Chapter 13

Staging Battle


Over the course of a friendly King of the Hill battle in the 2,009th Rekonstruktion, a series of perfectly reasonable countermeasures and Hill-wrecking nuclear armageddons resulted in a dimension of infinitely replicating Hill duplicates. With no way of identifying the one true Hill, the Dutch warrior (and suspected horse) Rody retired from the eternal battle to forge a mighty Hilltop tavern from indestructible Orange Transparent bricks.

The Hill Dimension's unique properties place it outside the universal BrikPocalypse cycle, making the Four Rums the only location in the BrikVerse with both a consistent chronological spacetime and a hard-won license to serve the Immortal Empire's psychosis-inducing Maniac Beer. Minifigs and creatures from all Retkons and Rekonstruktions gather in this extradimensional social hub, free from their usual kontinuities, to share Orange-tinted views of the eternal campaign raging outside and to fondly monologue about their ongoing plans to exterminate each other.

Wiki entry: The Four Rums

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All Loot is defended. Even if a Hero finds Loot left abandoned in an empty field, he'll still have to fight his way through all the other Heroes who Koincidentally show up at the same time to claim it. (If no one else shows up, he calls off the whole Escapade; undefended Loot offers no glory and is beneath a Hero's attention.)

If the Loot is owned by a specific faction, they become the gracious Host of the Escapade, in charge of organizing the defenses in the same way the Hero staging the Escapade organizes the attack. While the Escapading Hero and his player dictate the broad overview of the battlefield when they declare the Escapade, the Hosting faction's player (if any) has approval over the battlefield's final features and layout.

Any or all of the players can work together to design and construct the battlefield according to the requirements of the Escapading Hero and Host. The size and difficulty of the terrain should allow units to move into combat distance with important targets or each other in the first turn, based on the general movement and attack ranges of the units in the participating Heroes' Armies.

13.1 Attackers, Defenders, and Meddlers


Once the Escapading Hero has declared his Escapade, the other Heroes in the campaign propose their alliances for the battle.

With the Escapading Hero's approval, other players' Heroes can join the Escapade as his allied attackers for however many turns they're able to resist the lure of Inevitable Betrayal (MC.3: The Benny).

If the Loot belongs to a Host faction, the Host coordinates the defense. With the Host's approval, other players' Heroes can join the defense effort as allied defenders, tempted by Inevitable Betrayals of their own.

Heroes not aligned with either the Escapading Hero or Host can crash the battle as meddlers, taking advantage of the violence to pursue their own agendas.

  • Attacking and Meddling Forces

    The Escapading Hero drives the Escapade, and the size and scale of the battle are based on how many Unit Inches' worth of forces he brings.

    If there are other attacking or meddling Heroes in the battle, whether allies supporting the main Escapade or rivals Koincidentally arriving at the same moment with their own agendas, the Unit Inch values of each of their individual forces can't exceed that of the Escapading Hero's deployed force.

    If he's able, the Escapading Hero must deploy at least as many Unit Inches worth of units as his own Irresponsibility level. If he's not able, the other forces in the Escapade can overlook his shortcomings and deploy as if he had successfully brought a properly Irresponsible amount.

  • Defending Forces

    The Hosting faction has two potential defensive forces. It can use improvements to the Stronghold's Garrison to raise a force of local defenders with a maximum Unit Inch value equal to the Escapading Hero's deployed force. It can also send a Hero to support the defense; this Hero can field as many of his Army units as his Irresponsibility allows, ignoring any limits from the Escapading Hero.

    If the Host is supported by allied defenders, the forces of each ally are limited to the combined Unit Inch value of the forces led by the Host's Hero and those in the Garrison.

  • Underdogs

    Whether out of defiance, desperation, or dramatic tradition, minifigs fight harder when they're outmatched. Underdog Heroes go first in the turn order and start the battle with Bennies in proportion to their numerical disadvantage. While Bennies are no replacement for units on the ground, they give an underdog Hero extra flexibility to do more damage with fewer numbers.

    When the Garrison and all Heroes have selected their forces to deploy in an Escapade, the players count up each force's total Unit Inch value. These totals can be compared to determine whether the attackers or defenders are the underdogs in the fight.

