Jeffrey Layton
United States
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This is a review of the Ground Pounders card game, published in 1996. As this review was written in 2015, it may be considered to be a "retro review" if desired.

Ground Pounders represents company sized actions in the Star Corps ("$tar Corp$") universe, a future setting in which corporations have taken over human life.

The game contains a number of cards (printed on cardstock sheets for players to cut apart), and a single page of rules. There are two types of cards: Large Force Cards representing military units and small Action Cards that are played to arm the units, attack enemy units, and accomplish a variety of different effects.

Play begins with each player fielding a group of five Force Cards face up on the table. Force Cards have ratings for both Victory Point values and Hit Points, as well as a list of equipment available to the unit.

During their turn, players use Ammo Cards (Ammo Cards are one type of Action Card) from their hand to deal damage to enemy Force Cards, destroying them once they've accumulated as much damage as their Hit Point total. (A player must have a Force Card that is equipped with a weapon type that corresponds to a given Ammo Card in order to play it.) There are also several Action Cards which simply deal damage to an enemy unit or destroy it outright without the need to have a weapon equipped.

Other Action Cards cause miscellaneous effects such as preventing a player from playing cards in their next turn, allowing a player to discard and redraw a full hand, or adding an additional Force Card to a player's side.

Once we sat down to try Ground Pounders, we found it to be quite playable. The game moves along quickly - even while we were still learning the rules our first game only took us fifteen minutes. And after that, we started finishing games in under ten minutes.

Ground Pounders has a strong random element in it, with luck playing a large part in the game. My son and I quite like games like that (We're fans of the Chaos Marauders card game, for example) so we didn't mind that too much. (Though we did decide to remove the Slaughter Action Card, which destroys all enemy Force Cards unless the target player happens to be lucky enough to have the Command Brilliance card in hand to counter it!)

I think that Ground Pounders is a nice portable and fast moving game with an amusing sci-fi theme, and as such I'm glad to have a copy of it in my collection.
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