Work continues in my scifi ruleset, Para Bellum. Today I'd like to talk about the rules for unit activation. The goal behind these rules was to come up with a system of activation that is engaging and gives options to players, outside the narrow box of "move then shoot" that most rulesets fall into, which is so boring and outdated.
With these rules presented below, I have a system that integrates an unit's own initiative with suppression and command & control very easily. Also the number of options units have upon activating, due to the multiple types of actions and possible combinations among them makes for a system that is simple at one hand, but rich, deep in tactical possibilities in the other.
Here we go:
When it’s a player turn to activate a unit, he simply declares which unit he’s activating, and then rolls a D6 to determine the number of Action Points that unit has for the current activation.
Result of the D6
Nº of Action Points
The action points available for a unit are used to take actions. Once a unit is done taking actions, that activation is over, initiative passes to the opponent, and that unit will only be able to activate again on the next game turn.
Units take actions as a whole, and they apply to all models in it.
Actions are classified as either Short or Long, indicating they either require 1 or 2 action points to be taken, respectively.
· Move! The unit is able to take a single move action, where each model is able to move up to its Movement Value, in inches.
· Take Aim: The unit takes instance to fire, which makes its shoots more accurate.
· Fire! The unit shoots with its available ranged weapons. If its taken as a Short Action, only non-heavy weapons may be fired. If its taken as a Long Action, all weapons may be fired, including heavy weapons;
· Charge! The unit attempts to engage an enemy unit in close combat with a single move (just as in the Move! action).
· Run! The unit is able to take a double move action, which means each model is able to move up to 2x its Movement Value, in inches.
· Stand Ready! The unit forfeits acting immediatelly to stand ready to react to enemy activity nearby.
Each action can be taken only once, but they can be combined with other actions, in any order, provided the unit has got sufficient action points to spend.
Thus, a unit with 3 action points may take a Run! Long Action folowed by a Fire! Short Action, or vice versa; or Move!, then Take Aim! and finally Fire! (as a Short Action), etc. A unit of 2 action points could instead Take Aim! and then Fire! (as a Short Action), or Move! and then Charge!, etc.
However, if a unit takes a Fire! action, it can only Charge! If all the weapons fired have the Assault Special Rule. If any other ranged weapon is fired, the unit cannot charge in the same activation.
Also, although not forbidden, it would make no sense to Take Aim! without a following Fire! action (either Short or Long), for the bonus to shooting provided by taking aim is lost if the unit doesn’t take a Fire! action on that same activation.
MODIFIERS TO Nº OF ACTION POINTS:
There are 2 modifiers that apply to this D6 roll for action points:
· Stress Points
· Order to Take Action!
Each point of Stress on a unit reduces the number of action points available to it by 1. Thus, a unit with a single point of Stress cannot get 3 action points, unless given an order. It can even get no action points at all, if it rolls a 1(!).
When a unit is ordered by a HQ to Take Action! (see next topic, Command & Control), it increases its number of action points available by 1. Thus, a unit given an order to Take Action! get at least 2 action points in total, and has better chances of getting 3, provided it doesn’t have Stress points, also.
Regardless of orders, a unit can never have more than 3 action points. Note that an order is issued to the unit BEFORE it rolls the D6 for action points, so its involves a risk of spending Command Points in vain (in case the roll of the D6 is a 6).
Both Stress and Take Action! modifiers are combined and then applied to the result of the D6 roll. It may result in the unit getting no action points at all, if the result of “modifiers + action points of the D6” is equal to or less than 0, or getting 3 action points, if this result is equal to or greater than 3.
A unit currently with 2 Stress points is activated. The player decides to have a HQ give it an order to Take Action!, and spends a Command Point to do so.
He then rolls a D6 to determine its number of action points for this activation, and gets a 3, which means the unit gets a 2 action points.
Now, the modifiers of Stress points (-2) and Take Action (+1) are applied, for a final total of a single action point.
Had the unit not been given an order, the 2 stress points on it would completely negate the action points rolled on the D6, and the unit would be unable to act at all in this activation.
A unit currently with no Stress points is activated. The player decides to have a HQ give it an order to Take Action!, and spends a Command Point to do so.
He then rolls a D6 to determine its number of action points for this activation, and gets a 6, which means the unit gets 3 action points.
Because no unit may have more than 3 action points in an activation, the order to Take Action! is of no effect.