Storms Over Astor

Storms Over Astor

A Mega-game

By Tim Ledwitch

Player Handbook


  • [Set-up]
  • The Turn
    • Production
    • Trading
    • Purchasing
      • The units
    • War
    • Upkeep
      • Public Order
    • Diplomacy
  • Technology


  • The Factions
    • Humans
    • Dwarves
    • Elves
    • Lizardfolk
    • Orcs
    • The Merchants’ Guild
    • Religions




Each  Faction starts with the following:

  • 1 Monarch, who is treated as a +1/-1 Officer. If the Monarch joins an army, they must be the commanding general.
  • 1 Lord-General (or equivalent), who is treated as a +2/-1 Officer.
  • 1 Arch-Wizard (or equivalent) who is treated as a +2/+2 Officer.
  • A Successor and a Second-In-Line, who are treated as +0/-0 Officers.
  • A treasury with 3 Gold.
  • Initial technology option cards.
  • Their Faction’s starting technology.
  • 1 Regiment, representing the Royal Guard.


In addition, the Kingdom will receive:

  • 5 Provinces, to arrange as they see fit
  • One dock, to place on the coast of any of their provinces.
  • One Capital city, to act as the seat of power. (This functions as a free Infrastructure upgrade)


Each player is given their own personal objectives, as well as their faction wide objectives. They must name their Character, and the Faction.



The Turn

Each Turn consists of 6 phases, each phase lasts 10 minutes. There are 6 turns in the game. In addition, there is an initial period for planning and a 10 minute initial diplomacy phase at the start of the game.


  1. Production

Make decisions about what each of your provinces will produce, and then receive these resources. Militia produce in their home province, all other resources go to the treasury.


  1. Trade

At this point you may trade resources with other factions.


  1. Purchase

In this phase you may purchase new technologies, upgrades and units.


  1. War

In this phase combat occurs


  1. Upkeep

Maintain your kingdom and check for uprisings


  1. Diplomacy

Meet with peers, conduct subterfuge.


At the end of the 6th turn, the game ends



For each province, declare what you are producing. Each province starts the game being able to produce twice a turn, though this can be upgraded as the game progresses. The Provinces can produce the following:


  • 1 Militia (+0/-0 military unit)
  • 1 Food
  • 1 Trade Goods (Wood, Stone, Metal or Exotic, depending on the province)
  • 1 Gold Reserve
  • +1 Public order


Over-working: You can over-work a province. This allows the province to produce an additional time, but reduces the province’s Public Order score by 1.


Trade  The Trading Phase allows factions to trade amongst themselves. However, certain rules must be followed:

  • Factions may only trade with other factions they have contact with.
  • Normally this means they either share a land border or have a trade ship in one or the other’s harbour.
  • Religions may trade with factions who house a building of theirs or through their own trade ships.
  • The Trade Guild can trade with anybody, and anybody can seek to trade with them.
  • Two Religions with buildings in the same kingdom can trade with each other.
  • Factions who are at war can’t trade with each other.
  • Resources can be freely traded or gifted.
  • Provinces can also be traded or gifted.
  • Technologies may be traded or gifted, but the recipient of each technology must be able to meet its prerequisites.
  • Players may give resources, provinces or technologies for free if they so wish.





The Purchasing Phase allows factions to purchase technologies, upgrades and units. If you are the first faction to research a technology, your Arch-Wizard is considered to have invented it. (This is not true of any starting Techs.)


The standard purchasing options are as follow:







1 Gold, 1 Militia

Regiments are generally better trained, armed and armoured than militia. Each Regiment starts as +2/-1.


1 Gold, 1 Wood, 1 Metal

Warships receive a +1/-0 bonus in sea combat. They can also transport 1 combat unit. Ships move 2 provinces per season

Trade Ship

1 Wood, 1 Gold

Trade ships are designed to facilitate trade and diplomacy in distant lands. They are +0/-0 in combat and can carry 1 combat unit. Ships move 2 provinces per season


1 Gold, 1 Stone

Infrastructure allows the improved province to produce an additional time per Production Phase, and allows armies to cross rivers and mountains in one move.


