Monday, March 17, 2014

Writing a new rule system... because why not OR 15mm SpecOps Skirmish Campaign System

Hi everyone!

So, i've started to put together my own rule set.  I usually play Gruntz! but I wanted something more like "necromunda crossed with near future military ops."

The idea is a game with (almost) unlimited weapon ranges, limited by "to-hit" modifiers. 5 - 15 figures per side, with maybe a light vehicle or so.  Air support, etc.

Check out below for a better idea of what I'm working on... All suggestions are welcome!

Here is the basic outline: (available as a google doc, please comment! :) )

Spec-Ops 15mm Skirmish Game
By Harold

  • Set 150 years in the future
    • Space Travel
      • FTL Through Wormholes
        • Still takes a long time and is expensive
      • Only backwater colonies
        • Miners/Workforce
    • Earth is still most prosperous planet
      • Still conflicts
      • Orbiting space stations
      • Outposts in Solar System
      • Terra-formed moons in Solar System
  • Several SpecOps/OpFor teams to choose from
    • Two “lists” with each “unique” type chosen (US or china for instance) adds modifiers to list. (Should make it easy to add more variants without messing with main lists too much)
      • Formal Military SpecOps Teams
        • US/NATO
        • Russian BLOC
        • South American
        • China
        • UN
      • Mercenaries
        • Religious Extremists
        • Cartel
        • Pirates
    • Built by points
    • 5-15 figures
  • Campaign Rules
    • Scenarios
    • Advancement
      • Skills
      • Improving Traits
      • Requisition new equipment
      • Hire/recruit new folks
    • Territory controlled
  • 2D10 Based
    • Roll equal to or less than your attribute
    • Attributes 1-10, plus modifiers
      • Modifiers for range, movements, camo, etc.
        • Modifiers are added to the roll, (+) for hindrances,( -) for benefits
  • No individual weapon “ranges”... weapons have range bands that effect firing modifiers. (Harder for pistols to hit at range than rifles) but no limits on range.  If you can see it, you can shoot it.
  • Weapon Damage:  Add Armor and Physique ->  Shooter rolls D10, adds Damage, trys to get past the modified attribute… AP weapons reduce armor stat.
  • Reaction System
    • As units move into LOS you get a chance to react to them before they do things
  • Alternating Activation System
  • Rules
    • Drop Pods,
    • Drop Ships,
    • VTOLs,
    • infiltration,
    • camouflage, including cloaking
    • close combat,
    • Morale,
    • leaders,
    • medics,
    • engineers,
    • hackers,
    • ECM,
    • ECCM,
    • drones,
    • fog of war,
    • air support/artillery/orbital strikes
    • Power Armor
  • Lots of equipment
    • Guns
    • Misc Equipment
      • Hacking Computers, etc
    • Armor
  • Vehicle Rules
    • Air Support
    • Bikes
    • Light Vehicles
      • (Maybe 1 – 2 vehicles max per side)
  • Environmental Rules
    • Landscapes
    • Spaceships/Spacestations
    • Urban
  • Encourage tactical play
    • Stacking up bonuses
    • Room Clearing techniques
  • Scenarios
    • Hidden Objectives
    • Different Objectives for each side (sometimes)

1 - 10  (1 is the lowest, 10 is the highest)

Shoot: How skilled the figure is in shooting their weapon. D10 roll, adding or subtracting any modifiers, must be equal to or less than shoot skill to hit

Close Combat:  How skilled the figure is in close combat and with "takedown" moves [like knifing a sentry from the back]

Resolve: How confident the figure is in themselves, their comrades, and their equipment. High resolve figures will follow their orders in the face of overwhelming odds, low resolve figures will often flee at the first sign of combat.

Initiative: How in-tune with the environment the figure is.  Also, a measure of intelligence and competence.  Used for reaction tests along with "action tests" like placing explosives or hacking a computer.

(P)hysique: A measure of general physical fitness of the figure.  Higher physique indicates the figure can take more damage, run faster, and carry more gear.

