GenCon 2012 – Dr. Who Card Game

As an avid Doctor Who fan, evident in some of my past write-ups, one of the things I definitely wanted to checkout was the new card game from Cubicle 7, offered for the first time at GenCon.  I quickly made my way to their booth and patiently waited for the representative to sit down with us to play a few rounds and demonstrate the game.


Dressed as the TARDIS, she welcomed us to our places at the table and wasted no time introducing us to the their new game.  The game is designed by Martin Wallace and meant to be played by 3 to 4 players, we had 4 in our game which included an 11 year-old boy that was clearly a Doctor Who fan.

The goal of the game, from the rulebook;

To win you have to

  • Defend the universe as the Doctor and his companions.
  • Send the Doctor’s enemies to conquer the places your competitors are trying to protect.
  • Save the universe!

The game box contains:

  • Rule book
  • Four sets of player pieces, each one consisting of five TARDIS counters and five Dalek counters
  • One set of Game cards (one hundred and twenty seven in all)
  • Four Starting Location cards
  • One Game End card
  • Thirty Time tokens

Game Play

The rules were quickly summarized and presented to us in just a few minutes then we were off and playing.  You are given 5 cards; Defenders (the Doctor, Amy Pond, Rory, and River Song), Locations (defend your locations, while attacking those of other players), Enemies (aliens and creatures used to attack other player locations) and Support (allies, gadgets, and events that will help (or hinder) the Doctor).

We played a quick and simple version of the game, our hostess explained that there are a few details left out to accommodate the time allowed for the demonstration, without taking away from the playability of the game.  She explained that with each turn we should immediately play any location cards we have in our hand as they provide us with points (time tokens), and we are limited to playing 2 cards, leaving three cards to be discarded to the previous player.

You can use your enemy cards to attack other player locations in order to acquire the Time Tokens granted by that location, but only if you still possess them at the end of the game.  The enemy card is played faced down so players don’t know the strength of the enemy card you played, should they try to defend the location with a Defender card.  If the Defender card played in order to retake an attacked location has a greater value than the Enemy, the location is successfully defended.

Players can protect themselves by playing a Defender card at one of their locations before it is attacked, again placing the card face down on the Location card.  Should another player decide to attack that location, the mechanic is the same; the Enemy card must be of greater value than the Defender card in order to successfully capture the location.

The support cards allow advantages such as being able to see what card has been played on a location or collecting tokens.  As an example, the “Crack in Time” card allowed a player to collect a point for each of his TARDIS tokens currently played in the game.  We didn’t really get to use the Support cards, so this is a bit of a gray area and I apologize for not being able to give more details.

The game ends when a player pulling from the deck (at the end of each turn you pull 2 cards from the deck to replenish the 2 you played), reaches an “End of Game” card that has randomly been placed in the stack at the start of the game.  At that point players inventory their currently held Locations, collect their Time Tokens and count them up.  The player that finishes with the highest number of Time Tokens wins the game.

In the end we had a great time playing the game.  It was very quick and easy to pickup and play, so easy the 11 year old at our table had no time catching on and actually came in 2nd to the winner (our hostess).  All the great enemies of the Doctor were present in the game as were all of his companions.  It is a nice compact game that would be great to take along on that family vacation to pass some time on those rainy evenings.  However, I felt the price tag at the show was a little high for this style of card game.  Maybe I was just feeling stingy with my dollar this year, had the game been $10 cheaper I definitely would have picked up a copy.

Website:  Dr. Who card game from Cubicle 7


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