3 Gold, 1 Wood, 1 Stone

Ports are necessary to produce ships, and can support up to 3 ships


3 Gold, 2 Stone, 1 Wood

Fortresses are immovable defensive structures which provide a +4/-4 bonus in battles fought in their province.



You may produce any number of officers, and troops can’t enter battle without a general to lead them. However, brand new generals start with a -1/+1 stat. Each general must have a name!


As well as this, a faction may designate where each of their officers is assigned. Each army may have a commanding general and a lieutenant, drawn from their officer pool.




In The War Phase, generals command their armies. Each War Phase consists of a preparation phase and two Seasons.


  1. The general with the highest attack bonus (x) moves their army one province. In the event of tied highest Attack bonus, determine randomly, however the next acting general must be from a different faction until all generals of the same attack bonus have moved (or declined to). Armies may absorb additional units en route. They may also split. If they split, you must assign a general to command each section. The sections then move as independent armies as determined by their general’s attack bonus.
  2. Determine any battles caused by the move.
    1. This means battles can be fought before other armies have had a chance to move.
    2. An army can be present in a province without attacking it. However, in order to conquer it, they must attack.
    3. Multiple armies of different factions can co-exist in the same province without battle, if neither attacks the other.
  3. The next general moves, and repeat as above until all generals have moved and battles have been fought.
  4. Once this has occurred, repeat for the second season.



Units engaged in battle have a combat stat. This is expressed as x/y. The ‘x’ is the impact the unit has on your own dice roll. The ‘y’ is the impact they have on your opponent’s dice roll. So, for example, a mighty fort has a combat stat of +4/-4. This means it adds 4 to the dice you roll, and subtracts 4 from your opponent’s dice roll. However, an inexperienced general has a stat of -1/+1, meaning they deduct 1 from your dice roll and add 1 to your opponent’s!


In addition, for each unit by which you outnumber your opponent in the battle, you generate an additional +1/-0 Modifier. So if for example you have four units in a battle against an opponent’s two, you would have a +2/-0 modifier in addition to any other modifiers which may be applied.


Finally, special terrains (Mountains, Caves and Forests) give the defender a +2/-2 benefit in battles fought in these provinces.

  1. Each faction in the battle rolls a battle dice.
  2. Apply all modifiers to your dice. (even if you have multiple generals in the same army, only the general in charge and his lieutenant grants a benefit. However, each individual unit adds their own modifier.)
  3. Apply all modifiers to your opponent’s dice (as above).
  4. Inflict losses. Each number above 0 removes that many units of their controller’s choice.
  5. Each faction then has the option to withdraw from the battle. To do so, they move their chosen units to a neighbouring province. You can withdraw part of your army and leave another part to fight on.
  6. If neither party fully withdraws, repeat steps 1-5.


A battle ends when an army has either fully withdrawn or been wiped out. The party in control of the province at the end of the battle gains or retains control of it. If neither party has a unit left in the province, it remains under the control of the defenders.


Once a battle has ended, the following occurs:

  • Any surviving militia on the winning side automatically becomes a Regiment.
  • Each commanding general and lieutenant involved develops either their x or y characteristic.
  • If an army has been completely destroyed, any officers attached to it are also lost.
  • The factions who directly fought each other are now at war.
  • If a faction gained control of a province, they can choose to destroy any building or infrastructure it contains. Doing so generates 1 food and 1 gold.




In the upkeep phase, Factions pay resources depending on the needs of their kingdoms.

  • Each Province requires 1 food
  • Each Militia requires 1 Food
  • Each Regiment requires 1 Food and 1 Gold.


If you are unable or unwilling to meet the needs of your kingdom, the following consequences occur:

  • Each unfed Province suffers Starvation.
  • Each unfed Militia Disbands
  • Each unpaid or unfed Regiment disbands.

Disbanding regiments can be bought by the trade guild if they pay the upkeep for the regiment. The regiment then becomes a mercenary company under the control of the trade guild. This can only be done if the faction controlling the regiment fails to pay. The regiment keeps their upgrades and stats.


Starving provinces produce 1 less time until they are fed, they also suffer -2 Public Order.


Public Order


Maintaining Public Order is important, to avoid uprising and revolts.


