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Pocket-Tactics: Core Rules (Third Edition)

by dutchmogul Dec 10, 2014
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I am sorry if this sounds dumb, but I have searched your website, Thingiverse, and the downloaded files and I cannot find any information on the actual unit stats/cards. Just the 2 rules files and the .stl files. I would love to play your game, but am not sure how!

Oh, are you the person I emailed with the other day? I can go over it here too. This is an old edition, plus its just the bulk of the (old) tiles and core rules. The individual sets have the card pdfs along with the models (in the file downloads). If you want the most current sets, this collection links to all of them- https://www.thingiverse.com/dutchmogul/collections/4th-edition-pocket-tactics

That was not me, but thank you for the info!

Most welcome! Happy to help.

Hello there! I wanted to experiment with making my own Pocket tactics tiles. Which are the dimensions of the tiles is there a place I can find them?

Similar to the previous comment, I just got a printer and have been really looking forward to Pocket Tactics. I see that there's a new version coming out, and I'd rather not print out a few factions for the current version if it's going to be obsolete soon. Do you have any idea when Pocket Tactics v4 is going to be up? Or do you think it's worth printing the current one or just wait a bit?

Hi, I've just finished building my printer and have been looking forward to printing and playing this. my only question that is not covered in the rules is how many Terrain tiles should be placed before you commence play, and do you have a recommended number for each type to be printed


Yeah, this page just compiles all the tile types (mostly to have something universal to the game to put here) but go to the collection and each of the factions rules will tell you how many tiles to print. Each set brings an assortment of 10 tiles to the game with it, so a two-player game will use 20 tiles. Congrats on building your printer!

First of all, awesome work. I've printed off a couple of factions sets for my wife and I, and several coworkers are now looking to print sets for themselves.

...if you read any of the rest of this before I edited, nevermind. I apparently can't add. The sets I printed are right at 125 cost except the Elves of Alfheim are at 126, but I suspect 1 point is not really an issue.

Oh, the Elves cost is just a mistake (should total 125), but the Cosmic Invaders do come to 125 (I just double checked the math). Yeah, each force should total 125. If you're cobbling together your own faction from disparate pieces, stick to the 125 w/(up to) 75 point sideboard. BUT- all that is largely moot as we're about to launch a new edition. We won't get rid of this old stuff, but we won't be supporting it with changes/new sets. But yeah, it's still totally playable, and I'd stick with the 125 mark. You really can play with whatever you agree upon though.

Looks like I edited my question just as you responded to it.

I'll be interested to see what you bring out next. When you say "not supporting" do you mean they won't be officially supported the way the current 'beta' sets aren't supported (as in highly playable with only minimal rule tweaks) or will they be incompatible?

Either way, I'm sure it will be good stuff.

Any printing suggestions on this? every time I try to print them the top layer is really messed up looking with weird lines going through it

Try running the pieces through this before you code them to print. Otherwise, might just be a calibration issue?

I just want to clarify that you can't shoot around a corner. I have the mage set and they have skills like arcane bolt and others that can affect units so many tiles away. I understand that they have to be in a straight line visible to be used, not around a corner, through a wall, or empty space with no tiles, correct?

Good questions! You only have to shoot in a straight line if a power (like the Freespace Heavy or Separatist Sniper's powers) tell you it has to function in a straight line. You can count through whichever facing you want to reach your target, but wall facings (in Dungeon and Cave tiles, for example) will block that path.

How many of each tile should we print? I know the tiles come with the factions but I still don't really know how many to print of each

You can print however many you like, if you're printing outside of the factions. It can be fun to print a whole mess of tiles and just make completely random maps when you play. But, if you want the regular game experience, just print the tiles according to the faction sheet. It's always 10 per faction in some configuration, and the rules sheets for the factions will tell you which to print.

Thanks for the info! I'm loving pretty much everything you upload! do you have a collection that just shows all stand alone core games you have uploaded?

