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FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions about BONE WARS


1. Were these guys for real?

They were. Have a look at the history page. And if that whets your curiosity, we've compiled a list of books you might find interesting.

2. Camptosaurus, vertebrae, quadruped, pubic bone... What's with all the big words?

Here at Zygote Games, we know that you're smart enough to handle it. If your 3 year old cousin can say Yangchuanosaurus, you should be able to handle a dinosaur name or two. If you don't know the big words already, you'll be able to figure them out from context as you play.


1."In a given phase (say, Controversy), do you play your cards all at the same time or do you play them in successive rounds?"

In each phase, players take turns performing actions. Each player performs one action at a time -- playing a card, describing a skeleton, revising a skeleton, etc. An action can use more than one card. The players continue taking turns until all players have no more actions they wish to perform. (See "Turn Order" on the rules sheet, second paragraph.)

Example: Jim, Jane, and Rob are playing BONE WARS. They are in the Museum phase of the turn.

Jim: “I’m describing a dinosaur. I’m calling it Coelophysis – here’s the Dinosaur name card, and I’m playing a Head, Vertebrae, and Limbs. That’s 3 Prestige points.”

Jane: “I’m Mining the Basement. This card lets me draw two more cards from the Bone deck.”

Rob: “I’ve found a Coprolite. That’s worth 1 Prestige point, and I’m playing Significant Find for an extra point.”

Jim: “I don’t have any more Museum cards to play. I’m passing.”

Jane: “Now I have something to describe! Here’s an Apatosaurus – I’ve got the Dinosaur name card, a Head, and Limbs. That’s 2 Prestige points.”

Rob: “I have a Museum card but I’m saving it for next turn – so I pass.”

Jim: “I’m still passing.”

Jane: “I’m done too. On to Controversy!”

2. "How do I keep track of Prestige points?"

Each Paleontologist card has numbers from 1 to 20 around the edge. Place any small object on the numbers to track prestige -- washers, small stones, paper clips, pennies, or tiny plastic dinosaurs. Or use a 20-sided die as a score tracker.

3. "At the end of the Controversy phase it says I can keep up to 4 Event cards. Does that include Field Crew cards already in play?"

No. Field Crew cards that are in play don't count against your hand limit.

4. "At the end of the turn it says we discard all our Bone cards. Does that include the dinosaurs in our museum?"

No. You only discard unused Bones still in your hand at the end of the turn. Once described, a Dinosaur remains in your museum for the rest of the game. (See the subhead "At the end of Controversy phase" on the rules sheet.)

5. "The rules say Cope can keep 2 Bone cards at the end of the turn. Does that include fossils in his museum?"

No. Cope can keep two unused Bone cards in his hand. Everyone gets to keep the dinosaurs they’ve described in their museum throughout the game.

6. “The rules keep talking about Name cards, but I only see cards marked Dinosaur. Are these the same thing?”

You know how there’s always one mistake that sneaks through all the editing and makes you smack your forehead later? That one’s ours. A Dinosaur card is the same as a Name card.