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Playing the GI Joe Trading Card Game Online at

First thing you simply MUST do before any online match is to issue a challenge. This can be directed at a specific individual, or to the community at large. Once a challenge is accepted, the players face off in a friendly match of Rock, Paper, Scissors, using the spoiler tags in order to determine the turn order. They may also agree to forego the RPS and just declare who deploys first.


[spoiler]"Welcome to The ROCK!"[/spoiler]

The winner of the RPS can choose to deploy first, using 15 supply cost points, or second, using 17. Both players then fill out their ranks. Flipping the cards one at a time, the cards must be placed in either the front rank or the back rank, and must be placed as they are drawn. The first card you draw will ALWAYS be in the front rank. You cannot place a card in the back rank unless there is a front rank card to go in front of it. If in the process of flipping your cards, the last card takes you over your alloted supply points, that is ok - it still goes into your ranks. Be careful of your placement, this is the stage a lot of strategy can come into play. It is a common courtesy to post which cards you draw, in the order you draw them. You will also need to note the character's supply cost, their color and power, and any special abilities they may have.


Night Creeper Initiate. 1sp Y4 with Stealth Moray Recruit. 1sp Y1 Viper. 2sp Y4 Saw Viper Recruit. 1sp P1 with Firepower +1 Slice. 2sp Y6 with Confuse: When Slice is in 1-on-1 Combat, after boosts are revealed, I may discard my opponent's boost card and replace it with the top card of his deck. Moray Infiltrator. 1sp Y3 Storm Shadow. 2sp Y7 with Stealth Storm Shadow. 2sp Y7 with Stealth Night Creeper Initiate. 1sp Y4 with STealth Moray Recruit. 1sp Y1 Zartan. 3sp Y4 with Shapeshift- After setup, choose one of your opponent's soldiers. Zartan has that soldier's power and Abilities, instead of his own for the rest of the game.

Once both players have their cards drawn and their hand arranged, it is time to post their layout for the other player to see. This can be done in a number of ways. The easiest, and clearest way is to take a digital picture and attach it to your post. As not everyone has a digi cam available to them, there are still options for play.

The Emoticon Method

Joecustoms has many, many custom emoticons to use in posting. A vast majority of them are representative of GI Joe and Cobra characters, and you may use them to represent your hand. There are however some characters in the game that are not represented in the emoticon library, and there are no vehicles either. So you will still have to type those cards in. When posting the emotes, it is a good idea to note the characters power next to the emote. You will also run into problems the different cards representing the same character, as in the case of Storm Shadow or Duke.



List Method

In the list method, you basically just type everything out. This way there is less confusion, and everyone knows what is what and where it is.


Front row from left to right:

Greenshirt Communications (1) (with a power of 2 thanks to Hacker behind him) Missile Storm Chopper (10/4 (Manned) Each land and Sea vehicle is R/W?B Short Fuze (2) Long Range Night Attack Chopper (13/5) Take off - After the start of one on one, I can move a pilot from my ranks behind it.

Back Row From Left to right

Sgt. Hacker (6) Support 1 (Behind Greenshirt Communications) Hard Drive (3) Recover, At the beginning of one on one combat after drawing boost, I may exchange one card in my hand for any card in my discard pile (Manning the Missle Storm Chopper) Barrel Roll - Pilot (3) No ability because he's not manning an aircraft. (behind short fuze) Low Light (6) (Manning the NAC) Support 1 (only works on Soldiers) and Long range.

Once the hands are posted, the boost cards are drawn by both players, who then post their boosts in spoiler text. Having seen both player's hands, it is fun to post your thoughts and strategies in spoiler text, for those who may be observing.

One on One Combat

IT IS ON!!!!!!!

Bear in mind, that there are cards whose abilities may come into play at any stage throught the game that are not mentioned here. Be aware of what you have, and when is appropriate to use them.

The first player is now ready to attack. He picks his attacker and victim and posts them in the thread. Both attacking and defending cards are tapped. He also posts which boost he is using for this attack in spoiler text. Without looking at the boost spoiler, the defending player posts what his defensive boost will be. This should be posted in spoiler text as well. Having posted the defensive play, both players can look at the other player's boosts and see who won. The victorious card remains tapped, and the losing card is discarded. The cycle is repeated as the second player stages a counter attack.