    These initial totals are also useful later on when a Hero needs to know whether he's lost half his forces and it's time to Fight a Losing Battle.

    The Escapading Hero and his allies add up the sum of their deployed Unit Inches, and the Host faction and its allies do the same. Whichever of the two sides has fewer total Unit Inches deployed is the underdog. An underdog Escapading Hero or Host receives a number of underdog Bennies equal to the difference between the two totals, which they can spend or share with allies however they wish over the course of the battle.

    If an Escapade has no Host, then all meddlers not allied with the attackers receive underdog Bennies equal to the amount by which the value of the Escapading Hero's force exceeds theirs.

    No matter how large the imbalance of power, the number of underdog Bennies a Hero can receive is limited to the Unit Inch value of their own forces, not including allies.

Picking Sides

With the Stronghold established and battlefield prepared, players decide which sides of the battlefield belong to the attackers, the defenders, and the unaligned meddlers. This will be their friendly edge, representing the direction of their logistical support, getaway vehicles, and theoretical reinforcements. When evacuating, retreating, or absconding with Loot, Heroes can only safely withdraw units and items off of a friendly edge. These are returned to the Hero's Army reserves or added to his Budget.

Loot items and equipment can only be claimed by a Hero if they're carried off his own friendly edge by his own active units. Objects that exit the battlefield by other means (fired from a catapult, left behind in an out-of-control royal carriage, caught on fire and fled in a panic), don't end up in the possession of any Hero, regardless of whose edge they exited on.

The edges assigned to attackers and defenders never move during the battle, but individual Heroes can change which edge theyíre friendly with as they make or break alliances with either side.

  • The Stronghold

    A battlefield's Stronghold protects the Escapade's Loot. If the Stronghold has a Garrison, it deploys its units and weapon emplacements here.

    The Stronghold area includes the Fortifications and everything inside or behind them. If there are no Fortifications to mark the perimeter, players can use other terrain features and decorations to indicate the boundaries, or leave them vague and agree not to worry about it.

    If a Stronghold extends past the edges of a battlefield, those edges are treated as part of the Stronghold interior and can't be used as friendly edges by any side. This includes the defenders. If they want to exit the battlefield, they must first exit the Stronghold and then find their own friendly edge outside it.

  • The Attackers' Edge

    The Escapading Hero picks a side of the battlefield to stage his Escapade from. Sometimes this will be dictated by the campaign fiction or the layout of the battlefield. If the battlefield is divided in half by a Fortification wall, for instance, the attackers start on the outside edge facing it. Otherwise, the attackers' edge is up to the Escapading Hero's preference.

    The attackers' edge of the battlefield is the friendly edge for the Escapading Hero and all of his allies. If all of the attacking Heroes are wiped out, exit the battlefield, or Betray their alliance, the attackers' edge becomes an uncontrolled edge.

  • The Defenders' Edge

    If the Escapade has a Host, they pick an edge of the battlefield as nearly opposite to the attackers' edge as makes sense. This is the defenders' edge, and it serves as the edge for the Host and their allies.

    If all of the defending Heroes and Garrison units are wiped out, exit the battlefield, or Betray their alliance, the defenders' edge becomes an uncontrolled edge.

  • Uncontrolled Edges

    Any edges of the battlefield not claimed by the attackers, defenders, or as part of the Stronghold are uncontrolled edges, friendly to any meddlers in the battle.

    Depending on the layout and terrain, meddler Heroes can often have more options for deploying and withdrawing forces than the attackers and defenders. A meddler Hero can treat all uncontrolled edges as their own, regardless of which edge they deployed from, which alliance they were in at the beginning of the battle, and which edges used to belong to other Heroes who got wiped out.

13.2 Deploying Forces


An Esduin invasion force deploys on the shoreline of the Upper Norselands as alarmed Frostborne defenders mobilize in the Fortified Stronghold.
Photo: Kenny "Kommander Ken" Bush
From "Waves of Krimson Gold"
Elements shown: LEGO

image rights: Kommander Ken, signed 7/23

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An Escapade's Garrison forces deploy in the Stronghold, and its local mobs loiter wherever seems least convenient. All other forces are brought by Heroes. A Hero's starting units and any later reinforcements deploy within one turn's movement of a friendly edge.

