Saturday, July 31, 2010

Old School Combat Cards

In a true old school combat anything is possible. The actions a player might choose to perform, because they are not described, are infinite.

But what do we do for new players who have no idea what could happen in a combat? Or what will we do in a few years when all those entering the hobby will only have had experience with 4e and most likely be looking for explicit action they can take in a battle?

Old School Combat Cards!

Make some cards that have some basic maneuvers a player might make. Include simple instructions on them. Better yet if they all had silhouettes illustrating the maneuver being made for easy identification during play. Also, if you could color code different types of maneuvers. Maybe anything that moves an opponent is green, maneuvers that result in a definite combat advantage in red, etc.

The mechanics you use to determine success are up to you. But for me, I'd use Simple Combat Maneuvers. Every card would have the same mechanic! The idea would be eventually the player would no longer need them-- like training wheels.

So what would be some good cards to have?

Those that Move a Foe
  • Push Back
  • Lead Forward
  • Trade Positions
Those that Give an Advantage over a Foe
  • Trip
  • Disarm
  • Blind
  • Tackle
  • Shield Ally
  • Slip By
What do you think? Have you had players that might have benefited from something like this? Suggestions for other cards or ways to use them?


  1. I like the concept quite a bit, especially for folks used to games that formalize all of these things.

  2. I like it. I found these this week (coincidentally) they might have some merit -- I haven't looked at them in great detail:

  3. Thanks guys. Jim, those cards are a little different in that they are one-time specials players can pull off that normally would be impossible.

    The combat cards I suggest here would be spelling out perfectly legal options open to everyone at any time, but that newbies might not realize - You mean I can knock his swords out of his hands!?

  4. I like this idea a lot. You shouldn't have much trouble finding 'period' illustrations for a lot of these in Fecthbuchs either.

  5. Thanks, mikemonaco! I'd completely forgotten about those as a possible source for silhouettes. I've already found some pics that might work.

  6. I like it! It's simple, yet could really assist those who've only played 4e, or younger kids get into the old-school vibe.

  7. Thanks David! I hadn't thought of kids, but you're right.