View Full Version : Original System New tabletop army battles system

2014-09-27, 12:17 PM
Just a little system i'm working on, it's nowhere near complete, this is just the bare basics of the rules. The core everything else builds off if you will, i mostly want it reviewed to check there are no gaping rules snafu's, or organisational issues with the layout or whatever else could go wrong that i haven't thought of.


The End Tim is a Tabletop Army Level Battle system, similar in general purpose to Games Workshops Warhammer Fantasy Battle System. Being an accumulation of various full scale re-writes of huge section of that systems 6th edition this system does share some passing similarities, however it is very much an accumulation of those efforts and as such has seen some very heavy differences, with many superficial similarities laying more in the need to represent common elements of massed pre-modern combat than in any direct copying thereof.

Distances and Measuring

All distances given in the following document are in SDUís or Standard Distance Units. 1 SDU can be equal to any amount you wish, however it is recommended that you keep it to a reasonable number, generally as a rule of thumb 1 SDU should be equal to the scale of the models you are using. Hence if you wish to use the relatively common 25mm scale models a conversion of 1SDU to 1 inch is a good working average, however if you have smaller models or a bigger gaming area a larger or smaller value could be use as appropriate.

For all Purposes you may pre-measure any number of distances from any number of units or points to any other number of units or points prior to taking an action and may change your action, (see later for a definition of an action), so long as you do not complete it before deciding to do so.

If you begin an action and subsequently find it to be an invalid action treat the situation as if the player whoís unit is executing the action had chosen to change the units action after starting it.

Generally if an action involve rolling dice you cannot change it once dice have been rolled. An exception is actions found to be invalid after rolling the dice.

If a player selects to take an action in a given stage with a unit they must complete some form of action with the unit that is valid for the stage. The player cannot change his mind over which unit will take action. An exception is if the unit chosen is found to have no valid action choices for the stage in question. In which case he may change his choice of unit.

Unitís, Basing, and blocks

All Models must be on appropriately sized 4 sided bases, and should be facing one edge of the base. This is considered the Front of the base, with the Sides and Rear being the appropriate edges. There are 3 basic sizes of Base, Standard, Large, and Huge. Large Bases should have dimensions exactly twice that of Standard Bases, and Huge Bases should have dimensions exactly treble that of Standard Bases. Standard size bases should be roughly equal to 1SDU along each side.

A unit is considered in edge contact if part or all of itís base is in physical contact with part or all of the base, (not counting corners), of another model. Contact via the corners is considered Corner contact only and not edge contact.

A Unit consists of either a single Model or a single Block of Models. Single Models are subject to some special rules, (described in a later section), but except where stated otherwise are treated as Blocks.

Blocks consist of multiple models formed into a single unit with the formation taking the form of a Block. All Models in the Block must face with their Forward edge facing in the same Direction, this defines the Front, sides, and Rear of the Block. Each Block consists of 1 or more Rows of Models.

Unless a special rule applies for the unit they must be at least 5 models wide. With the exception of the models on the ends of the row all models must have each their baseís sides in edge contact with the sides of one and no more than one other model in the row per side. Models on the ends of the row require that only one side has one and only one model in contact with it.

A unit may have more than 1 Row. If this is the case, with the exception of the rearmost Row, all Rows must have the same number of Models in them. Each model in each Row except the Frontmost and Rearmost Row must have edge contact at both the Front and Rear with one and no more than one model per Front and Rear Edge. Models in the Front Row require that they have one Model and one Model only in Edge Contact with their Rear and models in the Rear Row require that they have one and no more than one Model in Edge Contact with their Front Edge.

If the unit has only one Row it is considered both the Foremost and Rearnmost row and as such it has no required minimum number of models in it.

Designer Note: As Iím sure most have figured out this amounts to pretty much the same as WHFBís Rank and File system, albeit with a larger minimum width, (this was chosen more based on expected unit sizes as it should keep the blocks mostly square instead of excessively stretched), I know Iíve no legal reason to set it up with such different terminology, still I felt I might as well.

Turns, and Turn Sequence:

Each game is split into several turns and each turn has 3 stages. These stages are known as Movement, Combat, and Recovery stages and occur in that order.

