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"Fantasy Skirmish Rules - Further playtesting needed" Topic

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SidtheSingh08 Mar 2014 10:09 a.m. PST

Hello Everyone. After some great help in playtesting, the rules Iron & Honor have progressed to the final stages. The core rules have been written and I am need of additional playtesting to fine tune the character and force creation system in place.

As a summary of what Iron and Honor entails (and hopefully wet your appetite to give them a go):

Iron & Honor is a table top miniature war game for fighting skirmishes with fantasy figures. The game was designed around two core premises.

First, it was important that the game allowed players to use any miniatures in their collection. Thus, the game is not specific to any particular manufacturer or to any particular setting or time period. Plate armored knights can battle against musket wielding pirates. Witches can throw spells at nimble ninja. It is up to the players to decide the narrative behind the conflict and what models to use to enact that narrative.

Second, it was important that the models on the table be the focus of the game. In the end, miniature gaming should be about miniatures. Iron and Honor is about telling a story and fighting a battle with well-painted figures on an aesthetically appealing table top. The game is played at the skirmish level, so players can field recognizable individuals rather than masses of infantry. And, the character creation rules are designed to be quick to use but allow for individuality amongst the various characters.
Of course, players are encouraged to use their imagination to create a setting and choose models that have a coherent theme within that setting. Creating a story and reason for the models on the table can be part of the fun.

If you are interested, the current rules PDF can be downloaded at the following:

PDF link

This is a full color pdf but lacks the images that will eventually be added in the final version.

Thanks for your help!

Night Owl II08 Mar 2014 12:02 p.m. PST

Downloaded. I'll give it a look while at work tonight.

Glancing at it, though, I really like the weapons breakdown and the what-you-see-is-what-you-get aspect.

Thanks for posting.

Kealios22 Mar 2014 11:10 a.m. PST

I came here today looking for this very thing. It seems that "build your own" Fantasy skirmish is limited to Song of Blades these days…I hope I am not inserting foot into mouth here, as I have not looked at your rules yet, but SoB is waaayy too simplistic for my taste.

Thanks for the link…

SCAdian22 Mar 2014 12:52 p.m. PST

downloaded and looking thru it… but one thing I really feel the need to comment on: The Cover.
That has to be, without a doubt, the worst female armor I have seen in… well I honestly can't recall a set of female armor that looks worse. Impractical doesn't even begin to describe that.
I understand it's fantasy… but.

Kealios22 Mar 2014 1:55 p.m. PST

LOL…art comments aside…

Really cool concepts. I might run down to the FLGS this afternoon and buy some models I have been looking at, just to put them on the table as a playtest for this.

My initial reaction to the rules are positive. I think Undead is WAY overpowered (only 2 cost more than Tough, has a better Invulnerable save, plus gets the benefits of the 4-cost Monstrous (so saving 2 points by buying the Undead package!) Yes, Holy counters it BARELY (costs 2 and is Heroic, so would be the only Heroic trait a Hero could buy – that's quite a gamble), and there is no Common trait to counter it.

But my actual concern was the writing of the mechanics. I read it straight through. I got to the end (Combat, p.24) and it said that in Step 2, a model attacks with his Available dice. Hmmm…I flipped back a few pages (Actions, p.22) and see that under Close Combat Actions, it doesnt say what I roll. I KNOW I read this somewhere…where?

Flipping backwards more…all the way back to Character Profile, p7? Nope…darnit…Game Concepts, p.6? Nope…

Oh THERE it is…Basic Mechanics, "Rolling the Dice", p.4. Yikes. Silly me. Please repost these mechanics in the relevant section, to prevent massive cross-referencing from happening.

I'll be trying this soon!

SCAdian22 Mar 2014 4:12 p.m. PST

Female armor has always been a pet peeve of mine… I understand the cheesecake value, but at least make what little bit they are wearing make sense.

Melee Attack, Page 7: As a character's fighting prowess can involve(d) a number of different variables, (Spelling issue)

Ranged Attack, Page 7: This measures a character's specific skills with a particular weapon (e.g., bow, throwing stars, matchlock pistol, etc.) and the mental steadiness and acuity of vision to do so effectively. Sentence doesn't… flow

Example, Page 11: He puts (4)5points in Melee Attack to reflect her fighting ability; (Spelling/Numbering Issue)

Also, At no point did you say that we had to add points to all attributes.
For example: All attributes must have a value of at least a 1.
So, in your example Chad could have spent 0 points on ranged attack (not going to use a ranged attack, ever) and make his hero model with a 4 Willpower, instead of a 3.

