Home Forums General Game Design "What Luck, Chaps!"

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    Avatar photoHoward Whitehouse

    I’m looking for suggestions for random events for my WIP shiny toy soldier battle rules, ‘A Gentleman’s War’. This is a very Old School game of whimsical mood, set in a pre-WWI world of pink-cheeked figures in proper red and blue uniforms. Most of the “What Luck, Chaps!” cards will be rules-functional (unit loses its turn, gets an extra turn etc, rain begins etc) but I’m looking for a handful of slightly eccentric, wacky random events that would fit in a tea and cucumber sandwiches game of this era. Examples:

    Someone has blundered! Pick one of your opponent’s cavalry units within 18”of one of your own units. It charges into contact immediately (no need to roll for movement)

    Pick one of your opponent’s commanders. He has hemorrhoids, and can ride at a maximum of 2D6” per turn.

    Pick a building anywhere on the board. It catches fire. Any unit inside must leave, or be destroyed when the structure collapses in flames on the next joker.

    I’d love to hear your ideas!


    I do all my own stunts.


    A selected commanding officer decides to halt for half an hour to paint a watercolour or have tea and biscuit

    Avatar photoHoward Whitehouse

    Take this to inspire that Old School mood. I always dress like this when playing toy soldiers.

    I do all my own stunts.

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    One of your units has knocked over a Bee hive, unit must retreat.

    Avatar photodarthfozzywig

    Take this to inspire that Old School mood. I always dress like this when playing toy soldiers.  

    Of course. Don’t we all?

    “Time to roll the dice – pinkies up!”

    Avatar photoPatG

    A cad I tell you, a blasted cad sir!
    A unit commander has jilted the colonel’s daughter. His unit must move to attack every turn until destroyed.

    Old school tie
    A unit in close combat’s commander went to the same school as the commander of a supporting unit. The supporting unit must move to “rescue” the first.

    Not one of us….
    A unit in close combat’s commander is a grammar school boy possibly jumped up from the ranks. A unit moving or firing to support has its orders cancelled.

    Play up and Play the Game!
    You must allow your opponent to re-roll any one failed dice roll.

    Captain Nolan.
    An single enemy order has one part reversed. If the order says “Advance at full move towards the enemy infantry” It can be changed to either “Retreat”, “half-move” or “Artillery”

    Thousands of them sir!
    One native unit appears on the board edge of the controlling player’s choice.

    War Correspondent
    A designated unit has a war correspondent and possible future prime minister attached. Inspired to glory, they get +1 (on a d6 or system equivalent) to one die roll during the game. Ideally this should be a saving throw of some sort.

    Logistical Incompetence
    All civilized troops fighting a battle in an extreme climate (hot, cold, wet etc.) drop one morale level because an officer decided to leave environment specific equipment or uniforms on the transport.

    Following the regulations exactly
    One European unit can’t fire for one turn because the ammunition boxes are screwed shut and the tool to open them is missing.

    Avatar photoPhil Dutré

    A bit late, but anyway:

    • A unit next to a building has discovered an excellent wine cellar. The spent the next x turns drinking wine and smoking cigars.
    • Suddenly a strange contraption appears in the sky. Could this be one of these experimental flying machines we read about in the papers? Designated unit loses x turns, gazing into the sky.
    • The closest enemy unit’s honorary colonel-in-chief is actually the king of our own country. We cannot attack them!
    • Two officers, who still have an outstanding bet going back to their Oxford days, decide to have a horse race across the battlefield. X %chance one of them gets killed, causing a drop in morale.
    • A machinegun (unreliable technology!) overheats and explodes.
    • Officers from both sides decide to hold a polo game on the battlefield to show their gentlemen spirit. All hostilities are stopped, but units can still move.
    Avatar photoHoward Whitehouse

    Better late than never, eh?

    Great suggestions. Right now I have about fifty cards, mostly ‘good for me or bad for you’, as far as the player who draws a card is concerned. My favourites, I think, are when a boy scout appears to either lead one of your own units through rough terrain at no penalty (because he knows the short cuts) or an enemy unit into a marsh (because he’s a patriotic lad).

    I do all my own stunts.

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