game rules

Starting the game

Each player selects a color and takes corresponding varan cards (3), varan pieces (3), damage counters (7), grenade counter (1) and action cards (10). Each player picks the corner closest to her (in two-player game, they must be opposite corners). In 3 player game, some random system can be used to determine who is in the middle.

Game board pieces are shuffled and a board of 3x3 pieces is randomly generated. Each sector has random orientation. Each player then puts her varan pieces to corner picked earlier.

Take 50 trooper counters, and put 2 trooper counters to each sector without varans, but 6 to center sector. In 3 player game, the centermost player then takes 4 trooper counters and puts them to board anyway she likes to, except to center sector or sector occupied by varans. Thus, she can put each to different sector or all 4 in the same sector.

Game entities

Sectors: each sector can have up to 3 values: sector number is used for action order (when everything else fails), shot cover is against shooting attacks and grenade cover is against grenade explosions. Any sideline of the sector can also have doors (red lines), marked with red bar, which prevent shooting but not moving or grenade throwing.

Points: points for each player are equal to number of trooper counters killed by her varans, plus 3 for each (non-own) varan her varans have killed, plus 3 for each own varan alive. Thus, each player has 9 points at the start of the game, and can score as much as 86 in 4-player game (which is, of course, very unlikely)

Ending the game

After all initial setup has been done, game starts with first turn and continues until end of turn when there is no more trooper counters on the board or one varan team has all its members killed. When game ends, the player with most points wins. If tied, the one with most surviving varans, and if still tied, tied victory.

Game Turn

Neo-Hunt 3 is played in game turns until game ends. Each game turn has pre-defined actions as follows:

  1. Each player select 4 action cards and damage counters and put them face-down in front of her, in order
  2. Each action card of each player is turned over and selected actions are handled in priority order. This continues until all 4 action cards of each player are handled
  3. Up to 8, 10 or 12 new troopers arrive to game board, until all 50 have arrived to the board

1. Selecting actions

Selecting action cards

Each player has 10 action cards to set up the 4 action cards of each turn. Each action card has varan it affects (or just troopers) and priority. All cards affecting certain varan has also varan cloak cover value, from 1 to 3, and this tell how well varan is hidden while doing that action. Other varans not doing action currently always have cloak cover 3, unless has damaged cloak.

When selecting action cards, following rules apply:

  • The same varan cannot do two actions in a row during same turn i.e. the player cannot select two consequent action cards with same letter. If such an action is selected, second one is ignored (turned upside-down when encountered) - the same is also done if the target varan has been killed. This can be used to delibirately skip the turn.
  • Each player must select trooper action each turn. If player has not, the last action is automatically changed into it.

Action priority: each action has priority number, and actions are handled in that order, starting from the lowest one. If more than one player has action with same priority, they are handled in the following order:

  1. Player with least points (counting surviving varans, too)
  2. Player with most varan damage (in living ones)
  3. Lowest varan sector number sum
  4. Coin toss
Some actions have reversed priority, which means that on tied priority, first acts the one who would normally act last etc.

Selecting damage counters

There are 7 different damage counters to be used each turn. Each player has to select 4 of them each turn and put them face-down next to selected action cards. These damage counters are used to define variation to damage of any attack.

All counters are re-usable, except that some of them are left to game for a while and cannot be used during that time. After they are 'removed' because of the time limit or target is killed, counter is returned to owner who can then reuse them.

Whenever a varan or troopers does an attack, the player selects target (or targets) and then a non-revealed damage counter of the same action phase. If possible, the player cannot select herself but must select other player. The counter is then turned over and its value added to attack.

If a damage counter of a player is not selected (someone selected move, for example), it is put away, without looking at it. In any case, damage counters are never revealed until they are needed or turn ends. Thus there is always some uncertaintity in attacks, except if player is allowed to select own counter.

Special damage

Some damage counters have extra text on them. Explanation for each:

  • +1, min 1: the attack does at least 1 damage (or kills 1 trooper counters) regardless of any cover, and can do more.
  • +2, max 2: the attack does not do more than 2 damage (or kill 2 trooper counters) in any case.
  • +0, cloak damaged: permanent damage. Affected varan has 0 cloak cover until killed.
  • +1, gun damaged: permanent damage. Affected varan has -1 firepower until killed. Cannot lower firepower to less than 1.
  • +1, melee damage: permanent damage. Affected varan has -1 melee skill until killed. Cannot lower melee skill to less than 0.