Deploying units can use a Sprint roll to improve their placement, but this counts as an Action spent and prevents them from taking response Actions before their first turn.

The types of units a Hero can bring to an Escapade depend on how Irresponsible he is. The cumulative errors of judgment that allow a Hero to deploy a mob of minifigs waving swords and pistols around are relatively small compared to the massive abrogation of responsibility required to launch a similar-sized force of orbital battle cruisers with supporting triceratops cavalry.

A Hero can mobilize any or all units from his Army whose individual Sizes don't exceed his Irresponsibility level. A Hero with Irresponsibility:2, for instance, can bring as many Size 1" minifigs and Size 2" cavalry as he wants, but he can't bring a single Size 3" armored vehicle.

Tactical Advantage

If a minifig commander would like to leverage his tactical expertise for a more favorable deployment, all deployed forces choose their top Command Specialist to make an Action Roll (S.7: Command Units), adding +1 to the roll if they're also fielding one or more Scouts. (If the Host has both a Garrison force and a supporting Hero arriving from the battlefield edge, each force rolls separately.) The force with the lowest roll must deploy its units first, and the other forces deploy their units in order of increasing die rolls.

If a Command Specialist critically fails this roll, or if a deployed force doesn't have a Command Specialist, then its units have paid even less attention than usual and their highest-rolling enemy may swap the locations of any two of their deployed units of similar Size and Propulsion type.

If a Command Specialist's roll is at least twice as high as his highest-rolling enemy, then he's outwitted them completely and can set up an ambush. After all other forces have set up their troops, the ambushing force can place its units anywhere on the battlefield except for inside an enemy formation or Stronghold.

Deployment Rush

The more Irresponsible a Hero is, and the lighter his units, the faster he can mobilize them. If the largest unit a Hero is deploying is smaller in Size inches than his Irresponsibility level, the Hero can make a rush, moving and acting before his heavier opponents are ready.

When one or more Heroes makes a rush, an extra rush turn takes place at the beginning of the battle. Heroes take their turns in regular turn order, skipping Garrison forces and Heroes with units too large to take advantage of the rush. After the rush turn, the battle continues with all forces taking regular turns.

The Commander

The Commander
ActionMoveArmorValue
5" 4 1

Specialty

Strategic Intervention

(required)

Before a battle, a Hero selects units from his Army to accompany him using whatever method seems most personally fulfilling. Time spent in consideration of the enemy's tactical disposition and how to best counter it is much less exciting than a contest of strength, an employee raffle, or throwing darts while blindfolded, and a Hero's priority is to skip any and all boring parts and get straight to the action.

Once the Hero takes the field, he's too busy being a Hero to worry any further about his units' deployment or crippling dart injuries. If his forces need to call in strategic support in response to an evolving tactical situation, they rely on a Commander to make it happen.

Strategic Intervention

Strategic Intervention Specialty:
can spend an Action
and use a communications device
to gain one Strategy brick
after witnessing a successful kill,
or to spend Strategy bricks
on Strategic Interventions

A Commander is glued to his communication device. Whether using a radio, smartphone, signal flag, crystal ball, or carrier pigeon, the Commander relays critical updates to the Hero's Army or faction headquarters that go completely ignored until the Commander's forces manage to kill something.

Whenever a Commander or one of his Scouts witness his forces kill or destroy an enemy unit at least one inch in Size, the Commander can use an Action to relay the information to his superiors. This adds one brick to his force's Strategy pile, held off to the side of the battlefield. He can cash in these bricks on later turns, spending an Action to call in Reinforcements or Strategic Bombardment.

No matter how many enemies a faction kills or how many Commanders are standing around to witness it, a player can only add one brick to their Strategy pile per turn.
RTS Commanders

For a more RTS-style battle, players can agree to give Commanders access to other sources of Strategic income and deployment options. Extra Strategy bricks can be looted from battlefield treasure caches, carried over between battles, or harvested by Workers to add to the Commander's pile. Production facilities staffed by the appropriate Support units can construct new Reinforcement units, and teleportation chambers and magic portals can beam them in directly rather than having to summon them from the edges of the battlefield.

