The Unofficial Doctor Who Collectable Card Game FAQ

By robin

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      The            |_/ |_| |_  |  |_| | \      Collectable Card
                    __  __  __ __   __  ____
      Unofficial   |  \/  \/  |  |_|  |/ __ \    Game FAQ v. 1.05
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    Doctor Who and related trademarks are the property of BBC/Terry
    Nation 1963. The Doctor Who Collectable Trading Card Game is
    copyright MMG Limited 1996.


0 Introduction
1 Doctor Who Resources
2 Card Distribution and Rarity
3 General Rules
4 Specific Card
5 Strategy
6 Thanks


This list of Frequently Asked Questions is designed for players of the
Doctor Who CCG who wish to get the most out of their games. It is not
a FAQ for the Doctor Who television programme itself. Please note that
this FAQ is not supported in any way by the BBC or MMG Limited.

This FAQ should be regarded as a work in progress. If you have
additions, corrections, or other comments, please send them to robin

This FAQ is posted regularly to the newsgroups rec.arts.drwho and, and is available at:

Changes from the last version include: 2.8 (new), 2.9 (new), 3.12


The BBC television programme Doctor Who, which holds the record for
the longest-running SF serial (1963-1989), concerned the intergalactic
adventures of a renegade Time Lord known only as The Doctor. Together
with his companions, The Doctor travelled time and space in the
TARDIS, an acronym for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. Though
an alien from the planet Gallifrey, The Doctor was visibly human,
possessing two special traits: dual hearts and the ability to
regenerate to avoid death. After regeneration The Doctor would have a
new appearance and altered personality.

Doctor Who has spawned numerous novelisations, record albums, radio
programmes, reference books, toys, and other novelties. More recently
trading cards and a collectable card game (the subject of this FAQ)
have been released.

There are many on-line resources for Doctor Who fans which provide
episode listings, timelines, interviews with actors, graphics, and
much more. A good place to start your search is The Zero Room:

Siobahn (Shabang) Morgan maintains the general FAQ (not this one) and
has her own page:

Chuck Foster's Doctor Who web site also has lots of other SF info:

The Doctor Who FTP Archives may be found at:


2.1  What are the different Doctor Who card rarities?

     A: The Doctor Who CCG consists of 302 cards in five rarities:
     Common, Uncommon, Rare, Ultra-Rare, Promo. These are abbreviated
     C, U, R, X, and P respectively. Time and Watcher cards are called
     Special (S), because although they have a rarity, they are not
     found in the same distribution as the other cards.

2.2  How can I tell which cards in my starter deck are rare?

     A: Starter decks contain 60 cards plus a rules booklet and a
     separate pack of 9 Specials (Time and Watcher cards). Cards in
     the main pack are arranged as follows, if held face up: 11U, 5S,
     3R, rules, 41C. It is not known whether the Rares include
     potential Ultra-Rares.

2.3  What about the booster packs?

     A: Booster packs contain 12 cards in a fixed rarity order. Viewed
     face up, this is: 2U, 1R, 9C. It is not known how often an
     Ultra-Rare shows up in a booster.

2.4  What are all the different types of cards?

     A: Cards come in several types: Creature, Resource, Flash,
     Episode, and Time. The Watcher is a special type of Creature. For
     convenience in listings, the first letter of each type is used as
     an abbreviation. Creatures and Time cards are coloured to
     indicate their Time Zone: Past (P), Present (R), Future (F),
     Timeless (T).

2.5  How can I get a complete card listing?

     A: A complete card list with rarities has been completed and
     should be available where you found this FAQ.

2.6  Are you sure the rarity distributions for starters and boosters
     are correct? It looks like starters are the best deal.

     A: Other CCGs share this surprising characteristic: it's cheaper
     to buy starters than boosters. In the case of Doctor Who 3
     boosters (US $2.95 each) contain 3R, 6U, and 27C. For about the
     same price a starter (US $9.95) also contains 3R, but has 11U,
     41C, 14S, rules, and the box itself.

     Of course, it could very well be that ultra-rare cards are only
     found in boosters. In that case, those who plan on buying a lot
     of cards would be advised to look for good deals on booster

2.7  How rare are the ultra-rare cards?

     A: No-one knows for sure, but some players have opened 2 booster
     boxes without finding one.

2.8  What is the Exterminate! card and where can I get one?

     A: Exterminate! is a "promo" card that was included with Scrye
     #15. Unless you can locate a copy of this magazine (which becomes
     more difficult as time goes on) you'll have to trade for it.

