Search: Titles Only:
Article Edit | History | Editors

skirmish wars rules

Rules V1.0a

for Skirmish Wars: Advance Tactics


Skirmish Wars: Advance Tactics is a light - medium weight wargame based on the wildly popular turn-based strategy game - Advance Wars released by Nintendo. It will be a print and play game with a modular game board system for endless variety. The main objective will be to capture your enemies HQ or eliminate all enemy threats. Players will start many scenarios without units and just a handful of money. By building units and capturing cites, players can raise new capital in order to build bigger armies.


Thank you for your participation in the playtesting of Skirmish Wars: Advance Tactics. These rules are a very loose rule set to get you started. Feel free to come up with any improvements or ideas to these rules. That is what playtesting is for!
Please post your playtest session reports and suggestions in the appropriate place on the game forum. Your feedback is very much appreciated and will help to make SWAT the best game it can be.
Helpful hints. I use plastic discs to determine what units have moved on each turn. Deep into a game a player might have 10+ units on the board at once and it is hard to remember which ones have moved. Coins or wooden cubes would work as well for this. I will provide "moved" markers in the final production for players to use.
Once you get a few combat situations under your belt it will become very easy to determine combat results. After my first game I ha practically memorized all of the results from particular units. The Terrain Defense Modifier chart may seem confusing at first but I think you will find that it works very well and adds just enough chance to the game without interfering with the outcome of the game.
Thanks – SWAT Design Team


1.0 Included in PDFs:

  • Nine Terrain Tiles
  • Many terrain elements (trees, hills, cities, factories, bridges)
  • Two Armies (Blue and Red) along with player cities and factories
  • Two sets of unit cards
  • Terrain Defense Modifier Chart

1.1 Recommended components provided by you

  • Cubes or counters used to determine capture points. I have found coins work well.
  • One 6-sided Die
  • Poker chips or some other form of token to use as money. Paper money will work fine. The price range of units in the game go from $1 to $16, so poker chips seem to work really well.


2.0 Basic Skirmish setup
Choose any number of the terrain tiles provided and lay them out orthogonally on the table in any way you see fit. I suggest using a balanced/symmetrical setup for beginners.
2.1 Place neutral cities and factories on the board. If playing a scenario, follow the scenario setup instructions.
2.2 Place any terrain elements you would like. (trees, hills, etc.)
2.3 Place terrain effects chart within reach of each player
2.4 Place any units on the board according to the scenario.
2.5 Each player takes $5 starting money


3.0 Each players turn is divided up into a few phases.

  • Collect Income and Repair Units
  • Capture Property from previous turn
  • Move and attack with up to all units on the board that are eligible to do so
  • Purchase units

3.1 Collecting Income – For every friendly controlled city, the player receives $5 at the beginning of their turn. Friendly factories do not count towards this total. The player\’s HQ does count towards this total.

3.1a Repairing Units – Each unit that is on a friendly HQ, Factory, or City gains 2 HP. You cannot go over the max of 8. A building in the middle of being captured is not "friendly".

3.2 Capturing Property – Neutral and enemy properties can only be captured by foot units (infantry or mechs). To capture a property a foot unit must move onto that property and declare a capture. All properties except HQ\’s have 4 Capture Points (HQ\’s have 8). A full strength unit may capture at 2 points per turn. A reduced unit can only capture at 1 point per turn.

  • For example: A full strength unit moves onto a neutral city and declares a capture, immediately 2 points are reduced from the city. I recommend placing some kind of counter on the city and unit to indicate that there is only 2 capture points left. I use wooden cubes, but any kind of coin or counter will work. On the next turn the remaining 2 counters are removed and the city or factory is replaced with one of the players color. The unit capturing will not be able to move this turn as once a unit begins a capture it cannot move, thereby ending its activation for this turn.
  • Example 2: A reduced unit moves onto a city and declares a capture. 3 markers are placed on the city denoting that only 1 hit point has been removed thus far by the reduced unit. It will take another 3 turns for this particular unit to capture this city.

