|Last update: February 2018 - Version 5.0|
Dark Age Arena is played using Dark Age - Feudal Lords cards (FPG). Rules have been modified to introduce more strategy (less dice roll during drafting), supporting combatants and assignment to Locations.|
Cards per player: 1 LEADER card, 1 Locations card, four 6-sided dice, 1 deck of 50 cards minimum, tokens for counting Wounds, Victory points, etc.
Deck (Stock): Contains Characters, Weapons, Talents, Instants, Logistics and Victories.
Goal: Win 10 Victory Points (VP)
Specific concepts for Dark Age Arena (modifying original rules of Dark Age Feudal Lords)
Assigning Characters to a Location of a Controlled Locations Card
Characters in play are assigned to one of the 3 Locations on the player's Controlled Locations card. They may change Location at certain specific stages: end of a combat or step "Supply" during Resources phase.
Leadership cost to modify the result of the roll, based on Leader's Maximum Draft Modifier, is applicable AFTER the roll and not before.
Player's Active Area
The Active Area includes Controlled Locations where Characters are assigned as well as the Active Combat Zone, where the fights take place.
Methods of sending combatants (Standard or Lone combatant)
Standard and Lone methods are changed. In Standard the cost in Ld. takes into account the Location where combatants are assigned. In Lone method it is possible to play a character from hand.
The Attacker designates one of his/her Controled Locations: all Characters assigned to this Location can be added to combat pool in the Active Combat Zone by paying 1 pt of Ld. per Character assigned.
To add in combat Characters assigned to other Locations, Attacker must pay Ld. equal to that Character's Control, minus Leader's Attack Send.
The Defender must pay 1 Ld. for each Character assigned to attacked Location. Those characters are moved to Active Combat Zone. Characters for whom the Defender can not or will not pay are moved to another Controlled Location of the Defender. To send in combat Characters assigned to his/her other Locations, Defender must pay Ld. equal to that Character's Control, minus Leader's Defend Send.
Summarized formula: Sending a character already assigned to chosen Location (either starting location for Attackers or Location targeted for sack) = 1 Ld.
Sending a character in combat from another Location = Character's Control - Leader's "Attack Send" or "Defend Send".
Other cards may also affect Ld. costs. However this cost can never be less than 1 in the standard method. If you're using the Standrad methos you may add as many Characters to your combat pool as you can afford to spend using the Ld. available to you.
Lone Combatant Method:
Instead of using the Standard method you can choose to send a SINGLE Lone Attacker or Lone Defender in a combat. Attempting to send a Lone combatant prohibits you from using the Standard method.
The player pick one Character in play or play it from hand, then roll 1D6. To add that character to combat pool in the Active Combat Zone, player must pay Ld. equal to that Character's Control, minus the 1D6. The minimum cost with this method is 0.
If you do not have enough Ld. to add the character, no Ld. is lost but you have no combatant because no other attempt to send a Lone Combatant can be made. If character was played from hand, discard it.
Summarized Formula: Sending a Lone Fighter = Character's Control - 1D6
To determine which player has the initiative in combat, everyone can bet as many SUP points as their current total allows. For this, players use cards in their hand. Each player secretly places, under the table or behind his back, a number of cards in right hand. The cards not taken into account in the bet remain in left hand. Each player then shows the number of cards he/she has put in right hand (do not reveal the content of the cards, just the number of cards). This represents the number of SUP points immediately spent from the players' total SUP. A bet of SUP can be equal to zero.
Each player then rolls 1D6 to which he adds his/her SUP bet. Player with the highest total has the initiative until the end of turn. In case of a tie, start over the process.
Summarized formula: Initiative = SUP bet + 1D6
Card Class (optional rule)
For Characters: Add +1  (CC Hit) and +1 <> (CC Block) of Characters in Combat when faced directly (not supporting) with an Enemy Class opponent.
Enemy Classes :
Outer-City (grey icons) add +1  and <> VS Under-City (black)
Under-City (black icons) add +1  and <> VS Over-City (white and black)
Play area (Player A)
Each player must perform the following actions for the setup of a Dark Age Arena game:
- Place a Leader card and a Controlled Locations card in front of him/her, on the table.
- Place Dice of Resources (Leadership and Supply) on the Leader, each die on 6.
- Place 3 markers on his/her Controlled Locations card, 1 per Location. This represents unsacked Locations.
- Play, if desired, Artifact cards, up to one per Location.
Shuffle remaining cards in order to build a Stock (the draw deck). Stock must contain at least 50 cards, none of which can be represented in more than 4 copies. Stock must not contain any Leader, Controlled Locations or Artifacts cards.
