ヴァンガード (Vanguard) is a Japanese trading card game published by Bushiroad. It was created in collaboration between Akira Itō (Yu-Gi-Oh! R), Satoshi Nakamura (Duel Masters), and Bushiroad president Takaaki Kidani. The game was also released in conjunction with a TV anime series, "カードファイト!! ヴァンガード" (Cardfight!! Vanguard).
In the game, players "ride" a unit as their Vanguard, which represents them on the board. They may also summon other units as Rear Guards to attack or support. The game is won by doing 6 points of damage to the opponent's Vanguard.
As players attack, if they are using their vanguard they can "drive check" whereby they check the top card of their deck for "triggers" which increase power and have other effects, and add these cards to their hand. Triggers can also be revealed when players take damage to their vanguard by performing a "damage check".
At the start of the game, each player places their grade 0 starting vanguard face down in the "vanguard circle" and then draws 5 cards. They may return any number of cards to the deck and re-draw to form their starting hand, but only once. It's a good tactic to return trigger cards from your first hand as these are better utilised when drawn from the deck as part of a "drive check" or "damage check".
Once the players are done setting up their initial hand they determine who goes first (often, rock-paper-scissors is used for this) and then each turn follows the same turn order:
1. Stand up (only at the start of the game, and both players perform this action simultaneously whereby they flip over their vanguard)
2. Stand and Draw
7. Drive Check
8. Damage Check
9. (more attacks? Go back to 5)
10. Turn end - change to other player and go back to 2
It's worth noting that strategically, taking damage early in the game can be beneficial as you can use cards in the damage zone to "counter blast" (flip the cards over to activate special actions on certain units).