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SaintCards

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SaintCards
Get to Know Your Family in Heaven
Manufacturer(s)Devout Life Resources, LLC
Designer(s)David Williams
Genre(s)Collectible card game
Language(s)English
Players1 to 6
Playing time10 to 15 minutes
Websitehttp://www.saintcards.com

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SaintCards is an educational card game designed by the American Catholic convert David Williams[1] to teach players about Christian saints, the liturgical year, history and art, primarily from a Catholic perspective.[2]

Development and Growth[edit]

Williams was prompted to create the game when his wife commented upon how he had been learning a significant amount about the saints but had not taught anything about the subject to their children.[3]

In early 2018, Williams ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the production of SaintCards.[4] Subsequently, the prototypical cards[5] were slightly redesigned before the 2018 SaintCards Deluxe Starter Set was released. The most notable changes between the prototype and the publicly released base set were the shape of the fact ribbons and the introduction of a geographical component at the base of each card, the latter of which substantially increased the number of possible matches between different cards.

The original rules were slightly expanded in 2019 with the release of the second, smaller base deck.[6] Along with some new matchable categories, the latter deck also introduced rules for a new game variation called Run the Race! however it does not include a storage container as the original base set did.

In May and June 2019, the game was promoted at the Minnesota Catholic Home Education Conference.[7]

Game Play[edit]

The game begins with the dealer dealing a fixed number of cards to each player. The number of cards varies depending on the number of players. The remainder of the deck is placed face down to form the draw pile with the top card turned face up next to it to start the play pile.

In turn, each player aims to match at least one attribute of a card in his or her hand with an attribute of the top card in play. Players gain treasures (also called jewels) which are collected from the Storehouse of Treasure, with each additional matching attribute earning a player an additional treasure. Treasures take the physical form of game pieces of varying size and colour, each corresponding to a different value and so function as the point scoring system for the game. On a single turn, a player may play a second card only if at least 3 matches between it and the card previously played can be identified.

Alternatively, or if a player is unable to find any matches, that player may draw a card from the draw pile instead.

Play moves to the next player in turn once a player says pass.

The game ends after one player has played his or her final card and the dealer has had a final chance to play. The player who has gathered the most treasure is the winner. That player then collects all the other players' treasures and lays them at the feet of Jesus, i.e. next to the Jesus Card.

Matchable Attributes[edit]

The rules sheet includes multiple lists of matchable attributes organised into categories.[6] Each attribute is displayed on a card in some way if that attribute is applicable to the saint on the card.

The most common attributes are designated as fact colors/ribbons. These usually describe the saints' vocation or position within the Church. It is important to note that a card's background colour is considered a primary attribute so it can also be matched to a ribbon of the same colour. To assist colorblind players, a system of

All cards (except WildCards) contain a number in two corners, indicating the centuries of birth and departure of the saint on the card. These two numbers are sometimes the same.

Every card (with at least one exception) displays the month the named saint's feast day falls in along with a picture corresponding to each month to aid visual matching.

The geography panel at the base of a card indicates the regions of the word where a card's saint either lived or had some significant influence (e.g. by maintaining an extended written correspondence).

Often, but not always, the badge/symbol of a monastic saint's religious order is included as an additional matchable attribute.

Finally, there are 4 Special Designations:

  • Pope (for Popes of Rome)
  • Patriarch (for Eastern Patriarchs of the Pentarchy)
  • Lay Soldier (for military saints)
  • Secular Royalty (generally reserved for monarchs and their children)

WildCards[edit]

Certain cards are labelled as WildCards. These are usually angels or saints who were born Before Christ. Instead of a geographical component, each contains a different text which alters the usual flow of gameplay.

Solitaire SaintCards[edit]

A variation of the rules for a single player option is printed on the rules sheet.[6]

House Rules[edit]

Some players have invented their own house rules, e.g. bonus treasures for playing a saint on that saint's feast day. Williams has expressed his approval of these alterations and even considered incorporating some of them into the official rules.[8]

Expansions[edit]

The original base set includes a few cards with markings belonging to categories which are part of expansion sets, however the rules for what effect those cards have are only contained in each expansion set. Nonetheless, these symbols are still matchable attributes even in the original base set.

The SaintCards Expansions listed on the original rules[6] sheet includes:

  • Doctors of the Church
  • Holy Helpers
  • Roman Canon
  • Stigmatists
  • Bi-locators
  • Apparitions
  • Where Two or More are Gathered

Future Expansions[edit]

Williams has stated that he intends to create further expansion packs.

Heaven Hold'em[edit]

Heaven Hold'em
Manufacturer(s)Devout Life Resources, LLC
Designer(s)David Williams
Genre(s)Collectible card game (expansion kit)
Language(s)English
Players2 to 10
Playing time60 minutes or more
Websitehttps://www.saintcards.com/shop/SaintCards-Heaven-Holdem-Expansion-p131403008

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Heaven Hold'em is a variation of SaintCards based upon the poker variation Texas hold 'em.[8] For example, instead of the bets of poker, in this game offerings are made.

In 2019, the Heaven Hold'em Expansion kit was released with its own specialised rules however, as it does not include any playable cards, it is necessary for players to use either SaintCards or Historia Cards in conjuction with the kit.[9]

A new treasure piece called amethyst (worth 50 treasures) was initially released as part of this expansion.

Historia Cards[edit]

Historia Cards
For Such a Time as This
Manufacturer(s)Devout Life Resources, LLC
Designer(s)David Williams
Genre(s)Collectible card game
Language(s)English
Players1 to 3
Playing time10 to 15 minutes
Websitehttps://www.saintcards.com/shop/SaintCards-Historia-Cards-Set-1-p131372762

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Historia Cards, a related game with a non-religious focus upon history, has also been released.[10] It can be played either independently or incorporated into the original SaintCards game.

The Historia Cards base set includes its own specialised rules for play,[11] however they are largely similar to the original SaintCards rules. In addition to the Geography Facts of SaintCards, it also includes a variety of other Facts categories which players may use for matching, however some sets of facts are peculiar to a particular Main Category (e.g. Architecture, Conflict, Document, etc.).

References[edit]

  1. "A Heavenly Game: SaintCards – Off the Shelf 112 with David Williams". Catholic Stand. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  2. Williams, David (2018). "SaintCards". Kickstarter. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  3. Mitchell, Anna (1 November 2018). "Son Rise Morning Show 110118 - Feast of All Saints!". Son Rise Morning Show (Interview). Matt Swaim. Cincinnati, Ohio: Sacred Heart Radio Inc. 23 to 30 minutes in. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  4. Williams, David (2018). "SaintCards". Kickstarter. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  5. Unknown, Jessica (23 April 2018). "SaintCards on the Feast of St. George". Shower of Roses. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Williams, David (2010–2019). "SaintCards Rules" (PDF). Devout Life Resources, LLC. Retrieved 31 July 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  7. "2019 Vendors". Minnesota Catholic Home Education Conference & Curriculum Fair. University of St. Thomas. 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Minihan, Adam (19 July 2019). "The Role of the Saints in the Renewal of the Church". The Catholic Man Show. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  9. Williams, David (2010–2019). "Heaven Hold'em Expansion" (PDF). Devout Life Resources, LLC. Retrieved 31 July 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  10. Williams, David (2010–2019). "Rule Downloads". SaintCards.com. Devout Life Resources, LLC. Retrieved 31 July 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  11. Williams, David (2010–2019). "Historia Cards Rules" (PDF). SaintCards.com. Devout Life Resources, LLC. Retrieved 31 July 2019.CS1 maint: Date format (link)


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