Tuesday, 12 April 2016

SciFi house rules and campaign army lists

Recently Kaptain Kobold tried playing a game using my grid-based SciFi house rules (which are inspired by the One Hour Wargame ruleset). A link to the Kaptain's - The Stronghold Rebuilt - blog is here. The use of one's own rules by someone else is both very pleasing and also daunting as to how they may interpret them. Especially as they are one page rules which limits explanations and examples are pretty much out of the question. If you are interested in how a couple of armies based in the Warhammer 40K universe line up -  here are my campaign army lists with details of the units and their attributes.

The droid ability for the Hive Tyrant and Prime (read Hive Tyrant number 2) both had Tyrant Guards. Generally I only allow one ability per unit or character, but I decided to allow the Tyranid commanders to have two as they had fewer character models.


  1. Thank you - that's really helpful!

    Another question, though (again, something assumed in the rules but not written).

    You limit a side to six activations. Is that regardless of how large a force you use, or are all your games of a particular size in terms of number of units? I note that your campaign games seem to run at about eight units a side for example.

    I guess what I'm asking is - Why Six Activations?

    (For the record I have now played two games with the rules, and used 12 units a side in both. In one not all units were available from the start, and the six activations pretty much allowed both sides to move all they wanted. In the second, with twelve units in play on each side from the start, the game developed into an interesting series of decisions as to where to perform actions on a particular turn, and where to hold off until another.)

    1. I originally had all units could make an action and I found this favoured the larger armies (Tyranids and Orks). I took the view that larger armies would be more unwieldy and somewhat arbitrarily picked 6. I read a lot of the Warhammer 40K stories where small forces overcome the alien horde, so that may have been influencing me. Also as a solo gamer I enjoy having constraints in the rules to force decisions.
      I may have also tried only allowing half the units move rounded up at one time.

    2. My most recent game saw me activating six units out of a potential total of nine. Once casualties mounted it allowed everything a go, but to be honest *when* you act is as important as *whether* you do in some scenarios, and it was definitely true in this particular case.

      What I'm trying to work out is simple way or randomising how many units act each turn that doesn't (i) leave both armies immobile a lot of the time (ii) leave one army immobile whilst the other walks al over it and (iii) end up more complicated than the whole rest of the game :)

    3. The number of units activated is still not an area or the rules I am totally happy with. One idea was to allow half the number of units, rounded up, to be activated and any returned fire would not be counted against this number. If you are looking for randomisation, once half units activated keep activating with a 4+ roll. If less, no more activations except returning fire. Picking up your commander ability theme, an average commander would be 4+, poor 5+ and good 3+. Although, I really like your current commander ability, I cannot believe how many ties I roll during a game. Regards, Peter

    4. Stuffed up first sentence - I am not totally happy with current activation approach with 6 limit - ugh!

    5. Hi Kaptain Kobold - After some mulling over the activation approach this week, I will be trying out the following activation approach over the weekend...

      The game is played in a series of turns with control passed between players as they roll for the initiative & command units. This continues until half a player’s units (rounded up) have had an opportunity to perform a command action.
      To start the game roll a dice (D6) & the highest score begins in control.
      When in control a player can command a unit the following actions: a) move, b) attack or c) move/attack. Units perform one action per turn.
      After a unit has taken an action players roll again for control. This continues until half the units on both sides have had the opportunity to perform an action.
      Even when one player has used all their actions, continue to roll for control because if they win with an odd number a player can command a unit to action even if half their units have performed commanded actions.
      Units which have not performed a command action are able to counterattack. They cannot perform other command actions after counterattacking & counterattacks do not count as part a player’s activations.
      Regards, Peter

  2. I have had a lot of fun playing your game over the last couple of days, and have posted various thoughts and changes on my blog:


    Thank you!