Showing posts with label clobberin' time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clobberin' time. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 February 2017

More Dice-Based Initiative for 'Clobberin' Time'

When I posted the rules for switching Clobberin' Time to dice-based initiative the other day, I left out the necessary changes to abilities. I did it deliberately because, frankly, the whole post was already a bit long, and I didn't want to overload you.

So here are my very brief notes on the necessary changes and, as a bonus, a couple of extra abilities.

Ability Changes and Updates for Dice-Based Initiative

Existing Abilities

Adapt - Assign marker to opposing character whenever the character with Adapt is set to ready.

Boost - Only gives the extra dice if the character was activated on a 4 or 5.

Mind Control - If the character has a control marker on them, then the player with the marker can activate them as if they were one of their own characters

Outwit - If you are currently ready, you may declare your activation when an opposing character in range and line of sight declares theirs. You act on their roll instead of them. You may not take the activation of another character with Outwit unless you are a higher level than they are - R

Slow - If the character has been activated, then they may only be returned to ready at the end of a turn.

Quick - If this character is activated, they may be returned to ready on an initiative score of 5 or 6.

Tactics - If the initiative roll is not a double 1 or a double 6, then the side with the character with the highest level in Tactics may choose reroll their initiative die.

Loner - If you win initiative with a 2 or 3, then you must activate a ready character with this trait if one is available. If you have more than one Loner, then determine which one activates at random.

New Abilities

Egotistical - There may only be one Egotistical character on a team. If this side wins initiative with a 6, and has a character with this ability that has been activated, then the roll must be used to return the Egotistical character to ready.

Unlucky - The character is the source of more sub-plots than usual. They are affected by doubles which are less than, equal to or one greater than their level. If one greater, however, the level of the sub-plot is only equal to their level.


I have played no proper games this weekend so far, but have moved a few figures around just to test out the ideas, and essentially the system works. Nate has tried them out a little more comprehensively, and has posted some reports on his blog. He seems to think the initiative itself work, but that the sub-plots don't. This is OK; the sub-plots were an afterthought anyway, and the system doesn't require them, although I do like the idea of building his extra scenario wrinkles into the game via some mechanism, rather than just as part of the scenario design. Mostly because I'm a lazy scenario designer, and prefer the game to do the work if it can.

In other news, I've been busy painting a new HOTT army this weekend, one I printed a couple of weeks ago. There will be pictures of the completed army in due course, but here's some teasers of it on the printer.

And finally some pictures of figures straight off the printer, some of which have made it into the army, and some of which haven't.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Dice-Base Initiative for 'Clobberin' Time'

You know that sometimes you get ideas in your head and they won't go away until you let them run their course? Well, this is one of those times. After having read Nate's reports of his Clobberin' Time games for the Six By Six Challenge I was reminded that I wanted to find a way to change the game so that it didn't use playing cards for initiative. It's not that I have anything against cards, and I think the current system is excellent in many way. But dropping them removes a component from the game, with the only other solution being to switch the whole game to using playing cards (which is worth a thought too).

Anyway I suddenly had an idea to use something based on the initiative system that Peter used in his grid-based 40K games that I tried out last year, with each activation being determined by an opposed D6 roll. Clobberin' Time has a low unit density, so it wouldn't be too arduous or slow the game down any more than the card system does. And I was reminded that during discussion of that system last year I'd considered the idea of using doubles (which are rerolled in the 40K variant) to trigger random events. In Nate's reports I rather enjoyed the way he'd built side-plots into the game, and I thought that there may be a way of building that into Clobberin' Times mechanisms, instead of just making it part of the scenario design.

It all seemed to click together very logically, and what follows is something that I pretty much threw together in a spare hour the other day. I ran a few, very basic, test games just to check that it wasn't too broken, and it seemed OK, but it still needs some work. But I present it for your consideration.


Dice-Based Initiative for 'Clobberin' Time'


Characters are either Ready or Activated. (Strictly this is the case under the card-based system, but it's important here, as you will see).

Both sides roll a D6. The player with the highest score has initiative and must activate a ready figure if one is available. The players then make another opposed D6 roll.

If, before rolling for initiative, all characters in play are Activated, then the turn ends and all characters are automatically returned to Ready.

If you win initiative with a ‘6’ then instead of activating a figure you may return a single Activated character to being Ready.


On a Double 1, the turn ends immediately, all characters become Ready, and the players test for initiative again.

On a Double 6, the player who didn’t win the previous initiative roll decides who wins.

