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The MAYHEM Battle Chest edition contains both the core rules and the STRONGHOLD expansion.

MAYHEM is a 'fantasy mass battle' combat game played on the grand scale. Here generals lead armies of their own creation on the field of battle in search of victory and glory. Not just for wargamers, MAYHEM is perfect for roleplayers looking to integrate a customizable set of mass combat rules into their campaigns and adventures.

Core game features overview:

  • custom points based army construction
  • uses d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20 dice
  • rules for war machines
  • sorcery system featuring spells like blink, magic missile, summons, and time stop
  • VERSUS game engine [including Deadlocks and Overdrive]
  • play at any scale including 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, and 28mm
  • players can use armies based for other systems
  • no casualty removal
  • includes quick reference sheets, army construction worksheet, and General’s Compendium
  • official support from popular miniature manufacturers

MAYHEM gives you complete control over building your army from the ground up. After creating core profiles and heroes, you have over 60 options at your disposal that can be used equip and upgrade. These include unit designations, weapons, armor, standards, traits, abilities, and gear.

The VERSUS game engine layers mechanics and interactions in such a way as to provide a truly innovative and unique gaming experience. To begin with, stats in the game are not based on fixed numbers but on die types instead. Anytime that you are called upon to roll dice, you may instead choose to take the default; this is equal to half the value of the die. This choice of risk versus reward is behind every decision in the game.  These die types can be improved in steps depending on which weapons a unit is equipped with and what type of unit it is combating. This system of soft and hard counters means no complicated tables or stat lines are needed, yet it rewards the application of both tactics and strategy.

The game can be played at any scale, and players may use armies already based for other popular mass battle systems. Speaking of basing, there is no individual casualty removal in the game so hobbyists are free to make each unit a mini diorama. And, after you've mastered the basics of battle, the STRONGHOLD expansion awaits!

The STRONGHOLD expansion includes rules for:

  • advanced terrain options including the garrisoning, attacking, and burning of structures
  • new designations like scout, skirmisher, and heroic skirmisher
  • heroes to engage one another in epic challenges
  • battle sorcerers that can focus their magical powers to control hulking mechanical constructs or harness the fury of bound behemoths
  • new spells, traits, abilities, and gear
  • building your own strongholds and keeps including over 15 upgrades to create the ultimate fortress
  • siege engines and laying siege to enemy strongholds and keeps
  • new scenarios including border keeps and a unique mass battle multiplayer mode
  • campaigns and linked games with unit progression, multiple paths to victory, and seasonal weather effects

The expansion has been set-up as a toolbox that will allow you to pick and choose the rules that best fit your group and the gaming experience you're looking for. It also means that the core rules will grow and evolve along with your tactical and strategic abilities.

The download includes the General’s Compendium. This is a living document that gives would-be generals example unit profiles, advice on tactics and army building, and designer’s notes, musings, and meta-game discussions. This document will be updated periodically and be used as a FAQ as needed.

The MAYHEM core rules are found on pages 1-26 with the STRONGHOLD expansion on pages 27-44. The PDF version of the rules are fully bookmarked and searchable.

Have fun storming the castle!

MAYHEM is officially supported by some great partners including Demonworld, Eureka, Litko, Microworld, Pendraken, and Rebel Minis.


 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (5)
Discussions (19)
Customer avatar
Adam K September 14, 2021 9:35 pm UTC
When cavalry fights against unit with swords, does sword get soft counter against cavalry ? And why only 3 proiles for large units?
Customer avatar
Brent S September 15, 2021 7:24 pm UTC
Swords are only a soft counter against units with the infantry trait. So, they would not get the counter against the cavalry in your example.

Monstrous Creatures were limited to 3 profiles as those seemed to cover the vast majority of miniatures that would fall into that size category without introducing a bunch of special rules or shifting the balance of the game. If a model/miniature doesn't easily work with one of those profiles, the Behemoth designation combined with appropriate traits and abilities will usually get the job done.

