Saturday 18 May 2013

Full Thrust Event Cards: The Final Version!


Regular readers of my blog will already know that I'm a fan of adding a bit of colour and narrative to the games I run.  Often this involves having some form of random events which probably won't change the overall course of the game, but may well throw a spanner in the works for someone.

To this end, I've previously published a random event deck for All Things Zombie ( and have republished work by Super Galactic Dreadnaught for "special" hits in Full Thrust (

A little while ago, I announced that I was working on a complete deck of random events for Full Thrust (  This preliminary version has been used in a number of my games and some changes have been made as a result.  In fact, I completed the final design many weeks ago and have been waiting ever since for delivery of the printed deck.  Well, the postman finally dropped the finished item through my letterbox this morning.  It's here!

The Event Deck

The event deck is based on a regular poker pack and therefore has 54 cards in it.  However, that's the end of the resemblance; there are no spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs to be seen!

The back is a fairly simple design of my own:
Since holding these in my hands, I've realised that the lettering is really too close to the top of each card.  It's a minor annoyance and I've already corrected that in my uploaded designs.  Obviously I cannot alter the deck that's already been printed, though.

Like my Full Thrust games, the events on the cards mostly (but not entirely!) have a Star Trek theme.  The colour depth and resolution of the printing is generally very good, though 1 card had a few disappointing marks on the back.  Some of the more verbose cards have text that is a bit smaller than I would like, but it's still legible.  In any case, that's my fault as the designer rather than being an error by the printers!

Oddly, 1 of the cards (and only 1) has its front printed upside down with respect to the back.  It's still quite usable, but I'm puzzled as to how this happened since my source materials do not have this fault. 

Using Event Cards in Full Thrust

Full Thrust doesn't have any built-in random events.  Instead, I use the same mechanism as the Doctor Who Miniatures Game.  In that set of rules, each side is dealt 3 cards at the start of the game.  These may be played at any appropriate moment, but once played they are gone; the owner does not draw more cards to replenish his/her hand.  Personally, I limit each side to playing at most one card per turn, though I would make an exception for a "response" card such as "That's not fair!".

Obtaining the Deck

If you wish to obtain this deck for yourself then you have 2 options:
  1. Order a copy from here: .  It's worth noting that Artscow have frequent discounts, so there's usually no need to pay "full" price.  Also note that I have no association with Artscow, financial or otherwise, other than being a satisfied customer.
  2. Download my original design and print it yourself (but not for commercial purposes, please!).  The PowerPoint master file can be found here: .  If you do this then obviously you can add or remove cards, or edit the existing ones to suit your taste.


 I'd be delighted to hear what you think about this idea, or about general mechanisms for adding a little uncertainty to games.  It's surprisingly easy to make a deck like this, though it does take time and a certain amount of imagination.  Anyone could do it!


  1. Cheers mate I keep meaning to organise myself to do one of these for a VCBW game. Thanks for putting it back on my radar. PS your good at them, I think I'm a bit worried I'd be wasting my money.

    1. Technically, it's really easy to make these. The hard part is coming up with 54 ideas first!

  2. I can stop thinking about your FT deck now ! Your cards look superb and are quite amusing and although I personally don't like the Star Trek Theme it does have its merits as I would think that everyone knows the Star Trek Universe.
    If and/or when I get my first FT miniatures a game or two under my belt I'll certainly be promoting the use of these as I've seen your use of the prototypes in several of your games.

    Nice one C6 !

    1. Thanks, Joe. Many of my cards are fairly generic; not all are Star Trek-themed!

  3. This reminds me, I must get a set of your ATZ event cards. I've been meaning to for a while but it always slips my mind...
    I also meant to follow your example and make some of my own cards for the games of Aeronef I play with my dad, but I couldn't think of half as many interesting events as you have with FT and ATZ!

    1. Well, I can't help you specifically with Aeronef other than to say that it's not as difficult as it seems. I think the trick is to avoid events that are totally overpowering. For inspiration, I often look to real-world incidents or to literature & films of related genres. Perhaps Jules Vernes' "Master of the World" or H. G. Wells' "The War in the Air" might help?

      Here's a title to get you started for Aeronef: "Stowaway". What effect does that have?

  4. Hugh- I will have to check these out, thanks in part to you I am about to embark on my own voyage into Space/Star Ship combat gaming. Your posts on the Irregular Miniature Spaceships helped push me into the "Yeah lets do this" mode instead of the " This might be an interesting project" mode. I was able to find a US distributer of the Irregular Miniature ships thanks to the site. I will hopefully be ordering the Imperial, Confederate fleet packs along with some of their other ships like the freighters and some of the Fighters.

    I also ordered a thing of cheap plastic spaceships (144 of them) to use while I wait for the Irregular Miniature ships, and to use as generic non faction specific ships.

    I am also looking at getting some of the GZGs Full Thrust ships too.

    Still haven't decided on if I will do Full Thrust or 5150 Star Navy for the rules yet. Have both and am currently reading them.

    I will probably be ordering a copy of your Full Thrust event cards, especially since I like your ATZ event cards, even if I don't go the Full Thrust route, just to have them.

    BTW I am having a mini contest of sorts over on my Zombie blog as a kickoff of the new project. I am letting my followers of the Zombie Blog vote on the name for my Primary faction. right now there isn't a prize, but I am thinking of offering one, though not sure what it will be yet, thinking either a Reaper Chronoscope mini of choice or a Starship mini of choice (will try to have 3 or 4 manufacturers available to choose from, and yes there will be a price limit so no $50USD metal/resin models, LOL)

    1. Doug, good luck with your new venture - I'm sure you'll enjoy it! Irregular make some decent miniatures, usually cheaper than other manufacturers. GZG models are good too, though there are many fine spaceships available from other places as well.

      As for your contest, if it were me then I think I'd decide on the prize(s) in advance rather than letting the winner(s) choose them. The latter sounds a bit too complicated to work well. Just my opinion...

  5. Another good post I missed due to my feed reader not tracking it. I have yet to buy the cards from Artscow but think they are cool. I'll take a look at your file, as one can never have too man resources. Perhaps also looking into how to include the event mechanic in ones games.

    1. Well, better late than never! Late? It's only been 2 days since I posted this :-) .

      Mind you, it does sound as if your feed reader needs to be fixed or replaced.