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Home Game Design Prototype – Uboat Wargames

Prototype – Uboat Wargames

Published on 2014-01-17, by in Game Design.

Without any prodding from me (the host) everyone played this game multiple times and hacked it with their own idea of rule tweaks to try and improve on gameplay. The pictures below show them playing with their entire Deck drawn; not the suggested way of playing . Notice the layout of tiles between each player, a key part of the setup of Uboat Wargames.

photo 1

photo 2 photo 3 photo 4


Materials needed:

4 Tiles or sheets of paper per player

Number the sheets as follows 7, 5, 4, 2+

13 Cards per player with a clear hierarchy. ie 1-13 or 2-Ace



Place the 7 5 4 2+ in order between each player so that each player has 1 opponent to each side of them and 2 rows of cards. This has been tested and works for 3-4 player games. Gameplay should work the same for 5-6 players but it has been untested.

Each player gets his set of 13 cards (same suit if using playing cards) shuffles them and makes a facedown draw pile.

Randomly determine who will go first. Turn order goes clockwise.


During a players turn she will draw 1 card from their deck. Look at it. Then place it face-down adjacent to a numbered tile. Place the card on your side of the tile.

If that tile is controlled (There is an opponents card on the other side of that tile) the defender flips his card over. The attacker informs the defender if his card beats that card.* To beat a defending card the attacker must have the same value or higher. If the attacker wins the defending card goes to the discard pile face-up. If the attacking card is less than the defending card, it goes to it’s owners discard pile face-up and the defending card remains face-up in play.

Once the battle is resolved your turn ends and play continues clockwise (to your left).

*A player who lies about his card being the victor during a battle loses the game. Lying about a battles outcome is not part of the game and is not allowed.

You may not play cards on top of or replacing your own cards, you must play to an empty spot. The only exception to this is if all of your spots are filled, then you may replace one of your own cards with the newly drawn card or discard that card and end your turn.

Discard Pile

Any card that is defeated, attacker or defender, goes to the discard pile face up. Players make not look through opponents discard piles. Each player needs to keep the top card of his discard pile clearly visible at all times.

Attacker Wins Face-down, Defender Wins Face-up

When an attacker wins his card remains face-down. If the attacker loses his card is put into the discard pile face-up. When a defender is attacked he must turn his card face-up. If the attacker loses the defender remains but his card is now revealed and remains face-up.

Controlling the 2+

The 2+ is worth the least amount of points of all the tiles at the end of the game, but it offers a gameplay advantage. Whoever controls the 2 wins Tiebreakers on that row/column when attacking and defending. Because players have the same 13 cards as each other this can be a potent advantage.


The game is over when each player has played all of his card. Players cannot play cards from the discard pile or reshuffle them into their deck. Once the game is over each player counts the value of the tiles he “controls”. The highest score wins. In the event of a tie score the player who is closest to the starting player, in turn order, is the winner.

Advanced Rules – Team-play

After playing the game with each player being solo it is encouraged to use the advanced rules and switch to Team-play. The player sitting diagonally across from you is your teammate and the winning team is the team with the highest combined score at the end of the game.  Players can talk to each other openly, strategize and remind each other which cards have been played by which opponents.




A step by step example of gameplay:


If there are no opposing cards than you now “own” the tile.  The object of the game is to “own” the most points at the end of the game. The game ends when everyone has played their 13 cards.


Now our opponents have played their cards and it’s back to our turn.


We drew the King (12) the highest valued card in our deck.IMG_1534

We want the 7 so we place it face down on our side. In this case the 7 is opposed so the defender will reveal his card and if our card is the same or higher (attacker wins ties unless defender controls the 2) we will defeat the defender and not reveal our card.IMG_1535

It is a Jack and our King is higher so we do not reveal our card and keep the 7 under our control. IMG_1536

IMG_1537 IMG_1538

Our oppnent has played another card which now opposes our 7.IMG_1539

So we reveal our king.
IMG_1540Because the attacker played the same value or higher he does not reveal and we lose our King.



Ace (Or 1) is a special card in that it is a trump card. Whenever it opposes another card of any value it gets revealed and both cards are discarded.

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