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.
The sequence of play is:
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.
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.
The publisher has made an unusual pledge:
He promises that all future rules editions will be available for downloading from his company's website.
|4 September 1999||page split off|
|28 May 1999||corrected description|
|27 May 1999||updated with pictures|
|Comments or corrections?|