The Object of the Game
In the Dragon Dice game, you use dice to represent armies of different fantasy races and monsters which battle to control essential pieces of terrain. Any number of players can share in this struggle. The first player to capture two terrains immediately wins the game.
Learning the Game
The best way to learn Dragon Dice is to play it. Rather than trying to learn the rules by just reading them, get out your dice and follow the instructions step by step. There are plenty of examples to help keep you on the right path. In no time at all, you'll be commanding armies like a pro.
There are a few terms you'll want to become familiar with before getting started. They'll help you understand the rules your first time through.
Unit: Each six-sided and ten-sided die rep-resents a single soldier in your army and is called a unit. The ten-sided ones are also called monsters. (Monsters are only available in Dragon Dice Kicker Packs.)
Army: All of your units at a single terrain (see below). At the start of the game, you begin with three armies.
Dragon: The single-color twelve-sided dice arenÕt units and canÕt be part of an army. Dragons come in two forms: drakes, which have wings, and wyrms, which are wingless. You'll learn more about dragons on page 34.
Terrain: The eight-sided dice represent terrain-the land that armies battle to capture. The faces on each terrain die are numbered from 1 to 8, and each face features an action icon (such as melee, missile, or magic; see Actions on page 15). These action icons determine, abstractly, the distance between armies at the terrain and the type of action they can engage in. When you maneuver a terrain to its eighth face, you capture that terrain (see The Eighth Face on page 26).
Example: If a terrain die shows an arrow icon face up, only missile attacks can be used at that terrain.
Frontier Terrain: The terrain die placed in the center of the table at the start of the game. This die is selected by the starting player and may be any terrain die brought to the game.
Home Terrain: The terrain die placed in front of you at the start of the game. This die is selected by you, and your home army starts here.
Elements: The colors of the dice represent the magical elements that each race and terrain is made of. Gold signifies earth; blue indicates air; red typifies fire; and green represents water. Black, the fifth element, connotes death. Each terrain consists of two elements. Coastland is blue and green (air and water). Flatland is blue and gold (air and earth). Highland is gold and red (earth and fire). Swampland is gold and green (earth and water). Each race of units-both the six-sided units and their ten-sided allies (monster units)-also
contains two elements. Coral elves are blue and green (air and water). Dwarves are gold and red (earth and fire). Goblins are gold and black (earth and death). Lava elves are red and black (fire and death). Other races (introduced in Dragon Dice Kicker Packs) are composed of different elements or colors. Unlike the races, dragons are pure elemental spirits made up of a single element and, therefore, a single color.
Health: Most dice in this game can receive a specific amount of damage points before being "killed" and removed from play. This number of points is defined as a unit's health. The smallest six-sided units (called commons) have 1 health (one point of damage kills a common unit). The medium six-sided units (called uncommons) have 2 health. The largest six-sided units (called rares) have 3 health. Monsters (the ten-sided units) have 4 health. Dragons (the twelve-sided dice) have 5 health. Terrains cannot be killed and so have no health points.
Icons: The symbols on the faces of each die are called icons. There are two types of icons: Action and ID. See pages 44-47 for illustrations of each race's icons. Action icons tell what actions a die can perform in the game. For example, if a die has an icon of a bow on one face, that die can shoot missiles at enemy units. See page 15 for more information on actions. ID icons serve to "name" the dice. For example, an icon of a dwarf wearing a feathered cap on a common die identifies it as a "crossbowman." The most important thing to remember about ID icons is that they always count as whatever action icon is needed. If you're rolling for saves, ID icons count as save results; if you're rolling for maneuvers, they count as maneuver results; and so forth. Furthermore, each unit's ID icon counts as a number of points of effect equal to its health.
Example: You army engages an enemy army in melee combat. You roll your entire army, and three of your units come up as ID icons. These units-two uncommons and one common- provide 5 points of melee damage (two 2-health units and one 1-health unit: 2+2+1=5.)
Remember that ID icons count as whatever result you are rolling for.
Reserves: At times, units need to pull back and regroup. They must retreat to your reserves area, kept to your right (see Reserves on page 21).
Dead: Units that take damage equal to or exceeding their health are removed from their armies and placed in your dead unit area, to your left. Magic can bring these units back into the battle, as explained in Magic on page 17.
Buried: Dead units may be buried. Buried units are removed from play entirely and take no further part in this game.
Playing the Game
Each game of Dragon Dice is called a battle. In a battle, two or more players pit their armies against each other to capture two terrains and win the game. The following steps for set-up take place before the game begins.
Decide Battle Size
Players agree on the size of the battle. To do this, you agree on a number of health points for each player's total forces, then bring units totaling that many health points to the battle. Good force sizes are 23 health points (the value of the dice in the basic set), 24 (the size of a standard Dragon Dice tournament), or 35 health points. You must bring one dragon (of any color) to the battle, regardless of how small a battle you are playing. In addition, for every 25 health points in your forces you need to bring another dragon. (So, in a 35-point game, you'd need to bring two dragons.) For each dragon you fail to bring to the battle, your starting forces are reduced by 3 health points.