On any other double:

If both players have characters who are ready, then the player with the lowest total levels of Sub-Plots (see below) decides who wins, with the player who didn’t win the previous initiative roll breaking a tie. 

Otherwise the only side with Ready characters wins the initiative.

A score of Double 1 will trigger, and other doubles may trigger, a Sub-Plot against the last character activated.

The first initiative roll of the game cannot be a double. If it is, then reroll it.


These represent events and complications that crop up in the story to distract the characters.

If the initiative score is a double, and the dice score is equal to or less than the level of the last character to activate or be returned to ready, then that character acquires a Sub-Plot.

Sub-Plots remain active until they are resolved. A character may only have one unresolved Sub-Plot; until it is resolved they ignore new ones, unless they are currently affected by a Dark Secret, in which case the new Sub-Plot replaces that one.

Except in the case of a Dark Secret, the level of the Sub-Plot is equal to the dice score. Eg a Level 3 character is activated. The next initiative roll is a Double 2. That character acquires a Level 2 sub-plot.

Roll a D6 to see what the sub-plot is:

1 - Puzzle - Roll 2D6 and add 6. The other player places a puzzle equal to the level of the sub-plot at that distance from the affected character, in any direction. The sub-plot is resolved when the character solves the puzzle. Other characters on the same side cannot attempt to solve the puzzle. Roll a dice to determine the type of puzzle: 1 - Clue, 2 - Science, 3 - Magical, 4-5 - No specific type, 6 - Affected character chooses.

2 - Arch-Enemy - Select an opposing character at random. The level of the Sub-Plot is the number of attacks the affected character must make against that enemy. Attacks must be those that can potentially score damage, and can include those made by other characters if the affected character is either mind-controlling them, or has activated those character via the Leader ability. The sub-plot is resolved when the requisite number of attacks have been made, or if one of the attacks defeats the character. If the arch-enemy is defeated by someone other than the affected character, then remaining attacks are converted to a Puzzle Sub-Plot, placed where the arch-enemy fell.

3 - Great Responsibility - Randomly place the Sub-Plot on a friendly character. Each time the affected character activates, reduce the Sub-Plot level by one. The Sub-Plot is resolved when its level reaches zero. If the friendly character is defeated before the sub-plot is resolved, then it is immediately resolved, but the remaining levels are converted to Self-Doubt on the affected character.

4 - Self-Doubt - This sub-plot is immediately resolved. Place a number of hinder markers on the character equal to the level of the sub-plot.

5 - Loss of Powers - This sub-plot is immediately resolved. Randomly select one of the affected character’s abilities. That ability cannot be used for a number of activations of that character equal to the level of the Sub-Plot.

6 - Dark Secret - The character is marked with a sub-plot equal to their level (not the dice roll). It is not removed or reduced in level, but if the character becomes affected by another sub-plot, then it replaces the Dark Secret. The new sub-plot cannot be lower in level than the Dark Secret. If it is, then its level is increased to that of the Dark Secret it replaces. If the new Sub-Plot is also a Dark Secret, then the level of the Dark Secret is increased by one, and it remains undetermined. Note that this is the only case where a character that has an active sub-plot becomes subject to another.

As descibed above, on an initiative roll that is a Double 2, 3, 4 or 5, total up the remaining unresolved sub-plot levels for both sides. If one side has fewer unresolved sub-plots than the other, then that side automatically chooses who wins the initiative.


Some of the Sub-Plots are simply designed to designed to hamper or annoy a character. Others can, seemingly, be ignored - Puzzle, for example. However unresolved Sub-Plots put your side at a disadvantage when it comes to resolving initiative ties, so it may not always be to your advantage to ignore that problem. This is a side of things I need to test properly, in order to see if the penalty for ignoring Sub-Plots is pitched at about the right level.

Obviously switching to a dice-based initiative system affects a whole range of abilities which rely on the card-based activation, and I am working through redoing them to fit in with it. One new ability worth mentioning, however is one I have called Quick. This allows a character from be returned to Ready from Activated on a roll or 5 or 6, instead of just 6. What this allows is a practical way of pitting one powerful character against a group of slightly less powerful ones - a master villain vs a team, for example. At present a master-villain is rather hampered by the fact that they can be overwhelmed by the number of actions a group of heroes can throw against them. The Quick ability allows the villain to activate more than once per turn on a more frequent basis than their opponents do. This is the theory, anyway; I've yet to properly test it.

I welcome comments and suggestions.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Captain UK and Captain America in "Sow The Wind ..."

Because You Demanded It!
Captain UK Stands Alone!*

But those that sow the wind must reap ... The Whirlwind!

