Welcome to the rulebook for RENEGADES,
a new and thrilling sci-fi miniature wargame!
➤ Get started right here, right now, for free!
➤ Create a unique squad and playstyle using your minis
➤ Battle your friends' squads in fast-paced skirmishes
➤ Purchase the nifty & optional boxed set!
Just like other miniature wargames, Renegades is played on a physical, real world tabletop using miniatures to represent your forces! If this is news to you, since you might be unfamiliar with miniature wargames, you might want to play one of the more formal, professional games from a competitor before jumping into this early edition of Renegades. You see, this is Edition Zero of the game and it is still being tweaked and perfected!
To go ahead and engage in glorious squad mayhem, you and your opponent will create your own distinct squads by using this rulebook and your existing collection of miniature soldiers. Yes, yours! Don't look at us, we don't manufacture any minis. In fact, this ruleset is intended to be used with the minis, and fictional universe, of your choosing. This may not be entirely "by the book" according to some, but to hell with that... it's time to become a renegade!
The squads you recruit will fight over a playable area called the combat zone. This area is usually defined by a game mat or game board and should be between 2 to 3 feet wide and long - and filled with suitable terrain (again, yours)! Smaller combat zones are suitable for games with fewer soldiers, or when a more frantic pacing is desired, while larger combat zones are suitable for bigger games. Your choice of mission will define your objectives, i.e. how to win, and other parameters of your game.
Whatever the combat zone size or mission chosen, each game starts by deploying your squads. After deployment, you'll take turns performing actions with your soldiers, like moving and shooting (you will definitely NOT animate your soldiers like puppets while making sound effects). Beyond normal actions, your squads will use powerful squad abilities to assist them. Each squad chooses their own abilities and it will drastically alter their playstyle! Finally, dice will be rolled to determine the outcome of actions, squad abilities and other events, while tokens will be placed in the combat zone to keep track of everything.
Simply read on to learn how all of this works in practice!
The Game Turn
Each game of Renegades consists of a number of game turns, almost always 6, as defined by the mission you are currently playing. Each game turn starts with the initiative phase, which is followed by the action phase, arguably the most exciting phase, until it ends and a new game turn begins. This turn sequence repeats until the game ends and a winner is declared!
At the start of each game turn, you enter the initiative phase. In this phase, you will decide who goes first in the subsequent action phase and get a few other things ready. Follow the steps below in each initiative phase.
Update Turn Counter
To keep track of which turn it is, use a six-sided die as a turn counter. Simple enough, right?
Award Squad Points
Squads use squad points (SP) to perform powerful abilities (more on this soon). At this stage, each player receives a number of squad points equal to the current game turn counter. For example, in turn 3, each player automatically receives 3 SPs.
Next, both players roll a six-sided die and the player with the higher roll wins the initiative. In case of a draw, the player with the lesser amount of victory points wins (if there is still a draw simply reroll your dice until a winner can be declared, or just argue about it).
A few soldiers get ready for action in a smoggy industrial zone!
The action phase is where, well, most of the action happens! You see, this is the phase where soldiers literally perform actions. Moving, firing weapons, fighting and more are all actions. They are a fundamental part of the game and will be covered in detail in the Actions chapter. To activate and perform actions with your soldiers in the action phase, follow the steps below.
Activate a Soldier
The active player, which is initially whoever won the initiative, selects a soldier to activate. This soldier becomes the active soldier and may perform actions.
The active player then decides which actions are performed by the active soldier, which will be limited by the number of available action points (AP). After using all action points (AP), or passing on using them, the soldier is expended and can't be activated again this turn. This is marked by placing an expended token (more on those later) next to that soldier.
Now repeat this step-by-step process but swap the active player. You will take turns activating soldiers until one players runs out - after this happens, the other player may activate any remaining soldiers one after the other until all soldiers are expended.
Once all soldiers are expended, the action phase ends and a new turn can begin. But before it does, be sure to remove all expended tokens to mark the renewal of all action points (AP).
Game Turn - Timeline Example
Let's take a look at what can happen in a game turn.
This is a match between players red and blue (with 3 and 4 soldiers respectively).
Before we proceed to the Actions, Squad Abilities and How To Recruit A Squad chapters, let's take a look at the most common general rules which will be mentioned throughout the rulebook. As you will see, many general rules are tied to specific tokens, i.e. physical markers, that are placed in the combat zone to help you keep track of different effects and states. Don't have Renegades' tokens? Why would you? Well, read on to learn the game's general rules and to see how your token conundrum can be solved!
Almost all die rolls in Renegades use regular, six-sided dice - D6 for short. However, on rare occasions, you may be asked to roll a D3 - do this by rolling a D6 and dividing the result by two, rounding up to a whole number if necessary. Thus, a roll of 1 or 2 counts as 1, a roll of 3 or 4 counts as 2 and a roll of 5 or 6 counts as 3. Math! Numbers! Fun!
You may be asked to roll several dice at once and add the results together. For example, 3D6 means rolling three D6s, which results in a number between 3 and 18. 2D3 means rolling two "D3s", which results in a number between 2 and 6.
