Heavily influenced by Crossfire by Arty Conliffe and the Weald28 setting by @wroughtwithrust.
Version 0.3 – 2021-11-03 – DRAFT
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There’s no measurement of distances, neither for firing nor for movement. No measurement accessories are needed. A thread or laser pointer can help you to determine line of sight (LOS) should you need.
The only accessories you’ll need is a handful of six-sided dice (D6), and some counters to determine a models status (pinned, suppressed, reload).
This rule set is scale- and miniature-agnostic. As it is a 1:1 game, with one miniature representing one individual, we recommend 28mm or 32mm with the usual base sizes.
The density of terrain is a major factor of this rule set. Even with a battlefield consisting only of grassland we recommend to have many grassland patches rather than a single one.
To get to know the game mechanisms we recommend to play the first games with:
- 3 rifle infantry (regular troop)
- 1 commander (commanding value CV +1)
Adding more Troops
Once you are used to the game mechanisms you might want to add the following:
- Heavy machine gun team (HMG)
- a tank or walker
- Thralls and introducing close combat
We also recommend to add one new troop type and play a game before adding another new troop type.
Invest in your Terrain
The tabletop is covered with terrain by at least 75%. Terrain can be fields, fences, walls, hills, woods, rough ground, buildings, streets etc
It’s up to you how you want to represent the terrain. Keep in mind that blocked line of sight (LOS) is a very important aspect.
Setting Up the Game
Roll to determine who is the Phasing Player.
Distribute your miniatures alternately within the deployment zone. For the first games just start at your table edge.
The Phasing Player owns the initiative and can perform actions as long as she or he remains the initiative.
Failed actions result in the loss of the initiative. The phasing player becomes the non-phasing player and vice versa.
A movement is a single action. A miniature always moves in a straight line. The straight movement is stopped by entering a terrain feature, by standing in front of a wall and after climbing over a wall. Initial pivoting for the direction is part of this action.
You can move with a single miniature as long as it is not stopped (e.g. by reactive fire). You can also switch models’ actions. Model A makes three moving actions, then Model B is making another two.
To move indicate where your model will end its move and then move it in a straight line towards that point.
If your model is suppressed or killed in a movement (e.g. by reactive fire) the action is failed.
For a group movement determine a single model as the group movement leader. All models within one base of that model may participate in the group movement. The group movement is a single action performed one model at a time. Reactive fire may apply for each participating model.
The group movement is successful if no participating model was suppressed or killed. If a suppress or kill is inflicted the group movement still is executed to the end.
In open terrain (no cover) a model can go to the ground. This action does not trigger any reactive fire. A ground hugging model can not move but counts as if in cover and can fire. A pinned model can ground hug (a suppressed can’t).
When a ground hugging model wants to move it first must stand up. This may trigger reactive fire.
Shooting a firearm is a single action (this means you can shoot, move, shoot or shoot, shoot, shoot … as long as you are successful). You can shoot at any target within LOS and fire-arc and on the closest target only (target proximity).
- You score a hit on a D6 with a 5 and 6.
- 1 hit pins the target (2 pins is still pinned)
- 2 hits suppress the target (2 suppressions is a kill)
- 3 hits is a kill
If you don’t at least suppress with your firing action you loose the initiative.
- SMG (2 dice, 360° fire-arc, no modification for target in cover)
- Rifle (3 dice, 360° fire-arc, -1 die for target in cover)
- HMG (4 dice, +/-45° fire-arc, -1 die for target in cover)
High Explosives/ Kill Potential
A high explosive weapon (HE) like a bazooka, a vehicle gun, anti tank gun, artillery, has a kill potential. If the target is killed by the HE every model within one base of the target is suppressed by each additional 5 or 6 rolled. If a model already was suppressed it now is killed.
Example: three models (A, B and C) are standing next to each other. B is the target of HE fire. Attacker rolls three dice resulting in 6, 5 and 2. B is killed (6), either A or B (owner’s choice) is suppressed (5).
