Sunday, March 28, 2021



I finished the test of the game rules with interesting and satisfactory results. I did not take any battles off the board because I was looking to test the game rules only. I used the Risk battle rules (red dice vs. white dice) and they worked well to fill in. In fact this is almost like Risk+ and can be played as a game by itself. But adding the actual battles will make it more than just a game.

My general view of war in general, and the wargames that play it out, is that there is a hierarchy:

- Political situations and world events dictate conditions for war

- War

- Campaign (as phases of a war)

- Battles

Most wargaming seems to be either at the one-off battle level or battles within a campaign scenario. Some may go to the next level up. The scenarios have either been already written and you follow them, are historical events and you try to recreate them, or imaginary which means you write the scenario, like in Imagi-nations. I wanted to try an imaginary “world” in which the top level of the hierarchy comes first. It is not pre-written, but almost writes itself as situations change, disasters occur, conflicts arise. War is then the result usually because: 1) rulers become greedy and aggressive, 2) nations are threatened by possible or actual belligerent actions by other nations, 3) loss of access to natural resources, etc. 4) unexpected natural disasters and world events.

 My development guidelines were:

1. Simple rules and concepts

2. Challenging decision-making opportunities

3. Fog of war throughout

4. A framework for wargaming using all levels of the “war hierarchy”, and usable in any period and with any battle rules the player desires.

5. Built primarily for the solo wargamer.

6. Long enough to be challenging, but not too long to be boring.

 I was pleased in that my test result met these objectives for the most part. I did tweak the rules as I went along, and realize there are many variations I can try to make it go faster, run shorter, use other maps, tweak some more, etc.

 It started out as a 4-nation “world”. Two of these ultimately surrendered to more powerful nations, and finally the remaining aggressive nation prevailed over the remaining moderate nation. It was about 12 “years” long. Each year had four turns, and a turn (all nations moving) represented one season, so overall there were approximately 40-50 turns. Many of them went quickly. Record-keeping was not ponderous since I was able to represent status mostly with markers on the board. The first 5 years were movement, reaction to disasters, and a few takeovers of territories by attacking their garrisons. In the rest of the years, 3 wars broke out and 15 land battles were fought. There were no naval battles.

The following pictures will show the Risk board at the start and end. I will not try to explain in detail what occurred, but they show how much things changed in the course of the game …..






This was my first effort of this kind to create a wargame “game”, and it worked well for me and was satisfying. I will put this aside for now for other wargaming projects, but I will come back to it because I want to try some other stuff out such as:

- get more naval action into it

- trying using other maps

- build in mechanisms to speed up or slow down the game action depending how it goes

- consider other randomizing methods like:

* random events – ruler dies and is replaced by a lunatic, revolt occurs in one of the territories and it must be quelled

* variable movement




GENERIC WARS -  RULES     (current version)




Generic Wars is about a “world”, or part of a world, made up of territories, some inhabited, some not. Nations have been formed with populations that need to be fed and rulers that govern. The territories contain the resources needed for survival and growth - food sources, minerals, fuel. Nations harvest these and create what they need. It is inevitable that in the course of doing this and dealing with unexpected and catastrophic events as time passes, conflicts between or among nations develop. Sometimes these conflicts escalate to war. If they didn’t we wouldn’t be wargaming, would we? This describes virtually any period of man’s existence.

Using the RISK game board as the “world”, this game contains the mechanism for nations to conduct daily commercial operations and then do battle when/if war starts. The player can use any set of battle rules for any period that he chooses at that time. I also use some the battle mechanisms of the RISK game itself, which work quite nicely at times and are simple.



TERRITORY – one of the areas on the RISK game board. Different types are:

          NEUTRAL – inhabited, but small, mostly agrarian or fishing. Mostly peaceful and will allow the ARMIES of other NATIONS to pass thru.  Some may be “strong” with defensive fortifications and armed forces to defend itself in case it their border is breached. They will not be pushed around.

          IMPASSABLE – Ex: extreme mountain range. No ARMY or commercial group can go through this.

          CONTROLLED – A TERRITORY that is within the NATION’s border.

          COLONY –A remote TERRITORY from which the NATION will import resources. In turn, the NATION provides governance and protection. A COLONY is basically self-sustaining. There must be a secure land or sea route from the NATION to the COLONY in order to collect taxes.

NATION – several adjacent CONTROLLED TERRITORIES, with a CAPITAL and a RULER, and possibly COLONIES.

RULER – The ruling entity of a NATION. It could be one person such as a monarch or dictator, it could be a party, triumvirate, etc., or a democratic government (Parliament, Congress). A single-person RULER can be very unstable or aggressive. Multi-person RULERs are more likely to be deliberate in planning. The RULER will be characterized as follows:

   Aggressive – wants to expand the nation, take over and control territories, will wage war wherever and whenever it wants. RULER may be unstable and fanatic, or strong and determined.

