The Troika
The BrikThulhian Troika can be thought to represent the cycle of Movement, Action, and Enemy Response. But on the other hand it can really be thought to represent just about anything.
Chapter Four: The Player Turn
“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving.”
- Ulysses S. Grant

Movement
Movement
Action
Action
Response
Response

During a player’s turn, each of his units may engage in whatever Movement is allowed by its Move statistic, and may each take one Action (preferably an attack). In the meantime, enemy units with unused Actions to spend have the option to take them in Enemy Response to his behavior.



4.1: Movement
“Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”
- Will Rogers

MovementDuring Movement, a minifig's Move rating of 5" allows him to move five inches in any direction - he can run across five inches of level ground, climb five inches’ worth of stairs or ladders, or leap over five inches of chasm.

His movement is limited in a couple of ways. He can’t pass through obstacles, or leap higher than 1” (three bricks) in a single jump. Difficult types of movement may be cost extra Move inches or reduce the minifig to Half Speed (see below). Movement that requires the use of both arms (swimming, crawling, or climbing ropes and ladders, for example) will prevent the minifig from using those arms to make Attacks or other manual Actions.

If a minifig moves within Close Combat striking distance of an opponent who still has an Action to spend, it's assumed that the opponent automatically attacks him, unless the opposing player says otherwise. If the minifig decides to Counter the attack, they are both entered into Close Combat (5.2: Close Combat) and the minifig’s Movement is over for the turn. If not, and the minifig survives the attack, then the minifig may continue moving normally.


Move Actions and Half Speed
Common Move Actions
Example Action Cost Example Action Cost
Talking, delivering pithy one-liners (no cost) Dropping to a seated, kneeling, or prone position (no cost)
Operating a simple latch, lever, button, or door -1" Move Standing up from a seated or kneeling position -1" Move
Picking up or dropping equipment items (no cost) Standing up from a prone or Disrupted position (4.3: Enemy Response) -2" Move
Picking up a heavier item -1" Move Crawling or dragging oneself along the ground Half Speed
Carrying or dragging a heavy item Half Speed Hopping or hobbling on one leg Half Speed
Climbing stairs, ramps, or leaping across chasms (no cost) Swimming, wading through mud, fighting through thick vegetation Half Speed
Climbing ropes, ladders, or rocky cliffs Half Speed Any two or more types of Half Speed movement Immobilized

Move Actions
Although a minifig is limited to one major Action for the turn, there are many lesser actions that are too minor to count against this limit. Actions that require no particular attention, aiming, or dice rolls are considered to be Move Actions, and are treated as part of regular Movement rather than using up the minifig's Action for the turn. Depending on the amount of time and effort involved, Move Actions may use up some portion of the unit's Move inches, or reduce its Movement to Half Speed.

Very simple acts, like picking up or dropping regular equipment objects, holding conversations, or sneezing, don't slow a minifig down at all. More involved actions, such as picking up a heavy object (up to the size of a minifig or 2x4 brick), opening a door, or holstering a weapon, cost 1” of Move – taking that action took a small amount of time, and now the minifig has less time for moving.

Half Speed
Actions that actively burden a minifig, such as wearing Heavy Armor, carrying or dragging a heavy object (up to the size of a minifig or 2x4 brick), or engaging in difficult movement requiring the use of both arms (swimming, crawling, climbing ropes, etc.) will reduce a minifig's Movement to Half Speed. For a minifig moving at Half Speed, all Movement costs twice the usual number of Move inches - that is to say, moving two physical inches across the battlefield costs four Move inches. Minifigs moving at Half Speed cannot jump or fly around (if they're a flying type of unit). Minifigs can still climb into vehicles or saddles as usual.

If a minifig is already reduced to Half Speed, a second Half Speed condition will bring him to a complete halt - a normal minifig can either swim at Half Speed or drag a dead compatriot around at Half Speed, for instance, but it can't do both. Regardless of Half Speed, a minifig may still spend Move inches to take regular Move Actions if it makes sense to do so; he may be immobilized by a combination of Heavy Armor and a missing leg, but that doesn't prevent him from mashing a self-destruct button if it's within arm's reach.


