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create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

rules for fighting tabletop miniature battles

suitable for pre-gunpowder historical and fantasy settings

create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

By Carl Brown

published by

Written and created by: Carl Brown
Games development: Carl Brown, Gav Thorpe
Proof reading and essential editing: Nick Simmerson, Gav Thorpe
Playtesters: Carl, Gav, Nick, Matthew and those that must remain nameless
Graphic design, photography & illustration: Carl Brown
Open Combat would not exist if it wasnt for the help of many people. Thanks to my parents for setting me on the path of tabletop miniature
gaming so many years ago (theyre still giving the big kid new toys), my brothers for joining me on many fantastic adventures and all of the friends
(and strangers) Ive played against over the years. Thanks too go to Gav for cracking the mental whip (and listening to my wild ramblings),
Nick for consistently asking is it finished yet? (and providing a few bits from his collection for the photos) and to Catherine (and the kids)
for putting up with me as I dragged this publication into being. Thank you all.


Gripping Beast, Hasslefree Miniatures, Heresy Miniatures, Mantic Games,
Reaper Miniatures, Wargames Factory, Warlord Games
Examples of miniatures manufactured by the above companies appear within this publication from the authors
personal collection (along with some Orcs from the collection of Nick Simmerson).

Second Thunder Limited 2014. Second Thunder and Open Combat are trademarks of Second Thunder Limited. All rights reserved.

Create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

Front Cover 1 Warbands 18

Credits 2 Renown 18

Leader 19
Contents 3
Break Point 19
Preface 4
Zero Characteristics 19
Introduction 5
Mounted Models and Monsters 20
The Basics 7
Weapons 22
The Turn 10
Skills and Abilities 25
Initiative 10
Psychological Attacks 27
Actions 10
Terrain 28
Movement 11
Cover 28
Engaging the enemy 11
Additional Rules 33
DisEngaging the enemy 11
Hiding, CLimbing, Falling 33
Combat 12
Jumping 34
Shooting 12
Combined Actions 34
Obscured Target Test 12
Scenarios 36
Force Back 12
Open Combat 37
Hand-to-Hand Combat 14
Retrieve the Prize 38
Follow-up 15
Capture 41
Additional Hits 15

Fortitude loss 15
Afterword 43

Fighting from an elevated position 16

Fighting with two weapons 16 Miniatures Reference 44

Fighting Across A barrier 17
Warband Roster 45
Free Attacks 17
Optional Warband Character Cards 46
Prone 17

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Create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

If youre reading this then you probably have some The challenge
experience with tabletop miniature games. You may
It was with all this bubbling about in my head that I
even be similar to me and enjoy buying models just
recieved a verbal prod in the right direction from an
because theyre cool. These models could be from all
old friend. It was an off-hand remark made back in
kinds of periods, genres, settings and manufacturers.
2011 by my friend Gav that made me pull together
Maybe, again like me, you want to build a new army
my thoughts about the kind of game I wanted to play.
but cant wait to have the whole lot finished before
Wed been working on another project together and
starting to play using your latest purchases on the
Id been babbling on about tinkering with my own
gaming table. Open Combat is designed for you.
system when he said I should try writing it up properly.
Background He even joked about trying to keep it to two sides of
A4. I reckoned I could keep it to one side and Open
Ive been playing tabletop games for over 30 years
Combat was born.
and over that period Ive collected a great mountain
of miniatures and played many different games. Lots The early incarnation of Open Combat did fit on one
of the games Ive played require a lot of miniatures side of A4 but it relied on a lot of assumptions based
to create a force before they can be used on the on experiences of playing many other tabletop games.
tabletop which has often resulted in my enthusiasm The document youre reading now is the fleshed out,
waning. I have a multitude of half-finished projects, refined version of that early prototype.
one-off models or choice picks from particular ranges
An open system
of miniatures that I have purchased. Some of these
models have been bought on a whim without any Right from the outset Ive wanted Open Combat to
particular army, game or project in mind. Others are be as open as possible with regards to its usefulness
intended for use in a specific project but need me to across genres and settings. I wanted a core system
finish something else before I can use them. that allows gamers to play out what they want on
the tabletop, creating their own encounters and
With regards to games, I love all kinds of games:
adventures in whatever setting they felt the itch to
massed combat, RPGs and skirmish, fantasy, historical
play within. Essentially, if you imagine something a
or sci-fi. Despite enjoying a great many of the games
particular way I wanted a system that allows you to
currently available I found I wanted a game that gave
play it that way.
me something else.
Open Combat
I wanted to have a game that didnt need too much
space to play, could be played quickly and that gave On the following pages youll find all you need to
me a taste of that immersive action and drama you get started with Open Combat. Hopefully youll see
get when reading an action scene or watching a the opportunities it presents for using your favourite
fight sequence in a movie or TV show. Perhaps more miniatures within your preferred time periods and
importantly, I also wanted an outlet for my continuing settings. It may even encourage you to try a new range
habit of buying models that I really like but dont of miniatures or a setting youve not played before. Go
necessarily want to commit to a whole range or game on, you know youll enjoy it!
setting to use.

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Create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

Open Combat is a fast-paced tabletop skirmish game in which you create the
heroes, battles and adventures of your imagination.

You can guide the ragtag remains of a Roman expeditionary force through
barbarian territory, become a Saxon lord with his retinue as they face off against
a local rival, or chart the story of a group of adventurers fighting for fortune and
glory in a goblin-infested wilderness.

It could be anything you wish to play out on the tabletop. So grab a selection of
your favourite models and read on!


Before you start, you will need to gather together the
following items:

This rulebook
At least three six-sided dice
A tape measure
A selection of models to represent
opposing warbands
A Warband Roster (see later) detailing
the characteristics, skills and equipment
of each warband
An area of approximately 24"x24" to use
as a battlefield
A selection of model terrain pieces to set the
scene and dress the battlefield
Scrap paper and pencils
and of course, a willing opponent!

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Six-sided Dice & Tape Measure Note: If you choose to play on an expanded area you
may need to adjust a few details within the scenarios
Most gamers have access to six-sided dice (referred to reflect the area youre using.
to as D6). If you dont, theyre readily available from
game and hobby shops or online retailers. Model Terrain

Open Combat uses inches for measuring distances Open Combat can be played across a barren
so youll need a tape measure with inch increments. landscape if necessary but you will find your games
If you prefer to work in centimetres, please feel free are far more entertaining and engaging if you dress
to do so, wed recommend using a ratio of 3cm to 1. the tabletop with appropriate pieces of model scenery.
Whichever form of measurement you choose, ensure Not only do terrain pieces create interesting tactical
both you and your opponent use the same approach. situations, they make your games look great too!

Players may measure distances at any time, the Aim of the Game
action in Open Combat takes place at close quarters
so we assume the combatants can assess relative Open Combat games are played using scenarios.
positions accurately. Each scenario has its own set of victory conditions that
explain what you must do to win the game. It may be
Models as simple as forcing the enemy to break away from
the battlefield or you may be required to complete a
One of the great joys of playing miniature tabletop
task such as finding an important relic. You can find
games is the vast array of models available to buy,
out more about scenarios and victory conditions in the
paint and play games with. Weve used 28mm models
Scenarios section (see page 36).
from several manufacturers throughout this book
selected from the authors own collection and Open Overview of the Game
Combat has been designed with this size in mind.
Once you have all the necessary components to hand
If you and your opponent prefer using a different scale its time to get down and play.
of models these rules will work just fine regardless
(although you may wish to use centimetres instead of Choose Forces
inches for measuring distances if using 15mm models Each player constructs their warband using an
and smaller. Simply treat any references to inches as agreed number of renown points.
centimetres. i.e. 1 = 1cm).
Choose Scenario
Warband Roster You can randomly determine a scenario to
play or simply pick the one that you and your
Open Combat pits two rival groups of fighters, opponent wish to use.
called warbands, against each other. Each player
creates their warband and records the details of their Set up the Battlefield
fighters characteristics, abilities and equipment on a Set up the scene of battle by placing scenery
Warband Roster. on the tabletop. Sometimes the scenario will
require specific pieces of terrain, otherwise set
You can print the roster sheet from this book or up the scenery in any agreed fashion.
download it from our website.
Deploy Forces
Play Area Both players place their warbands onto the
tabletop as detailed in the scenario.
Open Combat can be played comfortably within a
24x24 area. The scenarios have been developed Fight for Victory!
with this area in mind but feel free to alter the size to Start the game.
suit your own preferences and availability of space
and time. The play area is often referred to as the
battlefield, board or tabletop.

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Create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

the basics
Before we get into the nitty gritty of the rules lets cover a few concepts central
to playing tabletop miniature games.

The most important rule

Playing tabletop games is a social activity. Yes, we do

all try to win but a big part of the enjoyment of playing
tabletop miniature games is the shared experience of
playing through an encounter or battle and watching
the events unfold.

If a situation on the tabletop leaves you and your

opponent at odds over how you feel it should be
resolved agree a way forward to apply throughout the
game and move on, you can always discuss the details
after youve finished. If you cannot agree, roll a dice or
flip a coin for it and make a note for future games. (You
may wish to let us know about the situation too via
email or the Second Thunder forum).

Play with good grace and a smile on your face, even if

it is a grim smile of resignation when things arent quite
going your way. Youll never be short of an opponent if Measuring Distances
you win and lose with equal good humour.
Distances are measured from the edge of a models
base. You may measure distances at any time before
committing to an action. Once an action is announced
you are committed to it.

Measuring the distance between two models:

Model Bases

The size and shape of a models base is not especially

important in Open Combat so you may use whichever
approach you feel comfortable with. Generally this will
be one model to a single base (this is the approach
Correct way to move a model:
used throughout development).

However, if you play in a group where one or two

players like to squeeze every advantage they can out
of anything they play you may want to agree a standard
approach that you can all adopt to accommodate your
miniature collections.

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Create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

Fractions Line Of Sight

All fractions are rounded up. A line of sight (LOS) between two models is drawn
by extending an imaginary line from the centre of one
Facing models base to the centre of another models base.
You are free to check line of sight at any time but when
Models have a front and rear facing. You may change
you declare an action you are committed to that action.
the direction a model faces as often as you wish during
that models activation. Once a model has completed A model cannot draw line of sight through its own rear
its activation its facing is fixed until it is next activated facing.
or something happens to it in the meantime which
If the line is uninterrupted by intervening terrain or
alters its position.
models then there is a clear line of sight.

