Core Rules
Navigation Bar Legal Disclaimer The BrikWars Universe QuikWars! 1: Gameplay 2: The Mighty Minifig 3: Minifig Weapons 4: The Player Turn 5: Combat 6: Minifig Heroes H: The Horse 7: Special Creations 8: Squads
2: The Mighty Minifig

Esprit de Core
In a forgotten shrine to Pandora's Blox, tomb-raiding archaeologist Solo Jones prepares to crack open the mysterious secrets of ABS, the Alogical Binding Substance - but some blocks are better left untouched.

Unsophisticated players might think that the Letter of the rules is more important than the Spirit - but the Letter isn't liable to sneak up behind you with an axe if you abuse it.
"Esprit de Core," 2005
Chapter One: Gameplay
The purpose of BrikWars is to provide a safe and comfortable setting in which groups of cute and friendly minifigs can mutilate and slaughter one another. The battle can be large or small, balanced or skewed, ordered or chaotic; what’s important is that the level of mindless violence is kept at an entertaining high.

1.1: Overview of Play
"If our most highly qualified General Staff officers had been told to work out the most nonsensical high level organization for war which they could think of, they could not have produced anything more stupid that that which we have at present. "
- Claus von Stauffenberg

The Battle of Tank Stream
Raised baseplates and brick mountains scattered around the floor make a perfectly decent battlefield.
Photo: Pete Callaway
STUDS's "Battle of Tank Stream," June 2000
Winners: SHAG
Players prepare for the game by building armies, fortifications, and battlefield landscaping out of plastic construction bricks (or whatever’s most convenient). They have the option of imposing a military budget of Construction Points on each side if they suffer from the notion that armies should be equal and battles should be "fair." Players might spend hours carefully crafting the look and equipment of each soldier and vehicle, or they might just grab mismatched units at random out of a bin. It’s left to the players to decide how serious they want to be.

When the battlefield and armies are assembled, players can pick their starting locations by any combination of mutual agreement and dice-rolling. If one player designed the battlefield, it’s customary to allow the other players to have first pick of starting locations, to prevent unfair advantage. Sometimes the armies' starting locations will be dictated by the scenario - in a castle siege, for instance, the defenders are arranged inside and around the castle and the besieging force begins at whichever edges of the battlefield seem most advantageous.

Once the armies are in place, the battle can begin. Each player takes a turn maneuvering forces and making attacks for all of the units under his control, before passing play to the next player. When all players have taken their turns, the cycle begins again with the first player and continues until one side "wins."

"It's never 'just a game' when you're winning."
- George Carlin

An army wins a battle by achieving its Objective. An army's default Objective is "the destruction and humiliation of all other armies," but more complex or specific Objectives are possible, such as "assassinate the enemy leader" or "collect the largest pile of severed heads."

As a general rule, it's not entirely common for any one player or team to "win" a battle. This is because getting killed horribly in some ridiculous fashion is always funnier than the alternative (i.e., surviving horribly in some ridiculous fashion), and BrikWars is set up to favor the optimum result of a complete massacre of all participants, along with any bystanders and scenery. You should expect your BrikWars battles to often end with the final victory going to a force of nature or some deadly location rather than to any player. 'Fire,' 'explosive decompression,' and 'nuclear fission' have winning records that no human strategist can hope to match.

The 'classik' conclusion for a BrikWars battle is for the entire battlefield to be destroyed in a cataclysmic fireball. This is considered a victory for all sides except those whose Objective was to prevent destruction (e.g., "protect the doughnut factory").

1.2: Proper Observance of Rules
"The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be."
- Lao Tzu

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules."
- Gary Gygax

Diplomacy in actionRules are for the small-minded and weak. Let a little kid loose among your collection of bricks sometime, and watch the way he plays. In his hands, those minifigs will have all kinds of crazy battles and adventures, there'll be all the drama, death, and explosions you could ever want, and the whole time that kid won't have to crack open a rulebook even once. How is it that he's so much smarter than we are? The answer is that most of us have had a lot more years of schooling than he has. Wait until he's eighteen, he'll have become just as slack-jawed and dull-eyed as the rest of us.

BrikWars has a lot of rules. If the mandatory education system has had the chance to get its hooks in you, then you'll respect the authority of those rules, because they're all written down in a book, and some of them are capitalized. If things went so badly that you ended up going to college as well, then you'll probably not only shackle yourself to those rules but also then try to lovingly twist them to your own ends, weaseling out loopholes and exploits to cleverly frustrate the other players and ingeniously prevent fun for the entire group.

If you find yourself engaging in that kind of rules-lawyering and munchkinism, then you have just failed at BrikWars. Stamp a big F on your report card, schedule a get-together between your face and the Hammer of Discipline, and see if you can't spend a little time afterwards with a couple of five-year-olds to remember the things you've forgotten about having fun.

The reason BrikWars has so many rules is that it's a lot more fun to flout a large rules system than a small one. Hopefully you can use these rules as a springboard for the imagination rather than as manacles with which to enslave yourself. However, we also recognize that not everyone is ready to live without the safety net that a system of rules provides, especially while in competition with others. So, before we go any further, here are the two most important rules in the book.


