SOVL Rules

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Now, you can take a look at our guide to learn the rules and important information about Sovl, and take your game to the next level!

Today, we’ve gathered the rules and important information you need to know about Sovl. If you’re ready, let’s get started.

SOVL Rules

About SOVL

SOVL is a ruleset for playing fantasy wargames. It’s played with miniatures on a table or digitally on Steam.

Armies made up of humans or fantasy creatures fight on the battlefield until one side is victorious. Units of soldiers maneuver on the table and the outcome of melee combat, volleys of arrows, and destructive magic is determined with dice rolls.

This document has all the rules needed to play the game.

Playing the Game

Building an Army

The first step to playing a game of SOVL is building an army. Start by choosing one of the Factions available. Then select a Commander to lead your army. A stubborn Dwarf Foreman or a savage Orc Warchief? Then fill out the rest of your army with units of soldiers and their equipment.

Gameplay

SOVL is played on a table with miniatures representing individual soldiers. Dice are used to determine the outcomes of combat, magic and many other mechanics that can occur during a game.

Players begin by setting up the table with terrain, deploying their armies, and determining who goes first. This part of the game is called Setup and Deployment.

The game then plays out over several Rounds. Each Round is divided into 3 Phases, ChargeStrategic, and Combat. Players take turns activating units and performing actions like moving, charging, or firing missile weapons.

Objective of the game

SOVL can be played using many different scenarios and victory conditions. The game continues until all units from one side are either destroyed or fleeing. If this hasn’t happened by the end of turn 8 (or some other agreed-upon limit), the game ends immediately and the outcome is resolved by score.

Rolling Dice

The outcome of many actions in SOVL are determined by rolling dice. Usually this means rolling one or more six sided dice (d6), trying to beat a target number. For an Attack Roll of 4+ to hit, results on the die of 4 or higher are succesful (hits), and 3 or lower are failures (misses).

Setup and Deployment

Setting up the table

SOVL can be played on any playing surface, usually a table. The standard dimensions (used in the digital version) are as follows:

Standard: 40×60”
Large: 48×72”

To make an interesting playing surface the table should be set up with some terrain features. There are no hard rules for how many features to use or how much of the table should be covered. Around 4-8 pieces while also leaving enough room to maneuver is usually a good number.

Terrain Types

Different types of terrain have different impacts on the battlefield.

Solid terrain like cliffs and buildings are Impassable and block movement completely.

Some features like forests and swamps can be traversed, but slow down movement. Any unit that enters or starts its turn inside Difficult Terrain reduces its movement by 25%. If a unit has less than 25% of its movement allowance left it’s not allowed to enter difficult terrain.

Terrain features like forests, cliffs, and buildings are tall enough to block Line of Sight for most units. Line of sight is needed to declare charges, use missile weapons, and for casting some spells.

Forest: Difficult Terrain, blocks LOS
Cliff: Impassable, blocks LOS
Building: Impassable, blocks LOS
River/Lake: Impassable
Swamp: Difficult Terrain

Deployment Zones

In a regular game of SOVL the playing surface has 2 deployment zones laid out along the sides of the table. On a Standard table (40” across) the deployment zones are 8” deep, leaving 24” between them. When players deploy their units they have to be placed fully within their owners’ deployment zone!

After terrain placement both players roll 1d6. The player with the highest roll (re-roll ties) picks from the following:

1. Choice of deployment zone. Choose which side to deploy your units on.
2. Choice of starting initiative. Choose which player is the active player when the game starts.
The player with the lower result gets the remaining choice.

Deployment

There are two ways to deploy units in SOVL; Simultaneous and Alternating deployment.

Simultaneous Deployment is used in the digital version and can also be used when playing with miniatures if you have a screen that blocks the view of the opponent’s deployment zone. Both players deploy their entire army simultaneously, without any knowledge of the opponent’s positions. This deployment method is fast but can be less strategic.

Alternating Deployment instead has both players take turns deploying a single unit, with the player who chose deployment zone going first. When one player runs out the other player continues until all units are on the table.

