by Roger M. Wilcox, 21-January-1983

[This was a joke wargame I wrote, based primarily on another joke wargame called "Pond War," which featured boys smashing frogs and frogs setting off radioactive Bug Bombs.  My 12th grade English class had been reading C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet, and I was getting so sick of the other students' fawning over Malacandra and drawing pictures of Sorns sitting around saying "Come in, small one" and all the thinly-disguised Christian smarminess that I decided to turn the whole thing on its ear and concentrate on those damned hnakra hunting expeditions the hross occasionally went on to prove their manhood.  Everything below appears exactly as I wrote it in 1983.]

Hnakra wars is just your typical, average, everyday war game.  Each player assumes the role of the commander-in-chief of a squadron of hrossa, each armed and heavily armored, who try to kill as many Hnakra as they can within a certain number of game turns.

As you may remember, unless you are a complete moron, in Out of the Silent Planet, the Hross were allowed to kill only one hnakra within their lifetime, and a dude named Oyarsa (who was high-and-mighty politically) only let the hnakra out once in a blue Phobos.  However, in That Hideous Strength, Oyarsa, Meldilorn Maleldil, and the rest of the bunch were all over at Earth commanding forces of mythos (see the second game in this series, "Weston & Devine Wars").  This left the hross free to go out and massacre as many hnakra as they darned well pleased.

The game is divided into game turns, each of which has a real-time duration of exactly one (1) short moment (not as long as a moment, and not nearly as long as a long moment).  Each turn is divided into segments, as follows:

1. Initiative determination segment
2. Suicide segment
3. Nuclear warfare segment
4. Movement segment
5. Hnakra movement segment
6. Attack segment
7. Yelling & Cheering segment
8. Record keeping segment
9. Record burning segment
1. Initiative Determination Segment -- there is no initiative in this game; everyone moves simultaneously.  I don't know why I put this segment into the game.  I guess it just sounded nice.

2. Suicide Segment -- And hross that wish to kill themselves may do so, and their counters are immediately removed from play.  This is to the advantage of no one, and as such should be avoided altogether.

3. Nuclear Warfare Segment -- this is optional, just like the first two segments (and everything else).  Occasionally, hnakra (or stupid hross) get ahold of nuclear bombs and decide to set them off.  Doing this ends the game, and on a 1-6 on a six-sided die will result in making the battlefield radioactive, and players will be unable to play for another 20,000 years.

4. Movement Segment -- Now we get down to the real game.  Any counters the hrossa players have may be moved in any direction up to their movement allowance, which is printed on their counters.  NOTE: there are no rules for the optional use of potholes in this game.  Make your own.

5. Hnakra Movement Segment -- Hnakra now move on their own volition.  They will either attempt to flee, or turn and charge on, their nearest opponent, the chance of which may be determined by any die roll the players agree on.

6. Attack Segment -- Now comes the real fun.  Any counter may now attack any other counter which is either within the same hex or within range of their weapons.  This means that different players' hrossa may freely attack each other.  This is not advisable, especially if your opponent is an arsonist or a mass murderer.  Hnakra always attack hross in their hex.

7. Yelling & Cheering Segment -- Each hross that has killed someone now jumps up & down and announces this fact at an elevated decibel level.  Those who have attacked and missed now curse, usually in the language of the Pfifilltriggi.

8. Record keeping Segment -- Records are now kept.

9. Record Burning Segment -- Records made in segment 8 are now burned.  This goes double if you are under suspicion by the CIA.

Hross counter Hnakra counter

Hross counters represent what weapon the hross has, or have a picture of an unarmed hross.  Hnakra counters have a cute stick figure on them.  As you've probably guessed, the pictures above are not drawn to scale.  Some examples of hross armament are:

The game board is divided into hexes (short for hexagons, not witches' curses).  Direction of facing means absolutely nothing.  Movement is based on these hexes and so is range of weapons.  A counter may move, during its movement segment, a number of hexes up to and including its movement allowance in any direction (including turning).  All hnakra have a movement allowance of twelve.

