Gethsemane Games launch new Fantasy wargame
Gethsemane Games have launched a new Fantasy wargame called Mage Wars.
From their announcement:
Gethsemane games have launched a new tabletop fantasy war game called Mage Wars”. Intended to allow players to use any scale and any miniatures ranges they like the game can be played with our without the “Elizium” setting.
Everything in the game that needs dice uses d10s. When a unit attacks, the models that are able to engage (which may be the whole unit or just one or two ranks depending on the formation and cohesion of the units involved and on the penetration the units have into each others formation) rolls a d10 and adds the units Melee Value (or Ranged attack value if they are firing missiles) . For every roll that is then higher than the Stopping Power Threshold of the weapon the unit is equipped with, a hit is scored. The defending unit then rolls d10 for every hit they suffered and they can add the units Defence Value to each dice. for every roll that comes out equal to or higher than the Armour Threshold of the armour they are wearing (or higher than 14 if they are skyclad) they cancel one of the hits. Casualties are then removed and the unit with the next highest Initiative level takes it’s attack.
When testing for Morale a unit rolls a d10 and adds it’s Morale level and if there are any modifiers they add or subtract them. One roll is made for the whole unit. If they roll over a certain number then they have passed, if they roll less than it then they either retreat in an orderly fashion, retreat in a disorderly fashion or route in utter chaos depending on how much they failed it by.
We have separated Morale and Discipline, as they have different rolls to play. A unit tests for discipline if the units player wants them NOT to pursue a routing enemy that they were in melee with. They also test for discipline if they are changing formation or executing a manoeuvre (although some simple manoeuvres are automatic and don’t need a check). Failing it means the units cohesion fails, which is bad news if an enemy can get in to melee with them before they can restore it.
Units that have lost cohesion and are attacked in Melee suffer for it. they get fewer attacks back and suffer some other penalties.
Cohesion is also a fairly important part of the game and comes in “Close order”, “Open order” and “Loose order”, each of which has advantages and disadvantages for a unit. Units can change Cohesion during play with a discipline roll.
formations are also important. During play testing we found that a human unit in close order cohesion and shield wall formation with two ranks and armed with spears, was able to hold off wave after wave of lesser demons that would have ripped them apart in a couple of rounds under other circumstances. That was exactly what we were aiming for.
Rally square is also very good at protecting infantry form cavalry (as the mounts need a discipline roll to attack a rally square braced for a charge) whilst it makes a great target for archers or engines of war. A well placed catapult shot into a rally square can be catastrophic for the unit.
Wedge formations are very good at breaking up lines and shield walls as well, and Testudo is great for advancing into a hail of arrows but makes actually inflicting melee casualties harder.
Rules for battle honours let units gain experience and if your unit displays a lot of genuine battle honours they can intimidate the heck out of less experienced enemy units.
Bravado rules let regimental musicians or charismatic character models stir up a units blood so they gain a bonus to Melee Attack rolls and Moral.
When creating a unit as well, you start with it’s racial base stats and you get a few points to spend on elevating a stat or two (or buying a unit certain special abilities) depending on the units training level. Levies and slaves get no extra points, regulars get one, elite get a few more and special forces get the most.
For every 10 battle honours a unit wins it gets another point to spend, although you don’t always get a battle honour for taking part n a battle.
Then you have rules for character models, magic, customisable magic items and so on.