Mark mentioned that he has in the past struggled with the Arc of Fire activation system because he had trouble remembering which unit was which when comparing the units sheet with what's actually on the table. The next card's a red Ace... yes that's one of mine... Oh yes, it's second infantry squad... now which one was that...?
I was able to reassure Mark that this wouldn't be the case this year because I've adopted an alternative system from elsewhere. I've adopted and indeed adapted it, in fact, from Buck Surdu's Combat Patrol as described on the Meeples and Miniatures podcast. The system uses a modified activation deck.
The New Activation DeckThere will be an activation deck for each table. This deck will consist of the following cards:
- Red cards 1 to 6 (one of each)
- Black cards 1 to 6 (one of each)
- Blue card 6
- Red Joker
- Black Joker.
Units will continue to be defined as previously in Arc of Fire - roughly squad sized (though representing companies in our bath-tubbed game.
At the start of each turn a d6 is rolled for each unit. The unit is marked with the resulting Activation Number (either with a numbered counter or by leaving a die next to it). Let us suppose our unit has scored 6.
When the Red 6 card comes up, the unit activates and wounded and non-wounded figures (the latter having red markers) can act.
When the Black 6 card comes up, the unit activates but only with non-wounded figures.
When the Blue 6 comes up the unit may activate (with wounded and non-wounded figures) but only if the unit is designated as "aggressive" in the army list.
The Jokers continue to have the standard Arc of Fire function. If the Red Joker comes up first, a random event follows the draw of the Black Joker.
If competing units have the same Activation Number, the unit with the lower TAC score gets to choose whether to go first or second.
If a tank or armoured car has the an Activation Number of 6 and the Blue 6 card comes up, it is subject to an additional effect depending on the vehicle type:
- Whippet - make an additional move activation
- Renault FT - make an additional move activation
- Mark IV - immobilised by engine failure
- Mark V - crew must abandon the vehicle for two whole cards due to heat exhaustion
- any armoured car - make an additional move activation if on-road, bog down if off-road.