As you might have noticed by reading our blog, One Page Rules are regularly served on our gaming table and as of 8 September 2023, version 3.0 has been released and this finally calls for a proper review.
We haven’t played 3rd edition as of yet. Thus, I can only relate to prior editions. Having read the double-sided 3rd edition rules sheet, I can tell that the differences are subtle and mainly occur on the army list side of things.
So let’s have a quick look at the rules.
Glancing over the army lists, you quickly feel at home if you are familiar with the Games Workshop franchise. There are all your well-known troops from the GW line. Beyond that, you’ll find some nods to Mantic Games. Finally, there are several armies that seem to have been developed by OPR, especially for their games. Have, for example, the space coyotes for Grimdark Furure or the Duchies of Vinci for Age of Fantasy. They even designed an extensive collection of 3D printable minis to go with. Of course, you won’t find any Space Marines, but instead, you’ll get Battle Brothers. Reading through a unit’ stats, you won’t take long to relate to GW or Mantic pendants. Thus, you either use your existing plastic soldiers, or you proxy the #$%&* out of your existing miniatures collection. There’s also a huge and growing range of STL files by One Page Rules. Having printed a few, I can only say they are excellent, both in detail and in ease of printing (supports). Ultimately, the game is miniature agnostic. The choice is up to you!
One Page Rules come in 6 different flavors. If I compare them to other, existing, games, I can see some similarities between them, even if it’s only the first impression I have. That’s why the following is clearly my own, personal, point of view. Of course, One Page Rules is a game of its own, as are all the others I mention. Some of them I played, whereas others I only know from hearsay at best. So, please don’t take my word for it. Just give One Page Rules a go, if you feel like trying something new. There’s probably something there for you:
Science-Fiction squad based game. Alternative to Warhammer 40k, Warpath and Xenos Rampant.
Science-Fiction skirmish game. Alternative to Kill Team, Warpath Firefight, or other Science-Fiction skirmish games.
Spaceship battles. A nod to Battlefleet Gothic, Full Thrust, Dropfleet Commander.
Fantasy mass battle. Alternative to Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Saga Age of Magic, Dragon Rampant.
Fantasy Skirmish. Alternative to … fantasy skirmish games … There are soooo many out there …
Fantasy Rank and File game. Hail to Warhammer Fantasy, Warmaster, Kings of War, the 9th Age!
So far, we’ve played Grimdark Future Firefight, Age of Fantasy, and Age of Fantasy Skirmish. All of them play very smoothly, and each one captures enough Science-Fiction and fantasy vibes, respectively. That being said, it’s the army lists that ultimately give the games its depth.
Prior to their recent website overhaul, you could download some other free games as well. All fitted on a double-sided A4 sheet. There were alternatives to fantasy football and apocalyptic car races. There was a Science-Fiction or near future skirmish game called Double Tap, which reminded me of Infinity with its reaction system. I remember a basic and generic skirmish game, very well suited for kids, in my opinion. At one time, OPR had a cool arena game, very reminiscent to Warhammer Underworlds. We played that once. They announced it back then, that the game would be discontinued. But, other than that, I couldn’t find any of the other games anymore as of late. Maybe they’ll come back in the future. That would be great since they were quite solid and fun standalone games on a double-sided A4 page.
The best part of all these games is that they are completely free. At least the basic rules and army lists and some supplements are. For our needs, that’s more than enough. Though I bought the “full” rulebooks on wargamevault.com, I think they are not strictly necessary to play the game and have fun. They merely add optional rules, which I must say are excellent. So, if you want to support One Page Rules, that’s a good way to do it, besides Patreon.
The base mechanic is very simple. Every dice roll is checked against 2 stats: quality and defense. The first value, a general measure of how good a model is, is used to determine outcomes of attacks, morale, and other actions in the game. Defense is more of a reference value to dice against.
The game is played using alternating activation of models or units. Unlike the more traditional I go, you go approach, this makes for more engaged games, since you have to strategically choose which units to activate at every given moment in a game.
