Games and Theory: Experimental Vehicles (VDR)


Here is something that I've quickly put together to allow MI players to field vehicles of their own design using regular model kits. It's really rough at the moment but with a little tweaking should work well.

Vehicle Design Rules
There are three types of chassis available. Light which includes the likes of small jeeps, Medium which covers the likes of APCs or light tanks and Heavy which covers main battle tanks and heavy APCs.
Each has the following profile.

Type: Light Size: 3 Value: 200pts Target: 7+ Save: 4+ Kill: 10+ Traits: Wheels/8" Hits/3

Type: Medium Size: 4 Value: 300pts Target: 9+ Save: 4+ Kill: 12+ Traits: Wheels/6" Hits/6

Type: Heavy Size: 5 Value: 400pts Target: 9+ Save: 3+ Kill: 12+ Traits: Wheels/6" Hits/9

For each size point that the vehicle has you may select one upgrade from the following list. For example a size three vehicle can take three upgrades where as a size five can take five.
Any upgrade marked with an asterix my only be selected once. All weapons are front fixed fire arc.


The vehicle gains the Track/6" movement type.

Heavy Armour
The vehicle's armour save is increased by one up to a maximum of 2+

Allows one weapon fire to be upgraded to a turret giving a 360 degree fire arc. Must be assigned to a specific weapon for example;

MW-5050 Twin .50 Autocannon/Turret

Main Battle Tank*
Vehicle ignores the flinch rule.

Troop Capacity
Each time this is selected for a vehicle the vehicle may carry up to four size points of size one models. For example if you choose it twice then the vehicle could carry eight size one models.
Heavy vehicles taking this option may carry size two models.

Support weapons (Max limit of two support weapons)
May be armed with one of the following:
TW-422 Hellseed Y-Rack, Inferno cannon, MW-209 Trip Hammer Mortar or Blizzard pack.

Main Weapons upgrades

Main weapons cost two upgrades each on light vehicles and one on Medium and Heavy vehicles. A maximum of two main weapons may be selected from the list below.

MW-206 Deringer Light Rotary Cannon
MW-5050 Twin .50 Autocannon
SW-414 Rapier AA Missile Launcher
SW-Z28 Bugbroom Support Laser
MW-X29 Scythe Laser Cannon

Example Vehicle

G34 Armadillo Battle Tank

Type: G34 Armadillo Size: 5 Value: 400pts Target: 9+ Save: 3+ Kill 12+ Traits: Track/6"

Upgrades (Five in total allowed)

Main Weapons: MW-5050 Twin .50 Autocannon/Turret, MW-5050 Twin .50 Autocannon.
(three upgrades used here, one for the turret and one for each of the main weapons leaving two upgrades. As the second autocannon is not in a turret it counts as fixed front arc).

Support Weapons: SW 219-f Inferno Cannon (one upgrade)

Tracks (one upgrade)

That's the general idea so far. It's extremely experimental and points are probably way off but you should get the general idea of how it works. It's not supposed to be used to create monster killing machines but fairly balanced vehicles whether they are military or civilian.

Any thoughts welcome. :)
Not bad, but vehicles should have their own weapons, and here the fun begins. Creating own weapons for an existing game is always difficult.

Point values can only be measured with playtesting.

And please do not forget hover tanks. Better organize the tanks in the three classes tracked, wheeled and hover.

For sizes, try 2-light, 3-medium, 4-heavy and 5 superheavy. The movement allowance should go into the ponit cost too, maybe as one of your upgrades.
Thanks Richgo22.
Trouble with players creating weapons is that you inevitabley end up with some one fielding the mega bug zapper of doom that would take an entire nuclear power plant to power it.
By sticking to the weapons available to the actual army list weapons, which have been playtested, you prevent the game turning into an unbalanced arms race.
These rules, whilst pretty crude for now are designed so that you can create credible vehicles without going over board.
For example, if you want a decent APC for your foot sloggers you're not going to be able to create an Abrahams with troop carry ability, it more a case of one or the other.
I specifically stuck to three classes as anything bigger then the game focus turns to killing the mobile fortress of death, anything smaller and you end up with loads of little vehicles covered in guns and the army list becomes unbalanced.
Hover vehicles are possible though, just use the following upgrade:

Light Vehicles become Hover/8" whilst Medium and Heavy vehicles become Hover/6". Due to the additional power requirements of larger vehicles this option costs two upgrades for Medium and Heavy vehicles.

Here's another idea...

A dedicated transport vehicle may be be upgraded to a MASH unit equiped to deal with MI casualties. It must take three Troop Capacity options and the MASH upgrade (four upgrades in total). The vehicle loses it ability to transport troops as all internal space is dedicated to dealing with casualties. The vehicle uses the MASH rules as stated in the Slingshot Drop Boat entry of the rulebook.