Stock is placed, face down, to the right of the Leader. Discards is on the right side of Stock.
Each player takes 5 "+1" markers.
Each player Draw 8 cards from his/her Stock to compose a starting hand. A player may, if he/she wishes, not keep first draw. In this case shuffle Stock again but only draws 7 cards.
Game turn (both players play at the same time)
I. Stockpile Phase
Each player may discard, if desired, up to two cards from hand.
Each player draws the first card from his/her Stock, plus as many cards as discarded at Step A.
II. Draft Phase
Each player may spend Ld. points to draft one (and only one) character from hand. Cost to put into play is equal to the number of Characters already present at targeted Location (0 if no character, 1 pt if one character is already assigned to Location, etc.)
Summarized formula: Cost to put in play = x Ld. (x is the number of characters already assigned to target Location)
The new Character is placed near One of the 3 Controlled Locations of its owner, it will be assigned to this Location if the Draft roll is successful.
Draft roll: Roll 1D6
If the result is greater than or equal to Character's Control, Draft is successful.
If roll is failed (total score below Control), you may spend as many Ld. points up to your Leader's Draft to increase your die score (+1 for each Ld. spent).
Summarized formula: Successful if 1D6 > or = Character Control
On an failed roll one can spend Ld. (less than or equal to Leader's Draft) to increase score (+1 per Ld. spent).
Important: a roll of 1 is always a failure to draft. Player can not spend Ld. to increase this result, but it is possible to spend a "+1 Marker" to get a score of 2.
If Draft is successful, Character stay in play and is assigned to the chosen Location.
In case of failure the character is placed face down under its player's Stock. Player may attempt a new Draft with another character in hand, by repeating phase II.
If two unique Characters are put in play at the same time by players, each perform an Initiative roll (as for combat). Winner keeps his character in play, the other is discarded.
III. Action Phase
Each player can assign Weapon and Talent to his/her characters in play and add Logistic cards to his unsacked Controlled Locations.
Assign Weapon or Talent: Pay its cost in Ld. and/or Sup. The character must be in play. The number of associated cards is limited by Weapon and Talent characteristics of targeted Character. One copy of the same card authorized per Character (same for "Light" and "Heavy" versions of the same weapon).
A player cannot transfer Weapons or Talents from one character to another.
Add Logistic: Attached to any unsacked Location that does not already have one. Logistic represents 1 VP for whoever controls it as long as it is in play. A Logistic card is discarded when its Location is sacked.
b. Combat (except during Escalation)
Players determine Initiative in combat (see rule of Combat Initiative).
The player who has the initiative has priority to make an attack, if he/she wishes. Then his/her opponent can make an attack. See "Combat Sequence" for details.
Initiating a combat is NOT mandatory.
IV. Resource Phase
Each player checks his/her number of cards in hand. If the total is less than Leader's Minimum Hand Size, player draws as many cards as needed in Stock to match that value.
Each player may spend 2 pts of Sup to move one of his/her Characters in play from one Location to another, as many times as wished so long as cost can be paid.
Each player can also spend 4 pts of Sup to draw a card from Stock.
Each player places their two resources dice (Ld. and Sup) on 6.
End of turn.
Combat sequence (detailed)
1. Attacker announces attack and which player opponent is attacked.
2. Attacker creates Attack pool by sending characters (Standard or Lone Combatant method).
3. Attacker can play a Victory card, face down, if desired.
4. Attacker declares enemy Location targeted to sack.
5. Defender may react by playing "Instants" or other applicable cards.
6. Defender creates Defense pool by sending characters (Standard or Lone Combatant method).
7. Defender may play a Victory card, face down, if desired.
b. Distance Fire round (DF)
1. Attacker targets members of the Defense pool that his/her Combatants with DF shoot at. To facilitate the follow-up of combats, each character is placed in front of its target.
2. Attacker rolls DF Hit dice for each member shooting (put a token on target for each successful shot).
3. Defender targets members of the Attack pool that his/her Combatants with DF shoot at. To facilitate the follow-up of combats, each character is placed in front of its target.
4. Defender rolls DF Hit dice for each member shooting (put a token on target for each successful shot).
5. Hits become Wounds.
6. Any combatant whose Wounds are greater than or egual to its Life is put in the owning player's discard pile. To remember to do a Control/VP roll at the end of combat, it is advisable to put dead combatants face down in the discard pile. Cards will be turned face up during step E.
c. Close Combat (CC) Round one
1. Attacker confronts a combatant from Attack pool with one of the Defense pool. To facilitate the follow-up of combats, each attacker is placed in front of its target, card slightly covering that of the enemy to indicate who's attacking. 2. Repeat this process until Attacker has matched all his/her Characters or there is no Defender left without an opponent. Defender then confronts combatants without an opponent, if he/she has any.
