This is the first Fragment of the Spheres of War (SoW) ruleset, part of the Tactical Sphere which deals with tabletop wargames with miniatures. A Fragment is a bite-sized chunk of rules, usually a single sheet of A4, that is easy for new players to run through and digest. It is not a complete game, more an illustration or example of the core concepts, to ground the players. Later Fragments build upon the first. This first Fragment deals with the basic structure of the turn, movement, and combat within the Tactical Sphere. It is very simple and not a complete game!
Download now; sow-tactical-frag1-v0.1f.pdf
Aim: Introducing new Reapers to Spheres of War. Reapers is the name for SoW Players, a play on words derived from the tag line ‘as you SoW so shall your reap”. The first Fragment covers the basic structure of SoW, giving a rough overview of the system, and how it fits together. It is a foundational block, upon which all the later rules are built. Later Fragments further define the system, adding detail.
Features: a fast tactical table-top wargame based on Historical Western Martial Arts, using consecutive matches, simultaneous movement, chained combat, and single roll combat actions.
Notice: This is not a full game. This Fragment is a component part of the full rule-set. The full rule-set collects together all the component parts (Fragments) for a Sphere and compiles them into a single volume. In this case that will be the Tactical Sphere ruleset. This single volume will be offered as a Print on Demand book with explainers, and a simplified PDF. All content will be duplicated on my website, and the simplified PDF will link back to explainers on my website.
Rules beta v0.1f
The 38 rules are duplicated below for quick reference.
1) 2 Players.
2) 2 six-sided dice (D6), 1 for each Player. (In a later Fragment we’ll switch to D10)
3) A gaming table with a marked play area, min 1′ x 1′ (a game mat is a good idea)
4) 5 black and 5 white chess pawns, or checkers, to represent ‘combatants’ on the gaming table
5) Players set up on opposite sides of the gaming table.
6) Set up your combatants within 6” of your side of the play area (6″ x 2 = 1′, min play area size)
7) Players take on the role of Instigator (white) or Retaliator (black). Flip a coin.
8) The game is divided up into Turns
9) Each Turn is made up of a series of Matches.
10) Matches are between one Instigator and one Retaliator – a Matched pair of opponents.
11) All combatants on the table-top start a turn unMatched.
12) The first Match is between the closest unMatched Instigator and unMatched Retaliator.
13) If possible Matches are equidistant: Instigator picks which Match to process.
14) Only Matched opponents can perform Actions.
15) Actions are: Wait, Move, and Fight.
16) The Instigator always performs an Actions first, followed by the Retaliator’s Action in response.
17) There are five (5) Actions per Match.
18) Once all Actions in a Match are used up, the Match is ‘Resolved‘, and the participants ‘Inert‘.
19) ‘Inert’ opponents play no further part in the rest of the Turn.
20) Create the next Match between the next two closest opponents, ignoring the Inert.
21) The TURN ENDs when all Matches have been resolved, start the next Turn.
22) If a Turn starts, and only one Player has combatants on the table, that Player WINS.
Movement & Waiting;
23) Matched opponents, not in base-to-base contact can only choose ‘Wait’ or ‘Move’ Actions.
24) The Wait Action means a combatant does nothing for 1 Action.
25) The Move Action means you can move your combatant 2” on the tabletop, cost 1 Action.
26) You can move directly towards or directly away from your Matched opponent.
27) Moving off the gaming area removes that combatant from the game.
28) If Matched opponents make base-to-base contact they are in combat;
29) The Combatant ‘A’ is the one that moved into base-to-base contact; the other is Combatant ‘Z’.
30) Once in base-to-base contact A & Z, are ‘locked in combat’ and can only choose ‘Fight’ Actions.
31) A Fight Action is made up of a ‘Move & Strike’, or a ‘Defence & Strike’, either costs 1 Action.
32) On base-to-base contact Combatant A immediately strikes Combatant Z.
33) Combatant Z must defend themselves with an Action Test using 1D6.
a) 5-6: ‘Z’ fails, is defeated, and is removed from the table-top. ‘A’ is the Winner.
b) 1-4: ‘Z’ is successful in their defence, and Strikes back at ‘A’.
34) Combatant A must now defend themselves and make an Action Test using 1D6.
a) 5-6: ‘A’ fails, is defeated, and is removed from the table-top. ‘Z’ is the Winner.
b) 1-4: ‘A’ is successful, and Strikes back at ‘Z’.
35) Repeat this process, until one is removed, or all remaining Actions have been used up.
36) When counting the 5 Actions, count moves & rolls (ignore strikes when counting)
37) The MATCH ENDs when both run out of Actions, or one is removed from combat.
38) Any Winners become unMatched, and are free to make Matches next Turn.
Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!
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