Cataclysm: The Card Game (not finished)


#1

A few months ago, my sister and I started working on a card game variant of Cataclysm: DDA. I would design the mechanics of the game while she would draw the pictures. After a bit of time we were able to produce a large amount of cards and had a basic game set up. We enjoyed playing around with it and eventually got bored, so I stashed it away in an altoids tin.

Recently I have had the urge to pick it back up and, once again, attempt to recreate Cataclysm in card form. My goal with this is to mimic the mechanics of Cataclysm as close as possible, without the need for the player to do calculations in their head (or on paper). Although this kind of game would fit better in a tabletop environment, I want to try and fit it into an reasonably compact area using cards as the main pieces. I am posting this here because it would be helpful to see different perspectives on what is a good idea (and what is not), as well as receive suggestions or ideas from people other than myself.

First I will describe the current state of the card game and then what ideas I currently have for it.

This is a quick picture of all of the cards, the top two rows are item cards, below that are the creature cards, and below again are the map, player, and chance cards.
https://imgur.com/LqgYY0G

So currently the game only revolves around exploring a small map and killing the creatures that are found within (and then looting said map). The map is made up of some map cards shuffled in a pile. Navigating around the world is just the action of going up and down in a stack of map cards, this way an explored map can be saved by stacking the cards back up on to of each other (saving being an important feature here). This limits the world to roughly two dimensions but makes it easy to manage and stack. Once a map card is flipped right-side up, and the player chooses to enter that map card, then the correct amount of specified tile cards are drawn and placed, face down, below the map card in a stack. This is how the map is made and randomized. The player can travel from any map card to any other adjacent map card. The player can also travel from any tile card to any adjacent map card (the player can not travel from a tile card to a tile card under a different map card).

Once a player travels to a tile card, a chance card is drawn and monsters/items are encountered accordingly (a chance card is just a card with a number on it, they come in a range of 0-9 and are picked from a stack of 20 cards, two of each number are in the pile. This is really just a card alternative to dice, with more flexibility when it comes to what numbers are included in the set. Though, this mechanic can get annoying when the chance cards need constant shuffling). If a number corresponding to an item/s is picked (ex: 2xC3 (two civilian 3 level item cards)) then the specified number of cards are picked from the specified item group. The player can choose to pick up the item/s or leave them, if they choose to leave any items then those items are then placed under the tile card and can be picked up later. On the other hand, if a number corresponding to a creature/s if picked then the specified number of cards are picked from the specified creature group. At that point the player enters combat with that creature/s (currently there is no way to run away from a fight, but I want to implement it later on). I will explain the combat rules later. Once the player wins the combat another chance card is picked for that same tile card, this can only happen two times at most meaning that the player can only have three creature encounters in a tile at once. A tile card will have nothing more to offer if items are picked or three monster encounters happen.

Picture of a map and two tile cards (as well as the back of an item card):
https://imgur.com/ZwmIfis
Picture of chance cards (front and back):
https://imgur.com/bOBTyKy

Here is an example of a combat situation:
https://imgur.com/htjC9B4
The player is engaged with a fat zombie. The player is holding a hammer as a weapon and is wearing a police vest. Notice the numbers on the bottom of the player and zombie cards, they act as the creatures attack (left) and defense (right)(This was inspired from the game magic, as my brother is really into it and it seemed like a good system). On each turn the player and the zombie both pick a chance card. These chance cards could modify the attack/defense of the creature who it was picked for if the number matches a number on the creature/item card. Just to keep everything regulated, the player is always given a chance card first, then the zombie/creature. For this example I am going to say that the player got a 3 and the fat zombie got a 0, that means for this turn the player gets +2 attack and +1 defense while the fat zombie gets +1 attack. So for this turn the player has 3 attack and 3 defense while the fat zombie has 3 attack and 3 defense. (Now, because I was completely unoriginal, I copied mechanics from magic once again) To deal damage this turn the attack of the player must be equal to the defense of the fat zombie (the same goes for the fat zombie) and because the players attack is 3 and the fat zombies defense is 3, the fat zombie takes damage and dies (as at this point creatures don’t really have any life and their resilience is their defense, and I plan on changing it to something better), but because the fat zombies attack was 3 and the players defense was 3, the player also takes damage. The difference being that the player has three hit points and can take three damage before dying (I did not show the life cards in the combat example picture, but they are shown in the first picture by the player cards). The player now wins the encounter and gets… as of now, nothing.

