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Ani-Mayhem - House Rules for a Dead Trading Card Game

I'm an Air Force veteran who was stationed in Guam at one point.


Ani-mayhem is a dead trading card game from the 90’s. I fondly remember getting my first box of Ani-mayhem card at a yard sale as a kid. I got a huge box of Set-2 Dragonball Z cards for $10. The game manual was included as a small booklet that came in a starter set box. The game was confusing and almost unplayable. My friends and I made up our own rules with my cards, and we had a great time.

The biggest problem with this game was the cards themselves. The cards took images from popular 90’s anime series, but the resolution was horrible and grainy. The cars are not printed on very good cardboard, and are very glossy. Meaning that they are damaged and scratched easily if they are not sleeved. They also stick together very badly if not stored properly. Guaranteeing you will lose ink when they are torn apart after 5 years in a wet garage.

I own a complete set of all three sets of this game. It can be a very fun game to play, if you come up with your own rules and ditch the manual. Here are my homebrew rules for this iconic dead card game.


Sleeving Instructions

Colored sleeves will be very helpful for setup and cleanup of games. These are the suggested color schemes and how many of each sleeve you will need if you have a complete set of set 0 - 1 - 2.

Item = Gold
Location = Green
Haven = Yellow
Disaster = Orange
Combat = Red
Everything Else = Black


Game Setup

In my experience It is better to choose random cards for any deck face down so they are a surprise. Choosing cards based on a show theme can be fun too. Don’t use Super Sayians characters, they are so overpowered the game is no fun. All decks should only have 1 of each card (no doubles), except for the combat deck.

Each player chooses a Haven card and plays it face up on the board diagonally touching another Haven. For Example:



Each Player draws 5 Location cards and places them face down one at a time creating a map grid on the board in whatever shape you like. Both Havens must be connected by location cards and all locations must connect at least by horizontal and vertical. For Example:




Each Player Starts with 4 characters. To randomize, draw cards from the main deck until you have 4. Shuffle all non-character cards back into the main deck.

Print out chit cards for each character or use colored game pieces and put them on your Haven. (Alternatively put a second set of the colored game pieces on your character cards to remember their color on the board).

Create a disaster deck. In a free-play game, just draw from a large deck randomly. In a competitive game, for each player add 4 non-combat, 3 minor and 1 major disasters. In a co-op game, for each player add 4 non-combat, 3 major and 1 minor disasters. Minimum deck should be 8 disasters per player.

Create a combat deck with all the combat cards you like, this is the only deck that you can have doubles of cards. Minimum 30 cards. If you run out you can always shuffle the discard to make a new deck.

Create an item deck. For each player adds 5 item cards. If you want to search for the Dragonballs to win, substitute the 4 Dragonball item cards in lieu of item cards from players.

Create a main deck with the rest of your cards. If you would like to reduce the time of games only start with 60. If time isn’t an issue, use all the cards you want for the main deck. Each player draws 5 cards from the main deck.

Game Phases

The game phases follow similar trading card games, and the action follow similar combat rules for roleplaying games. The person who’s turn it is, is the “active player”.

Upkeep -> Untap -> Draw -> Move -> Action -> Cleanup


All “Start of Turn” actions resolve or reset. All combat cards on the active player used to defend a character are discarded.


Untap all characters of the active player. Untap all of the disasters that are on the board.


Do not draw a card on the first turn. If second turn or more you have a choice. Draw 1 card from the main deck, or Discard one card then draw a disaster or 2 cards from the main deck.


Move all Disasters towards players in this priority, if a priority is not assigned on the card.

  • Closest first
  • Item holder first
  • Equipment holder first
  • Randomize last
Scroll to Continue

Move all active player’s characters, if wanted. You may move a character in or out of a vehicle, but that ends their movement or the vehicle’s movement. Characters moving through undiscovered locations (face down) do not flip cards up that you do not end a move on. If you do end a character movement on an undiscovered location, flip the location face up. If a character ends their move on a location that requires a spaceship or dimensional requirement, move the character back one space instead. If the only locations left that have items on the board have movement requirements like this, ignore the movement requirements and finish the game.


Disaster Phase

  • Disaster’s on locations with characters attack one character based on priority. You may tap up to 2 characters to defend.
  • The active player may place 1 disaster on any location. Combat locations may not be placed on locations with characters.

Character Phase

  • Equip Items, enhancements, equipment to any character from your hand. Characters may carry any number of cards, but they will only receive benefit from one of each type of card.

