Antholojam #1

I’m super excited to announce that I’m leading a team for Zoe Quinn’s Antholojam! We are going to make a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style storytelling card game that will have a printable version in the Pay-What-You-Want Antholojam as well as a printable version. The Jam is just starting, so we don’t have much to show right now. We are gathering our team right now and getting the first pieces to virtual paper. I’ll post weekly updates on here as we progress!

-Daniel Richmond

Update 10/1


I just wanted to update everyone on the Ultimate Box and Monster set. We’ve decided to give it some more time in playtesting before releasing it. Compared to the base set, the Monster set is incredibly new and we would like to give it more playtest before we go to print. We will update this space and when we have a release date.

If you want to go ahead and play the base set, we still have it available for order right now physically or digitally. We also still have the Open Play document where you can play as the rogue and warrior against the Psychic Horror.

Want to receive more updates and play the future decks while we work on them? Send me an email at!

Thank you all again for your support,

Daniel Richmond

We aren’t giving up!

Thank you everyone for your support during this Kickstarter! It has been very encouraging and enlightening.

 We are at the 5 hour mark, and only 60% to goal. But we aren’t giving up! Even if we don’t make it to 100% before midnight tonight, we are going to go forward with a (more subdued) printing plans.

Combat will be available on TheGameCrafter’s website starting today. This week has a $7 off discount to cover US Shipping.

 We won’t be launching the Monster Expansion at this time, but will be adding it by the end of the month(with a discount to start too). We’ll update this space and the Kickstarter page when it’s available.

 If you are still interested in participating in the Beta test of the game, send an email to and we’ll send out monthly updates for the Set 2 and Set 3 classes as well as requests for feedback from you.

 Again, I want to thank everyone for their support during the Kickstarter! We’ll be moving forward with our plans, and we’ll be back with a Set 2 Kickstarter later this year. I hope to see you all there!

 -Daniel Richmond

Combat Monster Rules

Combat! Card Game

Combat! is a modular card game. This is the rules for the Monster Expansion. To play the Monster Expansion, you are expected to have one of the base sets. We will not be duplicating the rules from the base game here.

Want to try out Combat’s Monster Expansion? We have an Open Play document you can print and play!


Monster Rules:

Starting the Game:
All players choose their class, which decides their deck.

Select, at random if you prefer, one of the Monsters.
The monster determines the cards they will use. They get their unique cards, the monster type cards(Caster, Brute, or Mastermind), and the general Monster cards. Shuffle all three groups together into one Monster Deck.

Boss HP is determined by number of players and difficulty:
Casual: 25 HP per player.
Standard: 30 HP per player.
Brutal: 35 HP per player.

Select your specialization, which determines your HP.

Shuffle your deck and draw 5 cards.

Your max hand size is 5.


The Round:

The first turn goes to the Monster, who flips a card from the Monster Deck.

Once this card is resolved completely, play passes to players.

Player turns can be taken one at a time, or simultaneously if everyone is comfortable with the game. Player turns are completed in the same order as the Dueling Rules(See tip card or Dueling Rules).

Once players are finished, play passes back to the monster.

Types of Cards:
Unlike player cards, monsters do not have Actions, Swifts or Defensive cards.

Gain 1 Power
The monster gains 1 Power counter. On the monster card, they have a Power listed. Once they gain Power equal to that number, their ability goes off and you remove that many Power counters.

Flip a new card
Once the card is fully resolved for the turn, flip a new card off of the Monster Deck.

Monsters also have effects just like players. And much like players, they activate or count down at the beginning of the Boss’s turn before they flip a card.

“player with the…”
This type of targeting only targets a single target, unless there is a tie. If there is a tie, all tied players are targeted. In the case of damage, any damage negation applies to all tied targets.

“All Players”
Unlike “player with the…” this type of card individually targets all players, so any negation played only applies to that player.



The Boss does not have a hand, draw cards, nor does she have card types. Because of this, each boss has a Control effect that activates if you play a card that would effect this.

Effects that fall under this category activate the Control ability on upkeep each turn the effect is out.

For instance, Bash is a Warrior card that has Effect: 1 “Opponent cannot play actions that deal damage.” The Boss doesn’t play Actions so they would instead gain the Control ability on their next upkeep.

Complete List of Control Cards from Set 1:
Priest: None.
Rogue: None.
Warrior: Bash
Wizard: False Memories, Time Slip(Chronomancer)



Combat’s Kickstarter is up and running. Buy your copy here.

Design Discussion: Combo Decks

Another major annoyance to many Magic: The Gathering players are combo decks. Combo decks are decks that revolve around a couple of cards that cascade in power to dramatic effect. So they will play and do nothing until you get the correct pieces, then they usually instantly win. Imagine if you were playing against someone playing solitaire. They really didn’t care what you did unless you went over and removed their Ace of Spades from their deck. They’ll just keep playing, and eventually declare “I win.”

