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Battle Patrol - Rules for smaller, faster scenarios

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EDIT: These rules have been completely rewritten. The first set in this post are the most up to date.

 

Battle Patrol: Rules for smaller games of Dystopian Wars
 
"Out here at the edge of the world, there are no armadas, no grand fleets and certainly no support. Out here, when the enemy comes knocking, you hit him hard and fast. You don't know from one day to the next if today will be your last day, so when that klaxon rings and you're told to get to your battlestations, you'd better get there and mean it."
 
Battle Patrol is a designed to represent the smaller battles in the world of Dystopian Wars. These alternative rules are intended as a fan-made supplement to the Dystopian Wars 2.0 core rules, and is in no way affiliated with Spartan Games.
 
The Battlefield:
 
Battle patrol is designed specifically for the naval engagements of Dystopian wars. Play on a battlefield of any shape or size, up to a maximum of 4' square. Terrain is encouraged, and need not be pretty or representative. The scenario is designed for spontaneous games, so use your imagination if you haven't access to proper terrain pieces. A napkin can become an island, a coffee mug a tall outcrop of rock. When space and terrain are not limited, I reccomend playing on a 3' square, and with as much and varied terrain as possible.
 
Fleet Composition:
 
Fleet composition is as normal, with the following adjustments:
 
  • Your fleet must be of value equal to or less than 500pts.
  • Your fleet may not include large or massive size vessels. Instead, choose a single Medium Capital Naval model of value 80-150 points. This ship will be your commodore's ship. It is reccomended that players select their nation's Battlecruiser, as these are typically the most heavily armed and armoured available. This ship counts as your mandatory large choice.
  • All small and medium squadrons have their minimum and maximum squadron size reduced by one, to a minimum of one.
  • Models cannot be taken in a flanking, advance or reserve force.
  • No local support may be used.
TAC Deck:
 
Many players ignore the TAC rules. Battle Patrol aims to make them more interactive and to act as a balancing force. Disregard the normal TAC card selection rules, and use these instead.
 
  • Each player constructs a deck of ten different TAC cards, no duplicates, then shuffles it and places it face down in the supply area.
  • Before the game begins, each player draws two cards from their deck and keeps them secret. These can be used following the usual rules.
  • Whenever a full squadron of yours is lost, prized or left derelict, draw a TAC card immediately.
  • Do not be afraid to use your TAC cards, there are no Victory Points in Battle Patrol, so there's no good reason not to use them!
Victory Conditions:
 
The victory conditions in Battle patrol are designed to make for a fast paced and brutal game. The victor is declared as soon as the condition has been fulfilled and the game ends immediately. It's all or nothing. You are eliminated when:
 
  • Your Commodore is Prized. (Not sunk or derelict.)
  • Half your total number of ships have been lost
Optional Rules, Scenarios and Objective Markers:
 
Players are encouraged to come up with their own special scenario rules, such as weather conditions, free-for-all grand melees between players, special 'powerup pickups' which upgrade whatever squadron aquires it... whatever captures your imagination. Here are a few examples to get the brain rolling.
 
  • Weather: At the start of each turn, roll a die and consult the following:
    • 1-3 Plain sailing, no special rules
    • 4-5 Heavy weather, no ship may fire further than range band 3, and all ships are considered to have the Vulnerable MAR
    • 6 Storm! As above, then each player takes it in turn to place two storm templates anywhere on the board at least 1" from any vessel. These persist until the end of the turn
  • Powerups: Before the game, place six objective markers using the normal placement rules. Whenever a ship touches one of these, they can choose for their squadron to gain one of the following:
    • Gain a MAR chosen from Sharpshooter, Hit and Run, Advanced Engines (2"), Inventive Scientists.
    • Have their primary weaponslose any existing munitions types and gain one chosen from Piercing, Incendiary or Corrosive.
    • Immediately remove one HP and one AP marker.
  • Dirty Rotten Cheaters: Each player has five rerolls, which they may use on any dice at any time (even opponents').