Fortunately on this special day, Captain America is able to lend a hand. But he has a mission of his own. A insane character, with floppy hair and presidential ambitions, has appeared; so strange he could only be from another universe.

Yes, The Joker! And he's ready to play his trump card!

Together they are teamed up against our heroes.

But what is at stake? Well, in one of those crates is enough money -  £350 million in fact - to build an insane man's presidential dreams. Or to build a hospital for poor, sick orphans.

Captain UK flew towards the middle crate, whilst Whirlwind used his superspeed to get him there first.

Captain America and The Joker were not as fast, but both headed for the same crate.

The Joker got to it first, and struck lucky! It was the right one.

Whirlwind rushed to attack Captain UK ...

... but she fought of his assault and sent him flying, with a couple of hits for good measure.

She then moved to block The Joker's escape.

Captain America moved up and threw his shield, but The Joker's unpredictable movement threw his aim off.

The next round saw both sides draw a Joker which, in the current version of the rules, allows them to give one of their activated characters an extra action or move.

The Joker used smoke bombs to distract Captain UK ...

... and the extra action to make good his escape.

But Captain America's aim was true this time. The Joker managed to evade the first attack, but a second throw hurt him badly.

This gave Captain UK time to escape the smoke and block him again.

But Whirlwind swept into the attack, and rained a hail of blows at Captain America ...

... who fell! And on his national day. Disaster!

Meanwhile The Joker confused Captain UK again, and escaped in more smoke.

A pattern was developing; Captain UK would move to block The Joker, who would then outwit her, and escape in more smoke. And meanwhile Whirlwind was coming up to support his ally. Both villains were on their last hit, but Captain UK was struggling to even make an attack, let alone score any damage.

The Joker slipped away again.

And Captain UK moved in pursuit ... again.

The Joker had nearly escaped. Captain UK got the chance for an attack, but The Joker confused her, and she launched it at Whirlwind instead. he survived, but was knocked flying again.

But the distraction was enough for The Joker to escape, and begin his insane presidential campaign.

Captain UK was left alone, defeated, and without the promised hospital money. Those poor, sick orphans.

The Clobberin' Time character stats were:

Captain UK - Flight +3", Strength, Block
Captain America - Martial Arts, Ranged Attack (M), Tactics

The Joker - Outwit (M), Misdirect, Hinder (S), Weak Ranged Attack (S)
Whirlwind - Superleap, Superspeed

I realised afterwards I should probably have given Captain America a Block ability as well, although his defence rolls against the final two attacks that Whirlwind launched at him were so abysmal that it wouldn't have mattered. Also I forgot to apply knockback a couple of times.

The Joker's Outwit ability was very useful, pretty much stopping Captain UK from achieving anything at all. I think I might amend it so that it requires an opposed roll to work, rather than just being automatic. Against Captain America it was particularly nasty, as his Tactics allowed him to redraw activation cards (to get higher ones, obviously), which The Joker then just stole off him in order to act first.

Still, it was a fun, if rather short, game, and was useful from a rules testing point of view in a number of areas.

*Well, 52% of you. But that's considered an overwhelming majority, these days. 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Supanova and Clobberin' Time!

I was stupidly busy this weekend, with Supanova on Saturday and the Waterloo refight on the Sunday. But I did find time to pull together the various notes I'd been making regarding changes to the current draft edition of Clobberin' Time.

Some of the changes have been tested and, I'll freely admit, some of them haven't. But I have been excited to discover, in recent weeks, at least two other people playing these rules, and they have suggested ideas which I thought were worth introducing into rules and putting out there for further testing and discussion.

Draft 0.3 of Clobberin' Time is now available on my FREE STUFF page. In it you will find improved rules for lifting and throwing, new rules for knockback, optional rules for making use of the Jokers in activation and for engaging multiple targets and a number of new abilities - Boost, Regeneration, Tactics, Heavy and more. Get into that phone-booth, ditch your everyday identity and fight some villains. It's Clobberin' Time!

I mentioned Supanova above as well. Catherine and I had a grand day out there on Saturday, but I ended up taking no photos aside from our own cosplay.

Here's Catherine as Fireball XL5's Dr Venus:

And here I am as Crack Comics' 1940, Madam Fatal - Maybe a sweet little old lady ...

Possibly a daring crimefighter ...

But definitely a dedicated transvestite!

