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Generic Easy Miniatures

Shawn Garbett
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This entry created by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian on 2 October 2016. Last revised by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian on 2 October 2016.

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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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If you're sick of GW and other systems, here's one to try. I have no intention of profiteering off of this. This is a very alpha copy. Little playtesting has been done, what has been done resulted in this version.

I would like to thank Steffan 'O Sullivan for the Fudge concept of a Generic RPG, and now I'm making an attempt at a Generic Miniature Game.

I look foward to your flames and comments.

GEM is a generic miniature wargaming "engine." This means that you can use any of the miniatures that you own. There is a point system which (hopefully) gives balanced battles. Stats are customizable for whatever style of battle one wants. This requires more work on the part of the gamers than the average miniature game, but not being tied to one company's whims is well worth the effort. Play is designed on the fast and furious style, but also with rolling handfuls of dice.

GEM is specifically for those who are sick of having new revisions of their favorite rule system leave out those great new miniatures they just finished painting. If all the commercial miniature systems have flaws which you really don't like, then GEM may be just what you've been looking for. If you've ever been bogged down in rolling and rolling with no resolution in sight, GEM is probably for you. Several other play options exist, for customization to a gaming groups own tastes.

However, if you want a completely designed miniature gaming world with hard-set rules and all kinds of wonderful illustrations and no end of supplements, then you probably should quit reading now.

GEM was written to be an easy to use, generic miniature combat system. No more adding, subtracting and dividing tons of numbers in your head to determine the results of a single combat. Any figure you can show up with can be used in this system only requiring a little creativity on your part. Also, designed into the system is the ability for the lowest of low figures to be able to wound even the most powerful. Odds are against this, obviously, but one gets what one pays for. A large amount of the work has gone into the point system to make it equitable and realistic.

The point system may seem confusing and unweilding at first, but once stats are worked out for a figure, it's not necessary again. The main point of it all is to play a game with friends and enjoy yourself, if you're not having fun – change the rules so that you are or get another group to game with.

In its current edition, GEM is for game designers who wish to twiddle with these rules and make changes and fix rules that are truly braindead. No detailed explanation of basic miniatures wargaming is provided. This is a BETA copy and probably riddled with omissions and errors. If you chose to continue, be warned.

1.0 GEM Overview

A few groundrules that seem to be common and serve to ease tension among players are necessary. Dice must be rolled and land flat on the table, otherwise, roll again. Once a figure is moved or used up some of its action, you can't change it, if you don't like it, tough. You can premeasure any distance on the table. Also a figure is armed with what it has upon it. To often a valiant warrior charges into hand-to-hand to be received by "He's armed with a Multi-Mega-Super-Death-Ray-Smite you on the head from GOD weapon, what? I didn't tell you that. BUT – BUT – I paid the *points*". So to avoid this situation, if the figure you're paying points for, has this ultimate weapon you should work on making it look like it does. Obviously some weapons and devices aren't very noticeable on a figure, i.e. a hand-gun of a heavy weapon man or a hand dagger, but the main big items should be present on the figure itself.

1.1 Dice

Most of the dice rolls in the game are based on twenty-sided dice, a few rolls may be six-sided or even twelve-sided on rare occasions. It feels good to roll a handful of dice. Twenty siders were chosen for their wider flatter range of random numbers. Dice will be refereed to using a fairly standard notation. The number of dice to roll followed by a 'd' then the number of sides on the dice. For example, 4d12 means roll four, twelve-sided dice. How to interpret the results will depend on the situation. Mostly comparison to a chart will give the proper result, rarely summing of the dice rolled is used.

1.2 Stats

A figure's stats are composed of the following: Offensive Ability, Defensive Ability, Hits, Number of Attacks, Morale Modifier, Magic/Psionic Save, and Move. These will be referred to as OFF, DEF, HIT, ATT, MOR, MAG and MOV respectively. The term figure is used loosely to describe a single based miniature or an entire unit composed of the same figures in a standard formation.

A vehicle has extra stats consisting of ARM and ACC. OFF(Offensive Ability) and DEF (Defensive Ability) are measured on a scale of one to ten. A one on this scale is the worst possible and a ten is the absolute best. OFF represents the ability to damage an opponent and can vary by type of attack or weapon because some figures have multiple weapons available. DEF represents the ability to avoid damage through skill, luck, and armour and takes into account all possible ways to avoid damage. In historical, ancients and fantasy DEF will be only one factor representing skill and toughness of armor. In modern and sci-fi games, DEF stats will be necessary for the different types of attacks. A figure could have ultimate reflective armour against laser attacks, but very little use if a grenade were dropped near.

