An Assyrian detachment treks across the frozen wastelands of the Iceworld Krysto.
from "2011 Snowpocalypse"
Elements shown: LEGO
Heavy weapons are all about location; they're only as valuable as the targets they can reach. Sadly, it's rare to find an opponent considerate enough to build targets next to your weapon emplacements, or who lets you build weapon emplacements next to their targets.
Rather than limiting weapons to the targets in a single location, it's handy to give them a means of moving around. The value of a fine weapon can be increased dramatically by strapping a Vehicle to it.
Creations that move around are called Vehicles, and every Vehicle requires at least one Propulsion system, even if the method of powering that Propulsion is hard to explain. (Construction-brick siege engines are notorious for rolling around merrily despite a lack of horses or slaves to pull them.)
Working together with their Dwarven allies, the Frostborne Tribe has constructed a Mammoth Siege-Sleigh. The propulsion of this mobile fortress is handled by a giant Frost Golem pushing from the rear.
Photo: Kommander Ken
from "The Frostborne Tribe"
Elements shown: LEGO
For game purposes, all that's important is the Vehicle's type of movement. Whether or not it has any means to power that movement is politely overlooked.
Like all devices in BrikWars, every Propulsion system should be represented by specific physical elements. Most will be obvious: wheels and sails and zeppelin balloons are represented by wheel elements and sail elements and zeppelin balloon elements, respectively. For more exotic Propulsion systems, like levitation crystals that use sparkle magic to transport floating minifig bordellos between opposing war camps, the physical components should be pointed out to the other players so there's no confusion about which elements to target first.
While BrikWars Vehicles can utilize whatever bizarre Propulsion systems players come up with, they're generally sorted into one of two categories. Standard propulsion allows units to move around on tabletops, floors, and brick-built surfaces. Flight propulsion allows units to travel above the surfaces, flying over obstacles and sneering at ground forces hampered by petty gravity.
In terrestrial battles, ground and sea units will use Standard propulsion, and air units will use Flight. In other locations and genres, this can change. In an undersea battle, all submarines and swimming units will use undersea Flight, and only the crawling bottom feeders will be stuck in Standard. In an outer space battle, the large capital ships can be treated as Standard propulsion Vehicles, while the spacefighters flying above and around them can use Flight.
For Propulsion types outside of the Standard and Flight categories (spider climbing, underground tunneling, or teleportation, for example), players are encouraged to come up with house rules as needed.
Vehicles may sometimes move outside of their usual medium if it's appropriate to do so. Common sense should be an adequate guide: automobiles can move at lower speed through standing water, but they can't fly; airplanes can move at lower speed on the runway, but can't swim; submarines may move at lower speed boating around the ocean surface, but they can't roll around on land or perform cartwheels.
Vehicles moving in an alternate medium move at Half Speed (4.1: Movement). No matter how many Move or Sprint inches they have to spend, no Vehicle can move more than five inches in an alternate medium in any single turn.
Like minifigs, a Vehicle can be made to Sprint (4.1: Movement) in order to add its operator's Action Roll to its Move inches, as long as it's driving in a straight line. As with any other unit, Vehicles can't make any turns while Sprinting.
Creations are stationary by default, with zero Move inches to spend. Each Size Enhancement to Move adds five inches.
Rather than adding more Move inches, players can use an Enhancement to give a Creation Flight propulsion. A Creation with Flight can raise its Move to a maximum of 15"; a Creation without Flight is limited to Move 10" at most.
A Move Impairment reduces a Creation to Half Speed (4.1: Movement). Only Creations with Move inches can take this Impairment.
As a general rule, most Vehicles have a Move of 10", but players can choose whatever Move rating they feel is appropriate for their Propulsion system. Five inches is the speed of a minifig, ten inches is the speed of a Horse, and fifteen inches is only possible for Creations with Flight propulsion.
Move ratings don't always have to be in multiples of five inches, but it tends to make things easier to keep track of, especially if players are relying on sixteen-stud bricks to measure five-inch distances.
For most devices, Damage is an all-or-nothing affair. A steering wheel is either slagged or it isn't; an elbow is either attached or it's not.
