Monday, June 29, 2009

The Battle of Tentacle Tributary

I played a really fun game of Warhammer 40,000 recently, and took plenty of pictures. I used my Tyranids against a friend who just started playing Orks. It had been a long time since I played Tyranids, and I hadn't seen the new Orks in action much yet, so I was really looking forward to it. I expected a short and brutal game, with both sides just charging forward into combat by turn 2, but that turned out not to be the case at all.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Battle of Prescott's Mill - Day 2: Part 2

Just as on the previous day, at the very moment of Confederate hesitation, the Union army sprung dramatically into action. The Union infantry regiment fathest to the right up on the hill, had spotted the Confederate regiment attempting to get on their flank. When the Confederate regiment slowed its advance to stay even with the rest of their army, the Union regiment took action. Concealing themselves behind a convenient fold in the ground, the regiment moved at double quick time and wheeled to the right, coming up on the flank of the enemy regiment with no warning. The rest of the Union infantry line advanced quickly toward the mill, surrounding the 4th Texas who were exposed because the confederate infantry regiments were so spread out. Meanwhile, the back and forth melee between both sides' cavalry regiments on the far Union left continued without resolution.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Battle of Prescott's Mill - Day 2: Part 1

The following is a battle report of a 10mm American Civil War game I played recently using a set of rules called Field of Battle. You can read the battle report for Day 1 of the battle here, and a story write-up of the the first day here.

Any comments on the rules mechanics that need mentioning I will place in italics, to separate them from the descriptions of the action. The rules result in a fair amount of randomness and uncertainty in how your units act and react. This allows the imagination to fill in reasons for units whose actions are particularly impressive or particularly unimpressive, even though these reasons aren't specifically spelled out in the rules. This is an aspect of the rules that I like, and my descriptions of the battle will include a fair amount of invented explanation for events that were really the result of some particularly lucky or unlucky rolling.

Monday, June 8, 2009

5th Texas Infantry

Last week I finished painting my third unit of 10mm GHQ Confederate Infantry figures. These are meant to represent the 5th Texas. I used mostly the same method as the previous infantry units, which you can see here, with the following exceptions.

First, I used a greater variety of colors on the pants in order to make them look a little more ragged. I alternated between several pant colors: Snakebite Leather, Beastial Brown, Shadow Grey, Fortress Grey, and a light blue-grey color I don't know they name of. Second, these figures are in a marching pose, and are wearing backpacks and blanket rolls. The backpacks I painted Dark Flesh with Bleached Bone straps. The blankets I did in a mix of Snakebite Leather, Shadow Grey, and Fortress Grey. I also again hand painted the Texas flag. For this unit, I inked them all with brown ink, except for the Colonel who I used black ink on.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Inquisitor House Rules

The following are some house rules my gaming group used when we played a few Inquisitor campaigns. Some of these rules we came up with ourselves, others we found and compiled. Let me know if you have any good house rules you've used in your Inquisitor games.

Semi-auto shooting
Rather than -10% per shot, the penalty for firing on semi auto is the weapon’s weight. Each shot fired below the maximum reduces the penalty by 10, to a minimum of -10. Plasma weapons firing in the semi(2) mode are an exception and follow the normal rules (-20 to hit).

Auto shooting
Apply modifiers for distance, aiming, and movement to character’s BS and then divide the result by 4. Add +5% for each additional target above one in the target group. This is the required to hit roll for all the shots. Divide shots equally amongst the targets in the group, then roll to hit.

A pistol that is being held in both hands counts as a rested weapon when fired (+10 to hit).

-10 semi-auto fire
-20 full auto fire
-10 loud weapons (bolters, stubber, revolver, shotgun, etc.)
-20 flame weapons
-10 heavy weapons

Any characters, friend or foe, within 3 yards of the character being shot at must also test for pinning with all the same modifiers.

Shotguns and stubbers
Shotguns, sawn off shotguns, and pump action combat shotguns do 2D6+4 damage rather than 2D6+2. In addition, shotguns firing normal rounds count double damage for knockback. However, at ranges above 20 yards they do 1 less damage per 2 yards over 20. The pump action shotgun loses its semi (3) mode. The Automatic Combat Shotgun is single/semi (2/3).

Stub guns have range E, not F.

Basic weapons fired in one hand
Characters can only fire basic weapons in one hand if their strength in that arm is greater than or equal to the weapon’s weight. Characters firing a basic weapon in one hand suffer an extra -20 to hit penalty, unless their strength in that arm is double the weapon's weight.

Try using Initiative instead of Weapon Skill for dodging. Do not add the +20 from the rulebook; instead add +1 per point of WS over 50, up to a maximum of +20.

When doing an “advance and attack” action in close combat, the attacker adds +10 to hit.

Weapon Reach
Weapon Reach does not count when parrying - only when rolling to hit.

Using two weapons
If you have two weapons and manage to counter attack after parrying with only one of them, you can use the other to make the counter. If you do this, your opponent suffers -20 to parry or dodge. If they have two weapons as well they can parry the counter with the one they didn’t use for the initial attack, in which case they do not suffer the penalty.

Blunt Close Combat Weapons
Blunt weapons (rifle buts, unarmed attacks, staffs, etc.) can’t do more than the third level of damage to any location.

Hit location
Characters are not allowed to make placed shots to the groin.
Do not add the +20 to the location roll when in close combat.

Leg wounds
The penalty for a Heavy leg wound is -1 to movement rates and -10 to Dodge in Close Combat, rather than -1 Speed.

Fatal Damage
If a hit inflicts an amount of damage (after armor deductions) equal to half a character's Toughness, that's Fatal Damage. What this means is that the location has been absolutely blown apart or ripped to shreds by the hit.

If it's the head you're dead anyway so it doesn't matter (although you can imagine the head is severed and sent flying somewhere); if it's the groin, you're bleeding VERY badly and so add 2D6 to your injury total per recovery phase instead of D3; if it's the chest or abdomen; you're dead; and if it's a limb, the limb is torn off. Also, because your injury total is now equal to half your Toughness, you'll always suffer system shock too.

A character only tests for recovery at the end of a turn in which he was wounded (had points added to his injury total).

When performing recovery actions, a character can only heal a location injury down to one level below the highest level it has been at in the current battle. Location injury levels that the character started the battle with can’t be healed during the battle. A character must have their hands free to perform a recovery action.

The character must spend at least an entire turn performing the recovery action. For each action they successfully roll above the first they add +10 to their toughness for the recovery test. For each level of injury they have above the first in the location they are trying to heal, they get –10 to their toughness for the recovery test. If failed, the location cannot be healed this battle. Rolls of 96-100 always fail.

If they pass the recovery test, they location they were healing recovers on injury level. The character also subtracts 2D3 from their injury total (+1 for each full 10 pts of toughness over 50, +1 for each level of injury above light that the location had).

A character can carry a certain amount of equipment before their performance is impaired. The amount a character can carry (their Encumbrance value) is equal to their strength x 2, after all modifiers. Add up the weight of all the weapons and equipment carried. Close combat weapons count as having a weight of five times their reach. Chain weapons and power weapons double this. A character’s armor weighs one per point of armor they have. All other equipment without a specified weight is treated as having a weight of five.

The total weight of a character’s equipment is compared to their Encumbrance value. If their weight is less than or equal, it has no effect. If the weight is up to 25 points higher, the character is at –10 to their initiative. For every further 25 points, or part, that their equipment is more than their encumbrance value, the character is at a further –10 to their initiative and reduces all movement rates by one yard. No model may carry more than twice their Encumbrance value.

The Psi-Track power
The psyker can only initiate a Track on someone they have detected by some means (including the Detection psychic power).

Primitive weapons
Knives and bayonets do D10 damage instead of D6.
Where the primitive weapon chart lists a D3 for damage, call it a D6; however, armor counts double against them (heavy clothing = 4, flak = 6, mesh = 8 etc.).

A quick one: hits to the arms count half damage for knockback.

Characteristic advancement
When you do something in a game you have a chance of getting better at it. This is handled by comparing what you did in the game to the criteria for advancement; if you did that thing, you can make a characteristic test to determine if you improve at it. The criteria are as follows:

Characteristic - Criteria
Weapon Skill - Made a critical Close Combat attack
Ballistic Skill - Hit with a placed shot
Initiative - Performed amazingly well in the battle
Willpower - Successfully cast or dispelled several psychic powers
Nerve - Passed many pinning tests
Leadership - Achieved a scenario objective

You make a characteristic test by rolling a D100: if you score over your current skill in that characteristic, you improve; add +1% to that stat (the better you are, the less there is left to learn).

Talented characters
Some characters are simply more gifted than other people. For this reason, here's a rule for talented characters.

When creating the character you can opt to check to see if the character has any innate ability in a given area. Each of the stats that can be improved with experience (WS, BS, I, Wp, Nv, Ld) has a 10% chance of being an area that that character has the potential to excel in. If a character has a talent for a particular stat, roll 2D10; the result is the bonus the character receives when making experience tests for that stat. This means they should both improve more quickly and reach a higher total ability than characters who aren't talented in that area (the 2D10 roll represents the extent of their talent).

You can record this in the Campaign Notes section of the WD261 campaign character sheet; for example, if you'd got talents in Ballistic Skill and Nerve, you could write "Talents: Marksmanship (12), Courage (8)".

Astro-telepaths are blind, but posess an uncanny psychic sense of location and have the ability to feel the very souls of others. For most purposes Astropaths count as fully sighted, with the following exceptions:
Astropaths have a 360 degree sight arc for the purposes of awareness. When taking vision-based awareness tests, use the astropath's Willpower characteristic rather than their Initiative; the stronger the astropath, the more likely they are to sense the presence of others.

Note that because this ability partially relies on sensing the environment as well as the life-force of other characters, Astropaths do suffer a modifier for covered locations although it is reduced to -2 per location covered, rather than -5. Characters who would be completely out of sight behind an obstacle cannot be detected in this way. The modifiers for movement and environmental conditions do not apply; other modifiers apply as normal.

We devised this ability for things like robots and mind-wiped servitors, who would be slow and ponderous but unlikely to be suddenly distracted. The character (or robot, or cyborg etc.) halves their Speed, but automatically passes all their action rolls. This makes Automatons very predictable, which can be a benefit for their controllers but is also handy for the their opponents!

The character is adept at street fighting, dirty tricks and the impromptu use of makeshift weaponry. A Brawler inflicts +D3 damage with unarmed and improvised attacks, including knuckledusters and gauntlets (for a total damage of 2D3 plus any weapon and Strength bonuses).

A modification of an existing skill, this one. Hipshooting is a bit weird because, although it's possible for a character to be good at shooting on the move, surely they would never be quite as effective as when shooting standing still?

For this reason we tend to say that Hipshooting, rather than completely negating the movement penalty, changes it from -5% per yard moved to -1% per yard. In this way the character with the skill has a big bonus, but it's still slightly to their advantage to stay still.

Jump Up
The character is very agile and can spring to their feet with a quick flip or roll. If the character is prone and not stunned at the start of his turn, he can stand without using an action if he passes an Initiative test.

The character is used to moving silently and making the best use of cover to stay out of sight. Other characters halve the range at which they can hear a character with this ability moving if they are walking or sneaking. Sneaking is not a Risky action for characters with Stealth. Vision bonuses for movement are halved, and penalties for covered locations are doubled.