CROM Mechanics Teaser #2 – Attacks and Damage

In our second round of teasing the mechanics of Conan: Rise of Monsters, we look at the the way that dice are rolled on an attack. This is the core of combat, so you’ll be doing it quite a bit. Luckily, it’s very straightforward.

The Basics

On the attack, each figure has a number of attack dice to roll, depending on their melee or ranged attack stat. All figures in the unit roll together, and any swords rolled are considered hits.

The defending unit rolls a number of dice equal to the number of successful hits, plus one die for each point of Defend the unit has. Any leftover hits remove figures or deal Wounds to figures that can take more than one hit.

That might sound like the system favors the defender, but there’s more going on…


The most important factor in this is the Sigil Die itself. The CROM d6 has three sides that are hits, two sides that are blocks, and one side that is the special Sigil symbol. This already puts the math in favor of the attacker. Combine this with the fact that the number of blocking dice is largely controlled by the number of hits, not the number of attacks. Any dice that the attacking unit rolls that miss are not matched with defending dice. The defender may get one, two, or (in rare cases) three extra dice, but that’s it. And then the defending unit has essentially a 1/3 chance of blocking each hit.

An attacker that rolls a lot of hits is probably going to wound. That’s the way it works out.

As you might expect, many units have special abilities that adjust certain aspects of the attack roll in their favor. For instance, Bossonian Archers have the “Excellence in Armor” ability, which rerolls each non-blocking die once when defending. A unit that has Shields is able to count Sigils as a block, raising their block chance to 50% on each die.

On the attack, the Legion of Set is particularly vicious. The deadly Scion of Set has the Venomous ability, which removes a defender’s die for each Sigil rolled on the attack. And the Legion even has Fate cards that can turn regular units Venomous as well!


Next time we’ll talk about movement and charging, and why the Scion of Set’s other ability is also terrifying.