(Written by Geneva D. – gid617)
If you are new to the LEGO Ninjago spinner game, below I will share with you the basic rules of Spinjitzu that will get you started. After playing with these rules for awhile, you might just want to change them a little, so I have also included several suggestions of my own.
Before we start with the Spinjitzu rules though, it’s probably a good idea to mention SP, which means Spinjitzu Power. Spinjitzu Power refers to the element and amount of the element (Fire, Lightning, Earth, Ice) marked on the side (bottom left and top right) of all the Spinjitzu battle-cards, and on the bottom of your character-card.
A Ninjago character-card won’t be in your card-deck while you’re playing, but it determines which character you will play at the beginning of the game, and the amount of SP you will have during the game. The reason this is important is because you can only play a battle-card if your character has equal or more SP as the battle-card.
The basic rules of the Ninjago Spinjitzu game are as follows (and hopefully I’m not boring the more advanced players):
Pick a Ninjago character, the matching character-card, three weapons (you’re only supposed to use one golden weapon, but who cares), a spinner, a spinner-crown, and your battle-deck (consisting only battle-cards, and no duplicates).
Shuffle your battle-deck and draw four cards. These are the cards you will play during the game (one before the spin, one after, and a Scroll-card or Challenge-card after loosing a weapon). According to the official Spinjitzu rules, you may only pick up a maximum of one card per turn, if you have less than four cards in your hand. However, it is much nicer to pick up cards until you have four each time – that way you might actually get though your deck during the game!
Then comes the actual spinning. Since the previous two points can be quite complicated (especially when everyone is trying to explain them at once) it might be a good idea not to introduce them to a new player until they are comfortable with the idea of spinning.
Of course whoever has their character fall off the spinner looses. In theory at least, this means that the first person to fall looses, even if the second person falls off soon after. However this might be hard to judge, so you can change this to a ten second difference. If neither (or both) characters fall, then the spin was a tie, and you repeat the spin (without changing your weapon, but you can make necessary fixes to your character/spinner).
This whole process can get tedious though, especially if you are spinning in a large Spinjitzu arena. So I like using a rule I call the three-spin-rule: after three ties all cards played at the beginning of the round are cancelled, and you can play (or discard – as the case may be) a card, since this is the end of that spin. (You may also discard – not play! – a Scroll-card after the spin.)
There are several problems with using the arena included in Ninjago starter-sets; for one thing, it’s hard to keep them in place! Plus, you can’t really fall off the edge or avoid your opponent and their traps – which might benefit you sometimes, but can also hurt you! Another difficulty is that the official Ninjago arenas are really too small for more than two players – although you can certainly add more pieces to make them larger. Personally though, I prefer a table-top - especially if it has removable legs and slightly elevated sides! 8)
There are three main differences in how you can spin. The first way is simply spinning normally: hard and fast, but not in any particular direction. This is useful when there are no traps, your character is not on one leg (or other non-beneficial position) or if you are the aggressor (the traps are yours, your opponent’s character is on one leg, etc.). Under certain circumstances this spinning technique has its disadvantages, but typically it is very useful.
Another way to spin is slamming. Tilt your spinner slightly in the direction you wish to go; often straight at your opponent. This is great if you are playing with the spin-off-the-edge-and-die rule, especially if you have Up for Grabs/Strike Down and/or Sensei’s Whistle/Sensei’s Teatime (“win if both characters fall”/”this spin is a tie”) cards in your hand, or if your opponent’s character is on one leg or trying to avoid your traps. The major disadvantage of this type of spinning is that if your opponent can guess what you are up to, they may manage to move out of the way before you spin. In any case, this technique usually takes a lot of practice (I often end up running straight off the edge) and is certainly not recommended if you’re on your last weapon!
The last type of spinning technique is an evasive spin. When your opponent has played a trap-card, has their character stand on one leg/bend over backwards, or added some formidable pieces to their spinner (like Whip Attack), you will probably want to use a very light, spin-along-the-edge technique. The major disadvantage of this kind of spinning is that your opponent may realize what you are intending to do, and slam you accordingly – or, if they have the Double Stars or Spitfire Snake Crown-cards (“throw it and your character-card during spin”, or “throw all discarded Fire-cards during spin”), they may manage to knock you off the edge if they throw hard and have good aim!
And that’s all there is to it! All in all, the way you spin depends on who you are fighting and what cards you and your opponent have played. Which of course brings us to the next topic: the Ninjago cards, but they will require a separate post all to themselves!
So what do you think? Have you had any success with some of the methods I have shared? Do you have other tips for playing the Spinjitzu game? Or do you have any questions? Feel free to share in the comment section below! NINJA… GO!!!
You may also want to head over to the LEGO Ninjago section for more tutorials, news, videos and discussions for Ninjago fans, or check out my previous posts below:
- Fun with the LEGO NINJAGO Spinjitzu Cards
- LEGO NINJAGO Spinners – New Pictures!
- NINJAGO Season ONE DVD – Now for Pre-Order!
- Guide to the New LEGO NINJAGO Cards
- LEGO NINJAGO – September Spinners!