~

I am sure that my description of what I have procured so far is not perfect and there remains some details to be filled, so if any of that did not make any sense to you just ask and I would be happy to describe in further (or less) detail. Also, as a side note, what I have just described is what I have created so far. I still have lots of ideas for other mechanics, it’s just that they are incomplete and would be a hassle to set up properly as a result.

Please share your ideas! And feel free to suggest anything! (including things that don’t fit the model of this game :smiley: )


#2

It was very difficult for me to understand. I don’t think that’s due to you explaining it poorly, I think it’s because a card game is inherently visual and it’s difficult to imagine some of these things.

All that said, I was very interested in this post because I have been working on a Zombie board game that is played entirely with cards and 2d6. Because of this I’m a little biased, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

First, and again, I’m super biased because of my own project, have you considered creating an actual game board? Similar to the Talisman game series – the spaces are blank (or they would be in your scenario) and when a player first arrives on a space, it gets assigned a map card and then tile cards (using the system you already set up). This would help you keep things organized and I think people just like seeing a board in front of them. As I’m thinking about it, though, it would be difficult to express which tile the players were on, so maybe that’s not the best suggestion.

Second, if I’m understanding your loot system, it sounds cumbersome (like it would take a while for a new player to understand and figure out how to make loot). Have you considered simply creating a deck for each type of loot, and then specifying on a map/creature card how many loot items to draw of each type? IE: You have a couple of decks (one for civilian equipment, one for military, or you could separate them even further like household items, weapons, clothes/armor, etc) and you kill that fat zombie. Well the fat zombie’s card says to draw once on the clothing deck and once on the weapon deck, etc. I, again, think this would help organize what looks a little rough around the edges.

Third, if you’re trying to find a workaround to using dice, you should probably just use dice. The 2d6 in a monopoly board can be used to extract results similar to most of the dice you’d find in D&D, and if you really want a d20, then just throw a d20 into the game. Nothing wrong with a die or two being involved in a card game. Magic the Gathering uses dice occassionally. Magic, Pokemon, and Yugioh all use coin flips. Is it really such a big deal?

Fourth, and this is complicated, is about your tile system. Rather than having players look at the tile card, then drawing a card to get their experience, why not set up the tile cards upside down. This way, you won’t know what the tile is until you move onto it (exploring it for the first time, like you would in game). Then, on each tile card, assign a random encounter/loot. IE: Have multiples of the same tile card, but each card has different loot/enemy/encounter combinations on them. This would knock out a couple of your extra cards and streamline that process. Plus it effects realism because you wouldn’t know ahead of time what was lurking in that area. Once the tile card has been revealed, if you want you can ‘blank it’ indicating that nothing of interest is in that location anymore. After the player’s progress a certain distance, or resolve not to go back anymore, you could bury all of the cards back into their respective decks.

ALL that being said, I know all of my suggestions would be significant changes to your project. If you love it, you should keep it how it is.

And I’ll probably come back and comment on this some more once I think about it. Like a bunch. So you opened a whole can of worms x_x


#3

Actually, I probably could have organized my explanation a bit better as some things are smashed together.

As for the board thing, that’s a good idea, maybe instead of placing cards on top of a board I could circumvent the physical board altogether and just make the map consist of a grid of cards placed on the ground. I don’t know how a large world would be handled physical space wise, as the current 2d-ish style of world scales basically forever when stacked upright, although there is probably something I can figure out to make the board style work.

And for the loot system, this was definitely an issue of explaining on my side. It is actually very much like how you are suggesting, a building (or maybe a zombie) has a number associated with a certain type and amount of loot. When this number is picked (or rolled if I use dice) the player would pick an item from the specified pile. The current category piles I have so far are civilian, science, military, food, and nature. Each category is divided into values (mostly) 1-5. For example: I made a battery card and an emp grenade card, on the back of the battery card is S1 which stands for Science 1, and on the back of the emp grenade card is S3 which stands for Science 3.

And as for the dice suggestion, really the only reason I am hanging on to the chance card system is because it is dynamic, and by that I mean cards can be taken or even added to the pile of chance cards to help sway outcomes in or against the players favor. An example of this would be a player having a luck trait (or something, I don’t really know) and having the option to remove a chosen number from the chance card pile, thus giving the player some control over some random outcomes. These chance cards work nice but they are a pain to reshuffle after being used, and you have a good point, using multiple dice of certain types could work in just about the same way. Whether it is the player getting to roll an extra die, or dice of different types getting added, dice are much easier to use and reset than cards. Also, I do have a lego die from a while back and I think this could be the perfect solution.

And lastly, regarding the map tile system, as for now it is very much a place holder because it will end up being a major part of the game. Later on I would like the player to be able to use the map in their own way, maybe doing constructions to fortify and defend it, maybe even set up shop nearby and scrap parts of the map for building supplies and materials. I would not be against completely redoing the map system in favor of a more flexible and easy solution (that goes the same for the entire game as well).

At the end of it all I really appreciate your input on this and I can already see it helping, thank you!

Edit: Just something to think about:
I want to include crafting but have no idea how to do it with the current item system, I thought about just having one card per item and the player places some small object on the card to indicate amount, that way the player can scrap items and break them down to their components. This brings up the issue of leaving items in separate places, as there is only one item card of each type. I dunno, maybe you have thought about something like this before and have a better idea.


#4

The crafting system, as well as the hunger/thirst/tired systems, I think, would be the most difficult to implement into a card game. I gave it some thought overnight and couldn’t come up with anything in how to represent that.

I thought maybe you could treat crafting similar to what they do in Fallout Shelter. You find ‘scrap’ cards out in the world (representing various ingredients) and then you have recipes that require certain scrap cards and give you a specific item. I don’t think that’s a good system for a card game because it requires you to outline all the recipes somewhere, and the odds of finding all the ingredients necessary for a specific recipe are pretty slim. That’s the best idea I had, and it’s not a very good one.

About the loot system – You said you wanted to keep cards rather than dice because it enables you to add/remove them to sway the outcomes in or against the player’s favor. You specifically mentioned luck. Well, D&D uses a loot system that ‘weights’ loot, making higher dice rolls more desirable, and lower loot rolls less desirable. There are certain ‘luck’ feats and things that increase a bonus to this roll, making it more likely that a lucky character will receive better loot. The problem with this, of course, is that you’d need a loot list, rather than a card system, unless you further broke the loot down into piles based on quality.

I think no matter what, if you’re using a card system (and not constantly adding/removing cards during gameplay) then you’re going to have very randomized loot, pretty much no matter what you do. (again, unless you have many, many decks of cards representing different iterations of loot).

I think this is one of a few downfalls for a card game rather than a tabletop RPG. You’re going to have to decide at some point which systems from the game would be in place in the card game. The reality is that you won’t be able to completely capture Cataclysm in card game format. The lack of good RNG and complex unseen formula prevents you from carbon-copying the game. It doesn’t mean you can’t make something amazing, it just means you’ll have to compromise on some things.

I’m not sure if that all made sense or not.


#5

I do recall from the last time I read the D&D rulebook about how attributes would determine/modify dice rolls, mainly what number was required to complete an action.

Also, I wonder if I could build off of the system fallout 4 uses when it comes to crafting ingredients. I could make all items show what you would get if you scrapped them, and based off of that either the cards themselves become ingredients and are consumed in the crafting, or the card is consumed and an object used for counting is placed on a raw material card. If I went with the latter then there would be a set of raw resources (that are separate from the item cards) like wood, scrap metal, steel chunks, plastic chunks, ceramic, electronic scrap, and maybe a few other things. When the player gains one of these resources they place a counting object on the resource card of that type.


#6

That’s actually relatively clever. Rather than having to track all of the resources that would be left over, you could simply require the player to have all the pieces through some combination of scrap-able items. Rather than tracking all the remaining pieces, you could simply say the remainder was lost as a result of dismantling. This wouldn’t fit with cataclysm’s system, though.

But if you went accurate to cata’s system, I think that tracking all leftover components would become tedious pretty quick. Heck, I love inventory management, but my base in-game is basically a crap-storm of random crafting pieces. I’d hate to have to track all of that in card form.


#7

I don’t have anything useful to input here since I haven’t played card games but I’m interested and watching where it is going.

I haven’t read this thread entirely yet so maybe it was answered. But still. How are you going to avoid getting houses with three bathrooms or kitchens or without them at all? Smaller card stack that constantly needs shuffle?


#8

You know, that’s a good question. I guess all of the house tiles could be separated into separate piles like bathtoom, kitchen, bedroom and such. Then either dice are rolled or some other randomizing factor is used and they are picked at random, but only one card can be picked per pile and they are cycled through. Although, it would be interesting finding a house made entirely of bathrooms xD


#9

Here is one idea: have each map card to have a list of mandatory locations (like bathroom and kitchen for a house) and a number of random ones. Mandatory locations info can be placed on map cards themselves.

UPD: Mandatory locations should not be presented in tile stacks.


