Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Troop types added

Been making some more progress in the evening hours while away on (skiing) holiday. Added some trooptypes including the special rules related to them. I'm hoping to review and playtest them the coming weeks.

  • Creatures - a herd/pack of non-intelligent creatures that is controlled by magic or drivers

  • Behemoths - large non-intelligent creatures controlled by a crew, and possibly with a howdah

  • Giants - a small group of (very) large intelligent beings

  • Swarms - a large quantity of small creatures, that basically acts as mobile difficult terrain that has a small chance of inflicting damage

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Action 2009

We've just reserved a table at Action 2009 in Rheindahlen, to put on a "This One Split" demo. Guess we've got to get our act together and get a playable set going by then!

May 2nd, 2009 it is. Nothing like a deadline to get things going....

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Battle of Minas Tirith - Inspirational

Watched the battle of Minas Tirith again, on DVD. Sure is inspiring stuff, gets the mind going again on things to do with these rules :) Just looking at below stills drives home just what a job Peter Jackson and team did, again... (Click on the pictures to get the full view on the original website)

Latest progress is on the rules for the "heroes" - that is, individuals that on their own can affect the battle, but are not part of the formal command chain.

A problem could be that we'll end up with simply too many cards that need to get drawn every turn, which would become a nuisance. I'm working on a solution that keeps some level of randomness in there, while keeping down on the amount of cards drawn. And not introducing additional die rolls either.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Progress on rules - individual combat

Added rules for personal combat between individuals/big men.

Versus units
Basically the idea is that for individuals to engage whole units of 100's of men is pretty foolhardy, and usually results in them dying. The exception being when they are defending e.g. a narrow defile that prevents the hostiles from swamping them. In this case, odds are still that they will die, but they stand a chance of holding their ground.

These are resolved with a quick die roll resulting in hits on the individual. No damage is done to the opposing unit.

Versus other individuals: Duels
Duelling reflects the noble and honourable sport of man-to-man combat. It also represents two men trying to bash eachothers head in.

Duelling consists of three phases:

* The challenge
* The response
* The fight

The Challenge
To declare one's intent to engage one's opponent in single combat, two options are available.

The proper thing to do is to stride forward in front of all friendly troops, and in a clear and fearless voice call out the opponent to defend his honour. The individual is put 2" in front of the friendly troops, and move on to The Response.

The slightly less proper thing to do is to rush forward screaming vile things at your opponent, and hope he doesn't run away before you arrive. This is ONLY possible if the hostile individual is within movement range, not attached to friendly troops and there is an unblocked path, OR if both challenger and opponent are both attached to bases that are engaged in combat with eachother.

Responding to a proper challenge
If challenged properly, the challenged individual now has to decide whether to refuse or accept the challenge.

Refusal of a challenge means that the challenged individual is clearly shown to be of inferior moral calibre, and thus loses his charisma bonus - uless the challenger is clearly of inferior status (e.g. a peasant challenging a king). The challenger is left where he is standing, until his next activation.

Should the challenge be accepted, then single combat is fought, after which the surviving partie(s) are moved back to their starting points.

Responding when being rushed
If an individual is rushed, he basically has the same choices as in a proper challenge. However, should he elect to refuse the challenge this is not automatically succesful.

The fight
An opposed die roll using both individuals close combat skills. This results in a number of hits on the loser.

As long as both individuals are still standing (that is, not dead or seriously wounded), combat continues into another round. The only except being if both individuals decide to end combat.

NB. Hits are converted into light wounds, serious wounds or death, using a simple die roll.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

This One's Split Summary

This One's Split (*) is a work-in-progress set of wargames rules for large fantasy battles. The rules are heavily inspired by Too Fat Lardies rulesets like Ain't Been Shot Mum and La Feu Sacré (LFS), in particular where the command and control system is concerned.