In each stage unless subject to a rule that would prevent it, each unit may take action. Player take turns in each stage choosing one unit from their army and taking a valid action with that unit for that stage. Once their action has been completed the opposing player chooses a unit and acts. This continues until one player runs out of units he wishes to take an action with, at which point the opposing player takes any further actions with his remaining units that he wishes to take. The types of action a unit can take are defined in the relevant sections on the relevant stages.


All models have several Statistics. These Statistics are as follows, shorthand designation in brackets:

Movement (M): The Movement characteristic consists of two number separated by a forward slash, e.g. 8/2. This first is the maximum forward movement distance; the second is the number of turns. See the section on the Movement stage for a full explanation of how these values are used.

Melee Combat (MC): This value is a measure of how skilled at hitting a target the unit is in Melee Combat. See the Melee sub-section of the Combat stage section for a full explanation of how this works.

Ranged Combat (RC): This value is a measure of how skilled at hitting a target the unit is in Ranged Combat. See the Ranged sub-section of the Combat stage section for a full explanation of how this works.

Power (P): This is a measure of the innate psychical power the unit possesses, it is used In both melee and ranged combat to determine how destructive a hit is. It may be modified or limited by equipment, particularly weapons, and by various forms of magic. See the Dealing Damage sub-section of the combat rules for how this value is used.

Endurance (E): Endurance is a measure of a units ability to shrug off or resist damage. See the Dealing Damage sub-section of the combat rules for how this value is used.

Reflexes (R): Reflexes is a measure of how rapidly a unit reacts to events around them. It is primarily useful for allowing a unit to get the first hit in melee combat. See the Melee sub-section of the Combat stage section for a full explanation of how this works.

Hitpoints (HP): Hitpoints, like in many games with such a stat is a measure of how many damaging hits the unit can survive before it falls dead. See the Dealing Damage sub-section of the combat rules for how this value is used.

Strikes (S): Strikes is a measures of how many effective strikes with a weapon, (or shots if ranged), the unit can make within the window of one Combat Stage.

Morale (MR): Morale is a measure of the units determination to fight on despite harrowing and/or demoralising circumstances, it decreases and increases based on a wide variety of effects. A Unit with no morale remaining will attempt to flee the battlefield. A full description of itís functionality is given under the Morale section of the rules.

Command (C): Command is a measure of a leaderís ability to lead and inspire troops and is not normally possessed by normal units. A full description of itís functionality is given under the Command sub-section of the Morale section of the rules.

Armour (A): Armour is the primary means by which a unit may attempt to avoid damage to itís hitpoints. Most units do not have any armour of their own, instead as the name implies it is granted by equipment worn. The functionality of armour and what grants it is covered in more detail in the Damage Mitigation sub-section of the Combat section rules.

Ward (W): Wards are an additional way to avoid hitpoint damage. Like armour it is covered in more detail in the Damage Mitigation sub-section of the Combat section rules.

Energy (ER): Energy is a stat possessed only by models with spellcasting ability. It regenerates each turn and is expended to cast magical effects. Itís use is described in the Magic Subsection of the Combat section of the rules below.


Several section below will note that a effect or rules or action requires you to be able to target an enemy unit. You can only target an enemy unit if you can draw a direct line between the unit wishing to perform the target and the unit that is being targeted that does not pass through anything that is considered to block the line. Blocking of the line is known as blocking ďline of sightĒ. Most units, regardless of owner, block line of sight. So do some terrain features and spells. See the Sections on Terrain and Spells for more information.

Unitís that are engaged in melee combat cannot normally be targeted except by units that are part of the combat, though no base to base contact is required for this unless stated otherwise.


Normal Movement:

Normal Movement for a unit is moving the unit without bringing it into contact with any unit during or at the end of itís move. You may only conduct such movement if the unit is not engaged in melee combat at the start of the movement stage.

A unit may move a number of SDUís directly forward equal to the first of itís two movement values.

During this movement it may make a number of turns equal to the second value listed in itís movement statistic. A turn consists of rotating a unit around itís centre point by up to 45 degreeís. If the unit has sufficient turns it may use several at once to turn by a larger amount. It may also use itís turns values separately, turning, then moving then turning against for example.

