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Chapter Three: Advanced Combat

Under the Advanced Combat rules, things get a little more complex.  A unit making an attack still makes his Skill Roll against the Usage Rating of his weapon, and if he hits, the target still makes an Armor Roll against the Damage.  But in certain situations, the Skill Roll may receive Skill Modifiers making it more or less difficult to hit, and there are many different ways a target can take Damage.

3.1 Ranged Combat

3.1.1 NearMiss Rules

In Basic Combat, when you fire a ranged weapon and miss, standard practice is to feel momentarily disappointed and then move on to the next attack.  In Advanced Combat, there are a number of situations in which you'll want to find out exactly where the missed shot went. If you launch a missile, it might miss by a few inches but still catch the target in the blast radius; if you throw a knife, you'll want to see where it lands so you can pick it up again later.  If you fire a laser at a base wall, you might miss the section you were aiming for but still hit another part of the base a few inches away.  If you fire an assault rifle at a Trooper standing in a crowd of bystanders, you'll want to see who the innocent victims are.

Any time you make a ranged attack (throwing, firing, or launching a weapon) and you fail the Attack Roll, figure out exactly how much you missed your Attack Roll by - this is your MissedBy number.

(Your MissedBy number is whatever roll you needed to hit, minus whatever roll you actually made. For example: suppose you needed to roll a five to hit a certain target, but you only rolled a two; your MissedBy number would be five minus two, or three.)

The MissedBy number determines the maximum number of inches your shot may have missed by, depending on what kind of ranged attack you were making.  If a minifig was throwing an object, then the shot missed by as much as (½ x MissedBy) inches.  If a minifig was firing a ranged weapon (a rifle, bow and arrow, bazooka, etc.) or using some kind of object launcher (a baseball bat, spearthrower, golf clubs, sling, etc.), then the shot missed by as much as (MissedBy) inches.  If a Siege Weapon is fired (a catapult, surface-to-air missile, Vulcan cannon, battleship deck gun, etc.), then the shot missed by as much as (2 x MissedBy) inches.  If a weapon is fired onto the battlefield from somewhere outside the battlefield (an ICBM, a blast from the DeathStar, etc.) then the shot missed by as much as (4 x MissedBy) inches.

The shot lands somewhere within this many inches of the target, within whatever space the attack could normally reach.  The shot cannot land outside the attacker's maximum range or outside the firing arc of the weapon (45 degrees to either side for weapons mounted on turrets or carried by Troopers; 45 degrees total arc for other weapons).  The shot cannot land within three inches of the weapon firing it (most weapons are designed in such a way that they cannot hit themselves), unless the attacker was firing at something less than three inches away from itself.  The shot cannot hit a target that is hidden behind another object, nor can it hit the side of a target facing away from the weapon being fired.

(Weapons whose flight paths describe parametric arcs - i.e. ballistic weapons and thrown weapons - have no limit on their firing arc, can hit targets behind other targets, and are perfectly capable of hitting their own launchers.)

How do you decide where in this area your shot landed?  That bad news is, you don't - your opponent does.  (If you have more than one opponent, this will be the opponent whose unit you were targeting.  If you were not targeting any of your opponents' units, then choose whichever opponent is most opposed to letting you hit your intended target.)  Your opponent may choose any target within this area, including the original intended target or a different part of the intended target, but most often he will choose 'neutral' targets like trees or the ground or the sky.  He may also choose to target another unit in the target area that is controlled either by you (or your allies) or himself (or his allies).  He is not allowed to target a unit controlled by any other players.  (He can target the ground immediately next to them if he likes, in order to catch them in a BlastRadius.)

If there are no interesting alternate targets in the NearMiss area hit, or if neither you nor your opponent(s) have any interest in calculating where the NearMiss landed for a given shot, don't bother using the NearMiss rules for that attack.  Pretend that that shot flew off into the sky and hit nothing of any importance.  If a weapon was thrown, drop the weapon on the ground next to the target.

Optional Rule: Geometric NearMisses Indifferent Face
If you wish NearMiss rules were a little more consistent, you may want to use a more geometric system instead of figuring inches after every shot.  Your shot now misses by up to (MissedBy x 7.5) degrees, within the maximum range of the weapon, regardless of what kind of ranged attack you're making.

Not available in storesMost of you are already groaning at the thought of the protractors and straightedges involved, and that's why this rule is strictly optional.  However, with a standard clear thirty-sixty triangle (you'll want a pretty large one) and a little preparation, this is easier than it may first appear.

To the right is a picture of our Official BrikWars 30-60 Triangle, not available in stores.  We've taken a red marker to the back of a clear ruled plastic triangle and marked off six lines at intervals of 7.5 degrees.  On the front of the triangle, we've marked the MissedBy number corresponding to each line.  Using this triangle, we can quickly place any shot with a MissedBy number up to 8.

If you don't have a 30-60 triangle, you can find angles with PBB slopes  The angle of a 1x2 sloped Brik is just about forty-five degrees, a 1x3 sloped Brik is slanted at just about thirty, and a regular rectangular Brik has perfect ninety-degree corners.  Using these slopes as guidelines (singly or in combinations), you can estimate any angle you might want.  However, using this method is almost certainly more trouble than it is worth, and should be avoided except in emergency situations.

3.1.2 Skill Modifiers

There are a number of situations that affect the difficulty of hitting a target with a ranged attack.  These situations are given Skill Modifiers, which are added to or subtracted from a soldier's Skill when firing.  A positive Skill Modifier means the soldier is firing under advantageous conditions, and a negative modifier means the shot is more difficult than normal.

If a soldier wants to improve his chances at hitting a target, he can put some extra effort into aiming.  If a unit stands still and aims for his full turn, he fires at +2 Skill.  A soldier gets no bonus for aiming at a target he can't see.

