Friday, February 22, 2013

Table Effects and Objectives

While there is some lively debate on the DP9 forums about how to improve the PL system and how it relates to the current objective system, I'll stay out of that topic for now in relation to my Flash! houserules as I believe it needs too drastic an overhaul for the purposes of this houserule blog (but I may change my mind at some point in the future).  Most of the below changes are just tweaks to the current Scenarios chapter in the Field Manual (pg. 24) to make them consistent with the changes presented earlier in the blog (like the electronics stat for example).  Any rules not specifically addressed below are not changed and you should use the FM rules as written.

Battle Conditions:

Roll once of the following table:
       1-3:  No additional effects.
       4:     Roll once on table effects.
       5:     Roll once on unusual events.
       6:     Roll once on both the table effects and unusual events tables.

Table Effects

1: Night:  The stealth perk is always applied.   Models not out in the open are counted as in cover one step greater for the purposes of passive/active locks (so a model in some cover is counted as in partial cover).  This is cummulative with the benefit from the hiding special action.

2: Dawn: The first two turns are treated as per the night rules above.

3: Dusk: The last two turns are treated as night. If used in conjunction with the variable time limits unusual event, the start the night conditions on turn 4.

4: Fog/Smoke: No model is considered out in the open for the purposes of cover modifiers.  Subtract 1 for every 12" of range or portion thereof to the target from the electronic stats of firing models for the purposes of active/passive locks. 

5: Storm: No model is considered out in the open for the purposes of cover modifiers.  Variable wind conditions cause a -1 penalty to attacks using IF including artillery strikes.

6: Roll a 2d6 on the above chart and reroll 6s, duplicates, or the second roll granting night, dawn, or dusk. 

Unusual Events

EM Storm:  Replace the term comm event with electronics event.


Unchanged except as follows:

Recon: The size limitation on the combat groups is change to groups of 2 or more models if using my fire team and section houserules instead of traditional Blitz squads.

Scout: Change the range limitation to 3'+ EL instead of within detect range.

Support Options: 

Remove any reference to concealment and change the term comm event to electronics event instead.  Defensive assets are considered to have an EL 0. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Example Squad to Fire Team Changes

I recieved a question about the changes I proposed to combat groups and thought a post detailing how I'd convert a group from a squad to a fire team would be a good idea.

The most complete way to convert a squad is to have the book open next to you (either physically or virtually with pdfs) while you have Gear Garage open.  You add the squad you'd like and then add the upgrades and swaps that you'd like (making sure you can take 2 of them in the "squad" entry for the single flash! fire team entry).   There isn't a way to automatically validate my house rules in Gear Garage but the program does offer a relatively easy way to do it manually.  When you have a 5 gear squad, make sure that the four non-CGL models are two groups of two identical models (including swaps and upgrades).  If the program allows you to take two of them (including the upgrades), you'll be able to take a single model in the fireteam.  Here is an example of a Southern FIF fire team of one king cobra, one blazing mamba, and a black box iggy CGL made from the appropriate squad entry. 

Veteran Line Strike Cadre (Specialist) 380TV
  • Black Box Iguana [2/2/1/2] (14/42 LHC) LAC MPZF VB CGL (2 options) 60TV
  • Blazing Mamba [2/2/1/0] (17/51 LHC) HGLC APGL APGL HG VB (1 options) 55TV
  • Blazing Mamba [2/2/1/0] (17/51 LHC) HGLC APGL APGL HG VB (1 options) 55TV
  • King Cobra [2/2/1/0] (21/105 SSLHC) LPA HRP/24 MRP/36 LGM LAC APGL HG VB CR (1 options) 104TV
  • King Cobra [2/2/1/0] (21/105 SSLHC) LPA HRP/24 MRP/36 LGM LAC APGL HG VB CR (1 options) 104TV

You can see that I've got two sets of two twin models (the King Cobra and Blazing Mamba) that show me with the existing build of Gear Garage that I can take doubles of that upgrade.  I upgraded two Jagers to the King Cobras as well as the both regular Mambas to Blazing.  The CGL Mamba took CGL only swaps down to an Iguana (in the squad entry) and then to a Black Box Variant (the Gear Regiment CGL only upgrade).  The only thing I'd need to manualy check is if I took any other upgrades like weapons for the CGL that weren't specifically listed as CGL-only as gear garage would allow me to take the "change 1 model in the squad" option which isn't enough for a fire team.  The final step would be to simply mark the units on the GG printout (similar to how I italicized/bolded the models taken above) and then add up the TVs.   

