The King of Clubs game, Osmosis, is the most difficult Clubs game as well as one of the most complex games played in the Borderlands. It is run by Ginji Kyūma and his four associates (Gōken Kanzaki, Uta Kisaragi, Sōgo Shitara and Takumi Maki). It was successfully completed by Ryōhei Arisu, Hikari Kuina, Yuzuha Usagi and Suguru Niragi.
The venue for the King of Clubs is a massive harbor filled with shipping containers, many of which stacked on top of each other several times creating a labyrinth of pathing to navigate though. Outside the venue is a table with 5 bracelets as well as the game name and difficulty spray painted in colorful graffiti. 3 sides are blocked off with the containers, and the fourth side looks over to the ocean. The player entrance is from the north. At the north and south ends of the harbor are the bases, which are large poles with a plasma ball on top of it. In the midst of the shipping containers are 6 which open up and contain items.
Player Limit: 5 Required
Time Limit: 2 Hours
Each player must equip one of the provided bracelets before entering the venue. No participant may bring in any weapon or any metallic object to the venue (This is likely to prevent both violence and interference with the bracelet’s detectability). Each team starts with 10,000 points in total. Members of each team are free to distribute the points amongst its members as they see fit, with a minimum of 100 points per person. The teams each have their respective bases, which are tall posts with what looks like a plasma globe on the top. The game only begins once all the points have been distributed among the players.
The goal of the game is to accumulate as many points for the team as possible in the time limit. There are three ways to obtain points - Battle, Item, and Base. All points lost or gained affects the team total.
- In order to battle, the player will have to make physical contact with the opponent's body. The bracelet will sense the bioelectricity and initiate the game.
- The bracelets will reflect the points of the player and the opponent in the battle. The player with the greater number of points is the battle’s winner. The loser will automatically transfer 500 points to the winner at the end of the battle.
- Teams may battle with multiple players by touching an opposing player/group while keeping physical contact. There is no limit to the amount of players that can group together to battle.
- When this happens, the total points are added and compared. However, the reward and penalty is split between all participating members of the battle (500).
- Although the group’s total score is seen in group battles, how the score is divided is still ambiguous. (For example, if 2 players have a total score of 3000, it is unknown if it is 2000+1000, 1500+1500, 2900+100, etc.).
- There are six random items hidden in containers around the game arena with varying worth in points - 500, 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, 2,500, 3,000.
- Once the item is found, the player will gain the points tied to the respective item upon physical contact.
- The base is a place where an infinite number of points is stored. If a player were to successfully touch the Base of the opposing team, they’re rewarded with 10,000 points.
- When making contact with one’s own base, that player will have an infinite amount of point.
- In this event, the points transferred will be 10,000 points from the loser to the winner.
- Once the player breaks contact with their own team's base, their points will resume to what it was prior to contact with the base in addition to points earned whilst in contact.
- If a player's points falls below 0, it’s Game Over for them.
- It’s Game Clear for the team that has the most points by the end of the time limit.
- It’s Game Over for the team that has the least points by the end of the time limit.
- After each Battle that results in an exchange in points, any further attempts of exchanging points is forbidden. If players accidentally or purposefully engage in a battle with a player in that state, both will be shocked with a high voltage electric current.
Climbing onto the crates to traverse the arena is allowed. One crucial detail that is never mentioned in the rules is that it isn’t forbidden for players to carry 2 bracelets at a time; and when they do, the points from both bracelets are used in battle. This exploit is what Arisu’s team uses to clear the game.
The complex rules of the King of Clubs allowed for some of the deepest strategy in all of the games. As the game began, Arisu’s team began drafting an idea of how the points should be distributed. The first thing he realized was that due to the importance of the goal, a goalkeeper (GK) was absolutely necessary.
Idea #1 (Ultimate Base-Orientated Strategy)
A (FW): 9600 B: 100 C: 100 D: 100 E: 100
The idea behind this is that teammates B, C, D, and E are all goalkeepers. The fastest, strongest player would the the Forward, and they would battle and search for the items.
