Pub Battles Fantasy Workshop

These are some current rules under development. As such they are inchoate and subject to change. The goal with this system is not to try and do what everyone else has already done. To adapt the Pub Battles kriegspiel-like command system to a fantasy setting. Catching the feel of commanding a fantasy army in Pub Battles terms. Most games do not do enough to remove the players from the hands-on control of their forces. In the quest for realism, too much absolute knowledge is given to the commanders. Pub Battles renders a battlefield that is fluid and dynamic, where moves often feel a little too late, a little too blind. The only comfort is in knowing that your opponent is just as blind.

This is the reason that this system works so well as a solitaire game. Even playing with perfect knowledge of your opponent’s intentions, you realize how precarious and uncertain the battle can be. This is somewhat analogous to playing pinball. You release the hammer and the ball takes off, crashing and careering through the bumpers. You do the best you can with the tools at hand (the flippers), and when the ball finally slips past and your game ends, you check the score.

There are lots of ways to add in this, or add modifiers for that, but this is Pub Battles. Nothing is added unless the game doesn’t work without it. This philosophy has allowed the rules manual to remain lean and clear.

Spells are still being worked out. Obvious simple spells are adds for combat or movement buffs. We are also considering battle-wide effect spells, but these will need to be playtested.

Please feel free to leave ideas and comments!

With all this in mind, here are my notes, so far.
Each army gets 3 leaders rated 5, 4, 3.

Troop Types

Weight (mobility)
Light – Facing changes free. May move through friendly units.
Regular – First facing change free.
Heavy – Any facing change -1/3 move
Quality difference (combat): Lighter- Count first hit as two. Heavier-Ignore first hit.
i.e. Regular is lighter than Heavy.
Heavy Mounted, or any Mounted vs Spent, +1.
Poison – Lowest die adds +1, in the case of ties, all dice of the lowest value add +1.
i.e., rolling three 3s would be counted as three 4s.
Fear is counted as poison during the first round of combat when attacking.

Missile range: Each “>” counts as 1/3 mounted move.
Archers roll two dice when attacking at range.
Archers fired at by archers in range return fire simultaneously.

Heroes have the same size blocks as leaders. They move like leaders, and they cannot be contacted by enemy units.
How to activate: Fresh Heroes activate by flipping to spent, at any time, even during an opponent’s turn.
Activated Heroes may move and attack by themselves, or join a unit in combat.
They have one hit and one die if they fight by themselves and they resolve their attack first.
When they join a unit in combat, place them on top of the unit. A unit joined by a Hero in combat counts one friendly miss as a hit, If they suffer enough hits to be eliminated, the Hero may be eliminated instead, otherwise simply move it 1/3 mounted move away.

Good Armies

Human armies differ in two ways from other armies. They have the greatest selection of troop types and may include a Wizard as one of its leaders. A Wizard counts as having one more pip when calculating army leadership. A fresh Wizard may flip to spent to cast a spell with a level at least equal to its command rating.
Human archers have >> range
Hero, 5pts.
Light 4pts., mounted 6pts.,
Regular 33pts., mounted 5pts.,
Heavy 5pts., Mounted 7pts.,
1 leader may be a Wizard

Archers are range >>>.
Elves receive +1 for ranged attacks.
Hero, 5
Light 5, mounted 7,
Regular 5, mounted -,
Heavy -, Mounted -,

Regular Archers have > range. Dwarven artillery have >>>> range.
Dwarves are always considered heavier when fighting equal weight foes (opponents still use their own weight).
Hero, 5
Light 3, mounted -,
Regular 3, mounted -,
Heavy 5, Mounted 7,
Artillery: Light 3, Med 5, Heavy 7. Artillery roll 3 dice when they fire. Light Artillery ignores the first hit inflicted, and Heavy Artillery counts the first hit as 2.
Heavy Artillery may inflict 4 hits and eliminate a Heavy unit!

Evil Armies

All light/mounted Goblinoids are Archers and have > range.
There is no limit to how many goblinoid units may be in support of a goblinoid unit.
An unsupported Goblinoid unit in combat receives -1 die modifier.
Goblinoids with more supporting units than the enemy receive a +1 in combat. 
Heavy Foot are Trolls. Trolls must have a leader adjacent to be in command. Spent Trolls are automatically flipped back to fresh at the end of a turn (regenerate).
It is possible for a leader to be adjacent to more than one Trolls unit and command them all. 
Hero, 5
Light 4, mounted -,
Regular 3, mounted 5,
Heavy 5, Mounted -,

Undead light infantry are Archers with range >>.
Any combat result that requires Undead to retreat is ignored.
Undead not commanded by a leader will charge nearest non-Undead unit.
The Undead General is a Necromancer and has 2x command range. This is the only leader the Undead may have.
Hero, 5|
Light 5, mounted -,
Regular 3, mounted 5,
Heavy 5, Mounted -,

Demonic Light Foot spit poison at > range.
Demonic Light Cavalry are flying. They pay no terrain costs and may ignore other units while moving (They are like leaders). They may not attack alone, but only in concert with another ground unit. Their only effect in combat is to cause any defenders who must retreat to be eliminated. If they begin their turn out of command they will only move into command. They suffer the same adverse results as the demonic unit they are supporting.
All demonic heavy units are kept off board until summoned. A demonic general may summon a demon heavy unit by flipping to spent and placing an off board heavy unit adjacent to his block instead of moving. A Heavy unit may move the turn it is summoned.
All demonic units cause Fear.
Light 4, mounted 5,
Regular 3, mounted -,
Heavy 5, Mounted 7,


Point formula
Base = 3pts = Regular foot infantry 
Light = -1pts
Heavy = +2
Mounted = +2
Archers +1 per range >
Wizard 10 pts.
Artillery weight:
Light Artillery, 3 pts. must score two hits to cause one damage, Moves as foot. >>>
Regular Artillery, 5 pts. 1/3-foot move.>>>
Heavy Artillery, 7 pts. first hit causes two damage (can cause a possible 4 damage!), Not movable during battle.>>>
Leaders Each army gets 3 leaders (5pip, 4pip, 3pip).

4 thoughts on “Pub Battles Fantasy Workshop

  1. This sounds great and I would be very interested in seeing this continue to be developed.

    I look forward to following along with the progress.


  2. I don’t know if this alerts you to changes, but playtest has caused a few rather significant ones. Pip based command actions have been dropped, Heroes added, and a few other things. One of the goals hers is to use as much of the Ancient PBs set as possible, and supplement it with only a few special units. That way the cost is kept to a minimum. This may not happen in the end.


    1. I’ve not played any of these before (I’ve been eyeing them for a while and just ordered Antietam yesterday), so I’m not very familiar with the mechanics, but after I get the game I just ordered it will all make more sense.

      I understand the desire to keep it as similar to one of the existing mechanics as possible.


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