   Moderate – Favors growth but makes decisions more deliberately; will defend itself with military force if necessary.

   CAPITAL – location of the seat of government, or ruler’s castle, etc.. Also serves as the RESOURCE CENTER for the NATION.

RESOURCE TERRITORY – contains the RESOURCES needed for a NATION’s survival and to build and maintain military forces. Each TERRITORY can support its population.

RESOURCE CENTER – manufacturing center for the NATION. RESOURCES are brought into it to be used to manufacture commercial mechanical equipment and transports, and military equipment and supplies.

GOLD – The standard currency used throughout the world. This also refers to an amount of currency, such as “1 GOLD”.

TREASURY – where a NATION’s GOLD is stored.

ARMY UNIT (AU) – multiple military elements grouped to operate under one command. These will comprise an ARMY or a GARRISON. Ex: A Brigade is an AU that has several elements (companies or regiments)

ARMY – multiple AU’s organized as a fighting force. It can attack enemy TERRITORIES and control them. Note: an ARMY can be whatever the player wants it to be. It can be a corps, a division, a collection of legions. This term is generic, the player provides the specifics. For simplicity in this game, I will consider an ARMY to usually consist of no more than 8 AU’s to fight on the battlefield. More AU’s may be added to the ARMY to serve as reserves during and after battle. Ex: 4 Infantry,1 Cavalry, 2 Artillery, 1 Machine Gun Unit.

GARRISON – provides border defense.  Multiples of 4 AU’s (some infantry, some artillery). NATION may add to border defense in any TERRITORY. One RISK block will be used to represent 4 AU’s. There is no maximum size.

FLEET – Organized group of multiple SHIPs of either or both of these types:

     TRANSPORT – to transport cargo and armies

     WARSHIP – to protect TRANSPORT ships, lead convoys, battle enemy WARSHIPs

TRADE – commercial activity between a TRADING PARTNER (another NATION or a NEUTRAL TERRITORY with which a NATION has a trade agreement), using a secure TRADE ROUTE (land or sea). A NATION or NEUTRAL may conduct trade with more than one TRADING PARTNERS if it has excess RESOURCES not required for its own use.


The game proceeds through TURNS, each of which will be one SEASON long. The TURN has various PHASES. Each NATION gets to move in each PHASE.




1. Role of the player

The player serves as political and military advisor to each nation’s RULER. The player makes recommendations as to courses of action, but the ruler makes the final decision. On the battlefield, the player the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces and has full control.

2. Gathering Intelligence

It is assumed that the NATION has an intelligence network allowing it to be aware of conditions in all adjacent continental (as they appear on the RISK board) areas. To gather intelligence beyond them the NATION must establish outposts in TERRITORIES adjacent to further continental areas. Ex: From N. America, a nation can “see” into Europe and S. America. To “see” into Africa, it would need an outpost in S. America.

3. The decision-making process

The great American baseball player Yogi Berra once said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it”. Sounds simple enough. To Yogi. Actually at many points in this game, a fork in the road will appear, and a choice will have to be made from one of 2 or 3 possible courses of action. This represents the advisor offering alternatives to the ruler, who then decides. It also represents a sub-commander offering alternatives to a Commander-In-Chief.  A 6-sided die (D6) is rolled. If there are 3 alternatives, then results of 1-2 = 1st alternative chosen, 3-4= 2nd alternative, 5-6= 3rd alternative. If 2 alternatives, then odd number = 1st alternative, even number = 2nd. Basically that’s it. The process is simple, but the course of the game will be altered in many, possibly unexpected, ways. The recommendations can be given some weight. For example, a player would give 2 out of 3 aggressive recommendations to an aggressive ruler.

4. Finances

In each season, GOLD may have to be spent (ex: provide immediate replacement troops). However revenue in the form of taxes will be collected only during the WINTER SEASON. Note that TAXES can only be collected from territories that are adjactent to the capital, or have secure routes to it. Taxes cannot be collected from isolated territories. Expenses will be mostly annual, but may come up during the other seasons as well.



   Note: 1 GOLD is deducted from this amount for each incidence of a natural disaster that is occurring in the territory.


  - this assumes there is a cost to maintain the secure route.



1 GOLD to maintain 4 AU’s or 4 SHIPS.

1 GOLD to create one AU or build one SHIP

2 GOLD to create a new GARRISON administrative force, or add an additional 4 AU’s to it to fortify it.

- as the game progresses, the above costs should be raised to reflect the increasing costs of conducting war.

5. Movement of an ARMY over sea routes.

One SHIP of either type can carry one AU. Ex: to transport an ARMY of 8 AU’s would require a FLEET of 8 SHIPS (TRANSPORT and/or WARSHIPS.

