Home Forums General Game Design Let’s Write Some Rules

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    On the blog I am starting to record my process for writing a set of rules. I might just be crazy, but I think I want to give it a go and homebrew something a little more complex than a set I wrote a couple of years back for low literacy kids at my school.

    I was sitting, trying to decide which miniatures to base up in multi-figure bases for Horizon Wars (instead of repairing my damaged stands that the kids at school were too rough with). I ended up with a Ferret, some AMX tanks (can’t remember which ones), some pickup trucks with figures shooting from the back, and an assortment of random Sci Fi figures from various manufacturers. I pondered. I thought. Finally I decided to just leave it as I really wanted to make a rag-tag militia but also have them fight like one. Horizon Wars doesn’t really have a built in mechanism for that (other than just knocking stats down, but that doesn’t feel right. It just makes them more squishy/less offensively effective). I got thinking about some of the offerings from Nordic Weasel Games, but I don’t really have any of his rules that are geared towards multi-figure stands. Wait, isn’t Laserburn an NWG game? I have had it for ages but haven’t used it because it calls for so many stands of infantry and vehicles. Could I just use Starport Scum, or Blast Pistol, or Clash on the Fringe and just fudge it so the stand of figures counts as the one character? Not sure.
    What do I want? 

    Simple combat mechanics but still a handful of cubes (polygons)

    Minimal book keeping.


    Some sort of troop quality system that links into morale.

    I might steal the Battle Rating (BR) system from the Battlegroup rules. This is the mechanic whereby your army has a numeric value (BR), and after unit loss or objective loss you pull chits. Each chit has a number, and once you hit your BR the game is over. You have lost.


    Well, this might be the only post I make about this because it might all flop.

    ian pillay

    If you can find copies of them you should check out hellfire and hell by starlight both sadly out of print these days, originally published by Wessex Games. I stumbled across my copies on eBay a few years back. Both have some great ideas for low level scifi as you have suggested. Hellfire has a neat reaction / moral system. as you take causalities your troops begin to behave differently.
    You can glean a flavour of the rules from the science fiction science fantasy society https://www.sfsfw.org

    Hope this gives you some ideas to tinker with.



    First Playtest of the combat mechanics. The first test of combat mechanics went surprisingly well. I liked it all but there is some food for thought.

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