Home Forums Sci Fi 6mm Sci-Fi KR 16 – Official Rules Topic

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  • #41358
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    What is KR 16, is it any good, is it popular?

    KR 16 is a set of free rules I released in February 2013.
    That first month saw 636 copies of the rules downloaded.
    (That is about 1 copy every 60 minutes for a whole month)

    To date over 4600 copies of the rules have been downloaded.
    KR 16 is currently in its second edition.

    They were written to give me some rules to use myself, as nothing quite gave me what I wanted, but FUBAR was a very close match.
    After playing FUBAR I made some changes to it, added rules, made more changes, added more rules, changed more stuff then stopped.
    It became clear that excellent though FUBAR was, it was not quite what I wanted.
    A few of the core mechanics did not quite achieve what I was after.
    So I wrote my own core mechanics, and combined it with all the changes I had made to FUBAR.
    KR 16 was born.

    What is it about and how does it work?

    6mm sci-fi skirmish.
    It is for squad based games with a few squads and a couple of support vehicles in play.
    A typical game would be four squads of five men with 3 support vehicles per side.

    You choose a squad and attempt to get it to carry out an order, from the list.
    Each order has a difficulty.
    Orders such as engage in HTH have a higher difficulty than take cover or say, fall back.
    This is further modified by troop and officer value and if the troops have taken fire.

    If they pass, then they carry out the order.
    If they fail they do not.
    Reasons for failure could be as simple as the squad refusing to do it, such as when they are under heavy fire and are ordered to run across open ground toward the enemy and engage them in HTH.
    It could be bad comms and the order was not received due to enemy ECM and jamming.
    Could be that Steve is taking a leak and they are waiting a few moments for him to finish.
    Could be the order was unclear, such as advance on the enemies flank, which one, your left, my left or the enemies left, yes. etc..
    In cases of vehicles it could have stalled or become bogged down.
    You come up with the reason why and make it part of the game/story.
    KR 16 is scenario driven.

    This mechanic ensures that not all orders will be carried out perfectly and on time like in chess.
    It adds some uncertainty which also makes it ideal for solo play.
    The best troops in KR 16 have the best modifiers to orders, not more hit points, or better guns, or more attacks, the best troops are the ones most likely to follow your orders.

    It requires minimal book keeping, and play alternates between players, it is not IGOUGO.

    Most players grasp the basic rules by the end of the first turn.
    Difficult it is not.
    But it does encourage tactical play.
    If you have troops under fire, keep their heads down and try and bring another squad up to relieve them.
    I see plenty of people at shows just keeping their heads out and trying to return fire against a better enemy, play safe, play to live.

    The dice are D6 and the core mechanics are simple enough to allow you to bolt on rules for things the rules do not cover.

    Anyway, please feel free to add your own thoughts, rules, questions etc here.

    LINK TO RULES

    #41360
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    Interesting, from this description they are close to TFLs approach in that it is the friction of command that makes battles realistic.

    #41362
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Could be, I have not bought any TFL games.
    In fact I have not bought anything in the last 25 years except for a copy of one set of rules, and I have not read them yet.
    This is good in that I am not influenced by other peoples ideas and can make what I really want, but bad as there is most likely a set out there I could have bought and used rather than spend donkeys writing my own…

    For me there needed to be some uncertainty to make the game more interesting, and a way of showing that orders likely to get the troops killed were less likely to be followed.

    #41367
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    I for one enjoy them and they tick the box for sci-fi games.

    #41736
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    So I have had a bit of a brief waffle about the idea behind it.
    I wanted to touch upon the time I thought it was not a sci-fi game, then came to realise it was.

    I hit a wall at one point and could not figure why KR 16 did not feel like a sci-fi game.
    Not in terms of look or rules or anything as such, but it did not ‘feel’ sci-fi somehow.
    I was comparing it to all the other games I had played and it seemed no different.
    Then it struck me.

    I think that in the future, intelligence will be key.
    We will have live reports on the battlefield and this will be coupled with accurate predictions on what the enemy is likely to do, and this may well be done by AI.
    We will know what is happening as it happens and be able to react to things before the enemy has even done them based on predictive modelling.