6. Establishing control of a conquered enemy TERRITORY

    - ARMY remains in the TERRITORY for one full season following the victory to set up controls (administration, police, defense forces). A GARRISON is built with 4 or more AU’s. Cost is deducted from the TREASURY. This TERRITORY now becomes a COLONY of the conquering NATION. The ARMY can then move out from the TERRITORY in the next season.

7. Record-keeping

To keep track of NATIONS and TURNS and results, some records will have to be kept during the game. These are a Diary, NATION fact sheet, NATION Plans, Armed forces roster (army and fleet).


- Place all NATIONS and their CONTROLLED TERRITORIES. Each NATION will start with access to one RESOURCE TERRITORY for each 2 of its CONTROLLED TERRITORIES. A COLONY is considered to be self-sufficent.

- Decide which TERRITORY will be the CAPITAL

- Determine initial amount of GOLD in each TREASURY

- Determine the RULER (type and character) of each NATION.

- Place initial armed forces, if any (ex: 1 ARMY in the CAPITAL, a FLEET of TRANSPORT ships and WARSHIPS). Also set up any BORDER defenses.

- Determine which TERRITORIES around the world are RESOURCE TERRITORIES.

- Define any IMPASSABLE TERRITORIES (i.e. extreme mountain range blocking all movement).



Each turn will be one season of the year. Each NATION will get to move through all the phases in each turn.


At the start of a TURN (season), one or more NATURAL DISASTER CARD will be drawn (see APPENDIX). Then, each NATION moves in each of the next 2 phases.


    a. The player evaluates the NATION’s current strength, taking into account recent natural disasters and movement or military actions of other nations:

       - Identify any weaknesses or threats (e.g. loss of access to RESOURCES, drop in adequacy of COMMERCIAL and MILITARY capability, attack by another NATION)

        - Develop new possible courses of action as needed.

     b. Deliver the assessment to the RULER

     c. RULER makes decisions and issues orders


    - Orders are delivered to leaders in the field and the movement of COMMERCIAL units or MILITARY units take place


*** At this point, any NATION which has not moved yet will go to the PLANNING PHASE and start its turn there.

 **  After each NATION has had a turn in each of the above phases, the next and final phase occurs.



Several types of battles can be conducted:

1. Invading ARMY attacks an enemy GARRISON.

Determine the outcome using battle rules for RISK. Consider how many AU’s are attacking, and how many AU’s are in the GARRISON, to decide how many dice will be thrown by each side.

If the defender has an ARMY in an adjacent TERRITORY, it may be immediately moved into the defending TERRITORY. The attacking ARMY must first battle the defending ARMY. 2 garrison AU’s must remain, but excess AU’s can join the defending ARMY in the battle. Otherwise the invader attacks the GARRISON directly. If the invader wins, the GARRISON will surrender and withdraw as well as the defeated ARMY. It is assumed that an ARMY further away could not send help in time to the GARRISON.

2. Invading ARMY attacks an enemy ARMY.

The invading ARMY enters the TERRITORY containing the defending ARMY. The battle is fought off the board. The winning force remains in the TERRITORY while the losing force must retreat. If it cannot retreat to a safe TERRITORY (friendly or neutral), or is blocked by the ocean or IMPASSABLE TERRAIN, the ARMY is disbanded and removed from the board.

3. Invading FLEET attacks an enemy FLEET.

I have suggested a few simple battle mechanisms that can be used. The player can use any rules. See APPENDIX. The losing side’s remaining WARSHIP’s must leave the sea zone and move back toward friendly shores. If a convoy of TRANSPORT SHIPS only is being attacked, the enemy WARSHIPS throw 1D6, and the convoy loses that many TRANSPORT SHIPS. The remaining ships retreat as mentioned above.

4. Invading ARMY attacks a fortified NEUTRAL TERRITORY

Some scrappy territories will put up a fight and bloody the invader, maybe even repel the invasion. At this point, the player can decide to conduct a Colonial Era battle, deciding what forces the NEUTRAL will have. Or the outcome can be determined using RISK dice battle rules dice.


All battles that have been put in motion will take place off the board using RISK battle rules, or using any other method the player wants to resolve the battle.


Several things occur during the Winter Season being the final season of the year and one in which most combat will cease.

1. Collect TAXES

2. Review / revise NATION’s strategic plans

3. Movement

    If any movement is planned this season, conduct 2 D6 tests?

      a. Can a unit move?

      b. If yes, will it suffer any attrition (ex: 10-20%)

4. Add forces to border defenses

    AU’s may be moved to an adjacent territory per Risk rules.

5. Reinforce armies and fleets as needed




1. One NATION conquers another

The CAPITAL TERRITORY is occupied by an enemy force and cannot be retaken, or the NATION surrenders due to lack of military capability.


a. The conquered NATION agrees to become an ally. Its remaining armed forces will be under control of the conquering NATION.


b. All armed forces flee the territories and disperse, or are imprisoned by the conquerer. Either way, they are out of the action. All the conquered TERRITORIES become NEUTRAL. The conqueror can establish control over them as described previously.

