Rules and Clarifications

A Blood and Cardstock Game
by Joan Wendland
© 2003

X-Machina is the fun party game where you make impossible inventions out of improbable components for unreasonable customers. Tons of fun for 4-8 players.

This is the Flagpole edition of X-Machina. There are one hundred copies in the Flagpole edition and they are each numbered and signed by the game designer. They were created because playtesters were so excited about X-Machina that they could not wait for Blood & Cardstock Games to issue a production quality version of the game. Blood & Cardstock Games hopes to publish a production quality version of the game in late 2004 or early 2005. You can visit our website at: www.blood-and-cardstock.com to check on our progress or find information about our other games.

Game Components: X-Machina is a card game with 2 types of cards: Req cards and Cog cards. Reqs (pronounced “wrecks”) are products which Customers ask for. Req cards are green. Cogs are components which Bidders use to build the requested products. Cog cards are gray. Each turn there is one Customer; the remaining players are all Bidders. Players take turns being the Customer.

Game Set Up: Deal each player 7 Cog cards. Place 4 cards face up in the center of the table. Cards placed into the center are in “The Junk Yard”. The player who was born closest to Hoboken New Jersey will be the first Customer. (Hoboken is directly across the Hudson river from New York City.) If there is some dispute over who was born closer use a die roll, rock paper scissors, or some other random method to pick the first Customer.

Game Play: Each turn has five phases:

  1. Request
  2. Design
  3. Present
  4. Award
  5. Restock

Perform each phase in order every turn.

Request: The Customer draws a Req card and announces “I want a….” and reads the card out loud.

Design: After hearing the requested invention the Bidders immediately begin to place Cog cards face up in front of them. Only play cards which you think you can combine together to make the requested invention. The Customer does not participate in the Design phase.

If you do not think you can make a reasonable design out of the cards in your hand do not play any cards. This option is called “No Bid”. It will allow you to trade as many of your cards for ones in the Junk Yard as you like. Do not trade any cards until the Presentation portion of the turn.

If all players chose the “No Bid” option the Customer discards the Req card and draws another. Play resumes from the Request phase.

Present: The Customer can decide at any time to say “Present”. Once the Customer has said Present all the Bidders must stop adding and removing cards from their designs. The Bidder to the left of the Customer explains how the Cogs played face up in front of him can be combined to create the requested invention. Once that Bidder has pitched his product the next player to the left presents.

If a player has “No Bid” a Request that player has not placed and cards on the table. Instead of explaining a design that player announces “No Bid” and may exchange cards from his hand for cards in the Junk Yard. The “No Bid” takes all of that player’s turn. A player who didn’t bid can not submit a design for the current Req after exchanging cards with the Junk Yard.

Award: The Customer then announces which design wins the bidding. The Customer gives the Req card to the winner who will keep it face up on the table in front of him. The Req cards are used to keep score. If there is at least one bid for the Req the customer MUST award the Req to one of the bidders no matter how bad the designs may be.

Restock: The winning Bidder discards all the components used in the winning design. These cards go into a discard pile, NOT the Junk Yard. The winner draws new cards to fill his hand to seven. If the winner already has seven or more cards he does not draw. Each of the losing Bidders takes the Cogs used in his design back into his hand and then draws one additional card. Bidders who chose the “No Bid” option do NOT receive a new card during the restock phase. If you run out of Cog cards reshuffle the discard pile.

Any player with more than ten cards in his hand must place a card in the Junk Yard. The player gets to chose which card he places into the Junk Yard. The player to the left of the Customer becomes the new Customer next turn.

End Game: Repeat the turn cycle until one player has won 4 Req cards (4-5 players) or one player has won 3 Req cards (6-8 players). Announce, “Wow, that was fun!!!” Go out and buy all the other games Blood & Cardstock manufactures ;-)


  • There is Kickbacks Cog card. Kickbacks are bribes you offer to the Customer. Some people like cash bribes, some could be insulted. It’s up to you whether you think offering a Customer a bribe is a good idea.
  • There are Attractive Salespeople Cog cards. Attractive Salespeople can be used to make the presentation look better, or can actually be part of the design. For instance: “This saleswoman will run on the treadmill to power the device”
  • There is a “Chemical T32-Hyche” card. There is no such chemical – just be creative.
  • Cogs can be taken apart or altered. For instance, you can say you are removing the springs from the mattress or the gears from a clock.
  • You may make any claim you like about a Cog. For instance, “This incense was flown to Rome and blessed by the Pope himself.” It is up to the Customer whether or not he believes you.
  • Be creative, have fun!

Dedication: This game is dedicated to my wonderful supportive husband David J. Wendland. After all, any man that can make a scope probe out of a pen……

Copyrights: Both the game itself, and the artwork on the cards are copyrighted. X-Machina™ © Joan Wendland 2003, Logo © Larry DeSouza 2003. Blood & Cardstock® is a registered trade mark of Blood & Cardstock Games. All rights reserved.

Look for our other products in your local store or at www.blood-and-cardstock.com!
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Counting Zzzzs – The Game of Your Dreams
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