Book 2: Battle

Chapter Four: Machineries of Destruction

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Building Vehicles


The war machines of the great SpaceCivilizations are manned by the dedicated and violent men known as the SpacePilots.  Most SpaceMen live for the feeling of plunging a hand weapon into enemy flesh.  The SpacePilots are the few, the proud, the psychopaths who are willing to give up that sweet feeling in favor of the thump of a front bumper as it mows down enemy soldiers.  Also, of course, there's the chance to carry the kind of really, really big weapons that make hardened veterans wet themselves.


 
Vehicles are classified by the size of their chassis, or the base plate on which they built.  This refers to the plate that the designer of the vehicle started to build with.  The following chart classifies all of the most popular sizes of chassis.  If you are determined to build big capital-ship vehicles larger than the "Large" class, build them as if they were Bases and don't move them around much.
 
Class
Size (area)
Speed
Weapon Mounts
Armor Value
Ground Vehicles and Treaded Vehicles
1. One-Piece
(one piece)
16"
1"*
1d10+4
2. Small
up to 30
14"
2"
2d10+4
3. Medium
up to 110
12"
6"
3d10+4
4. Large
up to 225
10"
10"
4d10+4
Boats and Trains
4. One-Piece
(one piece)
16"
2"*
1d10+4
8. Small
up to 80
14"
4"
2d10+4
12. Medium
up to 200
12"
8"
3d10+4
16. Large
up to 600!
10"
16"
4d10+4
Flyers and Hover Flyers
 1. One-Piece
(one piece)
22"
* **
1d6+2
2. Small
up to 30
20"
1"**
1d10+2
3. Medium
up to 90
18"
2"**
2d10+2
4. Large
up to 200
16"
4"**
3d10+2
* - MkII weapons are the biggest a One-Piece vehicle can carry.  One-Piece vehicles can only have two weapons maximum.  
**  - MkIII weapons are the biggest a Flyer can carry.  Flyers can only have four weapons maximum.
To determine the base cost of your vehicle, you must first compute the area (in dots) of the vehicle chassis.  If you have a one-piece vehicle, such as a motorcycle, robohorse, or flying surfboard, consider the area to be ten.  Otherwise, take the length of the vehicle and multiply it by the width of the vehicle.  Items which to not contribute to the area of a vehicle include: Using this area, divide the area number by ten (rounding up) to get your BaseNumber.  If you are building a regular Ground Vehicle, this is the cost of your new vehicle chassis.  If you are building a Treaded Ground Vehicle, add the vehicle's Class Number and BaseNumber to get the cost.  If you are building a boat or a train, the cost is the BaseNumber divided by two. (note that boats' and trains' Class Numbers go up more quickly than other vehicle types.)  If you are building a regular Flyer, add the BaseNumber and five points times the vehicle's Class Number.  If you are building a Hover Flyer (such as a helicopter or hovercraft), add the BaseNumber and ten points times the vehicle's Class Number.  These points pay for the chassis, engine, motive devices, and controls for one person.  Weapons and other modifications will add to the total cost.  The minimum total cost of a vehicle, even a bicycle or a skateboard, is five points.
 
There must be some sort of propulsion device somewhere on the model of the vehicle, appropriate to the size of the vehicle.  If for some reason the vehicle has no propulsion device, the propulsion device is useless (propellors on a wheelless truck), or the propulsion device is too weak (a postage stamp-sized sail on a cruise liner), you're going to have to use SpaceMen to push, carry, or row it around if you want it moved.  SpaceMen row a boat as fast as they could push it if it were on land.  If you want to buy a backup set of motive devices (in case the first is destroyed), the point cost is twice the vehicle's Class Number.
 
All vehicles must be equipped with controls, which can be steering wheels, consoles, flightsticks, or anything else that the players deem as worthy of controldom.  Vehicles with no controls cannot accelerate, decelerate, or turn.  Vehicles without drivers are not much use, so try to avoid building them.  If you want to build additional sets of controls into your vehicle, in case the first set is destroyed or you want some copilots, it will cost you five points per set.
 
Depending on the area of the chassis, the vehicle comes equipped with a certain number of Weapon Mounts.  These signify how much weight the vehicle can carry before it starts to slow down.  Normally, vehicle weapons are heavy enough that they incur Movement Penalties on their vehicles.  The vehicle's Weapon Mount number indicates how many inches of Movement Penalty the vehicle can "absorb" before the penalties begin to affect it.
 
