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A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare
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Old 10 Mar 2009, 19:37   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

So I've recently taken my game designer's pen back up, and started writing a tabletop game for my friends and I to play. I've always had a fascination for ancient combat, so I decided to go with that. At my best friend's request, I'm working up army rules for Greeks and Persians, with the ultimate ambition of replaying the battle of Thermopylae in full. (Hold the 300 references, please, I've studied the real life battle, and it was nothing like the movie.)

I've gotten some of the rules written, and have more bouncing around in my head. Please criticize, suggest changes or additions, and generally help out. Here's some of what I have:

Unit Statistics:

Every unit has the following statistics given in its profile.

Move (Mv): The distance in centimeters the unit may move during its turn.

Fight (Ft): The base value the unit applies to its hand-to-hand die roll

Shoot (Sh): The die roll required to hit with a shooting attack.

Attacks (At): The number of attacks the unit receives in combat. Multiply this by the Strength value to calculate the unit's base attacks.

Armor (Ar): The die roll required to save against a hit, thereby maintaining unit strength.

Strength (St): The number of soldiers in the unit or equivalent hits the unit can take before it is destroyed.

Morale (Ml): The die roll required to avoid breaking and other morale effects.

[hr]

Game Stages:

The game is played in four stages: the Maneuver, Tactical, Hand-to-hand Combat, and Rallying stages. These are played in the order given above, with players alternately completing each stage before moving on to the next. To determine which player goes first, roll 2d6 for each player. The highest scoring player goes first, and so on in descending order. In the event of a tie, the player with the less advantageous situation on the tabletop goes first. If this still does not provide a solution, re-roll.

[hr]

Maneuver:

Each unit has a Move value given in its profile. This is the distance, in centimeters, that the unit may move during the movement stage. Movement is in a straight line, and units may not turn during this move, except to wheel as described below. Difficult terrain reduces movement rates by 1/4. (Round to the nearest half centimeter if this results in a fraction.)

Facings and Line of Sight

All units are divided into four facings, a Front facing, two Flank facings (Left and Right), and a Rear facing. Each facing consists of the side it corresponds to, plus a forty-five (45) degree angle between it and each of the adjacent facings.

A unit has line of sight to any unit in its Front facing, except those obscured by terrain or other means. In addition, it will detect any unit moving into either of its Flank facings on a d6 score of 4+, if the unit is not obscured by terrain. This is waived for units entering from the front facing, which are automatically detected on the turn they leave the front facing.

Difficult Ground

Difficult ground reduces the unit's move distance by one-fourth (1/4), rounding to the nearest half centimeter if this leaves a fraction.

Wheeling

The only way to turn a unit under ordinary circumstances is to wheel. To wheel, Designate a point on the unit's base. (It is customary to use one of the corners, though this is not required. Using a point not on a corner of the base is possible by using the Cautious Withdrawal Tactical action. See the Tactical Stage section for details.) The chosen point remains stationary, while the rest of the unit pivots around it. This uses movement at the normal rate, measured from the point on the unit farthest away from the anchor point. Note that this means that a small unit can wheel faster then a large unit, and is therefore more maneuverable.

[hr]

Tactical Stage:

The Tactical Stage is something of a potpourri; this stage is home of a number of the actions, from At the Double! marching to declaring a Fire! action to declaring a Charge into Hand-to-Hand combat.

Structure

Due to the variety of possible actions, the Tactical Stage has a rather rigid sub-structure, much like a set of mini-stages of the game. These are:

1. Special Maneuver orders (excluding Charge! actions)
2. Fire! orders, and special variants such as Volley!
3. Charge! orders

Special Orders

At the Double!: Maneuver order. The unit immediately makes an additional move, just as in the Maneuver Stage.

Cautious Withdrawal: Maneuver order. The unit may move in reverse, at half speed, in both this stage and its next Maneuver Stage.

Re-form: Maneuver order. The unit may immediately change formation, but moves at half speed in its next Maneuver Stage.

