More free rules!!

Being the type of person that seems to want to inflict inflated workloads on himself (see recent posts on this blog!) i decided i fancied having a bash at writing some grid based medieval/fantasy type rules just for something else to do!!. I have never really been a 'grid' gamer having been dragged up on table top staples like warhammer, fantasy warriors, Tactica and the like but having played Mr Maudlin Jacks' Mr Featherstone I presume? rules i got bitten by the bug and the following has resulted. Now i must say i have not read many grid based rules so am not sure how the following will stack up against the others out there and like the other set of rules what i wrote they are presented here in a.......ah.......loose format that may require the prospective player to fill in the odd gap or seven. So having said all that i present to you my grid based stabbydeathbasedgriddyhexeymedievalwithaddedfantasysoyouknowitsallwronghammer rules:



  'So Sprinks you tool, what am i going to need to play this?', well its simple, just check off the list below:

-An opponent
   Pick someone nice you get on with, its meant to be fun after all!.

- 1 gridded playing surface.
   The game was written for my own hex grid of 7cm wide hexes, 10x8 hexes in size so bear this in mind when playing. You may need to reduce some distances. You can use hexes or squares but if using squares no diagonal moves please!.

-Miniatures, plenty!
 Both sides need an army of miniatures in your selected scale (*cough20mmcough*). 

-6 sided dice, roughly 3 or more (or less, who am i to judge?).

-Markers to represent units that have activated, counters, stones, coins and bits of card all work well.

-Markers to represent hits inflicted on a unit. Skulls, card blood splatters or limbs hacked off miniatures work well (keep it low key and all that!).

-These rules, but you have that covered right?.

Oh and snacks, snacks are good......and alcohol makes these rules work far more smoothly, i'm drinking a nice bottle of Old Peculiar as i type this and plan another before i finish!.

Stuff to cover before we get into it all proper like.....


   # May move through  terrain as if its hardly there, they do not need to stop moving in terrain.

Above is the games troop matrix. I will refer to it quite often so i'm showing it to you now so you can familiarize yourself with it, so i 'spose i should go into what each section means:

TROOP TYPE: This is the type of troops represented by a unit of these types of troops (hope that clears that up!).

ATTACK: The number of dice the troops of that type (see above, keep up!) roll when attacking an enemy.

ARMOUR: This is the strength of armour (including shields and the like) the troop type has. The enemy has to beat this score on his attack dice to cause hits.

MORAL: The measure of the troop types bravery. This is the number of dice the troop type rolls when taking a moral check.

SPECIAL RULES: Extra rules that refer to that troop type, that are special.

PTS: The points cost of the troop type, more on this later.

Each troop type refers to one hex full of those troops, how your troops are based is not important to play this game, so long as you have them together in one hex they are a unit (so its not important how many are in a unit either so long as they fit in a hex). A force is made up of several units, each occupying a different hex. You can have multiple units of the same troop type in your force if you want but no more than one unit can be in the same hex.

 As i'm sure you can see the troop types are pretty general, i have done this to allow players to include any models they have and slot them in to the closest troop type. As long as both players know what the models you are using are classed as you can go wild with my blessing!.

  Anyone who has ever played a game of any type knows the rules will never cover every situation that arises. In this instance feel free to make up your own rules to cover this. And don't be a hyper competitive numpty about it....and don't play anyone else who may be one!.


  These are simple rules so i tend to set up the board by placing terrain where i bloody well please (and my opponent wont shout too much about). try to define which hex each terrain piece occupies so all players are aware before play starts.
Once the board is set both players roll 1 dice, the highest roller may pick any board edge to deploy on. The lower roller takes the opposite edge. Players then take turns placing one unit at a time in any unoccupied hex within 2 hexes of the chosen board edge. Once all troops have been placed play begins.

   The game is split into turns, each turn is split into phases. Each phase is played through in full before the next starts, once all phases have been completed the next turn begins. The phases that make up one turn are:


The best way to play is to choose a number of turns to play (6 works well for a 50 point game). This gives a limit to the game so both players know when the game will end.

  From here on in i will explain the rules by going through the phases in turn and expanding on what happens during them.....worked last time so.......

  Both players roll 1 dice, the highest roller may choose who goes first in this turns Activation phase.

  The players take it in turns to activate troops, once 1 player has activated a set number of troops  play passes to the opposing player who then activates some of his troops.... it will all be clear in a moment trust me....

  Determining the number of activations. 
      When it is a players turn to activate he first rolls 1 dice. Compare the roll with the table below:
Dice roll      Number of activations
1-2:                 2 Activations
3-4:                 3 Activations
   5:                 4 Activations
   6:                 5 Activations

  The player MUST complete these activations, then play passes to the opposing player who rolls for activations and completes his. Play continues to pass back and forth in this way until all units have activated, at which point the phase ends.

