You'll need some kind of huge grid -
poster board and pencil lines work pretty good for this. You'll need to
divide it into squares big enough to hold Magic cards, tapped or
untapped. The size of the grid depends on your taste - play a few times,
then decide how big you want it. We liked using about 5x5 per player (so
with 2 players 10x10, with 3 players 15x15, etc.).
Each player will also need a token to
represent himself. Anything will work here - coins, Monopoly pieces (I
like the dog), and Magic cards with cool art... just as long as you can
tell them apart.
Last, each player will need their own
deck. It'll help a lot if you have ways to tell your cards apart - if
you don't have card-sleeves, I recommend you get some.
Overall, the rules will be the same as Magic rules, with the changes given here.
Each player puts his token in a square on
the border of the grid. A player can't choose the same square as another
player - once a player is in a square, that square is occupied. Other
than this, the game starts the same way as any other.
Creatures don't have defense now - they
have life, just like the players. This means they are not healed at the
end of the turn as they are in a normal game, and it means they can gain
more life than they started with, using healing spells or artifacts.
You'll probably want to use pennies or something as life points,
otherwise it gets hard to keep track of.
When a creature is summoned, it is placed
adjacent to the player that summoned it (diagonal spaces do count as
adjacent). If all the spaces adjacent to the player token are occupied,
the new creature is placed as close as possible, but comes into play
tapped, and doesn't untap during the first turn after it is summoned.
The exception to this is the walls - they
can be placed anywhere within 5 squares of the player token, and do not
come into play tapped (unless that card comes into play tapped
A player token is 1/20, but is not a
creature! It is still a player!
A creature/player moves during the main
phase. All movement must be made before combat. Walls cannot move - all
other creatures can move a number of squares up to their current life.
Flying creatures can move up to their current life + their toughness.
A creature cannot move through a space
that is occupied. A space is occupied when there is a player token or an
untapped creature in it. Flying creatures can move through occupied
spaces, but cannot stop in them.
Any creature can attack an adjacent
creature, as long as it is a legal attack - a non-flying creature can't
attack a flying creature, a blue creature can't attack a creature with
protection from blue, etc. All attacks happen during a player's attack
phase. Any spells or effects which last "during combat" last
for the whole attack phase.
When a creature attacks, the attacker and
the creature it attacks blocker are both tapped. A tapped creature
cannot move or attack, and does not "occupy" the square it's
in, but can still be a blocker if it is attacked.
Walls and player tokens cannot attack, and
do not tap when attacked.
Local enchantments work as normal, and are
carried along with their target.
Enchant Worlds work as normal, but are
placed to the side, not on the grid anywhere.
Circles of Protection and Enchant Player
cards are carried along with the player they affect. They affect the
player token's square, and any squares adjacent to him - Circles of
Protection can now prevent damage to creatures
Other enchantments are placed on the
square the player was in when he cast the spell, and the card stays
there until it leaves play.
Countering and Disenchanting
Enchant Worlds can be disenchanted from
anywhere in the grid, but they are so powerful that it takes extra power
to disenchant them. When a spell causes an Enchant World to leave play,
the player who cast that spell has to remove all copies of his
disenchanting spell from the game. (Casting another Enchant World
doesn't count, even though it causes the first to be discarded.)
Other enchantments/artifacts can only be
disenchanted by a player if that player has a creature or token adjacent
to the target enchantment/artifact.
Counterspells are similar - a player can
only counter another player's spell if he has a creature within 2
squares of his enemy's player token, or if his player token is within 4
squares of his enemy's player token. If a creature is used in this way,
tap that creature - this represents the player channeling a great amount
of magical energy through that creature. Only untapped creatures may be
used in this way.
Optional rule: A tapped creature may be
used in this way, but it will bury that creature.
Treat artifact creatures like all the
other creatures; these rules only apply to non-creature artifacts.
When a player creates an artifact, he can
either carry it himself, or give it to a creature he is
"connected" to. A player is connected to any friendly
creatures he is adjacent to, and any friendly creatures they are
adjacent to, and so on.
A creature can carry a number of artifacts
up to its toughness. If a creature is at any time carrying more
artifacts than it should be able to (because its toughness is decreased
by a spell), the creature must drop artifacts until it is carrying no
more than its limit. Dropped artifacts have no controller, and the first
creature or player token to enter the square containing the dropped
artifacts can pick them up and carry them.
If a creature carrying artifacts is sent
to the graveyard, any artifacts it was carrying are destroyed. If a
creature carrying artifacts leaves play for any other reason, the
artifacts it was carrying are dropped.
A player controls all artifacts he and his
creatures are carrying.
When a player token is killed, the game
isn't over! A player doesn't lose the game until he is killed and all
his creatures leave play.
When a player token is killed, that player
discards his hand, all his artifacts (including artifact creatures), all
lands he has in play, walls, and enchantments. Then, his library and
graveyard are removed from the game, and from that point on, he skips
his draw phase.
Shadow creatures aren't considered to
"occupy" a square except to other shadow creatures, and
vice-versa. This means that a shadow creature and a non-shadow creature
can occupy the same square.
There are two ways to do this:
When a player puts a land into play, he
puts it on the square his token is on, or as close to it as possible.
From that point on, that square counts as being that type of terrain.
Before the game starts, take a bunch of
land from decks you're not using, and each player takes turns putting a
land onto one of the squares. Each square counts as the type of terrain
the card is. Or, you could work together to make an actual
With #2, the lands a player has in play
would be separate from what is on the map, while with #1, it would be
There are several things you could do with
either one of these. The obvious thing would be landwalk - a creature
with landwalk can attack, but can't be attacked, as long as he is
occupying his type of terrain.
A player token can go anywhere, but
creatures can only enter terrain of their color (really only works when
everyone is using a 5-color deck).
A creature gets +1/+0 when it's in terrain
of its color....
Aquatic creatures can only occupy islands,
and only blue/flying creatures can move through islands...
Whatever you decide to do, any tapped
lands should not count as being that type of land until it is untapped
(although that kind of ruins that last rule... as soon as an island it
tapped, any aquatic creatures on it would be buried).
By Eddie Hamud
This is a "battlefield" type variant for Magic. There have been several variants of this type, but the best one is probably Tactical Magic, by Eric Huynh. I've "borrowed" several of his ideas, and made up the rest - so I'm going to have to give him most of the credit for this variant.