Derived Stats:

(A)rmor: Derived from armor worn

Damage Threshold: (A)+(P)

Movement: How many inches a figure moves, double for run = ((P)/2)+ Armor Mods [Min of 1]

Actions per activation = (Initiative/2) + 1 [Min of 1]

Wound Tracker: (P)/2 [Min of Unconscious and Serious Wound Boxes]


And here is a mock up of a stat card:

Of course, as I nail down more of the rules, I'll be posting them here.


  1. i think these could be perfect. Has a very nice flavor to it

  2. I like the sound of your preliminary post- would you also be considering a solo option for those of us who game this way? If so, I would certainly be interested. It is the size of game that I prefer.

    1. I would love to do a solo version...

  3. On the mechanical/campaign side: your Damage Threshold consists of Armor + Physique. If a model's damage doesn't exceed it's Armor, then it's fine for the next fight, but once Damage is more than Armor, the model has to sit out one or more battles to recover.

    On the fluff side, your list of 22.5nd century factions looks suspiciously like that of the early 21st century. You might consider filing off the names a bit - perhaps China is now dominated by a resurgently expansionist Japan or India. Maybe the great US is now a large protectorate of Canada that has been named the North American Commonwealth. Still basically the US (so you can use the same models and its basically the same geopolitics, but with a bit of a sci-fi spin). Just something to consider.

    1. As for the fluff... I purposely did that. While I used "now" names in that document... in my version of the future most counties have banded together. The "formal" military forces belong to: new Russian Bloc forces, US/NATO (a US/EU treaty org), the UN (a bit of everyone else), South American Federation of Free States, Islamic Conglomerate, Asianic Republic of the People. Mercenary forces consist of pretty much anyone... insurgents consists of disenfranchised peoples of all the counties, and rogue counties.

  4. This sounds exciting to me! I want to knife a sentry! :)

  5. Mr. Harold, this sounds like an excellent project. Looking forward to seeing where you go with it. A couple ideas, feel free to disregard them. One idea would be to have an Intelligence gathering feature between games. If your team has good Intel they can see Opposition & Objectives on the board and know something about Complications (e.g. Opposition reinforcements en-route, the battlefield is mined, there is a traitor among the friendlies, target data files heavily encrypted etc) they might face. If they don't have good Intel then Opposition & Objectives are places as blips, and Complications would come as a complete surprise. Maybe three levels (Good, Bad, Average) for each Opposition, Objectives, and Complications?
    The second idea is to borrow the idea from the Battletech Flashpoint Series campaign system (I think that is what it is called). Instead of having Mr. Harold's Spec-Op Team fighting LittleBrother's Spec-Op Team in each game, you have Flashpoints - where the two elite, unique Spec-Op teams fight each other at certain times in the campaign, while the rest of the time you take turns fighting generic forces from the other faction(s). This takes care of the problem of having the same soldiers (the ones whose advancement and injuries you are tracking) fighting each other over and over again. Fighting the same guys all the time makes sense if you are rival gangs living in the same neighborhood, but not if you are part of a space faring military organization. Just some ideas!

    1. These are both really excellent ideas that I will use! For the intel what I'd like to do is have a deck of cards with various "disasters" and setbacks in it that you can play on the enemy. If you have good intel you can see those cards that they are holding (and maybe even cancel one out), if not then the enemy can play them as a surprise based on the card. You'd draw cards before each game.

      I also really like the idea to have "generic" opponents to fight as well, and if the opponent wins with the generic forces it will provide a benefit to their forces in the next game.

    2. Instead of countries how about corporations, some would have a mindset of a country some would not.
      if you need some counters to playtest let me know, I can cut them for you.

  6. I REALLY like what you are working on here! While many of your concepts are handled with Tomorrow's War (unlimited ranges, small units) you are covering some other topics I like to see...the Physique idea is a good one. Reflected a bit with Tomorrow's War quality dice, but from a different angle. Looking forward to more posts about the rules!


We welcome any comments or suggestions!