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  AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER May 2006


Card Initiative Rules for Combat Zone
by Danny Stevenson

This is an alternative set of rules for initiative and activation rules for Combat Zone.

They are designed to add an air of unpredictability to the game and cover the general chaos that occurs in real Combat Zones. I hope you will find them easy to play and flexible. Undoubtedly they will add an element of glee, unpredictably and frustration to your games.

This is an alternative set of rules for initiative and activation rules for Combat Zone. They are designed to add an air of unpredictability to the game and cover the general chaos that occurs in real Combat Zones. I hope you will find them easy to play and flexible. Undoubtedly they will add an element of glee, unpredictably and frustration to your games.

You will need:

  • All the usual Combat Zone squad sheets.
  • A standard deck of playing cards, with the jokers left in.
  • Possibly ear plugs!

Setting up:

For a standard two player game each side picks a colour from the deck of cards (i.e. red or black). For three or four player games an each player picks a suit (i.e. Diamonds, Hearts, Spades or Clubs).

Next assign certain cards for each unit of your chosen colour or suit. For each individual assign a picture card (King, Queen or Jack). Record on your squad roster sheets which card is assigned to that individual or unit. The only cards you cannot use are the Ace of Spades (cue lots of air guitar, head banging and shouting from Motorhead fans!) and the Jokers. More on how to use these cards later.

Take the cards that have been assigned to all the units and individuals and form a deck out of them. Add the jokers and the Ace of Spades (I can still hear you!) and shuffle. Now you are ready to play.

Photo credit: Portbury Knights

How to play:

During the initiative phase the deck will be shuffled. This will happen every round. Each player should get a turn to shuffle the card deck to minimise cheating. If an umpire is present then they can assume responsibility of the cards and shuffling. They from the top of the deck each card taken out will activate that unit or individual. That unit or individual moves and fires as normal. When they have finished the next card is drawn and so the next unit or individual is activated. This goes on until either of the Jokers, Ace of Clubs or Ace of Spades comes up.

Ace of Spades:

This card signifies that it is the end of the turn. Any units or individuals unactivated this turn will remain so. Any unused jokers will remain so. Add all the used cards back to the deck and reshuffle, ready for the next turn.

The Fog of War:

The Jokers and Ace of Clubs represent the Fog of War! Generally it simulates the chaos and lucky breaks of battle. When a joker comes up then a unit or individual of that colour can be activated even if they have already been activated this turn!

Only one unit or individual can be activated by the Fog Of war Card (Joker). If there are two suits of that colour in play then both players get an extra activation of one unit or individual each.

There is also a negative side to the fog of war. The Ace of Clubs represents the confusion of battle. The next unit or individual that is activated after the Ace of Clubs is drawn from the pack will only have 3AP each for this turn only. This includes heroes and is regardless of suit or suit colour.

The turn continues as normal until the next fog of war card is drawn or the end of turn card comes up.

Other Ideas:

Another way to use this system is to assign a card to an external event. This can be a one use event or can be used throughout the game. Some idea’s are things like air strikes, off table artillery/mortar fire, small meteor strikes, earthquakes, ruined buildings collapsing, gas explosions or a pack of wild dogs moving through the combat zone. This is limited only by your imagination.

You can add reinforcements to a game easily too. These units will be assigned cards like the other units. Simply add the cards to the deck after the first round. When the card comes up the unit arrives at the table edge.

More than four players can be involved by assigning individual cards to each unit and individual. However as a guide line I would recommend that whatever way you decide to assign the cards that each player keeps to the same colour of cards. Otherwise the jokers will not work.

Obviously this system allows you to use many units without getting too bogged down with initiative dice every turn. Whilst Combat Zone is designed as a small scale skirmish game, it does allow the game more flexibility for larger games to be played more quickly.

Apologies:

I would like to apologise in advance for anyone playing these rules with Heavy Metal fans who insist on singing the Lyrics to Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” at the tops of their voices every time the end of turn card comes up. Now you know what the ear plugs are for!

I hope these rules add lots of fun to your games. Feel free to modify them to suit your games. Enjoy!

Photo credit: Portbury Knights

The Fog of War:

The Jokers and Ace of Clubs represent the Fog of War! Generally it simulates the chaos and lucky breaks of battle. When a joker comes up then a unit or individual of that colour can be activated even if they have already been activated this turn!

Only one unit or individual can be activated by the Fog Of war Card (Joker). If there are two suits of that colour in play then both players get an extra activation of one unit or individual each.

There is also a negative side to the fog of war. The Ace of Clubs represents the confusion of battle. The next unit or individual that is activated after the Ace of Clubs is drawn from the pack will only have 3AP each for this turn only. This includes heroes and is regardless of suit or suit colour.

The turn continues as normal until the next fog of war card is drawn or the end of turn card comes up.

Other Ideas:

Another way to use this system is to assign a card to an external event. This can be a one use event or can be used throughout the game. Some idea’s are things like air strikes, off table artillery/mortar fire, small meteor strikes, earthquakes, ruined buildings collapsing, gas explosions or a pack of wild dogs moving through the combat zone. This is limited only by your imagination.

You can add reinforcements to a game easily too. These units will be assigned cards like the other units. Simply add the cards to the deck after the first round. When the card comes up the unit arrives at the table edge.

More than four players can be involved by assigning individual cards to each unit and individual. However as a guide line I would recommend that whatever way you decide to assign the cards that each player keeps to the same colour of cards. Otherwise the jokers will not work.

Obviously this system allows you to use many units without getting too bogged down with initiative dice every turn. Whilst Combat Zone is designed as a small scale skirmish game, it does allow the game more flexibility for larger games to be played more quickly.

Apologies:

I would like to apologise in advance for anyone playing these rules with Heavy Metal fans who insist on singing the Lyrics to Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” at the tops of their voices every time the end of turn card comes up. Now you know what the ear plugs are for!

I hope these rules add lots of fun to your games. Feel free to modify them to suit your games. Enjoy!


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