After the dust of the One on One round settles, you are ready for your Firefight. Both players count how many cards they have still in play and draw that number of cards from their deck. This is also the time to play any firefight special abilities, such as Explode or Extinguish. The player who deployed first launches the Firefight, adding up the number of hits on the cards he drew, he selects which opposing cards he wants to eliminate. You post what your Firefight draw was in the thread, using * as hits and ! as missles. Direct hits are usually indicated by a DH.


1 x ! 2 x * 1 x *** 1 x DH

Missles count as 2 *'s if used against a vehicle and 1 X if used against a soldier.

The above Firefight draw would equal 6 if used on a soldier or 7 if used on a vehicle, but with the DH, whatever unit is targeted will be eliminated, unless the hits are used on more than one opposing unit.

Once the attacker has posted his Firefight, the defending player double checks the math and removes the lost units. Once a card is lost in the first wave of the Firefight, his special abilities go with him. You cannot use Short Fuze's Long Range ability if he just got killed off. The defending player then posts his Firefight. Once the bullets stop flying, it is time for the second One on One round. It is a good practice after each Firefight to post your remaining layout, including which cards are tapped.

The game continues in this manner until one player is victorious.

Please note, we are on the Honor System here. It is understood that mistakes will be made, and rules can be overlooked or misunderstood. There is no punishment for being caught cheating, but come on, that's just lame. What fun is it to win like that? And if you're caught, it's likely no one will want to play with you anymore..


From the WOTC Joe TCG FAQ:

About Gameplay


Q: Does one player have to play Joe and the other Cobra? A: No. Each player can have his own deck made up of whatever cards he likes. If the game ends up as Joe vs. Joe, think of it as a training mission. If it ends up as Cobra vs. Cobra, think of it as internal strife.

Q: Does my deck need to be all from one side—either Joe or Cobra? A: No. You can mix Joe and Cobra cards if you like. But we don’t recommend it. If you play a Joe Boost card on a Cobra unit, the Boost number counts as +0 because the colors will never match up!

Q: Will the Boost ability of a Joe card work if I play it on a Cobra soldier? A: Yes. Even though the Boost numbers are always +0 when you play a Boost card on a unit from the other side, the Boost abilities still work.

Q: How many Duke cards can I put in my deck? A: You can have 4 copies of any card that has its own name and subtitle. So, using cards only from the Base Set, you could have 4 copies of Duke, First Sergeant and 4 copies of Duke, Field Commander for a total of 8 Duke cards. If we make more Duke cards with different subtitles in future sets, you could have 4 of each of those as well.

Q: My opponent and I are using the Uniqueness Rule. Can we each have a Duke card in play? A: Yes. The Uniqueness Rule only states that one player can’t have multiple cards with the same name in play.

Q: I’m not using the Uniqueness Rule, and I have 2 copies of a soldier in my ranks. If he has an ability, do I use that ability twice? A: Yes. If the ability is one that happens at a specific time, like Tunnel Rat’s Defuse ability, you do each ability one at a time. See the section in the rulebook, “Doing What Cards Say.”


Q: If I put one vehicle behind another vehicle, are either of them considered manned? A: No. A vehicle is manned only if there is a soldier behind it.

Q: How many units can I have in my front rank? A: There is no maximum. You can choose not to put any units in your back rank during setup, and instead have them all in the front. The back rank is an option, not a requirement. So, in theory, if you go second and your entire deck is full of cards that cost one supply point, you could have 17 units in your front rank.

Q: How can I get more units into my ranks? A: There is no game rule that lets you add more units to your team. You need cards with special abilities in order to do that. For example, check out the Boost abilities on Rip Cord and Big Boa. There are other cards in the game that let you add more units as well.


Q: What do I do with my hand of cards when the Firefight begins? A: You should never have a hand of cards when the Firefight begins. If you do have cards somehow, simply discard them.

Q: Do tapped units count toward my total in a Firefight? A: Yes. A tapped unit is the same as any other unit in a Firefight. You flip one Firefight card for each unit you have in your ranks, whether tapped or not.

Q: In a Firefight, I use 3 Hits on a soldier with 5 Power. Is the soldier “wounded”? A: No. Hits don’t stay around after a Firefight. Either a unit is defeated or it isn’t. In this case, the unit isn’t defeated, and the 3 Hits are wasted.

Q: Can a Direct Hit card be used against a vehicle? A: Yes. A Direct Hit can be used against any kind of unit, including vehicles.

