Saturday, May 28, 2016

Act: Escape Route

This is the first Act (scenario) designed for "matched play" games of Broken Contract. It's random set up is meant to make the Act endlessly replayable. Though Broken Contract was designed for narrative play, this scenario will allow for pick up games, or a great "mid episode" game as Characters move from Act 1 to Act 3 of an Episode of your own crafting. Give it a try and let us know what you think! -Nick 

The Mission: The Breakers have established one or more viable escape routes and are making a press toward their exit. Black Squadron Security or Loyalists must try to stop their attempt to break through.

Set-Up: The Breakers know their viable exit points. Roll a D3 to find out how many exit points they may choose from. Next roll 3D3 to determine how many 8”x8” board tiles they may set down to determine their potential exit routes. The Breaker player sets down one tile as their start point and then continues to lay tiles until they are happy with the layout. Next the Breaker player must declare where the exit points are. There must be at least one tile between the Breaker start tile and a tile with an exit point. The opposing side may roll a D3 for the number of obstacles they have to slow the Breakers down. Roll a D3 for what these obstacles are: 1) Storage Container 2) Barricade 3) Hydraulic Door. Place the obstacles in any tile that is not the Breaker start tile. For specifics on how they may be placed see the Special Rules below. The Breakers may be placed anywhere in the Breaker start tile, at least 3” away from any obstacles. The opposing side may distribute their models on any tile with an exit point. Finally, place an Alarm token along a wall on a tile that was placed adjacent to the Breaker start tile.

Example Set-Up #1: Rolled one Exit Point, three tiles, and one Hydraulic Door. The Alarm would be placed somewhere on the middle tile.

Example Set-Up #2: Rolled three Exit Points, six tiles, and three Hydraulic Doors. The Black Squadron player would place the alarm somewhere on the "T" section tile in the center.

Example Set-Up#3: Rolled two Exit Points, seven tiles, two Storage Containers, and one Barricade. The Alarm would be placed on the tile with the Barricade.

Special Rules:

Storage Container: Storage Containers are always placed along a wall so that they do not block through-traffic. There should be a 1.5” path around the Storage Container so that it narrows the route but does not block it. Storage Containers may be climbed and stood on top of. Containers may also be entered by Lock Breaking. Lock Breaking is 1AP and requires a successful Strength Check. It takes 1AP to enter or exit the Container. A Character may also Search a Container for 1AP. A successful Perceive check will result in potentially spotting something useful. Roll a D6 if successful: 1 Lose an Additional Action, 2-3 Nothing of Value, 4 Shovel, 5 Sledgehammer or Big Wrench, 6 Pickaxe or Rock Hammer, 7 Oversized Rock Saw or Mining Drill, 8 Choose any 1 item from the Equipment Deck.

Barricade: Barricades may be 2” or 4” long and may be placed at least 1” from any tile edge, including exit points. Barricades are 1” tall obstacles that must be Jumped or Climbed. A Jump of 1” will not clear the Barricade and the jumping Character will stop at the point where they intended to cross. Walking and Climbing are separate Actions so it will take an Action to get to the Barricade and a second Action to Climb over it.

Hydraulic Door: Hydraulic doors may be placed across any 4” passage that is not on the Breaker start tile. A Key Pad token must be placed on an adjacent wall within 2” of the Door. Doors may be Opened or Closed at the Key Pad token by a standing Character with a Key Card (1AP) with automatic success, or by Crack the Code (1AP) which requires an Intellect Check at -1 to the roll, with a success activating the door.

Hydraulic Doors do not Open/Close instantly. These hydraulic overhead doors are slow and take 3 Recovery Phases to Open/Close fully, sealing or being fully open on the 4th Recovery Phase. It closes narrower and narrower each Recovery Phase after the door is activated. Place a D6 next to the door. When closing on the 1st and 2nd Recovery Phases Characters may pass through the door without a problem. On the 3rd Recovery Phase Characters may only Crawl or Dive Roll under the door. On the 4th Recovery Phase the door is sealed. If any part of the base of a model is on the hazard stripes when the door seals the model takes a Strength 3 hit doing D6 Wounds.