Note: Dragons don't count as part of your unit total. So, in a 24-point battle, you bring one dragon and 24 health-worth of units. Dragons are set to your left, in what will be your dead unit area.
Divide your units into three armies. Designate one as your home army, one as your campaign army, and the third as your horde that plagues an opponent's home terrain. You must put at least one unit in each army. Write your name on the three banner cards provided in the basic set, and use them to mark your armies. You should build and designate your armies in secret, so the other players won't be able
to make decisions based on your strategy. Use a screen to hide your dice during the assembly phase. There's just one rule you need to obey as you assemble your armies at the beginning of the game. No more than half the total number of health points (rounded down) of your forces can be placed in a single army. After initial army placement, this restriction is no longer in effect. Later on in the game you may want to pull units into reserve and then regroup them into one or two larger armies.
Example: You're playing a 24-point battle. The largest number of health points that you can assign to any one of your three armies at the start of the game is 12. This can be twelve 1-health common units, six 2-health uncommon units, four 3-health rare units, three 4-health monster units, or any combination that total 12 health points or less.
If This Is Your First Time Playing: One easy way to assemble your armies is to split them into their different races (colors). Place one race (the one you have the most units of) in your home army, another race in your campaign army, and the remaining units in your horde army.
Example: You open the box and see that you have the following units: seven lava elf units (red and black), four dwarf units (red and gold), three coral elf units (blue and green), and one goblin unit (gold and black). Place the seven lava elf units in your home army, the four dwarf units in your campaign army, and the remaining coral elf and goblin units in your horde army.
Set the Battlefield
Choose one of your terrain dice to be your home terrain. (Your home army defends your home terrain, so you might want to pick a terrain die that matches at least one color of the units in the home army.) Choose a second terrain die (the only other one you own if you're playing right out of the box) and set it forward as a proposed frontier terrain. There are four different terrain types-coastland, flatland, highland, and swampland-each with a different mix of colors and action icons. The eighth face of each terrain die features a special location icon, which comes into play once an army controls that die (see The Eighth Face on page 26).
Determine Order of Play
Reveal your forces at the same time as the other players. Then roll your horde army and add up all the maneuver and ID icon results. (The army isn't at any terrain yet, so no special abilities apply.) To roll an army, pick up all the units in that army and toss them. Your army's maneuver icons, along with the rest of each race's action icons, are listed on pages 44-47. You'll want to consult this section often until you learn to recognize the following types of maneuver icons:
Boat Claw Dwarf Boot Elf Boot
Goblin Foot Hoof Paw
The player who rolls the most points of maneuver results becomes the first player, the one with the second highest total becomes the second player, and so on. In a tie, tied players reroll until there is a winner. Players should sit around the table in clockwise order from the first player. The first player also gets to choose which of the proposed terrain dice becomes the frontier. He can choose any of the prospective terrain dice, even one he hadn't proposed. The other terrain dice aren't used in this battle, so put them away.
Two rules must be followed when you place your armies at the start of the game: 1) No player can place more than one of his armies at a particular terrain die, and 2) no more than three armies belonging to different players can occupy a terrain die. With these rules in mind, each player places his home army at his home terrain. Then, going in order, each player places his horde at the home terrain of another player and his campaign army at any other terrain on the table. If you're playing a three-person game, your set-up should look something like the illustration at right.
Note: It's possible in a game with four or more players that the player at the end of the turn order may have no legal spot to place one of his armies. If this happens, that player must start with that army in reserve. For more information on Reserves, see page 21.
Determine Starting Distances
Each player rolls his home terrain die to determine initial battle distances, and the first player rolls the frontier die. Reroll any results of 8. The resulting numbers signify how far away each army is from capturing the eighth face on each terrain die. Low numbers (1 or 2) usually mean that your army is so far away from the enemy that the only effective weapon is magic; medium numbers (4 or 5) usually indicate that your army is in missile range; and a high number (6 or 7) generally means that your army is right on top of its goal and close enough to engage in melee combat with another army at the same terrain.
Each turn, you may act with two of your armies, then make a reserve move. A turn consists of a first march, a second march, and a reserve phase.
On your turn, choose one of your armies to act with (the chosen army is your current acting army). The army may be at a terrain or in your reserves (see below). This is your First March, and you can maneuver and make actions, as follows.
If the acting army is at a terrain die, you can try to turn the terrain die up or down one step (from face 5 up to face 6 or down to face 4, for example). This symbolizes the army trying to outflank another army at the same terrain to either get closer (into missile or melee range) or fall back (into magic or missile range). After you have maneuvered the die or if you decide not to maneuver, go to Actions below. To maneuver, you announce, "I'm maneuvering." Don't reveal whether you intend to turn the die up or down. Players with armies at the same terrain can-if they want-oppose the acting army's maneuver by announcing, "I'm counter-maneuvering." If no players oppose the acting army's maneuver, you automatically turn the terrain die up or down one step, without rolling your army. If the acting army's maneuver is opposed, that army and all counter-maneuvering armies are rolled. Compare the acting army's roll to each counter-maneuvering army's roll. If the number of maneuver icons rolled by the acting army equals or exceeds that of the highest counter-maneuvering army, the acting army's maneuver succeeds, and you may adjust the terrain die up or down one step. (Remember, ID icons count as points of whatever result you're rolling for.) However, if one or more of the counter-maneuvering armies rolls more maneuver icons than the acting army, the maneuver fails and the terrain remains unchanged.
