This past Saturday John and I met to play games face-to-face for the first time in a year! We’ve both been vaccinated. It was a joy to roll dice together again We played an RPG with others on Zoom, but before the RPG game, we took an hour to play a Star Wars miniatures game based on a custom version of the wargame rules which I call ‘Open Warfare.’

Eventually I hope to publish these customizations online, but the biggest rule change is to use Warlord Games’ Order Dice for initiative, and adding in some new actions such as ‘Down’ (taking cover at the expense of your activation) and ‘Ambush’ (which is a readied action or reaction similar to ‘Overwatch’ in FUBAR and other rules). The Order Dice work great to add some unpredictability to the scenario, keep things fast-paces, and the dice serve as activation tokens as well. The other change was to play games cooperatively, with John and I facing off against an enemy controlled by simple AI rules.

Bottom line: it was great fun and I am very much looking forward to playing the next game! I’m considering making this a linked set of scenarios to form a sort of mini-campaign (but without a lot of book-keeping).

The Narrative

The ‘Smuggling’ scenario takes place in the Rebellion era. A rebel smuggler was chased by enemy TIE-fighters and had to jettison his load of cargo, among which were hidden caches of data-cubes stored in the midst of other standard cargo. The data-cubes had captured intel vital to the Rebel Alliance, so our heroes swept in and competed against enemy stormtroopers arriving to recapture the stolen data-cubes. Half the cargo was worthless but until each cargo was inspected, we didn’t know which were valuable and which were worthless!

The Forces

The Imperials fielded 250 pts: two Squad Leaders (55 pts each) and two infantry squads of 3 models (35 pts each)

The Rebels also had 250 pts with John’s Squad (125 pts) of all-droids and Stan’s squad of General Leia (with stats as a Squad Leader (55 pts)) leading two infantry squads of 3 models (35 pts each). To wit:

  • U9-C4 — Squad Leader
  • IG-47 — Drill Sergeant
  • G-931 — Drill Sergeant
  • Leia — Squad Leader
  • Rebel Infantry [3] x 2 — Infantry Squad


  • Rebels —  15 XP
  • Empire — 9 XP

The Rebels managed to find and transport all three data-cubes off the table. Both sides took casualties.


The game lasted 6 rounds over 59 minutes. The rounds got progressively faster as the game progressed due to learning the rules better and fewer models due to casualties (15, 13, 9, 8, 8, and finally 5 minutes).

Planned Rules Changes

  • Clarify that down and ambush retain effect until the beginning of the units next activation.
  • Add rules so that you can spend 5 XP to buy a single-use inspiration token at the beginning of a game. These tokens allow you to reroll any single dice roll. Unspent tokens are lost at the end of the game. (This simple rule will provide a low-impact reward for playing past scenarios while avoiding the power-creep of leveling up characters and the time sink of unit bookkeeping).
  • Add to AI rules that if you’re in cover, stay in cover.
  • Add to AI rules how to roll randomly using order dice to determine which enemy activates.
  • Add to AI rules to simply move if neither objective or enemies present themselves.
  • Add to AI rules on buying all possible inspiration before a game, and using them at earliest opportunity on any failed shot.
  • Note that tokens are needed to track (1) wounds, and possibly (2) down and ambush states (these are initially tracked using Order Dice, but these states continue until the model’s next activation, suggesting the need for tokens, although we mostly could just remember those states with so few models).
  • Update the ‘Steal Valuables’ scenario to indicate that when you’re stunned, another friendly can spend an activation to pick up the valuable (although enemy units cannot).
  • Update the ‘Steal Valuables’ scenario to indicate that the game ends after all valuables have exited the board (although you still run the game until the end of the turn and resolve casualties to allow the enemy to potentially get in a few more kills).
  • Clarify on Bolt Action forums how they handle Down and Ambush — do effects carry over till the model’s next activation or end at the end of the turn?
  • Add more extensive army list with additional weapon customization.
  • Add more extensive campaign rules inspired by Lion Rampant.
  • Add rule on dropping a die to track scaling ladders and such.

Future Scenario Plans

  • Run the ‘Control Objective’ scenario using lava planet terrain
  • Run the ‘Escape’ scenario using dungeon terrain to simulate an underground prison escape

Photo Album

See the photos from the game.