If the line crosses another models base, an obstacle

or a terrain feature which has been designated as
Front Obscuring (see Terrain on page 28) then the line of
Front sight is Obscured. Examples of obscuring terrain are
hedges, tall grasses or crops and low walls.
A model standing within 1 of a barrier can ignore
the barrier when checking line of sight to a model or
Front object on the opposite side.
If the line of sight crosses a terrain feature designated
REAR as Blocking (see Terrain on page 28) then the model
cannot see and there is no line of sight. On occasions
when part of a model or its base is sticking out from
the Blocking terrain feature but its centre is Blocked
we assume the actual fighter, if the model was alive,
There may be occasions when your fighters are is ducking back out of sight or otherwise not visible.
knocked from their feet. A model knocked from its feet Examples of Blocking terrain are buildings or large
is referred to as being Prone. rocks or areas of dense woodland.

When you are required to place a model Prone simply

place the model on its side, face down, to show EXAMPLES OF LINE OF SIGHT (LOS)

that it has fallen to the ground. Alternatively place a A: Clear LOS to B and C but blocked to D.

suitable marker next to the model if you dont wish to

B: Clear LOS to A, Obscured to C and D.
C: Clear LOS to A, B and D.
risk chipping any paint off or bending a particularly D: Clear LOS to C, Obscured to B
spindly part. When a model is prone it is stunned or and Blocked to A.

disorientated by the circumstances that led to it being

knocked from its feet. This will affect the model as A
detailed later in the rules.



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Characteristics Fortitude (FOR)

Open Combat allows you to field a wide variety of A fighters Fortitude value represents their stamina,
combatants. These fighters all have different abilities, health and physical ability to continue to fight.
strengths and weaknesses which contribute to their
effectiveness on the tabletop. Mind (MIN)

We measure a models effectiveness using a series of A fighters Mind value represents their mental
characteristics. These characteristics are: aptitude, discipline, strength of will and general desire
to fight on.
Speed (SPD)

A fighters Speed value represents their pace, agility

and dexterity.

Attack (ATK)

A fighters Attack value represents their skill at arms,

Characteristic Profiles
aggression or natural prowess when taking the fight
to the enemy. A models characteristics are written in the form of a
characteristic profile for easy reference during a game,
Defence (DEF)
an example is given below:
A fighters Defence value represents toughness,
armour and their ability to defend themselves when
beset by enemies. 4 3 3 3 2

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the turn
Open Combat is played over a series of turns with the initiative passing back
and forth between the combatants as the ebb and flow of battle sweeps from
side to side. A game can last for any number of turns depending on the victory
conditions of the scenario being played.

During your turn each model in your warband may When your opponent loses initiative you will start a
activate once. fresh turn as the initiative returns to you.

You might not always get the opportunity to activate Actions

every model in your warband during your turn if
you lose the initiative at an inopportune moment. A model can take up to two actions when it is activated.
Prioritising your warbands actions is central to the
The actions available are:
tactics of Open Combat.
A model may move up to its SPD in any direction (see
When you have the initiative you may activate
members of your warband to move, fight in hand-
to-hand combat, shoot or otherwise interact with
equipment or elements on the battlefield. As members
of your warband attempt various acts they may lose A model may make an attack (see Combat). This may
the initiative, giving the enemy the opportunity to be a shoot action or striking in hand-to-hand combat.
pounce on the moment of hesitation or misfortune.
If you lose the initiative at any point during your turn
your current turn ends, the initiative passes to your A model may interact with a piece of terrain, use a piece
opponent and they start their turn. of equipment or otherwise engage with an aspect
of the scenario. This may take one, two or multiple
When you have activated all of the members of actions spread across multiple models. Details can be
your warband that you wish to activate your current found when the rules state an interaction is possible.
turn is over and the initiative automatically passes to
your opponent. Rest

A model may choose to rest when it is activated. It

uses both of its actions to rest - the model may may
Example: Carls Celts are fighting a battle against not rest while Engaged and not change its facing.
Nicks romans. Its Carls turn and after activating The fighter takes time to check over a recent injury
a few of his models, disaster strikes and he loses or gathering its wits after a moment of madness. The
initiative after a poor attack roll, his turn ends even model regains either 1 point of Fortitude OR 1 point of
though some of his models have not been activated. Mind after resting.
Nick now has the initiative and starts his turn
as the romans attempt to take advantage of their Stand Up
opponents misfortune. A model may spend both of its actions to stand up.
It may be placed facing in any direction.


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Arming a fighter with a spear, sword or bow will prepare him for combat but you
still need to get him into the most advantageous position to use them. As in all
battles being in the right place at the right time is crucial for victory in Open
Combat especially so if you can surround your enemy

A model may move up to its SPD in inches when it Disengaging From The Enemy
uses a move action. A model may not move over
other models. If you have a model Engaged with one or more enemy
models and wish to disengage, by moving the model
away from base-to-base contact, you must state
Example: Nick activates a model with a SPD of your intention to do so before you move the model.
4 and uses a move action to move 4. Looking at The controller of the enemy model/s may make a
the battlefield Nick decides it would be useful if the free attack with any models currently Engaged with
model were further forward and uses the models the model you wish to move. See the hand-to-hand
second action to move a further 4. combat section for details of how to handle these
free attacks.

Engaging Across A Barrier

The terrain a model is moving through may impede If an enemy model is in base contact with a barrier
the distance the model can move. See Terrain on page (such as a low fence or wall) you may engage the
28 for more details. enemy model by moving into base contact with the
opposite side of the barrier. We assume that the
combatants are swinging and stabbing at each other
If you move a model into base-to-base contact with from either side of the barrier and pose a threat
an enemy model (or models) the models are Engaged even though the models are separated by the terrain.
in combat. Note that some weapons like spears allow models
to fight in hand-to-hand combat at a distance.
This means that they are locked in melee and may A model with such a weapon can attack if the
strike each other in hand-to-hand combat by using an part of the barrier the enemy is contacting is within the
Attack action. range of its weapon.


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A model may use an Attack action to make either a shooting attack with
a missile weapon (if not Engaged) or attempt to strike an enemy in hand-to-hand
combat (if Engaged).

SHOOTING 1. Nominate weapon and specify target

Use the following procedure to shoot: Nominate the weapon used and choose an
unengaged target to shoot at.
1. Nominate weapon and specify target
2. Check line of sight and range 2. Check Line of Sight

3. Compare ATK and DEF values Check that there is a line of sight between the model
4. Adjust for modifiers making the shot and the target.

5. Roll attack dice If line of sight is Obscured, make an Obscured Target

6. Apply result Test to see if the model can acquire a line of sight (see
Obscured Target Test box out).

If line of sight is Blocked a shot cannot be taken and

Obscured Target Test the action is lost.

If line of sight is Obscured, roll a D6. On a score If the weapon the model is using has a range value
of 2-6 the fighter has a good enough view of check that the target is within range. If the target is
the target and may make the shot. On a score beyond the range of the weapon the shot cannot be
of 1 the fighter attempting the shot struggles taken and the action is lost.
to get a view of the target and wastes precious
time. Lose initiative. 3. Compare ATK and DEF Values

Compare the Attack value of the model attempting the

shot with the Defence value of the target.

Force Back 4. Adjust for any Modifiers

Move the target model 1 directly away from Apply any modifiers present.
the source of the attack. If the target model
cannot move the full 1 it moves as far as it Soft cover (see page 28) +2 DEF
can and loses 1 Fortitude. Hard cover (see page 28) +4 DEF
Point blank, target within 2 +2 ATK
Shot in back Half DEF

Note: Weapons, skills or abilities may modify

shooting - see relevant rule for details.


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5. Roll attack dice 6. Apply result

Roll attack dice according to the table below: Look up the score of the selected attack dice roll on
the table below:
ATK vs DEF Attack Roll
If the ATK value is equal to Roll one dice Score Result
or less than the DEF value 1 Terrible miss, lose initiative

If the ATK value is up to (and Roll two dice, 2 Miss

including) twice the DEF value choose one
3,4 Force Back
If the ATK value is more than Roll three dice,
double the DEF value choose one
5 Minor Hit

6 Solid Hit

Terrible Miss It was a truly awful effort. It could

have been a fumble with an arrow, a
dropped stone, a broken bowstring
or any other appropriate calamity.
Lose Initiative.

Miss No Effect.

Force Back See Force Back box out.

Minor Hit Target loses 1 Fortitude.

Solid Hit Target loses 1 Fortitude and the

enemy is forced back (see Force
Back box out).

Example: A goblin with a bow is attempting to

shoot an enemy dwarf, the goblin has line of sight
but it is Obscured by intervening terrain. The player
controlling the goblin rolls D6 and gets a 2. Phew!
The little bowman just manages to spot the dwarf so
may take the shot. The goblin has an Attack value of
6, the dwarf has a Defence value of 3, however the
dwarf is tucked up next to a hedge giving him Light
Cover. Light Cover provides a modifier to the dwarfs
defence of +2, giving the dwarf a total Defence of 5.
Comparing the Attack value of 6 and Defence value
of 5 the goblin has up to double the targets DEF and
so rolls two attack dice. The goblin scores a 2 and a
5. The 5 is chosen and the dwarf is hit losing 1 point
of Fortitude to the goblin arrow.


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Hand-To-Hand Combat 2. Compare ATK and DEF values

The process for fighting hand-to-hand combat is very Compare the Attack value of the model making the
similar to shooting but with a couple of alterations attack with the Defence value of the target.
to represent the different opportunities a warrior has
when getting stuck into close quarter fighting. 3. Adjust for any modifiers

Use the following procedure to attack an enemy in Apply any modifiers present.
hand-to-hand combat:
Target prone Half DEF
1. Specify target/s and declare the weapon/s Elevated position +2 ATK
that your model is using Behind barrier +2 DEF
2. Compare ATK and DEF values Attack target rear ATKx2
Target is disengaging Half DEF
3. Apply any modifiers
4. Roll attack dice Note: Weapons, skills or abilities may modify
5. Apply results attacks - see relevant rule for details.

