A few days ago we were looking the base combat rules for a game system I have been involved working on for the last couple years. Today I thought I would post up a quick article on setting up the game, as it involves several unique features, that puts some of the mission strategy into the players hands, including deployment zones. 

Previous Article

The last article on the basic combat rules really worked well, and many of the ideas and thoughts from the comment section were considered and worked through to see if they fit. So any input here is greatly appreciated. I am being literal in saying that the last few days was all about working through the comments on the combat system.

Notes... A lot of the way this is laid out was based on years of gaming and getting stuck on an odd table to be either terrain or mission screwed for the game. I wanted this set up to give the players a little control over their missions, deployment (note that mission generation is done before deployment), and how reserves come in. I also wanted a set of mission parameters that would provide more variety with each player focusing on primary missions for their own army. 

Reserves... These battles take very little time (in our fantasy sci fi real time), and coordination, early strikes, and more can cause armies not hitting the field to miss the high point of the action. So pushing early reserves can be risky, but often insures your commander or leader are alive on the field. Waiting for later rounds, opens up the possibility that commanders on the field may die, and lessening the chances of your reserves making it to the field.  

Also be aware that there are also abilities that effect game set up in armies (like random deployment, infiltration, etc)

Getting Started:
1.       Board Set-Up
2.       Mission Generation
3.       Deployment
4.       Game
The Game is designed to be played on a 4x4 board with larger games (2000+ pts) being played on a 4x6. Before setting up the board, decide upon a point level to play and put together the list of models that you want to play.

Board Setup
Pre-Set Terrain
In some cases a table may either already be set up, or players may wish to set up a board to a specific setting. This is a good way to set up, and with both players agreeing there is no limit to the battlefields that can be used. If you do this, skip ahead to setting up Objectives and Artifact markers.

Normal Set up
To determine terrain on the battlefield, divide the table into quarters and roll a d6 for each quarter and check the results below. Terrain pieces that are used should be agreed upon by both players.
1         No terrain
2      Terrain x1
3-4   Terrain x2
5       Terrain x3
6       Terrain x4
Alternate placing terrain until each quarter is full. Each terrain piece must be placed over 50% in the board quarter it was designated for, and be placed at least 6” away from other terrain pieces. If the terrain designated for a quarter cannot be placed, only then can the terrain be pushed up adjacent to another terrain piece. If this still cannot be done overlap the terrain if possible, and if the terrain piece simply cannot be placed there, choose another piece of terrain.

Placing Objective/Artifact Markers
After terrain has been placed, players alternate placement of 6 objective markers that must be within 12” of the centerline of the board. No marker may be placed within 8” of another marker. Using a d6 or similar token, mark each token with a number 1-6. These markers are possible objectives and relics depending upon the missions of each player.

Primary Mission
Players each roll for their mission on the following table. Once rolled, each player may attempt a Command check in order to adjust the result of the die roll by +1. Roll a d6, and any result equal to or less than your army’s highest Command attribute to alter the mission.

Secondary Mission
After each player has determined their primary mission, a single roll is made by both players to determine the game’s shared secondary mission. The results for the secondary mission cannot be adjusted.

D6 Results
1.       Kill points
2.       Artifact
3.       Objectives
4.       Capture and Control
5.       Zone Control
6.       Assassinate

How to Win
To win a game, you must complete your primary mission, while attempting to deny your opponents theirs. If you succeed and your opponent does not, you win the game with a Major Victory. 

If your both your and opponent both succeed or both fail the primary missions, the game comes down to a secondary mission that is shared between both players. The winner of this wins the game with a minor victory. 

If not winner was determined through primary and secondary missions, than the game is a draw. 

Kill Points: At the end of the game, both players add up the amount of points that the enemy has lost. You must have more kill points than your opponent to win a kill point mission.

Artifact: Roll a D6 and match this up to the objective counter with the same number. You must claim and protect this artifact, which cannot be moved. To claim the artifact, your forces must have more points of models within 6” of the objective at the end of the game than your opponent.

