BOW Advanced Rules Book
Version 1.1

by Alban NANTY


BOW (Bricks Only Wargame) is a game invented by Alban NANTY in the late 2006. This Rule book was written by Alban NANTY.
All the content of this book is copyrighted Alban NANTY. You can print and make copies of this Rule Book for your personnal use but commercial use of this Rule Book is not allowed.

Please contact Alban NANTY () if you want to reproduce a part or the whole content of this Rule Book in a publication (web site, printed book, or any kind of publication past, present and future) to have a written authorisation.

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO® Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this book.


BOW is a wargame designed for playing with LEGO® bricks. This Advanced Rules Book is an extension of the basic rules. This Book will present a set of new rules compatible with the basic rules, but of course the basic rules are still needed to play BOW. These advanced rules have been grouped by chapter to facilitate the reading, but in fact each rule is independant. You can pick up the rules you like and discard the others.

We recommand you to be familliar with the basic rules before adding more rules from this Advanced Rule Book. You should play at least one game of BOW before trying to make the rules more complex. Also we recommand you to add new rules little by little. Finally, don't forget that you can also create your own rules in BOW, see the Annex B of the basic rules for more details.

1. Move Actions

 1.1 Prone/Stand up

If you want to have the possibility to hide your unit behind a hedge or a low wall for example, you may like to have a rule to let the unit prone. The prone or stand up action is of course a trivial action that doesn't need any BR. When a minifig decide to prone, just lie it down on the battle field at the place it is, to make understand to all the players that it is actually proned. A proned unit can of course stand up by spending one action from its Action Budget. The Prone and Stand up are separated from the Move Action, so if a unit wants to move an prone, he will have to spend two actions.

 1.2 Difficult terrain/Crawling/Swimming

If you feel the need to add penalties for difficult terrain like swamp, bush, sliding ice, etc... you can do like in any other wargame: divide the Move Ability of the units by two (rounded to the lower value). Moreover, if you want to let your minifig swim, you can also use the same rule (use half of the Move Ability in the lake or river). Same thing for a prone minifig who would like to crawl.

Example: a basic trooper who has 5 studs of Move Ability will only be able to move to 2 studs on a rough terrain. But since the trooper has 2 actions in his Action Budget, he can do two move actions and then move up to a distance of 4 studs during his Turn.

 1.3 Big Jump/Stunt

If you want to have the possibility to make heroic jumps, incredible stunts, or epic gestures (such as for example jumping accross the moat while the drawbridge is closing up), you will need to spend one action from your Action Budget. However, since this action is highly risky and heroic, there is a chance for failure, so a BR is required.

To do such unusal actions, you can launch as many bricks as your Movement Ability (GREEN studs on the Description Sheet). Your opponent does an opposing BR with normally 6 bricks. However if both player agree or if there is a game master to decide, the resisting BR can use more or less bricks depending on the real difficulty of the stunt performed. If the jumping player fail the action, the consequences are left to the players and depends on stunt performed. To be fair, the players should agree on both the consequences of success and failure before launching the bricks.

Example: A Jedi pursuing a flying ennemy wants to do an amazing jump to reach a very high platform. Both players agree that if the Jedi succeed the player can place the minifig on the platform, and if he fails the minifig will be placed just under the platform. Moreover if he fails the Jedi will have to resist to a 3 bricks Attack BR to simulate the effect of the fall impact. However the players could not agree on the difficulty of the jump, so they just use the 6 bricks recommended by the rules. The Jedi has a Movement Ability of 6, so both players rolls 6 bricks. Unfortunatly the Jedi loose the BR. So the opponent launch 3 bricks and the Jedi resists with its Dodge/Armor Ability. Fortunatly this time the Jedi win and does not suffer damage.

2. Attack Actions

 2.1 Explosive Weapon

Explosive weapons are usually powerful and may disrupt the balance of the game if they are over used, so you should use them carefully. Whereas the attacker does only one Attack/Damage BR (to determine the damage of the explosive object), all the units within the blast radius of the explosive object must do a Dodge/Armour BR (even the attacker if he is still inside the blast radius).

