Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rules: Leadership & Suppression (Ver. 0.5)

Ok, here it is finally. All of the rules for suppression gathered together into one place. I expect that I'll be writing another version of it tomorrow after Eriochrome pokes it full of holes. :)

On the bright side, I've started making a proper glossary for the book. Which, as it turns out, is quire easy to do. This will let the iPad version pop up nice clear definitions for highlighted terms that you touch (these are green in the following text). While the PDF users will get their glossary at the end of the book.

Leadership & Suppression

It's always easy for a unit to follow orders when there aren't enemies around. But once the bullets start flying, it's a whole different ballgame. This is when the command skills of your unit leaders and officers will be tested. As they attempt to carry out your desires in spite of the grumbles of the troops they lead.

Leadership & Nerve

Unlike other wargames, testing your units' leadership in WarStrike uses not one, but two different stats in combination. The first of these is Leadership (Ld), representing the command ability of your unit leaders and officers. The other is Nerve (Nv), which represents the morale and experience of your troops.

Together, these two stats determine how many dice you must roll, and what at least one of those dice must roll in order to pass a Ld test.


The primary method of reducing an enemy unit's will to fight during a game of WarStrike is to suppress it. Which, in practice, usually means hitting it with enough ranged fire to force it's models to keep their heads down instead of attacking your own units or capturing objectives.

Suppression also comes into play in close-combat, where each side's morale will be ground down until one side of the other breaks and flees.

A unit is considered to be suppressed any time that it takes hits from an enemy unit's shooting or melee attacks. Whether these hits actually end up killing a model in the unit doesn't matter. All that matters is whether or not the unit was hit, and how many total hits that unit has taken.

Effects Of Suppression

Suppression affects a unit in 4 ways.

First, a suppressed unit may not perform an action in the action phase. Instead, it will be forced to fall back.

Second, a suppressed unit may not capture an objective during the starting phase.

Third, a suppressed unit may not perform defensive fire when it is attacked by an enemy unit in close-combat.

Fourth, a suppressed unit must perform a leadership test in order to continue fighting in close-combat, or they will fall back in retreat.

Tracking Suppression

To indicate that a unit is suppressed, you will use a Hit-Die. A hit-die is simply a six-sided die that is placed next to the unit. With which you will record the number of ranged and/or close-combat hits that it has recently taken.

If a unit has a hit-die, then it is considered to be suppressed. If a unit does not have a hit-die, then it is not suppressed.

If the rules say that something clears or removes a unit's suppression, then that means the Hit-Die will removed from the unit.

Whenever a unsuppressed unit is hit by ranged fire, or melee attacks, add a hit-die to that unit. Then turn the die to indicate how many hits that unit has taken. If the unit was already suppressed, then add the number of hits it has received to the number of hits that is already indicated on the die.

If the total number of hits equals 6 or more, simply leave the die turned to 6. This indicates that the unit is now Shaken.

Clearing Suppression

There are two ways for a unit to clear it's suppression during a game.

The first is during the reaction phase of your opponent's turn. When each of your suppressed units will roll a leadership test. If this test is passed, then that unit's hit-die will be removed, and it will no longer be suppressed.

The other way for a unit to clear it's suppression is for it to force an enemy unit to fall back or rout from close-combat.

Testing Leadership

Performing a leadership test is quite simple. 

A Leadership Test is performed by rolling a number of dice equal to the testing unit's current Ld value. The test is passed if any of the dice roll equal to, or less than, the unit's current Nv value.

So for example... let's say that you have a Ld 2, Nv 3 unit of LaansGuard that needs to roll a Ld test. To perform the test, you would roll 2 dice; hoping that at least one of them comes up as a 3 or less.

Nerve Markers

When a unit's confidence takes a beating from the actions of the enemy, this is represented by the use of nerve markers. Each of which makes it more difficult for that unit to pass a Ld test.

For every nerve marker a unit has, that unit's starting Nv will be reduced by one point. A unit may never have more nerve markers than it has points of starting Nv.

Shaken Units

Most troops are able to keep their cool when a few bullets breeze by their head. But if the enemy really opens up on their position, then their confidence is going to start to falter.

A unit is considered to be 'shaken' once the total number of hits totals recorded on its hit-die reaches 6 or more.

After becoming shaken, a unit will receive one Nerve Marker for each new enemy salvo that successfully causes at least one hit against it.

Nerve Markers & Failed Saves

A unit can also gain nerve markers if any of it's models is killed, or at least wounded, by an enemy's attacks.

If a unit fails at least one saving throw against a salvo, then that unit will receive a single nerve marker. This is in addition to any nerve markers the unit may have already received as a result of being hit while shaken.

Clearing Nerve Markers

If a unit hasn't been attacked, or keeps it's cool by clearing it's suppression during the reaction phase, then it will be able to remove a marker. It can also remove a marker by performing certain types of actions, or by causing an enemy unit to flee in combat.

An unsuppressed unit, during the starting phase of its player's turn, may remove 1 nerve marker.

A unit performing a Get Down! action, or which falls back during the action phase, may also remove one nerve marker.

For each enemy unit that fails a leadership test in close-combat, all opposing units within 6" of that unit may remove one nerve marker prior to it's fall-back or rout move. 

Special Rule: Inspiring

If an Officer or Hero has the Inspiring special rule, then they may be able to bolster the morale of all nearby troops by giving a rousing speech or battle cry! 

When rolling a leadership test, a unit within 6" of an inspiring officer or hero may use the current Nv of the Officer or Hero instead of its own current Nv.

Special Rule: Steadfast

Some units are harder to shake up than others.

A unit with the steadfast special rule requires 12 hits to become shaken, instead of the normal 6.

Use a second die to track hits 7-12. If the unit's suppression is cleared, then both dice will be removed together. 

(end rules)

Here's a necessary definition that's in the book's glossary, but hasn't yet been defined in a chapter:


All of the ranged shooting attacks which are targeted against one unit by another. Or all of the close-combat melee attacks which are directed by one unit against another.

A unit may perform multiple salvos, by attacking multiple enemy units at once. But a unit may only ever receive a single salvo from any one enemy unit.

(end glossary)


I'm already starting to agree with EC that simply having a hit threshold will cause players to game the system too much. Forcing us to either go back to counting every hit, or just going with a straight number of hits (3-5) to add a nerve marker from a salvo.

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