Resident Evil: The Deck Building Game is a Bandai-produced card game released in December 2010.
The game was first released in a base set with a total of 250 cards. An expansion set, titled Resident Evil: The Deck Building Game Alliance was released officially on April 22, 2011, despite earlier releases in some areas.
The third set is called Outbreak, and is slightly based around the Resident Evil Outbreak games. This set contains only 150 cards, removing the Basic Resources components from the games card list and giving the player a small storage box. It was released on September 30, 2011.
A fourth set was announced through various retail websites and confirmed by the development team. This set is titled Nightmare, and is themed primarily around Resident Evil 4. It was released on December 9, 2011.
A fifth set was released in November 2012, titled Mercenaries. It contains new Skill Cards, and adds a mechanic wherin Characters earn XP that they can use on Skill Cards or Weapons.
The game is very similar to other deckbuilding games in that the players' respective decks are built over time and often have to be built according to their skills. Players randomly pick a character card with a set amount of health points and then start with an "inventory" of ten cards. These ten cards are taken from the Basic Resources and are included in all games. They include 1 Handgun, 2 Knives, and 7 Ammo x10 cards. The inventory is shuffled and five cards are drawn. At the end of that players turn they discard their hand and draw a new set. If the inventory is emptied out, the discard pile is shuffled up and converted into the inventory.
Cards are gained by buying. All available cards are placed in what is referred to as the Resource Area; which is 18 unique stacks of cards which include weapons, ammo, herbs, First Aid Sprays, and actions. Six stacks of cards, referred to in-game as "Basic Resources" contain Handguns, Knives, Herbs, and all three amounts of Ammo cards (x10, x20, x30). Ammo cards come with gold used to make purchases. Additional gold can be gained through the use of actions or character skills. Players are allowed only one Buy and one Action per turn unless additional ones are gained. Actions serve many purposes including adding gold, Buys, cards, damage, ammo, etc.The third action available to the player is Explore. It allows the player to equip weapons and ammo currently held in their hand to explore the Mansion Area. The Mansion Area is a deck filled with "Infected"; zombies and monsters from throughout the Resident Evil series. Infected have set health as well and must be defeated to earn Decorations, which need to be gained not only to win the game but level up the player's current character and use their skills. The game ends when the most powerful infected is defeated. Afterwards, the player with the most Decorations wins. Players are given only one Explore per turn unless additional ones are gained.
Modes of Play
The game began with only three modes of play, with a fourth added in Alliance and a fifth added in Outbreak. All modes are essentially played the same way but add additional rules, conditions, and cards. Each mode has Scenarios (similar to the Outbreak titles) which determine what cards are placed in the Resource Area. The game manual has preset scenarios but it encourages players to make their own to create new styles of play.
- Story Mode is regular play and features all of the elements detailed above.
- Mercenary Mode is a more fast-paced variation that involves the players turn count becoming a time limit.
- Versus Mode removes the Mansion Area from play and characters fight each other to earn Decorations.
- Partner Mode allows for two characters to be used instead of one. One character is designated the Main Character while the other character is the Partner. Partner Mode mostly changes how the player Explores and attaches cards. Partner's can permanently hold a weapon for the duration of the game by spending one Action. Exploring is done by designating a leading character (though both characters can attack if equipped for it) and this character takes damage if the Infected is not defeated. Decorations that are gained by defeating Infected are shared by both characters, allowing all of their abilities to be used. However, if the Partner Character dies, they are permanently removed from the game. If this mode is used in conjunction with Skill Cards, each Character a player controls is only allowed the use of one skill card apiece.
- Infection Mode is a new mode for the second expansion, Outbreak. This mode allows players to turn into Infected characters and attack their fellow players as Infected would do. A new deck is added to the setup, called the Infection Deck, which is placed above the Mansion Deck. In this mode, if players did not Explore or Attack an Infected character, their individual "Infection Level" increases by 1. Every character has a maximum Infection Level of 10. Once the characters level maxes out they die, and must reanimate as an Infected character. This involves removing the player's current character from play and randomly selecting an Infected Character card. Infected characters get 0 Buys and 0 Actions, but automatically have +1 Explore. They also have effects and sometimes base damage like normal Infected. The player keeps playing the game as normal but under these new rules and they attack other players instead. If an Infected character is killed, that player is automatically out of the game. In that case, the regular Infected card with the highest Decorations attached to them is given to the player that killed them.
Characters and Infected Characters
Each set has ten characters, with 8 Promos on the side. So far, all main series protagonists (and some antagonists) have been included. Although several are shown in multiple incarnations from throughout the entire series. The second expansion Outbreak introduces Infected Character cards, which are what regular characters turn into if their Infection Level maxes out. They play like regular characters with a few differences based around the game's new Infection Mode. Each character card has different skills which can be viewed on their respective pages.
Infected, Tokens, and Event Cards
The Mansion Area is filled with various B.O.W.s from the series. Some of them have effects that are used when they are revealed. These effects and some card images can be viewed on their respective pages. All Infected give Decorations, which allow the characters to use their effects. The amounts given by Infected currently range from 0 (Lisa Trevor) to 9 (Albert Wesker). When the most powerful one is defeated, the game ends. Combining sets makes it necessary to kill more than just one. If all sets are combined Uroboros Aheri, Albert Wesker, Tyrant (T-002 Model), and Osmund Saddler would all have to be defeated.
Tokens allowing the player to gain Yellow Herbs, Time Bonuses in Mercenaries Mode, a Rocket Launcher token, and a Gatling Gun token are also in the Mansion.
Alliance introduced new cards called "Events", which replace the Tokens and Yellow Herbs from the first set. Tokens and Events are listed below the Infected. Any information regarding the following cards' effects or stats can be found in the "Deck Building Game" section of their respective pages.
Item and Ammo Cards
Item cards usually represent anything that is not considered a Weapon, Action, or Ammo card in the Resource Area. They are so far mostly healing items, aside from the Kevlar Vest, Antivirus, Treasure Map, and Hidden Treasure, which are found in the Mansion Area alongside Yellow Herbs. Ammunition Cards come in varying amounts and as stated above represent both ammo and gold.
The game uses many weapons, which are organized into "types". Most of the weapons are from different points in the series, but primarily come from RE4 and RE5. Here, they are not given their model names as they do in-game; but are simply given shorthands like "Handgun" or "Machine Gun". Weapons are organized into various decks in the Resource Area, and some include a "special weapon"; a more powerful variation of the weapon type. Naturally weapons require ammo, though there are many exceptions.
As stated above, players are given three actions per turn (unless stated otherwise), one of which is simply called Action. Spending an Action allows the player to either play a blue Action Card or attach a weapon card to their partner character in Partner Mode. Action Cards have a variety of different effects and some can even give the player additional Actions to play more Action Cards. There are some that are only used for Versus and Partner Mode.
Infection Cards are a new type of card introduced in Outbreak that are placed in a special Infection Deck above the Mansion. These cards are meant to keep track of the Infection Level of characters and have effects of their own for Infected Characters.