Introduction To Black Sun: Part Three – The Rules

July 8, 2019 by crew

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The Black Sun Skirmish Tabletop Game rules from Crucible Crush Games have their basis in the Flint And Feather rule system. If you have played our Flint And Feather system you will be able to pick up the basics of the system quickly. If you have not played our Flint and Feather game you need to know that the system is a 28mm Skirmish Tabletop Game. It uses six-sided dice for all aspects of play. Warriors move in groups, shoot bows or throw weapons and clash in hand to hand combat. This Close Combat uses cards to choose the combatants style of fighting and all warriors roll a six-sided dice trying to score less than their Combat Value to cause damage to their opponent.

Check Out Part One & Part Two Here

However, we have also made significant changes to the Black Sun rules system. The reasons for this are twofold. First, the weapons and warfare in the Black Sun universe are significantly different than those in the Flint And Feather game. Gone are bows and arrows and flint-tipped spears which are replaced with automatic weapons and flak.

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Also, Close Combat is more a flurry of bayonets, shotguns and grenades rather than a personal one on one fight with stone-tipped axe versus wooden club. Finally, the horrors and terrors of the environment along with the inclusion of alien creatures that can actually be played in the system are a significant change from the tribal peoples of the Flint And Feather period.

The main change we see to the rule system is the Close Combat. Gone are the Combat Cards that are such an inherent part of Flint And Feather. Now, Close Combat is an extension of the Shooting system, similar to Flint And Feather but deadlier. Units can still be charged, and some of the alien races are deadly in Close Combat so they will still want to take advantage of the Charge Action. However, a higher percentage of damage will be caused at range and the weapons that cause this damage will be much more lethal.

Shooting At Your Foes

Shooting undergoes a big change in the Shooting Damage Table. This table is very simple and quick in the Flint And Feather rules. Here in Black Sun, the lethality of the table has been significantly increased. We do this through the use of two types of rolls. The first is on the Cheating Death Table. This chart is used to determine the extent of the damage to the wounded figure.

The results can be something as simple as a Duck Back, which has been brought forward from the Flint And Feather system. The table can also result in an Out of Action outcome that means the figure has gone to ground and is effectively out of the game until checked on by another figure. This has the effect of making your wounded models valuable and also a burden to the other soldiers in the battle. This, we believe, brings about a more historic feel to the combat, particularly in the Vietnam conflict where the safe conduct of the wounded became a critical aspect of that theatre of operations. When a wounded figure is checked by a comrade it may turn out to be injured or it may actually just be “gone to ground” and can be returned to the fight. This aspect of the game causes players to value and check out the wounded rather than just forget about them or remove them from the table.

Activations & Weird Events

Activation and Reaction rules in Black Sun will be familiar to players who know the Flint And Feather rules. The Activation Table serves an important purpose in the game by providing the opportunity to bring elements from the period into the tabletop game. This is achieved thru the “What the…” result. The “What the...” result causes the players to pick from a deck of event cards, titled the “What the…” Deck which are particular to the Black Sun universe. Due to the random effects of the crystals and the transport machines, the physics of the Black Sun event can be peculiar. This allows for weird events within the tabletop games.

Black Sun Force Cards

It is possible for a Huey-1B gunship to fly over during a game and either deliver supporting fire or pick up figures for a medevac. The Huey would then fly off and head back to the real world and may not even know that it was within the Black Sun event. Punji sticks and pit traps can appear in areas of the tabletop where they had not previously occupied. Also, the Black Sun environment itself can rear its horrific effects during a game of Black Sun causing terror or death to soldiers within the context of the rules of the game. Players should be aware that when playing Black Sun you are not playing an ordinary tabletop game. However, if you would like to use the rules for strictly historical gaming, the weird war Vietnam events can be ignored or even removed from the game.

The Activation system is an important aspect of the Black Sun rules system. We have designed it specifically to simulate the chaos that can occur on a battlefield. As the overall leader of your group of soldiers, you will have full command but that being said you cannot control every aspect of the battlefield. Making choices about what aspect of the game to focus on during any given turn provides decision points for the players that bring interest and flexibility to the game. The results of your plans and strategies can truly influence the outcome of the game and the survivability of your figures.

