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Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion

 Post subject: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:31 am 
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Hello TacComm Friends!

I've been working on a 6mm ruleset for some time now. I think it's time to post what I have and hear what you all think. I'll be posting the rules in "chunks" - hopefully this inspires some feedback and I'll refine where needed, and see where it goes.

In the end, with some luck we'll have a brand new set of rules to play with!

Let's begin:


I. Required Materials:

• A copy of this rule book: This document provides all the rules you need to play the game.
• A copy of your chosen army’s Compendium: Each army has a set of rules which document every unit available to it called a “Compendium”. You will need the Compendium of your chosen force.
• Tape Measure or Ruler (cm)
• A set of Onslaught tokens
• A set of six-sided dice (d6): Multiple colors are recommended but not required. You will sometimes need to roll a “d3” - while 3 sided dice are available, you can also simply roll a d6 and halve the result (rounding up).
• Miniatures representing the forces in each army
• A playing surface, typically 3’x2’ to 6’x4’ maximum, preferably with modeled terrain.

II. Pre-Game Procedure:

• Choose your Faction
• Select Scenario
• Battlefield Setup
• Choose your Force
• Deploy Forces
• Gather order tokens
• Let the battle begin!

Choose your Faction -
There are a number of Factions to choose from when playing Onslaught, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. From the technologically advanced Okami to the deranged Hellborn, each player must choose the faction they wish to command for the game. Both players can choose the same faction if they wish – inter-faction civil war is common in the Onslaught Universe.

Roll for or Select Scenario -
Once Factions are chosen, you must determine the Scenario to be played. This can be mutually decided on by all players, or rolled for randomly on the table below (d6). Once decided – players must agree on the size of the conflict (Skirmish, Standard, or Epic). This will determine how many points each side has to spend on their army, the size of the battlefield, and victory conditions. (Initially, there will be a selection of 6 different scenarios to choose from - but I can see adding more later on. Maybe even scenario decks that can be expanded to include all sorts of missions on strange alien worlds with all kinds of victory conditions that must be met. The goal is to keep each game interesting and fresh, and away from simple slug-fests every time you play).

Scenario rules are detailed later in this rulebook.

1. Annihilation
In this scenario, each side seeks only to eliminate the enemy. Strategic Resources are granted each time an enemy unit is reduced to half-strength, and again when it’s wiped out or routed. Players are eliminated if all of their remaining units in play are reduced to half strength or less in any end phase. The last player standing wins! (Strategic Resources can be spent in a number of ways between turns such as bringing in reinforcements, activating unit buffs and special abilities, or scenario-specific actions like orbital bombardments, etc. More on SRs later)

2. Control
In this scenario, each side seeks to control a majority of objectives on the table. At the end of each turn, if a player controls the majority of the objectives in play, they gain a victory point. The first player to earn 3 victory points wins. Strategic Resources are granted for each Objective you do not control in each end phase.

3. Domination
In this scenario, each side seeks to earn a number of victory points before their opponent. Victory Points (VPs) are awarded for destroying enemy units and capturing objectives. Strategic Resources are granted at the end of each turn based on your current number of victory points - with bonuses going to the player with the least.

4. Assault
In this scenario, one or more players team up and act as a attacking force, while one player acts as a defender. A number of objectives are placed on the defender’s side of the table. The attackers must capture or destroy each objective in a given number of turns to win, otherwise the defending player wins. The attackers start with a smaller force than the defenders. Strategic Resources are granted to the attackers for each objective they have not secured - but time is not on their side...

5. Capture
In this scenario, players place a number of “bases” in enemy deployment zones. Players gain VPs for each base they occupy, and SRs for each that they don't each end phase. The player with the highest number of victory points after a set number of turns wins the game. (Bases and buildings can only be entered and occupied by Infantry units.)

6. Secure
The battlefield is divided into “sectors”, each with a control point. Players gain victory points and strategic resources for each sector they control (Determined by overall unit strength around each control point). Players can bring reinforcements into any sector edge they control - not just their staring deployment zones. The player with the most victory points at the end of a set number of turns wins the game.

Battlefield Setup -
Terrain can have all sorts of important impacts on the game, from providing cover to hampering movement. A good mix of dense and sparse terrain provides an interesting scene to play out your epic conflict. Terrain should be placed equally by both sides of the battle, or by a third party before scenario “roles” or table sides are determined to facilitate fair placement.

Once Terrain has been set, each player will take turns placing any scenario objectives on the table (if applicable), following any restrictions detailed by the scenario being played.

