Core Gameplay Concepts:
Orders: Each turn players should submit a set of orders which includes explicit instructions for each unit the player controls as well as any orders necessary for kingdom management. These orders need to be explicit so the GM does not have to assume, nor question the player for details. These orders should be exact and singular. No “If, then” orders will be allowed.
Actions: Each turn all units get one action. Unless otherwise specified that action is the only thing the unit is allowed to do on that turn. Melee combat is not an action, and is triggered by moving your unit into a space occupied by an enemy. Strongholds and Capitals also can be issued orders.
Diplomacy: Players are allowed and encouraged to form alliances. One of the cornerstones of the game are diplomatic relations, negotiations, alliances and betrayals. Players are freely allowed to trade resources, armies, strongholds, and favors. Deals should not be made involving out-of-game goods or services. Under no circumstances will the GM of the game enforce an agreement between players.
Units: Each game piece represents a unit. A unit is defined as an army, a caravan, or a leader. Units always exist on the game board and are visible to all players at all times unless an extraordinary ability allows them to be invisible or they are hidden by the Fog of War. With a few exceptions, (see stacking) only one unit may be on a hex at once. Two opposing units ending the turn in the same hex will result in combat. Two non-enemy units ending the turn in the same hex result in one being shunted to an adjacent hex.
Leaders: Leaders; Rulers and Warlords, can be stacked with an army for their protection and can often confer a bonus to that army. Only one leader may stack with a given army at a time. If the army is destroyed the stacked leader is usually destroyed as well. Leaders can also act as a one-man army, with well specialized Leaders packing far more of a punch than the most advanced armies.
Each player starts the game with one Ruler who leads his or her kingdom and three Warlords. The Ruler can cast powerful spells, fight entire armies by himself, or tip the odds of battle in his favor. The Ruler is an extremely powerful unit, however, If your Ruler is destroyed, you lose the game. The Warlords have access to many of the same abilities as the Ruler, but are not quite as powerful. Rulers and Warlords are created with the character creation rules.
Combat: If two opposing units occupy the same hex they may engage in combat. Combat is resolved by rolling three ten sided dice (3d10) for your attack and for your defense. You add any modifiers to both values. Your opponent’s unit has done the same. For each unit the defense value is subtracted from the attack value. If it remains positive HP is reduced by that amount. If both units are still alive combat continues in this fashion until one or both have been destroyed.
Prey: Some units have an attribute called Prey. With this will be listed that unit’s prey. If a unit with this attribute deals even a single point of damage to their prey it is dealt an additional 15 damage. The terms predator and prey are used to describe the relationship these units have.
Stats: Each unit has a set of stats. Attack and defense are added to the dice roll. HP is the maximum health of a unit. Move is the maximum distance a unit can travel with a move action. Fly allows the unit to use the Fly action and denotes the maximum distance a unit can travel with it. Range allows a unit to use the Ranged attack action and denotes the maximum reach of this attack. Prey denotes this unit’s prey, if any.
Terrain: The game world features several terrain types spread across the landscape. These terrain types can offer bonuses or enforce restrictions. For instance non-flying units cannot pass over mountain hexes, while ranged units cannot fire attacks info forest hexes. Roads make land travel quicker, while hills are difficult to take from an entrenched foe. The terrain is designed to keep the landscape interesting and cause engagements to be more varied. The game world may change from game to game.
Armies: Each army is designed to feel distinct and to fill a role on the battlefield. Armies support one another by covering each other’s weaknesses, and no kingdom should rely on any one specific army type.