Exit Points: If any part of the base of a model crosses the over the edge of an Exit Point they are considered to be Escaped! And are removed from the board.

Sound Alarm (1AP): When a Character is in base contact with the Alarm token the Character can spend 1 AP to sound the alarm and cause any open hydraulic doors to emergency release and close in an instant. After the button is hit the door immediately drops with a crash. If any part of the base of a model is on the hazard stripes when the door seals the model takes a Strength 3 hit doing D6 Wounds. This does not require a Key Card but will alert the control room of the mining facility that there is a problem in this sector.

Act Length: The Act lasts 8 turns. If at the end of any Recovery Phase all of the Breakers are Restrained, Shocked, Down, Out, Critical, Dead or have left an Exit Point the Act ends and the game is over.

Winning the Act: Tally up Victory Points. The Breakers earn 1 point for each Character they get out through one of the Exit Points. The Breakers earn an additional point if all of the Characters exit out the same Exit Point (safety in numbers). The Breakers lose 1 point for every Character they leave Critical or Dead on the opposing side.

The Black Squadron officers or Loyalists earn 1 point for each Breaker Restrained at the end of the game, either in Restraints or Grappled. They also earn 1 point for Sounding the Alarm. They lose 1 point for every Character they leave Critical or Dead on the Breaker side.

Here it is in PDF form: Escape Route PDF

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Broken Contract Character and Crew Creation Rules

One of the things that narrative wargamers want is the ability to create their own characters so that they can develop their own storylines and rivalries. We want to encourage this sort of game play and engagement so a while back I had created and posted very basic character creation rules. A lot has transpired since then and it was time to update them to make the most of all the cards available to you now. While revisiting character creation I thought it was about time I added a point system to allow for the "matched play" that a lot of wargamers are used to. This is a very open system but it still creates a functional structure for gamers of all stripes. It is still in the playtesting stages so feedback is welcomed and encouraged! -Nick

Creating Characters and Assembling a Crew

Every Broken Contract Supplement comes with Characters to play, but you might want to create your own story lines, scenarios, and Characters. Creating your own Characters can be very rewarding and is very easy in Broken Contract.

Choose a Character Type and Faction
Characters can be Adults, Children, Teens, Brute Gen-Mods or Light Drones. Adults are likely going to be the basis of your crew. Adults are going to give you the best range of Stats and Abilities, but Children and Teens can make for great storylines and give room for development. After you select what type of Character you want to develop you are going to need to choose a faction such as Black Squadron Security or the Breakers.

Adults compose the vast majority of the population of the FerrumSky mines. Though life can be brutally short on Hathor, the type of back breaking labor of the mines is best performed or overseen by adults. Every Adult Character starts with these Average Human Stats:

Core - Actions: 3 /Move: 3 /Wounds: 3
Combat - Shoot: 5 /Melee: 5 /Strength: 5 /Agility: 5 /Recovery: 5
Brain - Intellect: 5 /Perceive: 5 /Psyche: 5 /Lead: 5 /Dealing: 5
Points: 10

All Adults may take two upgrades for 1 point each.

Security Officer Training: Black Squadron Adults may take one additional upgrade for a total of three upgrades for 1 point each. They may replace any one of those upgrades with Melee -1 to reflect their Security Officer Training. This reflects their better living conditions and training as compared to other adults.

Children and Teens
The FerrumSky mines are a brutal place and child labor is rampant. Though most of the children flee in terror when hostilities erupt, from time to time they get pulled into the action out of loyalty or indoctrination. The numbers in parenthesis are for Teens who are obviously more of a threat than their younger counterparts.

Core - Actions: 3/ Move: 2 (3)/ Wounds: 2 (3)
Combat - Shoot: 6/ Melee: 5/ Strength: 6/ Agility: 6/ Recovery: 5
Brain - Intellect: 6/ Perceive: 6/ Psyche: 6 /Lead: 6 /Dealing: 6
Points: 1 (3)

The Children of FerrumSky may take two upgrades for 1 point each. Teens may take four upgrades for 1 point each.

