A hostile world, a bleak existence. Welcome to Samaria. Mr. Black here, dear readers, and today we’re going to go over some of the fundamentals on How To Play Dark Age.
Now, I know a lot of you may not even know what Dark Age is, and to those I emplore you to check out GentleBen’s look at it both Here and Here. While Ben covers a great deal of the background, lore, and aspects of army-building, I’m here today to go over some of the grittier aspects of the game and show you how it works, and why I fell in love with this game.
First, I will mention that it was the models that initially brought me in. The range is wide and has a faction that caters to most everyone out there, assuming, of course, that the base style is something you can get behind. For me, it was right up my ally.
The Quick Rundown
Dark Age is a small-level alternating-action skirmish game, either side usually not fielding more than a dozen or so models, even at higher point games (of course, some factions can, and often will, field numbers double this, but they are not the majority). Game-play is based around a d20 system with easily factored Target Numbers which determine success or failure for each given more, for those of you who have played Infinity or Chainmail (90s version) then this mechanic will come natural to you, while the actual style of gameplay is something which Mordheim and Necromunda players can associate with.
Gameplay is fast and very brutal, the tagline for the game is “Everything Dies” and with good reason: No model in the game is impervious to damage, and even a lowly Dragyri Slave (weakest of the weak 10 point model) has a chance of taking down a Forsaken Saint (big badass leader of an entire army). Basically, as mentioned in the opening, the world is harsh and unforgiving, and even the “mightiest” of heroes cant just shrug off a knife planted into their gut!
HP (Health Points): A units health, duh! The thing to mention here is that 80% of the models in Dark Age have one health; an elite unit may have two, and a legendary general, savior of the people might be lucky enough to have three. As I said before, “Everything Dies” is their tagline for a reason- no one is exempt from dying!*
PV (Point Value): This shows how many points the unit is for the purposes of army construction. The standard game of Dark Age ranges between 500-750, but larger games (1000+) really aren’t that much different. As you can see, the Fixer there is 75 points, which is the average for a lot of the “elite infantry/individuals”.
*It is worth noting here, however, some of the big nasty bio-engineered monsters from the Brood faction have more, an upwards of five/six, but they are an extreme rarity.