Moving into Melee:

A unit may if it wishes move into melee combat with a hostile unit. To do this first determine that you can in fact make the move required to bring you into base to base contact with the chosen enemy unit, but do not move your unit yet. You may make a free turn, (that is it does not count against your turns limit), at the end of your move to align your unit properly with the enemy, this turn may be cantered on either front corner of the unit rather than itís centre.

Once you have determined that the move can in fact be made the owner of the unit your are attempting this against is allowed to declare a reaction. He has two choices; to hold his ground, or to counter-charge.

If he holds his ground complete the move described above. If he counter-chargeís, move your unit until you have reached a distance from the counter-charging equal to half the counter-charging units move value. Then halt the movement and the countercharging unit completes the remainder of the move using the rules for moving into melee outlined above.

Regardless of weather the opposing unit holds its ground or counter-charges the last unit to move must attempt to place the maximum possible number of models in base to base contact with the enemy unit.

Moving into melee with a unit requires that the unit doing so be able to target the unit is is moving into melee with.

Impeded Movement:

Several factors can impede a units ability to move, most commonly terrain. Such a units movement is said to be impeded and they must expend two SDUís worth of movement for every actual SDU they move. It is acceptable for a unit to move a fraction, (usually half), an SDU if the unit has a total movement value that is not a whole even number.



Several sections of the following text will use the term attack. Attack refers to a single die roll or die roll result pf any attempt to harm an enemy unit with a melee weapon, (including fists/claws/e.t.c.), ranged weapon, or some forms of magic. If a model or unit is described as attacking it is a coverall term for all die rolls the model or unit makes whilst attempting this.

Actions in the Combat Stage:

As noted below there are three primary forms of combat. Melee, Ranged, and Magic. Both Magic and Ranged combat can sometimes take place involving units that are engaged in melee, and since one or more unit/s from each side will be involved all units may have the option of fighting in melee, (known as a melee action). To clarify the sequence involving such units the 2 following rules should be followed:

Firstly all units engaged in a single melee take their actions simultaneously, as such each unit attacks just once per Combat stage, not once per unit taking actions.

Secondly, any unit wishing to take an action other than or in addition to a melee action does so only as part of the melee action that resolves the combat for this turns Combat Stage.

Thirdly, a unit wishing to take an action other than or in addition to a melee action may take a melee action, (thus causing the entire combat to be involved in a melee action allowing the legal application of the second rule listed here), to thus allow them to take their non-melee action.

Fourthly all non-melee actions are resolved before melee attacks are resolved. If multiple models and/or units wish to take such actions resolve them in reflex order.

Fifthly, unless stated otherwise taking a non-melee action does not prevent a unit or model from making melee attacks when resolving the melee action.

Melee Combat:

Melee Combat consists of 2 or more units belonging to different players attacking each other with melee weaponry. Units that are engaged in melee combat must take a melee action, unless they choose to take another action, (see the subsection on ďActions in the Combat StageĒ above for more information on this), though when during the combat stage each combat is resolved is decided by who activates a unit in each combat first. By default only models in the front row may strike at the enemy and the strikes of the various units are resolved in reflex order. That is the model/s with the highest reflex in the selected combat conduct their strikes first, the models with the second highest reflex conduct theirs second and so on and so forth. If multiple models have the same reflex then conduct their attacks together.

Attacks may normally only be directed against a unit in general, that is the attacks are directed at the entire block, and may not be directed at individual models that are part thereof. Heroic Individualís are and exception under some circumstances, but see the specific section on such individuals for full details.

If all the models have the same power value for their attacks and the attacks are otherwise identical in all respects you may conduct all the relevant models attacks as one complete whole adding their melee combat and strikes values together for the purposes of the following rules.

When striking at an enemy unit you roll a number of dice equal to the attackers melee combat value, by default for each roll of a 4+ you score one potential strike moe commonly referred to as one hit. You must then determine weather the attack was damaging using the attacking models power value, and determine if the defender was able to negate it via armour or wards using the defending units armour and ward values. Because these mechanics are also used by most forms of ranged attack and some magical effects they are detailed separately below in the sub-sections on Damaging, Mitigation, and Hitpointís.

Ranged Combat:

A unit wishing to engage in ranged combat with an enemy must not be engaged in melee, (except where noted below), must posses an actual ranged weapon. If these conditions are met the unit may fire their missile weapons, however the unit they wish to hit must be wholly or partly within the maximum range of the weapon and they must be able to target the unit they are firing on. As an additional targeting restriction the unit being targeted must lay within a 45 degree arc to either side of directly ahead of the unit at the time it fires. If the unit is arranged as a block of 2 or more rows only the front 2 rows may fire.

