[NetEpic ML] Heresy: a possible next step in epic evolution, Part I (Long)

From: Peter Ramos <pramos1_at_...>
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 10:50:50 +0000


Long time no see!

Summer is usually quiet since most of us have much to do during this
time. For some time I have pondered on what direction epic will take for
the future. We have taken netepic as far as the system will go and many
things we'd like to see in it just dont take well to its mechanics.

Having played all the available rules for sci-fi combat at an "epic"
scale (6mm, 1:300) I have seen many very good ideas. Of course most just
don't fit in to one system usuing any one of those games. The system I
always craved for would include simple rules for:

1. realisitic air combat and bombing
2. artillery with good spotting rules and ordinance types
3. an effective morale system that impacts on play
4. suppression rules that are easy to resolve and use
5. decisive close combat rules
6. a universal core system that pervades the whole rules system
7. system bases on a die type other than a D6.
8. the different armies character must be preserved.

Sounds like a lot? Sure it is. But being one to like a difficult task I
decided to create this rules with Ken's invaluable help.
In the following several messages I will post the rules in their
entirety. The rules are originally in word format and consist of 34
pages or core rules. Those who wish the word version may contact me for
a copy.

The army lists are under construction and be posted when done.

I will field questions on how and why certain rules were done as well as
clarifications. This is an opportunity to make something unique to cover
a large variety of tactical options without any special rules or

No doubt you will recognize ideas from many different game systems, from
Dirtside II to epic40k the best of each is all there.

And now the rules.....

Game Components

To play heresy you�ll need a suitable tabletop or section of floor to
set up your army. The playing surface is recommended to be at least 6x4
feet, although smaller and larger playable areas can be used as space
and resources permit.

Terrain will enhance the game but is not mandatory (you can image it�s a
desert or icy tundra). We will list some places on the web you and get
epic scale terrain as well as well known distributors who sell ready
made products in the rules appendix section.

Of course you will need miniatures. Although it�s based in the 40k
universe you are not required to acquire actual GW miniatures. In the
appendix along with the terrain information a suitable list of proxies
will be mentioned as well.

In response to the increasing scarcity of actual epic scale miniatures
due to the discontinuation of the current epic system, efforts have been
made in the army lists to decrease the amount of models needed to play
the game.

Heresy uses a ten-sided die to resolve most of combat so you�ll need a
handful of these.

You do not need to own any previous version of epic to play this game.
Counters and templates as well as tables have been computer generated
for your use. The game is meant to be as self-contained as possible.

Game Objective

As in any wargame the objective is to defeat the enemy. In the �winning
the game� section several options to �what type� of battle you will like
to fight and the conditions for victory will be clearly stated in each.
Alternatives will range from set piece battles to siege (defensive)
battles. Set up and deployment will be different for each type of battle
as well as the battle�s duration and victory conditions.

Game Definitions

Here are some definitions on terminology that will be widely used in
these rules.

Unit: generic term used to refer to a grouping of models on the
tabletop. A unit can be of various sizes.

Stand: used to refer to a single base will infantry on it. The amount of
infantry on the base may vary.

Model: used to refer to a single miniature on the tabletop whether it�s
a stand or another individual figure.

Unit Statistics

All units have the following characteristics:

Move: How far model may move given its orders.
Armor value: How tough the model is to destroy.
Accuracy: How good the model is shooting its weapons.
Assault value: How good is the model is in close combat.
Quality: How well trained and disciplined the model is.
Leadership: If the model is a leader this value tells you how effective
a leader it is.
Power: If the model is capable of psychic attacks it tells you how
strong a psyker it is.

Weapons have three characteristics: range, penetration (how well it
punches through armor) and firepower (how many attack dice the weapon
has). Note that how well a weapon hits is dependent on who fires it
(accuracy) not on the weapon.

Turn Sequence

I. Place Orders

II. Movement Phase
a. Initiative
b. Movement

III. Ordinance Phase
a. Initiative
b. Aerial Combat
c. Artillery Fire

IV. Combat Phase
a. Initiative
b. First Fire
c. Assault
d. Advance Fire

V. End Phase

We will now discuss in detail the turn sequence and its related game

Order Phase

Each unit needs to have a general directive to follow during the
battle�s course. To simulate this we use order counters. These are small
counters that are placed besides each unit before the turn commences.
Each counter limits what the unit may do during that turn.

