Tuesday 17 April 2018

Playing Outremer: Faith and Blood - Warrior profiles and Warband Selection

So.... Outremer: Faith and Blood is finally out at the end of this week... Hooray!! In fact some of you may have been lucky enough to pick up one of the early copies that Osprey made available at Salute 2018 in London last weekend.

It’s been a long (and sometimes emotional) journey but at long last the game is soon going to be available for people to play! With this in mind I thought I’d spend the next few posts taking a little look at the game and how it works.

First up we’ll take a brief look at Warband selection, followed by a slightly more in depth overview of fighter’s profile sheets and what they represent.

As we have previously covered players have three factions from which to recruit their Warbands from and these are the Saracens, the Crusaders and the Military Orders. Each of these factions possesses their own unique strengths and weaknesses but are overall they are quite balanced, and none suffer any particular disadvantage. Players recruit and arm their initial force up to a certain value in Livres (the game’s equivalent of ‘points’)... but they need to make sure that they leave enough funds in the bank to cover upkeep costs between battles!

Once players have their Warbands chosen and equipped then the next thing to do is find an opponent to play against and a scenario to fight. There are six scenarios in the book with further ones being released regularly in the assorted popular Wargames magazines. Each scenario is different and offers players a variety of tactical options and strategic considerations. 

Once players have a chosen a suitable scenario then they need to engage in pre-battle prep by completing their fighters’ Profile Sheets. 

Each of their fighters will have one of these sheets which will show their profile and skills as well as any special abilities and equipment that they may have. These roster sheets are pretty important as they tell you everything you need to know about your fighter and also provide a handy canvas for you to record any factors affecting your model during the game. Let’s have a look at one:

Name - Clearly this is fairly important; in Outremer each of your fighters is a living breathing warrior; a hero or villain with their own background and personality. As such they deserve an appropriate name so that future historians may record their deeds!

Card - The unique activation system in Outremer means that each of your individual fighters needs to be allocated a specific card from a normal deck of playing cards. Note that card here.

Move - This is the distance in inches that your fighter can move. Obviously wearing heavy armour and carrying a lot of equipment will limit a soldier’s mobility and to reflect this in game terms their move distance will be reduced. Therefore the number shown at the top is the residual modified movement distance available whilst the number in brackets is what the unmodified distance would have been.

Shoot/Attack/Defence - A fighter’s skill in combat is reflected by the type of dice that they are able to throw when engaging in these types of activity. The more sides that the dice has then the more skilled the fighter is, so a D10 is better than a D8, etc.

Wounds - This is simply the number of injuries a warrior can endure before they are finally taken down.

Faith - At certain points during the game fighters will be required to take Faith Tests, especially if they are attempting to try something precarious or if they are in a dangerous position. This is the type of dice that they can utilise to undertake that Faith Test; again the more sides the better!

Toughness - Simply put this stat is a numerological representation of just how durable a fighter is. This stat can be improved by the wearing of armour and the figure without brackets shows the final modified value.

Presence - This is a combination of a warrior’s prowess; reputation and frankly how bloody scary they are to opponents. This will primarily be used when fighters are attempting to charge each other in melee.

Save  - Certain items of equipment (predominantly shields and helmets) can provide a fighter with a saving throw against both ranged and melee attacks. The cumulative value of these is recorded here.

Character Type - This shows what type of warrior this model is; there are many types of fighter in Outremer: Faith and Blood ranging from lowly peasants through to the terrifying Knight-Commanders
of the Military Orders.

Experience Level - As your fighters take part in battles and the campaign progresses they will start to gain valuable experience. This experience can then be used to purchase upgrades or additional skills that will make the fighter far more deadly in future encounters. In this manner a fairly weak peasant farmer can gradually grow over time to become a semi-professional militia levy; before eventually becoming a  fully-fledged professional soldier... provided he survives of course.

Equipment - This lists the items of equipment carried by this particular model and the effects that they have. Fighters can swap out or upgrade kit between games as you acquire more deadly weapons with which to arm them. 

Remarks - This is the collection of miscellaneous rules affecting this particular warrior. Perhaps he has picked up some valuable skills that make him a better leader during battles... or alternatively the lingering effects of an early injury may impair his performance during melee!

That’s it for model’s profiles and warband selection... next time I’ll take a look at the game’s unique activation process!


