Sunday, 7 August 2016

Messing around with activation rules

Having set up the table to play a couple of Sci-Fi games using a variation of the Swatters ruleset. I decided to keep the table set up and trial some different activation approaches after reading a couple of recent posts on the Blog DeltaVector. Previous Sci-Fi rules I have drafted have gone with dicing for activation and side with the highest score gets to activate a unit. As a solo player I find I like this approach as the next planned move is uncertain. The one area I find problematic however is that larger forces have the advantage over smaller forces by often having the last few activations.

So where did I end up with my trials? Well, I kept the rolling of dice for activation with a couple of twists and splitting activations into two phases: 1) movement and 2) combat made up on shooting and assaults. Units can participate in both phases as they are allowed to move and shoot/assault.

Movement Phase

During the movement phase both players roll dice and the highest gets to move. In the event of a tie, the player who was last in control remains in control.

When rolling for activation, a player that wins by double or more (e.g. a 2 vs. 4 roll) gets to either: move 2 of their units or moves 1 unit with a double move (always in a straight line and no turns).

If a player wins an activation dice roll by triple of more (e.g. a 1 vs 3 roll) they can end the movement phase and go onto the combat phase. This helps address the situation I mentioned earlier, where the larger force often get that last couple of activations. For a defending side they can limit movement and get on with the shooting.

Combat Phase

The combat phase, which includes shooting and assault charges, operates in a similar fashion as movement. Both players roll dice and the highest gets to shoot or charge 6 inches into an assault. In the event of a tie, the player who was last in control remains in control.

With the activation dice roll, if a player wins by double or more (e.g. a 3 vs. 6 roll) they get to either: perform intensive shooting which comes with a bonus or charge 12 inches into assault. (Assault combat is carried out upon contact with the enemy unit.)

If a player wins an activation dice roll by triple of more (e.g. a 2 vs 6 roll) they can end the combat phase and go onto the movement phase. Advancing forces will always want to shut down the combat phase quickly as they move their forces up.

I plan to write these rules up in a one page format over the next week or two.

Other Stuff

My first Hundred Years War unit is painted and 25 more units to go. I am expecting to complete 2 units per week, so this will be a 3 to 4 month project. All the models are from Miniature Figure and purchased 30 odd years ago, and I am really enjoying painting these (again).
I now leave space on the base to place casualty dice so they move with the unit.
The WW2 campaign was paused while I painted up a Jagdpanther. I'd picked up this model while browsing a model shop a couple of week's back. Based on campaign supplies I would hazard a guess there are 9 to 12 games still to be battled out before it comes to a conclusion.
An ArmourFast Jagdpanther


  1. That initiative system looks very versatile.

    What was the decision behind the active player retaining initiative on ties? I think when I've done similar things I've always give the inactive player the tie, so there's lower odds of one side continually getting initiative.

    1. I felt the side with control when moving or shooting should have the initiative which needs to be wrestled away. Giving them the ties provides the controlling player an increased chance of stringing together combined moves or attacks.
      I have only played a couple of games, so after a few more games I may change my mind to re-rolling ties. My units sizes are 5 troopers and there are 10 to 20 units in a game.

    2. Another fun option could be to have ties in movement go with the non-controlling player to reflect the uncertainty of what is up ahead. Then for shooting it is the reverse, ties go with the controlling player, as the non-controlling player as to react to attacks.

    3. *Another* fun option is simply to have each double cause a random event appropriate to the scenario/period being played eg Double 1 means a change in weather , Double 2 means that x minutes advance on the time clock with no activity, Double 3 allows the previous phasing player to rally a unit ... That kind of thing. No extra rolls, in most cases, but making use of the tie for something which has an effect on the game.

    4. That is a cool idea. Really like it.

  2. Your Minifigs 100Yrs War figures look superb- well done! Yes, nothing like a NEW project to be underway to lift the spirits. Very nice paint camo of the Jagdpanther. I'm holding off on my WW2 Project whilst I dapple ( enjoyably) with my Colonial Project. Cheers. KEV.

    1. Thanks KEV. The challenge will be to stay focused on painting and not get distracted on other projects. Regards, Peter