Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Extinction Concept

Corvus Belli's Infinity

I have been playing a lot of Infinity (Corvus Belli's Infinity, not my Infinity Core) at my local war games club, and I've been enjoying it quite a bit. It is not without its problems, no game is ever perfect. But it suffers from some issues of complexity that could be sorted out very easily, by not hiding skills inside other skills. That got be thinking up a wish list of things I'd like to tweak if Corvus Belli ever came asking. So with those ideas in mind I thought why not develop a contemporary game using my wish list of ideas as a concept.

X-COM: Enemy Unknown

I have long been a fan of contemporary aliens amongst us / alien invasion themes. So I thought I'd have a go at putting the two ideas together. Pitting war bands against each other in a post invasion world. The players would be able to choose a faction to collect and build up through campaign experience, much like Games Workshop's Mordhiem game (one of the all time great GW games).

Factions wise I'm thinking there should be the option to play both human and alien factions.

Survivors: A mixture of survivors including former law enforcement and joe average off the street corner. Tends to be poorly equipped, but come in greater numbers.

Agents: A well equipped team but with a small number of members.

Hybrids: These guys could be on anyone side, no one trusts them, but they do have the ability to use some alien tech.

Greys: They lost big time when the humans proved to be more resourceful than expected destroying several motherships that then crashed disgorging survivors. Now free of their slave masters that are in survival mode

Blues: When the Grey led mission to invade Earth failed, the Blue stepped in. A more militant alien faction these creatures are as determined to animate the the fallen Greys as they are the humans.

X-COM: Enemy Unknown
The game would be played alternately using an action point mechanic. Each miniature would have a number of action points (8-10 being average) that can be spent to to buy movement on a 1 point for 1 inch basis. Other actions would have a cost associated with them, aiming a gun might take 3 points, firing might take 5 points. This would allow a model to move and fire, or fire and move, or even move, fire and then move again. Similarly a miniature could buy a number of reaction fire opportunities allowing it to activate out of turn and act against targets of opportunity, but not with unlimited capability as is the case in Infinity. Other types of actions would also need to be assigned action costs, such as opening a door, or climbing, going prone, kneeling, or taking a braced firing stance. 
The small number of miniatures required of the game would keep the mechanic manageable, and very fluid. Also specific mission objectives could be given an action point total that needs to be achieved. Lets say one players group needs to access secured records on a computer, once a miniature reaches the computer he needs to spend a total of 20 action points over several turns to achieve the objective. He could do this in two turns with his buddies watching his back, but if not he could take it slower and hold something back for reactive fire.

Vehicles too could be driven using a number action points. depending on the speed of vehicle the drive might have action points left over to perform a maneuver or shoot out of the car window as he drives past.

At the moment I am still thinking about the specifics of how the dice mechanics would work. I'm keen to experiment with a die step system, but if not I'd be looking at either d10s or d20s to resolve skills checks and shooting.

X-COM: Enemy Unknown
I'd also like the campaign system to be built in to how the game works. One of the cool things about an alien's amongst us concept is the alien tech. Over time the humans could learn how to use it, or work out how to retro-engineer their own weapons from alien artifacts. In a pick up game a war band could spend some of their precious points on alien tech, but in a campaign game that would have to be achieved through play.

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