A fast-moving or distant target is more difficult to hit.  A target that has not moved for a turn or more is targeted at +1 to Skill.  A target that is moving quickly is targeted at -1 to Skill for every full 6" it moved on its last turn.  If a unit is moving quickly when it makes its attack, it fires at an additional -1 to Skill for every full 6" it moves in its turn.  A unit firing at a target 15" away or more has -1 to Skill, and an additional -1 for every additional 5" of distance beyond 15".  If a unit attacks a target that is both distant and fast-moving, only the larger of the two Skill Penalties applies.

If the target is entirely hidden, then it is very hard to hit.  If the target is entirely hidden, but the attacker somehow knows exactly where he is (maybe the cover is just that small, maybe the attacker is psychic, whatever), he can try to shoot the target through its cover.  He does so at -5 to Skill, and whatever damage he does has to get through the Armor Rating of the cover.  The target takes however much damage is left over after punching through the cover.

Typical targets are assumed to be about the size of a minifig.  If a target is very small, or if it is behind enough cover that only a very small target area is exposed to attack, then it is harder to hit.  If the target area is half the size of a typical minifig or smaller, it is attacked at -1 to Skill.  If it is the size of a minifig's head or smaller, it is attacked at -2 to Skill.  If it is the size of a minifig's hand or smaller, it is attacked at -3 to Skill.  When calculating NearMisses, Skill Penalties from small target areas do not increase the MissedBy number.  If the Skill Penalty from a small target area makes the difference between a successful attack and a miss, the attack has a MissedBy number of 1.

3.1.3 Attacking on an Opponent's Turn

Sometimes your only chance to hit an enemy is by pulling off a snap shot when he's running from one piece of cover to the next.  This is called Opportunity Fire.  If a soldier or unit did not make any attacks on his previous turn and is holding his weapon in a ready position, he can make an attack during his opponent's Movement Phase, when an enemy unit moves into his field of fire (becoming a Target of Opportunity).  He fires at -2 to skill, and cannot take any bonuses from aiming.

Ready to rockA soldier can avoid this -2 Skill Penalty if he specifically prepares to attack Targets of Opportunity at the end of his turn.  This is useful when a player wants to have one squad provide cover for another when advancing through open terrain, or when he orders his troops manning the base guns to fire at anything that moves (outside the base, that is).  You can tell a soldier is prepared to attack Targets of Opportunity because he is kneeling or lying down.  (Changing to a kneeling or prone position, or getting back up from one, takes 1" of Movement.  To make a minifig kneel properly, turn his legs backwards.)

In some cases, soldiers cannot kneel or lie down and still have a good shot at the area they want to cover; in this case, you must announce that your soldier is readying himself to attack Targets of Opportunity and put him in some kind of a ready position.  Even if he is already in the correct position, 'Getting Ready for Opportunity Fire' takes 1" of Movement, and he must spend 1" of Movement 'Returning to Normal' on the following turn before he can move normally.

Giving them the axeIf an enemy unit moves to make a Close Combat attack on one of your soldiers, your soldier may take an opportunity attack on the enemy unit first, if your soldier's Close Combat weapon is significantly longer than the enemy's (e.g., a Halberd vs. a Saber, a Spear vs. a Hatchet, etc.).  If the enemy comes in range of your soldier's Close Combat weapon but does not attempt to engage your soldier in Close Combat, your soldier may also make an opportunity attack.  Close Combat troops who are prepared to attack Targets of Opportunity hold their weapons over their heads rather than kneeling.

Pilots driving Vehicles may prepare themselves for Opportunity Fire if their Vehicle is not moving.  Gunners who have been at their post for a full turn or more are always prepared for Opportunity Fire, unless for some reason they are at less than full alert.  Computer-controlled guns can never prepare for Opportunity Fire, because even in the future, computers made of ABS have slow reflexes and poor target-anticipation algorithms.

A soldier's field of fire includes whatever he can see (a soldier's field of vision extends to 45 degrees on either side of whichever direction his face is pointing), within the range of his weapon.  A siege weapon on a turret or hinge can fire at anything within the field of vision of the soldier controlling it, within the range of the siege weapon, within the range of how far the turret or hinge can turn to point at the target.  A 'fixed' siege weapon (one not on a turret or hinge) is limited to a 45 degree cone of fire (i.e., 22.5 degrees to either side of the direction the fixed weapon barrel is pointing).

3.2 Close Combat

There are a couple of situations that affect the difficulty of close combat as well.  As in ranged combat, close combat weapons can be used in Opportunity Fire, and the same bonuses and penalties for speed apply.  There's no point in standing around aiming close combat weapons, and NearMiss rules do not apply to Close Combat (unless you're feeling like being a little ridiculous, in which case Close Combat attacks miss by up to (MissedBy / 4) inches).  Units using Close Combat weapons get a +5 bonus to hit inanimate targets like trees, mailboxes, dead horses, etc. (if you bother rolling at all). If a unit is standing in or on a moving vehicle, he may attack the vehicle as if it were an inanimate object, unless he attacks a part that is moving relative to the part of the vehicle on which he is standing.

The biggest difference between ranged combat and close combat is that every turn two minifigs are locked in combat, both of them get to try to whack the arms, legs, heads, and torsos off of each other.  Every time one minifig attacks another with a close combat weapon, if the other one survives and has a close combat weapon of his own, he has the chance to counterattack.  A minifig with two close combat weapons can attack with both of them in a single turn - if his target also has a second close combat weapon, he gets a second counterattack.  Even if the target minifig has more close combat weapons than the attacking minifig, he only gets as many counterattacks as the number of times he is attacked.  If a minifig has both hands free, he can use his fists as a single close combat weapon (not as two separate weapons).  In a pinch, most ranged weapons or pieces of equipment can be used as bludgeoning weapons (using the statistics for Shovels and Hammers).