I hope that helps!
Customer avatar
Adam K July 19, 2021 10:04 pm UTC
One question, if I want rules for 28mm fantasy Mayhem or Havoc ?
Customer avatar
Brent S July 20, 2021 9:58 am UTC
Mayhem gives you more flexibility and will let you do mass battle or skirmish. If looking to do mass battle only, then you definitely want Mayhem. This blog post has some great examples of using it for skirmish:

Havoc is more of a "skirmish +" system. The focus is on smaller model counts and uses the concept of organic formations to allow for a zoomed in view of the action on the battlefield. This excellent battle report will give you a great feel for how it plays:

The two systems are very different mechanically. Also, when constructing forces, Mayhem has more detailed and specific options for building your troops. Havoc uses more generic high level concepts for troop types.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
Customer avatar
Adam K July 20, 2021 8:20 pm UTC
Mayhem in 28mm do I need square bases or can use round ?
Customer avatar
Brent S July 21, 2021 12:39 pm UTC
If you're going to use the rules for skirmish gaming, then you can use either. Round bases will work best for skirmish battles though as they make all the interactions between models cleaner.

Square bases work best for battle. If you're building your armies from scratch, I recommend doing vignette style basing where all of the models are arranged thematically in little micro scenes on a larger base since there are no casualty removal rules for individual models in Mayhem. Here are a couple of examples of the kind of basing I'm talking about:
Customer avatar
Hugh B April 04, 2021 7:58 pm UTC
Hi Brent
In Battlescribe I note that Dwarves are described as "Hardened" and that that means they roll an extra die for BAR but I can find no reference to it or its cost in the rules.
Please can you tell me where I'll find it.
Customer avatar
Brent S April 05, 2021 9:36 am UTC
Hi Hugh!

You won't find it in the rule book. It's a bonus themed ability for the Dwarves that's only found in the Armies of Mayhem BattleScribe files.
Customer avatar
Hugh B April 05, 2021 12:14 pm UTC
Ah, that explains it! :)

Just in case I want to use them in my own army creations:-
1. Can you confirm the cost for the ability?
2. And are there any other abilities exclusively in the Battelscribe files?
Customer avatar
Brent S April 06, 2021 9:38 am UTC
1. Hardened is one of those abilities that the pricing changes depending on what you do with the other stats and units. That's not an issue for pre-built lists, but it makes balancing it for open army building nearly impossible. If you're not overly concerned with balance, you could use a cost of 6 Crowns. That will work if you don't try to do anything too crazy.

2. There might be a few others hidden away in there. ;)
Customer avatar
louis R January 19, 2021 9:58 pm UTC
I'm having trouble understanding the difference between a base vs unit vs model vs profile. Can you explain?
Customer avatar
Brent S January 20, 2021 10:40 am UTC

Bases refers to the physical base that a unit/models are mounted on. An example would be a 40mm x 40mm base.

The terms unit/model can mostly be used interchangeably. This refers to a model, or group of models, mounted on a single base.

A profile is the combination of designations, stats, traits, abilities, and gear that define a unit/model.

Customer avatar
Ken F January 04, 2021 5:08 pm UTC
I'm starting to have a look at this game again. I had a hard time when I first purchased it getting people at my FLGS into the game. This was mostly because they already get their fantasy miniatures fix from playing the owner's home-brew game, but also in part because I want to play Mayhem in 15mm, which seemed to be a big turn off to them. A real shame on both parts because they wouldn't even give the game a try. Time perhaps to try again.