Game Loop

The SOVL game loop is divided into Turns and Phases. A turn starts with the Charge Phase where players declare and resolve charges. It then continues with the Strategic Phase where units and heroes maneuver on the battlefield, fire ranged weapons, and use magical spells. Finally, in the Combat Phase, units and heroes fight in deadly melee combat. When all three phases are complete the turn ends and a new turn is started. At the end of the 8th turn (or if all units from one side are either destroyed or fleeing) the game ends

Alternating Activations

In the Charge- and Strategic Phase players take turns activating units and performing actions. The acting player chooses a unit to activate, performs all actions with it, and then hands over the initiative to the other player. Players alternate like this until all units have been activated, or until both players pass the phase. It can be helpful to have a physical token to hand over to keep track of the active player.

Charge Phase

In the Charge Phase players send their warriors into melee combat with the enemy. Charges are declared and resolved and units are moved into base contact.

Players take turns using Alternating Activations to declare one charge at a time, until both players pass.

Declaring a Charge

To declare a charge pick a unit that is a Valid Charger, then select one enemy unit that is a Valid Target for the charge.

A Valid Charger is any one of your units that has not been activated this turn, is not fleeing and has not already declared a charge. Also, a unit that already has a charge declared against it is not a Valid Charger. It has to focus on the incoming threat! See Counter Charge below for an exception to this.

An enemy unit is a Valid Target if it is within range and Line of Sight of the charger. Charge range is the same as the units movement speed and is measured from the front center of the charger to the center of the side of the target being charged. Line of Sight is a 45° arc from the front of the unit.

A unit that has already declared a charge this turn is not a Valid Target. Counter Charge and Charge Intercept are two exceptions to this.

For a charge to be valid there also needs to be enough space in base contact to place the charger.

Charge Side

A charge is always declared against either the FrontRearLeft Flank, or Right Flank of the target unit. To determine the Charge Side check wich side arc contains a majority of the charging unit.

If a side of a a unit is already engaged or has a charge declared against it, it’s not a valid target for a new charge.

Counter Charge

A unit that already has a charge declared against it is not allowed to declare a charge of it’s own. However, if a unit has an incoming charge in the front, and no other charges against the flanks or rear, it is allowed to declare a Counter Charge. This charge has to be declared against the incoming charger, and needs to be in charge range.

Charge Intercept

A unit that has already declared a charge this turn is not a Valid Target, unless the new charge has higher Charge Priority. Priority is determined like this:

Distance: A shorter charge distance has higher priority.
Flank and Rear: A charge against the side or rear of a unit has higher priority than one against the front.

If the new charge has higher priority a Charge Intercept can be declared and the previous charge is canceled. The intercepted unit is allowed to declare a counter charge if able.

Resolve Charges

When both players have declared all their charges it’s time to resolve them. Charges are resolved one by one by moving the charging unit into base contact with its target. The charger should be centered against the target if possible. If it’s blocked by terrain or other units, place it in a way that maximises base contact.

To resolve a Counter Charge, rotate both units so they face eachother. Find the half way point between them, then move them into base contact on that point.

Fleeing from a Charge

No information provided at this time.

Strategic Phase

In the Strategic Phase players take turns activating their units and manoeuvre them on the battlefield. A unit can perform several actions like moving, using ranged attacks, or using other abilities like spells.

Movement

All unit types have a movement allowance that determines how far they can move during one activation. See Unit Types for a full list. A unit can move on the battlefield in two ways; Advancing and Pivoting.

To make an Advance, move a unit straight forward. If it comes into contact with another unit or impassable terrain it stops. The movement cost of an Advance is equal to the number of inches moved.

Pivoting is used to turn a unit to a new facing. To Pivot, rotate a unit up to 90° around it’s center point. Each pivot has a movement cost 2 points of movement allowance.

When a unit is activated it can string togheter Advances and Pivots in any order, with a movement cost up to it’s movement stat.

Terrain

Some terrain features like Forests or Swamps are considered Difficult Terrain. Any unit starting it’s activation in or entering Difficult Terrain lose 2 points of movement allowance. If a unit has less than 2 movement left, it can not enter Difficult Terrain!

