GW Grognard: Dead Man’s Hand

Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to spice up the 40K tabletop with the kernels that come out of my mouth!

Well, Chapter Approved has come and gone. Along with this newest iteration of the book, we got a lot of revamped missions for all 3 types of play. We even got a new way to use the maelstrom cards and some new stratagems to go along with them. Having looked them over, they seem to be much improved from when they were first introduced way back in 7th edition. The fact that you choose your cards from a hand of five that you draw from the deck intrigues me. I am actually curious how these would work out in a tournament setting and wonder if there is some way to incorporate them into the ITC missions. I would probably want to give it a small twit though, to kind of liven it up a bit. With that in mind, here are a few ways to play the maelstrom cards a little differently.

Go Fish

This one is fairly simple. In a normal game of Go Fish, you try to guess what cards your opponent has in their hand. If they have one, they must give that card to you and you score the pair of card. For maelstrom cards this is easy. All you have to do is just ask things like “Do you have a Hold Objective 1 card?” If they do, and you are actually holding objective one, then you score 2 points, one for each card. If your opponent does not have the card, you have to pick one up from your stack of cards and place it in your hand. The turn is then passed to your opponent. This fun filled game can cause the points to swing wildly, but oh what fun could be had.


Since we are nearing the Las Vegas Open, it seems appropriate to play a rousing game of 40K Blackjack. If you’re not familiar with the game, it is simple. You keep drawing cards until you get as close to 21 as possible, without going over. Face cards are worth 10 and the Ace is worth either 1 or 11, your choice. In case you haven’t noticed, your maelstrom cards are given a certain number. This is in case you want to use 2 6-sided dice instead of the cards. In this game you would use these values to get as close to 121 as possible, without going over. You would earn these points when you score the card during the game. This fabulous game can cause you to have to make tough decisions on which cards to score. This entertaining game will surely help both your memorization and counting skills.


This last one is the venerable game of 40k poker. Luckily we start the game with 5 cards per round and is easy to adapt. It is difficult for me to give an easy explanation, buts let’s say that the more of the same cards you have the better. You play a hand each round, and the winner of each round gets bonus points. Different types of hands could include having 2 or more “Hold Objective X” cards, with the number of objectives you have to hold being of higher value. So a pair of “Hold Objective 6” would beat a pair of “Hold objective 3”. Then there would be the Holy Grail of “Holding Objective 1, 2, 3, 4, 5” in all 5 cards. I’m sure this type of game would be welcome in any home.

These are just a few examples of the fabulous games you could play with your maelstrom cards. What games would you play? Let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is judges for LVO and head judges other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

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