Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Halo Miniature Skirmish Game - Homebrew Edition

Hey, these guys look familiar.
Last week I picked up a new Cannon color printer/scanner, to replace a very expensive HP printer that inexplicably stopped working.  For what it's worth, I couldn't be happier with the Cannon (or more annoyed with HP).

In any event, this ain't CNET and you're not here for a printer review . . . .

So, wanting to put the new printer through it's paces, I decided to try some "papercraft" gaming.  I found some downloadable 28mm(ish) Sci-Fi paper soldiers from One Monk website:

I was happy with how they turned out (including the cheapo foam-core bases), but once I had them printed, I realized we needed a rule set that captured the fast-paced action of an FPS like, say for example, Halo maybe.  So, we spent a few hours crunching numbers, calculating die roll averages, researching rag doll physics and eating cookies, until we arrived at this masterpiece:

Rules Lite.  You know it's Lite 'cause I just misspelt "light" on purpose.
For those who can't read my handwriting:

1.  Basically IgoUgo, with visual targeting.

2.  Every little paper dude on your team gets up to two actions: Move up to 6" or Shoot up to 12".  So, in a turn, each guy can: (a) move up to 12"; (b) shoot twice; (c) move 6" and shoot; or (d) shoot and move 6".

3.   The shooter picks a target and rolls a d6: 1-3 is a miss, 4-5 a hit, a 6 is a "headshot" (an "auto kill", knocking out his target).

4.  If the shooter rolled a hit (i.e. 4 or 5), the target rolls a defensive "reflex" test on a d6: 1-3 fails, and the target is knocked out; 4-5 the target survives but has to move 2" back from the shooter; and on a 6, the target gets a "free" shot at the shooter (based on the rules in #3 above).

We cut up some paper triangles to use as half-fast terrain, and put the ruleset to the test:

Hmm, perhaps I could have spent some more time on the terrain.  That said, the triangles worked well, as they only provided modest cover. 
Team Red.  Pretty sure they're Commies. 
Team Green (the good guys) get ready to move in.
In the middle of the board, Gang Green takes out a Red, leaving one exposed (and his coward comrade in hiding).
The Green guys chase down two Reds . . . 
But the chase ends poorly. 
Green takes out one of the Reds with his first shot. . . .
But on the second shot, Green is taken out by counterfire.
Final result: a fast paced, very simple ruleset, perfect for short-attention-spanned kids, with no bookkeeping, that kept the action fast and furious.  It really did feel like a FPS Team Deathmatch, with each game lasting just a few minutes.  The headshot and countershot rules were really fun, and the bodycount gets high quickly.  Even if you lose two, or even three, of your guys in the first turn, a couple of lucky rolls can get you back in the game.

Now, this isn't going to go down in war-game history as innovative, realistic or groundbreaking, but it sure was a great way to get in a few dice rolling sessions without taking up much time.

If you give these rules a try, let me know what you think!