Thursday, 12 May 2016

SciFi games and rule additions

Having settled on an activation approach it got me thinking about other aspects of the rules which would help define the different W40K armies I game with. I haven introduces what I call force traits which apply certain armies. But first a recap of the activation approach upon which I have settled on with an additional optional rule.

Activation Approach

  • The game is played in a series of turns with control passed between players as they roll for the initiative & activate units. This continues until both player’s units on the table (not those in reserve) have had an opportunity to perform an action, or a score of 1 on the turn D6 ends the turn. The use of the turn D6 after each players actions means a turn’s duration is unpredictable.
  • 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.
  • A player does not need to activate all their units. They may wish to leave some unactivated so they may react to attacks. When this situation occurs no more units may be activated.
  • After a unit has taken an action mark the unit as being activated & roll the turn D6. If a 1 is rolled the turn ends immediately. If the turn does not end, players roll again for control. 
  • When a new turn starts remove all activation markers.
  • Units which have not performed an action are able to counterattack. They cannot perform other actions after counterattacking.
  • Optional Rule - if a 6 is rolled on the Turn D6 the player winning control is allowed to remove an activation marker from any activated unit as their action. This allows some units to perform more than one action per turn. If one player has activated all their units, they still roll for control to see if they can unactivated a unit.
The yellow turn D6 is a 1 so the turn is over and all activation markers are removed.

Force Traits

The force traits are still a work in progress. So far I have used Tactical Doctrine and Reanimation, and they have both added to the couple of games I have played without changing the game's flow unduly. I have put in brackets the W40K armies I think the traits align to.

Tactical Doctrine - Win all drawn D6 scores when player’s roll for control. (Space Marines)
Hordes and Critters - Can activate 2 units when winning for player control with an odd number (Tyranids)
Disciplined Training - Add 2D6 to shooting attacks when winning with a 6 for player’s control (Imperial Guard)
Reanimation - When winning with a 6 for player’s control select a unit and roll 4xD6, and for each D6 that would cause a hit against the defensive armour of the select unit return a model up to the unit original size. (Necrons)
Blood Lust - Add 2D6 to assault attacks when winning with a 6 for player’s control. (Orcs)
Drone Technology - Place activation on an enemy unit when winning with a 6 for player’s control. Indicate this with placement of drones. (Tau)

I have updated the rules (click here) if you are interested in glancing over the 4 or so pages of rules, which also include some unit lists.

In the recent test games I have been using my Necron models. Here are some of the units and how they are used within the rules. A fuller list is available at the end of the updated rules. Its also an opportunity to show some pictures of my Necron models painted many years ago and updated with the odd newer model.

Nightbringer C’tan
Troop, Character (5 pts), Psychic weapons, Warlord ability
C'tan with scarab protectors used to track hits
Necron Lord
Troop, Character (4 pts), Assault Power weapons, Phase Shift ability

Necron Lord and bodyguard

Troop (10 robots), Armoured, Tactical weapons, Phase Shift ability
Necron Warriors - quite hard to dispatch at range due to phase shift ability which means they are treated as being in cover.
Non-Troop, 5 Armour Points, support weapons, Mechanic ability
Monolith (with mechanic) I allow them to transport as many units as they like, but this can be disastrous if they get eliminated.


  1. Thanks for the Necron stats!

    I like the idea of the Force Traits, which may help to simplify things elsewhere for me; I am trying to create diffierent, more specific, abilities to differentiate my forces. Your idea allows a few simple traits, plus the force trait to create, say, the difference between Berserk Marines and Berserk Orks. I did find in my last game that keeping track of lots of different abilities got a bit tiring.

    Two things I did notice. Firstly the artillery term is Ordnance (no 'i'). Ordinance is something else entirely :) Secondly, did you deliberately drop the rule which prevented no counter-attacks if the attacker scored two 6s?

    I have my working list of special abilities, and other random jottings, in a Google doc if you'd like to have a look at it. Drop me an email address to share it with and I will make the necessary arrangements. My email address is in the sidebar of my blog.

    1. Hi Kaptain - Thanks for the pickup on Ordnance spelling. I always got 7 out of 10 in English with the comment - tries hard but could do better. Sigh. I did drop the double 6 prevents counterattack rule, partly because I kept forgetting to apply it.
      Sent you an email - thanks, I look forward to seeing what special abilities you have thought up. I really liked the commander one which I applied to the space marine army trait.
      Regards, Peter