Dave Paterson

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Livingston, West Lothian, United Kingdom

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

20 things I would like/want from a set of Sci-Fi rules

A mate of mine Guy and I have been conversing about what we want from a set of Sci-Fi rules and challenged each other to come up with a list of things we want to see in them.

I have read lots of SciFi rules, well when I say read I normally cut to the chase and look at the scale, the fire combat/close combat rules, activation and point system. If even one of these are brain hurting then they are put on the back burner.

Therefore in consideration, think my list would be something like this:

  1. No brain hurt.
  2. Easy for any of out players to get into ie low learning curve.
  3. Lots of toys on the table.
  4. Playable on a 6x4.
  5. Company sized actions with about 5 or 6 units containing 1 to 6 tactical/manoeuvre elements.
  6. Simple dice mechanic for most if not all actions.
  7. A points system that lets you play with the toys that you have.
  8. Little table clutter.
  9. Minimal record keeping.
  10. Hard SciFi ie ballistic weapons rather than blasters and beams but this is not a deal breaker.
  11. Even if the rules are easy I still want realistic tactics to reward players ie fire and movement tactics, suppression, area denial, close assault should be deadly if you haven't  prepared the way.
  12. a fear element so that players are scared of doing something or fear of a units capabilities if they are handled right.
  13. a true feeling of SciFi combat that we have all read in books or seen in films. Plus It has to be cinematic.
  14. I don’t want a set of rules that you have to win the game to enjoy it. It has to be fun for everyone.
  15. this might seem perverse  after what what I said about tactics, but I want to play a game rather than a combat simulation.
  16. I want to play with individually based figures rather than multiple figures on a base so I can transfer to a skirmish game  without rebasing. I do like the idea of fire teams as the manoeuvre and combat unit, you can easily change the makeup of the team to include Buzz bombs or specialist weapons. The fire team should fight as a whole and die as a whole to speed up play.
  17. although I prefer sudden death for a small or medium tank, I still want the big stuff to hang around for a bit longer, a death of a thousand cuts, rather than boom your dead for that big expensive model.
  18. and last of all no brain hurt I know I said it at the beginning but its really important. 

Well I didn’t make it to 20 but I'm sure I could think of more if I thought about it a bit longer.

So far the games that I have liked are Grunts, but it falls on the no brain hurt and although it's not bad for platoon sized actions it gets messy/hurty on the brain when used for company sized actions. plus the points system is a bit whacky.

Fire Team Andromeda gives a better company sized game but still doesn’t scratch the itch. 

The rest have fallen by the wayside apart from Victory decision future combat/ Victory decision rival species which I am going to look at again. The Crucible Hammers Slammers which I have yet to finish reading (not a good sign) and lastly Critical Mass Battle system. 

I had discounted the Critical Mass rules before as they were multiple figures on a base and it was a closed system set of rules, ie you had to play with their figures. But since they brought out he Merc points system for creating tanks and units its now wide open and you can use what you want. Plus I as I said before you don’t have to have the figures on a multiple base just group them together as a team.

I often wonder why I keep on coming back to the CM rules I suppose its because they use a lot of the same idea’s as Flames of War. Now I know FoW is the marmite of WWII rule sets but they are the rules that got me back into playing WWII. 

Why, well because they are easy to pick up and play, have a points system, well structured army lists and give an enjoyable game based on WWII, I repeat based on WWII. They have many faults as well, but a lot of them will be addressed in the upcoming Team Yankee cold war rules that will be released next month. The Team Yankee rule set will not modify Flames of War as such (its a different rule set) but some of the mechanisms used I think could be plugged into the Critical Mass rules

The more I think about it I think that I will be making an attempt to use the CM rules as they give me everything that I want in a game I just need to iron out some of the kinks and rules that I want to change, this should be relatively painless as they are so similar to FoW that I could plug and play rules from either system. Lastly and this is the big one. stat up the troops that I have for CM. the points system is pretty comprehensive but not very well laid out. Plus its a cookie jar approach to what you want a unit to stat up like, with no base line as such. Therefore the first hurdle is to form a base line for units, ie what's a basic fire team fire power armour morale etc etc then again for tanks etc etc. then from there you can stat up the big feck off monster of a walker/tank/ubber villain.

So here's an open invitation what would be your list and whats your favourite set of Sci-Fi rules.

Ok coffee has run out and time to walk the dog. See ya later.



1 comment:

  1. Superb table. Outstanding Figures/Models.
    Your hosting of the game was very much appreciated.
    Looking forward to your AAR.
    Results wise.. delighted. Rules wise....as we expected, the hunt goes on.

    Given how pretty the toys are (and how many between us we have accumulated) its a hunt that's worth continuing.
    Keep up the good work.