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bpmasher

Miniatures HERO

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Finally got around to designing my own system using the HERO skill and combat resolution system.

I'd like some feedback regarding the possible complications I might run into trying to hack this system into something that can be used with minis on a battle mat.

My design priorities were as such:

 

1. Simplified combat and mass combat rules (haven't read fantasy HERO): Squad hit points (men x BODY), that allow for easy calculation of casualties when using single based minis, and keeps track of things when the minis are based otherwise. Squad damage, a single damage roll that determines the firepower output of the squad that turn. Again: damage roll x number of men firing.

2. Introduction of morale to heroes and squads, and allows a use for hero-type leaders to rally men and the psychological model of battle fatigue and shock. Base morale is INT plus EGO /5 for combat troops. Lowering morale increases chances that a squad or character flees combat or surrenders. Leaders and charismatic heroes can raise the morale of mobs and squads by succeeding in an attribute or skill roll (whichever is higher).

3. Keep the points system for creating powers and effects. Basically the main reason I started hacking the system. Allows for fairly level playing field even when mixing genres and types of characters.

4. Changed up the initiative system to suit fast playing with miniatures to a card-draw based one, where a unit type has a card value (basic playing cards) and the managing player can choose to activate squads of that type on his turn. I-Go-u-go. A squads speed score = the number of activations those types of squads can have in a turn. Counting segments is gone.

 

The point of the hack is to allow me to take any cool-looking miniature, give it stats, and make it run around the table with other cool minis, and play war with them. Then they have all these SUPER BADASS POWERS that make unicorns rain from the sky and cause the gold pot to be found at the end of the rainbow.

 

I'm going to test this one soon and write about the results, so folks can get an idea what happens during a game.

 

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Ok, so I have tested Hero with miniatures.

 

Thoughts on getting faster play, initiative, and game sequence:

 

1. Keep Speed stat to indicate the amount of actions a character can take.

2. Use a deck of playing cards to indicate the side which gets to take an action.

3. To keep things fluent and flexible, each action card can be used to activate the same character who just acted, or another one.

4. You could limit activations according to squad/platoon/company (etc.) levels where only characters from the same units can activate. This could be too restricting for some play styles.

5. Mook rules for faster play -> no damage rolls towards nameless characters. A hit is enough, another roll to determine death or wounding (1-4: Wounded, 5: Knocked out, 6: Dead). Two wounds in a nameless character means being knocked out of the fight. Use markers (blood stains, smoke, or something like it)

6. When a joker is drawn, the current turn ends. Insert possible special effect or happening into the playing area (air strike, mortar barrage, a whale from the sky, the opposing side's hero character trips on his shoelaces)

7. Face cards activate a hero character always, with the option to give an action with a bonus to a nearby nameless character with a Leadership roll. Heroes are a big deal.

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Rewrote some combat mechanics to be used for wargaming. These are draft -level rules at the moment.

 

Note: with success rolls I use every -1 below the required number as a degree of success (which makes the combat deadlier).

 

Lexicon

======

Activation = An action taken in a segment.

SHOCK = STUN damage in Hero renamed to be more descriptive of small arms combat

 

 

Scale and time
==============

- 1" on the table equals 2 meters.

- 1 segment equals 6 seconds of time in a squad -based game.

 

Morale
======

 

- A squad is represented by average morale of the troops (8 (Gritty) or 9 (Normal/Heroic) + [EGO+INT/10], rounding rule = Morale
roll).

- Morale rolls are used to determine PIN and ROUT results. After losing a man the squad takes a PIN roll. After losing 50% troops
a squad makes a ROUT roll.

- RECOVERY can be used to recover both SHOCK and ENDURANCE in the same segment it is used.


Squad Mechanics
===============

- MOOK squads roll (ROF/5) attacks per segment, using the representation of the majority of weapons they are wielding (Assault
squad mooks wielding SMGs roll ROF/5 attacks per segment). Damage rolls are Normal Damage for MOOK squads despite weapons being used
(HEROIC games standard).

