Monochrome Minis and Universal Skirmish Rules

I’ve attempted painting ‘monochrome’ miniatures this week. This is mainly down to my desire to speed paint things, to try out oil washes and just tackle a new challenge. Monochrome miniature painting is a style that I have seen some attempt in the past, even Games Workshop, however I don’t think they do it right:

If you watch the video, you’ll notice that they paint every part of the model as the same shade of grey. However for a truly monochrome model different parts of the model should be different shades. Something black should stay black. Something white should stay white, and every colour in between should be varying shades of grey. To achieve this effect, after the zenithal spray I came in with nuln oil, basilicanum grey, black Templar and plain old white paint to lighten or darken different areas. For the figures below I darkened their clothing and then picked out their weapons, shoulder pads and visors in white. I left everything else the base zenithal grey.

The zombies below had similar work done on them and I only added red for blood effects.

I’m excited to develop this style further and I’ve even ordered white grass tufts from eBay to add more to the bases.

My anime-ish rules and figures weren’t really going anywhere until I came across this monochrome idea. I knew after painting them up I needed a good little set of skirmish rules to play fun, quick and bloody games with them. As always this is just an idea in progress, so caveats abound. Here’s what I played today and I’m encouraged enough to now go and spend all my pocket money on more minis from irregular. I’ve got a warband of robots, another of Ents and a third of alien griblies on their way.

Figures have three stats –

Skill, Attack, Defence

An example stat line is as follows:

Hunter: SK 4+, ATT 4+, DEF 0. Rules: Gun.

The games I currently play are on a 22”x14” board. It’s an odd but comfortable size dictated entirely by the specific notice board I picked up to use as a display board for my monochrome minis.

I’ve been using deployment zones of 6” when playing long ways, 2” when playing short, and 8” corner to corner. So there should be roughly 10” between deployment zones.

Players take it in turns, randomly determine which player takes the first turn –

Each of their turns break down into 5 phases that happen in the following order:

1) Movement: Move each of your figures 5”. Figures that have the ‘Fast’ rule can move 10”. Figures cannot move through enemy figures and should use terrain in a way that makes sense.

2) Shooting: Each figure with the ‘Gun’ rule can make a single ranged attack (instead of the Gun rule I am considering adding a second stat for ranged attacks specifically but I haven’t felt the need for it just yet).

The figure cannot make ranged attacks if it is in base to base contact with an enemy, and cannot make ranged attacks against enemies in base to base contact with friends.

To hit their target first the a figure must pass a skill check. To pass roll a die equal to or above the figures skill value.

-1 to the die if the target enemy is further away than 6”.

-1 to the die if the target enemy is not the closest enemy.

A roll of 1 always fails, a roll of 6 always succeeds.

If successful roll a check against the attacking figures attack value. Equal or higher is successful, however you reduce the die rolled by the target’s defence value.

Again 1s always fail and 6s always succeed.

If successful roll on the damage table. Roll 2D6 and reduce the higher roll by the lower.

0 (you rolled a double) -1 – The attack has no effect.

2-3 – The target is down. Lie the figure on its side or mark it in some way. The figure does nothing until its next recovery phase. If the target is already down then they are dead.

4+ – The target is dead. Remove them from play.

3) Melee: Melee attacks work the same as ranged attacks, however the modifiers to the skill check are different and your figure has to be in base to base contact with their target enemy.

-1 if there are multiple enemies in base to base contact with your figure.

+1 if the target is down.

+1 if there are multiple friends in base to base contact with the target.

Once a player has attacked with all of their figures in melee the opponent’s figures are then allowed to attack also.

4) Recovery – Any figures under the control of the player whose turn it is that are down and we’re not downed in the current turn get back up.

5) Morale – If either side lost any figures in this turn then they must take a morale check. Roll a die and multiply it by the number of figures that they lost this turn. Roll another die and multiply the result by the number of figures they still have in play. If the result for killed figures is higher that side immediately loses the game. If the result for figures still in play is equal or higher then they pass the test and the game continues.

After any morale checks it is the other players turn and they go through the five phases.

Players alternate taking turns until one player wins.

Special Rules – Some figures have additional abilities to help them in the game.

Fast – This figure can move up to 10”.

RIP – Add 1 to the damage roll for melee attacks made by this figure.

Pierce – Add 1 to the damage roll for ranged attacks made by this figure.

Gun – This figure can make ranged attacks.

Blast – (Needs Gun) When making a ranged attack select a target figure, if you hit that figure you must also make attacks against each figure within 1” of that initial figure.

Sweep – In the melee phase this figure can attack every enemy in base to base contact.

Burn! – (Needs Gun) When making ranged attacks for this figure you can reroll the damage roll if you want. The second result stands even if it is worse.

Terror – (only 2 figures maximum can have this rule in your warband) When making morale checks and while it is still alive this figure counts as a casualty for your opponent.

Leader – (one figure per warband) you can reroll a failed morale check. You must reroll both dice in the check. The second result stands and cannot be rerolled.

Final thoughts… I’m not sure about the ‘down’ result on the damage table. I think it just slows things down, plus it adds another phase to the turn, so I might draw up a ‘bad thing’ table. A table which you roll a D6 on and has some more interesting results, figures getting knocked back, figures damaged in such a way that they bleed out so will stick around for a limited number of turns before dying, a figure being concussed and suffering minuses to their stats etc.

3 thoughts on “Monochrome Minis and Universal Skirmish Rules

  1. A double-whammy – a painting & ruleset post in one! I like that monochrome grey look, especially as posed on the matching battlemat. Since ‘monochrome’ just means single-colour, are you planning to try it out with other colours? This would certainly make it easy to detect which side any figures are on (robots in silvers, ents in browns, that sort of thing).

  2. That’s a cool idea! I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing lol. I really, really like the grey scale with splashes of red for blood etc, so I might end up getting pulled into putting that on every warband/ faction. But having one in a different colour, especially the Ents could be really cool! Ooo I’m excited now, can’t wait for that package to arrive.

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