Note: If all armies roll no maneuver icons or generate zero maneuver points because of spells or special effects, the acting army still succeeds and may turn the terrain die.
If the acting army is at a terrain die, its action is dictated by the face showing on that terrain. Actions include melee, missile, or magic. If your acting army is in reserve, however, it may only cast magic (see page 17). If the acting army controls the eighth face of a terrain die, it may perform any of the three types of actions (see The Eighth Face on page 26). The three types of actions are described as follows.
If the melee icon (a sword) is showing on the terrain die, then only melee combat can occur. Melee icons for the four races are all edged weapons, as follows.
Coral Elf Dwarf Axe Goblin Axe Lava Elf
The acting army may engage an opposing army at the same terrain in melee combat. This takes one of two forms, skirmish or charge, as you decide.
Skirmish: You select an army to attack at the terrain and roll your own army, looking for melee or ID icons. Each point of melee counts as one point of damage to the target army (see Damage on page 23). If damage is inflicted, the target army rolls for saves. If any units remain in the target army, it gets to attack back. The target army rolls, looking for melee or ID icons. Each point of melee counts as a point of damage on the acting army. The acting army then rolls for saves (see Damage, page 23). After this exchange, the action ends for that army. Go on to the next part of your turn- Second March or Reserves.
Charge: Instead of skirmishing, you may declare a charge. Choose a target army at the same terrain and roll your army. Each point of melee and each point of maneuver rolled count as a point of damage to the target (as do ID icons). After you count up the damage, the target army rolls. Any save results reduce the damage inflicted by an amount equal to the save results, and any melee results are counted as damage against the acting army. However, the acting army doesn't roll saves in return. Only saves provided by magic count against these hits. After the charge has been resolved, the action ends for that army. Proceed to the next part of your turn-Second March or Reserves.
If the missile icon (an arrow) shows on the terrain die, the acting army may make a missile attack on an opposing army. Missile attacks can target enemy armies at the same terrain, or can reach from any home terrain to the frontier, or from the frontier to any home terrain. The missile icons for the four races are as follows:
Coral Elf Dwarf Goblin Lava Elf
Bow Crossbow Sling Pistol
After selecting a target, roll your army and count the number of missile and ID icons that appear. Each point of missile counts as one point of damage to the target army. If any damage is inflicted, the target army rolls for saves. Unlike during melee combat, the target army canÕt attack back, even if it occupies the same terrain. After the acting army's missile attack has been made, the action ends. Go on to the next part of your turn-Second March or Reserves.
If the magic icon (a starburst) shows on the terrain die or the acting army is in reserve, the acting army may attempt to cast spells. Roll your army and separate out those units that show magic or ID icons. Magic icons are as follows:
Coral Elf Dwarf Goblin Lava Elf
Wand Medallion Amulet Totem
The next step is to count the number of magic points you have rolled. When tallying, however, remember that each unit may only cast magic according to its elemental colors. Coral elves cast blue and green magic; lava elves cast red and black magic; dwarves cast red and gold magic; and goblins cast black and gold magic. One point of magic on a goblin, for example, means you have one point of black or one point of gold magic-not one point of each. Thus, if you're playing a multiracial army, you're likely to get a lot of magic points in several different colors. Points of a particular color can be combined from unit to unit as the player chooses, and multiple points of a particular unit can be divided between that unit's colors. Read the following example to see how this makes sense.
Example: One point of magic from a goblin (gold and black) and two points from a dwarf (gold and red) can be combined to obtain any of the following types of magic: 3 points of gold; 2 points of gold and 1 point of red; 2 points of gold and 1 point of black; 2 points of red and 1 point of gold; 2 points of red and 1 point of black; or 1 point of gold, 1 point of red, and 1 point of black.
Now you tally your points of magic and refer to the spell lists located on pages 39-43. Each spell is preceded by a magic point cost; this is the number of magic points of that color required to cast that spell. You can purchase as many spells as you can afford with the magic points you rolled, though you aren't required to spend all your points. (Any extra points not used disappear; they can't be saved for a future turn.) You can even purchase some spells multiple times for an enhanced effect.
Example: You purchase the Breath of Life spell three times, at a cost of 9 points of blue magic. You could use the combined effects to resurrect three 1-health units, or one 3-health units, or one 1-health units and one 2-health unit.
You must announce which spells you are casting and at what targets before you resolve the effects of any spells. Magic can target any army in the game-including armies in reserves- except where otherwise noted. However, you can't cast magic that inflicts damage on one of your own armies. If all your units are killed-if you have no units left at terrains or in reserve-any spells you cast are immediately negated. Likewise, if you move away one or more units from an army that had a spell cast on that army or that terrain, the spell no longer affects those units. (An example would be Wall of Ice cast on an army or Ash Storm cast on a terrain; units pulled into reserve or sent to another terrain would no longer be affected.) A spell targeting an individual unit, however, follows the unit. (Burning Hands is one such example.)