Activating units
  When a unit activates it can do one of the following:
 The unit moves in any direction up to 2 hexes, or 3 if they are riders. They may not move through any hexes occupied by another unit. If they move into a hex containing terrain they must stop in it regardless of how far they have moved this activation. No unit may move off the board and re-enter, if they are off the board they are considered lost for good.

-Make ranged attacks.
   Troop types listed in the matrix as having ranged attacks may make them. To do so the attack may reach any enemy unit within the number of hexes from the attacking unit shown after the words RANGED ATTACK in the special rules section of the matrix ( e.g. RANGED ATTACK 3 means it reaches up to 3 hexes). You may not make a ranged attack through any hex containing terrain.
 To make a ranged attack select the closest enemy unit within the distance on the matrix (units have no facing so you can attack in any direction). Then roll a number of dice equal to the units ATTACK score. Compare the results of the rolls to the target units ARMOUR score. Any dice that score higher than the targets ARMOUR cause one hit on the target. Place a hit marker in the targets hex for each hit caused. If any hits are caused the target unit must take a moral check as described later.

   The unit stays put and does nothing.

   The unit moves as described in the move section in such a way to bring it into a hex that is next to an enemy units hex. The move ends once in the hex and the two units will fight in the combat phase.

 Once a unit has activated place an activation marker in their hex. They may not activate again until next turn. Any enemy that are charged are too distracted to do anything other then fight so place a marker in their hex too.

  This phase is used to work out charges made in the Activation phase. To work out a combat between opposing units in adjacent hexes follow the rules below:
  Both players roll a number of dice equal to the troop types ATTACK score. Any dice that exceed the opposing units ARMOUR score cause one hit. For each hit caused place a hit marker in the hit units hex. The unit that takes the most hits must move away from the opposing unit 1 hex in such a way that they move into an empty hex that is not next to any hex containing enemy units. If they cant do this they stay put but receive 1 extra hit. The unit that must move then completes a moral check (see below).

When a unit is in a hex next to more than one enemy unit the player must split his ATTACKS between the units it is next to in any way the player wishes. After all ATTACKS have been resolved for the units in contact in this instance the unit with the most hit markers in total must move 1 hex as described above. If more than one unit have the highest number of hits they must also move.

I admit at this point these rules are getting a little dry, so here's an intermission, pop back when your done......



                                                      ..........drums fingers on table top........

......Ah, back?, great!, welcome back and thanks for coming!. On with the rules.......

    When any unit is forced to make a moral check it must roll the number of dice equal to the troop types MORAL score. If any of the dice rolls are higher than the number of hit markers the unit has the unit passes the moral check and no further action needs to be taken. If all the dice rolls are equal to or less than the the number of hit markers the unit throws down its weapons and scatters into the distance. The unit is removed from play.

  The game ends when:

1) One force has been wiped out, his opponent may gloat and generally take the piss in an manor of his choosing.

2) Once the agreed number of turns have expired. In this case count up the number of PTS worth of units each player has lost, the player that has lost the least wins (see above for actions to take in this situation!).

Oh,oh, time for the matrix again!!!
May move through  terrain as if its hardly there, they do not need to stop moving in terrain.

A force is built by both players agreeing a total number of points they are going to spend building a force. A medium game in my experience will be between 40-50 points.  The players then use the PTS section of the matrix to choose the units of troop types they want in their force. For each unit chosen deduct the number in the PTS section from the agreed total. Once the total has been used the force is chosen.
 For example a 30 point force may comprise:
      2x light foot        8pts
      2x heavy foot     10pts
      1x skirmishers     4pts
      1x Monsters         6pts
      1x leve                 2pts

These rules for choosing a force are very open to allow players to make themed forces and be creative. They are not an excuse to put together overpowered forces to pound your opponent into dust!. If you want to be competitive feel free but make sure your opponent is of the same mindset first!.

  Had to include a magic system in here somewhere!!. Its not quite the normal system, its far simpler, but first.....some background!! (yay).