Kealios22 Mar 2014 7:23 p.m. PST

Worry about the artwork another time…this is the wrong place to bring this fight up. We all know the impracticalities of "fantasy armor", but the industry supports it.

Regarding the rules themselves, I gave up 28mm ages ago, but ran down to the FLGS this afternoon to pick up some models to give this a shot. Forwarded it to a few friends as well…

Kealios22 Mar 2014 10:05 p.m. PST

The more I think about this, two things stick out to me:

1. Morale. Needing a 10+ on 2d6+Willpower means you need a 7+ with a WP of 3. Most mooks arent likely to have this, if for nothing more than wanting to benefit from friendly spells (resisting friendly spells seems silly, as there is a chance for fizzle inherent in the casting rules). I dont remember seeing any bonuses to morale…maybe banner and musicians have a place here as well?

2. Wounds. With mooks only having 1 wound, and only one opposed roll all that stands between them and death, it seems that in a skirmish game where all models count, that everyone should get 1 more HP. Mooks would still be killed on the overkill result, but it gives clerics a roll (a spell type that could be added) and doesnt end a game before it's even begun.


Kealios23 Mar 2014 2:07 p.m. PST

Because Im strange and tend to do things like this, I wrote up a Quick Reference Sheet for this. It isnt pretty, but should help me get through my first game:

PDF link

I really believe that Undead needs to be toned down a splash, or Holy needs to REALLY be vamped up (without affecting its cost), such as:
*Brutal Attacks versus undead negate the invulnerable save
*Invulnerable save on undead is reduced to a 6

Kealios24 Mar 2014 6:57 p.m. PST

Played a small scrimmage today against my son. Sadly, he is the only competition I've been able to wrestle up, and he's only 7. So it was mostly me playing against myself, but it let me see the game in action.

Some thoughts:
There is really very little reason to not give your average model a ranged attack, even if it is only a small thrown (non-visible) weapons. There are a lot of times that you just can't charge, but moving 12" is a tad bit too far…so a small ranged attack is better than nothing.

Knowing 2d6 as I do (I grew up on Battletech), it is tempting to stack max stats when you can…but spreading them out (Followers with a 3,3,2,2 are more versatile than a 4,3,2,0).

I cheated myself by not enforcing Courage checks when we played, because I didnt want to complicate the little guy's experience (he was beaming while he was playing). I can see, as mentioned above, that Courage checks will likely result in a LOT of running…and I gave everyone, at minimum, a WP2.

Its easier to get bonuses on Attack than on Defense. We didnt use Abort to Full Defense…but I can see it as a major component of a "competitive" game.

Edge Points: Rules as Written say that EP can only be used "once per activation". However, when a model runs up and spends 1 EP for +1d6 on attack, I allowed the Defender to also spend +1d6 for Defense if he wanted to. It was a workaround to the Abort to a Dodge mechanic, and seemed to work fine.

Equipment: There isnt enough options! Magic items, banners, musicians…so many MORE things that can be added…my human force was just blah feeling :)

Otherwise, not as bloody as I thought it was going to be, but maybe that's because my dice were cold…so cold… :)

Kealios25 Mar 2014 8:50 a.m. PST

I guess I'm the only idiot interested in this? LOL Oh well…some call me "stalker"…

I felt like there werent enough Heroic traits available to me. My Human's only real option was "Tactician", as Holy is too weak and Witch Hunter is as situational (although probably a really good option, power-gaming wise) as Holy. Tactician is good…but more variety is clearly needed.

A Drain/Mounted/Large/Undead hero would be the wickedest thing…of course that would cost 25 points with no equipment and therefore isnt allowed :P

A second quick playtest showed that characters, especially Followers, have a fully 1/3 chance of being stuck only inches from a target but only getting 1 Action Point…this left them with only a single Move action, or shoot someone. Take ranged weapons! :) (I gave my Giant a 2H Ranged so he could "throw boulders"…)

Speaking of Move, p.22 states that "Enemy models must remain 1" apart unless they are engaged in melee combat". This is too nebulous. In the example above, my 1-AP character doesnt have enough actions to actually close and engage (whether by Charge, or a single Move + Basic Attack). However, I could move into Base to base in preparation for next turn, or to give another model a Gang Up bonus, or hoping to receive an Action Point from my Hero…so this needs to be refined more; otherwise, it is too limiting.

Making sure I understand a combo correctly. On the rare chance that a model gets 3AP, and qualifies, he could Charge for 2AP (getting 1 free attack) and then perform a Basic Melee attack for 1…but if he was stuck in already, getting 3AP is a waste because he can only Furious Attack and then be done…he can't even move away, because Break Away seems to be the only way to do that, and it costs 2AP, and ends the model's turn…kind of a shame, really. A hero could just delegate one of the points to someone else via Impetus.

