Home Forums Nordic Weasel Games General Squad-Hammer. Any army, any where

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    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    What does the rubble of Stalingrad, Vietnam, the far future and sword wielding dinosaur hunters have in common?

    You can play all of them (and more) using Squad-Hammer!

    Aimed at friendly, casual games by people who are interested in easy rules, Squad-Hammer can be summarized on a single sheet of paper.

    Inspired by systems such as “One hour wargames”, “I ain’t been shot mum” and “FUBAR”, the rules use a simple universal combat system, relying on player judgement to set target numbers.

    (Though don’t fear, we do provide “canned” target numbers if you prefer to have the book do it)

    The book includes a quick mission system (with victory points) and campaign rules, options for off-table support and a big section on creating your own units, from T-72 tanks to fire-breathing aliens.

    We round things out with a points system to calculate the rough effectiveness of troops and of course the mandatory NWG optional rules chapter, letting you customize the game to your liking.

    * * * * *

    Squad-Hammer is a call-back to an older, more casual style of gaming: A game where having a fun battle takes precedent over aggressive competitiveness and where the rules support your model collection.

    Standard units can be any size you like. The default is squads of 5-8 infantry models or single vehicles/monsters but nothing would stop you from playing with individual models (Man to Man) or using troop stands with multiple figures per stand).

    Note that unlike some of our games, Squad-Hammer does NOT include explicit solo mechanics though due to the simplicity of the mechanics, it is very easy to play with one player controlling both sides.

    More info and a link to the Vault page to buy at the blog

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    I should check these out.

    Avatar photojagannath

    Hi Ivan,

    This sounds pretty interesting – I own all your games, but can you give us a flavour of the mechanics… In the back of my head I’ve got a 6mm science-fantasy mass battle game brewing and I wonder if this would work…

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen


    I have tested with 6mm and it’s fine. You can use a single troop stand per unit (which lets you build an army for 10 dollars) or you could make units out of multiple tanks and troop stands (ala Space Marine)

    You may wish to limit ranges a little bit, depending on the number of figures you like to use.
    By default, troops can fire anywhere on the table, with 12″ being “fire fight” range. For a “mass 6mm” game I might limit attacks to something like 24″ and reduce firefights to 8″ or so.

    Not so much from a realism perspective, as much as it just looking and feeling better to me.

    Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer.

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    And since I am a dope who can’t read, here’s the answer to the question you actually asked, rather than what I thought you asked, half-sleepy 🙂

    The turn sequence is IGOUGO for simplicity. You could make an alternating sequence if you liked, but I wanted to cater to multi-player games where its easier to just take turns.

    You roll two D6, pick the higher for the number of units you get to activate. There are four orders you can perform: basic combat, a withdrawal that reduces damage sustained, regrouping the unit (a chance to recover more damage but the unit is inactive) and you can redeploy (move faster if you are not engaged with the enemy)

    Combat is a bit similar to 1HourWargames in nature: Roll to hit, then roll and accumulate damage. Usually you keep a small die next to each unit to track “damage” (representing suppression, physical losses, panic and so forth).

    When units exceed 6 damage, they are destroyed. (this ensures that you cannot typically destroy a unit in a single attack).
    At close range, the targets can return fire and you get bonuses to hit at “assault” ranges.

    The goal is to play very quickly and without a lot of fuss. If you’ve played 1HW or FUBAR, you’ll have an idea of the feel.

    There’s a big section on building your own units and critters, which I’ll give some examples of tomorrow.

    Hope that helps a bit more!

    Avatar photoTim Snoddy

    I have bought a copy of the rules and would confirm they would be perfect for sci fi in any scale.  I bought into Warpath 28mm figs and can’t see any reason that would not work as well as 15mm or 6mm.  The building section should let you stat anything you want allowing for everything from training, anti infantry/anti vehicle firepower, armour, assault specialists, deployment methods, reliability of equipment to a load of specialist traits.  One thing I particularly liked was the ability to field mega units (those great big tanks or whatever that you never use) without them being over powering.  A little daunting starting from scratch but you could have pretty vanilla units done in a matter of minutes.  Some ready made faction lists would be really good though, hint hint.

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Got some old space marines (or maybe some new ones) sitting around?

    We got you covered with a Rogue Trader styled army list. 15 units, all set up, calculated and ready to play.


    Avatar photojagannath

    Squad Hammer reads great! I decided to buy the army list last night first, just to get a picture then bought the rules earlier. Can’t wait to get them to table. They’ve also solved a rules issue I’ve had for ages: a couple of years ago I based up some minis in a style a bit like flames of war, but with 3 men as the ‘norm’. I always struggled to find a ruleset that behaved like I wanted it to and Squad Hammer solves it with it’s DUA concept.

    I’m going to steal a rule from Horizon Wars and house rule the effect of ‘dug in’ (use an action an activation or exchange for shooting and get an additional +1 cover – in addition to the usual effect of cover) but I’m really stoked to give these a go.

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen


    Yeah, scifi gaming never really latched on to team-bases for some reason. I like 3 figure stands myself, they look perfect for 15mm, so I wanted to make sure that was a possibility.

    You can definitely customize the rules pretty easy. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

    Avatar photojagannath

    Yeah me too – my DUA will be 3 troops based on a 45 x 25. Lightly armoured, assault rifles. Really stoked to play about with this.

