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unit ideas for scifi wargame

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CIDIC
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I've come to a point in my game where I need to create the units and armies of the game. I've found that coming up with balanced stats isn't hard, its coming up with the ideas for the units themselves. can anyone point out where i can get ideas for units and army ideas?

TheReluctantGeneral
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

Difficult one to answer without knowing what level of technology and general theme you are after. Far future or near future?

Infernal
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

Medieval/Fantasy
Pikeman: Reach attack/First strike
Archer: Faster than Pikeman with a long range attack, but not good in melee
Cavalry: Fastest unit

Modern/Sci Fi
Infantry: Small target, fast, but weak
Tank: Tough, does a lot of damage, but a large target
Artillery: Ranged attack, slow moving, not good at hitting small targets

Space/Sea
Fighter: Highly manouverable and fast
Bomber: Ranged attack
Capital Ship: Tough, but slowest moving unit

Discord
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

TheReluctantGeneral wrote:
Difficult one to answer without knowing what level of technology and general theme you are after. Far future or near future?

Also the nature of the battleground....planetary surfaces, deep space, etc?

soulbeach
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

Tanks look cool, but migh soon be a thing from the past. Arial warfare, quick very well equipped and higly specialised infantry that can direct the arial units' fire and the fire of the "artillery" is more "realistic" sci-fi. Other than that, some low flying transports for the specialised infantry or orbital dropships(high atmosphere planes) can also be considered "realistic" sci-fi.

And last but not least, automated weapon systems: robotic units with very specific abilities/specialisations. These should be expensive and governments would not want to waste them, human life is still pretty much cheaper.

FateTriarrii
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

Assuming you mean futuristic Sci-Fi, you generally have the following options (though you have/will have invented your own universe, so it will be quite different).

Space Sci-Fi: Good examples are Star-Trek, Star-Wars. These normally involve space-based combat, sometimes ending in land combat. Space ships are also used to bombard planets. A game based on these would therefore probably have many ship types, maybe even customizable, with a couple land unit types.

Near-Future Sci-Fi: This might involve many unit types still in use (some vehicles, artillery, ships, and infantry. Good mixing in all categories). If it involves space too, then some of those types would be advisable.

Dune and Ground-Control Sci-Fi: These might involve minimal to no space comabt, and some minor space support (though space control would still be important for reinforcements, if your game has any). Good unit categories would be infantry, ground vehicles, air vehicles, and artillery.

You might also want to think about your mech/normal/bio ratio. Finally, you probably want to consider super weapons. Do you have nukes, or super-units?

A good naming rule-of-thumb is the bigger and badder, the more impressive the name and interesting the background story.

Hedge-o-Matic
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

Also, the scale is important. Skirmishish games, like most miniature rules sets, pit highly detailed indivivduals against each other, and vehicles are often not as useful, since their extreme-ranged weapons and higher speed are not feasable on a table-top scale. All of these examples are extremely generic, and would need chrome to make them fit into any given setting. So:

Skirmish scale:
Light Infantry: Human troopers with high-tech weapons.
Powered Infantry: Human infantry with power-assist chassis or exo-skeletons, very heavy weaponry.
Combat Drones: Cheap machines that perform a limited battlefield task.
Androids: Effective both for their human shape and artificial intelligence, and the psychological impact such things would likely have on human troops.
Off-board Assets and Battlefield Effects: Artillery strikes, orbital bombardments, minefields, bio-weapon attacks, nuclear shockwaves, radiological weaponry.

Company Scale
Infantry Units: Fast moving companies of humans, able to quickly move by use of combat transport vehicles. Far better on defense than attack.
Shock Troops: Infantry specialized to take ground and attack, but far less effective at holding and defending territory.
Tanks: A classic staple of SF, if the present course of development means anything, future tanks will be very hard hitting, but extremely delicate units, relying on speed and overwhelming firepower to survive.
ECM Companies: Specializing in electronic warfare, these non-combat units could hide friendly units, disrupt the actions of enemy units, and foil off-board assets such as artillery and airstrikes.[/b]
Off-board Assets: Airstrikes, Transport drops, Resupply drops, Reinforcement and reserve moves, Radiation zones, chemical attacks.

CIDIC
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

it is a ground warfare game, 28mm man to man near future, but multiple planets have been colonized so i guess medium future.

nnatee
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

it's hard to give u ideas without knowing a little more about the game. what the battle mechanic is? do u except to make battles to be long/short? luck/no luck? if u want theme ideas i can't say more but:
battleships
robots
soldiers
tanks

just my 2 cents!