Objectives: Roll 3d6 and match the results up to the counters in the center of the board. These are objectives than can be taken, and must be held by your forces at the end of the game. To win the mission you must have more victory points in objectives than your opponent to claim this victory.
Objectives can be claimed and moved by either you or your opponent. If an objective that was rolled was also rolled to be an artifact, the objective cannot be moved, and to claim it, you must have more models in contact with it than your opponent.

Each objective die that was rolled is worth 1pt for determining if you possess more than your opponent. Duplicate die results add their point values to the objective. This means it is quite possible for an objective to be worth 2 or 3 victory points.

Any model that is not a vehicle can pick up an objective and move it. However an objective can only move once per Game Round by a single activation and no more than 6". At any time during an activation, the objective may be passed to another model in base contact with model carrying the objective.

Capture and Control: to secure victory you must capture your opponent’s deployment zones while controlling your own. To determine who has control over the deployment zone, add up the point value of each model that is in that zone. The highest total points has control of that zone. You must have control of more deployment zones than your opponent at the end of the game.
Any model that is on the line for any zone, does not count their totals for any deployment zone.

Zone Control: Zone Control divides the game board into 4 quarters. These are the zones that you must control at the end of the game. To determine who has control of the zone, count up the number of points in that zone, the highest total has control of that zone
Any model that is on the line for any zone, does not count their totals for any zone. The player with the most zones, wins the game.

Assassinate: Select an enemy model with the highest Command Value. This is your target that must be killed to secure an assassinate mission. The model chosen gains +1 Defense characteristic for the duration of the game. To gain this bonus, the target of the assassination must be on the table during the first round of the game.

Deployment Zones break up your side of the board into 6 deployment zones which are numbered 1-6. Each zone on a 4x4 table is 8”x 16” and 8”x24” on a 4x6 board.
Center of Board

          Players Board Edge

There are two types of deployment options players can take, standard or random.

Standard Deployment-
If you select a standard deployment you may select your deployment zones on your side of the table. Select three deployment zones, two of which must be on your long table edge. This gives you the option to select one of the forward deployment zones.

Random Deployment-
You may instead choose to take a chance for more forward deployment zones. To do this, simply roll three d6. The numbers one the dice determine which zones are your deployment zones. Any duplicate die results are not re-rolled resulting in the risks of attempting to push zones.

Any table edge that is part of your deployment zone becomes a board edge that your army can enter the game board through.

When risky moves fail, and you’re surrounded.
Random deployment can be a risky venture. If for any reason you do not have a table edge, all models must be deployed onto the table unless in reserve. Reserved units must come in using the edges of deployment zone 1.

The numbers of each deployment zone chosen or rolled for, are used in determining who has initiative to begin the game. Add up the numbers of your deployment zones, and the player with the lowest total number has initiative heading into the first round of the game. Roll off on a d6 if the totals are the same.

Deploying your Forces
You have two options when deploying your forces. The player without initiative declares and deploys his first squad or single model first. Players alternate deploying a number of units onto the table three squads at a time until all models have been declared and deployed.

When deploying you have two options, deploying your forces or putting them into reserve.

Deployed Units:
Deployed units are placed either directly onto the table, or placed along the table edge of your deployment zones that they will be coming in from on the first round

Up to half your units can be put into reserves during deployment, and each unit rolls individually each round to enter the game.

Reserves are brought in on a d6 with a target number of 7+ under normal circumstances. Before any challenges to initiative each round, roll a d6 for each unit and add the game round to this number. If the result is a 7+ place the unit along any of the table edges inside your own deployment zones. This is where the unit will enter the board from.

If you are running reserves, you may choose one game round as your chosen reserve round. During that round, the highest level command attribute from your Commander or Leader on the table may be added to your die roll for all reserve rolls.

Any squad not on the board after 4 rounds, does not make the battle and is considered a casualty for kill points, or other mission objectives. Any units coming onto the board, must be activated first before other units during the round. 

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