There are three other points to remember when playing Dragon Dice. Those points are as follows.
Elemental colors play an importantpart in Dragon Dice. You'll recall that ID icons always count as whatever you're rolling for. In magic, any units that roll an ID icon and match at least one of the colors in a terrain die can double the resulting magic points that correspond to that color. Only the magic points generated through ID icons are doubled, not normal magic icons. Units in reserve can never double magic because they are not at a terrain.
Example: If in flatland (gold and blue), the goblin and dwarf in the example above can double their gold points if they roll ID icons. If in highland (gold and red), the dwarf can double both its red and gold magic points if it rolls an ID icon. Needless to say, rolling ID icons for magic is a way to rack up lots of magic points.
No terrain has the black element (color), but during a magic action black magic can be doubled when ID icons are rolled by "burying" dead units of health equal to the points of ID icons rolled (see Damage on page 23 for information on dead units). Any one player (including the acting player) who has dead units can be targeted for the loss; however, the targeted player chooses which of his dead units are buried. Only points generated through ID icons can be used for burying and doubling. All magic points gained by burying dead must be spent. Units in reserve can't double death magic.
Example: In coastland (blue and green), two uncommon (2-health) goblin units roll ID icons. Their owner can choose to have 4 points of gold, 4 points of black, or some combination thereof. Instead, he can turn the 4 points of black into 8 points. He targets another player, who buries 4 health points of his dead units. The acting player must now spend the 8 points of black magic on spell listed on page 43.
An army in reserve may cast spells, but it can never double its magic points. Spells can only be cast on friendly units and armies (those belonging to that player). Terrain dice and other players units and armies can't be targeted by a reserve army's magic. Spells that inflict damage on friendly units or armies cannot be cast.
After the magic results have been chosen and resolved, the action ends. Proceed to the next part of your turn-Second March or Reserves.
You may choose a second army to act with, just as in First March detailed above. A different army than the one used in the First March must be used in the Second March. You must have at least two armies in play to take a Second March. (A player with only one army can only take one march.) Marches are always optional, as are actions. After your Second March is complete, proceed to the final part of your turn-Reserves.
Your reserve army is kept to your right. After finishing both of your marches, you can move units into and out of your reserves. A reserve army can only be attacked by magic. You may opt to use a march on your reserve army; that is, instead of acting with one of your other armies this turn, you can act with the reserve army. As explained above, this army can only cast friendly magic; it cannot attack. After this action, you can still reinforce or retreat, as follows.
If you have any units in reserve, you can move any or all of them to any home terrain or the frontier. You can split the reserve units up, sending some to one terrain and some to another. If you already have an army at the terrain, the reserve units join that army. If you don't have an army at the terrain, the reserve units form a new army. In really large Dragon Dice games (50 points or more), you may end up dividing your units into more than three armies. Just use extra banner cards with your name noted at the top.
After reinforcing, you can move any or all of your units from the terrain dice they occupy and place them in reserve.
Example: It's the reserves part of your turn. You have three units in reserve. First, you decide to move two units to reinforce your home army, and move the third unit to reinforce your campaign army. Second, your horde army has taken a beating, so you retreat all the units in your horde to your reserve.
Because movement from terrain to reserve and from reserve to terrain occurs by units and not armies, modifiers to an army's rolls-such as spells including Stoneskin or Wind Walk-don't travel between locations. This is true even if all the units in an entire army move.
When armies meet in battle, melee or missile or magic may result in units taking damage. If a unit takes damage equal to or greater than its health, the unit is "killed" and is considered "dead." Killed units are removed from their armies and placed in the owning playerÕs dead unit area (to the player's left). They can be restored by certain magical spells and special events or targeted by players using black magic and buried (removed from the game). Damage is usually targeted at an entire army. If an attack on an army inflicts damage, the
army rolls for saves. Save icons for the four races are as follows.
Coral Elf Dwarf Goblin Lava Elf
Buckler Towershield Warshield Ward
Each point of saves rolled negates one point of damage. Each point of damage that isn't negated by a save inflicts one health-worth of damage on the army's units. The owner chooses which units are killed (though some special effects or spells may dictate otherwise). If possible, enough units must be discarded to cover the health loss, but never in excess of that loss.
Example: If 2 points of damage are inflicted on an army consisting of two 1-health units, one 2-health unit, and one 3-health unit, the owner could discard both 1-health units or the single 2-health unit, but not the 3-health unit. You must discard the full amount of damage whenever possible; you can't arbitarily assign the 2 points of damage to the 3-health unit. If the army consisted of four 3-health units, on the other hand, no damage could be applied and so no units would be killed.
Some actions (such as the doubling of black magic) can cause dead units to be buried. Buried dice are removed from the game. Put them in your dice bag or wherever you store your dice. They can't be returned to play until a new game begins.
Routing is an optional rule suggested for the advanced player only. Be sure to play the game several times before opting to add this extra level of complexity. An army attacked by an enemy army at the same terrain may be forced to run away, or be routed. When rolling to save (or when making a charge), if an army rolls more ID icons (number of actual icons, not the icons' total point value) than save icons, it is routed and runs away. Saves provided by spells don't prevent an army from routing. However, saves provided by a special action icon or a racial ability do count as normal saves for determining routs (see Special Abilities on page 32). The opposing army can pursue if it wants. To do this, that player turns the terrain die one number lower. The army then acts again using the newly revealed action icon.