Choose Your Force -
Once your battlefield is set, it’s time to find out which role in the scenario you will play! This is often decided randomly, though some races may affect or even determine the role they will be granted in a scenario. Once you know your goals - it’s time to choose a force which can best carry out the mission at hand.

The scenario being played and scale selected will determine how many points each side has to spend on their army. Points are spent like currency - with each unit costing a number of points based generally on their effectiveness in combat. Some units can be purchased as many times as you’d like as long as you have the points for them, while other units are restricted. The units available to you, as well as their rules, point costs and restrictions are detailed in your chosen faction’s compendium.

Deploy Forces -
After you have selected your force, it’s time to deploy them on the table. The scenario being played will dictate who deploys the first unit, and where on the table they can be deployed. More often than not, players will alternate placing units on the table unless the scenario states otherwise. Generally speaking, units are deployed in order of type - with the largest and slowest units being deployed first.

Gather Order Tokens -
Each player is assigned a color, and then takes an order token of the associated color for each of their units, and places them in a cup or bag (forming a "blind" draw pile). These tokens are then mixed up thoroughly. Order tokens are randomly drawn to determine activation order as described later. (This system will allow sheer numbers to have a greater (and more realistic imo) effect on the game than most wargames I have played with alternating activations. Rather than the more numerous force getting additional actions only at the very end of a turn - after the other force/s have activated all of their own units, this system will naturally grant the outnumbering force more frequent activations - creating a sense of being outnumbered during combat).

Now the battle can begin!

That covers the pre-game setup. Please chime in with your initial thoughts, and stay tuned for the next section - "The Basics".

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:05 am 
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The blind draw determines which side gets to choose a unit to activate (like in bolt action), it isn’t specify8ng a specific unit that will activate that turn, right?

Vanguard is doing that with their new 3mm rules. I like, although I have not played with that mechanic myself. I have heard, however, that bolt action gets some abuse from people holding their elite units till last so they stay out of range until a choice target for them to go after has come within striking distance. Vanguard is solving that problem by adding a “end of round” token to the bag as well, meaning some units risk not activating in a given round. You might want to consider some ways to encourage activating powerful units early as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:08 am 
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For deploying forces, I wouldn’t make size the primary determinant of who deploys first, but rather speed, or stealth, or something. So that big, lumbering units (which might include large numbers, but also could include super heavies and such) are deployed first, through to stealth and infiltration units deploying last.

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:14 am 
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ForgottenLore wrote:
The blind draw determines which side gets to choose a unit to activate (like in bolt action), it isn’t specify8ng a specific unit that will activate that turn, right?

Vanguard is doing that with their new 3mm rules. I like, although I have not played with that mechanic myself. I have heard, however, that bolt action gets some abuse from people holding their elite units till last so they stay out of range until a choice target for them to go after has come within striking distance. Vanguard is solving that problem by adding a “end of round” token to the bag as well, meaning some units risk not activating in a given round. You might want to consider some ways to encourage activating powerful units early as well.


Correct - you need to activate a unit when your color is drawn, but you get to choose, and each unit can be activated once per turn. I'm not entirely sold on needing a way to force early activation of elite or powerful units - but it is an interesting mechanic to keep in mind... Thanks!

ForgottenLore wrote:
For deploying forces, I wouldn’t make size the primary determinant of who deploys first, but rather speed, or stealth, or something. So that big, lumbering units (which might include large numbers, but also could include super heavies and such) are deployed first, through to stealth and infiltration units deploying last.


I should have said "class" rather than just size. You'll see more on this later, but in general it will go:

Heavy vehicles > Vehicles > Agile Vehicles > Heavy Infantry/Cav > Infantry/Cav > Agile Infantry/Cav

Some units will have traits that let them deploy dead last - like stealthy units as you mentioned.

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:25 am 
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Not sure I wouldn’t put agile vehicles after hvy infantry, and maybe even infantry. Not so much representing that you don’t know they are there, but that they can reposition much faster than slow to respond foot sloggers.

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:31 am 
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Interesting - maybe just do: Heavy > Standard > Agile and drop the type all together...

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:45 am 
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I think you should look into using D10 dice in this game. It gives more granularity to the game.

Other than that I would suggest using blind draw activation like bolt action, objective driven combat like Epic and suppresion mechanisms like epic.

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Using d10s were originally in the rules, but dropped it back down to a d6 for a multitude of reasons. I'm open to using d10s - but only if it adds to the fun factor of the game as a whole.

