Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fire At Will Battle Report and Review

The Scenario

The boar company has finally draw near to the dwarf keep of Dur Zamor, only to find their way impeded by a horde of goblins who are attempting to cut off a smaller dwarven force from reacing the safety of the fortification.

The scenario objectives are for the goblins to overwhelm the dwarves by killing alf their number while the dwarves must break through their lines and exit the opposite table edge.

Special Rules

The boar company is deployed behind the goblins at the start of turn 3 and may begin the turn within charge range representing their stealthy approach.

The Forces


1 formation of 10 heavily armoured infantry

2 formations of 5 heavily armoured infantry (one of which is the boar company)

1 formation of 10 crossbows

1 formation of 5 crossbows


1 formation of 20 goblins

1 formation of 10 goblins

2 formations of 10 archers

1 formation of 5 cavalry (carnodon riders)

The Battlefield

The battlefield consists of a broken rocky plain with a rock pile to the east. The dwarves start the game in a defensive formation here with the goblins spread out facing them from the confines of a broad canyon that leads to the keep.

East to west the dwarves deploy their smaller crossbow unit defending their flank, followed by the larger infantry unit and larger crossbow unit. Their other flank is defended by the remaining small infantry unit.

East to west the goblins deployed a unit of archers, the large goblin unit, the small goblin unit, the second archer unit and the smaller goblin unit. On the extreme west flank their small cavalry unit anchored the line.

The Game!

Turn 1

The goblin horde moved out in a ragged line attempting to close to within bowshot of the dwarves but failing to find the range, meanwhile the dwarven line moves out in a staggered formation with its crossbowmen slightly to the fore.

Turn 2

The goblins break into a shambling run, with their cavalry just failing to close with the dwarven infantry formation on the west flank. As they have moved this turn the goblin archers miss out on an opportunity to fire at the dwarven line which may cost them dear as the disciplined dwarven troops march steadily forwards. The small infantry formation in the west makes contact with the goblin cavalry resulting in an inconclusive swirling melee. Meanwhile the dwarven crossbows fire at the goblins, resulting in five goblins from the large unit dropping to the ground dead. The smaller crossbow unit fares less well, causing no casualties.

The casualties cause the large goblin unit to pull up short and mill around confusedly. This in turn breaks their morale and they flee the field showing just how cowardly they are.

The smaller goblin unit moves towards the large crossbowmen unit, in an attempt to engage them in combat but the dwarves prove to be just out of range. Seeing their companions turn tail the two goblin archer units let fly at the ten dwarven infantry facing them causing the loss of a base. This proves to be too much for the dwarves who turn and flee!

In a final twist for the turn the goblin cavalry is killed outright by the stalwart dwarven infantry in the west.

Turn 3

The large goblin unit reforms and turns to return to the battle, while the smaller goblin unit charges the larger of the crossbowmen units. The goblin archers prove ineffective against the small crossbowman unit defending the dwarves eastern flank. The combat that ensues between the goblins and the crossbowmen sees another stalemate.

The dwarves turn sees the arrival of the boar company who herald their arrival by charging into the rear of the eastern archer unit! The short but brutal combat sees half the archers dead and the remaining goblins running for their lives!

The survivors of the larger dwarf infantry unit, heartened by the boar companies arrival rally and return to the fray, hurling themselves into the exposed flank of the goblins attacking the crossbowmen. The combat results in a loss of a stand of crossbowmen but the goblins have been wiped out.

Turn 4

The fleeing goblin archers rally and turn to face the dwarves and the western unit opens fire on the victorious dwarven infantry but fails to cause any casualties. Meanwhile the large goblin infantry unit again tries to move on the bloodied dwarven line.

The dwarves spend the turn consolidating their position with the boar company moving back to join their lines and the western infantry unit moving forward slightly. The crossbowmen once again let fly killing another stand of the approaching goblins resulting in them once again turning tail and fleeing.

This sees the end of the battle as the goblins lose the will to keep fighting and have lost half their numbers.


The battered but victorious dwarves marched to the keep carrying their with them. Grimli and the boar company are received by no less than Hrothgar the Bellower, the thane of Dur Zamor. Taking the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of the keep to rest and recover before beginning their expedition to scout further into the borderlands.


The game was actually a lot closer than it seemed as the goblin archer regiments were proving to be quite deadly and the breaking of my main dwarf unit was almost disasterous. Fortunately they rallied and the line held, annihilating much of the goblin force piecemeal.

Played using Fire at Will, another free ruleset aimed at 6mm fantasy. Despite being my first game using the rules it was a rather fun game, which allowed me to play larger battles quickly and simply.


Fire at Will is a free ruleset available from HERE.

The game is separated into four phases, which cover movement, shooting, close combat and morale. The players take turns to activate their entire force rather than alternative activation which is a tad disappointing but it plays very quickly. My game lasted about an hour despite me taking lots of notes.

The mechanics are simple to understand with different types of units moving different rates, for example heavily armoured infantry move 3 inches while goblins and lighter infantry move 4 inches.

Shooting is resolved by the attacking player rolling a d6 and adding several modifiers such as range and target armour. If they then get a high enough result they cause a kill (this actually made for very bloody results as the goblins did really well against the heavily armoured dwarves).

Close combat is resolved by an opposed d6 roll with both players adding modifiers from a table reflecting

It’s a very simple ruleset that doesn’t actually have any specific force lists or points costs but does cover all sorts of troop types as well as monsters, heroes and magic users.

Incidentally the way heroes work is rather interesting. They bolster troops morale and in combat with each other they toss a coin to see who wins with the best of three being victorious. Also the players are encouraged to be heroic with them and will be penalized for cowardice such as retreating from single combat with another hero.

All in all its a nice little game that allows decent sized forces to fight it out rapidly. My only real criticism is that the shooting is a tad lethal!

All the best!


  1. Another enjoyable and informative report and review!

  2. Hi!

    it was a fun report to write!

    Hopefully the next report will have some actual photos of miniatures in it like your excellent Ares one!

    All the best!