By Kalle Marjola 1991,1994,1997
Update x.11.94, fixed melee rules, movement and firing,
new spells and special abilities.
Updated x.3.97, rewrote some rules and clarified and balanced them
Not for commercial use, all rights reserved by author.
Object in ChessWar! is similar to standard chess: Kill enemy king (called general or warlord etc. in ChessWar!) unless players want to have a lengthened game for total destruction (see extra rules).
Note: For simplicity all references to players are made with 'he'. Readers may substitute she instead of he in all places.
King represents your king, warlord or general and his
Queen represents mighty wizard or similar magician of your army.
Rooks represent your catapults, siege engines or giant troops. Rooks usually have long range support attacks.
Bishop represents your archers or other similar ranged units.
Knights represent your cavalry, was it 20 knightmen with war horses or two dozen wolf riders.
Pawns represent your core army, is it 50 pikemen, beastmen or fearsome zombies and skeletons.
Each unit has certain attributes which are used to represents its combat abilities.
Move is speed of the unit. Unit may move up to this number
of squares each round in normal conditions. Movement can be done
laterally or diagonally.
Save represents the toughness and morale of the unit. In most cases, the unit must make its save by rolling this number of more with d6 (but note that save roll 1 fails always)
Melee is unit close-combat skill and is used to modify melee combat rolls.
In addition to these basic attributes, some units have special abilities like bows or spells.
Contents of army is free to be chosen by player, but he must take all units with one or more as minimum number i.e. every army must have some kind of general and at least 4 infantry units. Army composition is not revealed to other player until set-up is over.
After deploy is done, cardboard is removed and both players are free to investigate composition of enemy army.
Order in each phase is not fixed nor simultaneous. Player may do his actions one at the time, for example choose target by result of previous shot done by his other unit.
If unit is already in melee, it cannot leave (nor fire or cast spells unless noted otherwise).
If target is already in melee with other unit this does not stop another unit attacking unit, just place the unit on the edge of square. Now target must destroy all its opponents before it is free to move.
Firing is started by selecting the target unit to attack. Target for attack must be within range of weapons and visible by firer or other unit in their army if weapon can be fired indirectly. Visibility is determined from center of firer's square to center of target's square; any square that is crossed by this line blocks the visibility if any unit is in that square. If this line crosses exactly between two squares, firer is free to choose which one of these two squares is crossed.
If target hit is in melee, roll d6: on roll 1-3 its opponent is hit, too! If faced with multiple opponent's, one randomly determined is hit.
Long Bows: As bows but have maximum range of 5 and to-hit
Crossbows: As bows but cannot be fired indirectly nor if the unit moved. Target saves at -1.
Firing procedure: A target square is selected (must be seen by some friendly unit), and scatter roll (d6) is made:
|1||1 square up (toward enemy)|
|2||1 square right|
|3||1 square down (toward firer)|
|4||1 square left|
|5-6||right on target!|
Any unit in target square is hit on roll 3+ and must make its save at -1 or it is destroyed.
Catapults of Fear: Unit in target square is hit automatically
unless immune to fear.
Rocks: Can be fired even if unit moved, but have maximum range of 4 squares and no modifier for target save.
If unit is facing 2 or more targets, opponent is free to choose which one unit must attack!
Attack roll (d6)
|6+(*)||Defender is destroyed.|
|5||Defender is routed and it must make its save or it is destroyed unless immune to rout. If unit survives this save, refer to 4 (i.e.. new save)|
|4||Defender must make its save or it is destroyed.|
|2-3||Stand-off, melee continues|
|..1||Attacker destroyed unless save is made (if defender is under fear unit saves automatically)|
If target is destroyed, one attacker not in melee with any other unit
may advance to defender's square. Unit cannot make this advance move
diagonally if both adjacent squares are occupied.
On result 1 or less previous defender cannot move to attacker's square even if attacker is destroyed.
Note that scared units (those who have failed fear test) have 1 point lower Melee skill.
A saving throw is made with d6 roll, and player must roll same or more than unit's save. If the roll is successful, unit is unaffected. Otherwise it is destroyed (or is scared or moved).
Some attacks or effects have modifiers to roll, but in any case, save roll 1 always fails and roll 6 succeeds!
Each wizard can cast one spell per turn. This spell can be cast during wizard's own turn, or during opponent's turn just before or after wizard's turn if the spell is instant, but no two instant spells can be cast during same opponent's turn.
For example, player A has wizard. During A's turn, the wizard casts 'summon'. During other player's turn the wizard is Zapped!, so player A uses wizard's next turn spell to dispel Zap!. The wizard cannot cast spells on its next turn, because it has already used it. If the wizard hadn't originally cast storm, the dispel would have been spell of the previous turn.
The wizard can cast same spell again and again, but choice of spells is limited by actual type of wizard (see army lists).
Each spell has its own restrictions about when it can be cast:
Instant spells can be cast anytime, even on enemy's turn!
Move, attack and melee spells are cast on appropriate phase of turn.
Summon spells require so much time that wizard cannot move during his movement phase. Spell starts to affect before firing phase, between firing and melee or after melee phase, as decided by wizard.