Winning the Game

Q: If I defeat my opponent’s last unit, do I automatically win? A: No. For example, say your last unit is Duke, First Sergeant and your opponent’s last unit is Cobra Commander, Sinister Dictator. If you attack and win in One-on-One Combat, your opponent has no units, but he still gets to use Cobra Commander’s Revenge ability to discard Duke, making the game a draw. The game officially ends when one player has no units left after a Firefight is over, so you always do any effects that happen when you discard units.

Questions About Abilities

Boost Abilities

Q: Does the “anti-draw” Boost ability (like that found on Recondo) work when my opponent uses a: “This combat is a draw.” Boost card, or does it work when our One-on- One combat totals are the same? A: Both. It doesn’t matter how the combat became a draw; your opponent’s unit is discarded either way.

Q: In One-on-One combat, I play a Boost card that gives +20 but says that my unit is discarded. My opponent plays a Boost card that says, “This combat is a draw.” What happens? A: The combat is a draw. Your Boost ability says that your unit is discarded, so you must discard it. Your opponent’s unit isn’t discarded.

Q: I have a mixed deck, and I use a Cobra “DRAW” Boost card on my Joe soldier. Is this One-on-One combat a draw? A: No. If the unit you use the “DRAW” Boost on is gray, purple, or gold, the combat would be a draw. Since your Joe soldier doesn’t match the color of any of the colored boxes printed on your Boost card, nothing printed in those boxes happens. Your soldier gets a +0 Boost. If your Boost card has a Boost ability, that ability would work because it doesn’t have a color.


Q: Can a Direct Hit card be used against a unit with the Concealment ability in a Firefight? A: No. Concealment means that no Firefight cards can be used on that unit, not even Direct Hits.

Q: What happens in a Firefight if all the units in one player’s front rank have the Concealment ability? A: The other player won’t be able to use his Hits. He still flips Firefight cards, but he just discards them, since there are no units he can use them on (unless he has units with Long Range or similar abilities).


Q: I use the Explode ability of one of my units. Do I flip a normal Firefight card for that unit in the Firefight? A: No. By the time you flip Firefight cards, the unit with the Explode ability isn’t in your ranks anymore, so you don’t flip a card for it. You just get the extra cards from the Explode ability.

Q: If I use a unit’s Explode ability, when does the unit behind it move up? A: Right away, before you flip Firefight cards. Units in the back rank with no unit in front of them always move up as soon as possible.

Q: I have BAT v 2.1 in my ranks and my opponent has Barbecue in his ranks. Can my opponent wait until after I use Explode and discard BAT v. 2.1 before he discards Barbecue to Extinguish the Firefight? A: No. Extinguish can only be used just before a Firefight begins. After both players have attacked in One-on-One combat, a Firefight will break out. Between these two parts of the turn is when a player can discard a unit with Extinguish. If nobody does, the Firefight will start. The first thing that happens in a Firefight is that each player flips Firefight cards. Just before this happens is when players can discard units that have Explode. By this point, it's too late to use Extinguish.


Q: Can a soldier with the Fury ability end up in the back rank somehow? A: Yes. You must put soldiers with Fury in the front rank during setup, but a unit’s ability in the game can move that soldier to the back rank.

Long Range

Q: I have one unit with Long Range. Can I use a Direct Hit card on a unit in my opponent’s back rank to defeat him? A: Yes, if you only flip that one Firefight card. If you flip more Firefight cards, the Direct Hit won’t defeat the back-rank soldier. You must assign all your Firefight cards to the same unit for Direct Hits to work. Otherwise they only count as single hits and don’t have any special effect.


Q: Can I choose to attack with a soldier who has the Stealth ability if that soldier is in the back rank? A: Yes. Even though the rules say you must attack with a front rank unit, units with Stealth are an exception to that rule.

Questions About Specific Cards

Agent Faces

Q: How does Agent Faces’s Disguise ability work? If I switch him for Lifeline in the middle of the combat, what Boost number do I use? A: You play a Boost card on Lifeline and look at the white number. Then, you may choose to switch Agent Faces and Lifeline if you like. If you do, you keep the same Boost card, and look at the blue number now, since Agent Faces is blue.

Agent Jinx, Ninja/Intelligence Agent

Q: I’m playing a mixed deck, and I have Agent Jinx, Ninja/Intelligence Agent in my ranks along with some Cobra units and some other Joe units. Can my opponent use Firefight cards on my Cobra units, or does Agent Jinx protect them? A: Agent Jinx’s ability lets your opponent use Firefight cards on a maximum of 2 Joe units, but it doesn’t affect how he deals with your Cobra units. He can use Firefight cards on any number of your Cobra units in the front rank.


