Appropriation First Iteration: M.A.D. War

by | Oct 13, 2017 | Artwork #2: Appropriate, Projects

Appropriation Art: M.A.D. Wars


2-4 players


This game takes War (the card game) and adds some twists and new rules to it.



  • 1-3 decks of cards (depending on number of players), evenly mixed together
  • Nukes (anything to represent a counter, preferably in an atomic bomb-style shape)
  • 2-4 sets of rows of 3 boxes each (Places to put your dormant Nukes)



Every player chooses a power (either from ALLIES or AXIS) and that skill is applied to them for the entire game.

  1. Every player is evenly dealt the combined decks of cards (modified for Germany due to country effect).
  2. Every player starts with 3 Nukes*.
    1. If a player’s total Nuke amount dips below 3 (modified for Italy because of country effect), Radiation Poisoning** activates.
  3. Players proceed to play a “normal” game of War.
  4. After a declared “war” has ended, the winning side is given 2 options he can either give the cards to the enemy and steal a Nuke from them or take the cards for himself.
  5. All destroyed cards are sent to the Graveyard.
  6. The game is complete when only one player is left with cards in his deck.

*Nukes allow a player to destroy all enemy cards currently on the board and allows you to regain the card you just played. They are a one time use.

Nukes can be activated at any time, including right after a “war” is over after the winner has been decided, preventing the winner from taking the spoils. But if used during a “war,” all cards on the board are destroyed.


**Radiation Poisoning activates on a per turn basis. A player gains +1 Radiation Poisoning for every Nuke used that places their total Nuke count under 3. Players must discard the top card of their deck before every turn for every Radiation Poisoning they have.

Ex. A player has 2 Nukes. He has +1 Radiation poisoning.

Ex. A player has 0 Nukes. He has +3 Radiation poisoning.


TIPS: It is better to try out the game without using the countries to get a feel for the game first.


Allies v. Axis


USA– Gains 1 Nuke every 20 turns

USSR– Can negate a Nuke (once for every enemy)

Great Britain– Can activate a Nuke effect without using a Nuke once a game (Dresden)

France– Gets 2 Jokers, which essentially can be any card France wants it to be (wild card).


Germany– Starts with 10 more cards than everyone else.

Japan– Can declare “Kamikaze War” at any time, limited to 2, which is normal “war” except the resulting cards placed will always be destroyed and sent to the Graveyard. The winning side of the “war” always steals a Nuke from the loser.

Italy– The Radiation Poisoning minimum starts at 2 (which means Italy only starts gaining Radiation Poisoning when her total Nuke number is below 2).