This book is something special for me. For the last couple of years I have been very dedicated to historical war gaming books, especially WW II books. My Victory Decision Word War II books have sold reasonable well despite the fierce competition of systems developed by larger companies like Warlord or Battlefront. During the writing of Gear Krieg my interest in SF gaming was once again rekindled.
The very first miniatures game that I played was Space Hulk 1st edition. Since then SF gaming has always been something I deeply treasured. Writing Victory Decision: Future Combat has been in a way like a homecoming for me.
Infantry models by Infinity and Sedition Wars
I am not only a gamer but also a very dedicated miniature painter. Thus, I wanted a ruleset that would give me the opportunity to play with almost any SF miniature available and if possible with only a few miniatures at one time. Quite often a new miniature company springs up with some very cool and well-designed minis which capture my eye. Wouldn't it be nice to just be able to play with these miniatures without having to learn yet another system dedicated directly to a miniatures line? Or to be able to add some new miniatures to an existing force without having to search for some special rules for them? I have read similar questions time and again on the gaming forums, so I know there are others out there that feel the same way as I do.
With this concept in mind I took a very serious look at Victory Decision. What could I keep from this W.W.II system and what should be changed or added?
Hunter Aliens by Copplestone Casting
The overall design goal was a game system that was reasonably simple but also encourages and demands constant thinking and decision making.
Dino by Copplestone Casting, rider by VOID
Player interaction was also a key requirement; therefore the Leadership-modified alternating unit activation system. No long waiting periods in this game!
Unit Leadership should also be a very important factor. No unit characteristic is used as often in Victory Decision as the Leadership value! It even affects the way your units can be placed on the gaming table.
I wanted rules that reflect the impact of commanding units in the game. This was the reason why some game mechanics are only accessible when including Command units in your force.
The effectiveness of any given unit should also be variable during a game. A unit under heavy fire cannot perform as effectively as a unit that has not yet contacted the enemy. The use of Suppression Markers are (in my opinion) an elegant solution to this design requirement.
Another game aspect that often is neglected but nonetheless vital is the detection of enemy units. Hiding and spotting units is a key strategy in Victory Decision!
Another challenge of game systems are Vehicle rules. Vehicles can very easily become dominating during games. I am very confident that the points system and the simple reduction of vehicle actions has done a good job of achieving these competing design goals. In addition – most infantry combat elements benefit from the Tank Hunter Ability!
The points system also takes care of an overemphasis on vehicle. That’s why some guns on a big tank cost more than the same weapon in a fragile infantry unit.
Cool SF rules
That was a big goal to tackle. I wanted the book to be as generic as possible without being boring or having every army feels the same.
I hope I have succeeded in giving you enough SF options to create the army you want to play.
New Rules, Actions, Infantry Abilities, Weapon Features and Vehicle Special Properties
I hope that all of you who played Victory Decision: WW II will have noticed a lot of new rules but also that the core of the game remains still the same.
One thing that is new is the more detailed activation system that incorporates both Electronic Warfare rules and a Command Point system. The idea was to give more tactical possibilities than ever before.
On a side note – if you are playing our WW II game and like the Command Point system and additional segment, feel free to use it right away in your WW II games!
Future Combat also introduces Air Units to Victory Decision. You can now use VTOLs in your games. It has opened some nice options for air transports and a unique scenario.
Also new is the Overwatch action that can only be used by spending Command Points.
New infantry abilities have also been added. Some are the logical step when looking at other new rules, like Alert which is based on the Overwatch Action. Or ECM to counter enemy Command Points. Hovercycle and Jet-Pack abilities have similar in-game advantages to Air Units. Combat Drugs represent biological advancements, which could also be said for the Ferocious ability. Night Vision and Psi Sensitive rounds out the new Infantry rules neatly.