Overall aims and goals

  • Battles that 'feel' right

  • Racial differences at both unit and command level

  • Commanders that command rather than hit stuff (primarily), focus on command and control

  • Magic system that adds colour, but doesn't bog down

  • Different possible tactics reflecting different races

  • Fun gameplay regardless of race played

  • Solid mechanisms for special troop types (e.g. flyers)

Approximate ground scale of 1" = 25m, and approximate time scale of 1 turn = 15 minutes.

Units and Individuals
In this game we've chosen to represent both formed troops (units) and those individuals that play a major role on the battlefield; commanders, heroes and mages.

Individuals all share a set of attributes which describes how well they can command troops (similar to LFS), their skill at personal combat, and various attributes regarding to the use of magic. Further attributes will be available to personalize the various characters (bloodthirsty, coward, bold, etc.)

Troops are divided according to their formation, weaponry, armour, and further attributes such as 'shock' troops. Each base represents a unit of a certain number of troops, depending on their formation:

  • Close order: 800 infantry or 500 cavalry

  • Open order: 600 infantry or 400 cavalry

  • Skirmish order: 400 infantry or 300 cavalry

Racial attributes will be in place, making tangible differences between the races that add character and not just combat strength. For special troop types such as behemoths, giants, swarms and such, this will obviously be different.

A base size of 8x4cm is assumed, but others (e.g. 6x3cm, multiple DBM bases, etc) can be freely used, as the base size is not relevant to the combat mechanism.

Initially only blinds are deployed. Then, as the opposition is scouted out, the actual troops are deployed onto each of those blinds. This allows for a degree of uncertainty at the start of the battle, until the true composition and location of the enemy is found out.

Command and Control
Individuals have the ability to activate units and thus get them to 'do' things. Commanders can do this for a number of units, that fall within their command. Other individuals can only do this by attaching themselves to a unit and leading by example.

The sequence in which the various commanders/individuals are activated is a chit/card-based system. The amount of troops they can activate/the complexity of the tasks they can have them execute is determined by the skill of the individual.

As we want to encourage players to use formations of multiple bases, it is possible to activate more troops within a formation than to activate all these units individually.

Combat mechanisms
Combat mechanisms are in place for both ranged and close combat. Ranged combat results in attrition of the hostile troops (no figures are removed, but casualties are marked either on table or on paper), with the potential of morale failure.

To properly see the opponent off the field, there is nothing like naked steel. Close combat is carried out on a base vs base mechanism, taking into account factors such as the formation, morale, protection, weaponry and tactical circumstances. A die roll then determines who is the victor and who is the loser - and how bad the loss is. Casualties are also determined as a result.

In special cases (troops suffering heavily from missile fire prior to combat, terror-inspiring opponents and such), a simple 'flinch' or morale test is carried out to determine if a base already drops in morale prior to combat.

Mages on the battle field are the cream of the cream - or they would simply have no effect. They're not your average mage that throws fireballs, makes rabbits disappears etc. Battlefield mages are scarce, only a few for a large battle.
These mages gather magical power to be able to affect the battle, and need to take critical decisions on when to use it. Expect a mage to influence the battle on one or two critical moments - not each and every turn.
Mages are differentiated by the amount of magical energy they can gather, the amount of control they have, and the spells that they may have prepared. If a mage goes in over his head and gathers more magical energy than he can control, bad things(tm) happen - so it is always a balance between getting the biggest 'oomph' and not letting things grow out of control.


  • Command and control mechanism is in place

  • Basic combat and movement mechanisms are in place. Many refinements however still need writing down

  • Racial and individual attributes are being fleshed out

  • A first start has been made on the magic system. Spells/effects and such still need to be dreamed up.

  • Rules for a plethora of special troop types still need to be thought up, in particular for flying troops. Combat mechanisms for giants and behemoths are already in place.

  • Playtesting will be needed to verify all the factors and whether they scale appropriately

(*) "Pass me another elf, this one's split - General Ashnak - Orc Commander in Mary Gentle's "Grunts"