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Commando

This is an asymmetrical card game for 2 players, consisting of several 60 card decks, with each deck consisting of a theme and a losing condition. Players win by causing the opposing deck to fulfill its losing condition. Ultimately the game will have several decks that the players can choose from with each deck (in theory) sporting a completely different feel.

Currently there are 2 decks in development, a "Commando" style deck themed at lobbing gratuitous amounts of ammo at your enemies, and an "Alien Swarm" style deck themed at filling the battlefield with a swarm of clicking hissing insectoid alien death machines that are fueled by blood.

Future deck types that I'd like to develop:
Undead Horde
Sci-Fi tech base builder

Comments

"Alien Swarm" Deck

The "Alien Swarm" deck stats:
Deck Size: 60 Cards
Draw Mechanism: Draws 2 cards at beginning of turn
Maximum Hand Size: 7 cards
Force Discard if hand exceeds limit?: Yes
Lose Condition: Be decked
Starting life total: N/A
Can be decked?: Yes

Intended style of play:
Accumulate "Blood" whenever your creatures deal damage (1 blood point per point of dmg dealt) or a creature you control dies. Use that blood to play creatures from your hand. Overwhelm your opponent. Each creature has a Blood cost, Blood points granted when they die, a damage number that they automatically deal if you attack with them, an amount of hit points, and possibly a special ability. Your creatures may be augmented by playing "Evolutions" on them as well which get shuffled back into the deck if the creature they are played on is killed. "Action" cards may be played as well, resulting in one time use abilities or bonuses that last until the end of your turn.

Card List:
6 "Action" cards
3x Blood Lust (All damage dealt by your creatures this turn is increased by 3.)
3x Call of the Swarm (You may play creatures in your discard as if they were in your hand until the end of your turn)

9 "Evolution" cards
3x Scything Talons (Grants +2 dmg but -1 HP)
3x Toughened Hide (Grants +5 HP but -1 dmg)
3x Acidic Blood (Creature may deal its damage to any other target when killed but grants no blood points)

45 "Creature" cards
15x Blood Drone (cost: 0 Blood, 2 hp, 1 dmg, worth 2 blood when it dies)
10x Armored Drone (cost: 1 Blood, 2 hp, 1 dmg, all dmg dealt to it is reduced by 1, worth 1 blood when it dies)
5x Spiked Warrior (cost: 3 Blood, 3 hp, deals 3 dmg, worth 2 blood when it dies)
5x Terror Wing (cost: 3 Blood, 3 hp, deals 2 dmg, immune to grenades, worth 2 blood when it dies)
3x Flesh Beast (cost: 5 Blood, 4 hp, 3 dmg, each turn it deals dmg it gets a counter, gets +1 hp and deals +1 dmg for each counter present, worth 3 blood when it dies)
3x Carcass Fiend (cost: 5 Blood, 3 hp, 2 dmg, When you play Carcass Fiend you may return up to 2 creature cards from your discard pile to your hand and reveal those cards, worth 3 Blood when it dies)
3x Blood Gorger (cost: "X" Blood, "X" hp, "X" dmg, "X" is equal to whatever amount of Blood spent to play Blood Gorger, worth "X" blood when it dies)
1x Over Queen (cost: 10 Blood, 15 hp, 1 dmg, You may play 1 creature per turn from your discard pile at no blood cost, worth 5 Blood when it dies)

"Alien Swarm" Deck Thoughts

Abersade wrote:

Card List:
6 "Action" cards
3x Blood Lust (All damage dealt by your creatures this turn is increased by 3.)
3x Call of the Swarm (You may play creatures in your discard as if they were in your hand until the end of your turn)

9 "Evolution" cards
3x Scything Talons (Grants +2 dmg but -1 HP)
3x Toughened Hide (Grants +5 HP but -1 dmg)
3x Acidic Blood (Creature may deal its damage to any other target when killed but grants no blood points)

