Wednesday, 29 August 2012

(Really) Basic Hammer

Whilst having a ponder in the bath this morning, where it has to be said that I do a lot of my best thinking, I got to mulling over Warhammer 40,000 and my pet peeve with it (well beyond the elitism and extortionate prices associated with it).

The rule book.

Warhammer may not be the most complicated game ever written but it does suffer from a bulky rule book. It's gargantuan when you consider that the game itself only consists of four phases and six turns!

Definitely not user-friendly!

So, I got to thinking, what the game really needs is a bare bones introduction level set of rules. Ideally they should take no longer to explain than a couple of minutes and they should be easy enough to allow people that have never played before into the game.. And I think I may really have something here.

The basic rules as I have designed them where written with infantry based skirmish level play in mind but, to be honest, no specific brand of miniature. So if you are considering entering into the hobby but don't want to shell out £60+ for an entry level box set, why not break out some old toy soldiers or other minis that you have lying around give these rules a whirl?

They're by no means 40k rules but, they will give you a taste of what it might be like to play the game and, if the game is for you.


Before play each player should take an equal number of models of their chosen type and place them within their "deployment zone".

Deployment zones can be any area at least 12" away from enemy deployment zone. If you do not have that much space to spare, then separate table  edges will suffice.

Phase 1: Initiative

Each player rolls 1D6. The player that rolls highest acts first in each of the following three phases (or may optionally allow his opponent to act first) and, play they proceeds amongst the players (more than 2 is possible) in order of the dice rolls from highest to lowest.

The player with the highest initiative will be referred to as the "first player" throughout the rest of these rules. 

Phase 2: Move

Roll 1D6 for each "Unit".

This turn that unit may move up to that many inches. A unit is defined as a group of models acting together as one. Once you have moved all of your units, play passes to the player to complete their movement phase.

Once all players have completed their movement, the first player then begins their Shooting Phase.

Phase 3: Shooting

Each unit that can now draw a clear line of sight (a line between your model and your opponents that is not blocked by terrain) but is not within an inch of an enemy model may fire.

Each unit rolls 1D6 for each member it has left and, every six rolled removes one model from the targeted group.

Once all of the first player's units have fired, play passes to the next player in initiative order that has models left on the table.

Once all players have completed their Shooting Phase, the first player begins their Close Combat Phase.

Phase 4: Close Combat

Units that are within an inch of enemy models (and therefore could not fire) may now optionally attack in close combat.

Close combat works just like Shooting, with each unit rolling a number of dice equal to its members with the exception that both fives and sixes will remove an enemy model.

Once all players have completed or passed on this phase the next turn begins and, initiative is re-rolled.


If at any point all of a players models are eliminated, they are out of the game. The winner is the last player to have models on the table when all of his opponents have been eliminated.

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