Recently this ruleset has been getting some chatter on Twitter, so I thought why not bandwagon along and have a look myself.
So what is Open Combat, simply it is a method of playing your model collection against someone else’s BUT you don’t need to be using the same system. Hell you don’t really need to have the same basing set up. There is a strong nod towards the historical and fantasy based games here but I am sure you could pull it off with other system types.
You create the stats for your models as part of the army building process but more on that later. Did I mention that a certain Mr G.Thrope has his hand in these rules as well?
As is the way with a lot of independents these days this is a pdf for the rules, which is very much becoming the norm and I like it and loathe it all at once.
Well first it makes games more accessible which is great but also means I have more systems I want to try…But I digress..
What I do like is that it isn’t over the top on the finishing so printing it out won’t break the bank in ink cartridges.
The book comes in at a nice easy to digest page level of less than 50 pages, obviously there is no fluff section but this is not surprising…..go make your own ;)
Now onto the rules, in this stage I will be giving a rundown of the what the rules cover. First up the stats in the game;
- SPD – Movement, all done in inches
- ATK – How good you are at chopping
- DEF – How good you are at NOT getting chopped
- FOR – Equivalent of wounds/life source
- MIN – Equivalent of leadership/Will/Morale etc..
Now the turn sequence is based around you activating all your models then passing over. However it is possible to lose the initiative which means you have to pass to your opponent even if you have models still to activate (more on that later).
So when activating a model they get to do 2 actions that can be any mix of;
- Move – Up to your SPD stat
- Attack – Smack someone with sticks/arrows etc..
- Interact – Pick up something
- Stand up – guess?
- Rest – lets a model regain either a point of MIN or FOR so basically you can heal yourself or get your s@&£ together ;)
Now combat is a very simple process (see the theme of this system), after checking usual things of range, LoS etc. as you expect you then compare the ATK of the attacker and DEF of the target (there are modifiers that can tweak these numbers of course).
The difference between the two will alter the number of dice rolled from 1-3 dice, so a draw means you only get to roll 1 dice.
Once the dice have been rolled you get to pick one of them as the result of the attack. This is where the possible loss of initiative comes in.
A 1 is very bad not only do you fluff the miss but you lose initiative, from there it builds up until you get to 5-6 which actually cause a ‘wound’. There is a real sense of movement with this system as not all attacks will result in wounds some result in psuhing a model back as you press forward (very thematic feel – Imagine every Robin Hood film ever)
There are other more in-depth rules for fighting with 2 hands etc.. But will leave that for you to find out. But what this still boils down to is simplicity
They recommend that you play a game of 150points or Renown. This is where things get interesting as you use these points to create your warband from the ground up.
Each point of a given stat is 1 point of Renown used, while giving equipment is generally also a point each (so sword and shield is 2 points).
Next is the Break Point of the warband which is worked out from the collective MIN and FOR of all models. During the game you keep track of the remaining MIN and FOR of the warband and once the lost amount reaches the break point then the warband is running (remember you can Rest though).
The remainder of the book covers some more unique rule possibilities be it mounted models (and monsters) as well as the effects various weapons/equipment has on the models using them.
We also get 3 scenarios to get us going, they are standard fair as far as scenarios go but its always nice to have some.
Which brings me to final point these are very much skirmish based level games, the fact you play on a 2’x2’ table means this is extremely accessible to all. It also means games will be very bloody and fast..
This is a nice feeling set of rules that anyone can pick up so easily. Great entry into the hobby but also good fun while you have some time but not enough for a full set up of lets be fair any of the big 3/4 games out there. For the price as well it is very nice.
Go check out the website – Secondthunder.com
P.S. make sure you head on over to hte webiste before end of October (tomorrow) to bag yourself a nice discount ;)