Friday, October 7, 2011

Modern Havok

While I waited for 5150: New Beginnings (which is now printed and bound and I just need some time to read,) I started looking for other Two Hour Wargames (THW) products. The pulp-era games are interesting but I still have to prepare a minimum set of minis and terrain for that period before I decide to get those rules. So I found Modern Havok, a rules set written by Ed Teixeira for Rebel Minis.

Modern Havok is quite similar to Chain Reaction 3.0 but with differences (some of them subtle) that make the game simpler and possibly faster and more lethal. For instance, Stars aren't so tough and there aren't as many states a figure may be in (like Hunker Down etc.) Melee combat is also different, and most of the time faster.

For me, the three scenarios at the end of the book (Liquor Store Holdup, Man Hunt and Raid) make it worth. Lots of good ideas, like the Draw Down system for resolving an armed "face off" between opposing groups, reaction to police arrest attempts and a way to simulate a larger battlefield in a 3'x3' table.

I ran a quick test scenario with these rules. It was also a chance to try some hand-draw buildings I've been fiddling with (in preparation for some improved versions.)

In this scenario, I controlled a group of four gang members: a rep 5 star with a BA pistol, two rep 4 thugs with shotguns hidden in their trenchcoats and one rep 3 guy with a machete and pistol. They were looking for some members of a rival gang in a run down area of the city. There were some civilian groups scattered about and I placed three markers that might be the location of the rival gang. I also established that if I rolled a sum of 10+ on the activation rolls, an ambush would occur with 1-3 enemies appearing from each end of the "street."
I used the marker movement system from the Raid scenario to move the gang markers. If a marker came into sight I would roll a die to check if it was a group of civilians (1-3) or the rival gang (4-6) consisting of 2-6 members. Upon finding the gang, the other unresolved markers would be removed.

During the game, the rightmost marker (on the above picture) turned into a group of three rep 4 gangers. The leader was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and the two others carried pistols. I used the Draw Down mechanic (from the Liquor Store Holdup scenario) to have both groups see each other and react drawing their guns. The enemy gang fired first but missed. The two thugs with shotguns on my group ducked back behind the two-story building and my star stunned the enemy leader. Using the "flock of seagulls" mechanic, one of the civilian groups retired from the table while the other two ducked back behind buildings.

On the following turn, my group advanced and the enemy didn't roll well on their In Sight reaction to my thugs leaving the cover of the building. This allowed them to fire again, taking all three enemies out of the fight. The civilians remained ducked back as the firefight continued and my gang members, having dealt with their target, ran away before other threats would arrive.


Slorm said...

Those houses looks like very very good!
Publish the "how to.." post!


Ricardo said...

Thanks! These are pretty much five-sided boxes, with tabs on the bottom edges to keep them straight. I printed the outlines on scrap paper in "fast economy" mode, drew the details in pencil and covered with black marker. I'll post one example.