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Subject: Initiative Cards to Spice Up Who is First Player rss

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Dan Zachary
United States
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Borodino: 1812: Columbia Games
Initiative Cards by Dan Zachary

Purpose of these Cards: To create incentives for players to gain cards that can be used to control when they go in the turn order.

Initiative Cards: The 21 Russian and 21 French cards are rated for:
• + or - Rating as determined by the player's orientation of the card.
• Initiative rating to break ties as determined by the top of his discard pile.
• Special Use: Reshuffle and reroll 1 or 2 Dice instead of modifying initiative.

Card Areas: Each player has 4 places where cards reside:
• Draw pile.
• Current hand hidden from his opponent.
• "Play area" when vying for initiative during the Initiative Phase.
• Discard pile which must always contain at least one card. The top of the discard pile is always used to break "ties" when determining initiative.

Beginning of Game: Before the game begins, each player shuffles his deck and flips the top card of the draw pile. This card's initiative rating will be used to break ties. Ignore any "Reshuffle" text. Players start with no cards in their hand.

How to Gain Cards:
1) Activating HQs: Draw a number of cards equal to the number of activated HQs. The drawer keeps one of the cards and discards the rest in any order.
2) Causing Battles: Draw a number of cards equal to the number of battles caused this turn. Simply reinforcing a battle does not count. The drawer keeps one of the cards and discards the rest in any order.
3) Gaining Ground: For each battle in which one of his units occupies the area after regrouping the victor draws 1 card.
Exception: If either side started the battle with only cavalry, cossack, voltigeur, jager, HQ, or horse artillery units and the last unit of that side to occupy the area retreated, then no card is awarded. If the last unit of such side was eliminated, a card is still drawn by the victor.
Note: This represents the ability of these units to probe and screen.
4) Capturing Redoubt: When control of a Redoubt changes, the occupier draws a card in addition to possibly "gaining ground."

How to Play Initiative Cards:
A) During the Initiative Phase, each player rolls his dice as per the standard rule.
B) Each player may then use his cards one of three ways at any time:
1) Play a card to his "play area," orienting the card facing him as to add to his sum total.
2) Play a card to his "play area," orienting the card facing him as to subtracting to his sum total.
3) Discard a card to use its special text to immediately reroll 1 or 2 dice
according to the explicit text direction. This will change a player's tie-breaker.
4) Players may continue to play cards until they run out of cards or choose to stop playing cards. If necessary, the current loser in terms of game's VPs passes first and then the current winner can pass or play. If the current winner plays, then the loser can play another card(s).
5) When both players pass, determine initiative. Ties go to the player with the higher initiative rating on top of their discard pile who will be the 1st player. The initiative rating is small number located in the top right corner of the card.
6) Next, each player discards his cards in the order that they were played. In other words, he stacks his cards on the discard pile with the bottom first played card going first into the discard pile and the last card played on top of the discard pile.
7) Loss of Momentum: If a player did not play an initiative card, he must discard one card.
8) Next, each player discards down to their hand limit:
Hand limit = 5 + his Army Commander's Rating (before Commander is reduced for activation).

Reshuffling the deck: Upon the discard of a "Reshuffle" card, immediately do the following:
• Pick up discarded cards except for the top card.
• Add them to the Draw pile.
• Shuffle the deck to create a new Draw deck.

Where do I find the files to support this variant: Go to the "Files" section of this page. Hopefully, BGG will post it.

How do I make the cards?
Materials: Card protectors, adhesive mailing labels (5165/8165), cheapo playing cards.
To assemble:
1) After printing out the cards on the adhesive labels, cut them out.
2) Remove the backing.
3) Apply to the cheapo playing cards.
4) Insert into a card protector.
5) Do this 41 more timeswhistle

If you try this, please give me your feedback. Note that I will soon post a set for Gettysburg: BOC.

Thanks for trying out this idea!

Footnote: Cards were partially inspired by Mick Uhl, designer of AH's "Dinosaurs of the Lost World," a really chromy and cool game.
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