Sleddog Games

Decimation - Kingdoms and Empires

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Digital : $4.99 at DriveThruRPG

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Decimation - Kingdoms and Empires

Welcome to Decimation – Kingdoms and Empires, the next installment of the Decimation series of Role-Playing Wargames (RPW). This game bridges the gap between two types of games – wargames, whose players often have scholarly levels of knowledge of military history, weapons, and tactics, and role-playing games, where a vicarious and fantastical sense of adventure drives the player’s every decision.

The game is a blend between wargaming miniature systems and classic, out-of-print, pen-and-paper fantasy role-playing games. You can play the game as a pure session-based wargame or as an ongoing role-playing game campaign. That’s the magic of the Role-Playing Wargame as it gives you freedom to play different ways. You can even do battles solo.

The Decimation series is unique. Instead of controlling large groups of units on a macro scale – divisions, brigades, regiments, battalions, companies, or platoons as a single actionable unit, you control individual warriors on the battlefield, usually in a small group of 2-4 characters. These men or women have names, faces, and families. Their destiny is under your guidance as the game places an emphasis on martial combat.


You have multiple options on how to play and no matter which you choose, tactics and positioning are the key to victory. Put on your wargamer hat with painted models, historical locations, and play a scenario between two players each controlling small warbands of opposing sides or solo play with two sets of forces, battling in a skirmish along a patrolled border. This is the wargamer approach where your unit tactics will be tested as opposed to your control over an entire army.


If you are looking for long term play in the form of a series of adventures or campaigns, the game empowers your Game Master with rules for progression along with mechanics for non-combat action resolution.

I will never forget getting the basic boxed set of Dungeons & Dragons as an 8th grader in the fall of 1977. That’s over forty-six years ago. In fact, I can confidently say that the subsequent version, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, changed my life, forming the creative foundation for my video game industry career. You’ll find the traditions and structure of those classic games quite familiar here.

Mechanics and choices for the player are visceral and the system is flexible and respectful to the Game Master’s ability to make fair decisions on player actions and with less complexity. As a player, you still hold the power of imagination in your hands.

If you are new to role-playing games, one person takes on the role of the Game Master who brings the game world alive while adjudicating the rules as the players explore that world through their characters. The players influence the story and adventure through their creative actions, responding to scenarios and situations with their own wit, tactics, and designs. Their interpretation of the call-to-action by the world fuels their play, all of this under the setting of a collaborative and dynamic play session. Along the way, the player’s characters develop into vehicles for memories, fabricating unpredictable, yet unique, magical moments that live forever. Don’t worry, there is often plenty of fighting too.

In Decimation – Kingdoms and Empires, the Game Master has simple systems to handle thousands of player actions with Action Checks, Traits, and Discipline Checks. Lethality increases based on the character’s battle experience without health pool growth, tied together by an easy-to-understand d100 percentage chance mechanic. This unlocks your ability to take what might begin as a session-based wargame battle and extend into a longer campaign or story-drive adventure.

Your 2 Roman Legionnaires might stumble across one of Hannibal’s 3 Carthaginian scouts along the River Ticinus. If you survive, do you send word to General Publius Cornelius Scipio and join forces with his cavalry or push deeper to locate the rest of Hannibal’s army? What starts as a wargame skirmish can evolve into a campaign that might last months and end up at other conflicts or famous battles in the Second Punic War such as Lake Trasimene, or Cannae.

Tabletop role-playing games have set the stage for this type of fun since the mid-1970s. The beauty of this hobby and social gaming begins with a Game Master who understands and embraces the concept that the world may belong to them, but the direction of that world evolves around the players.

Whether a bloody battle over a few hours or a story of intrigue across the world, you have a ruleset before you that can take you there.

Have fun. May the gods be with you.

T. Elliot Cannon

May 2023