This is going to be a text based tutorial on how you play the game, there is a game tutorial (though in Japanese) on their site here.
Anyways, let’s start! I hope you read up on the game terms and symbols!
It is simply a number crunching game, you can receive the ball when you have the same or more than the number of points in the attack or the serve. The same also works when you need to block a ball, when the ball rebounds back to your opponent, the attack point of the ball is “0” and any card with 0 or higher can receive the ball.
The order of the game is…
Serve phase » Rally starts | Receiver’s turn: Draw Phase => Receive => Toss => Attack » Server’s Receive Phase » Repeat till one person loses | If they decide to block, it will go back to the Receiver’s receive phase and repeat starting from “Rally starts.”
The person who loses takes one of their cards from the set area, you continue till one has no more cards in the set area (like after the last card is taken).
Thus it will make it a 4 set match, best 3 wins, if we are reading interpreting it correctly.
You need a standard 40 card deck.
You can split the deck and make it 20-20 so your friend who doesn’t have one can join in on a little bit of the fun.
It will change how much cards you put down in the set area, as shown in the tutorial below!
If you would prefer it, they have a playmat you can DL off their site along with all the instructions mentioned here and more but all in Japanese: HERE
Now let’s start Vobaca!!
Like every card game, you first shuffle your deck. You and your opponent cuts each other’s deck (to avoid cheating) though you guys can have a say at whether or not you would want to cut the deck.
First you put 2 cards in the set area face down from your deck, you cannot look at those 2 cards.
You draw 6 cards from your deck to see what you have. You can return the cards from your hand back into the deck if you don’t want it in your hand. You shuffle your deck repeat what I said before about the deck cutting. You draw back the amount of cards you put back.
It’s kinda like having a second go to see if your hand gets better.
Now we start!
Oh but before that, it’s not necessary but you say “onegaishimasu!” before you start!
Here we go!
Pick who goes first, it can be determined in any way you want, rock, paper, scissors or w/e. In the rule guide, they said Rock, Paper, Scissors.
They’ll be the ones who will be serving, much like an actual volleyball game. This is noted as the serve phase.
Now, note how on the game mat, there’s a “serve” section, that’s where you put your server.
See on the top corner of your card, there’s your serve points (as mentioned on the “On Card” section), that’s how much your serve will be. You place the card in the slot and you have served the ball with x serve points.
Note: You can’t block a serve, it’s like that for volleyball games too.
Rally Starts! » Receive Phase => Toss Phase => Attack Phase:
This is where your elementary math skills come in handy, if you’re SUPER lazy, use a calculator but we believe it won’t get that complicated.
To receive, the receive points of the character you’re going to put in the receive area has to be equal to or greater than the serve points in this first turn.
For example: I used a card to serve that had 2 serve points. Then you would need to play a card with the same or higher receive points than the 2 point serve. To use actual cards, I choose Hinata Shouyou (Trial Deck Version) to serve for 2 points. You then play a Sawamura Daichi (Trial Deck version) who has a receive point of 4, which means that you successfully received the ball!
Now we move on to the Toss phase.
It’s quite simple. When you toss a ball to someone the number of toss points will be added to the attack points of the attacker.
So let’s say you put a Kageyama Tobio (Trial Deck version) down for 1 toss point.
Next we go to the attack phase!
This step is also relatively simple. This is where you’re going to hit the invisible ball back to me. So place down a Hinata Shouyou (Trial Deck Version) down for 2 points (the plus beside it will be explained in the FAQ section pulled from their site later).
Without using any skill or action card, your total attack points now = tossser’s toss points + attacker’s attack points = 3 in this case.
Now you’re hitting the ball back to me with a total of 3 attack points, I can always receive the ball but this time, I’ll block it!
As mentioned before, you have the choice to block or receive. If you are going to block, you place the card(s) in the block area (which is near the net of the playmat). As with volleyball, you can put up to 3 cards to block a ball.
Same rule goes, if the block points are equal to or higher then the total attack points, the ball is blocked. After the ball is blocked, remember that the ball’s total points are now “0”.
Likewise, I can play a Tsukishima Kei (Trial Deck Version) in the block area to block that weak 3 point ball. You now need to play a card that can receive a 0 point ball.
So now we repeat the game until one of us uses up our resources or calls game first.
Now how will the game end? There are currently a few ways for you to lose a set:
- If you cannot make a successful play (as in if you miss a step/phase) or cannot play a card during those steps, you lose.
- If you cannot block successfully, you lose: Meaning that if you say you’re going to block but finding out that you don’t have enough to block with, you will lose.
- If you cannot receive the ball, you lose.
- If you proclaimed a break, you lose.
So you will continue playing until you guys lose all of your cards in the set area, then that person is the winner! It doesn’t mean that the moment you take your last set card in the set area out you win. You win after they lose again and that they have no more cards in the set area to take cards from.
So let’s say that you won the set but the game isn’t over yet, what do you do?
You start over again. So the loser of the set will take a card out from the set area and puts it in their hand. You each draw cards till you end up with 6 cards in your hand.
If the server for the previous set also won the set, they get to serve again. It is whoever wins the set gets to serve.
Likewise, you play until you run out of cards from the set area.
Feel free to take a look at the video for a better idea on how the game works!