Thursday, 11 December 2014

Gang War: Gameplay

Greetings friends!

Well today is the day you've all been waiting for: the Gameplay breakdown of Gang War for First Law: Override.

Or at least part of it (more on this later).

A Typical Turn
Gang War like many modern skirmish games makes use of the Activation system of each player taking it in turns to activate a model, perform any actions it may take and then de-activating it.

There are a few reasons why this was chosen; it may not be very revolutionary, but I like it, and why mess with a system that works?

So now we know that a turn comprises of a series of Activations, what can a model do during one of these?

An Activation comprises of 2 Action Points; these are split into two categories:
- Utility Actions
- Combat Actions.

Now let's look at these in more detail:

Utility Actions
Utility Actions are options available that involve only your own model and very often involve setting yourself up for your Combat Action.

There are to date the following Utility Actions available:
Walk - Your model may move up to it's Speed in inches in any viable direction. Eg: Tim has a speed of 4, so Tim can Walk 4" in any direction.
Run - Your model may move up to 1.5 times it's Speed. Doing so grants the model Defence+1. Models that Run may not make a Combat Action. Eg: Tim has a speed of 4, so Tim can Run 6" in any direction. Until the end of the turn Tim rolls +1 Defence Dice if attacked.
Aim - Your model stands still but takes aim at a target. Doing so grants +1 Attack Dice to any Ranged Attacks your model makes this turn. Eg: Tim Aims at his target with a K-Type Pistol. Normally he would roll 1d6 to shoot his target but thanks to aiming he now rolls 2d6 in a single Damage Attack.
Rapid Fire - Your model stands still but fires two shots at a single target. Eg: Tim Rapid Fires at his target. Therefore he rolls 1d6 Damage Attack, followed by - second 1d6 Damage Attack.
Berserk - Your model gains +1 Attack Dice in melee but receives -1 Defence Dice until the end of the turn to a minimum of 1. This can only be done if already in melee. Tim is locked in melee with his target. Normally Tim would roll 1d6 Attack when using his Shiv, but as he is preparing for a Berserk Attack he now rolls 2d6. Under normal circumstances Tim would roll 2d6 Defence Dice because of his light armour, but now he will roll 1d6 Defence.
Defend - Your model gains +1 Defence Dice until the end of the turn but received -1 Attack Dice for any melee attacks dealt this turn to a minimum of 1. This may only be performed if activating in melee. Eg: Tim is locked in melee with his target and tries to Defend himself against any incoming attacks. Normally Tim would deal 1d6 Attacks with his Shiv, Defending would normally reduce this by 1, however as it is already 1, Tim's melee attack does not change. If Tim gets attacked however he will now roll (2d6 for Light Armour +1d6 Defence) 3d6 in Defence.

As you can see there are a lot of Utility Actions available, however 2 are movements, 2 are shooting and 2 are melee. It is my current hope that this gives players plenty of choice without being too restrictive or confusing.

Combat Actions
Unlike Utility Actions there are only 3 types of Combat Actions.
Shoot - You shoot your ranged weapon of choice at the target.
Melee - You attack your target with a melee weapon of your choice.
Use - You use a device either in Base to Base contact with your model or equipped.

By now we have already covered how Activations are performed, but now we are going to look at how they play out. For ease of use we are going to assume that both models interacting with each other have passed on their Utility Actions and are just straight up attacking their targets.

Model A has a K-Type Pistol with an Attack of 1d6 and Light Armour with a Defence of 2d6. Model A's Ranged, Melee and Toughness skills are all 2.

Model B has a K-Type Assault Rifle with an Attack of 2d6 and Basic Armour with a Defence of 1d6. Model B's Ranged, Melee and Toughness skills are also all 2.

Model A shoots at Model B.
Model A rolls 1d6 based on his weapon's Attack. To hit Model A needs to roll equal to or under it's Ranged Skill.
Model A rolls a 2 and hits Model B.

Model B rolls 1d6 to defend against the shot based on his Armour's Defence. To defend Model A needs to roll equal to or under his Toughness.
Model B rolls a 3 and fails to defend.

As Model A only hit with 1d6 which was not defended against, Model B suffers 1 point of damage.

Model B shoots Model A
Model B rolls 2d6 due to his Weapon's Attack.
Model B rolls a 1 and 2 hitting with both dice.

Model A needs to defend with 2d6 based on his Armour's Defence.
Model A rolls a 2 and 4 Defending on 1 of the 2d6.

As Model A only defended against 1d6 not 2, Model A takes 1 point of damage.

Range Modifiers
All Ranged Weapons have modifiers based on the range of the target. Your standard Assault Rifle gives +1 Attack to anything within close range (6") +0 Attack to anything at medium range (12") and -1 Attack to anything beyond to a minimum of 0.

In short if you are attacking with a K-Type Assault Rifle (2d6 Attack) at close range this becomes 3d6 but at long range goes down to 1d6.


And that (as they say) is that! Straight forward rules for a straight forward, but with hope a complexity rich, game.


What is missing/has issues?
Ok so obviously nothing is perfect straight out of the box, and the same is true here. You will notice that I have yet to cover Line of Sight (LoS) rules. I already know that the game will use the magic cylinder rules rather than 'True' LoS which frankly in a game that doesn't have an official miniature line is a recipe for bad bad news!

What is still missing are rules on elevation and how you can see/Attack those who are either higher or lower than you on terrain.

The issue here is that I have yet to ever encounter a magic cylinder LoS game that has good or simple rules for elevation and combat/LoS. This is because when you use the model's base as the measuring device you start entering a complex maze of mathematics that would only make sense to Pascal and Pythagoras.
- This is where True LoS stands head over shoulder in terms of simplicity. If your model can see the target, then it can see it. But what if the target is on a raised or custom base? This will increase the visibility of a model compared to those on flat bases.

One option is to use the Height rule; by giving all models a Height stat representing a number of inches high, elevation is dealt with by True LoS but rather than the model it is based on a 'phantom point' either on, or above the model representing the top of the Magic Cylinder. As both models will have a Phantom Point, if both Phantom Points can 'see' each other then you have a clear LoS. If one can only partially then it is obscured (Attacker receives -1Attack) and if they can not see any part of the Cylinder below the Phantom Point, then the target is hidden and can not be attacked.


Anyway, that is it from me for now; I welcome all feedback so please let me know what you think!

Until next time; stay safe and I'll see you Fringeside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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