Anyways, I hope that helps show any interested players how to make up an army using Gear Garage to try out the smaller scale Flash! fire team games.

Advanced Changes

I do realize the irony in calling an update "Advanced Changes" on a blog filled with completely optional and unofficial house rules not endorsed by anyone other than myself as the author but I felt it was somewhat appropriate.  So far, the updates have largely dealt with my two goals of simplifying and speeding up the play in Blitz; while my rules changes and combat group reorganization can be used either together or separately, I feel that they accomplish both of my stated goals (especially when used together).  In this entry, I'm going to be posting the updates that don't necessarily accomplish either of those goals but rather are simply matters of preference. 

Fire Support Gear Survivability Changes

One recognized problem in HG Blitz is that the supposedly tough models like the Grizzly actually get damaged and destroyed fairly easily compared wtih their lighter brethren.  The problem lies with the inherent link in Blitz between the strength of the hit and the amount of damage due to them being dependant on the same dice roll.  This simplicity is actually something I consider elegant about the Silhouette system and I don't see it as the main cause of the problem.  The problem in my opinion is the rigid adherence to the stats originally developed for a related but much more intricate RPG system.  Using the same armor value but vastly simplified damage system means that hit that did almost nothing really significant combat-wise in the RPG (like causing minor communications system damage) result in a box of damage regardless. 

The solution that DP9 has been using (and rumored to be expanding via the next Gear Up webzine) is to change the defense modifier of the gear to 0 at combat speed instead of the -1 typical previously of Fire Support class gears.  While this does address the problem of lessening the damage taken by FS gears, I don't find the change to be very elegant.  I personally liked the idea that a gear was less maneuverable but simply able to shrug off the damage due to high armor instead of the effectively dodging the same as smaller gears despite twice the mass and 2/3 the speed.  The solution I'm presenting is simply increasing the armor of Fire Support gears to a level that actually increases their survivability.  I've tried taking an approach to this set of house rules that I start with the results I want and work my way back to the rules to express those results and this change is an example of that.  The armor values of the fire support gears might shock long time players but I've done the math and they generally result in only slightly more durability to most incoming fire than compared with the standard Hunter/Jaeger and still leaves it behind the Elite gears.  Basically, the FS gears are able to largely shrug off lighter damage like LACs but get hit just as hard by the heavier ordnance like Mzk/Hbzk which are meant to take out their class.

Change:  Size 7 gears with a maneuver -1 stat (using my Flash! houserules) or a -1 defense modifier at combat speed (using the standard Blitz rules) increase their basic armor rating by 7 for 10TV.  If the models currently have an upgrade option to increase their defensive stats, you have the option of using this armor increase instead for the same listed points.

For example, the Grizzly would increase its armor to 25 (27 in the front) as part of the roaring upgrade instead of increasing its defensive modifiers by 1.   The above (especially the TV cost) may be revised once the next Gear Up issue is released.  Feel free to try the above and let me know how it affects the actual survivability of the gears (once you get over the shock of the simple number value of the armor stat!).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Combat Groups

In the introduction to this blog, I said that my approach to this set of houserules for a faster and simplified Blitz variant would be two-pronged.  So far, my posts have been focused on simplifying and possibly clarifying the rules to make the flow of the game easier.  In this post, I switch gears to the other method which is making the game quicker by decreasing the effective game size without hopefully losing the "feel" of the larger Blitz game.

Blitz plays a bit differently in person compared with the impression that you get from both the name of the game as well as a reading of the rules.  While still a simplification of the Silhouette d6 system compared to the older Tactical and RPG rulesets, the game time benefits of the simplification are largely gobbled up by the larger model count in the new rules.  While I am a fan of larger-than-skirmish level games, playing at the size that allows the mix of models I'd like means I'm largely devoting the entire evening to the game.  I've found that changing the size of the combat groups (while still keeping the character of them) allows me to add more variety to the army without increasing the overall TV (and therefore length) of the game.   The Flash! combat groups will be referred to as fire teams for gear squad derived elements and sections for the vehicle ones (thanks to SGTcapraco for the army nomenclature clarifications!).

