The core mechanic for Iron & Honor is the Action-Resolution System. In this system, dice are used to determine the flow of the game by determining which player has initiative and how effectively that player’s characters will act – the action element. The actions of the character are then resolved with a simple opposed roll mechanic – the resolution element.
Activation Dice & Action Points
In the game, activation dice are used to determine when a character can act and how much they can do when they are allowed to act. As will be explained in detail later (see Turn Sequence), an activation die is drawn randomly from a dice bag to decide which player can activate a model. Once a model has been chosen, the die is rolled to determine how many action points a character has available. Action points are spent to move and act.
The drawing of an activation die from the dice bag is considered activation and the model that is chosen to act, the active model. The activation ends once the active model has spent (up to) his available action points and resolved the resulting actions. A new activation begins with the drawing of another activation die.
After a figure has been activated, the player rolls 6-sided dice to resolve certain actions the character chooses to perform – resolution dice. Invariably, in a miniature skirmish game, actions that require a dice roll are going to affect the other player. Therefore, resolution dice rolls are always opposed. In other words, when one player rolls resolution dice, the other player will react with his own resolution dice roll. The dice roll of the active player is an active resolution roll; the dice roll of the opposing player is a reactive resolution roll.
Most situations will require the players to make a standard resolution dice roll of two six-sided dice, referred to as 2d6. At other times, the players may get to roll three 6-sided dice or even four 6-sided dice – referred to as 3d6 or 4d6, respectively.
The resulting dice roll is added to a relevant attribute and, depending on the situation, may be modified by bonuses or penalties.
Again, in Iron & Honor, resolution dice rolls are opposed. So, when the player’s make the opposed rolls, the player who has the higher final result wins the opposed roll. In the case of a tie, the winner is the player making the reactive resolution roll. In other words, ties favor the defender.