Monday, March 5, 2012

Combat Cards

I recently picked up Combat Cards after reading Spacejacker's solo report. This weekend I took the time to build a deck of Combat Cards and play their "Bug Hole" solo scenario (available from the site.) I printed them in 180gsm cardstock, glued to another sheet of dark colored cardstock using spray mount and put the cards in plastic sleeves.

For the scenario I used some pieces from the Hulk Skulkin' Patrol: Lost board game by Oversoul Games that I built last year. The picture is awful as it was taken at night with my cellphone. My forces consisted of three infantry units, one command and one long range support. The enemies are all swarms.

This is the battlefield at the start of the game. I used adhesive tape to mark the different height levels from the bug hole. I chose to split my forces in two teams, which proved to be a very bad idea.

The problem is that the team with the command and two grunts was a couple centimeters closer to the bug hole. Using the scenario rules, all bugs went towards them. To make things worse, I think that I didn't shuffle the cards well and didn't draw almost any movement actions. So my fire support and another soldier stood idle for most of the game. The three soldiers actually managed to kill two swarms...

... but eventually, the steady flow of aliens proved too much. One of the soldiers was eliminated in close combat...

... while the commander attempted to escape. By this point I had passed the 30 minutes time limit (as I was using 12-point forces) and while technically it was a draw with two unit points eliminated for each side, it was clear to me that the bugs had won.

Note: afterwards I played a second time, placing all my forces together. It went a little better and when the time limit arrived I was "winning" with 5 eliminated unit points vs. 4 points for the bugs. However, continuing to play resulted in my forces being wiped out while five aliens still remained.

I really liked my first game of Combat Cards. It moves fast and the card system bring some welcome unpredictability to the battle. The flexible scale is also a bonus: a 2'x2' board was more than enough for this 12-point match and it felt like I could squeeze twice the forces in that space.

I want to try and play against a human opponent, but for now I'm thinking about how to extend the solo scenarios to include card drawing (from a single deck) for the automated opponent.

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