Example: Two armies engage in melee combat at a terrain that's on its fifth face (the number 5 and a melee icon are showing). During a save roll, one army rolls more ID icons than save icons, causing it to rout. The opposing army decides to pursue, so that player turns the terrain die down one to its fourth face (the number 4 and a missile icon are showing). The opposing army can now act again using a missile act.
This new action doesn't have to be directed at the routing army. For instance, if the new face indicates a missile or magic action, that army can target an army at another terrain. If the new action (regardless of what is indicated) is directed at the routing army or at another army at the same terrain, however, there's a chance for another rout. If another rout results, the opponent has the choice to pursue again, and so on, until no more routs occur or the terrain die is turned to the first face (the number 1 is showing). No routs can occur when the terrain die is on its first face. An army that is routed because of a melee skirmish attack can't make the usual counter-attack against its opponent. In a charge attack, all damage is resolved before any routs take effect. A charging army can be routed if it rolls more ID icons than save icons, even though the saves don't reduce damage. It's possible during a charge for both the attacker and the defender to be routed. If this happens, damage is resolved, the terrain die is automatically turned down one step, and the action ends there. The acting player then proceeds to the next part of his turn-Second March or Reserves.
The Eighth Face
If a terrain is maneuvered to its eighth face (the number 8 is showing), the acting army immediately "captures" that terrain. If a terrain that has been maneuvered to its eighth face is ever abandoned by the capturing army, or if all units in the capturing army are ever killed, the terrain immediately turns back to the seventh face (the number 7 is showing), and all eighth face advantages cease. An army that has captured a terrain receives several special advantages for as long as it retains control of that terrain die:
1) When rolling for saves, all save results are doubled;
2) When rolling for maneuvers, all maneuver results are doubled;
3) The army can use melee, missile, or magic as it sees fit, but enemy armies at the terrain are restricted to only melee attacks; and
4) The controlling army may make use of the special eighth face icon-city, standing stones, temple, or tower-as defined below.
Eighth face advantages are cumulative with any special racial abilities (see Special Abilities on page 32).
Example 1: A dwarf unit rolls three maneuver icons while in an army controlling the eighth face of a highland die. These maneuver results are quadrupled (doubled once for the eighth face advantage and then doubled again for the dwarf's racial ability, which allows his to double maneuvers in highland), resulting in 12 points of maneuvers.
Example 2: While rolling for saves, a coral elf unit rolls three maneuver icons. The unit is part of an army in control of an eighth face of a coastland die. Six saves are generated by this roll. The maneuvers are doubled because of the eighth face advantage, and then count as saves because of the coral elf's racial ability (which allows him to count maneuvers as saves in coastland).
An army loses control of a terrain if that terrain is ever moved from its eighth face, or if the army leaves the terrain, or if the army is destroyed.
The special icons that appear on the eighth face of terrain dice are as follows.
City: If your army controls a terrain with this icon, at the beginning of your turn you can recruit a 1-health unit or promote a unit in the controlling army. To recruit a 1-health unit, take a common unit from your dead unit area and place it in the controlling army. (If you have no common units in your dead unit area, you can't recruit.) To promote a unit, trade it with a unit in your dead unit area. The trade must be with a unit of the same race thatÕs worth 1 health point more than the "live" unit. For example, a common dwarf can be promoted to an uncommon dwarf. Rares (3-health units) can be promoted to monsters (4-health units).
Standing Stones: If your army controls a terrain with this icon, it can cast magic of the terrain's color-even if it contains units that can't normally cast that color of magic. However, if the unit doesn't match a color in the terrain die, it can't double its magic results when it rolls ID icons.
Temple: If your army controls a terrain with this icon, the army is immune to death (black) magic cast by opposing armies. Also, at the beginning of your turn, you may force another player to bury one of his dead units. The targeted player chooses which of his units to bury. Note: Since summoning a dragon to a terrain doesn't target a specific army, a black dragon may still be summoned to a terrain with a temple icon.
Tower: If your army controls a terrain with this icon, it can shoot farther than normal. Missile fire from this army can reach any terrain in play. It cannot target reserves.
The following rules apply to special circumstances that may come up during the course of a battle.
Special Action Icons
Rare (3-health) units and monster (4-health) units have a number of special action icons. These special action icons take effect before normal action icons. However, special action icons can't affect the results of dice that have already rolled.
Example: An army attacking during a melee rolls cantrip special action icons. Before the defending army rolls for saves against the melee hits, the attacking player uses the cantrips to cast a Lightning Strike spell. The attacker targets the spell on one of the defender's units. If the unit doesn't roll a save and is killed by the spell, it's removed from play before it rolls saves with the rest of the defending army against the original melee attack.
Note: If the defending army rolls a cantrip, it can't nullify an attacking unit's results-they've already been rolled. On the other hand, it can buy spells such as Stoneskin to protect itself.