Propulsion systems are a little more granular. If attackers can destroy or disable a major propulsion component (one tire off a dune buggy, one leg off of a RoboSpider), the vehicle's Move is reduced by 1" for each lost component. If half of the propulsion elements are destroyed (one leg off a Tyrannosaurus, one wheel off a motorcycle), or if any part of the Vehicle is dragging on the ground, then the Vehicle moves at Half Speed, after applying all other applicable penalties. If all the elements are destroyed (one pogo off of a pogo stick, one balloon off of a hot air balloon), the Vehicle's ability to Move is eliminated entirely.
Aerodynamic Flight systems are especially fragile (as opposed to space or magic Flight, which tend to be more resilient). The destruction of one blade of a helicopter or one wing of a dragon is enough to ground them immediately.
Vehicles Flying above the ground need a minimum amount of Propulsion strength to stay aloft. (Vehicles Flying in orbit or in space have no such problems). Any time a Flying Vehicle is reduced to Half Speed for any reason, it falls out of the sky at the end of the turn.
Loss of Control
A Vehicle can lose control for any number of reasons. The operator might be dead, absent, or distracted by text messages. The Controls might be disconnected, destroyed, or contradicted by enemies Interfering on auxiliary Controls (8.5: Manning Guns). The Propulsion system might be damaged, disabled, or sabotaged to function perfectly but in the wrong direction.
Out of Control Vehicles keep going in whichever direction they were already going, at whatever speed they were already moving. Their movement continues in a straight line every turn until they Crash into something (9.5: Collisions) or exit the battlefield, unless players come up with a specific reason they should change direction.
If a Vehicle loses power (the fuel line is severed, the minifig pressing the gas pedal implodes) or loses Propulsion effectiveness (a truck tips off its wheels, an aircraft carrier beaches itself), it can use Momentum to continue moving, buying 1d6 Move inches for each MOM spent before grinding to a halt. Flying Vehicles, in particular, grind to a halt by nosediving straight down from their final position and smashing into the ground.
Minifigs and animals are used to unlimited maneuvering. Minifigs are free to spend their Move inches almost however they want - running, climbing, rolling around, and doing backflips at will. Most Vehicles aren't able to move quite this freely. Biplanes, monster trucks, and surfboards aren't able to spin in place or hop sideways the way minifigs can, and when they do, it means something's gone wrong.
In almost all cases, players' instincts about their own Vehicles' maneuverability are good enough. Players tend to have a pretty good idea of what kind of maneuvers a tricycle can and can't perform as compared to a mechadragon or a hot air balloon. Maneuvering limits should only be used in isolated instances when players want a large Vehicle to feel ponderous, or when Vehicles enter a space that's tight enough for their maneuverability to make a difference.
Using Standard Maneuvering, players shove their Vehicles and Creatures around in whatever manner feels natural, and save their focus and attention for parts of the game more likely to result in stuff getting blown up (8.4: Heavy Explosives).
When players insist on paying attention to a Vehicle's steering limits, they should first take a deep breath and consider their priorities in life. Then they have to decide which type of steering best matches their Vehicle.
Using Forward Maneuvering, this tank can make one turn each time it travels the length of its own chassis.
Using Stationary Maneuvering, the corner of the tank chassis moves four inches over the course of turning in place.
By default, most Vehicles rely on Forward Maneuvering - they must be moving forwards or backwards in order to turn.
The minimum turning radius for a Forward Maneuvering Vehicle is determined by the length of its main Structure (7.1: Structure). For a Forward Maneuvering Vehicle, any turns are legal as long as it clears the length of its own Structure between turns.
Vehicles like large naval vessels and slow siege engines may need multiple turns to travel their own Structure length. When this happens, it's better to use the Vehicles' Move inches as Thrust rather than Forward Maneuvering (9.3: Thrust).
Apart from airplanes and rocket-based Vehicles, almost all Forward Maneuvering Vehicles can move backwards, but they do so at Half Speed.
Some propulsion systems have the ability to turn in place while stationary. Rowboats, hovercraft, helicopters, antigravity spacefighters, and Vehicles on treads or legs all have the ability to turn and face a new direction without the need to move forwards or backwards.
A Stationary Maneuvering Vehicle may use its Move inches for Forward Maneuvering as usual, but it may also use inches to turn in place at any point during regular movement. The player finds the point on the Vehicle's Structure furthest away from the center of rotation, and rotates that point as many Move inches as necessary for the Vehicle to turn in place. If the Vehicle has a Size of one inch or smaller, turning in place is free.
In The President's Speech, BrickSyd uses industrial pylons to position flying Vehicles at the proper altitudes. This places the Deep Space Management interceptor precisely in range of a biker's thrown dynamite.
from "The President's Speech (Turn 7)"
Elements shown: LEGO
When Flying Vehicles use Forward Maneuvering, their individual turns are limited to ninety degrees, including any pitch change. If players aren't keeping track of Flying Vehicles' specific altitudes, consider them all to be five inches off the ground by default.
Apart from dropping bombs or other objects, Flying Vehicles must be no more than five vertical inches higher than a target in order to attack it.
When dropping bombs or other objects, Flying Vehicles may only target spots directly underneath their own flight path. The dropped object may end up off of that path due to a Missed Shot (5.3: Ranged Combat). The Use rating for aiming dropped objects is equal to the distance of the drop in inches.
While uncommon, there are a few types of Propulsion systems that can match a minifig's freedom of mobility. If a Vehicle's Propulsion system is based on sufficiently agile limbs (mecha, horses, robot velociraptors, minifigs) or hover flight (propeller drones, magic carpets, flying saucers), then that Vehicle is Maneuverable and it has the potential to prance around as freely as any minifig.
Full Maneuverability is too complicated for untrained minifigs to handle effectively. In order to take advantage of unlimited Maneuverability, the Vehicle must either have its own Mind (10.1: Minds) or be controlled by an operator with the Piloting Specialty (9.4: Piloting). A Maneuverable Vehicle that's controlled by a non-Pilot minifig is limited to regular Forward and Stationary Maneuvering instead.
Staring down the barrel of an Assyrian Vanquisher Super Tank that just blew a hole in its own Death Wall to give itself a better shot, these Akkadian fanatics hatch a crazy plan. Using the rubble of the Death Wall as a ramp, they jump their death buggy up and onto the Vanquisher before it can respond.
from "QoP: Head Separator Part III -- Turn 4"
Elements shown: LEGO
Vehicles with Jump capability can leap across any distance within their Move radius, although the height of the leap can't exceed twice the height of their legs (or other jumping Propulsion system).
Vehicles without Jump capability can only Jump by building up Momentum (9.5: Collisions) and launching themselves off of ramps. When a Vehicle is launched off a ramp, it continues traveling in a straight line in the direction at which it left the ramp. The distance of the Jump is determined by the operator's Action die and the Vehicle's Momentum - each MOM spent adds one Action die of Jump distance. The Vehicle can continue flying in a straight line for any distance up to the Jump distance, and then drops straight down to end its Movement for the turn. Depending on the height of the drop at the end, a Jumping Vehicle may take Collision Damage with the ground when it lands (9.5: Collisions).
Non-Flying Vehicles generally have no ability to turn while in midair, but What I Say Goes exceptions might be made for Vehicles equipped with some kind of sails or airfoils.
A Dreadnut can jump up to twice the height of its own legs in order to clear this inconvenient spike pit.
Thanks to some unexpected Bonus Dice, this stuntbike is able to convert its two MOMs into 16" of Jump distance. This gives the bike enough altitude to cause Collision Damage from the height of the drop.
In addition to the standard Propulsion system, BrikWars allows for Vehicles and objects that are moved by physically pushing or pulling the model with specific Thrust forces. For Vehicles, directed Thrust can be provided by Thrusters like rockets, jet engines, propellers, or sails. Thrust is also the system used to handle the KnockBack from Shoves, Collisions, attacks, and weapon recoil, or from unusual devices like tractor beams and gravity guns.
Each Thrust has two parts: a direction and a number of inches.
As any mathematician will tell you, vector algebra is an infinitely bigger pain in the ass than either vectors or algebra would seem to indicate on their own. Worse, vector algebra becomes increasingly difficult to perform after a fourth shot of whiskey, making it useless for BrikWars halfway through the first turn.
Fortunately, a BrikWars player's instinctive response to Thrust vector calculations turns out to be the correct one: Thrust is handled by Giving It The Finger. The player places a fingertip at the point of Thrust (either an active Thruster or a point of impact, usually), and pushes the object the appropriate number of inches in the appropriate direction. The model on the table will move and rotate appropriately on its own without any need for further calculation. (Wheeled models may need to be stopped manually at the end of each Thrust to keep them from rolling away forever.)
KnockBack from Shoves, Collisions, large Weapon strikes, and Explosions are all executed neatly and efficiently by Giving Them the Finger.
If the object is using Thrust as part of its own Movement, then it can apply Thrust before, after, or during whatever other maneuvers it makes during its turn.
As part of its regular Movement, this sailing ship receives several inches of forward Thrust from its square sails, and additional inches of thrust to starboard from the staysail. The player decides to use half of the forward Thrust, then pull the front of the ship to starboard with the staysail's Thrust, and then finish with what remains of the forward Thrust.
When using Thrust with sailing vessels, it's better to pull from the front rather than push from the rear - this better simulates the drag of ocean water on the ship.
For an object affected by multiple points of Thrust at the same time, the player controlling the object (if any) may give those Thrusts the Finger in whichever order they prefer, or split individual Thrusts into smaller Thrusts for fine maneuvering, or even Finger multiple Thrusts at the same time if it seems appropriate. Giving the Finger is not a precise science, and will often involve quite a bit of Fudge.
A Thruster is treated as a form of weapon, and its effects depend on its Weapon Size. Each Thruster provides two inches of Thrust for each inch of Weapon Size, and spends the Vehicle's inches of Power like any other weapon. For example, a space freighter with two 3" Thrusters would receive 12" of total Thrust, spending six inches of Power to fire them.
Traditionally, the controls of heavy assault mechs like this HellRaider are so complex and precise that only completely ordinary high school students have any hope of piloting them.
from "HellRaider Assault Mech"
Elements shown: LEGO
As with Weapons (8.6: Manning Guns), a Vehicle should include some type of Controls for its Propulsion systems (steering wheels, flight sticks, computer consoles). A Vehicle that lacks specific Control elements should still at least have a specified Control Area where a minifig has to position himself if he wants to control the Vehicle.
Except in special cases, a Vehicle's main Controls provide centralized control of all of a Vehicle's Propulsion systems, weapons, and devices (like a fighter cockpit, a starship's master computer, a remote drone control station, or a warhorses saddle). Specialized secondary Controls usually only affect a single subsystem or device (like the individual gunners' stations on a Death Zeppelin, a ships wheel on a galleon, or a self-destruct button in an ice cream truck).
Enemy minifigs can cripple a Vehicle by destroying its Controls. But better still, they can kill the Vehicle's operators and commandeer the Controls directly. Unlike the Controls for Weapons, if more than one team has minifigs Controlling a Vehicle's Propulsion at the same time, whether at separate Controls or in the same Control Area, they can each use their Actions to prevent the other from Controlling the Propulsion at all, rendering the Vehicle Out of Control (9.1: Standard Propulsion).
Plastic-brick Control systems lack security precautions like passwords or ignition keys.
Assuming he has access to the proper Controls, a minifig can use his Action to pilot a Vehicle and/or control the weapons and and devices in one (and only one) of its Systems, up to the Vehicle's Power limit, focusing on a single target. The System may be any one of the following:
The purpose of Vehicles is to move personnel and equipment into position, but sometimes the nature of Vehicular physics puts that position just out of reach - the Vehicle may not be able to speed fast enough, stop short enough, turn tightly enough, or make ridiculous acrobatic leaps ridiculously enough. These desperate circumstances are the situations a Pilot is born for.
Stunt Driving Specialty :Thanks to their extraordinary affinity with their Vehicles, Pilots have the ability to push the envelope a critical couple of extra inches with Stunt Driving as a normal part of controlling the Vehicle's Movement. (Pilots may still operate the Vehicle's systems as usual during the turn, whether or not they elect to do any Stunt Driving.)
once a turn, defy Movement rules
for a controlled Vehicle
for Stunt Inches
When a Pilot wants to attempt a crazy maneuver, his player describes the maneuver being attempted, and determines how many Stunt Inches the Vehicle will travel away from what should normally be possible. If a StarShip is trying to exceed its maximum Move, for instance, then the Stunt Inches are the number of extra inches past the Move limit. If a FireTruck is trying to turn more tightly than Standard Maneuvering would allow, then the Stunt Inches are whatever amount of required distance between turns that the player is trying to ignore. If a MiniVan operator is pulling the e-brake to powerslide sideways into a crowd of soccer hooligans, then the Stunt Inches are whatever distance the MiniVan is sliding sideways.
Once the player declares the number of Stunt Inches to attempt, the Pilot rolls his Specialty for Stunt Driving. The number rolled is the number of Stunt Inches he's able to complete successfully. If this number equals or exceeds the number of Stunt Inches being attempted, then the Vehicle completes the entire Stunt without mishap.
Otherwise, an enemy of the player's choice gets to take the remaining unsuccessful Stunt Inches and turn them into Thrust inches to use against the vehicle at the point where its successful inches ran out. After coming up with a story for how the Stunt went wrong, the enemy can use that Thrust to (for instance) stop the Vehicle short of its goal, try to cause it to roll, push or turn it in the wrong direction, or even launch it into the air - whatever seems appropriate for the type of Stunt failure they described.
If the Pilot attempting the Stunt rolls a Critical Failure, then not only does he fail at all of the Stunt Inches, but his opponent gets to add an extra Bonus 1d6 to the inches of Thrust used against him.
Sprinting can be thought of in some ways as a lesser form of Stunt Driving. While it also uses a die roll to add inches to movement, Sprinting is more limited than Stunt Driving in that it requires the unit to be moving in a straight line. On the other hand, a failed Sprint Roll doesn't turn into Thrust inches that opponents can use against the unit.
The Allied Nations / United Systems warship Ripper acts as a delivery platform for an Orange Transparent Chainsaw the size of a battleship. The Akkadian flagship S.S. Dethstar is less than pleased to accept delivery.
From "Rainbow War II: Jellybean Apocalypse: Grail War, Turn 1"
Elements shown: LEGO
The best thing about big Creations is smashing them into other Creations. For many budding plastic-brick fans, smashing stuff into other stuff is the first game they play with their brick constructions, and for some it's all the game they'll ever need. BrikWars salutes the Human spirit and its fundamental compulsion to smash.
Limited versions of the rules for handling Collisions have been presented twice before, for two specific object Sizes. The rules given for minifigs (5.4: Charge!) are the rules for objects of Size 1", while the rules given for Horses (H.3: Fighting From Horseback) are the rules for objects of Size 2". The rules presented here are the generalized rules for objects of any Sizes running into one another, whether deliberately or otherwise.
1 MOM per 4"
of straight-line movement,
up to a Creation's Effective Size
Knowing of Warhead's uncontrollable mom-lust, the mysterious entity known as FedoraNuker creates an afterlife paradise for the souls of all hot moms. The ensuing momicide is the first step in a convoluted scheme to break Warhead down using the dark and forbidden art of Psychotherapy.
Forum Thread: The Unmortal
Charge attacks are not always on purpose. The Charging rules also apply to minifigs that unsuspectingly run headlong into sharpened-stake booby traps, or locomotives encountering abandoned laundry machines.
Elements shown: LEGO, string
Just as Vergilus Raskolnikov prepares to conquer the Britannian planet of Wraysford, My Little Pwnies swoop in from the FriendZone dimension to crash their own home planet of Ekvestria into it. This event was the provocation for Raskolnikov's famous rallying cry: "Damn you pwnies! I was going to conquer that!"
from "A Collision of Interests, Also Planets - Signup"
Elements shown: LEGO
Collisions become much more satisfying as the colliding objects get bigger, but they also become more complicated. Where a Size 1" minifig can build up a Momentum of 1 MOM with a Charge of four inches (5.4: Charge!), and a Size 2" Horse can gather 2 MOMs in a Charge of eight inches (H.3: Fighting From Horseback), a larger Creation is able to build up a correspondingly larger pile of MOMs as it extends its Charge over a larger number of inches.