The Passion of the Ghoirboy
Unarmed, naked, and surrounded by sausage-wielding Dungans, this minifig's best option is to Sprint like hell and never look back.
Photo: Shaun Sullivan
from "Ghoirboy: images for a very twisted story"
Sprinting
“One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!”
- Winston Churchill

When speed is critical, a minifig (or any mobile unit) can Sprint, giving itself extra inches of Move for the turn equal to its Skill Roll, as long as the minifig's entire Movement for the turn (including the Sprint) is in a straight line. The Sprinting unit's path may go up or down and over any obstacles that it could leap over without having to climb, but it may not turn to the right or left by even a tiny amount.

Sprinting minifigs may not perform any Move Actions that cost inches of Move. Minifigs moving at Half Speed, on the other hand, can still put in the effort to try to Sprint, but the extra Sprint inches are also Half Speed.

Sprinting costs the unit's Action for the turn, although it may be combined with a Charge attack as a special type of combined Action (5.4: Charge!).

The Skill roll for Sprinting can benefit from Bonus Dice like any other roll (1.2: Numbers) - the extra sixes keep adding more inches to the Sprint, potentially allowing truly ridiculous straight-line speed. By tradition, if a series of sixes in a Sprint roll suddenly ends with a roll of one, it's a special kind of Critical Failure - the unit is unable to stop itself, and must run the full distance allowed by the extra sixes, even if he runs into a wall or off the table.



4.2: Action
“Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often.”
- Mark Twain

ActionAny act that requires a minifig’s attention, focus, or concentrated effort is an Action. Due to limits on time and minifig brainpower, a minifig may only take one such Action per turn. He may use his single Action before, after, or in the middle of his Movement, but he only gets one, so he should spend it wisely.

In ideal circumstances, a minifig will almost always use his Action to make an Attack (5.1: Making Attacks). But even the most belligerent minifigs will concede that less direct types of Actions are sometimes called for in order to set up better Attacks later.


Use Ratings
Minifigs are clumsy and easily distracted, and Actions are rarely automatic successes. Each Action is given a Use rating describing its relative difficulty. Except for the most trivial types of Action, a minifig attempting an Action must make a Skill Roll, rolling the die in his Skill rating to see if his attempt succeeds. If his Skill Roll is equal to or higher than the Action's Use rating, then the Action is a success. If it is lower, the Action fails, and the minifig suffers whatever consequences logically result.

Weapons and other equipment items have standard Use ratings in their descriptions. Minifigs attacking with or utilizing these items will use those ratings (Chapter 3: Minifig Weapons). Otherwise, there are all kinds of unusual tasks that minifigs might attempt, from the trivial to the impossible, although these are much less common. Most will have a default Use rating of 3; players may agree on a higher or lower difficulty as seems appropriate.

The Dodecube
Dice-worshipping Dodekube cultists believe that logic is an illusion and that all of reality is nothing more than the cosmic dice rolls of disinterested Human gods. Their belief arises from the fact that even the most sober minifigs have sometimes been able to "see the dice."
Use: Difficulty Attack Example Other Examples
- trivial (no roll required) kicking a corpse putting pants on;
stacking bricks
2 easy; almost
always succeeds
slashing someone with a shortsword jumping off a ledge to grab a rope;
hacking a U.S. election machine
3 normal; might take
more than one try
stabbing someone with a spear kicking open a regular locked door;
mixing complex drinks
4 tricky; even
odds of success
hacking someone with a halberd rock-climbing a brick wall;
reassembling an unfamiliar rifle
5 difficult bashing someone with a battering ram disarming a bomb;
winning at Vegas
6 very difficult crushing someone with a catapult shot walking a tightrope;
performing minor surgery
8 heroic ruining someone with a wrecking ball Olympic-level gymnastics;
catching a crossbow bolt in flight
10 legendary destroying someone with deck artillery hacking into a military satellite
dodging concentrated machine-gun fire
12 godlike obliterating someone with an orbital laser injuring a Human;
performing a judo throw on a T-rex


Overskill
For exceptional Actions, the Use rating can be so high that minifigs have to pin their hopes on rolling one or more Critical Successes to have any chance of matching it (1.4: Rolling Dice). This is relatively rare. The Skill requirements for most Actions are met with the first "6" rolled, making Bonus Skill Dice irrelevant. The minifig may find some way to show off and accomplish his task with a little extra flair, but from a practical standpoint, there's no advantage to succeeding by a large Skill margin rather than a small one.