There are 4 types or orders:

Prepared Fire- the unit given such orders sacrifices movement for firing
earlier in the turn sequence. A unit on prepared fire orders may not
move or turn in place during the turn. It may fire in the prepared fire
sub-phase of the combat phase. Units assaulted on prepared fire orders
have many defensive advantages and will be discussed fully under Assault
Combat. Prepared fire units are eligible for Reaction Fire (described
under the combat phase section).

Advance Orders- this is the most flexible of orders. It permits you to
move at a standard rate (movement rates is explained under movement) and
fire in the advance fire sub-phase.

Assault Orders- this order is only given when the player desires his
unit to charge and engage another unit(s) in close combat. The unit may
move up to its assault move to engage the enemy units, but may not fire
its weapons in the firing sub-phases. Assault confers advantages to the
charging troops that will be covered under Assault Combat.

Strategic Move Orders- Units with this order may move up to their full
strategic move so long as they do not end their move within 15cm of an
enemy unit (Line of sight non withstanding). Units with such orders may
not fire in any sub-phase of the combat phase, but may defend against
assault at HALF their assault value.

No Orders- Through some oversight you may leave some units without
orders. This is not a good idea as units without orders are treated as
being outside their leaders command radius as well as suffering
penalties to their quality.

Movement Phase

This is the phase where you move all your eligible units according to
their orders. Movement occurs in alternating fashion; first one player
moves one unit then his opponent moves one unit.

An initiative roll determines �Who moves first�. The initiative roll is
taken by rolling a d10 and adding the leadership rating of your army�s
highest-ranking leader. The player who rolls the highest wins the
initiative and may either choose to move first or let his opponent
select one of his units and move first.

The winner of the initiative also gains the �last move� privilege. This
confers the advantage of moving one selected unit �last� in the movement
phase regardless of how many more units the opponent has.

Once the initiative has been determined units are moved up to the
maximum allowable by there turn orders. All units have their movement
expressed as follows:


Where A is the standard move when on advance orders.

Where B is the movement when on Assault orders.

Where C is the movement when on Strategic Move Orders.

Example: An Imperial Guard infantry stand has the following movement


Given the above characteristics the IG stands may move:

10cm on advance orders
15cm on assault orders
25cm on strategic move orders

Models may move any fraction of their maximum move as per their orders
or none at all. Units are allowed any number of turns along their
movement as desired (see restrictions for assault movement below).

Unit Coherency

The models that for some organizational structure like detachments,
companies, battalions and regiments just don�t move independently of one
another. They move at a certain distance from one another that�s known
as unit coherency.

In Heresy, all unit coherency are 5cm. This means that all models that
form a given unit has to be at least 5cm away from at least one other
model that forms the same unit.

Certain events such as combat may place one or more models out of unit
coherency. When this occurs the player must bring those units into
coherency during their next move. However if the unit does not move it
does not have to move those models out of coherency. They may remain out
of coherency as long as they are stationary.


Usually battlefields have terrain features that impact on the movement
of units. How fast or slow a given model moves depends a lot on the
model�s means of propulsion. Heresy divides these means into several

Foot- basically any models that uses walking or running
Cavalry- any model that uses some sort of creature as means of
Wheeled vehicles- encompasses all vehicles that have wheels as means of
Tracked vehicles- includes the whole variety of tank-type vehicles with
Grav Vehicles- these are vehicles that skim over the ground without
actually touching it. It is the best means of propulsion
Walkers- encompass all mech-like models such as titans and knights

The following table shows the penalties or bonus that a particular
propulsion type has when cross a given terrain feature.

Propulsion Type Terrain Type
 Open Ground Craters Ruins Light woods Dense Woods River Marsh Mountains
Buildings Roads
Foot N N N N � � � N +25%
Cavalry N � � � � X � X +25%
Wheeled vehicles N X � X X X X X +50%
Tracked vehicles N � � � X X X X +25%
Grav vehicles* N N � � X X X X 0
Walkers N N N � N � X X +25%

N= normal movement per orders
X= impassible
�, �, etc. = movement reduced to fraction indicated when crossing the
terrain type
+25%, +50%, etc. = bonus added to total movement when ALL movement has
been conducted on a road. Regardless of terrain consider the terrain
�open ground� when a road runs through it.