Another rules question. The rules do not specifically state that when deploying you can hop an allied unit if all tiles adjacent to your base are occupied. Does this mean that you cannot deploy if there is no open space next to your base after the first turn? Or does this mean that you can borrow from the movement rule to hop one space adjacent to the unit next to the base? We have been playing the latter so far but want to get it right.

Actually, the first. You can't deploy if the tiles around your base are occupied (unless you have a power that let's you deploy elsewhere, like the Darkwood Stalker or something). Deployment isn't technically movement. As such, you don't suffer hazard effects when you deploy into a Water or Cave tile or the like, but moving into them does.

Thanks for the clarification. Did I mention this game is awesome?

You're welcome! So glad you like it! We're getting close to unveiling a new edition, and we're pretty excited for the new stuff. We'll keep the old stuff around for whoever wants it (this and the previous two editions).

I may be completely missing it, but how many of each tile am I suppose to print?

Oh, each faction has it's own ten tiles that are listed on their own rules sheet. The tiles are all just posted here as a compendium.

Yes, thanks for clarifying this! I wasn't sure where to start. If I understand correctly, we just pick and print factions? My son is excited to choose a "team".

Thank you, saved me asking the same question. Maybe it could be noted in the rules for next version?

Gotcha!!! Thank you so much!!!

You're very welcome! Hope you enjoy the game!

Comments deleted.

What's the sideboard? I see some abilities that deploy from the reserve or captive but some ask for a sideboard

Ah, yeah. A sideboard is a selection of units (usually totaling 75 points or less in standard tournament play) that can be swapped into your 125 point force (removing an equal of greater points worth when doing so). Normally, a sideboard is useless in a game, but there are a couple of abilities (I believe in mercenary pieces) that can let you get a chance at accessing it.

I'd like to know if a unit (like United Separatist Militia - Spy) must execute a test before a movement/assault into
Water (Hazard tile) also if this is her advantage tile.

I'd like to know, too. However, my friend and I declared as a house rule that units don't have to test for their favored terrain. It just didn't make sense to us that something that liked to be in the water (for example) would have a 50% chance of dying to get into it.

Oh, yes, you never need to test for hazards if you have that as your type. That was supposed to be included in the rules. It'll be specified in the next edition for sure.

another questions :

Some special abilities require that a enemy unit make a skill test. If the skill required is Arcane, but enemy have only Melee, Ballistics and Tech, can he roll Tech dice or is the skill test automatically failed?

Correct! You have to have dice in the specific skill to be able to pass a test.

So a bane plauge (Mage Spell) on a Voolan army wipes the army?

Nah, like it says in the rules, Technical DEF and Arcane DEF are interchangeable. But, it could potentially be devastating (DV4 is generally 50/50 with those guys).

Thanks I was a little confused because the rules specify that they are interchangeable for assults, but Mage spells have you resist with skill tests, so it's good to know it covers there too, on a similar note does an Arcanist's Warding Spells Work on something like the Unenlightened Tengu's Spiteful Swoop?

Right, wouldn't work against that, because that power bypasses Assault categorization. Similarly, the Heavy's ability (in the Freespace Privateers) wouldn't be affected by the Arcanist's ability. In the Mage Guild spell card rules it should read that any test required to be made to resist a spell is considered an assault roll, but in the new rules, all units have both Arcane and Tech DEF, and the distinction is less important. This edition will be pretty much defunct by the time we release the new stuff (getting a Kickstarter campaign ready now as we finish up working out production specs) but it's a good primer for what's to come.

Sweet! I can't wait!

You have a new supporter !

You can play in more than 2 players ?
Have you ever tried ?

To connect more firmly the tile_tray I'm thinking about a small magnet, like 5x1,5x1mm , one on each side, the tile_tray will have to be raised in height by 0.5mm maybe.

Oh, you can totally do multiplayer! Just put all the tiles together and build the map from the inside out. If you want the best multiplayer experience, I suggest teams, because you get some really fun synergies once you start counting other forces' units as allies.

Yeah, we're starting to do more and more with magnets. You can actually use that magnetic sheeting, the stuff you can cut. It's fantastic for this.

Hello , first of all many thanks for this fantastic project .