  • Place any number of vehicles on your Haven.

  • Each untapped character may choose 1 action.
  • Tap 1 character to PVP attack an opponent’s character.
  • Tap up to 4 characters to attack a major disaster.
  • Tap in this order up to 2 characters to attack a minor disaster.
  • Tap 1 character to attempt to charm
  • Tap any character to draw a combat card face down and put under them. This stays until the active players next Upkeep to be used to defend them from future attacks.
  • Tap any number of characters to scavenge a location.

    • If requirements are met for location draw a disaster and place on location.

      • If a non-combat disaster is drawn, resolve it or discard and redraw if the disaster is not applicable to the situation. If after non-combat disaster resolution at least 1 character survives and is on location, draw an item card. The location is considered searched and taped. If all characters are absent, bonked or destroyed on location at resolution, the location is not considered searched and remains untapped to be searched again.
      • If a combat disaster is drawn and attach an item card face down to the disaster. Whoever kills this disaster draws the attached item card. The location is considered searched and taped.
    • If requirements are not met, put 1 dig counter on the location. If three dig counters are on a location, the last digger gets to draw a disaster card for the location as if requirements were met.


Discard all item cards in hand to item deck. Discard all other cards until the active player only has 5 cards.



A player that owns a character that is being attacked by anything may choose to flee and move 1 space at this cost

  • They drop all held cards that are then equipped to the disaster or drawn by the attacking character
  • Allow an attack of opportunity. Both attacker and defender draw a combat card. If the defender wins they flee. Tie means flee failed and they proceed to battle. If the attacker wins, proceed to battle and the defender may not draw a counter attack card.

You must destroy a vehicle, before attacking a character inside.

Disaster Attack steps

  • You may use up to 4 characters together to combine skills to attack a Major disaster and up to 2 to attack a minor disaster. You may only attack one-on-one for PVP.
  • Both attacker and defender draw a combat card.
  • Add the combined combat card defense bonus score to the combined defense score to get total defense.
  • Add the combined combat card attack bonus score to the combined attack score to get total attack.
  • The attacker strikes first. Compare the attacker’s attack to the defender’s defense. If the defense is bigger, the attack is blocked and the defender can counter attack.
  • The defender can then counterattack. If the defense is bigger. That attack is blocked and it is a tie.
  • If the attack is greater than the defense the loser is bonked if it is a difference of 1 or 2. If the loser is a disaster it is destroyed. If the loser is a character it is bonked and returned to the owner’s Haven. If the difference is 3 or greater the character is dead and discarded from the game. The winner draws all attached cards. A disaster winner attaches all won cards

Example Combat

  • Goku (with +1 attack equipment) attacks Piccolo (with +2 defense equipment)
  • Both draw combat cards. Goku gets an attack +1. Piccolo gets attack +3
  • Goku’s attack is 7 (Base 6 + 1 equipment)
  • Goku’s defense is 6 (Base 5 + 1 from combat card)
  • Piccolo’s attack is 8 (Base 5 + 3 from combat card)
  • Piccolo’s defense is 7 (Base 5 + 2 from equipment)
  • Goku’s attack is blocked, 7-7 = 0.
  • Piccolo then counterattacks and Bonks Goku back to his Haven, 6-8 = -2
  • If Piccolo had tried to flee and failed, he would not have gotten to counterattack and the match would have been blocked.

If a character is bonked or killed by an opponent, all items/equipment/enhancements are removed and go in the winner’s hand. If a disaster is the winner, the disaster equips everything. If a disaster is destroyed with attached items/equipment/enhancements, the winner draws everything attached.



A character may attempt to charm any character or combat disaster.

  • both the attacker and defender draw a combat card face up. Add the combat card bonuses to each side's base charm skill (if a charm skill isn’t listed, it is “0”). If the defender has a combat card attached from defending, add that to the calculation too.
  • A draw means the charm failed.
  • If either side has more charm points they win. Winner may choose one thing

    • Steal an item/equipment/enhancement from the opponent and draw the card to their hand.
    • Force the loser to attack any other target without having to tap.
    • Move the loser’s character 1 space.

Game Over

- All the items are collected (someone has all the Dragonballs in one place), the main deck runs out or you just want to stop. If tied, most characters, then most vehicles, then most enhancements. If still tied just admit it’s a tie.

- Only one player still has characters. They are declared the winner.

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