When dice are rolled as part of an attacking action, like when a soldier shoots a weapon and a roll is performed, a successful roll of 6 is a critical hit and deals one point of added damage. This means that a 2 damage attack becomes a 3 damage attack and so on. Keep in mind, there are a few rules that prevent critical hits from being scored - read on to learn more about them.
Desperate & Fluke Rolls
When a dice roll is desperate, any roll with an odd number counts as a miss, failure or similar (i.e. 1/3/5), even if that roll would normally cause a hit, success or similar.
And when a roll is a fluke, all rolls, apart from rolls of 6, count as a miss, failure or similar. Fluke rolls are most commonly used when players are asked to roll higher than a certain value, but it is impossible to do so using a D6 (a player can't roll higher than 6 with a D6). In these cases players get to perform fluke rolls and any roll of 6 counts as a hit, success or similar. A roll of 6 may not technically be "enough" in these cases - but it's always fun to have a small chance!
Due to their clearly inferior nature, desperate and fluke rolls cannot score critical hits or similar.
Certain rules may allow a reroll of dice. It is crucial to note that a die can only be rerolled once, no matter how many rules which may call for a reroll in a particular situation. Also, any consequences of a particular die roll are nullified if the die is rerolled - but after the die is rerolled, the result is final and any consequences are unavoidable.
All soldiers have a vitality level, a number which represents their current health and how sturdy they are in melee combat (more on this in the Actions chapter). When soldiers are targeted by enemies, they risk taking damage, which reduces their vitality equal to the amount of damage taken. When a soldier's vitality reaches 0, the soldier is taken out and removed from play.
Use red dice, placed next to wounded soldiers, to keep track of their vitality (though some soldiers will use black dice instead, to represent their hardened nature - more on this in How To Create Your Squad chapter).
Shaken / Expended (tokens)
Soldiers become shaken when they take damage or have been thrown off-balance by a squad ability or similar. They are reduced to 1 available action point (AP). After this action point (AP) is used, they become fully expended.
When soldiers are expended, they have no remaining action points (AP) in the current game turn. This happens after they have been activated and have used, or passed on using, their available action points (AP). Soldiers in the expended state are immune to becoming shaken, as they have no remaining APs left to lose.
Use double-sided shaken/expended tokens to track soldiers in these states, until all soldiers are expended and the game turn ends. When this happens, it's time to remove all tokens of this type and start the next game turn with all action points (AP) fully renewed!
Here we see a shaken soldier with only 1 point of vitality remaining.
Defense +1 / +2 (tokens)
The defense buff makes soldiers more difficult to hit and reduces any incoming critical hits to regular hits (bah!). Defense is gained by performing certain actions, carrying special equipment or using some squad abilities. Any defense a soldier gains during an activation lasts until the start of their next activation (but not during that activation). The only exceptions are equipment, which can grant a continuous buff, or cases where special rules say otherwise.
The defense buff does stack, but only up to a value of 2. Soldiers can never have more than +2 defense. So don't try anything! Any total amount of defense beyond 2 is simply treated as 2.
Use double-sided defense +1/+2 tokens to keep track of soldiers that benefit from these buffs. Soldiers that have a constant defense buff, from equipment or special rules, don't need a token as long as they are visually identifiable.
Special Effects (tokens)
Certain actions, squad abilities or other rules may affect a target or a location in the combat zone. These special effects can take many different forms and depend on the rules involved.
Use double-sided special effect tokens to keep track of active effects and their target/location in the combat zone. Player 1 and 2 should use different sides of the tokens to differentiate between effects caused by the different players.
Reinforcement Sites (tokens)
Some soldiers possess the ability to redeploy as reinforcements after they are taken out. They must redeploy within proximity (3") of a friendly reinforcement site when doing so, provided that there aren't any enemies within proximity of the site already. If this is the case, the reinforcements must arrive in a later turn. Watch out so that your reinforcements aren't cut-off by pesky saboteurs!
Use double-sided reinforcement site tokens to mark each players' reinforcement site. Player 1 and 2 should use different sides of the tokens to differentiate between their sites.
Tokens, you say?
This previous chapter mentioned a whole bunch of tokens. Where does one find them? While we don't make any miniatures, we do in fact offer RENEGADES - Edition Zero, a complete box of tokens, dice and a rules cheat sheet! The tokens have been carefully designed to provide clarity and gameplay flow - without adding too much clutter!
This humble product supports lowly wargame designers such as yours truly. Simply click on the oversized promotional banner to get your copy, or read on if you want a no-cost option!
Short on cash or feel like taking on a DIY project? Simply make your own tokens! If you decide on making your own, you'll have to use that creative brain of yours and choose your own method (Reuse old tokens? Unused bases? Plasticard? Card paper? etc). We do not recommend playing without any tokens at all, but we can't stop you!
Now that you are familiar with the Game Overview and General Rules of the game, it's about time we talked about actions. They shape the core gameplay in Renegades; they're instrumental in playing your squad vs squad battles! Ready? Actions!