The idea behind starting all vehicles as wheeled is to keep it simple and in character with the idea of the fighting style of the MI.
A basic wheeled platform fits best with the idea of a mobile strike force, anything more would be more specialised hence you want a main battle tank to blast bugs then it's going to use up valuable space on the vehicle adding armour, more guns, track elements, etc.
So if you want to create a Hover tank or Tracked tank then you are going to have to use up an upgrade space.
The same theory could be used for creating Skinnie vehicles and Bug monstrosities with a bit of work. :)
Better use 4 sizes (Light, medium, heavy and superheavy, and reduce the hit (2, 4, 6 and 8). Remember, a bug is size 2, and that should be enough for small vehicle.

By the way, we have skimmers, do we? A new vehicle class. Think of an upgrade for movement allowance, to create fast units. And, of course, we have flyers and missles, to new vehicle classes.

Hmm. . . things are getting compilcated.
Thanks for the feedback Richbo22, it really helps the design process. :)
I was thinking about size two vehicles but the rpoblem is that you risk replacing tryed and tested MI vehicles like the Sprite or Marauders. Not sure if it'd be a wise move to risk making these obsolete with player created vehicles (the reason I left walkers out of it).

What about:

Advanced Engines
Advanced engines increase the vehicle's movement by 2". This upgrade costs two upgrades on Medium and Heavy vehicles.

I had thought about including flyer rules but like you say it'll just complicate matters and also begins to creep in on the territory of Fleet assets.
What about Priority levels? How many of these vehicles should be allowed in games, I was thinking one at priority level two and two at level three?
PI is easy.

Heavy and superheavy = PL3

Medium and heavy = PL2

Light and medium = PL1

It would also be wise to refelct hit and kill values in the point cost. Not all vehicles have to be heavy armourd.

And for sure, walker are also a vehicle class. But i would never redo the units of the game. If I would, I would create a new game - and we want to play SST, eh?

The biggest problem is to get size, hit and kill, speed, motive drive and movement allowance in on easy to handle formula. All other things are upgrade, as you planed it.

Weapons are of the least concern. We have them in the game, lots of them.

Hell, think of an light armoured support vehicle that can launch a flamberge.

Or a scout car that can drop plasma charges on its egress?

Or a bug hunter tankette that could de driven into a bug hole?

Or an infantry assault carrier that can carry a squad of LAMI into battle, while blazing away with its twin-50 turret and javelin?
Ok, what about :

Priority One: 0-1 Light

Priority Two 0-2 Light, 0-1 Medium

Priority Three: 0-2 Light, 0-2 Medium, 0-1 Heavy.
Maybe but that could be a long way off just yet. ;)
This was started prior to the "announcement" and may well prove to be a useful stop gap in the meantime for all us budding convertors out there! :)
We have had this discission months ago. One poster said we (groups like mine) should wait until the rules came out in official form.

I countered "so you are saying we shouldn't play until the game writers come up with rules that cover this?"

Write your own rule. Play the way you like. Post your new rules on your websites as unofficial games rules. That way other like your self can enjoy your ideas until the "official" rules come out.

Btw they look good. Look at modern day weapons and vehicles. Don't stick with the 1945 tank warfare ides. Adjust your rules to fit the new tech curve.

Anti-gravity propulsion w/ EM rail guns (metalstorm in a good example) for saturation fire (BIG leathal zone)

Plasma beam weapons for a tank.
Particle beam weapon heavy gun emplacement.
Autonomous mobile gum platforms that move with a squad or company.
Yeah I have a 3 point cost super atrmored Target 75 save 1+ armed with a superluminal xenon based a-matter full conversion vaser on a fully rotating turret with a .000005 sec full rotation time 360 dgree arc 8D10 +9D6 LZ 12"weapon. Any ones get auto reroll as it cannot miss. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: the normal result of VDR :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:

Nah, just a woofin ya. Battlefield Evolution is due in January so y'all go on and do what you want, I am too lazy to reinvent the wheel.
It is not about reinventing and not about super units, it is about having fun with a variety of units, custum build, but cool.
p-torp said:
I countered "so you are saying we shouldn't play until the game writers come up with rules that cover this?"

Write your own rule. Play the way you like. Post your new rules on your websites as unofficial games rules. That way other like your self can enjoy your ideas until the "official" rules come out.

Sometimes I find it weird that gamers nowadays have to even discuss things like this.

