Zarcana is an Icehouse
game of territorial conquest played on a dynamic, slowly shifting game board made from a grid of Tarot
cards. Icehouse pyramids become Minions, which may point in the four cardinal directions, and may stand straight up.
The four Tarot suits represent four different powers: Swords the power of attack; Discs (or Coins or Pentacles,) the power of creation; Cups the power of growth, and Wands the power of movement. Royalty may be played as a Wild suit.
On top of these, the Tarot trumps each represent special powers; the effect of each trump is different, which makes the rules to Zarcana difficult to memorise. Luckily, the Icehouse set comes with a handy little reference card for the suit and trump powers.
Each turn, you select a Minion to use a Power. You might use a Power played from your hand, or alternatively, a Minion may use the power of the card it's placed on. Generally pieces lying down affect the card they're pointing towards, and standing pieces affect the card they're stood on.
Zarcana was designed by John Cooper. It has recently been superseded by the more streamlined Gnostica.