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Official Mantis Matching Game Rules

Mantis is a fast-paced and strategic card game where you collect colorful Mantis characters by either scoring matching colors from the deck or cleverly stealing them from your opponents. Here's how to play:

Objective

Be the first player to collect 10 or more Mantis cards (any color) in your Score Pile.

Setup

1. Shuffle the Deck:  Thoroughly shuffle the deck of Mantis cards and place it face down in the center of the playing area. This is the Draw Pile.


2. Deal Your Starting Hand:  Deal four cards face up to each player. These cards form your Personal Draw Pile in front of you, where you can easily see the character on the front (white side) and the three colored stripes on the back (black side).


3. Organize Your Score Pile:  Keep your Score Pile face down next to your Personal Draw Pile. You'll add collected Mantis cards here throughout the game.

Gameplay

The game is played in turns, with each player having two choices: Score or Steal.

On Your Turn:

  1. Decide Your Action: Before drawing a card, announce whether you want to Score or Steal. This decision is crucial and requires strategic thinking.

  2. Score:  If you choose to score, draw the top card from the Draw Pile and reveal it in front of you. Here's what happens:

    • Matching Colors: If the revealed character's color on the back matches any of the colors already showing in your Personal Draw Pile, you get to score! Discard both the revealed card and all matching colored cards from your Personal Draw Pile to your face-down Score Pile. These scored cards contribute to your win condition.

    • No Match: If the revealed card's color doesn't match any in your Personal Draw Pile, simply leave it face up in your pile. Your turn ends.

  3. Steal:  If you choose to steal, draw the top card from the Draw Pile and immediately reveal it face up in front of any other player (your target). Here's the steal mechanic:

    • Matching Colors: If the revealed character's color on the back matches any of the colors already showing in the target player's Personal Draw Pile, you steal successfully! The target player must discard both the revealed card and all matching colored cards from their Personal Draw Pile, and you add them face up to your own Personal Draw Pile. However, these stolen cards cannot be scored immediately. You need to wait for your turn to "Score" them properly.

    • Failed Steal: If the revealed card's color doesn't match any colors in the target player's Personal Draw Pile, the card simply gets discarded to the discard pile, and your turn ends.

Important Notes:

  • Knowing the Colors:  The key strategic element is that you, as the player, know the colors on the back of your cards in your Personal Draw Pile based on the character on the front (white side). This allows you to make informed decisions about scoring or stealing.

  • Always Draw One:  Regardless of whether you choose to Score or Steal, you must always draw one card from the Draw Pile at the beginning of your turn.

  • Turn Order:  After completing your chosen action (Score or Steal) and drawing a card (if applicable), your turn ends, and play proceeds to the next player in clockwise order.

Winning the Game

The first player to reach 10 or more cards (any color) in their Score Pile wins the game!

  • Draw Pile Depletion:  If the Draw Pile runs out before someone reaches 10 scored cards, the player with the most cards in their Score Pile wins.

  • Tiebreaker:  In case of a tie in score piles when the Draw Pile is empty, the player with the most cards remaining in their Personal Draw Pile wins.

Notes/Variations

  • Mantis is a game of quick thinking, memory, and strategic decision-making.

  • You can choose to play with a limited number of lives (losing all your cards in your Personal Draw Pile eliminates you) for an added challenge.

  • Mantis is a fun and engaging game for players of all ages, thanks to its easy-to-learn rules and colorful characters.

Get ready to unleash your inner Mantis and collect those colorful creatures through strategic

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