Playtesing B&D: Bug Attack!

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On Thursday, we did some playtesting of the bug attack scenario with a couple if the kids from the club. There were a few problems with the rules, but none that are unassailable. We will be discussing the following issues next Thursday to come up with solutions.

-The distance from the board edge to the fort wasn’t far, making the ranges of the weapons a little off.
-The way I came up with bringing bugs in wasn’t great.
-Bugs having to ‘attack’ the wall to climb it wasn’t very efficient.
-It was too easy for the marines to pick off the Big Bugs, collapsing the wave of bugs they were leading.
-We noticed the kids responded wierdly to the human force being just ‘marines’, so we will call them Space Marines from now on -that’s what they were anyway.

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B&D: Bug Attack! -The Fort

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The fort is a prefabricated structure setup by the Marines upon arrival on a planet. It becomes their base of operations. It has a walkway on the walls from which Marines can fire, and which counts as cover. The walls have a defence rating of 10, and the gateway has a defence rating of 8. The gate can be opened/closed in the Human’s movement phase (it is remote controlled, so nobody has to be near it), but it takes a full turn to do this (i.e. open it now, you will be able to walk through it in your next turn), you can move troops through it and close it in the same turn, but it will not act as a barrier until the beginning of your next turn.

Assaulting the Fort
A human on the walls of the fort is at a huge advantage over a bug at the base of the walls, but those bugs can jump! If a bug reaches the base of the wall, it must fight a combat to scale the wall, receiving no modifiers. If there is no human guarding this part of the wall, the wall ‘fights’ with a +1 modifier. If there is a human at the same point of the wall, he can make things difficult for the bug, so fights the other side of the combat, gaining a +2 modifier in addition to any he already has. A bug success in combat means the bug model is placed on the walkway of the wall. A Human success means he rolls on the bug’s damage table. Multiple humans can gang up on one bug trying to climb/jump, but multipile bugs cannot gang up on the wall (you can’t work together to distract a wall!)

B&D: Bug Attack! -Marines

So in the little break I allowed myself today, I jotted down some rules for the marines in the Bug Attack game. I’ve drawn mostly on Starship Troopers (both film and book) and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, which I have just read this weekend. I’ve tried to avoid the GW idea of space marines as being superhuman and just treated them as normal guys but sometimes in big suits of armour.

With this in mind, they will use the same racial profile as the paras in ZW. There will be 2 seperate squads -10 trained men in flak armour and 5 elites in power armour. The flak armour boys will have laser rifles and the power armours ones will probably have an SMG or something that’s better close up. Someone might have a flamer or some other squad support weapon.

But Phil, I’d imagine you’re saying, you’ve never mentioned armour before. We’re pretty sure it’s going to work like this: if a soldier wearing armour suffers a ‘dead’ result on his damage table, a roll above a certain number (6 for flak, 5 or 4 for power) turns that result into a ‘knocked down’ result.

We didn’t want armour to be overly powerful, as a trooper can still be seriously affected by a KD result. I’m considering making power armour stop a soldier from running, to reflect the pracricalities of armour in Forever War, but that might be too serious a drawback. I might try it in playtesting.

B&D: Bug Attack! -Bugs

As I’ve mentioned before, the next step in developing B&D is a new set of rules for Space Marines vs Buglike aliens. We’re trying to involve the kids in this much more than before, now that we have the basic rules roughed out. One of the boys in particular has an extensive tyranid army that we’re going to use to save us having to buy a pile of new minis. I’m playtesting the first draft of the bug rules with some of the kids on Thursday. Here are the rules we’re going to try:

There are three types of bug: little, medium and big (we’ll think of cooler names). Mid bugs are the basic warriors which the player will have most of. They will be fast (8″ move, +d6 run) and good at combat (+2 mod, and gets to roll 2d6 and choose the highest roll -this represents the bug having loads if limbs and being off the hook crazy). They will need to be within 8″ of a big bug or count as ‘alone’ therefor needing to pass courage test to move towards the enemy, among other things.

Big bugs will represent the controlling type creatures. They will maybe be a bit slower than the mids, but just as good or better in combat. They won’t suffer any negative effects when they are alone, so they can be moved around to where they need to go on the battle field (maybe they should be able to move faster then?). If they don’t move in a turn, they can instead ‘launch’ a base of Little Bugs at a chosen target.

Little Bugs are really more of a weapon than a character in their own right. You choose an enemy model to target the base at. Every bug turn, the base moves 2d6 towards its target. It does this until it: makes contact with the target, is destroyed, its target is detroyed or fails a courage test. If a base of LBs loses its target for any reason (failing courage/target dying), it will move towards the nearest enemy model. If there are none visible, it sits tight until there is one. When the base is launched, it has a rating of 6, which will be the number of dice the base rolls in combat. If a base suffers a result of ‘dead’ on the damage table from shooting or combat, the player that caused the damage rolls an additional d6 to determine how much is knocked off the base’s combat rating.

I’ve also come up wih some rules for LB bases being used to destroy the walls of the fort. For this, the bugs that are targetted at the fort roll their combat dice on impact (in my head, they literally explode on the wall in a shower of acidic blood). Any successes count as ‘hits’ against the wall. The walls will each have a target number that, when met, means that secton of wall is destroyed. I think that the number of hits scored on the walls will be cumulative, meaning that successive attacks add up to destroy the wall. This might be the beginning of some vehicle rules, if they work out okay for buildings.