The South Seas War

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Mission Statement[edit]

The South Seas War is a semi-clone of Epic 40,000 which is set in an as-yet ill defined tropical setting. Players command forces on the scale of Companies, nominally groups of 10 units, which are subdivided into "Control Groups" for combined arms operations. Where TSSW differs from normal Epic, though, is in its way of encouraging combined arms and multiple small units instead of band-boxed clumps attack-moving. "Control Groups" gain bonuses for containing certain combinations or "Synergies" of units like "Grey Assault," which combines Battle Armour and Infantry, as well as gaining initiative bonuses for not being overly large.

The aim is to create a game with a near-future setting which combines the best elements of the old Epic games like Adeptus Titanicus with the streamlined rules of the failed 3rd and 4th editions, while keeping the rules simple and tactical. The game uses a slightly complex system of force organization as follows:

  • Units are bought in groups of 5 or 10 (Sections or Companies) and then mixed up at the start of the battle into Control Groups.
  • There are four Tiers (Called Generations) of units, known as Gs. 1G are militia or obsolete units, 2G are standard, 3G are elite and 4G are experimental.
  • Unless a Company is bought as a 3G Company, it must have a majority of 2G units.
  • Only 1 4G unit is allowed per 10 Companies fielded - they are that powerful. They count as an entire Company.

Setting[edit]

The setting is largely nebulous, but definitely is based around the South Seas, a region of great importance due to its natural harbors, resources and geography. The technology base is fairly low-tech for a sci-fi setting, but definitely includes mechs, rudimentary energy weapons and experimental units resembling the final boss of an Ace Combat game. It does not take itself hugely seriously, and encourages a Rambo-like tone reminiscent of war and action movies, or series like Dougram or The 08th MS Team, and not the so-called "deep" plots of things like Front Mission or Macross Plus.

Rules Summary So Far[edit]

Turn sequence is a combination of BattleTech and Urban War, with players secretly declaring which units they are going to activate, and then declaring them and applying the appropriate modifiers after Initiative has been rolled. So while you might think you've just activated exactly the right group - your Section of Assault Mechs - to crush your opponent's isolated tank company, he might instead have activated a small group of helicopters, whose initiative bonus allows them to go first and ambush you while your mechs languish at their -1 to Initiative for being in a group of 5 stands. Once a Group is activated, units within it may act independently, which is where TSSW differs from other games. There are no coherency rules save for the logical ones of "isolated units attract fire" and synergies, which rely on staying close. Each unit within the Group selects an Action from the list:

  • Full Round Move: Move your Full speed (the value in brackets)
  • Move and Engage: Move your unmodified speed, and attack at -1 to your roll.
  • Close and Engage: Move half your speed, and attack with no penalty.
  • Full Round Attack: Attack at +1 to all rolls.
  • Overwatch: Remain stationary and attack with no penalty at an enemy unit during their turn.
  • Counteract: "Delay" a move action until your opponent's turn. You may only move your unmodified speed.
  • Fortify: Remain stationary and do nothing. Until you move, your armor is one grade higher.

Attacking is a D10 roll against a target number, with certain modifiers as follows:

  • Base Strength: The target number. Lower is better.
  • Armour: The amount to add to the Base Strength.
  • Target Modifier: A per-unit variable determining the effectiveness of a certain weapon against Infantry, Armour and Aircraft.
  • Armour Mitigation: A modifier which counteracts unit armor. The higher the value the more points of armor are ignored.

What makes TSSW also different from its parent system is the total lack of dedicated melee rules. Close combat is abstracted into a flat -1 penalty to all shooting while in base contact, unless a weapon has the Small Arms rule or has 0 range. 0-range weapons, however, are treated exactly like any other ranged attack, but have hefty anti-air penalties unless the unit is really tall or a melee air unit like a Valkyrie or Mobile Suit (which are rare in the setting.)

Nearly every unit has a special rule or skill, too, which means that while a 3G unit might be objectively better at its job, a 2G unit might have a more useful skill for the situation. For example, the 3G AA Mech can attack multiple targets of the same class in one attack. However, they must be different targets, rendering it useless against an airship, mixed unit or small group. The 2G version has no multi-shot, but can instead fire a salvo of accurate armor-piercing missiles, which it has in a limited supply.

Rules for Resolve and weapon special abilities now exist, with Resolve (read morale) checks having variable results ranging from fleeing in abject terror and getting in everyone's way to digging in and assuming the fetal position while napalm drops on your head from the sky.

Example Unit: The Northwood Six 2G AA Mech Lance[edit]

2nd Generation AA Mechs (Northwood VI)
Speed: 10cm (20cm) Average speed for a heavy armored walker.
Armour: 2 Just below the armor of a MBT - still quite daunting!
Hits: 4/Stand Hits measure how many attacks a stand can make, plus how much health the stand has. Mechs are nearly unique in the amount of fire they lay down.
Resolve: 6 Resolve is a Leadership/Morale stat. 6 is average.
Weapons
60mm Light AA Gun
Range: 20cm Not terrible.
Shots: 1 This seems low, but bear in mind the stand can fire it 4 times a turn
Base Strength: 8+ So it hits on an 8 or more base roll.
Armour Mitigation: 1 It ignores one point of armor.
Target Modifiers: +2/+0/+2 It only needs a 6+ to hit Infantry or Aircraft.
Special
70mm Rockets: The lance may fire its rocket pods instead of its flak guns. Each mech has eight rockets, and may fire up to eight of them in a turn. All :mechs in the lance must fire the same number of rockets.
70mm Rocket
Range: 30cm Longer range than the flak gun.
Shots: 1-8 A target that NEEDS to be dead? 32 rockets should do it.
Base Strength: 8+ Same as the flak - 8+ is average for main weapons.
Armour Mitigation: 2 But this makes it more useful against vehicles/armored aircraft.
Target Modifiers: -2/+1/+1 A flat bonus against hard targets more than makes up for a weakness against infantry.

The Situation So Far[edit]

TSSW has at the moment a rule book, detailing force organization and all the rules existing so far. Get it here:

It also has a rough .txt detailing an early version of the unit stats, and the combat rules discussed above. It can be played in this form, if a little awkwardly. The .rar also contains unit data for a few basic units.

Finally, a Unit Pak exists containing some more variant units.