in my last post I explained a little about the philosophy behind the rules and today I want to go a little bit more into how forces are put together
Disclaimer – as already mentioned we are still playtesting and it possible that some of the things I cover here might change
As you expect our rules cover fantastical elements like large creatures, monsters, swarms of small creatures, vehicles etc, but at the heart of any army are the troops and in this article I want to concentrate on them.
so lets go through some basic concepts first, SotK is a unit based game, troops move and fight in units and these units are made up of 1 or more groups. a group is just a collection of figures that are identical so you might have a group of Archers or Spearmen or Light Cavalry, and sometimes these groups can be paraded together in a formation. there are 3 types of groups
- Skirmishers – these are groups of 6 figures that have no fixed formation
- Formed – these are in groups of 8 in 2 ranks of 4, they often create larger formations with other identical groups
- Massed – these are large units of 12 that fight in no fixed formation and are often low quality troops
as well as these 3 types we have 2 other options which are
these are self explanatory if its a creature that moves on its own feet its a foot unit, if its something that rides on another creature its mounted (see I’m being generic) in the rules there is very difference in the 2 types however mounted units do get better movement rates and some advantages in combat
as its fantasy there is some crossover, e.g. would a unit of Centaurs be classed as foot or mounted? and for edge cases like that have abilities that allow foot troops to act like they are mounted, so whilst a centaur unit is strictly a foot unit, it does act like a mounted one, because they really are just odd shaped horses
this brings us onto another subject which is abilities, we have loads of abilities in the rules and they can be used to really add flavour to groups and separate them out, I’ll go more into abilities in the next article
the other things you have to consider when designing your units is how well troops are at understanding orders, what they are wearing, how they are armed and all these different combos allow you to design a unit to fit your idea.
Leaders and Command and Control
as you would expect in a Lardies game Command and Control is a central tenet of the rules, all your groups need to be commanded by a leader (except for ones that don’t, but lets not worry about them for now) so when you put your army together you need to include commanders who’s role is to keep the troops motivated and at the very least pointing in the right direction.
so a basic force might look like this
Zog the Merciless – Senior Leader
3 groups of Formed infantry
Mog the Tireless – Sub Commander
2 groups of Skirmisher infantry
Bog the Unwashed – Junior Leader
1 group of formed Cavalry
I mentioned in my last post the ‘Rule of 24’ so I probably should explain that a bit. The Rule of 24 is something I picked up from Mr Clarke (the supreme leader of Lard international) and essentially it means that if you assemble your army in 24’s you get real flexibility when putting your army together
for example if I do 24 infantry figures, I could put them in 3 groups of 8, which gives me a nice block of formed infantry, or 2 groups of 12 massed units (very useful when defending a position) or even 4 groups of skirmishers.
it also means I can play around with different abilities to change how they act on the battlefield.
so if like me you are thinking about picking up some new figures, take a note of the number of figures you need for each type of unit, and remember that you’ll need some extra leaders and start jotting down your ideas on how they would act on the battlefield.
in the next article I’ll give some examples of units and show how the various abilities we have help shape those units