  1. Good to know, I'll certainly will be picking a copy, I wish you great success!

    1. Thanks for your support mate! I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Looking forward to having a crack at these rules but I have two questions regarding gaining traits. The example on p49 describes a warrior gaining 116XP which is the minimum value in the range for Mamluk 1. This warrior now rolls for a new trait which may come from his previous tables or the Mounted table. This implies that a new recruit starting at Peasant 1 with 0XP has effectively crossed a threshold allowing him to roll on the Basic table, particularly as Peasant 1 on the career path is associated with (A) and this would be the only opportunity for Peasant 1 to use that table. Is this correct?
    If this is the case, does Sub-Arif 1 take a roll from one of tables A, B, C, or G in addition to the Basic skill roll indicated in his starting profile?

    1. Hi Pat. Sorry for the delayed response.
      Peasant 1 is from 0-10 so he will not cross the threshold until he gets 11XP. No matter what happens he will always be able to roll on Table A throughout his career.

      The sub-arif will only get to take a toll on the Basic Traits table when his profile is generated.

      Hope this clarifies!

  3. Hi, please consider an online forum for player to player discussion. There are free forum tools out there: https://www.proboards.com/

    1. I will definitely look into this! Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. How is a models faith level established? Cant seem to find it in the rules.

    1. It's a die roll. The die to be used is specified in the model's starting profile.

    2. What Pat said! A models faith is shown by the dice/die used. There more sides on the die the better the fighters faith is. The appropriate dice is included in all the starting profiles.

  5. Where can we get warband profile sheets? There is none on the Osprey site.
    And will the profiles from the magazines be available elsewhere? Perhaps a dedicated facebook page or download section on this blog would be good?

    1. Hi Claus. Apologies for the delayed response. I will speak to Osprey about getting them put up on the website. I will also ask the magazines if they are happy for me to represent the profiles once the issues they have been published in have gone off sale.

  6. Is there a place to find a template to track items and money during a campaign? Or some examples of how it is done?

    1. I will look at generating one and posting it up on the blog at some point. I am pretty old fashioned so I use a dedicated moleskin book to keep track of mine in!

  7. Two things about Character creation
    a) Page 33 Starting Profile Knight 1 (Crusader) Experience Level 21 is a printing error i guess (41 would be the correct number for Knight 1, 21 would be a Squire 3) compare table on Page 29

    b) I missed where some of the traits come from.
    Example 1: Peasant 1 /Pilgrim 1 and Levy 1 (all on Page 30) somehow a Peasant can get rid of the restriction on improvised Weapons, Daggers and Slings. But i can't find how or when. Perhaps the step from Peasant to Pilgrim adds the Hunting Bow as Weapon choice. And perhaps the "promotion" to Levy removes all weapon restrictions.
    Big question: Trader and Apprentice. Do these “Promotions” remove restrictions or are these branches of the Troop-Tree restricted to improvised Weapons, Daggers and Slings (and Hunting Bows if the character started as Pilgrim 1.)
    Example 2: Nobleman got the "Born to lead" trait. Which can obviously become better (Squire 1 has it on Level 1/ Knight 1 on Level 2, see Page 33) but i have missed where and when. I assume it might be on "Promotions in Name" (Squire to Knight) and guess Veteran Knight 1 will have "Born to lead 3" and Lord 1 "Born to lead 4" and so on.

  8. Oh, for claratie's sake... I was building my 1st Warband from the Franks Faction. All examples are from that faction.

  9. Character progression has some holes in it. And the characters to choose from at start seem to violate the character progression rules that should govern how they could've progressed to their level from the lowest level. As a result, some choices seem dominated. For example, the only reason to purchase a "pilgrim" commoner over a levy or militia would seem to be insufficient points left at the limit, or an intention to develop a merchant or craftsman, as for only a bit more point expenditure, the other choices dominate the pilgrim as a fighting figure. On the bright side, the little internal inconsistencies and cost-effectiveness anomalies shouldn't have much effect on play balance.
    Players will have to work out their own fill-ins to cover advancement gaps. I'd suggest that any time a character gains the ability to roll an advancement on the Melee or Ranged trait table, remove any weapon-wielding restrictions related to that type of fighting.
    Another area for a "house rule" might be whether you let players reroll specializing weapon-specific traits made mostly useless by earlier ones, even though the new trait is technically not a duplicate (e.g., you learn to wield a mace after you are already an expert with axes).
    Given that cost-effectiveness considerations already strongly favor always going for quality over quantity in the starting profiles, one house rule I've already decided on is that the uniform D6 upkeep for non-leaders should be replaced with a die with a number of faces equal to the character's starting cost divided by ten, round down (so 50 yields a D5, which is a D6 where you reroll 6's). Any D3 or D4 figure that gets the "low maintenance" trait becomes free upkeep.

  10. Is there still an active community for this set? When they came out I was ready to roll but then real life got in the way. Five years on, I have the free time and plenty of figures to convert.