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The Citadel Combat Cards Spacewar card set was was released in late 1988 (i.e. it is part of the Combat Cards' first edition) and depicts miniatures from the Warhammer 40,000 armies of this period.[1][2]

Spacewar front.jpg
Manufacturer Games Workshop
Released 1988
Players 2+
Followed by Citadel Combat Cards second edition

Product description

The card deck contains 35 cards (plus "bonus game" rules and cover card) and was sold in a blister containing a plastic hardshell case. The "standard rules" were printed on the backside of the blister.[2]

General card layout

General card layout[2]

Each card features a full-colour photo of a Citadel Miniature with the following game-relevant info:[2]

  • top-right corner: name and type of the unit
  • left side: "statistics" ("Weapon Skill", "Strength", "Speed", "Bravery", "Intelligence", "Toughness")
  • bottom middle to right: "feature symbols"


As with all card sets of the first edition of Citadel Combat Cards there are three ways to play this game:

  • Standard (or "fast") rules
  • Bonus game rules
  • Attack! variant rules

Standard rules

After the cards have been dealt out and all the players have their cards in front of them in a face down stack the owner of the pack takes the top card from his stack and picks a statistic. Each other player then places his top card on the table and the card with the highest value of the chosen statistic wins the round. All losing cards are removed as "killed" and put aside while the winning card returns to the bottom of the winner's stack. In the case of a draw all the cards with the highest statistic win and return to their owners. Then it is the next player's turn. The last player to hold any Combat Card wins the game. For longer games multiple packs can be combined.[2]

Bonus game

The "bonus game" (see here) included in Spacewar is called Deadly Doubles. For this game variant two identical card sets are needed and 2+ players can play. All 70 cards (inluding the Bonus Rules cards) are shuffled and dealt out into seven rows with ten face down cards each. Then the Bonus Rules cards are removed. The first player flips over two chosen cards - if they are the same he gets to keep them and continues to play until he flips over two different cards which then of course remain on the table. Then it's the next player's turn. The game ends when no more cards are left on the table and the player with most doubles wins.[2]


The "Special Abilities" in Attack![4]

In June 1989 Jervis Johnson published rules for Attack! in White Dwarf 114 (UK), a "game for Citadel Combat Cards". This simple board game for 2-4 players required, apart from one or two sets of Citadel Combat Cards, a chessboard, plastic bases as used in the Talisman boardgame and dice. It was only with this game that the "feature symbols" mentioned above came into play (see below).[4]

In the classic 2 player-variant 16 cards are dealt out to each player, the players then proceed to pick one of their cards as the "general", the other 15 are "troopers". All cards are stuck into the bases and set up - 1 card per square - by each player in their respective halves of the chess board with the backs of the cards facing towards the opponent.[4]

Each turn consists of a "move" and an "attack". For the "move" the player can move one of their cards (not the "general" who may not be moved) up to two squares in any direction or combination of directions. An "attack" can only be directed at a card in an adjacent square. Only once the attack is declared are the two involved cards turned around so that both players can see them. Now both cards have to fight a "Duel to the Death" by comparing their "statistics" and rolling the dice, the losing card is "killed" and removed, the winning card remains and once again "hides" its identity. Then it's the turn of the other player. The player who manages to kill the opposing "general" wins the game. The game can also be played with three or four players, albeit with a more complicated setup procedure and more cards and material needed.[4]

Optional rules include the use of "special abilities" (indicated by the aforementioned "feature symbols") that affect the "move" or "attack" phases (these are called Area Effect Weapon (explosion symbol), Berserker (screaming head symbol), Fearsome Monster (gaping maw symbol), Leader (crown symbol), Wizard or Psyker (eye symbol), Magic Armour (helmet symbol), Magic Weapon (sword symbol), Musician/ Standard Bearer (flag symbol), Medic (cross symbol) and Ranged Weapon (bow and arrow symbol)). The optional rules also allow for a "Two Pack Game" and the use of terrain.[4]

Cards overview

See also