Friday 6 August 2021

Creating 15mm Sci Fi Rules - "The Forgotten" - Activation, Detection, Movement

Bear in mind these are typed in 30min bursts and I have not carefully proofed them. Also I am copy-pasting from Libre as I refuse to pay ongoing "rental" for programs like Office 365. So formatting may be a bit weird.

I decided to switch to d10 (I originally planned d6s merely as I had a handful sitting on my desk + it's easy to extrapolate odds based on LOTR/40K/Bolt Action experience.) However d6s are just so clunky - you can't fit enough modifiers "on the dice" and end up doing extra cover saves and rolls etc.  

The core mechanics I'm pretty relaxed about. They just need to be simple and consistent. Things that concern me more are activation, morale/suppression, and the "demon" system and cyber/hacking/drones. Using a d6 or d10 for rolls is neither here nor there. It's all just a way to produce percentage chances of events occurring.

Looking at the activation, I'm concerned how it handles "fire teams" - what happens if one model is suppressed/knocked out and the other isn't?  I'll have to play it once the core 4Ms (move/missile/melee/morale) are in place as I already have some concerns about "holes in the rules."  I suspect I would be better off with 28mm using independent minis instead of 15mm in fireteams.


It’s alternate activation, with extras. It’s not meant to be amazing or innovative, just simple with enough player choice and a bit of friction allowing better troops to control the move sequence.

Activation is performed by fire teams of 2-4 troops. Players take turns holding the initiative (choosing which fire team to activate). Units make a combat quality test to activate – usually a 4+ (skilled), 5+ (regular), 6+ (green).

1.If a unit fails the roll, initiative instantly passes to their opponent. The unit can be re-nominated later by either player.

2.If they pass the roll their unit may either act, hold or choose an opponent in their line of sight to act.

If one side has already activated all its units; the other side must continue to make troop tests to continue activating; once one unit fails, the rest of their troops are placed on HOLD.

HELD ACTIONS (overwatch/reactions)

Troops can reserve their actions for later (aka overwatch) to interrupt enemy actions. They can declare the interrupt anytime, but must pass a combat quality test – if they fail it they act AFTER the move they were trying to interrupt. Held actions are only in response to the active player – you can’t interrupt a held action with a held action.

As held actions are “hurried” reactions in response to opponents, they are -1 to shooting rolls.

Any movement is halved.


This is the old 40K “all models in a squad must be 4” from each other” slightly rebadged.

Keeping squad together is encouraged (but not forced); via troops out of contact with their fire team suffering some disadvantages:

1. Must pass a quality check to move towards enemies ; if fail will HOLD.

2. Must pass a quality check to engage anyone except the closest enemy

3. Must pass a quality check to move out of cover; if fail will HOLD.

4. -1 to all dice rolls on Will checks


I want models to have vision arcs as it is both logical and allows more tactical positioning without too many extra rules. The light/dark mechanic may be overly complex, but I want it to fit the darkness theme with demonically possessed stormtroopers running around in unlit space station corridors.


Models “see” in a 180d arc. This should marked on the minis base with a strip of paint to prevent confusion. If there is an argument, players roll a dice – the highest decides what arc it is.

-If a model cannot see another, it cannot attack it or use a held action against it 

-If it is attacked by an unseen model, it is +1 to be hit as it does not take cover and react normally.


Range is assumed to be unlimited to any in LoS unless:

Stealth – target is stationary or using cautious slow movement that ends in cover – halve detection or 18” max range, whichever is shorter.

Low Visibility (steam, dog, semidarkness) – 12” max detection range
Darkness (nearly pitch black) – 6” max detection range

Light Sources

Light sources can cancel low visibility or darkness in a radius around them. Most weapons create a light source when fired. I.e. if you shoot everyone in LoS can see you.

Spirit Vision (to be expanded on later; this is more a placeholder to remind me)

Possessed models can detect the life force of models (in a 360d arc) within 12” – regardless of LoS or cover.



This is just a quick framework – I’m not wedded to any of the ideas. Units move in fireteams. Their movement is videogame-esque. The climbing and jumping rules probably won't be playtested much and they are more a placeholder than anything else.

Cautious Move – half move. Allows stealth or accurate firing; crawling or crouching.

Move – usual movement. Allows firing with a penalty. (-1?)

Sprint - +50% move. No firing.


Climb, Jump & Fall

A model can climb 1” without a ladder. Take a Physique test – pass = halve move; fail = stop at top of climb. A natural ‘1’ = slips and falls.

A model can drop 2” without a ladder. For longer drops, roll a Physique test – a pass = can drop 2-4” without injury.  Falling Damage = attacked at 1:1 attack/def each 2” beyond the first 0-2”.

A model can jump 1” horizontally. For longer jumps, roll a Physique test – a pass = can jump 2”.


Okay, my 30min is up - it's storytime for my kids soon. Perhaps I should do a blog on "time management for hobbyist dads." Perhaps I'll get time to do combat mechanics later tonight. It should be easy as I'm trying to keep it simple as possible. I want to be able to focus on the demonic resource management, not complicated combat mechanics.


  1. What about activating mixed quality fireteams?
    For example a team with a quality 4+ figure a 5+ figure?
    Activate based on majority? Based on lowest?
    Or don’t allow for mixed units?

    1. Yes, this was my concern - not so much mixed units, but what if one model in the fireteam was "possessed" and had supernatural speed/reflexes - extra moves or actions, for example: what order did this occur in/what if this causes a break in coherency?

  2. Probably it is needed to go for indipendent models, or ad hoc "temporary" formations (I can activate together troops that happen to be within a certain range)...

    1. Well, you CAN move any squad members independently; there's just a slight penalty (see coherence) i.e need to pass a roll to move towards enemy.

      Maybe - just "possessed" (aka buffed) models that break formation don't cause these penalties as they are pumped because their "god" is on their side.