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Open Combat - create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination.
Open Combat - create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination.
Open Combat - create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination.
544 backers pledged £11,885 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Open Combat - Miniature Skirmish Game Rulebook

£11,885

544

Hard backed book funded - currently funding stretch goals!

This print run funded by this kickstarter may be the only time Open Combat is printed as hard backed book. Pledge now to ensure you get your copy.

Read the latest update here -  Dice, Scenarios and Campaign play? 

Important Shipping Updates - Choose 'Antarctica'. Please read Updates 6 & 7.

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Open Combat is a fast-paced tabletop skirmish game in which you can create the heroes, adventures and battles of your imagination using any miniatures that you wish.

Open Combat has been available digitally since October 2014 in PDF format from the Second Thunder website (and has been well received by those playing it - more on that later). The aim of this Kickstarter is to fund a printed edition of the rules, helping to expand the reach of the game to gamers that prefer physical books over digital products.

What is Open Combat?

Open Combat is a tabletop miniature wargame suitable for any pre-gunpowder historical period or fantasy setting.

You can guide the ragtag remains of a Roman expeditionary force through barbarian territory, become a Saxon lord with his retinue as they face off against a local rival, or chart the story of a group of adventurers fighting for fortune and glory in a goblin-infested wilderness. It could be anything you have a mind to play.

Unlike many miniature games, Open Combat gives you the tools to 'stat' up your models in any way you choose.

  • Use any miniatures & terrain you have
  • Only a small area required (24"x24")
  • Suitable for pre-gunpowder historical periods and fantasy settings
  • Customise the characteristics of your fighters, ‘stat’ them any way you like.
  • Fast setup and play time (30-40mins)

Open Combat puts you in command of a warband of fighters led by their charismatic (or frightening) leader as they match themselves against their foes. Who the combatants are and what they are fighting about is down to you, your miniature collection and what you have the itch to play.

Rules Overview

Below you'll find a video I made that gives a brief overview of the Open Combat rules. I don't own proper video recording equipment so apologies for the wobbly quality.

What do players think of the game?

There are already quite a few people talking about Open Combat online and I've also been interviewed on a couple of podcasts.

You can hear Gav Thorpe and myself talk about Open Combat on the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast here.

In the Meeples and Miniatures end of year review episode Mike Hobbs voted Open Combat as his number 1 game of 2014 (which was very nice of him!)

I was interviewed by Mike Marshall and Conrad on the Fools Daily podcast split across three episodes here (episodes 159, 160 and 161) talking about Open Combat.

Several people have blogged about their impressions of Open Combat too:

Mike C on his wargaming blog has been using Open Combat to play fantasy encounters in a 'lite rpg' style.

Alan H has been using Open Combat to fight out historical encounters as documented on his blog here.

Open Combat is currently featured in Wargames Illustrated magazine as part of their Rules Showcase series of articles. You can find it in issue 329 (March 2015) on pages 110-111. You can find out a bit more detail related to the article on the Second Thunder website.

Funding Target

£5000 = project funded [Funded]

If we can get the project funded then we can get Open Combat printed as a perfect bound soft cover book. Now with your help we can move onto making the book a beautiful product to have in your collection (and by extension make your pledge much more valuable). We might even be able to put more content in too!

Optional 'Add Ons' Available now

‘First Among Equals’ Signed and Numbered Certificate + £5

If you would like your copy to include a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity (including photographic evidence) add £5 to your pledge.

Gav and myself will sign and number a certificate which will include the photograph and be rubber stamped.

It’s a cool way to remember you were one of the first and your copy was one of the first in existence.

"Take the fight to the enemy!" 3x Custom Open Combat Dice + £4 (£7 for two sets)

You can use regular six-sided dice to play Open Combat but like many gamers I like cool looking custom dice too. You can add one set of three dice to your pledge for £4 or two sets of three dice for £7. (RRP after the campaign will be £5 for a set of three dice). See Update 12 for the design.

Stretch Goals

FIRST STAGE - UPGRADING THE BOOK QUALITY

The first few stretch goals are all about upgrading the quality of the book. The pledge levels stay the same but the quality of the finished book will go up in conjunction with the number of backers that join us.