If there's a really tough guy on the field who's causing you trouble, you can send a bunch of your guys to gang up on him.  The defender gets a separate set of counterattacks against each attacker, but every successive attacker incurs a cumulative -2 penalty to the defender's Skill and Armor rolls.  For instance, a Trooper who gets dog-piled by three enemy Troopers would defend with his regular AR and counterattack at unmodified Skill against the first, at -2 against the second, and (if he survives that long) -4 against the third.  No more than four minifigs can gang up on any single enemy minifig at a time, otherwise it gets so crowded they start hacking off each others' limbs by accident.

If a unit tries to break out of close combat, his opponents each get one free attack on him with one weapon, and he gets no counterattack.

Some special units have a Close Combat Bonus.  This bonus applies only when the unit is engaged in close combat, or when it throws a close combat weapon. The bonus is added to their Attack Roll every time they attack with a close combat weapon, and if they hit, the bonus is also added to their Damage Roll.  The bonus is also added to their Armor Roll when defending against a Close Combat attack, or against a thrown Close Combat weapon.

A minifig or robot who is especially strong will do more damage with Close Combat Weapons.  If the unit's Power rating is more than one, multiply the damage from the Close Combat Weapon by the unit's Power rating.  However, the weapon will break if it does more than its maximum damage in a single attack, depending on what the weapon is made out of:
Weapon Type Chart
Weapon Type Minimum TL Max. Damage Before Breaking
Stone 0 (StoneAge) 5
Wooden (brown) 1 (TribalAge) 10
Iron (gray or black) 2 (IronAge) 15
Steel (gray or black) 2 (Medieval) 20
Mithril (shiny gold) 2 (Magikal) 30
Adamantium Alloy (shiny gold) 5 (SpaceAge) 50
Energy (transparent) 6 (StarAge) no limit

3.3 More Ways to Die

We've given the Troopers a whole slew of weapons and toys with which they can blow each other to pieces, and yet they still beg for more ways to kill each other.  You can't fault their dedication.  So, besides the basic Attack Roll / Damage Roll sequence, there are a couple of other ways for the eager general to get his soldiers killed, if he's willing to put up with a few extra rules.

3.3.1 Cumulative Damage / Combined Fire

First of all, if you have a bunch of units making attacks on a single unit, you can decide to do Cumulative Damage.  Roll all the units' attacks, and for however many of them hit, add the damage together and roll it all at once.  In certain situations you might opt not to do Cumulative Damage, or to break it up into smaller sets of Cumulative Damage.

Example: You have nine units who can fire on a single heavily armored enemy Trooper.  You figure three will be enough to take him down, leaving the other six available to shoot other targets.  You roll the three troopers' attacks, and two of them hit, doing enough damage to obliterate the Trooper.  Unfortunately, the Trooper rolled an Automatic Success on his Armor Roll, so he laughs it off.  You then decide to use three of the six remaining units in another attempt.  This time you succeed, and the Trooper is toast.  You now have three units left to attack other targets.

If the target you are attempting to do Cumulative Damage to is very large, like a building or a Giant Agdern Monster, one of your units trying to take part in the Cumulative Damage may miss his Attack Roll but come close enough to still hit the target somewhere else.  The damage from his attack is handled separately and is not counted in with the Cumulative Damage Roll.

If your target has a high Armor rating, like a concrete embankment or a steamroller, it might be impossible for you to do enough damage in one turn to destroy it.  For targets with more than 10 points of Armor (10 points = 2d10-1 = 3d6-1), you can choose to do Cumulative Damage over a series of turns.  Every turn that you do Cumulative Damage to a specific area on the target but do not destroy it, half of the total damage is added to that area's Permanent Damage at the end of the turn.  (Put red Pips next to the affected area to signify how much Permanent Damage it has taken.)  Different parts of an object may have different amounts of Permanent Damage.  This Permanent Damage is added to the Damage Roll every time Cumulative Damage is done to that area of the target.  Eventually, this will allow (for instance) gangs of Troopers to bash down doors with battering rams or chop down trees with hatchets.

Optional Rule: Organized Attacks Indifferent Face
You may decide that soldiers can only do Cumulative Damage if someone organizes the operation - combined assaults cannot happen at random.  In this case, a minifig may only order a combined attack if:

pip he is a Squad's communications officer (he has a radio), in which case any member of the squad within shouting distance (8") may take part in the combined attack;
pip he is piloting a vehicle with radio communication, in which case any other vehicle with radio communication may join him in a combined attack;
pip he is a Hero, a Champion, or an authority figure in general, in which case he can order any subordinate units within communication range to join in a combined attack.  Communication range will vary depending on the communication equipment used (2.4.2: Equipment).

3.3.2 Explosions

Units standing too close to an explosion may be caught in the blast radius.  Any weapon with damage measured in d10's (regular explosives) or d20's (radioactive, plasma, or concussion explosives) does Explosion Damage.

When an explosion goes off, it does full damage to everything within 2", damage minus one die to everything within the next two inches, damage minus two dice to everything within the next two inches, and so on until there are no more dice.

Example: A Trooper standing five inches away when a MkIII Grenade goes off takes (3d10+3)-2d10 or 1d10+3 damage. His friend standing one inch from the grenade takes the full 3d10+3 damage.

Anything that is not nailed down when an explosion hits, regardless of whether or not it survives the explosion, will be knocked back 1" for every die of damage it takes.  Things that are nailed down, like trees and walls, will only be knocked back if they do not survive the Explosion Damage.