Permanent damage only affects varans and is ignored if only troopers were targeted or no damage is dealt to any varan. It is also ignored if there is no varans damaged on which the special damage would have an effect (like gun damage against assault varan). If several varans are damaged (via grenade) and can be affected, the attacking player select which one takes the effect.

Permanent effect damage counter is put on top of target varan and affects that varan until varan is killed, when counter is returned to owner. There is no other way to get rid of that counter, and owner cannot re-use the counter before that.

2. Handling actions

As soon as everybody has selected their 4 action cards and damage counters, first action card is turned over and they are handled, one-by-one. The order is determined by the priority of the action, as explained above.

When moving, each 'move' can move varan or trooper to any adjacent sector, regardless of number of doors between sectors. However, no more than 6 troopers can be moved into same sector. After actions of all players are done, thrown grenades are handled in same order as they were thrown.


When a varan or troopers attack, the target must be first selected, depending on attack type:

  • Close assault is against one varan in same sector, or against all troopers in same sector
  • Shot is against one varan in sight, or all troopers in one sector in sight. Target is in sight if there is no intervening doors and target is in same line, not diagonally. Own forces cannot be shot at. For troopers, refer to next chapter.
  • Grenade is against same or any adjacent sector, and can be thrown through doors.

Dealing damage

After target is found, damage is dealt (in case of grenade, at the end of this action phase). To deal damage, attack power is added to drawn damage counter, and then target cover is reduced. If result is one or more, target varan takes that much damage (mark with some counters), or that many troopers are killed from that sector. Varan with damage that equals or exceed varan's hit points is killed. Any kills are added to killer's pile. If troopers kill varan or grenade kills an own varan, these kills are just discarded.

Shot cover: apply sector shot cover. If shot is done from same sector, also add attacker melee skill and deduct target melee skill. If shot is done through third sector, add shot cover of that intervening sector, if any. If target is a varan, also deduct varan cloak cover value.

Close assault cover: against close assault, deduct target melee skill. If target is a varan, also deduct varan cloak cover value.

Grenade cover: apply sector grenade cover. No cover is given from the varan cloak.

Cloak cover: each varan has normally cloak cover of value 3. This is reduced by the action the varan is currently doing, and reduced to 0 if varan has damaged cloak.

Trooper action

Troopers have melee skill 1 and 1 firepower per trooper firing. They never throw grenades or close assault, nor can fire targets 2 sectors away. Apply melee skill difference to shooting if any attacking trooper is in same sector as the target varan.

Troopers are handled in two steps:

  1. Shoot spotted varans
  2. Troopers that did not shoot may move one sector each (but cannot exceed limit of 6 troopers per sector)

The player who is executing trooper action is free to choose any targets for trooper actions, within these rules. When selecting taregts for shooting, following order and rules apply:

  1. Shoot varans in same sector, preferring lowest cloak value and ignoring cloak 3 varans.
  2. Shoot varans in adjacent sectors, preferring lowest cloak value and ignoring cloak 3 varans.
  3. Shoot varans with cloak 3 in same sector as troopers are.

No more than 3 troopers can fire the same varan. Troopers never fire each other, varans 2 sectors away or varans with cloak 3 and not in same sector as shooting troopers are.

Diagram 1 Trooper 1 fires varan A or B, whichever has lower cloak value. If they have same cloak value, moving player is free to select target, but if both varans have cloak 3, trooper 1 does not fire at all. Trooper 2 never fires.
Diagram 3 Troopers 1-3 fire varan A, regardless of varan A cloak value. Troopers 4-6 never fire, as limit is 3 troopers firing each varan. If there would be only one trooper in A's sector, that woudl fire varan A and then two troopers from sector 4-6 would fire A too if A had cloak value less than 3.
Diagram 2 If varan A has cloak less than 3, both trooper 1 and 2 would fire it. If varan A has cloak 3 but varan B has less than 3, trooper 1 would fire varan B. If both varans have cloak 3, trooper 1 would fire varan A. Trooper 2 does not fire unless varan A has cloak less than 3.

3. Trooper reinforcement

After all actions have been handled, if not all 50 troopers have yet entered the board, up to 8 (2 player), 10 (3 player) or 12 (4 player game) of them now arrive. The player with least points gets to decide where they arrive, with following restrictions:

If several players have same number of points, divide reinforcements equally between them. Reinforcements are put in tied reversed order (first the one with most points). If it is not possible to deal troopers equally, any non-dividable do not arrive this turn.

[NEO-HUNT 3 © Kalle Marjola 2001. All rights reserved. Last modification 01.10.2001]