Then some questions :

In a tile tunnel , you can enter/attack through a side not open ?
I understand that you can only get out through an open side .

When you place on the map a tunnel title, the open side must be at contact with previous title ?

The tests are always done with the roll of a single die ?

Me and my friend did the translation in Italian of the basic rules , you might be interested ?

It seemed to understand that you're working on a new edition of the basic rules , when you think it's ready ?
I can do the Italian translation of that also .

I did remixes of some factions with all unit printable whole , I inserted some embeded support which then must be removed after print, the result looks good .

Hey, thank you! Okay, let's see:

TUNNELS TILES: With complex, cave, and dungeon tiles, you can't move through or attack through walls. You also can't count allies or enemies to be adjacent through walls.

PLACING TUNNEL TILES: You can place it however you like, as long as an opening connects to the map somewhere you place it. You can never place one so that it's inaccessible of makes a region of the map inaccessible.

TESTS: Well, it depends. If it's just a single-die test (like a hazard test for going into water, caves, swamps, et cetera) you roll one die. If its an ability calling for a skill test (like, "Make an Arcane OFF test") you roll however many dice you have in that skill and try and get at least one die to match the difficulty number.

TRANLATION: Totally interested! I don't believe we have one in Italian yet, so that would be fantastic.

NEW EDITION: Yes! It's real close. We'll be doing a Kickstarter campaign and a full production run, though we'll be keeping it open source for people with printers or who want to proxy their own sets as per usual. We would love to have some help making Italian translations for the booklet as well, especially because we may have a European presence for the production campaign.

REMIXES Post them! That would be super helpful. One of the main reasons I print piece-by-piece is that I can't get my printer to run a whole set without them all going squirrelly. If you have a good system, I'd love to check it out.

Thnx for a great game, my 8 year old and I started playing today and we love it. Currently playing with Sons of Dvalinn and the Dominion Task force, but hoping to print more factions later on.

Again, thank you.

Very welcome! Glad to hear you guys are playing it. We're working on a new edition with some streamlined/enhanced rules. All the old parts will still be usable.

A rules question - how many tiles do you use in a game? each faction has it's own tiles listed, do I use them only, or print and use the core set or mix both?

Well, for a standard game, you use the combined tiles of each faction playing, but you can do a completely random map using a big collection of all tile types (draw up to 20 tiles for a two player game). A lot of factions are pretty dependent on their tile types, so this isn't great for a standard pick up match, but it's a fun way to do map-based campaigns.

Hello, I've got a question, what do the dungeon tiles do from the Mages Guild? I can't find what they do anywhere.
Thanks for the help!

Ah, they function as Tunnel Tiles (page 3 of the core rules PDF). They work the same way as Complex tiles.

Got a question, does abilities used by units count as an action?
Action being, Summon, Move, Assult.

Sometimes, yeah. Often, an ability just modifies an action you're taking or reacting to, but with abilities that function as novel actions, they'll usually have verbiage like "In place of (moving, assaulting, et cetera)" before the effect.

Hi dutchmogul, if I translate the rules in french, do you want a copy ?

Yeah, most definitely!

Please find the translated Rules in French (with syntax corrected ;-) here in open document format:
long life to Pocket Tactics

The rules set seems to be for specific tactics, not the basic, starter rules? Is there also a set for beginners?

Well, these are the base rules, but for a simpler rules set, you might try one of our older sets, like the High King vs Tribes of the Dark Forest. Its got some good starter powers and doesn't get as bogged down with extra rules (which I love, but isn't for everyone.)

Pocket-Tactics: Legion of the High King against the Tribes of the Dark Forest (Second Edition)

Question: Can you ranged attack (sniper) thru a friendly or enemy unit?

Yeah, absolutely. Units (allied or enemy) don't block LoS.

Question: Can you shoot over spaces without tiles in them?

You cannot. They do block line of sight, just like walls in tunnel tiles.

any tips on how to print the tiles cause mine keeps warping. i use the micro from M3D with ABS

Are you printing multiples at the same time? I often have that issue if I try to print more than three or four things at a time. It's usually an issue with not having the build plate leveled.