Fudge everything your opponents
will let you get away with.
"Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something."
- Thomas Edison

Very happy packers
The power of fudge overrides all laws.
Elements shown: LEGO, fudge

BrikWars provides chapters and chapters full of rules to calculate events down to the tiniest detail. If a player tries to follow all of them to the letter, their turns will take hours, everyone will lose interest, and no one will want to play a second time. This is for the best. Those people should stop trying to play with construction bricks and instead give them to someone with an imagination.

Just because you can assign die rolls to every sneeze and determine landing trajectories for every blown-off body part, doesn't mean you should. The most probable results are very often the least ridiculous, and why bust out the calculators only to spend more time having less fun? Except where your opponents insist otherwise, you should resolve the bulk of your actions with rough estimates, arbitrary decisions, and an abundance of vague hand-waving. Given the opportunity, always fudge in favor of mayhem.

Don't waste time on stuff nobody cares about. Following the rules and winning are the two lowest priorities on your list. Getting some good laughs during the battle and having a good story to tell afterwards are your primary goals.


Players are smarter than rulebooks. Especially the ones with the highest dice rolls.
"Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates."
- Arleigh Burke

The all-powerful die
Large dice are better than small ones in a What I Say Goes Roll, if you have enough to go around - more sides means less chance of a tie between players.

There will be many times when players will have a difference of opinion, when the best course of action isn't clear, or when no one remembers the details of a rule but they don't care enough to waste time looking it up. “Can a zombie bite convert dogs into zombie dogs?” “Can that archer really fire at the petting zoo from where he’s hiding?” “Is that hot dog stand really within bazooka range?”

If players can’t come to a quick consensus, then it’s time for a What I Say Goes Roll. All interested players (and, in some cases, sufficiently opinionated bystanders) state their position. All participating players roll dice, re-rolling ties if necessary. The player with the highest roll wins, and What He Says Goes – as long as he said it before rolling the dice! There's no changing your position once the dice are cast.

If one player takes a position that’s an obvious and deliberate attempt to cheat, his opponents are obligated to beat the crap out of him. The player should then revise his position, although you might let him get away with keeping it if the beating was good enough.

The first What I Say Goes Roll in most games is to decide the order of play. The winner decides who goes first and in what order the players will take their turns.

1.3: Taking Measurements
a mini tape measure In BrikWars, distances are measured in inches. If you don't like inches, you can use any alternate system of measurement that seems reasonable - an inch is about three centimeters, the length of three surface studs, or the height of three construction bricks. It's not important whether or not your conversion is exact, as long as everyone's using the same system.

As with most aspects of BrikWars, flexibility is key: bendable measuring tape is going to be a lot more useful than a rigid ruler, since you'll often want to measure around corners or in tight spaces. If you haven't got a measuring tape handy, a simple ribbon or piece of string marked off in inches is just as good.

1.4: Rolling Dice
d-sixes, d-tens, and a d-zero
An assortment of d6es, d10s, and one glass d0. You will almost certainly never need a d0 in BrikWars.

The result of this unusually lucky roll is 0 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10, or 86, ignoring the possibility of Bonus Dice.

It's unclear whether or not a roll of 0 on a d0 counts as a Critical Success.
Elements shown: dice
"Jacta alea est.”
- Julius Caesar

BrikWars uses dice to add an element of randomness into the game. If a minifig fires a rifle at an opponent, sometimes he'll hit and sometimes he'll miss; if the enemy minifig is struck by the bullet, he might survive the damage, or he might not. Die rolls determine the outcome of actions whose success isn't guaranteed.

For most of the Core Rules, dice come in two flavors: the d6 and the d10, named according to how many faces are on each die. The six-sided d6es ("dee-sixes") are regular cube-shaped dice, much like you might find from raiding any board game, except that when you call them d6es it sounds 1d100 times as geeky. The ten-sided d10s ("dee-tens") are a little more unusual; you'll have to do some shopping at your local gaming store or website to stock up. The d6es are used for almost all normal action in BrikWars, while d10s are reserved for certain types of high-powered combat.

If you don't have any ten-sided dice, you can replace any d10 roll with 2d6-2 - that is, roll two six-sided dice and subtract two from the result. Is this statistically equivalent? Not really. Do we care? Refer to The Law of Fudge, above.

In BrikWars and most other wargames, die rolls are described according to the number of dice involved, plus or minus a modifier (if any). 4d6 means a roll of four six-sided dice, all added together; 1d10+2 means you roll one ten-sided die and add two to the result. 17d6+23d10+0937 means rolling seventeen six-sided dice and twenty-three ten-sided dice together, and adding nine hundred thirty-seven to the result, which you will hopefully never have to do.

Some people like to refer to dice with a "die-" rather than a "dee-" prefix. But how, then, does one refer to dice in multiples? With the utilitarian "die-sixes," or the more erudite "dice-six?" The solution is this: whenever someone refers to a die-anything, kick them in whichever shin is most convenient. This will forestall any arguments about proper nomenclature and pluralization.

