mechanics lab: polygonal dice

It’s been an odd week, one of those weeks where I experience a bit of creativity overload, many new ventures, many new projects, almost none of them the Global Warfare rules I’m supposed to be working on. One such venture this week was a simple skirmish system using polygonal dice to do all of the heavy lifting.

A while ago I had an idea of using colour coded polygonal dice to help new comers out to board/wargames. So a D4 was white, D6 yellow, D8 orange, D10 red and D12 black. So you could just say roll the orange die, instead of roll a D8.

My factions for play testing this idea were a mix of Irregular Miniatures 15mm Scifi and Fantasy figures, I imagined a post apocalyptic setting, but in a fantasy universe.

By way of explanation here are my scribbled rules:

Alternate Activations – When activated a figure can move and then attack or attack and then move. The figure can only make one attack either ranged or melee. Once all of one player’s figures have activated their opponent can activate all of their figures consecutively until all figures have activated once each. Then all figures become deactivated and a new round begins.

Movement – Roll the SPD (Speed) die of the figure. The figure can then move up to the value rolled in inches.

Ranged Attacks – Measure range from shooter to target in inches, add 1 to the range if the target is in soft cover and add 2 if they are in hard cover. Roll the SHO (Shoot) die of the attacker, if the roll equals or beats the range to the target then a hit is scored. If not then the shot is a fail. If the shot would be impossible due to the range a pot shot can still be made – roll the black die (D12) if a 12 is rolled a hit is scored. If no then the shot is a fail.

If a hit it achieved roll the S/P (Shot Power) die of the attacker and roll the DEF (Defence) die of the target, if the attacker rolls higher then the target takes damage equal to the difference, reduce their LIF (Life) accordingly. If a figures LIF is reduced to 0 or less then they are killed. Remove the figure from play. If the target rolls equal to or higher than the attacker then no damage is scored.

Melee Attacks – To perform a melee attack the attacker must be in base to base contact with their target. Roll the MEL (Melee) die of the attacker and the MEL die of the defender. If the attacker rolls higher then a hit is achieved, roll to see if damage is scored using the M/P (Melee Power) die of the attacker. Damage is dealt in the same way as ranged attacks. If the defender rolls higher then the attack fails. If the attacker and defender roll the same number then the defender parries the attacker, the defender can immediately make a free attack back, this attack does not count as their activation.

The system worked pretty well, but was a little dull. I think more flavour for each faction and probably a good scenario rather than the up and at ‘em kind of game I did play would help a lot. None the less it’s a fun system I’m thinking about developing further.

The big bonus of this sort of system is that you never need to look up a stat line to find out the value you need to roll or roll and plus a modifier, just roll the die.

I actually bought and painted the figures a while ago, the Amazons:

The Dark Dwarves:

And the Humans:

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