"Armour up!" £6000 = Upgraded to hard backed book [Funded]

Hurray! At this level we can upgrade the rulebook from a soft cover (soft backed book) to a hard cover (hard backed book) with a gloss finish as standard. NOTE: If we reach this level then the RRP of the final book will rise to £25 so backers will be receiving their copy at an even greater discount.

"Raise the colours!" £6750 = Two colour image on end papers [Funded]

The end papers are the inside front and back cover, usually these are a blank piece of paper but they can be printed. This stretch goal gets us the inside covers printed in two colours.

"Remember your training!" £7500 = Matt laminated outer cover [Funded]

We can upgrade the finish of the outside of the covers from a standard gloss to a smooth matt laminate. Mmmm... you can almost feel that silky smooth quality and style...

"Sharpen your blades!" £8250 = Spot gloss UV varnish on the cover [Funded]

If we get to here we can add some bling to the finish of the book. This is where an area of the cover is treated with a varnish to to give it some stand out quality.

SECOND STAGE - ADDING A COUPLE OF 'NICE TO HAVES'

The next stage of stretch goals opens up a couple of things which are 'nice to have' but are not in any way compulsory. Essentially these goals will unlock a couple of things which can be added to your pledge.

[Funded - see above]

STAGE THREE - ADDITIONAL CONTENT

The third stage of Stretch Goals is a bit of a combination of the first two stages in the sense that it isn't necessary but it does add additional value to the final book. I've put this stage last as it may impact on delivery time as it's all about adding extra content to the book. NOTE: If we add more content the page count will inevitably increase to accommodate the additional content.

"Onwards to glory!" £10,000 = Expanded Scenario Rules + 2 Additional Scenarios [Funded]

Open Combat includes three scenarios, if this Stretch Goal is reached I'll add a further two scenarios to the mix along with expanding on the existing scenarios with additional information to allow you to play variants which give a different play experience.

"Thank you!!!" = Campaign play!

See Update 13. Thank you.

Got more questions about the game?

There's a Q&A about Open Combat on the website which you can read here.

You can also jump over to the Second Thunder forum here to ask any questions fire away in the comments section of this project.

Risks and challenges

I've worked in design and print for over 20 years and this means I know what is involved in getting press-ready artwork printed professionally.

The biggest unknown for me is the logistics of shipping lots of packages. The number of packages I may need to ship out could potentially delay things a little. At the time of writing I'm investigating the possibility of arranging for a fulfilment house to help ship items if the number of backers exceeds what I could feasibly handle myself.

NOTE REGARDING SHIPPING: Please see Update 6 for discussion relating to shipping - I'll be handling shipping after the Kickstarter has finished. Select 'Antarctica' for your shipping option - it's zero rated. I'll contact you with details of the options available to you after the campaign. Please read Update 6 for more details and shipping estimates.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.55

    RETAINER. At this level you're quietly helping move Open Combat forward with your aid. We give you many thanks for your support!

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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £13 or more About $20

    EARLY BIRD - VETERAN: Open Combat Rulebook. The full colour 60 page Open Combat rulebook for playing pre-gunpowder fantasy and historical miniature game skirmish battles. (Retail value £20)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $23

    VETERAN. Open Combat Rulebook. The full colour 60 page Open Combat rulebook for playing pre-gunpowder fantasy and historical miniature game skirmish battles. (Retail value £20)

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    261 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £20 or more About $31

    EARLY BIRD - OLD CAMPAIGNER: Open Combat Rulebook & PDF bundle. The full colour 60 page Open Combat rulebook for playing pre-gunpowder fantasy and historical miniature game skirmish battles. PLUS the PDF digital ebook of the rules. (Retail value £27)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £22 or more About $34

    OLD CAMPAIGNER: Open Combat Rulebook & PDF bundle. The full colour 60 page Open Combat rulebook for playing pre-gunpowder fantasy and historical miniature game skirmish battles. PLUS the PDF digital ebook of the rules. (Retail value £27)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    174 backers
    £
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Funding period

- (23 days)