The procedure is very similar to Melee combat with each model attacking with a ranged weapon rolling a number of dice equal to their ranged combat score with each die resulting in a potentially damage strike or hit on a roll of a 4+. Like melee combat if all the models have the same power value for their attacks and their attacks are otherwise identical in all respects they may add their ranged combat and strikes values together in the same way as a melee fighter. Unlike in melee combat however the enemy does not get to make attacks back, and several factors may reduce each models Ranged combat value. If combining the values of multiple models together then apply these modifiers to the finial ranged combat score once for each model attacking.

The common modifiers are as follows:

Shooting at a target further away than half the firing weapons maximum range results in a 1 dice loss per model.

A unit which has moved in the prior movement stage, (movement outside of the movement stage does not count), suffers a 1 dice loss per model, though note that some weapons cannot be fired after moving.

A unit firing at a target in various forms of cover will suffer a loss of 1 or more dice, usually it will be only one but some rarer terrain types may inflict a larger penalty. See the Terrain section for further details.

Once it has been determined how many hits are scored, the procedure for determining if they become damaging strikeís, and weather they are mitigated is detailed below, and is identical in all respects to melee.

Units engaged in melee cannot normally be targeted as noted under the Targeting subsection of the Basics section. However if the unit to be targeted moved into melee in the prior movement phase it ma be targeted. A unit of troops possessing ranged weapons may even target a unit that engaged it in melee in the prior movement phase provided it did not countercharge. Ranged attacks conducted in this manner suffer no negative modifiers, but they take the place of melee attacks for the models that use their ranged weapon/s. Individual Models within the unit using Ranged weaponry may choose to forego the use of their ranged weaponry to allow them to use their melee weaponry instead.

Magical Combat:

A unit can only engage in magical combat if it has an energy attribute. Magical Combat consists of 2 types of combat, casting a spell and counterpelling a spell. Counterspelling does not require an action and is discussed further below. Casting a spell does.

All spells will have an energy cost listed. This is the minimum energy a magic user must spend to successfully cast the spell, if they canít meet the minimum cost they cannot cast the spell. So long as they spend at least the minimum amount of energy the spell is always successfully cast. Some spells will have a variable cost, in this situation the cost of the spell is outlined in the spell description. Unless noted otherwise a spell may be cast while engaged in melee combat. A magic user may cast any number of spells in a single action, resolve them one by one in any order the caster wishes.

See the Spells Section for a list of common spells.


Counterspelling is the act of attempting to disrupt a spell after it has been cast but before itís effects are applied. Any spell can be counterspelled but if you wish to do so you must declare and resolve the attempt immediately after the spell is cast.

Counterspelling requires that one or more magic users attempt to appose the spell. To do so they must all expend energy points. There is no minimum or maximum amount they can use and you do not have to use more than one magic user if you do not wish to. However you must declare all energy points to be expended before any dice are rolled. After the defender has declared how many Energy he is going to expend that casting player rollís 1 die per energy point used to cast the spell and the counterspelling player rolls one die per energy point expended in the counterspells attempt. Add all the dieís of each player together, if the counterspelling players total is greater than the casting players total the spell is countered, otherwise the attempt to counterspell fails and the spell affects apply as normal. You may only attempt to counterspell a given spell once.

Damaging an Enemy:

A variety of effects, mainly Melee and ranged combat, but also some spell effects can inflict ďpotentially damaging strikesĒ, generally referred to by the simple shorthand term, ďhitsĒ. These hitís will have a power value attached to them, usually determined by the spell or the equipment the hit is made with. Now we must determine if these hits are damaging. This is done by rolling 1 die per hit scored. To determine the minimum roll required for the hit to be damaging subtract the targets Endurance score from the Power of the attack and consult the table below.


-6 to more

Cannot damage, do not roll

-4 to -5


-2 to -3


0 or -1


+1 to +2


+3 to +4


+5 or more

automatically damages, do not roll

Strikes Limit:

Regardless of the finial results of the dice rolls each unit/model has a limit on how many damaging strike it can cause. This is known as the Strikes limit and is equal to the Strikes value of the unit/model. This limit only applies to Melee and ranged attackís, it has no effect on spell effects.

