What I’m Playin’ 1 – Planes, Planes, Planes!

Trying to expand the content here at the KARDSPodcast, I am pleased to introduce the, “What I’m Playin'” series. Keep an eye out for more in the future too.

This is just the first deck and it is just text for now, but as things move forward, I think videos might be part of the series.

A little bit of news, after talking with the 1939 Games team they are working on a deck builder/sharer and will have more details about that in the future.

If you would like to share a deck you have been working on, feel free to send anything to kardspodcast@gmail.com, reach out on Twitter @KARDSPodcast, or hit me up on the Discord channel.

And don’t forget to tell your friends to sign up for the KARDS Beta Test and Discord at KARDS.com.

Finally, I am just using the cards that I have in my collection. I’m sure, this isn’t the “perfect build,” of this deck. I am no Saffron Olive of Magic: The Gathering fame. I am just a guy with a collection and some ideas…take them as you will!

KARDS Version

This deck was constructed on the 0.8.14 build of KARDS – Card text/cost/rarity may have changed since publication.

Deck List

Standard/Limited regular text, Special bold, Elite bold and italic

Major Power (Number of cards)/Ally (Number of cards)

Britain (31)/Japan (9)

  • 0-1 Kredits – 11
  • 2 Kredits – 3
  • 3 Kredits – 15
  • 4 Kredits – 6
  • 5+ Kredits – 5
  • HQ – Alexandria
  • Close Air Support x3
  • For the Empire
  • The Desert Rats x3
  • Swordfish x3
  • A5M4 Claude
  • Precision Bombing
  • Blockade
  • Code of Bushido
  • Naval Supply Run
  • Convoy HX 175 x4
  • Blackburn Skua x3
  • Bombing Raid
  • HMS Illustrious
  • Hurricane MkI x4
  • Hurricane MkII x2
  • Churchill MkIV x4
  • Hampden MkI
  • Ki-61 Hien x4


This deck might not look like it has a definitive direction at first, but the overarching plan here is to weather the early turns and then strike out of nowhere with a single killing blow on turn eight or nine.

One area of weakness is the curve of the deck. There are a ton of cards that fall at 3 kredits. This makes turns 1, 2, 4, and 5 difficult.

This is not a full-fledged control deck, but it is on the more controlling side of mid-range.

KARDSPodcast Deck Speed-o-meter (*Patent Pending)

  • Full-on Aggressive
  • Frontline Favoring Aggressive
  • Pure Midrange
  • This Deck
  • Full-on Control

Turns 1-3

The first turn or two, you are probably just going draw and pass.

Keep any early enemy units you see pinned with Desert Rats and Blockade. It is critical to keep the hit points of your HQ high because, unlike many British decks, there is not a lot of HQ buffing in these 40 cards.

It isn’t bad to play an early Swordfish either even with a single Close Air Support on it. A 2/4 bomber attacking on Turn 2 can chew through a lot of early infantry or light artillery. Plus, it can either soften up the opposing HQ or provide a diversion for an attacking enemy.

Once you hit turn 3, the best thing to play is probably a Skua, if you can find one.

If you can make it this far without taking too much damage, things are looking pretty good.

Turns 4-7

The toughest decision at this point will be when and where to play your Churchills.

They really are the glue that holds this deck together.

Even if you never attack with a Churchill, that is OK. They are there to absorb damage while you dig for the pieces that you need to end the game.

Also, read the game to tell you where the big tanks should go. Is it better to protect 2 bombers because the HQ isn’t in immediate danger? Is it better to get a pseudo-buff on the HQ by planting a Churchill next to it?

Once things have stabilized, use the Convoy orders to dig and find either a few Close Air Supports or a For the Empire. Those are probably going to be your kill cards.

Two other notes for this time of the game.

First, at 5 kredits things start to open up. That is when Hurricanes are really turned on and can exploit their Blitz abilities. It is OK to put a ‘Cane out early, but it excels in the ambush (don’t waste your Hiens on 5 unless absolutely necessary).

Second, the combination of HMS Illustrious, Swordfish, Skuas and Close Air Support cannot be underestimated. These combinations get you out of tough spots or draw attention away from your HQ. These really come to life when you hit 5 kredits too – 3 for the HMS Illustrious and Close Air Support orders and 2 to operate the Swordfish.

Turns 8-10

This is where you are trying to win the game.

Chip in when you can at the opposing HQ or take care of any harassing units that you can. The Churchills really pay off here because they will absorb any blitzing Panzers or T-34s for a few turns.

Get a few Convoy orders off to dig into your deck and you are looking for something similar to the following:

  • 1-2 British Planes on the battlefield
  • 1+ Hiens/2 Hurricanes in hand
  • 2x Close Air Support/1x For the Empire in hand

Hopefully, the opposing HQ is at about 15 or less.

