Book of War Rules v.2.0.7

Isabelle & I have gotten back in the swing of live Book of War games on Twitch & YouTube Saturday nights -- and there's been a growing amount interest around it, which is really gratifying! In fact, it sounds like some of our friends are dipping into miniature wargaming for the first time as a result. 

In January we started Season 2 after a number of (to my sensibility) pretty fundamental changes to the core rules. Since people have been asking, here is the current player-aid card and full unit roster that we're testing on the show, in hopes of an upcoming 2nd Edition release:

Player Aid Card

Full Unit Roster

Notable Changes

Some things that have been edited recently:

  • In Season 1, we were testing some suggested rules to give extra benefits to shields and charging cavalry (so as to increase historical fidelity and strategic balance). At this point we've discarded that (because we kept forgetting about it in play, and it was at odds with core D&D mechanics). That idea will still appear in an optional rules section.
  • Up until now (from 1st Edition to about last week), monsters with extra damage output, like giants, had their damage capped by the health of the target they were hitting. I did an analysis that shows giants vs. normal men getting a multiplier of about 1.4 on real casualties generated, which is pretty close to on-the-fence about rounding up or down. I've now decided to round up on that and remove the cap rule (for simplicity, remove being compelled to target giants at high-health enemies, and synchronize with Chainmail Fantasy, Swords & Spells, and Battlesystem). 
  • I've also added a few more exotic units (some of which have extra background rules necessary) whose details I'll leave until my Distinguished Competition decides to try them out live on the stream.
  • Edit (3/1/21): Increased the cost of the flying units (based on realization they can always get rear-attacks at will).

More to come soon!

Book of War Season 1 on YouTube

Book of War Season 2 on YouTube


  1. Thanks, this looks great. I'm planning on using Book of War for larger battles in my Hyborian Age campaign. Out of curiosity: stones thrown by stone giants do 3 damage, correct? And do you just require a normal roll to hit for thrown stones, or is there also a chance of hitting other targets on a miss?

    1. Thanks for that! Right, the stone giants "large stones" gives a total of 3 damage on their ranged attacks.

      The current rule under playtest makes friendly-fire very unlikely (less so than in 1E). What I've currently got is that as long as you can target a figure with at least 1" distance from other types of figures, you can fire at that normally. Closer than that split attack dice evenly -- but that's likely only going to happen with two units in direct line of melee.

      There was math about archer accuracy at long range done to develop that (of course).

  2. Thanks! Oh yes, the friendly fire rule you just stated is a change from your 1e rule, which splits attack dice evenly if different units are within 3" of each other.

    1. Exactly, later I checked my archery-simulator and it tells me journeyman archers even at 160 yd range should get 63% of their shots within 15 feet (3/4") of their aiming point. Data mostly based on English long-range clout shooting competitions.

  3. So, how does a brother go about getting an updated version of BoW? I have a copy, and love your take on mass combat.

    1. Thanks for asking! :-D Unfortunately at the moment there me some forward time-travel involved. Currently we're playing with the 1E booklet, plus the errata and unit sheet listed here.

      Then I have a there's a writer document that I have edited with a mishmash of half-formed ideas and ever-expanding endnotes, but I wouldn't punish anyone else with viewing that right now.