This is an attempt to create a set of rules for playing out wargames based on the Erfworld webcomic by Rob Balder. The rules are based on the CounterMoves Generic Microgame Engine, to be found here.
Where the rules here conflict with the rules as described in the Erfworld wiki, these rules hold precedence. In situations not covered here that are covered in the wiki, use the wiki.
The turn order is as follows:
A city generates a limited number of points each turn, which increases as a city's level increases. These points are not money, per se, and can't be affected by Moneymancy though they can be affected by Turnamancy. These points are spent to pop new units; any that are not spent during a turn are lost.
When popping larger units (such as an Heir), all of a city's points generated are used toward this purpose. They are “spent” by placing them into a reserve, and when sufficient points are in the reserve the requested unit pops. Halting production on multi-turn units causes the points in the reserve to be lost and the incipient unit to disband.
All units pop at level 1.
Schmuckers may be spent to increase production. For each Schmucker spent, one additional pop point is gained for the turn. If not used, the pop point is lost.
A unit’s stats are as follows:
A unit’s size is reflected by its Hits score. Examples:
Erfworld Men, Vampires
Earth human, Twolls, Golems, gwiffons, tankeroos
Spidews, wiener-rammers, sourmanders
Dwagons, megalogwiffs, Western Giants
Units of up to Heavy size can fit in tunnels, standing upright. Extra-Heavy units can only fit into tunnels on all fours (this means mounts, or humanoid units crawling). Gigantic units cannot fit into tunnels.
A unit’s upkeep must be paid (in Schmuckers) at the beginning of each turn, or at the beginning of the day when out of combat. Units whose upkeep is not paid immediately disband. A player may choose which units to disband, or may set a “disband order”; if set, units automatically disband in the order set by the player. A player may also disband units at any time (during his turn, between turns, or at night). A unit’s upkeep is equal to its cost in points to pop, times its level (thus, a level 3 character that initially cost 50 points to pop has an upkeep cost of 150 Schmuckers per turn).
A unit’s upkeep must be paid on the turn it pops.
There are standardized units available to all players. These include:
Nonstandard units may be created by players, with the approval of the GM or referee (if there is one) or all players (if there is no GM). See the Design section, below, for further information on how to do this. Full writeups of all of the units found in the Erfworld comic will eventually be included here.
It is assumed that each player will keep a “character sheet” for each of his unit types. This can be a notecard per type, or can be written down on a sheet of paper, one stat block per paragraph.
A Dollamancer, or any unit with the Fabrication Special, can create nonmagical weapons and armor; a unit may also pop with equipment. Weapons come in three classes: light, medium, and heavy. Armor comes in two classes: medium and heavy.
Units that carry weapons (Stabbers, Pikers, Scouts, Archers, Knights, Warlords) typically pop with light armor (if applicable) and a light weapon of the appropriate type; a unit’s base stats reflect this. A medium weapon gives +1 to the unit's Combat score, while a heavy weapon gives +2. Medium armor gives +1 to the unit's Defense score, while heavy armor gives +2. Armor can be created for any unit, including Heavies. (Armor for Mounts is considered to be barding.)
To create a medium or heavy piece of equipment costs 5 or 10, respectively, whether for Light or Heavy units, though equipment created for Light cannot be picked up and used by Heavy, and vice versa. (This cost is spent in schmuckers worth of materials if created by a Fabricator, juice if created by a Dollamancer, or points if a unit is popped with the equipment, and is spent up front, at the time the equipment is created.) The equipment's daily upkeep cost is the same amount, paid in schmuckers; it is a separate cost from the owning unit's, and represents time and materials used to maintain the equipment and keep it in a state of combat readiness. If upkeep is not paid on a piece of equipment, it disbands immediately. When a unit disbands, any nonmagical equipment carried by that unit also disbands; when a unit is croaked, any nonmagical equipment carried by that unit depops when the corpse does, unless removed.
Each piece of heavy equipment reduces a unit's Move by 1.
Specials are abilities that not all units have. These abilities are described below.
Flying units can Move through the air without falling, and don't suffer movement penalties for terrain (other than mountains). Flying units can only be attacked by other Flying units in the same hex, or by terrain-capable Archers in the same hex, or by Flying Archers (either natively or Mounted) in the next hex.
When attacking on-turn or in their own city, Archers have a range of 1 hex or city zone (or, in their own city, can cover the entire city and each bordering hex). They can also attack flying units in the same hex, on- or off-turn (the Archer must be terrain-capable for the hex).
