Gameplay is quite simple. The first phreaker to reach the agreed upon number of phreaker points wins. For new players, 3 phreaker points are recommended.
Prior to game play beginning, decide with your opponent if you want to play a normal or flash paced game. Game speed determines how many phreaker points you need to be the winner. A normal paced game requires at least 11 phreaker points to win. You can increase the phreaker points to any odd number greater than 11. A flash paced game requires at least 5 phreaker points or any odd number of phreaker hacks less than 11. Game play can begin with one phreaker stating the number of phreaker hack points, with the other phreaker responding with the confirmation word "Positive!" Alternatively, "Negative, 17!" can be used to deny a challenge and respond with a counter offer.
To decide who goes first, a player flips a card. The other player is given the courtesy to call "heads" or "tail"s before the card is flipped.
When both players agree, 5 cards from each Phreaker's Resource deck are drawn and held in their stack, which is held in their hand. The player going first draws one extra card to begin the game. The stack must always start with 5 cards, but can grow to a size limited by the number of cards in the Phreaker's resource deck. No additional cards may be added to a deck once game play has begun with the first card being drawn. The Resource deck size is 45 to 65 cards. When a resource deck is exhausted, the Trash Heap may be used, but that's a roadmap item for a future release.
At the beginning of each turn, draw one card from your resource deck. Pop a card from the deck into your stack. The phreaker has the option to place an energy card onto the card field, or any number of cards from their hand. The amount of cards they can be placed is limited to the total energy they have placed in the stream, and not previously expended.
When Anhackronism cards are played and added to The Stream, they are ready to battle. After an Anhackronism card initiates an attack, they need to rest or recharge until the player's round begins again. During that time, the resting Anhackronism hero is vulnerable to attack. They can be attacked and will incur damage, but they cannot retaliate and inflict damage to their attacker. Skillz can be invoked as long as they are not inflicting damage and the player has enough energy to invoke said skill.
An alternative method of winning is the Lulz Vicotry. This is when a Phreaker wins by playing enough FAIL cards to cause an opponent Phreaker's score to be negative plus one earned Phreaker point. When a Phreaker's negative score is equal to the inverse agreed upon winning score, to achieved a Lulz Victory, the Phreaker with the advantage must earn a Phreaker point by initiating an attack with a Device or Anhackronism. An initiated battle is the only way to ensure a Lulz Victory. The losing Phreaker can continue going deeper negative with their score, but has not yet lost.
If a Phreaker decides to low ball the number of cards in their resource deck as a means to game the game, we've added a rule to countermeasure that. The first Phreaker to run out of cards automatically loses.