In my quest for a leaner and simpler Blitz datacard (and rules), I've left only a single part of the datacard untouched... namely the weapon section. Perhaps it's more of a personal issue of early onset dementia on my part but I find myself referring to the card for weapon ranges more than anything else. Most other games I've played don't have as many brackets but, if they do, they tend to be simple multiples of the same number (linear progression) instead of the quadratic progression of Blitz. I've found myself wondering how the game would play if the weapon ranges were instead simply linear multiples of the same number (thus requiring only the memorization of a single range for each weapon).
First off, I'm simply not a fan of the nomenclature Blitz uses for range. Optimal, suboptimal, and extreme seems like a needlessely complicated and elite way of simply saying short, medium, and long that most games instead use. For the purposes of my Flash! houserules, I'll be changing the ranges to the more easily accessible short = optimal, medium = suboptimal, and long = extreme terms. While I'm sure that there was some reason for the use of the unique terms above, I'd rather have the game and it's playstyle more easily recognizable to both wargamers and the general public alike and I think the change in terms helps with that.
The option I've chosen is to just go with the optimal range number as written and then just double it for additional range brackets. This has the unfortunately tendancy of shortening the effective range for Blitz down significantly for suboptimal/medium range shots. Long range shots are also affected to a lesser extent but those frankly rarely hit except for lucky area affect deviations so I'm not as worried about that. Basically, an LRP would be 6" for no penalty (no change), -1 up to 12" at medium range (changed from 24" here in Blitz), and -2 up to 48" (changed from infinity in blitz). The LAC would be 12/24/48 and the MAC would be 18/36/72. Finally, melee range and thrown weapons would stay as written ruleswise in Blitz but would just have the initial ranges listed under the entry as a reminder.
With these changes, the MRP for instance stays the master of the midrange bombardment to cover no man's land as well as your own deployment zone where longer range mortars are at a disadvantage due to MR; at the same time it loses that across the board coverage over your enemy's deployment effect. The commonly available 30" range weapons (like VLFG and HGM) fill that new void nicely and can reach the entirety of the 3'x4' board (including corner to corner diagonals) within medium/suboptimal range whereas the truely long range weapons (like heavy field guns) do the same on 4'x6' boards.
To illustrate that point, I've constructed the admittedly crude diagram below showing weapon ranges of a unit placed at the front of a short side deployment zone of a typical Flash! 3'x4' board. Remember that with my revised range stats the next range is double the previous so an LAC is 12 short/24 medium/48 long range. A 12" base range weapon still covers the entirety of no man's land as well as almost half the enemy's deployment zone within short/medium range whereas an 18" weapon covers the entire table within short/medium range with aggressive deployment. Both brackets still cover all of no-man's land even with backfield deployment as well. With this change, the corner to corner deployment bombardment becomes the specialty of longer range weapons like HGMs, LFGs, and HATMs instead of just doubling up with MRPs and AGMs/ATMs.
It takes some getting used to as the LRP and shorter ranged upgrades like snub cannons become limited to 12" or less effectiveness but I think that frankly goes with their fluff as well as previous editions of blitz (flanking tanks to get a close range shot instead of sniping from 24" with a snub as is commonly done now). I realize (as my opponent astutely brought up) that the above likely changes the effective TV of various upgrades and units slightly (no more than 5tv per model though IMO) but I'm not ready to start tweaking them directly until I get alot more games in with my house rules. In the end, I do like the fact that I had to make actual decisions on which weapons to use at what ranges in the most recent demo game instead of just defaulting to twin-linked MRPs for most things without much thought.
As a result of an interesting discussion regarding the changes in Gear Up 6 on the DP9 forums, I've decided to incoporate the following changes (thanks goes to feral on the DP9 forums for coming up with the idea that I expanded on for the first linked fire option).
Indirect Fire: Add "Weapons choosing to use the indirect
fire option may not fire at targets within half their short range. The may
still fire at targets at under half short range if the weapon does not have the
MR trait and therefore can use the direct fire rules."
I've always found it odd that mortars that can actually shoot almost straight up
vertically had a minimum range requirement but artillery pieces that have a much
lower max angle of elevation didn't. The recent changes in minimum range got me
thinking about that and I've decided to extend the minmum range restriction to
all indirect firing weapons. This means that most rocket pods, field guns, and
other IF capable weapons will now no longer be able to fire INDIRECTLY within
half their short range (remember that I've change the terms for range and
"optimal" is now short). The weapons will still however be able to fire
directly within that range though. Weapons with the actual MR trait will still
not be able to fire directly and have no firing option within half short range
(unchanged from Blitz! and GU).
Linked Weapons: Weapons that have this option may be fired
together as part of the same action using one of the two options
-For each linked weapon fired, assign one of
your rolled attack dice results to it; this result counts as the result for the
attack as well as for determining out of ammo results for that weapon. If the
weapons were fired indirectly, use the highest dice roll for determining scatter
for all linked weapons fired. The defender rolls his defense dice once
and applies it to each individual weapon attack roll. Any extra attack dice
results are discarded and any weapons having no available attack dice to be
assigned are considered to have rolled a fumble (including for both OOA and
-Designate one weapon in the link as
the primary weapon. For each additional identical linked weapon fired, you may
add half the ROF (round off) to the ROF of the primary weapon. You may then use
the modified ROF for the purposes off the attack roll that the target or targets
will defend against once only for the linked attack. Add +1 per linked weapon
after the primary to the target number for OOA checks and use the highest die
rolled for OOA checks for all the linked weapons fired.
For example, a grizzly with att2 rolls a 5 and a 3 for his linked MRP attack
with full ROF using the first option above. The defender must then roll once
and determine the damage versus the 5 and 3 individually using the normal
modifiers and the 3 result causes an OOA result for that one MRP.
the same grizzly instead had two targets 5 inches apart that it wished to
attack, it could use the second option to make a singe combined ROF attack
versus both models (not normally possible with the standard MRP). Using the
same dice results as above, scatter would be deternined by and the target would
roll versus the single result of 5 for the linked attack. The 5 would also be
used for determining OOA for both pods which in this case would mean that
they're both out of ammo (due to the +1 modifier for the check for two linked
weapons). The grizzly fired its full payload on the gamble of damaging both