Home Forums Sci Fi General Sci-Fi Unity Field Agent talk

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    Ivan Sorensen

    With the release of Unity Field Agent, I’ll share a few snippets from the blog here as well.
    Feel free to ask any questions you have in this thread too.

    Today’s snippet is about the turn sequence and how it works:

    The core mechanic of UFA is the card draw, so let’s talk about how that works in a bit of detail.

    You will need a basic deck of playing (poker) cards, with one suit assigned to each player (in a smaller game) or one colour (in a larger game).

    So I might have clubs and spades while you have hearts and diamonds.

    When a card is drawn, it can be used for a few different things:

    A regular card (2 through 10) allows a character to activate and carry out 2 actions.
    So a guy might move, then fire for example.

    Face cards let you take 3 actions, representing a burst of activity or a character finding just the right moment to act.
    So our guy might move, take aim and then fire in this case.

    The ace is a bonus action: You only get to take 1 action BUT you could take it with a character that already activated this turn.
    The hero brings up their blaster just as the enemy is bearing down on them.
    A sniper goes on Watch after rushing into position.
    That sort of thing.

    Additionally, some characters will have Bonus Action abilities. These allow any card to be played on them and permit them to take the action as a bonus.

    So if I draw a 5 but don’t really want to use it right now, I could play it on a character with Bonus Move as a skill, and they could take a Move action as a bonus.

    If I have any Leaders in my squad, I can also attach a card to them instead of playing it.
    They’ll then be able to use it later to give a bonus action or help an ally recover from shock.

    This way, we strike a good balance (I think) between unpredictability and still letting the player make tactical choices throughout the turn.
    Most importantly, the number of times a card will be of no value to the player should be minimized quite a bit.

    Of course, nothing stops a player from funneling their regular cards into Bonus actions while waiting for the face cards to come up, but they’ll have to endure the enemy’s activities while doing so.

    Nordic Weasel Games

    Ali Dogan Sayiner

    Hello Ivan

    Congratulations for release of your new game. I like the idea using a playing cards. Looks like it will be another hit.

    contact me via : [email protected]

    Ivan Sorensen

    If you want to see how the mission set up works, I have an example available:

    The way you set up a game is by drawing cards.
    After all, if the regular game uses cards, why not also use them to set up?

    It should be added that nothing prevents you from just throwing some terrain together and putting a couple Objective markers. This is, as always, icing on the cake.

    So lets draw 6 cards and see how that plays out.

    We remove the Jokers from the deck and then draw.

    Normally you draw all the cards at the same time, but I find it more interesting to draw one at a time.

    Step 1: Basic terrain
    Each sector of the gaming table (about a foot by a foot) receives a few terrain features.
    The guide is 1 large, 2 medium or 3-4 smaller features.

    That’ll give a pretty crowded table but the game does feel a lot more fun when played in this way.

    Draw 1 – 6 of Hearts
    Heart cards extend the length of the battle.
    A standard battle lasts 8 “clicks” of the clock.
    Practically that can be anywhere from 4 to 8 turns, depending on the card draw.
    This card will raise the duration to 9.

    Draw 2 – Ace of Clubs
    This suit adds scenery to the table.

    The Ace will add an interior structure to one of the table quarters.
    This might be a cave or tunnel complex. A building that can be entered is common as well.

    You will need some floor plans or similar. In this case, I have some old Star Wars floor tiles, so we’ll have an underground bunker complex.

    Draw 3 – 2 of Spades
    Nice even distribution so far.
    This is a Condition and in our case, its a Dense Fog.

    Fighting through this soup, both sides will be unable to shoot at targets over 12″ away.

    Draw 4 – 4 of Spades
    Fitting rather well, we get another condition: “Mud and misery”.
    The troops have been soaked through and as a result, it will be much harder to repair any jammed weapon.

    Draw 5 – 4 of Hearts
    We add another Click to the game length.

    Draw 6 – 6 of Diamonds
    I was wondering if we’d end up fighting without an objective at all, but this gives us a central objective, which will be worth 6 Victory Points to whoever controls it by the end.

    (For comparison, a typical character is worth 2-3 Victory Points when destroyed).

    Normally Objectives go on the center line between the two forces but in this case, it’s too tempting not to put it in the underground bunker.

    Putting it all together:
    A somewhat long, miserable fight between troops that are wet, mud-stained and barely able to see anything, which will culminate in a fist-fight underground over a central objective.

    Sounds like a good time if you ask me!

    Nordic Weasel Games

    Ivan Sorensen

    I thought I’d take today to give an example of how the Story Mode can work out.

    Our Story revolves around a squad of Unity troopers, tasked with hunting down a pirate lord.

    In the narrative, there’s Unity strike teams throughout the asteroid belts but our Focus will be on just one squad, the one we’re currently following.

    We pick out a couple of characters in the squad as our protagonists: The Sarge, the second in command and the captain they report to.

    The pirates are represented by two antagonists: The pirate scum themselves (given a strength of 2) and the inner circle of the pirate lord (strength 3).

    Game 1
    The first game is a standard fight as our troopers come down on a pirate crew, trying to apprehend them before they can make their escape with a bunch of loot.

    We can use the normal mission cards to set this up, any objectives are simply crates of contraband to be secured.

    Consequence roll
    Assuming we win, we can roll a D6 with a 1 causing the antagonist we fought to lose Strength.
    In this case, we roll a 3. Losing a few starport scummers aren’t going to bother any self-respecting pirate gang.

    Story Action
    The Story Action is an open-ended way to let the player modify the narrative based on the game we just played.
    It’s inspired by the “Player action” in the original Five Men in Normandy campaign.

    Since we defeated the pirates, we’ll figure there’s a good chance one of the captured cretins will tell us where one of their refuelling bases are.

    Any Story action needs a 3+ roll to apply. We score a 5 so we have a clue that will let us get at them.

    Story Actions don’t have to just be story bits. We could have given a new weapon to a character (pirate loot), a wounded character might have developed a special ability etc.
    Be creative.

    Story table
    Finally, a D20 roll will give an unforeseen element.
    In this case a roll of a 4 is a Hindrance.
    Something happens to the narrative to make our lives more difficult.

    Well okay, we just trashed a bunch of valuables that the pirates were securing, so odds are they are out for revenge.

    We’ll play the next battle as a Unity troop ship is raided by space-psychos in retaliation.

    All in all, this took maybe 3 minutes to do and we now have an on-going story with a deepening plot.
    Not shabby huh?

    Nordic Weasel Games

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