Armies of Arcana - The Game

Arcana - The Land of Constant Warfare!

Goal of the Game

For those who are new to miniature wargaming, some explanation of what this game is about will make the rules easier.

In Armies of Arcana, two or more players will take control of opposing armies made up of fantastic races, monstrous creatures and powerful heroes and wizards. What kind of army you make is up to you; lots of medieval knights, barbarian berserkers, hordes of wild goblins, or small groups of elite elves are all possible choices.

As a player, you will buy the figures, paint them to your tastes, design the units of your army, and command their actions in the field. There is no set game board in miniature wargaming; you make or buy the hills, trees and buildings, and create a unique, new battlefield every time you play. Units do not move by squares or hexes, but instead are freely measured with a ruler or measuring tape.

Different scenarios can be made up for each game; are the armies meeting in open battle; is one defending a town or temple, has one been ambushed by the other, or is one trying to break through the enemy lines? Thus every game will be different, making miniature wargames the most replay-able type of game available. For this reason, people will play miniature wargames all of their lives.

Playing the Game

Armies of Arcana plays at a good pace. It plays just as well with 20 models as it does with 200, and allows plenty of scope for players to think tactically during the battle. It works very well with bigger battles as the simple mechanisms are able to comfortably carry a heavy workload and still play smoothly without bogging down. Magic is powerful, but localised and controllable; morale is important, but not unpredictable; combat is realistic, but not complex. Armies and battles are not limited by the imagination of those who wrote the rules – you, the player, are given the tools to embody your own conception of your fantasy armies in metal and plastic, and set them to battle with myriad foes in a world of your imagination.

What makes Armies of Arcana different from the rest?

The game was designed with the follow objectives

  • to play differently from the standard rule sets that were around;
  • to try and recreate as much as possible the real to life actions found on a battlefield so that the outcomes of his games were more realistic and logical;
  • to keep the focus on strategy and retaining a real need for tactical skill;
  • to ensure that the player was the General of his army and played the opposing General, rather than the system playing itself;
  • to design a points allocation formula that ensured a high level of balance between every army and creature in the system, to encourage diversity and choice, not artificial limitations and restrictions;
  • to include historical, ancient and medieval armies within the framework of a fantasy construct to allow a genuine cross-over between fantasy and historical army lists and miniatures;
  • to be scale friendly (most notably to 25-28mm and 15mm models) and open to all figure manufacturers;
  • to move away from game mechanics that allowed overly powerful individual characters, monsters and units, often further enhanced with increasingly fantastic magical items and spells, from dominating and even pre-determining the outcome of a tabletop encounter.

Each turn of Armies of Arcana has 6 phases. The phases are designed to give a sense of simultaneity between the actions of each player. Each phase is completed by all players before the next phase begins. The order of phases in a turn is:

  1. Fleeing Units Phase
  2. Movement Phase
  3. Magic Phase
  4. Missile Phase
  5. Melee Phase
  6. Morale Phase