Enough with the fluff, get to the CRUNCH!  :)

Start your Flash! army by choosing the various squads you'd like to use in Gear Garage (see the link to the left for the free army construction program) using whichever Army Field Guide, League, and Regiment rules you'd like to use per the normal rules.  Change the Combat Groups into Flash! variants as follows:

Infantry: This category includes all combined models.  There is no change to the rules of these types of combat groups.  I considered modifying them but frankly infantry IMO should outnumber vehicle and gear based models by a significant figure count margin when used.  In addition, infantry/combined model units generally are already relatively inexpensive as well and are rarely most of the TV of an army.

For vehicle and gear combat groups in Blitz, construct your Blitz combat group as normal initially and then use the following conversion to fireteams.
1-2 model CG in Blitz: 1 model (CGL) combat group in FLASH!

3-4 model CG in Blitz: 2 model combat group (CGL plus one of your choice) 

5-6 model CG in Blitz: 3 model
combat group (CGL plus two of your choice) in FLASH!

7+ model CG in Blitz: 4 model combat group (CGL plus three of your choice) in FLASH!

 You may choose any models you have in your full blitz squad keeping in mind that models using veteran upgrades must spend a veteran slot to do so per the rules below. Combat groups containing combined models (like infantry) are unchanged from Blitz. Before taking another Fire Team of the same type, you must take a second combat sub-group with your remaining models (if any) from the first Blitz combat group.
 For example, selecting a Blitz two tank squadron gives you a single model in FLASH! (the CGL).  If in Blitz you upgraded the tank squadron to 3 models by adding an extra tank, the FLASH! version would be 2 models instead (CGL and one of your choice).  If you wanted to add a second tank squadron of the same type, you'd have to first take a second combat group consisting of the remaining tank you didn't take above in both examples.

My original intent was to make the fire teams half size mirrors of the full blitz versions but that seems to have lead to some confusion unfortunately.  I've rarely seen bog standard models in games unless those bog standard models were quite special to begin with (like my opponent's Fer de Lances this past game) so why fight the inevitable.  The above instead lets you just cherry pick whatever you want from blitz instead of being a half size version with the caveat that you must "complete" the original blitz squad

As for veteran slots, I've decided to try changing the veteran slot effect to applying only to a single model instead of the whole squad.  With the ability to cherry pick the models, this seems like killing two birds with one stone.  It limits the overpowered possiblities inherent to cherry picking upgraded models somewhat and also grounds the game a bit more at att/def2 without everyone fielding extra sturdy boxes.

Veteran Slots: You get a number of veteran slots equal to your army PL in Flash!. Each slot may be used to upgrade a single model to veteran status and unlock veteran options for it. (i.e. a single gear or a single squad of infantry is upgraded for each vet slot spent).   You may buy extra veteran slots at the cost of 2 SP per veteran slot.  

You can still take a fair number of veteran upgrades (PL4 gives you 7 in a 1000TV game which is the upper limit roughly for my skirmish houserules) but you're giving up all your SP to get to that point.  Honestly, I think att/def3 and extra sturdy boxes should be more expensive but changing TV is going beyond what I'd like to do with my blog and would prefer to leave that to DP9 themselves.

As usual, let me know if you try any of the above or whether you think it's an improvement.  I'm leaving the original army construction rules in the table of contents to the right for the time being to aid in comparison but hope to eventually change the chapter once I get some feedback.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Electronic Events and Perks/Flaws

Most of the changes below aren't independent changes themselves but rather the result of my redefining concealment and the Electronics stat.  Since they're generally each individually small changes, I figure that a list would be the best format for going over them.

