Monday 8 November 2021

"The Forgotten" - 28mm Sci Fi Horror Alpha Playtest

I kept the weapons, units and gear very vanilla so I could get a feel for the mechanisms. No special weapons, no magic or hacking, no extra rules for demons or AI.

Stats are:
5 AI Enforcers; Move 4/2, Veteran d8, Shoot d8, CQC d8, Phys d8, Defence 6, Will d8. Weapons are 4 rifles RoF2, d10 damage. 24"+ -2 long range, and a heavy gunner RoF 3, d10 damage, 24"+ -2 long range.

7 Cultist Marines; Move 4/4, Veteran d8, Shoot d8, CQC d6, Phys d8, Defence 4, Will d8. Weapons are 5 laser rifles RoF2, d8 damage. 24"+ -1 to long range, and 2 SAWs RoF4, d8 damage, 24"+ -2 to long range. They also have a leader who can Rally them and also adds +1 initiative dice if he is up and about.

Disclaimer: Photography is in a poorly lit shed on my phone, and I promised the wife I'd be 30mins max. So let's see what we can do in this time.

Sides as deployed. 7 Marines, 5 AI Enforcers. 

Marines (with 7 + leader) unsurprisingly win the initiative dice off. Both sides move up, staying in cover.

A Marine sprints across a gap, wins reaction roll and gets past before Enforcers can fire.

A second Marine peeks but is shot down by the Enforcer's SAW gunner. Oops - forgot should have been using d10s to damage; also he should have been only "downed" - not dead. Probably works out fair. His allies in LoS who see him shot all pass their morale checks. Now I should have swapped initiative to the Enforcers here but I forgot. Btw, I shift from using green to blue as my Hold token, as I realise I have not enough greens in my shed box.

Both fail their reaction roll and are "Stressed" - this basically means they can only react to actions directly targeted at them; i.e. instinctive reactions like dodge a shot or fight back in CQC, but they can't snipe someone across the board.  I'll remove the Stress in a 'clean up' phase at the end of the turn.

The Enforcer tries to peek a Marine in the distance; but the Marine wins the reaction roll and the Enforcer is stressed. Luckily the Marine's shots bounce off his Enforcer armour and he passes his morale check to avoid being shaken.

The Marines in the open on the flank are a tempting target; the Enforcer tries to peek but loses the reaction roll and is gunned down, dead, by well aimed shots. At this point initiative should have shifted again - but I forgot.

The Enforcers continue their futile attempt to clear the Marines on their left flank; this Enforcer fires first but misses his shots.

This Enforcer attempts another crossfield shot and again fails his reaction roll and is stressed. Again I forget to change the side with the initiative. 


An Enforcer tries to rush into CQC but a long distance shot hits him. Although his armour deflects it he fails a morale test and is shaken (orange token) and cannot complete his move into contact, remaining stranded in the open.

Now a bit of tactics; one Marine goes on hold to cover his ally who then moves into LoS; now he can join the reaction roll in a 2v1. This was cool. Both sides get 8s but the active player wins ties.

Hit by two shots, the Enforcer is "downed" - writhing around on the ground. The Marine leader then tries to finish him off but narrowly misses both shots which spray chunks out of the concrete next to him.

On the other flank, a Marine pops out to confront the Enforcer previously "Shaken" by a long distance shot. The shaken Enforcer is downgraded to d6 and unsurprisingly loses. The other Enforcer was facing away and cannot join in. I prefer 180 vision arcs in games where possible - as it adds a lot to positioning/tactics without a lot of complexity. 

His partner pops around the other side of the cover to shoot the other Marine who is stressed. He wins the roll but misses hideously from point blank. At this point I stopped as I promised I'd only spend 30min in the shed.  

Observations: Game works out of the box, as expected as the 'beat 4+ with a dice' is pretty common. Quite a bit of action going on.

I forgot to swap the initiative back and forth a few times (when the active side failed a reaction roll with a 3 or less; and when the active player took more casualties in their action), so it was less dynamic and a bit more IGOUGO than it ought - although the reactions provided plenty of action for the non-active player.

Reacting models do get to use their full RoF, but a failed reaction roll means they are stressed - they miss their turn if they haven't acted already, and cannot react further except at actions targeted at them - which limited the reactions a little. I also forgot to use Suppression fire. Reacting models also all passed their Ammo rolls this game which is probably pretty unlikely, mathematically. Had a vaguely Infinity vibe as models often paused and went on Hold to cover an area. There was quite a lot of care in positioning and facing which was good. Cover mattered as intended. I liked how you could Hold with a model and use it to cover an ally. I may expand this into a Hold+Move simultaneous action.

The jump from 4 Defence to 6 Defence was vast; enabling the Enforcers to shrug off quite a few shots. The variety of dice (d6, d8 d10) made it harder to make modifiers consistent but did make it easy to calculate (just grab the dice and throw).  I liked how when a model was downed you had to decide - should I finish him off? - potentially wasting your shots on a model that might die anyway.

I didn't play with stealth or darkness rules (which will be integral to the setting) which would really impact the long-range crossfield shots which happened quite frequently. No gunfight included more than 2 models on each side, despite how I had rules to allow bigger shootouts. The plentiful cover kept the action spread out into chunks and stopped it becoming a shoot-fest, enabling some small 2v1 gang ups and flanking. There was quite a lot of thought put into precisely placing minis out of LoS/angled so they only had to face minimal opponents when they acted.

A lot more to do, but the game works as is, which is nice. I kinda enjoy using my weird dice so I'll stick with them instead of my original d10+stat system.


  1. Really enjoyed the battle report, also is there any chance of getting a battle report for Intercept Vector or Delta Vector anytime soon?

    1. I've got my 1:300 jets out at the moment so... maybe? Have been testing out Project Wingman at the moment (PC game a bit like Ace Combat) so I'm in the eight mindset. It's just 30min typing up a bat rep is 30min I'm not painting etc.

  2. That seems like a really big playing area for a small number of figures. Did you use all (or most) of it?

    1. Nope, it's pretty normal. 4x4 is usual for most skirmish games - some newer ones are 3x3). The mini count is also 5-12 for most skirmish games in the Necromunda/Infinity etc genre. So no, nothing unusual.

      I used the entire width (as per the pics) but the game didn't progress enough for one side to push deep into a flank (Marines were just breaking through as I had to leave). Reaction mechanics also tend to make sides cautious about pushing into exposed areas; you have to work out the angles and get favourable matchups as you can't just move+shoot unopposed.

    2. I guess I've become so used to the Warcry/Reign in Hell sized smaller boards that anything beyond that looks large :-)

  3. Seemed liked the chassis worked pretty well. Now time to chrome it out!

    I also second a request for Intercept Vector batrep!

  4. Very interesting! Love the “dice stats” and the reaction mechanism (isn’t it a bit 2HW?)
    If you are willing to disclose the rules I’ll gladly play test at the club 😄

    1. The dice stats are very unoriginal - Stargrunt and Savage Worlds are two very popular rulesets using this since the 90s.

      I wouldn't call 2HW reactions? That's more a dice roll that removes player agency, for playing out semi-automated scenarios. Reactions are more Infinity the Game, or in this case, Savage Worlds-meets-Stargrunt/Ambush Alley.

      I'll tidy up the rules and maybe chuck them on the google group - the skeleton is playable but its needing more chrome.