Another possibility is the following set-up which Kyūma’s team could potentially have.
A (FW): 9100 B: 100 C: 100 D: 100 E: 600
Teammate E would be a “Provoker”. They’d initiate a battle, purposefully lose, then go back to being a GK. The most vital part of a battle is information. Should they find the amount of points a person/group has, then they will know the totally points of the members who didn’t participate in the battle, and be able to deduce all possible outcomes of a battle depending on which member of the opposing team participates.
Then Kuina points out that the strategy is highly battle-orientated, which is true. Not to mention, it was overly defensive. More focus needs to be put into items. With that, Arisu theorizes a distribution focused entirely on items, rather than battle.
A (FW): 6100 B: 1100 C: 1100 D: 1100 E (GK): 100
With this strategy, 4 people can go their separate ways to look for items, and teammates B, C, and D and afford to lose 2 solo battles. Then, Niragi interrupts Arisu, and states the truth: they have no idea what their opponents lineup is. There’s no absolute strategy in this game of Osmosis, the crucial point is balance. The only position to take is the following.
A: 4700 B: 300 C: 4600 D: 300 E (GK): 100
Initially, it seems like a strange set-up, but it’s actually genius. Fundamentally, the team splits into 2 pairs: A with B, and C with D. With 300 points, teammates B and D can afford to lose one battle, after which they’ll have 50 points, and go back to protect the base. But should the group find an item, the person with the lesser points takes it, and splits. Now, the number of solo runners increase to 3 and up to 4, which increases odds of finding items further. And if roles B and D are given to the fastest people, should the opponents be battle oriented, then the groups can switch partners for battle strength, and the duo will be practically undefeatable. In this scenario, the groups are A with B, and C with D. The worst case is that C and D lose a battle. They’ll go down to 50 points, but won’t die. They can go back and guard the base in the meantime. This idea is perfect, and is the alignment that was used by Arisu’s team.
The following is the set-up used by Kyuma’s team.
A: 2000 B: 2000 C: 2000 D: 2000 E (GK): 2000
Every member of his team, even the GK, had an even amount of points. It seemed insane at first, but it nearly won them the game. 4 people charged at Team Arisu’s base simultaneously. This would mean the certain death of 1 person; they knew that. But for the cost of that one life, 3 invincible forces with over 10,000 points would be created. While the point distribution isn’t the most intelligent, their tactic can be considered the Ultimate Battle-Orientated Strategy.
Arisu’s team retaliated by replicating a similar attack. Kuina and Usagi exploited the pride out of 2 of Kyūma’s teammates to lure them away from the base. Arisu and Niragi charged, the former at Kyūma and the latter at Kisaragi. When Kyūma made contact with Arisu, both were painfully electrocuted; Arisu had never touched his base after the last battle. With Kisaragi distracted, Niragi closed in and spat blood all over her face. This tactic closed the point gap, but with all but 1 item gone, it wasn’t enough to win.
The final, most desperate tactic used in the game was Arisu using an item door to cut off Tatta’s arm so he could carry his bracelet and initiate a battle.
The following are a list of additional viable strategies that were unused in the manga.
Ultimate Item-Orientated Strategy
A: 2500 B: 2500 C: 2500 D: 2400 E (GK): 100
Assuming A, B, C, and D are all very fast players, they can split up and go 4 separate ways to look for items avoiding any battles along the way until they get an item. This is the highest number of item-searchers there can be in a game whilst still defending the base.
Ultimate Battle-Orientation Defense
A: 4600 B: 600 C: 4600 D (GK): 100 E (GK): 100
This is essentially Niragi’s plan but with 2 goalkeepers. This is effectively a deterrent from having the opponent team committing the suicide charge.
- The King of Clubs is arguably one of the most complex games shown in terms of rules and strategy.
- This game was the first to be beaten during the Second Stage.
- It was one of 2 games beaten on the first day of exhibitions, alongside the Queen of Diamonds.
- This was the only Face Card game shown that featured more than one citizen, but it is likely the other Clubs games had a team of citizens as well.
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