Since I've melded the comm stat with sensors/autocomm/detect into the new Electronics stat, change any reference you find to "comm event" in the Field Manual into "Electronics event".  Any reference to autocomm should now be 3" + EL (electronics stat) instead.  With that being said, I've looked through the rest of the FM and tried to find the individual instances that need to be changed and will list them below for completeness:

Pg. 14
Indirect Fire Deviation:  Change the distance deviated to 1d6 + MoF - EL

Pg. 17
Melee Defender Modifiers: Add maneuver rating to defender modifiers

Pg. 19
Special Actions: Change all Comm event references to EL events

Coordinated Attack: A CGL (or 2iC if the CGL is dead) may nominate the target of his successful FO with the additional effects listed under Coordinated Attack in the Field Manual at no additional action cost. While any friendly model may use the FO as per the normal rules, only models from the same fire team/section as the CGL may benefit from the coordinated attack effect.  Coordinated Attack may still be used as an independent action as written in the FM as well, gaining the benefit of working even if blocked within 3" + EL.

Hull Down Table:  1: Some Cover
                               2: Partial Cover
                               3: Full Cover
                              +1 to above if solid cover

Hiding: Consider your cover as one category better for the purposes of passive/active locks.  This action requires passive/active lock checks versus models in partial cover as long as the model stays stationary instead of the normal requirement of full cover. Models with the stealth perk can move at combat speed and still keep the benefit of hiding.

Pg. 21
ECM/ECCM:  Combine into a single stat ECM stat.  (ECM + ECCM)/2 then round off for new rating.  Opposed rolls to block EL events use EW skill +/- ( EL + ECM) modifiers for both players.  Automatic communications occur within 3" + EL instead of the previous autocomm range.

Pg. 22
Command Points: Remove the ability to fire a weapon that has already been fired in the round from any command effect that grants it.  You can still fire other weapons that did not fire previously.

Pg.36-38 (Model Perks and Flaws)
Backup Comms/Sensors:  Combine into Backup Electronics Perk which ignores one point of penalties from damage when performing using the EL stat.

CBS: Change autocomm reference to 3" + EL.

Recon Drone: Deploy within 3" + EL instead of autocomm.  Drone is considered to have EL 0 stat.  See TD changes below.

EW Homing: Replace Comm with EL.

Exposed Aux: Change comm/sensor reference to EL.

LSP: As previously posted.  Add LSP rating to opposing model's EL stat to active lock the model.

Low Profile: Subtract 1 from the opposing model's EL for purposes of active locks to detect the model.  If hull down, add one to the appopriate minimum defense value from the Hiding Table above.

Smoke: Same dimensions.  If firing through the smoke, increase the effective cover category by one for the purposes of firing modifiers and active locks (max full cover).

Stealth: As previously posted.   Divide rating by 2 and round off for new rating.  Subtract this new stealth rating from the opposing model's EL for active lock purposes.  Models with stealth may also move at combat speed without losing the benefits of the hiding action.

Target Designator: Divide the stat by 2 and round off.  The new stat can be used on a target in one progressive cover category per new rating point.  So, a new stat TD 1 can be used only on models in the open, TD 2 can be used on models in some cover, and TD 3 can be used on models in up to partial cover.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cover, Concealment, and Locks

The list of actions available on pg. 10 is unchanged.  Combat lock is a different story.  First off, I'm not a fan of the term "combat lock" in general especially when paired with "active lock".  Perhaps a reader more knowledgeable in military terminology can enlighten me as to whether that term is used in modern technological warfare or not.  I'd prefer switching the terminology to the more familiar (if only to civilians!) active and passive nomenclature like with sonar and radar.  So, combat lock would now be passive lock while active lock keeps the same name.   Now on to the crunch...

Normally in Blitz, you must measure every piece of intervening terrain between the firing and target models, consult a table varying values of concealment, and then add up the various individual concealment values in order to compare with the detect value of the final model to determine if you have a combat lock.  If you're firing or interacting with an enemy model on a properly configured board with lots of terrain at most weapons suboptimal range, this frequently results in multiple different measurements (six is my personal max) and calculations that slow the game down.  The current system is more complicated that any scifi RPG's version that I've played over the past 5 years (Star Wars Saga, Shadowrun, Deathwatch, Ultramodern4 D20) and this is for a bigger than skirmish level wargame.  My preference/goal would be to get this process down to a single LOS check, a single measurement, and a single roll for the entire passive/active process.  I don't see a way for the traditional concealment mechanic to remain intact which I'm frankly fine with.  I've always been of the opinion that concealment and cover should be under the same mechanic and not two totally different (and confusing according to players I've demo'ed for) systems.  My solution would be to put a limit on the passive lock based on the electronics stat similar to how combat lock was limited by detect's interaction with terrain inches/concealment.

