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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Camp Table Fantasy Skirmish Rules

A few years back, I had a big box of D&D prepainted plastic figures and some dice along on our trip to Tuolumne Family Camp, planning to play D&D. One warm afternoon during "quiet time", I hacked out a set of fantasy skirmish rules and my son and I statted up several skirmish squads for it and we played a few  good games. After returning, I misplaced the handwritten version of the rules and don't find a copy on my laptop so I'm going to attempt to recreate them from memory, with a bit of rebalancing, mainly in scaling up costs for extra purchases of some of the powers. This version is currently unplaytested so I'll play with it awhile and edit this post as I adjust the balance.

Building an Army
For a small skirmish, give each player 100 points to buy figures. Most expensive figure not to exceed 33 points, and at least 50 points in figures costing 12 or less each. Ideally figures are costed out to be representative of their fantasy types, and not minimaxed, but gamers will be gamers, so if minimaxing is a risk, stat up several squads and select which squad will be played by each player randomly.

Each figure starts at 1 point. It hits on a d6 roll of 6 and dies to a single hit. It has no ranged attack, and must be in contact to fight. It moves 3 inches per turn. It has no armor save.

They will test morale at the end of the turn and pass on a 5+ on a d6, modified by any morale bonuses. Failed morale rolls by 1 recoil a half move. Fail by 2 and retreat a full move. Fail by 3 or more and the figure will rout a full move each turn until it passes a rally morale check or leaves the table.

Everything else is paid in additional points. Where there are a series of bonuses, the first time you take it has the first cost, the second time for the figure the second cost etc.

Add 3" to movement distance +1, can be repeated up to 4 times
Flight +2 per 3" of movement
Add 3" to combat range, with a missile weapon or magic +1, up to 5 times, stationary fire unless paid below
Add ranged fire combined with half move +1, full move +2
Add the ability to attack before move or during move instead of at end of move +1
Add 1 to the roll to hit, +1, +1, +2, +2, +3
Add  1" to diameter of area of effect of attacks, up to 3 times. +1,  +2,  +3
Add an armor save, starting with roll of 6, then +1 to roll for each improvement,  +1, +1, +2, +2
Add +1 to morale test roll, +1
Add dodge of attacks -1 to attack rolls against this figure, +1, +2, +3, +4
Add a "wound" that can be suffered before death +1, +1, +2, +2, +3, +3 etc
Regenerate or heal a wound on roll of 6 at the end of the turn +2
Heal other figure of 1 wound as attack action +2
Long reach, can fight two ranks deep and front rank can attack first in first round of melee unless opponent is also long reach +1
Inflict additional wound(s) with attack +2, +4

Sequence of Play
Roll for initiative, D6, ties to to the guy that did not have initiative last time.
Alternate movement, winner first, moving individual figures or groups of figures that are within 1" cohesion distance between bases. In group moves, individual figures are only limited by their individual maximum move distances, but cohesion must be maintained for figures to move together.
After both have moved, unengaged ranged characters shoot, tallying any hits before shooters are removed. Newly engaged ranged figures can also shoot at figures that moved into contact with them, but will forego melee attacks this round to do so.
Long reach attackers attack if in a first turn of contact.
All other melee attacks are made.
Take all morale checks and make any retreat moves.
Army morale test if needed.

Movement to contact must be by most direct route, only wrapping around enough to make room for additional attackers, except for move-by attacks by eligible figures, which can go past a figure and through gaps big enough for the width of their base.

Dodges or terrain effects may raise to hit numbers above 6. To hit higher numbers, any roll of a 6 is eligible to roll again, adding 5 from the original roll. So if an 8 is needed, roll a 6 and reroll and get a 3 or higher. If a number above 11 is needed, a second roll of 6 will allow 10 to be kept and a third roll added.
Make all melee attacks by figures with long reach in their first round of contact and remove their casualties.
Then make all other melee attacks.

Area effect attackers resolve against each target in the area. If their attack is a multiple wound attack it applies the multiple wound effect to each figure that it hits. Single target melee attackers with a multiple wound effect apply it all to one figure if it takes multiple wounds, or can spread wounds to adjacent single wound enemies. Each would get its own armor save if applicable, and some are harder to hit for reasons of dodge or terrain, it only spreads to them if they would be hit by the attack roll.

Morale tests
Mark all figures that have a friendly figure that costs at least half as much die within 2" and all multihit figures that are freshly wounded this turn. Use a special mark when the lost figure is worth double the figure(s) that will test.

Morale test table:
Roll one morale test if marked, additional losses do not require additional tests
Pass on modified 5+
4 - recoil half a move, facing enemy
3 - retreat one move, facing enemy
2 or less - rout full move, face away, test again at end of next turn and rout again unless passed

Modifiers to morale rolls
Morale bonus paid as cost of figures
-1 if wounded
-2 if wounded and next hit will kill the figure
-1 if testing for the loss of a friend worth double own cost or more

A side that has lost more than half its points makes an army morale test at the morale rating of a randomly selected survivor after individual checks and retreats are resolved in any turn in which it has taken additional casualties, losing the battle if it fails the check. If both armies test and fail on the same turn, its a draw.

Keeping it minimal with only area terrain to begin with. Areas can either provide cover, -1 to hit targets on edge, block ranged shots at targets more than a base depth in, or slow movement by half, minimum speed is still 3", or both. Height advantage gives a similar defense bonus in melee. Might want to add another cost for skirmish movement that ignores terrain movement penalties.

We played the original on a 3 x 3 foot card table with a few terrain areas in each game up to about 9" across in size.

Example figure costs

Human peasant spearman with shield
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Long reach +1
Armor save 6 +1
Total cost 4

Human light peasant archer
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Range 9" +3
Dodge -1 to attacker, +1
Total cost 6

Dwarven veteran
Figure +1
Move 6" +1
Armor save 4+, +4
Extra wound +1
+2 to hit, +2
Morale +2, +2
Total cost 11

Elven elite horsebow
Figure +1
Move 15" +4
Range 15" +4
+2 To Hit,  +2
Armor save 5+,  +2
Dodge -2,  +3
Extra wound +1
Full move and fire +2
Morale +3, +3
Attack before or during move +1
Total cost 23

Troll Bruiser
Figure +1
Move 9" +2
Throw 3" +1, stationary only
+2 to Hit +2
Armor save 4+, +4
4 wounds to kill +4
Morale +4, +4
Regenerate wounds +2
Inflict 2 wounds on a hit +3
Total cost 23

Fireballing Wizard
Figure +1
Move 12" +3
Range 15" +5  but stationary only, all that mystic powering up, so not buying moving fire
Attack Area 3" diameter +6
3 wounds +2
Dodge -4 (mists, mirror images, and nimble) +10
Regenerate +2
Morale +2, +2
Total 31

Goblin with firepots
Figure +1
Move 9" +2
Range 3" +1
Move full and attack +2
1" diameter attack +1
Total 7