In this style of battle, it's especially important to protect Commanders in order to maintain production abilities. Strategy bricks do players no good if there's no Commander to spend them.

  • Reinforcements

    When a Commander calls in Reinforcements, he can spend Strategy bricks to bring in fresh units and equipment. Each spent Strategy brick deploys one Unit Inch worth of Reinforcements from the Hero's Army. The units aren't subject to the Hero's usual Size limits - they're activated by the Commander's Strategy bricks, not by the Hero's Irresponsibility.

    As part of the same Action, the Commander can deploy any existing units waiting in his reserve, either because his player held them back from deployment at the beginning of combat or because they previously exited the battle over a friendly edge. Reserve units have no Strategy brick cost.

    Reinforcements appear at the end of the turn they're called in on, taking their Movement and Action on the following turn. They deploy like any other unit, appearing within one turn's movement of their Hero's friendly edge.

    If a faction sends units to battle but a Commander doesn't want to field them immediately, he can hold them in reserve. Unless they're Fighting a Losing Battle, units that exit the battle voluntarily from a friendly edge can also be placed in the reserve for the chance to be recalled later. Deploying reserve units has no Strategy brick cost. A Commander can deploy them freely as part of any Reinforcement Action.

    Units waiting in the reserve are counted as part of their force's Unit Inch value, unless their faction no longer has a surviving Commander in the field to deploy them.

  • Strategic Bombardment

    Strat­egic Bomb­ardment
    Strat­egic Bomb­ardment
    Pay­loadStrat­egy
    Cost
    UseDamage or EffectNotes
    Explos­ives ×1
    bricks
    Strat­egy
    bricks ×4
    × Exp arrives one turn
    after firing
    Rein­force­ments ×1
    bricks
    worth of
    Rein­force­ments
    Supp­lies ×1
    bricks
    inches of
    Pay­load Size

    Strategic Bombardments arrive one turn after firing.

    When a Commander calls in a Strategic Bombardment, he can drop a Payload onto any target Marked by an allied Scout, launched from Strategic weapons located somewhere off the map. Depending on the genre, these might come from offshore artillery, jet airstrikes, orbital death satellites, or powerful wizards launched overhead by magikal trebuchets.

    A Commander can spend bricks from his Strategy Pile to deliver a Bombardment of Explosives, Reinforcements, supplies, or any combination of the three. An Explosive Bombardment costs one Strategy brick for each of Explosive Damage delivered. Reinforcements delivered by Bombardment cost one Strategy brick for each Unit Inch of value, regardless of whether the units come from the Commander's Army or reserve. Non-unit, non-Explosive Payloads can be delivered as supplies, with a cost of one Strategy brick for each inch in their Payload Size.

    Unit and supply Payloads without Flight ability or parachutes take Collsion Damage on impact and are Disrupted.

    Reinforcement units can be fired alongside a payload of Explosives for a dramatic entrance, or with Explosive variants like Smoke bombs for an entrance focused more on visual cover and less on blowing themselves up on arrival.

    Strategic Bombardment attacks ignore Range, but like all long-distance Payloads, they take a full turn to arrive (8.4: Heavy Explosives). The Bombarding player places a marker at the intended impact point and waits.

    The player waits until the beginning of their next turn to make the Action Roll (or several Action Rolls, if the Bombardment is made up of multiple smaller Payloads instead of a single large one) to find out how badly the Bombardment missed its target. The Use rating of each attack is four times the number of Strategy Bricks spent on the Bombardment.

    If a Hero's Army has an undeployed unit capable of delivering the Payload in an airstrike or artillery fire, the Commander can use it to carry out the Bombardment, using the unit's Action Die and any applicable Gunnery or Assistance bonuses. Otherwise, the Commander's player rolls a generic in the assumption that somebody off-map knows what they're doing.

13.3 Victory And Defeat


In BrikWars, defeat and victory exist as concepts, but only to prod players towards BrikWars' higher goal of ridiculous blood-soaked hijinks.

