Idols of Torment is a two-player miniature skirmish game with an easy-to-grasp yet tactical ruleset designed with a wide range of players in mind – from long-time hobbyists to those with limited or no skirmish game experience. From the ground-up, the game leans into familiarity with tabletop roleplaying game concepts, including the seven-piece polyhedral dice set to resolve gameplay.
Idols of Torment is ideal for casual gaming environments, rather than formal, competitive play. The game includes no list building; instead, players control a defined assortment of model types with unique roles, reminiscent of a classic two-player strategy game experience.
Your miniatures represent terrifying, supernatural beings called Idols, and your chosen Idols belong to one of eight Orders. Idols of Torment is miniature-agnostic, allowing you the flexibility to use your favourite models, uniquely representing your vision of the highly thematic Orders.
Idols of Torment takes place on a tabletop surface transformed into an apocalyptic afterlife realm known as the Echo. The rich setting provides a bounty of inspiration for crafting terrain pieces representing this dark, atmospheric place.
In addition to your Idol miniatures, the intuitive core system of Idols of Torment uses a variety of unique and high-quality game pieces. These pieces include:
The Lost – plastic objective models representing wandering human souls
Initiative Tokens – plastic tokens used to govern player turns
Echo Deck – a deck of cards that dictates a variety of critical game elements
Each player takes on the role of a cosmic entity called an Eternal. As an Eternal, you command your Idols on the board and perform Eternal Powers, climactic events that can shift the tides of battle, even altering terrain on the table.
Your sole purpose is to pit your Idols against your enemy for control of the precious energy trapped within the souls of Lost. Gameplay in Idols of Torment centres around interactions with these unique and mobile objectives, requiring you to strategically respond to both your enemy and the wandering Lost as you attempt to collect this valuable resource.
Games of Idols of Torment take place over multiple rounds. Each round starts with an Opening followed by a series of player turns.
The Opening consists of three important steps that set the stage for the round: reveal an Echo card, draw Initiative Tokens, and resolve Lost movement.
The Initiative tokens – numbered 1 through 20 – dictate the allocation of player turns in descending order. Players each randomly draw up to a maximum of 10 tokens from the token bag, the precise number depending on their current model count and the results of the revealed Echo card.
Each player turn represents the decisions of an Eternal: do you use that Initiative token to activate one of your Idols, or do you use it to perform an Eternal Power? Over the course of a game, these decisions vary as players react to Lost movements, enemy decisions, and the results of the Echo Deck.
During gameplay, the Cosmic Realm imposes its influence through the Echo Deck. Revealed at the start of each round, an Echo card creates thematic situations to which players must adapt, ensuring that each round is full of strategy, and that each game of Idols of Torment is a completely unique experience.
Each Echo card contains three pieces of information:
Unbound Lost Behaviour -This value describes the distance and manner that all Unbound Lost must move in their proceeding Lost Movement step.
Extra Tokens - This value describes the number of additional tokens each player can draw from the bag while completing the Draw Initiative Tokens step.
Power Manifest - This value describes the modifier players must apply to their rolls when attempting to manifest an Eternal Power.
Lost Movement is a core mechanic that makes Idols of Torment a dynamic strategy game. As mobile objectives, the Lost avoid nearby Idols to preserve their existences. But some Idols have the power to bind the Lost, forcing them to move toward the Idol. Unbound Lost move as described on the current Echo card, forcing you to adapt your strategy and chase down these ever-moving objectives.
All Idol models belong to one of five Idol classes, and both players use the same distribution of Idol classes in their rosters. In most games, this distribution consists of eight Idol models:
2 Slayers - the Idol class specialised in melee combat
2 Lurkers - the only Idol class that can make ranged attacks
2 Stalkers - the Idol class specialised in manoeuvring around the Echo
1 Corrupter - the only Idol class that can bind themselves to the prime energy in the Lost
1 Reaper - the Idol class specialised in reaping the souls of the Lost
Each Idol class has its own Stat Block, complete with a distinct statline and a list of special actions or special abilities. This makes each Idol class a unique model with a specialized role in the game system.
Idol classes perform the same basic functions within each Order. However, Idol classes in each Order differ from one another in their access to unique powers in the form of Order abilities.
Order abilities offer unique benefits to your Idol models. Order abilities range from modifiers to values on statlines, to unique effects, to access to special actions.
Order abilities facilitate different playstyles for the different Orders. This provides opportunities for players to choose both themes and playstyles they would like to bring to the tabletop when choosing their Order.
Each player also has a special ninth model in their roster: the Totem. This unique model is not an Idol, and it does not move around and interact like Idol models do. This thematic model plays a role in other areas of gameplay, such as drawing Lost models toward it, and acting as a Beacon for the delivery of Eternal Powers.
Terrain is one of the most critical components in games of Idols of Torment. Throughout games, the board shifts in the wake of Eternal Powers and the cataclysmic crumbling and shifting within the Echo. Powers can rotate, add, or even remove terrain altogether.
