Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rules: The Turn Sequence (Ver. 0.51)

Here's the updated Turn Sequence Introduction. I took out most of the item-by-item outlines, as those are better addressed in each sub-section. Plus they were really more of a way for me to plan out the sequence at the earlier rules stages. Now that we have them more locked down (and in a quick reference guide), I think it best to keep the introduction more friendly to new players by not drowning them in details.

The Turn Sequence

Just like Chess, M42 is played with each side taking turns to move and fight. Unlike Chess, each player will move and fight with all of their playing pieces at once. Then their opponent will move and fight with all of their pieces.

This back-and-forth continues until one player achieves victory over the other. Either by achieving their mission objectives, or by killing enough of the enemy that they retreat from the battle.

Game Rounds

For simplicity, a Game Round is defined as the time it takes all of the players to complete a single turn. Thus, a single ‘Round’ will always comprise 2 or more ‘Player Turns’. Whenever the M42 rules refer to a ‘Round’, this always means a game round, and not an individual player turn. For all effects that last for a ‘Round’, the effect will always be considered to last from the phase of the player turn in which it started until the starting phase of that player’s next turn.

Player Turns

Within each Round, each player will have his or her own turn during which they move and fight with their army. Whenever the M42 rules refer to a ‘Turn’, this always means a player turn, and not a complete game round.

The Turn Phases

Each Player Turn in M42 is divided into 4 separate phases. These phases are:
1.     Starting Phase

2.     Action Phase

3.     Close-Combat Phase

5.            The Starting Phase

The Starting Phase is where you prepare for the rest of the turn. It’s also where you determine if you’ve achieved your mission’s objectives and won the game.

The Action Phase

This is the phase of the turn where your Task Force will do the majority of it’s moving and shooting. Unlike games with separate Movement and Shooting phases, each of your units will move and shoot all at once, in a combined ‘Action’, before you move on to the next unit and it’s actions.

The Reaction Phase

During the Reaction Phase, your opponent will be allowed to conduct certain actions in response to yours. Such as conducting Defensive Fire against any of your units which have gotten too close!

(removed & folded into the Close-Combat Phase)

The Close-Combat Phase

One of the biggest differences between M42 and other tabletop wargames is it’s definition of ‘Close-Combat’. 
In M42, Close-Combat is not simply another name for ‘melee’, or ‘assault’. Rather, it’s a unique and swirling combination of close-range movement, shooting, and hand-to-claw combat. Which, once initiated, doesn’t end until one side withdraws from the immediate vicinity of the other.  Making it an extremely decisive moment in any battle.

Turn Sequence Exceptions

Sometimes, during a player turn, something you do will require your opponent to perform an action. Such as making a saving throw for models that were hit, or moving models that you have forced to fall back. Once your opponent has completed his required action, your turn will always continue as normal.

Determining Victory

Most games will revolve around capturing and/or defending key objectives, retrieving objects, keeping hostages, or grinding your opponent’s Task Force down until they are forced to withdraw. Ties are possible in M42, but the rules are structured in such a way as to make this kind of outcome very unlikely.

Game Length

Unless specified in the mission you’re playing, there is no set game length in M42. You simply keep playing until one of the players either achieves their victory conditions, or a player’s army sustains enough casualties that they fail a Company Morale Check, and flee the field.

Who Goes First?

Normally, both players will roll a D6 and the result will make one player the attacker, while the other becomes the defender. Whether the attacker goes first, or only deploys his forces first, depends on the details of the mission you’re playing.
Unlike some other games though, going first or second really isn’t that big of a deal. The mission rules are balanced to prevent first-turn ‘Alpha Strikes’. While the lack of any sort of turn limit, combined with the ‘sudden death’ nature M42’s objective system, means that you never know who’s going to get the final turn. So just relax and play the game! 
(end rules) 
That's it. Thoughts?

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