Last week, Chris and I had a bit of a play through of some rules he has been working on for space marine vs space marine combat, in small squads. The idea is that kids can build their own squad and have some kind of league or something going on. As we got through the game, people started getting into hand to hand combat and we realised that the system we originally came up with was pretty boring. It ended up with two combats going on forever and each turn involving just taking turns to roll dice. So we decided to have a rethink.
The new system we came up with is slightly borrowed from Bushido, a rule system I know a little about, but have never played. We decided that all models will have a combat rating (average will be 4), which forms their combat pool. This can be modified with things like weapons and abilities. During combat, each player secretly divides up their combat pool into Attack and Defense dice, then reveal how they have divided them up. The player whose turn it is rolls their attack dice first, with any dice over 4 counting as ‘hits’. The defending player then rolls their defense pool, and each dice they roll over 4 knocks one ‘hit’ off the score of the attacking player. Any hits remaining cause damage on the other model in the same way as shooting does. If the defending model is still able to (i.e. is still alive and hasn’t been knocked down), he then rolls his attack dice and the same process takes place.
I like this system, because it fits in better with the shooting mechanic we had developed, and adds a bit more a ‘game’ to combat -rather than it being entirely based on luck. This is, in fact, almost like a mini-game within the larger game. If there are additional combatants in a game, they add half their combat pool to the main combatant, which is a more elegant solution than we had before. It also makes combat more bloody -with higher damage being doled out.
There are still things to iron out and extra little flourishes to add, but I’m really happy with this change.