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"Games Focused on Recon, EW, Drones?" Topic

20 Posts

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Science Fiction

858 hits since 4 Oct 2017
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RTJEBADIA04 Oct 2017 2:51 p.m. PST

After painting up some New Vistula Legion scouts and drones, I'm trying to think of rules sets where I could really use them-- probably the most inspiring pack of troops I've gotten in awhile.


My first thought is Infinity, or to make my own mods to a skirmish game I like (perhaps 5150, using drones to resolve PEFs and perhaps camouflage to give a chance to avoid enemy reactions). Neither seems so easy "out of the box," though, as learning the special rules to Infinity without a gaming partner to apply to proxy forces just feels wrong. Any suggestions?

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2017 3:10 p.m. PST

I think Tomorrow's War have such bits? Maybe someone will clue us in.

Ivan DBA04 Oct 2017 6:29 p.m. PST

Gates of Antares actually has a lot of this, especially drones. It has many different types: spotters, weapon, shield, and many others.

kallman Inactive Member04 Oct 2017 7:34 p.m. PST

As The Beast Rampant stated, Tomorrow's War covers all these aspects.

Twoball Cane04 Oct 2017 7:53 p.m. PST

I'll second tomorrows war….. I do use some gates of Antares drones though in 15mm.

RTJEBADIA04 Oct 2017 10:12 p.m. PST

I have Tomorrow's War but haven't really played it yet. My impression is that most of this is highly abstracted though? I'm more interested in actually moving drones around and maybe distinguishing between fully automated and semiautonomous and directly piloted.

arabianknight Inactive Member05 Oct 2017 1:36 a.m. PST

The only ruleset mentioned that I'm familiar with is 5150. Perhaps you could give drones an extra attribute, like Wary or Lucky Bastard to mimic the difficulty in shooting them down?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2017 7:22 a.m. PST

Always remember the danger. One--very plausible!--possibility for science fictional warfare is that you don't actually have troops on a table, because anything you can find is dead. I suspect a war between "near peers" would be much like that today. Absent vast improvements in armor--or perhaps force fields--it's only going to get worse.

GhostofRebeccaBlack Inactive Member05 Oct 2017 10:32 a.m. PST

I think the rules for different types of drones and droids in Tomorrow's War works well.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa05 Oct 2017 12:21 p.m. PST

Yeah, TW.

I've had similar thoughts on the idea of an empty battlefield, basically anything that can found is toast.

SouthernPhantom05 Oct 2017 9:04 p.m. PST

It could be a fun concept to play with. I've been thinking about putting together a set of light-infantry skirmish rules based on my own experiences; drones and EW definitely should be a part of it given recent technological developments.

RTJEBADIA06 Oct 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

The empty battlefield is why I think I ultimately prefer abstracted spotting/stealth to blind markers or referees and maps. Let the players see the pretty models, just don't let the models act as if they can see everything

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 12:51 p.m. PST


In my Mecha Decision scenario book for Command Decision Test of Battle (in progress):

Drones are treated as aircraft. They can move, shoot (if armed), and spot. Individual drones are a subunit of a particular HQ. Losing the HQ, causes loss of the drone.

EW is treated as a to hit modifier. If outclassed on EW you would have an additional negative to hit modifier.

I think these are relatively simple and straight-forward ways to include these features. I've run Mecha Decision games at recent Historicons, and plan to run more games in the future. You can find AARs in the battle reports here on TMP (although the recent photobucket debacle may have killed the pics).

Link for most recent AAR: – scroll down for refreshed pictures.

My two cents.

Ponder on,


Rick Don Burnette Inactive Member06 Oct 2017 2:34 p.m. PST

The rulesets and modifications mentioned do not reflect war in 2010 or 2015. Drones are not a version of aircraft, and land warfare in these years does resemble war in 1985 or 1945, but is as different as these are from 1915.
To refer to Joe Clemens on "push button war", where "we are the push buttons", (see Marshall's Pork Chop Hill),the mentioned sets and modifiers are either too much sci fi or just another WW2 game, which is all Team Yankee is.
A huge difficulty for miniatures gaming of 2010 or 2015 is the empty or totally uncertain battlefield, where not only is everyone hiding, but also identification is obscured. Because of the lethality of conventional weapons in 2010+, troops and vehicles are so spread out that only a very few miniatures are needed, with bad effects on miniatures sales.

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 7:11 p.m. PST


Did you look at the photos of my game? I spent a fair sum assembling the CDU and MDF forces (certainly comparable to what I've spent in other periods).

The forces on the table top battlefield were quite well dispersed, except at the point of decision.

Command Decision differs considerably from other modern rules in they are not attrition based. A lot of bad things happening simultaneouly has more chance of causing a morale failure. You can have a great plan and have it all go to poop due to how human factors are treated in the rules.

And yes, it is quite leathal; if you see it you can likely kill it.

Ponder on,


RTJEBADIA07 Oct 2017 3:39 a.m. PST

Oh, Mecha Decision does look cool. Not quite what I was thinking-- a little higher level-- but definitely something to look into when it comes out

Personal logo MrHarold Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Oct 2017 7:15 p.m. PST

I wrote the SpecOps module for Gruntz ( with those things in mind.

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 7:55 p.m. PST

It will be a while on getting it done. Life intrudes on gaming.


RTJEBADIA07 Oct 2017 10:20 p.m. PST

Just picked up that SpecOps module-- definitely got to play some XCOM-level games with that. I will probably make a variant on the combat drone that hovers to match my collection.

Also, I've reread Tomorrow's War, and it definitely does a lot more of what I'm looking for out of the box than I remembered. So that's my platoon+ option for now.

Thanks everyone!

Hayden Inactive Member25 Feb 2018 9:45 a.m. PST

very late but have you tried look into Strike Legion:Platoon Leader? it have everything you are looking for with Strange New Worlds expansion you can even play true skrimish

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