    This is of course how we as gamers play, we can see the table in its entirety and we can see what troops the other guy has over there by his dice.
    We have unlimited LOS as we stand feet above the playing area.
    We as players have a gods eye view.
    This, I think is fine for sci-fi games.

    However this gods eye view of the game does not make sense for many periods, ancients, black powder games etc., there is no way a general back then could be 100% sure of where everything was and which way it was going and what is in reserve etc.
    I can see my opponent moving his unit that my army general has no LOS to, but I can see it, so I react.
    This seems wrong.
    It was this which was causing me to think KR 16 was not sci-fi because you have no intelligence advantage over a historical gamer.

    So I felt better knowing that the level of intelligence is fine, but it is the earlier periods that did not sit well with me.

    As for actual sci-fi weapons and stuff, KR 16 has these.
    They are taken for granted though.
    There is no bonus for using an AI to lock onto and track enemy targets, it is just normal.
    There is however a penalty for when this targeting system fails.
    People in KR 16 are so reliant on their high tech, that rather than get a bonus for using it, they get a penalty when what they rely on fails.

    Drones whizz about the battlefield feeding back intel to the HQ which gives bonuses to initiative and orders, or can be used to jam and disrupt the enemies comms.
    Few people seem to use these though as they don’t do conventional damage.
    But this aspect is there.
    As are remote drones equipped with guns for shooting when you don’t want to risk lives.

    Saving throws for vehicles are not just about the thickness of armour, but about other defensive mechanisms, such as decoys, ECM, shields, last minute high speed manoeuvres etc.

    I think KR 16 apart from the obvious look of sci-fi has a feel of sci-fi too.

    Anyway, just wanted to have a ramble.

    #41737
    Stroezie
    Participant

    I think people tend to not use the rules for the real high tech stuff because of their abstract nature. Most often these things lack a physical representation on the tabletop making them just another rule/dice roll.

    Plus ” your guys are pinned by heavy machinegun fire” sounds cooler to most than ” dude, I totally hacked the bleep out of your forces and now their cars don’t work” aka beware the nerf batt syndrome.

    If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=0

    #41743
    Erik Walton
    Participant

    I think people tend to not use the rules for the real high tech stuff because of their abstract nature. Most often these things lack a physical representation on the tabletop making them just another rule/dice roll. Plus ” your guys are pinned by heavy machinegun fire” sounds cooler to most than ” dude, I totally hacked the bleep out of your forces and now their cars don’t work” aka beware the nerf batt syndrome.

    I’d prefer the “I’ve hacked yer guys so they can’t move now I shoot them with machine guns!” Personally I don’t like it when Sci-fi games get wacky with tech gadgets and such. Infinity is a great example of this: I really wanted to like the game, but couldn’t get behind the ridiculous amounts of special rules and equipment. I like abstraction with sci-fi, but also want to have various ways to hurt the enemy rather than just shooting. This is what I feel really sets sci-fi apart from Historicals (however I think Michael is onto something with that omniscient view).

    I do like your KR16 rules Michael, but one thing I’ve been considering is adjusting how a player succeeds at the dice rolls. Specifically, I have a heck of a time with remembering what I need to pass a command check. Is it a 4+? A 3+?My thinking is that depending on the model’s skill you would roll a different number of dice to succeed the tests: Rooks would get 2 dice, Grunts 3, and Elites 4, and Guards 5 dice.  So what I’ve been thinking is instead of needing a certain score to succeed, making it so that you ALWAYS need a 5+ to succeed on a die roll like for shooting, but the varying difficulties comes from how many of these successes you need to make:

    Take Cover is automatic (I figure most troops can do this without being told)
    Fall Back and React are 1 Success
    Advance, Aimed Fire, Run, and Weave are 2 Successes
    Assault is 3 Successes

    I haven’t given this a try yet but it will definitely change the dynamic of how things play out. I might also steal the “exploding dice” mechanic from Spartan Games so Rooks could have a chance to Assault.

    Oh that's my theme music, it's on now!