* Movement penalties apply to grav vehicles when physically entering the
terrain. Grav�s may choose to not enter terrain and ignore the terrain
penalty (skim over it).

Note: Roads may provide passage through terrain otherwise inaccessible
to the model. In these cases treat the terrain as �Open Ground�.

Ordinance Phase

Aerial combat and strafing runs as well as artillery bombardment take
place in this turn. As in the movement phase it begins with the
determination of initiative. Roll a D10 against your opponent and add
your highest-ranking leader�s leadership characteristic.

The winner or the initiative holds a significant advantage in aerial
combat as well as firing artillery ordinance first.

Aerial Combat

Orders are given to the flyers at the orders phase, just like any other
unit in the game. What is different is that they are not deployed on the
tabletop at the beginning of the battle like other units. They are
assumed to be at some nearby airbase and will fly in to complete their


Thrusters have slightly different orders than other troops. Thrusters
are typically part of separate organization supporting the ground troops
and thus the player in the role of the ground troops commander is more
concerned about the targets the thrusters should be attacking than the
method they should be using to do the job and the orders reflect that.

Orders are given for each detachment (just as for ground troops.).

The orders are:

Aerial Combat (AC)- flyers are ordered to try to attack opponent�s
flyers in air to air dogfights in order to gain air superiority.

Ground Attack (GA)- Flyers are ordered to attack ground based targets.

Aerial Defense (AD)- Flyers are ordered to hang back keeping some
distance from the battlefield. They lurk near their base or fly high
around the battlefield in defensive formation and won't fight unless
they are engaged directly. Being on a prepared defense however grants
them a strong advantage.

Troop Drop (TD)-This permits the transport to pick up reserves or land
troops (explained below).

Aerial combat is divided into three segments:

Aerial combat resolution- all �dogfights are resolved
Ground Attack segment- strafing and bombing is resolved
Transport segment- troop transports may pick up and drop reserves

Aerial Combat Resolution

Before aerial combat begins each player must secretly write on a piece
of scrap paper how many units (detachments, squadrons etc.) he will
commit to the opening segment of aerial combat. Once the units of flyers
have been committed reveal the number to your opponent and deploy that
number to the tabletop.

Proceed to add the assault value of each individual model and add the
number rolled on a D10 to this total. Add any modifiers to the total
score (listed below). This is your air advantage score. Compare your
result with your opponents. Whomever has the higher score subtract the
lower score from it. This number is the damage point bonus. At this
point both players will roll a D10 for a second time. On this occasion
the player who had the higher air advantage score on the previous roll
will ADD the damage point bonus as a bonus. The opponent with the lower
air advantage score gets no bonus. The results of this second roll (for
yourself and your opponent) are the amount of �damage points� inflicted
on your opponents force.

Assigning Damage Points

Once the total amount of damage points are determined you now assign
them to destroy or damage units. The equation is simple. If you assign
damage points equal to the assault value of the target it is destroyed
and removed from play. If you assign damage points equal to half
(rounded up) the assault value or the target model the flyer is damaged
and must abort. It is removed from the tabletop and can not participate
further in this aerial combat turn.

Any extra points that are insufficient to destroy or damage a flyer are

Ending Aerial Combat

Surviving flyers continue to have aerial combat as described until one
side flyers have all been aborted or destroyed. Also note if you have
further uncommitted units on AC orders you must commit them in
subsequent air combat segments in the manner described above (secretly).
You are not allowed to purposely keep back flyers on AC orders while the
opponent still has active flyers on AC orders or flyers on these orders
that have not been committed. This is to avoid players saving flyers to
illegally intercept and destroy transports and flyers on strafe.

The player that has active flyers on AC orders may now in engage flyers

Air Defense orders
Strafe or transport orders

This means the player has to attack units on air defense and destroy
those before he may attack units on strafe or transport orders. Once all
air combat ends the ground attack and transport segments may begin.