 

Original post is below:

 

 

So some friends and I play Dystopian often, and we like to play irregular, unplanned games. Whether that be on a full gaming table, in lazy afternoon on the kitchen table, in the pub, or at Starbucks. (who could ever forget the legendary battle for Frappuchino Island, or the struggle for Napkin Harbour?) Obviously, there's not really time for a proper game in all settings, so I devised an alternative game mode for us to play, and it has proved a hit. Here goes:

 

Battle Patrol

A battle patrol is a small patrol fleet sent out by the nations to guard the extremities of their empire. They tend to consist of heavily armed, fast ships which can respond quickly to threats. These games are to represent squabbles over minor territory, and not the epic struggles implied by larger games.

 

In Battle Patrol, each player brings a fleet of no more than 500 points, with the following modifications to force organisation.

 

  • Your fleet MUST contain a Battlecruiser class vessel, and this vessel is treated as a large for the purposes of force organisation. Your commodore is aboard this ship. This ship is part of the core force.
  • All medium and small squadrons have their minimum and maximum squadron size reduced by 1
  • No player may include any large or massive vessels in their fleet. (excluding, of course, their battlecruiser)
  • Local Air Support is reduced to half. Most nations therefore get 5 wings, some get 6.
  • When forming your TAC deck, you only get two cards, and draw one each time a full squadron is lost. (On either side, both players will draw.)

You do not roll to determine win condition at the start of the game, instead, both players win when either:

 

  • The opposing commodore's ship is prized (not sunk)
  • Half of the total number of ships on either side is lost.

Note that this means you do not have to track points, and strategic value is irrelevant. It also means there is a sudden death condition. Guard that battlecruiser for all you're worth! 

 

These rules are intended to serve as a flexible and recyclable scenario which can play out very, very quickly (I've seen one of these games end halfway through turn two.)

 

Try it out guys, and if you think there's any changes that should be made or could make the scenario more fun, fire away!

 

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Just battlecruisers, or any cruiser class of 100+ points? I love the idea of this game mode, but it seems sad that one could not take the Black Wolf's Manticore, which despite its point value and size class is classified a support cruiser.

 

EDIT: And board size? Still 48X48, or is this lowered to 36x36 in the spirit of the game mode as well?

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Really it's up to you and your opponent. I would have no issue letting the BW use the manticore as their 1 of. Board size I would reccomend 48x48, but you can play on much smaller, the whole point of this scenario is to let you play basically anywhere, regardless of playing space.

 

If the nation dosen't have a battlecruiser I guess it's up to you and your opponent to decide what is the next closest thing.

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Suggestion? Instead of using Battlecruisers only as the flagship, allow for cruiser squadrons to take a single "heavy" ship, such as a Gunship, Armoured Cruiser etc to act as flagship - sorta like how they could in DW1.1. Or instead specify a HP5-6 medium to take the role - this would allow ships like the Sinop to take the role.

 

Its a bit limiting to have only Battlecruisers, as only the Big 7, the Chinese, Italians and Black Wolf have Battlecruisers in their Orbats. Plus, some nations don't have light cruisers, so a battlecruiser + 2 capital cruisers will take up a significant portion of the points. Plus, realisticallly, a Flag Captain would be in command of a small fleet like this, not a full Commodore.

 

Also, perhaps allow the commander to use Commodore abilities, but not National Doctrines.

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Gave it a shot. France vs China at 500 points. Went rather swimmingly, I'd say. Very fast and good for teaching basic rules like linking and movement. Would work better without the local air support as players without carriers (most factions) would just bring fighters and they lose any meaning. Overall, fun and deserves to be expanded upon.

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New version of the rules up. Changed the SAW rules (I agree with jupjupy on this one) and a slight change to the TAC rules. Also, added in some suggested optional or special rules, and recommended a table size. Also allowed non-battlecruiser mediums to become the commodore.

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I really like your idea.  I do this type of thing all the time, especially with us rolling out the game in our club.  It works well for land games as well.  I like your optional rules too, as they add some variety. I use weather templates my self, but overall weather rules are great too.  I think I'll borrow these for my club.

 

 

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