A vehicle must be at least three-fourths of the length of any weapon barrel or missile mounted on it.  Only Flyers can drop bombs, of course.  Weapon mounting is covered in the Mounting Siege Weapons section of Chapter 6: Siege Weapons.
 
Anything else you might want to add to a vehicle is covered under the heading of Outstanding Vehicular Modifications.  Both players should agree on the  point cost (minimum 5 pts.), Movement Penalty, and specific abilities of the OVM.  Common modifications would be cranes, robotic arms, storage bins, and bulldozer blades.  Uncommon modifications would be ejector seats, hydraulic jump springs, extra loud sound systems, jacuzzis, deep fat fryers, etc.

Vehicles may be used to transport other, smaller vehicles.  Each vehicle carried incurs a Movement Penalty equal to twice the number of inches of Weapon Mounts it has, plus the MovePenalties of whatever weapons and equipment are mounted on it.  Vehicles may also be used to transport troops.  A vehicle can carry as many SpaceMen as can fit inside.  Carrying a whole bunch of SpaceMen (or other minifigs, or Blox, or anything else of equivalent weight)  might start to slow a vehicle down, though.  To see how much a group of troops will slow down a vehicle, find out the vehicle's Class Number and divide the soldiers into groups of that number (round up - soldiers don't like to be divided into fractions!).  The first such group is carried at no penalty.  Each additional group incurs -1" of Movement Penalty.  If the vehicle has any spare inches left in its Weapon Mounts, they will lessen this penalty.
 
For ease of play, the men do not actually have to be inside of the vehicle.  You can hold them outside, and place them on the board when they are deployed by the vehicle.  However, the men you claim are being carried by the vehicle must be able to fit in it.  Your opponent may, if he wants to, challenge you to show him that they all actually do fit in the vehicle.  If they don't fit, the extreme pressure of cramming the vehicle beyond capacity crushes the men to death and causes the vehicle to burst asunder.

Picking up and dropping off troops and vehicles is easy.  Just move them onto and off of the vehicle during their Movement Phase.  A trooper or vehicle cannot board a transport vehicle that is moving faster than the boarding unit's maximum speed.  If the transport vehicle is going faster than the boarded unit's maximum speed when the unit jumps out, treat it as a collision between the unit and the ground (see the Brik Physix secion of Chapter Three: Advanced Combat).  Assume dirt or grass has an AV of 1d10, and asphalt or cement has an AV of 2d10.

If soldiers are in a vehicle that is open-topped or has open windows or gun slits, they can make attacks from the back of the vehicle.  However, for every 6" per turn they are moving relative to their target, they take a -1 Skill Modifier.
 
A vehicle's minimum movement after mounting all weapons, equipment, and passengers must be at least 4".  Vehicles of lesser speed are not allowed. Unless they have Hover capability, Flyers must move at least 10" per turn to stay in the air.  If you or your enemy manage to overload one of your vehicles past these limits, bad things happen.  Cars' wheels break off.  Jet planes crash.  Boats sink.  Hot-air ballons pop.  Submarines go into uncontrolled dives.  Dragons become angry and turn on their riders.  These are all the kinds of things you want to avoid.
 
 

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Vehicle Movement

All vehicles can be divided into six basic types: Ground Vehicles (trucks, snowmobiles, wheelchairs), Treaded Vehicles (tanks, bulldozers), Boats (rowboats, pirate frigates,  sternwheelers), Trains (trains, monorails, subway cars), Flyers (jets, biplanes, spacecraft), and Hover Flyers (helicopters, hovercraft, antigrav sleds).  They all move in similar fashion, with a couple of peculiarities to each type.
 
In addition to a type, each vehicle has a Class Number that determines how big, powerful, and maneuverable it is.  For each class of each type, every vehicle has a standard Speed statistic.  This distance is how far the vehicle can travel each turn at top speed.  Vehicles are not as maneuverable as SpaceMen, however, and although there is no real limit to how fast they accelerate and decelerate, they are limited in how fast they can turn.  Whatever a vehicle's Class Number is determines how many inches it has to travel before it can turn 45 degrees when it is going at full speed.  (in the case of Large Boats and Trains, this means they can only turn once every other turn!)  If the vehicle is going at half speed or slower, that halves the distance it has to travel before turning.  Treaded Vehicles, Hover Flyers, and one-man rowboats can rotate in place (but they can't turn any farther than they could if they were moving).  All other vehicles must move at least one inch between turns, regardless of all other considerations.