I've now switched to PLA and I'm getting good results. Did some reading and seems that the best way to print with ABS is to have a heated bed which I don't have but, hey, PLA seems to do the job!

Ahhh. Yeah, gotta have a heated bed! But, honestly, when I've gotten PLA to work on my machine, it's given me some of the best results. Right on!

I must be blind, where is the rule book? Also how many of every tiles do I need to get started to play this game? :)
I have started printing my second piece now, cave path 2 :)

No worries. The rules PDF is in the downloads along with the tile STLs. Before you print a bunch of tiles, you'll probably want to choose a faction or two. The link to the faction collection is here under the description and each faction has its own rules PDF and tells you which tiles you need (10 tiles per faction).

UPDATE: A Spanish language version of the core rules is now available under the downloads. Big thanks to Jose Eulogio Cribeiro Aneiros for doing the translation!

No love for the Legion of the High King or Tribes of the Dark Forest?

Not yet, but soon... probably. The Men of Midgard and Trolls of Jotunheim work with a lot of similar themes/pieces, but it's not quite the same.

Finally played through our first game tonight (Stygian King vs. Thralls of Formless). So much fun! We got tripped up on terminology in a couple of places. For example, what does "activated" mean, like the Innocent unit on Cult of the Stygian King or the Formless Maw on the Thralls faction? Also, if a unit with 1 OFF attacks a unit with a (6) DEF kicker, it can never win, right? Really looking forward to playing more factions! Thanks!

Hey, awesome to hear it! Yeah, let's see...

So "activated" jut means when you choose to act with the piece on your turn. So to move or attack with it.It's useful to denote that difference, because that ability won't count when, say, the piece is attacked and retaliates on en enemy turn.

That's right, anything with a Kicker (6) in defense can't be defeated by something that only has one offense die (and no kicker of their own). Even on a 6 the results tie and the attacker has no die results left over to press the attack. You actually chose a couple of pretty specialized sets there. It's funny, because the King can be unstoppable once summoned (especially against this force) but the Thralls have ways of making sure the King is much harder to summon (those infiltrating cultists are mean). For a better, more iconic match, I would go with something like the Dominion vs Separatists. Factions like the Stygian King and Zyntari Salvage Crew are pretty experimental, and we may put some restrictions on them soon.

I am thinking about getting into this game. Does the color affect the game at all? I was into Warhammer but i decided i was spending too much and found this. Can i print the figures in a gray and paint them to my liking?

Ok i might do this, but right now i have limited access to the internet, due to my being on highschool, can you send me a copy of the Core rules, and any other gameplay method rules, id like to start this up at our local card store.

This will probably decide if i play because i loved the fact that every thing was customization ready and let me creat my image of what the figures needed to be. its just sooo damn expensive.

You know, color isn't super-important, just as long as you know what's yours and what belongs to your opponent. These models are quite a bit smaller than Warhammer scale, but I've seen lots of people paint them anyway, and I've done a bit of that myself. It is... yeah, way less expensive. The factions listed on the faction page are a starting point, but you can mix and match characters from any faction you want and paint and convert them to your heart's content. Each piece has a point value too, so you can decide how big you want your warbands to be and go from there (standard sets are all 125 points).If you have Tabletop Simulator on Steam, that's a great way to play the game before you print a bunch of models.

Sounds good, are there any types of tournaments at local card stores yet, cause i live in wyoming and it is very unlikely that there are very many people who play this type of game

Well, we play locally here in Washington (of course), but you're not likely to find a player base unless you create one. I have heard of people starting up events and campaigns in various places here and there. If you do get something started, let us know, we'd love to blog about it. I'd like to start sanctioned events eventually.

Hey we are starting a following here in Maine at one of the local shops! We've played a game or too and are starting to get some interest, I'll let you more soon!

Hey, that's awesome! Definitely keep us posted.