If a unit in the process of capturing a property leaves the property for any reason before the capture is completed, all progress towards the capture of that property is lost. So, if another unit tries to capture that property it will have to start the process over.

3.3 Movement – Each unit that is not capturing a property can move on the player\’s turn. Each unit must complete it's activation before you move on to the next unit. (You cannot move a unit out the way, move another unit, then move the first unit back) A unit may move then fire if the unit is a direct fire unit (meaning it has a range of one). If a unit is an indirect combat unit (has a firing range of over 1) it may either move OR fire on its turn but it may not do both. Once a unit fires its activation is done for the remaining turn, meaning an direct fire unit may not move after firing, even if it did not move before it fired.
Units may move up to their movement point total (MP). MP is stated on the unit and on the unit card. Each unit may only move orthogonally, it may never move diagonally. Units may not move through other units. Therefore if a unit blocks the path of another unit it may not move any further or must find another way around. Each square of movement costs 1 MP unless noted by the units terrain movement modifiers. Factories, HQs and Cites all count as roads for Movement purposes. You can change direction while moving.

  • Example: A tread unit moves through the grass terrain at 1 MP per square but if it moves through a forest it costs 2 MP per square of forest terrain. A tread unit may not move over water or hill spaces.

3.4 Combat – If the target is within the units range (indicated on the unit piece and unit card – range is counted orthogonally just like movement) the unit may fire upon its target. The player declares what unit is firing and its target. The process for resolving each battle is as follows

  • Determine the units firepower against its particular target. To determine the firepower the player needs to look at what type of unit it is firing upon. In this version of the playtesting there are only three options. Foot, Wheel and Tread units. On the unit card is the firepower for the unit against these types of targets. Whatever the number is the firepower rating of the unit.
  • The player takes that number and from it subtracts the targets defense rating to get an initial damage total.
  • The player then takes this number and references it against the "Terrain Defense Modifiers" chart. Cross referencing this number against the type of terrain the target is currently on gives a final hit total plus a die result. The number given is the hit total and then the player must roll a single D6. If the die result is equal to or less than the number indicated on the die on the chart, then 1 additional hit is occurred against the target.
  • The HP of the target is reduced by this number. This is done by rotating the unit to show the current HP facing the controlling player. Meaning if a unit currently has 6 HP then the side with the 6 on it will actually be on the far side from the controlling player, but the 6 will be right side up. (I will have an illustrated example of much of this in the final rules, hopefully this makes sense for now.)
  • If a units HP total goes below 5, the unit chit is flipped over and the unit is considered reduced. Reduced units have a lower firepower rating (indicated on the unit cards) and can only capture properties at 1 capture point per turn.
  • After the hit points have been determined and the targets HP(health) has been adjusted accordingly, the target may fire back at the attacking unit if it is in range. The process for the counter attack is the same as for the attacking unit.

Example Battle:

Using the image below the blue tank (the attacking unit) is firing upon the red AA unit (the defending unit). Both units are at full strength; however the red AA unit is inside a city.

  • The first thing that is done by the blue player is to determine the base damage it would do to the AA unit.
  • First the blue player consults his unit card for the tank and looks to the Firepower rating against the AA unit. The AA unit is a tread unit so the tank uses the black (star) rating of 10. This is the base FP rating that it is firing at. Next the blue or red player (it doesn\’t matter which) consults the base defense rating of the AA unit, which is a 4.
  • So, the blue player takes his base FP rating of 10 and subtracts 4 from it to come up with an initial damage number of 6.
  • The next step the blue player makes is to consult the Terrain Defense Chart.