   For ages past mighty wizards have been taking to the battlefields to aid the aims of Kings and Despots the world over in their struggles. Often the humble magic lobber was the difference between victory and defeat, and thus their stock rose to that of mighty (if slightly odd) heroes of battle!. However becoming a 'star player' on the field of battle paints a pretty large target on your backside and thus sure as eggs come out of lady poultry enemy commanders were seeking new and extreme ways to turn opposing wizards into gravy!. Turning the enemy Spell caster into an interesting collection of puncture wounds was the order of the day and soon it became rare for a wizard to survive very long when the cannons roared!.
    Around this time a collection of (singed and grazed) spell mumblers came together to see if anything could be done to increase their life expectancy. After a spirited discussion it was decided that a wizards place was in front of a roaring fire with a sherry and a nice bit of cake in a large tower rather than the cut and thrust of battle. Thus, the Spellcasters Trust for the protection of wizards of all types (S.T.P.W.T) was born!. To this end Wizards now refuse to enter battle, in their place a commander may purchase scrolls containing spells that they can bloody well cast themselves!!. This innovation means the wizards may have the desired effect on the battle without the worry of being run through by large, hairy, sweaty warrior types with no appreciation for the finer magical arts mid incantation!. Of course it has not been without its teething troubles but all new things will have bugs to iron out. Some scrolls are miss spelled (sometimes literally!) and can do more harm than good, not to mention the fact that wizards are known to have a poor grip on admin, resulting in scrolls turning up late or not at all!!. However these issues have not slowed the demand for battlefield magic, the industry for magic scrolls is in major growth and has made the wizards not just safer but considerably richer for it!.

  As stated above, magic is available to your force in the form of scrolls you can give to a unit of your force. You can use a scroll once during the battle, after which it is spent and must be discarded (although S.T.P.W.T are working on a deposit scheme to encourage recycling!). Spells must be cast as part of the units activation but does not stop them completing a normal activation, the spell is cast in addition to the normal activation. Only the unit that has the scroll may cast it so you need to make a note of which unit has which scroll. Most spells have a range just like ranged attacks. They can be cast in any direction and are not blocked by units or terrain so you can pick any target within range even if the casting unit cant see it!!.

Picking spells
  S.T.P.W.T are not known for their organization. If you wish to appeal to them for scrolls to use in battle you do so while picking your force. You must pay 4 PTS for the appeal and may not appeal more than once. Once you have paid the PTS roll 1D6 and compare the result to the table below:

       1                    Lost in the system, the appeal is not noticed by the admin staff so no scrolls are                                  given!. It may well be processed late and the scrolls arrive a week or so after battle!

      2-3                 1 scroll arrives, roll below to see what spell it contains.

     4-5                  2 scrolls arrive, roll below to see what they are.

      6                    3 scrolls arrive!!, roll below to see which type they are.

 If you were lucky enough to get some scrolls roll 1D6 for each one to determine the spell contained within it:

        1                    Olde reddes mystte
                              The spell may be cast on any unit within 3 Hexes, they must perform a charge                                      activation immediately (even if they have already activated this turn) and during                                  the resulting combat they may roll an extra attack dice.
       2                    Callahannes cloudee of confusieon
                             Cast when the enemy are rolling for number of activations, they automatically
                             loose the right to roll and play passes back to you!.

      3                     Dolcivanians domee of protectieon
                             Cast on any unit within 4 hexes. They add 1 to their Armour stat for the rest of the                               turn.

     4                      Hallicians hail of deathe
                             Used only by the unit with the scroll, they may make a ranged attack on 3 dice in
                             addition to their chosen activation. The attack has a range of 4 hexes.

    5                       Sorcreenes spelle of inexplicable speede
                             May be cast on any unit within 3 hexes, that unit may move an extra hex as part of
                             a move or charge activation.

   6                        Bollocs brandee of bravery insannee
                             Cast on any unit within 4 hexes, that unit will pass all moral tests they are forced                                  to make this turn!.

 Faulty scrolls!
      Each time you use a scroll roll 1D6 before working out the result. On the roll of a 1 the scroll has been misspelled!!. instead of applying the effects of the spell on the target roll 1D6 on the spell table above and apply the effects of that one in its place. This happens regardless of the new spells range!. For example if you were to attempt to cast  Dolcivanians domee of protectieon on your unit of Light riders you roll the dice to see if its misspelled and roll a 1!!, rolling on the spell table gives you a 5: Sorcreenes spelle of inexplicable speede which means instead of being protected with an armor bonus they must move an extra hex!. Where Callahannes cloudee of confusion is rolled you must stop activating troops and play passes to your opponent!.          

   'For a fantasy game this set is lacking some heroic types to lead the masses!'
Or so i thought until i got off my backside and wrote some!!. I thought i would introduce heroes that could be included in an existing unit and give it some 'upgrade' type things. If you are including heroes in this way you will need to include a suitable miniature to represent them so your opponent knows hes there.

Three ways to use heroes
 I have come up with three ways to represent heroes, these rules are additional to the main rules and do not have to be used at all. Discuss how you want to use some, none or all of them with your opponent before you choose your forces.

