Shock Force

rulebook cover

Brief Description

Shock Force combines an all-purpose set of rules with an (optional) futuristic background.

During the turn, players alternate "activating" units (a group of figures or a single vehicle). Activated units may move and/or fire all of its weapons, or fire may be reserved for later. Figures beyond command radius of their squad leaders suffer dieroll penalties, and are more likely to fail morale. Combat is resolved by comparing offensive and defensive dierolls, with modifiers applying due to cover and whether or not the figure has moved. "Hit" figures are removed from play, as are figures which fail their rout test (required when a unit loses a leader, or loses a member while depleted).

Rules are provided for designing your own army (although you can simply use one of the pre-designed armies in the book). Using a point system, a basic troop type is purchased, stats can be modified (movement, defense, mental), and then advantages/disadvantages can be purchased (such as Trigger Happy or Lucky Bastard). Lastly, there is a system for designing new weapons, based on functionality.

Scarlet Brethren army list

The optional background (which complements the figures produced by Demonblade) is set in a future toxic United States. The rulebook details several factions, providing a description, army list, and short piece of fiction for each. The armies provided are:

  • Shock Force - Private armies used by the Megacoms to control their Consumers.
  • The Organization - Mafia-like group, whose mutated members are known as "Orgs."
  • The Mutants - Hordes originating from the polluted Great Lakes, led by a Dominator/Dominatrix.
  • The Scarlet Brethren - Southern theological faction devoted to preserving "pure strain" humanity.
  • The Gothrats - Mutated rats from beneath New York City, now bipedal and organized as Broods.
  • DeadTech Systems - An insane CEO has created this megacom, uniting cybernetics and the dead.
  • The Vengequan - Mystic, mutated Indians with backing by the French.
Period "Battles in the Remnants of America"
Ground Scale Unstated
Time Scale Unstated
Figure Scale Each figure appears to represent a single combatant.
Miniature ScalesApparently intended for use with 25mm figures, such as those manufactured by the publisher
Contents 60-page, digest-size rulebook
(Also available as a boxed set, including 10 dice, 25 figures [two armies], and several reference cards)
Designers Aaron "Warpeyes" Overton, with Zev Shlasinger and Austin Biery
Publisher First edition published 1998 by Demonblade Games, Inc.

What You Think

Orbelain (
Well, for a quick and easy game, it took a few hours to play during game demonstations at Archon 23 in Collinsville, IL (Oct 1-2, 1999). I wasn't sure for what I was getting into, but hey, it was fun. Even if I did lose. :)

Oh, well. Using a green gaming sheet with stuff - even kiddy stuff - it made an interesting scenario: Shock Force troops taking on the Vengequan forces. For a while it looked like the Shock Force troops were winning, and then the enemy lucked out and killed the Captains and the Sergeants. Turned an winning team into a panic when the leaders were lost. The survivors limped home in defeat before the enemy decided to punish the interlopers.

Michael Gates (
Shock Force is a good, simple ruleset; I play this game with my nine- and six-year-old kids, and they do fairly well. (Well, the six-year-old tends to forget about cover - she always wants to play with the sword-n-pistol babes and run straight for whatever she wants to kill - but she does know better.)

The "build your own units" points system is critically weak - it's not hard to make super-troops that turn out to be ridiculously cheap, if you use the right "advantages" from the tables. Also, some types of weaponry simply aren't cost-effective; essentially, if you've paid for a nasty damage factor, you might as well buy long range for the thing, and vice versa. So, things like flamethrowers or scoped sniper rifles simply aren't competitive.

Overall, I like these rules, and they make a good tutorial in the basics of skirmish-level gaming; however, I wouldn't try to run a tournament with them.

Nazgul1783 (
I love Shock Force as a game. Some of the cool things about the game:

6-sided dice
I think that "blind" games where ya have to feel the likelihood because the actually statistics are so hard to calculate create better game play. Percentage die rules are easier to assess for comparison, but some people start calculating the exact shot chance prior to even taking it and then say...naaaaaa.
I like the fairly small armies of 20 or so figs, but with the ability to play as many as you want.
Simple rules
I hate it when friends won't play a game because it takes too long to learn.
The factions are pretty cool in concept
As it appears they are being fleshed out even more, this should make the game even better.
The game doesn't take itself too seriously
C'mon, the Good Ole Boys got "crack" and the Belles got butt cheeks hanging out!
The promotion of other miniatures in a game by a miniatures company is cool
We can do something with old figures from "dead" games.
The point system and the "u build it" units
This is the best feature. This adds so much flexibity and can add a whole dimension to the game itself around making cool units and using them tactically.
The incentive provided in the rules to be creative
The factions are cool, but they still provide plenty of individuality.

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Online Resources

Publisher's Website
Includes rules summary, product descriptions, rules clarifications, an online figure catalog, and an opponent finder.
Starship Troopers (the Movie) in Shock Force
Pascal Saradjian's ( website with stats for playing Mobile Infantry vs. Bugs.
The Shock Force Discussion List
A lively email discussion group. To subscribe, send a message to with the word 'subscribe' as the only contents of the body of the message.
Shock ForceDemonBlade GamesNextHomeLastShock Force

If you know of other resources for this game, or if you have material you would like to make available to the Net, please let us know.

Last Updates
5 October 1999comments by Orbelain
16 September 1999comments by Michael Gates
30 August 1999webring updated
14 August 1999comments by Nazgul1783
5 January 1999added webring
Comments or corrections?