HIT (Hits) is the amount of damage a figure can take before is totally eliminated. The normal amount for a human is one HIT.

ATT (Attacks) is the total number of attacks a figure can do in one turn. The default value of ATT is one.

MOR (Morale Modifier) is the amount added or subtracted to a morale check. A figure who has lost over half of his HIT will start seriously considering what it is doing here in the first place and start looking for where it really wants to be, usually not on the table.

MAG (Magic/Psionic Save) is a figure used to determine what the chances of a figure resisting a spell or psionic ability used against him. It also will effect the ability of friendly spells to take effect. This stat is not be necessary in games not using magic or psionics. It is a number from 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the highest resistance. The default value of MAG is 2.

MOV (Movement Rate) is the amount a figure can move during any given turn. This will be effected by terain and other factors such as maneuvers. The default value of MOV is 4.

ACC (Acceleration/Deceleration) is amount a figure can change its movement from turn to turn.

1.3 Basic figure formation

Figures in this game will fall into four categories: Skirmishers, Peltasts, Block Infantry and Leaders. Skirmishers are a single based figure or figures who move in a loose formation, and sometimes individually. Block Infantry is usually several figures of the same type formed into a square and it moves as a block. Block Infantry can also be a single large figure on a base subject to the same restrictions that all Block Infantry suffer from. Peltasts are figures who can change between Block Infantry and Skirmish formation during a movement sequence. Leaders are those single figures who move like skirmishers but crucial to maintaining control of troops. Leaders should be protected at all costs, obviously.

In a modern or far future setting, only the Skirmish rules are typically used. Although if the moderns were fighting a bunch of primitives, the Block Infantry and other formations could come into play. If it is a historical ancient battle or a fantasy battle, all possible formations are important and have their uses. In fact a minimum number of points should be spent for each of the different formations. Battles should reflect the historical balances as much as possible.

2.0 Game Turns and Sequence

A game consists of several turns. Each turn has the following sequence of segments:

  1. Determine Initiative Segment
    1. 1a. Setup
  2. Magic/Psychic Segment (Advanced Rules)
  3. Movement Segment
  4. Missile Fire Segment
  5. Melee Segment
  6. Morale Segment

Objectives can be set for a game, such as storm the citadel by turn 10 or you lose. A game could be open ended and have conditions set upon it such as last survivor wins, played till a winning turn.

2.0.1 Initiative

Initiative is determined by each side rolling a d20 and the highest score wins. The side that has initiative can then determine if he wants to go first or last for the rest of the turn. In a multiplayer game the side that has the highest initiative score can determine the order that players will take during each part of the turn sequence. For each turn in a row that a player has previously won initiative a modifier of -5 (cumulative) is applied. In the event of a tie, including modifiers on the first roll, all players who tied roll again without any modifiers applied.

For example, Player A has won initiative the last two turns and rolls a 18, giving him a modified score of 8. Player B rolls an 8 equaling Player A's modified score. Both players must roll again. Player A rolls a 14 and Player B rolls a 16. Player B wins initiative for the round and next turn gets a -5 modifier to his initiative roll.

2.0.2 Setup

Terrain is set up first. Available terrain is placed into similar sized bunches. The side that goes first takes a bunch and places it anywhere on the table. Then the other side does the same. Both sides alternate doing this until all terrain is placed.

Then each side rolls a d20 and the highest roller picks the side he wants.

Each side then makes a drawing of the battlefield, and secretly draws where each of it's units will go within 12" of it's table edge and 12" away from the ends. Then the side that goes first places its units upon the table according to its plan and then the other side places it's units upon the table according to its plan. Plans are revealed after all units are placed and can be inspected and if a unit is not where it was supposed to be, then it is placed by the other side where it is supposed to be.

2.1 Moving

The side that is to go first moves all of its figures and then when it has completed its move, the other side then moves all of its figures. The base move of a figure is the MOV stat in inches for a 25mm scale. A figure cannot move into contact with any friendly figures except as described under Overruning Skirmishers A unit can take a rushed move and double its effective move score. A vehicle cannot take a rushed move.

The movement total is also modified by terrain. For a clear area MOV is normal. But when moving through difficult terrain it is halved. If the troops are all on a road, they can move at 1.5 times their normal rate rounding up. If troops are crossing a line obstacle, it costs 2" off of their normal move. If this 2" stops their movement, then the next turn subtract 2" from their move again.