1. Specify target and declare weapons 4. Roll attack dice

You must specify which enemy model you wish to Roll attack dice according to the table below:
attack and the weapon your model is using. The target
ATK vs DEF Attack Roll
must be in base-to-base contact with your attacking
model (unless a piece of equipment, skill or ability If the ATK value is equal to Roll one dice
allows otherwise). This will normally be obvious in a or less than the DEF value
one-against-one situation but some weapons and If the ATK value is up to (and Roll two dice,
abilities allow models to attack multiple opponents, or including) twice the DEF value choose one
even allow multiple models to join forces and attack
If the ATK value is more than Roll three dice,
single enemy models.
double the DEF value choose one


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5. Apply result Additional hits

Look up the score of the selected attack dice roll on In hand-to-hand combat particularly skilled fighters
the table below and apply the result: can subject their enemy to a flurry of blows. If after
rolling the attack dice for hand to hand combat, you
Score Result have scored multiple hits on the dice (normally scores
1 Terrible miss, lose initiative of 5 or 6), you select one dice as usual but may also
select any additional hits and apply them too.
2 Impasse
Note if you choose to select a Force Back result
3,4 Force Back (a score of 3 or 4 on the attack dice) you do not
count additional hits as your fighter is obviously
5 Minor Hit
concentrating on driving the enemy back rather than
6 Solid Hit striking an effective blow.

Terrible Miss A stumble, slip or brief lack of Example: Alfred the saxon is battling with a viking
concentration has given the enemy raider. After comparing ATK and DEF values Alfred
an opportunity. Lose initiative. rolls three attack dice scoring 3,5 and 6. Alfred
chooses the 6, the viking loses 1 point of Fortitude
Impasse The sound of clashing weapons
and is forced back from the blow. The viking then
heralds a momentary impasse.
suffers a further 1 point loss of fortitude as Alfred
No effect.
chooses to apply the score of a 5 (an additional hit
Force Back See Force Back box out. See also on his attack dice). Alfred then chooses to follow up
Follow Up. on the retreating viking maintaining base-to-base
Minor Hit Target loses 1 Fortitude.
If the viking could not move the full 1 when forced
Solid Hit Target loses 1 Fortitude and the back by Alfreds initial blow he would have suffered
enemy is forced back (see Force an additional 1 point loss of fortitude.
Back box out).
If Alfred had chosen the score of 3 from his initial
attack dice roll the viking would simply have been
forced back and the two hits would have been
Follow up ignored (even if the viking lost Fortitude due to not
being able to move the full 1)
When a model inflicts a Force Back in hand-
to-hand combat the models controller may
choose to have the model follow up Move the
attacking model directly after the forced back Fortitude loss
model maintaining base-to-base contact. This
decision is made before any Fortitude losses Over the course of a game of Open Combat your
are applied. models may lose points of Fortitude. This will usually
be through combat but can also be as a result of other
circumstances. If a model is ever reduced to zero
Fortitude (or below) the warrior has either succumbed
to its injuries or lost the ability to fight on and fled the
field. Remove the model from play.


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Models armed with two hand weapons (or two

daggers or a hand weapon and dagger) may attack
two enemy models it is Engaged with in a single
attack action.

Make a single attack against each enemy model

using half of the models ATK value against each
enemy model. Nominate which weapon is used in
each attack.

If after making the first attack your model is no longer

Engaged with the second enemy model (for example,
after following up on a Force Back against the first
model) the second attack cannot be made.

Attacks are made sequentially, the attacker chooses

which attack is made first, and performs the attack
and applies the result before performing the second
attack. If initiative is lost during the
first attack the second attack does

During Open Combat you may find situations where a When fighting with two weapons
model is on higher ground such as on a hill, further up we do not round fractions when
a staircase or standing on a table. presented with odd numbers, the
controlling player splits the ATK
A model engaged in combat while in an elevated value (e.g. ATK 7 becomes ATK 4
position adds +2 to its ATK value. and ATK 3).
Note: Players should agree before starting play
whether a piece of terrain is a suitable place to fight
from. Clinging halfway up a tree might not be the best Example: Carls crazed fanatic, armed with two
place to make an attack from but it may appeal to your hand weapons, starts its activation engaged by two
sense of drama in the context of your games. Two enemy romans. One roman is armed with a sword
fighters racing to top of cliff towards a prize, slashing and shield the other with a spear. The fanatic has
and hacking at each other as they go, conjures up an ATK of 7 and the romans both have a DEF of 3.
some heroic imagery!
For the first Action Carl declares a hand-to-hand
Discuss potential situations with your opponent when attack against both romans. Starting with the roman
placing terrain and agree an approach. with the sword, the fanatic makes an ATK 4 attack
versus DEF 3. Rolling two dice he scores 6 and 6.
Two hits! The unfortunate roman is Forced Back and
loses 2 Fortitude (hes now looking very battered).
Carl chooses not to follow up and makes his attack
against the second roman. An ATK 3 versus DEF 3
sees a single dice rolled with a score of 2 meaning
an impasse.

Carl now delcares the second Action for the fanatic, a

hand-to-hand attack against the roman still engaged
with him. He now uses his full ATK of 7 versus a
DEF of 3 and reaches for three dice...


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When a model disengages from an enemy model

(or models) each enemy model Engaged with it may
make a Free Attack as the model tries to escape.

A Free Attack is performed in the same way as a

regular hand-to-hand attack. A disengaging model is
at half DEF for the purpose of Free Attacks. We can
imagine that the model is retreating from combat in a
reasonably cautious fashion instead of simply running
away but unable to put up a full defence as they
attempt to back out of danger.

FIGHTING ACROSS A BARRIER The player controlling the models eligible to make a
Free Attack chooses in which order any Free Attacks
If a model is in base-to-base contact with a piece of are performed.
terrain designated as a barrier (such as a hedge, wall
or pile of crates) it can use the barrier to protect itself A model may not Follow Up after making a Free Attack,
in hand-to-hand combat. a Free Attack represents a last slash or thrust with a
weapon as an enemy backs out of range.
A model fighting across a barrier receives +2 DEF
against hand-to-hand attacks from the opposite side Free Attacks may only be made against models
and can only be forced back as part of a Solid Hit (a 6 disnegaging from the front facing of a model. If the
on the attack roll). enemy is behind you and decides to leave theres not
much you can do about it! (Except perhaps to breathe
If a model manages to inflict a Force Back against an a sigh of relief.)
opponent behind a barrier they may follow up across
the barrier filling the spot vacated by the retreating
In the case of unusual base sizes move the enemy
model back to make enough space to fit the attacking There are several ways a model can find itself
model even if this is further than the usual 1. Fortitude knocked to the ground, while prone a model is
is only lost if the model cannot move back 1 rather in a precarious position and will want to regain
than the full distance needed to fit the attackers base. its feet quickly if it wants to survive.
If the Force Back move is blocked, move the enemy
A model may regain its composure and
model back as far as possible, if there is not enough
stand back up onto its feet by using a stand
room for the attacker to follow up into the space the
up action.
attacker must remain where it is.
A model cannot do any action except stand
up while prone. While in a prone position
a models DEF is halved. A prone model
has no facing.


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Before you start to play Open Combat you need to create your warband
to take to battle.

A warband consists of a leader model and any Warband construction

number of additional models that fight alongside this
charismatic (or frightening) individual. These could be You spend points of Renown to build a characteristic
trusted companions, subordinates, snivelling minions profile for each warrior in your warband. Points are
or whatever fires your imagination. allocated to characteristics on a one-for-one basis.

You buy weapons and equipment for your warriors for

1 point of Renown each and can also add skills and
Renown is the term we use to measure the worth abilities to your warriors for 1 point of Renown each.
of an individual and a warband in Open Combat.
The first thing you need to decide when building a
warband is the Renown level you and your opponent Example: Gav starts to construct the first warrior for
wish to play at. a new warband and spends 4 points on SPD, 6 points
on ATK, 5 points on DEF, 4 points on FORT and 2
Weve found that 150pts is a good level to start points on MIN.
your first few games with and provides enough
room to experiment with warband construction. The warrior has the following profile: :
It usually produces warbands of 6-10 models
although this does depend on how you build the
4 6 5 4 2
individual fighters.
The profile above has the warrior valued at
After youve played a few games you can experiment
21 Renown (4 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 2 = 21) but he hasnt
with higher or lower Renown level games to find the
got any weapons yet!
size of game that best suits your own tastes, space
and time constraints. Gav decides to arm the warrior with a spear
(1 point) and a shield (1 point) taking his total value
up to 23 Renown.

You continue to use your Renown to construct

your warband until all of the available points have
been allocated.

Once all of the Renown is allocated you designate

the model with the highest Renown as your
leader, writing Leader on the warband roster in the
skills/abilities section. The Leader ability does not
cost any additional renown. If you have two warriors
tied with the highest renown choose which will
be the leader.


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Break point

While all warbands fight for victory they have their limits.
To represent this sudden urge for self-preservation
(or running away as victorious enemy see it) each
warband has a Break Point.

Players calculate the Break Point of their warbands

by adding together the total FOR of all the models in
the warband with the total MIN in the warband and
dividing by two.

Example: If I had a warband with 7 models, each

model with a FOR of 3 and a MIN of 2 I would have a
Break Point of 18. (Fortitude 3 x 7 models = 21 + Mind
2 x 7 models =14. This gives us 21 + 14 = 35, 35 /2 =
17.5 rounded up to 18).

During a game both players keep track of the

remaining FOR and MIN of their warbands, once one
of the warbands has reached their Break Point that
Leader warband is driven from the battlefield. Remember that
FOR and MIN can be regained by resting, which will
Leaders all have their own particular ways of
move the warband away from its Break Point.
getting things done. It might be sheer physical
prowess that terrifies lesser mortals into
doing as theyre told, astute tactical acumen
that observers have come to respect and
follow or something completely different.
Whatever it is that makes others follow a
leader is immaterial, leaders all have one thing
in common: theyre good at influencing the
people around them.