- Player Characters targeting MOOK squads make attacks as normal, but instead of rolling for damage for each hit, they roll 1d6. 5
knocks out a mook, 6 kills a mook. Optional rule: 1-4 inflicts wounds on the mook squad, every 2 wounds kills a mook.

- Close combat is a simultaneous success roll, where OCV of squad is used as a success roll, BUT every -1 or -2 under the required
roll results in a kill.

- Depending on the level of the game, a single PC against a squad of enemies that loses a close combat is either killed (gritty),
taken prisoner (normal) or knocked out (cartoon/cinematic). Generally a single character making a close combat roll must make an
escape test using their OCV as a skill check to run away. Alternately, rolling d6 for a result might be best where 1 = killed, 2-5
= taken prisoner, 6 = miraculous knock out.


Damage Mechanics
----------------

- MOOK squads roll Normal Damage despite using Killing Attack weapons. A 5 or a 6 rolled by a MOOK squad means a point of killing
damage. The rest counts as SHOCK. Each 5 or 6 do not count in to the shock totals of the roll.

 

(EXAMPLE: A squad of Germans spot a Hero Character (James Manfield, Private First Class) running across a field trying to satchel
charge a bunker. They open fire on him using their Kar98k rifles. There are six Germans in the rifle squad. They roll their OCV of
11 + 4 = 15, against the DCV of 5 of the Hero character. Their roll of 8 means a success. They roll 3 dice of Normal Damage for
each rifle in the squad (18 dice). The dice for the damage roll come up as 1, 1, 3, 6, 2, 5, 2, 2, 4, 2, 3, 4, 6, 1, 2, 4, 5 and
1. That results in 4 points of Killing Damage to the Hero, and 30 points of SHOCK. They caught the Hero in a hail of fire and shot
his legs from under him, causing him to fall to the ground shocked and possibly unconscious.)

 

(The Kar98 got a generous damage due to it being bolt action :) )

 

- Player characters roll Killing Attack + STUN multiplier damage against other PCs. Against MOOK squads every damage die result is
rolled for with a single d6. 1s do nothing. 2-4 causes WOUNDs, 5 causes a knocked out MOOK, 6 causes a killed MOOK. Every 2 wounds
against a squad results in another kill.

 

(EXAMPLE: A sergeant, Player Character Manny Rodriguez fires his Thompson SMG on a squad of German soldiers. He successfully rolls
his auto-attack roll (11+OCV (6) -DCV of defending squad (4) = 13) and beats his roll by 6. He then rolls 6 dice, one for each
hit he scored. The die results for the damage roll are 6, 2, 5, 1, 4 and 3. He kills one German, knocks out one, and causes three
WOUNDs on the squad killing another squad member. 2 KIA and one German knocked out of the fight.)

 

edit: To add to the document, the morale roll required for the squad in the second example is a ROUT roll. They roll their Morale of 11- for a result of 13.

The rest of the Germans turn around and make a hasty retreat. Had they been assaulted in close combat by another squad or a hero character,

they would have surrendered.
 

More wording fixes. Clarifications, updates.

 

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The making of a squad

===================

 

- Squads get stats like characters to represent the average squad member

The stats are: STR, DEX, CON, INT, EGO, PRE

- These values will be rolled whenever a task roll is required that doesn't come under the squads proficiency/skill set. (EXAMPLE: A player character attempts to wrestle a remaining elite squad member to the ground in an attempt to take him prisoner. Use the squad template STR and Speed values when determining contests and activations for the duration of that combat)

The secondary stats are: OCV/DCV, Morale (how well the squad performs under pressure) and Speed (how many activations per turn the squad has)

- In addition to primary and secondary stats squads get Skill sets or Proficiencies (worth 10 points per point over 11- roll). These could be things like Parachute Infantry that takes into account jumping out of airplanes, fieldcraft, using various weapons, martial arts training, etc.)