Escapading Heroes aren't especially concerned with who wins or loses individual battles. Their focus is on who ends up with the Loot, and how many rival units they can eliminate in the process. Even if a Hero wrests control of a battlefield, he lacks the strategic support and administrative aptitude to do anything useful with it. Most of the time his superiors have no idea what he's doing there, and the rest of the time they wish they didn't.

Winning a battle has a single advantage: the victor can casually seize whatever Loot, random items, and non-combat bystanders haven't already been grabbed and absconded with. He can take possession of the site, pillage its resources, abandon it, or burn it to the ground according to whim.

Depending on the campaign story and the players' mutual agreement, captured noncombatants may become prisoners, switch sides willingly, or be pressed into service as unwilling labor (Half-Minded: Subjugated).

Losing a battle, by contrast, has all kinds of advantages.

Determining Victory

Victory in an Escapade is determined by which forces haven't been defeated yet when players decide the battle is over.

At the beginning of the battle, the defending Host holds the victory by default. Unless all defending forces are defeated, the Host retains control of the battlefield, along with whatever parts of it aren't destroyed or stolen in the course of the battle.

If the defending forces are defeated, whether by elimination, escape, or by Fighting a Losing Battle, then victory belongs to the Escapading Hero, unless he's defeated as well. If the Escapade has no defending forces, then the Escapading Hero only achieves victory if all of the meddling Heroes are defeated instead.

If the Escapading Hero and defending Host are both defeated, any Heroes still on the field can snatch the victory if all opposing Heroes are defeated.

If players end the battle without a clear victor, they'll have to decide the distribution of whatever Loot is left on the field by other means. Depending on the nature of the Loot and the ongoing story, it might be divided among the survivors, it may be lost in the chaos and only found again in a later Escapade, or players may determine its fate by a What I Say Goes roll.

Embracing Defeat

A force is defeated when it concedes voluntarily, when it's eliminated or withdrawn from the battlefield, or when its player declares it's Fighting a Losing Battle. The force's surviving units can still fight for other objectives, but they can no longer claim victory.

A force that's Fighting a Losing Battle accepts a loss in battle overall in exchange for tactical advantages on the field (MC.5: Endgames). A force can choose to Fight a Losing Battle at any time if it's lost at least half of its Unit Inch value, and if it (and its allies, if any) have fewer Unit Inches of surviving units than at least one of its enemy Heroes or alliances.

If all of a force's Heroes are eliminated or leave the battlefield, they must automatically Fight a Losing Battle, regardless of how their Unit Inches stack up.

If a force is Fighting a Losing Battle, its allies aren't obligated to also concede defeat or Fight the same Losing Battle.

13.4 The Final Battle


In the battle of Ragnablok that brought an end to the Nehellennium Galaxy kontinuity, the 45th Union's Iron Maiden mech is caught in the crossfire between the Grand Galactic Empire's Artemis flagship and the Allied Nations' Ripper battlecruiser. With the arrival of a Great Wyrm of Axeleron, the mech seizes his opportunity to slay the rider and claim the mount for its own.
Photo: Kenny "Kommander Ken" Bush
With models by Ninja_bait, Aoffan23, Bookwyrm, and Kenny "Kommander Ken" Bush
From "BATTLE OF THE KONVERGENCE"
Elements shown: LEGO

image rights: Kommander Ken, signed 7/23

model rights: ninja_bait signed 7/24, aoffan23 signed 7/28

With a little patience and restraint, it's possible for a Hero to defeat his enemies by simply waiting around long enough for them to exhaust their Budgets and run out of troops.

Luckily for everyone, Heroes are minifigs of action, and neither patience nor restraint exist in their genetic makeup. If a Hero's Irresponsibility is greater than his target's remaining Budget, he's ready to meet them in Final Battle.

A Final Battle is a special Escapade where the Loot is the final defeat of either the Escapading Hero or the Host. If either or both are defeated, they're out of the campaign.

Final Battles take some extra negotiation between players. Even if a Hero is on his last legs, his player may not be ready to end his story just yet. A Final Battle only takes place with the consent of the defending player, and all players work together to decide how to build a satisfying story climax.

