BaD: Change to combat system

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.

Space Marine progress

So lately I’ve made a bit of progress with the Marine army.  I finally got around to finishing the bases on the first tac squad and photographing them, I finished building the Mk2 Assault Marines She Who Must got me for my birthday and I bought and built the plastic Captain model.  I built him as a very basic version with just a bolt pistol and chainsword because I only plan to use him in small games where it doesn’t make sense to kit him out loads at the expense of ordinary troops.  I intend to eventually do a conversion of one of the Mk2 or Mk3 armour marines from Forgeworld into a more well equipped captain, using some of the parts from the plastic kit.  Anyway, have some pictures:

Space Marine fluff

The symbol of the Screaming Eagles (Aquilae Clangens), 1st Battle Group of the Tips of the Spear (Cuspidis Teli) Space Marine Chapter.

The fashion at the moment among space marine players is to paint one’s army as a pre-existing chapter and stick religiously to that set of fluff. I don’t like that. I’d much rather have the freedom to make up my own chapter and give them some fluff. That’s why I made up the Tips of the Spear for this marine army.  Here’s some fluff I wrote about them:

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BaD: New Resources

In preparation for the big BaD playtesting day, I’ve put together a few resources to make the game play as simple as possible for those trying it out.  I envisage these ending up making the bulk of the booklet we hope to create of the rules for Zombie War (or whatever we end up calling it in the end).  For your perusal:

BaD: Bugs, sir, millions of ’em!

Now that the rules for the zombie version of BaD are pretty much set, I’m starting to think about the next ‘setting’ that we planned to develop from the start: a Starship Troopers style Bugs vs Space Marines battle. These are only early ideas, but here is what I’m thinking about for the bugs (the marines will basically just be the same as humans from the zombie game).


I want the bugs to be quick, because they won’t have any ranged attacks, so the best tactic to use will be rush across the board at the marines. But they can’t be too quick, or it will be too hard a job for the marines to kill them.  I’m currently thinking that the same speed as marines will be best i.e. 6″, +D6″ for running, but I want there to be special rules for running.  I’m thinking that maybe they can only run when within 12″ of a human in their line of site, and then you have to pass a courage test to stop them from running.  Which brings me onto…


I think it’s important to reflect the fact that the bugs are ‘controlled’ by other entities (like the brain bugs in ST), and I figure the best way to do this is using the command distance and courage systems we already have in place.  I have a couple of ideas in mind for how this could work.  Firstly, I’d have some bug models be ‘brain bugs’, which don’t have any attacks but have good movement.  Then:

  • All bugs must stay within command distance of a Brain or they move randomly
  • OR Any bugs starting their turn not in CD of a Brain must pass a courage test or move randomly/not at all
  • OR All bugs begin the game ‘driven’ i.e. you can command them any way you want, but this ‘drive’ can be interrupted by things (being attacked etc.), at which point the model moves randomly until they are brought back under control by a Brain
  • OR All bugs must pass a courage test before they move every turn, with modifiers for how far away they are from a Brain
Once they make it across the table, the bugs should be pretty badass at combat, so I’m thinking of giving them a +2 or even +3 modifier for this. Either this, or I might give them multiple attacks, meaning it’ll be like fighting 2 opponents, which will quite nicely reflect what it would be like to try and fight a flailing giant insectoid creature.

These are some of the better ideas I’ve had, and are certainly the least complicated.  I basically want to create a bit more of a ‘game’ for the bug player than just running their models forward.  I’m also thinking of making deployment rules in the scenario that enable the bug player to switch which side of the board they are coming on from quite quickly, meaning the marine player (who will be defending the Sci Fi Fort I posted about) will have to think about how they spread their forces about.

As far as models are concerned, we’re going to be using a mixture of Games Workshop Warhammer 40k figures for this one -Space marines and Cadian Imperial Guard for the Humans, Tyranids for the bugs (I think Hormagaunts?).

Easter Alone-time

So my fiancee is off at home for a couple of days leaving me home alone.  I’ve got hundreds of things I’d like to do with that time, so I need to be careful or I’ll end up just sitting watching Zulu all afternoon or something. My original plan for today was to brew my next batch of beer, but I’ve got an issue with my new immersion chiller (can’t work out how to attach the hose to it), so I’m going to postpone that until tomorrow (reliant on being able to attach the hose then).  Instead, I’m going to try and make some headway with painting the paratroopers up ready for BaD playtest day.  I also thought I might start thinking about rules for Starship Troopers style bugs, so that we can maybe run 2 games simultaneously.  If I do that, I’ll post what I come up with here so check back later if you fancy it.  My brother has also just lent me his old Canon Eos 10D to see if I want to buy it off him, so I might try and get out with that for a walk around the village, although the weather is pretty terrible.

Anyhow, not entirely sure what the point of this was, but I figured I hadn’t written anything in a while.

Painted: First WWII British Paratrooper

This is the first of the Red Devils squad I’m painting up to use in the Zombie War scenarios.  My aim is to get them all ready for the playtesting day that we have planned for the end of April.  This was quite an easy job, involving just getting some pale browny type colours down, adding some DPM colours to the jacket then giving the torso a healthy green wash, then the whole model a really heavy brown wash.  It’s not an amazing paint job, but it’ll do for the job.  The models are so detailed anyway, a good wash brings out loads of stuff much better than I could with a brush.  I noticed too late that there is some kind of mould line on his face making him look a bit weird, maybe it’s a scar?!