Angry miniatures

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Placeholder cover and logo. Illustration by Jarom Swenson

A rules-lite fantasy beer-n-pretzels skirmish game. Designed to allow you to play with any of your fantasy themed miniatures. (sci-fi edition coming later) The idea is you and an opponent choose any 3 miniatures from any line, stat them up based on the visual appearance and perceived personality of the miniatures, then battle them out on any square grid map.


The point behind Angry Miniatures is to make a game where you can have a battle between any team of miniatures from any fantasy line. The overall process is fast, simple, includes very little calculating, and is one of the funnest parts of the game. Try this by reaching into your bucket of minis (if you have one) and pulling out 3 random minis. Now stat them up!

Step 1: Three Primary Stats[edit]

Preliminary character sheet. Small enough for about 4 to fit on a single page.

You have 9 points to distribute how you want among 3 stats. Mind, Body, and Spirit. These 3 stats directly act as your defenses. There can be no less than 1 point in any stat, and no more than 7.

So you could have a guy be jack of all with 3/3/3, or a guy uber in one and weak in the others with 7/1/1. Beware the later, because you may hit hard and be tough in one defense, but if anyone hits your other defenses you're screwed.

Each stat is referenced to tables and fill in the remaining necessaries on the character sheet.

Step 2: Table Look-ups[edit]

This is the only time in playing this game that you will use tables. I swear.

First, choose what type of attack this character will have. A character may only have 1 attack type. This is to keep things simple and interesting. There are 3 attack types:

  • Melee obviously can only effect enemies in adjacent squares, but hits hardest of the 3 attacks.
  • Range uses the Distance value to determine its reach. You cannot make a Range attack on an adjacent enemy.
  • Magic also uses the Distance value for reach. It's generally weaker than Range attacks, but has an aoe. Which means the target square you hit, hits all figures adjacent to it.

Once that is chosen, calculate your characters Health (hit points) by referencing its Body score to the following table:

Body Health
1 3
2 3
3 4
4 4
5 5
6 5
7 6

Next calculate your characters Speed (movement in squares per turn), by referencing its Spirit score to the following table:

Spirit Speed
1 4
2 4
3 5
4 5
5 6
6 6
7 7

Then if it is a Melee character, reference its Body and Spirit scores (added together) to the following table to get its Melee attack value. If it's a Magic or Range character, move on to the next table.

Body+Spirit Melee Attack
2 4
3 5
4 5
5 6
6 6
7 7
8 7

If it is a Range character, reference its Body and Mind scores (added together) to the following table to get its Range attack value. If it's a Magic character, move on to the next table.

Body+Mind Range Attack
2 3
3 4
4 4
5 5
6 5
7 6
8 6

If it is a Magic character, reference its Spirit and Mind scores (added together) to the following table to get its Magic attack value.

Spirit+Mind Magic Attack
2 2
3 3
4 3
5 4
6 4
7 5
8 5

Finally, the last table is for Distance (reach of magic and range attacks). This is only for Range and Magic characters. Melee may skip this table. Reference your Mind score to the following table:

Mind Distance
1 5
2 5
3 6
4 6
5 7
6 7
7 8

Step 3: Perks, Flaws, and Crits[edit]

This is where the personality of the figure comes into play. The idea is you look at your characters miniature, and choose 1 Perk that looks like it fits the description of your mini. Then choose 1 Flaw. Then choose 1 Crit. There may be multiple Perks and Flaws that fit the description, but you have to choose 1 for each. Like the ones that works best for your character.

Perks and Flaws generally act as feats, coming into play during their descriptions. Some of them adjust scores, like your defenses or speed. Others are situational. They are based on common tropes seen on minis. Crits are abilities that trigger when your dice come up with certain results. So they don't happen that often, but they do awesome things.

The following list is a work in progress. I hope to create enough of them to represent something found on most fantasy minis on the market. I will also be including rules later for making your own Perks and Flaws if nothing seems to fit.

A note for choosing Perks and Flaws: There are ones that can obviously cancel each other out or don't apply at all. A Perk that adds +1 to your Speed should not be chosen along with a Flaw that subtracts -1 from your Speed. Also avoid choosing Flaws that don't apply to your character, such as choosing a -1 to Melee Attack Flaw for your Magic character.