Difficult Terrain

  • Woods
  • Uphill (any part of the unit)

Line obstacles

  • Hedges
  • Fences
  • Walls
  • small streams
  • Brush
  • Earthworks

Impassable Terrain

  • Rocky mountains
  • Razor wire
  • Lava
  • Crevices
  • Raging Rivers

2.1.1 Block Infantry

Block infantry has many advantages and disadvantages, one of the major disadvantages is it's restrictive movement. A group of block infantry can move straight forward or wheel, but not both. If it chooses to move straight forward it can chose to execute a rushed move and move double its normal distance. If it decides to wheel, it can wheel half it's normal movement. To measure a wheel move the front rank without moving any other ranks. Then measure from the front of the second rank to the back of the front rank on the side opposite the wheel. The other front corner of the second rank and rear corner of the front rank must still be touching. Once it is measured, the rear ranks are moved to line up with the front rank. The unit cannot wheel into any other friendly units.

A block infantry unit may chose to change frontage instead of it's normal movement. It does so by changing it's frontage by up to two models on either side. This cannot be used to move sideways. Also note that block infantry cannot move from a melee. A disorganized block infantry unit can not make any moves at all.

Block Infantry must be at least 2 ranks deep and at least as wide as it it deep. Block Infantry is preferably arranged in a square, although stragglers can be placed in the center rear forming a partial rear rank. These do not count as a rear rank. When determining number of ranks, subtract casualties from the total number, starting from the rear and any rank that was once a full rank that is still is half or more of it's number is considered a rank. Overruning Skirmishers

A mass of block infantry can overrun a skirmisher and keep moving if it has sufficient momentum to destroy a skirmisher. During a movement phase, a block infantry can attack any skirmisher it contacts during its movement phase and perform an out of segment attack with it's full force. If the skirmisher is eliminated, the infantry unit can continue with it's move. However, the skirmisher also gets an out of phase hand-to-hand attack back, whether or not it is eliminated.

A unit may overrun it's own friendly skirmishers and they are removed from play immediately with no casualties taken.

2.1.2 Skirmish

Skirmishers can move in any direction from where they started, and must be within 2" of one another at the end of any move. A skirmisher can turn to face the direction 90 degrees left or right at the end of its move. A skirmisher can take a rushed move if it wishes to. Skirmishers cannot move into a group of massed infantry.

2.1.3 Peltast

Peltast are highly trained units wearing light armour that can fight as either a skirmisher or a massed infantry. It takes full movement round to convert to massed infantry formation. It take no time to break apart into skirmisher formation. To mass up into a block infantry, a center figure is chosen and all figures are moved to be a block around this single figure. A unit that has done this is treated as if it has performed a rushed move. Peltast can break and leave a melee.

2.1.4 Calvary

Calvary in a block formation move much like heavy infantry, but can wheel at any point during their movement and combine it with normal movement. If the cavalry doesn't have a second rank, use a pencil or other straight edge to make the rear of its front rank for measuring a wheel.

2.1.5 Vehicles

Vehicles are for transporting troops and delivering powerful attacks in a blitzkrieg like way.

Vehicles can only change their last turns movement by their ACC factor up or down. A vehicle can make any number of wheels during it's movement. A vehicular wheel is measured using two tape measures. One tape measure is set at the current speed of the vechicle in inches and acts a radius for the turn. The actual distance the vehicle moves in the wheel is measured along this radius.

2.1.6 Breaking from combat

If a peltast or skirmisher unit wishes to break from combat, they are free to do so, but only after the opposing side gets two free attacks out of normal turn sequence. Then after the models are moved a fear check must be made for the unit.

2.2 Missile Fire

Missile Fire is resolved in the same order as movement as determined under the initiative section.

A massed infantry unit can only fire straight ahead, from each edge. Only the front row is eligible to fire. Skirmishers can fire at anywhere within a 90 degree arc centered on their front. A model cannot fire over the heads of friendly troops or if the fire path passes within 1" of a friendly model. Calvary can fire in any direction.


 Fire Arc
 \ /
 \ / 
 \ /
 +----+ < === Front of Model
 | |
 | |

A unit which has not moved in a rush can fire it's missile weapons. Heavy Weapons cannot be fired at all if the figure has moved. To fire a weapon, look up it's distance and meaure to see if the target is in range. If it is, then it can be fired upon. Each weapon has an OFF Value and an ATT value, and possibly a radius effect.

For a simple missile weapon, cross reference the following chart (Table 1) with the OFF of the weapon versus the appropriate DEF of the defender.

