Saturday, 14 January 2012

Brilliant new rules

This morning I read on Just Another Wargames Blog that the author had tried out Combat Cards by Tactical Assault Games

I'd been curious about these rules in the past, but when I first looked into them they were a bit mysterious on the website and I didn't probe further. Today though, the site was filled with helpful downloads and explanations, and I couldn't resist taking the plunge.

Available free from the site are 3 scenarios, 2 of which are solitaire! One os Zombies and the other is Space bugs. After printing out one set of the cards I was ready to go.

The first cool thing about these rules is that aside from your minis and terrain, they use just one deck of special cards for each player and your choice of measuring device. That's right, no dice.
The actual rules may be downloaded at the site for free, what you pay for is the card deck PDF.. So I won't go into exhaustive detail, but my highlights are:

Modern to Sci-fi era. (There is a Fantasy set available separately)
Use any scale minis. Game automatically scales to size of play area!

Only uses the card decks and a one-page QRS to govern play. No dice!
Uses Narrative terms to express combat stats and results.. No numbers!
Skirmish or company level, doesn't matter.

"Easy to learn, hard to master" design philosophy. Pretty much my favorite one.
Broadly classed units, much like HOTT, and simple points system
Opportunity fire cards can be played in your opponent's turn, and covering fire cancels it. Neat!

The game is great for solo play against non-shooty enemies (zombies and bugs in the 2 solo scenarios) but  I'm keen to figure out an easy way to play solo against a mixed force.

I will blog more about my games as I play them, but I tried the zombie scenario with only 12 point sides (The standard game is 36 pts) and it was a hoot. I lost, but partially because I statted up my DPLS crew (had them handy) and while the Big Blue guy with the auto-grenade launcher came in very handy (Counted as a Fire Support unit and blew up a lot of Z's) my engineer and robot (Engineer and civilian) were pretty useless.

The system is VERY generalized, but there are expansions available that allow you to add "personality" cards and "Experience" cards to further detail  your models. If you are playing a company level game, you could probably get along with the basic rules just fine.. But if my next few games prove as much fun as my first, I will probably pick them up too. My Jasmine Throne Battalion figures are going to need some special rules to reflect their motley biology!

If the system has a weakness at all, it may be that a mixed force is more effective than a mass of same troops. If one army was composed entirely of infantry for example, the artillery, aerial and fire support cards would be pretty useless when drawn. Then again, the infantry would dominate in close combat.. So maybe it's OK. The authors put a lot of emphasis on the system being very balanced.

I encourage the rules-hounds among you to go check out the website and read the free material available to see what you think. I'm hooked.


  1. I'm certainly curious! Been looking for a fun solo system to use my multi-based 15mm stuff. If this game just uses generic unit classes (which I could use for stands instead of individual figures), it just might work.

    -Chris K.

  2. What a cool concept! Thanks for the tip, I'm headed there now...

  3. Downloaded them a month ago....very excited, actually building two armies in 10mm to give it a try using mechwarrior cmg stuff

  4. These look great - I will check them out too; I need a break from THW and AAG for a while - nice one ;)

  5. Just started to play Gears of war, and was wondering how to adapt it to the games table. Looks like someone's way ahead of me as to check it out, thanks for the heads up...

  6. Like you i had seen these before, but not taken the plunge. I have been working on somthing not dissimilar myself specifically for 6m sci fi. Bought them last night and looking forward to a game.