Tag Archives: How to Write Rules

Writing a Sci-Fi Tabletop Wargame – Part 6

Our past posts:

So the results of last weeks votes are as follows:


Now we’ve got most (if not all) of the basic information in place for our game we can start getting our hands dirty with some of the nitty gritty stuff. Firstly, should we have pre-made ready to go factions or should players have options to construct their own units for their own faction? This would make the game miniature agnostic but it would also require players to take the time to build a faction from the ground up, i.e. this is a leader unit it needs this particular weapon, with this armour and these special rules.

Of course we could always have a mixture of both pre-made and create your own. But what do you think?

Turn Order

This is about how the players determine who goes first. There are many options for this, but I’ve narrowed this down to two or three, but bear 🐻 in mind these can also have vary to some extent. For example, while AoS is a UgoIgo system it also implements the turn priority in terms of a dice roll before each turn.

I Go You Go

This is the first and possibly most common option used. Players use a mechanic to determine who goes first and then play is simply alternated between the players until the end of the game.


Players use coloured dice or chips to represent their individual units on the table e.g. one players units are represented by red dice while the others are blue, when a red dice is drawn the red player chooses a unit to activate. This system will be familiar to those who have played Warlord Games Bolt Action.


This could either be an army wide initiative rating or individual initiative ratings for units to decide what order they act in. For example, elite units may have a much higher initiative than conscripts meaning they’ll always act first.


One of my personal favourites is using bidding systems to determine who acts first. This can take various forms such as rolling a number of orders each side can take on two or three dice then giving up a number of those orders to try and claim the priority that turn.

So which is your favourite? Perhaps there’s one I’ve not even thought of, I’d that’s the case why not add a comment below?

Writing a Sci-Fi Table-Top Wargame – Part 3

So following on from our voting last week, it would appear that we’re making the game in grand tactical scale (10mm or smaller miniatures) and it will encompass all combat theatres from Land to air and beyond.

I personally find this an exciting proposition as it has the potential to create thematic campaigns and narrative driven stories aplenty!

However before we get into any nitty-gritty rules writing there are still a number of issues we need to clarify.


Measuring is a bigger deal than you may think, with our friends over the pond preferring inches and those closer to home often preferring centimetres.

But, they’re no the only options. After all you could also have a hex based map where movement and ranges are set by a number of hexes. Or you could have measurement set by a set ‘constructed’ value such as base widths.

Game Length

The next question is how long do we want a game to take? Under an hour, up to two, an afternoon?

This decision is key as this will dictate how detailed the rules will be in the long term.

Therefore, considering this here are our next two votes!

Remember to check by next week for the results and the next step of our project.