- Average morale is 11- roll. Poor morale starts at 9-. Exceptional morale is 13- and higher rolls, reserved for elite squads.

- Average OCV/DCV is 4 for a combat-trained squad.

- Normally squads can activate only once/card per turn. Leaders can activate a squad again on their own action card, given a successful Leadership roll (a nearby leader character could activate multiple squads in a turn, dishing out orders and remaining with his own squad and relocating on the battlefield as needed).

 

Each squad also gets a list of weapons and the amount of attacks the weapon gets in addition to the number of damage dice it rolls after a hit.

 

Squad Powers is a special section reserved for specialized squads (mages, stealth specialists with powers, all the video gamey stuff you could come up with for a squad).

(Example power: "Shh! Quiet!": Superior camouflage/stealth when outside of combat for a British commando squad. POWER COST: Invisibility - targeting sense (sight), 20 points, Chameleon limitation -½, Final cost 10 points. The commando squad stops and remains motionless in order to let an enemy patrol pass just yards away from them.)

 

- Elite Squads: Elite squads do not take normal knock-outs or kills when fives and sixes are rolled in damage rolls. Instead they take Wounds on fours, fives and sixes. This increases their longevity further in combat and makes them more dangerous, in addition to any powers, morale advantages or special training they might have. You have to especially try to knock out (punch/wrestle/rifle-butt) an elite squad member because of their exceptional esprit de corps. Elite squad members always have valuable information for campaign/scenario purposes.

- Elite squads are usually also larger than average (commandos, American parachute infantry) so their longevity and damage output in combat is increased in proportion. 

 

- Squads can always deploy into fire teams (BAR gunner + loader, LMG team + 2 loaders, Bazooka + loader etc.) and scout teams. It is up to the player to use his resources as he sees best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Command & Control", Leadership

===========================

Any Character with the Leadership skill can give "orders", in other words activations to squads on their own activation. (EXAMPLE: If you want to complicate a game, you could make use of runners or dispatch riders on the tabletop to see if a message to hold (retreat/attack) gets through to a pocketed unit in the forests of the Ardennes)

All you need to give an "order" is to roll a successful Leadership skill roll.

A leader character can also remove a PIN from a squad, or to inderdict a squad ROUTING off the table with a successful Leadership roll.

 

HEROic Bias

==========

The action on the table is dominated by Player Characters or Hero Characters when talking about GM -controlled major characters in a more traditional game.

Player and Hero Characters do not necessarily possess the Leadership skill, but they can still affect the outcome of the game in major ways due to their different treatment in the combat mechanics. A scout team of player characters would present a formidable "force" in a skirmish action.

 

Combat Mechanics

================

Suppression is mechanism to inflict morale checks on squads in combat. Mechanics: Declare a suppression over an arc of fire on the table, roll with a penalty (-2 for every inch/2 meters covered). In the event of a success, every squad and character in the affected area has to roll a morale check. In the event of a failure, the targeted squad goes to ground and gets PINNED. If successful, the squad can activate normally if they have activations left in the turn (or when they are pushed forward by a leader character).

 

Shooting ranges are better than in the basic Hero rules. Halve the distance penalties when taking ranged shots in combat. OR, eliminate ranged penalties altogether. Especially useful when deploying marksmen -type Hero Characters on the table.

 

Cover makes squads harder to hit. What You See Is What You Get. Check the position of the miniatures on the table, determine the percentage of them showing and use the Hero System cover rules when attacking squads/characters in houses, behind rocks, fences, etc.

 

 

 

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Tested the mechanics a bit more yesterday. 

Damage rolls after a hit is scored can be distributed as the attacking player wishes. When rolling damage against a squad, the attacking player divides the potential damage dice amongst the desired targets and rolls. Damage is always: weapon damage + degree of success. The potential damage and attack can make is calculated after the hits are scored, not before. Also, the penalty to fire multiple shots in a round is removed from the OCV calculations, since the timeframe is different, and it opens up the combat to be a bit more deadly, and keeps players guessing. Success is determined after the roll is made.