Hedge-o-Matic
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

I'd also add that you may want to pick an analogous conflict, and "sex it up" with SF chrome. For example, most "Classic SF" is World War II in disguise, with it's preponderance of tanks, emerging technology, terrible slaughter, and individual heroics. "Aliens", by contrast, was the American experience in Viet Nam, where superior technology was powerless when combined with strategic and tactical error and a relentless enemy. "Classic Anime", from 1981 to 1990, was basically the Pacific War of WWII: huge fleets of ships battling it out, with fighters weaving and attacking these basically stationary targets, and fleets moving between stellar "islands", or hiding among nebula clouds and so forth.

All analogies. All effective because they echo the real tactics of a given situation, and don't feel like random elements thrown together in a "salad of destruction", in which all possible units are present because they can be. Focus on one aspect of this future war, and you'll have greater success.

TheReluctantGeneral
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

I remember playing a hex and counter game called 'Starsoldier' when I was at school. In that game each player had between 4 and 12 soldiers, each of which could basically fly via some kind of special backpack or something.

The game was an action point based game, in which each combatant divided his AP between movement, ECM, ECCM, fire (beam weapon) and fire (missile). Combatants could pick various altitudes, with atmospheric altitudes allowing very fast movement but also very vulnerable. Ground altitude was best for defence but basically allowed no movement. There were various levels in between.

Additionally, some of the combatants were droids, which had special rules attached and which were less powerful than the human combatants.

Other nice features were man-portable tactical nukes, and orbital bombardment platforms. There were no vehicles (although each combatant was in effect a human VTOL aircraft).

The map depicted a fair portion of a large continent, complete with mountains and seas.

I have always felt that this game was a more realistic guess at what near/medium future warfare would be like than nost sci fi wargames, which are basically grunts with 20th century rifles.

zircher
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

The air superiority model for future conflict only works if effective anti-air does not exist. If the enemy has lasers or hyper velocity rail guns, fragile aircraft are a major liability and tanks and infrantry will be center stage. Even missiles and artillery shells are not immune as point defense improves.

Assorted sci-fi man-to-man roles: infrantry, assault, recon, psi, communication (includes directing orbital weapons fire or hacking enemy systems), command, area defense (force shields, point defense, nuclear dampeners, etc.), heavy beams, rail gun crew, power armor, cyborgs, robots (vehicular or bipedal), unmanned vehicle or robot operators, grenadiers, mortar crew, bioengineered creatures and their handlers, combat engineers (providing power generation, demolitions, etc.), vehicle crew, suicide bombers, teleporting melee skirmishers, the list goes on...
--
TAZ

Jebbou
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

Do you want units to be faction based?

Example: In warhammer 40k, depending on the faction you choose, you will have a selection units, weapons and vehicules available to build your army. Eldars have guardians, banshees and reapers, whereas Space Marines have standard marines, heavy weapons, scouts and assault squads.

CIDIC wrote:
it is a ground warfare game, 28mm man to man near future

Do you plan on excluding land vehicules from the game?

NetWolf
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

1) Light Infantry - light armor, light weapons, very fast.
2) Heavy Infantry - heavier armor, heavier weapons, not so fast.
3) Mecha Armor - Decent armor, heavy weapons, rather slow.
4) Robot Sentries - average armor, high rate of fire, immobile.
5) Scouting drones - Lighly armored, no weapon, very fast.
6) Warmachines - sci-fi equivalent of siege engines. Heavily armored and slow, but they pack a punch.
7) Personal Infantry Carriers - carries a varies number of infantrymen. Faster than walking...
8) Satelite Guided Missiles
9) Orbiting Laser Cannons
10) B.F.G.s =D

CIDIC
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

I do want faction based units, and coming up with faction and their unit and play styles has been hard.

my basic game model it like this; you have infantry, power armored troops, and tanks. infantry are dificult to get rid of with ranged fire, but assaults are always deadly. basically it is a RPS with infantry assaulting tanks and using blind spots, power armor decemating infantry with high RoF weapons and assaults, and tanks kill power armor. there are ofcourse exception to these rules and special circumstances but that is the general feel i'm going for. power armor have to be attacked with anti- power armor weapons, or worn down over time with conventional weapons.

the rules are basically a sort of modified version of the flames of war system but using D10's.