You automatically get a passive lock versus any model in less than full cover regardless of range.  If targeting models in full (but not solid) cover, you'd automatically get a passive lock within it's size in inches; you may not lock a target behind full solid cover.  

If you are outside of that distance, you can attempt an active lock as an action.  You can ignore (for the purposes of getting an active lock) a number of pieces of terrain or models giving the target cover equal to your modified EL stat (see the modifiers below).  If intervening terrain is considered "representational", count each 6" or portion thereof as a separate piece.  If you can ignore each piece/model contributing to the cover, you have an active lock.  If you cannot ignore them all, you may roll an unmodified EW check versus a TN of the remaining number of pieces to get an active lock.   You *MAY* fire either an indirect or direct weapon after obtaining an active lock (a change from the Field Manual).  

Modified EL: +LSP, -Stealth, -1 for Low Profile, +1 if target fired/moved/EL event last activation (cummulative)

 No discussion of the above would be considered complete without somewhat prematurely mentioning some of the other rules that are entwined with concealment and locks.  LSP would be a positive modifier to the EL stat just like the other concealment modifiers.  Stealth Perks would be divided by two and rounded up; this perk would then be a negative modifier to the EL of the model firing up on the stealthed model.  The Hiding Action allow you to consider your cover as one step better as long as the model stays stationary in some cover or better.  Models with the stealth perk can move at combat speed and still keep the benefit of hiding.

The cover rules are as written in the FM except with the following clarifications/exceptions.  If a model is sculpted in a pose other than standing, estimate the cover based on a similar standing model instead if you have an extra erring on the side of caution (and leaning towards partial cover).  If a model has an alternate movement mode that dramatically changes the profile like the Naga, estimate/use the height of the *current* mode the model is actually using as indicated by the Blitz die for the model.  Intervening area terrain increases the target model's true LOS cover by one step for each 6" or portion thereof of area terrain (so a model in true LOS "no cover" behind a 7" area terrain forest is counted as in partial cover).

That concludes this rather lengthy addition to my blog rules for today.  It's probably the biggest change I've got planned to the core Blitz system so I'm curious to see what people think.  As always, feel free to comment below or contact me on the DP9 forums.  Thanks for reading and have a happy Valentine's Day!  Remember to hug your nearest Jaeger/Hunter/Warrior as they get no love normally!  :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Movement and Terrain

The first change to this section of the rules would be one that has been partly discussed in the datacards post, namely the removal of the defensive modifiers from the cards. Looking over the existing Blitz datacards, almost every unit with a walker mode gets a -1 to defense when stationary and +1 when at top speed.  No change here except that units with walker modes (regardless of what mode they're actually using) get -1 when stationary. Effectively, this is already the case because I've never seen someone who had both walker and an SMS with a worse stationary defense mod choose to use it instead.  Units with ONLY hover or ground modes get -2 when stationary and +1 at top speed so no change from blitz here.  I plan to create a master list of modifiers eventually for download but the preceeding is intuitive and relatively easy for new and veteran players to remember.  Top speed no longer has its own stat on the datacard but instead is always double the combat speed (which doesn't change anything for the majority of Blitz models and only by 1" in the rest that are changed).

Turns as well as the special rules listed under the individual entries in Walker, Ground, and Hover are unchanged except when they refer to terrain types that don't exist anymore (see below).

Now we come to the biggest change in this post which is due to the bewildering amount of different types of terrain in Heavy Gear Blitz.  While that type of granularity is a welcome addition for an RPG, I've found that it overcomplicates things for new players (and even players with some experience). While I don't want to pare things down to the 40k level of just regular,difficult, and dangerous terrain, I don't feel that 11+ types of terrain currently in Blitz are needed.

