Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Parents, Surgery, & The State Of The Game

Self Portrait; Pablo Picasso
Howdy everyone! Thought I'd put out a quick update on what's going on with me and the game right now.

1) My Parents Are Finally Moved Into Their New Apartment

There's always something interesting going on at their new place... A Huh Huh...
I didn't think that I'd be able to get them in there before February, but my more complex surgery forced the issue and left us no other choice. It also helped (in a way) that very little of their stuff from the old house was salvageable. Buying all-new meant that we could get them transferred faster. :)

This move is a big relief, since I won't have to be taking care of them 24/7 anymore. Leaving me more time to relax and work on the game. Once I have more of my mornings back, I'll be posting more regularly. While I take care of their paperwork in the afternoons.

2) Cleanup At The Old House Is Proceeding

Have a look...

It's taking longer than expected due to regional snowstorms and uncooperative dumpster companies. But the crew is getting it done.

Here's another dramatic before/after:

This thing was actually running water for between 5 and 10 YEARS because nobody could get to it. It's almost like an art project of some kind.
Not totally clean, but the guy who scrubbed this deserves a medal. :)
I couldn't manage this cleanup from afar without the rest of my extended family helping sort stuff and direct the crew. I owe them a huge debt of thanks. My Aunt and Uncle lost their bay-side house to Hurricane Katrina, so they've had lots of good tips for dealing with mold/muck.

3) I Finally Had My Sinus Surgery Today

We had a shocker 3 weeks ago when they did my sinus CT scan. Turns out that my sinuses were actually much worse structurally than my Wife's. Of all the things that could possibly be wrong both inside and behind your nose, I had about 3/4 of them.

Bone spur, Bolas, Hader Cells, HUGE Terminants, closed ears, and more. Infections in every place infection could be. Plus certain sinus cavities that had never seen airflow in my life. All of which would have to be worked on in one surgery. Instead of the 3 my Wife has had over the last year and a half. (Sigh...)

Given the extreme pain and other complications she's had, I was pretty concerned about how I'd come through it, but things went really well. There was much more bleeding than expected, but almost no post-op pain. Which has Mrs. SandWyrm both very relieved and VERY annoyed at me. It's been 3 weeks now since HER last sinus surgery, and her pain now is much worse than mine immediately post-op. Even though she's on 4x the amount of medication I am. :) :(

So instead of lying in bed moaning and sleeping off Opiates, I'm sitting in my easy chair. Killing tanks and writing blog posts with a clear head. Yay!

Which is good, because...

4) I Have Actually Been Working On The Game

A little here, and a little there... But I do have a new game outline that I'm filling in. Plus about 5 pages of new rules. Plus a bunch of new custom counters that I made myself.

Working on the game has been my sanity life-line, and has confirmed for me that nothing is going to stop me from getting this thing done. I've had plenty of excuses to quit given everything that's happened recently. Plus I know that general interest in 40K is nosediving fast. But every time I sit down to relax, it's been to work on the game. This thing is inside me, and it needs to come out. Come Hell or high water. :)

Marine Models Copyright Games Workshop, Tokens @2013 By The M42 Project
So I'll summarize where the game is currently at:

Having recently started playing the X-Wing miniatures game, I've become pretty taken with how their initiative system works. It allows for a game that mimics some of the back-and-forth inherent in the old Squad Leader rules, without all the extra time-consuming phases that we tried before.

So in the best tradition of Picasso, I'm not copying it. But rather stealing it and making it my own.

Basically, in the Movement Phase, you'll have the choice to Hold, Advance, or At The Double. Both sides move together in the same phase, in ascending initiative order. So lower initiative units move first, followed by the higher initiative units. If there's a tie at a particular initiative level, the defender moves their tied units first, then the attacker.

Initiative, BTW, will be lowered by each Stress/Nerve marker that a unit receives. To a minimum of one. So pouring fire into a unit will force them to move first and fire last. The Ld check will simplify quite a bit; to only affecting whether a unit runs once it's under half strength. There will be no more rolling to un-suppress a unit. All units are free to move/fire each turn (at current initiative) until they're destroyed by a failed morale check. Simple!

After moving, each unit will get some reaction tokens (above). Two for holding, one for advancing, and none for moving at the double. Like those? Scrapbooking tools are your friend when making cool-looking prototype counters. :)

During the Shooting Phase, both sides will shoot in REVERSE initiative order. So higher initiative units will fire first, followed by the lower initiative units.

The shooting phase is also where you'll spend those reaction counters. Each token can be used to buy one of the following, and can be stacked:

Firing Unit:
  • +1 Ballistic Skill (stackable)
  • +6" Awareness (stackable)
  • +1 Target (allows splitting fire)
  • Officers may assign their markers to units in coherency with them.
  • Various special rules (Like Rapid Fire adding +1 RoF)
Target Unit:
  • +1 Evasion (for that salvo only, stackable)
  • Various special rules
Any unused reaction markers at the end of the turn may be used to remove stress/nerve markers from a unit.

Visibility will work as-now, with some simplifications. Units within Awareness may be shot at. Units outside of Awareness may not be shot at. Simple. If you want to spend reaction tokens to see further, you can, but you'll have to trade-off boosting your BS to do it.

There will be no visibility-dependent to-hit modifiers for soft cover. All shots are straight BS vs. Evasion. The only modifiers will be those purchased by each unit using their reaction markers. Hard cover will grant a free +1 Evasion for Obscured targets, and +2 Evasion for Concealed targets, against all salvos.

Melee will happen in its own phase, in REVERSE initiative order, like shooting.

That's mostly it for now. I'm not going to make any promises about exactly when I'll have final rules to share. But I am working on it. This new initiative system DRASTICALLY simplifies so much of the rules, that my outlines are looking downright skimpy compared to what we had before. Which is a very, very, good thing.

The only downside is the addition of one new status counter. But that's not so bad.


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