In either case, the conquered NATION’s TREASURY is transferred to that of the conquering nation.


** The game then continues with the other nations.

2. Winning the game?

There really is no winning. This is solo play. The player decides when to stop.



-----    APPENDIX    -----


1. Naval movement and battle rules

Movement: On the Risk board safe sea routes are indicated. A fleet may move shore-to-shore over this route during its move. If on open sea, depending on the distance, it may take 2 or more moves. Up to player to decide.


    a. Adapted from Magna Graecia rules

- To fight, each side rolls a D6 and adds the number of WARSHIPS in the FLEET. The higher modified roll wins.

- The loser retreats and loses a number of SHIPs equal to the difference in the modified die roll.


    b. Simple dice


Each rolls 1 D6. Loser loses a SHIP. If score is 2x greater, then lose 2. Keep on until one side surrenders.


    c. RISK dice – see RISK combat rules


2. Using RISK combat rules

RISK has built-in rules for resolving combat. They can be used anywhere in the game in lieu of actual battle, or occasionally if you want to speed up the action. Skip this part if you are familiar with them.

Attacker will throw up to 3 dice. Defender will throw one or 2. Results of the “attack vs. defense” will be decided. Next turn played until battle is over.

First determine the number of dice. Attacker must have more AU’s than he can throw dice. Ex: If 4 AU’s, can throw 3, if 3 AU’s, then can throw 2, if 2 or 1 AU, then can throw only one. Defender can throw 2 dice as long as he has 2 or more AU’s. If only 1 left, then can throw 1.

Rank all dice thrown by each side from high to low and compare each side’s individual dice one against the other in that order. The higher die of a pair wins and the enemy loses an AU. If it is a tie, the attacker loses an element. Keep playing until invader destroys the defender or decides to stop attacking and withdraw. To extend play, each AU can represent 2 or 4 elements. Each dice “win” removes one element. At the end, divide remaining elements by 2 or 4 and that is the remaining number of AU’s. Round up if there is a fraction.

To speed up the action, I occasionally arbitrarily decide that hits will be doubled prior to rolling the dice.

3. Natural Disaster Cards

A card deck is set up having an equal amount of disaster cards and “nullify disaster” cards. When nullify cards are drawn, the corresponding disaster is removed from one or more of the affected territories. Add a joker or two. Two cards are drawn each turn. If a joker, the deck is reshuffled. When you have run through the deck, reshuffle and start again.

I use the following:

   Spades / odd number = SICKNESS, even = nullify the sickness

   Diamonds / odd number = BAD WEATHER, even number = nullify

   Hearts / odd number  = FAMINE, even number = nullify

   Clubs – RESOURCES DEPLETED – there is no nullify. Once a TERRITORY dries up (i.e.  becomes barren), inhabitation is not possible and the population must move out. However, the territory may be fortified to maintain it as a useful military position.

1) SICKNESS – Any army in the territory suffers an immediate 10% loss of troops. For each turn the army remains in the territory and the sickness is in effect, it will lose 20%.

2) BAD WEATHER – weather is severe enough to stop most movement. To move into or out of the territory, roll 1 D6. Result of 5 or 6 means move can be made. Else stop.

3) FAMINE – food resources are depleted. No immediate effect on first move into the territory, but if an army is in the territory the following season, it will lose 20% forces and each season thereafter.

4. RISK board markers

Risk square block:

1) One block only = a CONTROLLED TERRITORY with administrative staff, police, etc.

2) 2 or more blocks = each additional block represents 4 AU’s of garrison troops

Risk oblong block = 1 fleet including warships


Plastic markers:

White = barren territory

Yellow = sickness

Blue = Bad weather

Orange = Famine

Red cluster = impassible territory


Thursday, January 7, 2021


Date: 1/7/21 



Uses RISK rules and board as a campaign's strategic theater.  Battles are fought on your battle table or game board. They are Corps- and Division-level.  I use these battle rule sets for land: CORPS-sized battles: Pub Battles (from Command Post);  DIVISION-sized battles: One-Hour-Wargame (Neil Thomas) and Portable Napoleonic Wargame (Bob Cordery).  For sea battles, I use a simple ruleset (see APPENDIX).

One campaign scenario is described in the rules and other scenarios are provided in another post in this blog, but additional scenarios can be developed. These rules are designed to be used solo, but I am sure they can be adapted for multi-player use. Some, but not all, the RISK rules are the basis for strategic movement. What is described below is not a set of specific, "must use" rules, but rather a more general description of the process at that moment in the campaign. The reader most likely has various rules and mechanisms in his repertoire to be used. 



Territory - one of the areas shown on the RISK board.

