Nice combo, how about a counter?
c-c-c-COMBO is a 4 player team card game. It can played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards.
The Objective: Keep your partner alive while causing your opponents to burn out their hands. The game ends when a player has no more cards in their hand (that team loses).
The Setup: Teammates sit across from one another and each team has a Big Player (BP) chosen at the discretion of each team. Using a standard 52 card deck, at the start the game players are dealt 7 cards with the exception of the BPs which are dealt 9. Before looking at their cards each player flips over the top card of their hand and plays it down in front of them. This card becomes the base of your combo pile. Highest card goes first (tie goes to suit: Heart is trump > 2nd is Diamond > Club > Spade).
The Gameplay: Each turn begins with a player playing a card on an opponent/ally's pile or to the discard pile. After a player plays a card they must draw a card from the deck (to maintain a net loss of zero cards). Drawing the card signifies the end of their turn. Going clockwise the next player, an opponent, plays their turn.
Acceptable plays are limited to: Playing a COMBO on an opponent or Ally Playing a COUNTER on an opponent or Ally * Playing a DISCARD**
*Players may not play on their own piles ON THEIR TURN. Players can only COUNTER their own piles if it is not their turn. **See "What is a DISCARD" section below
What is a COMBO?
A COMBO is playing a card of the same suit on an opponent or ally's pile, creating a STACK. Playing a COMBO on an opponent means that player must immediately "BURN" (not to be confused with the play DISCARD) the amount of cards used to create the STACK. Playing a COMBO on an ally reverses the effect from "BURN" cards to "FEED" (draw) cards.
STACKS are structured so that a 4 card pile equals the base card plus a 3 card STACK (the base card is not included in the STACK). 2 cards on a pile = 1 burn/feed because 1 STACK was made.
Whenever a COMBO is played, all other players have 3 seconds to respond with a COUNTER. If no COUNTER is played, then the owner of the pile then BURNS or FEEDS accordingly and the STACK remains until a COUNTER is played.
What is a COUNTER?
A COUNTER is the defensive play against a COMBO. A COUNTER negates any COMBO played that turn and clears that players pile, leaving the COUNTER card as the base of the player's new pile. When an opponent plays a COMBO on any player, you may COUNTER their COMBO by playing a card of the SAME VALUE on top of the card that was just played to make a COMBO. COUNTERS are not limited to being played on COMBOS, you may also preemptively COUNTER a pile, on your turn, to clear the pile (with the exception of doing this to your own pile on your turn). COUNTERS may only be played out of turn if being played against a COMBO played that turn. You may COUNTER a COMBO played on your own pile. When playing a COUNTER you must draw a card to replace the one you played, but only after the player whose turn it is draws their card(s).
What is a DISCARD?
A DISCARD (not to be confused with a "BURN") is considered playing a card. Players have the option of not playing a COMBO on their turn and instead can DISCARD a card to the discard pile and draw a card to replace it. This ends their turn. The discard pile is placed face up and players are required to reveal what cards are burned/discarded.
What is the Big Player?
The BP has the unique ability to "HEAL" their partner by FEEDING them cards to replenish their hands. The BP may HEAL their partner whenever the BP is allowed to draw a card(s). Instead of the BP drawing their card, they can instead allow their partner to draw. Examples include (but are not limited to) the BP playing a COUNTER and allowing their partner to draw the replacement card, or if a FEEDING COMBO is played on the BP, they may allow their partner to draw the cards from the COMBO.
What if I only have 1 card in my hand and it's my turn?
You haven't lost yet! Since you must draw a card whenever you PLAY a card (excluding burns), you will have a net loss of 0 cards by the end of your turn. You lose only if you have zero cards at the end of any turn. As long as the turn is still taking place you are still in the game. At this point you should request your Big to HEAL you ASAP and criticize them for not doing so sooner, unless you are the Big in which case you panic.
What if there are no more cards in the deck?
Shuffle up the discard pile, silly!