If a SpacePilot decides to push the envelope, he can try to turn when he's only gone half the necessary distance.  Every time he tries to do so, he must make a Skill Roll.  The first time he tries this on a given turn, he has to roll a 3 or higher.  Each successive time he tries this on the same turn, the number he has to roll increases by one.  No matter what a daredevil he is, he can't try to turn more than once for every inch he travels, and there's no real way to do this with a boat..  What happens if he fails this roll?  If the vehicle is top-heavy (because it is taller than it is wide or it is travelling down a slope), if it hits an obstacle that would "trip" it (like a big rock or a tree stump), or it is a Train on TrainTrax, the vehicle rolls over!  Oh no!  If it survives the resulting collision with the ground, it keeps heading in the same direction for one turn at maximum speed.  If it crashes into something while rolled over, it takes normal collision damage.  If the SpacePilot is not in an enclosed cabin, check to see if he's crushed under the vehicle when it rolls over (hope you have roll bars!).  This does as much damage to him as if the vehicle were dropped on him from a height of one story!  Usually a SpacePilot in that position will want to try to jump free of the vehicle before it rolls over.  (A SpacePilot attempting to jump out of a vehicle before it rolls always succeeds; all SpacePilots are required to become masters of the BailManeuver before they are given their first vehicle.)  Like any troop jumping off a moving vehicle, he still has to roll a collision between himself and the hard, hard ground.
 
If it isn't a situation where the vehicle's going to roll over, then it's really no sweat; the vehicle just skids out (or does the aerial equivalent if it is a Flyer).  That is, the vehicle itself turns to face in the new direction, but it continues moving in the old direction.  After it has skidded along in this manner for a number of inches equal to its Class Number, it regains traction and begins heading in the new direction.  It can regain traction in half that many inches if it steers into the turn (turns the vehicle back to face in the direction that it is skidding).  If a SpacePilot tries to turn again before he regains traction, he automatically fails the Skill Roll and skids out even further.  The clever reader will have already realized that this kind of thing could really come in handy, because a driver who skids out properly can turn his car all the way around while still moving in a straight line.  Fortunately, by pulling the emergency brake or cutting the throttle, SpacePilots can skid out voluntarily, any time they like.  Sometimes you might want to use a controlled skid to end your Movement Phase pointing at right angles to the direction of motion so that all your weapons will be aimed to one side for your Attack Phase.  Be careful!  In your next Movement Phase, you will still be skidding sideways, and if your opponent was clever enough to toss some brix or bodies in your path during his intervening turn, your vehicle will trip over them and roll over!  Won't you feel stupid then!
 
A vehicle's type will limit where it can drive around.  For instance, Boats stop moving around if they're not in water.  Trains are limited to the range of their TrainTrax.  Ground Vehicles cannot drive in midair.  Flyers cannot dig tunnels into the sides of mountains.  Hover Flyers cannot escape the event horizons of black holes.  I'm sure you can think of other similar limitations.  The type that is going to give you the biggest hassle is the Flyer.
 
A flyer is represented on the playing area as a vehicle with wings, propellers, etc., which is supported above the surface of the playing field by some kind of stand.  This stand doesn't represent anything on the battlefield except the shadow of the Flyer, which has no more effect than you would expect a shadow to have.  Since Flyers fly, they don't take any Movement Penalties for rough terrain, and they can fly right over buildings and obstacles.
 
To take off and land, regular Flyers need a minimum length of clear terrain, road, or airstrip, equal to six times the Class Number of the Flyer.  (Hover Flyers, of course, can land anywhere there is enough room for them to sit.)  A base can halve the minimum runway length on landings by building a tripwire or net on their landing strip for five points.  If the tripwire or net is used by a Large flyer, it will work once but break in the process.  If a flyer tries to land on an airstrip shorter than this, treat it as a collision with the ground.  Except when taking off or landing, a Flyer on the ground taxis around at 4" per turn.
 
 

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Vehicle Damage Resolution

Vehicles have Armor Values, just like normal troopers do.  This Armor Value is used exactly as the Armor Value for troopers is; that is, if a vehicle is hit by an enemy weapons blast, then the attacker rolls his Damage Value dice, and the defender rolls his Armor Value dice.  If the defender rolls higher, then the vehicle's armor repelled the blast with no damage, except for maybe a little of charred and flaked paint.
 