Effects of special action icons are explained on the following pages, but first some general notes:
1) Spells that multiply, divide, add, or subtract the number of results obtained on a roll have no effect on special action icons. Minuses can't be applied to them, and they can't be halved or doubled.
2) Count each special action icon as 1 point of effect. So, if a die face has four cantrip icons, it counts as 4 points of effect.
3) Special action icons are subject to modification by a raceÕs special abilities and the advantages of a terrain's eighth face.
Example: A dwarf mammoth rider usually inflicts 6 points of damage during a charge when his trample special action icon comes up (since it counts as 3 points of melee and 3 points of maneuver). In highland terrain, the same charge would inflict 9 points of damage (3 points of melee damage, and 6 points of maneuver because maneuvers are doubled for dwarves in highland terrain). In highland terrain while in an army that control the eighth face, the same charge by the dwarf mammoth rider inflicts 15 points of damage (3 points of melee damage, and 12 points of maneuver, as the maneuvers are quadrupled).
Effects of rare units' special action icons are explained below. (Effects of monster special action icons are explained in the Kicker Packs, which contain monster units.)
Bullseye: During a missile action, the bullseye targets one unit of the acting player's choice. Each bullseye icon inflicts 1 point of damage. Only the target unit rolls for saves. If the resulting damage equals or exceeds the target's health, the unit is immediately killed-it's removed before rolling for saves against any other missile damage. No matter how many bullseye icons are on a single die face, they must all be directed at a single target unit. During a dragon attack, the bullseye counts as normal missile damage (1 point per icon).
Cantrip: During a magic action, the cantrip counts as normal magic. Its points are combined with any other magic icons to purchase spells. When rolling for maneuvers, the cantrip is negated and can't be used for anything. During any other action (including rolling for saves or during a dragon attack), the cantrip can be used to purchase immediate spells.
Counter: During a skirmish attack, or a skirmish counter-attack, or during a charge attack, the counter acts as a normal melee icon.
During a roll for saves, the counter counts as a normal save. During a roll for saves in melee-including a defender's roll during a charge-it counts as both a save and an immediate hit upon the attacking army, which may not roll saves against it. During a dragon attack, the counter functions as both a save and a normal hit against a dragon.
Fly: This icon provides either maneuvers or saves (not both), as needed. For example, during a maneuver, three fly icons provide 3 points of maneuver.
Rend: During a melee attack, the rend counts as normal melee hits. The rending unit may be rolled again immediately, applying the new results as well. If another rend comes up, the unit rolls again. This cycle of roll and apply continues until the unit fails to roll a rend. During maneuver, rends count as maneuvers but are not rolled again. During a dragon attack, rends count as normal melee hits and are rolled again as above.
Smite: During a skirmish melee attack, no saves (including spells already in play such as Stoneskin) can stop these hits. Units killed by a smite are chosen by the unit's owner; the hits can be divided up however that player sees fit. The units are removed before the army rolls to save against any other damage incurred. During a dragon attack or a charge, smites count as normal melee damage and can be stopped by saves.
Trample: This icon usually counts as either a maneuver or melee hit as needed. During a charge, however, a trample counts as both a maneuver and a melee hit, thus inflicting double damage. During a dragon attack, a trample counts as either a melee or a maneuver result, as the owning player sees fit.
Beyond its particular mix of elements and icons, each race also has a unique special ability when acting in its native terrain. These abilities are outlined in this section. Keep in mind, however, that spells that add automatic maneuver results (such as Wind Walk) aren't counted when determining the results of a special ability. Read the following for an example of how this works.
Example: A coral elf army in coastland terrain rolls for saves. It rolls three saves, four maneuver icons (which count as saves for this race in this terrain), and has a Wind Walk spell in effect (six automatic maneuver results). The army has generated only seven saves, as the Wind Walk results don't count as saves.
Coral Elves: Calling themselves the Selumari, this race counts maneuver results as saves when rolling for saves in coastland terrain. The lighthearted Selumari love open skies and sea, riding magical ships of coral that sail along the water or soar through the air.
Dwarves: Also called the Vagha, the dwarves double their maneuver results when in highland terrain. Dwelling amid the crags and caves of the worldÕs young mountains, the Vagha know every detail of this fiery terrain. When pressed, they can create paths through the very earth.
Goblins: Calling themselves the Trogs, this race doubles its maneuver results when in swampland terrain. Filthy creatures who revel in swamps, the Trogs can command the muddy earth of these regions to either firm beneath their feet or carry them along like flotsam in a river.
Lava Elves: Called the Morehl, these elves count their maneuver results as saves when rolling for saves in highland terrain. From long familiarity with the fiery lava rivers deep within the mountains, the Morehl can easily find fumaroles to hide within when attacked, or even call up flame to ward off damage.
Dragons are summoned by magic and are sent to a terrain. Combat with a dragon occurs before the normal sequence of events. Thus, whenever a single dragon and an army are at the same terrain, a dragon attack occurs. (See Dragon vs. Dragon, page 36, for information on multiple dragons at one terrain.) At the beginning of the acting armyÕs turn, the dragon attacks. The attack happens after any spells cast during the previous turn expire, but before the army's owning player performs any actions or declares his First March.
