Monday, August 4, 2014

A Weekend of Mental Distractions

It was a tax-free weekend in TN and VA, so in addition to a Saturday morning excursion to a local comic book convention with the kiddies and an evening of epic weed pulling, much of my weekend was spent at the local malls and such buying school supplies and a back-to-school wardrobe for my daughter. This gives a man time to think. Maybe I thunk too much, or maybe at was having lunch at Taco Bell, because its well after midnight, and I am lying in bed posting this! Good thing the wife is a heavy sleeper.

1. Just before the Melee
Having finished my red non-Aliens, I thought about my super-simple skirmish rules and about skirmish games in general. What has sort of bugged me is what happens when two or more figures just about come into contact (before I continue my discussion here, I have to state that I have not looked at other rules sets about this subject). In my previous games, my daughter was able to blast my xenos to pieces so long as the figures didn't quite touch at the end of the movement phase. My poor xenos/aliens rarely had a chance to inflict damage on anyone! Well, I suppose it often seemed the case in the great movie Aliens, where the colonial marines seemed to blow away the acid-blooded hoards when they were practically on top of them, but there needs to be some parity.

So, somewhere between the mall shoe store and parking lot, I came up with the 50% Pre-Melee Rule:
Any figures that are within contact distance after they move must role a D6. Roll of 1-3, the figure cannot shoot; 4-6, the figure can shoot.
+1, if armed with single-handed weapon, like a pistol, or mini-UZI
+1, if figure is deemed a leader, heroic type, or elite trooper (not cumulative)
-1, if figure is deemed a rookie, green, etc.

This represents a bunch of things: response time, fear, situational awareness, etc. It makes a pistol a little more useful at very short ranges.

For example, two figures end up within 2" of each other. Two inches, BTW, is the standard movement length in my game. One is armed with a pistol; the other, a rifle. Both must roll a D6 before shooting. Pistol guy rolls a 3, but he gets a +1. Rifle guy gets a 2. Pistol guy can shoot whereas rifle guy cannot. There could be lots of reasons why rifle guy can't get a shot off. Maybe he can't train his rifle on pistol guy in time...maybe he's scared...maybe he's trying to pull out that big bowie knife he has on him...could be all three. In theory, it allows for a melee to potentially take place next turn and tries to avoid a John Woo style "gun-fu" gun battle (1).

2. Solo AirWar C:21
I have been thinking about the air combat aspect of my fictional Gambusian campaign. I've noticed among the various blogs that have fictional, modern (2), imagi-nations, solo, or otherwise, that I have never come across any air battles. Naval battles, yes; aircraft used in ground support, yes; exclusively air combat, no. Maybe they are out there and I've missed them, but I've never seen them (3). 

It could be that there aren't a lot of air combat for solo rules. Enter Richard Bradley! He designed solo rules for Wings of War, the WW1 air combat game. I've looked at them, but I don't play Wings of War, so things didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Now, fortunately, he has make a solo version of X-Wing Commander! This is a game that I do know fairly well. In fact, I have been toying with the idea of converting X-Wing Commander into a modern air combat game. Anyway, he has some good ideas that with some tweaking, I think I might be able to use it for a solo version of C:21.

(1) I was a big John Woo film fan back in the 90s before he came to Hollywood.  A Better Tomorrow is supposedly his best, but my favorite is Hard Boiled, "Gun-fu" is the term I use to describe Woo's firefights. Watch one of his movies and you'll know what I mean.

(2) I am using modern very loosely to mean any time period where aircraft are used in warfare, so I suppose it can be anything from WW1 until now.

(3) OK, now that I think about it, there is the interesting web site called Peter Shulman's War that I guess you could call an Imagi-nation. You can still go to it, though nothing's been updated. Mr. Shulman states that he will be starting up his war in the spring of 2014. Spring has come and gone, but no new war. He has a Facebook group page, but its a closed group. I digress...he has air battles, but there do not seem to be any rules for them. There doesn't seem to be any rules for ground combat for that matter.

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