2.9  I've got a Future Time card which says "ME" instead of "TIME". Is
     this a rare misprint?

     A: Well, it is a misprint, but doesn't seem all that rare. It may
     occur as much as half the time. The card in question is Future
     Time 3 according to the Unofficial Card List.


3.1  Most Creatures have bulleted terms after their name. Are all of
     these Races?

     A: According to page 6, the following are Races: Aliens,
     Assistants, Humans, Robots, and Time Lords. The trait "Unique" is
     simply called the "Unique rating" (page 2). Further traits are
     not described by the rule booklet. These include labels like
     "Doctor III", "Bomb", and "Weapon".

3.2  The Deck Formation rules (page 12) say that I can have no more
     than 4 identical cards in my deck. What does "identical" mean?

     A: Cards with the same name are identical; ignore further traits.
     Thus, all of the Doctor Whos are identical; you can't have 4 of
     each Doctor in your deck.

3.3  What does Unique mean then?

     A: If a card has the trait Unique only one such card can be in
     play at any given time (page 16). You can't have two Doctors in
     play even if they are different doctors because, after all, they
     *are* the same person.

     Please note that according to the rules Unique cards cannot be in
     play in different Time Zones. Thus, if Jo Grant exists in the
     Present, she cannot exist in the Future! Talk about time

3.4  The Deck Formation rules say that I must have *at least* 3
     Watcher cards. Three Watchers are placed in their respective Time
     Zones at the start of the game. Does this mean that I can have
     other Watchers in my deck and play them during the course of the

     A: Yes, Watchers are just like any other Creatures and can be
     stocked in your deck. But there are more powerful cards to use.

3.5  What happens when one of my Watchers is destroyed? Does that Time
     Zone cease to exist? Can I still play cards into that Zone?

     A: Watchers can be destroyed like any other Creature. When this
     happens the Time Zone remains, though it may be empty. The
     Watchers have no special significance other than the fact you get
     to start the game with three of them. Also, they do not count as
     Creatures when determining if you can play an Episode card.

3.6  When I take a Hit the top card from my Time card stack is
     discarded and the next one turned over. The rules state (page 18)
     that if the new Time card is the same colour as the one I just
     lost, I take another Hit. Isn't this totally a matter of luck?

     A: Yes, but note that the text says "the attacker *may*
     immediately make another Hit" (our emphasis). If you wish, make it
     a house rule that you never take multiple Hits. Then the
     distribution of cards in your Time card stack will have a lesser
     effect on who wins the game.

3.7  I'm confused by the Prepare For Combat phase. What is the exact
     sequence of events leading up to combat?

     A: The rules make this unnecessarily complicated; this may help:

     1. Player declares an attack, choosing one of their Creatures as
        the main combatant. They may either target one of the
        defender's Creatures as the main defending combatant, or let
        the defender make the choice.

     2. If the attacker did not declare a defending combatant, the
        defender has two choices. Either they choose one of their own
        Creatures as the main defending combatant, or they take a Hit.

     3. The defender may now play or Side cards as appropriate.

     4. The attacker may also play or Side any cards they need to
        assist their attack.

     5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until both parties are satisfied that
        they have done their best to win the combat.

     6. Combat is resolved.

     Remember that only Standing Creatures who were put into play on a
     previous turn may be main combatants.

3.8  Okay, that makes sense, but I'm a bit hazy on step 6. What does
     the table on page 19 mean and how is combat resolved?

     A: Every Creature has Energy and Substance values. If a Creature
     is attacked by another with greater Energy *and* Substance
     (compare each separately), that Creature is destroyed. Attackers
     may be destroyed in the same manner as defenders.

     Thus, if a 2 Energy 3 Substance attacker is up against a 1/4
     defender, both will survive. If the attacker adds 2 more
     Substance, they will reign victorious, but if the defender comes
     up with 2 more Energy the attacker will be vanquished.

3.9  Can you tell me exactly what you can and can't do in a chosen
     Time Zone?

     A: The rules are quite explicit about this matter (page 14).
     Concisely: each turn, you choose a Time Zone, which we'll refer
     to as the Chosen Time Zone (CTZ). For the remainder of your turn,
     the only place that you may play Creatures and Resources, attack,
     or use Special abilities is in your CTZ.

     You may play Episodes and Flash cards anywhere. Furthermore, you
     may Side creatures in any Zone to solve an Episode.