Certain types of Actions incorporate more than one die roll. The success of an Attack, in particular, depends just as much on the size of the Damage Roll as on the Skill Roll to hit in the first place (5.1: Making Attacks). For an Action like this, rather than letting a Critical Success go to waste, players can trade an unnecessary Bonus Skill Die for an Overskill Die and add it to the secondary roll instead.

Unlike regular Bonus Dice, which always add +1d6, an Overskill Die is the same die type as the unit's Skill. Regular minifigs with 1d6 Skill who earn an Overskill Die will add +1d6 to their Damage Roll (or other secondary roll). Heroes, with their 1d10 Skill, will add a more impressive Overskill of +1d10 (6.1: The Hero). When appropriate (which is to say, always), this +1d10 can be treated as an extra die of Explosion damage rather than regular Damage, with an area effect that fortuitously excludes the Hero himself (3.2: Ranged Weapons).

Regardless of Skill level, Bonus Dice rolled off of an Overskill Die still add +1d6 as normal.

Overskill Example: The Hangman's Gallows
Thieven Hood
Thieven Hood appreciates the inherent humor of a public pants-pooping, as long as it's someone else's pants.
Example: In the excitement surrounding the public execution in Dottingham Square, Thieven Hood has managed to sneak his way onto the town palisade overlooking the plaza. He's too late! The hangman is already pulling the release lever, and one of Thieven's Merry Minifigs is about to take the long drop. Although well aware of the involuntary pants-pooping that follows a successful hanging, Thieven is still determined to try to save his minion. He only has one chance: to shoot the rope before it snaps the victim's neck.

This is an extraordinarily difficult shot. Thieven's longbow has a Use of 3 and a Range of 10", but the rope is very small, giving a -2 Skill Penalty for Target Size, and it's a full thirteen inches away, giving an additional -3 to each Skill and Damage die for being three inches Out of Range (5.1: Making Attacks). With a Use of 3 and a Skill Penalty of -2, he needs to roll a 5 just to hit the rope; with -3 to every die rolled, it's a long shot by any interpretation.

Thieven makes his Attack Roll and rolls his Skill die. A six! The roll is reduced to a 3 by the Out of Range penalty, but it's still a Critical Success and earns him a Bonus Die. Luckily, he rolls well again: another six! The Bonus Die is also reduced to a 3, but together they add up to 6, enough to overcome the -2 Target Size penalty and hit the rope, and it gives him a second Bonus Skill Die he doesn't even need.

With the Skill requirement already met, Thieven converts the second Bonus Die into an Overskill Die, adding +1d6 to the longbow's regular Damage rating of 1d6+1. This boosts the Damage to 2d6+1, but each die will be reduced by 3 due to the Out of Range penalty.

Thieven's rolls of 2 and 3 are reduced to a paltry -1 and 0, resulting in zero total Damage. The arrow strikes the rope with perfect precision, but bounces off without effect. The condemned Merry Minifig drops through the trapdoor, the noose snaps around his neck, and the inevitable pants-pooping follows moments later. Thieven Hood, along with the handful of other Merry Minifigs attending incognito, join the crowd of onlookers in merry laughter at the defecatory spectacle.


Extended Actions
“Victory belongs to the most persevering.”
- Napoleon Bonaparte

Some actions are so involved or time-consuming that they take up a minifig’s entire turn, even if they aren’t difficult enough to require a Skill Roll. These are called Extended Actions. Examples include piloting a vehicle, operating a computer, putting on a suit of plate mail, rowing a rowboat, or reading a wargaming rulebook. An Extended Action uses up a minifig’s entire Movement and Action; he may do nothing else during that turn.