While your leader is on the tabletop you have

access to his Leader ability. We represent Zero characteristics
your leaders influence over the warband
with rerolls. If your leader is removed from If a characteristic is ever reduced to zero it has the
play before you have expended all of your following effect:
rerolls any left over are lost. If the leader is
SPD: Model cannot move.
not on the table he cannot exert his influence
on events. ATK: Model is not suitable for combat.
Cannot take attack action.
You have three rerolls available for the entire
game. If at any point you roll the dice and dont DEF: Model is not suitable for combat.
like the result you may expend a reroll and roll Opponents always roll three attack dice
all of the dice associated with the situation when attacking this mode.
again. You must abide by the result of the reroll
(no rerolling rerolls). FOR: Model is removed from play.

If your leader is prone you cannot use a MIN: Model is mentally exhausted.
reroll - their attention is otherwise occupied Half ATK and DEF.
dealing with their own immediate situation.


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MOUNTED MODELS AND MONSTERS However, mounts can be difficult to control and
monsters can just stand still bellowing in a rage or can
Mounted models and monsters should have their get easily confused so whenever a mounted model or
unique nature reflected in the characteristics that are monster is activated the controlling player must first
assigned to them. High SPD is appropriate in most roll on the Behaviour chart below:
cases for cavalry and high FOR might be suitable
for your idea of the robustness of a Troll. The rules D6 Behaviour
presented here are a quick and easy way to establish 1 Uh-oh... A jittery horse, a bellowing troll,
their differences from regular infantry models. We whatever it is it isnt behaving at all. Lose
will revisit mounted models and monsters in future initiative.
micro expansions which will add rules for mounting
2! A bit slow off
and dismounting, special monster attacks, unusual the mark but active. Model may take
behaviours and more. one Action this activation.

Mounted models (such as roman cavalry or goblin 3-6 Model behaves normally.
wolf riders) and monsters (suchs as Ogres and Trolls)
are all presented on larger bases than regular foot It does not cost any Renown to be mounted or a
troops. To reflect this greater presence on the tabletop monster, the model must simply be appropriate for
we assign these models the following rules. what its supposed to represent and be presented on a
suitable base to reflect the difference.
When a mounted model or monster scores a Force
Back in hand-to-hand combat against a non-mounted You could put an infantry model on a large base and
model or monster the enemy model is Forced Back counts as a monster if you feel its suitable for your
2 rather than the usual 1. The mounted model or setting. For example, a frothing viking berserker or a
monster may follow up 2 to remain in base contact. If screaming ancient British fanatic are both arguably
a model forced back by a mounted model or monster suited to the title monster. Just ensure your opponent
cannot move the full 2 it is moved as far as it can go is aware of what each model represents.
and placed prone (in addition to losing 1 FOR due to
being unable to move back the full distance, see Force
Back page 14).


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No Limits An example would be if youre running a series of

games of Open Combat set within an historical period,
Open Combat has been written to be as flexible as you may wish to limit SPD to 4 for infantry and 8 for
possible with regards to warband creation and so cavalry. You could go further and require a minimum
imposes no restrictions or limitations during warband number of warriors in a warband and/or limit the
construction. number of skills the members of the warband can
take. You may also wish to limit the weapons available
In our own games we simply build warbands to suit our
to reflect the period. You can, of course, place upper
own perception of what the particular models represent
limits on characteristic values, but from our experience
and what we feel they should be capable of on the
dont be too restrictive in this matter - the Renown cost
tabletop. Gaming clubs and groups that meet regularly
soon adds up and balances out!
will quickly establish a level of warband creation that
suits their playing style, and we encourage players to It is entirely up to you.
talk to each other about their warbands and ideas.
One thing we would suggest including within an
This is your chance to make your elves, dwarfs, Roman event pack is a specification for model bases. Open
legionaires, Celtic fanatics etc. as fast, skilled or tough Combat can be played with any bases when played
as you think they should be. Its your warband, you within a small group of friends. You all know each
can build it the way you want to. other and play in a mutually acceptable fashion. But
when planning an event or league, which could gather
players from many different gaming groups, you
For those of you that like to run or participate in can curb any potential over-competitive individuals
organised play events and leagues you may wish to or forestall any arguments due to different accepted
set limits within an event pack to reflect the setting of conventions by setting criteria for model bases for all
your event and/or to accommodate a special scenario to follow at the event.
you may have produced for the event.


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This section describes the weapons and equipment available to ready your
fighters for Open Combat.

WYSIWYG and counts as Fists

Generally speaking we play our games WYSIWYG Desperate times may see a warrior relying on his
(What You See Is What You Get) where weapons and bare hands.
equipment must be visible on the model. But there are Only causes loss of Fortitude when scoring a Solid Hit
occasions, particularly with some of the more unusual in hand-to-hand combat. Cannot score additional hits.
models in our collection, where weve used a counts Minor Hits count as a Force Back.
as approach.
Note: This is the default weapon that a human (or
If youre playing in a fantasy setting and wish to humanoid in a fantasy setting) has available if no
use models of animals or creatures that dont carry Renown is spent on other weapons..
weapons in the traditional sense, buy the weapon you
wish to use and say the claws/horns/bite etc. counts Dagger
as the weapon. Just make sure your opponent is A short, bladed weapon easily hidden away, a spike or a
absolutely clear what each model is capable of to knife. The term dagger could also respresent the claws,
avoid any confusion during the game. talons or bite of an animal or beast.
Only causes loss of Fortitude on Solid Hits. Minor Hits
count as Force Back. May score additional hits only if
Solid Hits.

Up to two daggers may be thrown as a single shoot

action. Remove from roster and take a shoot action.
Range 4.

Carrying Multiple Weapons Obviously if using a Dagger to represent an animal

attack it cannot be thrown. If your opponent attempts
You can arm a model with as many weapons as you
to throw an animal bite you should mock them
wish and swap freely between them while unengaged.
intensely for their blatantly unsporting behaviour.
If the model is Engaged you must specify what
weapon/s the model is using in the engagement. However, feel free to arm an animal with two daggers
The model retains these weapons until it is no longer to allow the beast to fight as though armed with two
Engaged when it is free to swap again. weapons. Thats a particularly nasty beastie!

Ranged Weapons Similarly, in a fantasy setting, if you have a strange

looking spikey beast theres nothing stopping you
Open Combat games respresent close quarter stating that beast can fire the spikes as a defense
engagements. To reflect the close proximity of the mechanism and count as thrown daggers. Just make
combatants ranges are only provided on weapons to sure you pay the Renown for the number of spikes that
denote the range of effective use. If a weapon states it can fire over the course of the battle.
that it allows the user to make attacks but doesnt
state a range, then the weapon is effective across
the entire tabletop.


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Hand Weapon Double-handed Weapon

A sword, hand axe or club (or the massive fist of a raging Huge axes and swords, sweeping tree trunks or lashing tails
gorilla) the size and shape may vary but the effect of being from exotic monsters, these weapons can strike many foes
hit is essentially the same. It hurts! simultaneously as they slash and sweep in devastating arcs
No special rules. but they can be difficult to control.
When making an attack with this weapon compare
Rather than daggers, particularly fearsome beasts like the ATK value with the highest DEF (taking into
cave bears, sabre-toothed tigers and jabberwockies consideration any potential modifications) of all
might have one or more hand weapons. Engaged enemy and make the attack roll.

Spear All attack dice are scored in hand-to-hand combat.

One of the cheapest weapons invented but an effective way to First apply any Solid Hits (hits are scored against each
fight your enemy without getting too close. and every enemy engaged with this model), followed
by Minor Hits, Force Backs, Impasses and Terrible
May make a hand-to-hand attack against targets up to
Misses. Cannot use with Shield.
1 away. Cannot score additional hits.
A model using a double-handed weapon may choose
Spears allow fighters to support their comrades. Spear
to Follow Up any enemy model Forced Back by the
armed warriors may measure through friendly bases
when making attacks against enemy models.
A multi-headed monstrosity such as a hydra or
A giant toad or gribblie demon may have a lashing
tentacled swampbeast could easily count as being
tongue attack which could counts as as a spear.
armed with a double-handed weapon.

Example: Nicks viking armed with a mighty dane

axe (double-handed weapon) starts his activivation
faced by three closely huddled saxons.

Nick declares his first Action as a move and manages

to engage all three saxons with his viking warrior.

For his second Action Nick declares an attack action

using the double-handed weapon. Comparing his
vikings ATK of 5 versus the DEF of the three saxons
(DEF values of 3,3 and 4) Nick discovers that the
highest DEF is a 4 so he rolls two dice.

Halberd Nick scores a 4 (Force Back) and a 5 (Minor Hit).

A sturdy shaft topped with a steel blade incorporating a A Minor Hit is applied to each saxon as they are
point and cutting edge, the halberd can be used to chop and caught by the whirling dane axe. One saxon dies as
thrust making it a versatile weapon. a result (losing his last remaining point of FOR to
May make a hand-to-hand attack against targets up to the blow).
1 away. Cannot use Shield.
The Force Back is then applied to the two remaining
The horns of a rhino or other monstrous creature saxons as they stagger back from the assault.
could easily be counted as a halberd when thrust from
Finally, with both scores applied, Nick chooses to
powerful muscles.
Follow Up after one of the retreating saxons and
moves his viking into base contact.


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Bow Javelin
A strong flexible wooden stave, sometimes backed A lightweight, short spear suitable for throwing at the
by sinew, horn or bone, used to cast arrows at the enemy as a warrior moves to engage.
enemy from afar. May be thrown as part of a move action. Remove from
May take shoot action. roster and take a shoot action at any point during a
move action, continue with the move once the shoot
Crossbow action is completed. Range 8.
A more complex missile weapon than the bow, slower to use
Only causes loss of Fortitude on Solid Hits. Minor Hits
but offering more power in return.
count as Force Back. May score additional hits only if
May take shoot action. Shoot action requires two Solid Hits.
actions. May score additional hits (see hand-to-hand
combat this represents the sheer power of the shot Shield
rather than a flurry of blows). Although the style and materials used in their
manufacture may differ, the protection a shield offers is
always welcome.
A simple weapon which can be quick to use when close
Do not suffer Fortitude damage when unable to move
to the enemy.
the full distance during a Force Back from attacks
May take shoot action. Only causes loss of Fortitude emanating from the users front facing .
on Solid Hits. Minor Hits count as Force Back. May
take one shot with no range restriction or take two Minor Hits from enemy missile fire emanating from the
shots at Range 8. users front facing are deflected, treat as a Miss.