    • Multi-class: This character may choose up to 2 different attack types, but has a -1 to each.
    • Busty: +1 to defense rolls vs Male figures. No effect vs female or androgynous figures.
    • Spikey Bits: If defending in melee, this character deals 1 extra damage if it wins the melee roll.
    • Winged/Hovering: This character can ignore hindering/difficult terrain for movement.
    • Has Companion(companion creature on same base as primary figure): This character cannot be flanked.
    • Oversize Weapon: +1 to Melee or Range Attacks
    • Bearded: During each attack roll, reroll 1 Ace die.
    • Small: +1 to defense rolls vs Melee and Range attacks.
    • Multi-limbled: +1 to grapple attacks.
    • Amphibious: This character has no penalty for moving through water.
    • Berzerk/Rage: This character may not be a Range or Magic character. Opponent cannot deal damage against this character if it wins the defense roll vs melee.
    • Swift: +1 to Speed
    • Brutish: +1 to Health
    • Magic Resistant: +1 to defense rolls vs Magic attacks.
    • Scope/Goggles: +1 to Distance
    • Wicked Staff/Wand: +1 to Magic attacks
    • Long Weapon/Whip: Melee attacks reach an additional 1 square.
    • Dangerous Mind: When defending vs Magic, this character may deal damage to the attacker the same way a defender deals damage to an attacker in Melee.
    • Unpainted(literally if the figure is unpainted. primed only does not count): This character cannot gain any positive modifiers for any type of roll. This does not include the bonuses granted by this characters other Perk and Crit.
    • No Helmet: -1 to defense roll vs Range attacks
    • Fat: -1 to Speed
    • Chainmail Bikini: -1 to defense rolls vs Melee attacks
    • Small: -1 to Melee attacks
    • Stupid: This character cannot be a Magic character. -1 to defense rolls vs Magic attacks.
    • Cowardly: This character cannot deal damage if it wins the melee roll while defending.
    • Unlucky: Each time this character makes a defense roll, reroll 1 Face die.
    • Gangly/Scrawny: This character cannot be a Melee character. -1 to Health.
    • One-Eye/Eye-patched: -1 to Distance
    • Flammable: -1 to defense rolls vs Magic attacks
    • Unwieldy Armor: This character cannot move through difficult/hindering terrain.
    • Dynamic Attacker: When attacking, re-roll the 2 Ace dice.
    • Dynamic Defender: When defending, re-roll the 2 Ace dice.
    • Frost Magic: Targets of your Magic attack have their Speed values reduced to 0 during their next turn.
    • Stealthy: When defending vs Range or Magic attacks, re-roll once any Number dice.
    • Fire Magic: Targets of your Magic attack take 1 automatic damage at the beginning of its next turn.
    • Volatile Magic: Increase your Magic attacks AOE value by 1 for each Ace in your roll.
    • Dual-wielding: This character may make a second free separate attack on the same or another figure, but with a -1 to the attack.
    • Forceful Weapon: When attacking in Melee, move the target figure 1 square in any direction for each Ace in your attack roll.
    • Magic Buff: When attacking with Magic, any friendly figure within your Distance gains +1 to Speed and +1 to its attack during its next turn.
    • Commanding: After your attack is resolved, one adjacent friendly figure may make a free attack, but with a -1 to the attack roll, and it may not Crit on that attack.
    • Magic Heal: After your Magic attack is resolved, heal 1 friendly figure within your Distance 1 Health for each Ace dice in your roll.
    • Regenerate: After your attack is resolved, heal 1 Health.
    • Tactical Genius: After your attack is resolved, the next attack on your target gains a +1 bonus.
    • Tail Sweep: After your Melee attack is resolved, the target is considered knocked prone.


So now you've created your team, and your opponent has created his/her team. Next you battle them out. Things you will need to play other than the character sheets and miniatures are about 8 poker dice per player (or shared), a 1" grid map, and some tokens (like coins or beads).

The Map[edit]

For simplicity the game is made to be played on a 1" square grid map. Ones like in the DnD modules or with the dry erase blank maps that DMs use for quick drawn dungeons. I am trying to design the game to be utilized with cave and dungeon tiles as well.

Each player agreeing on a map and which edge they start their characters at is proper etiquette. I'll define deployment and such at a later point in the games development. Players will also need to agree with what's difficult terrain, blocking terrain, hazards, water, etc.

The Dice[edit]

This game uses Poker Dice. Each dice side has a purpose and use. Rolls in this game are resolved by rolling pools of Poker Dice and examining what sides come up. Like playing cards, poker dice have Faces and Numbers. The suit of the dice doesn't matter at all in this game.