Modifiers to Air Combat resolution

The following are a list of modifiers applied to the air advantage

Initiative winner- may roll TWO D10�s and select the highest to
determine the air advantage score. This represents the deadliness of
gaining the upper hand during aerial combat.

Air Defense Orders- Each model in the unit gains a +2 bonus to their
Assault value for purposes of determining the air advantage score.

Air Combat Orders- Each model with this order gains a +1 to its assault
value when engaging a flyer that is NOT on AC orders (strafe orders,
transport orders).


A SM player with 3 detachments of 3 thunderbolts (assault value of 5)
plays against a chaos player with 2 detachments of 3 Doomwings (assault
value of 8). The SM player wins the initiative for the phase. The SM
player secretly commits 2 of his three detachments while the chaos
player commits both his detachments.

The players then declare what they had committed to each other and
deploy on the tabletop the models. Each player adds the Assault values
of each model in the air combat. The SM player has a total of 30 points
(assault value of 5 x 6 flyers) and the chaos player has 48 points
(assault value of 8 x 6 flyers). Each player must roll a D10 and add it
to the combined sum of assault values to determine the air advantage

Since the marine player won initiative he may roll 2D10�s and pick the
highest result. The chaos player rolls a 2 and the SM player rolls a 3
and a 10, the SM player selects the higher result. The air advantage
score for the SM player is 40 points and 50 for the chaos player.

They must now determine the damage point bonus. The lower score is
subtracted from the higher score for a total of 10 (50-40=10 points).
This is the bonus the chaos player will add to his die roll for damage
points. The SM player has the lower air advantage roll therefore gets NO
modifier to his roll.

The chaos player rolls a 5 and adds his bonus giving him a total of 15
damage points. The SM player rolls and gets 9 damage points.

Each player now assigns damage points for casualties. The SM player
sensing he may be crushed in air combat decides to damage two flyers
using 8 points (damage points = � assault value damages and aborts the
flyer) instead of just destroying one flyer (damage points = flyers
assault value eliminates the flyer). The two damaged flyers abort and
fly way.

The chaos player takes a more direct route and destroys 3 thunderbolts
(each thunderbolt assault value of 5 takes 5 damage points to
eliminate). The models are removed from play.

The chaos player has 4 doomwings left while the SM player has 3
thunderbolts left. Since the chaos player has no more flyers on AC
orders to commit he may decide to risk it and keep his extra detachment
in reserve and hope the 3 thunderbolts runs off the remaining doomwings
or commit them to air combat.

The SM player wisely commits them to air combat. Chaos has 4 flyers
versus the SM players 6 flyers.

Each player determines the air advantage score for his side. Chaos has
32 points and the SM player 30 points. After rolling the dice (remember
the SM player still has initiative for this ordinance turn so he rolls 2
D10�s) the total modified air advantage score is 35 for chaos, 40 for
the SM player. The damage point bonus is +5 for the SM player (player
who scored a higher air advantage score).

Each player rolls for damage points. The chaos player gets 9 points and
the SM player gets 12 points. The chaos player decides to destroy one
thunderbolt and damage a second, while the SM player destroys one
doomwing and damages another.

The air combat continues for a couple more segments and in the end the
SM player is left with 3 thunderbolts that are active. He may now decide
to go after chaos flyers on air defense order or barring that, bombers
on strafing runs and transports.

Of course next turn he has to face the three doomwings that aborted with
only three thunderbolts-not-good odds!

Ground Attack Segment.

The surviving flyers with ground attack orders can continue with ground
attacks after the air combat segments have ended.

The player�s alternate conducting ground attacks with their flyer�s unit
by unit.

Resolving ground attacks

Start the attack by placing a targeting marker anywhere you like on the
tabletop. Unless a spotter makes a quality check the marker scatters
2d10cm. Once scatter is determined any enemy models within a 15cm radius
of the marker are eligible targets for the strafing/bombing run.

The flyer starts its bomb run from any point on his table edge. The
flyer will travel in a straight line between his starting point and the
targeting marker. Any eligible ground troops that may fire at flying
targets may do so as it closes in on the targeting marker. Flak and
anti-aircraft fire is explained below.

Surviving flyers may select any target within 15cm of the targeting
marker. Armored vehicles are assumed struck on their vulnerable �top�
armor (see rules regarding firing for discussing on side and rear

Once all weapons are fired and casualties removed the flyer will follow
a straight path and exit the tabletop through the opponents table edge.
Any further anti-aircraft fire may be taken on its way out.

Follow the same procedure with every flyer unit until all
strafing/bombing is completed.

Anti-aircraft fire

Shooting high speed, high altitude flyers are very difficult business.
Most armored vehicles do not have the sufficient arc to even target
flyer and may not do so. Infantry is mobile enough to engage flyers, but
their response and reaction may be limited as well as their weapons

Infantry of any type may fire at flyers only if they are within the
flyers targeting counter (15cm). Also they must make a successful
quality check to be able to fire at them. If they are within 15cm of the
counter AND make the quality check they may fire at the flyer at a �2 to
hit penalty. Note that this assumes that the infantry has weapons that
can affect the flyer.

By far the most effective units are anti-aircraft guns (AA). These units
are specifically designed to track fast flying targets and bring quick
deadly fire to them. Units designated as AA receive orders like any
other unit but behave differently according to what orders they get.

Prepared Fire Orders- the AA unit may fire all its Firepower at each and
every incoming unit of flyers. Therefore for every unit of flyers that
comes into its weapon range it can fire once at the entire unit. There
is no limit to the amount of times it may fire like this in a turn. The
AA unit may not move or turn in place under these orders.

Advance Orders- the AA unit may move is standard advance move rate and
may also provide AA cover. The unit may provide anti-aircraft fire only
against ONE unit of incoming flyers. This permits the unit provide a
mobile defense but of limited firepower.

Charge and Strategic Move Orders- these permit the unit to move quickly
but it may NOT fire at all. Note there is no real reason to give AA
units charge orders since rarely if even they will charge into close
combat. The strategic move order is the one of choice for rapid AA unit

AA units may attack any flyer formation that comes within its weapon
range radius as many times as opportunity and its orders permit. AA
pieces within 15cm of the targeting counter (those that may be attacked
by the flyers) get +1 to hit the incoming flyer unit.

Fire resolution is as per standard rules described in the firing rules.
Note that like artillery flak weapons may also have a barrage point
rating (discussed fully under artillery rules below).

Transports Segment

Transports on TD orders may do one of two things in a turn: pick up
reserves and land.

Pick up reserves: transports that pick up off table troop reserves or on
table troops needed evacuation behave like flyers on self-defense orders
if engaged in air combat. If they survive the air combat you may
transfer troops from the reserves to the transport in the end phase.
They may be landed the following turn.

Deploy troops: transport that will deploy troops act as if on Ground
Attack orders during air combat. Instead of shooting (or in addition to
shooting depending of the transport type) place the landing flyer(s)
within 10cm of the targeting marker. If there's troops inside the
transport they may come out immediately, as per their orders. The landed
transport acts as normal ground unit on first fires orders (it may even
shoot if it did not shoot during approach.) You may remove the transport
(and any troops inside) from the table during any end phase (making the
transport a flyer again).

Transports with troops with jump packs don't have to land to deploy
them. Just move them out from the targeting point after ground attack.

Artillery Phase

After the Aerial phase is completed the players may nominate and resolve
artillery fire. The player that won the ordinance phase initiative will
select an artillery battery to open fire with. When the first player is
done the opponent selects a unit and play progresses in standard
alternating fashion.

Artillery uses the same orders all other units do, but respond in
different way to them as follows:

Prepared Fire Orders- the battery may not move or turn in place. It may
fire at targets that are out of direct line of sight (as well of those
in its line of sight) with greater efficiency and less scatter. Also the
battery may perform counter battery fire. When an opponents artillery
unit fires, your battery may pinpoint the enemy artillery�s exact
location if a successful quality check is made. Since counter battery
fire is a complex this quality check is made at one quality level lower
than the artillery currently is (quality and its effects are explain in
detail in the section under Leadership). Note units can only take this
counter fire on first fire orders and haven�t already fired.