Example 2: same setting, dice roll is 5, 5 and 2. Target is not killed (5), no suppression.
A pinned miniature may not move until rallied, but may fire.
A suppressed miniature may neither move nor fire until rallied.
You can increase the chances to keep the initiative in a firing action by combining multiple shooters in a group fire action. Determine one miniature being the group fire leader which has LOS to the target. Each miniature which standing one base away of the fire group leader and which has LOS to the same target can join the fire group.
Roll for each model in the fire group separately. If at least one firing action was successful the phasing player keeps the initiative (i.e. at least one suppression).
Target proximity is defined by the fire group leader.
Similar to a group fire a crossfire increases the chance to keep the initiative. A crossfire is lead by a commanding miniature with LOS to the target. Every model anywhere on the battlefield which is within LOS of the commander and which has LOS to the target can join the crossfire.
The firing procedure is the same like in a group fire.
Target proximity is defined by the commander.
Pinned and suppressed models can rally in order to remove the status. Rallying a single miniature is one action. If rallying fails the initiative is lost. If rallying is successful the pinned or suppressed status is removed.
A regular trooper needs a 6 to remove a suppressed status and a 5 or 6 to remove a pinned status.
The commanding model of the group can support the rally when it stands within one base of the rallying model. Add the commanding value (CV) to the roll.
A commanding model can add its own CV when it rallies.
Handing over the initiative can be done for tactical (or even strategical) reasons. The non-phasing player then becomes the phasing player.
A model with less than 360° arc of fire needs to pivot when is wants to shoot at a model outside of its arc of fire. This counts as a single action.
Examples for models with an arc of fire of less than 360° are:
- tanks or tank turrets
The non-phasing player has to wait until the phasing player looses her or his initiative. The only active way to attempt to retrieve initiative is by reactive fire on movements.
The non-phasing player has the opportunity to react to certain actions of the phasing player in order to stop the initiative (and take it back).
Whenever a model of the phasing player moves within LOS of one or more models of the non-phasing player, the non-phasing player’s models may react by firing on the moving model at whatever point of the movement.
Reactive fire can be executed by a single model, as group fire or as crossfire. As long as at least a pin is achieved reactive fire by that model may be continued. In case of group fire or crossfire one pin by at least one model is enough for all participating models to continue reactive fire. If at least a suppressed is achieved the initiative is lost.
There’s no target proximity for reactive fire.
Reactive fire can not be performed against retreating models.
Only the phasing player can initiate close combat by moving one or more (with a group movement) models in contact to one or more enemy models. This means before a close combat can take place the phasing player needs to perform a movement action (which can fail due to reactive fire including loss of initiative).
Once the movement action is finished close combat takes place if at least two opposing models are in contact.
Who Fights in Close Combat
All models in contact (i.e. maximum 1 base distance) to any enemy model participate in the close combat.
Close Combat Roll Offs
Each participating model generates a specific number of dice. The number depends on weapons and other attributes of the model.
Pool each side’s dice. Both players roll all their dice at once. Line up each sides’ dice in descending order and compare pair-wise (highest roll of phasing player vs highest roll of non-phasing player, second highest and so on).
For each pair determine as follows:
- a draw: ignore the pair
- higher die inflicts a wound
- ignore any non-pairing die
For each wound remove a model. Each player decides which of the own models to remove.
If there’s at least one model left on both sides repeat with generating dice and rolling off.
The close combat ends as soon as all models of one side were killed.
Phasing player initiates close combat with two rifle men and a sergeant (generating 7 dice). Non-phasing player has two rifle men with SMG (generating 6 dice).
Both roll simultaneously.
Phasing player rolls 6 5 5 3 3 2 1
Non-Phasing player rolls 5 5 4 4 2 2
non-phasing player has 3 wounds and looses both models
phasing player has 1 wound and looses 1 model
Special Case: Loss of Initiative after Movement Action
In case the initiative passes due to reactive fire the first thing applying is the close combat. That means even if initiative passes the new phasing player has to deal with the close combat first. That also means that the initiative can pass back to the player who originally initiated the close combat.