1: Command units
   Any unit in your force may be nominated as a command unit. This unit is represented on the table as a commander miniature with maybe a banner bearer, a herald etc. It functions exactly as a normal unit of its type but is made up of a heroic leader that is commanding and inspiring his troops on the field. All command units act exactly like other units of its type and its stats as shown on the troop matrix remain unchanged, however the command unit and any friendly units in one of the hexes next to it may add 1 to the number of dice they roll for moral tests. To make a unit a command unit costs 3pts + the normal cost for the type of unit they represent (a heavy foot command unit costs 3+5=8 pts) and you may only have 1 per 30 full points of troops in the force.

 Also note that the opponent needs to know what type of unit the command unit is so if its riders that needs to be clear, if its monsters that needs to be obvious in the choice of minis used. If you think their could be any doubt why not say that all command unit types need to be declared before the first turn begins. Your opponent would have cause to complain if an orc with a goblin herald suddenly started shooting like Artillery!.

2: Low level heroes
    As we all know heroes are a cut above the rank and file, they have abilities and talents that mark them for greatness. How great you want that to be is always up for discussion!. The rules in this section is for lower level hero types that will add a touch of seasoning to your games without dominating them, sort of a more 'realistic' (in fantasy terms at least) sort of hero. I have split the Heroes into  four types, each grant an ability to the unit they are with.

1: Warrior hero
   The big bloke with bigger axe and furry pants, or a swashbuckling swordsmen or maybe a kings champion or some other sort who's main job is to cut down swathes of enemy troops without breaking a sweat!.
  Any unit containing one of these may re-roll one attack dice per turn. The re-roll stands however and may not be re-rolled.

2: The brave Commander
   The brains of the operation who can draw respect from his men and strengthen their resolve when things get tough!.
  Any unit with a Commander in it may add 1 to their dice rolls when testing moral.

3: Warrior Priest
     The warrior priest is the devout, grim type who can urge the troops on by reminding them of their duty to whatever deity they happen to worship. They can cause them to press on to victory against overwhelming odds.
  A unit with one of these fellas can ask the enemy to re-roll one attack dice per turn against them, the re-roll may not be re-rolled!.

4: The swift Ranger
    The type of bloke who forges ahead to scout out the land who laughs at hardship and can make a shelter for ten grown men from a few twigs and an empty wine skin. To say a ranger is 'outdoorsy' is like saying Sweeny Todd was fond of a nice razor!.
   A force that contains a Ranger may add 1 to its rolls in the Initiative phase.

Each of these Hero types cost 2pts each and must be added to a unit in your force, for example you can pay 2pts for a Commander and add him to a unit of Heavy foot you paid for earlier. You may never have more heroes than half the total number of units in your force (rounding down) so for example if you have seven units you may not have more than three heroes. Once a hero has been added to a unit he may not leave it and will be removed with it if it fails a moral test.

3:High level heroes!!!
   These work exactly like low level heroes but have far stronger abilities. They have a far larger influence on the game than the low level types. They do follow all the rules above for low level heroes but their abilities are much improved!. They are:

1: The Legendary Warrior
    Just like a Warrior hero only much bigger and meaner!!!, with furrier pants and a sharper (maybe magical) axe!!!.
     A unit with one of these gives the unit he is with the following:
       - The unit gains an extra attack dice in combat.
      - All enemy in combat with this unit must reduce their armour score by 1 until the end of the                  combat!.

2: The High Commander
     The big kahuna!, the grande fromage!, The big guy come out of his cosy command tent to lead the troops himself!.
    A unit with a High Commander and any friendly units within 2 hexes may add 1 to their dice rolls          when testing moral!.

3: The High Priest
     The head of the order, the one who has actually, you know, seen the god the force follows and understands his plan for the world no matter how mental he may sound!. He strides into battle with a host of relics to inspire and strengthen the resolve of his flock in the face of the heathen enemy!
   A unit with a High Priest and any friendly unit within 1 hex may add 1 to their armour stat!.

4: Expert Ranger
        Bear Grills, basically.
        Any force with a Expert Ranger included may add 2 to all their rolls in an Initiative phase AND
        also add 2 to the dice roll to decide which table edge you set up on.

 All High level heroes cost the normal unit cost plus 5 points and you may only have one of any type AND you may only have one per full 40 points of units in the force.

You may wish to have a game where both Low and High level heroes can be included, in which case the limits for BOTH apply, so you can only have as many low level heroes as your total number of units divided by 2 AND one of those may be a High level hero for every full 40 points of units in your force.

1 comment:

  1. Nice new spells mate - the names are very Jack Vance. I like it.