This is a deck-building game. Each player takes on the role of a Hero, attempting to dominate the other clans in the year 3012 . . . a millennium after the world nearly ended.
Players start the game with small decks of Scout cards, which provide Gold to make purchases. There are two piles of cards that provide static cards to buy: an Ally deck and a Weapon deck. Three cards from each of those decks are always made available to purchase each round. Cards that are not bought remain there for other players to buy.
But there are also two non-static decks of cards from which to make purchases. At the start of your turn, you get to reveal one card from each of these two Action decks. One has cheap cards, and one has more expensive cards. These are random cards that are available to buy on your turn, but they are also there to help you. You get the benefits of the Action cards you reveal, whether you buy them or not! If you don’t buy them, they are removed from the game, so the next player will gain benefit only from the two new cards he reveals. The game board keeps all of the different card types sorted out.
When you have amassed enough combat skill (through Allies, Weapons, and Action cards you have added to your deck), you can attempt to prove your worth with an Encounter. These beasts and monsters are found in four small decks of Encounter cards, ranging from easy to very difficult. The harder the Encounter, the more victory points the card is worth. When you face an Encounter, the other players may play Scout cards to help or hinder your battle. When an Encounter is defeated, the active Hero and any players who helped share in the Experience of the Encounter, which increases your Hero’s combat ability. If the Encounter fails, any players who worked against you will gain the Experience.
Unlike most deck-building games, there are many points of interaction in 3012, so players are never out of the action! And you always get to refill your hand to its maximum size at the start of your turn, so you are never penalized for interacting during other players’ turns.
The game ends when one of the Heroes reaches Level 5. The player with the most victory points wins the game.