Hearts of Plastic
Hearts of Plastic is a lofi wargame designed to be played with plastic army men, a deck of cards, and whatever junk you have lying around! Below are the rules for the game. Additional information on terrain, miniatures, and scenarios for the game is available on other pages! If you wish to be updated on the progress of the project, sign up for emails here! While this was designed with plastic army men in mind, any figures down to scale 25mm can be used as long as opposing units have approximately the same profile.
Rule 0: When in doubt, make a ruling that seems fair to both players. Be generous.
Setup: Create a 3’x3’ play area featuring terrain to break up line of sight. Messy playrooms make the ideal play board. Each player sets out 6 army men up to 6 inches away from opposite edges of the board. A shuffled deck of cards with jokers and aces removed will be necessary. Setup The Sight and Mines.
The Sight: Cards that activate units are played into The Sight. Player 1 and Player 2 each get a field with one additional neutral field. Nothing is placed in these fields at the beginning of the game but declare where cards will be played.
Mines: At the beginning of the game, each player draws two cards, looks at them, and then places them facedown anywhere on the map. Moving onto the card incurs an attack equal to the value of the card. Discard the mine card afterwards.
Rounds: Each player draws six cards to begin a round. They each select two of these cards to give to the other player. A card is flipped from the Draw Pile to add face up to Neutral Field and turns begin. Turns alternate between players until both are out of cards or pass. If one player runs out first, the other player can continue. At the end of a round, shuffle all cards into the deck to begin another round. Play continues until one player has no units left or as the scenario dictates.
Turns: On a turn, a player selects a single card to become the Activation Card. The value of the Activation Card will range from 2 and 13 (two to king). Once the card is decided, a movement and an attack may be taken, in any order. A Special Action may be taken instead of an attack if the appropriate criteria is met. Instead of taking a turn, a player can pass, discarding their remaining cards.
Movement: Move the unit up to two long card lengths. Measure from anywhere on the base. Any structure can be climbed with no movement penalty. A unit must end its turn on flat ground. Units can be freely rotated at the end of a move.
Attack: Line of sight is determined from the unit’s head. Specifically, a line must be able to be drawn between the head of the attacking unit and the body of the defending unit. Cover might influence the ability to attack the unit or its Defend. The Attack Value is equal to the card played. This destroys the other unit unless the Defense is successful. The Activation Card is placed on the Player’s Field.
Cover: If a unit is 25%-75% obscured by terrain, it is considered In Cover for defending. If more than 75% is obscured, than it is completely obscured and not able to be attacked.
Defense: The defending player reveals and discards the top card of the Draw Pile which is their starting Defense Value. They can discard and number of cards from their hand to add to this Value. If the Defense Value is equal to or higher than the Attack Value, the unit survives.
Each Special Action has a Criteria which must be met and a Field Placement which specifies where the Activation Card goes once played. Reminder that a movement can be taken with a Special Action. Special Actions cannot be combined on a single turn, even if multiple criteria are met.The state of The Sight is provided in the format: “P1: Card, N: Card, P2: Card” which corresponds to: Player 1’s field, Neutral field, and Player 2’s field. If it is early in the round, there might not be a card on a field which is indicated by “N/A”.
Buddy System: Stronger together.
Criteria: Two units standing within one short card edge of each other.
Field Placement: The Player’s own Field.
Action: Both units are activated with one card. They must end their movement one short card edge away from one another. Both can attack but the second attack is at a -3 penalty to the Attack Value.
Example: It is turn 2 and The Sight is:
“P1: N/A, N: 4♣, P2: 8♠”
Player 1 plays a Q♣ on top of the Player 1 field. The player then moves two units near one another and makes two attacks, one with an Attack Value of 12 and the second with a 9.
Grenade: A brutal solution.
Criteria: A card in The Sight which matches the value of the Activation Card.
Field Placement: Place on the Field with the matching card.
Action: Draw cards from the Draw Pile equal to the number of matching cards on top of the Field the Activation Card is in. Choose one and place the card anywhere within line of sight of the activated unit. The whole card does not need to be within line of sight, only some portion. This might be awkward in buildings, be generous in rulings. All units this card touches suffer an attack equal to the value of the Activation Card. No Cover is applied. Discard all cards drawn.
Example: It is turn 7 and The Sight is:
“P1: 8♣, N: 4♥, P2: J♥”
Player 1 plays an 8♦ on top of the Player 1 field. They move the unit per usual and then draws two cards from the deck and uses the 9♦ to attack two units that are close to one another. Next turn, Player 2 plays the 8♠ on the Player 1 field and draws three cards for their attack.
Suppressive Fire: Keep ‘em in place.
Criteria: Two cards in The Sight which make a run with the Activation card. Such as a two and three in the sight with a four Activation Card.
Field Placement: Place on whichever Field shows the card not part of the run.
Action: Draw three cards from the Draw Pile and place them face up anywhere within line of sight of the activated unit. Moving on these cards incur an attack equal to the value of the card and then the card is discarded (just like with Mines). These remain until the unit is activated again.
Example: It is turn 4 and The Sight is:
"P1: 7♠, N: 3♦, P2: 8♠”
Player 1 plays a 9♣ on top of the Neutral field and draws three cards, using them to hem in Player 2’s units from attacking next turn.
Lucky Shot: Sometimes it’s the best skill.
Criteria: The Activation Card is 7 or below and adds to 15 with one of the cards in The Sight.
Field Placement: The Field of the card to be combined with to make 15.
Action: The unit attacks another unit within line of sight with an attack value of 15.
Example: It is turn 6 and The Sight is:
“P1: K♦, N: 6♥, P2: 8♦”
Player 1 plays a 7♣ on top of the Player 2 field. They move their unit and then attack with an Attack Value of 15. Player 1 could not play a 9♠ on the Neutral field, even though it adds to 15.
Hustle: The slow don’t survive.
Field Placement: Any Field
Action: The unit makes an additional move up to the length of the long edge of a card.
Example: It is turn 6 and The Sight is:
“P1: J♦, N: 6♥, P2: Q♠”
Player 1 plays a 2♦ on top of the Player 2 field. Then they move the unit their normal move and then one additional long edge length.