Some scenarios will have objectives, and there is certainly a battlefield stress system - stay tuned!

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 3:40 pm 
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Next Section:

III. The Basics:

Turns & Activations -
Each game turn is divided into alternating activations between the players, followed by an End Phase once every unit in play has activated, after which a new turn begins.

Before any activation, a random Order token is drawn, and its owning player assigns it to one of their units that does not yet have one. That unit then carries out a single Order. The Order token is placed on the table next to the unit to remind all players which units have been activated, and which have yet to carry out an order this turn.

Once finished, another random Order token is drawn and so on until all order tokens have been assigned, at which point the End Phase for the turn is resolved.

Basic Orders -
Each time a unit is activated, you issue it an order. In addition to these basic orders, some units can carry out special orders as noted in their rules.

Charge:
The unit moves up to double its Movement Stat (MV) in cm. If this move brings models into base-to-base contact with enemy models, they may Assault them in Close Combat as described later (though charging models may not fire during the firefight portion of the assault). Models without a Melee weapon cannot choose to move into base-to-base contact with enemy models.

Charge Orders cannot be given to units that are in close combat with enemy models.

Advance:
The unit may move its (MV) in cm and then fire its weapons at the enemy, or fire and then move.

If the unit is armed with melee weapons, it may enter into close combat with an enemy unit or enemy units during its move. If it does so – carry out an assault and then end the unit’s activation. The Advancing unit may fire its weapons during the “Firefight” portion of the assault, but only if it has not fired yet during its activation.

Advance Orders cannot be given to units that are in close combat with enemy models.

Fire in Place:
The unit forfeits their movement in-order to better focus their aims. It cannot move, but may fire its weapons with a +1 modifier to each “Hit” roll.

Fire in Place Orders cannot be given to units that are in close combat with enemy models.

Over-Watch:
The unit does not move, and gains an “Over-Watch” Token. An Over-Watch token allows the unit to fire during an enemy activation. This is especially useful when attempting to deter assaulting enemy units or flyers.

Over-Watch Orders cannot be given to units that are in close combat with enemy models.

Rally:
The unit leader inspires the fighters under their charge - driving them to feats of heroism in spite of the dangers around them. The unit may do one of the following:

- Roll to remove Stress Tokens and then Move or Fire
- Move or Fire and then roll to remove Stress Tokens

Rally Orders cannot be given to units that are in close combat with enemy models.

Assault:
This order must be issued to a unit if at least one of its models is in base-to-base contact with an enemy model when it is activated.

Models in the unit can move into close combat with an enemy model if they aren’t already engaged in close combat. (Though, they do not have to).

The unit “Assaults” any enemy unit it’s engaged with and may fire its weapons during the “Firefight” portion of the assault.

Retreat:
The unit is broken by the chaos around them and retreats! A Retreat order must and may only be issued if the unit has more stress tokens than damage points remaining. The unit moves it MV stat in centimeters towards the nearest “Friendly” table edge, and then rolls to remove stress tokens. If, at the end of this roll, the unit has double or more stress tokens than it does damage points remaining, it Disbands – it’s completely lost the will to fight. All remaining models in the unit are removed from the game, and the unit is considered to be Annihilated.

Basic Unit Stats -
All units in Onslaught have a “stat line” - a collection of values which represent how skilled the unit is on the battlefield. A unit stat line includes the following traits:

MV - Movement Value: This is how many cm the unit can move when executing a move or retreat order.

AV - Armor Value: If hit by an attack, you may nullify the hit if you roll this value or higher. The strength of the weapon hitting the unit can negatively affect your roll.

DP - Damage Points: This value represents how many hits, or damage a model in the unit can take before it is destroyed and removed from play. You'll also see how Damage Points play a big part in unit morale - Adding up all the DP remaining in a unit gives you the units current Morale Value - which determines when a unit breaks, and/or disbands after acquiring stress tokens

Weapon Stats -
In addition to basic unit stats - each unit will have a stat line for each of their weapon systems. Each weapon system has the following traits:

R - Range: This is how many cm the weapon can fire. If the weapon has no range, then it may only be used during assaults in hand-to-hand combat.

A - Attacks: This is the number of dice rolled when attacking a target.

S - Strength: This value is subtracted from opponent armor save rolls when hit with this weapon.

D - Damage: This is how many damage points the weapon causes per hit.