#10

I do like that idea, but the only issue (as with most issues about this game currently) is the amount of card piles that will be required to correctly separate similar cards (for this suggestion it would be the many piles of different map’s tiles). So this brings us to the issue of efficiently storing and retrieving cards from a massive stack. Like for instance, if the player was to flip over a house map card then they would have to search for the stack of bathroom cards, the stack of bedroom cards, the stack of kitchen cards and so on. If these stacks were stored on top of each other (with all of the other stacks of tiles for different map cards like fire station or gun store to name a couple) it would seemingly be inconvenient to search for them every time a map card is explored.

This issue also appears for the stack of item cards, and is made worse when the player is instructed to get a specific item from the stack.

Maybe searching through stacks of cards is not a bad thing though, if the stack is organized well then it would be easy to find specific piles or even specific cards. I guess it really depends on what tasks people are okay with doing.

Just to sum this up, your idea for separate stacks will work perfectly if the main stack of cards is easy to find things in.


#11

Every map card should have specific tiles printed on them. Instead of making, for example, doctor’s office tiles stack, you should have doctor’s office map card with examination room and medical supplies storeroom tiles printed on that card and, for example, a line saying to draw 2 cards from utility rooms tiles from where player can draw janitor supplies storeroom and a switchboard room for example. You don’t need to make cards with useless tiles like a waiting room or a corridor. So to clarify I’m suggesting to separate tile stacks to themes. For example, living tiles (bedrooms, living rooms, playrooms etc), utility tiles (storerooms, anything technical that can be found in many places), public tiles (ATM machine room, vending machine room), industrial tiles etc. The idea is to have a limited set of tile stacks that appear on many different map cards. All tiles specific to the map should be on the map cards themselves.

As for craft check out crafting and salvaging system from Abandon All Hope rpg. That’s quite interesting simplification of the craft.


#12

I see (or I think I see) what you mean with the tile card categories: I organize them according to common rooms found throughout most map cards, so there could be a category of tile cards like bathrooms or front/entry rooms that a doctors office and a regular house would both draw from.

I don’t quite understand what you mean by “All tiles specific to the map should be on the map cards themselves”. Do you mean a tile, that is specific to a certain map card, would not have a card for itself but would instead have all of its information printed on its respective map card?

From what I can tell the crafting component system you shared from Abandon All Hope is very similar to the system that I referenced from fallout 4, where there are a few general, all purpose, crafting components that junk is made up of and subsequently broken down to. Though, maybe I am missing something, so please correct me if I am wrong.

Anyways, thank you for pitching your ideas, it really does help.


#13

Yes. I don’t see the point of having tile stacks for examination room at doctor’s office, for a tower at the radio station, or for the gas pump at the gas station. That’s really specific tiles that appear only on specific maps. To make separate cards for them will just clog the game. At least in my opinion.


#14

You could specify on each map card that it contains specialty tiles. IE: That doctor’s office is made up of normal interior building tiles, but the doctor’s office map card specifies that the third, fourth, and fifth tiles are ‘exam rooms’ that contain x loot or x possible encounters. A house might specify that tile 5 is the bathroom and tile 2 is the bedroom. Doing this would reduce the number of card piles and could make certain tiles uniform across all buildings.

It’s not my favorite suggestion and I think you’d have to retool your system to accommodate. But it’s the best suggestion I’ve got, at present.


#15

With regards to printing specific tiles on the map card, it would make generating maps quicker and easier at the cost of variety due to randomness. Although, this does reflect the way cataclysm handles it’s maps (where buildings are pre-made and placed in the world semi-randomly).

Using a system like this, I could remove the current tile system entirely, only leaving the map cards. A house map card would describe it’s interior exactly (monsters and items would still be random) instead of relying on tile cards. The variety would come from multiple different versions of house map cards, including some duplicates.

This could also work for structures that require more than one map tile, like labs or mansions. With these structures the map cards would work similarly to the tile system: you, for instance, are exploring the map and you flip over a mansion placeholder card (this placeholder card has nothing on it other that how many mansion map cards to pick and place underneath). This placeholder card is discarded (or maybe re used for later) and you navigate the map like normal, except now there is a full mansion ahead.

Sidenote: I’m thinking of making map cards the smallest unit in the map. This means that, from the actual players perspective, their character would move from map card to map card and nothing smaller. This also means that moving into something like a bathroom would be represented differently than moving from a map card to another map card. Maybe different rooms could give different strategic benefits should the player choose to lead a zombie there during combat. In that scenario the player is only counted as in the bathroom for the duration of combat, and outside of combat the player is just considered to be ‘in the house’.