    #41746
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I do like your KR16 rules Michael, but one thing I’ve been considering is adjusting how a player succeeds at the dice rolls. Specifically, I have a heck of a time with remembering what I need to pass a command check. Is it a 4+? A 3+?

    Ha, ha, I guess it is second nature to me now.
    I would probably forget how many successes each order required and how many dice people had to roll.
    BUT, do it the way it is best for you.
    Oh and post game reports if you can sir…

    🙂

    #41748
    Erik Walton
    Participant

    If we try it out I will! I feel like I would have a much easier time remembering how many successes I’m looking for rather than what target number I need to roll. I’ll keep you posted!

    Oh that's my theme music, it's on now!

    #41759
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I haven’t given this a try yet but it will definitely change the dynamic of how things play out. I might also steal the “exploding dice” mechanic from Spartan Games so Rooks could have a chance to Assault.

    Or adopt the officer method from KR 16?
    If a squad has an officer commanding, that it is a higher grade then they get a bonus?
    So a Rook squad (2 dice) with a Grunt officer get a 1 die bonus, making them 3 dice.
    Or a Grunt squad (3 dice) with an Elite officer get a 1 die bonus, making them 4 dice.
    etc

    That is how KR 16 works as written, and places high value on officers.
    (Plus good targets for snipers.)

    #41781
    Erik Walton
    Participant

    Oo, I totally forgot about that. I like that idea a lot.

    Oh that's my theme music, it's on now!

    #41888
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Slightly off on a tangent, but here is some music that inspired me when creating the world of Kometenmelodie.

    Kometenmelodie 1
    It has yet to happen since colonisation but the planet is hit by comets on a regular basis.
    These can enter the atmosphere and they create a truly spectacular visual display.
    The bits of rock that do not burn up, but rather make it through are composed in way that the air rushing past them creates an eerie wailing sound.
    This melody of the comets has been known to awaken a slumbering presence, beneath the surface of Kometenmelodie.

    Fishing Junks At Sunset
    The people of Anshan who live in the Liao River Valley near the mountains also fish the river.
    It is not easy, but then life on Kometenmelodie is not easy anywhere.
    This is them fishing at night before they return home.

    Last Rendezvous
    This is a survivor from the Marco Polo as they drift toward the atmosphere of Kometenemodie in their small cramped escape pod, watching through the small glass panel in the floor as they see their whole world burn up and crash, they wonder about what could have been.

    #50653
    PatG
    Participant

    What’s the ground and time scale for KR 16?

    #50659
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    It is all quite fluid to fit with the story theme.
    Ground scale is kind of 1:1, in that a single building is a single building and not a BUA.
    One APC is one APC and takes up space equal to its actual size.

    Ranges however are reduced because at that scale of about 1:1, every weapon would be in range, so in order to make it a bit more viable as a game it has artificially reduced ranges.

    Timescale is again abstract.
    A turn is how long it takes for the actions to be resolved.
    So you could have a turn in which everyone does lots of stuff and much action is had.
    You could also have a turn in which people do nothing or very little.
    These are both complete turns.

    You could have a turn in which one side fires a single shot, which would in fairness only be a few seconds.
    The next turn could see vehicles moving around and troops disembarking, this would take more time than a single shot, but both are still a complete turn.

    Not sure if that helps at all?

    #50685
    PatG
    Participant

    Ok so very loose. Not a problem. What I am considering is going to 6mm for the old Striker rules. They use 1″ square bases at a ground scale of 1/1000 i.e. the same as old school micro armour. They also use multi-figure bases for anything other than commanders and elites. So what I was looking into was a dual purpose force for both Striker and KR 16. I already do Gruntz in 15mm so I have no problem with very compressed ranges, but I want to use Striker to give a “harder” sf game.

    #50689
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Should be fine for vehicles, but KR 16 is vehicle light really and more about the individual based infantry, not sure that works in Striker?