Country - Starts as 3 adjacent territories, one of which is the capital. Countries will grow in size as the campaign progresses. 

Continent - One of the continents on the RISK board. If one country occupies all territories in the continent, it can receive the continent bonus per RISK rules. 

Force - will be used to indicate the building blocks of the army and navy. 


BRIGADES form DIVISIONS which can form CORPS 

GARRISONS are 1-4 brigades located in the main fort of each territory. Capital can contain 4, all others max is 2. These are defensive only. 


 SHIPS - TRANSPORT to move a brigade-sized force; it is unarmed, and WARSHIP - carries standard armament of a frigate 

 Block - in RISK, wooden blocks are used to represent a force in a territory's garrison. One block equals one brigade of infantry. 

CHANCE - a chance occurrence, or random event, which affects the actions of the force whose turn it is. Things such as confusion over orders (lose this turn), low supplies (lose multiple turns till resupplied), revolt occurred in an occupied territory. I include some that I use but I often change them. They are used to create the "fog of war" conditions of a campaign. Be creative and use your own. 

GOLD - This represents both currency in the treasury to be spent on armed forces, but also the total resources a territory produces for the country (e.g. agricultural products, minerals). 



 3-4 COUNTRIES located in any continent on the board. Each will have a specific objective (ex: establish secure trade route to an ocean port). All try to achieve their objective, doing battle as conflicts arise. 




 Corps: minimum of 2 divisions.

Division: 6 brigades each consisting of  1 C-in-C, 1 Skirmisher detachment,  4 Infantry Brigades,  1 Cavalry Brigade,  1 Artillery Battery

 note: This is the organization I prefer. Size of each brigade, as well as any other division or corps organization, is player's choice. 


A collection of transport and/or warships. A country can have as many navies as it wishes to protect its ports and transport its armies. 


 SET UP on RISK board 

 1. Determine number of COUNTRIES and locations of their capital territory.

 2. Determine total number of adjacent territories including capital that are initially controlled. Min = 3 , max = 6. 

3. Determine size of treasury. Roll 5 D6 to generate GOLD units. 

4. Determine each country's objective (why it is waging this campaign) and its initial campaign strategy. (note: I use SCMR - Campaign Mobilization Rules by William Sylvester described in his book The Solo Wargaming Guide).

 5. From the treasury, buy and build initial army, navy, and garrison forces. Garrisons are placed in controlled territories; army/naval forces start in capital. 



 Each turn consists of 3 phases - RESOURCE, MOVEMENT, BATTLE. All countries get an opportunity to move in each PHASE, then play moves on to next PHASE. When all PHASES are completed, the turn is complete and a new one begins. Randomly choose the order of movement in each turn. 


At a COUNTRY'S turn: Roll D6: 1 = cannot receive RISK continent bonus this turn. 2 = can only collect 1/2 total gold 3 = can only collect 2/3 total gold 4-6 = can collect ALL gold Roll a 2nd D6. If it matches the first, a territory has revolted. Randomly choose which territory revolted (not capital, and not adjacent to capital). A DIVISION must move to it during the MOVEMENT PHASE (following rules of movement) to quell the revolt. Once the DIVISION enters the territory, the revolt is over and it can return to battle, again following rules of movement.

 a) Collect the allowed amount of GOLD and add to treasury. 

b) Maintain all current forces (see APPENDIX for costs). 

c) Place new garrison brigades in any territory up to the max; move any number of existing blocks to an adjacent territory. 

 d) Build new army or navy forces 


 At a COUNTRY's turn: 

 1) Roll 2 D6:

 2-7 = all forces can move 

8-9 = 1/2 forces can move only 

10 = lose this turn

11 = Revolt has occurred 

12 = Sickness in "n" randomly-chosen divisions (roll D6 to determine number) - lose 20% of forces if doubles thrown; else 10%. 

2) Move forces & attack, or, reorganize divisions in the same territory to transfer troops or form a corps. note: army movement is straight-forward, just move to an adjacent territory. Naval movement for purpose of attacking over a sea route or along the coast has specific rules (see APPENDIX) 


Conduct all battles, including sieges of garrisons (see APPENDIX for siege rules). 




 note: if 2 DIVISIONS are joining together to form a CORPS for attack, they do so in their controlled territory first. This counts as 1 move for each. An army attacks by entering enemy territory. General combat rules

 1. Defending force may retreat. Attacking force can move into the territory uncontested and control it. 2. Defending force can engage in battle. 

