The name refers to Bellona, the roman godess of war. Latin sounds kinda wizardy, and since the game is made of attacks, I stumbled on her while browsing for war related latin words.
You need one astromancy deck and 2 players. I don't know if you could easily expand it to more players or not though.
The goal is to collect cards through winning Battles, so that the collected cards form combinations that make more points than your opponents'.
Each player is dealt a hand of 5 cards. The remaining cards are placed face down as the deck.
Players alternate taking turns, which are called Battles. During their turn, a player is the Attacker, and their opponent the Defender. A Battle is made of one or more Attacks made by the Attacker, that the Defender has to try to defend.
The Attacker first makes an Attack, and the Defender tries to defend it. If the Attack isn't succesfully defended, the Attacker wins the Battle.
If the Attack is defended, then the Attacker may either stop there, letting the Defender win the Battle, or make another Attack, repeating this process.
Once the Attacker runs out of cards in their hand (by the Defender defending 4 Attacks and the Attacker trying a 5th one), if the Defender manages to defend the last Attack, then the Attacker will be forced to stop.
The winner of the Battle collects all cards that were played by both players during the Battle and puts them to their side. Then the Attacker draws until they have 5 cards in hand, then the Defender does the same.
The turn is then over and the roles become switched for the next Battle.
One Attack consists of the Attacker putting down a card from their hand. The Defender must then respond by placing a card from their hand on it to attempt to defend.
Whether the Attack is succesfully defended or not only depends on the modality of the suits of the played cards.
|Attacker's perspective||Defender's perspective|
The defender must put a card to attempt to defend, but is not obligated to succesfully defend an attack even if they had another card in hand that could.
When a player has collected 12 or more cards, the game ends. Players count the points from the combinations of the cards they collected.
Either whoever has the most points wins, or points get accumulated and players play until one gets a decided number of points (like 50 for example).
Here are the valid combinations and their value in points. Cards may be shared between combinations, but each combination can only be counted once (unless stated otherwise).
These are very similar to the Koi-koi ones, I wasn't that inspired. Those would certainly need playtesting to properly tune them anyway.
I'm not fully happy with them like that anyway because I feel like it's missing some bonuses for Animal cards.
|6 or more Scraps||1 + 1 per additional Scrap|
|All 4 cards of the same sign||4 (can be scored multiple times for different signs)|
|One card of each season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter)||2|
|One card of each element (Fire, Earth, Air, and Water)||2|
|4 or more Ribbons||1 + 1 per additional Ribbon|
|All 3 blue Ribbons||5|
|All 3 inscribed Ribbons||5|
|4 or more Animals||3 + 1 per additional Animal|
|3 or more Numbers except 0||6 + 3 per additional non-0 Number|
|0 with at least two other Numbers||2|
The highest score I could find with 12 cards (the minimum to end the game) is 31. All 6 Numbers (12 from non-0 and 2 from 0), all 3 inscribed (5) and all 3 blue Ribbons (5 + 3 from having 6 Ribbons).
And 4 more from having one of each season and one of each element.
The highest score I could find with 20 cards (the maximum, by getting to 10 cards then winning a 10-cards Battle) is (I'm not feeling like searching for that right now).
You can get 0 points with 12 cards. For example: 5 Scraps (Taurus, Leo, Sagittarius, 2 Virgo), 3 red Ribbons (Taurus, Leo, Sagittarius), 2 Animals (Bull, Lion), 2 Numbers (3, 1).