Chapter H: The Horse
In the history of warfare there is no nobler creature than the
Horse. Whether hauling chariots, powering a cavalry charge,
carrying supplies over harsh terrain, or
running in and out of danger in the service of mounted troops, a horse brings strength and mobility
that no minifig can match. Without the
spirited assistance of these magnificent animals, history's greatest wars would consist of little more than
a bunch of guys wandering around listlessly and bleeding.
|The BrikVerse hosts a multitude of simultaneous apocalypses in various stages of progression, each with its own attendant Horsemen with their own attendant Horses. The Four Bikers of Ragnablok ride Rocket Hogs.
|Photo: Zahru II
In BrikWars, a Horse isn't necessarily any specific type of
animal. Instead, it's a blanket category for any single-passenger steed
or vehicle that's roughly horse-sized. A horse is a Horse, of course,
perforce; but so is a gryphon, a motorcycle, a magic carpet, or a
|In Book Two: MOC Combat, BrikWars allows players to field any creature or vehicle
they can assemble out of bricks, no matter how ridiculous. But for much of history,
Horses (or their tactical equivalents) were the only significant animals
or vehicles on the field, allowing players to ignore these advanced rules entirely.
For players engaging in Horse trading, A Horse is equal in value to one minifig. The Horse's superior stats are offset by its limited intelligence and its vulnerability to enemy hijacking.
H.1: Horse Abilities
A unit in the Horse category has roughly the same abilities that a Human would
expect from real-world horse, and its Action, Move, and Armor statistics
operate the same way as a minifig's. Common sense will dictate
whether a given type of Horse can perform acts like swimming, Sprinting,
climbing ladders, or hauling chariots. In the rare case where common
sense is insufficient, a What I Say Goes roll will clear up any confusion.
Action: - see 4.2: Action
A Horse uses its Action for the same kinds of tasks a minifig would,
as far as it's able.
The difference between a Horse's Action and a minifig's is that a Horse is a Submissive creature and can only perform useful tasks while under a minifig's direction. When a minifig directs his Horse to take any Action requiring a Action Roll, the player rolls either the Horse's Action die
or the minifig's, whichever is lower; this spends the Action of both the Horse and the minifig. (In the rare case in which a Horse
takes an Action of its own accord, only its own Action die is used.)
While being ridden or led, a Horse is completely obedient to its current minifig.
If its minifig is killed, wanders off, or is otherwise absent, a living Horse remains under its current player's control until the end of that turn. If none of the player's other minifigs have managed to take control of the Horse by then, then the player must hand control of the Horse over to an enemy player of their choice.
On the enemy player's turn, the enemy can direct the Horse to take either its Movement or its Action - not both. If none of the enemy's minifigs have taken control of the Horse by the end of their own turn, the enemy must select one of their own enemies to take control of the Horse. The Horse continues passing from enemy to enemy each turn until some minifig
manages to take the reins or the Horse is killed or otherwise removed from battle.
Minifig weapons can be mounted on a Horse for their minifig riders to operate and fire. A one-minifig Tiny Tank, for instance, is a steel Horse with a Long-Ranged Weapon attached.
Horses are not intelligent enough to use equipment
items or operate machinery on their own, however. Instead, Horses rely on their natural ability to make Unarmed Attacks.
|| Action die
|| some types may automatically Grab on hit
A Horse with hooves, teeth, claws, poison tentacles, or other weaponized anatomy is able to make one Unarmed Attack per turn. Where standard Horses can deliver kicks and bites, more exotic Horses
might employ tail stings, razor talons, or digestive pseudopods. The Unarmed Attack is a Close Combat weapon with a Use rating of 2 and that does the Horse's Action die as Damage, roughly equivalent to a minifig's Hand Weapon.
Depending on the type of Unarmed Attack, a Horse may be able to automatically Grab a target on a successful hit, In addition to (or instead of) doing regular Damage. Bites, claws, and tentacle attacks are good candidates for an automatic Grab, for example. Clubbed tails, bull's horns, and stingers are not.
Grabs and Shoves
Horses are bigger than minifigs, so they have the advantage in Grabs and Shoves.
When a Horse Grabs another Horse, it works the same way as between minifigs: the Horses can no longer move or take Angry Inches, and Close Combat attacks on either of them are Automatic Hits.
If a Horse Grabs or is Grabbed by a minifig, it's a different story. The Grab keeps the minifig from moving, but it doesn't slow down the Horse. A Horse can be reduced to Half Speed if it's in a Grab with two or more minifigs at the same time, but no amount of minifig Grabs can stop a Horse completely.
It takes two minifigs Shoving together to Shove a Horse; a single minifig isn't large enough to Shove a Horse by himself. Horses Shove other Horses as normal. When a Horse Shoves a minifig, the minifig has a -2 Action penalty to his Parry roll.
|Horse Shoving Example: Cow Tipping
|Example: Cattle mutilations work best on cows that are pre-tipped, so two alien minifig Grays have been sent on a night mission to prepare the livestock for abduction. They locate a likely Cow standing in the pasture and approach it cautiously.
