Wednesday, August 28, 2013

An Alternate Phase Idea...

We've discussed going back to a traditional movement->shooting phase structure for the game. But I've had another idea. One that might address a few concerns that I've heard voiced and streamline the rules as a whole.

Ok, so right now this is our turn structure:
  1. Starting Phase (Did I Win?, Reserves, Etc.).
  2. Action Phase (Each unit moves & shoots).
  3. Reaction Phase (Opponent tests to remove suppression, Defensive Fire).
  4. Close-Combat Phase (close-range firing and melee until somebody wins).
Now there's some messiness to this that doesn't go away when switching to a Movement->Shooting phase structure. Eriochrome has rightly pointed out that we have shooting happening in 3 different phases of the game. We also don't have a whole lot going on for the opposing player in a turn.

So... What if we keep the names, but change what happens...
  1. Starting Phase (As Now)
  2. Action Phase (Current player moves OR shoots)
  3. Reaction Phase (Opposing player moves OR shoots)
  4. Close-Combat Phase (As Now)
The Action Phase itself would have the following general outline:
  1. Roll to remove suppression (if any) from all units.
  2. Select a unit.
  3. If not suppressed, choose an action.
    1. Hold (Unit doesn't move, May Not Fire)
      1. If previous action was a hold, unit will be Gone-to-Ground.
    2. Open Fire (Unit Shoots Normally, but man not move)
      1. If previous action was a Hold, unit may focus-fire (re-roll misses). 
      2. If previous action was an Open Fire, unit loses soft cover.
      3. If previous action was an Advance, unit may only snap-fire (re-roll hits).
    3. Advance (Unit moves normally, but may not shoot)
      1. If previous action was an Advance, unit loses soft cover.
  4. If suppressed, Fall Back
    1. <50% Casualties, Hold or Advance Away From Clearly Visible Enemies.
    2. >50% Casualties, At The Double Away From Clearly Visible Enemies.
    3. >75% Casualties, Unit Destroyed
  5. Select next unit, until all have performed an action.
The Reaction Phase would then be exactly the same, but it would be the opponent who's doing the moving/shooting. During each normal Game Round (2 player turns), each unit would be able to perform 2 actions. But these would be more interwoven with the actions of the enemy then they are now.

On the upside, there's only 3 actions to define, which makes the shooting description simpler to place. We can also get rid of splitting fire, as each unit has the potential to target 2 enemy units per turn. Or 'save up' with a hold action, and re-roll misses at one. Defensive fire would also be built-in, and not require its own rules. Plus we'd be rolling to clear suppression twice per round.

On the downside, it's another set of changes that would need to be tested. Plus there would undoubtedly be some interactions with close-combat that would need to be worked out. But we're fiddling with close-combat anyhow, so now is the time if we're going to make a change.


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