Anyways, one quick question if I may. When it says that skirmishers, "may move freely in any direction", does that mean they ignore the edges of their base and can move however they wish, even diagonally? Or does it mean they do not pay extra Cp to move to their flanks or rear?
Customer avatar
Ken F January 04, 2021 5:35 pm UTC
Just came up with another question while reading through skirmishers. Skirmishers that become engaged by enemy non-skirmishers are immediately eliminated (ignoring for the time being heroic skirmishers and garrisoned skirmishers). Can I as the skirmisher however, engage enemy non-skirmishers without being eliminated? Or am I reading that wrong and it should be no matter how a skirmisher becomes engaged with a non-skirmisher it is immediately eliminated?
Customer avatar
Brent S January 05, 2021 2:33 am UTC
Skirmishers are treated as having front facing on all sides and may move freely in any direction. So, they don't have to pay any additional costs for moving to the flanks or rear. You do still have to pay attention to the edges of the bases.

If a skirmishing unit becomes engaged with an enemy non-skirmishing unit, it is eliminated no matter which unit initiated the contact.
Customer avatar
Ken F January 05, 2021 6:08 pm UTC
Excellent. Thank you. May I suggest that in future re-writes the wording be changed since they cannot move in "any direction", which implies the full 360 deg around its base, but instead can move to "any face". Heroes on circular bases are the only ones that can in fact move in "any direction" (if I understand things correctly now).
Customer avatar
Brent S January 06, 2021 10:34 am UTC
My pleasure!

That's a great suggestion too, and I'll definitely make use of it in any future re-writes.
Customer avatar
Randy S December 09, 2020 8:39 am UTC
I don't seem to be able to import the .bsr data into the iOS Battlescribe app. I've synced with Dropbox, but the app can't find the files. What am I doing wrong?
Customer avatar
Brent S December 09, 2020 6:00 pm UTC
There are a couple of options that should work on iOS.

1. You can email the BSR file to yourself, and click the attachment. BattleScribe should appear as an option to open the file with. This is probably the easiest way.

2. To use Dropbox, link BattleScribe to Dropbox via the Manage Data screen. On your Mac, go to .../Dropbox/Apps/BattleScribe/data. Create a folder here, and place all the gst/gstz and cat/catz files in it.

Let me know if neither of those work for you.
Customer avatar
May K November 19, 2020 7:17 pm UTC
When I open Battlescribe I don't find any Mayhem data and when I try to add it I'm asked for a URL. How do I get the Mayhem data into Battlescribe?
Customer avatar
Brent S November 19, 2020 7:54 pm UTC
Hi May!

First select "update data", next select "import data", and then select "import data from file". You'll then import the Mayhem BattleScribe data from your computer.

If you have any issues, don't hesitate to let me know.
Customer avatar
Antonio S November 06, 2020 1:35 pm UTC
I am going through your rules and I am finding them amazing.

Just have a few doubts (but likely will have many more others, sorry about that):

- The Advance move:
It only says they have to be friendly units in direct base contact and squared up and that they perform a forward movement.
- Can they be units with different profiles?
- If they have different MOV, will they lose coherence at the end of the Advance?

- Squaring up:
Let's say I have unit A and I want it to square up with unit B so that they can advance together.
My options are:
- Forward movement from A into B's back
- Lateral movement from A into B's side
- Backward movement from A into B's front
Other options would result, even if squared up, in units having different facing and thus needing a reform before Advance. Is that right?

- Standing Order
If a group of units have a standing order, at the start of...See more
Customer avatar
Brent S November 06, 2020 2:24 pm UTC
Hi Antonio! I'm glad that you're enjoying the rules.

- the Advance move
They could be different profiles. And yes, assuming the units had varying MOV stats, they would lose coherence at the end of the movement since all units have to move their default value.

- Squaring Up
All of the options you listed would work. Other options wouldn't necessarily result in units having different facing. For example, if unit A is facing north and is located to the east and northeast of unit B (meaning in front of unit B and to the right). If unit B was facing northeast and moved forward and right into contact with the left flank of unit A, then squaring up would allow the sides of the units to "click together". This is a pretty common way to get units into formation with one another.

- Standing Order
Correct. You can't cancel a standing order at the start of the turn. You must resolve the orders following the Command Roll. If a group of units is under a Standing...See more
Customer avatar
Antonio S November 06, 2020 3:12 pm UTC
Thanks a lot for the quick answer! That's great level of support!