45 "Creature" cards
15x Blood Drone (cost: 0 Blood, 2 hp, 1 dmg, worth 2 blood when it dies)
10x Armored Drone (cost: 1 Blood, 2 hp, 1 dmg, all dmg dealt to it is reduced by 1, worth 1 blood when it dies)
5x Spiked Warrior (cost: 3 Blood, 3 hp, deals 3 dmg, worth 2 blood when it dies)
5x Terror Wing (cost: 3 Blood, 3 hp, deals 2 dmg, immune to grenades, worth 2 blood when it dies)
3x Flesh Beast (cost: 5 Blood, 4 hp, 3 dmg, each turn it deals dmg it gets a counter, gets +1 hp and deals +1 dmg for each counter present, worth 3 blood when it dies)
3x Carcass Fiend (cost: 5 Blood, 3 hp, 2 dmg, When you play Carcass Fiend you may return up to 2 creature cards from your discard pile to your hand and reveal those cards, worth 3 Blood when it dies)
3x Blood Gorger (cost: "X" Blood, "X" hp, "X" dmg, "X" is equal to whatever amount of Blood spent to play Blood Gorger, worth "X" blood when it dies)
1x Over Queen (cost: 10 Blood, 15 hp, 1 dmg, You may play 1 creature per turn from your discard pile at no blood cost, worth 5 Blood when it dies)

The Alien Swarm deck always wins, btw. The mechanics are much more complex and developed (therefore interesting, at least in my opinion), and the deck plays out mostly like I feel it should. During playtests the beginning of the game is SLOW for this deck though, as it starts with 0 blood. I suppose it could start with 2 or something, that may make a large difference actually but would further slight the game to this decks favor.

"Commando" Deck

The "Commando" deck stats:
Deck Size: 60 Cards
Draw Mechanism: Draws cards until hand is full at beginning of turn
Maximum Hand Size: 7 cards
Force Discard if hand exceeds limit?: No
Lose Condition: Be reduced to 0 or fewer life
Starting life total: 40
Can be decked?: No, reshuffle discard into draw pile

Intended style of play:
You may use an "Item" card at any time during your turn. Pick a target, use an ammo card to damage said target, roll 1d6 and compare results to determine if you hit. Repeat this process until you run out of targets and/or ammo or until you decide to stop. You may opt to use an item now, then end you turn.

Card List:
15 "Item" cards
3x Laser Sight (increases your attack rolls by +1 until the end of your turn)*
3x Commando Armor (all damage you take until your next turn is reduced by 2, may be played on your opponents turn)*
3x Medical Kit (Restores 4 Health)*
3x Grenade (deals 6 damage divided as you choose, no attack roll required)
3x Ammo Clip (return up to 5 "Ammo" cards from your discard to your hand)
* = can only be played once/turn

45 "Ammo" cards
20x Basic Ammo (Deals 1 damage, hits on a roll of a 4, 5, or 6)
10x Shotgun Ammo (Deals 3 damage divided as you choose, hits on a 3, 4, 5, or 6)
5x Smart Ammo (Deals 2 damage, hits on a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6)
5x Explosive Ammo (Deals 3 damage, hits on a 3, 4, 5, or 6)
5x Ordinance Ammo (Deals 4 damage, hits on a 3, 4, 5, or 6)

"Commando" Deck Thoughts

Abersade wrote:

45 "Ammo" cards
20x Basic Ammo (Deals 1 damage, hits on a roll of a 4, 5, or 6)
10x Shotgun Ammo (Deals 3 damage divided as you choose, hits on a 3, 4, 5, or 6)
5x Smart Ammo (Deals 2 damage, hits on a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6)
5x Explosive Ammo (Deals 3 damage, hits on a 3, 4, 5, or 6)
5x Ordinance Ammo (Deals 4 damage, hits on a 3, 4, 5, or 6)

Many of the Ammo cards seem a bit bland. I want cards like Ordinance Ammo to "feel" like a massive strike, and Shotgun Ammo seems odd to be about the same power level as the Smart Ammo (which is essentially sniper rounds). Maybe if I change Shotgun Ammo to deal 1 damage to up to 4 targets (no roll to hit?) (with the same accuracy?). Maybe explosive could be to 2 targets, and ordinance to 3? Not sure, and part of the main issue with this is the lack of available playtesters I have at my beck and call.

Interesting win condition

I think the end condition for this game (make your opponent reach his lose condition) is interesting, since it creates the potential to force you to use different tactics depending on your opponent's deck. It could be even more interesting in a multiplayer game.

