Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Five Core Expanded Steatlh Rules

A while ago, I posted about Black Ops and it was fun playing stealth missions with that system. Afterwards, I bought Five Core Field Guide, which has a number of optional rules and extensions to the Five Core rules. One of the most interesting is the expansion for stealth missions, which was also incorporated into Five Core 3rd edition.

The expanded stealth rules include more detailed rules for patrolling defenders, distractions and stealth kills. Here is a battle report using them with "basic" Five Core 3rd edition rules.

In this battle, the infiltrators, set up on the left, must contact the small building guarded by the defense forces and make a task roll to plant explosives. The following picture shows the table setup. The red dice are patrol points. The two chainsaw-wielding soldiers in front of the building are static sentries. The rest of them may move between patrol points.

Game setup
One fire team of the infiltrators moved through the woods while the other waited in cover. The patrolling sentries started moving towards the other patrol points.

Let's get moving.
One of the infiltrators created a distraction for the closest sentry (marked with the green die), allowing the other two to run behind the other patch of woods. However, the noise from running caused another sentry to cross the woods and find them. The sentry raised the alarm and the stealth segment was over.

What's that noise? Surprise!
One of the infiltrators fired at the sentry but missed. From this point on, it took a few standard Five Core turns (with only one rolled fire fight and no scurry turns) until the infiltrators were pushed away from the map.
A few turns later, only the infiltrators in the ruins remained.
The infiltrators in the ruins still tried to make another push, taking cover behind the hill, but when they got closer to the building, the rest of the defenders had already taken positions to suppress any attempts of getting closer.

Compared to Black Ops, the stealth rules in Five Core are less complex but also result in a fun game. I have the impression that in Black Ops it is more difficult for the defenders to raise the alarm. Maybe this is because that game is noticeably inspired by "stealth-action" video games, so the focus is in smaller, elite infiltration forces that try to keep hidden until the end of the mission.

In Five Core, it seems to me that stealth will play a part in initial infiltration and positioning of a strike force. In particular, I am interested in trying a few more games between evenly matched forces, to see if stealth can compensate for the positioning advantage of the defending force.

There are no specific rules for handling the sentries in a solo stealth game using Five Core (or at least I could not find them), so here are my house rules:
1. Spread patrol points to make a large triangle on the board, with one patrol point near the defenders' edge of the table. Number the patrol points: the one closest to the defenders' edge is #1, the others are #2 and #3.
2. Roll a die for each patrolling sentry. On a 1-2 they will make a circular route around the patrol points. On a 3-4, they will move back and forth between points #1 and #2. On a 5-6, they will move between points #1 and #3.
3. Roll another die to define direction of patrol. For circular routes, even means clockwise and odd means counter-clockwise. For linear routes, even means the sentry starts moving towards point #1, and odd means they start moving towards the higher-numbered patrol point.
4. Deploy the patrolling sentries within 8" of the edge. Sentries in a linear route should be placed as close to halfway through the route as possible. Sentries in a circular route should be placed near patrol point #1.
5. When a patrolling sentry moves, they will approach a noise marker if it is closer than the next patrol point on their route. Afterwards, if there is no contact, they will resume their route.

It might be possible to fine tune these house rules by taking into consideration the level of aggression of the defenders and other factors.


Aleksandar Šaranac said...

I really like your idea.
I will have to try it as soon as I finish my current Dragon Rampant game :)

Ricardo Nakamura said...

Thanks Aleksandar! I wrote the rules based on solutions I found while playing so maybe there are some details missing...

Ivan Sorensen said...

Appreciate the writeup!

You are quite on point that the intent is for maybe half the game to be Stealth, before breaking out into a firefight.

It was inspired pretty heavily by Necromunda, which always seemed to go that way.

Ricardo Nakamura said...

Thanks Ivan! It's good to know I was on the right track, then...