No matter how negative a modifier may be, the lowest possible result for any die roll is zero. A roll of 1d6-100 will almost always have a simple result of zero, for instance, unless a player's luck with Critical Rolls defies belief.

Critical Rolls
Rolling dice in BrikWars is never a sure thing. No matter how easy or difficult the task, there’s always at least a tiny chance of failure or success, thanks to a couple of special cases when rolling dice.

Critical Failure Critical Failure
If all the dice in any roll come up ‘1,’ then the roll is a Critical Failure. Whatever task a player or unit was attempting fails completely, no matter how easy it might have been.

Bonus Dice Critical Success
Luckily, rolls can also turn out unexpectedly well. When rolling any number of dice, for each die that comes up on its highest-numbered face (a six on a d6, a ten on a d10), the player may add +1d6 to that roll as a Bonus Die. The same holds true for the additional dice rolled – any sixes rolled on the Bonus Dice continue earning additional Bonus Dice. A player may elect not to roll a Bonus Die that he’s earned, for whatever reason.

1.5: Supplies Checklist
"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.'”
- George Carlin

Besides the obvious items like armies, a battlefield, and other players, you should make sure you have the following.

a beautiful vista
Jaw-Jaws and Dimmies are great for demonstrating the use of blood and fire elements.
Elements shown: LEGO
Things You'll Need
First and most importantly: fun. It seems obvious, but this item is so often bizarrely forgotten by all types of gamers (especially wargamers) that it bears repeating: don't play a game if you don't mean to have fun. And for the love of God make sure you bring enough to share, because it's not all about you.
You'll need a good supply of dice - the more, the better. Most of the Core Rules are written entirely for two types of dice - regular six-sided dice (d6) for regular units, and the more unusual ten-sided dice (d10) for siege- and hero-level units. (Starting in Chapter Seven, rules are given for using a greater variety of exotic dice, but these are entirely optional.)
Stat Cards
Even if you think you've got all your units' stats memorized, it's good to keep their stat cards handy, if for no other reason than to reassure your opponents that you're not making up numbers off the top of your head. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Blood and Fire
While not completely necessary, it really adds to the ambience if you have a healthy supply of little red plates and flame elements to scatter around whenever it seems like the battlefield could use more blood or more fire. And seriously, when could a battlefield not use more blood and more fire?
Spare Parts
Not a requirement, but it's often nice to be able to whip up a costume change for your hero, a crater and random debris from an explosion, a stand to hold up a minifig in a precarious position, or any number of other objects that might appear as the result of unexpected events.
By nature, BrikWars games are full of amazing constructions, crazy action scenes, and hilarious mishaps that you'll wish you had photos of afterwards. Most impressive of all to fellow gamers, as verified by ten years of fan mail, are the astonishing photos that show BrikWars being played by real live girls.
Doughnuts and Beer
Pizza, chips, and Mountain Dew are the more traditional food of wargamers, but the proper BrikWars mindset is less about "Gary Gygax" and more about "Homer Simpson." Cheeseburgers are an acceptable compromise.

Things You Probably Won't Need But Might Want Anyway
If you're not making up bizarre and crazy ad hoc rules on the fly, you're not really playing BrikWars. As such, you might want to bring extra gear just on the off chance that you think of funny things to do with it.

a Fire Lord
Fire Rings have no purpose in BrikWars except to intimidate newbies. If asked why you brought a bag of Fire Rings, say "Just in case we need them for some of the really advanced rules."
Elements shown: LEGO, Mega Bloks
Pencil and Paper
In case you want to pass love notes to the cute player on the other team. Otherwise, not really necessary.
a Stumble DieFunny Dice
Nothing says gaming like funny dice. A Stumble die, for instance, is easily made by taking a Sharpee and dashing off a quick arrow on each face of a regular d6; now with every roll you get both a direction and a number of inches. Good for ad hoc rulings on wind direction, shrapnel trajectories, drunken staggering, etc.
Goofball Measuring Implements
Strings, measuring compasses, and 30/60 triangles open up all kinds of possibilities for goofball rules, from "poisonous gas affects everyone within four inches of the burrito!" to "acid sprays out in a (d6 x 15)-degree cone!"
If you've ever played a collectible card game, you've got piles of these: colored beads or beans or chits or little pewter brains. Even if you haven't got some counting pips set aside already, it's easy to improvise some with a pile of plastic bricks. Pips let you make up conditions like "everyone remove one blue stone at the beginning of your turn - when they run out, the nuke goes off."
Fire Rings
Complicated and arcane-looking gear with no actual purpose is great for intimidating newbies. More experienced players may just laugh at you whether the things actually have a purpose or not, so exercise caution.

Core Rules
Navigation Bar Legal Disclaimer The BrikWars Universe QuikWars! 1: Gameplay 2: The Mighty Minifig 3: Minifig Weapons 4: The Player Turn 5: Combat 6: Minifig Heroes H: The Horse 7: Special Creations 8: Squads
2: The Mighty Minifig