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"Sci-fi skirmish rules recommendation" Topic


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667 hits since 21 Sep 2017
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BCantwell22 Sep 2017 5:32 a.m. PST

I'm looking for recommendations for a set of sci-fi skirmish rules for a game I want to throw together.
The criteria:
1) Fun
2) Generic and customizable
3) More sci-fi than sci-fantasy
5) fast play – easy to learn
6) A nod to emerging themes like drones, EW/Cyber, etc
7) Fun

Any thoughts, hive mind?

Oberlindes Sol LIC22 Sep 2017 6:21 a.m. PST

StarGrunt II meets your criteria.

The basic unit is the squad, usually 5 to 10 figures. The players are usually trying to defeat each other's dice rolls, so everyone is involved in everything all the time. The game works well with about a company on each side, but I have heard of huge battalion-level games running all night at conventions.

The focus of the game is the infantry squad. If you get too many vehicles on the table, you should play Dirtside (by the same publisher). There are some simple design rules for vehicles. There are generic small arms, with a tech level range from about late 20th Century through powered armor and hand-held fusion guns. The game also provides weapons and vehicles specific to the various factions of the GZG universe.

The feel of the game is very much gritty and technical, not fantastic.

You can import it to any setting and use any miniatures and terrain. I usually run my games in the classic Traveller universe, but I have heard of it being used for the Vietnam War and even for Warhammer.

StarGrunt II is a free download on the Ground Zero Games site:

link

The rules book does not have an index (but there is a good table of contents). I have an index that I found online, but I don't remember where. Message me directly if you'd like me to email it to you.

Stealth100022 Sep 2017 7:05 a.m. PST

Warpath firefight. Everything except drones and EW.

BCantwell22 Sep 2017 7:08 a.m. PST

One more note, I am looking to field a platoon or two per side for this.

I have SGII but haven't had it out in ages. It is one that I was considering. Might want to do something a little simpler (and with fewer markers all over the place) for this project.

SpuriousMilius22 Sep 2017 7:26 a.m. PST

"5150" rules from Two Hour Wargames.

Goober22 Sep 2017 7:35 a.m. PST

Gruntz is aimed at 15mm units, but will easily upscale to 28's by simply doubling the ranges (and I convert them to range increments anyway, rather than just the two range bands suggested in the rules).

gruntz.biz

G.

emckinney22 Sep 2017 7:43 a.m. PST

Tomorrow's War from Osprey. link

whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 8:37 a.m. PST

Second vote for Tomorrows War. Easier to find printed rules than StarGrunt (since it hasn't been out of print for 20 years), well accepted as an updated version of StarGrunt, same feel of squad based platoon level infantry battles.

I played StarGrunt several times just about 20 years ago it seems now and my only real lasting impression was that there were too many counters that needed to move along with the troops. I've played a dozen or so games with Tomorrow's War in both 15mm and 28mm and the rules are pretty good, even if they are laid out poorly in the book. Nice default hard sci-fi setting with several factions laid out and ready to go.

Very scale-able with the ability to add EW and hacking, air and orbital fire support, on-board and off-board mortars and larger artillery, vehicles use pretty much the same mechanics as the troops.

I highly recommend it

Capt Flash22 Sep 2017 9:02 a.m. PST

These are free, fun, and generic:
FUBAR
In The Emperor's Name
Fast And Dirty
Forge Of War
Page Rules

Tomorrow's War can be fun, but is too complicated for my tastes. The rule book is rather a pain and kind of disorganized. I would definitely not call the game easy to learn.

Capt Flash22 Sep 2017 9:04 a.m. PST
boy wundyr x Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

Tomorrow's War and Gruntz were my first two thoughts, but there are also a few games in Nordic Weasel's game line that fit, plus the Four Color/Supersystem range (Void Pirates and Blasters & Bulkheads).

Personal logo The Nigerian Lead Minister Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

Fast and Dirty. Free download, most excellent.

MHoxie22 Sep 2017 1:04 p.m. PST

KR16 is good for a platoon or so per side (free also):

angelbarracks.co.uk/rules.html

emckinney22 Sep 2017 2:46 p.m. PST

In the Emperor's name fails #3

Capt Flash22 Sep 2017 4:38 p.m. PST

@emckinney- not really. I played many games of it without any fantasy…
Can you elaborate why you feel that way?

Oberlindes Sol LIC22 Sep 2017 7:31 p.m. PST

Second vote for Tomorrows War. Easier to find printed rules than StarGrunt (since it hasn't been out of print for 20 years), well accepted as an updated version of StarGrunt, same feel of squad based platoon level infantry battles.
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I'm going to try Tomorrow's War, which has gotten many positive mentions on this page.

You can always print out the StarGrunt pdf, but you may have to adjust for A4 vs. 8.5x11.

tnjrp22 Sep 2017 8:23 p.m. PST

My usual suspect is (still) usual. See 4X
TMP link

Depends a bit on what one means by "skirmish" tho. Furthermore, to checkmark the squares:
1) Half a mark (I think it is, your mileage may vary)
2) Double mark (still perhaps the best generator tool on the market, even tho it isn't the simplest to use)
3) Mark (you can go softer or harder scifi with it)
4) (hey, what happened to #4?)
5) Half a mark (not necessarily quite easy to learn but plays fast)
6) Mark (or a half, depending how big you want the nod to be)
7) See #1

Codsticker22 Sep 2017 8:24 p.m. PST

@emckinney- not really. I played many games of it without any fantasy…
Can you elaborate why you feel that way?

I could see that as it is set in the 40K universe. Nothing wrong with the rules though and easy to omit anything that smells of space fantasy such as psychic powers.

Der Krieg Geist Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member23 Sep 2017 5:15 p.m. PST

scour the intrwebs for a copy or two of "Flashpoint" by Virtual Fusion Publishing. Best small action skirmish game I've ever played. I and my friends love it and it hits all the points you listed. Good luck and I really hope you can find a couple of copies. :)

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