Right/Left Face!: Maneuver order. The unit shifts its front facing 90 degrees to the left or right, though the base does not move. It will move at half speed in its next Maneuver Stage.

Fire!: Ranged order. The unit may fire any or all ranged weapons it carries, at any one target within range and line of sight. Roll a d6 for each attack in the firing unit's total, calculated as per Hand-to-hand attacks, and compare the result to the unit's shoot value. Each that rolls equal to or over the given value is a hit, and will be resolved in the same way as a hand-to-hand hit on the target unit.

Volley!: Ranged order. The unit may fire any or all ranged weapons it carries, designating a point of ground as the target. This does not require line of sight, and the weapon's range is doubled. Place a base equal in size to that of the firing unit centered on the chosen point, and roll to hit once, using the lowest Shoot value in the unit. If a hit is scored, any unit under the base or within two (2) centimeters of it takes 2d6 hits. If the volley misses, the player with the most units within the volley target area may move it 2d6 centimeters in any direction, and hits will be resolved as above against any units within the new area.


Charge!: Combat order. The unit makes an At the Double! move, but must move towards an enemy unit in its line of sight.

Retreat!: Combat order. The unit breaks ranks and moves out of combat. Each player rolls a d6; if the enemy unit's score is higher, then the retreating unit suffers d6+ (the enemy's front rank strength) hits

[hr]

Hand-to-hand Combat:

Each unit has a Fight value specified in its profile. This represents the soldiers' skill in hand-to-hand fighting.

To fight hand-to-hand, a unit must be in base contact with its opponent. Both players then roll a d6 and add their units Fight value and modifiers to the result. The side with the higher total wins the fight, and inflicts the full number of Attacks in its profile, multiplied by its unit Strength, plus the difference in Fight totals. The losing side makes the number of Attacks in its profile, multiplied by its unit Strength, minus the difference.

After the number of attacks has been determined, then roll for armor saves. For every failed save, reduce the unit's Strength value by one, and its Attacks accordingly. When the unit is reduced to Strength 0, it is considered destroyed and removed from play.

Breaking

The unit that loses more of its strength in a combat must test to avoid breaking. To test, roll a d6 and compare to the units Morale value. If the test is passed, the unit remains in combat and continues normally in the next Hand-to-hand stage. If failed, the unit must attempt to Retreat! in its next Tactical Stage.
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"Brothers in battle and blood, In oath and honor, In life and death, In faith and in truth. Brothers in the sight of the Emperor. So be it ever, as He-on-Terra wills. Amen." - Prayer of Initiation, Knights Revenant attr. Captain Lucius Faust, 597.M41

"'Death before dishonor.' This is our creed, our way of life and death. Bolstered by the faith of the immortal God-Emperor, we may go into battle without fear for self. We know that whatever sacrifice is made in the name of He-on-Terra is not made in vain. Our honor rests in our service to Him, and we could ask no greater reward than to rest at His side, having given our utmost in His name." -Captain Anborn Tohr, after the Siege of Hydrax III

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Old 10 Mar 2009, 21:09   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

While I do not wish to discourage your creative efforts, if you are simply looking for a ruleset to use for ancient battles, have you seen Warhammer Ancient Battles?
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Old 10 Mar 2009, 22:00   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

You don't need to write a whole new gaming system to reinact your favorite 300 scene. Just play WFB.
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Old 10 Mar 2009, 22:01   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

Ah, but creating your own system can be fun in it's own right.

I suggest formation bonuses. At that point in time, formations were huge, especially the phlanax.
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Old 10 Mar 2009, 22:03   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
Ah, but creating your own system can be fun in it's own right.

