CROM Mechanics Teaser #8 – Fate Cards Part 2

Last time we explained how Fate Cards are used in general and talked about a couple of specific cards. Today we’re going to continue with more card discussion.


We’ll continue to present sample cards in pairs, one from the Circle of Iron and one from the Legion of Set. Here are a couple of cards that focus on the interaction of initiative and unit activation:

King of Thieves (Circle of Iron)


Conan may steal more than jewels and crowns. This card is played right before the initiative dice are rolled, and whoever rolls the fewest swords wins. This is tricky because if the Legion of Set rolls poorly they might still snatch initiative away.

One of Thoth-Amon’s tricks is that he brings extra Destiny tokens to his side, and since initiative is based on a side’s Destiny the Legion of Set often has an edge for initiative. More importanly, either side secretly commits Destiny tokens for extra dice, but King of Thieves makes the Legion player think twice about committing those dice. If King of Thieves gets played before the roll they are harming rather than helping, and that Destiny could be better spent elsewhere.

This can be a risky card, but it can also serve as a strong disruption tactic – forcing the opposing player to allow chance to determine initiative instead of guaranteeing it with a Destiny push at a critical point in the battle.

Not Your Time, Fool! (Legion of Set)


This card is played after a foe tries to activate a unit, and instead forces them to pick a different one. It doesn’t cost the unit its activation, just delays it, but in the heat of battle that can turn the tide – allowing archers to pummel infantry before they can charge, or getting the jump on a hotly contested area even if your side lost initiative.

Plus, this card is extra fun to read aloud while pointing gleefully at the unfortunate unit who’s now stuck in place for another activation cycle.

As you can see, the two armies have very different flavors of Fate Cards, cards that not only support their unique units but also promote different styles of play for each one. We’ll see more of this distinction next time as we look at a few more Fate Cards!