Make your own free website on

atom war

a game by Merle Zimmermann

Copyright (c) April 29th, 2000
Free for sharing..
You played war with a deck of cards. now it is time for the twentieth century. no more wimpy infantry wars. now is the time for the atomic war..
No one knows which highschool student stole the codes for the atomic arsenal.. but it has enemies... and they got the codes too. which country will die the most tonight ?


I chose the first goal, but you might come up with others.. As I do not have the equipment to keep track of which cards came from where, I did not try out the second on yet.



The ranking of the cards is as follows:
(Ace when defending)-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-Jack-Queen-King-(Ace when attacking).


  1. Shuffle the deck of cards.
  2. Arrange the players in some sort of order.
  3. Give each player five cards to start with.
    If you start off without any cards, the game may become unusable, but, given the right group of people, might work anyway.. I will test this out later tonight.
    Starting with a different number of cards is another possibility for experimentation.
  4. Assign one player to go first.
Turns proceed in whatever order you usually use when playing. If this is the first time you have played a game, then have the players sit in a circle and the turns proceed to the player on your left (to find left, hold up both hands with the thumb extended at a right angle to the fingers. the one that has an 'L' shape is your left hand..).

The ace "Space Defense System" is both low and high in this game; I will explain more fully later on.


The turn consists of one of two possible activities.
Restock your arsenral.
Draw a card from the deck and put it in your hand.
Note that this will be impossible to do when the deck runs out..! When it does, your only option is to attack (and you must do so) !
Attack some other player.
Attacking is somewhat tricky, and I gave it its own section.. scroll down a bit.
In a nutshell, you play a single card, a pair of the same rank, or a triple, quadruple, etc. etc. A chance is given to the defender to protect itself, but it is necessarily more difficult to defend against larger numbers of missiles at once.
After the current player finishes executing its action, the turn proceeds to the next player.


You attack by placing cards down on the table between you and your chosen victim. All of the cards played must be of the same rank; suits are irrelevant in this game.

The ace "Space Defense Systems" is high when attacking in this game.

Examples of Attacks:
You could play any of the following combinations, to name a few.


If the victim does not care to defend, then all of the cards go onto its damage pile, where each card, regardless of rank, inflicts one million casualties on the innocent populous.

I usually put the damage pile right in front of the player who is hurt; that way it is easy for the opponents to size each-other up. (this simulates feedback from newspapers and TV newsreports on the general destruction..)


You can defend against (and nullify) an attack by matching your antagonist's cards with an equal number of a lower rank. All cards played must match, though. The ace is the lowest card in the deck for purposes of defending.
Examples of Defending
Note: that you can't defend against a card by playing one of the same rank. That would make defence too easy.

End of Game:

End the game when one of the players runs out of cards and there are no more left in the deck.

Count up all of the millions of dead from the damage piles, and whomever has the smallest number is the winner for the day.
Note that you can always redeal if some people are dissatisfied with the results.


Explanation of Rationale for Aces:

The Space Defense System is great for stopping missiles, but lasers are not so good for blowing up New York when all you can destroy at a time is an area the size of a hotdog stand. This is why the Ace is good for defense but not for attack.

Explanation of Rationale for Playing a lower card to Defend:

Just think of the cards as reaction times; the Defender with a faster reaction time then his attacker can countermand the weapons to explode over an uninhabited area or something.
This was a game by Merle Zimmermann.. write me a letter and I will write you back !