I suggest formation bonuses. At that point in time, formations were huge, especially the phlanax.
Tetsuedo formation (if you want to unlimit it to other great armies, like those of Alexander and rome)
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Old 10 Mar 2009, 22:06   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

Scale needs to be the first determinant...is it gonna play like epic, or is it going to have individual models?
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Old 10 Mar 2009, 23:08   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

Quote:
Originally Posted by IcyCool
While I do not wish to discourage your creative efforts, if you are simply looking for a ruleset to use for ancient battles, have you seen Warhammer Ancient Battles?
No. I've only heard about it from posts like yours, which don't actually show me anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by USAFTACP
You don't need to write a whole new gaming system to reinact your favorite 300 scene. Just play WFB.
I want to do the real battle of Thermopylae. Those 700 Thracians were important too. I also don't want to buy another $50 rulebook right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
I suggest formation bonuses. At that point in time, formations were huge, especially the phlanax.
Going in there. Wouldn't be very good Greeks if they didn't form up, now would they? I just need to figure out how they work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pythagoras
Tetsuedo formation (if you want to unlimit it to other great armies, like those of Alexander and rome)
Thank you. I could not remember that term for the life of me. I would like to include lots of armies, even ones who could not have historically fought one another. If you have one you want, you are free to write rules for it. I'll balance them to the others, and include them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyndmyr
Scale needs to be the first determinant...is it gonna play like epic, or is it going to have individual models?
Epic style, or Flames of War. Several soldiers to a base, though with casualties counted individually. I plan to use WHFB bases, with a 20mm base representing about 4 soldiers, 2 cavalry, a chariot, or a war machine. Those can then be combined into larger groups with more power.
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"Brothers in battle and blood, In oath and honor, In life and death, In faith and in truth. Brothers in the sight of the Emperor. So be it ever, as He-on-Terra wills. Amen." - Prayer of Initiation, Knights Revenant attr. Captain Lucius Faust, 597.M41

"'Death before dishonor.' This is our creed, our way of life and death. Bolstered by the faith of the immortal God-Emperor, we may go into battle without fear for self. We know that whatever sacrifice is made in the name of He-on-Terra is not made in vain. Our honor rests in our service to Him, and we could ask no greater reward than to rest at His side, having given our utmost in His name." -Captain Anborn Tohr, after the Siege of Hydrax III

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Old 11 Mar 2009, 01:00   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

Quote:
Originally Posted by viorlashasui
No. I've only heard about it from posts like yours, which don't actually show me anything.
Here, Let Me Google That For You
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Old 11 Mar 2009, 01:12   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

Quote:
Originally Posted by IcyCool
Quote:
Originally Posted by viorlashasui
No. I've only heard about it from posts like yours, which don't actually show me anything.
Here, Let Me Google That For You
Thank you. I guess I should have known better than to expect GW to have something like that on their main site. Still not going to play it, however. I have no inclination to buy another rulebook from GW at this time.
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"Brothers in battle and blood, In oath and honor, In life and death, In faith and in truth. Brothers in the sight of the Emperor. So be it ever, as He-on-Terra wills. Amen." - Prayer of Initiation, Knights Revenant attr. Captain Lucius Faust, 597.M41

"'Death before dishonor.' This is our creed, our way of life and death. Bolstered by the faith of the immortal God-Emperor, we may go into battle without fear for self. We know that whatever sacrifice is made in the name of He-on-Terra is not made in vain. Our honor rests in our service to Him, and we could ask no greater reward than to rest at His side, having given our utmost in His name." -Captain Anborn Tohr, after the Siege of Hydrax III

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Old 11 Mar 2009, 01:53   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: A tabletop game in the works, on ancient warfare

Stage summary and Movement Stage rules added! ;D Please comment and suggest changes as usual.

edit: Plus Hand-to-Hand Combat rules!

edit 2: And started the Tactical Stage rules!
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"Brothers in battle and blood, In oath and honor, In life and death, In faith and in truth. Brothers in the sight of the Emperor. So be it ever, as He-on-Terra wills. Amen." - Prayer of Initiation, Knights Revenant attr. Captain Lucius Faust, 597.M41

"'Death before dishonor.' This is our creed, our way of life and death. Bolstered by the faith of the immortal God-Emperor, we may go into battle without fear for self. We know that whatever sacrifice is made in the name of He-on-Terra is not made in vain. Our honor rests in our service to Him, and we could ask no greater reward than to rest at His side, having given our utmost in His name." -Captain Anborn Tohr, after the Siege of Hydrax III

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