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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Great Tabletop Schism

Well, after a some careful thinking on these rules, I decided on something momentous: the Covenant Empire will be split in two. Yes, in two.On one side will be the Sangheili Covenant, and on the other side will be the Jiralhanae Covenant. Thee are a few reasons for this, actually.

The fist reason is that it is an extremely rare occasion when both Sangheili and Jiralhanae are fighting alongside each other. This is because, for one, they hate each other. Secondly, though the Sangheili conol more fleets, he Jiralhanae, too, have their own fleets. That means every leader from each fleet will be either Sangheili or Jiralhanae. There isn't a ny racial mixing in the Covenant's naval staff or army.

Th second reason is that it makes scenarios taking plae during the Great Schism musch much easier. Instead of writing down lengthy rules for what can or cannot be included in a Covenant army to make it canon, it is much simpler to keep the Sangheili and Jiralhanae separate altogether.

The third reason is that it makes upgrades much simpler as well. It will be hard to make profiles for, say, a Ghost Squad when the leader could be either a Sangheili OR a Jiralhanae. It will be increasingly hard to define what you can or cannot have. For example, if you bought a Sangheili for your Ghost Squad, you obviously cannot have a Jiralhanae is in, too. Slitting the Covenant arm lists in two makes this much esasier.

The fourth reason is that I do no want Choppers and Prowlers mixing with Specters.

The fifth reason is that there is no posible way that Tartarus and the Arbiter will ever fight side-by-side. Just sayin'.

So, that's that. The general compositions of each list will be the same, just slight variations. Thank you for reading, and see ya next time! Peace.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Army Lists: The Covenant Empire

The Covenant Empire: driven by blind faith, backed by hundreds of millions of devoted alien warriors from different worlds than even each other.

The Covenant Empire Command Units include leaders from many races, such as the Prophet, Elite Field Marshal, Brute War Chieftain, Jackal Zealot, Skirmisher Champion, and Drone Queen. Unlike the UNSC, most Covenant leaders actually lead their forces into battle with the utmost conviction.

The Covenant Empire Special Units include such squads like the Grunt Suicide Squad, Elite Ranger Squad, and Hunter Bond Brothers. They form the super-hard attack groups in the Covenant army, using cloaking, jump packs, kamikaze tactics, and heavy armor to the best of their ability.

The Covenant Empire Core Units include a wide variety of various races, such as Grunt Patrol Squads, Jackal Infantry Squads, Skirmisher Tactical Squads, Elite Strike Squads, Brute Kill Squads, and Drone Attack Swarms. A few units even possess more than one race in it, giving them unique feels. They die by the thousands to secure victory for the whole, fearlessly charging into battle in hordes and overwhelming the feeble defenses of Humanity. Many opt to travel in Shadows or Phantoms.

The Covenant Empire Vehicles, again, include the classics- Specters, Revenants, Wraiths, and Banshees are among them , too name a few. Of course, no alien war machine would be complete without a Scarab and its envoy of Locusts, would it? No bastion can keep the armored fist of the Prophets at bay for long.

There you have it- the Covenant Empire. It is a force to be reckoned with, no matter what it fields... yes, even if it field Grunts. Thank you for reading, and see ya next time! Peace.

The Army Lists: The UNSC

The UNSC: the protector of Humanity, but also a crippled and dying war machine trying to defend itself from the hostility and mystery of the stars.

The UNSC Command includes Generals, Colonels, and Lieutenants from the UNSC Marine Corps and the UNSC Army. Due to the fact that the UNSC Navy does not actually engage the enemy, but rather services the vessels and guns, they do not appear on the battlefield.

The UNSC Special Units include the infamous ODSTs (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) and SPARTANs. They have enhanced stats compared to the rank-and-file soldiers, especially the SPARTANs.

The UNSC Core Units include the backbone of its military machine: Marines and Army Troopers. They are multipurpose soldiers trained for anything, whether it be a Rebel's insurrection or the Flood's infection. They have average profiles when compared to all of the other races, somewhere between Grunts and Elites. They are divided into Rifle Squads, Heavy Weapons Squads, and Sniper Teams, as are the ODSTs aforementioned. There will also be several miscellaneous units, such as Policemen (as seen in Halo 3: ODST) and Militiamen. Transports such as the Warthog Carrier and the Falcon may also be chosen.