The difference is, if the attacker rolls higher, the vehicle isn't destroyed instantly.  The power of the attack will determine the extent of the damage.  To determine this damage, figure out by exactly how much the attacker's Damage Roll beat the vehicle's Armor Roll; that number will be the Damage Bonus.  Roll 1d20 plus this Damage Bonus and consult the Ker-Pow! Table.
 
Vehicle Ker-Pow! Table
Ker-Pow! Roll
(1d20+Damage-Armor)
What Happens
The Real Effect
Any time
a 1 is rolled,
regardless
of bonus
In a flash of revelation as the weapon blast hits, the driver of the vehicle realizes his destiny in life is to become a hero of great renown!
The driver of the vehicle gets one Stupendous Feat every turn for the rest of the game.
3
The engine is hit lightly and begins to smoke.
The vehicle is at -2 to be hit by enemies.
4
The driver bruises his elbow.
The driver gets a -1 skill modifier for the rest of the battle.
5
The driver becomes confused and has to ask for directions.
The vehicle cannot move or fire for one turn.  Flyers maintain a holding pattern.
6
The driver becomes enraged and throws a fit, forgetting to steer or fire weapons.
The vehicle cannot fire for one turn.  It travels in a straight line at maximum speed.
7
The shot panics the driver, causing an intense need to relieve his bladder.
The driver must park or land his vehicle as quickly as he can and run for the nearest tree, fire hydrant, or alleyway.  He can do nothing else until he's spent a full turn there.
8
The driver becomes enraged and swears a Personal Death Vendetta against the soldier, vehicle, or weapon that hit him.
The driver will do everything in his power to destroy the offender.  He can focus on nothing else until that attacker has been destroyed.
9
The stress of battle becomes too much for the poor driver, who starts drinking heavily.
Every time a driving Skill Roll is called for, it fails automatically.  Weapons are fired at -2 to Skill.
10
The shot hits the weapons systems, and a weapon falls off.
One weapon of the defender's choice falls off of the vehicle.  If it is explosive, a roll of 6 on a 1d6 means it goes off when it hits the ground.
11
The shot hits the weapons systems, and a weapon falls off.
One weapon of the attacker's choice falls off of the vehicle.  If it is explosive, a roll of 6 on a 1d6 means it goes off when it hits the ground.
12
The back wheels (or treads, propellors, thrusters, etc.) of the vehicle are blown off.
The vehicle may only move at half speed.
13
All forward gears are destroyed.
The vehicle may only move at half speed, in reverse.
14
The primary motive systems (wheels, jets, etc.) fall off.
Unless the vehicle has backup motive systems, it is now a stationary vehicle.  Flyers have one turn to pull off an emergency landing before they crash-land.
15
The links between the control systems and the rest of the vehicle are severed.
Unless the vehicle has a backup control system, it is now out of control.  It zips along at maximum speed, and the players take turns steering on alternate Movement Phases.  Defender steers first.
16
The engine shoots out of the vehicle.
The vehicle is now stationary.  Turrets no longer rotate, hinges no longer hinge, power windows no longer work.  You can still use the weapons by climbing over to them and firing them by hand.
17
The power cells overload.
All the weapons on the vehicle are destroyed.  Any explosive weapons detonate.
18
Arcing electricity and shrapnel fill the interior of the vehicle.
All troopers in the vehicle are killed.  Ground vehicles stop wherever they are.  Flyers continue at maximum speed for one turn before crash landing.
19
Arcing electricity, shrapnel, smoke, bursts of pure energy, and geysers of flame fill the interior of the vehicle.  The driver explodes in a tremendous cloud of blood and viscera.  The vehicle flips end-over-end and lands on its top. 
The driver is destroyed.  The passengers are tossed clear, unless they are in an enclosed cabin, in which case they are pummeled into hamburger against the walls of the vehicle interior.  If the vehicle survives the additional damage of flipping over, it is useless until it can somehow be turned right-side-up again.
20+
The engine explodes in a huge plume of fire, setting off the fuel system and causing a tremendous explosion.  Everyone on the battlefield, friend and foe alike, cheer at this beautiful image, so dear to SpaceMen's hearts.
The vehicle blows up, doing explosion damage equal to its Armor Value.  Flyers nose-dive straight down and crash.  Boats sink to the briny bottom.
if you roll a result that doesn't apply to your vehicle (for instance, you roll a nine for a vehicle whose driver is already dead), keep adding one to your roll until you get a result that applies.

 
 
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