When you hit 8 or 9 Kredits, the Hiens or the little brother Hurricanes are active. They are best in a surprise attack. Drop a Hien or a pair of Hurricanes, pump with Close Air Support and get in there.

Or, if you have the For the Empire, drop all of the planes that you have with Blitz at once, pop off the For the Empire and hit them with all that you’ve got.

Turns 10+

If you didn’t finish them off, do it as soon as possible.

While you can tussle with big tanks and some artillery for a bit, they will go over the top of you eventually and grind you out.

Standard/Limited Only

To make the deck more new player friendly there are some substitutions that can be made for the special and elite cards that I am currently playing.

Take Out — Put In

For the Empire & Naval Supply Run — 2x Burning Sun

Originally, I actually had Burning Sun in the deck. When I opened a For the Empire it was one of the first upgrades I made.

All of these really hold a similar role in that they are mass buff orders.

These should be the final strike cards needed to close out a game.

If you have a For the Empire you will enjoy the free operations costs or the +2/+2 buff from the Naval Supply Run, but if you only have Burning Sun just make sure it is the final order that is played during the game.

Hampden MkI — Ki-43 Hayabusha

If you are looking to lower the curve then this could be a good option.

Also, the Ki-43 does damage directly to the HQ when it goes down, so, a cute move is to use it with the Code of Bushido to do 5 damage out of nowhere while also hurting other units.

I have tried both with success.

Code of Bushido & Bombing Raid — 2x Naval Operations

I will admit that the Bombing Raid is one of the best cards in the deck. It is elite for a reason.

Often you can make it into a 3-for-1 or a killing strike.

Code of Bushido can deliver 10 damage, albeit spread out, very easily.

These are hard substitutions to make, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible.

Naval Operations can be a multi-kill and spread-out-damage order, if set up properly, plus it has the added benefit that it is cheap enough that it can bail you out of tough spots against very aggressive decks.

Not a perfect fit, but, for what you are trying to do, you can make it work.

HMS Illustrious — Ki-44 Tojo/Ki-21 Sally/B5N Kate

Another tough one here.

There are, simply, very few cards that make two units on the battlefield by themselves – little lone ones that make two bomber units with blitz.

There are a number of Japanese planes that can try to jump into this role as they can get buffs, gain fury, or gain blitz if you can keep the skies clear.


There are tons of option in KARDS to make a deck better – which is one of my favorite aspects of the game – so, if you have different cards in your collection I really encourage you to try them out.

I have included some of the specific spots that I am hoping to upgrade sooner rather than later.

Take Out — Put In

A5M4 Claude — Almost anything

I think this is the weakest spot in the deck.

Right now, I don’t have too much to replace the Claude with and having a fighter on the field for 2 Kredits puts it in a nice spot on the curve.

However, since the patch last week took away Claude’s ability to pin an enemy unit, I haven’t been all that jazzed about it.

It can help with operation costs later on, but with For the Empire, I am not that worried about those.

shidenHurricane MkII — N1K-J Shiden

It is hard to find or craft a Shiden, but it is a card that is absolutely made to fit in this deck.

It can win a game out of nowhere by itself or it can stabilize if you are falling behind.

The Hurricane MkII is good, but often it eats a removal order or attack the moment it hits the field, getting in right away makes this the ideal upgrade.

Thank You

As with all of the content here at KARDSPodcast, we are open to feedback and questions.

Feel free to send anything to kardspodcast@gmail.com, reach out on Twitter @KARDSPodcast, or hit me up on the Discord channel.

2 thoughts on “What I’m Playin’ 1 – Planes, Planes, Planes!

  1. I’m sure you guys prob saw this earlier and possibly in discord. But any opinions would be good.

    Air Power
    Major power: Britain
    Ally: Germany

    2x (1K) SWORDFISH Mk I
    1x (1K) MONTY
    1x (3K) NAVAL POWER
    4x (3K) HURRICANE Mk I
    3x (3K) CONVOY HX 175
    4x (4K) CHURCHILL Mk IV
    1x (5K) RAAF LIGHTNING F-4
    1x (5K) 17 POUNDER
    1x (5K) 3.7 INCH ANTI AIR GUN

    2x (1K) BLACKOUT
    2x (3K) EAGLE CLAWS
    2x (6K) PANZER IV F2
    1x (10K) LEOPOLD

    *updated +1 precision bombing, -1 sudden strike.

    So far I’m 5-2 with it at FM and it actually got me the last win to get FM. Lol

    Basic strategy is to delay, delay , delay until you can turn the fight and make a push


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