Hedge-o-Matic
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

CIDIC wrote:
I do want faction based units, and coming up with faction and their unit and play styles has been hard.

My advice is to come up with the factions first. It's science fiction, right? Come up with the fiction! If we're going to be taking sides in this conflict, give us some sides to take!

As an example of what this does for a game, consider GW's Warhammer 40,000. The first edition was a barely-playable mishmash of ideas, and would have tanked completely (I'm almost certain), if it weren't for the backstory, and ample fictional work. This background was clearly an amalgamation of Frank Herbert Dune series and the many works of Michael Moorcock, spread thinly over a universe right out of Tolkien and made to match the tone of an Iron Maiden song. But it worked well enough to keep players struggling through games, and eventually evolved into its own fictional universe.

In the WH40k universe, Space Marines were supposedly the baddest of the bad, the ultimate human wariiors. And yet, as teh game evolved, their battlefield performance grew a bit weak, so the designers changed the rules to make the game fit the setting. This is good design, in my opinion. People understand and relate to the background story far more than to abstract game stats. I'd suggest you do the same. Once you have your history roughed in a bit, you can decide the technologies and tactical bits that will make up the army lists. Put balance and "typical SF units" by the wayside. Make up a new universe, and then give these forces science to fit their fiction.

Infernal
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

Here are 3 factions that are off the top of my head:

1) Bioengineers: The bioengineers utilize living organisms, changing their DNA, chaning their behaviour and physical forms to suit their needs. They believe that the future of Humanity is to genetically engineer themselve and others into a new species.

2) Cyborgs: The Cyborgs, believe that Humanity is destined to create a new entity. This entity is an imortal machine and that they will, once the machine is complete, merge with it and become immortal themselves, trancending the mortal world and living forever as complex paterms insice machines.

3) Nanotech: The Nanotechs do not hold any beliefe in the furtherance of the human form. What they believe is that Humanity must have the power to transform the world around them to suit their needs. Using nanotechnology they reform matter into the shapes and forms that they desire. They strive for a hedonistic lifestyle.

Julius
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

Space Miner's Confederation: Also known as the Roughnecks, this hardened group of blue-collar asteroid miners originally started as a small, isolated worker's strike. Rebelling against their parent corporation, Galactech, the SMC strike quickly grew to a massive union revolt, bankrupting Galactech and disrupting the raw materials trade. Utilizing retrofitted mining equipment and vehciles as weaponry, this piecemeal army has become a force to be reckoned with.

NetWolf
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

The Junkers: a mish-mash of gangs, the Junkers scavenge old derelict ships, using the parts for their own machinery. Their units are rather primative for the era (Gunpower vs plasma and energy weapons) but effective none the less.

The Craven: these nomadic individuals wander the universe, attempting to avoid conflict, but leaving it in their wake anyway. They see the use of DNA splicing, cybernetics, and nanotechnology to be an individuals choice and do not discriminate against such choices. Their apathy towards these choices often brings them at odds with those around them.

'The Cowboys': This mercenary organization is known for it's unconventional tactics and masterful use of the surrounding terrain. They use all forms of technology in moderation, but they feel the greatest asset is a strong back and a thick skull.

Julius
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unit ideas for scifi wargame

The Bloodless - Bent on immortality, the Bloodless are a cryogenically frozen sect of humanity. Their interaction with the outside world is through specially designed headgear that reads their thoughts, allowing them to 'live' - if only through machines. Many Bloodless thirst to collect knowledge at any cost, hoarding it in a collective databank known as 'The Grid.' The sub-zero blue syrum that fills their veins has been known to gradually cause insanity in a small percentage of the population.

Wolves - The Wolves are an elite mercenary guild of starfighter, bomber, and mecha pilots. Accepting only the best into their ranks, they live life on the cutting edge. Striving for the latest in wartime technology to make their chariots of war faster, stronger, more powerful, the conflict is a natural place for them to earn a few extra credits. Though technically independent faction that sells its services to anyone for the right price, the Wolf's Den has been chartering more and more missions for its own volition lately.

The EYE - A splinter group of humans with psychic abilities, The EYE recruits its soldiers from a very early age. Latent psychic ability, particularly psychokinises, develops strongest around puberty. The EYE is the result of a privately funded research project into the paranormal (and is still privately funded by an unknown beneficiary). Fighting from a different perspective, they are known to dominate a battlefield through thought control and physical prowess. The weakest link in any vehicle is the pilot, is it not?

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