When we say that the Attack/Damage Ability of the attacker should be used, we assume that that the Attack/Damage of the attacker already reflect the damage level of the explosive. Of course if the explosive device is not the primary weapon of the minifig written on its Description Sheet, you should pay attention to compute the correct Attack/Damage Ability for the explosive device. The Annex A of the basic rules give a damage value of 3 for a grenade and 4 for a bomb. The blast radius of a explosive device is 10 studs

  2.1.1 Grenades

According to the basic rules, throwing an object don't need a BR, so you can place the grenade inside a circle centered on the minifig and of a radius equals to 2 time its Move Ability (normal rule for throwing an object). Then the player must do a BR with the Attack/Damage Ability of the attacker to determine the damage of the grenade, and all the units inside the blast radius must do a Dodge/Armour BR. Of course, throwing the grenade and doing the BR count as only one action in the Action Budget.

  2.1.2 Time Bomb

A time bomb is an explosive device that explodes after a certain delay from the moment it is set up. It can be a bomb with a clock or a dynamite.

Placing the bomb on the battle field is an Action that counts in the Action Budget but don't need a BR. Once the bomb is placed, the attacker should do some Move action to go away. The bomb explodes at the end of the next Turn of the attacker (so in the next Round). The player do a BR with the Attack/Damage Ability of the attacker to know the damage (this BR is free and don't count as an action in the Action Budget, since an action had already been count for placing the bomb). Each unit in the blast radius must do a Dodge/Armour BR.

  2.1.3 Remote Bomb

A remote bomb is an explosive device that can be triggered by distance with a remote controller. Usually the remote bombe must first be set up somewhere and then the owner of the remote can trigger it at any time.

As for the time bombs, placing a remote bomb on the battle field is an Action that counts in the Action Budget but don't need a BR. Then the attacker will be able to trigger the bomb with its remote controller when he wants during its current Turn or next Turns (triggering the bomb is an action that count in the Action Budget but don't need a BR). When the bomb is triggered, the attacker does a BR with its Attack/Damage Ability to determine the damage, and all the units inside the blast radius must do a Dodge/Armour BR. Of course, triggering the bomb and doing the BR count as only one action in the Action Budget.

 2.2 Light Saber

Light Sabers are weapons from the Starwars Universe. But if you want to adapt these rules in another universe, don't hesitate a second. Maybe your medieval minifig has a magic sword that can make the same damages as a Light Saber!? Anyway, Light Sabers are strange weapons because they are on the same time a weapon and an "armor". A Jedi that use a Light Sabor also has an important armor value because he can deviate the blaster fire with it.

  2.2.1 Attack with a Light Saber

Light Sabers are class 4 weapons (it has 4 points of Damage) just as the bombs. It is a very powerful weapon. Of course it is a close combat weapon, and the basic rules from close combat attack can be used.

  2.2.2 Defend with a Light Saber

A Jedi can deviate an possibly return to sender the blaster fire aimed at him. A Jedi can also deviate an archaic projectiles such as the arrows of an Ewok, but can not return these archaic projectile to the sender. When an attacker fire at a Jedi with a Light Saber, just do the two normal opposition BR. Then depending on the result of the two BR, use the following table instead of the standard table of the Basic Rules:

  2.2.3 Throwing a Light Saber

A Jedi can decide to throw his Light Saber while it is still light on, for example to cut a distant wire or to try to touch an enemy or a vehicule. For that you can just use the standard rules about throwing object. But then the Jedi can do an Attack/Damage BR against the target (the wire, the unit or the vehicule). Then leave the Light Saber near the target. If the Jedi wants to get it back, he will have to move close to it and spend an action to grab it. Or he can also spend a telekinesy action to attrack it back to his hand.

3. Other Actions

 3.1 Open a locked door

A unit who wants to pick a locked door or to hack a door control panel (if you are in the Starwars universe), must be close to the door (or control panel), i.e. at maximum 2 studs of distance. Then the unit need to spend one action from his Action Budget and this action needs a BR. The player must use the Repair (YELLOW) Ability of the unit and the opponent player do the resisting BR for the door.