Heavy projectiles such as CannonBalls or boulders launched from Catapults can hit hard enough to create explosions from concussion alone, but most explosions will be caused by some sort of chemical or energy reaction.  The intense heat created in these types of explosions tends to set everything in the blast radius on fire.  In such an explosion, for every die that comes up as an 8 or greater (on either 1d10s or 1d20s) in a target object's Explosion Damage Roll, the affected object's Burn Level gains 1d6 (3.3.5: Fire!).  In this manner, the object's Burn Level may be raised higher than what would normally be the object's maximum Burn Level.

If a unit takes cover behind a wall of sandbags or a big truck or some other large object, it can avoid taking damage from the explosion.  However, if the cover object is destroyed, or if it is knocked back far enough that it strikes the unit it is protecting, the unit will take regular explosion damage minus the armor rating of the object he was using for cover.

Example: A Trooper is standing 2" away from a 1d10 Brik wall.  On the other side of the wall, a 3d10+3 explosion goes off.  The wall is an inch away from the explosion, so it takes full damage.  The explosion rolls 6+4+3 or 13 for Damage and the wall rolls a 7 for its Armor; the explosion's roll is higher.  The wall is destroyed and knocked back 3", smacking into the Trooper on the other side.  (If the wall had survived, he would have been fine.)  The Trooper is 3" away from the explosion, so he takes 2d10+3 damage, minus the 1d10 armor of the wall, for a total of 1d10+3.  Miraculously, the explosion rolls a 2 on its 1d10, doing only 5 points total damage.  The Trooper is knocked back 1" but survives with only a few bruises and scrapes.  It might take him a little while to get out from under the wall, however.

3.3.3 Getting Smacked Around and Getting Trapped

Oftentimes, a soldier will be betrayed by his environment.  This may involve falling from great heights, having heavy objects dropped on him from great heights, having heavy objects smack into him at high speed, being tied to heavy objects and dropped into the ocean, finding himself trapped at the bottom of a well, etc.  Things like this are covered in the Moving Around and Brik Physix sections of this chapter.

3.3.4 Bleeding

We didn't really write any rules for dismembering your opponents, but if you decide a minifig has lost an extremity or limb for some reason, he's going to lose a lot of blood.  He takes 1d6 damage per turn until he gets some kind of first aid and bandaging or until the wound is cauterized, and he is at -2 Skill until he can spend some serious down-time in a hospital.

3.3.5 Fire!

Regular Fires come in three Burn Levels: 1d6, 2d6, and 3d6.  When an object catches on fire, pile a bunch of fire-colored brix so it is clear to everyone that it is on fire.  For a 1d6 fire, a pile of yellow brix will do; for a 2d6 fire, yellow and red brix; for a 3d6 fire, use white, yellow, and red brix together.  This way you'll have no problem telling how hot a fire is.  (You may also decide just to stack yellow Pips next to a flaming object to show how hot it is, although this is not as aesthetically pleasing.)

(In explosions, or when flammable fuels are used, hotter fires are sometimes possible.  For a 4d6 fire, use white brix only; for a 5d6 fire, white and blue brix; for a 6d6 fire, blue brix only.  Fires hotter than 6d6 are not normally possible unless you're fighting a battle on the surface of the Sun.)

Anyone or anything that is on fire takes Fire Damage equal to its Burn Level (i.e. a 2d6 fire would do 2d6 of Fire Damage to its victim), at the beginning of every turn.  If this damage is enough to destroy the target, it is 'burned down' (if it is something like a tree or a grass hut) or 'burned to death' (if it is something like a Trooper or a SpaceMonkey).

Any die that comes up a one on the Fire Damage Roll means that the fire died down a level (it loses 1d6 from its Burn Level for every die that comes up one).  If the burning victim spends a turn rolling around in the dirt or getting sprayed with a fire extinguisher, the fire rating also goes down by 1d6.  If the Burn Level is reduced to zero, then the fire has gone out.  If the burning object jumps in a lake or is in airless space or is otherwise submerged in some liquid (besides something like molten lava or gasoline), the fire goes out.

Any die that comes up a five or a six on the Fire Damage Roll means that the fire blazed up a level (its Burn Level gains 1d6), limited to the object's maximum Burn Level.  How hot a fire can burn is determined by the size of the object burning.  An equipment-sized object, like a book or a chair, burns at a maximum of 1d6.  A minifig-sized object, such as a Trooper or a log in a fire pit, burns at a maximum of 2d6.  Larger objects, such as trees, houses, or FireTrux, burn at a maximum heat of 3d6.

For any object whose Burn Level has somehow been raised higher than its maximum Burn Level (most frequently because the object was recently involved in an explosion), the object's Burn Level automatically loses 1d6 at the beginning of every turn, after the Fire Damage Roll has been made.

Objects soaked in gasoline burn at 4d6 as soon as they are exposed to heat; jet and rocket fuel burn at 5d6, nuclear and plasma fuels at 6d6.  The fuel quickly burns off, and the object's Burn Level automatically loses 1d6 per turn as above, until it reaches its normal maximum Burn Level.

Any time an object that is on fire touches or is touched by a flammable object, roll the first object's Burn Level.  For every die that comes up six, the second object catches fire and gains 1d6 of Burn Level.  (The second object's Burn Level rating cannot be raised higher than the first object's in this manner, nor can it be raised higher than its own maximum Burn Level.)  Some things do not burn, like concrete or dirt or oceans.  Some things explode when they burn, like dynamite and vehicles running on fossil fuels.

If a fire is started on some large flammable object or area (like a forest or a Roman slave galley), the whole thing doesn't go up all at once - the fire takes a little while to spread.  A fire spreads by as many inches per turn as it has d6es in its Burn Level (e.g., a 1d6 fire would spread at 1" per turn; a 4d6 fire spreads at 4" per turn, etc).  It is not a good idea to get too close to a fire - the flames extend for 1" around the burning object at full strength; they lose 1d6 of Burn Level for every inch further from the burning object (e.g., a Trooper standing 2" away from a 4d6 gasoline fire would be exposed to 3d6 flames; his brother standing 4" away would be exposed to the heat of a 1d6 flame).

We suggest you don't go crazy with FlameThrowers and FireBombs in your battles, because while fire is a lot of fun once in a while, all those extra die rolls are a pain to deal with on any kind of a regular basis.

3.3.6 Getting Stunned

Certain types of attacks do Stun Damage rather than regular Damage.  Most Stun attacks only work on certain types of targets - living beings and electrical systems being the most commonly affected (although clever attacks may produce Stun effects in other targets - a MonkeyWrench in a giant Robot's gears, for instance).  If a unit takes more Stun damage than its Armor Roll, or if a combination of Stun Damage and regular Damage is more than the unit's Armor Roll, then the unit is Stunned.  A Stunned unit has half Power (round down) and moves at half speed (round down).  If a unit takes enough Stun Damage to Stun it when it is already Stunned, it is Disabled (in the case of machines) or Unconscious (in the case of a living being).  If a Disabled or Unconscious unit is Stunned a third time, then it is killed or destroyed.

A Stunned minifig generally crawls around on its stomach; an Unconscious minifig lies on its back.  This makes it easy to tell which minifigs are Stunned or Unconscious.  If for some reason you need your Stunned minifig to stagger around in an upright position, put one gray Pip next to it so that you don't forget that it's Stunned.

To recover from Stun Damage, roll 1d6 at the end of the unit's turn.  On a roll of 6, an Unconscious or Disabled unit becomes merely Stunned, and a Stunned unit returns to normal.

3.3.7 Rasslin'

Units with arms and hands, or other grabbing appendages (like robo-claws or big crocodile mouths), can grab other units.  If the target unit would prefer not to be grabbed, then both units must make a Skill Roll, plus any Close Combat bonuses they may have.  If the defender is carrying or wearing any equipment that gives bonuses to his Armor (e.g., from a shield or PlateArmor), those bonuses are added to his Skill Roll; if either combatant is carrying equipment that incurs a Movement Penalty, that penalty is subtracted from his Skill Roll.

If the attacker's roll is higher, then he has successfully grabbed the defender.  If the defender's roll is higher, not only has the attacker failed to grab him, but if the defender wishes then he has grabbed the attacker instead.  If the roll is a tie, then neither opponent has grabbed the other.

Once a unit has grabbed another unit, he may do with him as he pleases!  If the unit is strong enough, he can pick up the other unit and throw him or use whatever pro wrestling move he fancies.  If he is not strong enough to lift the other unit, he can hold it in place (if he is as strong or stronger than the grabbed unit) or at least slow it down (since the grabbed unit is now forced to drag him around).

If a unit has been grabbed and is not happy with the situation, it may try to break free.  The grabber and grabbee each roll as many d6es as they have points in their respective Power ratings.  If the grabbed unit rolls higher than the unit grabbing it, then it has broken the grabbing unit's grip and can escape.

3.3.8 Poison

Many units are susceptible to some form of poison.  Minifigs and animals may be bitten by poisonous spiders or cut by envenomed blades.  Computers and androids may be infected with ComputerViruses.  Undead creatures may get spritzed with HolyWater.  Princesses may wake up to find Timmy kissing them.

In each case, the poison does no damage on the turn it is received.  The affected unit receives a number of Poison Points, indicated by green Pips stacked next to him.  From that point on, every time the unit begins a new turn, it takes 1d6 Poison Damage for each point in its Poison Rating.  If this damage is more than the unit's Armor Roll, the unit's condition worsens.  A healthy unit becomes Exhausted, an Exhausted unit becomes Unconscious, and an Unconscious unit becomes Dead.  For every die that comes up '1' on the Poison Roll, remove one point from the unit's Poison Rating - the poison has run its course.

If a Medik gives Medikal treatment to a poisoned unit, he can remove 1d6-3 points per turn from the unit's Poison Rating.

If a player wishes to create a poisoned weapon, it costs 1 CP per Poison Point.  Whenever the weapon does damage to a vulnerable target, roll 1d6 for each point in the weapon's Poison Rating.  For every die that comes up '6,' the unfortunate target receives an additional Poison Point.

Any unit that bites or eats a unit that has been poisoned runs the risk of being poisoned itself.  Roll dice as if the biting unit had been struck by a poisoned weapon with as many Poison Points as are in the bitten unit's Poison rating.

Some poisons do not kill their targets but have other dangerous effects.  These poisons render their victims Exhausted and Unconscious in the same manner but they have a final stage other than death.  The Giant Jelly Blok, for instance, has a poison that eventually paralyzes its victims.  The poison from the bite of a zombie, werewolf, vampire, or Timmy will eventually turn victims into zombies, werewolves, vampires, and Timmies if the poison doesn't wear off in time.

3.3.9 Automatic Fire

As history progresses, new kinds of weapons are developed which have an extremely high rate of fire, significantly changing the tactics of battle.  Rather than sighting a target and taking a shot, a soldier with an Automatic Weapon has the option of just spraying a whole area with gunfire and hoping he hits something important.

A typical Automatic Weapon has three fire settings: one-shot, three-round burst, and full-auto.  Any properly-trained minifig can switch instantly to any fire setting; minifigs unfamiliar with Automatic Weapons may have to take -1MP" each time they switch settings, if they can figure it out at all.

An Automatic Weapon has two UR statistics.  One-shot attacks use the first UR, and are handled as a normal ranged attack.  Three-round bursts and full-auto shots are considered Automatic Fire, which uses the second 'Auto' UR listing.  Auto UR is higher than a weapon's standard UR, because a high rate of fire multiplies the effect of the weapon's recoil.

A three-round burst is used to attack a single target three times.  Each round is rolled separately against the weapon's Auto UR, doing normal damage.  If multiple shots hit the target, they do Cumulative Damage.

Full-Auto fire is used to attack an area rather than a single target.  The area is determined by the range of the weapon and the arc through which the attacker swings the barrel.  For every fifteen degrees of firing arc, there is a -1 Skill penalty to hit.  (This is just one more reason why it's nice to have a modified 30-60 triangle, as described above in the Geometric NearMiss rules.)  The attacker may attack as wide an area as he wishes, even to the extent of spinning all the way around, but keep in mind that the more area he covers, the less likely he is to hit anything important.  If a troop weapon is used in full-auto fire, its clip is emptied and a minifig must spend a full turn replacing the clip before the weapon can be fired again.  Fortunately, minfigs always seem to have extra clips handy.  Automatic vehicle weapons are fed with belts or high-capacity energy mags and so can be used in full-auto fire every turn.

When a unit makes a full-auto attack, the player must make an Attack Roll for every destructible target in the attack area, at the weapon's Auto UR, minus Skill penalties for the size of the attack area.  Most normal ranged attack modifiers apply, except that the attacker takes no penalty for objects that he can't see (making this a good way to defend yourself when you're attacked by Stealth snipers).  Friendly and neutral targets in the attack area are just as likely to take fire as the enemy targets, so be careful!

3.4 Moving Around

Not all battles are fought on bare asphalt plains.  In fact, Troopers very rarely have any interest in conquering asphalt plains.  This is because there are no trees, small furry animals, or innocent bystanders to take stray bullets and get caught in explosions.  As such, they often find themselves dealing with rough terrain.

Minifigs' and vehicles' movement rates are modified depending on the type of terrain they're traversing.  Minifigs moving uphill take a -1" movement penalty.  Moving up a steep grade (45 degrees or greater) gives a -2" penalty.  Moving downhill gives a +1" bonus to movement, and moving down a steep grade gives +2" to movement.  Minifigs moving along a well-paved road or path gain +1" to movement.  These modifiers are doubled for vehicles.  Moving in, into, or out of liquid or swampy terrain (i.e. water, mud, quicksand, chocolate pudding) is done at half speed.  Falling or rising underwater is done at a maximum of one story (six brix) of height per turn.

Minifigs can jump 1" in height and half their Movement in length.  This is part of normal movement, and costs just as much as running or walking the same distance.  Minifigs can hop onto or over any obstacle two brix high or less at no penalty.  Obstacles two to five brix tall must be climbed over, which costs 2" of movement.  Objects more than five brix tall are impassible. Walk around them.

A vehicle's ability to drive over obstacles depends on so many factors that there's only one way to see if a vehicle can drive over an obstacle: Run the vehicle into the obstacle.  If the front bumper doesn't clear the obstacle, then you have a collision.  If it hits the tires or treads of your vehicle (or the legs of your robot), then you may be able to drive over it.  A vehicle can drive over objects up to ¼ the height of its tires, treads, or legs at full speed; objects up to ½ the height of tires, treads, or legs can be driven over at half speed.  Once you've gotten the front tires over the obstacle, check to make sure the chassis between the front and back tires has enough ground clearance to clear the obstacle - if your vehicle 'bottoms out,' you're stuck there until somebody thinks of a way to get you off of the obstacle!

A ground vehicle may 'jump' if it flies off a ramp that is at least as long as the vehicle chassis.  A jumping vehicle will tend to fly as many inches before hitting the ground as were in its speed when it left the ramp.  Vehicles jumping from higher surfaces to lower surfaces, or from lower surfaces to higher surfaces, will fly farther or shorter distances; you will have to make a judgment call for each specific case.  You may have to make a Piloting Roll and use NearMiss calculations to decide where the vehicle lands on more difficult jumps.  A ground vehicle cannot turn, accelerate, or decelerate while in midair.

In a desperate situation, a minifig or animal (any living creature - no androids) can put forth Extra Effort, either giving itself an additional 5" of Movement or giving itself 1 extra point of Power.  At the end of the turn, it must roll 1d6 - if it rolls a 4 or lower, then the unit is Stunned from exhaustion.  If a Stunned unit puts forth Extra Effort, it can behave as if it were not Stunned, but at the end of the turn it must roll a 6 on 1d6 or it falls Unconscious.

3.5 Non-Combat Action

Sometimes, to further his Civilization's cause, a Trooper is forced to take some action besides moving or attacking.  This should generally be avoided, because moving and attacking are very dear to the Troopers' hearts.  Any actions that take time away from these two behaviors make Troopers unhappy and cause them to question their commanders' competence.

However, the needs of victory often take precedence over the concerns of morale, and Troopers must sometimes act against their better instincts and take a Non-Combat Action.  Almost anything that a normal person could do, a Trooper can do.  Usually the Trooper can perform a Non-Combat Action without any trouble.  If for some reason you want to try something that seems especially difficult, you and your opponent will have to decide on a difficulty rating for it (on a case-by-case basis) and then roll a Skill Roll against it.

There are all kinds of Non-Combat Actions.  Civilians go around holding conversations and attending to their dreary jobs.  Slaves will traipse around picking up the debris of battle.  Medix will attend to the vivisection of the dying.  Soldiers will try to disarm the MkIII Explosives that inevitably get glommed onto their heads.

Most Non-Combat Actions cost 1" of movement.  That is to say, taking that action took a little bit of time, and now the soldier has a little less time to spend on moving around.  Things like pulling a lever, opening a door, standing up or sitting down, and picking up or setting it down objects fall into this category.  Other actions may take a whole movement phase and possibly prevent a unit from making any attacks that turn, such as operating a computer, taking off a pair of pants, or chewing out a soldier when you bust him back down to private.  If the action is something that a soldier could still do at a dead run, then it doesn't slow him down any.  Actions like this include shouting orders, dropping an object already in hand, sneezing, slapping oneself about the face, etc.

Troopers driving vehicles don't usually take a lot of Non-Combat Actions, because they're busy driving vehicles.  In the unlikely event that a driver finds himself in the position to take a Non-Combat Action while driving, the rules are a little different.  Any action that would normally take a -1" movement penalty now doubles the vehicle's TurnRate.  Any action that takes a whole turn now prevents the vehicle from turning entirely (the driver is steering with his knees).

3.6 Brik Physix

Brik Physix is where BrikWars really comes into its own.  Up to this point, there's not a lot to distinguish this game from any of a million other wargames out there besides good looks and charm.  Why bother wasting your time learning a whole new wargame just because it uses plastik brix instead of lead miniatures?  You probably fall into one of these groups:

pip You already have a lot of plastic brix.  Getting a comparable amount of lead miniatures would cost a lot of money, or at least take some work.  You are too lazy for that kind of thing.
pip This rulebook is free.  Most wargaming rulebooks are not.  You are stingy and cheap.
pip You can download this rulebook from the Internet.  For other wargames, you have to go to the store and buy them.  You don't want to attract the attention of the dorks who hang out in the stores that sell wargames.  You are snooty and intolerant.
pip You have no idea what you're doing here.  You got here by mistyping "" very, very badly.  You are an imbecile.
pip You really, really like your favorite brand of plastic brix and have set out to read every page on the Internet that has anything remotely to do with them.  You are focused and diligent, as well as extraordinarily good-looking.  Your mental acuity astounds your friends and enemies alike.

If you fall into not just one, but all of these groups, then it sounds like we have a lot in common. We should do lunch sometime.

Wargaming is fun, and building with plastic brix is fun.  What if you could do both at the same time?  Now you can!  There's no reason the building has to stop when the fighting begins.  The nature of plastic brix offers the enterprising commander a chance to modify the terrain in far more constructive ways than just blasting huge craters in it and littering it with smoking debris.  Slaves can be sent out to collect loose Blox and pile them into walls for fortification or stairs for overcoming obstacles.  Mechanix can scavenge the debris from crashed vehicles to build "like-new" vehicles.  Medix can gather up the scattered body parts of their deceased comrades and sew up some temporary vivisect zombies.  What other wargame offers that kind of interactivity?  Here are the rules that tell you how to move those Brix into position.

3.6.1 Determining Mass

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To know what you can do with an object, first you have to know how heavy it is.  A Blok (a 2x4 Brik) is the BrikWars measure of weight.  All normal minifigs weigh one Blok.  Hand tools and weapons have no appreciable weight (zero Blox); larger objects weigh as much as their Armor Value divided by five (round up).  If a larger object has no defined Armor Value, figure out about how many Blox big it is, and that's how much it weighs.  If the object is "nailed down," like a tree, a wall, or a mountain, you have to knock it down before it can be moved.

(If you want to be more precise when determining the weight of a larger object such as a vehicle or base, multiply its Area in dots (minimum 10) times its Armor Value and divide the result by 100.  The dividend will be the object's weight in Blox.)

3.6.2 Moving Objects Around

Once you know the weight of the object you're going to move, you have to know the Power of the unit attempting to move it.  Troopers, and most other kinds of minifigs, have a Power rating of 1.  Horses have a Power rating of 2.  Vehicles' Power ratings depend on their chassis size and propulsion type.  Units working together (minifigs, vehicles, or both) can "team up," combining their Power for the purposes of lifting, carrying, pushing, or dragging objects.

Normal minifigs with a Power rating of 1 can pick up, set down, or carry most normal objects with no Movement Penalty.  Picking up or setting down a 1-Blok object costs 1" of movement; a 2-Blok object costs 2".  Carrying a 1-Blok object incurs -1" Cargo MP; a 2-Blok object incurs -2" CMP.  Objects weighing more than two Blox have to be shoved or dragged around.

If a unit or group of units (minifigs or otherwise) is able to pick things up (e.g. it has arms, a crane, tractor beams, telekinesis, etc.), it can pick up objects weighing fewer Blox than its Power rating with no Movement Penalty.  Picking up or setting down objects weighing as many Blox as (but fewer than twice as many Blox as) the unit's Power rating costs 1" of movement, and the object incurs -1" CMP while it is being carried.  Picking up or setting down objects weighing precisely twice as many Blox as the unit's Power rating costs 2" of movement, and the object incurs -2" CMP while it is being carried.  Objects weighing more than twice as many Blox as the unit's Power rating cannot be picked up or carried.

Pushing or dragging an object on wheels or an object that rolls (or is on runners or skis, or on a low-friction surface like ice, water, air, or vacuum) works in the following manner: for every point of Power a unit has, he has five "Blok-inches" (or 5b") of torque.  That is to say, he could accelerate or decelerate a 1-Blok object by 5" per turn, or a 5-Blok object by 1" per turn, or a 2-Blok object by 2" per turn (don't forget to round down when dividing).  A unit cannot accelerate an object to a speed faster than the unit's own maximum speed.  Such an object, once moving, continues in the same direction (losing one inch of velocity to friction) every time it is the pushing or dragging player's turn, whether the player is still pushing or dragging it or not.

Pushing or dragging an object with no wheels works in almost the same way.  Any attempt to get the object to gain speed is done as if the object weighed twice as much; maintaining speed or decelerating the object are handled as usual.  The object loses 4" of velocity to friction every turn.

