Scalemail

Rules for Medieval Miniatures Using the 4th Edition Rule Set for Dungeons and Dragons by CJ Lewis

Welcome to Scalemail! Scalemail is a rule set add-on for the 4th edition rule set of Dungeons and Dragons, designed for large-scale campaigns and skirmish battles. Played more as a strategy game than a role playing game, Scalemail could be used as a recreation of certain events in fictional (or non-fictional!) historical situations or as a game to play on a rainy day (when actual D&D is not possible). What Scalemail seeks to achieve is a platform for campaigns on a national scale in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. With these rules, we hope that you can gather a few friends together and, through role-play or mere whim, declare war on each other and settle it—with swords and sorcery, of course. To play this game, you will need to have the Player’s Handbook from Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition set. Contained in its pages will be the rules for how combat works exactly and how classes work (for those lucky moments where a hero joins your cause!). In that former case, you may want to have the Player’s Handbook 2 and any other books for 4th edition that contain classes if you choose to allow them into your game. Additionally, you may need other books appropriate for the game (Monster Manual for appropriate monsters, Dungeon Master’s Guide for traps and the know-how, the Power books for each of the different power sources, etc.) but in the end, the game is your game and how you play is the best way to play it for your group.

You will need a large dryerase (or wet-erase) mat for staging skirmishes and battles. This mat should use 1”x1” squares and should be a large size (33 squares by 44 squares comes to mind). Lastly, you’ll need miniatures to represent troops on the battlefield. This is easily the hardest (and most expensive part!) of any role-playing/war gaming tabletop. Fortunately, you can use anything to represent units on a battlefield, assuming you have groups of different things to tell unit from unit (to tell the difference between knights and archers, goblins and elves, etc.) Coins are appropriate: if you have a large change jar, you can use a marker to write a unit’s designation on coins (A1-5 for a unit of knights, B1-5 for a unit of archers, and so on and so forth). What I’ve found to work is small 1” wooden tokens available at most craft stores and then marking designations on them (though it is humorous to spend your unit of mages for a bottle of soda). Marking a unit’s designation (using the same convention as above) makes it easy to keep a unit together on the battlefield and easier to micromanage on the fly. If you’re able, buy 120 tokens for each side (or more if you plan on having armies clash in three/four way battles). If you can buy different colors for each side, that makes it even better, e.g. 120 blue tokens for one side, 120 red tokens for the other side.

However, if you’ve got the money, you can buy loads and loads of pewter miniatures to represent units. -Unit Composition In Scalemail, units are usually comprised of five figures. For example, a unit of level 1 warriors has five physical miniatures on the field. A unit works off the same Initiative and work together as a group to hold safe points, launch attacks, or anything the player needs them to do to insure victory in the skirmish. Each figure in the unit is generated using the regular Dungeon Master’s Guide monster rules (DMG, pg 184). Use the appropriate role for the unit and generate the monster and the unit is good to go, with certain exceptions. (If you’re not patient enough, different units will be provided later in the book.) Instead of each figure having their own hit point value, the unit is considered to have a total hit point pool. For example, if a one figure of five has 30 hit points, then the collective unit has a hit point pool of 150. The unit can withstand 150 points of damage before being wiped off the battlefield completely. The entire unit is considered to share the hit point pool. However, take note of each figure “individual” hit point value. When a unit collectively suffers that amount of damage, take the last unit hit off the field. If multiple figures in the unit is hit and the individual hit point value is

accumulated, the attacker gets to choose which unit is destroyed. Example: A unit of warriors have a hit point pool of 150, with each warrior having 30 hit points. On one turn, one of the figures takes 36 damage from a deadly blow. The hit point pool goes to 114 from 150. Having accumulated 30 points, the unit last hit is taken off the field.

Additionally, a unit all acts on one initiative round. Take the lowest initiative score (though for smooth game play, each figure should be identical in a group) and use that when they join the battle. Aside from that, battle runs just as it does in D&D 4th edition. Pre-Campaign Scalemail is usually played as a war game. If this is the case, then use the rules ahead. At the beginning of the campaign, the world is mapped out. Cities, mountains, plains, forests, and all other terrains are sketched out on a piece of paper. This paper should have 1”x1” squares, known as “quadrants.” Each quadrant should have terrain marked within it. For villages and cities, they should have one quadrant designated to them. For metropolises, this can be done in different ways. For especially large metropolises, they could theoretically represent a 3x3 quadrant space. If your players are good with it, you can do this for each city or just each capital. This is to

represent an invading force entering a city and slowly battling inward. Now this can be done in a multitude of ways. The map could be copied from a previous source with 1”x1” quadrants laid over it, to recreate a war or scenario. Alternately, each side could be exactly the same to insure absolute

fairness (but what war has ever been fair?) By the time the overworld map is completed, each player should agree with its layout.

EXAMPLE MAP
After the map has been assembled and the players agree to play it, each side is given a number of points to spend on their beginning forces. For a standard game, an amount of points equal to 100 is

good enough; it allows each side to buy plenty of cheap units, a few very well-skilled units, or a mix of the two. Though, the amount of points at the beginning of the game should be up to the players and agreed to on all sides. This is especially so if recreating scenarios. After units have been bought, each side picks a sphere of influence. For a standard campaign, this shouldn’t be a large space on the map. It should be big enough to situate their units on the map. Again, if the game is striving towards recreating a scenario, make the sphere of influence appropriate for each side.

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