Advance Orders- the battery may move its standard advance move and fire.
Its accuracy is much less than batteries on first fire orders so it may
scatter widely depending on the spotter�s success. To compensate units
on these order may perform a �shoot and scoot� maneuver after the
battery fires. The maneuver is executed automatically and after it fires
the player may immediately move the unit up to its advance move. This
renders such a battery immune to counter battery fire.

Charge and Strategic Move Orders- much like their AA unit counterparts,
artillery should rarely be given charge orders since strategic move
orders are more efficient for rapid deployment. In either case the
battery may not fire.

Artillery Fire Designation and Resolution

The offensive capabilities of artillery are expressed differently from
those of standard direct fire weapons. This is expressed as barrage
points. Each artillery model has a predetermined amount of barrage
points that determine its effectiveness in causing casualties. The
amount of barrage points translate directly to a �to hit� value (see
table below). Artillery may fire as an individual model or as a group or
battery. In case of a battery firing all you need to do is add all the
barrage points from each model in the battery and cross reference the
total to see what the to hit value is.

Artillery may fire in one of two ways:

Open sheaf- Each model in the battery may fire as an individually using
one template and its own BP�s to determine what the to hit value is. In
this manner artillery may cover a larger area of effective but at lower
to hit probabilities.

Concentrated barrage- All models in the battery fire at roughly the same
place. The area of effect is slightly larger than what a single
artillery model firing in open sheaf could muster, but is far short of
the multiple templates such a open sheaf battery could accomplish. The
great advantage of concentrated fire is that the likelihood of
casualties is increased.

Artillery covers a wider area when its attacks land than convention
direct fire weapons. To represent this artillery attacks use a barrage
template. This is a marker placed over the desired area of attack and
indicates that all models under it may be potential targets

Unlike direct fire weapons artillery needs spotters. A spotter is
defined as any model or unit that has a direct view to the intended
target. Note that the artillery model itself may serve as its own

Besides being able to see the target the spotter needs to make a quality
check quality checks are explained fully under the leadership section)
to see if the coordinates have been successfully transmitted and
interpreted. This check rolls up into one roll all the unforeseen events
such communication under duress may have.

Although anyone can spot only certain units have the training and
equipment to do it in an efficient manner. Commanders and reconnaissance
units can make the quality check to spot at no penalty. All other units
do so at ONE quality level less than their present one. Note that
although the artillery model itself may spot it does so at a penalty
since the command control elements are house with the unit�s commander
NOT the artillery piece.

Artillery fire is not an entirely precise science. Many things can and
do influence where the shot finally lands. The accuracy of a shot
depends on the firing unit�s orders and whether or not the spotter made
a successful check.

Shots from artillery on prepared fire orders do not scatter IF a spotter
has direct line of sight to a target and makes a successful quality
check. When the check is unsuccessful the barrage template scatters
2D10cm in a random direction.

Barrages from a unit on advance orders will scatter 2d10cm on a
successful check by the spotter in direct line of sight with the
intended target. It will scatter 3D10cm if the check is failed.

Artillery fire without spotters can be taken on a successful quality
check using the lowest quality level for that artillery unit. If failed
the battery losses its turn and may not fire. On a successful check the
battery may fire an open sheaf barrage (it can concentrate on what it
can�t see). This attack always scatters 4D10cm from the intended point
of attack.

Once spotting and scatter has determined where the barrage lands all
models at least half under the template may be effective. �At least
half� is defined the case of troops stands to half the models on the
base (if 5 models are on a stand then three need be covered to be
effected) and in case of individual models at least 50% of the model
need be covered to be affected.

Once the models affected by the barrage are determined calculate the
barrage points of the attack on the barrage point table and determine
the to hit roll. Roll for each model under the template and if the to
hit roll is equal or greater to the one determined on the barrage table
the model is hit. Any eliminated models are removed from play.

Hit resolution and armor saves will be discussed fully in the section
regarding the combat phase.

The ordinance phase ends when all artillery units eligible to fire have
done so.

Barrage Point Table

Total Barrage points To hit value
1-3 9+
4-6 7+
7-9 5+
10+ 3+


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Received on Sun May 30 1999 - 10:50:50 UTC

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