     On your opponent's turn, you can only Side cards in the CTZ your
     opponent chose.

3.10 How do defensive cards, those which specify "until end of turn"
     or "this turn" work? If I Side such a Resource on my turn, surely
     its effect is gone by my opponent's turn.

     A: Side these cards on your opponent's turn and their effect
     lasts until the end of *their* turn. Nothing in the rules states
     that Creatures and Resources cannot Side on your opponent's turn,
     as long as they are in the CTZ chosen by your opponent.

3.11 Do I have to pre-empt my opponent's actions by Siding a defensive
     card (on their turn) before they announce a combat?

     A: Let's look at an example. Say you have a Trionic Lock (which
     can Side to prevent an opponent's Resource from Siding) in play.
     Your opponent starts their turn, and immediately Sides one of
     their Resources. One interpretation would be that it's now too
     late to use the Trionic Lock on it, since the Lock only *prevents*
     the Resource from Siding. Now that it *has* Sided, it's too late.

     A second interpretation would be that as long as you Side the
     Trionic Lock immediately, your opponent's Resource is effectively
     locked. Unless you enjoy speed play ("I Sided it first! No! I
     Sided it first!"), we recommend this option.

3.12 This isn't technical enough for me. Do you have any formal timing
     rules we can use?

     A: We can adopt timing rules similar to those used in other
     games. Assume a card can be played as a reaction to an event as
     long as it directly affects that event. Then, another card can be
     played as a reaction to the first, and so on. When players have
     finished playing their cards, the result is an effect chain.

     Let's look at an example. Player A Sides Ace to destroy Player
     B's TARDIS. The Siding of Ace is an event to which other cards
     can react. Player B plays HADS, which "prevents any damage or
     effect against a TARDIS until end of turn". This is a valid
     response since it directly affects the event in question. Player
     A then throws down Time Stop, which "prevents the playing of any
     one Flash card which must then be discarded". Player B responds
     with Barbed Wire, which holds "one Creature until end of turn.
     Creature may not Side, attack, or defend".

     In what order should effects in a chain be resolved? Games like
     Shadowfist and M:TG resolve effects in the opposite order to how
     they were played. In other words, the last effect played resolves
     first. However, these games have very specific card text which
     has been designed for this method of resolution. Doctor Who does
     not, and it is our opinion that resolving effects this way would
     require dozens of rulings on individual cards.

     If we resolve events sequentially as they occur in the chain
     fewer interpretation difficulties arise. In our example, Ace
     Sides, then HADS prevents the TARDIS from being destroyed. Next,
     Time Stop cancels out the playing of HADS; at this point the
     TARDIS is again in jeopardy. Finally, Barbed Wire holds Ace so
     she cannot Side. The TARDIS is safe.

     Choose a method of resolution which suits you and your play
     group. Just be sure and let everyone know before you begin

3.13 Okay, say my opponent Sides Ace to destroy one of my Resources.
     Does the previous answer mean that I can immediately Side the
     Resource to get one last use out of it?

     A: No. Your use of the Resource is not a reaction to Ace Siding
     in the required sense. Your Resource does not specify Ace, unlike
     the Trionic Lock in the previous example which does specify the
     card it's reacting to ("target Resource").

3.14 The rules talk about "damage" but only say that this is "the act
     of inflicting an effect which would weaken an opponent." I've got
     a couple of cards (The Eye of Orion, Sanctum) which prevent
     damage, but I don't know when to use them.

     A: First, note that damage has nothing to do with combat. This is
     attested to by the rather cryptic sentence on page 19: "The values
     of Energy and Substance in combat are not used to damage, but as
     degrees of strength, with the stronger main combatant the
     winner." Damage is only inflicted by cards which say they do
     damage, such as Meteorites and Fenric's Flask. Flash cards such
     as Sanctum can prevent such damage.

3.15 Well, how does damage work then?

     A: Let's take Meteorites as an example. This Flash card says
     "Choose a Zone. Inflict 3 Energy / 3 Substance damage on all your
     opponent's Creatures, which have more than 1 Energy / 1
     Substance." Hence each target Creature has both its Energy and
     Substance reduced by 3. If both values become 0, the Creature is
     destroyed. Otherwise, it is still at full strength as far as
     combat is concerned, but is vulnerable to further damage or cards
     like The Happiness Patrol, which can destroy a damaged Creature.

3.16 Can you summarise for me how Siding works?

     A: During the first phase of your turn you Stand all your
     Creatures and Resources to indicate that they are active and
     ready to be used. Cards are Sided when used for one of the
     following purposes: give Support, use Special ability, solve
     Episode, or engage in attack as main combatant.

