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.
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:
|Period||"Battles in the Remnants of America"|
|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.|
|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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|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.
|I love Shock Force as a game. Some of the cool things about the game:
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|5 October 1999||comments by Orbelain|
|16 September 1999||comments by Michael Gates|
|30 August 1999||webring updated|
|14 August 1999||comments by Nazgul1783|
|5 January 1999||added webring|
|Comments or corrections?|