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What is The Face of Battle? The Face of Battle (TFoB/FoB) is a set of rules for conducting 15mm - 28mm WWII skirmish miniature wargames. The scale is one figure equals one soldier and one vehicle equals one vehicle. The rules cover everything: combat, movement, spotting, weather, terrain, random events, vehicles, equipment, explosions, special weapons, heroes, leaders and more!
I have seen this before. What makes The Face of Battle different? Here are a few of the many reasons to try The Face of Battle:
  • TFoB gives attention to detail and decision making. There are a lot of rule options, while keeping the actual rules required to play at a minimum. Players should be able to run their soldiers as realistically as desired, while keeping the 'game' feel to play. The rules give as many tactical options to the players as possible. Therefore the individual player's tactics will eventually surpass the rules. Skilled players will usually beat players with less skill. The rules do not favour poor tactics.
  • The game is complete. The game has a high page count which means you get all the information and rules in one book.
  • TFoB uses cards to facilitate actions. This makes for a very chaotic, yet fluent battle. The cards also alleviate some of the problems with the you-go-I-go standard turn mechanism. Although the card based action and movement system may not appeal to all miniature gamers, we feel it is the best method have handling turn sequences and achieving our design goals.
  • But wait, I thought you said as I get better, I rely less on the 'rules'. Yes, we stand by that point. But any battle, especially a small scale battle still has many random events and uncertainties. Skilled players will try to limit these events to turn them into advantages.
  • TFoB is a 'scalable' system (no pun intended). One of the design goals was to allow the game to grow so that the mechanics and rules work equally well for squad level skirmish (one to one scale) to company level skirmish (one to many scale: individual leaders and heroes, multi-based squads and support groups). As well, the core system is expandable to many genres, form 1000BC to modern.
Why are the rule books so big? On first impression, TFoB looks intimidating due to the size of the rule book. The rule book is big because TFoB is a complete game. We have included rules for just about everything: dust, bicycles, ramming, snow, events, and so on. But, there are no rules within rules. You don't have to read the entire book to play the game. The basic play rules are only 6 pages long. After that you are adding rules that you only need for a particular scenario. Also included with the rules are scenarios, charts, extra items like equipment lists, background information, TO&E's, and more. Yo get a lot of game for your money. Finally, the rule book is printed on high quality paper which is thicker than normal book paper.
Is the game easy to learn? As we stated above, there are no rules within rules. You don't have to read the entire book to play the game. The basic play rules are only 6 pages long. After that you are adding rules that you only need for a particular scenario. At conventions and demonstrations, within 5 minutes of play, most gamers can run the game themselves. The mechanic of the game is card based. Therefore, you can only act when the soldier's card is drawn. So draw a card and shoot or move. Draw the next card, shoot or move. There are no complex turn sequence, order phases, plotting, etc. Click here for the basic rules of play with demos and examples.
Does the game cover more than World War Two? Yes. Currently their are official rule books for World War Two (1939 to 1945) and for Modern (1950+). You can use the rules to cover late 19th century and early 20th century conflicts as well. We are also working on wild west, sci-fiction, horror and fantasy versions of The Face of Battle.
How long is a typical game? This depends on the size of the scenario, the number of players, and the knowledge of the players. A typical scenario consisting of a platoon per player would take 4 hours to complete. The factors in such intangibles as: bathroom breaks, eating, general chit-chat, the occasional rule lookup, arguments (discussions)...
What is the ground scale? The ground scale is in scale with the miniatures. 1 to 1 scale. What you see on the table is actually how big everything is in relation to the figures. Therefore if you are playing with 20mm figures, the ground scale is about 1" = 1 metre. Since ground scale is true scale to the minitaures, line of sight and spotting is sometimes easier. Also, since everything is in scale and is 1 to 1, explaining the game to new players is easier... "You see that tree there... that is a TREE."
What is the figure scale and basing? Most skirmish games are played with figures in 15mm, 20mm and 25/28mm size or 1.76th and 1.72nd scale. The Face of Battle uses individually based/mounted figures. The author, Michael Ball, uses 20mm. For more information on scales and sizes, go to scale information here...
Is the turn sequence "You Go, I Go"? No. TFoB is card-based. Each soldier is represented by 1 to 3 cards. Each player will have 1 or more decks to control their forces. All players turn or 'flip' their cards at the same time. Action is simultaneous. Every player is always in the game.
How many units do I control? A typical game will see each player controlling up to 30 soldiers. A player could also run a few vehicles with a platoon of soldiers.