Grays' turn 1:
The Grays approach the first Cow from the side. (Shoving a Cow from the front or rear is less likely to result in a successful tipping.) This Cow is asleep and doesn't attempt to Parry. The Shove is an Automatic Hit, and the Cow is tilted two inches. This is enough to topple it over.
Grays' turn 2:
Emboldened by their success, the Grays approach a second Cow. This time, their unfamiliarity with Earth herbivores betrays them: this Cow is a Bull, and it's wide awake. The Bull declares its intention to Parry their Shove with an enraged moo.
The Bull is Outnumbered two to one, so he has a -1 Action Penalty, but Parrying a Shove bare-hooved is easy at Use: 0. His Action Roll of 3 is enough to succeed, and the Bull stands his ground. The Grays and the Bull are now in Close Combat.
Bull's turn 2:
On his own turn, the Bull Attacks with his horns, brutally goring the second Gray. This puts an end to the surviving Gray's Cow-tipping adventures, since a single minifig can't Shove Cows by himself.
10" - see 4.1:
For minifigs, Horses, and other animals, Movement is an unrestricted affair.
They can spend their Move inches however they like, running and jumping
back and forth along any arbitrarily complex zigzag.
Players may decide that a particular Horse may not be able to hop around as freely. It may be hauling a load, for instance, or wearing roller skates. These situations are left for the players to handle as they see fit.
Like minifigs, a Horse running in a straight line can Sprint, spending its Action Die to add it to its inches of straight-line Movement.
4 - see Chapter 3: Minifig
A Horse's Armor works in similar fashion to a minifig's: an attacking unit must do enough Damage to exceed the Horse's Armor in order to have any effect. The difference is that a Horse takes two hits to kill rather than one.
The first time that Damage from an attack exceeds a Horse's Armor, attach a Damage Pip (usually a red 1x1 brick) to the Horse somewhere prominently visible to indicate that the Horse has been Wounded. When a Horse is Wounded, it's reduced to Half Speed, its maximum Momentum and Physical Opposition are limited to 1 MOM or POP, and its ability to Shove and Grab and to resist Shoves and Grabs are reduced to that of a regular minifig.
|Players who are familiar with the MOC Combat rules will recognize these as the effects of reducing a Size 2" Creature to an Effective Size of 1" (7.2: Taking Damage).
If Damage from an attack exceeds the Armor of a Horse that's already been Wounded, or if a Horse takes enough Damage to exceed its Armor twice over (effectively taking two hits in a single attack), then the Horse is killed in whatever
grisly fashion seems appropriate.
|Horse Body Armor
|Horse Light Armor
|| Armor 1d10
|Horse Heavy Armor
||Half Speed; can't swim
Like a minifig, a Horse may be equipped with Body Armor or Heavy Armor to boost its
defenses. Regular Horse Light Armor covers the Horse's body but not the head, raising the Horse's Armor rating to 1d10. Horse Heavy Armor covers both the body and head, and gives the Horse Deflection (3.3: Bodily Protection), at the cost of reducing the Horse's Movement to Half Speed. In either Horse Light Armor or Horse Heavy Armor, a Horse loses the ability to swim (4.1: Movement).
H.2: Riding a Horse
Measuring By Hands
Horses and minifig-controlled vehicles are more like very large equipment items than independent units. Controlling a Horse costs a minifig's Action, but depending on how many hands he's using to control the Horse, he can sometimes use other items already in hand at the same time.
If a minifig elects not to use his Action for steering, or if the control systems are disabled or inaccessible, the default Movement for an undirected Horse is to continue doing whatever it was already doing. The Horse moves in whatever direction it's facing at the same speed it was traveling on its previous turn. If the undirected Horse runs into an obstacle, it will leap or climb over it if possible (to a maximum height equal to the Horse's legs or wheels); otherwise it will be stopped and possibly cause a Collision (H.3: Fighting From Horseback).
- Both Hands: Full Control
A minifig steering with both hands has full control of his Horse. He can direct it to take whatever type of Movement and Action it's capable of, including using Angry Inches and attacking with its own weapons and devices.
- One Hand: Steering
A minifig steering with one hand has full control of his Horse's Movement, but not its Action.
He can use his other hand to use a weapon or object already in hand, and can direct the Horse to take Angry Inches in support of his Action.
- No Hands: Charging
A minifig steering with his knees
has very limited control, not least because minifigs don't have knees. Steering with no hands, a minifig can set the Horse's direction at the beginning of the turn, but all of the Horse's Movement must be in a straight line afterwards.