The most common Extended Action for minifigs, often extending over a very large number of turns, is "Being Dead."



4.3: Enemy Response
“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”
- Sun Tzu

ResponseIf a unit doesn't use its Action on its own turn, it can save it to use in response to other units' actions - shooting at scouts as they pop out from behind cover, whacking soldiers that wander into range of his melee weapon, or punching the self-destruct button when all the invitees have boarded the cruise liner for its birthday party. Of course, its enemies are free to use their own saved Actions during its turn as well, so tread carefully!

To make a Response Action, a unit must have an unspent Action from its previous turn. These Responding units may move up to one inch (known as an Angry Inch (5.2: Close Combat)) if necessary in order to press, grab, or otherwise operate a critical object (to pull a lever or slam a door, for instance), or to position themselves in range of a target for a Close Combat or Ranged Attack.


Cone of Vision
A Responding minifig must be aware of the specific action or movement to which he's reacting, and in a timely enough fashion to make a proper Response. In almost all cases, this means he has to be able to see it. If he sees an enemy soldier raise a rifle and take aim, he may have time to dive for cover; if all he knows is that he heard a gunshot, it's way too late.

A minifig's Cone of Vision points in whichever direction his head is facing, and forty-five degrees to either side, making a complete cone of ninety degrees. If an object or event is within that field of view, the minifig can see it; if not, he can't. Whenever it's hard to tell whether or not an object falls within that cone, a quick What I Say Goes roll resolves the issue neatly.


Who Acts First
The lucky high heels fail to save this roll
The results of this roll have clearly gone better for Shaun than for Wayne.
Photo: Alfred Speredelozzi
"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
- Abraham Lincoln

Even if a minifig can see disaster about to strike, he won't always be fast enough to respond in time.

In some cases, a minifig will have plenty of time to make his Response Action. If an enemy's running across an open field with a knife while you're swinging a polearm, or if he's running across an open field with a polearm while you're aiming a pistol, or if he's running across an open field with a pistol while you're hiding in an underground bunker with a hand on the magma release lever, you are going to have plenty of time to act before he gets close enough to do anything about it. As a rule of thumb, if an target is already within range of a minifig's Response Action when it still has to move an inch or more before taking its own Action, the minifig will automatically be able to act first during that inch.

In cases where one minifig's Action isn't automatically faster than another's, the Skill Rolls for their Actions will determine who goes first. (For Actions that don't require a Skill Roll, roll against a Use of zero).

Whichever unit's Skill Roll beats its Action's Use rating by a larger amount (or, if both fail, the one who fails by the lesser amount) will act first. In the case of a tie, assume that both Actions occur simultaneously if possible; otherwise, the player whose turn it is acts first.

Who Acts First Example: High Noon Shootout
Example: Two gunfighters meet outside the saloon for a duel at high noon. They eye each other warily, each prepared to draw and fire the moment their opponent so much as twitches.

On Hairtrigger Wayne's turn, he decides he's going to fire first, and declares his attack on Shoot-Em-in-the-Back Shaun. Shaun declares a similar attack on Wayne as a Response Action. Both players roll their Skill of 1d6 against their pistols' Use rating of 3. No doubt due to heavy drinking, Wayne rolls a 2 and Shaun rolls a 1; both miss their shots.

Wayne's failure by -1 (Skill Roll:2 minus Use:3) is less bad than Shaun's failure by -2 (Skill Roll:1 minus Use:3); his missed shot occurs first. Shaun's shot occurs second, and since it was a Critical Failure, the gun goes off before he even gets it out of the holster. Shaun collapses in agony after shooting himself in the foot, and a great cheer goes up as the crowd of spectators mistakenly assumes that Wayne's shot hit its mark.