Damage Mitigation:

Once you have determined how many Damaging Strikes are caused after accounting for the strikes limit, your opponent may attempt to use any forms of mitigation the target possesses. There are two primary types of mitigation; Armour and Wards. Many units and models will not have a ward effect, and some may not have armour, thought this is rarer. Their functionality is described below:


A unit to successfully mitigate a hit must exceed the power of the attack with a die roll to which their armour rating is added. A roll of a 1 is always a failure


Wards function the same as Armour, except that you must roll greater than a value of 6 regardless of the power of the attack. Like armour a roll of a 1 is always a failure.

2014-10-06, 01:51 AM
this seems pretty solid, though how does it handle fires and such?

2014-10-06, 07:24 AM
this seems pretty solid, though how does it handle fires and such?

Fires? Do you mean like campfires? Given the scale it's intended to work at those aren't really relevant.

To give you an idea, the picture below is a more or less standard face off between two sides in a WHFB game, which is the same sort of scale:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ts1HdLGjywM/SYikyEFBtfI/AAAAAAAAEK8/mbia4KDYmLk/s800/warhammer_lizardmen_army_vs_empire_army_report_2.j pg

2014-10-06, 10:51 PM
i was thinking more like burning tar, greek fire, flaming arrows and such, also great photo explanation, clears up the scale a decent amount

also any ideas about siege tunneling type units?

2014-10-06, 11:33 PM
i was thinking more like burning tar, greek fire, flaming arrows and such, also great photo explanation, clears up the scale a decent amount

also any ideas about siege tunneling type units?

First bear in mind this is just the barest basics you need to take two statted up units out and move them about the battlefield and have them fight hand to hand. Without equipment lists you can't bring weaponry or armor in, and without a spell list you can't do magic. And without the Morale system units would be forced to fight to the death, there's no cut and run capability in these rules as given. But that and far more is stuff i've yet to write, i'm kinda trying to get feedback on any flaws in these rules as presented.

As far as your questions. Whilst many attacks will have specialized morale effect's, and some spells and the like may work by debuffing a unit of troops, most attacks will take the form of either X attacks of N Power, or X automatic hits at N Power. So things like Greek fire or burning Tar chuckers would be represented within the context of that. Something like say a flamethrower would probably cause a semi-random number of automatic hits to any unit it's aimed at, with bonus morale effects, because "FIRE".

Siege would probably be a major expansion in it's own right of the core rules as they're intended to primarily represent "field" battles. That is battles away from fixed fortifications and the like. Think Agincourt and the like. Hope that helps.

2014-10-07, 03:40 AM
okay, very cool, just wondered if you had tinkered with that yet, as it stands the numbers seem good, though equip is definitely going to help alot

2014-10-07, 12:06 PM

Thank's, not getting any comments on this has been annoying. Glad you can't see any issues. Guess i should move onto morale and equipment.

Regarding the later, do bear in mind the vast majority of weapons will fall into two similar categories since they have, if not identical methods of employment, then close enough for the scale we'll be representing. That means that most common swords, axes, and hammers will fall into either than common 1 handed, or common 2 handed categories. Common 1 handed are basically the same as unarmed, (unarmed is only going to be used by units with special capabilities there anyway so i see no reason to represent it's weakpoints), common 2-handed give a 2 point power boost, but reduce your reflex score by the same, (this is more or less how all weapons work, modifying base ability score's, though not all will have a negative attached like this, Power bonus's just happen to be somewhat logarithmic in their scaling so large bonus's of +2 or more require a counterbalance). Other weapon types that have very unique methods of employment, or unusual advantages will exist, at the minimum i'm going to want polearm's, spears, pikes, and lances. I may also include Flail class weaponry, (one and 2 handed under different rules), War Pick's, (again different for one and two-handed), and maybe some other stuff i haven't thought of. Ranged weaponry will be fairly similar with one, maybe 2 classes each of bow's and crossbow's, with maybe slings and Javelins thrown in for good measure to cover my bases. Armour is of 3 types with 1/2/3 points of armour granted, and Shields come in two types with either 1 or 2 points of armour granted.

Anyway time to go type me thinks.