We are but 7 days away from having the Kickstarter go live and nerves are running wild!
With all four forces fully on show you can now start deciding which 2 forces you'll end up getting inside your Initiate Box. Check out the Kickstarter page here on the website or head on over to our Instagram page and find the relevant post to see each of the four full forces.
2 additional game styles, Whack-a-Xenon and Mass Objective, will also be available during the Kickstarter and operate within the main set of rules but throw in an entirely new way to play! Both games have a seemingly infinite combination of tasks and requirements to gain points and defeat your opponent.
They are well worth picking up during the Kickstarter if you want to expand your games of War On Terra with your friends.
Saying all that I think it's well worth going over some of the reasons that makes War On Terra different to other table top wargames out there!
So, to start off the main bulk of this post with what may sound like an outdated system to a lot of you, but yes, War On Terra does use Turns and Phases. Don't run away just yet as it's not what you may think.
War On Terra's Turns work a bit differently to another table top wargame you might be familiar with.
No longer will you lose Priority and watch as your opponent goes first, every...single...turn.
No longer will you be sat there thinking about starting up a 2nd hobby while waiting for your opponent to finish all of their phases before you finally get to play.
War On Terra's Priority roll is rolled at the start of every single turn. It even has it's own phase to make sure you and your opponent don't forget about it. You may lose Priority on Turn 1 but win priority for Turns 2 and 3. This means you'll have to really think about how you move around the table top and be prepared to change your strategy as gameplay unfolds.
The Phase order is also different to other games as both you and your opponent go through each of the phases together. You're not going to have the sit back and wait while your opponent completes their entire turn as immediately after the priority player has completed any of their phases it is then passed straight over to the Secondary player before continuing to the next phase. So after anyone's Movement Phase it is then the Movement Phase for the other player before gameplay progresses.
Many times play testing War On Terra we found that during certain points of the game we really wanted to lose priority to have our certain Phases after our opponents but then win Priority in the next turn.
Whether it be during the Movement Phase or if there's a special rule that allows your models to move during another Phase, the one major thing to remember is that there's no such thing as Units. Your models will not be restricted in any way in the form of unit coherency.
Instead, War On Terra works on an Attachment system. Every model in the game has something called an Attachment Type and this allows them to forms groups of models who share the same typing into what is also called Attachments. Every single model is also counted as a single Attachment. So whether it's one model cracking on by themselves or 20 models moving up the battlefield together, both of these count as single Attachments.
The vast and many strategic choices in War On Terra arise as soon as you come to truly understand that there is nothing keeping your Attachments together other than the distance between your models.
Move them more than 2” away? You now have broken one larger Attachment into 2 smaller Attachments. You could even separate every model you have into lone model Attachments and run a whole force of lone wolves. Nothing is stopping you! You play how you want to play and it's up to you to find the sweet spot in the size of the Attachments that suit your play style.
Ballistic and Combat
On the table top, ballistic attacks and close-combat attacks work exactly the same. Everything you need to know about your models is found within their Intelligence Record.
Your models' Ballistic stat and Combat stat relate to the natural or trained ability of the model in question. Whether it's the years of discipline and focus of a sniper or the pure unrelenting savageness of a Harakian Ilkaha, this stat is what we need to start with to find out how to hit our enemy.
Next up, is the chosen weapons 'Power' stat. Each weapon in War On Terra has a stat line of their own and this is what informs you of how much damage you can dish out towards your adversary and what type of weapon it is.
Once familiarised with both you need 2 more things. Your enemy's Armour stat and the Engagement Grid.
With all 4 you can begin the simple task of finding out what your To-Hit roll is.
Combine your model's Ballistic stat with your chosen weapon's Power stat. This is what we call your Attacking Value. Search out this value along the bottom of the Engagement Grid and then move up the amount of squares as the Armour stat, or Defending Value, of your chosen target. The number found inside this square is what you'll need to roll on a D20 to score yourself a successful To-Hit roll.
If your chosen weapon has the “Blast” Special Rule, then you wont have to worry about your own Ballistic stat as your Attacking Value is always listed on your weapon's Power stat.
Terrain and Cover
Terrain and cover are a huge part of War On Terra and in all honesty, probably took the longest to get right out of all of the rules.
Terrain was the more straightforward one of the two and we eventually settled on simple mechanics that just effect a models movement. We found that it was getting very easy to try and overthink this part of gameplay when it just needed to be clean and simple.
Cover is another topic entirely. Within War On Terra, Cover is one of the main gameplay mechanics that will keep your models alive and may just win you the game if utilised correctly.
There is no such thing as Cover Saves in War On Terra!
To explain how cover works I need to explain another gameplay mechanic first.
Additive and Subtractive dice rolls.
Having explained how to hit your opponent above, you will now be familiar with how to find out your final To-Hit roll. This final result however is not free from modification. Certain aspects of the game will have you bolstering your D20 result or hindering it. Have you not moved in the turn you wish to attack using a Heavy Weapon? Then after you have rolled your D20, you can roll a D6 and add that to your D20 result. This total is now your new final To-Hit roll. There's a benefit to having a firm firing position.
Attacking a model with a Light Shield? Then I'm afraid that D20 is subjected to a D6 as well, but this time it's a subtractive result.
Cover utilises this Additive and Subtractive system. To find out how much by, you just need to use line-of-sight. From your models viewpoint, is the enemy in Minor Concealment? Then a Subtractive D6 is required. If the chosen target is in Major Concealment then a Subtractive D12 is required.
These extra dice rolls are accumulative as well. If your chosen target is in Minor Concealment and is also equipped with a Light Shield then you would be required to roll 2D6 and then subtract the result from your D20. Let's hope you roll those snake eyes! The dice never add together or cancel each other out. So '2D6' does not become a D12 and a 'Sub D6 + Add D6' does not just disappear.
With this system you can come under the effect of many stacking Additive and Subtractive dice rolls. This means you need be aware of where your models are on the table top and how they are being seen by your enemy.
This whole system is also on a model by model basis. So if you are viewing a model in an Attachment of 10 models then the Additive and Subtractive dice may change depending on which model is being attacked. Cover affects the individual, not the group. Make sure you keep the models you want kept alive in cover!
Infantry models do not block line-of-sight either so you cannot use them as cover! They have their own way of effecting your needed To-Hit roll. To find out how, head on over to the rules and find the Attacking Through Attachments section.
We hope going over these few things helps and we look forward to seeing you all when the Kickstarter goes live in 7 days!
Credit for this image goes to j_littlen.creates on Instagram for taking this wonderful image at 2022 UKGE.
Thanks for reading and as always...