In some games, a defender may have several DEF values and each missile weapon must be classified as to which DEF value is the correct one to use. Next roll the ATT number of 20 sided dice, or ATTd20 dice, and apply the modifiers from (Table 2) to each roll. Now each modified value that is equal to or greater than the number from table 1 is a HIT and is subtracted from the targets HIT score. If a target reaches zero, it is of course dead.

If a weapon has an area effect, take a template of the proper size and place it over the target. Next roll for deviation on a d6, on a result of 5-6 a direct hit has occurred, if a 4 or less is rolled, a deviation has occurred. Targeting mods are applied to this roll. If a deviation occurs, randomly determine a clock direction using a d12. Twelve o' clock is the direction that the fire was shot at or the weapon was thrown at. Next roll the correct number of inches for deviation from the weapon chart and move the template. Now each target under the template is effected by the stats of the weapon. If hitting a block infantry, roll the number of dice of the miniatures under the template. If a miniature is partially covered, roll a d6 for each of these on a roll of 1-3 it is safe and a roll of 4-6 it is hit.

Missile fire mods do not apply.


Defense Value (DEF)
Offense Value (OFF) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 11 16 18 19 19 19 20 20 20* 20*
2 6 11 14 16 17 18 18 19 19 19
3 4 8 11 13 15 16 17 17 18 18
4 3 6 9 11 13 14 15 16 17 17
5 3 5 7 9 11 13 14 15 15 16
6 3 4 6 8 9 11 12 13 14 15
7 2 4 5 7 8 10 11 12 13 14
8 2 3 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13
9 2! 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12
10 2! 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
*A natural twenty is the only way to hit, no other modifiers apply.
!A natural one is the only way to miss, no other modifiers apply.
A natural twenty is always a hit.
A natural one is always a miss.

Missile Fire Mods

+1large target
(40mm to 50mm base width in fire arc)
+2extremely large target
(bigger than 50mm width in fire arc)
-1small target
-2firing after moving
-2firing at target which has moved
-2firing over half range
-2target behind soft cover
-4target behind hard cover

Soft cover is anywhere within 2" of the edge of a forest, a hedge, lying prone, brush or anything else that a model could hide in that is not very substantial.

Hard cover is anywhere within a house, behind a wall, behind a rock, or anywhere that a model has something that can substantially stop a bullet.

Targeting mods

-1if firing after moving

2.2.1 Firing into Hand-to-Hand

Firing missiles into Hand-to-Hand, all potential hits are randomized among all involved into the melee. If one target is a whole lot bigger and taller, say Cthulhu versus an investigator, then shots can be assumed to be directed at open target areas and this rule need not apply.

2.3 Melee or Hand-to-Hand Combat

When two units are locked into Hand-to-Hand combat the real fun begins. Melee is similtaneous, if one side is eliminated the other side still gets its attack. Successful attacks are removed from a units HIT score. If this score ever reaches zero it is eliminated, completely. It doesn't get a chance to rout, it's gone completely.

To resolve the result of an attack, use Table 1 in section 2.2 and apply the modifiers in Table 3 below.

Table 3

+2if unit that charged into combat that turn
+2for each rank deeper than opponent
+1Higher ground
-1Enemy behind obstacle (fighting over a fence)
+5flank attack
+10rear attack

A block infantry unit uses its whole front rank as the number attacking. If more then one unit is contacted to the front than the attack is split between all available units. If a unit is disorganized, the number available to attack is halfed and rounded down. Block infantry can only attack to the front. Block infantry casualties are recorded by placing little chits or markers beside a unit. Casualties are not removed from a block infantry unit.

If a peltast unit transforms from a block unit to a skirmisher formation, casualties are removed at that point. If a skirmisher is reduced to 0 HIT then it is removed. If a block infantry unit contains spears or pikes, it gets an additional bonus to its number of attacks. For spears add half the second rank rounding down. For pikes add half the second rank rounding down and a quarter of the third rank.

A flank attack is only possible if the attacking unit starts its move completely behind a straight imaginary line extending from the front of the attacked unit. A rear attack is the same except the line is drawn across the rear of the unit.

Example ***

A unit cannot be anywhere in this zone to make a flank attack

----------------- +--front--+ ------------------------
| | | victim |
| |
----------------- +--rear---+ ------------------------

A unit must be completely in this zone to make a rear attack

2.4 Morale

Morale is applied to a Massed Infantry unit as a whole based upon casualties taken from the whole. Morale is likewise applied to a skirmisher unit based upon casualties taken from the original number.

There are two kinds of morale checks: Fear and Rout. Fear represents the unit's potential to become disorganized and lose its momentum. Rout is when a unit finally breaks under the strain of combat and the participants run for their lives. To pass a morale check, figure out how many losses have been taken as a percent of total and reference the Morale Table. This is the number that must be rolled or exceeded to pass a morale check with no bad effects.

