Another revamp of the PPA TCG that added more strategies and rebalanced the game, but still based around achieving a 4.0 GPA and killing your competition.
Student Wars, or the Student Wars Collectable Card Game, is the third iteration of the same PPA TCG game mechanics. Several aspects of the PPA TCG mechanics were asking for fixing (such as "cards with John or Jon in their name"), and I also wanted to more closely tie together characteristic groups (for example, all Drama students). The result was Student Wars. The game went through one major rules revamp in its 7 sets, and was retired in 2007 with the intention of redoing the game to more strongly support the new rules. Student Wars Version 2 never really happened, but this was the basis for the People Wars card game.
Gameplay is almost identical to the PPA TCG and PPA TCG Version 2. Characters fight each other with items and are used to play other cards. The game was originally intended to be compatible with the PPA TCG, and conversion rules were established (along with a document detailing conversion for specific cards). This was dropped after the second expansion, Factions.
The primary changes in Student Wars were the tighter affiliation to groups and attributes. Attributes provided a better way to create arbitary groupings (such as Kiltie, Yearbook, or Male), allowing many characteristics (now traits) that were never used in playing cards to be converted into attributes. Additionally, ten of the more common traits from PPA TCG were promoted to "primary" status allowing, for example, a character that was primarily Programming. These grouping affiliations influenced many of the effects in the game (such as Trigger text and common abilities), as well as expansions (the Hijinks expansion was primarily KGB, for example). Still, while the intention was for decks to be built around groupings, in addition to around primary traits, this was never really feasable until the final expansion, Loose Ends, added attribute-group cards.
Partway through creation of the fifth expansion, Internships, I was playing the game with Ben and he suggested adding some sort of penalty for having characters killed. This led to a rather major rules revamp, with the addition of kill counters for losing characters. Though most cards remained compatible with the new rules, there were new cards that dealt directly with kill counters, and were incompatible with the old rules (denoted with a * by their rarity in the lower right of the card).
One sideeffect of the rules revamp was that GPA wins became difficult... at times, impossible. Rather than trying to expand the card base with cards to weaken combat, I decided it was better to build a new card base that worked well with the revamped rules. This led to the retiring of Student Wars.
You can download the rules on the official website here.
There are five types of cards: Character, Event, GPA, Rule, and Item. Group Nodes (from PPA TCG Version 2) were toyed with, but never actually added to any expansions.
The game has seven sets: Base Set (288 cards), Alliances (99 cards), Factions (99 cards), Hijinks (126 cards), Booooth (126 cards), Internships (126 cards), and Loose Ends (81 cards). It also has an eighth mini-set of promos, called Studio Shots (18 cards). It was the largest pool of cards for any of my card games until People Wars passed it with the Flashback expansion in October 2013.
The game was originally designed with the intent of being sold, so the cards are divided into rarities. There are also "Starter" rarity cards in the Base set that were intended to be in the 2-player starter deck (some for a PPA deck, some for a CMU deck).
The card templates went through two failed iterations, which ended up being used for the Saint Seiya Tournament Card Game and the Supernatural Card Game. Once the final design was chosen, it was not changed throughout the seven sets; only the font was changed in the first expansion to make the cards easier to read.
All cards, except for the promos, can be downloaded at the website here (username and password required).
A sample Character card, "Keith Bare", from the base set
A sample dual Character card, "Howard & Avery", from the Alliances expansion
A sample GPA card, "Theorize", from the Booooth expansion
A sample Event card, "Eeeeeease", from the Hijinks expansion
A sample Rule card, "Extend Resources", from the Internships expansion
A sample Item card, "Desktop Computer", from the Factions expansion
The Student Wars Collectable Card Game has a website that is still available here (username and password are required).