Water units can move through the water without drowning; Water-capable Archers can attack flying units in the same hex.
Forest units can move in forests; Forest-capable Archers can attack flying units in the same hex.
Mountain-capable units can move in hills and mountains; Mountain-capable Archers can attack flying units in the same hex.
Tunnel-capable units can move in tunnels, regardless of their size.
Tunneling units can dig tunnels in the ground. If they can find gems, they can tunnel to them and mine them out easily. Tunneling units are automatically considered tunnel-capable.
Dance fighting units sing and dance while fighting.
Units that are Dance Fighting gain a bonus while in combat. Units without Dance Fighting can be led through Magic or innate ability of the leader.
Light units can enter tunnels. (All non-Heavy Erfworlders are considered to be Light units.)
Heavy units are two or more times the size of ordinary Erfworlders. Heavy units cannot ride mounts, and nonhumanoid Heavy units are frequently used as mounts themselves. Heavy units tend to have higher Combat and Hits scores than others; this is paid for at unit creation rather than as an automatic part of the Heavy ability. (It is stated that Heavy units cannot enter tunnels, but there are numerous Heavies that are found there -- Spidews, Golems, Sourmanders, Tchochkes, for example -- so I am inclined to ignore this.)
The ability to breach walls. In a round of combat, the unit may damage walls directly, doing an amount of damage equal to its Combat score plus any applicable bonuses.
A unit that has been damaged by a unit with Poison takes 1 point of damage per combat round, or (if out of combat) croaks at the end of the round. Curing a Poisoned unit prevents further damage, or croaking, but does not heal any damage already suffered.
Can be ridden by non-Heavy humanoid units. Most Mounts are Heavy units.
Unit can heal wounded allied Units
Allows a Unit to create Coins and other items, is a form of natural Dollamancy.
Allows the Unit to use a short/medium range "breath" attack before or instead of melee.
Remote Visual Link
Unit's Commander is able to see through the Unit's eyes from afar. Typically this has a range of up to 20 hexes, though can be increased to infinite using Thinkamancy
A unit with Commander:
Non-Speaking units are considered to be animal-like (gwiffins, megalogwiffs, dwagons, and so forth). Besides being unable to speak, they are also unable to communicate through Thinkamancy. Note that units that don't speak Language but have their own language are not considered Non-Speaking.
Each unit has a number of Movement Points (MP) equal to its Move score. Movement costs Movement Points; each hex costs 1 or more MP to move through. Movement costs for terrain types are as follows:
Combat is measured in “rounds”. A round ends when everyone involved in the combat has made an attack roll, all damage has been resolved, and (if applicable) units croaked. A single round of combat is adjudicated using the following procedure:
After a round of combat, any attacking units that have movement points left may retreat from the combat. Defending units may retreat, if (and only if) they are in their own city, and there is a city zone available for them to retreat to. (Attacking units may still follow, if they are able, though it might be possible for defending units to retreat to a city zone into which attacking units can't follow.) Combat continues until the battlespace no longer contains belligerent units.
A single unit can deal out as much damage as its Combat score. If a side deals more damage than a single unit's Combat score, additional damage is dealt by another unit. If all units in a stack have dealt their maximum damage, additional damage is lost.
If a unit with the Leadership special (including a Warlord) is in a stack, the player chooses up to 8 units in the stack. These units gain a Leadership bonus equal to the Warlord’s level. This bonus is added directly to the units’ Combat and Defense scores (or, for ease of math, the stack gains a bonus equal to the number of units (maximum of 8) times the Warlord’s level). For these purposes, a Mount and its rider are considered one unit. If a stack contains more than one Warlord, each Warlord in the stack can grant its Leadership bonus to an additional 8 units in the stack, but a single unit may not gain Leadership bonus from more than one leader. In order to gain the bonus, the units must begin the combat round in stack with the Leader.
When combat is:
Note that unled units are always considered belligerent when in the same hex as non-allied units, and will always attack. Units can be given orders by allied Commanders in the same hex, and under this circumstance are not considered unled (but don't gain any bonus from units with Leadership in another stack).
If a Warlord is targeted, units in the same stack will automatically attempt to defend, by taking the damage instead. Up to 8 units in the stack (of the player’s choice) may be used to this purpose during any one combat round, regardless of how many units there are. If all of the units defending the Warlord are croaked, and there is additional damage, the remaining damage is taken by the Warlord even if there are other units in the stack.