That said, I'm not sure that the ending condition for these decks matches the theme. The Commando has an unlimited supply of ammo (given that he can reshuffle his discards), whereas the Alien Swarm has a limited supply of bugs (given that he loses if his deck runs out). Thus the game mechanics seems to be reversed from the theme.

It may fit better thematically if the Commando had a limited supply of ammo, so he has to use it wisely. As it is, the more ammo the Commando burns the more he gets (since he fills his hand every turn) giving him no incentive to conserve ammo. The Commando losing when his health runs out makes sense thematically. If the Commando drew a fixed number of cards per turn (e.g. 2 cards per turn) it would simulate the effect that he can only reload his guns so fast, and once they are all empty he is in trouble.

For the Alien Swarm, consider if there is another way to define the losing condition. For example, have a Hive-Mind card which if destroyed the swarm disperses. Or keep a sliding scale of damage inflicted vs damage received, and if it goes 5 points against you the swarm disperses. Thematically, it may make more sense if the Alien Swarm could reshuffle the deck when it runs out.

In general, consider if you could modify some of the cards to combo together, or otherwise provide incentive not to use every card every turn. For example:
- Medikit: Heals 4 health, or if your health is less than 10 heals 8 health.
- Shotgun: can deal a max of 1 damage to each unit
- Ordinance: Chance to hit is 5+. The second consecutive Ordinance hits on 3+, the third consecutive Ordinance hits on 1+.
- Smart Ammo: Max 1 card per turn (since it is a sniper). If the target has taken damage from Basic, Shotgun, and Explosive ammo already this turn then the Smart ammo inflicts 6 damage.
- Explosive Ammo: Deals 2 damage to target on 3+, and 2 damage to adjacent units on 5+.
- Explosive Ammo (alternate): Deal 1 damage on 3+. 2nd hit on a target deals 2 damage, 3rd hit deals 3 damage, etc.
- Basic Ammo: If you inflict 4 damage in a single round using Basic Ammo, the enemy is pinned and must discard 4 cards from their hand.
- Burning Ammo: Deal 1 damage on 4+. Target continues to take 1 damage per turn until it uses a healing ability.

Just some ideas to keep the creative juices going.

Regards,
kos

Ideas

kos wrote:
I think the end condition for this game (make your opponent reach his lose condition) is interesting, since it creates the potential to force you to use different tactics depending on your opponent's deck. It could be even more interesting in a multiplayer game.

That said, I'm not sure that the ending condition for these decks matches the theme. The Commando has an unlimited supply of ammo (given that he can reshuffle his discards), whereas the Alien Swarm has a limited supply of bugs (given that he loses if his deck runs out). Thus the game mechanics seems to be reversed from the theme.

Actually, due to the way I want to integrate several different deck builds I had to specify the lose condition thing, as each deck and player has (in theory) no way of knowing what they are up against. Saying "reduce the opponent to 0 health" as a universal rule was too confining and has no bearing on themes like the Alien Swarm deck where this is no central opponent to target.

As for the Commando having an unlimited supply of ammo, that is literally the defining trait of that deck and is one of the things I really don't want to change. This theme is a spoof of action movies (specifically Commando) where the hero never seems to run out of ammo, limiting his damage output by limiting his ammo seems entirely contrary to his theme.

The Alien Swarm deck represents a finite number of aliens, with multiple ways to play more to the field in groups. Perhaps the issue isn't so much that the lose conditions don't match the theme but that the intended style of play doesn't match. That certainly holds true with the Alien Swarm theme anyways, as it takes a bit of time to build up the blood required to field multiple aliens.

In almost all of the playtests that have been run the Alien Swarm Deck wins around the 23rd turn (about 66% of the way through the deck), and I like the feel of that theme while playing so changes there are likely to be minor. The Commando theme though, it definitely needs buffed in some form or another. By about the 20th turn it's on the ropes while the Alien Swarm is, well, swarming. Even with the ammo clip item being held in hand for a surge of Aliens to show up it is still a turn or two and then the Commando deck is toast.

I like the first idea you listed for Explosive Ammo, and the Shotgun dealing 1 dmg to each target isn't terrible either.

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