Coup-De-Grace: Rules of Conflict

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Describing the Minis

For the most part this game uses "standard" miniatures: these are ones that depict human or roughly-human sized combatants with two arms and two legs. Non-standard minis complicate the game somewhat, but can be approached by more experienced players.

The rules of the miniature are set by its appearances.

First, determine whether the miniature is unarmoured, lightly armoured or heavily armoured. This is known as its "class". Each class has a different defence value and movement allowance.

  • Unarmoured minis have a defence value of 3 and a movement allowance of 8.
  • Lightly armoured minis have a defence value of 4 and a movement allowance of 6.
  • Heavily armoured minis have a defence value of 5 and a movement allowance of 4.
  • Standard minis have three hit points, unless specified otherwise.

Second, look at what race it is. For example, is it human, dwarf, orc, elf, or something else? Then, reference the linked page above to see what special quality its race gives it.

Third, look at what weapons it has. Generally speaking, look at only the weapons it has in its hands. Reference the pages on Melee Weapons and Ranged Weapons to see what these do. If a mini has an empty hand, then check to see whether it is an open hand or closed fist, then consult the Melee Weapons page for more on these.

With these three factors, you should now know the defence value, movement allowance and special abilities of the minis. After a few games its likely that identifying these things will be second nature, but till then it may be handy to keep the above pages printed or otherwise at the game table for quick reference.

Example: A mini of a dwarf warrior in heavy plate armour with a hammer and shield is presented.
He is clearly heavily armoured, so thats a defence value of 5, and a movement allowance of 4.
He's a dwarf, so that gives him +1 Hit Point, for a total of four hit points.
His hammer is held in one hand, so thats a single-handed hammer. The rules say that when he makes a successful melee attack with this, he can knockback an opponent one square.
His shield is held in one hand. The rules say that this gives him +1 Defence against frontal attacks.

Adjacency and Facing

The game is played on a square grid.

For the purposes of this game, each square is treated as being adjacent to four other squares - the ones that contact it edge to edge. Diagonal squares are not considered to be adjacent.

Also, each mini has a "front facing". This has game implications, in particular with regards to defence. With the exception of certain special rules, melee attacks may only be made against an adjacent target in the front facing of the mini.

Ranged attacks and shields refer to a "front 90 degree arc". This includes a row of three squares in front of the mini (the front facing adjacent square, and the square either side of it), the five squares in front of those, the seven squares in front of those, the nine squares in front of those, and so on.

Ranged attacks normally ask you to consider the range to a target. To do this, count squares as if moving towards the target via the shortest possible route. For example, an adjacent square would be at Range 1, and the nearest diagonal squares at Range 2.

Game groups who have access to such things will find that a hex grid may be easier to use, and the game will work just as well for this. Square grids are considered the default only because they are more common!

Initiative and Activation

Players take turns to activate miniatures, one at a time. Combat is divided into combat rounds. During each combat round:

  • Each mini must be activated exactly once.
  • During its activation the mini may spend up to its Movement Allowance to take actions.
  • Each weapon held by a mini can only attack once each round, with the movement cost being paid if applicable. Note that even if a weapon has a movement cost of 0 to attack with, it can still only be used once each round.

The "initative", or first activation, goes to the player who has the most minis in the battle as a whole, including any that are still yet to be deployed (and are off the board), and including any that are downed (that is, at 0HP but still on the board), but excluding any that are out of action (that is, the target of a successful coup-de-grace move).

Each player activates one mini at a time, till they have no more minis to activate.

After a mini is activated, priority then passes to another player. Players take turns until the end of the round.

A player who has run out of minis to activate cannot act, and must pass to the next player. Once all minis have been activated, the round is over.

Initiative is determined afresh at the start of each round, but is not recalculated during the round.

A player cannot choose to pass while he still has minis left to activate (though he can choose to activate a mini and use up its turn by doing nothing with it).

