CROM Mechanics Teaser #7 – Fate Cards Part 1

Now that we’ve covered the basic mechanics, it’s time to explore Fate Cards. Because sometimes the winds of fate can turn for or against you in the most unexpected ways…


The Basics

Fate Cards provide an extra layer of strategy and chance within CROM. On the first turn each Warlord draws three fate cards, and then one more card each turn after that. Not all Fate Cards are equal. Some provide minor benefits, while others have devastating effects that can change the course of the game. Each faction’s deck is different and combines with their abilities to make the play experience very different for each.

The Circle of Iron cards tend to be very martial in flavor, providing boosts on attacks or charges, extending movement, or allowing special maneuvers. The Legion of Set on the other hand favors the mystical: applying penalties to foes, limiting their movement, and best of all countering Destiny and other Fate Cards.


The Fate Cards themselves are the complications. We have too many to go over in one post, so this will be a series of posts in which we talk about a variety of Fate Cards and how they interact with both the rules and with each other. Our first two deal with attack rolls…


This is a Circle of Iron card that gets triggered after a successful charge. If played, the target’s counterstrike isn’t simultaneous – the attacker’s Wounds take effect first, and then only survivors may roll a counterstrike. If the target is a single figure (like a hero or monster) and the target is slain, there’s no counterstrike at all!

Against warrior units with multiple figures melee Wounds always eliminate the farthest figure. The notion is that actually the nearest figure was slain, but then the enemy lines presses forward to fill the gap. So even with this card some warriors are likely still in contact to counterstrike, but there may be fewer of them if the charge had a strong impact.


This Legion of Set card snatches a triumph away from the Circle of Iron. It’s played after an attack is rolled, likely an important attack that rolled extremely well, and forces the attacker to roll again. The down side is the new roll still counts, so he may roll as well or better. Best to play it against a charging Oliphant who rolled seven regular Wounds and an extra unblockable hit.

More Fate Card previews next week. Also, if you happen to be at Spiel Essen this weekend, come to the Ulisses Spiele booth (Hall 2, C-114) to see the CROM models and terrain in person!