Courage checks and LOS…if a model has its back turned to his own Hero, who then dies, does the model have to make a Courage check if he is in range? Technically he isn't in LOS…and a 10…oof! :P

SidtheSingh26 Mar 2014 7:27 a.m. PST

Wow. Thanks for all the feedback. This is what I need in terms of fixing things up. I'll make adjustments and post my thoughts once I have digested this. Thanks again!

The one thing I can quickly say before running off to work (real life sucks), is that the edge points were played correctly. I ned to re word that. The idea is that "once per activation" means each player may spend 1 edge point per activation, regardless of who the actual activating player is.

P.S. With regard to the armor -- the cover is changing. I really like the example images. :)

Kealios13 Apr 2014 12:55 p.m. PST

Any further advancement on this?

SidtheSingh24 Apr 2014 6:49 a.m. PST

Sorry, been away on vacation out of the country. I have made progress on the project. Actually taking the feedback suggested into consideration.

There have been changes to the spellcasting, clarified rules on edge points, combat, and added new traits.

PDF link

Also, I wold like to discuss the feedback in more detail, Kealios (and look at the quick reference you made). If you don't mind, could you contact me via the email in the PDF?

Thanks again!

Lion in the Stars25 Apr 2014 3:00 p.m. PST

Cool! I've been looking for a fantasy equivalent of Infinity!

2. Wounds. With mooks only having 1 wound, and only one opposed roll all that stands between them and death, it seems that in a skirmish game where all models count, that everyone should get 1 more HP. Mooks would still be killed on the overkill result, but it gives clerics a roll (a spell type that could be added) and doesnt end a game before it's even begun.


I play Infinity, so having one wound models (1W) is pretty normal for me. Thing is, taking your 1W in Infinity drops a model to Unconscious, not dead-right-there. If there's not a healer on the table, you're effectively dead for the game (ie, model can be removed) and might as well be at a penalty to recover in a campaign (having a doc on the table gives a bonus to your recovery roll).

I would suggest having an unconscious state (that can only be healed during the game by a healer), and requiring a second attack to kill. Coup de gras on a model in Infinity is a spent action, but no dice rolled. This also gives you the option to make weapons that do multiple wounds or even outright instant death.

If you don't mind, I'm going to share the link to these rules on the Infinity boards. I'm not the only person looking for a small party skirmish game in the Infinity community, so hopefully you will get some good feedback from the Infinity community.

Kealios26 Apr 2014 9:05 p.m. PST

Will do!

bobwithasilentc09 May 2014 5:50 p.m. PST

SidtheSingh – Can you clarify whether it is possible to use the walk or run actions to move into base contact, or is the only way to move into base contact with an enemy by using the charge action?

If you can only do it by charging, it makes having terror extremely powerful, as unless you specifically build your warband with heaps of Fearless models, you'll never be able to get into melee with terror causing models (undead warbands spring to mind).

SidtheSingh06 Jul 2014 6:23 p.m. PST

Sorry for the length in responding, but most feeedback so far has been via email. My apologies.

You can walk or run into melee combat. Charging merely grants you a bonus in your attack.

SidtheSingh06 Jul 2014 6:24 p.m. PST

@Lion in the Stars

I like the idea of an unconscious state before death. That really works well. Great idea!

Rafm3IC07 Jul 2014 11:51 a.m. PST


Kev134008 Jul 2014 3:16 p.m. PST

Not sure how I missed this thread before now, as I've been looking for a new fantasy skirmish rule set for a while!

I've not had chance to read through much yet, but so far I'm liking the flavour! I'll continue reading over the next couple days, and hopefully give them a whirl at the weekend.



SidtheSingh17 Jul 2014 9:09 a.m. PST

There has been an update to the skirmish rules set. With the feedback received so far, a few changes have been made:

1. The rules are now in a printer friendly format, without the artwork and such.

2. Attribute tests and a morale check have been removed. First, it added a complication to the rules without any real benefit. At a skirmish level, morale didn't seem to be very useful.

3. The character and party skirmish rules have been changed to increased clarity and structure.

4. Edge Points have been cleaned up and reworked as "Fate" to add at least some flavor to the setting. Edge seemed to suggest a more science fiction feel, so was shifted to a more "fantastic" element. The rules mechanics remain the same, so more of a language shift.

Thanks again for taking a look!

The new version can be downloaded here:

PDF link

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