Released in 2003, Ophidian: 2350 is a collectible card game (CCG) created by Ophidian Games and Fleer. It uses a play structure called the Flow rather than the normal turn-based system typically used in the genre.
takes place in the year 2350, where a strange reptilian race known as Ophidians run gladitorial arenas for humans, aliens and demons alike. Combat consists of one team pitted against another, and though competitors often die, the gladiators
is often taken before the match to resurrect the fallen warrior.
Each player's team is made up of up to four gladiators, usually one of each victory point (VP) level (ranging from 1 to 4), but a team can technically be made up of any combination that adds up to 10. A player can win either by defeating an opponent's gladiators, by defeating gladiators worth a greater number of victory points after four waves
(rounds) or by amassing 15 points worth of cheer
from the audience.
Each side of the table is divided up into an action field, where powerful gladiators can attack and protect others from attacks, and a support field, where less powerful gladiators and supporting minions usually reside. Between waves, cards can move between the two fields as needed.
Some of the game mechanics are recognizable from previous games such as Magic: The Gathering - cards are "set" when activated, being rotated ninety degrees to show that they have been used, which is identical to "tapping" in Magic. However, the turns of previous CCGs are not present in Ophidian, instead replaced by the the Flow.
The Flow is the system that replaces turns in Ophidian
, and allows both players to be active at one time, one "with the Flow" and the other without it. All actions are either positive (denoted by a plus), or negative (denoted by a minus). Players can play only when they have the Flow, and whilst positive actions allow one to keep the Flow and play additional actions, a negative Flow action gives Flow to the opponent. It is also possible to expend cheer to change an opponent's positive action into a negative action, and thus force a change in control of the Flow. Certain actions (responses
) can be played even without the Flow.
When both players have no further actions to take, the wave (round) ends, with both sides taking a breather. When the next wave starts, the Flow begins with the player who has the most damage on his or her gladiators (both alive and dead).