Q: In One-on-One combat, I play Annihilator as a Boost card and lose. Can I put Annihilator into play before I move my back rank unit up? A: No. Units in the back rank with no unit in front of them always move up as soon as possible. You don’t put Annihilator into the front rank until after the combat is over, and units will have moved up by then.

Cobra Commander, Enemy Leader

Q: Do I have to use Cobra Commander, Enemy Leader’s Hideout ability, or can I choose to leave him in the front rank? A: You must move him before each Firefight if you can. The ability isn’t optional.

Q: I have Barbecue and my opponent has Cobra Commander, Enemy Leader. I discard Barbecue from my ranks to skip the upcoming Firefight. Does my opponent have to move Cobra Commander to the back rank? A: It depends on who’s going first this game. Both of these abilities try to happen at the exact same time, before a Firefight starts. In that case, the player who’s going first this game gets to do his thing first. Then the other player does his thing. If you’re going first, you choose whether or not to discard Barbecue. If you do, the game skips to One-on-One combat and your opponent doesn’t move Cobra Commander because you’re not before a Firefight anymore. If your opponent is going first this game, he has to move Cobra Commander before you choose whether or not to discard Barbecue.

Croc Master

Q: What if I have Croc Master in play, and my opponent has only vehicles in his ranks? Does Croc Master have 0 Power? A: Yes. Treat the 0 just like any other number in One-on-One combat. In a Firefight like this, if your opponent uses any Hit cards on Croc Master, he will be defeated.

Destro, Weapons Supplier

Q: My opponent is going first and defeats my Destro, Weapons Supplier in a Firefight. Will Destro’s Arms Dealer ability still let my cards give me when I use my Firefight cards? A: No. Destro must be in your ranks when you use your Firefight cards in order for his Arms Dealer ability to work. The same goes for Blackout’s Assassin ability and units with Long Range like Short-Fuze.

Over Kill

Q: Over Kill attacks, and my opponent plays a “DRAW” Boost card. My Boost card says: “If this combat is a draw, discard the enemy unit.” Does Over Kill get to attack again? A: No. Even though the enemy unit was discarded, Over Kill didn’t win in One-on-One combat. The One-on-One combat was a draw.

SAW Viper

Q: I have a SAW Viper that has no supply points. Is he free during Setup? A: No. Some SAW Viper cards were mistakenly printed without any supply points. The rest of the SAW Viper cards were correctly printed with 2 supply points. During Setup, SAW Viper always costs 2 supply points no matter which one you’re using.


Q: My Slice is in One-on-One combat with one of my opponent’s units. His Boost card is Dusty. Dusty is discarded and my opponent uses the top card of his deck as his Boost card. Does my opponent add Dusty’s Boost number to his new Boost card? A: No. Slice’s ability means that you get to discard your opponent’s Boost card before it does anything. Ignore everything it says. Then your opponent gets a new Boost card from the top of his deck.

Snake Eyes, Covert Mission Specialist

Q: My Snake Eyes, Covert Mission Specialist wins in One-on-One combat against Cobra Commander, Sinister Dictator. Can I move Snake Eyes to my back rank before my opponent uses Cobra Commander’s Revenge ability? A: It depends on who’s going first this game. Both of these abilities try to happen at the exact same time, right after the One-on-One combat ends. In that case, the player who’s going first this game gets to do his thing first. Then the other player does his thing. If you’re going first, you can move Snake Eyes to the back rank before Cobra Commander could have his Revenge. If your opponent is going first, Cobra Commander gets to take out a front-rank solder before Snake Eyes has a chance to move. If Cobra Commander leaves Snake Eyes alone, he can then switch places with one of your other soldiers.


Q: How does Zartan’s Shapeshift ability work if I copy a soldier like Lifeline? His ability refers to “Joe soldiers.” A: The ability probably won’t help you much. Zartan will become a gold, 4-Power soldier with the Medic ability that says, “Your other Joe soldiers get +1 Power in Firefights.” If the rest of your soldiers are from the Cobra side, they won’t get the bonus.

Q: What happens if I copy my opponent’s Zartan with my Zartan? A: You only get one chance to copy. If you copy Zartan, your Zartan stays as a gold, 4-Power soldier. You won’t get another chance to copy anyone.

Q: What happens when Zartan comes into play in the middle of the game? A: Nothing special. He only gets to use his Shapeshift ability right after setup, so he will stay as a 4-Power soldier.

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