     In the last case the rules say to Side the card *after* combat
     (page 21) even though the main combatant cannot Side for any
     other purpose. If you find it easier, Side when announcing

     Once Sided, cards may not perform any of the above listed
     actions. Sided cards may not be main combatants; thus Sided cards
     do not block and cannot be defenders. Only Standing cards may
     Side. Cards may be Sided or Stood through effects. On the turn in
     which they are first played, cards may only Side to Support. The
     use of passive abilities (those without the oo infinity sign)
     does not require Siding.

     Note that some cards state that others must Side for them to have
     an effect. An example is the Demat Gun which states, in part:
     "You must Side a Time Lord to use." The Siding of the Time Lord
     obeys all of the above rules, though it does not count as a
     Special ability use of the Time Lord.


4.1  The Time Eddy Flash returns to the players' hands their last
     played cards. How far back does this effect work? Do the cards
     have to have been played on the current turn?

     A: The effect has no turn limit. If the card in question
     is a Creature or Resource it could be that that card has been
     Sided since it was played. Any effects generated by the card are
     unchanged, even though it now returns to your hand.

4.2  Tegan Jovanka gives +1 Substance to Doctor Who V if in the same
     Zone. Does this mean that my Tegan gives my opponent's Doctor V a

     A: Yes. A Time Zone includes both players' cards.

4.3  Giant Robot states "Must attack each turn. Failing to do so makes
     Siding compulsory." Does this mean that my Robot can attack even
     if it's not in the Chosen Time Zone (CTZ)?

     A: No! The CTZ rule should be interpreted as overriding all card
     text unless explicitly stated otherwise. The Giant Robot *is*
     ambiguous in this respect, but for play balance interpret it as
     follows: "Must attack each turn if in the CTZ. If it does not or
     cannot attack, Side the card."

4.4  What about cards which don't specify Time Zones? For example,
     Trionic Lock states: "oo Locks a target Resource preventing it
     from Siding or Standing this turn"? Can the target be in a
     different Time Zone?

     A: No. This card does not explicitly state where the target
     Resource must be, so by default it can only affect targets in the
     same Time Zone.

4.5  But doesn't this contradict the Demat Gun which states: "oo
     Destroy any one card in play. You must Side a Time Lord to use."?

     A: This is not a contradiction, because the Demat Gun is explicit
     in stating its exception to the rule. It *can* destroy a card in
     a different Time Zone.

     However, it *does not* explicitly state where the Time Lord must
     be. Hence, the Time Lord has to be in the CTZ along with the
     Demat Gun. Unfortunately, the rules are unclear on this point,
     since Siding the Time Lord is not a Special ability of the Time
     Lord card, and hence is not explicitly restricted by the CTZ

4.6  Can the TARDIS Resource move to another Time Zone without taking
     any cards with it?

     A: Good question. The card says, "Move this TARDIS and either one
     of your Creatures or Resources, from this Zone to another Zone."
     This is oddly worded; the word "either" is extraneous.

     A literal interpretation would be that the TARDIS cannot move
     alone. A more liberal reading, given the odd wording, is that
     the TARDIS is able to move itself. After all, if it can move a
     Zarbi, and operate without a Time Lord, it can do just about

4.7  The Chameleon Circuit Resource can Side to prevent damage to the
     TARDIS. Does it have to be in the same Time Zone as the TARDIS?

     A: Apparently so, since the card does not explicitly state that
     the TARDIS can be in any Time Zone. Since the Chameleon Circuit
     must be in the CTZ to Side, then the TARDIS must be in the CTZ as

4.8  The Chumblies' Special ability is "oo +1 Support to any Alien."
     Does this mean that the Chumblies' Support value is effectively 2
     when helping Aliens? Or do they increase the Alien's Support

     A: The latter. Since the Chumblies must Side to use their Special
     ability, it would scarcely matter if their Support for Aliens was
     now 2. Being Sided they could not Support. The same holds true
     for Cybermats and other cards with similar wordings.

4.9  Why do the Romans and The Brothers of Demnos have different
     wordings though their effects are the same?

     A: Their effects are not quite identical. Romans says "+1 to each
     Roman, for every other Roman in play on your side, in any one
     Zone." Thus, if you have 2 Romans, each will have a Support value
     of 2. Any Romans your opponent has in play do not affect your

     In contrast, The Brothers of Demnos has "+1 Support for each
     additional Brother of Demnos in play." Note that if your opponent
     has one Brother and you have another, both have their Support
     raised to 2.