The hross players frequently (in fact, almost always) have ranged weapons.  The range of these are printed on their counters.  The kill probability (see Combat) is reduced by one for a target that is more than 1/3 of the weapon's maximum range distant.  It's reduced by two if the target is more than 2/3 of the weapon's maximum range distant.  All ranges are expressed in hexes (determined by the minimum number of hexes in the weapon's path.  Range zero is in the same hex).


Combat between enemy (or friendly) counters is simultaneous.  This means that if you are hit with a nuclear warhead you may still attack before you're blown into a zillion pieces and places.

All counters have an attack value based on the strength of the weaponry used.  Hnakra have an understood attack value of 8; unarmed hrossa have an attack strength of 4.  When making an attack, take the attack value of the attacker and refer to the following chart (subtract one from the die roll if the defender is a hross):

Die roll1-34-56-89-12 13-1920-3940-5455-6970+
(-1)---- ------ ------ X
(0)---- ------ ----X X
1---- ------ --XX X
2---- ------ XXX X
3---- ----X XXX B
4---- --XX XXB B
5---- XXX XBB B
"X" indicates "target destroyed"
"B" indicates "target destroyed" and an explosion results which attacks everyone in that hex and the six surrounding hexes with an attack strength of six, nine if you feel sadistic.
Die rolls of (-2) never do anything.

If an attack has limited uses (grenades, missiles, etc.), a hross may attack without using a charge, but he or she does so as an unarmed hross.


Terrain -- All terrain in hnakra valley (a handramit) is all the same: flat.  Terrain never enters into the combat procedures.  Nice rule, huh?

Weather -- See Terrain rule.

Potholes -- Like I said, make your own pothole rules you nitwit.


Don't stop playing until you feel like it.

Sorns -- These are humanoids 18 feet tall and as thin as a human.  They designed the Hrossa's weaponry.

Pfifiltriggi -- near-sighted mole men the size of a goat with unrponounceably long Hawaiian names.  They built the Hrossa's weaponry.

Hrossa -- huge, poetic seals.  They stole the Hrossa's weaponry.

Hnakra -- sharks.  They got killed by the Hrossa's weaponry.

Hnakra Scare Tactics -- If a hnakra charges a hross, but does not reach its hex during the hnakra movement segment, it may attempt to perform a "scare tactic" (determine chance of this by player agreement or disagreement).  Scare tactics involve growling, yelling, snapping their teeth, playing JAWS music, and just generally trying to be scary.  The hross being attacked (the one the hnakra failed to charge, you dingle-brain!) rolls a single die.  (Well, actually, hrossa don't have any dice, but the owning player can roll it.)  Add this to the range from hross to hnakra.  If the total is "4" or more, the hross is unaffected.  Otherwise, the hross loses any weapons it was carrying (replace it with an "unarmed hross" counter), goes one hex in the opposite direction of the hnakra, and must use the upcoming Yelling & Cheering Segment by shrieking with fright.  Note that the hnakra scare tactic is done during the Attack Segment, so the affected hross can still attack that game-turn.

Hross Armor -- All hrossa are assumed to be armored.  Players may wish to experiment with "unarmored hrossa," either to balance a scenario or just to get even.  Unarmored hrossa have two added to their movement allowance (giving unarmed hrossa a higher movement allowance than hnakra).  Attacks directed against unarmored hrossa add one to the die roll, rather than subtract one like they normally do.  Armor may be removed at any time when using this rule, and on the turn it is removed (that must be done at the end of the Movement Segment) the armor may be thrown at hnakra as an attack strength six, range three weapon.  To represent the unarmored hrossa, place underneath each one of the counters that says, "

[At this point in the original manuscript, I ran out of paper and had to continue on the backs of my previous sheets.  The text on the backs of the following sheets was written upside-down so as not to be construed as having been interlaced between earlier pages.  A note at the bottom of the last right-side-up page reads, "The next pages will be upside-down.  This is only for symbolic reasons."]


1. Short Scenario
One hnakra is placed in hex number 2315.  The players set up their hrossa in any hexes numbered 01xx to 17xx.  There is no limit to the number of hrossa the players can bring in.

