One summer back in the mid-1980s, a friend and I played a simple, fantasy, tabletop, war game. I barely remember it, but I am hoping someone else knows it. I am not positive, but I believe it came out of a magazine of the time, like, what? Dragon or White Dwarf magazine. It seemed cut-out. We each arrayed an "army" of cut-out cards, each representing some kind of high fantasy figure, having a cartoon-ish image on it and numbers corresponding to attack and defense bonuses or something like such. The only one that I vaguely recall was either an Elf or a Ranger, which I only recall because it was labelled as having range, meaning it attacked first in the order of operations.

One of us would declare something like "My Elf attacks your Orc!" and we would roll dice, adding each card's various bonuses and whatnot, to determine the victor of that battle. Again, the ranged characters stand out in my memory because I remember that, having the power to strike first, if they inflicted sufficient damage to kill the opponent, then no return damage was dealt to them.

This all stands out to me now, because many, many, many years later I discovered Magic: the Gathering late in life, and when I first played I thought, "Wait a dang minute, I have played this before."

I hope someone else out there remembers that game. I asked my childhood friend, but he has no memory of it whatsoever.

  • I don't know answer but I do recall White Dwarf having free boardgames occasionally so maybe there is an archive of that somewhere online which can help track down what your looking for. I remember playing one based on control of a space ship and it was the first time I'd ever seen a game use a D66 (two D6 with one colour for tens) for getting results from a table. Feb 15 '19 at 9:11

This sounds like King of the Tabletop to me, published in issue 77 of Dragon Magazine. I played it many times as a teen.

  • I believe you are correct! It is too bad there are not many pictures of it on BoardGameGeek, and most of those are recent recreations. I looked, and at first I did not think that was it -- my memory of the cards/counters is of different colors and larger than those chits -- however, then I saw the tokens for Arch Mage, Elf Lord, Guillame Tell, etc., and the yellow chits for money (gold); suddenly my memory went all tingly and I thought, "This must be it!" My childhood friend and I must not have played it correctly, though, because I have no memory of the player boards or land tiles. Thanks!
    – Alan
    Feb 16 '19 at 5:21

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