Preparing a game
From Ex illis wiki
To play a game of Ex illis, you will need:
- Two players
- Two musters (which you can create on your profile page)
- A gaming board
- A few terrain features
- A device (computer, iPhone, etc.) which can run the Rule Keeper software.
Prepare the Board
Set up the board in the centre of a large table and place each players’ units (a group of miniatures of the same type) in front of you. Also, use the small fences found in the starter set and, if available, some small trees to set up forest zones. Place the Rule Keeper device (laptop, iPod, etc.) near the board, where it will be accessible to both players.
Start the Rule Keeper software and log in both players using the profile username and password you have just created. Depending on your Internet connection speed, this may take a few seconds. Once a player is connected, his/her name will appear in the main screen.
You can log in up to six players on the same machine, and once the players are logged in, you do not need an Internet connection anymore to play. You can use this feature if you plan to play somewhere you do not have access to Internet (a gaming club, a store gaming room, etc.).
Important note: The information about the player (unit levels, specialisations, musters, etc.) is downloaded from the server when you log in, and uploaded back when you log out. As such, if you make a change to your muster on your player profile, you will need to log out and log back in again to see these change on your local machine. Similarly, if you are playing without an Internet connection, the experience will be awarded to your units only after you have run the Rule Keeper software again using a connection.
- Battle: This option is available as soon as two players are logged in. This is is the standard Ex illis game.
- Practice: It can be played by one or two players. This will not count toward your win/lose ratio, will not be posted in your news and will not earn Battle Points. You can play a practice with a single account as long as the two chosen muster do not include the same units. This is a great way to show the game to someone who does not have an account yet!
Choose a Game Type and Options
The option screen allows you to chose the type of game you would like to play.
- The first setting lets you change the minimum and maximum levels allowed for the units in the muster. You will unlock more settings as your Player Level goes up.
- The second setting allows you to decide what scenario you would like to play. By default, it is set at annihilation, in which you must either completely eliminate the enemy or drive him/her out of the field.
- The Practice setting allows you to count a game as a practice (not published and no Battle Points).
- Finally, the last setting allows you to modify a host of options to customise your game. These advanced game options can be explored at a later time if this is your first game.
Select Your Army
Both players now need to choose the muster (army list) they wish to play with. Only musters that comply with the game type and scenario will appear in this screen. To be valid, the difference in points between both armies must not be greater than 15%. If it is not, the muster will appear in red and the game will not give Battle Points.
Create the battlefield
In this screen, you can decide with your opponent on the terrain features you wish to use. You can use the fences that came with your starter kit to add light cover, or if you have access to bigger terrain features, use them to spice up your games. We usually recommend playing your games with 2 to 5 terrain features for added tactical depth.
You can also change the battlefield to a night version if you wish.
First, place the terrain features on the board in a way that seems fair to both players, then drag and drop the respective icons in the right zone in the Rule Keeper software. You can also drop the features on the arrow icon to place them randomly.
Changing The Deployment Zone (optional)
By default, both players deploy and get their reinforcement from the first row in front of them. If you wish, you can also change these settings in the Deployment Selection Screen. One player at a time, you can decide in which zones, rows or columns you wish to deploy and where you would like your reinforcement to arrive from. This allows you to create deeper deployment zone or deploy in a square for an attack/defend scenario.
You can also set zones to be considered "outside the battlefield". Units will not be able to move to these zones and will be removed from the game if they reach them while fleeing. This enables you to create battlefields that are not necessairly rectangular but "t-shaped" or in any other shape you wish.
Deploy Your Armies
Turn by turn, each player places one unit in a zone on the board in the first row in front of him/her and then drags and drops its portrait in the corresponding zone in the Rule Keeper software.
The first unit to be deployed will start the game with more Action Points than those deployed later, making them more likely to play first. Plan a strategy which balances which unit grabs the first turn and which one keeps its position secret to the opponent until the last minute.