Although you could play One Page Rules in a last man standing type scenario, games are mainly objective driven and limited to 4 rounds. This not only makes for tactically challenging but also quick games. You can play One Page Rules in under an hour.
One Page Rules 3.0
The new rules update from 8 September 2023, doesn’t radically change rules. It’s more a polishing and re-balancing of the game. The main rules are pretty much left unchanged, with some minor tweaks here and there. It’s in the specifics and depths of the rules where the change has happened. Meaning lots of the special rules were overhauled and re-evaluated. Since the introduction of their army builder, a lot has happened on the unit profile side of things. The army lists were in beta for quite a while prior to 3.0 allowing for extensive testing and tweaking.
As of 14 September 2023, another rules update was published (v3.1.0) to amend some minor issues in the base game.
Variety and compatibility
If you’re blessed (or cursed) owning an existing Warhammer army, you’ll be gifted with army lists and unit profiles matching every single miniature you own. If not, all the units are highly customizable. One Page Rules is the only game for which I personally really love list building. Not too simple and not too overwhelming.
There are lists, which you can download, but it’s way easier to use their brilliant list building tool. One Page Rules’ Army builder app is something extraordinary and further speaking for playing this great game.
Most units in the game are customizable. You could theoretically mix and match units from different army lists or even different games. I’ve never tried it, but I’m pretty sure it works. There’s a common underlying point system, upon which all the units are modeled. If you’re a member of OPR’s patreon, you’ll get access to this. It’s a simple, efficient and elegant system.
More than just 2 pages of rules
One Page Rules’ digital starter packs are outstanding in my opinion. Besides the rules and a quick-start guide with tutorial missions, they contain miniatures as 2D printouts or 3D STL files to print on your resin printer at home. Furthermore you’ll get some gaming tools. Again as STL or print outs. Last, but not least, there are themed paper terrain pieces to print, cut and assemble yourself. Everything you’ll need to get started … for FREE!
I haven’t tried their paper miniature range, but I’m not a huge fan of paper minis in general. However OPR’s printable terrain pieces and 2D figures look quite good in my opinion.
Heading over to MyMiniFactory, you’ll find not only single STL files to print, but whole armies to buy and print. There is a ever growing collection of miniatures and bundles over there. The quality of their prints is excellent and don’t take my word for it. Just head over to their website and download one of the aforementioned starter sets. In there you’ll have 6 miniatures each to print at home on your 3D printer.
Besides the free core rules, the full rule-books for each game are available for low cost at Wargamevault or at their Patreon. The extended rules further contain:
- Terrain Placement
- Deployment Styles
- Extra Missions
- Extra Actions
- Solid Buildings
- Random Events
- Battlefield Conditions
- Terrain & Objective Effects
- Fog of War
- Brutal Damage
- Command Points
- Multiplayer Games
- Apocalyptic Games
- Kitchen Table Games
- Small-Scales & Multi-Basing
I suggest giving them a go at a later stage, once you’ve got some games played. They feel more like a pick-what-you-want type of additional rules to add more depth or fun to your games.
Besides the rules there are supplements such as campaign, solo/coop, tournament play. I played the solo rules several times. You’ll find a solo battle report here. Even though they are simple or basic, they are quite robust and fun though. There are objective cards as well, which in my opinion add so much fun to the game, especially in multiplayer mode. Every player gets/draws some secret objectives to resolve during the 4 rounds of the game. This renders the game way more unpredictable, but extremely dramatic and fun.
Getting support for the game is quite easy. Besides the countless battle reports and reviews on youtube, there’s a highly active Discord community out there, where you can hop in. If you want to look something up, you can head over to OPR’s Wiki site.
If you want to support One Page Rules, you could consider joining their patreon, where you’ll get plenty of goodies: the advanced rulebooks, scenarios, and STL filesto name just a few.
One Page Rules are several games, all free, accessible and up-to-date. I highly recommend any of them. After all, the many battle reports on our blog speak for themselves.
As a conclusion of this very brief One Page Rules 3.0 Review, I hope I made you somewhat curious about the games One Page Rules has to offer.