Sunday, 13 February 2011

Scrapes (1) - Horrific injuries

The first of a series on characterful optional rules, mainly for wargames and skirmish games, but possibly inspiring adaptations of other kinds of game too. I'd imagine most gamers collect this kind of rule to try out when an opportunity arises, or incorporate them into their house rules, and the point here is to help in this, by suggesting rules not matching a triffle or drawing attention to rules other gamers are using.

What got me thinking about this most recently was a post at the excellent Tales from the Maelstrom with a couple of their house rules. Have a read of those, and the first comment at least. For me they're simple, but realistic, and they add a lot to gameplay. They're also a reminder of the danger of war and the natural reactions of combatants.

To add to them, how about the need to take a test not only for taking cover nearby, but for approaching too, or modifiers to morale tests for proximity? Perhaps a mechanism to represent the desire to retrieve the remains and remove them from the field?

If you decide to use any of this yourself, it could help to have a way of marking the locations, so I've put together a quick set of 16 rather graphic counters to this end; just print to thin card and cut along the divisions. They're all yours to modify and print as you wish and I dedicate them to Colonel Kane and all the other guys at Tales.

I love counters, as I've said before, but they're really the minimum that can be done. Below are some pools of Ork blood I made to mark areas of heavy fighting. Yes, I know that officially Ork blood isn't green, but I prefer to think of it that way, although it works less well on a green tabletop for obvious reasons. Marking the tabletop like this is actually an end in itself as it helps tell the story of the battle. These particular pools were cut from card, but could be made more complex with the use of plasticard and odd bits of model left over from conversions painted in the same way as the army itself.

For more ideas, try the discussion under the last triffle. Paul's Bods is one creative guy, as is The Angry Lurker for that matter and most if not all who comment here.

Aslo, if you have any suggestions for expanding on the horrific injuries concept, or even other house rules, I'll bet there are plenty of us who'd like to hear them.


Paul´s Bods said...

OOH, I like that...maybe blood trail cards could be made from them. Wounded quarry or worse still, your character is wounded and leaves a blood trail...."sniff! sniff!, he went that way!"

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

I've got some rules for reinforcements and random interference in Warmachine, but I can't say how balanced they are, or if they're workable in play.

Here they are:

When all sides reach 2/3rds of their starting size, each player rolls 1d6. On a 4-6, reinforcements arrive for that group. All players who received reinforcements roll again. 1 is a solo, 2 is a unit, 3-4 a light Warjack, and 5-6 a heavy Warjack. Roll 2d6 to determine number, and then roll for specific models.

Porky said...

@ Paul's Bods - There you go with more interesting thinking. That's a common element of fiction and would tap into a lot of sources, and it could make for an enjoyable game. It would work with machines leaking oil too, or any material that could be left in a trail, even with smells as you suggest.

@ C'nor (Outermost_Toe) - I know next to nothing about Warmachine of course, but hopefully someone can give you some feedback. My view nowadays anyway is to leave balance out of the equation and make the best of what happens, to deal with what the fates deal as if the situation is real and beyond complete control. Interesting too that if you've just got into the game you might be able see more scope for change or improvement than a more experienced player. At the beginning of anything, I imagine, we come to things with a fresh mind and might see clearly what we later get used to.

Desert Scribe said...

Song of Blades and Heroes has a similar morale rule: When you inflict a gruesome death on an enemy model (when your modified die roll in close combat triples your opponent's), nearby enemies must pass a morale test to keep from running away. Certain attributes (such as Tough or Artificial) exempt a figure from such morale tests.

Colonel Kane said...

Hey Porky! Thanks for reminding me of that post, we really should update it as we've probably come up with more since (we free-styled some friendly fire rules during an urban action where there were civilians running all over the place for example).

The Angry Lurker said...

I like optional on the spot or future upsets rules to keep players motivated, in the zombie rules I use there was a;ready a rule for been bitten and in 3D6 turns you collapse and die and reanimate next turn, now its 1D6 turns, they,re not told the result and now look at said individual as to wether he's been bitten or all clear and should they send them on their way now (euthanasia).

Ray Rousell said...

Great idea, I'm sure Fran above (The Angry Lurker), will use these in his zombie games.

Porky said...

@ Desert Scribe - That sounds attractively simple and well integrated into the game as a whole, which seems to me the right approach.

@ Colonel Kane - You're a constant inspiration. I'll bet I'm not the only one who'd be happy to see any of those rules. It can't hurt to get as many different ways of doing things as possible on the table.

@ The Angry Lurker - Improvising rules is a lot of fun, and keeping the players in the dark even better. Having a GM around is usually a good thing, and by the sounds of it excellent if it's you!

@ Ray Rousell - I wouldn't mind being there for that.