February 6, 2015 by crew
Harold here again to talk about my favorite 15mm ruleset, Gruntz, and the new Gruntz Module I’ve written called SpecOps. SpecOps is available Friday, February 6th and will retail for $4.99 but will be on special for the month of February for only $3.99 from Wargame Vault. You can check out my first article on Gruntz HERE…
I’ve been playing wargames of all sorts for over 20 years now including Warhammer, 40k, Necromunda, Mordheim, Infinity, Battletech and many others. While I’ve always enjoyed playing games where I can control armies that contained dozens of soldiers and armored columns I’ve always been particularly fond of small scale skirmish games with a campaign and advancement system baked in.
Necromunda and Mordheim were always my favorite go-to games where I could spend hours poring over equipment lists and skills trying to find the best, and most fun, combination for my soldiers, cultists and gangers. I also really enjoyed the characters that developed out of the gameplay, making my figures not just stat-lines, but personalities that I would actually feel bad for getting skewered by a rat ogre!
I’ve also always been a big fan of sci-fi and stories about Special Forces soldiers, especially the slightly more “realistic” or “harder” sci-fi such as Ghost in the Shell and The Unit.
This is the inspiration behind my SpecOps: Gruntz Module. It weighs in at about 20 pages or so and includes rules such as reactive fire, stealth and blips, revised and expanded grenade rules, equipment and armor lists, off-board resources, team building, injuries and advancements and includes a branching campaign with seven new missions.
I wanted to have a ruleset that was easy to learn but gave enough options to the team and soldier building that teams would feel different and unique even at the beginning. It was also important not to cram extra stuff in there just for the sake of extra stuff. Everything was envisioned to have a purpose and a trade-off.
The average team size to start is around five figures but can be as small as three or as high as seven. Each operative has a selection of traits, equipment and advancements they can take at the start and each team can choose from a selection of team perkz to further set them apart. Operative traits can also be used to represent aliens or unique humans.
I’ve added additional hacking rules so operatives equipped with a SLAM (Specialized Local Area Module) can disrupt enemy units and help friendly units. You can also have “hacker battles” where opposing hackers attempt to stop and even physically injure each other.
Grenades have been expanded to include types such as ECM grenades, decoy grenades, threat-detection and more. They also have the possibility to deviate if you fail your roll, so be careful about tossing that frag grenade!
Weapons and weapon ranges have been expanded and now include pistols, SMGs, shotguns, rifles, SAWs and more. The damages stay about the same but the range bands and rate of fire change up. There is no default range limit and weapons such as rifles have an unlimited range, but it becomes harder to hit as the target gets further away.
The branching campaign system and missions have been designed to provide varied games with easy setup. Everyone loves campaigns but I know hardly anyone who ever finishes them! With this in mind the branching campaign system was written to provide a reasonable set of missions to represent a combat assignment without bogging down.
I’ve really enjoyed writing and play testing SpecOps and I’ve had a great set of folks from all over the world help in testing and making sure that my ideas were actually solid ones. It has evolved a great deal since I first started writing it and I’m very excited to see what everyone does with it! I also plan on releasing free supplements containing new rules, equipment and teams to keep things fresh and interesting.
Thanks for the read and good hunting!
ClearHorizon Miniatures – 15mm Sci-Fi Troops
SpecOps Module – Wargame Vault Download
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"I’ve also always been a big fan of sci-fi and stories about Special Forces soldiers, especially the slightly more “realistic” or “harder” sci-fi such as Ghost in the Shell and The Unit"
"The branching campaign system and missions have been designed to provide varied games with easy setup"