Brute Gen-Mods
Black Squadron Security and Breakers both use Brute Gen-Mods. Brute Gen-Mods are humans who have had their genetics altered to amplify their size and strength. These hulking behemoths can be used as laborers of immense power, essentially machines made of flesh and bone. When used for crowd control by Black Squadron, they can be a terrifying tool of suppression.

Core - Actions: 3/ Move: 3/ Wounds: 3
Combat - Shoot: 5/ Melee: 4/ Strength: 4/ Agility: 5/ Recovery: 5
Brain- Intellect: 5/ Perceive: 5/ Psyche: 5/ Lead: 5/ Dealing: 5
Points: 14

To create a Brute Gen-Mod you may take a single upgrade from the deck for 1 point. You also receive the Gen-Mod, Lifter, and Massive Ability Cards which are already included in the points cost. Black Squadron Brute Gen-Mods do not have the same Limiters imposed upon them and may instead take three upgrades instead of the usual one, for 1 point each.

Note: All Brute Gen-Mods must choose: Gen-Mod Apparatus as an additional piece of Equipment for 1 point.

Light Drones
All manner of drones flit about the FerrumSky mines performing various tasks. For now we are only going to deal with the two most common Light Drones: Speaker Drones and Surveillance Drones, which may not be customized. They may only be purchased by the Black Squadron and they are 8 points each.

Upgrade Your Character
To upgrade your Character you will use your Initiative Deck and Chart below. Make sure to include numbers 1-12, two Re-Roll cards, and an Extra Action card.

1: Shoot -1

2: Melee -1 (Children & Brute Gen-Mods: Move +1 instead)

3: Strength -1 (Brute Gen-Mods: Move +1 instead)

4: Agility -1

5: Intellect -1

6: Perceive -1

7: Psyche -1

8: Lead -1 (Brute Gen-Mods: Actions +1 instead)

9: Dealing -1

10: Recovery -1 (Children: Actions +1 instead)

11: Draw an Ability Card from all of your Ability Cards. If you have the Gen-Mod or Massive cards, remove them from the Ability Deck.

12: Draw an Ability Card from all of your Ability Cards. If you have the Gen-Mod or Massive cards, remove them from the Ability Deck.

Re-Roll: Drawing the Re-Roll Card allows you to set the Re-Roll Card aside, draw your upgrades as normal and then use the Re-Roll to Re-Draw an upgrade to replace one you do not want.

Extra Action: Discard this card and draw two additional cards from the deck. This will increase the points of the Character by +1.

Weapons and Equipment
You may now purchase any equipment that you like from your available Equipment Cards. Each Equipment Card is 1 point the first time you select it. If you duplicate the item in on your Character or in your Crew it costs an additional point every time you duplicate it.

Example: A single Rock Hammer is 1 point. If you take a second Rock Hammer in your crew, the second one is 2 points. If you take a third Rock Hamer in your crew, the third Rock Hammer is 3 points.

Standard Issue Exceptions: Every Black Squadron Security officer has access to a Shock Baton and Restraints. These are always 1 point unless they are taking two on a single Character. Any Breaker may take a Shovel for 1 point.

Assembling a Crew
Inevitably, some people are going to want to build their own custom crew, complete with their own back stories and unique personalities in order to face off against their friends. A good introductory game size would be 50 points per side, which would be about 3-4 models each. Scaling up to 75 points per side would be a logical next step. Playing larger games is possible, but would require a custom Initiative Deck once there are more than 12 Characters in the game.

Crew Leaders: You may choose to have someone designated to lead your crew. This Character may take 1 additional upgrade for 1 point. They may replace the upgrade drawn with Leadership -1 if they like.