The hnakra is armed with a nuclear bomb which it will set off during the Nuclear Warfare Segment of the first turn.  The player who has killed the most hnakra on his/her own by the end of the game wins.

2. Long Scenario
Players set up hrossa in hexes beginning with the numbers 01xx through 17xx.  There is no limit to the number of hrossa brought in, but they must all be armored and cannot be armed with ranged weapons (they can use knives, swords, bare flippers, exploding bodies, etc.)

Hnakra are set up in hexes beginning with 20xx to 30xx.  Hnakra always flee (move their full movement allowance away from) the hrossa in this scenario.  Play continues until all hnakra are killed.  Note that since hnakra have movement 12, and the maximum movement a hross can have is 11, the game will last quite some time, especially since the boundaries of the hex map are meaningless.

3. Hrossa Sit Around Doing Nothing Scenario
Players set up hrossa at various locations on the map.  There are no hnakra, and hrossa may not attack each other.  OPTIONAL RULE: Movement allowances may be voided to speed things up.

4. Hnakra Use Potholes Scenario
There are no pothole rules in this game.

5. Free-for-all Scenario
Dump all of the counters onto the playing field and start from there.  Ignore pothole counters and all counters labelled, "Your father eats refried beans."


And now . . .

The first revision of Hnakra Wars since 1983:

It's . . .



Last updated 1-August-2003

Welcome to Hnakra Wars Second Edition!  You fans who have stayed with us, through thick and through thin, over lo these past 18 years are about to be richly rewarded.  Of course, I don't know of any person who could have stuck with us over the last 18 years, considering that this game wasn't even transcribed into HTML and made available over the Internet until 1-February-2001.  But we can't blame you for trying.  After all, the image of a herd of hrossa thundering across the plain in suits of armor, blasting hell out of everything they meet with Thompson submachine guns, is a hard one to get out of your head.  And so, for your patience and perseverance, you are about to partake of the latest, hottest, hippest-and-happening revision to that all-time "classic" game, Hnakra Wars!

Many of you have been asking the obvious question.  Namely: Since the hnéraki (plural of hnakra) are a fresh-water species of shark-like creatures, what are the hrossa doing running around on foot after them?  Shouldn't the hrossa be paddling those cute little hand-made outrigger canoes they had in the book, or be travelling in some kind of boat at the very least?

The answer is: When Oyarsa and company left Malacandra to go fight the war on Thulcandra (planet Earth), the hrossa decided to give themselves every advantage over the hnéraki they could.  To that end, they froze the lakes and rivers the hnéraki had been swimming in, forcing the poor, hapless hnéraki to thrash about on the icy surface.  The hnéraki soon learned to use their tailfins as little makeshift feet, much the way Jabberjaw does in the cartoon of the same name.  The hrossa quickly rushed out onto the ice with their body-armor and heavy weaponry, resulting in the Hnakra Wars scenarios we all know and love.


No game revision would be complete without a whole new set of cardboard counters to go with it, thus making all of your old counters obsolete and requiring you to throw them all out and buy a whole new set.  Thank you for your business.

You may remember that the old counters in Hnakra Wars First Edition looked like this:

Hross counter, 1st Edition

These counters attempted to reduce a playing piece to 3 numbers: the weapon's Attack Strength, the piece's Movement Allowance, and the weapon's Maxmimum Range.  The effect of "armor" was not printed on the counter; it was assumed to be a simple -1 modifier to the enemy's attack roll for all hross counters, unless you were using the "unarmored hross" rule, in which case it was a +1 modifier to the enemy's attack roll.  It was also assumed that all types of playing pieces could turn on a dime.  Obviously, such a system breaks down if you start arming hrossa with, say, M-1 Abrams tanks.  More information needs to be expressed on the counter.

Thus, the new, improved, Second Edition counters now look like this:

Hross counter, 2nd Edition

The meaning of "Turn Mode," "Armor Value," "Range Penalty distance," and "Explosion Strength" will be explained in the next two sections.

