Lunch Money/Beer Money FAQ
Atlas employees don't always agree about Lunch Money rules interpretations, and unlike those other game companies, we don't feel the need to play nice with each other. Initials indicate whose rulings are whose. [JT] indicates Jeff Tidball, [WH] indicates Will Hindmarch, [JN] indicates John Nephew, [MN] indicates Michelle Nephew.
We're delighted that players are taking advantage of the intercompatability of Lunch Money and Beer Money. Questions are inevitable, though, and we want to encourage you to override the answers we give with house rulings of your own, should you decide your rules better fit the style of gameplay you're after. Lunch Money and Beer Money are marvelously dynamic and adaptable: the worst you can do is make the game play faster or slower. So feel free to experiment!
The Discard Rule
Q: The discard rule leads to turtling. Everyone just tosses their hands in every turn until they've got enough defense to be invincible. That sucks.
A: Quite true. Here are some optional rules for dealing with this problem:
- Players may not discard-and-draw at all. [JT]
- Players take some amount of damage automatically when discarding. (A flat cost of 1-3 points, perhaps, or one point per card, depending on how much you want to discourage the strategy.) [JT]
- Each other player gets an out-of-turn attack on a discarding player. The discarding player is allowed to use his new cards to defend himself, but the extra attacks will probably take care of the defensive cards he was hoping to stockpile. [JT]
- Other players mock and deride the discarding player for being a pathetic little wimp. Believe it or not, this sort of "peer pressure" sometimes works! [JT]
Q: Weapons suck because they go back into your hand, preventing you from getting new cards.
A: That is a feature of weapons. Sometimes it's a drawback, sometimes it's a benefit. [JT]
Q: If Player A attacks Player B with a Big Combo, and Player B Blocks half of the damage, can Player B still Grab?
A: Definitely. [JN]
Q: Can Player B still do so if the second half of the attack knocks him unconscious?
A: Hmm. That one is tougher, but I would say yes, if only because it makes the fights more bloody. [JN]
Q: The rules state: "As long as the Choke remains, both attacker and victim are helpless and cannot defend themselves from attacks by other players." However they do not restrict the attacker's following turns. Can an attacker holding a Choke playnormal attacks on his following turns (e.g another Grab/Choke combination)?
A: My reading of Choke has always been that the Choker must release the hold in order to play any other cards. [JN]
Q: Choke is annoying and confusing, and doesn't do all that much anyway. It slows down the game while we try to figure out how it works.
A: I think Choke is annoying, too. Take it out of your deck. I took it out of mine. [JT]
Q: On my turn can I play a First Aid card at the beginning of the turn and then continue with a basic attack card?
A: No. Perhaps it would be clearer if the rules said "You can play as many FIRST AID cards as you have in your hand on your turn, as your turn." [WH]
Q: Can First Aid raise you above 15 counters?
A: The card reads that it "restores" counters. That means it can only "heal" damage that's already been done to you, so it can't go over your start-of-game "max" of 15 counters. This applies to Self Help and Redemption in Beer Money, too. [MN]
Q: Under Freedom the rules say "This card counters or breaks any Grab, Headlock, or Choke". Under Grab it says "A Grab may be played as the start of an action on a player's turn. In that case, the Grab may be countered by Dodge or Freedom, but not Block." That seems to imply that you can't play Freedom after the Block + Grab, which would seem to be in keeping with the rest of the multi-card combos not being avoidable unless you stop the first card (of have a Humiliate).
A: A Freedom counters a Grab in any case — whether the Grab followed a Block, or was played as an opening move. E.g.: You Pimp Slap me. I Block your Pimp Slap. Since I do not play a Grab, you take advantage of your option to do so; You Grab me, planning to follow it with a Hail Mary. But I play a Freedom, which counters the Grab. You save the Hail Mary for future use. [JN]
Q: The rules state that Headlock "entitles the attacker to as many free Jab, Uppercut and Stomp cards as she has in her hand every round." Can these free cards be played whenever, or must they be played on the attacker's turn?
A: On the attacker's turn. [JN]
Q: Can the attacker play these free cards after drawing to return the number of cards in their hand to five?
