Product Review: By This Poleaxe

By This Poleaxe
Pen & Paper Small Battle Rules

Author: Chris Kutalik
Artist: N/A
Publisher: Hydra Collective LLC.
Page Count: 5
Binding:  N/A
Available Formats: PDF
Cost: Free 
Company Website:

This is a set of battle rules for smaller scale mass battles that approaches the battles with a set of rather simple rules. The rules are geared to OSR fantasy rule sets, specifically Labyrinth Lord, but is useable by all similar rule sets.

The rules approach the topic of small scale battles from the squad level. The rules state that every squad is made up of five combatants. This is the standing premise for the remainder of the rules.  Squads have several values: Attack, Defense, Morale, Hits to Kill and movement. These values are derived from, in most cases, determining the average HD of the squad. Once that has been determined you cross reference the applicable chart and it will assign a corresponding value.

Combats follow a set sequence of events.

The Combat Turn
Phases in a Round
1. Both sides declare movement/charges
2. Both sides move half their stated distance.
3. Missile fire and Spells for stationary or moved and trained skirmishers
(horse archers, halfling bola throwers, jinetes etc.).
4. Both sides finish declared movement.
5. Melee combat

The values scale depending on the composition of the squad from turn to turn or at least modifiers to the die rolls will be in effect for squads of less than five men.

A rather simple way to approach mass combat on a smaller scale. Rules are rather easy to understand and internalize.

It’s touted as a rules system that does not require miniatures, but the opening paragraph implies that miniatures will be used to represent the squads.

All  in all it’s a useable set of battle rules that will work well with miniatures. I play most of games online so this product will work for me. If you’re a GM that doesn’t like miniatures your mileage will vary and you may find that this product may not be a good fit for you. But hey, what the hell it’s free!

EDIT: From the Designer/Publisher
BtP will get some more development love when I am done with the Slumbering Ursine Dunes project. I should have specified (and I think I will change on DTRPG) that they can be used with or without miniatures. I have never used them with (using By this Axe for that), having only run them with a whiteboard program online.

~ Modoc

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jack says:

    Reblogged this on Tome and Tomb.


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