Impact of terrain on LOS and cover.
Line of Sight LOS
Generally what the miniature can “see” is what it can fire at.
Cover modifies the number of dice for firing. Whether cover applies depends on either the LOS (for direct fire) or the terrain feature (for indirect fire).
When cover applies reduce the number of dice for firing by one.
Sub machine guns (SMG) have no modifications due to cover.
Example: for firing with a rifle a single trooper has 3 dice. If cover for the target applies reduce the number of dice to 2.
Cover from Direct Fire
If the firing model can fully see the target no cover modification applies.
If the firing model can partially see the target apply cover modification.
Be reasonable: if only a hand or finger is visible – i.e. a small part of the target model – the firing model has no LOS.
Cover from Indirect Fire
For indirect fire cover is determined by the terrain feature. Apply cover for the following terrain features the target is in:
- Rough ground (rubble, ruins, trenches, …)
- Hedges, Walls: provide cover when the model is touching the feature
- in open terrain if the model is ground hugging
Open terrain are terrain features like streets, streams, low grassland etc.
This section for now is a container for thoughts and concepts. Rough ideas. Some will move up to the basic rules section.
Julian: What happens to troops if its commander is killed? what happens if the main commander is killed?
Kip: So maybe the gnarl gain an advantage to their Commander dying, and the Allied Factions a disadvantage?
So the gnarl are limited to move within LOS of their commander – maybe if their commander dies – they lose this. Like a zombie frenzy. This means the Gnarl player can be more confident with his commander – cus’ if he dies it frees up his troops.
Where as the Allied Factions should have to test their grit, roll a dice and if they fail (not roll a ‘5’ or ‘6’ )- their warband are shellshocked by the ordeal, they lose initiative – and every time they take the initiative, they have to roll again – until they achieve a success, and someone becomes the new commander for that mission. Essentially overcoming the loss of their CO.
Julian: a simple approach could be that command is passed down the line when a commander is killed. Choose any model of the group being the commanding model. The only benefit of a commander, i.e. the support for rallying and in close combat, defined by the CV, is gone in this case.
A special unit like cars, transports, a tank, a walker, brute, robot (maybe even planes) (i.e. every non-infantry unit) is limited in the number of actions with the chance to loose initiative the more actions you perform.
Julian: there’s two options
1. each unit has its own counter for limited number of actions
2. within your initiative you only have a specific number of actions for all your non-infantry units (e.g. six, but starting with the 2nd you would roll a die. On a 6 you loose your initiative. For the 3rd you loose on a 5 and 6 and so on).
Option 2 would better fit the idea of low complexity and fast game flow. Option 1 needs more counting markers.
Faction Specific Rules
FactionA: a trooper can move independently of its commanding model.
Kip: I think this should be Allied Factions
Julian: we could leave this one open for now (maybe an Elves Faction later?) or give it veteran troops.
Kip -Ah, I understand I agree – this can be our wild card for later!
FactionB: a trooper can only move if the movement starts within LOS of its commanding model. Also applies to group movement.
Kip: I think this should be Gnarl – like a pheromone… that controls the troops
Julian: I would vote for this being regular allied troops
Kip: Agree – that way the CO can bark orders!
Faction C: a trooper can only move if the movement starts and ends within LOS of its commanding model. Also applies to group movement.
Kip: …or this one should be Gnarl – if not we should save the ‘third’ faction for cultists or something weird to make at a later date
Julian: I think this should be the Gnarl, too. They are limited in movement but have larger numbers (4 troopers + 1 commander)
Vehicles/ Tanks/ Tank Walkers/ Non-Infantry
Vehicles can have maximum 6 actions per initiative per vehicle.
- The first action is free
- before executing the second action, announce the action, roll a die. On a 2+ execute the action, on a 1 initiative passes.
