In this blog post I want to show some of the improvements to 'CRITICAL ROLLS' in OUTLANDS 2nd Edition.
Before I delve into the 'Critical' system, lets just take a look at what the prime objectives of OUTLANDS are.
1.) A quick and easy base mechanic that allows for a 'fun' and tactical gaming experience:- Once a player has a understanding of the game mechanic then a typical game is 30mins to 1 hour.
2.) Minimum Investment:- Low model count (use any models you want), commonly used dice (D6), Tape measure, rulebook (the only investment for existing tabletop gamers) and somewhere to play.
3.) Both players involve throughout the game:- The Active/Reactive Outlands System.
4.) Every game played to be different than the last:- Weapon Infusion, Character Development, Equipment.
I think on the whole that OUTLANDS covers pretty much all the above objectives. But, how does this affect 'Critical' dice rolls??
1.) Quick and Easy:- In most case a natural dice roll of a '6' (before applying +/- modifiers) is a Critical Success. A natural dice roll of a '1' (before applying +/- modifiers) is a Critical Fail. By keep it simple:- A natural ''6' is good, a natural '1' is bad, then I know exactly what is a 'Critical Success' and what is a 'Critical Fail'. I don't need to start a complex math formulation just to see if a dice roll is 'Critical' or not. FAST!!!! Its also worth remembering that 'Critical' dice rolls only apply in certain situation.
So that's the basic concept of rolling a 'Critical'. You can see straight away if a dice roll is a 'Critical Success/Fail'. Lets take a look at when 'Critical' apply in OUTLANDS.
ROLLING 'TO HIT':- If you roll a 'Critical Success' the target automatically receives 1 Wound. The Target Model cannot make an 'Armour Save'. If you roll a 'Critical Failure' when making a 'TO HIT' dice roll then the attack fails....no matter what modifiers can be added.
The important thing to take away from the above statement is 'The Target Model cannot make an 'Armour Save'. That's the bonus for rolling a 'Critical' TO HIT. What if the 'TO HIT' dice roll is successful but not a 'Critical'?? Then the attacking model would roll for damage...and the target would roll an 'Armour Save'. The 'Armour Save' must be greater than the total 'Damage Roll'...otherwise the target will suffer 1 wound. This is where things have changed in OUTLANDS 2nd Edition.
NEW CRITICAL SAVE:- When making an 'Armour Save' roll and the dice result is '6' (before +/- modifiers) then the 'Armour Save' is an automatic 'Success'.
Why??:- In a game like OUTLANDS it is possible (no matter how slim) to increase the base 'Damage' of a weapon. This is normally done via 'Infusion' which is one of the core steps in the 'End Phase' (4: Every game played to be different than the last) sub-systems. In most cases a weapon will have Damage: 1D6 + (n), which means a Damage Roll would be rolling 1 six sided dice and adding the (n). With (n) a variable it is possible to have weapon damage that cannot be 'stopped' or saved against. I have in the past managed an Assault Rifle with Damage: 1D6+5 (via Infusion and abilities). This would give me a Damage Total of 6 (1 +5) or 11 (6+5). An Armour Save must be GREATER than the Damage Total. Roll 1d6 and the result is 1 and then +5 (modifier) the total Damage is 6.....and the 'Armour Save' has to greater?!?!?!?
OUTLANDS is fun. The whole design of the game is built around having fun and making 'Epic Moments'. The 'Critical Save' is a small addition to the core rules...that no matter how slim a chance of 'Saving' your model.......you still have a chance.
HEROIC ACTION:- When making an Heroic Action Skill Test and the dice result is a ' Critical Success' then the model can perform the 'Heroic Action' for FREE. Heroic Actions help to create those 'Epic Moments'. Rolling a 'Critical' helps to string those planned Actions together and can really turn a game around. But.....not much 'FUN' for the Reactive player who has no 'Reaction' dice because the Active player is Heroically 'Cartwheeling' across the battlefield.
NEW HEROIC ACTION: CRITICAL FAIL:- If the Active Player rolled a 'Critical Fail' (which is a 1 before modifiers) when making an Heroic Action Skill Test, then not only did the attempted Heroic Action Fail...but the Reactive Player can make a 'FREE' Normal Action: Move or 'FREE' Normal Action: Range Attack.
This is a big new 'Critical' feature to OUTLANDS 2nd Edition and is a result of point 3.) Both players involve throughout the game:- The Active/Reactive Outlands System. If a Reactive player has no 'Reaction' dice then technically they are not part of the game....and that's not what OUTLANDS is about. Having the 'Heroic Critical Fail' throws a lifeline to the Reactive player and make the Active player think twice about making those Heroic Action attempts. Do they really need to make an Heroic Action??? In some cases an Heroic Action is your only choice (climbing).
Once again, the 'Heroic Action: Critical Fail' is designed to give the Reactive Player a chance....no matter the odds but a chance to stay in the game.
As you can see from the 2 new 'Critical Rolls' that for every 'Success' there is 'Failure'. You 'HIT' with a Critical then the damage cannot be stopped. You get 'HIT (not the critical kind)' with 11 Damage...then a Critical Save will really piss off your opponent.
You score a 'Heroic Action Critical Success' then is all good. You drop the ball with a 'Heroic Action Critical Fail'....then it could cost you dearly.
All other 'Critical' rolls:- Generating Action Dice/Reaction Dice still work the same as before. The 'Critical Save' and 'Heroic Action Critical Fail' have both been brought into OUTLANDS to help speed the game along and make it more fun and enjoyable for both players.
And talking of 'Speed' and Heroic Actions...in the next OUTLANDS 2nd Edition blog post I will talk about 'heroic Actions' and 1 massive change.