With both hands free, the minifig is able to make whatever attacks from Horseback he wishes, including spurring the Horse into a Sprint in support of a Charge attack.
While every minifig has the basic level of skill required to operate a Horse, few have the training and experience to excel at it. The Rider is an experienced horseman who moves as naturally on horseback as on his own two feet - and in some cases, even more so.
Horsemanship Specialty: no-Hands riding
The Rider's advantage is simple. Where lesser minifigs must use their Hands to steer, a Horseman's natural link with his steed gives him Full Control regardless of carried items or distractions. A true Horseman can Operate a Horse blindfolded, standing on his head, and juggling chainsaws, whether it's him or the Horse doing the blindfolded juggling, or both.
A Rider and Horse are treated as a single Creature with all of the Rider and Horse's weapons. They can use any combination of their weapons to make a Ranged, Close Combat, or Charge attack on a single target. In Close Combat, a skilled Rider and Horse are so closely bonded that each can Counter for the other.
When a Horse is acting under the direction of a Rider, it always uses the Rider's Action die, regardless of whose is smaller.
H.3: Fighting From Horseback
For most types of combat, making attacks from atop a Horse is the same as making attacks on foot. Minifigs on horseback check their weapon reach or range and make their Action and Damage Rolls exactly as usual.
The two areas in which a Horse's increased size can make a difference are in Close Combat and during a Charge.
While a Horse and its minifig are often treated as a single unit, they're separate targets that can be attacked together or individually. If attacked together, the defending player gets to decide which of them takes the Damage from any successful hits.
A typical horse is large enough to grant attacks a +1 Action Bonus for Target Size, whether the attacker is targeting the Horse and minifig together or targeting the Horse alone. Targeting the minifig specifically confers no Action Bonus, and might even suffer an Action Penalty if enough of the minifig is hidden behind the Horse to count as effective cover.
Collisions and Trampling
Like a minifig, a Horse that Charges in a straight line for four inches builds up one MOM worth of Momentum (5.4: Charge!). However, because the Horse is twice as large, it can build up twice as much inertia. If a Horse extends its Charge an additional four inches after that, it can build up a second MOM. (Assuming it's not Wounded, that is - a Wounded Horse is limited to one MOM no matter how far it Charges.)
A Horse's MOM can be spent in the same ways as a minifig MOM: adding +1d6 to any roll that would logically benefit from Momentum, or +1 Action die of Damage to a successful attack with a Charging Weapon. The extra Damage dice can be added to a Charging Weapon carried by the minifig or mounted on the Horse itself, up to +1 die for a Heavy Weapon or +2 dice for a Two-Handed Weapon (3.1: Close Combat Weapons).
A Horse's higher potential Momentum increases its ability to send opponents flying. A Horse that successfully Knocks Back a target with one POP only loses one of its MOMs as a result, even if it delivered two MOMs' worth of KnockBack. It can keep its second MOM and continue Charging into more foes.
A Horse's extra stability also makes them more resistant to getting Knocked Back themselves.
A Horse resists KnockBack inches with two POP dice instead of one (reduced to the single POP if it's Wounded).
A Horse who's Knocked Back only becomes Disrupted if the KnockBack distance is greater than the width or length of the Horse from that direction. Because most Horses are longer than they are wide, it's easier to knock them over from the side (where they may be less than an inch wide from right to left) than from the front or the rear (where they're likely to be two inches in length or more). A Horse that's Knocked Back this distance or less simply lands on its feet and is ready to keep fighting as usual. A Horse that's Knocked Back further than its length lands on its side and is Disrupted. A Horse Knocked Back twice its length lands upside-down and Disrupted, possibly delivering upside-down Trample damage to its own passengers.
If a Horse and a target are Charging each other at the same time, each makes its KnockBack roll by rolling its MOMs against its opponent's POPs as usual. This may result in one, both, or neither combatants getting Knocked Back, depending on the results of the rolls.
Like minifigs, a Knocked Back Horse takes one point of Smash damage for each inch of KnockBack prevented by obstacles larger than itself. (Smaller objects simply get Knocked Back along with the Horse.)
Minifigs are smaller than Horses, and therefore it's natural for Horses to want to stomp on them. Trampling is a means for a Horse to add insult to injury. If a minifig is lying on the ground Disrupted, possibly as a result of being Knocked Back by a Charging Horse, then the Horse can run over the prone minifig for one additional point of Smash damage. (A single point of damage isn't enough to kill any regular minifig, but, cumulative with other injuries the minifig may have sustained during the Charge, the final additional point can sometimes make the needed difference.)
Any number of Horses can Trample a Disrupted minifig in a single turn, but each does its point of Smash damage only once. Running the same Horse back and forth over a minifig a dozen times is funny but has no extra effect.
Horses do no damage to other Horses with Trampling, because they're the same size. Again, it's still funny to watch them run over each other regardless.
