It’s not always easy to keep a medieval themed Live Action Role Play (LARP) and Battle Game interesting and innovative. In particular for a Live Action Battle Game where there is a large focus on combat over role play, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of doing the same thing over and over again, which will quickly become stale. To combat this LARPs need a significant number of game mechanics they can cycle through, add variants to etc. Generally google searches will bring up ideas more focused on traditional LARPs. So here a Battlecry Fields of Ashnoor we seek to address that gap by listing our top 10 game mechanics. If you are running your own medieval themed Live Action Battle Game we hope you find this useful. Many of the mechanics are well known and would be considered staple mechanics, but there are a couple of variants we use that you might not know of.
But first a little about us
We are a medieval themed Live Action Battle Game that runs weekly on Auston Oval Morisset, Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia.
Our player based comes from the surrounding regions (Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, The Hunter & Newcastle). Some travelling close to an hour just to attend our games.
We are one of 2 chapters, the other being Battlecry in Rockdale, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
If you would like to be a part of this great sport, all the information you need to join is contained in this website.
10. Team Death Match
The rules of this are simple. To be the last team standing by killing off your opposing team. Depending on the size of your game you might want to add a life pool (which can be denoted by a pile of field markers) to prolong the game a bit. With this variant when a team member dies they simple remove one of the field markers from the pile and discard to return to the battle, once there is no more field markers left there are no more respawns. Last team standing wins.
9. Capture the Flag
This is a well know game mechanic and always very popular.
Each team has a flag at their respawn point that they must protect. Along with protecting their own flag they must capture their opponents flag and bring it back to their respawn point. The first team to possess both their own flag and their opponents flag at their respawn point is the winner.
8. Captive Escort
In this game get someone to to play the captive and position their start point midway between the 2 respawn points. Each team will attempt to escort them back to the respawn point. To get the captive to move a player must place their hand on the captive’s shoulder. They will then move (slowly) towards that team’s respawn point. Should the player remove their hand from the captive’s shoulder, the captive will move back to their starting point. So the aim of the game is the be the team who has a member with their hand on the captives shoulder escorting them to their team’s respawn. To take control of the captive from your opposing team you must defeat their escorts and then place your hand on the captive’s shoulder. In smaller number games you can add a variant to this game that allows team to attack the captive. If they successfully deliver 1 HP damage, the captive will immediate return to their start point.
7. Resource Grab
Scatter around the map some resources (We use tennis balls wrapped in gold silk cloth but what ever you come up with is fine). Teams must grab as many resources as they can and take them back to their respawn point. The team with the most resources wins. A good rule to include in this is that teams can steal each others resources from their respawn points as this prolongs the game. Also resources should be carried in one hand and players holding a resource should be limited to a walking pace.
6. King of the Hill
Another classic staple mechanic. Nominate a position (capture point) on the map that each team must fight over. If, at the respawn whistle, only 1 team is within that area, then that team receives 1 point. If both teams are inside the area then neither team gets a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
A good variant on this is to have multiple capture points which change each respawn whistle. This will get the teams running around and tends to even out the game a little
5. Double Agent
This one is an add on to a game mechanic, not a game mechanic in it’s own right. This add on works well when you have small numbers and uneven teams. Simply, nominate 1 person to be the double agent. Each time the respawn whistle blows they switch sides. A nice little bit of chaos to add into your battle.
4. Hot Potato
In this game place a barrel in the centre of the field. The aim is have the barrel inside your opponent’s half when the game ends (There will be a predetermined game time that only the game master will be aware of). When the predetermined time elapses which ever side has the barrel closest to their designated area loses.
3. Dungeon Bash
In this game you will have uneven teams (about 3 people in 1 team to every 1 in the other). Break you map into 3 zones. The larger (attacking) team’s goal is to clear the 3 zones of all enemies as quickly as possible. They will get no respawns. For each player on the attacking team that dies in the process, there is a 30 second penalty to their time. The attacking team must clear a zone before they can move onto the next.
The smaller (Defending) team are the monsters. Their objective is to slow the attacking team down and if possible defeat all the attackers before they can complete the map. Once a defending player dies in one zone, they will move to the next zone to respawn on full health. They will wait in that zone unit the attackers move onto that zone once they have cleared the previous.
Run the dungeon bash a few times and mix up teams. The most successful defending team (The one that prevents the attacking team from clearing the most zones or slowed the attacking team down the most) is the winner.
2. God Mode
This is another add on that is always popular with our players. It is not a stand alone mechanic in itself but it compliments most of our objective mechanics. In this add on, place some form of item in the center of the field. A crown or an amulet works best. If a player picks up the object they become a god until the next respawn whistle. As a god they are impervious to any damage or spell effects. Their only restriction is they can not hold any objectives at the time. Once the respawn whistle blows they must drop the item to the ground immediately and they instantly die and must move to their respawn point and await the next respawn whistle.
This is a very popular game mechanic across many LARPs. Highlander is simple. Each player has 1 hit point. If they are reduced to zero by an opponent they instantly leave the fighting area and await for the player that defeated them to be defeated. If this happen, then the player reenters the fighting area, once again on 1 hit point. To be the winner of this game, every player standing outside of the area must be there because you where the last one to defeat them. Meaning you end up being the only person standing in the fighting area. Hence Highlander reference (There can be only one :))
A great way to start or finish any battle game night.