As mentioned earlier, action points (AP) are spent to perform actions during a soldier's activation, until they are all used up and the soldier becomes expended. The vast majority of soldiers have 2 APs available. This is the default. Soldiers generally don't have 1 AP, unless they are shaken, and only a handful have 3 APs (or more). Action points are replenished before the start of each turn - this is marked by the removal of all expended tokens!
There are five types of actions available in Renegades, shown below. A soldier cannot perform the same type of action more than once in an activation. For example, if a soldier has already Moved, they may not use Move again, even if they have the action points available to do so.
Single and Double Actions
While there are five different types of actions, each action can be performed as either a single (1 AP) or double action (2 AP). Single actions allow you to mix and match different actions, while double actions offer the option of committing to one type of action. The exception is if the active soldier is one of those 3 AP bastards; they can use a double action AND a single action, or even three single actions if they wish (of different types, since actions of the same type can't be repeated). Lastly, while each double action has a unique name, feel free to call them "double move", "double fight" and so on. It's straightforward and everyone will know what you mean.
Firing a weapon is an action. Pointing at an enemy in the haze is not.
On occasion, a special rule or ability can turn an action, either single or double, into a free action. These actions do not have an AP cost, but the limit on repeating actions is still in effect! Otherwise, you could repeat a free action an infinite number of times and that would be incredibly imbalanced, silly even. Also, keep in mind that it might be reasonable to skip using a free action even when the option is available, because using the free action might be tied to some drawback that isn't present when you spend the AP cost to perform it "normally".
On occasion, a special rule or ability will trigger a reaction. Reactions function like actions, except that they can happen during an enemy activation, do not cost action points and the usual restriction on repeating actions does not apply (i.e. a soldier which has Moved during their activation may still Move as a reaction). The special rule or ability in question will clearly define how and when the reaction happens. For now, all you need to know is that this can happen and that reactions, on occasion, can trigger further reactions if the right conditions are met! Crazy stuff, right? Reactions!
This soldier is about to move using special equipment. Different soldiers move in slightly different ways.
To play the game, you will need to learn how to perform and resolve each type of action - see the section on each type below! While it might take a moment or two to get the hang of them initially, it won't take long before you can play the game fluently, without needing to check this rulebook at all! Not only will you be able to enjoy the smooth pacing of the game, you will undoubtedly impress both friends and enemies alike with your gaming prowess.
Move (1 AP)
Move regular distance
Allows a soldier to traverse the combat zone.
The default regular distance is 6".
Dash Move (2 AP)
Move regular + dash roll distance
Dashing adds a bit of unpredictable speed.
The default dash roll is D6".
Click to continue
Defend (1 AP)
Gain +1 Defense
With this action, a soldier keeps their head low and an eye out for enemy attacks.
Fiercely Defend (2 AP)
Gain +2 Defense
A soldier hunkers down and remains extremely vigilant of incoming attacks.
Click to continue
Fire Weapon (1 AP)
Roll to hit
A soldier fires a single equipped
ranged weapon at an enemy.
Focus Fire Weapon (2 AP)
Roll to hit + re-roll misses
When focus firing, the soldier
takes more precise aim.
Click to continue
Fight (1 AP)
Roll to hit
A soldier attempts to strike at enemies with all of their equipped melee weapons.
Furiously Fight (2 AP)
Roll to hit + re-roll misses
When furiously fighting, a soldier holds nothing back, striking with unmatched fury.
Click to continue
Interact (1 AP)
Roll to attempt
A soldier attempts to interact with an objective, item or interactive piece of terrain.
Frantically Interact (2 AP)
Roll to attempt + re-roll failures
When frantically interacting, a soldier is fully committed to completing the task at hand.
Click to continue
In a game of Renegades, each squad has access to a unique set of squad abilities - unless there's an accident of fate, or stale metagame, and both players have chosen the exact same ones (oops!).
Generally, squad abilities unlock new and powerful tactical options. They are instrumental in defining your squad's playstyle. Squad abilities are gained by selecting squad specialisms. There are maaaaany different specialisms to choose from and these can be found in the upcoming Create Your Squad chapter. The idea is to add even more over time!
Squads with the grenadiers specialism can throw grenades. Go fetch!
How To Use a Squad Ability
There are three distinct types of squad abilities, seen below. Furthermore, the rules for each squad ability should make it clear how and when it can be employed and how many squad points (SP) it costs to use. A very common approach is that a squad ability changes or enhances the way that an action is performed (which includes when that action is performed as a reaction), but this isn't always the case. Some abilities have a slash, "/", in their name. This means that the ability can be used in different, but related, ways.
The most common form of squad ability (often called just that). It is an active ability which can be repeated as many times as your squad points allow.
Example: The Gunslingers specialism ability "Quick Draw" allows a soldier to fire at multiple targets when at short range (9").
Epic abilities function like normal ones, but generally cost more and can only be used once per turn or, rarely, once per game (the latter will be specified)!
Example: The Hunters specialism ability "Hunt Target" allows the squad to designate one target per turn which is easier to take down.
A passive squad ability is always in effect and doesn't cost any squad points, but isn't quite as powerful as a normal or epic one, at least not "in the moment".
Example: The Die-Hards specialism ability "Cheating Death" gives any soldier a small chance of surviving an otherwise fatal attack.