A model cannot benefit from a shield if it is attacked

from the rear.


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skills and abilities

Along with their weapons and equipment some warriors may possess special
skills and abilities which they can put to good use on the battlefield.

COMBAT SKILLS and abilities Sharp Eyed

With eyes like a hawk it is a rare day when this hunter loses
sight of their prey.
Some fighters practice their shooting skills intently, learning
May reroll the Obscured Target Test when checking
how to focus and assess the prevailing conditions, only
line of sight.
loosing their shot when they are sure of its effectiveness.
This model may take an Interact action to gain Marksman
+1 ATK for its next Shooting action. Multiple Years of practice ensure that when mistakes happen theyre
consecutive Interact actions are cumulative. not as bad as they could be.
When this model makes a shooting attack a Terrible
Miss is treated as Miss.
Example: Carl chooses to activate an archer with
the Aim ability. Looking at the tabletop he decides
Shield Bash
to take two Interact actions to Aim as his archer
draws a bead on the approaching enemy. On his Well accustomed to the mayhem of close quarter fighting
following turn he activates the archer again, he this fighter knows a trick or two to knock an unwary enemy
takes a third Interact action to continue his aim then off balance.
takes an Attack action to make a shooting attack. The May use shield in attack. If you score a Minor Hit
shooting attack is made at +3 ATK (plus any other treat it as a Force Back. If you score a Solid Hit treat as
modifiers that may apply). Force Back and place enemy model prone.

Furious Assault

If a model using the Aim ability moves, is engaged, Raw aggression (or sheer panic) can drive a warrior to
Forced Back or hit by any kind of attack while taking incredible bouts of ferocity but the moment is often fleeting
aim it loses any ATK bonus it has build up using Aim. and can leave them open to a counterattack.
They have taken their eye off their target. A special hand-to-hand attack action that requires
two actions. Double the models ATK for this attack.
Focussed Blow Surviving engaged enemy models may make a Free
Talented warriors know how to assess amd read an opponent, Attack against this model after the result of the Furious
only making an attack when it is most advantageous for them Assault has been resolved.
to do so.
A special hand-to-hand attack action that requires
two actions. This model recieves +3 ATK for this Sometimes you meet a warrior that simply will not
attack. A Terrible Miss is treated as Miss. give ground.

When this model is attacked from its front facing this

model can only be forced back with a Solid Hit.


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PHYSICAL SKILLS and abilities

Heroes are renowned for pushing themselves beyond what is
expected of mortals but these feats come at a price.
Reduce Fortitude and Mind by one for an extra action
during this activation only. Use only once per turn.

Quick Recovery
Whether it is acrobatic skill or sheer determination this
warrior wont stay down for long.
May stand up from prone position for a single action.

There are some people that possess a natural agility that
makes them appear to glide past terrain which others must
clumsily clamber over.
Model is not impeded by barriers and moves at full
SPD when crossing them.
This warrior can use a deft sidestep or fake attack to allow It may be natural ability or long hours of training that allows
themselves the room to escape their enemies. this warrior to fight with equal skill with either hand.

When this model is about to disengage it may This model may split its ATK value between each
nominate one enemy model it is engaged with. The enemy model in any way the controlling player wishes
nominated model may not make a Free Attack as this when fighting with two weapons.
model disengages from them.
This fighter can judge where to tread in even the most
precarious of environments.
Example: Carls elf warrior with the Evade ability
starts his activation engaged by an enemy orc with Model may reroll dice relating to crossing
an axe, shield and the Shield Bash ability. Not liking Hazardous terrain.
the idea of the elf having his face put into the dirt
Carl decides to try to escape and declares that the
elf is disengaging. He uses Evade and nominates the
orc with the Shield Bash ability. The orc cannot make
a Free Attack as the elf disengages so Carl safely
moves the elf away to a more suitable position.


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INFLUENCE SKILLS and abilities Intimidate

Open Combat often brings members of warbands An imposing physical presence, a frightening display
into very close proximity. In these fractious of skill at arms or a series of mind-numbing threats, whatever
environments some warriors have a knack of form it takes intimidation can leave an opponent unwilling
getting into the minds of their enemies or comrades, to fight on.
reducing foes to quivering wrecks or adding grit Range 6.
to the resolve of a wavering ally.
Minor Hit = target loses 1 Mind.
Psychological Attacks
Solid Hit = target loses 2 Mind.
Influence Abilities introduce a new form of Attack
action, a Psychological Attack. Inspire
Sometimes even the most downtrodden souls can be inspired
A psychological attack is performed in the same way to continue the struggle.
as a shooting attack but instead of comparing the ATK
of the attacker with the DEF of the target you compare Range 6.
the MIN of the attacker with the MIN of the target. Do
Minor Hit = target regains 1 Mind.
not use the shooting modifiers for a psychological
attack. Solid Hit = target regains 2 Mind.

A psychological attack may be used while engaged

and may target any model within range.

The results of the attack depend on the ability being


A few well chosen words can drive a warrior into
A half-move, a muttered comment or a fake attack can all
a rage, adding strength to their blows as they disregard
give your opponent pause for thought and create a gap in
their own safety.
their defences.
Range 6.
Range base-to-base.
Minor Hit = target is +1ATK -1DEF.
Minor Hit = target is -1DEF.
Solid Hit = target is +2ATK, -2DEF.
Solid Hit = target is -2DEF.
The effect lasts until the end of the targets next
The effect lasts until the end of the targets next
Taunting the opposition (and friends) has long been part of
A good distraction can buy valuable time for your friends
life for men of action, although it can lead to unexpected
but if you get it wrong you could find yourself in a tricky
Range 6.
Range base-to-base.
Minor Hit = target moves half SPD directly towards
Terrible Miss = Target may make a Free Attack against
this model.
this model. Lose initiative.
Solid Hit = target moves full SPD directly towards this
Minor Hit = target loses one Action from its next
If target engages this model because of the
Solid Hit = target loses two Actions from its next
movement the target must make a free attack
against this model.


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Battles can be fought across wide open spaces but games played with
plenty of model scenery are tactically more challenging and a great deal
more visually appealing.

Before you start a game of Open Combat it is important Terrain Type

that you discuss the terrain on the tabletop with your
opponent and agree how each piece of terrain will be There are three types of terrain in Open Combat:
treated throughout the game. open, difficult and impassable, in addition to these
some areas of terrain may be hazardous.
How much terrain is enough?
Open Terrain
We try to ensure that every 6 square area has at least
Open terrain is terrain that does not affect a models
some scenic element either within it or encroaching on
movement. Examples include grassy plains, roads,
it at the start of the game. This is simply a guide and
elevated walkways, flat platforms or sloped hillsides.
you dont have to follow this approach, but we have
found that this creates plenty of tactical challenges Difficult Terrain
to the game and (depending on the terrain features
used) several opportunities for mishaps and changes Difficult ground slows down models that try to move
of initiative. through it. All distances travelled through difficult
ground count double, For example, a model with a
We all have different collections of terrain available SPD of 4 using a move action in open ground would
so we have written the following rules which you can move 4, the same model in diffuclt ground would
apply to your terrain to suit your own preferences move 2. Examples of difficult ground include rocky
regarding the part you wish the terrain to play within areas, swampland, shallow water, thick brush, crops
your games. or farmland.

Area Terrain Impassable Terrain

Area terrain is any terrain feature that has a defined Impassable terrain is terrain that models cannot move
area that you can clearly discern on the tabletop. through. Examples include lava flows, deep fissures,
cliff faces, fast flowing rivers or deep lakes.
If part of a models base is within the area terrain then
the model is subject to the rules of the terrain feature. You may agree to allow attempts to jump across some
forms of impassable terrain (such as a deep fissure,
fast moving water course or lava flow). Failure to
successfully jump across results in the model being
removed as a casualty. (See Jumping on page 34).


Models within or behind terrain features can claim a

cover DEF bonus against shooting attacks emanating
from the opposite side. There are two kinds of Cover:

Hard Cover (rocks, walls, battlements): +4 DEF

Soft Cover (fences, hedges, tall grasses): +2 DEF


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Terrain Features Barriers block Force Backs - if a model is Forced Back

into a barrier before it has moved the full distance the
Model terrain and scenery varies a great deal. Before model may suffer damage (see Force Back on page
you start a game of Open Combat discuss with your 12).
opponent the rules youll apply to each feature. Weve
included suggestions and guidelines to apply to the Obstructions
more usual items of terrain you may come across in
your games in this section. Obstructions is a catch-all term to cover objects or
terrain features larger than 1 in height and width
When measuring the height of terrain do not include that are just impossible for models to get through.
the thickness of a base. This is especially important if This includes large rocks, ruined fortifications or
youve mounted fences or walls onto a very thick piece impenetrable undergrowth.
of board. This may help with the durability of the piece
of terrain when its stored away between games but Obstructions block line of sight and are impassable.
could artificially inflate the impact it may have during
If you wish to allow models to climb onto certain
a game.
obstructions discuss this with your opponent. For
Barriers example, a ruined fort may have a flat area on top that
makes a good place for a bowman if he can get to it.
Barriers are features or objects up to 1 in height and (See climbing and falling on page 33).
less than 1 wide. A model must spend 2 of its SPD
during a move action to cross a barrier. If a model
lacks enough SPD to cross a barrier it stops moving
when it makes contact with the barrier.

Barriers provide some protection from attacks

orginating from the opposite side. If a model is
touching a barrier and is attacked in hand-to-hand
combat by another model across the barrier it gains
+2 DEF. (See Fighting across a barrier on page 17 for
more details)

Standing behind barriers offers a degree of protection

from missile fire. If a model is in base-to-base contact
with a barrier it can claim cover from shooting attacks
from the opposite side. (See cover on page 28).


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Woods, Forests and Trees

There are two ways you can handle trees in your

games of Open Combat.

Individual Trees. If you have individually based trees

you can simply treat them as individual immovable
objects on the tabletop, obscuring line of sight,
blocking Force Backs and treating the base as a small
patch of difficult ground for the purposes of models
moving over it. A model cannot move across or
through the trunk of a tree.