Note: In some cases the dragon's owner and the acting army's owner will be the same player. A dragon attacks all armies at its terrain at the start of their respective turns, even an army that belongs to the dragon's summoner. The owner of the dragon rolls the dragon die and checks the following dragon action icons.
Belly: The dragon's 5 automatic saves donÕt count during this attack. In other words, 5 points of damage will slay the dragon this turn.
Breath: Against another dragon, dragon breath negates the automatic 5 saves until the end of the acting player's next turn. Against armies, dragon breath effects are based on the dragon's color. Like spells, the effects of any dragon breath are resolved immediately (before the acting army responds to the dragon's attack).
Gold-Turn to Stone: Five units from the target army are killed unless they can generate save results. Each unit must be rolled individually, and each needs to generate a save result. The army's owner chooses which units are targeted.
Blue-Paralysis: The target army can only roll for saves until the beginning of the owning player's next turn. Thus, it cannot roll for missile or melee results against the dragon that turn.
Red-Flame: Five health-worth of units from the target army are killed and buried. The army's owner chooses which units are lost.
Green-Frost: All rolls made by the target army (or any individual units in that army) are halved (rounded down) until the beginning of the owning player's next turn.
Black-Disease: All units in the target army are rolled; any that roll ID icons are killed and buried.
Claws: A dragon's claws inflict 5 points of damage on an army.
Jaws: A dragon's jaws inflict 10 points of damage on an army.
Tail: The dragon's tail inflicts 3 points of damage on an army. Furthermore, the dragon immediately rolls again, applying the new results. This continues until something other than a tail icon comes up. The target army's saves are compared to the total damage generated.
Treasure: After the attack is resolved, one unit in the target army may be promoted. (Trade it in for a dead unit of the same race but worth 1 health more. Rare 3-health units can be promoted to monsters.) This icon is found only on wyrms.
Wing: After the attack is resolved, the dragon flies away. (Return it to the owner's dead unit area.) This icon is found only on drakes.
After the dragon has rolled and any dragon breaths have been resolved, the acting player rolls his army to determine its effect-if any-on the dragon. The army's owner chooses either melee or missile results (whichever are higher) to inflict on the dragon, and all saves defend against damage inflicted by the dragon's attack. ID icons can be used as melee, missile, or save results, as the army's owner desires. Each dragon has 5 health and 5 automatic saves (except when its belly icon comes up). Therefore, it takes a total of 10 damage points to slay a dragon (or only 5 when it rolls a belly icon). If an army slays a dragon, it may promote as many units as possible. (Trade each unit for a dead unit of the same race but worth 1 health more. Rare 3-health units can be promoted to monsters.) All promotions occur simultaneously.
Dragon vs. Dragon
When dragons of different colors are in the same terrain, they attack one another rather than the acting player's army. Each dragon's owner chooses another dragon as a target. All dragons are rolled simultaneously and the results are applied. Any breaths rolled negate the 5 automatic saves until the end of the acting playerÕs next turn. If there are multiple dragons of different colors, they attack each another. In such cases, dragons of the same color team up against a dragon of a different color. If multiple dragons of the same color are in the same terrain, they attack the acting player's army at the same time. An army attacked by multiple dragons may count its melee results against one and its missile results against another, possibly killing both with the same roll.
Modifiers to an army's roll (such as the penalty for an Ash Storm or the bonus from a Watery Double spell) don't apply to an individual unit when it must roll separately.
Example: A unit in an army protected by a Watery Double spell is targeted by a Lightning Strike spell. The additional saves that the spell provides for the army don't protect the unit.
Whenever a roll is used for more than one effect (for example, when an army is rolling against a charge or a dragon attack), any modifiers to that roll are applied as the army's owner desires. All modifiers must be applied, however, if possible.
Example 1: A -3 penalty from a triple Ash Storm spell could be applied to either the saves or melee results of an army being charged-or could be divided between those two effects. It couldn't be applied to the army's missile results, however, because missile results don't count during a charge.
Example 2: An army is being attacked by a dragon, and -4 penalty from multiple Palsy spells could be applied to the save results, or the melee results, or the missile results--or it could be divided among those effects. If the army has neither enough melee or missile hits to kill the dragon outright, it may choose to apply the penalty to one or both of those results (and thus preserve the benefit of its save results). It must apply all 4 penalty points, however.
Applying Dice Modifiers
When more than one modifier is in effect, apply them in the following order:
Modifiers that subtract,
Modifiers that divide,
Modifiers that multiply, and finally
Modifiers that add.
Results can never be negative at the end; zero is as low as a result can go.
2 Stoneskin: Add 1 automatic save result to the target army until the beginning of your next turn. These saves remain in effect for the duration and aren't used up. Multiple castings increase the effect, or may target another army.
3 Dust to Dust: Choose 1 health-worth of any player's dead units to be buried (removed from the game). Multiple castings can affect multiple units, larger units, or both, as the casting player decides. Multiple castings can target more than one player's units.
4 Path: Immediately move one of your units (any size) from one terrain to another. If the unit(s) move to another terrain where there are no friendly units, they form a new army. Multiple castings affect multiple units.
