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HAVOC: Wushu, Wounds, & Lucky 13

I have something new for you to try! But first, I’ll ramble a bit…

Currently, I have my players doing some testing for the marital arts expansion of HAVOC. Quite a few unique mechanics have been added to the core (as well as some more detailed rules to represent various fighting styles and weapons). One of the things that was added to make the combat feel right is the concept Wounds.

So, how do Wounds make martial arts based combat ‘feel’ right? Well, to truly illustrate that, I would have to give you a few more details that are not quite ready for the public- you have to have a few secrets, right? Generally speaking though, Wounds actually make all HAVOC combats a bit more realistic because…

In HAVOC, as models receive Wounds, their ability to move, attack, and defend themselves is compromised.

The above concept seems like an obvious one, but it’s rarely modeled into the mechanics of a miniature game except when dealing with large machines and/or creatures. The rules I’m going to give you today will allow you to give any model Wounds. I’m sure you noticed that I said rules. Why? I’ll tell you. But first, another concept…

In HAVOC, models with the Wounds trait do NOT have a specific number of wounds assigned to them.

So, if a model doesn’t have a specific number of wounds assigned to it, then how do you know when it’s dead? Good question! This is why I said rules. To use the Wounds trait, you will have to understand a mechanic known as Lucky 13 (which you’ll be seeing a lot more of in other rules and interactions). We’ll discuss the specifics of how it affects wounds within the body of the rules. The general idea, though, is that if a roll requires a Lucky 13 check, then a result of 13, or higher, will trigger something. This ‘something’ is almost always only lucky for one of the players. Now, for the rules:

Any  model in your force may be given the Wounds trait.  For now, the cost of this trait will be half the total cost of the model. If the model is Named, then the cost for the Wounds trait is half of the final total cost of the model after any-and-all upgrades have been added.

How do Wounds work?

1. Anytime a model has a successful DMG roll against a model with the Wounds trait, you place a Wound token of the models base.
2. If the attack was a non-lethal attack, then nothing else happens, and play continues as normal. (this does not apply to your rules at this time!)
3. If the attack was a lethal attack, then the attacker rolls a single d6 for each Wound token on the model. This is called Mortis Fatalis, or simply, the Death roll. This roll is subject to the ‘Exploding 6s’.
4. When making a Death roll, ALL dice are kept, as Wounds are considered Damage over time.
5. The Death roll may NOT be boosted with HAVOC tokens, but may benefit from Augmentation (remember, to Augment, you have to be within 12 inches of the model targeted).
6. If the total of the Death roll is 13 or more, then the Wounded model is eliminated. If not, then play continues as normal.

Remember! Any roll that has a trigger and/or result on a 13 or higher, is know by the moniker ‘Lucky 13’.

On having Wounds
1. A models that has the Wounds trait may carry any number of Wounds.
2. For each Wound that a model has, its MOV, MAD, RAT, and RDF are reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1.
3. Wounds gained in a melee, do not affect the MAD tokens that have already been declared in that Assault (that combat is already happening, and over in a small fraction of time). It will affect the models statistics in all future Phases, including ‘The Swing’.
4. Movement and Ranged Attacks that are made by spending HAVOC tokens are performed using the base statistics for MOV and RAT (in effect, they ignore Wounds).
5. MAD gained from Standard Bearers are added BEFORE the penalty for Wounds is applied.

So, as I’m sure clever gamers have already surmised, the Magus and Standard Bearer just got quite a bit more interesting. Augmentation, Intervention, and Inspire can do much to offset the effects of Wounds. Likewise, this opens up the possibility for things like a Regeneration trait, and maybe, just maybe, a Healing spell. For players who want more of a skirmish experience, liberal use of the Wounds trait can seriously reduce the model count and table area needed to play a game. As always, I look forward to hearing about your games and opinions on the Wounds trait and Lucky 13!


6 thoughts on “HAVOC: Wushu, Wounds, & Lucky 13

  1. Very clever mechanics.

    Is one of the intended options of the expansion material (I’m talking about a full expansion released for purchase) to allow players to pick and choose what they’d like to include in their normal Havoc Fantasy games?