The UNSC Vehicle Units include popular choices like the Cobra, the Wolverine, or the Scorpion. The Warthog's many different forms also takes the stage. Aircraft include the Hornet and the Vulture, two heavily-armed platforms.

So, that's a summary of what to expect from the UNSC. Next, we'll talk about the Covenant Empire. Thank you for reading, and see ya next time! Peace.

The Army Lists: Overview

The next few posts will be strictly on army lists, both the looks and feels of the different forces and how they work.

If you've never played a miniature soldier game before, it usually works like this: two or more players make an army of a set amount of points, say, 500. Every unit of models or vehicle has a point value, say, 20. You can add as many units or vehicles to your army as long as you do not exceed your 500 point limit. It's okay to have a 498 point army, as long as it's below 500. The Halo Tabletop Wargame works just like that.

There are also five different categories on an army list: Command, Special, Core, Transports, and Vehicles. Each army list specifies the maximum number of units or vehicles you can take from each category for your army. For example, an army list may say you have a max of 2 Command, 3 Special, 5 Core, and 3 Vehicles. Transports are attached to Special and Core units as upgrades and cannot be bought as standalone vehicles, but more on all of this some other time.

Command Units are the leaders on the battlefield. They direct the battle, join squads, and are stronger than your average Joe. For example, three Command Units for the UNSC are Marine Generals, Marine Colonels, and Marine Lieutenants. Six Command Units for the Covenant Empire are Elite Field Marshals, Elite Field Masters, Elite Generals, Brute War Chieftains, Brute Battle Chieftains, and Brute Chieftains. (Apologies for the non-canon Brute Battle Chieftain- Brutes had no other equivalent to an Elite Field Master.) Some Command Units may also purchase protective squads as upgrades, such as Elite Honor Guard Squads or Brute Bodyguard Squads.

Special Units are the elites on the battlefield. They are stronger than rank-and-file soldiers and pack punch. For example, four Special Units for the UNSC are ODST Rifle Squads, ODST Heavy Weapons Squads, ODST Sniper Teams, and SPARTAN-IIs. Three Special Units for the Covenant Empire are Grunt Suicide Squads, Elite Special Operations Squads, and Elite Ranger Squads.

Core Units make up the bulk of an army and represent the majority of its forces. For example, two Core Units for the UNSC are Marine Rifle Squads and Army Rifle Squads. Two Core Units for the Covenant Empire are Grunt Patrol Squads and Jackal Infantry Squads.

Transports can be bought as upgrades for a Special or Core Unit to take them around the battlefield. The Transports include Warthog Carriers, Falcons, Pelicans, HEVs/SOEIVs, Shadows, Phantoms, Spirits, OIPs, and Teleport Pods.

Vehicle Units are the armored columns in one's army. They pack heavy weapons and speed on a tough chunk of metal. You've seen them in the games already: Warthogs, Scorpions, Specters, and Wraiths are just a few. Some vehicles from Halo Wars will also make an appearance, though Cyclopes and Gremlins are without a doubt not making the First Edition. If anyone feels differently about them, comment about it and let me know.

So that's the overview on the categories in army lists. Next, we'll talk about the different factions and what they will generally have to offer the players. Thank you for reading, and see ya next time! Peace.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Vehicle Profiles: A Quick Update

After some thought, there's been a slight change/addition to the vehicle profiles.

Every vehicle will have a stat called Structure Points. They will act exactly like Wounds, except for vehicles. After all, a Cobra can't necessarily die from damage, can it? Course not. It'll just explode or something. That's why there will be a table to roll a die on whenever a vehicle takes damage. Sometimes it'll lose 1 Structure Point. It may lose 2 Structure Points! It may not even lose any Structure Points, or maybe it suffers a setback such as a destroyed weapons or a broken engine system (not a good thing in the case of aircraft). It all depends on what you roll.

The vehicle is finally destroyed when it loses all of its Structure Points. Then, you get roll on another table to decide what happened. Is it scrapped? Does it blow up? Maybe it crashes and burns? This, too, all depends on what you roll.

So, that's a quick change to vehicles. Thank you for reading, and see ya next time! Peace.

The Vehicle Profiles

Moving on from models, we're now going to look at vehicles.