- for each subsequent action, before executing it, roll a die and reduce the chance to execute it by 1.
Firing a gun, moving, pivoting, turning turret are single actions. No retreat movement. No group or crossfire. Group movement possible.
Kip: How can you successfully kill a tank? Obviously not with gunfire – but explosives. But how do they go about this?
Julian: in CF you can kill tanks only with AT guns, bazookas and other tanks
Kip: Sounds fair, maybe the sappers ability can be to aid destroying tanks – CQ sticky bomb or something?
Julian: that’s a good idea. In general when dealing with armour/ tanks we could work with the given armour penetration and kill potential values.
Brutes / Heavy
3 suppressions to kill – OR – has Armour, slower but tougher. see below;
Armour (After your model is successfully ‘killed’ by enemy fire they can roll an armour save – on a ‘5’ or ‘6’ – they decrease the killing shot to a ‘pinning shot’)
Faction – Both – Light Armour – 1 Dice
Faction – Allied Nations – Heavy Armour – 3 Dice (lose initiative after 1 successful move)
Faction Gnarl – Natural Armour – Trunk Armour – 3 Dice
Kip: We could also have Commanders get light armour – but normal privates don’t, unless they are a heavy / brute.
Julian: we have to define whether Brutes are infantry or non-infantry.
How do grenades work? How far can a trooper throw a grenade when we don’t have measurements? Maybe into the next terrain feature? Which we actually don’t have.
Grenades are HE. Trooper needs LOS, counts as indirect fire.
Flamethrowers / Sporethrowers
We should have a weapon or troop type that has a flamethrower that is super effective – but if shot at can explode and damage those around him – we’d need to have it auto-hit – but maybe if the target can roll a ‘5’ or ‘6’ they can dodge it and get a free movement? if not the flamethrower rolls 9 dice – if they get a ‘6’ the target dies – if not they’re suppressed.
If the flamethrower character dies, they explode – and on a ‘5’ or ‘6’ – either suppresses/pins all troops in his squad – and kills any that are within 1 base.
No participation in group fires or crossfires. One shot per initiative.
Calling in artillery with a Forward Observer. Once per initiative per FO. FO needs LOS to target. Artillery is off table.
Field mortars are on the tabletop.
(Would be cool if the artillery strike rolls really well it destroys terrain – exposing the enemy, but the chances are slim)
The troop maturity has impact in multiple occasions.
Troop maturity levels are: veteran, regular, green
(I’m happy to get rid of this – unless it create major problems in the over all game – I’d rather have ‘roles’ (Grenadier, Sapper, Heavy, Engineer etc with their own abilities – we could have a levelling up mechanic…but it adds stats… usually?)
Some initial ideas on ‘Roles’ and character profiles.
Each Allied Faction character has a;
Role (Commander, Private, Engineer, Sapper, Heavy, Radio Operator, Sniper etc)
1x Ranged Weapon
1x Close Quarter Weapon (if allowed, so Heavy’s can only have a knife etc)
Armour (if allowed, so only CO’s and Heavy’s)
Grenade (This could be determined by their role?)
Ability (National ability?)
Commander +1 to Rally, can wear light Armour
Private – no special abilities, but can become commander, if CO dies.
Engineer – Can buff tanks / cut barbed wire?
Sapper – has extra grenades? or additional abilities – could be good at destroying tanks
Heavy – Can carry ‘big guns’ HMG / Bazooka, have any armour – but can only have a knife.
Radio Operator – Can call in Air Strikes – but has to ‘get through to the FOB’
Sniper – Can use the sniper rifle, maybe has an ability to rally themselves easier?