    I mean, do you foresee people picking up, say, the Wild West expansion and using some of the rules in their Fantasy games if it fits? Will all of the expansions/material blend into a massive whole that meets your criteria of balance stated in Havoc Core (Before the battle begins we won’t know who will win).

    I’m asking because I personally have no interest in gaming Wushu/Samurai but wonder if I would find the rules useful for say Fantasy? It sure seems that way if Wounds will be “officially” released in such an expansion.

    Posted by Charles | April 12, 2011, 11:19 pm
  2. Thanks! In answer to your questions…

    One of the main goals of the current playtesting cycle is to determine which expansions can be used together without any modifications, which can be used together but need tweaks, and which are best played in isolation.

    A natural outcome of this process has been the extraction of some favorite mechanics from each of the settings. They are now being placed together for the purpose of creating a couple of very distinct products.

    The first of these is what I’ll refer to as more of a ‘true skirmish’ experience in a
    ‘HAVOC setting’. Is that vague enough for you? It will allow you to play with more detailed combat options, options for fantasy races and creatures, expanded spells, armor, and a more intense meta-game.

    The second will be more of a collection of mechanics, rules, etc. that you can pick and choose from to season the HAVOC experience to suit your taste. Wounds will definitely be in both of these expansions.

    And yes, the criteria for balance will be adhered to- that’s an important part of my design philosophy. However, I always recommend that people experiment with the system, try different things, or ‘kit-bash’ rules together from settings even if I say that balance will become tenuous. Have fun!

    Posted by voodooink | April 15, 2011, 12:26 pm
  3. Recently discovered Havoc and so far I’m impressed. I’ve been using it for Sengoku jidai historical wargaming as the rules fit perfectly for the era and this will be a welcome addition to core ruleset.

    I do have a question though, my group and myself are new to the rules so don’t have them down perfectly yet. What would be a good suggested points total for new players incorporating the Wounds rule into the games? We are currently looking at giving only “the Named” Wounds.

    Posted by CypherWest | April 16, 2011, 3:59 am
  4. Welcome CypherWest! I enjoy the Sengoku period myself. I cannot tell you the number of hours I spent playing ‘Nobunaga’s Ambition’ on my console years back.

    Points total for new players using Wounds? Let’s work from the ground up…

    For my answer, I’m going to assume that you are limiting your games to 1 Named per 1000 points and not using the Turn it Up to 11 rule here on the blog.

    If you created a Samurai Swordsman by combining the Two-Handed Weapon profile+ the Champion upgrade+ Wounds trait, your model would cost a total of 170 points.

    Next, we’ll add a couple of heavy horse (120 points), 10 spearmen for escort (230 points), and finally 2 teppo/black powder (124 points). That’s a grand total of 644 points. So, a good starting point would be around 650 points.

    This would give players some points to play with if they wanted a cavalry heavy force or wanted to use more archers/black powder with foot. If most of your players are using infantry heavy force, you may want to trim the points back a bit until you get more comfortable with the game.

    Let me know how things work out. If you have any questions, then don’t hesitate to ask!

    Posted by voodooink | April 16, 2011, 12:39 pm
  5. Nobunaga’s Ambition, still my favorite video game of all time. What got me started on a life long pursuit of research into the era.

    That seems about right for the force composition. I was thinking a “Named” a banner bearer, and the rest of what you had. Also was considering the idea of using the Wounds rule on all “samurai” while while leaving the Ashigaru as the units in the One List. That way the Samurai can be a hardened core that the rest of the force can be built around.

    However, not sure if that will be to complicated or not right off the bat.

    Also, is the cost of giving a model Wounds half the cost rounded up or down?

    Posted by CypherWest | April 16, 2011, 6:41 pm
  6. If you give all Samurai the Wounds trait, but only have 1 model be Named, then it shouldn’t be too difficult. I would, however, definitely give the banner bearer the Wounds trait. It’ll help quite a bit when using a list like the one your planning on.

    Additionally, don’t forget about the rules of the Challenge!. It should make for some great Samurai showdowns.

    As a general rule in HAVOC, always round up. It’s true in this case as well.

    I look forward to hearing about your battles!

    Posted by voodooink | April 17, 2011, 1:01 pm

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