AskDefine | Define spoils

User Contributed Dictionary




spoils (plural only; not used in singular form)
  1. That which is taken from another by violence; especially, the plunder taken from an enemy; pillage; booty.
    "Gentle gales, Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole Those balmy spoils." —Milton.
  2. Public offices and their benefits regarded as the peculiar property of a successful party or faction, to be bestowed for its own advantage; -- commonly in the plural; as
    to the victor belong the spoils


  1. Milk spoils when left out too long.

Extensive Definition

The Spoils is a collectible card game produced by Tenacious Games. It launched with a free open beta in August 2006, and officially released for sale in November 2006. The Spoils was in development from 2001 to 2006. The design team is headed up by Josh Lytle, who also designed the collectible card game Magi-Nation Duel. Jon Finkel, a prominent player in Magic: the Gathering's Pro Tour, aided the development team as an advisor since 2002.


The Spoils uses a number of mechanics in common with other collectible card games. Unlike many games of this kind, you start the game with a Faction card in play, which determines how you begin your turn and which actions you are allowed to take. These Factions have special abilities, unique to each Faction card. Currently, 6 Faction cards are available to the public, spoilscard The Tournament Faction. Special foiled versions of this card were given away at Gen Con.
Players need to amass Resource cards in order to play other cards. Certain cards are "Staple" Resources and any number of these may be played in a deck. As of yet, there have been no non-Staple Resources released. The Factions count as Staples as well, according to the bottom of the card. However, since these are set apart at the beginning of the game or whenever you shuffle your deck, the word Staple tends to refer to Resources. Most cards require between 1 and 4 of these Staple Resources in play to meet the threshold indicated by Resource icons on cards. The Resource icons come in the form of five trades.
To supplement the Staple Resources, players may play any card from their hand face down as a Resource; however, cards played face down in this manner will not count towards the Resource threshold.
Playable cards come in several types, not counting Staples: Characters, Items, Tactics, and Locations. Each of these types often have subtypes. To win the game, the opponent's Faction must be reduced to 0 influence. The Tournament Faction starts with 25 influence. The Faction's influence may be reduced by attacking it with Characters, or by using Tactics or special abilities. Characters have three stats: Strength (amount of damage the Character deals), Life (amount of damage needed to destroy the Character), and Speed (faster Characters deal their damage earlier).

Storyline and Setting

The Spoils' storyline takes place in a world very different from our own, best described as "dark, absurdist fantasy." First Edition is set "150 years after the fall of the Marmothoan Empire." The Seed Cycle will take place 150 years prior to First Edition, presumably during the Fall of the Marmothoan Empire. Future sets following the release of the Seed Cycle will return to the time of First Edition.

Trades of The Spoils

  • Banker (Greed icon): As a trade, the Bankers are heavy influence gainers and spenders, and are not known for their COVERT Characters. For instance, playing spoilscard Concealed Goon (a COVERT Character) will cost you 5 influence, whereas playing spoilscard Nasty Butler (a low-speed Character) will gain you 4 influence. Bankers also like to draw a lot of cards (using either spoilscard Cash Out or spoilscard Beatrix Winterbottom), and have direct Character removal with some benefit to/choice made by their opponents (spoilscard Irresistible Bribe being an example).
  • Rogue (Deception icon): As a trade, Rogues try to use their opponent's discard pile against them. And the way they facilitate this is to mill their opponent's library. One particular Character, spoilscard Pluck, can snatch opponent's discarded Characters, Items or Locations for his controller's use. But it doesn't end in the discard pile; Rogues can take control of some cards their opponents control (an example of a Tactic of this type is spoilscard Rapine). Some other traits of this trade are high-speed Characters, Speed manipulation, and removing opponent's discard cards from the game, as well as minor control (two examples being the Item spoilscard Emergency Obfuscation and the Tactic spoilscard Forced Recruitment).
  • Warlord (Rage icon): As a trade, Warlords are the straight-forward beaters and damage-dealers. They want to lay down efficient (strength to cost ratio) Characters to attack with while using damage dealing sources to clear the way. They also have cards that will help them to overwhelm their opponents with a sizable board control. They also have one of the most powerful Characters, the spoilscard Dragon Tank, which destroys one enemy Character per turn and is a 10/10/4 as well, thus clearing the enemies away and doing tremendous damage.
  • Gearsmith (Elitism icon): As a trade, Gearsmiths use cost reduction in many ways to help spur them ahead (with cards such as spoilscard Jo Ciendeilio and aiding them in this endeavour). As well as possessing selective tutoring (drawing specific types of cards), the highest number of Item cards, and Character token creator cards (called Micromajigs, with the stats 1/1/3), they have a "Node" theme that can become quite powerful but is particularly vulnerable.
  • Arcanist (Obsession icon): As a trade, the Acanists sport the most COVERT Characters. They can bounce their opponent's permanents and force them to discard cards (using cards such as spoilscard Forget and spoilscard Degenerate Molestation), as well as generate tokens that can be used from certain cards to bounce cards (such as spoilscard Quotidian Ejector) or cause their opponent to discard cards. Another ability of these arcane experimenters is to manipulate the libraries and to retrieve specific "type" cards (an example being spoilscard Servile Centipede, which, on coming into play from your hand, allows you to search for a Tactic).