Each Gnarl Faction character has a;
Role (Commander, Infected Private (sounds wrong!), Brute, Cyst, Runner)
1x Ranged Weapon (this could be the ability to ‘leap’ though with swift foot)
1x Close Quarters Weapon
2x Close Quarters Weapons
Armour (if allowed, so only CO’s and Brutes)
Ability (could be role ability, or we could pick some weird mutations)
Commander +1 to rally, can wear light Armour
Infected Private – no special abilities
Brute – Can carry CQ weapons, have any armour
Cyst – Can explode in CQ, when killed, or sacrifice themselves to create ‘sporesmoke cloud’
Runner – Can’t be ‘pinned’
How to organise your troops.
Julian: so, a group, consisting of 1 commander + 3-4 troopers, would consist of different roles, right? So each group would be a group a specialists, like KillTeam. What if we’d allow 2-3 groups per side + overall commander and 1-2 heavies? With each group having its own specialization?
Kip: Correct a small ‘Kill team’ skirmish game would consist of 1 Squad – containing a CO + 3-4 troopers (of varying roles)
Where as a larger game would consist of 3 of these squads and a tank/mech. (Adapatable to the narrative) each could be a specialist sqaud, so a ‘heavy sqaud’ containng a 1xCO 2x Heavys and 1xRadio Operator for blowing stuff up. With another having 1x CO and 3 snipers. We should limit sqaud sizes to 5 – that way max model count will be 15 + 1 tank/mech.
Julian: to make things easier and support narrative play, how about no organisational restrictions. If you want to field two tanks, do so. If you want to field multiple groups, do so. If you want a group of specialists, do so.
We could also leave out any troop costs. That way the competitive aspect has no place and we support games amongst friends and campaigning and the narrative. If people want restrictions they can either create house rules or just limit themselves or talk to each other.
However we can make recommendations. Like
- make groups of 3-5 troopers
- for every group assign a commander
- begin with regular troops before exploring specialists, tanks and veterans
Kip: Yeah, sounds good – we’ll just need to work out how to make games evenly matched so a suggested squad size should be adhered to (will vary between factions) – we could implement a tiered points system, and if your squad falls under points of your enemy, you get additional artillery strikes of something? (Points could be ‘War Bonds’ for Wardens and ‘Raw Bonds’ for Gnarl)
CO – 2 Points
Heavy – 2 Points
Regular Troops – 1 Point
Tank / Mech – 5 Points
+1 Artillery Strike – 1 Point
Fortifications (barbed wire, anti tank mine) – 1 Point
CO – 1 Point
Infected Private – 1 Point
Brute – 2 Points
Cyst – 1 Point
Runner – 1 Point
+1 Artillery Strike – 1 Point
Fortifications (barbed wire, anti tank mine) – 1 Point
Small Game – 12 Points
Squad 1 – A CO – 2 Privates and a heavy – 6pts
Squad 2 – A CO – Private, Sniper, Radio Operator, Sapper – 6pts
Squad 1 – A CO – 4 Privates and a heavy – 7pts
Squad 1 – A CO – 2 Privates and 2 runners – 5pts
Medium Game – 20 Points
Squad 1 – A CO – with 3 Heavy’s – 8pts
Squad 2 – A CO with 4 Privates and 1 radio operator cost – 7pts
A Mech – 5pts
Squad 1 – A CO – 4 Privates and a heavy – 7 Points
Squad 1 – A CO – 2 Privates, 2 runner, 2 cyst – 7pts
A Infected Mech – 5pts
+1 Artillery Strike – 1pt
First Game Discussion Points
- Remov blue chips (reload / weapons jam) at start of initiative
- You CAN shoot through teammates
- Retreat – move back to where you came from, this miniature can’t take another action, another miniature has to next. If this is your only miniature – you pass initiative.
- Line of Site and Cover – if you can see the majority of the model – they are out of cover, if 50% of the model can be seen – its in cover (-1 dice) – if only a tiny part can be seen – 20% ( -2 dice)
- When moving, and in LOS of enemy and the do a ‘reaction fire’ – if they pin / or suppress the model must return to the original cover – if their original position was out of cover – they must move to the nearest cover (this could be where they were originally headed)
- Close combat could utilise ‘Spartacus’ boardgame rules dice role?