Spotlight on Games > War Games > Variants
Major variant for the board game by Locust Games

Introductory Notes
I prefer the metaphor of discovering lands rather than playing them out of hand. I also prefer discovering monsters to hiring them. So here is my twisted suggestion about how to play Borderlands (and it's sort of rough by the way). This variant is designed for exactly two players.


  1. Deal out all the land cards face down save 2 in a tableau as follows:
    	c c
           c c c
          c c c c
         c c c c c
          c c c c
           c c c
    	c c
    The big C's are the player capitals. The little c's are lands.

  2. Each player is dealt a feature (f) which is attached to his Capital. The feature works, regardless of its prerequisites.

  3. Shuffle and deal 2 creature cards face down onto each of the lands.

  4. Deal each player 3 Power cards. Spells now have a new use: augmenting strength in battle. You may play spells to improve your dice rolls. The idea is to play spells of the same type. This determines how many points you get to add to each one of your die rolls for the entire combat:

    No. of Spells Effect
    1 +1
    2 +3
    3 +6
    4 +10
    5 +15

  5. Give each player 4 bread tokens.

  6. Randomly choose 1 player to be the starting player. Give the other player a token called the Trade Token.


  1. After he takes income, the player holding the Trade Token may force a trade with the other player. He may only do this if there is one type of token that the other player has fewer of than any other. To do this, he gives the other player 1 token of this type. In return, the player forcing the trade receives 3 of anything he wishes, except the type of token he traded. He also gives the other player the Trade Token.

  2. On their turn, each player can turn up the 3 cards for any lands for which they have forces adjacent.

    Or they can move all their forces. Nothing may move more than 3 lands.

  3. If they turn up creatures, they have to fight them. Creatures who die in combat, whether for or against you, leave the game. Guards who die (why didn't you use your spells!) are out of play for one full turn. They return to the capital in the following turn.

  4. If the player wins, he gets to resurrect one of the dead creatures and place it face up in that space and consider it part of their army henceforth. The land is now conquered and face up henceforward. The player should place a unique token on the land to indicate ownership. (Perhaps one player can indicate ownership with bread markers and the other with gold.)

    If the player loses, any surviving monsters remain in the land where they were found. Place them and the land face down.

  5. Found features are owned by the conquering player, but left face down unless the owner has an available land of the appropriate type. In that case, the player may move the feature to the land at the start of any of his turns, before taking income.


To win, the player must not only own his trophy, but also control 14 lands.

Last updated: Thu Mar 4 00:18:55 PST 1999