Jousting is the most characteristic attack of the mounted horseman, and it combines the fun of a mounted Close Combat attack with the calamity of a Collision. In a Jousting attack, a minifig with a Charging Weapon (normally a spear or lance, although any Charging Weapon will do (5.4: Charge!)) uses the power of his Horse's Charge to do heavy damage to a target - frequently another minifig on Horseback, and often one who's Jousting right back at him.
While any Charging Weapon can be used for Jousting, a long lance is the preferred tool, because lining up a Joust attack can be tricky if the point of the weapon doesn't extend past the nose of the Horse. For a minifig on foot, a Two-Handed polearm like a lance normally requires two hands, but the power of a Charging Horse allows a Jousting minifig to weild a lance or other similar Two-Handed Charging Weapon with one hand at no penalty. A Jousting minifig can use his off hand to hold a Shield, which will come in handy if he's getting Jousted in return.
|A mounted minifig holding a Two-Handed Weapon one-handed can only use it for Jousting. He still needs both hands to use it in regular Close Combat.
|Close Combat Weapon
||Bonus MOM Damage
||Maximum Total Damage
|Heavy Charging Weapon
(on foot or on Horseback)
| Action die + 2
|| up to 1 MOM
||2 Action dice + 2
||may be paired with Shield
|Two-Handed Charging Weapon
|2 Action dice
|| up to 1 MOM
| 3 Action dice
can't be thrown
|Two-Handed Charging Weapon
|2 Action dice
|| up to 2 MOMs
(Horse and weapon maximum)
| 4 Action dice
||may be paired with Shield
can't be thrown
As with foot-based Charge attacks, the length of two Jousting minifigs' weapons can determine whether one side strikes first or if both sides' attacks strike simultaneously. If the minifig on either side has a weapon long enough to deliver an Attack at least one inch before his opponent is able to deliver a return blow, then he strikes first, regardless of whose turn it is or who initiated the Joust.
Making the Joust Attack
Making a Joust attack is, for the most part, identical to attacking with a Charging Weapon on foot (5.4: Charge!). The Jousting minifig and his target have the same options and make the same rolls. Like a minifig, the Jousting attacker must continue running in a straight line to the limit of his Move inches, even if this results in a Collision with the target or other obstacles.
|Joust Example: Solo Jones vs. the Black Rider
shown: LEGO, Mega Bloks, Little Armory
|| Example: Thanks to a series of convenient plot twists, post-apocalyptic archaeology smuggler Solo Jones has managed to abscond with a Jaw-Jaw coven's sacred Poo On A Stick. As he makes his escape on his obligatory post-apocalyptic motorcycle, he finds himself confronted by the Black Rider, a mysterious highway jouster who kills for pleasure.
The Black Rider is a well armed and armored rider, with a Light Shield, Heavy Armor, and Two-Handed Lance in addition to his motorcycle Horse.
Solo Jones is an Adventurer Hero, with only his motorcycle Horse, his hat, and the deadly Poo On A Stick (a Two-Handed Weapon).
|Jones' Turn :
Solo Jones guns the engine, Sprinting the motorcycle and make a Charge Attack with the Poo on a Stick.
Sadly, he rolls a 1 on his Sprint roll. He moves forward eleven inches, enough to earn two MOMs but falling short on his Joust attack by a full four inches. The Black Rider laughs at him.
|Black Rider's Turn (Combat):
The Black Rider lowers his lance to meet Jones' Charge, peeling out for 4" to build up one MOM worth of Momentum.
His lance has an extra inch of reach over the Poo On A Stick, so the Black Rider strikes first in the Joust rather than both sides striking simultaneously. The Black Rider rolls an Action Roll of 3 against his lance's Use of 4, barely missing Jones. The Black Rider keeps his MOM.
Feeling lucky to have survived, Jones may now make his own Joust attack with his shorter weapon. Jones makes an Action Roll of 5 against the Stick's Use rating of 4: success!
The strike does the Stick's Damage Rating of 2 Action dice - in Solo Jones' case, 2d10. Jones spends his two MOMs to add an additional 2 dice, for a whopping 4d10 points of Damage. Before he makes the Damage Roll, however, he has to wait to see whether the Black Rider is able to Parry.
The Black Rider attempts to Parry
the Stick with his Shield. He rolls a 5 against the Shield's Use:2, successfully Parrying the blow, but becoming splattered with Poo in the process.
The Black Rider has Deflection thanks to his Parry, and a second level of Deflection bacause of his Heavy Armor, reducing the Damage by two dice to 2d10. Jones rolls a one and a three for a total of 4 Damage.
The Black Rider has 4 Armor, exactly the same as the Damage, so Something Bad happens. His player decides that the Black Rider is unseated from his motorcycle. He hits the ground hard, but his Heavy Armor protects him from the Damage. The now Brown-Spattered Rider lives to laugh again!