Back "in the day" (*waves walking frame at any youngsters watching*) it was pretty much taken for granted you had to make up half the rules as you went along anyway :)

The onset of rulebooks with a rule for every occasion (and thirty you'll probably never use) only really happened once people started "tournament gaming" and seriously wanting to prove they were the better player.

Those of us that just played out scenarios (real and made-up) for fun just went with whatever we felt was realistic, rather than what the rulebook said. Fairness never came into it, but we put in a heck of a lot of effort to stay realistic.

One of my very earliest games was a 1980s worldwide air war. We didn't bother with points values and balancing, the effort we put in was researching every single thing we could on airpower around the world, ensuring we got the locations of airbases correct and that each country had as close as possible to real world forces (down to researching squadron locations and sizes at one point).

Rules for attacking other planes were pretty simple - you destroyed one enemy plane for each two you had in the attacking squadron, with common sense judgements if someone used a bunch of older planes against newer ones. Attacks against ground installations we just guessed at a realistic effect - if you made an airstrike against something, it was pretty much gone.

We were far more entertained by watching the war proceed than by anyone actually "winning" it - we knew from the beginning it wasn't a "fair" fight, so winning wouldn't really count for anything.

Looks like I rambled on rather more than I intended to, just to illustrate the point that making up rules isn't a bad thing :)
Doghouse said:
MW-206 Deringer Light Rotary Cannon
MW-5050 Twin .50 Autocannon
SW-414 Rapier AA Missile Launcher
SW-Z28 Bugbroom Support Laser
MW-X29 Scythe Laser Cannon

So costwise it's no different which weapon you choose? Ain't that bit of contradicting previous examples...Look at the reliant platforms to see what I mean.
Well, you could just assign a points cost based on the reliant and still have the upgrade take up a slot.
So for example you could say a heavy weapon takes up one slot on your vehicle but the Twin .50 autocannons add an aditional 60pts to the cost of the vehicle overall.
These are only intended to be a starting point for players to develop their own house rules which are much more fun than me trying to declare that these are official in anyway like p-torp and mthomason said. :)

Here are some examples...(vehicle points cost come out of the MI player's points total)

SICON intelligence wantsyou to deliver a captured brain bug to a remote outpost. You could use the rules to create the transport vehicle and try and get it across the board before the bugs destroy it.
Alternatively you could have three baby plasma bugs on transports and have a chance that if the bug is destroyed then it goes up like a nuke.
One of the plasma bugs must get ot the station intact.

Outpost HD 53 is in desperate need of ammo and supplies. Plasma and Rippler bug activity in the area has hindered Fleet support and means that you must go in on civilian transport vehicles outrigged with support weapons, but enroute you are attacked by skinnie raiders.

An experimental tank has become isolated in no-mans land after it's crew were killed by Arachnids. You must proceed to the vehicle and recover it using the tank's weapons if necessary to defend yourself.
Design a tank from your points total and plonk it in the middle of the board.
Assign a five man CAP squad (no special weapons) to be the tank crew and your mission is to deliver them to it and drive the vehicle back into your deployment area.

Basically it's a fun stop-gap solution so that you can fight battles with kitbashed vehicles. It also allows players to custom design vehicles for custom scenarios as shown above.It's more about having fun creating challenging new scenarios rather than just tourny style play. :)
Doghouse said:
These are only intended to be a starting point for players to develop their own house rules which are much more fun than me trying to declare that these are official in anyway like p-torp and mthomason said. :)

Yes but having them as complete as possible wouldn't hurt either :D I would say deringer's cost is included in the vechile/slot cost with twin-fifty costin somewhat more and rest are easy. Twin-fifty cost+price difference in reliant platforms :)

These are more likely going to be accepted if they feel like balanced set of rules and if more powerfull weapons cost more than weaker then they feel right and not about creating uber-vechiles.
Doghouse said:
Please feel free to post a points cost for all the weapons if you want mate. :)

MW-206 Deringer Light Rotary Cannon +0
MW-5050 Twin .50 Autocannon +20?
SW-414 Rapier AA Missile Launcher +50
SW-Z28 Bugbroom Support Laser +100
MW-X29 Scythe Laser Cannon +100

Might need to adjust base cost a bit though.

Isn't btw following rule bit...Redundant?

Main Battle Tank*
Vehicle ignores the flinch rule.

Multi-hit models ignore flinching anyway. So if you want to have this as usefull you have to put similar rule as brain has to base profile.

Also hellseed Y-rack might not be that workable weapon...Size should represent roughly his size as a model as well so for size 5 weapon hellseed Y-rack wouldn't reach enemy as from center point it would cover part of the vechile's inside and be done with it...Size 2 vechiles might benefit from it but that's it.