Areas of Woodland or Forest. Another approach Rivers, Streams, Ponds and Lakes
is to designate woodland as area terrain. Mark the
boundaries of the wood or forested area with an Water can present unique tactical challenges to the
appropriate base or border and place a few trees general manoeuvrability of your warband.
within this area to represent the woodland. As models
move through these areas you can move the trees There are two kinds of water you can include in your
around to make room to move the models. games: running water and standing water. All water
terrain is area terrain. Assume any banks or grassy
Areas of woodland can be light or dense so discuss edges to your stream or pond models are muddy or
with your opponent which approach youre using for slippery so any models touching them are subject to
each area of trees before you start your game. the rules of the terrain piece. However, you may wish
to use different rules for a shallow ford or stepping
Light woodland obscures line of sight that passes stones to create safe crossing points.
through it. It offers light cover if enemy missile fire must
pass through 1 or more of the terrain before hitting a Running water is represented by rivers and streams.
model standing within or beyond it. If you use rivers or streams ensure they have an entry
and exit point on the tabletop. Include some way of
Dense woodland obscures line of sight up to 3 into it. crossing them without resorting to jumping (see
Dense woodland blocks line of sight beyond 3 as it is Jumping on page 34) at two or more points along the
simply too diffficult to see clearly enough to get a shot course of the feature.
off. It offers light cover if enemy missile fire must pass
through 1 or more of the terrain before hitting a model Streams are shallow areas of running water and count
standing within or beyond it. Thick underbrush makes as difficult ground.
travelling through the area difficult ground.
Rivers are wider, fast flowing and usually run much
In practice you may find that you use a mixture of deeper than streams. Either treat as impassable or
single trees and area terrain for your games. treat as hazardous difficult ground (see Hazards on
page 32).

Standing water is represented by ponds and lakes.

These can be either difficult ground (such as a shallow
duck pond) or impassable (such as a deep lake or
lagoon) depending on what you feel is appropriate
within the context of your game.


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Hills If a model is standing on a hill line of sight to and from

this model is clear above barriers (although other
The hills on a tabletop in Open Combat generally intervening terrain may interfere). However if the line
represent rises and falls in the landscape rather than of sight between two models crosses the highest point
huge mountains. on the hill then it is blocked. This represents a fighter
keeping their head down below the crest of the rise.
Hills should usually be treated as open ground for
movement purposes. However, in some cases, Buildings
treating part or all of the hill as area terrain, such as
difficult ground, may be more appropriate, especially The treatment of buildings often depends on the
if the terrain piece is covered in broken rocks or gravel. design of the model terrain that you have in your
collection and the preferences of your play group. In
A hill, or parts of it, can be classed as impassable if a future expansion we plan to provide expanded rules
represented by a model terrain piece with sheer cliff for using terrain pieces with lift-off roofs, integrating
faces on some of the sides. If all sides are sheer cliff floorplans and such. The following rules are a simplified
faces the terrain feature is an obstruction which you approach to allow you to include buildings and intact
may allow models to climb (see Obstructions). structures in your games.
You will be able to make a judgement just by looking at Intact buildings are impassable area terrain which
the piece of terrain you have on the tabletop. block line of sight.
If a model is higher up a hill when fighting in hand-to- If you have ruined buildings in your terrain collection
hand combat they gain the benefit of of +2 ATK for you should treat them as barriers, area terrain and/or
fighting from an elevated position (see page 16). obstructions as appropriate.


Example 1: Elf E has a clear line of sight to all other

models. Orc B can claim cover from the fence due to
being within 1 but the fence does not obscure line of
sight from the elves on the hill.
Example 2: Elf F has a clear line of sight to orc C and
orc B (orc B can claim cover from the fence) but cannot
see orc A.
Example 3: Orc C has a clear line of sight to both elves
even though the line of sight to elf E travels through the
base of elf F. This is because the elves are on different
levels of the hill. (Its pretty exposed standing on a hill!)


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If you decide to use hazards simply assign the

necessary terrain feature/s the following rules
(these are in additional to the existing rules for the
terrain piece).

1. All hazards require a model to make

a Hazard roll if it enters, crosses or
starts its activation within the hazardous
terrain feature.
Roll a dice, on a score of 1, the model
has stumbled, slipped, hesitated or
otherwise lost precious time due to being
beset by the hazard. You lose initiative.
2. In addition to losing initiative you can
increase the threat of the Hazard. Pick
none, one or more events from the list
below to apply to the hazard (these
events occur before initiative passes
to the other player).
Model trips, falls or is dragged
over - place model prone.
Hazards Model is wounded, pulls a muscle
or suffers a blow - lose 1 Fortitude.
No matter what period or genre you play your
games of Open Combat within there will be Model is shocked, stunned or
dangers and hazards which can befall even the most frightened - lose 1 Mind.
heroic of individuals.
Note - you can further increase the risk of the
Hazards are your chance to add extra character, depth hazard simply by changing the score of the
and drama to your games. hazard roll to a 1 or 2. In really hazardous terrain
you could increase it up to a score of 1-4 if youre
Once youve set up the terrain on the tabletop take feeling really brave/spiteful.
a moment to look at what elements and features are
present. Consider what potential threats they may If youre feeling particularly vindicative you could make
pose to the warbands that are about to enter the fray. the damage from the events even more risky too,
suffering losses of 2 or more Fortitude or 2 or more
Does that stretch of fence look a bit rickety Mind. The choice is yours.
and unstable? Is that area of woodland strewn
with thorny underbrush? Does that patch of rocks
and debris look like it may be home to snakes
Example 1: A piece of area terrain representing
or more sinister threats?
a patch of thorny undergrowth (difficult ground)
presents a hazard to those entering it. Hazard score
1, lose 1 fortitude.

Example 2: A rickety stretch of fence (barrier) has a

chance of collapse if anyone crosses it. Hazard score
1-2, model placed prone.

Example 3: A rare and deadly beast lurks in the

area terrain piece representing a swamp (difficult
ground) waiting to strike the unwary. Hazard 1, lose
2 Fortitude, lose 1 Mind, model placed prone.


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additional rules
The following rules provide additional depth to your games of Open Combat.


An unengaged model may take a single interact action

to Hide if it is in base contact with a terrain feature that
is at least half the height of the model.

While hidden a model cannot be targeted by a

shooting attack unless the model aiming at the hidden
model can draw a clear line of sight.

Mark the model with a counter or token as a reminder

that it is hiding.

If a hidden model is Engaged it is no longer hidden.


A model may move up or down ladders and stairs

using a move action. Simply measure the distance up
or down for the distance covered as though the model
was travelling along open ground.

If a model wishes to climb walls, trees, rock faces or

other structures on the tabletop it must start touching
what it wishes to climb at the beginning of the climb
action. If a model loses its footing during a climb or is Forced
Back from an elevated surface such as a table, rooftop
A climb is a single interact action and the model can
or the edge of a cliff, it will fall.
climb a distance equal to half its SPD.
When a model falls, place it prone below the point
However, there is a risk that loose footing, lack of
it falls from and consult the chart below to see if the
concentration or some other mishap may occur.
model is hurt.
Roll D6 following a climb action, on a score of 2-6
everything is okay. On a score of 1 the model falls from
Fall Distance Effect of Fall
the height it has achieved during its climb.
Up to 1 Not hurt
Several climbs may be needed to achieve the top of
the structure a model is climbing. Roll a D6 for each 1+ to 3 Roll one dice,
lose 1 fortitude on 5 or 6
action used during the climb. Put a marker or make
a note as a reminder of the distance a model has 3+ to 6 Roll two dice,
climbed if a model needs to spend several turns to lose 1 fortitude on each 5 or 6
make a climb.
6+ to 9 Roll three dice,
lose 1 fortitude on each 5 or 6

9+ Roll three dice,

lose 2 fortitude on each 5 or 6


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A model may jump vertically down from a height as a If a model starts within 1 of one or more friendly
single move action. models that have not been activated in the turn you
may make a combined action.
Follow the procedure for falling. If the model survives
the drop do not place the model prone as the fighter Nominate a model to start the combined action, this
lands on their feet. If the model has any actions left model is shouting, signalling or otherwise leading the
they may continue with their turn. combined action. All of the models activate together
and take part in the special combined action as
A model may attempt to jump horizontally (such as detailed below.
across a gap between roofs or over a stream) as part
of a move action as long as it has the SPD to complete A model may only take part in one combined action
the distance to make the jump. during a turn. Participating in a combined action
counts as a models activation.
Roll D6 adding the distance moved during this
activation before take off (this represents the model Follow Me!
having a run up). If the result is equal to or more than
that required to clear the gap the model continues its Follow Me! represents one of your fighters spotting
move. On an unmodified roll of 1 the model stumbles the need for haste and guiding or encouraging his
on take off and only travels 1 before landing in (or comrades onwards.
falling through) the gap it was attempting to cross.
Each model taking part in a Follow Me! action takes
Lose initiative.
two consecutive move actions.

If a Hazard test is required for crossing a piece of

Example: Carls barbarian adventurer is deep in terrain make one test and apply the result to all models
an underground cavern battling goblins and other taking part in the Follow Me! action. If the model that
gribblie beasties. Starting the barbarians activation started the combined action has the Surefooted ability
Carl has the choice to take a long route around a then it may be used during any Hazard test required
bottomless fissure (the terrain piece had been agreed during the combined action. (The model is obviously
to be an instant death to any model that is pushed warning its comrades of the danger).
or falls into it) or attempt to jump across it. Carl Models taking part in a Follow Me! action must finish
decides to take the risk and go for the jump. their moves within 1 of another model that was part of
The barbarian has a SPD of 4 the fissure is 3 wide the combined action.
and the barbarian starts 4 away from the edge of
the fissure.

Carl declares a move Action and moves the barbarian

4 up to the edge of the fissure. Carl then declares
a second move Action to move across the fissure. He
rolls a single dice adding 4 to the roll for the run up,
he scores a 2 for a total of 6 (2+4 for the run up)
easily enough to make the jump. He moves across
the 3 gap landing just on the other side, his SPD
of 4 providing just enough movement for the models
base to clear the fissure. We can imagine small rocks
tumbling into the depths as the barbarian lands,
wobbles and glances over his shoulder.

Note that without the run up a score of 1,2 or 3

would have seen the barbarian plummet to his death
as he would not have cleared the fissure.


