A downloadable wargame

Cardhammer Fantasy Battles is my attempt to create a wargame that is accessible in regards to space, time, and cost, while still providing an enjoyable tactical experience. Miniature wargames are a lot of fun, but not everyone has the space to play or store armies of miniatures, the time to assemble and paint those miniatures, or the disposable income to purchase said miniatures and other supplies.

Apart from dice, tokens, and a place to play, everything in Cardhammer is, as the name implies, a physical card. Units, terrain, and measuring devices are all cards of various sizes, in an attempt to make storage quick and easy.

Cardhammer Fantasy Battles is currently in a public development phase. The rules have been written and edited, and the cards have been designed and laid out. The came has been internally playtested multiple times, and everything works. What I need now is external playtesters to play the game so I can see what is broken, confusing, or incomplete. To that end, I have put together a free playtest packet (in both A4 and letter sized formats) which includes:

  • a 24-page, text only, rules booklet;
  • print & play unit, terrain, and ruler cards.

In addition to the playtest packet, players will need about thirty six-sided dice, a handful of tokens, a 2' by 2' space to play, and an opponent.

While I appreciate people reading the game rules, spotting typos, and pointing out confusing parts that need diagrams,  what I really want is for people to actually play Cardhammer. Especially people who are new to tabletop wargames or who normally don't play them due to time, space, or cost restrictions. I want to see if I have met my intended goal of creating a wargame that is fun and entertaining, while also addressing accessibility issues.

StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(10 total ratings)
GenreCard Game, Strategy
TagsFantasy, Tactical, wargame


Cardhammer Rule Booklet - A4 570 kB
Cardhammer Unit Cards - A4 1.3 MB
Cardhammer Rule Booklet - Letter 570 kB
Cardhammer Unit Cards - Letter 1.3 MB

Install instructions

Thank you for downloading the Cardhammer Fantasy Battles playtest packet. To ask questions, or provide feedback and comments, please leave a comment on the discussion board, or contact me on Twitter at @hyvemynd. Thank you.

Development log


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I just read the rules, and I am excited to play this with some friends. I don't know if it is intentional or not, but I did want to point out that RAW units that aren't contacting enemy units still add their attacks in the Engagement Phase provided they are contacting a friendly unit that's contacting an enemy unit.

Meaning you can have a nigh-unkillable deathstar provided your opponent doesn't do the same thing.

What a great initiative! I've been looking for something like this for a while now! Where is the project at at the moment? Also, looking at the file under unit cards, they don't seem to be illustrated or have any content beside the rough outline to cut out the cards... 


Thanks for checking out my game, and for taking the time to comment!

Currently Cardhammer is kind on on hiatus. I love the idea of a tabletop wargame fitting into a deckbox, but am just not happy with several elements.

The biggest issue is that players still need a large area (4' by 4') when using full-sized cards. I'm not happy about that, but shrinking cards down to mini- or micro-size (half- and quarter-sized cards) reduces the amount of information I can fit onto the cards.

Also, I don't like how the unit stats are used in different ways. I've been trying versions where stats are unified; meaning the numbers on a unit are either the number of dice it rolls, or a target number it needs to roll over. Not a mix of both.

Long story short, I'm still thinking about Cardhammer and intend to do something with it, I've just hit some large roadblocks.

Never played a wargame before, this is really interesting! Are you still developing it? Can I translate this game to other language?


Hi, Christina! I’m skimming the rules and files and I’m not sure if the terrain cards are missing with the update you made, are not yet implemented or I’m just blind xD

Thanks for checking. You're not blind; I simply haven't added the terrain cards to the playtest packet. They're coming soon.


I see! Thank you!


This Game looks super fun and it fills a niche in the wargaming hobby.  Looking forward to scenarios and the other factions showing up

Thanks for checking out my game! I have about four other factions ready to go, but worried that putting out too much too quickly might be overwhelming for new players.

Out of curiosity, what faction would you like to see next?


Hmmm, Dwarves and Orcs/Goblins


I've been waiting for this! I figured out that my printer can print on 3x5 to play this.

Ooh, nice! Printing the units out on 3x5 cards would absolutely make them more durable. You'll have to do some repositioning though, as the two versions of the page are letter and A4.

(1 edit) (+1)

Really excited to print this out and give it a shot! But first I have a few rules questions:

Regarding orders, do subsequent orders to the same unit require further command dice or is it just a matter of re-rolling that units die and getting a higher result? 

Is a unit on the crest of a hill when it touches or overlaps the crest (currently reads terrain card)? Is it intended for ranged units not to be able to target units on the near slope of the hill? 



Actually one more! Currently the Imperial Hussars and Lancers are identical aside from cost, is that just an effect of units not having abilities just yet? 


Rats, rats, rats. I'm not sure how that happened, but it's definitely a mistake. The Imperial Lancers should have an armor score of 4. Not 5. They're better armored than the Hussars, hence them being more expensive. I'll have to fix that this evening.


Thanks for asking.

Currently, giving a subsequent order to a unit requires you to re-roll that unit's command die and getting a higher result. There will be rules for assigning additional command dice to guarantee a unit perform a second or third order, but those haven't been added yet.

A unit is on the crest of a hill when it's touching or overlapping the terrain card. (Basically, imagine the terrain card as the slope of the hill; everything outside the ring of terrain cards is "ground level" and everything inside the ring of cards is the flat top of the hill.) The intention is units on a hill (so inside the ring of terrain cards) but not on the crest (so not touching or overlapping the terrain cards) can't be shot at by units on lower ground. If you stay away from the edge of a hill, you can't be seen be people on lower ground.


Love the look of this game so far, though I do have one question.

"A unit cannot draw line of sight to a target behind its front edge." I'm having trouble understanding the exact meaning of this rule.


Howdy, thanks for asking. Here's a diagram to help illustrate:

In the image above, both the Marauders and the Imperial Halberdiers are behind the front edge of the Imperial Swordsmen (light gray area). So the Swordsmen currently do not have line of sight to either of those units.


Really hyped for this. Was a huge Warhammer fan in my teens, but having extensive model collections and the time to paint them is now totally out of reach. Excited to get back into wargaming with a system that doesn't demand so much from me.


Thanks very much. I'm in a similar situation; no time or space to collect or play miniature wargames like Warhammer or Warmachine despite still really liking them. Smaller skirmish games Frostgrave have been scratching that itch (and are great games), but still require space to play and store models. I'm trying to see how compact I can get a wargame while still keeping it fun.