Final Deployment

In a Final Battle, players ignore whatever deployment rules they need to in order to provide an appropriately epic end to the Heroes' stories. Heroes have no deployment limits on unit Sizes or Unit Inch values. (Garrison forces, however, are still limited by the Stronghold defense level and the value of the Escapading Hero's deployed forces.) The Host faction and its allies can deploy anywhere on the battlefield, including inside the Stronghold alongside the Garrison forces.

Unless they have no surviving Hero to lead their forces, players can't introduce new Heroes in a Final Battle, but they can deploy as many of their existing Heroes as they want. Final Battles are a unique event where Heroes are able to set aside their Crankiness for the sake of an epic team-up. Each player is still limited to one Heroic Feat per turn, however, no matter how many Heroes and Heroic Weapons they have on the field.

If one of the Host's Heroes has a greater Irresponsibility level than the Escapading Hero, the defenders can use his Irresponsibility to set the Stronghold's number of defensive improvements rather than that of the Escapading Hero.

Final Loot

image rights: Travis Archer, signed 8/9

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Satan, in his infinite hubris, declared a Last Stand against himself for the bone throne of Hell.

After a pitched battle between the local representatives of the damned and a surprise cameo by the archangel Bob Ross, victory ultimately went to the Demon of Treachery - the spirit of an evil hot dog who gave Flamer Shaftglutton food poisoning once.

Photo: Travis Archer
From "Battle for the Glory of Satan!"
Elements shown: LEGO

If the defending Host declines to spend his remaining Budget to bolster his forces for the Final Battle, whatever Unit Inches are left over become bonus Treasure Loot in the defenders' Stronghold. If the defending forces successfully repel the attack and the Host retains possession of the Treasure, it returns to the Hosting Hero's Budget and he can continue his campaign as normal.

Even if the Host's forces face certain defeat, they can take revenge from beyond the grave by helping an ally escape with their Treasure to use against the attackers in later battles.

Story-critical Loot can't be removed from the battlefield in a Final Battle. Players are free to invent whatever Koincidences they need to in order to keep critical plot items on the table until the Final Battle is complete.

Story-Critical Loot Example: The Triangles of Power

Example: An ancient Trianglist prophecy tells of three Triangles of Power that can grant the power to destroy one third of the world in a single meteor strike. If successful, this would be Ossum enough to end the timeline and kick off a new Rekonstruktion, and so the selfless dinosaur Hero Thanosaurus Rex undertakes the righteous quest to collect the Triangles and combine them into a Million Bazillion Glove.

Opposing him in this noble endeavor are the Heroes of a dozen civilizations. Their alliance is led by Capital A, whose belief in minifig property rights outweighs any amount of Ossumness that might result from planetary destruction.

After a series of daring Escapades, Thanosaurus has managed to capture two of the three Triangles. Capital A and his allies have secured the third, and are defending it from Thanosaurus's forces in a Final Battle.

In a normal Escapade, any Hero on either side could grab one of the Triangles and escape with it, dragging out the campaign into further Escapades. In a Final Battle, the fate of the Triangles and the world will be decided once and for all, and any Hero holding a Triangle is forced to stand and fight.

The Last Stand

In a Final Battle, the Host's Hero and Garrison can choose to Fight Losing Battles at any time, regardless of whether they meet the usual requirements. The Hero might use the opportunity to strike a desperate final blow against his attackers, he may try to pull off a daring final escape even as his campaign ends in defeat, or his goal might be to smuggle out the seeds of some future Hero's campaign against his victorious enemies. Regardless of the success or failure of his efforts, the Hero's adventures in the campaign are over after Fighting a Losing Final Battle.

If an Escapading Hero decides it's time for his own story to end, he can declare a Final Battle against himself and make a Last Stand against his enemies. The Hero acts as both Escapading Hero and Host, and uses his own Irresponsibility for the number of defense improvements to the Stronghold.

At the beginning of a Last Stand, the defending Hero and Garrison can immediately Fight a Losing Battle. Regardless of the outcome, a Last Stand is always the end of its Hero's story arc in the campaign.