But first, since this is just an HTML page and not a "real" printing of the Hnakra Wars Second Edition game, you probably don't have an actual counter sheet.  Therefore, we have decided to graciously list all the types of counters included with second edition, along with all the stats that are printed on said counters (or not-printed-on-them-but-understood-anyway, in the case of hnakra counters).  Do not be alarmed by the wimpy-looking Attack Strengths listed on some of these counters.  They are only wimpy-looking by First Edition standards.  Here in Second Edition, as you shall see farther below, there is a new attack chart in the Combat Rules which makes them more than adequate.

Counters available in First Edition, upgraded to the new Second Edition stat system:

New counters added in Second Edition:

NEW MOVEMENT RULES (for vehicles)

Counters with a Turn Mode higher than zero (0), such as Tanks, are rather clumsy.  They cannot maneuver in just any old direction any time they feel like it.  For these counters, the facing of the counter on the map does matter.  It determines the direction they will move in when they move forward.

A counter must expend at least its turn mode in movement points before it is allowed to make a 60-degree turn to either the left or the right.  It may expend movement points either by moving directly forward, by moving directly backward, or by staying in place.  It may not move sideways.  Spending a movement point by staying in place represents the counter coming to a stop and turning in place, or moving back-and-forth over very short distances while turning.


Many of you have been wondering why the columns for Attack Strength in First Edition had such wide numeric ranges, even though each range produced the same effects.  No factors ever increased or decreased a weapon's Attack Strength, so why not just call the Attack Strengths 1, 2, 3, etc., instead of 1-3, 4-5, 6-8, etc.?  Well, here in Second Edition, all that changes.

Armor Values for armored hrossa being attacked, and Range Penalties for firing weapons at long ranges, are no longer subtracted from the attack die roll shown on the left side of the attack chart.  Instead, they are subtracted from the attacker's Attack Strength, resulting in the Attack Value shown across the top of the attack chart.  Thus, the (0) and (-1) die rolls are no longer possible.  The range of Attack Values in each column of the old First Edition attack chart were kinda weird, too, with little rhyme or reason to them, and needed to be regularized to take the new Armor Value rules into account.  Thus, here in Second Edition, the new attack chart now looks like this:

                Attack Strength – Range Penalty – Armor Value
Die roll3 or less4-67-910-12 13-1516-1819 or more
1 X
2 XX
3 X XX
"—" indicates "no effect"
"X" indicates "target destroyed"

The target's Armor Value is printed on its counter.  Every hnakra has an Armor Value of zero (0).  Unarmored hrossa, if you are using the optional unarmored hrossa rule, have an Armor Value of -3; that is, 3 is added to the Attack Value, rather than subtracted from it, to represent what a bunch of fragile wimps hrossa are when they're unprotected.

An attack's Range Penalty is calculated by counting the distance between the attacker and the target, and dividing this distance by the Range Penalty distance printed on the attacker's counter, rounded down.  Thus, if a Tommy gun counter (with a Range Penalty distance of 3) were attacking a target 0-2 hexes away, its Range Penalty would be 0; if its target were 3-5 hexes away, the Range Penalty would be 1; if its target were 6-8 hexes away, the range penalty would be 2; et cetera.  Note that no counter can attack a target farther away than its Maxmimum Range (which is also printed on its counter, right below the Range Penalty distance).

EXPLOSIONS: Some counters have an "Explosion Strength" in addition to an attack strength.  Whenever a counter with an Explosion Strength higher than zero (0) makes an attack, an explosion results in the target's hex and in the six hexes immediately surrounding the target's hex.  This explosion happens whether or not the original attack succeeded in destroying its target.  Every counter, friend or foe, in one of the 7 hexes affected by the explosion is attacked with an Attack Strength equal to the Explosion Strength of the counter that made the original attack, with no Range Penalty.

Note that if the target of the original attack is not destroyed by the original attack, it will be attacked again by the explosion.  It is possible for a target to survive the original attack and then be immediately destroyed by the explosion.  Note also that a counter with an "Explosion Strength" is allowed to attack a hex with no counters in it, in order to maximize the number of enemy counters caught in the blast.



Coming soon . . . the long-awaited Scenario Number 6!

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