A Fear check is called for in the following situations: Contacted in the flank or rear by an enemy unit, contacted while crossing an obstacle, contacted by undead or daemonic (or any other fear causing unit), loss of over 20% of a unit to missile fire in one turn, or contacted by a routing unit. The result of failing a fear check is that a unit becomes disorganized. The effects of disorganization are that the unit cannot move during the next turn, cannot fire missiles and fights at half (rounded down) its OFF value for all hand-to-hand weapons if engaged in combat.

The Rout check is called for every round that casualties meet or exceed 60%. If a rout check is failed, the unit moves half its move backward away from the combat situation and causes a fear check on any unit it contacts. The unit is removed from the table and is out of the game for all purposes. In a campaign situation the unit has fled and taken casualties in fleeing.

Morale Table

0 % 2 -
20 % 5 -
40 % 10 -
60 % 15 18
80 % 20 20

Morale Mods
(only when using leader/hero rules)

No leader in range-4
Hero within 4" +3
(Not cumulative)

2.5 Alternate Fire/Move Style A

This style combines the initiative, missle-fire, magic and movement segment all into one segment. For each unit, one or more index cards are made with it's name upon it. A card is made for a unit if it can move. A card is made for a unit to fire it's missiles. Also a card is made for a unit if it can cast magic/psychic. If using the Tactical Magic system, don't make a card for magic. Tactical Magic would be resolved before the cards are used. Now once this is done for each unit upon the board, a card deck is made and shuffled. Each card is revealed one by one and the results of the card are immediatly worked out. This really randomises movement and firing, and slows the game down, but some people really like this variation. If a unit is eliminated, then it's cards are removed from the deck when revealed.

3 Advanced Rules

3.2 Advanced Armour

For a science-fiction-based game, basic DEF value of armor is not enough. When man was beating on each other with metal sticks and shooting rocks and arrows, simple armour was enough, but when bullets and lasers are thrown into the picture, armour variations are needed. Now for sci-fi weapons the type of attack is specified and the approriate armour stat is used when computing OFF/DEF attack results.

Ablative works best against small missle fire Reflec works best against energy beam weapons Field works best against heavy projectiles Gas works only against gas attacks

3.3 Vehicles and Dreadnaughts

Dreadnaughts are included in the vehicle classification, along with hovercraft, gyrocopters, tanks, motorcycles, and anything that else that encloses a figure and provides mobility.

3.3.1 Damage

A vehicle has a number of armour points, HIT that represent how well it is armored and constructed. Everytime a kill is scored against a vehicle it is subtracted from the HIT stat. These kills are cumulative and eventually the HIT stat could be reduced to zero. Once the HIT stat reaches zero, real damage starts occuring. For each hit that occurs when the HIT stat is zero, roll on the following two tables:

Effected Sub-system (d6)

1Left Actuator
2Right Actuator
3Left Mobilizer
4Right Mobilizer
5Main Body
6Central Control

Damage Result (d6)

3Out of Control
4On Fire
5Torn Off

Actuator refers to any arm or weapon system on the left side. If there is a central actuator system, and/or several actuator systems on the same side, randomize the hit among all possible systems. Mobilizer refers to any system which provides mobility to the vehicle, be it a tank tread, mechanical leg, wheel or otherwise. Randomize hits in a similar manner to the actuator hits. Main body refers to the main body of a vehicle. Central Control means the controling mechanism of the vehicle, if the vehicle is a motorbike this means the driver. If the vehicle is a dreadnaught, Central Control means the main controlling computer. Jammed

If a system is jammed, it cannot be used during the current turn sequence. At the start of each following turn sequence (or when you remember it during the sequence), a d6 roll is made and the effect part comes unjammed on a roll of 4 or greater. If the game is part of a campaign, then the next game the system will be completely functional.

If the jammed system is a tank tread or a mechanical leg, then vehicle can only move in place, turning using the good mobilizer. If it is a wheeled vehicle, it can only move at half rate, and turn at half normal turn arc--due to the drag of the jammed wheel.

If the jammed system is the main body, a roll of a 3 or greater on a d6 is needed to move greater than half speed, fire a weapon, use a mechnical arm or turn. This is only necessary until the main body becomes unjammed.

If the jammed system is the control system, the movement sequence performed in the last turn is repeated until the control system is unjammed. If the control system is the driver, such as for a motorcycle, the driver is stunned and repeating what she did last turn. The driver remains stunned until the control system becomes unjammed. Broken

If a system is broken, it doesn't work for the rest of the game, just like the word broken means. If this game is part of an extended campaign it could be repaired with sufficient resources by the next game.