Each province starts the game with +2 Public Order. If it ever drops to 0 or below, the province will experience an Uprising. 1 Rebel Militia will form, and the province will declare itself Independent. The uprising is led by a new Officer with a stat of -1/+1.


If the province has been left as an independent state and not reconquered by the start of the next turn’s upkeep, the rebellion may spread to near-by provinces. Each friendly province bordering the rebelling province will receive -3 to its own Public Order. 


The following factors negatively affect Public Order:


Being at war: -1

Battle in the province: -1

Starvation: -2

Neighbouring rebellion: -3

Over-working: -1




The Diplomacy phase is designed for free flowing conversation, and therefore few mechanics apply. The agreements are generally honour based. However, a few mechanics do exist to facilitate the diplomatic process.


Royal heirs


Each Kingdom has two royal heirs, a Successor and a Second-in-Line. These can be useful in several ways:

  • Heirs have received generally competent military training. They are each able to be deployed as Officers, with a starting stat of +0/-0. If the army they are attached to is destroyed, they will be killed.
  • Heirs can be married to other faction Heirs to cement alliances.
    • If this happens, it must be determined where the married couple will reside.
    • The Heir who moves to the other Kingdom will become a member of that kingdom.
    • However, if the Heir is ever deployed in a battle against their home Kingdom, there is a 50% chance that they will switch sides and lend their bonus to their home Kingdom.
    • If an Heir is present in a province which suffers an uprising, they will be pressured to lead it. There is a 50% chance they will do so, and be the officer in charge of the uprising.
      • If they don’t lead the uprising, they will be trapped in the province.
      • If the province remains in unquelled rebellion at the next upkeep, the Heir(s) will be killed.




  • Royal Summits can be called, inviting any parties to engage in a discussion on a particular matter.


  • Academic Summits are held by the Wizards of the factions, and one takes place during each diplomacy phase.
    • Can trade technology at these summits.
    • Can also present theories. Presenting a theory requires a hypothesis, a spoken presentation of this theory, and a conclusion. By majority vote, a theory can be accepted. If it is, the presenter receives a Credit.
    • If you have invented a new technology you can present a paper on it. If you do so, you gain 2 Credits and every other attendee obtains 1 credit.
    • Credits are wildcard resources for use in research.




Factions may also sanction subterfuge. A Faction may sanction ONE of the following in each diplomacy phase:


  • Sabotage: Name a Faction and a Technology. If that faction attempts to develop that technology during the next Purchasing Phase, they fail to do so and their resources spent on it are wasted.


  • Assassinate: Name a character. There is a 25% chance that character will be killed. Successful or failed, there is a 50% chance you will be identifiable as the culprit.


  • Steal: Name a Faction and a Technology you satisfy the prerequisites for. If they have it, you have a 50% chance to gain knowledge of it.


  • Incite: Name a province. You reduce that province’s Public Order by 1.


  • Counter: Name one Subterfuge option. If your faction is targeted by that option, it fails.





Death of any of the played characters is possible and indeed built into the game. However, the factions are robust, and the loss of an influential leader, while damaging, is not designed to be fatal. Deaths of named characters are dealt with as follows:


  • A Monarch is succeeded by their Successor. If the Successor is married overseas, they are recalled and will have to travel back to the Kingdom. Their spouse will join them and will form part of the new faction.
  • If a Successor dies, the Next-In-Line replaces them as Successor. No new Next-In-Line generates.
  • If the Monarch and their successors have all passed, the crown will pass to either the Lord-General or the Arch-Wizard, to be determined between the two.
  • If they can’t agree, a Succession war may start. This can mean the nation splits in two until the conflict is resolved. [tbc]
  • Once the new Monarch is crowned, the player playing them becomes the Monarch. The player who previously played the Monarch will play as the highest skilled Officer as the new Lord-General (Their stats do not change) or will play as a replacement Arch-Wizard.
  • If a Lord General is killed,the next highest ranking general will take command, and will be played by the same player. If the Arch Wizard is killed their subordinate will be promoted and played by the same player. However, They may in each circumstances be assigned new objectives to pursue.




Factions may pool resources and share certain technologies. However, in the event of technologies which produce a location specific technology (for example, University, Military Academy and College of Wizards), if the two factions go to war with each other, only the faction who controls the province the institution is located in will continue to benefit from it.