Where can go for game-related Q&A's? There are game question and answers here on the web site. Go to Game Q and A
Is there a TFoB forum? Not at this web site. But the company and author support the Yahoo group at:
The Face of Battle Yahoo Group
Can I e-mail the author? Yes. His e-mail address is: michael.ball@thefaceofbattle.com
Please research all FAQ's, Q&A's and forums before e-mailing.
I want to start playing right away, is there a quick play sheet? You can find a quick play sheet. Yes, click here to Learn to Play
Why is the game not bound? We felt players would want to organize their scenarios, rules, charts, etc., in their won way. Also, new rules, editions, updates could be inserted into the existing rulebook with ease. Some people like perfect binding, some little staple bindings, some like spiral bindings, some like no bindings... we can't please everyone. Future games may be bound, depending on our plans with the product.
What is on-demand publishing? All TFoB products are print-on-demand or on-demand-publishing. On Demand Publishing (ODP) is the future of book publishing. ODP is also called Print on Demand. With advances in computers and high-speed, digital printers, publishers can print complete books in a matter of minutes based on sales, stock levels, etc. Therefore the print runs are small and stock levels are kept at a manageable amount.
Is there going to be more planned nationality expansions like VC or AA? No. Initially we liked the concept of a nationality expansion. But, we felt a lot of good information was potentially wasted in an all-encompassing $20 book. Some players just wanted firearm data, but no scenarios. Some players asked for extensive vehicle data, but no new rules or events. Some players, scenarios and scenarios only. So folks would pass on the book instead of harvesting what they wanted. Also, potential customers that play skirmish games other than TFoB, could easily use our great expansion scenarios. Again these folks may pass on a book that is half TFoB-centric. So we split the expansions into separate scenario, equipment and vehicle books. Finally, by making the releases (books) smaller, we can get more content out the door for less cost to the consumer.
What are the Infantry Fighting Manuals? Infantry Fighting Manuals (IFM) are the part of the old nationality expansion that covers the soldier and the soldier's equipment. The IFM's will include: medals, ranks, TOE's, rifle, submachineguns, machinguns, grenades, ant-tank guns, ordnance, LAW's, and more. Each piece of equipment will have their own entry with pictures, descriptions, game data and more.
What are the Vehicle Operation Guides? The Vehicle Operation Guides (VoG) are the part of the old nationality expansion that covers vehicles. The VoG's will include: tanks, scout cars, trucks, self-propelled artillery, infantry fighting vehicles, armour data, gun data and more. Each vehicle variant will have their own entry complete with pictures, combat data, and more.
What products are on the way? Have a look at what is coming soon: More information here...
See what products are currently under development: More information here...
More games we are planning: More information here...
When will product <insert name> be released? We will try to maintain the release schedule as per the release pages. Also check the news page for more information.

Have a look at what is coming soon: More information here...
See what products are currently under development: More information here...
More games we are planning: More information here...
When is a second edition planned? We are currently playtesting a few second edition rules. Rumours started by the art department say 2006... stay tuned for more rumours, gossip and general mud slinging.
Will you be doing PDF releases? Yes! Starting with the French 1940 scenario book (Act of Daring), the French IFM and VoG will all be offered in PDF format.
Can I offer the downloadable official TFoB scenarios, updates, etc., on my web site? No.
Can I submit new rules, scenarios, books, art, etc.? Yes. Please ask for permission prior to submitting any work. Give a brief outline as to what you are submitting. We cannot guarantee anything will be published (on-line or in book form). Free house rules and scenarios are your best chance to have you work published on the TFoB web site. Send to: info@thefaceofbattle.com. Authors are not compensated for items offered for free download.
Can I place house-rules and home-made scenarios on my web site? Assuming you mean rules that you have written, yes, you can, but please provide a link to the master TFoB web page. If you did not write the house rule or scenario, please contact the author of those works for permission to display them on your website. If you want us to consider including your items on the main TFoB web site, send an e-mail to info@thefaceofbattle.com. Authors will be fully credited.
I wish to run a TFoB scenario at a convention, can you help? Yes. Let us know all the convention details (name, dates, times, location, size, style/genre). We may be able to help in the following ways:
  • Attend in person - run events, assist in refereeing, give lectures, hang out for a beer
  • Sponsor prizes, etc.
We cannot offer miniatures or terrain as prizes. Please contact those companies respectively.
Which conventions do you attend? TFoB games are frequently run at the Ottawa Miniatures Gamers club. We also run games at CanGames in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We also attend Cold Wars and Historicon. Any conventions that we will be attending and running events will posted on the web-site in the news section.