Collectible card games

Rage - collectible card game

Players 2+
Age range 10+ due to some violent content, may not be suitable for some children.
Playing time 30 minutes for 2 player. Add roughly 15 minutes to time for each additional player.
Random chance low. Some deck types are more affected by random draws than others.
Skill(s) required Card playing

Rage is a collectible card game originally published by White Wolf in 1995 based on the roleplaying game, Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The game is based around packs of werewolves battling each other and various evil monsters while trying to save the world.

Product information

White Wolf

Rage had five sets of cards:

The game was discontinued by White Wolf after Legacy and the license sold to Five Rings Publishing Group (FRPG).

Five Rings

FRPG produced a new version of the game with the same card backs and set in the same world, but with completely different mechanics making it incompatible with the first version of the game. The second version of the game had seven card sets. The first 6 were numbered and released once a month. They were known as Phase 1 through 6. The final set, Equinox, combined together three of the smaller numbered sets (7-9) into one larger set.

Various producers

FRPG was bought out by Wizards of the Coast (the makers of Magic: The Gathering), who were in turn bought out by Hasbro. Hasbro discontinued many of the games it had acquired in the take over, including Rage. The license for the game lapsed back to White Wolf.

Azrael Productions, who produced an online magazine, acquired permission from White Wolf to provide tournament support for both versions of Rage. However, Azrael was unable to acquire the license to bring Rage back into print. While under Azrael's care, there were two notable developments. The first version of Rage came to be called "Rage: Apocalypse" and the second version "Rage: Tribal War" so people would not be confused as to which version people were talking about.

Azrael Productions also assembled a group of dedicated fans to start designing new cards for the game. They started playtesting these cards before Azrael eventually abandoned the project. Azrael gave up rights to the partially tested cards, leaving the path clear for the playtesters to produce fan-made sets of cards.

The first set of these fan made cards, Intermezzo, was released in 2003. A total of five fan made sets for Rage: Apocalypse (Intermezzo, Periphery, Gauntlet, and Coda. They are collectively known as the New England Block. War Council is the fifth set and starts the Ahadi block.) and two for Tribal War (Web of Deceit and Christmas Present '04) have been released since then. The cards are hosted on the official Rage site, River Von, but are considered legitimate by White Wolf and are allowed in regular tournaments and for use in online play. They are not hosted on the main White Wolf server due to copyright issues with the artwork.

Online play

Rage was available for online play for several years via the gatlingEngine, produced by CCG Workshop. They had a licensing agreement with White Wolf allowing them to develop online versions of White Wolf's CCG properties (Rage, Vampire: the Eternal Struggle, and Arcadia: the Wyld Hunt). That platform is now defunct.

Due to complex legal issues, only Rage: Apocalypse is available for online play. Hasbro retains some partial rights to Rage: Tribal War and was unwilling to license it to CCG Workshop.

While Rage is currently out of print, it can be played online using a program called LackeyCCG. Instructions on how to get started are at River Von. It runs on both PC and Mac and includes all printed cards, all fan sets and sets in playtesting.

Changes since online play began

A major rules overhaul for Rage's rules was released in March 2006. The update clarified many card interactions and converted rulings about individual cards to global rulings. There was an additional update (Rage's Least Wanted) that errated the 18 most broken cards in the game and introduced new rules for Past Lives that returned them to play.

November 2006 saw the release of the first set in the Ahadi block, War Council. This set introduced updates to the frenzy rules, Moot and Board Meeting rules, changed when the first combat hand was drawn, and allowed some Prey and Allies access to additional Gifts. War Council also introduced a new Wyrm faction to the game, the Unbound, and made the 7th Generation part of a larger faction, Cults. Additional Gaia and Wyrm factions will be introduced throughout the Ahadi block.

September 2007 has a flurry of Rage activity. Rainmakers, the second set in the Ahadi block, was released. It introduced the new Ajaba (werehyena) faction, fleshed out the Pentex Executives and Mokole, and introduced the first of the new Rogue characters. The new Revised rules were introduced. These were largely a reorganization of the old rules book, but also introduced a new timing system. The long overdue rewrite to the rules for Battlefields was also released for Beta testing.

Hellcats (2011) introduced the Simba (werelions) and Bagheera (wereleopards) to Rage, as well as the eponymous Hellcats. This mixture of corrupted Caelican and fallen Simba was only briefly mentioned in Apocalypse and Rage expanded significantly on the source material. Curse of Set (2012) introduced a new subfaction of Cults, the vampiric Walid Set.

Call of the Sea is a four set block released in 2013 and 2014 with a semi-constructed deck format. It was also intended as a new introductory set for new or returning players which would make it easier to learn the game. Three faction decks and one combat set were released for use in either regular or sealed deck format. Chulorviah introduced a new Cults faction featuring mind controlling squid beasts. (Chulorviah originally appeared in World of Darkness: Blood Dimmed Tides source book). Rokea expanded the shark shapeshifters to a full playable faction. Sea Dogs was a split deck with one captain each for Gaia and WYrm with most of the rest of the characters being Rogues, so would be either Gaia or Wyrm characters depending on which captain you selected for your ship. The combat set works with any of the three decks, but had six cards for each deck that were specially marked as working best with that faction.

2014 also saw rerelease of Least Wanted with a second update to account for additional rules updates and the new sets that had been released in the previous 8 years.

Sets/rules changes currently in production, as of April 2015:

Game sets and expansions

Apocalypse

Tribal War

List of card artists

Apocalypse

Tribal War

Fansets

COMMENTS
Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy