Thursday, June 28, 2012

Picking Apart Alien War


This is not picking it apart to see if its broken, but picking it apart to see how it works.  I am planning on running an Alien War game in about 3 weeks.  I wanted to break it down so that I understand it before I run the game.  This is as opposed to my “I can learn the rules while I explain it” method of learning.

I plan on doing this in a couple of parts, or maybe three depending on how long it gets.

First, the scale is one figure equals one man or vehicle.  Currently there are not vehicle rules, but this is a beta and it says vehicle rules are coming.

The game appears designed for play with a squad (6-15 models) up to a platoon (40 to 100 models or more). 

While the basic unit is the squad, that can be subdivided, and the rules intend for you to do that.  You can, on an ad hoc basis, form elements, or fire teams.  Your squad may be moving forward, and need to drop off a heavy weapon with a gunner and a loader.  As soon as they are more than 3” from the rest of the unit, they are their own element.  Single figures such as snipers and medics can act as their own element.  You can form or disperse elements as you see fit.  It’s a two-edged sword, as it gives flexibility but can result in not activating in some circumstances.

Information you need to keep track of for a figure is their grade (Green, Experienced or Veteran) and their rank.  The grade will determine their CV, or Combat Value.  You also need to know what they are armed with and if they have armor.  Each squad will have a grade also, either Professional or Grade 2 ( militia, bandits, etc.)

While mention is made of both medics and comm techs, the basic squads shown in the rules do not include them.  I assume they will show up in the platoon organizations later.  I suppose one member of a squad could be assigned as a medic as a collateral duty to the fighting.

The weaponry is pretty generic.  You won’t find long listings of made up weapon names.  An assault rifle is an assault rifle.  Weapons are rated for range and impact.  Armor has a rating from 1-7.

Each turn you roll to activate your force.  I assume this means each side rolls.  I am checking with the author to see if he means that or if it means each command on a side rolls.  The order of activation is decided once, at the beginning of the game.

You roll a D6.  For professional troops with linked communications (think satellite) on a 1-3 you can perform 2 actions with all elements in your command.  On a 4-5 any element led by a level 1 or higher (Corporal) may perform 2 actions.  On a 6, you roll on the “What the ?!?” table.  You can perform the same action twice if you want. 

Rolling a 6 causes some things to happen.  First, your comms drop one level.  This will make activation harder in the future.  You check to see if your wounded models die.  One element in your force may perform one action.  You also roll on a table that tells you what table to roll on for a random chance.  Some are good, some are bad. 

So you go from most or all of your squad activating, to 1 element activating.  This happens 1/6th of the time.  I will play it that way, but I am thinking it may really slow down the game.

In addition to moving and firing, you can set up overwatch (no mention made of how large an area) , take up a counterattack pose (you can charge enemy that appear from cover), set up an heavy  weapon, or do almost anything your GM comes up with.

Movement is creeping, walking and running.  You generally can fire while creeping or walking.  Difficult terrain is half speed movement.

Next up is firing.  I will do that in a separate post.

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