If the system is a mobilizer such as a tank tread or a mechnical leg, the vehicle is limited to turning in place. If it is a wheel, then movement is cut down to half rate and turning is only available in half the turning arc.

If the system is the main body, roll a d6 now and at the start of each turn. If the result is a 5 or higher, then the vehicle can't move, it's frame is broken. Out of Control

If the system is a weapon it fires on a roll of 4 or greater on a d6, the target is randomly determined from all available.

If it is any mobilizer, the vehicle will move a random speed next turn, determined by rolling dice. The maximum speed is divided by 6 rounding up, this is the total number of d6's to roll for the speed of the vehicle next turn. If the total of this roll is higher than the maximum speed, the vehicle is stuck at full throttle for the remainder of the game. The vehicle will also turn randomly, roll a d6 and use the following guide or make up your own: 1-2 turn left, 3-4 go straight, 5-6 turn right.

If it is the main body, who cares. It doesn't need controlled anyway. You are a lucky person. The crew is acting funny though.

If it is the central control, you are a poor sucker. The rest of the game apply the above results to all systems. The vehicle runs amok. If the Central Control is a driver, then consider the driver to be having seizures. He can only be replaced if he is knocked unconcious or killed as a result of further damage. On Fire

A fire is started in the named system, next turn roll a d6 and on a result of a 4 or greater the fire has caused some kind of further damage, roll on the damage table alone and apply the result. On a roll of 3 or less the fire has gone out. Torn Off/Blown Off

If it is a mobilizer, the vehicle can no longer move. It is stuck in place. If it is a weapon or actuator, that weapon or actuator no longer exists.

If it is the main body, the vehicle no longer exists in one piece. The driver is unconcious and possibly dead. He can not be revived during the game, although he could be taken prisoner. If the main body contained troops, roll a damage roll for each trooper using the OFN value of the attack which caused the damage against the vehicle.

If the control system is torn off, the vehicle grinds to a halt, it will coast to a stop, so each turn it moves half of what it moved the previous turn, rounding down. Without controls, no weapons can be fired and it cannot be steered. If the driver was the control system, the vehicle no longer has a driver. The next turn he can be replaced if suitable replacements exists, and is in range. This takes a full turn. Explodes

This usually means a hit to a fuel tank or line. Possibly ammunition stores were struck, a main axle is shot off, etc. Extra credit for real descriptive results when this occurs, be creative. Apply all of the Torn Off penalties for the effected system, plus roll d6 more damage results. Moving too fast or slow

If a speed is dictated by some result which is faster than the vehicle is capable of accelerating, the vehicle only accelerates up to it's maximum acceleration.

If a vehicle has a new maximum speed due to damage on the above tables, one must make sure it can deaccelerate to that new speed safely.

Take the vehicles speed last turn and subtract the maximum deacceleration. If the result is zero or less then the manuever was executed with no problems. If the result is greater than zero move the vehicle in its current direction at this rate (actual distance varies with scale). Place a clock template over the vehicle and roll a d12 to determine it's new facing. For each inch that it moves during this sudden deacceleration roll a d6. For each result of a 5 or greater, apply another damage roll on the above tables.

3.3.2 Collisions

The amount of damage a vehicle does upon colliding with a model, building or other vehicle is determined by it's current movement in inches and it's original HIT stat. The HIT stat determines the number of attacks it can do and the movement determines the strength. Divide the current move in inches by two and round down (never lower than 1) for the OFF factor of the attack. For each inch over 20, add another attack to the total. In a collision of two vehicles, both usually get to roll for damage. If the two vehicles collide head on, use the total of both of their forward movements for computing OFF factor. If a vehicle is hit from the rear, subtract the forward movement of the front vehicle from the movement of the ramming vehicle. If a vehicle is struck from the side, it doesn't get to roll for an attack back. No modifiers apply to these rolls, and for each 1 or 2 rolled upon the attack dice, the attacker gets a HIT instead.

3.3.4 Disembarking

Troops can only disembark from a stationary vehicle. The number of models that can leave from one exit per turn is equal to the MOV score of the lowest model exiting.

3.7 Tactical Magic

Tactical magic is a push and shove affair, with one side eventually overpowering the other side's wizards. Magic usually doesn't effect the outcome of a game too much, but can if one side is far more powerful. Such a side is throwing its outcome to luck however as magic sometimes doesn't work.