The scenario should clearly states at the begining of the game, how many bricks need to be rolled for each locked door on the battle field. A good way to avoid any dispute is to put some YELLOW MB next to each locked door when you set up the battle field. A very simple or archaic lock can have no brick at all to resist, in that case, the unit performing the pick lock just need to obtain at least one with his BR. But of course a unit without a Repair Ability can not perform a picking action.

Example: Two players decide to play a scenario in the Starwars universe that mimic the Endor's Battle. They set up a woody battle field with a bunker and a locked door. They agree that the door will have 4 bricks to resist to computer hacks, so they stack 4 yellow marking bricks next to the door. During the game, R2D2 moves next to the control panel of the bunker door, then he tries to hack the system. He has a Repair Ability of 6. So the player controlling R2D2 launches 6 bricks and his opponent resists by launching 4 bricks. Depending on the result of the BR, the door will open or stay closed.

 3.2 Sleep

The goal of sleeping is to get back some HP lost during the battle. Only a life form unit (with RED HP) may sleep if it is not piloting/driving a vehicle and if it has enough flat space to lie down. Mechanical units (droid, robot... with YELLOW HP) cannot sleep to repair themselves.

If a unit chooses to sleep, lie the minifig down until the next time you play it in the next Round. If a minifig decides to sleep it cannot perform any other action during its Turn; it is like the Sleep Action takes all the Action Budget of the minifig no matter how big the Action Budget is.

When a sleeping unit is attacked (in this Round or the next one), it is defended with only armor which means the player only use the armor value for doing the resisting BR. If the attacking unit takes Damage, it immediately wakes up (stand the minifig up) and looses the benefit of the Sleep action (No Damage will not wake the unit up).

If the unit is played in the next Round without having been woken up, it can remove one Damage Point and, of course, it can play its Turn normally.

4. Magic/The Force

The Stawars Force or the Medieval Magic Powers can be easily added into the BOW game system. For that we need to create a new Ability and use a new color for it. We use BLUE plates to record this Ability and of course the Description Sheet is extended by two stud rows. Units who have magic power (or who can resist to magic power) will have a Description Sheet of 6 x 10 studs. A unit with magic power can have different value between the left side and the right side of the Description Sheet, depending if he is better at casting spell than resiting to casted spell or not.

A Magician can cast spells on ennemy or friendly targets. As usual the opponent player will always do the resisting BR, even for friendly targets, and will always use the Magic Resistance Ability of the target. You may feel that it is difficult for your Magician to help your Hero that has a high Ability to Resist to Magic (whereas your Hero may consent to be under the spell), but in fact the opponent player has no interest to see your Magician succeed so easily. This is the same logic as the healing action of the basic rules, when the opponent player launch the resisting brick for your minifig.

Most of the Magic Action can be performed on a distant target. For all these distant actions, the Magician will have the same penalty as the Distant Attack in the basic rules. That is to say, for a distant Magic action:

The Magic Ability open a door on a wide variety of magic actions. All these actions count in the Action Budget of the unit and require a Magic BR. But the using conditions and consequences of these actions are all different, so you have to refer to the rules of each action for more details. Also you are not obliged to use all the Magic Actions described here, and you can also invent your own.

 4.1 Fireballs

With this power, the Magician can launch fireballs or lightnings (or any similar magic projectile) from his hands to the direction of the target. This action can be considered as a real Distant Attack and the basic rules for Distant Attack can be used, except that the Magician use its Magic Ability instead of his Attack/Damage Ability for his BR.

The covered unit can even benefit of their +1 brick for their resiting BR. The target however may choose to resist the attack with its Magic Resitance Ability or its Dogde/Armor Ability, depending on which Ability is best. Resolve the damage normally.

 4.2 Distant Heal

A Magician can heal wounded units at range but this action can only affect live form (unit with RED HP). Since it is a distant action, the target must be visible and the Magic BR is modified according to the distance of the target. Then you can use the standard rules for treating/repairing units.: the targeted unit resist with as many bricks as hit number of Hit Points.