Vehicles have five different stats, much like models: Shoot Skill, Front Armor, Side Armor, Rear Armor, and Speed.

Shoot Skill works exactly the same with vehicles as it does for models, applying to every weapon attached to it.

The three armor values, Front Armor, Side Armor, and Rear Armor, account for the vehicles' defenses. A Warthog may have light armor for speed while a Scorpion will have heavy hull plating. Vehicles also have varying thicknesses of armor where they are needed. A Wraith has dense plating in the front, but almost nothing protects its major weak point, the thrusters in its rear. Certain weapons cannot even penetrate vehicles, such as Assault Rifles, Plasma Repeaters, or Shotguns. Beware and take some Rocket Launchers or Fuel Rod Guns.

Speed represents how fast the vehicle can go, both in inches and centimeters.

Vehicles also may have a variety of weapons or passengers. It can shoot a certain number of weapons depending on how far it moved, and ranges are measured from the tip of the barrel. Certain weapons can rotate, such as the cannon on a Scorpion, while others cannot, such as the Heavy Plasma Mortar on a Wraith. Still others, such as the Ultra-Heavy Focus Cannon on a Scarab, can turn from side to side.

Passengers may shoot from their vehicles depending on the situation. Warthog Carriers can be fired from because it is open-topped, while Shadows cannot be fired from at all. Pelicans and Phantoms may have only a few passengers shooting from them because there are only so many openings to shoot from. Not all vehicles can carry passengers, either. the ones that can are called Transports.

Wingmen are different from passengers. They cannot be detached from the Scorpion, and models from a unit cannot hitch a ride as a wingman later in a battle. They are upgrades. For example, a Scorpion can house four wingmen on its treads. They can be killed like normal and cannot be replaced during the battle. Nor can they jump off if the Scorpion seem s as if it will explode with another well-paced hit.

Anyways, that's the rundown on vehicles. Thank you for reading, and see ya next time! Peace.

The Model Profiles

Now that the turn is laid out all nice and neat, we'll turn to the profiles of the models. Vehicles will come next.

Every model has nine stats: Fight Skill, Shoot Skill, Strength, Toughness, Attacks, Wounds, Leadership, Courage, and Save Throws.

Fight Skill represents the model's combat ability. Higher Fight Skills strike first in the Fight Phase, which obviously has its advantages. Dead men don't bite, after all.

Shoot Skill represents the model's accuracy when firing a weapon. An example value would be 4+. When shooting, you would roll a die and, if the roll is a 4 or higher, the bullet/plasma/rocket/laser/whatever hits. If you roll a 3 or less, it misses.

Strength represents the model's muscle power. Stronger models, like Hunters, can do damage more easily than feeble models, like Grunts.

Toughness represents the model's ability to take blows. It is much like a defensive value, and counteracts Strength. There'll be a change relating them later on.

Attacks represent how many strikes a model can make in the Fight Phase. Most models have only 1 Attack, while some others may have 2 or even 3 or 4. As of now, I can pretty much guarantee both Hunters and SPARTANS will have 5 Attacks, while Elite Warriors and Brute warriors will have 2 Attacks. Marines and Army Troopers will have only 1 Attack.

Wounds represent how many successful blows a model can take. Every successful 'damage' on the model subtracts 1 Wound from its profile. Again, most models (even Elite Warriors and Brute Warriors) will have only 1 Wound, while many leaders will 2 or 3 Wounds. SPARTANs will have 5 Wounds.

Leadership and Courage may seem somewhat similar, but they are slightly different. Leadership Tests will occur when ordering a unit to run, duck, etc.. Courage Tests will occur when demoralized by charges, blasts, tanks, etc.. More on these another time. Just keep in mind that failing these tests may result in the unit either doing nothing that turn or even fleeing the board, so they are quite important. After all, everyone wants their troops to stick it out when they need them most, right?

Save Throws include a couple of numbers. There are three kinds of Save Throws: Armor, Shield, and Cover. The numbers are similar to that of Shoot Skill, written like 4+ or 5+. When a model with any type of Save Throw is loses a Wound, roll a die. if the Save Throw is passed, the Wound is prevented. More on these later on, too.

So, these are the nine basic stats that define every model in the game. Vehicles are coming up next. Thank you for reading, and see ya next time! Peace.