In order to build up its MOMs, a Creation must Charge in a straight line. The Charge follows the same rules as a Sprint: the path of the Charge may go up or down sloping terrain or over gaps and obstacles if they're small enough for the Creation leap over without slowing down, but if the Charge pauses, slows, or turns to the left or right, then all Momentum is cancelled and the Creation will have to start over collecting MOMs from scratch.
For every four inches in its continuous Charge, a Creation gains one MOM, up to a number of MOMs equal to the inches in its Size (or Effective Size, if it's taken Size Damage (7.2: Taking Damage)).
Large Creations may not have enough Move to build up to their full Momentum in a single turn. Creations can extend a Charge over multiple turns to travel the distance required. These Extended Charges are best used against inanimate targets like walls and security gates, since a more mobile target can casually walk off of the line of a Charge between turns and sidestep the attack entirely.
In the case of an Unintentional Charge, such as for Out-of-Control Vehicles, minifigs running into invisible walls, or objects falling from great heights, players may not have been keeping track of an object's Momentum. In cases like these, it's up to the players to estimate the Charge distances after the fact. Only the turn immediately prior to the impact need be considered; objects don't unintentionally make Extended Charges. (However, players should be generous in overlooking slight curves in the path of an Unintentional Charge, since Unintentional Damage is much funnier than the regular kind.) As a rule, all of a falling object's travel is counted as being in a straight line; parabolas are a Human invention, and players are expected to forget they know anything about them for the purpose of maximizing Damage from falls.
While Charging Creations can potentially have a much larger pile of MOMs than minifigs and Horses, they spend them in much the same ways. MOMs can be used for boosting extreme Vehicular maneuvers or catapult launches, but they are most often used to add Damage to a Charging Weapon attack (up to a limit of one MOM per inch of Charging Weapon Size) or KnockBack to a Collision. A MOM disappears as it is spent, but the Creation can earn its MOMs back again by continuing to Charge in further four-inch increments, even during the same turn.
Crashes and KnockBack
Though its turret was knocked off by a giant chicken, Aloysisus Black's steam tank still packs a punch - all the more potent because the punch is spiked.
from "After the Rift (Round 3)"
Elements shown: LEGO
Collisions are an immediate and reliable outlet for aggression. They require no Action Roll, automatically succeeding unless the target manages to Bail out of the way (4.3: Enemy Response).
However, they can be equally dangerous to collider and collidee alike. Each object in a Collision does Crash Damage to the other - as many d6es of Damage as its own Weight, up to the total number of MOMs in the Collision (including the target's, if both objects were Charging towards each other at the same time).
Crash Damage doesn't spend or use up any MOMs - they'll be spent on KnockBack instead.
After Crash Damage has been resolved, the Colliding object delivers 1d6 worth of KnockBack inches to the target for each of its MOMs. The defending object resists the KnockBack with its natural Physical Opposition, with one POP d6 for every inch in its Effective Size.
Objects that are nailed down are only Knocked Back if they were broken by the Crash Damage from the collision. If not, all the MOMs are lost without further effect.
If the defending object successfully resists the KnockBack, the Colliding object is stopped and loses all Momentum. Otherwise, the Colliding object loses as many MOM d6es as the target object had POP d6es, and can keep right on Charging with its remaining MOMs.
Correctly forecasting a rain of burning Dimmy chieftains falling from the sky, NELUG's pre-built crater plates got plenty of use in their desert battle.
Photo: Wayne McCaul
from "The Post-Apocalyptic Research Vehicle"
Elements shown: LEGO, DUPLO
If a target is Knocked Back far enough to land on its side or upside-down, the object is Knocked Over and Disrupted, unable to take any Action or defend itself until it gets itself back upright. For Vehicles, it's even worse: while a Knocked Over delivery truck is largely helpless, Knocked Over boats are capsized and sink at the end of their following turn; flying vehicles tend to crash.