Ranged Attacks

If a unit has a ranged attack available it can use it once at any point during it’s activation. To use a ranged attack first select a target that is within range and LoS, then roll a Ranged Attack Roll. The defending player rolls a Damage Save against succesful hits and removes any casualties.

A Ranged Attack Roll is performed by rolling a D6 for each model in the unit making a ranged attack. Any roll of 4+ is a succesful hit with the following modifiers:

Unit Skill: Chance to hit increases by one for each point of Skill over 3 and decreases by one for each point of skill under 3.
Long Range: Ranged Attacks have a maximum range, units outside of that range can’t be targeted. Targets that are further away than half the maximum range are considered at Long Range and have a -1 penalty to be hit.

Rally Fleeing Units

A fleeing unit that has not been activated this turn can be activated as normal, but can only perform one action; a Rally. To rally a unit, roll a Discipline Test. On a succesfull roll the unit rallies and is no longer considered fleeing.

At the end of the Strategic Phase, any unit still fleeing must make a Flight Move towards the nearest table edge.

Combat Phase

In the Combat Phase units that have charged or remain in base contact from previous turns fight in deadly meelee combat. Engagements are resolved one by one, casualties removed, and Break Tests are rolled to see if the losers stick around or turn tail and run.

Resolve Engagements

Each grouping of two or more units in base contact is considered an Engagement.

Engagements are resolved one by one by taking the following steps:

1. All units in the engagement attack opponents in base contact. Attacks happen simultaneously. The attacking unit makes an Attack Roll, then the defending unit makes a Damage Save for each succesfull attack.
2. Remove casualties and calculate Combat Score
3. Roll Break Tests and move fleeing units.

Attack Roll

Each model in an engaged flank can make an Attack Roll. The Attacks stat of the unit determines how many dice to roll.

Example: This unit of X is engaged in the front and is five models wide. X has 1 Attack on it’s unit stats, so it rolls five d6 for its Attack Roll

To determine if an Attack Roll is succesfull you compare the attackers and defenders Skill stat:

Higher Skill: If the attacking unit has higher Skill, a result of 3 or higher is succesfull.
Equal or lower: If the attacking unit has equal or lower Skill, a result of 4 or higher is succesfull.

A model can only attack once per combat phase. If a unit is engaged in multiple sides, models will prioritize attacking to the front, and sides over rear.

Supporting Attacks

If a unit is engaged in the front models in the second rank can make Supporting Attacks. Add only one Attack Roll per supporting model regardless of the units Attack stat. Supporting Attacks are never made to the sides or rear.

Attacking Commanders

No information provided at this time.

Damage Save

The defending player rolls a Damage Save for each succesfull attack. The defending unit suffers one wound for each failed save.

To determine if a Damage Save is succesfull you compare the attackers Power to the defenders Defense. If they are equal, a roll of 4 or higher is a succesful save. Each point of difference in Power and Defense modifies the number needed. For example, Power 4 vs Defense 3 needs a roll of 5 or higher. Power 3 vs Defense 5 saves on a 2 or higher. A one on the die is always a failed save and a six on the die is always a success.

Combat Score

When all units in an engagement has attacked you calculate the Combat Score for each player. The total combat score is made up of the following:

Wounds: One point for each wound caused.
Flank Bonus: One Point for each unit engaging in the flank.
Rear Bonus: Two points for each unit engaged in the rear.

While adding this up you can also remove all casualties from each unit.

Break Tests

The side with the highest Combat Score wins, and all units on the loosing side rolls a Discipline Test.
A succes is under or equal to the units Discipline plus Rank Bonus, minus the difference in combat score.

Fleeing Units

Any unit that fails it’s Discipline Test immediately makes a Flight Move move away from combat.

End of Game

No information provided at this time.

Unit Stats and Types

Armies consist of units of soldiers with varying stats and abilities. A units fighting capabilities are described by it’s Stat Block, Equipment and Properties.

The Stat Block

Each unit has a list of stats that describe how good it is at various things.