There is no "To Hit" stat - the target number is determined by what the unit is firing at. Given that nearly all units in the game will have military training - the size and speed of the target should have the greatest effect on ballistic accuracy (detailed later). Particularly good shots like snipers will have the "Accurate X" trait, giving them a +1 or even +2 modifier on their to hit rolls. The opposite is true for poorly trained units with the "Inaccurate X" Trait. Weapon systems can also have those traits, representing unusually accurate or inaccurate weapons.

Unit / Weapon Traits -
Traits are special rules or classifications that can be applied to a unit or single weapon system. For example, having a unit trait of “Infiltrate” allows the unit to start the game outside of the normal deployment zone, while a weapon system may have the trait of “Ignores Cover” meaning the weapon ignores penalties when shooting into cover. A full list of traits and their associated rules are listed later in this rulebook.

Unit Entry -
A unit entry is a listing of all unit stats, weapon stats, and traits that apply to any given model in the game. Here’s a couple of examples of typical unit entries:

Image

Sisterhood Themis have average speed for an infantry squad, and their armor gives them a solid degree of protection. These fighters are geared towards assaults and close combat, being armed with Assault Shotguns which are more effective up close and personal.

Image

Hellborn Cultists are completely unarmored – so any successful hit will eliminate them. Their firearms shoot a fair distance, but Cultists are untrained and “Inaccurate”, so suffer a penalty to all their shooting rolls. On the plus side, their fanatical devotion makes them “Unbreakable” meaning they never retreat or disband – they must be destroyed to the last man.

Image

The Okami Baku APC has an average speed for a vehicle, but can ignore terrain as it moves thanks to its “Anti-Grav” trait. Like most vehicles, it has no melee weapon system, so it’s vulnerable to close assaults. The Baku, like all vehicles is easier to hit than infantry, but is equipped with heavy armor and can take 2 damage points before it is eliminated. It’s dual Gatling cannons can “explode” into additional hits on the roll of a “6”, and it can transport 2 infantry units thanks to its “Transport 2 Infantry” trait.

Some general guidelines on stats:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

That's all for this section - next up, Movement. Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 3:49 pm 
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A friend of mine made an excellent suggestion -

You have order tokens, and activation tokens. Orders are assigned to each unit face down at the beginning of each turn. Activation tokens are mixed up and drawn randomly to determine which player gets to activate a unit. When activated, the unit must carry out their assigned order, OR it can decide to default to an "Advance" order.

This will do two things:

1. It will force the player to think ahead and pre-plan. Very much driving home the sense of being a battlefield general issuing orders from a distance.

2. It will eliminate the concern of holding elite units back to ensure they always get the best positioning. If you do that - your hopeful targets would have likely moved to safer positions, or fired on you already...

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Hi

I think having pre-set orders and random activation will be too restrictive on a player. You want to keep momentum in a game and this causes delays twice. You could do for scenarios where communications between units and Command are interrupted.

I am part of the Dominion Wars playtest team and yes we use the random activation out of a bag mechanism. However, you need to be aware that if one side gets numerous pulls in succession especially when they out number the other player, it is not FUN. You may want to limit the amount of continuous activations depending on overall activations, or Command ability.

As a side note there are plenty examples in history where outnumbered forces still held the initiative, which is hard to represent in the random bag mechanism.

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 10:40 pm 
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Very Interesting - and I appreciate your input as an experienced play tester.

I'll have to keep that in mind when designing command units. Perhaps a special ability that can be unlocked by spending SRs would be being able to auto-pull a command token after a unit from any side carries out an action...

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:04 pm 
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I agree on not using set orders. It's more fun to react to the other players moves.

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 1:09 am 
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mordoten wrote:
I agree on not using set orders. It's more fun to react to the other players moves.


I disagree. Needing to lan out your turn in advance does a lot to shift the focus of the game from list building to actually strategizing.

What I would do is require orders to be placed for each unit at the start of the round, but give commanders an ability to either alter or replace the order, or give a unit an additional ability to react.

Of course, the orders need to be open enough to allow players some decision making when executed as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Onslaught 6mm Combat - Rules Discussion
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 3:13 am 
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Another option might be to place orders face down for each unit, and then have activation tokens drawn to see which unit will activate, however the activation tokens can have certain abilities on them when drawn, such as ability to change an order, ability to change and opponents order counter(in this case you take the chance he does not have a certain order). Something like this will remove drawing a counter to see who moves and just alternate activations but allow the tokens to add randomness to the game.

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