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Clan War

Fantasy battle system set in a fictional Asian world. Player use points to construct an army from one of six available Clans, then also tailor their own decks of Tactical Fate cards. Includes a magic system.

Ken Carpenter
Alderac Entertainment Group
Year Published
Out of Print
Boxed set contains:
  • 80-page Rulebook
    rulebook cover
  • 80-page The Clans booklet (army lists)
    The Clans cover
  • reference card
    one side of reference card
  • Painting Guide sheet
    one side of Painting Guide
  • Fifty-eight 25mm Clan War figures, with plastic slottabases
  • Eighty Tactical Fate Cards
    Tactical Card
  • One-hundred-twenty Army Cards
    (also known as Force Cards)
    Personality force card
    Unit force card
  • Four 10-sided dice
    four dice

Note: The back of the box mentions that each game includes a "paper ruler." However, we understand that plans for this were dropped at the last minute, and that no copy of the game actually includes this item.

Figures in the Boxed Set

Twenty-Six Heavy Infantry

UN1 heavy infantry

UN2 heavy infantry

"Unaligned" troops, can be used with any clan. Two poses: 13 x UN1 (above, left), 13 x UN2 (above, right).

Twenty-Six Archers

UN3 archer

UN4 archer

"Unaligned" archers, can be used with any clan. Two poses: 13 x UN3 (above, left), 13 x UN4 (above, right).

Six Personalities

Shiba Tsukune

Shiba Tsukune, young and beautiful Phoenix general. 1 figure (208 points).

Daidoji Uji

Daidoji Uji, daimyo of the Daidoji family, Protector of the Crane. Dark and brooding, exemplary student of bushido. 1 figure (205 points).

Hida Sukune

Hida Sukune, sickly and inexperienced but brilliant Crab general. 1 figure (210 points).

Matsu Gohei

Matsu Gohei, simple country warrior who has risen to fame with the Lion Clan. 1 figure (230 points).

Mirumoto Daini

Mirumoto Daini, an accomplished Dragon general (despite being more fond of the court than the battlefield). 1 figure (218 points).


Shinjo Yasamura

Shinjo Yasamura, young, energetic and vain Unicorn horseman. 1 figure (224 points).

Ground Scale Unstated
Time Scale Unstated
Figure Scale 1:1; one base = 1 being
Miniature ScalesIntended for use with the official 25mm Clan War figures
  • Standard infantry use 1" x 1" bases (one man-sized figure per base, or two smaller figures)
  • Large infantry (i.e., ogres) use 1 5/8" x 1 5/8" bases
  • Cavalry and some monsters use 1 3/16" x 2 3/16" bases
  • Large models (i.e., dragons) use 3" x 5" bases

The publisher sells plastic slottabases in the three smaller sizes.

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This entry created by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian on 6 July 1999. Last revised by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian on 27 September 2016.

3,006 hits since 26 Sep 2016
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Clan War
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Legends of the Five Rings is a fantasy game setting based on ancient Japanese culture, and is the foundation for a collectible card game, a role-playing game, and a miniatures combat game.

Armies belong to one of six Clans, and are constructed using a point system. Each of the clans has access to the same basic troop types (peasant levies, ashigaru [trained peasants], infantry and cavalry) and leaders (chui [lieutenant], gunso [sergeant], and nikutai [corporal]), plus Unaligned characters and units (including goblins, dragons, ogres, necromancers, and monsters). In addition, there are characters and units which are particular to each clan (and which either cost more points or are prohibited to armies from other clans).

The available troops and characters are described on the Force Cards, with the same material also available in The Clans booklet. Units have a troop cost, maximum unit size, equipment, game stats, and any special rules; many units are also limited in total number of units allowed per army. Personalities are individuals, and their cards provide similar information (but include more game stats). Characters are leaders (attached to units), shugenja (spellcasters, optionally accompanied by yokimbo bodyguards), or individuals (loners, not allowed to associate with a unit).

Force design also includes the tailoring of an appropriate deck of Tactical Fate cards. These cards, when played, represent "special maneuvers, actions and effects." Each player's Tactical Deck must consist of exactly 30 cards.

The game is played in a series of turns, each of which is made up of several phases (initiative/orders/movement/cavalry movement/ranged attack/close combat/reserve movement/clean-up). At the start of the turn, dice are rolled for each unit to determine its current initiative - all units (of both players) will take action in initiative order in the following phases.

Sample pages

In general, units can move 4" per movement phase. Cavalry (and certain "fast" infantry) move in both the "primary" and Cavalry movement phases. In addition, units which are not in close proximity to the enemy may move a third time, in the Reserve Movement phase. Units are usually formed into groups between 4 and 12 figures wide, and no more than 6 models deep. Units can also form into column (for faster movement) or archer's row (allows more figures to fire). Maneuvers allow a unit to wheel, back up, or retreat, but success is dependant on the unit's training level.

To resolve combat, the attacker must roll equal or greater than the enemy's Target Number (TN), with modifiers applying as specified on the attacker's Force Card. In ranged combat, usually only the first rank can fire, with one roll per figure. With close combat, any model in contact with the enemy may attack, and usually rolls 1 or 2 dice per figure (as stated on the Force Card). For each successful hit, a Damage roll is made. All damage against a unit is totaled, then divided by 10 to determine total Wounds inflicted. A single Wound will kill most infantry, but Personalities may require several Wounds to kill.

Units may be Ready (normal), Spent (temporarily exhausted, generally after performing a special action), Broken (after failing a Morale test), or Routed (what happens when a Broken unit fails a Morale test...). Units are restored to good morale by a successful Rally attempt (during the "clean-up" End Phase).

An important aspect of play is the use of special abilities, Tactical Fate cards, and spells. These can take place in any phase, though usually at a set moment and in a certain order. Tactical Cards are dealt out per turn, and may be held in the hand, or "passed down" to specific Personalities. Shugenja purchase their spells prior to play, from a list of 20+ spells in four categories (Air, Earth, Fire, Water).

Special rules allow for duels between Personalities, fear, and allow Personalities to spend Void points to gain a re-roll, heal a Wound, or perform other actions. Optional rules add varied movement based on armor, push backs, damage rounding, and allow extra Tactical Cards due to earned Honor. Rules allow the creation of custom Personalities.

Except for specific scenarios, victory is determined by Victory Points. These are awarded for destruction of enemy units (based on point cost), destruction of enemy Personalities (based on their Glory ratings), and for possessing terrain objectives.