 

(Example: Old Ollie opens up on a gang of banditos with his Winchester rifle. The banditos have him surrounded at a camp site, so he targets as many as he can, which is three guys bunched up near a wagon (remember miniatures). He has his favorite weapon equipped (Dark Champions Super-Skill, +2 OCV with a weapon), they are 4 meters away with a combat value of 3. Ollie's combat value is 7+2=9 so he needs to roll 15 or below to hit a single bandit. He rolls exactly 15 on his combat roll, and gets to roll two damage dice. He unloads three rounds from his rifle and chooses to use both damage dice on a bandit nearest to him. He rolls two dice and scores a 5 and a 4. Two wounds inflicted on the bandit so he goes down clutching himself. The possibility of hitting two guys was still there, because he chose to fire three rounds instead of just one.)

 

Rate of fire: Machine guns and assault weapons are still at a great advantage, because more potential targets means you get to divide more damage dice among models (there's always the possibility of that 6!) when you roll well. If you include the rule of -1, where every round is a single degree of success, you give automatic weapons a big advantage in terms of the mechanics.

 

(Example: A recon soldier fires on a pair of insurgents guarding a building with his carbine. He has crept up on a camp and chosen his first targets while keeping his position hidden. His combat value is 6 + 2 (Combat Skill Levels) = 8 and the insurgents combat value is halved due to being surprised from stealth. His maximum rate of fire is 15, but he chooses to fire only five rounds to make sure the guys go down, but not wasting ammo. He needs a roll of 15, and rolls 11. His potential damage is 2d (carbine) + 4d (his degree of success) and chooses to divide the damage dice so he rolls 3 dice for both targets. He rolls for the first one: 5, 1, 3 = two wounds and the first guy goes down. He rolls for the second one: 6, 4, 3 = an instant kill plus one wound. Both of the insurgents fall down dead. The rest of the camp now rolls INT to see whether or not they are alerted to them getting killed or hearing the silenced carbine shots.)

 

Bullet-counting: In a more invested or survival-influenced game, you count bullets made in attacks and require reloads after you run out. Resource management is part of the combat in this hack. Remeber potential damage done and possible targets for damage? 

Rivet-counting: Calculate the carry weight of each character and squad, require endurance use during combat for movement and sprinting, firing your weapons and swinging your swords. Increased resource management and potentially a lot more interesting game when compared to a conventional wargame where you just blast away without worries until one side wins.

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So yeah the rules have changed a lot since the first post. Now the combat works just with a single mechanic, but damage application is different for named vs. unnamed characters. Rolling killing dice against named characters is just fine in a grittier game, where every kill (2 Body) and wound (1 Body) counts against the Body of the named character, with STUN added into the mix, so a squad of mooks can easily take down careless characters.

 

Some more bits: So now that we know that every six equals a kill against unnamed characters, we can complicate the game a bit with armor. An armored character or squad negates a single roll of six out of a stack. If it turns into a wound or not is up to each group and GM. But armor should matter because you have to pay a static cost to armor a character or a squad. My suggestion is 10 points if the six turns into a wound, or 15 points if the six is negated altogether. If you want to make armor even more powerful (say powered armor or something else) you can say it negates every six rolled against a squad or a character.

 

Special ammo adds a wound / possible wound to the distribution of damage. Take a different colored die when rolling damage, and if it comes up as 4-6 you get an extra wound inflicted on the target.

 

Rubber ammo only counts as stun. Roll the damage + degree of success normally but only count the pips for STUN damage to see if the target is knocked out. Against unnamed characters use the same resolution system as normal, just don't remove the minis from the table, knock them down instead to indicate their unconscious status.

 

Explosives have a static degree of success, which means you only throw and forget them. Always roll the listed damage for explosives, and convert "Killing Damage" explosives to normal damage for this purpose. Explosives also have scatter on the table, use the diagrams provided in Hero books. Roll d6 inches for distance after determining scatter direction.

 

 

 

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