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    I think my bases are 20×20 or 25×25 but I like them clustered pretty tight.

    Advantage is you can use a single stand if you want to just be cheap (or they are elite troops) or you can use a couple of stands and they look like a squad, without having to move 10 blokes one at a time 🙂

    Avatar photoSkullhamma

    I made my first solo game yesterday using old 6mm Epic 40K models. I had a mirror match between Space Marines and their chaotic counterparts. Every side had two Tactical Squads in Rhinos, one Terminator Squad in a Land Raider, two Predators and one Cybot. Playing the game was easy yet satisfying since there were enough decisions to make (f.e. “Do I continue shooting to finally take out that Land Raider or do I regroup to save my Predator from certain destruction?”) Even with having only three levels of damage (1D3, 1D6 or 2D6 and picking the better), the units felt different enough from each other. Unlike in other 6mm systems infantry felt useful and more sturdy thanks to the 6+ damage necessary for a unit’s destruction. I didn’t use even one of the advanced rules provided by the set, so there is still more to add for later games. Next time I’m gonna field to different armies (maybe Orks vs IG) with one super-heavy unit like a Baneblade or a Stompa. In summary I’d like to say that Squad Hammer plays quick, is easy to get (great for the casual gamers among your friends) and provides a lot of fun. Thanks for another cool game, Ivan!

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Glad you had a great time!

    Comments like this makes it all worthwhile 🙂

    So 9 units per side? Not shabby at all. Out of curiosity, how many epic stands did you use per squad?

    Avatar photoSkullhamma

    I base three figures on square bases of which I took two per unit. So I had six men per squad who looked like they could fit into that Rhino. 😉

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Hah, nice. I always wanted to do 6mm in three’s but usually get worried about them being too small.

    My “go to” tends to be the old Space Marine style (5 figures in a pattern like the 5 on a D6)

    You could always do the “relative strength” trick so a space marine squad is 6 guys but a guard squad is 10, even if they are both “a squad” in game terms. It tends to looks good on the table.

    Avatar photoFredd Bloggs

    How big will it go, would it allow for 30 infantry stands, 10 tanks and artillery per side say?

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    The activation system assumes that each turn you’ll activate the higher of 2 D6 rolls.

    The “Big Game” option doubles that (so if I roll a 3 and a 5, I’d activate 10 units that turn). You could triple it without too much fuss.

    Alternatively, break the army up into a number of “platoons”, “detachments” or whatever. Let’s say you have 3 detachments on your side and roll a 4 for activations. Each detachment would then activate 4 units.

    As far as actual combat, the mechanics are very simple. You just need a small D6 next to each unit to track damage.

    If you want bigger games but without more units on the table, you can also have each unit consist of multiple stands.
    That works well if you want the spectacle of a big game, but don’t want the extra decision making time (some players will slow down a lot if they have too many units at hand)

    Does that help at all?


    I’m about to take the plunge using the rules with single 28mm figures instead of fire teams. Each figure will be mounted on one of them rotating casualty marker thingys to record hits/damage. First campaign will be set in Zembala… the rescue of President Limbani by the ‘Wild Geese’!

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    Avatar photoJozisTinMan

    Hey Ivan, going to pick these up. I am STILL, two or three years later, looking for a set of WW1 platoon rules that are simple but give me the feel I am looking for.

    I have been trying to simplify complicated rules, but based on my one hour war game experience,  a better approach seems to be adding chrome to simpler rules.

    This smells like it is right down my alley… so I will force you to take more of my money!!!!



    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Definitely didn’t have WW1 in mind however, I do agree that adding to a simple set is sometimes easier than going the other way.

    A mate of mine was kicking around a Vietnam version with a lot more “grit” added, so I’d be super curious to see what you come up with.

    You should have my email if you want to talk ideas.

    Avatar photoKaptain Kobold

    I made my first solo game yesterday using old 6mm Epic 40K models. I had a mirror match between Space Marines and their chaotic counterparts. Every side had two Tactical Squads in Rhinos, one Terminator Squad in a Land Raider, two Predators and one Cybot.

    I’m coming to this party a little late, but I don’t suppose you still have your unit definitions available anywhere do you? I’d be interested in seeing how you classified everything, especially the interactions between infantry and vehicles.



    Avatar photowarwell

    Thanks for the inspiration Kaptain. Since you posted, I decided to take a look at Squad Hammer. I picked them up and plan on running a game soon.

    Avatar photoKaptain Kobold

    Thanks for the inspiration Kaptain. Since you posted, I decided to take a look at Squad Hammer. I picked them up and plan on running a game soon.

    I look forward to seeing your take on it. I think it has a small enough unit-count for you 😀

    (It’s a very toolkit type of game, so you can have great fun stripping bits out and creating your own take on it. I can recommend getting Trench Hammer, and doing a comparison, to see how Squad Hammer can be turned into a game for a specific Thing.)

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    There’s been a few people who have done straight up single-man units. I wrote a supplement for it, but if you treat “damage” as “how spooked the guy is”, then you could play it as a “dirty dozen” game just fine.

    Heck, you could have single figure units on one side vs regular squads on the other, if you want to go full Hollywood action movie.

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