Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Raise Shields!

With several 15mm sci-fi armies now painted up, my focus has started to shift towards finding and/or writing some rules to actually use them in tabletop games. 

15mm sci-fi armies on my painting table

My internet searching didn't turn up any 15mm sci-fi systems that really appealed to me. Stargrunt or Tomorrow's War work at 15mm, but I'm not a fan of those. Epic: Armageddon, while intended for 6mm, would probably work at 15mm. But while Epic is an extremely good system (one of my favorites) I already play it a lot, so I kind of want to use something else just for variety. I looked at a couple of homebrew systems people had shared on the internet. Most of them looked decent enough, but none really jumped out and grabbed my interest. 

In the end I've landed exactly where I started - writing a sci-fi adaptation of the Flames of War / Team Yankee system, which I'm referring to as Sierra Foxtrot

(If I'm being honest with myself the internet searching for 15mm scale systems may have been a waste of time, since this was what I had in mind from the beginning. Even just the way I based up the models was deliberately styled on FoW / TY units.)

Now the core Flames of War / Team Yankee system is (IMO) very good, so at least initially I'm not going to change much. They do use a simple IGO-YGO turn structure (versus many games I've been playing recently that use forms of alternating unit activation). But there's nothing wrong with simple IGO-YGO, so I'm going to stick with it. Really the main thing needed (apart from the huge task of writing, and especially balancing the army lists) is not so much changes as additions - writing up special rules for various sci-fi specific situations. Things like force-fields, giant creatures/mechs that might take multiple hits, teleportation, vertol or grav vehicles, and all these sorts of things. 

The first special rule I'm going to take a crack at writing up (since I have the tokens made up for them) is force-fields...

Malroid Scorp-mechs with 3 shields

Serpent Nest-Queen with 5 shield tokens


Some models have Shield tokens (also referred to as Force-Shields, Deflectors, or Force-Field tokens). Shields are usually assigned to individual models (infantry stands, vehicles, etc.) not to whole units (platoons or companies). Exceptions to this (area shields) will be noted.

The size, color, and appearance of shield tokens doesn't matter. Likewise where they are physically placed around the model is irrelevant; they can be placed anywhere near the unit and even moved around as convenient. All that matters is it is clear which model the shields belongs to, and how many there are. 

Shields have an Armor Value which works in most ways similarly to tanks and other armored vehicles. When the shield is hit the defending unit gets an Armor Save (or presumably "Shield Save" in this case) of d6 plus Shield rating. If the result is greater than the AT value, the shield is unaffected. If equal to AT value, roll FP to "bail out" the shield. If less than AT, roll FP to destroy the shield, otherwise "bail out". 

A destroyed shield token is removed and is no longer part of the game in any way. 

The equivalent to "bailed out" for shield tokens is "shield fluctuating". The shield has been partially weakened and will provide less defense for the rest of this turn. The shield token should be placed on its side or otherwise marked. A fluctuating shield that suffers a second fluctuated result is destroyed in the same way as a vehicle suffering two bailed out results. During the starting step of the next turn the player may roll to "remount" (restore) the shield. If this roll passes the shield is put back upright and acts normally. Otherwise it is left on its side and is still considered fluctuating.  

Shields are completely ignored for the purposes of Morale Rolls. Intact shields do not count as surviving units, and destroyed shields do not count as destroyed units. 

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