Since i am in high school i have limited access to the internet. i do believe that id like this game. will you send me a copy of the core rules, or any other game type rules. id like to revise it and bring it up to my local card store to see if they'd like to start this up. have you considered putting the figures up for sale, for the people who cannot afford a 3D printer? i have one but i am just asking.

The rules sheets are all here on this page, PDFs under downloads. For faction rules, the PDFs are under downloads on their own entries. I actually do sell sets. They're available on the Ill Gotten Games Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/IllGottenGames

how many tiles do i print? ik i need 5 trays but how many tiles?

Oh, that depends on the set. These are just the core rules, but each faction tells you how many tiles they come with. You can find all of those here: http://www.thingiverse.com/dutchmogul/collections/pocket-tactics-factions

It's ten tiles per faction (if you're playing with the standard set up) but the faction PDF has the info on which ten.

Yeah, absolutely. Post pics!!

ive been printing ALL day & am going on vacation tommarow , wont be back for more than a week, & my factions are not entierly done. so, im not gonna be able to post it for more than a week.

I am working on a pocket tactics advanced version of this.
some things it will include are:
1- two types of game play : classic warfare or building villages to war w/ each other(if the players dont agree then they roll a dice)
2- high ground: special tiles that are taller & can be stacked until a normal tile is put on top of it.
3- crossbows& other long- distance wepons : (can only take down enemy houses but not base) can take down enemys from a distance
4- quarter tiles: a tile that 4 can be placed in one slot: such as crossbows, walls, huts, & other defence
5- 10 tile trays are used
6- tile trays need to be full
its a work in progress, but i hope to post it soon!

I just started printing some of these. However, there's too much going on here. I have upwards of 30 folders that are Pocket-Tactics titled full of STL files. Many of them seem to be with different revisions of stat sheets (and maybe rules?)

Can you create a page on your site with links to the current sets? I have two sets that contain Dominion Task Force and each has different sets of stats. I'm a bit overwhelmed.

Yeah, absolutely. So the info on this page has links to collections of current sets. I'll re-post it for you here: http://www.thingiverse.com/dutchmogul/collections/pocket-tactics-factions It's the same collection that I have on my front page. This is a good place to start. I suggest Dominion and Separatists as a starting point. I can also go and add "beta" or something similar to all the old sets, so if you happen across them, you'll know they aren't current.

Also, I realize now that I went about this "wrong" now that I see this page and its contents. However, I only got here after downloading everything I could find that was labeled with Pocket Tactics. Sure, I could have gone about it differently and maybe saved myself some time, but I think the path I took to get here wasn't necessarily an atypical path. You know about it and can immediately jump to the right spot, but I had never heard of it and didn't benefit from your intimate knowledge. :)

(Thanks. Dominion and Separatists is the first thing I printed. I used the set that contains both. But the stats for the individual Dominion is different from the one in the double pack item. Hence the confusion and this post)

Beta tags might work. For stuff that's been redone and has more modern equivalents I think text stating such and directing to an authoritative source would be great.

I'd love to see a single archive on your site that is kept up to date that contains folders of each of everything.

I download one .zip file and in it I get Mutant Bounty Hunters folder and Faithful of the Luminous Goddess folder, etc. When you release new stuff I just grab that again and I'm good to go.

Can you make forest tile more distinktive? Like that ones here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:221521 but to add some deciduous, not just conifers. Just a proposal, not criticism. ;)

Saga of the Nine Worlds (2.5 Edition)

Yeah, maybe I can throw that together one of these days here. The current tiles we use are all from a top-down perspective, so it wouldn't really fit with what we're doing now, though it could be a fun variant.

Do you have any gameplay videos of any sort? Would love to see it in action before I print. Looks fantastic and I'm definitely considering printing it :D

Funny you should mention that, we just filmed a tutorial video. It's being edited now, but it should be ready in about a week.

Great video. Thanks for delivering!
From the looks of things, it's a two-player only game? Or are there going to be extended rules for more than two players?

