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Battle Unit Basics

Battle Unit Basics (BUB) is the very core of Moira. This explains how Units in play work and do Battle in a very Basic set of rules.


The BUB is meant to be as easy to grasp and use as possible, while keeping things open enough to support a wide range of special unit abilities. This is no small task, but what is listed here should work very well. Below you will find out how units are rated and what those ratings mean, what actions a unit can take (without special rules) and their delay which impacts timing, how special rules work and finally how to resolve basic combat actions. Honestly once you grasp these rules you can play the game, though a lot of fine detail is missing.

Unit Strength & Ratings

In simplest terms, a unit is rated with a die code called Strength. This is the ability of the unit to attack or defend itself unless some other rule says otherwise. This strength die code is listed as two parts: a die to roll, and a bonus to add to that roll, like so: 1d8+2. When the unit makes a strength roll to attack or a strength roll to defend, you roll that die and add the amount listed.

We determine the die code of a unit by it's Class. There are six classes of units, rated from smallest die (weakest) to largest die (strongest). Here is the breakdown:

  • 1d4 - Light Fodder: These units are the weakest of all, but very cost effective. You need fodder units to distract and control the movements of the Demon.
  • 1d6 - Heavy Fodder: These units are stronger than the light fodder, but not yet considered more than Demon food. They play the same roll as light fodder, but are tougher.
  • 1d8 - Light Mainstay: These units are the mainline, central core units of an army. The light ones are weaker than heavy but more cost effective.
  • 1d10 - Heavy Mainstay: These units are the mainline, central core units of an army. They are tough, but not as tough as the specials.
  • 1d12 - Special Core: These units are heroes, champions, and those that rise above. Tough units that aren't cheap but effective.
  • 1d20 - Features: These units are both truly amazing and costly, each army can have only one in their collective militia. The Demon is also considered a Feature, and is considered a special 1d20 unit.

The bonus for the die code Strength of a unit comes primarily from two concepts: Stacking and Arming. Stacking a unit means adding more fighters to it (when possible). You can have a Stacking bonus of +1 to +3 for a unit. Stacking both allows a unit to be stronger, and take more damage. Arming a unit means giving it more/better weapons and munitions, resources. You can arm a unit for +1 to +3. Arming both allows a unit to be stronger, and generate more damage. This means when a unit is given a strength code, its arm and stack bonuses are listed in parenthesis as well: 1d8+2 (+1/+1).

There are two condition ratings for each of your units tracked while you battle: Damage and Trouble. We call these Status dice (there are other Status dice from special rules too for some units). It is important to note that Feature units do no use Status dice or tracking in any way, they have their own rules for such things.

Damage is injury to member of the units, eventually leading to its demise. Trouble is turmoil and confusion, and eventually breaks the unit making it unable to act until you rally it and regain control. Both of these are rated as a die code without any bonuses. A unit at any time may have 1d6 Damage and 1d8 Trouble. When a unit takes more Damage or Trouble, you have to combine the dice, as you can only keep one. The logic is simple: New damage/trouble die is higher? Keep that. Otherwise increase the current one a die 'size'. The latter part means you move up to the next larger die.

Feature Units

As you may have noted above, Feature units are special and don't have the same rules as normal units (except Strength). Here is some details on how they are rated, based on the kind of Feature unit:





Core Actions & Delay

Timing is a very important aspect of battle in Moria. Timing is handled by a counter we just call the Clock. Each full 'round' of the Clock is 9 Heartbeats. The Heartbeat is the smallest useful amount of time in the game, and is one heartbeat of the Demon being fought. Each Heartbeat allows it to regenerate some amount from injury. All actions a unit takes are given a Delay: the amount of Heartbeats until it can act again. If the Delay crosses the end of a round, it starts with the excess Delay in lag next round (carry over). At the end of each round, you can take one general action for your army (feature related or otherwise).

There are core actions every standard unit (non-Feature) can take. Here is each with its Delay listed as Xh (X heartbeats), from fastest to slowest:

  • 1h - Ready. A unit enters the Ready state from the non-Ready state. A Strength against Turmoil must be made if Turmoil is present.
  • 1h - Step: A unit moves one length forward (length determined by unit move type).
  • 1h - Turn: A unit turns up to one hex-facing in either direction, unit must be Ready.
  • 1h - Blitz: A unit with the blitz attack can make one such attack, units don't have blitz unless specified they do.
  • 3h - Sprint: A unit moves four lengths forward (length determined by unit move type).
  • 3h - Strike: A unit makes a standard attack on a unit it threatens.
  • 5h - Mayhem: A unit makes an extended attack on a unit it threatens.
  • 5h - Run: A unit moves seven lengths forward (length determined by unit move type).
  • 5h - Rally: A broken unit attempts to regain its ranks and become functional.

Applying Special Rules and Limits

Understanding Unit Strengths and Costs

You can view the relative strength of a unit to a Demon (Feature strength unit) by how often it will win a combat roll against a 1d20 unit:

  • Light Fodder, 1d4: 16%
  • Heavy Fodder, 1d6: 23%
  • Light Mainstay, 1d8: 28%
  • Heavy Mainstay, 1d10: 33%
  • Special Core, 1d12: 37%
  • Feature, 1d20: 50%

This also lets us determine the base cost of a unit, adjusting for relative toughness too:

  • Light Fodder, 1d4: 6
  • Heavy Fodder, 1d6: 9
  • Light Mainstay, 1d8: 12
  • Heavy Mainstay, 1d10: 15
  • Special Core, 1d12: 18

Interestingly enough the base cost of a unit is just 1.5x the number of sides of its die, which means it isn't hard to figure out at all. The cost of a unit comes out of a pool of points that you are given to make up your army before you play. No Feature cost is listed, because every army gets one and you don't pay for it. You simply select a feature from those available for your nation.

moira/battle_unit_basics.txt · Last modified: 2014/11/04 15:51 by JasonP