top of page
< Back

Game Rules

Introduction to Swamp Monsters TCG

Game Rules


Swamp Monsters TCG is a turn-based strategy trading card game where players choose a Champion, deploy Heroes, Operatives, and Traps in their swamp, and vie to defeat their adversaries. By strategically clearing enemy front-row cards, you expose their Champion for direct attacks. Victory is achieved by reducing an enemy Champion’s political power to zero. 


Game Details and Recommendations     


Each player starts with a 69-card deck and 1 pre-selected Champion. Your Champion card is placed face-up at the bottom of your swamp, displaying Political Power (PP) in the lower right corner. The objectives are twofold: 

1.) Strategically deploy Persona cards, Utility, Traps, Capitol, and Resources cards to reduce your opponent's Political Power to zero and be the last player standing. 

2.) After the last player with cards remaining to draw finishes their deck (on that end turn phase), the player with the highest Champion PP emerges victorious. Gameplay stops after the final card is drawn from the last available deck and that player finishes their turn. No other turns follow. 


Pre-Game Setup 

Deciding Turn Order & Turn Order/Round Description 

If a player selects a Champion that’s currently holding the US Presidency, they choose the starting player, otherwise roll a D20 and highest roll goes first. The turn order is clockwise. Players take turns playing through their 5 phases until the end phase. The gameplay is last man standing, where players continue until all other players are eliminated or all players available draw cards have been pulled. A player’s turn is constituted by the 5 phases of a turn. While a round is the compilations of all players turns, starting from and ending on the same player. 


The Swamp 

Front Row: Deploy Hero, Operative, and Utility cards (4 open spaces). Note that traps cannot occupy front-row spaces. 

Back Row: Place Trap, Operative, and Hero cards (3 open spaces, face-down). 

Champion Space: Home to your formidable Champion. 

Deck Space: Location for your deck. 

Discard/Jail Space: Reserved for discarded cards. 

Utility/Event Space: For Gambit Utility and Event cards.  

Capitol Space: For Capitol cards. 


Three core resource systems: 


(CFC) Crumbling Fiat Currency The swamp’s primary deployment financial currency. Use CFC to meet card play costs found in the bottom left corner to play to the Swamp. 

Morale (MC) Increase outgoing and decrease incoming damage by the amount spent x100. Must be spent prior to attack. Can only be used one time for Persona card per turn.  

Influence (INF) Empowers card abilities. Use INF for abilities listed in the lower right corner. Costs vary based on ability strength. 

MAX Resource – If a player gains 10 of any resource at any time, they may convert any amount of that resource into the other resources. 



Players place their Champions and allocate starting resources based on values indicated on Champion cards. In the initial turn, all player’s Champions have a beneficial status effect called invincibility, which makes them and their Swamp immune to everything. This ability only lasts during their initial turn and disappears after their first turn ends. 


Draw Phase 

Draw 7 cards on the first turn. 

Subsequent draw phases involve drawing until your hand holds 5 cards. If exceeding 5 cards, only draw 1. No maximum hand size applies. 

Resource Phase 

Play up to 2 resource cards from your hand to the Bank space per turn. Adjust your resource tracking D10’s accordingly. Optionally, convert up to 2 resources to another, or if you play a single resource card you may convert 1 resource to another. This strategic shift aids in meeting deployment costs.  


Resource Card Examples 

Deployment Phase 

Play cards to your Swamp adhering to respective card costs.  


Deploying Cards 

Persona Cards: Position Heroes and Operatives in the front row if spaces are available. CFC covers deployment cost.  

Promotion Cards: Placed atop 1st stage cards. Promotion cards require meeting a deployment cost and having the initial card in play for a complete turn. Once a card is promoted the Political Power resets to the promoted card’s value. 

Utility Cards: 

Play “Control” Utility cards to the Utility cards space. Playing a new Control Utility discards the previous Control Utility card. 

Attach “Equip” Utility cards under Persona cards to modify the card.

Play Gambit Utility cards to augment the flow of normal gameplay. 