3. Defending force can move into garrison. Attacker then must conduct SIEGE (see APPENDIX), or retreat from territory. 

4. If battle is lopsided (e.g. attacking with twice the force), defender usually retreats unless desperate. 

Types of battles: 

 a. One unit vs. one unit (division or corps). Conduct a battle as per the ruleset being used. Loser must retreat from territory. 

b. Multiple corps each side Attacker moves all corps into the enemy territory. One corps attacks firsts. Defender chooses a corps to defend. Battle is conducted. Loser retreats from territory. Next remaining corps then battle. Again loser retreats. If all enemy forces are gone, and there is a garrison, it surrenders and attacker controls the territory. If the battle has not been decisive, the remaining attacking force leaves the territory. After the resource phase, attacker decides whether or not to try again. 


Use RISK battle dice rules. Count all attacker's foot brigades vs. all garrison's brigades. Multiply each by 2 or to conduct the battle; divide by same amount at end to determine losses. 


2. AT SEA 

Only navy warships engage in battle (not transport ships). If an attacking force with transports loses its warships and is threatened by naval force with warships, it must retreat back to safe port. See APPENDIX for quick battle rules. At end of battle, all losses are permanent. Can only reinforce during RESOURCE PHASE. 



 Place 1-2 block(s) as garrison. Deduct cost from Treasury. 



All forces must be in contiguous territories or unthreatened sea routes. If a force becomes isolated out of chain, it cannot be reinforced, and cannot attack. It must move to a friendly territory ASAP. At end of the next turn after it became OOS, if still in that state, it loses 1 brigade, and 1 more each turn afterward until it is destroyed.


 ------------------- APPENDIX ----------------- 



a. New: army brigade = 1 GOLD, navy transport ship = 1 GOLD ,  navy warship = 2 GOLD 

b. Maintenance: 1 GOLD per 4 units (brigades and/or ships) note: costs of both new and maintained forces is raised periodically as campaign progresses. No arbitrary rule for this. Matter of player choice of timing and amount. 



 To move an army over a sea route (as shown by parallel lines on the Risk game board) and land on an enemy shore, a navy is needed. 6 transport ships (i.e. 1 per brigade) as a minimum. If enemy navy is expected, attacking navy should include warships as well. A NAVY move is one move shore-to-shore over the sea route. Open sea sailing is not allowed. However, a naval force can move along a controlled territory's coasts (up to 2 coasts per turn). 

Quick Naval Battle Rules

Each side rolls 1 D6: Loser loses 1 warship. If double score, loser loses 2 ships. If tie, each loses 1 ship Then roll again. 

 Attacker or defender can quit any time and retreat to safe port. Note: there are many naval battle rulesets available. I like to keep these battles simple.

Friday, July 24, 2020




 I play campaigns and wargames solo. I tried using the RISK boardgame and rules to create and run large-scale, multi-corps-level solo Napoleonic campaigns. I found the RISK board geography and rules to be well-suited for these kinds of campaigns. Armies can be any size, and any set of battle rules can be used.

I created specific campaign rules to use for these campaigns. They are bits and pieces of great ideas I got from other campaign authors, with some original flavor added. The reader can and probably will use any other set of rules of his/her choice. I will publish my rules in this blog soon. Following is a basic description of how my campaigns work.

Two types of campaigns, both are fun. Other campaign ideas can be created.

1. Conquer the world

Start with 3-4 colors. Using the RISK card deck, deal all cards to each color and place blocks in assigned territories. Look for clusters and pick 3 adjacent territories for each color. Those will become countries. Remove the other blocks. Assign a capital. Play RISK rules of movement. When 2 enemy armies meet, run a battle. Finally, one country will emerge victorious.

2. Battle of two continents

Two "continents" - Eurasia (Europe, Asia, Australia), and Amerafrica (N & S America, Africa). 2 mini-campaigns are run, one in each continent. Assign 3 colors in the first continent. Look for clusters as in first campaign. Will then have 3 countries. Using RISK rules, each in turn expands its territory and battles other countries for control. When one country conquers another, it then controls all its existing territories and armies. When one country emerges victorious, its forces remain in place after the campaign. Now play the second mini-campaign the same way. Final campaign: With all forces in position from the end of each mini-campaign, the countries in each continent battles for overall supremacy.

general rules

At the start:

1) Use SCMR to determine each country's initial strategy. SCMR stands for Solo Campaign Mobilization Rules and can be found in William Sylvester's book The Solo Wargaming Guide. I will be happy to describe them to you if interested. They are very effective, and yet uncomplicated.

2) each country rolls a D6. It gets that many extra blocks. Place in any controlled territory(s). note: the blocks will be used as garrison forces or to build field armies.

During play:

Each country gets a turn in each phase.

1) Resource phase:

When new blocks are received according to the RISK rules, they are added to a country's controlled territory or to the capital. Each country can then move extra blocks from one territory to any one adjacent territory that does not have enemy forces. It now takes control of the territory. When all countries have had their turn, move on to the movement phase.

2) Movement phase:

When a division (or other size unit of your choice) is built (must be built in the capital), it can then be moved to the front to advance upon the enemy. Or, you can continue expansion and build additional divisions depending on your strategy.


