Army design

Army design

An army is more than a lot of soldiers. It also includes the commanders, heroes, mages, etc., communication and the military organisation in which they function. For a functioning army, the stats of all element must be determined, the organisation chosen and the set of order counters selected. Everything together makes up an army in ‘For Reign or Ruin’.

Design of the army is an integral part of the game and determines how the game plays. Different armies require very different tactics and present different challenges and opportunities. As almost any army can be represented in ‘For Reign or Ruin’, you can choose the army that is right for you. The section on army construction in the main rules is sufficient to start and a full Army Book with construction rules, additional example armies, scenarios and a campaign system will be available in the future, but an overview of army design and some additional information is given below.

This section contains more than a guide for selecting the proper troops, but also suggestions on choosing the stats for troops not included in the lists, the associated military organisation, heroes and the order counter set used. You should be somewhat familiar with the rules to understand the terms and designations used in this section.

Army lists

The rulebook has the rules and a number of army lists that you can use to start your own army, but more extensive army lists can soon be downloaded for typical fantasy armies and some based on our own fantasy background of the world of Hamarc. Also a few mythical and historical lists will be provided.

Army organisation

As the game focuses on command, the army organisation has considerable influence on the game. Imagine the army organisation that you think best represents the background of your army and then go through the list below to get a representation of this organisation in the game.

  • Choose composition of brigades and their command. Are these mostly independent with their own commander (e.g tribal or house troops), or tactical components of the division or army (e.g. a cavalry brigade, reserve or vanguard)?
  • If these brigades are independent, choose if they are indifferent to the others or not (see rules page 55). I.e. can you redistribute stress to other brigades?
  • How large are brigades and are they supported by heroes, etc.? Minimum is 4 and the maximum is 10.
  • What does the higher command structure look like. Is there a higher level (division) commander? Does he, she or it have their own troops?
  • Who is the army commander? This can be one of the brigade commanders, or a division commander or higher, depending on the number of brigades in the army.

These two example armies show different options for the same troops. One tribal with each brigade/tribe its own little army and the army commander in charge of one of the brigades, and one structured with specialised brigades and a reserve under the army commander’s control.

Based on your army’s level of organisation, training and discipline, choose the appropriate order counter set. Communication and discipline is expressed by a Good, Average or Poor set. Initiative, temperament and motivation is expressed by an Eager, Normal or Cautious set. Choose the combination that best fits your army.

Army troop selection

Troop stats

Choose troops you imagined for your army or start with the miniature you have and select appropriate stats from the appropriate list. Determine the stats according to race and equipment, and possibly training level, and resist getting the ‘best’ in the lists. Select a good mix of troops, as the game rewards mixed troop actions. All sorts of troop types can be used to good effect. You can select from all lists, but note that you use lists of the right race. E.g. for elves, you can use wood elves and high elves lists, but not human, dwarfs, orcs, etc. as these have slightly different stats.

Write down the stats for all troop types with their point value or enter them in the empty army list spreadsheet. Once you have the stats for all troop types, commanders, etc. you can use this for any future game with that army. If you want troops that are not in any of the army lists, you can download a spreadsheet to determine stats and point value of most regular units or send me a request with detailed troop description.

Troop selection

Select troops, commanders and heroes to the point value of the intended game. Assign them to brigades to form the army. Note that the point values for all troops in the lists are not corrected for the order set cost. Good command sets cost 8% of the total point value of the army points, Poor command sets reduce 8% of the army points. The spreadsheets can help you select troops and calculate the point value of the resulting army taking the orders set into account.

Commander selection

Select a sufficient number of commanders and/or heroes for the number of brigades that you have. Determine the number of actions you can distribute amongst these. You do not need to give the highest general the largest number of actions. You can then choose appropriate stats for each. Keep in mind that there is a limit to the number of commanders and heroes as listed by the Army limitations below.

Army limitations

There are some limits on the number and quality of commanders and heroes depending on the points and the number of troops.

  1. Commanders and heroes cannot exceed one quarter (25%) of the army points except hero magic users (so all troops, commanders and non magical heroes).
  2. The action points of commanders and heroes is limited by the number of elements. Count one leadership point for each unit, individual and commander but not heroes. I.e. each element that must be given orders.
    One hero action point costs one leadership point and, one commander action point costs two leadership points. Each magic-user gets one action point free.
  3. Magic is limited by the total sum of Magic Mana times Wisdom of magic users. This may not exceed; the army point value times the World Magic Level. For normal games a World Magic Level of 7% is recommended, but if all players agree you can use more magic (higher WML).

The army list spreadsheets calculate this and will show you when you violate a limitation.

Army personalisation

To help with the storytelling you can name your brigades, commanders and heroes. You can choose your own names, use your favourite films, books or games, or use an online name generator for inspiration.

Historical armies

Although the rules focus on fantasy armies, the same rules can be used to construct historical armies. A guideline is given below to achieve the proper feel of the army and period:

Ancient armies

Organisation: Large brigades (6-10). Mostly organised in a centre, flanks and possibly a reserve. The army general is usually in command of the centre. You can easily copy the historical command structure.

Counter set: Average or Poor communication. Good sets only for exceptionally well organised, professional armies (e.g. Romans). Initiative can be Eager, Normal, Cautious.

Command: action point numbers: three leader points for each commander action point. Use leftover leader points on heroes. Points: 15% of army. This is a reflection of armies in antiquity having little communication and a smaller number of higher command.

Medieval armies

As specified for fantasy armies without the magic. See the feudal army list for a typical medieval army. Copy the historical command structure and organisation.

Mythological armies

These are historically based armies but with a supernatural element based on the cultures beliefs and mythology. Examples of mythological armies would be historical Greek troops with beasts such as hydra, cyclops and units of satyrs and centaurs, or Egyptians with units of eagle headed Horus units, mummies and giant scorpions, possibly with gods or half gods as heroes or commanders. A few can be found in the army lists, but you can use your favourite army and culture.

Command: either as specified for fantasy, or as ancient troops depending on background.