The nice people over at Defiance Games were kind enough to send us through a copy of their Alien War rules a bit early to let us read and try and digest them so that we can give you a few excerpts from the rules and give our opinion.
Most tabletop games fall into one of two categories, skirmish or large scale battles.
Ok maybe it’s a bit of a generalisation but to a large extent this is the case, but Alien War seems to have been designed to accommodate both styles of battle, without compromising the rules.
From The Book:
Each player controls a Force that can be as small as a squad (6-15 models) up to a platoon or even a company in size (40-100 models or more). Some Forces may involve more models than others since they consist either of less skilled human troops (like colonial militia or poorly armed and trained conscripts) or aliens whose strength lies in their overwhelming numbers. As players become more experienced, they can control larger numbers of troops as well as vehicles and incorporate more advanced rules for future warfare. At its most basic size (squad level), a game of Alien War should take an hour or less to play.
What you need to play:
Regular Six-sided Dice (D6) – we recommend a mix of at least 3 red, 3 green, and 6 white dice.
• Tape Measure
• Alien War hard plastic 28mm (1/56 scale) models by Defiance Games
• Terrain items for the playing area
Now before I can start talking game mechanics there are a few things I need to explain.
The smallest force consists of around 15 models which will be one squad, which is broken down into elements called fireteams, the number of fireteams depends on the squad size and some personal preference.
From The Book:
Elements are a group of models acting together, even if they are not performing the exact same series of actions. Each model must be within 3” of another model in the element even if there are obstacles between models. An element led by an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) will usually perform better than one without. Sometimes an element may consist of just one model as in these situations:
• A single model expected to act alone such as a sniper or a medic. These single models are also permitted to act as part of a larger unit whenever the player prefers.
• A model who becomes separated from his initial element will count as an element on his own until he rejoins his element or joins another.
• In practical terms, a squad will usually consist of two or four elements at the start of the game. These may break up into smaller elements as the game goes on.
• You may form new elements, or divide the elements you have, when you activate your Force. There is no limit on this beyond the obvious fact that the die roll might not permit all elements to act at once.
Squad and Troops, Stats and Grades.
In Alien War Squads and Troops are graded to represent their abilities on the battle field, along with Leadership which is graded 0 – 6.
Each squad is rated according to its training either as Professional (regular squads of high calibre) or Grade 2 (militia, bandits, conscripts, etc). Additionally, the very best Grade 1 squads are counted as Elite which have the highest level of cohesion and mutual understanding.
Within the squad, each troop has a grade (Green, Experienced, Veteran) which shows his level of combat effectiveness. This is expressed by a number between 2 and 4, known as a Combat Value (CV). Most “arithmetic” in the game is based on rolling a D6 and scoring equal or less than this CV number. The rules will say “Test against CV” when this is required. Experienced troops, with a CV of 3, will thus have a 50% chance of performing any test required of them. Green troops are trained but have seen little combat, or seasoned but poorly trained fighters. Their basic CV is 2. Experienced troops have been in combat previously. They are ‘average’ troops. Their basic CV is 3. Veteran troops have considerable combat experience. Their basic CV is 4.
There is really to much to go over the full rules but heh what you waiting for there free to download HERE.
The rules seem very full and comprehensive from the way you setup to how units activate and perform actions.
Ok so we only have a limited choice of troops at the minute be rest assured Defiance will be plotting and scheming and we will be seeing a lot more figures in the near future.
Also we have to remember this is only a beta version and DG’s want gamers feed back to improve on the system to give gamers the best possible rules set they can, and all for free.
Ok I’ll be honest here, will I be playing Alien Wars? No not any time soon, but that’s more of a personal preference and time constraints I can only play a limited number of systems and at the minute I’m at my limit. Will Alien Wars be a success? I would definitely have to say yes with a big thumbs up, and for a few reasons but having read over the rules as is there is a lot going for it so what will the final release be, I can safely say we will be hearing a lot more from Alien Wars in the not so distant future.