5 Transmute Rock to Mud: Subtract 6 from the maneuver results of the target army until the beginning of your next turn. This spell does affect special racial abilities (such as maneuvers as saves for coral elves in coastland terrain) and the additional damage done by charges. Multiple castings increase the effect, or may target another army.
7 Summon Gold Dragon: Send any gold dragon to any terrain, regardless of ownership or location.
2 Hailstorm: Inflict 1 hit on the target army. It may roll saves. Multiple castings increase the damage inflicted on a single army, or may target another army. Each target army only rolls once to save, regardless of how many Hailstorms are cast at it.
3 Breath of Life: Restore 1 health-worth of units from the dead unit area to the casting army. Multiple castings can revive multiple units, larger units, or both, as the casting player decides.
4 Wind Walk: Target army gains 6 automatic maneuver results until the beginning of your next turn. These maneuvers remain in effect for the duration and aren't used up. Multiple castings increase the effect, or may target another army.
5 Lightning Strike: Instantly kills a target unit unless the unit rolls a save or ID icon. Multiple castings target multiple units.
7 Summon Blue Dragon: Send any blue dragon to any terrain, regardless of ownership or location.
2 Ash Storm: Subtract 1 from the results of all armies at the target terrain (including the caster's army if present) until the beginning of your next turn. Multiple castings increase the negative modifier. If rolling units for multiple effect (such as rolling for saves and hits during a charge or dragon attack), the penalty applies as the army's owner sees fit.
3 Spark of Life: Restore 1 health-worth of units from the dead unit area to the casting army. Multiple castings can revive multiple units, larger units, or both, as the casting player decides.
4 Burning Hands: Select one unit. The target unit's melee hits are doubled until the beginning of your next turn. Multiple castings affect multiple units.
5 Dancing Lights: The target army's missile and magic results are halved (rounded down) until the beginning of your next turn. Multiple castings affect multiple armies.
7 Summon Red Dragon: Send any red dragon to any terrain, regardless of ownership or location.
2 Watery Double: Add 1 automatic save result to the target army until the end of your next turn. These saves remain in effect for the duration and aren't used up. Because the spell doesn't expire until the end of your next turn, it is in effect during a dragon attack in your
next turn. Multiple castings increase the effect, or may target another army.
3 Wall of Ice: Add 3 automatic save results to the target army until the beginning of your next turn. These saves remain in effect for the duration and aren't used up. Multiple castings affect multiple armies.
4 Wall of Fog: Halve (rounding down) all maneuver results at the target terrain, and all missile fire results in, into, or out of it, until the beginning of your next turn. This spell does affect racial abilities (such as maneuvers as saves for coral elves in coastland terrain) and the additional damage done by charges. Multiple castings affect multiple terrains.
5 Flash Flood: Reduce the target terrain die one face (from face 4 to face 3, for example) unless any army at the terrain can immediately roll at least 8 maneuver results. Multiple castings affect multiple terrains.
7 Summon Green Dragon: Send any green dragon to any terrain, regardless of ownership or location.
2 Reanimate Dead: Return a dead 1-health unit to the casting army. Multiple castings reanimate multiple 1-health units only.
3 Palsy: The target army suffers a -1 penalty to all its results until the beginning of your next turn. Example: 12 hits reduce to 11, 7 saves become 6. Multiple castings increase the effect, or may target another army. If rolling units for multiple effect (such as rolling for saves and hits during a charge or dragon attack), the penalty applies as the army's owner sees fit.
4 Finger of Death: Inflict 1 hit on a target unit. Target may not roll saves. Multiple castings can affect multiple units, larger units, or both as the casting player decides.
6 Open Grave: Until the beginning of your next turn, all units killed in the target army go to your reserve rather than to the dead unit area. If this spell is cast on the reserve, any units killed in the reserve while the spell is in effect remain in the reserve area. Multiple castings affect multiple armies.
7 Summon Black Dragon: Send any black dragon to any terrain, regardless of ownership or location.
Outline of Play
The following outline gives a summary of play for easy reference.
In prepartion for play, follow these steps:
(1) Decide Battle Size
(2) Assemble Armies
(3) Set the Battlefield
(4) Determine Order of Play
(5) Place Armies
(6) Determine Starting Distances
Each player performs his turn in the following order:
(1) First March
(2) Second March
Original Design: Lester Smith
Revised Rules Design: David Eckelberry, Dori Hein, & Bill Olmesdahl
Rules Booklet Editing: Bill Slavicsek
Project Coordinator: Dori Hein
Cover Art: Jeff Easley
Dice Art: Stephen A. Daniele, Paul Jaquays, Renee Ciske, Rob Lazzaretti
Production: Paul Hanchette
Typography: Angelika Lokotz & Julie Mazurek
Special Thanks to: Matt Norton, Vinny Salzillo, & Jim Ward and to the many players whose comments led to this revision.
Dragon Dice and the TSR logo are trademarks owned by TSR, Inc.
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Distributed to the book and hobby trade in the United Kingdom by TSR Ltd.
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(c) 1996 TSR, Inc. All rights reserved. This material is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork printed herein is prohibited without the express written permission of TSR, Inc.
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