Instead of the rules listed in FM, use the following:

Clear/Roads/Impassable/Elevation/Dangerous Terrain: No change

Rough/Dense: No change. There are no soft/very rough/very dense categories; pieces that previously fit best with those rules now are just rough and/or dense.

Water: Determine pregame if the water is deep which would follow the rules for impassable unless the model has the amphibious trait which allows them to treat the water as shallow instead. If shallow, follow the rules for shallow in the FM. There is no rough water category.


Another change that I'd like to incorporate is to remove most movement dice from the game in order to reduce clutter on the tabletop.  While I initially was a fan of the mechanic, it is expensive in that players must purchase the dice or make their own (which admittedly is an option thanks to DP9 printing the template in the FM).  Unfortunately, I've found that the dice and damage chits visually clutter the tabletop and don't add much to the game in the end in return.  In addition, some units like +1 and up (Cheetahs!) maneuver gears are almost invulnerable at top speed which I feel needs to be addressed.  The simple solution that kills two birds with one stone is to not use the movement dice in most circumstances just like in the alpha HG rules.

Basically, you're counted as being at combat speed for modifiers outside of your own turn unless you hold an action for later use (like standby for coordinates). This cuts down on the chit and dice clutter on the tabletop as the vast majority of units don't need to have a movement die next to them. Instead, the movmeent die counts as a withheld action tracker so you know that the model still has an action to use despite already being activated and simultaneously at what speed. In effect, your model stops to use whatever speed you want during your activation and then returns to combat speed after unless you "hold" an action for later. I tried this out during the game this weekend and it worked well. It made taking stationary shots a bit safer but cut down on the near invulnerability of fast moving elite units conversely which is a much more important change. My cheetah at top speed moving across the field actually got pegged with an average roll because it "only" had a +2 instead of a +3 to defense rolls base.

Movement: Your model is always considered to be at combat speed for all purposes outside of it's activation unless you use withhold an action for later use like with standby for coordinates or reaction fire. Place one die at the appropriate speed for each "reserved" action to be used after the model's activation. Reaction fire prior to activation is still resolved at combat speed.

Monday, February 11, 2013


During some of the dozen or so demos that I gave to prospective players, one frequent comment made even by long time wargamers was that the datacard was quite busy and contained a daunting amount of info for people unaccustomed to the rules.  One primarily board/card gamer even wanted to pass on the demo when he saw the cards!  While there isn't any wasted info displayed on the current Blitz datacards, I do agree that they contain possibly too much of a good thing.  Since my goal is to simplify and quicken the Blitz experience, I decided to start with the datacard.

One of the first changes that a veteran Blitz! player will notice is that some of the older RPG terms have returned to the example blank datacard that I posted above.  It seemed like it was easier and more intuitive for most gamers to remember that moving at top speed was almost always +1 to defense and -1 to attack rather than deciphering the array of numbers based on movement mode and speed.  I considered using slightly more intuitive terms like offense and defense instead of the Heavy Gear RPG inspired maneuver and firecontrol ratings but ultimately decided on using the legacy terms instead.  After changing that, I realized that there frankly is no need for an independent fire control stat since it is ALWAYS added to the accuracy of the weapon used and can simply be incorporated there instead.  For instance, a Jaguar that normally has a +1 in blitz to attack with its MAC (acc 0) would instead just have the accuracy of the weapon bumped up by the +1 instead.  I'd appreciate it if readers of this blog would let me know if they prefer the legacy terms (fire control, maneuver) or more generic but intuitive ones (offense, defense) as well as if they prefer having the firecontrol/offensive gear stat rolled into each weapon or listed separately.  On a similar note, I've never used the physical damage "weapon" on any gear that had another close combat weapon so I've just taken that weapon off of the datacard examples below and recommend that any readers using this do the same to reduce clutter.

The second big change is that the slew of comms, sensors, autocomms, and detect have been rolled up into a single Electronics stat instead.  While maneuver and firecontrol were easy to explain to and understand by new players, the group of stats mentioned above were simply not.  While they do add a significant level of variety to differentiate the stats of various recon gears, I don't find the variety they give justify the added RPG level of complexity for people looking for a quick game.  I plan to make my Heavy Gear Flash modified datacards for most units eventually but I will post my conversion formula below for those wishing to try it out on their own before then.