#16

I think it’s a good idea to create multiples of the same card as you’ve said. IE: All house cards are houses, but there are multiple variants that have different locations/encounters within. This would work best if you cut out tile cards, which is what I think you’re saying in the last post.

Mostly I can’t help but think ‘why not just add a grid like in a tabletop RPG’ but that’s a whole mess. I keep coming back to that notion, it’d be so much easier to create this game as a tabletop RPG than a card game. But I also really love card games so I’m trying to keep in that mindset.

I may, if I find some free time, draw up entirely from scratch how I think it would work best. I know most of it won’t fit exactly with what you’ve already created, but I’m hoping that if I work at my own concept I could better mesh it into your own instead of working on each small piece only in my head. If that makes any sense. I’m having some difficulty following all of this stuff – it’d obviously be easier if we were all in the same room.


#17

Go right ahead, remaking the game your way would definitely help iron out issues in my version. It would also be a good idea for me to start from stage one as well, just to see what works and what does not.


#18

I gave this a few hours of thought while I was working. It’s my opinion that cataclysm cannot be recreated in card form. It’s as simple as that, I’m afraid. The game would be perfect for a tabletop RPG, but not for cards.

I broke Cataclysm down into it’s constituent parts. Fighting, Exploring/scavenging (a persistant, randomly generated world), Skill/Mutation/CBM management, Needs management, Inventory/Base management, and Vehicle construction.

It’s impossible to represent a large game world that’s also persistent in cards. I figured, you could make each space a ‘region’ rather than location, and give it random events that you draw. This would show that you’re continually exploring a new area of that region (because the events are random) so you never fully map out everything it has to offer. That’s as close as I could come. It’s persistent and about as random as it gets.

The other MAJOR problem is that there’s no way to ‘win’ cataclysm. You just keep going. Card games, I think, NEED a way to win so people will feel satisfied.

But right, back to the main parts of the game –

Base/inventory management just can’t be represented in cards. My base has thousands of items. Can’t replicate that in cards, plain and simple.

Skills/CBM/Mutation/Needs - You’d need to track so much that you’d need a character sheet. Even over-simplifying, you’ll still have a few too many things to easily display and track on a card representing a character.

Fighting - Well, you can do that on cards, no problem.

Vehicle Creation - This is the part I want to talk about more in depth. I think it would be possible to create a card game that revolved around exploring (as I explained above), fighting (I have an idea for a system), and creating a vehicle to ‘escape the apocalypse area’. This would address the ‘how to win the game’ problem I mentioned above.

I, in the two or three hours I thought about this, fabricated a game, played entirely with cards and 1d6 (and a simple grid-like board) that centers around scavenging, fighting, and building your own vehicle from scratch. It’s got elements of cataclysm, but it ain’t cataclysm.

We can talk about that, if you want, but I’m afraid that for all the reasons I listed above, I don’t see a way to create Cataclysm The Card Game. =\ Sorry if that’s crapping on your idea, I just can’t figure anything out.


#19

Hey, no worries. I doubt that cataclysm can be represented as a card game correctly, but just in the small chance that it could work I want to keep trying. I understand if you don’t want to keep taking shots in the dark, and I kind of feel the same way.

Anyways, if you don’t mind sharing some of the mechanics of your game and how you handled some of the more difficult problems, it would be very helpful.


#20

This is going to be a long post.

Like I said, the issue is that Cataclysm has too many elements that all work together to make it a complete game. I realized that in order to have a card game I’d need a ‘victory element’ and I’d need to narrow scope a LOT. I figured the easiest way to go was to have players escape the area of the apocalypse and I ultimately decided that would happen by constructing a vehicle.
There are 7 decks. I was hoping to get that down to around 5, but I think 7 is as low as I can manage. Character cards, location cards, event cards, enemy cards, equipment cards, tool cards, and vehicle cards (parts). You also need 1d6 and a ‘map’ made up of card shaped tiles.

At the beginning of the game, each player draws 3 character cards and then chooses one of them to play as. Character cards have a few stats on them. Health (you lose 1 health each time you lose a fight. At 0 you’re dead. You don’t regen health, but it’s raised back to your cap using healing items), Stamina (you have X stamina. You spend stamina to move additional spaces around the grid or to escape undesirable fights. You regen 1 stamina per turn), Melee (representative of fighting ability), Ranged (ranged ability), and Mechanics (ability to repair/scrap vehicle parts), First Aid (ability to use health items). Character cards will have different scores and descriptions, to reflect the various professions/starts in Cata.