Capitol Cards: Play Capitol cards to the Capitol space at no cost. These cards modify/amplify the capabilities of your deck. 

Trap Cards: Deploy face-down in the back row during your turn’s deployment phase. Trap cards will have either an interrupt or instant use icon. Interrupt traps must be in the Swamp to play, while instant use traps do not. 

Event Cards: Play these cards face up in the Utility/Event space to have massive impact on the flow of gameplay. Event Cards remain in the event space until the event ends.  

Hero Card deployment perks 

Without a Hero in the front row 

  •  Only 1 Persona card can be placed in the front row per turn. 

With a Hero in the front row 

Deploy as many Persona cards to the front row as spaces available. 

Action Phase 

The Action Phase is where a player uses Persona cards standard attack and or abilities to remove your opponent's card and expose their Champion to attack. All Persona cards can attack unless under specific status effects. Some cards permit concurrent use of ability and standard attack in a single action phase, look for the concurrent use icon on these cards. 




Standard Attack – The attack power of a Persona card can be found in the bottom left corner of the card. Subtract this amount from the Political Power of the card being attacked. 

Abilities – Special actions that Persona cards may take, provided they can pay the INF requirement. Some Persona cards have abilities that can be used simultaneously with standard attacks. These cards are marked with the concurrent use icon. 

Defeating Persona Cards – Gain influence per Persona card sent to jail/discard via your Persona cards action. Operatives yield 1 INF, Hero’s yield 2 INF, while Champions yield 5 INF. 

Target Selection – While attacking, a player selects the target card they want to attack. This may be impacted by opponents. Multiplayer permits attacking multiple opponents during a turn’s action phase if the phase end is not reached. To attack an opponent Champion, opponent players must have no active front row Persona cards. (See effects for details) 

Discard/End Turn Phase 

End your turn by discarding 1 card if no cards were introduced during any previous phase. Discarding from your Swamp or hand requires paying $1B CFC. 

During your end turn phase if all front row spaces are filled with persona cards gain 1 Moral. If all front row spaces are filled with Hero cards gain 3 Moral. 

Also no takesy backsies.


Miscellaneous Terms 

  1. Factions - Faction alignment is in the top left corner. Other Persona cards must be of the same faction to utilize MC to amplify or reduce incoming attacks. 

  1. Classes – There are six classes of cards. They are Civilian, Military, LEO  

(law enforcement officer), Political, Media, and Business class 

  1. Alternative Icons – CFC, Capitol, Event, Influence, Morale, Political Power, Trap, and Utility icons designating card and resource types 

  1. Status Effects – These are card effects applied to persona cards that impacted how the Persona card functions. These effects are Active, Sleep, Silence, Deactivated, and Confusion. 

Status Effects – This section covers Status effects and card orientation 


Active – This is the default status of a card. Active Persona cards prevent incoming damage from being inflicted on the Champion. Card orientation for active cards is face up. 

Orientation: Face the name plate to the top to designate the card as Active. 


Confusion – The effected card must roll a D20 and if 10+ the effected card successfully hits on standard attacks. If the effected card uses an ability, roll a D20 and if 7+ the ability is successful. The ability cost must be paid even if the ability fails. Confusion effects last for two rounds unless stated otherwise on the inflicting card. Card ability takes priority over standard effect. 

Orientation – Face the name plate to the left to designate the card as being confused. 


Deactivated – Persona cards that can neither attack or defend and continues to occupy the front row space. These cards maintain the space they occupy but operate as though they aren’t there. 

Orientation – place the card face down showing the backside of the card. 


Silence – Persona cards are unable to use abilities while effected by Silence. This effect is persistent and remains in effect unless removed by another card. 

Orientation – Face the name plate to the right to designate the card as being Silent. 


Sleep – Persona cards cannot attack or use abilities while effected by Sleep. The card can still be targeted and attacked, however if the effected card is attacked it is no longer affected by Sleep. 

Orientation – Face the nameplate toward the bottom to designate the card as being affected by Sleep.





Non-Faction Card Icon Type


Action Icons

bottom of page