Land War

I love being creative. So, maybe one day I’ll actually be creative and truly love life. Okay, I do love my life – I am blessed with a wonderful family, my health, a steady paycheck, and living exactly where I want to live. But, I still need some creative outlets.

I was thinking back on the time my friend Brandon was helping us move shortly after kid number one was born. He had seen the instructions I typed up for a variation of the card game War – you know, the one boys play growing up where they start with half the deck and turn over their top card, highest value winning both cards for that player. (I’m not sure how often girls play that one.) He really liked my variation and I thought I’d share it with the world…or just the dozen or so people who read this.

Land War – a card game for 2 players.

Shuffle a deck of cards and deal fifteen cards to each player. Each player may look at their hands. Then deal, face up, five cards in the middle of the playing table. These five cards (LAND CARDS) become the territories the players will engage in war to conquer.

Deploying the Troops

Each player lays down one card (a TROOP CARD), face down, on their side of a LAND CARD. Dealer goes last. Each player continues to lay down one card at a time until their hand is empty and all troops are deployed.

Winning Land

Starting with the LAND CARD with the lowest value (2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A) turn over the deployed TROOP CARDS and add each player’s cards. Jacks count as eleven, Queens as twelve, Kings as thirteen, Aces as fourteen. The player with the highest total wins the LAND CARD. Move to the next lowest value and continue until all LAND CARDS are given to their respective winner. In the case of a tie the LAND CARD is in dispute (see options below).

Winning the Land War

Players tally up the value of all the LAND CARDS they’ve won. The player with the highest total wins the game. Or, players can set a point total to achieve to win the game; 20 points, 50 points, whatever they choose. Just record your score each round, reshuffle all cards, and have fun playing.


Disputed Land – Should the players deploy an equal value of troops for a LAND CARD there are three options. Option 1 – the player who placed the highest value TROOP CARD wins the LAND CARD. If there is a tie, continue going down to the next value card until a victor emerges. If all cards are of the same value, then the card with the highest value of the same suit as the LAND CARD wins. Option 2 – place some kind of marker on the card and keep it for the next round (if you are playing by a set point total). Do this each time a land is in dispute. Once it’s finally won, subtract the number of markers on the card from the value of the card when awarding points. The LAND CARD has less value as it is a “war-torn land.” Option 3 – no player wins the LAND CARD. (a.k.a. the boring option)

Special Forces Option – TROOP CARDS of the same suit as the target LAND CARD count double in determining the victor.

Undisputed Lands Option – If a player deploys a TROOP CARD (or cards) on a LAND CARD which his/her opponent does not, this automatically will be awarded to that player. That player then has the option of never turning over and revealing the value of those TROOP CARDS and keeping them for the next round. Or, that player can “redeploy” a TROOP CARD to another LAND CARD in the same round. This can only be done with one card per round, and the LAND CARD in question must be adjacent to the undisputed land. This must be done prior to turning over the TROOP CARDS for the LAND CARD in question.


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