Friday, March 20, 2020


Land & Sea


 Campaign area is divided into “territories" (inland or coastal). Aggressive “empires” try to expand by conquering other territories and eliminating foes. Neutral territories that are inhabited may defend their territory only. An initial strategy is determined for each empire. The campaign ends when one empire has conquered all its foes, or all empires agree it is futile to continue. Ideas used in these campaign rules come from several sources:  DBA 1.0 (section on campaigns), Magna Graecia campaign rules, SCMR (Solo Campaign Mobilization Rules) and other concepts found in “The Solo Wargaming Guide” by William Sylvester, Duelling Republics Ancient Campaign Rules.  And some stuff I made just made up and tried out.


Territory – an area of land (map zone)

1. wild - uninhabited, wild terrain; no empire can own it; empires can move through some types at a movement cost.
2. neutral - It can defend its territory if it has a fort with a garrison.  
3. empire territory - Initial part of an empire; supplies gold to empire.
4. ally - a neutral territory that is taken over by the empire; supplies gold to the empire; it can revolt (see CHANCE in APPENDIX).

Territories have value based on resources, access points, etc. See APPENDIX.

Empire – 2 or more territories that are adjacent and have one ruler. One territory contains the capital.

Gold – Each year, an empire’s territories pay gold to the ruler's treasury. It is used to:

1) maintain (pay/feed/supply) the troops
2) buy replacement troops or navy/fleet ships
3) build new field army / navy/fleet

Supply chain – Chain from the capital to each fleet army consisting of contiguous empire-controlled territories.  A wild territory or a neutral sea zone between empire territories can be part of the chain. This chain must be unobstructed by enemy forces. The field army must stay connected to it. If the chain is blocked, the field army has one season to restore it, or else it must return to the supply chain. Each season after that it will lose “n” elements. Roll D6 to determine how many.


  Field Army – Army is 16 elements max, 6 minimum. Built/expanded during recruitment phase in Winter.

Garrison - a small force of undefined composition that resides in the garrison and can only defend it.

 Navy - 1) Can combat other navies, 2) can "blockade" a port. Typically Biremes and Triremes. No minimum or maximum size.

 Fleet - fleet of ships used to transport armies from coast to coast. One ship holds one army element.


Element                                   gold units

General                                    5
Heavy Cavalry                        4
Heavy Infantry                       3
Light Horse                             2
Light, medium foot, bow         1
Navy ship                                2
Fleet ship                                 1

 Note: these are starting costs. As the campaign progresses, they become more expensive. When to increase, and how much, are up to individual choice.

- New armies are built in the capital and can then move forward. New navies/fleets are formed in the capital port.


Determine the number of empires and their territories, location of capital, size of forces, initial treasury (suggest doubling the total empire territory rating points to start).


 Determine aggressor empire(s). Using SCMR (see APPENDIX), decide initial strategy for each empire. The campaign has begun.


Campaigns run for 4 seasons –

-  Spring, Summer, Fall – all army/naval movement takes place, all battles fought.
-  Winter – armies / navies return to winter quarters  (any friendly territory / port). Other actions take place.

Each empire army, navy, or fleet has one move in each season.

Spring, Summer, Fall:

1.  Test supply chain to all armies. If any break exists, empire’s first priority is to restore it or risk losing the army.
2. Move all armies / navies / fleets (see Move Chance in APPENDIX)
3. Fight any battles, land and sea.


All armies must be in winter quarters (i.e. an empire territory). Ships in friendly port.

Actions during Winter:

1. Collect “gold” from territories (1 gold per territory rating point, plus 1 gold for each territory) and add collected amount to the existing treasury amount.
2. Determine if cost of replacement troops has increased.
3. Winter CHANCE  (see Appendix)
4. Maintain armies & navies (1 gold per 4 army elements, 1 gold per 3 navy ships, 1 gold per 4 fleet ships) by taking gold from the treasury.
5. Replace lost (or add) troops / ships
6. Build a new field army in the capital, or a navy/fleet in capital port if desired.
7. Review/revise campaign strategy.

** If not enough gold to maintain an army, navy, or fleet, calculate the deficit and eliminate equivalent elements. Choose randomly which ones.


MOVEMENT POINTS (MP’s) are the number of zones (territories) an army or navy/fleet can move through on its turn:

Army – 2 MP’s total / season
Navy/fleet  3 MP’s  total / season

On land  (see map)

- Impassable territories: mountains, dense forests, lakes.
- Woods, or bad going:  MP-1.
- move across river:     MP-1.

On sea

- Rough seas - when passing through this zone, stop and test for attrition. MP-1.
- Wild Coast - ships cannot land on this.


1-2 invading army(s) enter an enemy empire or neutral territory.