The player may, if he chooses, prevent this automatic defense, but must state that this is happening at the time.
A stack of units is simply a group that moves, attacks, and defends as one. Stacks gain a bonus depending on how many units are in the stack. Stack bonuses are as follows:
“Max stack” refers to 8 units in a stack. There is no limit other than practical and hex limits (a hex can hold up to 100 units).
A unit with Dance Fighting may lead, as if it had Leadership, all other units with Dance Fighting in the same stack. This applies to all units in the stack; the 8 unit stack limit does not apply. If the unit leading the dance fight is a Chief Warlord, all applicable allied units in the hex gain the bonus.
A caster with Dance Fighting provides its bonus to all units in the same hex that are associated with its magical discipline, whether or not those units have Dance Fighting.
In some cases, Terrain may provide a defensive bonus (possibly an offensive bonus as well). All applicable units in the hex gain the defensive bonus, while up to 8 applicable units in a stack gain the offensive bonus. (“Applicable” units simply mean terrain-capable; offensive and defensive bonuses granted by Forest terrain, for example, only apply to Forest-capable units.)
Terrain hexes have levels of their own. Flat, bare dirt is considered level 0, and costs 1.5 Movement Points per hex (round down) to move through. Higher levels of terrain means it's more of whatever the terrain type is; higher level roads are easier to traverse, while just about everything else is harder. Most terrain types max out at level 3.
This section contains information primarily aimed at GMs, for designing maps and units. These rules may be utilized in non-GMed games, but are recommended for experienced players; all players should have a chance to review designed units and maps before they are used in play.
Units have Combat (attack), Defense, Move, and Hits (hit points) stats. Scores are at typical levels as described in the comic.
A unit's point cost is used for two different purposes: to determine how many points the unit costs to pop, and to determine the unit's upkeep. The cost is determined using the following formula:
3 * (Combat + Defense) + Move + (2 * Hits) + Special Abilities
The cost for each Special Ability is listed in the table below:
Remote Visual Link
10 for 1 Discipline + 5 per additional Discipline
All cities have a maximum level. The base maximum level for any city is 0, which may be increased by bonuses related to the city’s surrounding terrain. The hard maximum level for any city is 5; no city may have a higher level, though any city whose effective maximum level due to these factors would be pushed above 5 is automatically considered a capital site.
A city that is razed down to 0 becomes a Ruined City; as long as the surrounding terrain can support a city of at least level 1, a city can be rebuilt on the site.
Any city that fails to gain bonuses to increase its maximum level above 0, or for whatever reason loses its bonuses to the point where its maximum level is decreased to 0, becomes Ruins. If a Ruins hex later gains city bonuses to increase its maximum level above 0, it becomes a Ruined City, and a city can later be built here. Ruins and Ruined Cities are otherwise identical in all respects.
A hex “immediately borders” a city site if there are no other hexes between it and any of the city’s hexes.
A “road segment” means an entire stretch of road that connects to at least one other road or city.
+1 if one or more hexes of farmland immediately border the site. If 3 or more of the hexes are level 2 farmland or higher, the bonus is +2. If all of the hexes are level 2 or more, and 3 or more of them are level 3, the bonus is +3.
+1 if the city is located on a road segment that leads to any city (including one leading directly into either city). If the road segment is level 2 or higher, the bonus is +2.
+1 if one or more active mine hexes immediately border the site (if all mines are played out, the bonus is lost)
+1 if the city has a port on an immediately bordering body of water (navigable river or sea) with another city’s port (providing trade as well as rations through fishing)
+1 if the city immediately borders one or more forest hexes (providing lumber as well as rations through hunting)
Portions of this document come from the Erfworld wiki (http://www.erfworld.com/wiki).
Thanks to Erfworld forum posters LTDave and Kaed, whose rules have inspired (and in some cases found their way into) this game.
Thanks also to forum posters Nihila, BLANDCorporatio, Crovius, twoy, and any others I have forgotten, for thought-provoking discussion and helping me pin down some of this.
And, finally, most thanks to Rob, Jamie, and Xin, Without Whom.
Erfworld is a trademark of Rob Balder. Specific terms describing characters, monsters, and other items within the Erfworld comic may be legally protected as well. This game is provided under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike-Noncommercial license (see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ for more details).