Terrain affects the movement of Lost models, slowing those that traverse it, or blocking movement altogether; terrain also obscures models, providing cover from ranged attacks.
In Idols of Torment, you must close the distance with enemy models to attack them, and with Lost models to reap them. When your Idol model is within 1 inch of an enemy model or a Lost model, it is considered engaged with that model.
While the engaged status enables models to interact with one another, it also comes with some strategic restrictions. Firstly, when a model is engaged with an enemy model, it loses access to certain actions; for some models, this can completely debilitate their function in the conflict. Secondly, the engaged status locks enemies together, forcing them to remain in combat or suffer an attack if they break the engaged status. For models with actions restricted by the engaged status, this free attack might be worth the risk if it means they can get away and regain their abilities.
When you activate an Idol model, you may move that model, and you must complete an action with that model. Most actions are available to all Idol classes – all models can attack, rush forward, reap a Lost model, or disengage safely from an enemy. Certain Idols wield access to unique actions, providing you with powerful strategic advantages.
In Idols of Torment, combat is dynamic for both players. The game uses roll-off mechanics and a sequence of steps to resolve all attacks and ranged attacks. When a model takes an Attack action, it initiates a combat sequence:
Hitting — The players roll-off to see if the attacker hits the defender. The attacker makes an Attack roll, and the defender makes a Defence roll.
Wounding — The players roll-off to see if the attacker wounds the defender. The attacker makes a Damage roll, and the defender makes a Corruption roll.
When resolving these steps, a series of modifiers and different dice sizes come into play, affecting the odds in the contesting rolls. During the hitting step, both players use a d20 and add any modifiers identified in their Stat Blocks. For the wounding step, players use the die size correlating to either their Damage (for the attacker) or Corruption (for the defender) values on their Idol’s Stat Block. Order abilities can also affect these rolls.
Idols can only ever deliver a single attack during their attack sequences. Combined with the fact that most Idol classes only have a single Wound on their Stat Blocks, combat is always a high-stakes affair. Each activation is an exciting event, putting the dice in charge of determining the fate of your Idol models. You must play to your Idols’ strengths, balancing aggression with caution, and the destruction of your enemy with the pursuit of the Lost.
Lost interactions within Idols of Torment make the game a truly imaginative skirmish experience. It is not simply a matter of chasing down and reaping the Lost: it is also about binding and beckoning the Lost, thereby influencing their behaviour and movements.
Lost interactions are governed by different actions available to certain Idol classes. All Idol classes can use the Reap action, but only certain Idols can access the Bind and Call actions.
You resolve the Reap action with a roll. While combat uses a roll-off between players, all Lost interactions are resolved by rolling to hit a target value. Players use an Idol’s Corruption value when making these rolls – the more corrupted an Idol, the more powerful their influence on the battlefield.
The difficulty in succeeding a Reap action is not only impacted by the value of an Idol’s Corruption, but also by the actual target value required for a Lost. This is where the Bind action comes into play. In each round, all Lost are either Bound or Unbound. If an Idol can successfully Bind a Lost, that Lost becomes Bound – a Bound Lost is easier to Reap, and instead of fleeing, moves toward the binding model, inching toward its terrible fate.
In addition to the Bind action, some models have access to the Call action, a Lost interaction that closes the gap between an Idol and Bound Lost even quicker. When an Idol model takes the Call action on a Bound Lost, that Lost moves immediately during the Idol’s activation. This results in a Lost moving twice in a round: once during the Lost Movement step at the top of the round, and again with a Call action during an Idol’s activation.
Eternal Powers play the role of “spells” in games of Idols of Torment, but are delivered in a unique manner. Eternal Powers are performed by the otherworldly Eternals from beyond the veil of the Echo, and are delivered into the afterlife realm through their corrupted Beacons. Only certain models have the Beacon special ability, and therefore those models play a key role in the game system. When a power is delivered, its reach and effects are measured from the Beacon model. Beacon models can also be activated like normal after a power has been delivered through them – after all, they are simply conduits.
Each Eternal Power has its own degree of difficulty to manifest, represented by a target value to perform that power. Difficulty is also influenced by the Power Manifest modifier indicated on the Echo card revealed for the round. This modifier represents the variations of cosmic energy persistent within the conflict, providing varying degrees of modifiers throughout a game. When the modifier is high, attempt the more difficult – and more impactful – Eternal Powers.
As an Eternal, you have access to a selection of powers that can do a variety of extraordinary things within the Echo. Each power has the potential to make an impact in the game, altering terrain, harming Idol models, and providing strategic utility.
Choosing and performing Eternal Powers is a strategic process. When you successfully manifest and perform a power, that power can no longer be performed for the remainder of the round by either player. As such, players find themselves choosing powers from a diminishing list of options as a round progresses. With the Initiative System dictating the player turn order, players battle to command certain powers before their opponent.
Idols of Torment | The Basics