Yeah, absolutely! You can definitely play with more than two players, we actually do that all the time. We're working on a rules update that includes multiplayer rules, but basically, you build the map outward in all directions from one tile. All opposing players have to have their bases a least 6 tiles apart, allies ()if you're playing with teams) at least 3 apart. Knocking someone's base out in a multiplayer game doesn't end the player's involvement necessarily, they just can't bring units out of reserves any longer (unless they can do so by other means, like special abilities, etc)

Yay! Definitely looking forward to it now. Thanks!

Love the look of this im hoping to print it and get my boys playing it with me and some friends soon keep up the great work its awesome and really appreciated

Hey, thank you, great to hear it! Be sure and post pics! More sets definitely on the way....

We played our first game last night (also part of Area 51 :p) between the Forces of Hel and the Sons of Dvalinn.
Was a blast to play though we hit a couple of snags: In the core rules there is no mention of when a stat has a number in brackets underneath it - we took it as an invulnerable save 40k style so that even if the opponent had more successes than you (or a larger die pool), only the dice that were the same or higher than this number counted as successes. Also the wall objects in the forces of Hel mentioned granting bonuses to kickers.... and nothing else did O_O (took that to mean any units in the surrounding hexes)
We also found the tiles with directional limits (caves, paths/labyrinths etc) a little too confusing for a first play so skipped over them. It didn't help that the board had already been drawn before we noticed them :p

Keep it up fella, these are really fun n_n

Haha, oops... yeah, so those numbers are Kickers. Yeah, I completely failed to add them to the rules. It's updated now, and you'll find kicker rules at the end of the doc. Its definitely no big deal to skip tunnel rules for a game, because they do make things more complicated, but once you get them, they can really add to the strategy. So glad you guys are playing! We're starting our first campaign in a few days, and we'll be blogging about it/releasing the campaign components (and some new sets) as we go.

got the core rules and some tiles sets printed and uploaded as a "I made One"

Right on! Just saw it. Which factions are you printing?

I have decided on sons of dvalinn, Cybernetic liberation front and forces of hel to start with that will get me and my sons playing but I plan to print them all later down the line

finished the prints of the forces of hel and sons of dvalinn and im going to be playing my first pocket tactics game tonight!!! cant wait!!

I chose CLF and Voolan based on the comment you made below. I'll whip up 4 or 5 of the trays and give this game a good run. It will likely take a few days but I'll post some thoughts once I get a game or two in. I saw that you've posted quite a few more factions, looks really promising. Thanks!

How many of the tile trays would be good to make? I've made two factions to give this a good test run, looking forward to it!

Oh, I would print at least three to five trays, which would cover most configurations, but more never hurts! Let me know how the games go. What factions are you playing?

UPDATE: Added Extended Rules Part 1, which contains rules for flying characters and very large characters.

I'd like to print a starter set as a gift for my son, but with all the versions and factions, I'm unsure where to start. (My son loves poring over game rules, but ol' Dad's eyes glaze over fairly quickly.)

  1. What do you think is the best introduction to Pocket Tactics?

  2. All I need to do is print two factions, the tiles listed on their respective PDFs, the instructions, the stats cards, get 6 dice, and we're good to go? (We don't need any other tiles, etc?)

  3. Are there two factions that make for an especially well balanced starter game? (If I'm going to print from the Wayfarer sets, I was thinking Voolan vs. Sons of Dvalinn, but only because they are so visually distinct from each other).

Thanks for all your work - I admire your dedication!

Hey, thank you!

  1. So yeah, I would personally go with Voolan and Cybernetic Liberation Front. just because they have some really balanced tactics, but Sons of Dvalinn are a good call too. Really, whichever models you/he like he best is probably the way to go.

  2. Yeah, all you need is that stuff, though you'll each need six dice. 3 red, 3 blue a piece (although you could do any two distinct colors as long as you know which are "offense dice" and which are "defense dice."

We're working on some tutorial videos, so I'll get those finished and posted here/to Youtube soon. They'll show game flow, dice mechanics, alternate modes, etc. Be sure and post pics, and I'd love to hear about your games!

Nice! Excited to see pocket tactics back!

Thanks! We're on a tear. We have ten more sets we're getting ready to post.