Friday, January 20, 2012

Battle of Tarsis IX

Forces of the Pangellaic League have made planetfall on Tarsis IX, fiefdom of Duke Milo, House Morai. The Duke is engaging quickly to prevent a beachhead, while Union warships attempt to cut of League ships from their jump points. 
Tonight we played another round of playtests for Robofire!, a set of SciFi rules by Scott Pyle. Scott was kind enough to listen to our suggestions in the past about the role of infantry and various other rules. Tonight I wanted try some more ideas our group came up with.
As the game turn involves alternating unit activation between players, sometimes the tactics become more "Gamey" and less tactical. We tried a new idea of, for lack of a better word, "suppression". This isn't new. Future War Commander uses it, and what it does is allow a side to temporarily pin down an opponents units long enough to move up his own.
"Suppressed" Tankhunter
As with all Goalsystem games, there is an opposed roll based on the damage inflicted by the attacker, vs the quality of the troops.  If the defender fails to make enough saves the unit is suppressed (we used some handy-dandy smoke markers fro Litko). Remove markers before rolling for initiative.
Worked great. Didn't slow it down. But, what we found was that it wasn't necessary to check units that had already moved. Why bother keeping a unit from activating if it already had?
Then, INSPIRATU!. At the beginning of each turn, sides roll for initiative. What if you got a bonus +1 to your die roll for every suppression on the enemy (or you could do a minus for each you have)? Suddenly, it was worth rolling, even for those already activated units. This, for us, simulated getting that tactical advantage over the other side.
Needs another round of playtests, but I think we're on to something. Also treating infantry units like henchman groups in Goalsystem worked without a hitch, too. Those little buggers are are sneaky and have to be dug out. Just as it should be. But, I need to get some transports. Right now, they're too slow foot slogging it.
Union mega tanks and power infantry move up.
Another house rule. Normally you buy "Tactical Dice" for each unit, a sort of re-roll pool. Instead. We gave each side X number of dice each turn to distribute as they wanted around the field as need arose. You just had to commit them before the roll was made.
Overall, this was the best playtest yet. I've always loved Scott's rules, and this is up there with Super System. I'm thinking of adopting for other periods....
The Tokugawa tank. A favorite of our group. Finding more has become a personal quest.
League Heavy Infantry brings down the Duke's VTOL.


David said...

Interesting report and very nice figures. What scale and range are they?

BaronVonJ said...

Itty-bitties (infantry) are Dark Realm Minis. Everything elas is MechWarrior Clix repaints.