A: No, the attacker would have to wait until her next turn to play the cards she drew. [JN]
Q: Headlock is annoying and confusing, blah blah blah.
A: See similar answer under Choke. [JT]
Q: If I have a person in a Choke, I must release the Choke in order to defend myself if attacked. Is this also true if I have the person in a Headlock? Or is that considered to be a one-arm hold, so I can still block with one hand free?
A: I have always read this rule to agree with the latter statement. A player doing the head-locking may still defend herself. [WH]
Q: Humiliation is way too powerful. It allows an unblockable attack!
A: Quit whining. While the attack can't be stopped by any of the standard defense cards, playing Humiliation on a Humiliation stops the whole thing cold, including the free attack. And you get a free attack to boot. [JT]
Q: Does Humiliation stop one card, or a whole sequence of cards played at the same time? For example, say someone Blocks my attack, Grabs me, and then Pimp Slaps me. Can I quash the whole response with one Humiliation card?
A: Players should play cards one at a time to avoid this whole question. Humiliating the Block would stop the whole chain, because there's be no option to play a Grab without a Block. But once the Grab has been played, you can't Humiliate the Block — the option has already passed. However, if the players can agree that the blocker didn't allow enough time for you to decide whether you wanted to Humiliate, you can send the game "back in time" to give you the option to Humiliate the Block. (In that case, the Block/Grab/Pimp-Slapper would keep the Grab and Pimp Slap in his hand for future use.) [JT]
A2: The rules are indeed ambiguous in the case of Humiliation versus multiple cards. That's why the rules talk about Humiliation countering an "action" or "play," rather than a "card." I think the best interpretation is to nullify an entire sequence of an opponent's cards. If the cards are on the table and part of a sequence, then they're negated and discarded. [JN]
Q: What about multiple First Aids? They're played as one action.
A: A single Humiliate only stops one First Aid, even if more than one were played together. But nice try. [JT]
A2: For the record, I disagree with this interpretation; I've always treated all First Aids played as a single action. And it's sooo choice when you hose somebody who has just played a big handful of First Aids. [JN]
Q: If Humiliate is used to negate a defensive card, is the original attack still good?
A: You bet. [JT]
Q: Clarify this rule that the Humiliation Card must be played by A.) the attacking player or B.) the player being attacked and not C.) a player who was not engaged by player A (whose turn it was). The way the rule reads some interpret that this card enables any one to use it out of turn.
A: The rule reads: "The holder of this card may interrupt the action, out of turn...." [emphasis added] That's where the idea comes from. Humiliation can, indeed, be played out of turn by any player in the game. Thus, Humiliation can be used to cancel out even First Aid cards. Yikes, eh? This is the big card of the game, and it is indeed a doozy. [WH]
Poke in the Eye
Q: The rules state that "The player who did the poking gets the first free shot (but only with a Basic Attack Card)." Is this a free attack or does the player who did the poking have to earn it (e.g. by playing a Humiliation)?
A: It is a free attack.[JN]
A2: Of course it's a free attack. RTFM, buddy. [JT]
Q: If someone plays a Big Combo while under a Stomp effect, is the entire combo affected or only the first half of the combo?
A: The whole thing is halved. [JT]
Q: How do you round halved attack damage after a Stomp?
Q: The rules say that "The victim of this attack must make her next attack at half damage (round down)" The FAQ says that it should be rounded up. Which is correct?
A: The FAQ is incorrect. [JN]
A2: D'oh! [JT]
Q: What happens if I Stomp someone whose next attack is an Uppercut Squared? Or a Poke in the Eye? Is the free attack that follows the Uppercut or Poke halved?
A: The free attacks are not halved, only the respective Uppercut and Poke. [JN]
Q. Both the card rules and the sample game state that Piledriver does five points of damage, but my card clearly has a 4 on it. Which is correct?
A: We caught this one too late to change it. The card is correct: PILEDRIVER does 4 Damage.
Q. The sample game has Ann using an Open Hand card off of a grab, but the rules don't seem to allow this, was this simply an oversight in drawing up the combat, or one in the rules itself?
A: The combat example is out of date. OPEN HAND cannot be played off of a GRAB, so the example is wrong.