 4.3 Force Field Wall

A Magician can create a Force Field at any visible place of the battle field. This is a distant action so the place must be visible and the Magic BR is modified by the distance of the place. You can use this action to protect an object, a door frame, a unit, a vehicule, etc... This action is a bit special because it does not affect any special unit, so there is no resisting BR done. The Magician does his Magic BR and the result of the roll is the power of the Force Field. Of course if the result of the BR is null, the action failed and the force field is not created. The force Field will last until the end of the current Round.

If the action succeed the player can put at the targeted place two transparent brick walls of 1 x 4 studs x 6 bricks high (so a total of 1x8x6 wall). Of course the Magician can perform several times this action (according to his Action Budget) to increase the length of the wall. We strongly recommend you to use the 1x4x3 transparent panel to create these walls but any other transparent bricks of the equivalent size may works. Put also some BLUE MB next to each Force Field created to remember its power (i.e. the result of the BR that created it).

A Force Field doesn't block the visibility (since it is transparent). A Force Field can be traversed freely by friendly unit and friendly projectiles (meaning a friendly unit can fire through a Force Field without any penalty). However a unit behind a Force Field that must do a Dodge/Armor BR to resist to an enemy Attack (no matter if it is a close combat or distant attack) can add the power of the Force Field to its Dodge/Armor Ability for his BR.

Example: A Magician wants to create a Force Field Wall to protect his fellow dwarfs from a distant attack of the enemies. The place chosen by the Magician to erect the wall is at 12 studs from him, so no modifier on his BR. The Magic Ability of the Magician is 5, so he launches 5 bricks and 2 stands up. The Force Field is created and its power is 2. Then the player put the transparent brick wall at the place he mentionned before and he add 2 BLUE MB next to it.
During the next Turn, the opponent player decide to fire on the dwarfs who have a Dodge/Armor Ability of 4. Since the Force Field is between the Attacker and the dwarfs, the dwarfs can add the power of the Force Field to their resisting BR, so they will launch 4 + 2 = 6 bricks.
 4.4 Telekinesy

This Action give the freedom to the Magician to move objects, units and vehicules. The player should explain where he wants to move the object and the destination must be free from obstacle for the target (it is not possible to move objects through the walls). The Magician can move the target from its original position up to a distance of 10 studs per action.

Since this is a distant action, the target must be visible and the Magic BR may be modified by the distance of the target. The resisting BR depends on the nature of the target.

If the action fail, the object doesn't move, and if it succeed, the player can move the target to a distance up to 10 studs from its original position. During the move, the Magician can reorient freely the target.

 4.5 Moral Modifier (for Attack BR only)

A magician can influence the unit's perception of the battle and then impact their moral in a good or bad way. This action can only affect live form (unit with RED HP). This action is only usefull for targets not already played during the Round, since it will affect their Ability only during their Turn of the current Round. This action can target several units, and indeed as many units as the Magician wants. Since it is a distant action, the Magic BR may be modified by the distance of the farest target.

All the targeted units resist together to this Magic action, i.e. the opponent player does only one resisting BR. But the number of bricks to launch is equal to the sum of all the Magic Resistance Ability of all the target.

Example: A Magician wants to help his fellow Knight engaged in close combat with two undead skeletons. The Magician decide to do a Moral Modifier action that will affect the 3 units. The farest minifig is at 23 studs of distance from the Magician, so a -1 brick is applied to the Magician BR. The Magic Ability of the Magician is 5, so he will launch 4 bricks for this action.
As for the targets, the Knight has a Magic Resistance Ability of 2, and the undead skeleton of 1, so the sum of all the Magic Resitance Ability is : 2 + (2 x 1) = 4. So the opponent player launch also 4 bricks to resist to the Magician action.

If the Moral Modifier action succeed, the targets can have a +1 or -1 brick (choice of the Magician) to all their Attack Actions BR during this Round. Of course a Magician can do this action several time during his Turn (according to his Action Budget), and he can target several times the same unit. In that case the modifier are cumulated. To remember these modifiers, put a BLUE MB next to each concerned unit and then remove the BLUE MB when the unit is played.

Example: The Magician succeeded his action. It will give a +1 brick to all the Attack actions of the Knight during this Round and the two concerned undead skeletons will have -1 brick to all their Attack actions during this Round. To avoid to forget these modifiers, the players place a BLUE MB next to each of the three minifig.