I have two follow-ups:

Squaring Up:
In your example the front facing of B would meet the left facing of A. So shouldn't B end up facing East? "the leading edge must be squared up when making contact". Or does it depend from the angle?

Standing order:
So if I have a group of three units side by side and I give an order to the middle one.. the other two keep going if they would no longer advance together.
Customer avatar
Brent S November 06, 2020 3:44 pm UTC
My pleasure!

Squaring Up: it would depend on the angle. Just use your best judgement in that situation. It'll usually be fairly obvious on the table which makes most sense based on the approach.

Standing Order: in that example, they wouldn't be touching/squared up, so they would no longer be able to perform an Advance on the next turn.
Customer avatar
George Z January 28, 2020 7:32 am UTC
Maybe this is just me, but I have had the hardest time reading through the rules. It's really difficult for me to flip from page to page trying to find answers to questions. Can ranged units fire a ranged weapon when engaged in melee combat? Flipping from melee, to harm, to ranged, then to combat effects seemed backwards. Why not put melee and ranged together, then harm and effects? Without an appendix I was lost.
Customer avatar
Brent S January 28, 2020 9:41 pm UTC
Sorry about that George! Let's see if I can answer your questions.

Q: Can ranged units fire a ranged weapon when engaged in melee combat?
A: Only Monstrous Creatures can make ranged attacks while engaged in melee.

Q: Why not put melee and ranged together, then harm and effects?
The thought was that since the rules for melee end with causing harm, it would make sense to detail those on the opposite page. This keeps the reader from having to flip forward through the rules to find out how to resolve that. And since the rules for ranged attacks are on the very next page, and the rules for harm are the same for both, you could continue learning the ins-and-outs of combat with all the information sandwiched in one convenient place. That was the intent anyway. Once again, sorry that the flow of information didn't work for you.

Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help you get these rules to the table! I think you'll have a good time with them when you do....See more
Customer avatar
George Z January 28, 2020 11:55 pm UTC
Thank you for the response, I really appreciate it. It was late so I think the frustration was in part due to me being tired! I have reread the rules and feel a bit better after noticing the little things that I missed while playing. I think the most helpful thing for me is making my own reference sheet which has forced me to pay close attention to the rules. I know that you have one included, but this is more of an exercise for me.

I think I understand what you mean by placing all of the rules in their respective locations. The more I read the more I understand the flow.
Customer avatar
Brent S January 29, 2020 2:50 am UTC
Awesome! Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions.
Customer avatar
Angel S April 04, 2019 9:29 am UTC
I've got a couple of questions:
The upgrade to General is free. But do you need to purchase the hero upgrade for him?

Also, the Leadership cost only affects the cost of standars? I don't believe you'd have to add it too to the unit profiles.
Customer avatar
Brent S April 04, 2019 7:48 pm UTC
Hi Angel!

No need to pay for the upgrade. The General is already a hero.

You are correct on the Leadership pricing. It determines the cost of adding standards to your units and which type of die you will use on Command Rolls.
Customer avatar
Peter L May 02, 2018 8:11 pm UTC
Quick question: While Heavy Armor and Behemoth don't seem to be exclusive, Behemoths operate under different damage rules then units so heavy armor wouldn't seem to do anything for them. Was Heavy Armor ever meant to do anything for them, or are Behemoths just supposed to represent creatures so freakishly tough on their own that slapping some iron plates on them would just be gilding the lily?
Customer avatar
Brent S May 03, 2018 12:25 am UTC
You have it right! Heavy Armor doesn't do anything for Behemoths.