4.10 What about Greek Hoplites? Does the first such card increase the

     A: Greek Hoplites has the Innate ability "+1 Energy / +1
     Substance for every Greek Hoplite in play on your side." The card
     starts with values 1/1. This effect can be interpreted in one of
     two ways.

     If read literally, the *first* copy of the card would start as
     2/2 since it *is* a Greek Hoplite in play! Thus, if you had 2
     Greek Hoplites in play, each would be 3/3 Creatures.

     The second interpretation is that the card text should say "every
     *other* Greek Hoplite" to conform to how the Romans and Brothers
     (and Zarbi and others) work. This interpretation is supported by
     the fact that even the Romans and Brothers don't use consistent
     wording to achieve a similar effect. Also, this interpretation
     prevents the Hoplites from becoming over-powerful Creatures.

4.11 One of my Watchers has different values from the rest. What

     A: The Past Watcher 3 has values 1/0/0 instead of 1/1/0. Assume
     it is a misprint.

4.12 I've just noticed that my Daemons has different text than the
     cards shown on page 3 of the rules. What's up?

     A: It appears that some cards were changed very close to the
     final release of the game. Some early print advertisements also
     showed alternative versions of cards.


5.1  Many of my combats end up being stalemated. It's always 2/2
     versus another 2/2 or what have you. How can I get the upper

     A: Flash cards, Resources, innate abilities, special abilities,
     and Support can all raise Energy and Substance values and assist

5.2  My opponent has 3 Creatures in the Future Time Zone and I don't
     have any. If I put a Creature there now, they will be cannon
     fodder. But if I don't, I'll keep getting Hit. How can I make a
     strong play and defend the Future?

     A: If you are outnumbered in a given Time Zone, put down a useful
     Resource before placing another Creature. This lays the
     groundwork for a more robust attack or defence, and it's less
     likely that the Resource will be destroyed before it can be used.

     Also, it's a good strategy to save a Flash card or two for such
     situations. It's tempting to always use them for attacks, but an
     unexpectedly strong defence can also destroy your opponent's
     Creature. Temporal Grace will prevent one Hit against you; this
     may buy you enough time (so to speak). The Keeper of Traken
     allows an additional card play and can be pivotal in allowing you
     to come from behind in a weak Zone.

5.3  I've only just bought some cards and need basic advice on putting
     together an effective deck. Can you help?

     A: Doctor Who is not a game which emphasizes deck design. It's
     usually sufficient to put all your most powerful cards together
     without too much concern for how they interact. That said,
     there are some basic guidelines which may help.

     To start with, try the following deck proportions: 10 each of
     Past, Present, Future, and Timeless Creatures; 10 Resources; 20
     Flash cards; 4 Episodes with total solve numbers of 25.

     Choose the Creatures with the highest possible values, noting
     especially Support. Don't include any Creatures with 0 Support,
     unless they have superior abilities. Be aware of Creatures with
     low values that have cumulative effects: Mongols, Romans, Greek
     Hoplites, and so on. If you take one of these Creatures, be sure
     you take the maximum 4 copies. You want to ensure you'll get
     multiple copies in play.

     Watch that you don't include too many Unique cards, as these may
     be kept from play if your opponent also has them.

     Your Timeless Creatures should include 4 Doctors, as these are
     among the best cards. Take those companions which give your
     Doctors bonuses. The combination of Doctors and companions are
     great not only for combat, but also for quickly solving Episodes.

     The Resources you put in your deck should give you extra
     abilities (e.g. TARDIS), increased defense (e.g. Underground
     Bunker, Trench), and additional offensive options (e.g. Demat
     Gun, DN6).

     Many games can be won or lost on Flash cards. Instant destruction
     is always useful (e.g. Exterminate!, Neurotrope X, Cyber Bomb),
     but so are cards which increase Creature values, especially
     support (e.g. Brain Transformer, Star Base). Q Capsule can allow
     a Creature to act twice on one turn -- great for the Doctor!

     Of course your opponent is going to have cool cards as well, so
     you'd better take Time Stop, Fusion Booster, and other Flash
     cards which counter plays. But don't include cards which counter
     only specific cards unless you know your opponent is in the habit
     of playing them.


Thanks to the following contributors: Russ Smith, James Petry, Stephen
Crow, Peter Gregg.