The object of the game is to build a vehicle from scratch and escape. You do this by traveling around the map and finding vehicle pieces. You scrap them to make frames or install them onto frames until you have something functional. You win when you’ve created a vehicle that has 1 seat for each player, at least 3 wheels, controls, a gasoline engine and alternator (or electric engine and solar panel), and a battery. Your vehicle must also meet the required vehicle score.

So, at the beginning of the game your vehicle score is 10 + (1d6 per player). This prevents the players from simply building a small moped and having everyone pile on. Each part in the game has a score attached to it, which you total up. This would encourage players to add extra engines, add parts that aren’t strictly necessary, or constantly swap parts as they find better versions.

The players begin together on the same square and are either on the same team or on separate teams, depending on how many people will player. Each team has the same objective and first to complete it wins.

Each turn a player can move one space on the grid, or, if they spend stamina points, one extra space per stamina point they spent. When a player moves to a blank spot on the grid, they draw a location card and place it there. This location card remains on that spot for the rest of the game, and anyone moving into it will activate any enemy/event cards it lists.

Location cards represent regions. IE: A neighborhood, or a block of stores, or a mall, or a school, or a military bunker, etc. This way the players can keep finding new events and items in them (rather than seeing them once, looting it, and nothing being left to do in that location). Each location card might tell you to draw enemy cards (depending on the difficulty of the location), and they might have you draw event cards. If it specifies both, you fight the enemy first, then encounter the event card. IF you fail to defeat an enemy then you’ve effectively failed to search the location and don’t get the event card.

Enemy cards - When you draw an enemy card, they also persist in the game until defeated. If a player fails to defeat an enemy, their enemy card gets placed on top of their location card until someone comes along and defeats them. When you draw an enemy card, you also draw any loot their card specifies. This is to encourage other players to come and defeat that enemy if there’s a good loot opportunity. An enemy’s loot type is specified on the card. Enemies have two stats, Melee and Ranged.
This is how combat works. The player chooses to engage in either melee or ranged combat. They compare their score to the enemy score, and whoever has a higher score wins. Players can also choose to run from an enemy. You run from an enemy by declaring how much stamina to expend (1 through 6). You then roll the d6 to see if you get away. IE: 1 stamina means you have to roll a 6, 3 stamina means 4, 5, or 6, etc.)

Event Cards are widely varies events that alter the character card (improving stats), give the player ‘followers’ (also affecting stats), restore their health/stamina, offer additional loot, or cause the player to encounter more enemies. For example, you might find ‘A wooden crate containing loot’. It might say something like ‘If you have a crowbar, draw one equipment card’. Or you might find an additional zombie and a NPC that will join you if the monster is defeated, increasing your mechanics by 1.

Loot cards are separated into three stacks. Equipment that increases your characters stats(worn/‘equipped’ items like armor, weapons, and skill books), Tools that give you some kind of utility(welders, tanks of acetalyne, first aid items, crowbars, etc.), and Vehicle Parts cards that you use to assemble your vehicle back at base (car parts and scrap material for constructing frames). Vehicle points have requirements necessary to use them. IE: You might find a faulty engine which requires Mechanics 6 to repair and install. You might also find a functional engine, which would have lower requirements due to the fact that it’s already working. Batteries, for instance, would probably not require a Mechanics skill to install. Higher quality engines (like a suped up V8) would require more mechanics skill, but would also award more points for the vehicle score.

You construct vehicles similarly to how you do so in Cataclysm. The players return to the starting square, which is their ‘base’ and begin construction. All frames are Steel and can be crafted from scrap parts. Scrap parts are obtained by scrapping many of the less desirable or useless vehicle parts.

Every square must start with a frame and cannot hold more than one non-frame item. The exception to this is the alternator/engine/battery. Installing frames or most parts require 1 charge of a welder (which’ll have like 5 charges and can be ‘recharged’ by giving up an acetalyne tank) and some items will require duct tape instead. When the player’s vehicle is complete and meets all the requirements, they escape and win the game.

So that’s the jist of it. I probably left some stuff out. And I know, I know, it’s rough around the edges. I just gave it some thought and tried to find something with a narrow enough scope to be represented in cards. There’s a lot I would change if I actually sat down to work at it. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m in the mindset enough to follow through so I’ll probably never do anything with it.
And again, I know, it isn’t Cataclysm. It’s just a spin on a small part of Cataclysm.