The Spoils Tournament Experience

From August 1, 2006 through the October, 2006 launch date of The Spoils, Tenacious Games supported the release of a limited set of Open Beta cards of The Spoils Tournament Card Game with over 1000 free tournaments and over $60,000 in prize money.
In 2007, sanctioned tournament play was officially titled The Spoils Tournament Experience and given an official overall prize total of US$1,000,000.00.

Sets and Cycles

To date there have been three sets released, and an additional three sets announced. Beta was a limited edition set that was a precursor to 1st Edition. 1st Edition, and 1st Edition Part 2 will be combined and reprinted at a later date as the 'core' set, or 2nd Edition. The Seed Cycle (formerly codenamed "Andreessen") has been announced as the next three sets, but official names for the sets have not been given at this time.
A second cycle of sets, to follow the Seed Cycle, is in development has been codenamed "Bulbous Bouffant."

Pop Culture References

The Spoils is notable for its tongue-in-cheek style, most noticeable in its art and flavour text.
An example would be spoilscard A Series of Tubes, which is a reference to this. The artwork depicts a mass of large tubes connected together at certain points, and with a small sign beside them with a picture of a dump-truck inside a red forbidden circle, in reference to the Series of Tubes speech. The flavour text also reads "It's not a dump-truck."
The Gearsmiths have some of the most obvious references, with cards such as . As well as that, most of their flavour text is written in 1337, especially on the 31f cards like .
As well as that are cards such as the Warlords Item Swordchucks (which had previously been referenced in the Warlord CCG) and the flavour text on the Rogue Tactic spoilscard Scrag, which reads "N.E.D.M." (Not Even Doom Music).

External links

Official sites

  • The The Spoils Official site. News, forum, tournaments, and store.
  • Athena The Spoils card database.
  • WoW Radio's Tutorial Video A tutorial video claiming to teach The Spoils in half an hour, produced under a sponsorship agreement from Tenacious Games

Unofficial sites

  • Team Covenant is a group of highly experienced players offering insight into the current tournament meta and their personal play-testing sessions. Team Covenant also has several strategy articles and Card of the Week articles written by the best players in the game.
  • Spoils @ TCG Player One of the world's leading TCG fansite chains with arguably the best content out there for The Spoils with articles by the best known players in the game, sortable spoiler, great forums and the most up-to-date information to be found anywhere.
  • The Spoils Fansite, contains downloadable content pertaining to The Spoils as well as the most up to date Spoiler List for The Spoils as of August 14, 2006.
  • Spoils Circuit Spoils Circuit is a fansite promoting online play of the game. They host weekly events, some with actual cash prizes.
  • Malaysian Forums with The Spoils area.
  • : A search engine for The Spoils TCG, as well as several other TCG systems.
  • The Spoiler : A versatile deck-building and inventory management program for PC and Mac.
  • SpoilsInventory A card database for The Spoils.
  • Cardstock Games Philippine The Spoils community.


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