Each wizard can cast one offensive spell and one defensive spell per magic phase. Each spell can have a power level from 1 to 10. Each wizard has a number of offensive power points and defensive power points to spend on power levels in casting. Each power point spend equals one power level on a spell. Once these points are spent the wizard is exhausted and can cast no longer. There are 10 possible spells and each wizard knows all of these spells and can cast any one he chooses. Each offensive spell has an associated defensive spell which can cancel the effects of the offensive spell or have effects of it's own when not opposing an associated offensive spell. Each spell lasts for one turn only, or it's effects are immediate.

For faster and easier play, write each of the spells on an index card with the title and effects on one side and leave the other side blank. Make a set of these cards for each wizard to be used in a battle.

During the magical segment, the side that is going first declares all of its offensive spells for each wizard first and secretly writes the number of power points used on the blank side of the appropriate index card. The cards are placed by their target units.

Then the other side declars all of its offensive spells for each wizard and secretly writes the number of power points used on the blank side of the appropriate index card. Then these cards are placed by their target units.

This procedure is repeated for defensive spells. After all cards are placed, for each unit flip the cards and resolve the effects. If any effects are to last through the turn, the card can stay on the table for a reminder.

To resolve the effects of magical combat, first if the spell is opposed by the appropriate defensive spell, take the number of offensive power points as the OFF and the number of defensive points as the DEF and cross reference the combat table for the roll that the offensive side must meet or exceed for the spell to have overcome the DEF.

Next the unit has a magical resistance, MAG, factor that is used as its second line of defense and a second roll must be made to see if the spell overcomes the units magical resistance on the combat table using the number of points in the spell as the OFF and the MAG factor as the DEF on the combat table. Note that a defensive spell must also overcome a unit's MAG factor to be successful if cast for the alternate effect.

If a spell is successful, then the effect are described below.

3.7.1 Spells

10 Spell Titles

Indolence of BeavisVigor of Hrothgar
Dread of Morphus Peace of Jude
Bane of Vex Benevolence of Angeline
Eye of Smaug Defense of St. George
Sloth of Grimgut Haste of Gygax Indolence of Beavis

Indolence of Beavis causes all attack rolls for hand-to-hand to be modified by -(power level of spell used divided in half, rounding down) for the unit under the effects of the spell. The spell causes the target unit to betormented insulted and distracted by vaporous illusions. Vigor of Hrothgar

Vigor of Hrothgar cancels an attack of Indolence of Beavis. If used otherwise all attack rolls for hand-to-hand to be modified by +(power level of spell used divided in half, rounding down) for the unit under the effects of the spell. The spell focuses the minds of the unit upon its targets. Dread of Morphus

Dread of Morphus causes a unit to take an immediate fear test. The spell causes an overwhelming dread of the future to invade the minds of the target unit. Peace of Jude

Peace of Jude cancels the effects of Dread of Morphus. If used otherwise the next fear check is at +(power level of spell used). A serene comfortable feeling settles quietly into the minds of the target unit. Bane of Vex

Bane of Vex causes a unit to take a rout check immediately. This can be very useful if your opponent is holding on due to a lucky roll after some heavy losses. An existential angst about the current situation sinks heavily over the target unit. Benevolence of Angeline

Benevolence of Angeline cancels the effects of Bane of Vex. It can be used otherwise to get a +(power level of spell) on the next rout check. A feeling of the units greater worth and purpose encourages the unit to fight for greater glory. Eye of Smaug

Eye of Smaug causes a ball of pure magical fire to shoot from the magic user into the target unit. It causes 6 Attacks upon the target unit at an OFF level of the OFF level of the spell. Defense of St. George

Defense of St. George cancels the Eye of Smaug. If used otherwise it creates an additional shield against missile weapons, each missile attack that is successful under the effects of this spell, must be rolled again on the OFF/DEF table with no modifiers, using a DEF value of the number of points put into the spell. Sloth of Grimgut

Sloth of Grimgut causes a unit to become lazy and sluggish. For each power level used, a point is subtracted off of the MOV score for the next turn. Haste of Gygax

Haste of Gygax cancels the effects of Sloth of Grimgut. If used otherwise it can add to the possible movement of a unit, up to double the units normal move for a turn. Note, that if a unit is performing a rush move, than the theoretical maximum is four times normal move.

For each point of power level used a point is added to the MOV score for the unit.

3.12 Leaders

This leader section is optional, but can add another tactical dimension to the game itself. Leaders are the commanders of a force and have a command radius of 12". A unit without a leader in command radius fights like it is disorganized and moves at half rate. Leaders usually stay to the rear and out of combat. They are exceptionally tough and lucky individuals that have made it to the top.

