Mortal Gods: Dice Mechanics and Basic Rules

Hi everyone!

It’s a Monday; Do I really need to do introductions? What? No, I will not be more enthusiastic. …Ugh, fine whatever.

It’s Phatis, again. Yay, woo, etc…

I do have some exciting news, even if I hate having to deliver this on this dreadful day of the week. Of course it was created by the Romans. Hm? Oh, right the news.

I get to tell you all about the changes to Mortal Gods dice mechanics and some other big changes to the game since it was first announced a few months ago.

Initially you may recall the game was to utilize the mechanics from Test of Honor. However as the game developed, it seemed prudent to push it out from the shadows of its predecessor games. What the folks at War Banner have come up with is truly unique and exciting and, honestly, this is good stuff regardless of the day of the week. So let’s jump to it.

Recruiting a Lochos

The first step in building your Lochos is figuring out how big of a game you want to play. Recruiting is still points-based, though the values have increased for each recruitment card to give you, the player, a greater range of soldiers as Mortal Gods grows. However, to make each Lochos feel more unique and characterful, the recruitment process also has a structure based on the heroes you take.

Note: The cards being used here are using dated values and aren’t accurate.

You can have one character/hero for every 100 points of troops (always rounded up; so 98 pts = 100 pts for this purpose), with the first being your Lochos leader or Lochagos.  Depending on the Lochagos you field (as well as other character selections) you may be allowed to take certain troops that you couldn’t otherwise. For example, a Person adviser will bring Persians with them, (Spartans under most circumstances) will not fight alongside Athenians. To be clear, Athenians will likely not be fighting with Spartans either (it’s a point of pride).

Also, different City states have particular troop types available only to them such as the Athenian Heavy Archers and Athenian Marines from their mighty navy. Spartan Lochagoi cannot take these forces.

Recruitment comes down to how you spend your points; you are not limited to only spending them on characters, heroes, and warriors. To augment your Lochos you can select gifts (primarily for characters, though some will be for your soldiers), which will have a point cost and are considered when you are building your force.

The archons at War Banner have also changed most of the Stats for each warrior type. These are as follows:

  • Movement – The amount in inches a unit can move on the table.
  • Attacks – The number of dice a unit can roll when attacking.
  • Defence – The amount of dice a defending unit can roll.
  • Resistance – The amount of ‘Hit Points’ a unit has.
  • Courage – Value used when rolling Tests of Courage.
  • Actions – The amount of ‘actions’ a unit can take in a turn.

Now let’s look at how this all factors into a game.

Playing a Game

Keep in mind, these rules are tentatively set, and thus I cannot go into a great deal of detail. They threatened to take away my coffee machine if I say too much (the buggers). Nevertheless, I can get you started until the release of the official rules becomes available.

First is the draw mechanism. This will stay similar to Test of Honor but will have three Omen counters instead of Events. When the third Omen counter is drawn, the round is ended.

The other activation counters will be for ‘Characters’ and ‘Soldiers’ who collectively will be known as ‘Warriors of the Lochos’. You can activate the troop type you have drawn or use your Lochagos to order his troops using his actions.

Additionally, the Mortal Gods dice now have three sides dedicated to hits which are indicated by swords (2 swords, 1 sword, & 1 sword respectively). Two sides are dedicated to defence, indicated by a shield (1 shield & 1 shield respectively).  The final side is a wild card and is indicated by the Winged Pegasus from the Mortal Gods logo. Wild cards are interesting and we will explore them below in a bit more detail.

Let’s say you drew a token and you wish to activate your Lochagos, and let’s say that Lochagos has two unused actions for the turn. And let’s say instead of moving you want to attack! Ha! Always a wise decision, if you ask me.

To make an attack (depending on the unit, either by Shooting or engaging in Melee), you roll as many dice as the attack value. So if your Lochagos has an Attack Value of 4 (as an example), then you would roll four dice (or in my case, lose my grip of them and chaotically flail as they drop to the floor).

The defending player chooses whether or not the unit being attacked will Defend (this costs an Action Point).

  • If they decide to not to Defend, that unit must pass a Test of Courage. If they pass, then the defending unit will accept all hits against their units Resistance value (see below).
  • If they decide to Defend, then they would roll as many dice as Defense value.

Then both players subtract attackers hits from defenders defense dice. Let’s say that the Lochagos rolls three Swords (three attacks) and the defending unit rolls two Shields. Two attacks are considered ‘deflected’ or ‘ineffective’, but one attack strikes!

At this point, the attacker rolls again; these determine how badly the defender is hurt (if he is killed or wounded). So in our example, the Lochagos gets to roll one dice (because it was not blocked) and the value is pitted against the defending unit’s Resistance value.

If the amount rolled beats the Resistance value, the defending unit is dead and it is removed (if the unit is a group of three warriors on a group base, one miniature is removed from that group). If the dice value rolled is less than the Resistance value of the defending unit, than that unit takes a blood token (but nothing it removed).

Each blood token added to a unit drops the defenders Resistance value by one. So the players are encouraged to be mindful of how many hits your units are taking. Note though, that as your warriors take blood tokens, the only way for them to be removed is by your healer (if you have taken one) to use his healing skills!

Exceptions to the Rule, Rolling Criticals, Etc…

Now let’s say that your opponent (the defending unit) has a Resistance value of 3 and, when rolling to wound, you roll a 6: You rolled a Critical Hit! Critical rolls always occur when you roll double the Resistance Value listed on the defending unit’s character card.

Criticals are fantastic. They are resolved in this manner: (1) The defending unit is automatically killed (remove the single miniature or remove a single mini from a group base); (2) if attacking a group, that group (after a mini has been removed) is pushed back one inch.

In addition to this, a critical counts as a free action, so the attacking player can do a number of things; they can choose to move in any direction, or move into cover (both actions are within their full movement range), they can also choose to attack any unit in range. So unless you roll terribly all the time, criticals are a nice way to do a lot of damage, or keep a valuable character in cover out of harms way.

I also want to point out that we got rid of Fumbles! Yay!

Finally, any successful wounds from a ranged attack bounce the unit back an inch; this represents them stopping temporarily or being driven back by a good volley.

Wild Cards

Wild Cards are something special. They hold a neat little place in Mortal Gods; we can think of them as ‘Fates’ or destiny handing out a save when it is needed most. Wild Cards in a certain amount can activate a character skill, or a special attack on a gifted weapon.

They can also be used by different troop types in different ways.  Experienced Hoplites, for example, can use any Wild Cards rolled during an attack roll as hits, while Heavy Armored warriors can count Wild Cards as Shields when defending.

Concluding Thoughts

Mind you that this blog serves as a taste of the larger core rules when the game is released. But at least this will give you some basic ideas of the unique and fun mechanics that this game will employ!

Overall, I am most excited about the Wild Cards and how they are going to be used. Undoubtedly we will get some rather unique options with them!

The way combat plays out is meant to make the game fast-paced and enjoyable, without being bogged down in any complicated way.

I do believe that the current mechanics are a step ahead of the way they were previously, and it really brings Mortal Gods into its own as far as game-play is concerned. What do you all think?

Remember! Like, share, and subscribe to this blog! The more subscribers we get, the more coffee I get!

About the Author

Phatis
Hi there! I'm Hippias Phatis--or Phatis for short (only my friends call me Hippias). So there I was, minding my own business in Hades, when the War Banner gods summoned me by some ritual or another and bound me to this thankless Fate--writing about Mortal Gods: Test of Courage. But fear not, mortals! I do enjoy my profession, even if I am only compensated by way of caffeinated drinks.

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