rounds. If Argagarg’s Pacifism ever interacts with Shadow Plague (whether they are opponents, teammates, or in the same Custom Clockwork character) then Shadow Plague always takes precedence. In a Dragon Raid, if timeout is reached, Gwen’s team loses immediately.
You can still perform your turn’s main action the turn you use Shoulder Ram.
Use a coin or spare pawn for the landmine. Whenever the landmine triggers, it disappears. If a player retreats into a landmine, instead of recovering (refilling hand), he skips that turn (doesn’t refill hand).