Saturday November 29, 2014

Playing cards used for dog fights


An easy “Carry” card game with a fun steampunk theme, that has to catch your gaming eye.

And so it is with Oddball Aeronauts, a two-player game released just this year from designer Nigel Pyne.

The first thing you will notice with Oddball Aeronauts is the heavy steampunk influence in the artwork by Lloyd Ash Pyne. But the art also has a fun sense of whimsy with the characters all being animals. As a result it has a sort of children’s storybook feel, yet it works for adults too.

To start with Oddball Aeronauts is one of a growing number of card games which are played-in-the-hand; no surface required, which isn’t that huge a thing since a two player card game rarely takes a large space, and while it might be cool to play cards on the subway, in reality that would be such a rare occurrence as to make it hardly worth the effort to carry the deck with you.

The game revolves around the idea of airship dogfights, set in an oddball fantasy world. Players take their Pirate or Pendragon officers and crew go head-to-head in a duel of sorts.

“Over the Boiling Seas pirates a-plenty roam the winds and waves in search of bounty. Close on their heels, the Hunters of the Pendragon’s Empire seek to thwart them and end their days,” details the fluff in the rule set.

“The two Faction’s officers and crew must use their sailing, guns and boarding skills to best their foes.

“Who will survive? Who will be scuppered and marooned? Take to the skies and find out.”

The deck of cards is divided into the two factions - each player getting one. The basic one player deck is 26 cards. Event cards are added to the decks, adds in and you are ready to play.

Each round, players declare and compare skills - adding in any bonuses - and determine the outcome. Herein lies the limited strategy of the game, playing a card at what is hoped the most opportune time.

Your goal is to force your opponents to discard all their cards, so the player with active cards remaining at the end of the game wins.

Oddball Aeronauts is a pretty simple little game, filling a gaming niche for light, fun between two people. It isn’t a game which will be played all night in an attempt to discover new nuances, or because there is depth yet unexplored. It does however hold a certain charm enhanced by the art which makes it endearing.

Check out the game at



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