Now we've got to start thinking about costumes for next year.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Marvel Team Up: Marvel Girl and Captain UK

As promised I gave my new Captain UK figure an outing in a game. I did look at giving Power Legions a go, but after about an hour reading through the rules trying to figure out the various powers, abilities and damage effects for the characters I wanted to use, I though 'Bollocks to this!' and got out Clobberin' Time instead.

I teamed Captain UK up with Marvel Girl. Their mission - to retrieve a canister of Maguffinite from a ruined research laboratory.

But the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants were also on the case, and Pyro and The Blob had also been sent to retrieve the canister.

There were three canisters along the centre of the table. One was the Maguffinite and the others weren't. Captain UK flew towards the central canister, whilst Pyro and Marvel Girl went for one of the others. The Blob lumbered forward, aiming to give Captain UK a good beating.

Captain UK checked the canister - it wasn't the canister she was looking for.

Pyro used a hand of flame to drop a rock in front of Marvel Girl in order to slow her down.

She moved it aside with her telekinesis, and moved to the next canister. But she didn't have a chance to check it.

The Blob confronted Captain UK.

She ignored him, and flew over to the final canister. That wasn't the Maguffinite either, so the one Marvel Girl was looking at had to be it.

Marvel Girl confirmed that the canister was the one they were looking for, and made a run for home. I applied a movement penalty for carrying the canister; Maguffinite is unstable stuff and has to be handled carefully - if it goes off, you lose the plot.

Pyro slowed Marvel Girl with a wall of flame, allowing The Blob to attack her. She blocked the attacks, but only just.

Captain UK to the rescue! She even scored a hit on the corpulent villain.

With Pyro looking dangerous, Marvel Girl threw him into a copse with her telekinesis, then continued her escape.

The Blob pursued her.

Pyro pulled himself out of the bushes, and confronted Captain UK, but she easily evaded his binding flame tendrils.

Captain UK then interposed herself between The Blob and Marvel Girl.

Pyro, however, was literally on fire. He used a bonus action to surround Marvel Girl with a wall of fire.

It took all her power to escape ...

... whilst Pyro advanced even closer and building a hand of flame ...

... picked up the telepath and dropped her right into the waiting arms of The Blob.

By sheer luck she evaded his attacks, and used her powers to drop a rock in front of him, slowing him down.

The Blob simply picked it up and threw it at her, but she blocked it.

Pyro was proving very annoying, so Captain UK decided to give him the drubbing he deserved.

But he dodged her, and ran off in order to intercept Marvel Girl. Meanwhile The Blob attacked Captain UK.

Marvel Girl was close to her board-edge and safety, so the fight became a lot deadlier. Both characters now fired damaging attacks; flames from Pyro and telekeinetic blasts from Marvel Girl. Neither made much of an impression on the other.

WHAM! A mighty punch from The Blob downed Captain UK.

Marve Girl was almost home, but was still in trouble. Pyro used another hand of flame to move her ...

... closer to The Blob.

This time she didn't survive his punch.

The villains were victorious.

I tried a few changes to the published Clobberin' Time rules. Firstly I added knockback, which seems to be a mainstay of superhero rules and which I'd avoided up until now. At present I am working a simple system which uses existing die rolls. When a character rolls to block hits look at their lowest defence die roll; if it is equal to or less than the number of hits the attacker rolled, then the character is moved back 2" for each pip on the dice. There's no knockdown or damage from hitting things, as I don't think that the rules are granular enough to handle it; the figure is just moved back. Secondly I changed how things are picked up and thrown, which includes telekinesis, but I'm still working on that, so won't present it here just yet. Thirdly I gave up trying to come up with a rule for Telepathy, and simply merged it with another new ability I've been trying out - Tactics. Tactics works like this: after cards are dealt, the side with the highest single tactics score rolls one D6 for each point they have above the next highest. Each 'hit' (4+) allows that side to discard a card, and draw another, if they wish. Essentially it allows you to ditch low cards (or high cards sometimes) from your hand. Finally I added in the Jokers. These are now left in the deck. If a side draws one, they keep it to one side and draw another card to replace it. After any character takes their activation, the Joker may be used to give them an additional activation, consisting either of a move or an action, but not both. In this game Pyro used Joker actions on two consecutive turns to slow don Marvel Girl at a critical juncture.

Since people like to know, the characters were:

Marvel Girl - Tactics, Ranged Attack (M), Telekinesis (M)
Captain UK - Flight +3", Strength, Block

The Blob - Super-Strength, Resilience, Heavy
Pyro - Ranged Attack (M), Hinder (M), Telekinesis (S)

('Heavy' simply deducts 4" from any knockback, and makes the character harder to move with Telekinesis)
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