The New Earth Engine

The following is a post from my old blog pictures and all. It’s a game I’ve often thought about revamping and I’ve recently been either stripping and fixing some of the same figures from this post or rebuying them. So you’ll probably see more stuff along these lines in the future. I’ve been rethinking the fluff and I’m now calling it Neo-Arcane rather than The New Earth Engine but essentially it’s just a system to utilise all those lovely Grenadier figures that you can still get from numerous places. The pictures by the way were taken on a pretty bad phone even for the time!

So I’ve recently been more serious about my home-brew rulesets and have actually been buying miniatures and play-testing things. Because my mind is a constant mess of deciding on whether to go Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Historical I decided to produce a skirmish game that allowed for all, and not only that, but that also had rules simple and direct enough that people brand new to gaming could easily get their heads around it.

Don’t worry too much about fluff for now, but I’ll just say the game actually takes place within a virtual world (kinda like the matrix) which allows for odd things, like a knights armour withstanding SMG fire! Here are the two forces I play tested today:
An Allied force of Orthodoxy and Security Sciences.

The Bishop – A powerful Magic user.

The Killbot Sergeant – Agile and good at range.

The Inferno Killbot – Armed with a Flame Thrower.

The Paladin – A tough as nails close combat specialist.

The Brawling Mechanic – Good in hand to hand and able to fix the killbots.

The opposing force – The Lamented.

The Necromancer – Another powerful Magic user.

The Young Vampire – Agile and deadly.

The Blood Knight – The toughest Warrior in play, and with a few screws loose.

The Fallen Knight – The third toughest Warrior in play, who occasionally lapses back into his noble ways.

The Dead Jester – Capable of causing organ rupturing laughter.

Here’s some pics of a play test game I played on my scouring pad gaming surface:

The table (2’x2′) is simply set up with a good spread of terrain features, since board edges are randomly determined you want to keep things even, or you may fall prey to your own traps! Once both players are happy with the terrain objectives are placed alternately, there is 1 objective in the game per miniature, I was playing out a 5 vs 5 so there are 10 objectives, with 5 on the table at the beginning of the game. To keep things really tense the objectives are not designated a number of points but are added to your objective dice pool, which at the end of the game is rolled, with the winner being the player that rolls highest. You will lose 1 die from that pool each time one of your miniatures is killed. The five objectives on the table are placed alternately and must be at least 6″ apart (rolling off to see who places the first), again you want an even spread because starting board edges have not been rolled for yet, so you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot. Board edges are then rolled for – a player rolls 1D10 (it doesn’t matter which, roll off for it if you want) going clockwise from any board edge – 1,2 = first board edge, 3,4 = second, 5,6 = third, 7,8 = fourth and if a 9 or 10 is rolled the opposing player chooses the edge. The player rolls and gets the edge rolled for. The opposing player does the same (re-rolling if they get the edge already taken). The first player rolls again for the remaining two edges. Then the game begins – miniatures do not begin on the table but move in from one of the board edges of their controlling player. The game is over when all the models on one side have been killed, or all the objectives have been claimed.

Each player is given 2 action tokens per model, when they want to activate a model they spend action tokens to do so. The first time a model is activated it costs 1 action token, from then on each activation costs the number of action tokens already spent on the model. Once both players have spent as many action tokens as they are able the game turn is over, they get all their action tokens back and a new game turn begins. When a model is activated it goes through 4 phases – 1) Special Abilities 2) Shooting 3) Running 4) Fighting, you can claim an objective if you are in base contact with it instead of performing a special ability. I’m aware ‘phase’ systems aren’t too popular, however I have found they are great for first time players or people entirely new to this kind of gaming. Combat is designed to be simple and decisive – each weapon has a range and power, and you can only use ranged weapons if an enemy is not in base to base contact. Pick up a number of D10s equal to the power of the weapon and roll them, you’re aiming to roll equal to or under your relevant stat – fight for melee and shoot for ranged attacks. The dice that hit are then re-rolled – this time attempting to roll higher than your targets armour, each dice that rolls higher causes 1 point of damage. Models usually can take between 8 and 12 points of damage before they are killed.

2 thoughts on “The New Earth Engine

  1. Sounds like another fun set of rules! Maybe you should try a historical play-through, to see if it feels convincing. What effect does terrain have?

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