Skill: A unit’s Skill is a measure of the units training and general fighting ability. It is used to determine Hit Chance in combat and also for Ranged Attacks.
Power: Power describes a units physical strength and hitting power. It’s used in combat to overcome the defender’s Defense stat.
Defense: Defense is a combination of the unit’s general toughness and armor. It’s used to determine the unit’s Damage Save against incoming hits.
Attacks: A unit’s Attacks stat is used to determine how many attacks each model gets to make in combat.
Wounds: The Wounds stat tells us how many points of damage each model in a unit can take before it is removed.
Discipline: A measure of the unit’s bravery and tendency to stick around when things look grim. It’s used for Discipline tests after combat and heavy casualties.

Discipline and Rank Bonus

In some cases a unit might be required to make a Discipline Test. For example, after a unit loses a combat, or when rallying a fleeing unit.

A discpline test is made by rolling 2d6 and adding the unit’s Rank Bonus, if any. If the result is lower than or equal to the unit’s Discipline stat, it is succesful.

A unit gets Rank Bonus for each rank of models behind the first. A rank that is missing models counts as long as it’s at least half full.

Flight Move

In some situations a unit might lose it’s nerve and try to flee from the battlefield. A Flight Move is chaotic, instead of moving normally roll one d6 for each 4 points of base movement allowance. Move the unit that distance in a straight line, avoiding other units and terrain.

If a Flight Move reaches a table edge the unit flees the battlefield. It is considered destroyed for scoring purposes.

Unit Types

Units come in different types which determines some basic properties.

  1. Infantry (20×20):
    • Movement Allowance: 8
    • Description: Basic infantry with a standard base size.
  2. Infantry (25×25):
    • Movement Allowance: 8
    • Description: Basic infantry with a bigger base size.
  3. Cavalry (25×50):
    • Movement Allowance: 16
    • Description: Cavalry units like Imperial Knights or Wolf Riders.
  4. Monstrous Infantry (40×40):
    • Movement Allowance: 12
    • Description: Bigger infantry units like Trolls or Minotaurs.
  5. Large Monster (50×50):
    • Movement Allowance: 12
    • Description: Huge monsters like Giants.
  6. Chariot (50×100):
    • Movement Allowance: 16
    • Description: Wheeled chariots.

Equipment and Unit Properties

I suspect this is still very much a work in progress, so to save me the trouble of formatting everything as a table at this time please enjoy this blurry screenshot instead. Steam did not allow me to upload a higher resolution image for some reason.

Faction Source Lists

To build an army in SOVL you first select a Faction to play. Each faction has a unique aesthetic and playstyle. Dwarf Holds are slow but resilient, the Greenskin Tribes are aggressive and deadly in close combat, and the Elven Conclaves are swift and elusive. You then fill up your army with commanders and warriors from that faction.

Points

To balance the game, each entry you add to your army costs points. Before a battle, you and your opponent should agree on army size.

  1. Warband (500 pts):
  2. Battalion (1000 pts):
  3. Legion (1500 pts):

Some units and commanders have equipment options. If they have an associated points cost it’s added to the total cost of that entry.

The total points cost of all entries and their options must not exceed the points limit of the agreed upon army size!

Army Sections

Each Faction Source list contains multiple sections with entries you can add to your army. These sections are different for each faction, but they always include Commanders and Battle Line.

There are restrictions on how many entries you can choose from each section. You can never add more than the Maximum Entries to your army. If a section has a Minimum Entries property, your army must contain at least that many entries from that section! These restrictions vary depending on army size.

Commanders

All Faction Source lists have a Commanders section and you must select one commander to lead your army. Armies at bigger point sizes can have multiple!

Commanders are single models that act on the battlefield. They are joined by a Retinue. This can be a unit of infantry, cavalry, or a big mount like a chariot or dragon. Commanders are always deploye togheter with their retinue and must stay with it during the battle.

Retinue options are listed on the commanders entry in the Faction Source list. A commander must choose one option and pay the points cost for it. Retinue options do not count towards the minimum or maximum entries of any army section.