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So far, Space 1889 is the frontrunner for the set of rules to play these colonial steampunk games. The combat resolution system is pretty straightforward: opposed roll, d6, add factors. The DBA system. Same as Song of Blades and Heroes. But having now been contaminated by that system of variable turn sequence I cannot go past it. Despite the attraction of both The Sword And The Flame and G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. , both of these systems are move everything moderated by cards. This just does not work for me any more. So here are my changes to the system.

Units and heroes are defined by their combat (C) rating and by a quality (Q) rating. The Q rating is as follows:

  • 7. Militia, civilians. Those troops or groups that have little martial spirit and no training.
  • 6. Irregulars. Those troops or groups that may have martial spirit but lack adequate training, or vice versa.
  • 5. Regulars, trained. Middle of the road professionals.
  • 4. Veterans. Superior trained troops and/or troops that have learned through experience what tactics work.
  • 3. Elite. Troops or groups with pronounced espirit de corps.

At the start of the game a player (let’s say the attacker) selects a unit and rolls one, two or three d10 (ten sided dice). For every result equal to or greater than their rating they may perform an action. On two failures the turn is passed to the opposition.

For every roll of 1 the opposition may perform a single interrupting action.

A unit is a group of 8 or 9 models plus 2 or 1 leaders. The resulting 10 man group is termed a platoon, for convenience. Two platoons plus a four man command group is called a company. Four companies is a battalion.

A platoon may detach two figures to act as skirmishers or scouts. These two move together, but are activated separately to their parent platoon and act separately as well. They have the same statistics, however.

A morale check is required on the death of a leader, amongst other things, and occurs immediately.

To make a morale check, roll three dice with the target being equal to or greater than the unit’s Q rating.

  • On one failure the unit is Checked. It may not advance towards the enemy, and shoots at half its normal rate of fire. It may recover by spending an action next turn.
  • On two failures the unit retires one move away from the most threatening enemy or towards cover, whatever makes sense.
  • On three failures the unit breaks and flees two full moves away from the nearest enemy.
  • On three successes the unit is fine, the corporal takes over seamlessly and all is well.

To rally a retiring or broken unit, a leader figure must be within range and a take command. To take command, make another morale check. If the result is all successes or only one failure the second in command has taken control and it is now checked. Otherwise the unit continues to flee.

Combat resolution: Ordinary rank and file figures are out of action if they are beaten in combat. Remove them from play, or mark them or lay them on their side: whatever floats your boat. Officer or character casualties roll three (d10) dice with a target of their Q rating. On three failures they are dead. On two failures they are seriously injured – this wound is carried forward in to the succeeding turns and cannot be removed during the course of the game. On one failure they are lightly wounded – this wound can be removed by the use of an action. On three successes they are unhurt. Wounded twice is an out of action.

And that pretty much covers it. The rest is as per the Space 1889 rules, which are pretty straightforward, but have buckets of flavour.

Looking forward to the arrival of some Perry ACW figures so I can paint up some Chileans, Peruvians and Bolivians.

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