3. Remaining Attackers are played as Supporting combatants of any existing match-up. They do not receive any hit but inflict a maximum of 1 hit per Round, even if their CC Hit roll is higher. Their card is tilted at 45 ° to indicate they are Supporting combatants.
4. Remaining Defenders are played as Supporting combatants of any existing match-up. They do not receive any hit but inflict a maximum of 1 hit per Round, even if their CC Hit roll is higher. Their card is tilted at 45 ° to indicate they are Supporting combatants.
5. Attacking combatants roll for hits.
6. Defending combatants roll for Armor blocks, if equiped with Armor.
7. All Defending combatants who have been hit, roll normal blocks (put one token for each unblocked hit).
8. Defending combatants roll for hits.
9. Attacking combatants roll for Armor blocks, if equiped with Armor.
10. All Attacking combatants who have been hit, roll normal blocks (put one token for each unblocked hit).
11. Unblocked hits become Wounds.
12. Any combatant whose Wounds are greater than or egual to its Life is put in the owning player's discard pile. To remember to do a Control/VP roll at the end of combat, it is advisable to put dead combatants face down in the discard pile. Cards will be turned face up during step E.
d. Close Combat (CC) Round two
Repeat step C for the remaining combatants who no longer have a direct opponent (not supporting).
Then go to step E.
e. End of Combat
Attacking player gains Victory Points (VP) if targeted Location is sacked (3 VP for the first time, 1 VP thereafter). A Location is sacked when at least one Attacking character is alive and no Defending character is present.
Players unveil their Victory cards and collect ny VPs they are entitled to. Cards played in bluff go to owner's discard.
Players roll a Control/VP die for each enemy combatant killed in that combat.
Characters in Active Combat Zone return to one of the 3 Controlled Location of their owner, at the choice of their owner.
Dark Age Arena FAQ - Some answers on rules questions...
Draft: How much Ld. do I have to pay to put a Character into play?
Look at the screenshot of Play Area. To put a character in play in Location 2, you have to spend 0 pt of Ld. (no character already present), 3 pts for Location 3 (3 Characters) and 2 pts for Location 1 (2 Characters ).
Combat Initiative: What happens when a player has no cards in hand when they bet?
This player can not bet Sup pts to modify die roll! You can only increase your bet with cards you have in hand, even if you have more Sup points available than cards.
Second round combatants: where to move them?
Combatants who still match a direct opponent (not supporting) cannot change targets. Combatants without direct opponents must match other combatants who are not supporting. If all the remaining opponents are supporting, then match the supporting enemy with no opponent. Finally, as a last resort, a combatant without an opponent becomes a supporting combatant of another combat.
All Dark Age other original rules apply for Arena (see manual for details).
Escalation: During the first 3 turns of a game, players cannot attack.
Generic and unique characters. One Unique in play at a time.
Resources Dice (red and blue): When the last point of Ld. or Sup is spent, the player removes the die from Leader card, indicating that he has no more points for the rest of the turn.
White dice (1D6 or 2D6): Dice used for Draft or Task rolls, for example. When two dice are rolled, add the results.
Maximum Leadership and Supply: your Ld. and Sup numbers can NEVER be less than 0 or greater than 6.
Supply for Leadership (-2 Sup = +1 Ld.)
(x) (DF): Distance Fire characteristic. Value(s) surrounded by a rounded frame. For each value reached when rolling 2D6, a distant hit is done.
[y] (CCH): Close Combat Hit characteristic. Value(s) surrounded by a rectangular frame. For each value reached when rolling 2D6, a Close Combat Hit is done.
Example: The "Banger" Character has the following characteristics: (9) [8 10 12] <10>
On a roll of 11 on 2D6, Banger does 1 distance fire hit (9).
With a result of 10 on 2D6, he does 2 Close Combat hits [8 10 12].
If Banger got 2 hits from opponent, he cancels 1 if he gets 10, 11 or 12 when rolling 2D6 (Blocking: <10>).
Examples of bonuses on combat characteristics:
+1 () = Add 1 to DF roll result.
+ (4) = Add number 4 to other DF numbers of the Character.
+1  = Add 1 to CC Hit roll result.
+  = Add number 7 to the CC Hit numbers of the Character.
+1 <> = Add 1 to CC Block roll result.
+  = Add number 6 to the CC Block numbers of the character.