1)  Battle in enemy territory
If the army is defeated, the garrison automatically surrenders. Defeated army flees the territory.
Defending army may:
1. Engage the invading force in battle
2. Retreat all forces to a friendly territory
3. Move into the fort  and stand siege (see section on siege below)

Fight battle using rule set of choice.

2)  Battle for neutral territory

1. If uninhabited, no battle occurs and invader may take over.
2. If protected by fort & garrison, roll D6. If result is 6, then territory chooses to become ally and no battle is fought. Else, invader must lay siege to control the territory. Can begin siege this turn.

3)    Multiple armies invading and defending in same territory

If multiple armies are invading, choose one army to do battle. The other army may send in reinforcements as losses occur. A reinforcement element is "transferred" to the invading army, then enters the battlefield at times/locations randomly chosen by the player. No more than 16 elements can be fighting at one time. When 1/3 the total elements of the invading army at any time during the battle are lost, the battle is over.

 4)   Siege

Invading army rolls D6. Victory result is:

6       if defender's army is in the fort
5,6    if only garrison

If victorious, the garrison and the army surrenders. Invader absorbs defeated elements into its army.  Else, invader loses "n" elements (see

Element Loss in APPENDIX), and must wait till next season to try again. Number needed for victory then will be reduced by “1”. When Winter comes, invader must withdraw.

5)   Control of Territory following battle Victory

In order to control the territory, the invading field army must remain in the territory for one extra season following the battle to allow a garrison command to be established.

6)  Naval conflict

Navies are used to control a sea lane.  If an enemy navy enters a sea zone, a naval conflict occurs.

Naval battle rules:    See APPENDIX.

7) Blockade

If the territory is an island, or it is a coastal territory with a port, an enemy navy may set up a blockade. If the invading navy stays in the port's sea zone for 2 consecutive seasons, the blockade is successful. The navy must return to a friendly port during Winter. The blockaded territory will lose 2 territory points of value when Winter comes. Blockade is only good for one year.


Usually the conditions for a campaign’s end are fairly obvious. Either one empire dominates and is the victor, or it is futile for the campaign to continue and there is no victor.




 Option 1:
Chance occurs 1) before each army or navy's move, and 2) Each Winter for the entire empire.

Move Chance - roll a D6

Result  Effect

1          Bad weather. Army/navy cannot
            move this turn.
2          Troop unrest. Army must
            withdraw to friendly territory.
3-6       No chance this turn.

Winter Chance - roll 2D6

Result Effect

2          Harvest loss occurred  (see Harvest Gain/Loss below)
3          Sickness in army. Lost "n"  troops. See Element Loss below.
4          An allied territory revolts.  Amy must be sent to it to stop it. When army arrives, revolt  
            is stopped.
5          Navy loses "n" ships.
            See Element Loss below.
6          Harvest increased this year.
            See Harvest Gain/Loss below.
7          Ruler dies, new ruler changes strategy. Use SCMR.
8-12     No chance this Winter.

1. Quick battle (just dice)

Each navy rolls a D6. Loser loses 1 ship.
If difference is >3, loser loses 2 ships.
If both D6 rolls are equal, each navy loses one ship. Battle ends when one navy gives up and retreats.

2. All Ships! Ram Speed!  - this is a detailed ruleset if you like naval battles.

3. Ram or Die! Fast and Easy Naval Battle Rules - this is just as the name describes.


A territory has value in the form of rating points. Add one point for each of the following features to determine the rating:

- It is the empire capital
- it has a port
- it is considered fertile land good for farming or raising livestock
- it has a river running through it, or has a body of fresh water within or bordering it.


Roll one D6:

Result  Effect

1-2       Lose 10% total army elements
3-4       Lose 20%
5          Lose 25%
6          Lose 30%


Note: Harvest is the total gold collected this year.

Roll 1 D6:
Result  Effect

1          Lose 10%
2-3       Lose 20%
4-5       Lose 30%
6          Lose 50%


SCMR (Solo Campaign Mobilization Rules) are found in “The Solo Wargaming Guide” by William Sylvester. They introduce random selection of possible army/empire strategies during a campaign. The solo player gives up some control, but not all. If not familiar with them, this is a brief summary: At campaign start, for each side (country/empire) participating in the campaign, choose 3 possible courses of action. For example, all armies will not advance, 2 armies invade North and one army invades East, etc. They can be as detailed as desired. Then roll a D6 to decide which strategy is actually used. The side will try to faithfully execute that strategy until it is in contact with the enemy, or it accomplishes the objective. At that point, after reviewing the total situation, 3 more courses of action are built, and again one is chosen per dice roll. This method runs throughout the campaign. There may be a time when only one course of action makes any sense, and the method can be put aside temporarily. Campaigns can take some very interesting turns using this approach.


GENERIC WARS – FINAL UPDATE I finished the test of the game rules with interesting and satisfactory results. I did not take any battles of...