However, you can still show the effects of armor modeled onto a Behemoth in your army if you want to. Let's say that you have two trolls in your force, and one of them is heavily armored while the other is not. I would begin by making all of their characteristic values the same. They're both trolls after all- right? Next, I would increase the BAR of the heavily armored one to what seems like a level that would match the effectiveness of the armor. This is an easy way to show the armored troll is much more resistant to being harmed at range.
Customer avatar
Mihael M October 05, 2017 8:20 am UTC
Does Mayhem have any specific basing conventions?
Could you please post them?

I would just like to know before i buy...
Customer avatar
Brent S October 06, 2017 2:47 am UTC
There are no required basing conventions. The recommend base sizes are:

- 40mm squares for 6-10mm miniatures
- 50mm squares for 15mm miniatures
- 60mm squares for 28mm miniatures

However, it you already have miniatures based for Warmaster, Warhammer, DBA, or HotT, they will work great!
Customer avatar
Mihael M October 10, 2017 10:58 am UTC
Thanks for the reply :)
my dbm bases wll fit in nicely!

I just have a small request for you: how would a unit profile for some (dark ages) irish javelinman look?
Customer avatar
Brent S October 13, 2017 12:59 pm UTC

For the Dark Age Irish Javelinmen, I would probably start with something like this:

MOV d6
CQ d10
BAR d10
Javelin [use the blowgun profile]

You could then consider improving the the MOV or CQ by a die type depending on what other units in the game look like.
Customer avatar
Ken F September 09, 2017 8:36 pm UTC
Hello. I am very much looking forward to playing my first game of this at my FLGS Monday night. I have a few questions though after reading through the rules a couple of times. I am sorry if this gets lengthy, but I know my group, and I know things like this will likely come up!

1. Does 'squared up' also mean corner-to-corner? The rules only mention placing edges flush to one another. Can you 'square up' to an edge that is partial blocked by something, like another unit or piece of impassible terrain?

2. How do you maneuver a block of friendly units that are 'squared up'? It seems they can only use the Advance action, which is described as forward movement. Is this movement straight forward only, or does it allow the 90 degree pivot of a base move?

3. Does the prohibition on unit interpenetration disallow you of Reforming a unit that is in base contact with another, since turning it in place will cause the corner of the base to cross that of the unit it is next...See more
Customer avatar
Brent S September 10, 2017 1:52 am UTC
Awesome! Let's get you ready to play with your group.

1. 'Squared up' does not mean corner-to-corner. It means that the flat edges are flush. You can square up to a unit that is partially blocked. If you move into contact with it, both units would pivot/flex until the units were flush. Think of as the partially blocked unit responding to the charge or engagement.

2. Units using the advance action may only march straight ahead. Individual units can later 'break off' from the larger formation to maneuver.

3. If you want to reform a unit that is in base contact with a another friendly unit, you can use the reform to 'square up'. This means that you don't break the interpenetration rule. The interpenetration rule would stop you from pivoting in the other case. You would have to move one of the units first.

4. You may pivot before charging and may only charge directly ahead. Cp cost apply as normal to charges.

5. No. Only Monstrous Creatures can make...See more
Customer avatar
Ken F September 10, 2017 2:57 am UTC
Hello Brent. Thank you for the responses. I only just noticed that some of what I asked was already answered on BoardGameGeek. Sorry to repeat things.

Concerning my question #1 I should have been more specific. I meant to ask if 'squared up' means that the edges are flush AND aligned so that the corners of the bases match to each other, not that the bases are only touching at the corners. Is that correct, that the entire edge of the base has to be flush to the entire edge of the other? No over hanging lip?

6. I was referring to the situations that give you extra dice in melee, i.e. additional friendly units engaging, disordered tokens on the target, attacking a flank, etc. I see missile fire specifically does not get the extra die for initiating, but what about the other circumstances?

9. So the Magic Points are indeed a common pool, but that pool can never contain more than 4x the number of casters your army has?

If I may, I have a question about a...See more
Customer avatar
Brent S September 13, 2017 12:58 am UTC
No worries!

Squared-up does mean flush AND aligned.

