Seven Card Samurai - Creative Deployment

Seven Card Samurai - Creative Deployment
Goal — The game is played in a series of five rounds or hands. The player
to accumulate the most points in five rounds is the winner.
Setup — Shuffle the deck. Deal five cards face down to each player. Place
the deck in the center of the table, turn over the top card and place it next to
the deck. The deck is the draw pile and the face up card is the discard pile.
Each player gets ten of the rice markers. Play begins to the left of the dealer.
The Cards — Look at your hand. The deck consists of the following types
of cards: four colors of Samurai, four Bandits with different values, Ronin,
Ninja and Shogun. There are also 4 reminder cards that indicates points
and card properties (not shown here).
Playing — Read over the next few pages to become familiar with the rules
and some stratgey for how to play. As with any new game, you’ll need to
play a few times to get a good feel for how the game is played. Also, be
sure to keep the reminder cards handy as you learn how to play, which will
help you keep tabs on scoring and what the cards do.
There are four different colors of Samurai cards
There are four Bandit cards with different values
It is feudal Japan. The era of the Samurai. Unfortunately it is also
a time where bandits roam the countryside stealing the precious
rice from villages. Yours is one of those villages. Defend your
rice with Samurai and Ronin, use bandits and Ninjas to steal
other villages rice and eliminate their Samurai, and plead with
the local Shogun to conscript help for you. But be warned, for the
other villages are doing the exact same thing....
Ronin, Ninja and Shogun cards
Card Abilities
The basic idea of the game is twofold; first – protect and acquire
the most rice. Rice is stolen using the Bandit and Ninja cards and
is protected by laying down Samurai and Ronin cards, face up in
front of you, next to your rice markers.
Second – the first player to lay down a set of seven Samurai
cards in one of several combinations wins that round of play and
scoring is tallied. The player with the most points at the end of
five rounds is the winner.
At the end of each round, every player receives one point for
each rice marker in their possession and the player who won
that round by laying down a set of seven Samurai cards receives
points for the set (see points on page 6-7).
The deck is then reshuffled, each player gets a new batch of ten
rice markers, the next player deals and the second round begins.
Samurai — The Samurai cards come in four colors. These are the cards
that you are trying to lay down in front of you, in order to win a round.
Each Samurai card that gets laid down also defends one rice marker when
bandits are played on you. Your goal is to win the round by laying down
seven Samurai cards. However, a winning set of seven Samurai cards can
consist of no more than two colors, with seven of one color being the most
valuable. (see points, next page).
Ronin — The Ronin is a wild card. As such, it may be used as any color
Samurai when making a winning Samurai set. There is no limit to the number
of Ronin that may be used in this way. However, even if one Ronin is used
as part of the set, then the set is only worth seven points. Each Ronin card
laid down defends three rice markers compared to the Samurai’s one.
Bandit — Bandits allow you to steal rice from your opponents. The Bandit
cards have four different values, numbered three, four, five or six. If you play
a Bandit card with a value of six on an opponent, then you’ll take six of their
rice markers or if they have less than six, whatever they do have.
If they have Samurai or Ronin laid down, then deduct the number of rice
markers those cards defend from the amount of rice you can collect.
Samurai defends 1 rice marker, Ronin defends 3.
If your Bandit is a six and the opponent has three Samurai laid down, then
you would only collect three rice markers. Bandits may be used in pairs,
just add the value of the two Bandit cards and steal that many rice markers.
After the play, the Bandit(s) is then placed in the discard pile.
Ninja — The Ninja card allows you to do a few things. On your turn, play
to remove a card at random from another players hand or any face up card.
Both the Ninja and the chosen card are placed in the discard pile, Ninja first.
It may also be paired with a Bandit to make that Bandit be able to take its
card value of rice regardless of any Samurai or Ronin cards that player may
have laid down. Both cards are discarded after they’re played.