Heroes are models that raise morale to every unit within 4" of their current position. They usually fight to the sides and try to sneak through and get flank and rear attacks, and even better attack the leaders.

4 Point System

A point system is necessary to balance out a scenerio so that each player has a feeling that his force is equal to the other sides force. Sometimes a scenerio calls for an unequal number of points for either side, due to the odd nature of the victory conditions. But usually, a force will be developed independent and assigned a value. This value is somewhat arbitrary, and a gaming group should be willing to modify the point system to reflect inadequacies they feel effects the group as a whole. Points should not be modified due to poor strategy and tactics.

4.1 Description of Concept

In the development of GEM , a point system that gave fairly equal battles in terms of abilities was desired. Many systems are based upon a additive system, such as stat increases are worth a fixed amount added to the base value of the model. This is usually fine until one starts getting into extremes of the point system.

For example, if there are two models, both with one hit point, and one is a far superior fighter and very defendable and the other is a very weak model, if their hit points were increased to two, doubling their effective lasting power, and the amount added to both of their point values were the same, the more powerful one just got twice as powerful for very little additional to its points and the weak one just paid an exorberant amount for a small increase. To avoid this, GEM uses a complex system, which involves several factors, and strives to overcome these limitations of older systems

This system is pretty complex and requires a calculator, and still has some philosophical factors in it, but is hopefully more consistant than an additive system. If you find it too difficult to figure up points in this system, just look at the world designs that already exist and the beastiary for examples and agree on points that are close with friends. If you write up stats for some models that aren't in the beastiary, please mail them too me, I will include them along with your name in further revisions of GEM .

I derived these formulas by doing a statistical simulation of combat, summarizing the results into an average value table. Then a non-linear least squares fit was done upon this table using every possible factor I could think of. Several factors turned out not to really matter and a second fit was done using the factors I decided really effected the outcome. The results somewhat suprising. The base value is really dependent upon three factors, a defensive total, an offensive total, and a product of these two divided by a constant. The total product doesn't matter much in the lower ranges but quickly dominates the total base value if the values get very high. Factors which are marked "subject to change" are up for playtesting and may be toned up or down.

4.2 Description of System

Value of Model(Base Value)x(Morale Mod)x(Base Mod)x(Type Mod)x(MAG Mod)x(Mov Mod)
Base ValueDEFxHIT + OFFxATT + (OFFxATTxDEFxHIT)/16 + SIZ/18
SIZThe size of the target unit
Morale Mod1 + MOR/50
MAG Mod(MAG + 18)/20
(Subject to change)
Mov Mod(MOV + 16)/20
(Subject to change)

Base Mod

20 mm 1.0
25 mm 0.9
30 mm 0.8
40 mm 0.75
50 mm 0.75
Huge 0.65

Type Mod

Calvary 1.5
Peltast 1.3
Heavy Infantry/Leader 1.0
Skirmisher 0.8

4.2.1 Missile Weapons

Missile weapons use a modified OFF factor in the base value equation
OFF modified(OFF x ATT of weapon x Range in inches x Radius Mod) / Fire Mod

Fire Mod

Every turn4
Every other turn8
Every third turn or greater 12

Radius Mod

Single Target 1.0
Otherwise Radius Mod = Radius + 1/2
(This one needs a lot of work)

If a weapon is a heavy weapon, multiply the total by an additional 0.9 factor, since it can't be shot when moving.

4.2.2 Multiple Attacks

If multiple attacks are possible, calculate the base OFF value of each attack and then, take the highest possible combination of attacks during a single turn as the points value of the OFF factor. This forgos the ATT factor of the model and adds the value individually. That is, the ATT factor in the basic equation assumes that all attacks have the same OFF value.

4.2.3 Vehicles

A vehicle has an OFFxATT value as defined by the following:

OFFxATT = (Max Speed/2) x HIT + Missile Attack factors from 4.2.2 & 4.2.3

The DEFxHIT value is modified by a factor of 1.3

Base Value = 1.3 x DEFxHIT + modified OFFxATT +(modified OFFxATTxDEFxHIT)/12 + (Carrying Capacity)/9

4.2.5 Randomness

If any stat is random, use the average value.

GEM is copyright 1993 by Shawn P. Garbett. It may be freely copied and distributed by any means desired. This legal notice must be included with each copy of GEM. No charge may be made for GEM beyond a maximum of $5 USD fee (at 1993 rates) for materials and shipping, without written permission from the author. A publisher may not include GEM in a book of copyrighted material. The text of GEM may not be changed in any way.


A planned second edition was never published.