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Armies of Arcana


Fantasy army rules designed to be quick playing (15 minutes per turn) for small- to medium-size armies. A point system allows players to build armies from a dozen army lists. Forces comprise troop units, characters, and monsters. Rules include magic and morale.


Designer
Thane Morgan
Publisher
Battlezone Miniatures
Year Published
1997
Status
In Print
Contents
78-page soft-cover rulesbook:
  • with reference summary on back cover

    back cover of rulebook
  • with one page of color templates (must be cut apart)

    page of templates and markers


Scale
Ground Scale "Roughly 1 cm = 1 meter"
Time Scale 1 turn = 15-25 seconds (15mm scale)
1 turn = 2-20 minutes (15mm, "large battle")
1 turn = 8 seconds (25mm scale)
Figure Scale "A single figure represents one person"
(Guidelines are also given for large battles using 1 figure = several men)
Miniature Scales"Best played with 15mm figures"
(Guidelines are given for using 25mm scale as well)
Basing
SUGGESTED BASING FOR 15MM SCALE
(1 model per stand)
Very Small 10mm x 10mm
Man-Sized 15mm x 15mm
Cavalry 15mm x 30mm
Monsters/
War Machines
"according to the size of the model"

However, "...the game works with any consistently sized bases."


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Armies of Arcana

Rules for Fantasy Miniature Wargaming

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star no star no star no star (7.42)
Total Votes: 7

Description

Designed for use with armies of between 40 and 300 figures. Turns were designed to take about 15 minutes to play, with the average game lasting 10 turns or less.

Each figure is described by a half dozen or so basic statistics, which include number of wounds it can take before being killed (usually only 1 for line troops, but many monsters can take more), armor, number and type of attacks, magic save, and so on. Most troops work best when organized as units, but Characters and some monsters can operate singly.

Armies can be built using a point system, with a limit that 60% of an army must be composed of "normal" troops (infantry and cavalry). There are a dozen army lists (Dwarves, Dark Elves, High Elves, Sylvan Elves, Halfling-Centaur, Goblins, Arabian Knights, Barbarians, Medieval, Samurai, Orcs, Undead), plus a selection of 40+ monsters. Allies are allowed, but discouraged.

portion of the Orcs army list

The sequence of play is:

  • Fleeing Movement
  • Normal Movement
  • Magic
  • Missile Fire
  • Melee
  • Morale

Both players complete each phase before moving on. Units move in either Rank and File or Skirmish formations. Missile fire and melee are resolved simultaneously. Although figures must move and fight as a unit, each figure rolls its own attacks, makes its own saving throws, and is removed from play if killed.

The combat system involves rollng lots of dice at once, "...based on the principle that a lot of dice will average out luck." Each model is rated for melee and missle combat, giving the number of six-sided dice to roll and the target number, with situational modifiers applying to the dieroll. To avoid damage, victims attempt a save roll against their Armor value, modified by the Strength of the attack and their current formation. Wounds are distributed evenly through a unit. A model which exceeds its Wounds limit is removed from play.

Morale checks are required due to combat losses, frightening opponents, or bad situations (i.e., being outflanked). Units which fail their test become Broken, and will flee until they successfully Rally. Characters may attempt to help a broken unit rally, but in so doing, they risk becoming broken themselves.

sample rules page

sample rules page

Spellcasters must specialize in one of the eight Schools of Magic (Life, Death, Nature, Chaos, Earth, Fire, Water and Air, with 7-10 spells per field). Magicusers receive 1 mana point per turn, which they can use immediately (1 spell per turn) or save for future turns. Spells typically cost between 1-3 mana points, but extra mana can be spend to make a spell harder to counter. Wizards may also use their powers to counter enemy spells. No spell affects more than one unit at a time, and there are no "game ending" type spells.

Other rules cover charges, monsters, artillery, retreats, "grapeshot" effect weapons, flying, "continuous" weapons (penetrating fire), war machines, chariots and other vehicles, and gunpowder weapons.

Official website: armiesofarcana.com

Editions

Originally published by Thane's Games.

  • First printing 1997
  • Second printing 1998.
  • Third printing 1999.