Friday, March 6, 2015

Back to playing Combat Cards solo

Following my first experiences with Torn Armor, I have been looking back at some game rules that can also be played as something between miniature and board games. Two of them are Combat Cards and Firefight 2.0, which I'll write about later.

In my opinion, Combat Cards is attractive to solo players due to small space requirements and easy set up. Previously I wrote my first impressions after playing the free "Bug Hole" scenario. Here is a picture showing the zombie survival scenario in MapTool using only a 16x16 square grid. Based on these two solo scenarios, I wrote a few thoughts about solitaire Combat Cards.

In keeping with the free solo scenarios, I have decided to play Combat Cards solo mostly in defensive scenarios, where I need to defeat invaders or hold for a given amount of time. This may be somewhat limiting but, especially when played on a grid, it works like a fast-playing mixture of miniature game and board game.

It took me a while to realize that I could also use assault actions to move infantry units (even if they were not actually ending their move in close combat with an enemy.) Previously I was tinkering with the idea of allowing any card to be used to make a unit perform a Very Short move.

The free solo scenarios only allow Creature or Swarm enemies, so that they do not have available ranged attacks. I have tried adding also Infantry enemies representing "spitter" bugs or "puker" zombies up to a 1:2 ratio in their forces (subject to point limits.) On the enemy turn, they will perform a firepower attack if possible, or make a very short move as usual. This has worked well, adding to the challenge without need for extra rules to control the enemy. This also makes other actions, such as Dig In and Conceal, more useful.

I usually play according to the original rules, so on my turn I can either play actions or discard. Using the updated rules (according to which you can do both in the same turn) makes the game move faster but also makes it a bit easier. I have been fiddling with the following alternative rule: on each turn, you play what you can, discard the rest and draw a new hand (so you can use situations on the enemy's turn.)

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