  • He takes his initial damage number of 6 and cross references that on the chart with the city terrain that the red AA unit is occupying. This gives him a corrected damage number of 4 with a die showing "3". The blue player then takes a d6 and rolls it. If he manages to roll a 3 or less then he will do an additional point of damage to the AA unit. For the purposes of this example lets say that he rolls a 2. Great, the blue player has done 5 damage (4+1) to the AA unit.
  • The red player reduces the AA unit by 5 HP taking it to a strength of 3 on its reduced side.
  • Now it is the AA units turn to fire back. The same process is repeated except that the AA unit now uses its reduced stats when figuring the firepower of its attack. On its reduced side the AA unit fires at a tread unit (black, star) at a FP of 7. He compares this to the 6 defense rating on the blue tank to come up with an initial damage number of 1. He then references the 1 on the Terrain sheet with the road column, since the blue tank is on a road. The result is a damage of 1 with a die indicating a "3". Again if the AA unit were to roll a 3 or less on a d6 he would do 1 additional point of damage.
  • This process is the same for any of the units. The only exception is that if the defending unit is out of range to fire back, there is no retaliatory attack. ie- An artillery unit fires upon a tank. The tank can not fire back as it is out of range. It would be the same if the tank were attacking the artillery unit as it has a range of 2-3.

3.5 Once the player has completed his movements for the turn he may purchase new units provided the player has any friendly controlled factories and those factories currently do not have a unit on top of them.

  • To purchase a unit, the player pays the cost of the unit and then places the unit on top of an empty factory space. This unit will be eligible for movement next turn and is also vulnerable to attack on his opponents turn.

3.6 All movement markers are picked up and play moves to the opposing player. (Assuming you are using movement markers.)

3.7 APC units have a special purpose. An APC unit may carry up to 2 foot units at a time. While inside the APC the units are protected, however if the APC is destroyed the foot units inside are also destroyed. At the end of the APC’s movement it may unload one or both of the foot units. Once unloaded the foot units may not move, fire or capture until the next turn. Units may be loaded into the APC before or after its movement but not during.

3.7a Infantry and Mechs load onto the APC by moving onto the APC's square (paying the MP cost of the terrain) and they must automatically load in. Put the unit under the APC. If the APC hasn't activated yet, then when it does, it can move, taking the unit/s with it. At the end of it's move, it can unload. Move the unloaded unit to any of the 4 spaces orthogonally adjacent to the APC that are normally available to that unit. If no spaces are legal, you cannot unload the unit. Do this for each of the units in the APC, one at a time. You may unload one or both, in any order.

Winning the Game

4.0 Determining the ending conditions of the game should be done before the game begins. If playing a scenario the scenario will dictate the victory conditions. If you are playing a freestyle skirmish you may use any of the ending conditions you wish as described below.

  • Conquest – A player gains victory by either eliminating all enemy units on the board or capturing the enemies HQ.
  • Victory Medals – Much like the victory medals in the C&C system games players may determine a number of victory medals a player needs to earn in order to claim victory. For each enemy unit eliminated on the battlefield the player receives that unit as a victory medal. This particular unit is lost to the other player for the remainder of the game.
  • City Conquest – Players can determine a number of cities that need to be captured in order to claim victory.

Optional Rules:

CO Powers
CO cards are chosen randomly at the beginning of the game or each player may choose the CO that they would like to use. If both players want the same CO, players should roll to see who takes that CO. Some CO's have a special power that is in effect for the entire game. If so, it will be stated on the card. There are two levels for each CO power which are represented by the boxed stars on the right side of their card. The smaller stars represent the first level of their special power and the larger ones the second level.

To begin the game place a wooden cube or counter at the top of the card not on the stars. For every enemy unit eliminated move the counter one star down the track. Once the counter reaches the last of the smaller stars, the player has the option to use that CO's Power any time they see fit. Once the player used the power the counter is removed from the track and the process starts over.

If the player wishes, they may choose not to use the Power of the CO and keep working towards the CO's Super Power. The Super Power is available once the counter reaches the last star on the track. Any further unit eliminations do not count towards the CO powers until the Super Power is used. Once the Super Power is used the counter is returned to the starting position and the process starts over.

Game Design by:
Brandon Pennington
Andrew Tullsen
Matthew Koth

Game Graphic Design by:
Brandon Pennington

Thomas Dunagan
Jonathan Tullsen
Ron Pennington
Joe Kundlak

Joe Kundlak

[What Links Here]
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.