    #50690
    PatG
    Participant

    At 1/1000 you can go either way – vehicle light or heavy. The real difference between it and other games is that you need to write orders that are appropriate for the unit and the level of game you are playing – so as a platoon commander you tell section leaders what to do. Once you set that order, it can be difficult for you the player to change it. Regulars will do sensible things liked taking cover and returning fire on their own, greens have to be lead by the nose to do anything and elites/power suits are under player control. You can however assign a regular Sergeant to a green section to keep them moving. Of course there are never enough player actions to go around so you are forced to make interesting decisions. This also makes it excellent for solo play since once you create your doctrine, the bulk of both forces will run themselves.

    Anyway – enough about that – this is the KR16 page after all

    #50691
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    KR 16 is designed for solo too.

    So it has orders that are given before the activation roll.
    Non of this rolling then choosing.

    The activation is determined by the order and the troops quality.
    So raw troops are likely to delay, or get it a bit wrong, or plain refuse.
    Guard level troops, the best of the best, are pretty much certain to do whatever you tell them.

    The order itself has an intrinsic difficulty.
    Things like attaching bayonets and running toward the enemy are for example harder to do than taking cover.

    So trying to assault a position is best left to the super troopers.

    Each unit can have a go at trying an order but if it fails, the turn passes to the next player, so you also need to decide if to play your troops in order of most likely to do what you want, in which case you keep going until you fail, or if to try and get the tricky ones out of the way.
    Raw troops coming under fire could be tricky, do you order them to take cover/fall back (intrinsically easy orders) or to return fire, harder than the fall back as that means risking taking fire.
    OR…. do you try the better quality troops and see if they can pin down the people attacking your raw troops.
    Of course if the better troops fail, the turn passes to the other guy and you have not yet tried to get your raw troops to take cover..

    All a balancing act…

    #50694
    PatG
    Participant

    That’s definitely a bit of KR 16 I like. Still working through the rules.

    #53321
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I found it quite interesting that most people only want the rules, (as I expected) but as many people on the whole want the fluff as much as the stats.
    I wonder how many people that read the fluff then go on to use it.

    #53328
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    I wonder how many people that read the fluff then go on to use it.

    That depends on your definition of “use it”. I “use” a lot of sci-fi and fantasy background settings by absorbing and digesting them for inspiration for my own world-building exercises. Yours among them. I also downloaded the Background PDF for the pretty pictures, which to me go hand-in-hand with the fluff. I always get a kick out of rulesets wherein the creator has gone to the effort of visualising the background setting (and/or gameplay) with “in-world” photos of miniatures and terrain.

    At some later point I may also use the background setting in a more direct manner. I like the ideas you have for the climate, flora and fauna of your planet, especially the idea of grassy plains in various shades of “rusty”. The society/civilisation aspects of the setting are interesting, too, although I like to imagine the setting a bit “grander” in that respect, with more settlements than the half-dozen listed in the Background PDF.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Rhoderic.
    #53330
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Thanks.
    Earth like it is not, I was very clear that was not a route I want to go.
    It would be easier to have a desert world as so many do, but it did not appeal.
    Hence the rusty, brown, depressing place that it is.

    When my daughter gets older and becomes more self sufficient then I will be able to put more time into the game/products and this will see the world grow into a much bigger place.
    With both more settlements and the older ones getting bigger.

    I have plans for early next year, something that will change the background of the whole universe completely.

    #53333
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Yeah, desert worlds are OK, but they can start to feel a bit “baseline” in sci-fi after a while. It’s nice to see a planet that lets one imagine feeling the grass under one’s feet.

    Originally I mistook your planet for a desert one, just one where the bare ground is a really dark colour. When it dawned on me that the dark stuff is grassy/herbaceous vegetation, the setting immediately became more interesting to me.

    EDIT: Oops, I forgot this is the rules topic, so I may have derailed it a bit. Sorry about that 

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Rhoderic.
    #53344
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    No that is cool.
    The brown flock is almost a sort of moss/lichen that covers much of the Liao River Valley area, the orangey grass is well, orange grass.
    A few people have described it as desert.
    But everything is muddy, rusty and people wear hats and raincoats…

    The only real mud tends to be on some of the terrain bases, especially noticeable in Anshan.

    I really want to do some actual river stuff, buildings on stilts and a river section, but not sure that would sell too well.

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