Appearance of this spell is always different: Human wizards prefer fireballs and lightning bolts, elves like thorn sprays while orc shamans cause a gigantic foot of their god to trample on enemy.
All bow or similar attacks gain -1 to-hit per square of range, but normal modifier for range (-1 if range 3+) is not used. With scattering attacks, one extra scatter roll is made for each 2 squares of range.
Target spell is dispelled on d6 roll of 4+.
This spell can be naturally cast on wizard itself or even on enemy unit! Enemy units are entitled to make save to resist this spell.
This spell can be also used to regenerate just destroyed friendly undead unit unless opponent immediately occupies their square with free advance move. Same targeting rules apply and d6 is rolled. On a roll of 4+ the unit is regenerated and left on board.
There is all armies currently available in ChessWar! All units in each
army are in standard order; king first, then queen, rook, bishop,
knight and finally pawns.
Attributes for each unit are:
|No||Minimum-maximum of this kind of units in army. The final army before set-up must have units of this kind in these boundaries. Note that each army must have 1 general and at least 4 basic infantry units!|
|Cost||Cost in points per unit of this type|
|Move||Maximum squares that unit can be move per movement phase (excluding charge). Note that catapults cannot move nor charge.|
|Save||Saving throw. D6 roll which must be made for unit to survive some attacks (also used for rout and fear tests)|
|Melee||Modifier to melee roll|
|Special||Any special abilities|
When this units charges into melee it gains +1 to its Melee for this turn. If the unit itself is charged or melee continues, this bonus does not apply.
This unit is very frightening. Any unit wishing to charge this unit must make its save or its movement ends and it cannot enter melee this turn (but it may fire normally).
When this unit charges, target unit must make its save or is at -1 Melee until combat is over (or all fear-causing opponents are dead) and cannot destroy opponent defensively (it still can destroy fear causing opponent during its own turn).
A unit already in melee with fear-causing opponents does not roll new fear save. It is either scared for the entire combat or immune to fear until combat is over.
Immune to Fear:
Unit is immune to fear and does not need to roll fear saves.
Unit is infected with plague; if it is destroyed in melee all units in melee with it or opponent have caught the plague and must make their save at +1 or are destroyed. This unit is also immune to any kind of plague.
Member's of this unit are stupid, very stupid. Each time player wants to move, charge or fire with this unit he must first roll a d6. On a roll of 1-2, the unit is stupid this turn and cannot do anything for the rest of the turn (except fight in melee if already engaged). If the test is passed (3+ rolled) unit can act normally until next turn, when the roll must be remade if any action is desired.
Giant boulders hurled by trolls or giants are counted as catapult attack with maximum range of 4 and no save modifier. Rocks can be thrown even if unit moved.
|General||1||5||2||2+||+1||Immune to Fear|
|Wizard||0-2||6||2||3+||-1||Spells Zap!, Storm, Dispel, Protection, Healing|
|Warlord||1||5||1||2+||+2||Immune to Fear, Crossbows (see below)|
|Rune Lord||0-1||8||1||2+||+2||Immune to Fear, Spells Storm, Dispel, Protection, Anti-magic*|
|Crossbowers||0-4||4||1||2+||+0||Crossbows (no move or indirect, -1 saves)|
|General||1||7||3||3+||+1||Charge, Immune to Fear|
|Wizard||0-2||8||3||3+||-1||Charge, Spells Zap!, Dispel, Protection, Healing, Fear|
|Elite Archers||0-4||4||2||5+||0||Long Bows (max range 5, +1 to-hit)|
|Liche||1||11||2*||2+||+1||Spells Zap!, Storm, Dispel, Raise Dead, Strike|
|Necromancer||0-2||8||2||3+||-1||Spells Zap!, Storm, Dispel, Raise Dead, Strike|
|Catapults||0-4||4||0||4+||-2||Catapults of Fear (auto-hit unless immune to fear)|
|Undead Archers||0-4||2||2||6+||-1||Bows (-1 to-hit)|
All units are undead and therefore subject to following rules:
|Warlord||1||5||2||2+||+1||Immune to Fear|
|Shaman||0-2||6||2||3+||+0||Spells Zap!, Dispel, Flight, Protection, Strike|
|Trolls||0-4||5||1||2+||+1||Rocks, Stupid*, Regenerate**|
**If Trolls are destroyed, they may regenerate at the end of turn if the square they occupied is still empty. Roll d6, and on roll 3+ trolls are returned back to game. Otherwise they stay dead (and cannot try again to regenerate). If killed again, they may again regenerate.
|Chaos Lord||1||8||2||2+||+2||Immune to Fear and Plague, Causes Fear|
|Sorcerer||0-2||6||2||3+||-1||Spells Zap!, Storm, Dispel, Fear, Plague|
|Chaos Knights||0-2||6||3||3+||+1||Charge, Immune to Fear|
These rules are optional and must be approved by both players.
At least magical items are recommended if played with only one
set of chess pieces, or otherwise some armies will become quite dull...
In that case, some special rules apply: