A game for several players where the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance (sometimes).
This is a skirmish level game designed to be played by four to six players in about an hour and a half. Each player will control a competing faction with personal victory conditions to achieve based on the scenario chosen. Not all victory conditions are mutually exclusive so alliances and diplomacy have their place.
The game is ostensibly set in a fictional present day but this is not a requirement. Many of the factions are drawn from popular culture and new factions can be added very easily simply by quantifying a small number of variables.
The game requires minimal measuring, no charts and a lot of six sided dice. The rules will be memorised by a player by their second action and everyone can then concentrate on having fun.
I use 28mm figures but any scale will work. Distances have been given with this size figure in mind. Each player will need a collection of painted figures to represent his or her faction. Figures within a faction should be organised into distinct groups based on the faction’s organisation.
For example; U.N.I.T. forces are arranged into squads of eight men that operate in sections of four. Daleks, on the other hand, operate in groups of three.
If you need to balance things (and this is less and less necessary the more players you have) then make sure every side has roughly the same amount of shooting dice.
Figures should be individually based for convenience but crewed weapons etc. based as a group work fine as well.
For a four player game you will need a 6’ x 4’ table but small factions of 10 – 15 figures will work on a 4’ x 4’ area. Smaller or larger playing areas can be accommodated by varying the number of figures to a side or by having a variable density of terrain. After a couple of games you will have a pretty good idea of what will work best.
This game uses six sided dice (D6). You will need about 20 – 30 for a comfortable game.
There are only two measurements in the game; a ‘Move’ measurement which is Eight inches and a ‘Blast’ area which is a six inch diameter circle.
It is recommended that you prepare a Blast template before play and if you have pre-cut movement sticks they help to speed up game play immensely.
Groups’ and individuals’ actions are regulated by drawing cards from a prepared deck. If you have four or less factions you can use a normal deck of playing cards by assigning a suit to each faction. If you need more variety it is fairly easy to make a deck of Action cards for yourself.
As a general rule, each faction will get 5 x Single Action cards, 3 x Double Actions cards and 1 x Triple Actions card. If you are using a normal deck these can be represented by using Pip cards for Single Actions, Court cards for Double Actions and Aces for Triple Actions. You will also need some Special Event cards which can be represented by Jokers. The deck should contain one Special Action card per faction involved up to a maximum of four.
Some factions can be given advantages or disadvantages by increasing or decreasing the number or type of Action Cards for them.
Mechanics of Play
Once a scenario has been decided on, the terrain has been laid out and the forces assembled the game is ready to start.
One player draws a number of cards from the Action Deck, announcing what they are and placing them where everyone can have a clear view. The number of cards drawn should equal the number of factions in the game but four cards must be drawn if there are fewer than four factions.
The actions on the cards are then played through in order with the relevant cards going to a discard pile as they are used. Once the cards have been used another set of cards is drawn and play continues in the same way. If the deck is exhausted the discard pile is shuffled and cards drawn as before.
When an Action Card for a faction comes up the controlling player may carry out the number of actions on the card with his forces.
A Single Action card allows one group to do one action.
A Double Action card allows one group to do two actions, or two groups to do a single action each.
A Triple Action card allows one group to do three actions, or three groups to do a single action each, or one group to do a single action and another group to do two actions.
A player is never required to use all the actions available to him.
There are three basic types of actions that can be attempted.
The player chooses one figure in one of his groups and measures a single move for it. He then places the rest of the group next to the original figure as he sees fit. It is not necessary to measure the move distance for every other group member, this just slows things down. When the same group moves again the controlling player can measure from any figure, he doesn’t need to keep using the same one.
The standard Move distance in the game is eight inches but some factions can move more or less than this depending on their nature. Spugs, for instance, get to travel 16 inches per Move action.
A move must be in a straight line but may be in any direction.
A player never has to move a group the full move distance if he doesn’t want to (unless they are retreating from combat).
A group’s movement ends when it enters a terrain feature (including a vehicle). A group’s move also ends once they cross a linear barrier such as a wall or fence. If a group moves out of a terrain feature its move is measured from any edge of the feature. If exiting a building or vehicle measure from a suitable point, probably a door.
Ground vehicles may move in a straight line in the direction they are facing as far as they are able and end their move with a turn to face any direction.
Vehicles end their move if they enter a terrain feature but may still turn to face any direction. Vehicles can only enter terrain suitable to them. A road vehicle can only travel in open terrain, an off-road vehicle could cross rubble and scrub as well, use common sense to decide this unless a scenario gives special exceptions.
Helicopters and other VTOL craft use an action to take off, another action to travel anywhere and a third action to land.
A single group may shoot at a single opposing group as long as one of the figures can trace an unblocked line of sight to any figure in the target group.
Line of sight will be blocked by intervening groups, and blocking terrain (terrain types are listed later). Please note that it is an intervening group that blocks line of sight, not just the individual figures in that group. You cannot shoot between figures in an intervening group.
There are no ranges in this game, the playing area is very small and modern weapons can hit anything the shooter can see. Imagine how much better the alien weapons are! Therefore, if you can see it, you can shoot it.
Once the target group has been decided on the shooting player rolls the number of D6 that his group can muster and totals them up. Different factions require different amounts to kill their figures.
For example; a section of 4 U.N.I.T. troops fires on a group of 3 Daleks.
The section can muster 8D6 comprised of two rifles at 1D6 each, one Light Support Weapon at 2D6 and one LAWS rocket at 4D6.
They roll a total of 29 (2,2,2,3,3,5,6,6).
They need 24 points to kill each Dalek so one of the metal encased monstrosities explodes. The extra 5 points does nothing.
At a later date the group of Daleks may feel like getting revenge and so they shoot at the U.N.I.T. troops.
There are 2 Daleks left and they each have 6D6 shooting dice for a total of 12D6.
They roll a total of 47 (1,2,2,4,4,4,4,5,5,5,5,6).
It only takes 6 points to kill a human in the open and it’s a four man group so the entire U.N.I.T. section is exterminated.
Had the U.N.I.T. troops been inside a building the Daleks would need 12 points to kill each man and so they would have killed three men with 36 points but the last man would have survived because the remaining 11 points is not enough to get him.
When a group takes casualties the player controlling the target group decides which figures to remove.
Each shooting action is resolved separately and casualties are removed immediately.
Some factions have the ability of linked fire.
Linked fire allows any shoot actions that are carried out from the same Action card to be combined. So a Double Action card would allow the U.N.I.T. section above to shoot twice at the Dalek group and total all 16D6 (two lots of 8D6) before determining casualties. This allows for greater effects from shooting. Linked fire also allows two different groups to shoot at the same target and total their dice.
3. Special Actions
Any action that is not moving or shooting is classed as a Special action. Most Special actions will be scenario specific such as searching a building or operating a piece of machinery. Some factions have Special actions particular to them; Spugs can burrow as an action for example. If a player wants to attempt something new or odd then common sense and a quick discussion between players should decide whether to allow it. Many actions require an Action roll in order for them to succeed. The basic form for this is to roll a D6 for every figure helping to carry out the action. One or more ‘6’s on any of the dice is enough to succeed.
Close combat is not an action. When a group reaches an enemy group both become locked in hand-to-hand combat and cannot move until it is resolved. It is enough for a single figure to be able to get into base-to-base contact with a single figure from the opposing group for both groups to become locked this way.
Hand-to-hand combat is resolved when either a Double or Triple action card is drawn but after the actions on the card have been completed. If the combat is initiated as a result of an action from a Double or Triple card then it is resolved before the next Action card is acted upon.
Whilst a hand-to-hand fight is occurring and before it is resolved any group that has an action may join in if they can reach. If the new arrivals are reinforcements for a faction already involved they will join with figures from their faction to form a single, bigger group.
Any of the participating groups who get an action may shoot into the combat in an attempt to kill the opponents before the combat is resolved (and thus avoid taking casualties themselves).
Groups not involved in the close combat may not shoot into it if they have members of their faction involved.
Separate factions than those involved may shoot into a continuing close combat. They must choose a target faction and roll damage as normal. All even numbered damage dice results will be allocated to the target faction and all odd numbered damage dice results will be allocated as evenly as possible amongst any other participating factions.
Resolving hand-to-hand combat
Hand-to-hand combat damage is simultaneous but should be resolved one faction at a time to make it easier to work out. Casualties that have not had a chance to make their own attack rolls should be placed nearby so they can be included when it is their faction’s turn.
Each faction totals its close combat dice (which are the same as for shooting unless there is a note in the faction background that says otherwise) and rolls damage as if they were shooting. The target number is always the one for ‘in the open’ unless one faction is defending a terrain feature in which case they get the cover benefit of the defensive position which will vary depending on what it is (see the terrain list).
Casualties are worked out as normal and the player controlling the target faction decides which figures to remove.
If there are more than two factions involved the attacking player decides on a target faction and rolls his damage. All even numbered damage dice results will be allocated to the target faction and all odd numbered damage dice results will be allocated as evenly as possible amongst any other participating factions.
Once all casualties have been removed the hand-to-hand combat is over.
If there is a single faction remaining they will form suitable groups based on their organisation, Daleks would form up into threes for instance, and may move to occupy any ground that their opponent was holding. This allows a successful attack on a barricade to carry the attackers over it or if a building was stormed the attackers will get inside etc.
If more than one faction remains and an area of terrain was being defended such as a barricade or a building entrance then any defenders stay put and any attackers move back a full move ensuring that they don’t stay in contact themselves. If no position was being held, perhaps a group was jumped out in the street, then all factions will move a full move apart, usually back the way they came.
Because of the nature of the game there are many types of terrain that can be encountered.
Terrain other than Open terrain should be placed so that it occupies a discreet area. Small areas, large enough for one or two groups to occupy are best. If you want to represent a large terrain feature such as a forest then you should put down several small areas of trees separated by narrow gaps.
Remember, a group’s movement ends when it enters a terrain feature (including a vehicle). A group’s move also ends once they cross a linear barrier such as a wall or fence. If a group moves out of a terrain feature its move is measured from any edge of the feature.
Terrain offers varying amounts of protection which is referred to as ‘cover’
Cover is given three definitions:
Open for open terrain that offers no protection.
Cover for terrain that offers some protection or that hinders an enemy seeing you.
Buildings for hardened terrain that offers substantial protection or that significantly reduces the chance of being seen by an enemy.
Some examples are listed below: