Chapter MCMOC Combat
Ablogical Binding Substance has unpredictable side-effects. The more ABS elements are gathered together, the more the Farce intensifies, and the more ridiculous the implausibilities that arise. These "Koincidences" warp reality in only one direction: the direction of conflict and mayhem, leading some to believe that insane or otherworldly minds guide them. These beliefs inform all major minifig religions.
(n.) Term used by plastic brick enthusiasts to describe constructions other than the ones designed by toy manufacturers and pictured on box covers. MOC is an acronym for "My Own Creation," which more often than not is a bald-faced lie, as fans shamelessly refer to any fan-made construction as a MOC whether it's Their Own Creation or not.
The BrikWars Core Rules let Human players slap weapons into the hands of minifigs fresh out of the box and throw them immediately into brutish deminifigizing violence.
As noble a pursuit as that may be, the Core mechanics can be applied just as easily to a force of toy cars or a street gang of homicidal teddy bears as to minifigs. Construction bricks, unconstrained by the prepackaged plotlines and locked-in designs of lesser toys, demand a more flexible style of wargame to match.
The MOC Combat rules allow BrikWars to give life to the limitless potential contained within a pile of bricks, and then to crush it without mercy. In place of specific units with pre-assigned stat blocks and storylines, MOC Combat enables the creation and extermination of whatever weird and original units and structures, events, and gameplay players can spill out onto the tabletop or bash together during the course of play.
Don't worry about having to scuttle your existing armies. The unit and weapon stats in the Core Rules were built with the MOC Combat system, so standard units and custom creations play well together.
MC.1 Making MOCkeries
Watching minifigs hack and smash each other into plastic bits is loads of fun, but few tabletop strategists will be satisfied with minifigs-only combat in the long run - not while visions of tanks, castles, and nuclear assault dinosaurs dance in their heads.
Rather than building a model to match a particular set of stats, the best Creations result when players build the MOCs first and let the model determine the stats. If a Creation comes out a little more or less expensive than the budget calls for, it's no cause for alarm; nothing is more militarily authentic than a cost overrun. Players can add or remove a couple of minifigs from the army to make up the difference later. An arbitrary public execution for budget purposes will show the minifigs that their Humans mean business.
Once players have a model in hand, the first step for any Creation is to define its core Structure (Chapter 7: Structures), on which all of the functional components and devices are mounted. All Creations begin with the same two Structural stats: Size and Armor, based on the size of the model and how tough the players decide it is.
For simple buildings and fortifications, that's all that's required. However, Creations are a lot more satisfying if they're loaded up with Weapons and Gunners (Chapter 8: Weaponry), Propulsion systems and Pilots (Chapter 9: Vehicles), or even their own Minds and abilities (Chapter 10: Creatures). Each of these are described in their respective chapters.
Besides determining the weapons the Creation can operate and the number of times it can take damage, a Creation's Size inches also increase its stats and abilities.
A basic object in BrikWars starts with Armor 1d6 and no Movement ability. If it's able to operate devices, it has enough Power to operate twice its own Size inches' worth of weapons. If it has the ability to act on its own, it does so with an Action die of d6.
As a Creation's Size increases, it gains Enhancements to these basic stats, described in detail in their respective chapters. Creatures and Vehicles gain one Enhancement for each of their first five inches of Size. Unmoving Structures gain Enhancements half as quickly, on odd-numbered Size inches (1", 3", and 5"). For either type, additional Size inches past 5" have no further benefit.
Structures gain Enhancements more slowly than their Vehicle and Creature counterparts. This isn't because they're more difficult to improve, but because minifigs find them too boring to bother.
Any Enhancement added past these limits must be paid for with an Impairment. An armored ogre might gain Deflection at the cost of being Half-Minded, while a high-powered artillery piece might fire with extra Power but move at Half Speed. A Creation can't take an Impairment that doesn't impair it in any way (a stationary outhouse can't take the Half Move Impairment, for instance), and it can't take multiple copies of the same Impairment.
When hand-tailored stats aren't called for, default Enhancements to make it easy to drop new Creations into battles with a simple Size measurement.
For simple Structures and other inactive objects, Armor is Enhanced by one d10 for every odd-numbered inch of Size, up to Armor 3d10 at Size 5".
Vehicles and Creatures spend their first Enhancements on Move instead. Once they reach the maximum Move for their propulsion type (15" for flying units, 10" otherwise), they spend any leftover Enhancements to increase their Armor. By default, flying units pay for their Flight with a Half Power Impairment.
MC.2 Fancy Dice
In order to keep the Core Rules accessible for casual massacres, the basic rules limit themselves to regular six-sided cube-shaped dice (d6es) with an occasional d10 thrown in for the spicier bits. For players invested in a personalized MOC experience, a wider variety of dice are required.
A d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12. Fancy dice in all kinds of polyhedral configurations are available online or at gaming hobby stores. Any real tabletop gamer is already familiar with these and has several pounds of them immediately at hand.
Elements shown: dice
Like the d6es and d10s of the Core Rules, the dice in this broader range are named according to their number of faces, referred to as their die size. A four-sided die is a d4, an eight-sided die is a d8, a twelve-sided die is a d12, and a twenty-sided die is forbidden. Certain effects can increase or decrease a die's size between these five dice, to a minimum size of d4 and a maximum size of d12.
The new dice score Critical Failures and Successes the same way as in the Core Rules (1.2: Numbers). Any roll in which all the dice come up with a result of "1" is considered a Critical Failure, and any die that comes up on its highest-numbered face (an 8 on a d8, a 12 on a d12) generates a Bonus d6 for the roll (with the exception of the d4, which only ever generates Bonus d4s).
In an Action Roll, an Action die that naturally comes up 6 or higher, before accounting for modifiers or Bonus Dice, takes the Action Over The Top (4.2: Action). This is very common for Action d12s and relatively unlikely for Action d4s.
While all dice are handled in a similar way, they each have an individual flavor dictated by tradition and superstition.
The Incompetent D4
A d4 inspires a Mega Blok to set his own head on fire.
Elements shown: Mega Bloks, LEGO, d4
Shape: Tetrahedron Used for: Mindlessness
What's the one requirement of a die? Players roll it and a number comes up.
As far as minimum performance standards go, this isn't a tough one to meet, but a d4 can't manage even that much. Numbers are scattered helter-skelter all over every face, and not a single one of them is "up." Players need a secret decoder ring just to figure out the result of the roll.
D4s aren't even that great when used as caltrops, since construction bricks have sharper corners and players tend to have a lot more of them.
The d4 is the most unsatisfying of all dice, and is used to represent incompetence and uselessness of all kinds. It is especially reserved for mindless destructive processes, like fire, disease, and consumer capitalism.
The d4 is unique in that it doesn't earn Bonus d6es. On a roll of 4, all it gets is another Bonus d4.
The Basic D6
This minifig's weighted companion d6 is a source of comfort and stability, thanks to its reliable ability to spawn ridiculous violence.
Elements shown: LEGO, d6
Shape: Cube Used for: Most Everything
Standard units and standard objects use the square and reliable standard d6. A d6 indicates a unit or object has the basic features or abilities to accomplish its duties, but is not otherwise exceptional.
Because the majority of units and weapons are based around the d6, players may end up needing big piles of them if a battle is very large. Fortunately most gaming hobby shops sell uniform dice blocks of a few dozen small d6es for fairly cheap. Dice blocks in contrasting colors make the game experience a lot smoother, since every player will have plenty of their own dice and they won't have to pass a limited supply around the table.
The Specialist d8
One of these ninjas is much better at camouflaging himself against this black d8 than the other two.
Elements shown: LEGO, Mega Bloks, d8
Shape: Octahedron Used for: Specialty Training and Blast Weapons
The d8 is used for advanced skills and Specialty training. These are indicated on a unit's Stat Card, either in the stat boxes or in the unit's Specialty description.
The d8 is also used for Blast damage that spreads over an arc, such as a dragon's breath weapon or a ShotGun blast.
The Heroic d10
Where d10s are involved, there's no such thing as too over the top.
Elements shown: LEGO, Brickarms, d10
Shape: Pentagonal Trapezohedron Used for: Structures, Explosions, and Heroes
If something really awesome is happening, odds are good that d10s are involved. The d10 is used for siege-level weapons, vehicles, creatures, and fortifications, as well as for Heroes. They're also the die used for Explosion Damage, where the number of d10s determines the radius of an Explosion.
The SuperNatural d12
This purple wizard uses his SuperNatural powers to create a line of pastel-colored My Undead Pwnies.
Elements shown: LEGO, d12
Shape: Dodecahedron Average Value: 6.5 (6.85 with Bonus Dice) Used for: Magikal, divine, and extradimensional effects
The d12 is rarely seen in BrikWars, and is reserved for unique SuperNatural entities and effects. Wizards, demigods, and superheroes may have access to d12s if they're powerful enough, but for regular mortal units (and even Heroes) this die is normally out of reach.
The d12 is also used for magical, chaotic, and energy-based types of Damage that bypass a target's Deflection. Damage from the effects of lightning bolts, ghost launchers, friendship, and BrikThulhuian soul disruptors is measured in d12s that cannot be Parried or reduced by Heavy Armor.
The NonPossible D20
Shape: Nonexistent Icosohedron Average Value: Null Used for:Ensanity
The d20 is reserved for BrikThulhu alone. Even the tiniest brush with the effect of a d20 is rumored to strike a minifig cripplingly sane.
MC.3 The Benny
Ossum within a BrikVerse compounds over time, and players act to cultivate and intensify that Ossum without regard for moderation or responsible conservation practices (Spirits of the Game: The Ossum). Their favor elevates the glory of Ossum above the ignomy of Nahsome, thanks to the power of the Benny.
MOC Combat calls on Humans' creativity to not only make decisions about what they want in their Creations, but also what they want in their battles. By giving bonuses to their enemies in the form of Bennies, players have the opportunity to steer the group towards their preferred kinds of fun, and the mutual fun of everyone at the table supercedes any consideration of victory or loss.
If players like impressive models, they'll give Bennies for impressive models. If they like hilarious hijinks, they'll give Bennies for hilarious hijinks. This keeps everyone at the table aware of what makes the game most fun for everyone else, and the more freely they hand out Bennies, the more freely they're likely to receive them in return.
For Humans, the majority of BrikWars is about smashing opponents' minifigs into small piles of plastic debris. In the midst of that humiliation, when an enemy does something Ossum that deserves recognition, the Benny exists to let a Human grant that enemy a brief ray of hope before heartlessly crushing them brutally underheel once again.
Any time a player's enemy does something cool that makes the game better, the player can award them a Benny. Examples include:
There's a less enduring type of Benny which grants the same general-purpose Bonus d6, but can't be saved for later. An Instant Benny represents a momentary opportunity for the army that possesses it. If it isn't spent, it disappears at the end of its owner's turn and the opportunity is lost.
The Quantumsurfers Silverdream and Colette reminisce about their idealistic hand-in-glove covenant to rule together in harmony of tolerance and acceptance, prior to their inevitable attempt to brutally murder each other.
from "Overwatch 3: No Glove, No Love, Only Revenge"
Elements shown: LEGO
Instant Bennies can't be saved from turn to turn, so there's no point in a player trying to earn one if they're not in a position to spend it immediately.
Unlike regular Bennies, Instant Bennies are awarded automatically when certain conditions are met, and their use is subject to restrictions. The five standard sources of Instant Bennies are First Blood, Inevitable Betrayal, Deadly Ground, Last Man Standing, and King of the Hill. Players can add or make changes to this list to support their scenario or preferred playing style.
MC.4 Unit Inches
In the Core Rules, military budgets are simple. Armies are balanced if players decide they are, and they can use Minifig Budgeting to double-check their figures in any situation where shrugging and handwaving is insufficiently rigorous (2.2: Minifig Armies).
The customized Creations of MOC Combat make budgeting more complicated. Calculating the relative values of an orbital battlestation, an ammunition barrel full of minifig babies, or the Humans' dog running in and stomping all over the construction-brick battlefield are not as easy as counting minifigs. The wider range of possible units and constructions may lead players to consider a more nuanced form of accounting, even if they ultimately reject it and go right back to blowing everything up without regard to the price tags.
If players insist on calculating the value of their armies, everyone in the area should immediately stage a Preemptive Attack (2.2: Minifig Armies), even if they're not part of the game and are complete strangers.
If the offending players survive their injuries and continue to insist, then they can line up their units and compare Unit Inches.
The fighting minifigs of UltraMaroon™ Colour Guard™ are tasked with protecting the trademark dirt-crimson color palette of GrimDark Worst-Schlock, as well as advertising their sevices as collectible mercenaries. Their proud logo, the Unit Inch, is emblazoned on every available surface, serving as both their battle standard and their individual price tag.
A typical minifig, appropriately armed, delivers two dice of effect at a five inch range. This is the rough effectiveness per inch for all combat-ready units, and so Humans quantify an army's strength in the measurement most important to them: Unit Inches, or Ű. The Unit Inch value of an army is roughly the added Sizes of all of its combat-ready minifigs, Creatures, and Vehicles.
Only active units have a Unit Inch value. Carried weapons, devices, and ammunition are ignored; their use is limited by the Power and Actions of the active units needed to operate them. Buildings, scenery, and terrain conditions are uncatalogued set dressing. Non-combatants and unaligned bystanders are expendable decoration, more useful as spectators or target practice than as meaningful participants.
The base Unit Inch value of a unit (minifigs, autonomous laser turrets, artificially intelligent spider robots) is equal to its inches of Size (7.1: Structure). In MOC Combat, minifigs and non-Heroic minifig Specialists are each worth one Unit Inch. Minifig Heroes are worth two Unit Inches.
Structures with no Action or Movement of their own are not active units and have no Unit Inch value. If a weapon isn't carried by or mounted on an active unit (a wall-mounted ballista, a machine gun nest), it's treated as a Structure. Movable weapons (wheeled catapults, minifig-portable artillery pieces, five story parade balloon characters with working chainsaws) can also be treated as Structures if they can't move under their own power. In either case, the weapons have no Unit Inch value in themselves; their value is in the minifigs operating them.
Units can take Enhancements and Impairments to their Unit Inches, adding discounts or premium surcharges to their value. Each Enhancement decreases the value by one half Unit Inch, to a minimum total value of one quarter Unit Inch. A Unit Inch Impairment increases the value by one Unit Inch.
For exceptionally valuable units, players can agree to ignore the usual limitation of one Impairment of the same type, but it's best to avoid it.
It's almost always more cost effective to spend Unit Inches on new units than to use Unit Inch Impairments to upgrade existing ones.
For units and weapon emplacements worth at least one Unit Inch that depend on a minifig operator (Horses, Vechicles, militarized cotton candy carts), a single operator is included for free - either a regular minifig or any non-Heroic Specialist.
A free minifig operator is a nice perk, but it's balanced by the drawback of creating an asset that can be easily disabled or commandeered if that minifig gets distracted and wanders off.
The free operator can be any minifig or Specialist costing one Unit Inch or less, but the normal choice is one of the three Operator Specialists.
For Horses and other steeds, the Rider specializes in mounted combat (Chapter H: The Horse).
For mobilized weapons, the Gunner is trained to fire large weapons with greater precision (Chapter 8: Weapons).
Static weapon emplacements are Structures with no Unit Inch value, so they don't meet the minimum value requirement for a free Gunner.
For Vehicles, the Pilot has the ability to push a ride past its logical performance limits (Chapter 9: Vehicles).