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Volley fire!

Volley fire! represents a warrior organising his

comrades into making a devastating combined
shooting attack.

If a model armed with a missile weapon starts within

1 of one or more friendly models armed with the
same missile weapon you may make a special Volley With me!
fire! combined shooting action. The Volley fire!
combined action is a special shooting action which With me! represents one of your warriors seeing an
requires two actions. Nominate a model to start the opportunity (or realising help is needed) and calling
combined action. for the aid of his comrades in attacking an enemy.

Add together the ATK values of the models taking part If a model Engaged with an enemy model starts the
in the Volley fire! action and compare the total to the action within 1 of other friendly models Engaged
DEF of the target model and make an attack roll as with the same enemy model you may make a special
appropriate. Additional hits may be scored (see hand- With me! combined hand-to-hand attack. The
to-hand combat this represents multiple missiles combined action is a special combat action which
raining down on the target rather than a flurry of blows) requires two actions. Nominate the model to start the
regardless of the missile weapon being used. combined action.

Note the obscured target test and range is calculated Add together the ATK values of the models participating
from the model calling the combined action. If the in the With me! action and compare the total to the
model that started the combined action has the Sharp DEF of the target model and make an attack roll as
Eyed ability then it may be used during the combined appropriate.
Any number of the attackers may follow up in the case
Models taking part in a Volley fire! combined action of a Force Back.
do not block line of sight to other models taking part
in the same action (we assume they keep out of each If the models are armed with weapons which have
others way). However, if line of sight to the target is special rules only use the rules associated with the
blocked for a participating model in any other way the weapon/s wielded by the model that started the With
model may not take part in the combined action. me! action.


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When you have created your warbands its time to get stuck into the action and
see what your warriors are made of.

Scenarios provide you with the background to Objective and victory conditions
the situation that has brought your warbands into
conflict and provide you with the rules for fighting This section details what the warbands need to do to
out the encounter. secure victory and how to work out which warband is
the winner.
In keeping with the accessible nature of Open Combat
the scenarios included here are intentionally kept Set-up
suitable for a wide a range of settings and genres.
This section describes how forces should be deployed
Weve included a selection of ideas and concepts
and highlights any additional elements which may
to consider in the Background and Terrain section
need to be placed on the battlefield for the scenario.
for each scenario to help inspire your imagination for
your own games. Special rules

Each scenario is presented with the following sections: This section includes any additional rules that need to
be considered when playing the scenario.
Background and terrain

The potential reasons for the encounter taking place

are explained along with what environment it could
take place in.


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Create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

Scenario 1 : Open Combat

Crush your enemies, see them driven before you...

Background and terrain Players deploy a model by taking a single move action
with the model using any point along their board edge
The Open Combat scenario is your opportunity to as the starting position.
set-up whatever battle you fancy playing out as befits
your warbands and terrain collection. A handful of Corner Deployment
adventurers fighting goblins in an underground cavern,
Both players roll a D6, the
rival native tribes in ritual combat across a jungle river
player that scores the highest
ford, Saxons and Vikings clashing on a wind-lashed
chooses a corner to start from,
coastline or even opposing merchant guilds coming
the opposing player starts
to blows in a busy market square. You are limited only
from the opposite corner.
by your imagination.
Players alternate deploying
Arrange the terrain to reflect the situation you feel befits
models from their warbands in the same way as Board
the opposing warbands and agree with your opponent
Edge deployment but use the chosen corner as the
what rules apply to each terrain element.
starting point.
Objective and victory conditions
Drive the opposing warband from the battlefield.
The opposing warbands
The warband which drives their enemy from the
have spent a few moments
battlefield wins.

posturing, exchanging threats,
jibes or general abuse as they
ease themselves into position
Prepare a 24 x 24 play area with a selection of terrain before one of the leaders
to suit the coming conflict. Once the terrain has been loses patience and battle
placed roll on the deployment chart below. commences.

Dice Roll Deployment Both players roll a D6, the player that scores the
1-2 Board Edge
highest places a model from their warband anywhere
on the battlefield. The opposing player now places a
3-4 Corner model from their warband anywhere on the battlefield
as long as it is at least 8 away from an enemy model.
5-6 Confrontation Players alternate placing models until both warbands
are on the tabletop.
Board Edge

Both players roll a D6, the

player that scores the highest
chooses a board edge to start Special rules
from, the opposing player
First Turn
starts from the opposite edge.
Both players roll a D6 and add the MIN of their leader.
Players alternate deploying
The player that scores the highest chooses which
models from their warbands, starting with the player
player takes the first turn. (Reroll ties).
that chose a board edge, until all of the models from
both warbands are on the battlefield. (If your opponent Game End
finishes deploying their warband and you still have
models left, simply deploy the remainder of your force The game ends when one warband reaches its Break
after your opponents last deployment). Point and flees the battlefield.


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Scenario 2 : Retrieve the prize

No one knows its here do they?

Background and terrain L2 L2

The Retrieve the Prize scenario represents two
warbands arriving simultaneously at the whereabouts
of a relic, treasure or other suitable prize as befits your
setting or genre. It could be rival thieves guilds sent to L2 L2
plunder a merchants warehouse, barbarian tribesmen
ransacking an enemy village, the guards of a roman
senator searching for incriminating evidence against
a rival or any other situation that sees two opposing Set-up
groups searching for a common prize.
Arrange the terrain to depict a suitable environment
Objective and victory conditions for an encounter between your warbands. Include five
features which are Locations of Interest and possible
The prize is in multiple parts. The warbands must find resting places for the items the warbands are searching
the parts of the prize and escape with them from the for. (See map for details). These features should be
battlefield. of a size and shape roughly comparable to a pile of
crates or barrels. You can of course put one, some or
The warband that gets the most prizes off the tabletop
all of these inside a piece of area terrain. (Hazardous
wins. A model carrying a prize must move off the table
area terrain if you feeling really vindictive).
via their own deployment zone while carrying a prize
to secure it. A model may not re-enter the battlefield Both players roll a D6, the player that scores the
once it has left. highest chooses a board edge and deployment zone
to start from, the opposing player starts from the
The warband either takes the prizes to their employer,
opposite edge and deployment zone.
enjoys the benefits of their gains themselves or
otherwise basks in the glow of victory. Special rules
If both warbands manage to get an equal amount of First Turn
prizes from the battlefield it is a draw the honours
are even. Both players roll a D6 and add the MIN of their leader.
The player that scores the highest chooses who gets
If one warband breaks and flees any remaining the first turn. (Reroll ties).
prizes are claimed by the warband in possession of
the battlefield. If a model is carrying a prize when its Prize in parts
warband flees roll a D6, on a 1-3 the model drops the
Once the terrain has been set-up, the possible
prize leaving it for the opposition, on a 4-6 it takes the
locations of the prizes have been decided upon and
prize with it.
before deployment, roll a D6 to discover how many
parts the prize is actually made up of.

D6 Parts
1 Two

2-5 Three

6 Four


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Its not that easy rest of this turn and its next activation as it enjoys
its discovery. Make a note or mark the model with a
Unfortunately for the warbands finding the prizes isnt counter to remind you that it is distracted.
that easy. There are a number of other objects that can
confuse or distract them during the search which they Large Fish
may discover before they find the prizes.
What the... what? How it got there no one knows but
You will need to create pool of items to be discovered its a whopper.
which can be blindly drawn from. This can be a deck
of cards or a cup with different coloured chits or beads The model discovering it may throw the fish by making
inside. Whatever system you choose the pool of items a shooting attack with a range of up to 6. If a minor or
will consist of: solid hit is scored do not cause any damage but knock
the target prone. Regardless of a hit or a miss place a
Item Number suitable counter to represent the fish in base contact
with the target. The fish may be picked up by a model
Prizes 2-4 (see Prize in Parts above)
in base contact using an interact action.
Calamity 1
The fish can also be used in hand-to-hand combat
Distraction 2 and follows the rules for a double-handed weapon.
However, it does not cause any loss of FOR on Minor
Large Fish 1 or Solid hits, it knocks the target/s prone instead.
Nothing to see here Enough to bring total items to 13 Nothing to see here

A dirty plate, a dead rodent or broken pot, whatever

the model has found it is of no importance and is
This is what the warbands are after. When a model discarded.
finds a prize it carries it, either put a counter beside the
Locations of Interest
model or mark it on your roster sheet. A prize can be
passed to another model in base contact using a single The map shows you where to place the Locations
interact action. If a model carrying a prize is removed of Interest and also includes a number next
from play or knocked prone the prize is dropped in to each location. This is the number of items which
base contact with the model. Use a suitable marker can be found at that location. When a model
to represent a prize on the floor. A prize on the floor searches a location and finds an item (draws a card/
may be picked up by moving into contact with it and chit from the item pool) you decrease the number
making a single interact action. A model can carry that can be found at that location by one. As you
more than one prize. A model may put a prize down can see the outer locations have two items and the
by making a single interact action, place the prize in central location has five.
base contact with the model.
An alternative approach is to place item cards/chits
Calamity face down next to the location they belong to and a
player takes the top one when discovering an item.
A trap, falling masonry or a venomous creature, the
Use whatever system best suits your collection and
calamity could be anything, whatever it is its not good
item pool cards/chits.
news for the model discovering it.
Searching for the Prize
Make an immediate ATK 10 hand-to-hand attack
against the model and if it survives, place the model A model may search for a prize by making two
prone. consecutive interact actions while in base contact
with a Location of Interest that has items still to be
found. After the second interact has been performed
Fine wine, good ale or a selection of interesting the player controlling the model draws a card (or
cheeses. Something has distracted the model making chit/bead) from the pool of items to see what he has
the search. The model discovering this loses the discovered.


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Determination Variations

The warbands are determined to get the prizes. The You can have a lot of fun making up your own
Break Point of warbands in this scenario is calculated variations for this scenario. Simply adjusting the mix
as a quarter rather a half of the total FOR and MIN. of the item pool can produce very different games,
more calamities or distractions will give your games
Example: If a warband had 7 models, each model a very different tone. Another option would be to flip
with a FOR of 3 and a MIN of 2 it would have a Break the mix of the item pool around and have the majority
Point of 9. (Fortitude 3 x 7 models = 21 + Mind 2 x 7 of the prize pool valuable. The terrain can also play
models =14. This results in 21 + 14 = 35, 35 /4 = 8.75 a huge part, having the Locations of Interest within
rounded up to 9). hazardous area terrain or on different levels can add
more chances for fun and mayhem to the experience.
Game End

The game ends when the final prize is removed from

the battlefield or a warband reaches its break point
and flees.