  • Face: King, Queen, and Jack. These are considered 'hits' for rolls. Each die that comes up with a face side is counted toward total hits.
  • Number: 10 and 9. These are considered 'misses' for rolls. Each die that comes up with a number side is not counted up and usually discarded.
  • Ace: This is treated as a wild in a way. Ace sides don't count toward hits, but having 2 or more of them means the character has made a Crit roll, and Ace beats all other sides in superiority.

These sides have a superiority order. This of course goes Ace>King>Queen>Jack>10>9. Superiority matters for things like determining wins in ties, and initiative. More on this later.

Initiative and Actions[edit]

When both players have their characters deployed, each player rolls 1 die. The die with the superior side may go first. Re-roll ties.

First player activates 1 of his characters, and marks it with a token as having acted. The next player activates 1 of his characters, and marks it with a token as having acted. This goes back and forth until all characters have acted. Then both players re-roll initiative again and do the process again.

During an activation a character may move and attack, or attack and move. He may choose to skip any of those actions as well. With moving, a character references his Speed value and can move any amount of squares up to that value. Moving through difficult terrain and water takes up 2 Speed per 1 square. Pretty standard stuff.


Attacking other characters are all handled the same way. One is the attacker, and one is the defender. On each attack, both players roll dice. The attacker rolls the amount of dice in the attack value he is using, and the defender rolls the amount of dice equal to the appropriate main stat.

  • Roll Body against melee attacks
  • Roll Mind against range attacks
  • Roll Spirit against magic attacks

Once both sides roll the dice, the Hits (or Faces) on the dice are counted up and compared. If the attacker has less hits than the defender, than the attack failed. If the attacker has more hits than the defender, then the attack succeeded, and damage is dealt.

Damage is the difference in hits between the defender and attacker. This damage is then taken from the defenders Health value. (note: the box below the Health box on the character sheet is for tracking damage, usually with a tally)

Melee attacks are handled slightly different. When the attacker is using melee on the defender, then they are both considered locked in a melee. In this case if the defender has more hits than the attacker, then the defender actually can deal damage to the attacker. Still, the damage dealt to the attacker is the difference in hits.

Experimental rule: if defending in melee, and the defender is a melee character, he gets a +1 to his defense roll

Tie Rolls
In several cases a tie may occur. A tie is when both sides have an equal amount of hits in a roll. This is resolved with the superiority in the rolls.

  • First check which side has the most Aces. If neither have Aces, or the same amount of Aces, then move to the next step.
  • Second check which side has the most Kings. If neither have Kings, or the same amount of Kings, then move to the next step.
  • Third check which side has the most Queens. If neither have Queens, or the same amount of Queens, then move to the next step.
  • Fourth check which side has the most Jacks. If both have the same amount of Jacks then you have a SuperTieBreaker. If neither have Jacks, then you did something wrong. Check to make sure you are playing the game right.

A SuperTieBreaker is resolved by each side discarding all dice, and rolling 1 die. Reroll ties. Standard superiority rules apply here.

If the winner of a tie is the attacker, he deals 1 and only 1 damage. He may not exceed that amount through any Perks, Crits, or Flaws of any effect. If it was a melee attack and the defender won the tie, he may deal that 1 damage to the attacker.

Remember to check your Perks and Flaws as either a defender or attacker to make sure none of them have any effects on your rolls.

Magic attacks not only hit the target defender, but all creatures (friend or foe) adjacent to your target. This is resolved by the attacker rolling once. That one roll hits all targets in that area. Each target makes a separate defense roll, and hits and damage are resolved separately for each defender. The attacker does NOT reroll his attack for each defender in the area.

Modifiers represent positive and negative conditions that sometimes apply to combat. They are treated simply by adding or subtracting dice from attack or defense rolls. Most common modifiers are listed below:

  • +1 to defense roll for each square of hindering terrain a range or magic attack is aiming through.
  • +1 to defense roll for each occupied square a range or magic attack is aiming through. Friend or foe.
  • -1 to defense if prone.
  • +1 to attack if character moved more than 2 squares into melee range with defender and melee attacks.
  • +1 to attack if character is considered on a higher elevation than the defender for a range or magic attack.
  • (incomplete list)

When making any attack or defense roll, watch out for the Aces. If any roll comes up with 2 or more Aces, then that roll has Crit. A Crit can activate whether or not the roll is considered to have hit or failed. Your characters' chosen Crit will specify what it does and when it activates. Some Crits only apply in certain conditions, so be sure you don't miss it.

Sadly, sometimes you may roll 2 Ace dice, and the Crit doesn't apply to your current action. It happens. Crits are meant to rarely happen, but be very powerful.

A character may only Crit once per turn.

Development Blog: