Chapter Four: The Player Turn
|“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving.”
|- Ulysses S. Grant
During a players turn, each of his units may engage in whatever Movement is allowed by its Move statistic, and may each
take one major Action (preferably an attack). In the meantime,
enemy units with unused Actions left over from their previous turn have the option to spend
them in Enemy Response to the active player's behavior.
|“Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”
|- Will Rogers
During Movement, a minifig's Move rating of 5" allows him to
move five inches in any direction - he can run across five inches
of level ground, climb five inches worth of stairs or ladders,
or leap over five inches of chasm.
His movement is limited in a couple of ways. He cant pass through
obstacles, or leap higher than 1 (three bricks) in a single
jump. Difficult types of movement may cost extra Move inches as a penalty, or might reduce the minifig to Half Speed. Movement that requires the use of both arms (swimming, crawling, or climbing ropes and ladders, for example) will prevent the minifig from using those arms to make Attacks or other manual Actions.
If a minifig moves within Close Combat striking distance of an opponent who still has an Action to spend, it's assumed that the opponent automatically attacks him,
unless the opposing player says otherwise. If the minifig survives and decides
to Counter the attack, they are both entered into Close Combat (5.2:
Close Combat) and the minifigs Movement is over for
the turn. If not, then he may continue moving normally.
A minifig is not always able to run around at full speed. Minor actions can take time away from a minifig's Movement, using up a number of his Move inches in a Move Action rather than using up his single major Action for the turn. Difficult movement conditions extending over the turn can slow him to Half Speed or stop him entirely. And getting taken violently off his feet, whether by a Shove, Explosion, or desperately Bailing out of the way of impending destruction, will cause him to become momentarily Disrupted and defenseless.
|Common Movement Costs
|Talking, delivering pithy one-liners
||Leaping across chasms
|Operating a latch, lever, button, or door
||Climbing stairs, ramps, or ladders
|Operating a computer or Vehicle Controls
||Climbing ropes, trees, or rocky cliffs
|Drawing or holstering a weapon
||Moving in mud or thick vegetation
|Picking up or dropping equipment items
||Caught in a net or trap
|Picking up a heavier item
||Stopping to Aim an attack
|Carrying or dragging a heavy item
||Dropping to a seated, kneeling, or
|Walking in Body Armor
||Standing up from a seated or kneeling
|Walking in Heavy Armor
||Standing up from a prone or Disrupted position
|Putting on Armor
||Crawling or dragging oneself along the ground
|Taking off Armor
||Hopping or hobbling on one leg
||Knocked over by a Shove, Explosion, or Collision
|Swimming in Armor or already Half Speed
||Bailing out of the way
Although a minifig is limited to one major Action for the turn, there
are lesser actions that are too minor to count
against this limit. Actions that require no particular attention,
aiming, or dice rolls are considered to be Move Actions, and are treated as part of regular Movement rather than using up the minifig's main Action for the turn.
Depending on the amount of time and effort involved, Move Actions may use up some portion of the unit's Move inches, or reduce its Movement to Half Speed.
Very simple acts, like picking up or
dropping regular equipment objects, holding conversations, or sneezing,
don't slow a minifig down at all. More involved actions, such as picking up a heavy
object (up to the size of a minifig or 2x4 brick), removing armor or clothing, or locking a door, cost 1 of Move taking that action took a small
amount of time, and now the minifig has less time for moving.
Actions or conditions that actively burden a minifig, such as wearing Heavy Armor, carrying or dragging a heavy object (up to the size of a minifig or 2x4 brick), or engaging in difficult movement requiring the use of both arms (swimming, crawling, climbing ropes, etc.) will reduce a minifig's Movement to Half Speed. For a minifig moving at Half Speed, all Movement costs twice the usual number of Move inches - that is to say, moving two inches of physical distance costs four inches of Move. Minifigs moving at Half Speed cannot jump or fly with wings (if they're a winged type of unit; other types of flight may still work). Half-Speed minifigs can still climb into vehicles or saddles as usual.
If a minifig is already reduced to Half Speed, additional Half Speed conditions have no effect - he's still at Half Speed. The important exception is when he's swimming; minifigs who try to swim while wearing Armor or carrying heavy objects are immobilized and may drown if they don't dispose of their burdens before the end of their turn somehow.
Regardless of Half Speed or immobilization, a minifig may still spend Move inches to take regular Move Actions if it makes sense to do so; he may be immobilized by being caught in a bear trap, but that doesn't prevent him from spending a couple inches to open an emergency panel and mash a self-destruct button if it's within arm's reach.
Events that knock a minifig violently off his feet, whether voluntarily or otherwise, cause him to become Disrupted. This most often happens when a minifig is knocked over by the effects of a Shove, Explosion, or Collision, or when he's forced to Bail out of the way of oncoming damage.
A Disrupted minifig is momentarily helpless, and may not attempt any further Movement or Action until his following turn, not even to Counter a Close Combat attack. He is considered an inanimate object, granting +1 to target with Ranged Attacks, and Automatic Hits for attackers standing close enough to touch him directly.
| Heroes can attempt to use Heroic Feats even while they're Disrupted, sometimes allowing them to move or act when they normally shouldn't be able to.
On its following turn, a Disrupted minifig may spend 2" of Move to recover and stand up again, and may once again behave as normal. For Disrupted minifigs wearing Heavy Armor, recovery is more difficult. Unless they have assistance, standing up and returning to readiness is an Extended Action that uses up a full turn's worth of Movement and Action.
|“One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!”
|- Winston Churchill
When speed is critical, a minifig (or any mobile unit) can Sprint,
giving itself extra inches of Move for the turn equal to its Skill Roll, as long as the minifig's entire Movement for the turn (including the Sprint) is in a straight line. The Sprinting unit's path may go up or down and over any obstacles that it could leap over without having to climb, but it may not turn to the right or left by even a tiny amount.
Sprinting minifigs may not perform any Move Actions that cost inches of Move. Minifigs moving at Half Speed, on the other hand, can still put in the effort to try to Sprint, but the extra Sprint inches are also Half Speed.
Sprinting costs the unit's Action for the turn, although it may be combined with a Charge attack as a
special type of combined Action (5.4: Charge!).
|The Skill roll for Sprinting can benefit from Bonus Dice like any other roll (1.2: Numbers) - the extra dice keep adding more inches to the Sprint, potentially allowing truly ridiculous straight-line speed. By tradition, if a series of Critical Successes in a Sprint roll suddenly ends with a roll of one, it's a special kind of Critical Failure - the unit is unable to stop itself, and must run the full distance allowed by the extra Bonus Dice, even if he runs into a wall or off the table.
|“Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often.”
|- Mark Twain
act that requires a minifigs attention, focus, or concentrated
effort is an Action. Due to limits on time and minifig brainpower,
a minifig may only take one such Action per turn. He may use his single Action
before, after, or in the middle of his Movement, but he only gets
one, so he should spend it wisely (which is to say, as unwisely as possible).
In ideal circumstances, a minifig will almost always use his Action to make an Attack (5.1:
Making Attacks). But even the most belligerent minifigs
will concede that less direct types of Actions are sometimes called
for in order to set up better Attacks later.
Minifigs are clumsy
and easily distracted, and Actions are rarely automatic successes. Each Action is given a Use rating describing its relative difficulty. Except for the most trivial types of Action, a minifig attempting an Action must
make a Skill Roll, rolling the die in his Skill rating to see if his attempt succeeds. If his Skill
Roll is equal to or higher than the Action's Use rating, then the Action is a success.
If it is lower, the Action fails, and the minifig suffers whatever
consequences logically result.
||trivial (no roll required)
||kicking a corpse
||putting pants on;
|slashing someone with
||jumping off a ledge
to grab a rope;
hacking a U.S. election machine
||normal; might take
more than one try
| stabbing someone with a spear
||kicking open a regular
mixing complex drinks
odds of success
|hacking someone with a halberd
||rock-climbing a brick wall;
reassembling an unfamiliar rifle
||bashing someone with
a battering ram
||disarming a bomb;
winning at Vegas
someone with a catapult shot
||walking a tightrope;
performing minor surgery
with a wrecking ball
catching a crossbow
bolt in flight
||destroying someone with deck artillery
||hacking into a military satellite
dodging concentrated machine-gun fire
|| obliterating someone
with an orbital laser
||injuring a Human;
performing a judo throw on a T-rex
Weapons and other equipment items have standard Use ratings in their descriptions. Minifigs attacking with or utilizing these items will use those ratings (Chapter 3: Minifig Weapons).
Otherwise, there are all kinds of unusual tasks that minifigs
might attempt, from the trivial to the impossible, although these are much less common. Most will have
a default Use rating of 3; players may agree on a higher or lower
difficulty as seems appropriate. For truly exceptional Actions, the Use rating can be so high that minifigs have to pin their hopes on adding one or more Bonus Dice to the roll to have any chance of matching it.
No matter how minor or Herculean an Action may be, a minifig of unusual skill or luck can find ways to execute it with extra flair. Any time a minifig makes a Skill Roll to perform an Action, rather than scoring a Critical Success like all other dice (1.2: Numbers), a Skill die can earn an Overskill Benny whenever it rolls any number six or higher (before adding or subtracting any Skill modifiers). An Overskill Benny can only be earned by the Skill die itself, and only in a Skill Roll; any other dice added to the roll as Bonus Dice or Bennies can only score regular Critical Successes.
| While a six is the highest number a normal minifig can naturally roll on his d6 Skill Die, other unit types may have larger or smaller dice. Heroes, introduced in Chapter Six: Minifig Heroes, have a d10 Skill Die, and can gain an Overskill Benny on a natural roll of six, seven, eight, nine, or ten. Incompetent units with a Skill of d4, introduced in Chapter Ten: Creatures, can never roll high enough to gain Overskill. As consolation, they are allowed to earn a standard Critical Success, gaining a Bonus d4 on a natural roll of 4.
An Overskill Benny is like an Instant Benny that can only be spent to the specific Action the minifig was rolling for (1.4: The Spirit of the Game). If an Overskill Benny is used to add Damage to an attack, it adds one more of the attack's existing Damage dice. A 1d6+1 Rifle gets an Overskill bonus of +1d6, while a 1d10 (Exp) Grenade gets an Overskill bonus of +1d10 (Exp), making it twice as Explosive (8.4: Heavy Explosives). Otherwise, an Overskill Benny can be spent to add +1d6 to the Skill Roll if necessary, or to any of the Action's existing stats (+1d6 inches to the distance of a Sprint, for instance, but not +1d6 inches to the Range of a Close Combat attack, which has no existing Range stat).
|Regardless of Skill or Damage type, any Bonus Dice rolled off of an Overskill die still add a regular +1d6 as normal.
In some cases, rather than adding a die to a stat, the Overskill Benny can be spent to avoid a negative consequence of an Action, such as being Disrupted while Bailing (4.3: Enemy Response) - thanks to his exceptional Skill, the minifig is able to stay on his feet. Overskill can also be spent to make an attack more precise: a minifig might spend his Overskill to change "I was shooting at the dragon" to "I was shooting at the dragon's left eye," if his original Skill Roll was high enough to hit the eye despite the extra Size penalties.
Because Skill ratings are always limited to a single die, minifigs can never earn more than one Overskill Benny at a time.
|Overskill Example: The Hangman's Gallows
Example: In the excitement surrounding the public execution in Dottingham Square, Thieven Hood has managed to sneak his way onto the town palisade overlooking the plaza. He's too late! The hangman is already pulling the release lever, and one of Thieven's Merry Minifigs is about to take the long drop. Although well aware of the involuntary pants-pooping that accompanies a successful hanging, Thieven is still determined to try to save his minion. He only has one chance: to shoot the rope before it snaps the victim's neck.
This is an extraordinarily difficult shot. Thieven's longbow has a Use of 3 and a Range of 10", but the rope is very small, giving a -2 Attack Penalty for Target Size, and it's a full fifteen inches away, giving an additional -5 to each Skill and Damage die for being five inches Out of Range (5.1: Making Attacks). With a Use of 3 and an Attack Penalty of -2, he needs to roll a 5 just to hit the rope; with -5 to every die rolled, it's a long shot by any interpretation.
Thieven Hood makes his Attack Roll and rolls his d10 Skill die. An eight! Because it's a six or greater, it gives him an Overskill Benny to spend on the shot.
He uses the Benny to add +1d6 inches to the longbow's Range for this attack. He rolls a 2, increasing the Range to 12". The rope is still Out of Range, but now only by three inches, reducing the Out Of Range penalty to -3. His Skill Roll of eight is now exactly enough to overcome the combined -2 Target Size penalty and -3 Out of Range penalty; the arrow hits the rope.
The longbow's Damage rating is 1d6+1, but the Damage is also subject to the -3 Out of Range penalty. Thieven Hood rolls a 2 on the d6, resulting in zero total Damage.
He's already spent the Overskill Benny on adding Range, so there's nothing more he can do. Although the arrow strikes the rope with perfect precision, it bounces off without effect. The condemned Merry Minifig drops through the trapdoor, the noose snaps around his neck, and the inevitable pants-pooping follows moments later. Thieven Hood, along with the handful of other Merry Minifigs attending incognito, joins the crowd of onlookers in merry laughter at the defecatory spectacle.
|“Victory belongs to the most persevering.”
|- Napoleon Bonaparte
Some actions are so involved or time-consuming
that they take up a minifigs entire turn, even if they arent
difficult enough to require a Skill Roll. These are called Full-Round
Actions. Examples include piloting a vehicle, operating a computer,
putting on a suit of plate mail, rowing a rowboat, or reading a wargaming
rulebook. A minifig who engages in a Full-Round Action can't engage in any other type of Action during the turn, and he can't engage in any other type of Movement once the Full-Round Action has begun, although he may still be moved around by vehicles or other units (for instance, if the minifig is using a Full-Round Action to ride a horse).
A Full-Round Action that extends over multiple turns is an Extended Action. The most common Extended Action for minifigs, often extending over
a very large number of turns, is "Being Dead."
4.3: Enemy Response
|“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”
|- Sun Tzu
a unit doesn't use its Action on its own turn, it can save it to
use in response to other units' actions. A minifig can use a Response Action to shoot at scouts as they
pop out from behind cover, to whack soldiers that wander into range
of his melee weapon, or to punch the self-destruct button when all
the invitees have boarded the cruise liner for his birthday party.
Of course, his enemies are free to use their own saved Actions during
his turn as well, so he should tread carefully!
To make a Response Action, a unit must have an unspent Action
from its previous turn. These Responding units may move up to one inch (known as an Angry Inch (5.2: Close Combat)), if necessary, in order to press, grab,
or otherwise operate a critical object (to pull a lever or slam
a door, for instance), or to position themselves in range of a target for a Close Combat or Ranged Attack.
Cone of Vision
A Responding minifig must be aware of the specific action or movement
to which he's reacting, and in a timely enough fashion to make a proper
Response. In almost all cases, this means he has to be able to see
it. If he sees an enemy soldier raise a rifle and take aim, he may
have time to dive for cover; if all he knows is that he heard a gunshot,
it's way too late.
A minifig's Cone of Vision points in whichever direction his
head is facing, and forty-five degrees to either side, making a complete
cone of ninety degrees. If an object or event is within that field
of view, the minifig can see it; if not, he can't. Whenever it's hard
to tell whether or not an object falls within that cone, a quick What
I Say Goes roll resolves the issue neatly.
Who Acts First
|"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
|- Abraham Lincoln
Even if a minifig can see disaster about to strike, he won't
always be fast enough to respond in time.
In some cases, a minifig will have plenty of time to make his Response Action. If an enemy's running across an open field with a knife while you're swinging a polearm, or if he's running across an open field with a polearm while you're aiming a pistol, or if he's running across an open field with a pistol while you're hiding in an underground bunker with a hand on the magma release lever, you are going to have plenty of time to act before he gets close enough to do anything about it. As a rule of thumb, if a target is already within range of a minifig's Response Action when the target still has to move an inch or more before taking its own Action, the minifig will automatically be able to act first during that inch.
In cases where one minifig's Action isn't automatically faster than another's, assume that both Actions
occur simultaneously if possible. If a simultaneous result isn't possible, then a minifig moving at regular speed takes his Action before a minifig moving at Half Speed. (A minifig who's at Half Speed due to a heavy burden can drop the burden instantly in order to act or react at full speed.) If both minifigs are moving at the same speed, then both minifigs roll their Skill, and the higher roll goes first.
|Response Action Example: High Noon Shootout
|Example: Two gunfighters meet outside the saloon for a duel at high noon. They eye each other warily, each prepared to draw and fire the moment their opponent so much as twitches.
On Hairtrigger Wayne's turn, he decides he's going to fire first, and declares his attack on Shoot-Em-in-the-Back Shaun. Shaun declares a similar attack on Wayne as a Response Action. The minifigs fire simultaneously, and both players roll their d6 Skill dice against their pistols' Use ratings of 3. No doubt due to heavy drinking, Wayne rolls a 2 and Shaun rolls a 1; both miss their shots.
Wayne's missed shot flies harmlessly into the distance, but Shaun's shot was a Critical Failure, and the gun goes off before he even gets it out of the holster. Shaun collapses in agony after shooting himself in the foot, and a great cheer goes up from the crowd of spectators who mistakenly assume that Wayne's shot hit its mark.
While the recommended Response to almost any enemy behavior is to
attack with everything you've got, there are times when a minifig's best
bet is to make a desperate leap for safety. He may be dodging an oncoming
truck, jumping out of a helicopter that's about to be hit by missiles,
or diving behind cover when a machine gun turret opens fire on him.
Minifigs are not able to Sprint as a Response Action. Instead, assuming
their movement type would logically allow it, they have the option
to Bail. A Bailing minifig makes a Skill roll and can dive to any spot within that many inches
of his current position, ending up lying prone on the ground and Disrupted.
A minifig who is reduced to Half Speed also Bails at Half Speed, diving only one real inch for every two Bail inches. If a minifig is at Half Speed because he's carrying a heavy burden, he can drop it before he Bails and leap the full distance.
||Overskill: A minifig who rolls an Overskill Benny on the Skill roll for Bailing distance may choose to land on his feet and avoid being Disrupted.
Because a minifig has to make a Skill roll
to see how far he's able to jump, a low roll can sometimes mean
that he doesn't Bail far as he needs to, and a Critical Failure means he just slips and
falls on his face right where he's standing. If a Bailing minifig doesn't
jump far enough to escape the path of an oncoming train, he still
gets hit by the train; if he's Bailing to avoid a rifle volley and
doesn't quite reach cover, the riflemen just fire at him in his new
position instead of his old one.
|Reconstruktion and Retconstruktion Numbers
Because ABS, whether used as a construction material or as fuel, has the side effect of warping time and space, and because SpaceMen's inborn compulsion to kick ass must inevitably destroy every universe and rip all histories into a nonlinear tangled mess, time in the BrikWars universe is inconsistent and poorly-defined. One might leave in the morning on a brisk walk, and find oneself arriving home 300 years in the past. Two sides of the same street might be on separate planets one day, and interdimensionally superimposed on one another the next. How does one organize a timeline when such extreme distortions are possible?
BrikWars historians order their chronologies by numbered Reconstruktions, numbering each reality according to the number of previously destroyed universes by which it was influenced and from which it inherits recycled elements. The timeline in which SpaceMen first arose has been assigned the number 1,978, after Brik science determined that the destruction of the SpaceMen's universe retroactively created 1,977 previous generations of reality leading up to their own. None of these previous Retconstruktions (or "Retcons") contain minifigs, but as they get closer to R-1,978, devolved forms of pre-minifig life begin to appear. These proto-life forms occasionally reappear in later Reconstruktions, and may paradoxically be the source of the protofig bioengineers responsible for creating the SpaceMen in the first place, who would then go on to bring about the existence of the preceding universes in which the protofigs evolved.
Brik theologians theorize that, because the Universal Ass-Kicking created 1,977 previous generations of reality, it must have created exactly 1,977 generations to follow, and the universe will finally run out of ABS in R-3,955.
Naturally, the great powers of history don't simply disappear at the end of their Reconstruktion. As pieces of their previous realities shatter forward into new ones, remnants and echoes of their minifig civilizations linger on in the garage sales and discount shelves of history. Some are forgotten and fade away, allowing themselves to be absorbed into new, more popular factions, while a few, such as the Royals, regroup and persist for several Reconstruktions in a seemingly endless series of evolved forms.
Some Humans have noted curious synchronicities between Reconstruktion numbers and Earth years, based on the construction brik sets appearing on retail shelves. The all-destroying invasion of Poop Dragons from the Negaverse in Reconstruktion 2,003, for example, happens to correspond exactly with Mega Bloks' Dragons line knocking Lego out of its rightful #1 Construction Toy spot in the year 2003, complete with its "Piece-with-Only-One-Purpose" premolded dragons. These are complete coincidences, of course, and no attention should be paid to crackpots and their conspiracy theories.