Campaign Games

The campaign game will bring the world of Black Sun to life for the players. If anyone has played the campaign rules provided in Flint And Feather, or read the articles posted here on Beasts of War, you will know that they provide a detailed simulation of that period of history. The Black Sun campaign rules will perform the same purpose. Obviously then, the Black Sun campaign rules will be significantly different from those in the Flint And Feather game. You still play a great warrior within a group of survivors so you will still have to get permission for your activities and convince others to join you. However, in Black Sun acquiring crystals and getting them to a Lemurian Transport Machine will be critical to winning the game. There are two reasons for this.

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In a limited supply environment like Black Sun, the link to the real world is the key in providing ammunition and supplies for your ongoing war efforts. It is ironic that the very Heart Crystals that you are trying to collect in order to get out of the Black Sun Event and ultimately win the Campaign Game is the same thing interfering with your ability to get home. This is because the transport platforms are not under your control and they will more often provide a resupply drop for you. This will provide more opportunity to go out and collect more stones. Ultimately getting back to the real world is the goal of the game, even for those creatures that have existed for a while in Black Sun. This provides an interesting opportunity because as long as you have crystals to burn there is a possibility that you will make the required roll to return home. Then the option is yours, declare yourself the winner and go home, or start a new faction and continue on in the campaign.

New Factions

Another development in the Black Sun game is the difference in the Factions. Each faction brings a distinct advantage to the game. This is a change from the Flint And Feather rules. In Flint And Feather, all Warbands are created equal, as they represent the same peoples from the same tribes. In Black Sun this is not true. We bring in alien races and creatures. Each faction will have its own Force Cards bringing different personalities and troops to the game. In the campaign game, each faction will have different charts to roll on for Crystal Activation which will bring different supplies and results from within the cosmos. Thus playing the Adaro Fish Men will have a completely different feel and require different tactics to survive then playing another faction like the US Army.

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The Black Sun rules are D6 based. They are designed for use with the 28mm miniatures being produced by Crucible Crush Games. All figures now have four basic statistics. The most important statistic in the game is the Fighting Value (FV) of each figure. Each statistic will be a number between two and five that must be rolled equal to or less than on a six-sided dice to perform a successful check. The Fighting Value also represents the number of wounds that your figure can take. In general, more valuable figures will have a higher FV value than their lesser counterparts but this is not always the case.

Moving Into The Jungle

Movement in Black Sun is performed by rolling dice. A Walk Action means you will roll 2D6 and take the highest dice for your movement distance. A Run or Charge Action means you will roll 3D6 and take the two highest dice for your total movement. The rules are designed this way to once again provide you with that element of unknown and chance in the game. Your figures are moving along in a miniature environment that might not be exactly as we can see from our six-foot-high perspective hovering above the field of play. Or they may just not be motivated to run into that hail of bullets as you want them to be. At other times they may be highly motivated to charge across an open field and close into melee with the enemy. It all depends on your dice rolls.

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The rulebook will be hardcover and comes to 200 pages total. The rules themselves will be similar in style and girth as the Flint And Feather rulebook, however, there will be more information and background provided for the Black Sun world. This will make the rulebook page count that much higher. The rules also cover a wide array of weapons. The names are changed to mass similar weapons together. So, we have the Assault Rifle as the base weapon for the Black Sun universe, but figures can also be armed with Bolt Action Rifles and Pistols. Rules will be provided for grenades, RPG’s, Machine Guns, submachineguns and larger weapons like mortars and howitzers. All of these items played a major role in the Vietnam War conflict and will be covered in the rules.

The rulebook will also have several scenarios similar to what is found in the Flint And Feather rulebook. We will have introductory scenarios that take you through the rules and build on your knowledge by playing the game. Scenarios for multi-player games will also be included as the rules are certainly fast and simple enough to add multiple factions into the tabletop game. There will also be Campaign specific scenarios which will be very similar to those provided in the Flint And Feather rulebook.

Black Sun is a game that brings many elements together in a setting that we believe encompasses not only the fascinating elements of a real historical period but also brings in numerous speculative components drawn from conspiracy theory, occult mythology and quantum scientific theory. It's going to be a trip!

By Lee VanSchaik

Watch out for the relaunch of their Kickstarter campaign coming very soon!

"However, we have also made significant changes to the Black Sun rules system..."

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