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Scenario 3 : Capture
You are free to use any means necessary but I want them alive!

Background and terrain

The Capture scenario represents the warbands trying

to capture or retrieve living targets. This might be Starting
villagers fleeing a warzone with one warband trying Position
to rescue them and the other trying to capture them. of Prey
The two warbands could be on a hunt, the opposing AREA
leaders attempting to outdo each other by capturing
the most valuable prey for their menagerie. It could
even be as simple as livestock running loose outside
of a village and the locals are rushing to claim the best
animals for themselves. Whatever it is both warbands Both players roll a D6, the player that scores the
want them alive. highest chooses a board edge to start from, the
opposing player starts from the opposite edge.
Objective and victory conditions
Special Rules
Capture the most valuable targets and get them away
from the battlefield. First Turn

Warbands score victory points based on the prey Both players roll a D6 and add the MIN of their leader.
they remove from the battlefield via their deployment The player that scores the highest chooses who gets
edge. A model with a secured prey that moves off the the first turn. (Reroll ties).
battlefield may not re-enter the battlefield. The Prey
Unsecured Submissive prey moving off a deployment Once the terrain has been set-up roll a D6 to see what
edge are claimed by the warband using that the warbands are trying to capture.
deployment edge. Other unsecured prey moving off
the table are lost. D6 Result

Prey Victory Points 1 3 x Submissive

Submissive 1 2-5 1 x Hostile, 2 x Neutral

Neutral 2 6 1 x Hostile, 2 x Neutral, 3 x Submissive

Hostile 3
Youll need appropriate models to represent the prey
depending on what they are supposed to be (villagers,
If a warband breaks, any models from the warband livestock, trophy monsters or gribblie critters). There
that have not left the battlefield when they break but are potentially three kinds of prey as detailed below.
have secured prey in base contact leave the prey
behind as they run for their lives.
These are completely at the mercy of the approaching
Any unsecured prey on the battlefield is claimed by the
warbands. A model within 6 of Submissive prey may
remaining warband.
take an interact action to coax the prey into moving.
Set-up The model will move D3 directly away from the model
making the interact action.
Prepare the play area with a selection of terrain to suit
the coming conflict and place the prey in the starting
area (see below).


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Neutral The Prey move after both players have taken a turn
and do so throughout the game (Player A turn, Player
Neutral prey is moving about in a daze or otherwise B turn, Prey move, Play A turn, Player B turn, Prey
unaware of the potential danger surrounding it and move and so on).
can be secured by anyone that gets close enough to
convince it to move. When it is time for the Prey to move the players take
turns nominating a prey model and moving it as
Hostile follows:
Feisty, some might say dangerous this one wont Nominate a point on the models base as 1 and roll
come quietly. Hostile prey will not willingly submit to D6 for random direction (see Random Direction guide)
anyone. When a model moves within 1 of this prey the
model immediately suffers a psychological attack with Roll D3 for distance in inches.
MIN 5 as the prey lashes out, spews abuse or otherwise
puts the frighteners on the model approaching. On
a Solid Hit the model suffering the attack is totally
6 1
unnerved and its activation ends immediately, lose the
initiative. On any other result the model may continue Random
its activation normally. While secured (see below) the 5 Direction 2
prey does not lash out so no attack is made against Guide
nearby models.

Securing Prey 4 3

A model in base contact with prey may take an interact

action to secure the prey. If prey moves into contact with terrain features other
than area terrain it stops as it contacts the terrain
While a prey is secured it remains in base contact with
feature. If prey would move into contact with another
the model that secured it, moving with the model when
prey or a model from a warband it stops 1 away. Prey
it activates (the owner chooses where to place the
moving off either board edge not used for deployment
prey model in base contact after a move). If a model
has escaped or wandered too far from the action. Prey
with secured prey next to it is removed from play or
does not test for hazardous terrain and is not affected
knocked prone the prey becomes free again and
by difficult ground. It cannot move into impassable
immediately moves D3 directly away from its recent
terrain (For example, prey will stop at a deep fissure
captor. A model may only secure one prey at a time.
or lava flow... its not completely crazy!). Discuss with
A model may only take one action while it has prey
your opponent what you feel is appropriate for prey to
in base contact. (We assume the models attention is
move into or through before the game starts.
divided by keeping an eye on its surroundings and
dealing with keeping the prey secure). Game End
Prey Starting Positions The game ends when the final prey is removed from
(or leaves) the battlefield or a warband reaches its
At the beginning of the game the Prey are positioned
break point and flees.
in the Starting area (see map). Once you have
discovered what prey the warbands are looking for
the players alternate placing a prey model fully within
the starting area. Randomly determine who will place
the first prey.

Moving Targets

The prey will not stand idle waiting to be grabbed. In a

state of confusion, agitation or panic it will move about
once the game commences.


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Create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

The Open Combat rules contained within this e-book Additional scenarios are already in various states
provide you with a system which can accommodate of development. Then there is the prospect of an
most close quarter engagements you might care to advancement and campaign system. They are in the
play on the tabletop. But there is a lot more to come. works too.

When I started the process of putting the rules I plan to release some supporting material online as
together I had, at the back of my mind, the desire to articles on the Second Thunder website while other
produce micro expansions to add additional flavour to material will be released as micro expansions. The
the system. During development I have had to squirrel eventual aim is to publish a range of optional material
away various details and mechanics which, while that players can pick and mix from depending on the
being great fun, could have detracted from the open tastes, budgets and desires of their play group.
nature of the core system.
I hope Open Combat fires your imagination and
Expanded rules for monsters, mounted models, encourages you to explore new frontiers and model
particular historical periods and campaigns are all on ranges for your tabletop gaming. It may even rekindle
my development list. So too are expanded rules for the fire for old projects, maybe even putting into
particular fantasy tropes such as dwarfs, orcs, elves use old favourites from your collection that have lain
and so on. Also for fantasy gamers theres the undead dormant for too long.
and magic to explore. Many of the rules exist to one
Whatever aspect of tabletop gaming you enjoy I wish
degree or another (strewn across several notebooks)
you luck in Open Combat.
they just need me to swing my focus onto them to
bring them fully to life.

Theres also the landscape that the games are played

upon which I wish to provide expanded rules for. What
about the weather conditions, hazards, random events
and/or unique inhabitants of a particular region? The
prospect of expanding the treatment of buildings and
urban environments is another exciting area to explore.
All of this is fertile ground for providing additional fun
for years to come.

Join us online
Wed love to hear from you about your experiences with Open Combat
join us online at


main contents

Create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination

miniatures reference
This book contains miniatures and terrain from the Page 9:
authors personal collection (along with a few pieces Mantic Games, Reaper Miniatures.

from the collection of Nick Simmerson). Page 11:

Warlord Games.
The following information is provided to acknowledge Page 13:
the manufacturers of the miniatures and to help Hasslefree Miniatures (Dwarf), Heresy Miniatures (Goblin).

you find them should you wish to add particular Page 14:
Warlord Games.
miniatures to your own collection. Where a miniature
Page 16:
appears multiple times within the book only the
Mantic Games, Warlord Games.
manufacturer is named on subsequent pages).
Page 17:
Hasslefree Miniatures, Reaper Miniatures (Skeletal barrier).
Gripping Beast
Page 18:
Mantic Games.
Hasslefree Miniatures Page 19: Heresy Miniatures, Warlord Games.
Heresy Miniatures Page 20: Gripping Beast, Reaper Miniatures.
Page 21:
Mantic Games
Warlord Games. Page 23:
Reaper Miniatures Warlord Games. Page 26:
Gripping Beast, Wargames Factory.
Wargames Factory
Page 31:
Mantic Games.
Warlord Games Page 32: Reaper Miniatures (Scorpion).
Page 33:
Front Cover (left to right):
Hasslefree Miniatures, Reaper Miniatures (Ruins).
Mantic Games (Elves, Orcs), Reaper Miniatures (Owlbear),
Page 36:
Gripping Beast (Norman knight), Wargames Factory
Gripping Beast (swine, child and lady), Wargames Factory
(Saxons), Heresy Miniatures (Barbarian), Warlord Games
(Saxon with staff).
(Romans, Celts).
Page 40:
Page 5:
Heresy Miniatures, Mantic Games, Reaper Miniatures.
Mantic Games.
Page 7: Some of the scenery is available from Ainsty Castings,
Reaper Miniatures, Gripping Beast, Warlord Games, Heresy
Lost Valley and Renedra, the rest of the pieces are
Miniatures, Wargames Factory.
scratch built.
Page 7:
Reaper Miniatures, Gripping Beast, Warlord Games, Heresy
Keep an eye on the Second Thunder website for
Miniatures, Wargames Factory.
tutorials on building your own terrain along with a few
Page 8:
hints and tips on painting your miniatures.
Warlord Games.


main contents

Warband Roster
Warband Name Renown
name SPD ATK DEF FOR MIN Weapons Skills/Abilities Notes Renown
Second Thunder Limited 2014. Permission is granted for personal use only.
Break Point
Second Thunder and Open Combat are
trademarks of Second Thunder Limited.
All rights reserved.

Name Renown Name Renown


Weapons Skills/Abilities Weapons Skills/Abilities

Notes Notes

Second Thunder Limited 2014. For personal use only. Second Thunder Limited 2014. For personal use only.

Name Renown Name Renown


Weapons Skills/Abilities Weapons Skills/Abilities

Notes Notes

Second Thunder Limited 2014. For personal use only. Second Thunder Limited 2014. For personal use only.

Name Renown Name Renown


Weapons Skills/Abilities Weapons Skills/Abilities

Notes Notes

Second Thunder Limited 2014. For personal use only. Second Thunder Limited 2014. For personal use only.

Name Renown Name Renown



Weapons Skills/Abilities Totals

Break point


Second Thunder Limited 2014. For personal use only. Second Thunder Limited 2014. For personal use only.