This is not an enjoyable gameplay. Combat’s core goals is for easy to pick up gameplay. This doesn’t meant that certain cards can’t combo at all, but they should be intuitive and not be the difference between winning and losing.


One of the best examples of this is Lingering Flame in the Priest deck. The Priest has a great many damage over time effects. Lingering Flame can do a lot of damage if combo’d with their other cards. However, you don’t win the game when you draw your Lingering Flame. It feels great if you have the prefect turn with it, but even a perfect turn only nets you about 6 bonus damage. Most of the time, it’s going to net you 2-3 bonus damage.








It is important to make combos in the decks to give interest and allow skilled players the ability to maximize it’s potential while still being intuitive enough for new players. This was one of the important guiding design goals behind Combat.


Combat’s Kickstarter is up and running. Buy your copy here.

Design Discussion: The Circle of Deck

Last time, we discussed Counterspelling, one of the most annoying features of Magic: The Gathering. Next we’ll talk about another annoying strategy: Milling.

Milling in Magic: The Gathering is when you force your opponent out of a deck to win. In Magic, when you run out of cards, you lose.

Combat, we didn’t want that. We wanted the game to be decided not on technicalities, but on action and skill. So we early on decided that once a deck runs out of cards, you shuffle your discard and use it as a new deck.

Any man, are we glad we did. If we didn’t, the Rogue class simply wouldn’t exist. The rogue draws a lot of cards. A LOT. Their mechanic is that they can usually play two cards per turn as part of their attack. Needless to say, they go through a lot of cards compared to other classes. When other classes are just reaching the end of their deck, the rogue has recycled their deck two or three times. The rogue plays fast, but don’t think they are more powerful by default. Even one of their most powerful attack cards: Reckless Strike deals +3 damage(total of 4) but makes them take 1 more damage for 1 turn. This card in any other deck would be too weak, but when you consider that this is only 1/2 of the attack, you get a better picture of the rogue.

Plus, once you recycle your deck, your opponent loses their ability to figure out your hand. If they’ve seen you use all three of your Teleports, they won’t hesitate to throw big attacks your way. However, once you cycle your deck, they can’t be so sure.


Combat’s Kickstarter is up and running. Buy your copy here.

Design Discussion: Importance of Doing Stuff

One thing that most players coming from Magic: The Gathering bring up when they first play Combat is “Where is Counterspell”?

One of my design goals early on was “Always do something.” We established the resource systems so that there was downtime, of course, but that downtime got you something. You drew cards, you regained your resources, you actually did something. Even if you don’t have an attack card in your hand, you have attack abilities on your specialization that you can make.

So what does this have to do with Counterspell? Counterspell keeps you from doing things. We include defense cards, some of which completely negate all damage. Isn’t this the same?

Absolutely not. It feels great to be able to Teleport out of the way of that huge attack, but I didn’t make that attack fizzle. I didn’t tell them “You wanted to do this, but you didn’t!” It says “You did that, but I responded by defending myself.” Any secondary effects still go through. Even if you Dodge my Bash so it deals no damage, you still cannot attack next turn. (note that you can still heal, gather resources, or play non-damaging actions).

I understand, some people may not be able to see the difference, but I can honestly say it feels so much better. Everyone has defense cards. If I’m going against the Wizard or Warrior, I know there is a chance that they might negate all of my attack. I might be more cautious if they just drew a bunch of cards. If I’m against the Priest or Rogue, I know they can negate part of the attack or even negate small amounts from multiple attacks.

Everyone can defend themselves, but no one can tell you that your card fizzled.

Combat’s Kickstarter is up and running. Buy your copy here.

Design Discussion: Small Changes with Big Impacts

One of the hardest parts of playtesting and making balance changes is where to make changes. Today we’re going to look at a Warrior Card: Sure Strike.

Sure Strike has been in the Warrior deck from the beginning, with no changes. It costs 1 rage and gives “Your next attack ignores all negation.” Pretty straight forward card! It allows the Warrior to spend an extra card and an extra rage to make sure that their big hit goes through. This card worked like this for almost two years. Finally, Robert and I noticed a trend with Sure Strike: People saved them for their biggest hits. Sure Strike wasn’t really a choice.

So we changed it so it lowers the damage of your next attack by 1. Yes, this may seem like a simple nerf(weakening of the card), but it actually opened up a harder choice. Because we lowered the Warrior’s damage by 3 overall(there are three Sure Strikes in the deck), we increased a card that saw very little play by +1 damage.

Bash dealt 1 damage and made your opponent unable to attack for 1 turn for 2 rage. While it’s a good control move, people weren’t willing to spend 2 rage on 1 damage and a weaker-than-a-defense-card ability. By increasing it’s damage by even +1, this card has started seeing more and more play. A 1:1 ratio of rage to damage still isn’t great, but it’s more on par with other cards.

Shifting 1 damage from one common to another may not sound like a big deal, but even this small change made playing the warrior more fun, because all of your choices are more viable.

Combat’s Kickstarter is up and running. Buy your copy here.