COMBAT DICE by Jörg Hansen
Combat Dice (CD's) are a very comfortable and easy way to resolve battles in any game system
on any detail level. Lots of our self developed games use CD's, and even our favourite
warpspawn games like Artifact or the Warp Skirmish System can be varied with CD's if you
feel the need for a change.
CD's are 6-sided dice with two sides called 'hits' (5 and 6 on a common die) and one side
called 'Oops' (the 1). The remaining sides have no meaning. And here's how to use them on
different levels of detail:
1. level - keep it simple, stupid
Each combatant has a certain strength. Both sides throw as many CD's as their strength says,
and the fighter who has more hits wins. The loser might be killed or lose as many hitpoins
as the difference between the amounts of hits.
2. level - fast skirmish
Each player might have a defending power as well. The attacker throws as many CD's as his
attack value says, the defender corresponding to his defending power. If the attacker scores
more hits than the defender, the target loses (life, 1 hitpoint, the difference between the
amounts of hits). The attacker may not lose this turn.
3. level - different character traits
Each player might have different character traits that can be rolled out against each other.
For example: Gunnery vs. ship size, if hit then weapon power vs. defense shields etc. You
can design this in any detail level you like (some details suck and tend to slow down the
gameplay, so do some playtesting).
4. level - modifiers (tabletop gaming etc.)
You can use this in combination with any level - just give modifiers under certain
circumstances. Let weapons add a number of CD's to your strength, let a distance to the
fire target determine if the attacker has to reduce his gunnery (half of the CD's or
anything), let your character double a defensive power if he's taking cover etc.
Another way of modifying might be the adding/subtracting of CD's, maybe when doing
combined attacks etc. You get the idea - let your imagination flow :)
If your CD roll delivers only "Hits", this might be declared as critical hit, which can
lead to any consequences you like - target destroyed, secret roll revealed, extra attack etc.
If your CD roll delivers more "Oops" than "Hits", this might be declared as
critical miss, which can lead to any consequences you like - weapon jam / out of
ammo, self-inflicted wound, loss of all further action points this round etc.
RPG with CD's
We even play some RPG's with CD's - it's easy. Just let the character traits determine the
number of CD's to be rolled, and give the challenges/obstacles a certain power that a) has to
be reached with hits, or b) determines the number of CD's that can be rolled against the
CD's are not our invention. Lots of games use some kind of CD's (for just one example see
Universal Game Systems / Rules of War). But since we made our own cool-looking set of CD's,
we discovered that lots of games easily can be adapted to them, which often spices up even
long-sellers. We learned that a lot of "realism" can be added with CD's without the usual
disadvantage of getting the gameplay too complicated. The advantage for game designing is the
fact, that the designer only has to deal about the different character traits and their balance
- and even the level of detail can be varied very easily. The advantage for the gamers is the
simplicity of use and result. If you have any comments/critic/suggestions/ideas, we're eager to
hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.