The Balance of Power
Unit Inches make it easy for players to compare their relative power, both at the start of battle and as combat progresses.
At the beginning of the battle, if players' forces aren't equal, any player whose army is worth fewer Ű than their most powerful opposing player can take one Almighty Benny per Ű of difference. Depending on the degree of imbalance, underdogs can be given other concessions according to the players' tastes, like first choice of deployment location, an extra first turn, or easier combat objectives than their larger opponents.
When players form alliances, count the total strength of the alliance rather than the individual players. If an alliance receives underdog Bennies at the beginning of a battle, any member of the alliance can use them at will, regardless of their other allies' plans or protests.
Players can't maintain their full Unit Inches indefinitely. A player's Unit Inches go down over the course of a battle as minifigs and materiel are lost to destruction, theft, and abandonment, or as the Effective Size of large Creations is chipped away by Size Damage (7.2: Taking Damage). Unit Inches can be regained as incapacitated minifigs are revived, broken machines are repaired, enemy Vehicles are commandeered, and surprise reinforcements appear in the nick of time.
When an army is reduced to half of its original value in Unit Inches, or if one side in a conflict has less than half as many Unit Inches as their strongest opponent, they can sieze the disadvantage and declare that they're Fighting a Losing Battle (MC.5: Endgames).
In BrikWars, when players are finished having fun, then the game is over, even if the battle itself is still raging along for the minifigs involved. In the best case, everyone agrees on this at the same time. The game ends, and players can immediately jump to deciding whether any side "won" and what the consequences were. Other times, some of the individual players might have already lost the battle, or at least have lost interest in it, while the rest of the table is still eager to keep going.
As a rule of thumb, as soon as any one player has lost half of their minifigs or Unit Inches, it's a good time to stop and check how they and everyone else are feeling about continuing. If the tide of battle has brought a player or players to a point where they can no longer meaningfully engage, then it's time to kick off one or more Endgames.
How does Mobfather Scratch sleep at night? On a bed made of money.
Money has little purpose in the BrikVerse, apart from the normal purpose of all things in the BrikVerse, which is giving minifigs a reason to murder each other.
from "Sins of the Mobfather"
Elements shown: LEGO
If a player has to leave immediately, whether due to ennui, diaper-related emergency, or fatal brain aneurysm, the battle doesn't have to end. That player's forces become Mobs, and they (along with any other non-player-affiliated units in the game) are controlled by Mob Rule.
Under Mob Rule, Mobs have their own turn (or set of turns, if there are distinct Mob factions) after all the player turns are complete. A player-controlled army converted to Mob Rule can keep its place in the turn order, or be combined with other Mobs, according to players' preference.
Forces abandoned by their animating Human suffer an immediate crisis of leadership. During a Mob turn, the remaining players (and any sufficiently interested Human bystanders) take turns picking Mob units one at a time and controlling their Movement and Action. This continues until all of the Mob units have moved for the turn, or until a majority of the remaining players have declined to control any more of the Mobs for that turn.
When controlling Mob units, the player with the fewest Unit Inches' worth of remaining forces goes first, and players take turns in sequence afterward.
Depending on the preferences of the remaining players, a faction taken over by Mob Rule might continue to behave rationally (or as rationally as they ever did), or there may be no boundaries on what players make them do. A Mob faction can keep its own turn or be combined into a single turn with other Mob forces already in the battle.
If a battle is bogged down by turtling forces and tactical stalemates, it doesn't mean players have to helplessly watch as tedium steals their victory. Instead, players can turn up the action.
Fighting a Losing Battle
Soldiers facing defeat still have opportunites for glory. When an army is reduced to half of its original value in Unit Inches, or if one side in a conflict has less than half as many Unit Inches as their strongest opponent, the players can declare that they're Fighting a Losing Battle and receive special bonuses as their forces go down in flames. But there are no take-backs - no matter how well they do from that point forward, at the end of the game, those forces lose, by whatever Koincidental post-battle disasters the players have to make up in order to make it true.