A moving object on a slope feels 1" of downhill acceleration per turn, or 2" of acceleration if the slope is 45 degrees or steeper.

Example: You want to roll a big round boulder weighing six Blox down a hill onto an enemy camp.  Unfortunately, you have to get it to the crest of the hill first.  One Trooper would have no way to move it, it's too heavy.  Two Troopers working together would have 10b" of torque, and so could accelerate it by 1" per turn (10 Blok-inches divided by 6 Blox, rounded down).  Three Troopers (with 15b") could accelerate it by 2" per turn, or they could pick it up (costing 2" of movement) and carry it around (with a 2" Cargo Movement Penalty).  If there's room for six Troopers to get a grip on it, they could accelerate the boulder (with 30b") by 5" per turn, or they could pick it up (costing 1") and carry it around (with 1" of Cargo Movement Penalty).  Once they get it rolling down the steep slope, it picks up 1" of Speed every turn on its own (2" of downhill acceleration minus 1" to friction).

3.6.3 Throwing Objects

A minifig (or any unit with arms) can throw objects it is carrying.  This counts as an attack - a unit that throws an object can make no other attacks that turn.  A unit can throw an object as many inches as it could push it in one turn ((5 x Power)" for objects weighing up to one Blok, or ((5 x Power) / Mass in Blox)", rounded down, for heavier objects), plus his Skill in inches.  Most minifigs have a Power rating of 1, and so a normal minifig can throw an object weighing up to one Blok a maximum distance of 5" plus their Skill.  The range of a Trooper's thrown weapon is 1d6+5".

Example: A Trooper tries to throw a big Blok.  The range of the object is five inches, plus the Trooper's Skill of 1d6, or 1d6+5" total.  A super-strong Trooper, with a Power rating of 2, tries to throw a big rock weighing 3 Blox.  The range of this object is ((5 x Power / weight) + Skill)" or ((10/3)+1d6)" or 1d6+3" total.

If you want to throw a Close Combat weapon, the throw has the same Usage Rating as the weapon, and does the same damage if it hits.  (Remember that you can use the stats for Hammers and Shovels when using other pieces of normal equipment as Close Combat weapons.)  Most other thrown objects' Usage Rating will be three, plus the object's Movement Penalty.  These objects will do 1d6-3 damage, plus twice the weight of the object in Blox, times the Power of the units throwing them.  Ranged combat modifiers should be taken into account.

A unit can try to catch a thrown object if it passes within arm's reach (he can run to catch it if he has any Movement left, even on an opponent's turn).  To catch the object, he must make a Skill Roll as high as the object's UR or higher, plus the object's weight in Blox (rounded down).  If the object is a weapon thrown as an attack, this Roll is made at a -2 Skill Penalty, and if the unit fails this roll, he is automatically hit by the attack.

3.6.4 Dropping Objects

If an object is too big to throw, then you might try dropping it from a great height to get similar results.  Rolling boulders off high cliffs or driving jeeps off the roofs of parking garages onto enemy encampments is sure to fill your Troopers with glee.  A drop's height is measured in stories (one story is equal to the height of six Brix).  For the most part, a dropped object falls straight down, but you can aim it a little bit.  For every story that it drops, the object can move one inch horizontally (aim it with a UR of 3).  Whatever it hits, the object does as much damage as its Mass times the number of full stories that it dropped.  If the object has no significant weight, it does as much damage as if it had been thrown.  The object itself takes as much damage as whatever it hits.

3.6.5 Collisions

The final way to move objects is by smashing into them.  Whether this involves a Trooper tackling another Trooper off of his SkateBoard, a heavy tank smashing down the doors of a Base, or a supersonic jet flying into the side of a mountain, collisions are the spice of life.  When one object collides with another object, the speed and mass of both objects must be taken into account.  First, you have to figure out the CollisionSpeed, or how fast the two objects were going relative to each other.  Find out how fast each object was going on their most recent Movement Phase. (The colliding object is usually considered to be going at full speed, even if the collision occurs within the first couple inches of its movement.)  If the objects were travelling in about the same direction, the CollisionSpeed will be the difference between the two objects' speeds.  If they were travelling at right angles, the faster object's speed will be the CollisionSpeed.  If they were travelling straight at each other, add their two speeds together.  If one object is stationary, only the speed of the moving object need be considered.  If both objects are stationary, it would be difficult for them to have crashed into each other in the first place, so unless extra-dimensional physics are involved then you've probably made a mistake somewhere.

The heavier the objects, and the faster they are moving, the more damage is going to be inflicted.  Once you have determined the CollisionSpeed, divide it by five inches and round down.  (If the two objects collide at a speed of less than 5" per turn, they just bump each other without doing any damage.)  This number is the Damage Multiplier. Each object in the collision does its own Mass in damage, times the Damage Multiplier.  Also, for every die of damage an object takes (d6's or d10's), it receives one inch of knock-back acceleration.  It gains velocity in the direction in from which it was struck (or loses velocity in the direction from which it was striking), regardless of whether it survives the damage (unless it is "nailed down," in which case it only gets knocked back if it is destroyed).

If one object in the Collision is a 'soft body,' such as a minifig, animal, or shrubbery, it only causes half damage to the other object in the Collision.  If both objects are 'soft bodies,' then they each cause half damage to the other.  However, they still get knocked back the full amount.

A Subject of Some Gravity
For everyone who asked, the force of gravity in BrikWars provides a downward acceleration of four inches per turn, per round.  The downward force exerted on an object by gravity is four inches per turn, per round, times the mass of the object ((4xMass) b").  Hopefully, you will be able to avoid any situation in which you would ever need to know this obscure fact.

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