Shogun — The Shogun may do one of three things; You may play it on an
opponent, look at their hand and take one card from their hand and place it
into your hand.
You may also use it to go through the discard pile and take any card from
Taking a Turn — On each turn, a player draws two cards and plays two
These two cards may be drawn from the draw pile, the discard pile (but
ONLY if the exposed card is a Samurai card), or by taking a card that you
have previously laid down in front of you, back into your hand.
After you’ve drawn two cards, you have to play any two cards from your
hand. Lay down Ronin and Samurai to defend your rice and build your
winning set of Samurai. Play Bandits, Ninja and Shogun offensively on other
players. Any combination of play is allowed. Cards played on other players
are discarded. You can also play one or both your cards to the discard pile.
Seven is the maximum amount of any cards that a player may have on the
table at any given time. You can, and may need to draw cards back in your
hand, in order to create a winning set of seven Samurai cards.
Winning — A combination of seven Samurai cards wins. You may call your
winning hand at any time during your turn and the seven cards can be from
your hand and/or combined with those already laid down. Just make sure
there aren’t any other cards down that would prevent the seven Samurai
cards from being at the table, since seven is the maximum number of cards
that can be on the table at any time.
Basic Goal
there into your hand. It may also be paired with the Ninja as a whole turn.
Doing this allows a player to look at an opponents hand, take a card of
choice into your own hand, and take another card of choice and place it in
the discard pile after placing the Shogun and Ninja in the discard pile.
Note; only the player that played the Shogun can see the other persons
cards, not the other players. In all plays, the Shogun is discarded.
15 Points — Six Samurai of any one color and one of any other color
When you finally get seven Samurai cards on the table, you score according
to how many of the same color Samurai cards you lay down.
Each player also get points for the amount of rice markers that they have on
hand at the end of each round.
12 Points — Five Samurai of any one color and two of one other color
Each player score 1 point for each rice marker
20 Points — Seven Samurai of any same color
You can also have Ronin cards as part of your set, as they are
a wild card. If one or more Ronin cards are used to make the
winning Samurai set of cards, then set is only worth 7 points.
10 Points — Four Samurai of any one color and three of one other color
There are many ways to win Seven Card Samurai. The type of
strategy you play each hand depends largely on the cards dealt
and drawn. Below is a list of just a few of strategies to play the
The Aggressive Strategy — Use lots of Bandits to steal as much rice as
possible early on in the hand. Ninjas can help make them unblockable as
opponents lay down Samurai and Ronin. If you have many of these cards
you may have a difficult time getting a good matching Samurai hand but the
multitude of rice that you collect may offset that. One disadvantage to this
strategy is that it can also make you a target of other players who will see
your pile of rice and inability to defend much of it.
The Defensive Strategy — Early on in the hand, lay down Ronin and
Samurai. If possible, be deceptive and first lay down colors of Samurai
that you don’t think that you’ll win with, so your opponent(s) might discard
Samurai colors you want.
Your bandits may not be as effective as you wait to use them till later on in
the hand. It is possible to get high scoring Samurai combos this way but it
can be a lengthy process, giving someone else a chance to go out first and
leaving you with few rice markers for points.
Shogun — These are very useful in either types of strategies as you can pull
anything from the discard pile. Wait till you see something that you need or
at least something you know your opponent needs before using. Because
each card can be played independently from the other card, the Shogun is
also great to play after playing a Bandit or Ninja card, since you can play one
of those cards and immediately take the card back into your hand, after it’s
discarded using the Shogun.
Game Designer Michael Richie thanks the following people: his wife Holly, Tony & Monica Mag, Mathias
Ringstrom, and Chris Montecalvo.
Artwork: Chris Montecalvo. For art inquiries; [email protected]
Play-testers: The Cranneys, Seebers, Kendalls, Sharps, Callihans, Chris Caron, Dan Wild, Sparks Toy &
Hobby, & The Louisville Game Shop.
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