As far as weapons go there are also some new features. The AA feature was needed to introduce a countermeasure against the new air units. For the more experimental weapons we introduced Malfunction and Minimum Range in addition to the existing Overheating rule. And since no SF game would be complete without flashing laser beams the Laser feature just had to be added! All other necessary features – like Sonic or Haywire - have existed in Victory Decision since the Gear Krieg book. Last but not least two new missions are also added; Covert Ops and Airborne Assault.
As all my books the game is not tied to any particular miniatures company, examples of what infantry minis can be used can be found in the General SF, 15mm Aliens, Desert World, Shantytown, Star Wars and Wing Commander section of this site. Basically you can grab all the SF minis you like (6-32 mm “scale”) pick the fitting list and have fun.
A good example is the Hurn Hunter Alien to the right.
You could easily include him in your army by choosing the High Tech Lists, pick the Command section and give him a suitable weapon and Ability package. Enhanced combat drugs, infiltration and the ferocious close combat ability come to mind.
The usual “stress factors” of gaming should be eliminated. In my opinion most arguments during war-games start over unit movement, dice allocating, casualty removable, Line of Sight and cover issues. For this reason the movement rules were made as simple as possible, just measure the movement distance of the unit leader carefully and arrange the unit afterward within his Leadership distance. Coincidentally this also reflects the ability of better trained troops to be within command over a wider distance effortlessly.
The casualty removal rules also come from this school of though. Just let the players decide which of their models are removed from their unit.
All in all, I am very happy with how the rules work. We had a lot of fun during game development and testing. Hopefully, these rules provide you with a lot of fun and a great gaming experience.
Have fun and may your dice roll high!
Agis Neugebauer, December 2013
Infantry models by GZG. Weapon platform by Old Crow Models
High Tech Infantry Platoon Heavy Support Element;
Stationary Weapon Support Platform – 220 points; armed with Heavy Pulse Laser Cannon (+ 110 points)
Weapon platform by Old Crow Models
High Tech Infantry Platoon Heavy Support Element;
Stationary Weapon Support Platform – 220 points; Anti Aircraft Guided Missile Launcher (+ 55 points)
Robots by Copplestone Casting
High Tech Infantry Platoon Combat Element;
Multirole Combat Suit Infantry Squad - 335 points; Options: Kinetic Pulse Carbines (-5 points), Pioneer option for whole unit to represent the additional toughness of Robots (the Tenacity ability will help a lot!) (+35 points), 5 minis removed from unit (5*37= -185 points), Overall Cost: 180 points
Modern Troops by The Assault Group
Low Tech Infantry Platoon Combat Element;
Rifle Squad - 130 points; Options: 4* Assault Rifle (4*6 = +24 points), 1* Grenade Launcher (+10 points), 1* LMG (+30 points), 5 minis removed from sqaud (5*12 = -60 points), Overall Cost: 134 points
Troops by DUST-Models
Mid Tech Infantry Platoon Combat Element;
Ballistic Armour Rifle Squad - 250 points; Options: 4* Experimental Laser Rifle (4*5 = +20 points), 1* LMG (+30 points), Enhanced option for whole unit to represent the weird war touch (+135 points), 5 minis removed from sqaud (5*48 = -240 points), Overall Cost: 195 points
Troops by Dreamforge, heads WotC bendy Star Wars Clone Trooper
High Tech Infantry Platoon Fast or Light Support Elements;
Multirole Combat Suit Special Forces Squad - 200 points; Options: 2* Laser Carbine (0 points), 1* Laser Assault Weapon (+50 points), 1* Anti Tank Guided Missile Launcher (+55 points), 1* Medic upgrade (+25 points), Overall Cost: 330 points
Drone models by Sedition Wars, Trooper in the middel by Dreamforge
High Tech Infantry Platoon Fast or Light Support Element;
High Tech Infantry Platoon Combat Drone Support Team - 145 points; Options: Gunner Drone is equipped with Light Plasma Launcher (+35 points), Overall Cost: 180 points