Here are the Alpha-Test rules for the Starting Phase. Let me know if you see any issues.
The Starting Phase
The Starting Phase is where you prepare your forces for the other phases of the turn, check victory conditions, and attempt to rally fleeing troops back into the fight!
Starting Phase Sequence
During the Starting Phase you:
- Check Army Morale
- Check Victory Conditions
- Rally Falling Back Units
- Remove Suppression
1. Check Army Morale
If your forces have sustained enough casualties in battle, they may begin to doubt whether they can still achieve their mission. When this happens you will have to rely on the skill and determination of your army’s leader to carry them forward despite their fears.
If you have lost more of your units than you have remaining, then you must perform an Army Morale Test to see if your army continues to fight. Roll a D6 and compare the result with the Leadership (Ld) characteristic of any HQ unit you still have left on the table. If the result is equal to or less than that unit’s Ld, your army will continue to fight as normal.
If the result of the roll is greater than the unit’s Ld, then your army retreats from the field in disarray. If this happens, your opponent will automatically win the battle.
If All HQ Units Are Dead...
If the enemy has succeeded in killing all of your HQ units, then there is nobody left to lead your forces when the going gets tough.
If you are ever required to make an Army Morale Check, but have no HQ units left with which to make the test, then your army will automatically fail the check and flee the field.
Special Rule: Hive Mind
Some armies, such as the Bugs, have no defined HQ unit or leader. Their actions are directed by their collective consciousness instead. Thus, the desires of each individual unit impact the desire of the army as a whole to keep fighting.
An army with the Hive Mind rule does not roll a single Army Morale Check when they have lost more than half of their units. Instead, they will roll a Ld test for each remaining unit in the army separately. Do not remove any units that fail the check. Simply keep track of which units pass the test, and which fail.
If more units fail the test than those that pass, the Hive Mind will choose to withdraw it’s forces from the battlefield as if it had failed a standard Army Morale Test. Otherwise the Hive Mind will choose to fight on with all remaining forces that are available to it.
Special Rule: Fanatical
Some armies are made up of ideological Zealots that will often refuse to flee, even when the cause for which they fight seems hopeless.
An Army with the Fanatical rule may re-roll the Army Morale check if the result of the first roll would cause the army to flee. They must abide by the result of the 2nd roll.
2. Check Victory Conditions
Depending on the type of scenario used, a player may have some other way to win the battle than simply killing the enemy. This might mean capturing objectives, freeing prisoners, destroying an enemy bunker, or some other goal.
During this step, look to see if the victory conditions for the player whose turn it is have been met. If so, they have won the game. If not, the game will continue.
3. Rally Falling Back Units
When a unit breaks and flees in combat, the unit’s leader has only a short time to regain control before his men scatter and run in different directions.
Roll a die for each of the current player’s units that are falling back. If the roll is equal to or less than the Ld of the unit, then that unit has rallied and is no longer considered to be falling back. Units which do not rally are considered to be destroyed. Remove the models for that unit from the table.
If a unit has more than 2 Suppression markers, remove all but two of these when they rally.
Special Rule: Fearless
Some units are made up of battle hardened troops who do not fear any foe. While they may fall back to a better position to fight from, they will never disgrace themselves by running away from their foes.
A unit with the Fearless special rule that is falling back will always regroup automatically as if they had passed their Ld check to rally.
4. Remove Suppression
While being fired on by the enemy, your units may gain suppression markers that limit it’s available orders during the Action Phase. Causing it to move slower or shoot less than it otherwise would.
Suppression and it’s effects will be covered in the Shooting Section of the Action Phase rules. But you will have a chance to remove these markers during the Starting Phase.
Simply roll a die for each Suppression Marker that a unit has. For each result that is equal to, or less than, the Unit’s Nerve (Nv) characteristic, remove that number of suppression markers from the unit.
Special Rule: Unshakable
Some units are much more resilient to the shock of incoming rounds than others.
A unit with the Unshakable rule may always remove one Suppression Marker before it rolls it’s Nv tests for each remaining marker.