Basically, it's an average of the difference between the model in question's stats and the humble jaeger/hunter gears that I use as a baseline.  Comms and Sensors are already in the standard format so there is no problem there but detect and autocomm are not.  For the last two stats, subtract 2 from detect and 3 from autocomm (the Jaeger/Hunter stats) then add them up and divide the total by two.  Add up comm, sensors, and detect/autocomm amalgam and divide by 3 rounding off to get the new electronics stat.  From my calculations, most elite gears like Jaguars and Mambas will end up with a +1 while dedicated recon units get a +2 with a small few getting a +3 if they have a very high stat like the Weasel or Windtalker recon car; only the ELINT Silverscale to my knowledge gets a +4 due to it's game-changing high detect score which ends up getting reflected dutifuly in the Flash! variant.  We now have a single electronics stat that is true to the combination of the original four stats.  The rules involving the replaced stats will be getting a revision as well so don't worry that the Electronics stat doesn't work with the Blitz rules as written.

[ (Detect-2)/2 + Sensors + Comm + (Autocomm-3)/2 ] / 3 = Electronics Stat (rounded off)

Finally, movement and weapon range are just a single number listed on the datacard instead of the multiple numbers with slashes.  The current blitz units almost always have a top speed that is within 1" of double their combat speed so I felt that the extra slash and number on the stat block just complicated things in a skirmish scale wargame setting.  I've replaced it with just a single spot that will list the Blitz combat speed by itself as the top speed will always be double that number.  As for weapon ranges, I've changed the weapon bands to just a single number consisting of the old optimal range (which I've renamed short range) instead.  See the weapon ranges chapter for the details and reasons behind it.

At a future date, I'll enlist the help of a more experienced fellow DP9 fan to design a better looking datacard than my limited artistic abilities allow but the one above does illustrate my ideas well enough.  Here's a comparison of the two side by side.  Let me know either here through the comments or over on what you think.  I'm still debating the utility of having the size on the datacard but I'm leaving it in for now till I have my houserules finalized.



Heavy Gear is a game that I've been interested in since it's original release back in the mid-90's due to the art style, gears, and basic Silhouette rules system.  The current Blitz! variation of the rules (as presented in the Field Manual) is a refinement of the original RPG rules and is made specifically for the minis game as opposed to the earlier Tactical versions that were offshoots of the RPG rules.  When trying to get others interested in the game last year, I noticed that the game didn't play as smoothly or as quickly with new players as I thought it would despite the refinements and that many of them were intimidated by the rules as well as the datacards for the units.  My goal with this blog is to come up with a simplified version of the current Heavy Gear Blitz! rules for use with new players in demos or even experienced players looking for a quicker and smaller game that still has the feel of the larger HG Blitz.

I hope to accomplish this with a two pronged approach.  The first is to simplify the visual first impression of the game via the datacards as well as the rules new players are presented.  While the current style of datacards doesn't waste any space and the info presented is valuable to experienced players, I plan to combine the various statistics to make for a cleaner and leaner datacard that is less intimidating to new players.  Certain rules in Blitz still carry (in my opinion) too much of the complexity of the RPG into the larger format minis game with little benefit and could use some simplification as well.  The second method I plan to use is to make the figure count used smaller than the current blitz level forces without hopefully losing too much of the playstyle the larger armies allow compared to the older tactical system and RPG systems. 

This blog is an ongoing project so feel free to contact me on the DP9 forums under the username CrouchingGrizzly HiddenCheetah (or CGHC for short) with any question, comments, or suggestions.  In general, I'm working my way through the Field Manual section by section considering what I believe should be changed to make a simpler and faster variant of the game.  Sometimes an idea that I've been working on (like the Electronics stat in the first datacard post) will creep unavoidably early before it can be fully explained so I hope you all will bear with me.   On some of the longer posts that change alot, I try to explain other possible variants that I've considered as well as the reasoning behind my adopting or discarding certain changes.  For the TL:DR stuff on those posts, feel free to zoom down to the italicized paragraphs for the actual rules on the individual pages and feel free to use the attached "cheat sheet" that details some of the changes in a hopefully easy way.