6. You would get the bonuses for disordered tokens and attacking the flank but not for friendly units engaging the enemy. The only units that you may attack at range while they are engaged in melee is Monstrous Creatures, and that carries a penalty for each friendly unit engaging.

9. Correct!

Unlike HoTT, here contact is contact. This means that forward movement would indeed cause the flanks to touch/make contact and the units would need to square-up. Either of the two side units could move sideways or backwards without penalty.
Customer avatar
Ken F September 13, 2017 2:57 am UTC
Thank you for clearing those things up. The game didn't happen last night by the way. Our D&D game ran late. Maybe next week as game time for the rest of this week will be taken up with battles for a 28mm fantasy campaign I am in. I suspect I will have more questions once I do get the game in and will try to post a short battle report.
Customer avatar
Michael S January 27, 2017 7:33 pm UTC
Newbie Question. Harm rules state that "Any successful attack on a unit that has a disordered token on it ....causes the unit to be removed from play" Rallying then talks about an additional 1 Cp cost for each disorder token on the unit to be rallied??????
Customer avatar
Brent S January 27, 2017 8:38 pm UTC
Correct! The rule is written that way to account for heavy armor [page 16]. Instead of being eliminated when successfully attacked while a disordered token is on it, a unit with the heavy armor trait gains another disordered token. This means that a unit with heavy armor might have two disordered tokens on it when you attempt to rally it.
Customer avatar
Schyler H November 08, 2016 2:18 pm UTC
Quick question, it looks like blow guns are better than short bows (they have all the same stats but can also be used with shields) but they cost 1 crown less. Am I missing something??
Customer avatar
Brent S November 12, 2016 2:12 pm UTC
Thanks for the question, and sorry for the delay in my reply!

You aren't missing anything. The pricing for the blow guns takes into account several factors that includes things outside of simple heuristics. You can always raise the cost to make them the same price if you want, and you shouldn't notice any difference in game balance.
Customer avatar
September 17, 2016 7:08 pm UTC
First off I would highly recommend this rule set to anyone considering a purchase.

That said I have a few rule questions that are unclear to me.

First, if a 2 units are engaged in combat and on the next turn neither player activates the engaged combatants are they still considered in combat? Does combat continue with neither getting an initiator roll? If not does either unit have to pay the activation cost to disengage since no combat is occurring?

Second, in the range section of the rules it states that the range attack come purely from the weapons profile, but there are ways to improve these values based on race/faction traits. I don't see any traits other than drive back that helps with range attack. Am I missing something?

Third, Great Weapons appear to be their own weapon type, but the Battlescibe army builder list them as an upgrade. Are Great Weapons a single choose or must it be paired, great swords, great axes, etc. which gain both traits but are only...See more
Customer avatar
Brent S September 18, 2016 1:07 am UTC
Glad that you're enjoying the game!

If 2 units are engaged in combat, they remain in combat until either one unit eliminates the other, causes it to flee, or disengages from the combat. Actions [like attacking another unit] only occur when you spend Cp. They also wouldn't have to pay to disengage due to no combat occurring. Technically and thematically speaking, the units are still locked in combat. It simply hasn't come to its conclusion yet.

The statement about changing and improving the characteristics for ranged weapons is there for agreement with future supplements.

Think of the weapons listed as types and/or traits that a weapon possesses. As a general rule, you can combine as many [or few] traits onto a single weapon to properly describe it as long as there isn't a restriction prohibiting it in the rules. So, you could use Great by itself or combine it with another weapon type exactly as you described above. You can also use various weapon types/traits to build specific...See more
Customer avatar
September 19, 2016 3:27 am UTC
Thanks for the reply!

That really clears up the only questions I have had about the rules. The rule book and game are excellent.

I am really excited to experiment with the combined weapons rules now that I know how that works. I have been wanting to use Macedonian Phalanxes and now I think I can come up with a worthy profile for them.

Also I am thrilled to here that more expansions are on the way. Any hints as towards the content or an ETA?
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