Spending Movement Points

On each activation, a mini can spend movement points up to but not exceeding its movement allowance. At any given time, a mini must occupy a single square, and have one of four facings (towards one of the edges of the square, but not towards the corners). The following common actions are available:

  • For ONE movement point a mini can move into one of its four adjacent squares (not including diagonals) and change irs facing to any of the four directions.
  • For ONE movement point a mini can remain in his current square and change his facing to any of the four directions.
  • For ZERO movement points, a mini with a melee weapon can make a melee attack against an adjacent opponent in his front facing. Don't forget that you can only attack with each held weapon once per round.
  • For FOUR movement points, a mini with a ranged weapon can make a ranged attack against an opponent that is within range, and within his front 90 degree arc.
  • Spells cast from Mage Foci have varying movement costs. If no cost is stated, assume ZERO movement cost.

Some additional rules apply:

  • For each enemy adjacent to you, movement costs are doubled. For example, it will cost 2 movement points to move a square if that move starts next to one enemy, 4 movement points if that move starts next to 2 enemies and 8 movement points if that move starts next to three enemies. Note that because of this few characters have enough movement allowance to make a ranged attack while an enemy is adjacent to them, though an unarmoured character will have enough MA to step back a square from single adjacent opponent, and then shoot.
  • You may never move into or through a square occupied by another mini with normal movement. This includes both allies and opponents.
  • You may never move through walls or other blocking obstacles.

Note that it is frequently possible to move squares as a result of special effects. These bonus moves don't cost movement points, and are described in the appropriate race and weapons rules.

Attacks and Damage

When a mini makes an attack, roll a single D6 and compare it to the Defence Value of the target. If the die roll equals or exceeds the target's roll, you deal 1 HP damage to it (e.g. reducing the target from 3 to 2 HP).

Melee attacks can only be made against opponents that are adjacent and who you are facing.

Ranged attacks can only be made against opponents in your front 90 degree arc and where there is line of sight (you can draw a line between the centre of your squares without intersecting a square occupied by another model, or an obstacle that blocks line of sight).

You can never choose to attack your own minis.

Melee Attack Modifiers

  • For each ally adjacent to and facing towards the same target, add a +1 to your attack roll. This is called a co-ordinated attack bonus.
  • If your opponent is facing directly away from you, gain +1 to your attack roll. This is called a backstab bonus.
  • For each opponent other than your target adjacent to and facing towards you, deduct 1 from your attack roll. This is called a distraction penalty.
  • Melee attacks against downed opponents gain +1 to the attack roll. This is called a melee coup de grace bonus.

Ranged Attack Modifiers

  • For each ally adjacent to your target, deduct 1 from your attack roll for ranged attacks. This is called a firing into melee penalty.
  • Ranged attacks suffer a -1 penalty for every range increment distance to the target. For example, if a weapon has a range increment of 6, then there is no penalty at 1-5 squares distance, -1 penalty at 6-11 squares distance, -2 penalty at 12-17 squares distance, and so on. This is called the range penalty.
  • Ranged attacks against downed opponents double the range penalty. For example, -2 becomes -4.

Magic Attack Modifiers

  • Magic attacks will specify in their description whether they are melee attacks or ranged attacks. They are then subject to the modifiers of that attack type.

Special Effects

Most weapons and many races create additional effects beyond the above, that are detailed in their individual rules.

0 HP, Dramatic Recovery and Coup-De-Grace

If a mini is reduced to 0 HP, it is considered to be downed. To represent this, lie the mini down on its side. A downed mini has no facing, but still occupies its square.

If a mini is reduced to -1HP or less it is considered to be out of action. Remove the mini from the board, and it takes no further part in the battle. Note that it is possible for high damage attacks to directly take minis out of action, without passting through the downed state, for example if 2HP damage is done to a mini with 1 HP.

Downed minis can be activated, but cannot take actions from the normal list. Instead they can choose to make any ONE of the below actions on their activation.

  • The downed combatant can crawl one square in any direction.
  • The downed combatant can make a single melee attack at one adjacent opponent, at a -2 penalty.
  • The downed combatant can make a single ranged attack at an opponent within range, at a -2 penalty.
  • The downed combatant can attempt a dramatic recovery. Roll a D6: on a roll of 5+, stand up the downed combatant (facing of your choosing) and restore 1 HP to it. On a roll of 4 or less, nothing happens.

In game parlance, an attack against a downed mini with 0 HP is called a coup-de-grace.


By default, you win the game if all other players combatants have been taken out of action. Some scenarios may present different win conditions.