Bailing Out
When a rooftop ninja tosses grenades into his turret hatch, this tank commander decides that discretion is the better part of valor, and Bailing the hell Out is the better part of not getting obliterated.
Photo: Eric Kingsley
NELUG's "April Fools War" April 2000
Bailing
While the recommended Response to almost any enemy behavior is to attack with everything you've got, there are times when a unit's best bet is to make a desperate leap for safety. He may be dodging an oncoming truck, jumping out of a helicopter that's about to be hit by missiles, or diving behind cover when a machine gun turret opens fire on him.

Units are not able to Sprint as a Response Action. Instead, assuming their movement type would logically allow it, they have the option to Bail. A Bailing unit makes a Skill roll and can dive to any spot within that many inches of its current position, ending up lying on the ground in a prone position. After Bailing, a unit is Disrupted, meaning he may not attempt any further action until his next turn, not even to Counter a Close Combat attack. On its following turn, the unit may spend 2" of Move to recover and stand up again, and may once again behave as normal.

Overskill: A unit who rolls a Critical Success on the Skill roll for Bailing distance may choose to land on its feet and avoid being Disrupted, rather than adding a Bonus d6 for extra inches.

Bailing has a zero Use rating, so a Bailing unit will get to act first more often than not. However, because he has to roll 1d6 to see how far he's allowed to jump, a low roll can sometimes mean that he doesn't Bail far as he needs to, and a Critical Failure means he just falls on his face right where he's standing. If a Bailing unit doesn't jump far enough to escape the path of an oncoming train, he still gets hit by the train; if he's Bailing to avoid a rifle volley and doesn't quite reach cover, the riflemen just fire at him in his new position instead of his old one.


Reconstruktion and Retconstruktion Numbers
The BrikThulhian TroikaBecause ABS, whether used as a construction material or as fuel, has the side effect of warping time and space, and because SpaceMen's inborn compulsion to kick ass must inevitably destroy every universe and rip all histories into a nonlinear tangled mess, time in the BrikWars universe is inconsistent and poorly-defined. One might leave in the morning on a brisk walk, and find oneself arriving home 300 years in the past. Two sides of the same street might be on separate planets one day, and interdimensionally superimposed on one another the next. How does one organize a timeline when such extreme distortions are possible?

BrikWars historians order their chronologies by numbered Reconstruktions, numbering each reality according to the number of previously destroyed universes by which it was influenced and from which it inherits recycled elements. The timeline in which SpaceMen first arose has been assigned the number 1,978, after Brik science determined that the destruction of the SpaceMen's universe retroactively created 1,977 previous generations of reality leading up to their own. None of these previous Retconstruktions (or "Retcons") contain minifigs, but as they get closer to R-1,978, devolved forms of pre-minifig life begin to appear. These proto-life forms occasionally reappear in later Reconstruktions, and may paradoxically be the source of the protofig bioengineers responsible for creating the SpaceMen in the first place, who would then go on to bring about the existence of the preceding universes in which the protofigs evolved.

Brik theologians theorize that, because the Universal Ass-Kicking created 1,977 previous generations of reality, it must have created exactly 1,977 generations to follow, and the universe will finally run out of ABS in R-3,955.

Naturally, the great powers of history don't simply disappear at the end of their Reconstruktion. As pieces of their previous realities shatter forward into new ones, remnants and echoes of their minifig civilizations linger on in the garage sales and discount shelves of history. Some are forgotten and fade away, allowing themselves to be absorbed into new, more popular factions, while a few, such as the Royals, regroup and persist for several Reconstruktions in a seemingly endless series of evolved forms.

Some Humans have noted curious synchronicities between Reconstruktion numbers and Earth years, based on the construction brik sets appearing on retail shelves. The all-destroying invasion of Poop Dragons from the Negaverse in Reconstruktion 2,003, for example, happens to correspond exactly with Mega Bloks' Dragons line knocking Lego out of its rightful #1 Construction Toy spot in the year 2003, complete with its "Piece-with-Only-One-Purpose" premolded dragons. These are complete coincidences, of course, and no attention should be paid to crackpots and their conspiracy theories.

(BrikWiki entry: Reconstruktion)