Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Focused Actions (Rogue Planet)

One of a few layouts I'm preparing for some future games.
We've been mucking around with Rogue Planet's published/semi-official (?) "House Rules" by Thibault Bloch a few years ago and are included in zip file when you buy the rules from Wargame Vault.   Some great elements in there to add something of a Necromunda feel to the game.  Amongst the things that have worked for us are Climbing, Vaulting, Jumps & Falling (ouch!) rules, Brutal Impacts, Parry and Specialised Rounds (very Judge Dredd), not to mention the Scenario Generator (Main Plots, Deployment Options and Extra Circumstances).  All great stuff.

So onto another House Rule we're trialing: Focus What's "Focus"?  By way of illustration, a unit taking extraordinary care in lining-up and aiming a shot could be said to be focusing, and in doing so, the likelihood of the focused shot's success is increased (relative to an standard, unfocused-action).

I arrived at the term Focus because the concept of trading Action Points for better odds can be applied to a lot of situations.  It allows for some additional tactical decisions and narrative opportunities without being a burden to track and apply, which is really keeping with and enhancing those features that already make Rogue Planet such an elegant system.

I've been busily preparing a new collection of terrain to run a few themed scenarios/games for the kids.  Presently at least, I've got a vision of asymmetric forces - kind of hold out against the horde - where the 'weaker' force might make use of focused actions to (hopefully!) tip the battle in their favour.  I especially like the idea of using FOCUS + SUPPRESSION to really tie-up a horde charging across no man's land intent on storming an entrenched position.

You might notice that FOCUS+SHOOT and FOCUS+MELEE both result in a fleeting, temporary increase in either RAT or CQ.  The thinking here is that a focused attack can be materially more effective than the buffs usually awarded for (for example) attacking from higher ground.  I imagined a group of Imperial Guard foregoing an opportunity to fall back and instead focusing their fire on the Group of exo's storming their position - the increase in RAT provides the opportunity to inflict more units of damage than might otherwise be possible.


The FOCUS Action provides the means for units improving the odds of success of a subsequent Action - performing two or three consecutive Actions in a Turn is termed 'chaining'.  A variety of FOCUS-chained Actions and their application are detailed below:
FOCUS + MOVE: +1 Skill Check buff e.g., DISENGAGE or TERRAIN
FOCUS + CHARGE: +1 Skill Check buff
FOCUS + SHOOT: +1 to the Attacker's RAT
FOCUS + CAST: +1 Skill Check buff
FOCUS + MELEE: +1 to the Attacker's CQ
FOCUS + CAST: +1 Skill Check buff
Buff calculations are subject to the usual +3 ceiling.

FOCUS can only be applied during circumstances where the activated unit undertakes two consecutive chained Actions.  Some Actions/Traits already incorporate a Focus-like feature meaning they cannot normally be further buffed using FOCUS.  For example:

  • A non-heroic unit armed with a Carbine might use FOCUS to increase their odds of making a particularly important shot (FOCUS + SHOOT = 2 Action Points)
  • A non-heroic unit armed with a Hollow Point Round Carbine is unable to use the Focus with SPECIALISED ROUND LOADING as only 2 consecutive Actions are permitted and SPECIALISED ROUND LOADING must be chained with SHOOT.
  • A heroic unit armed with a Hollow Point Round Carbine is able be able to use the FOCUS + SPECIALISED ROUND LOADING + SHOOT (3 Action Points) as only heroes are permitted to chain 3 consecutive Actions in a Turn.

FOCUS cannot be used to enhance Counter Actions - an Action can only be countered by a single Counter Action.

The FOCUS Action does not directly provide the opponent an opportunity to initiate a Counter Action, however the Action subsequent to the FOCUS (e.g., SHOOT) can be Countered as per normal/standard rules.

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