Mixing Factions
Playing a pure Faction is not required. Breakers can be ragtag mobs that could include a Black Squadron Security officer who couldn’t stomach their job anymore, and a Black Squadron crew can include Loyalist miners who see the Breakers as a nuisance disrupting the social order of the mines. The important thing is assembling a crew with personality, not one that simply takes all of the most effective elements in the game to create the ultimate competitive fighting force.

The Social Contract: Most of the design decisions in Broken Contract were made to heighten the spirit of adventure and narrative story telling. That is the baseline of what Broken Contract is; a game that tells a story of high adventure. If how you prefer to play miniature games deviates from that baseline, you should discuss it with your opponent(s) first. Sometimes dice or circumstances don’t go your way, and you don’t end up with a good game. That can happen with any game involving chance. However, if your opponent is not having fun because you’ve manipulated the rules to guarantee that your force will smash face while your opponent feels powerless against you, you’ve broken the Social Contract. The easiest way you can break that Social Contract is when you assemble your crew. Don’t be that person.

Here it is in PDF form;
Broken Contract Character and Crew Creation PDF

Do you need the rest of the rules to the game? You can find them here:

Broken Contract Beta Rules

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Assembling the Cast - Ash Walker

Ash Walker is collaboration between myself, Kickstarter Backer: Adam Walck, editor Robert Ferrick, and artist Filip Dudek.  This Character was created as part of the "Welcome to 2303AD!" Pledge level and will be getting a model in the near future. I am humbled that Adam thought this project was cool enough that he wanted to become an actual part of it. -Nick

Officer Ash Walker

When Ash Walker contracted with Black Squadron Security he was hoping for work that offered a level of excitement and freedom. It was only by chance that he was accepted into their security program. He was in peak physical condition, demonstrated a sense of leadership and authority in his aptitude and psychological testing, and he knew all the right jargon to test well, masking his strong sense of individualism.

Hathor is not Officer Walker’s first assignment, and Orin Settlement is not his first posting on Hathor. He has proven to be a thorn in the side of every security crew he’s been assigned to. Defiantly resistant to being branded, Ash refuses to be owned. He’s been repeatedly written up and fined for not wearing his Black Squadron arm band and for scratching out the FerrumSky logo from his armor. His coworkers feel he undermines their authority by allowing his charges to call him Ash during meal time, where he can often be seen laughing and joking with the work crews he oversees. On more than one occasion he has been given a direct order and said, “No”, because it conflicted with his sense of justice. These transgressions of discipline have earned him very little favor among his peers who take company loyalty and strict hierarchy very seriously. The only reason Officer Walker hasn’t been stripped of his contract is that he’s proven extremely effective in other ways. His familiarity with the work crews and their lives has made him an effective diffuser when tensions rise. Unfortunately, in contracting for an organization steeped in hierarchy, blatantly ignoring that structure is no way to earn allies. Instead, irritated overseers and administrators have consistently reassign him to make him someone else’s problem.

Ash’s time at Orin Settlement has been short and his most recent performance evaluation already cited numerous complaints from his fellow Prods. His affinity for the iron miners has once again drawn the ire of his team and the frustrated scorn of his overseer. Despite his compelling outer confidence, he has a growing sense that Orin Settlement could be the end of the line for his security contract, and that he is running the risk of having his contract sold to an even more confining line of work. In his head he has entertained the same notions of finding freedom out in the Bonelands between settlements that many of the miners do. However, his individualism has left him without coalition. He is regarded with a degree of mistrust by worker and officer alike. Still, like his charges he has breaking on his mind.

Gun Officer Ash Walker
Faction: Unaffiliated
Actions: 3 Wounds: 3 Move: 3
Melee: 4 Strength: 5 Shoot: 4 Agility: 5 Recovery: 5
Psyche: 5 Perceive: 5 Intellect: 5 Dealing: 5 Leadership: 4

Ability Cards: Diffuser, Unaffiliated - This Character may ally with any Faction based on need at the time. 
Equipment Cards: Crowd Control Repeater, Rubber Bullets, Shock Baton, Restraints, Breather.
Points: 20