02 May 2008

An Intro to Arc of Fire

I thought it might be useful for anyone thinking of joining us for the game to have a brief outline of how Arc of Fire works.

Two Crucial Numbers

Units have a TAC score from 4 (the best) to 8 (the worst). TAC represents training and general tactical competence. In addition to TAC each figure has a Morale score. Again 4 is best, 8 is worst. Figures roll against their Morale to avoid being pinned down by incoming fireand to recover from being pinned down (Broken). Units also roll against Morale at the end of the turn. Morale is rolled on a d10 (or a d6 if the figure is wounded).

Two More Crucial Numbers

At a given range (in inches) a weapon has two factors, say 5/7. The first is against soft targets (people), the second against hard targets (vehicles including trucks, bunkers etc.). Roll as many d10 as indicated (e.g. SMGs roll 3 dice). With our factor of 5, a roll of 5 (the number required exactly) causes a Morale check. Rolling 6 also causes a Morale check but at -1 to the die roll. A roll of 7 is a wound and 8 or more takes the figure out of the game (either dead or seriously wounded).

Cards - Play Yours Right

At the core of AoF is its card activation system. The sequence in which units are activated is determined by turning over playing cards. Each unit in the game is activated on two cards. So, for example, it might be that the Andreivian Turk AAMG team is activated on both of the black Aces. In our case, any particular pair of cards will activate several units at different locations.

Moving Out of Turn

In AoF, units can act out of turn by one of two methods. A unit can use Opportunity Fire to engage enemy units that move within sight.  This is subject to three provisos - (1) the firing unit must be in Defence Mode, (2) it must spot the enemy and (3) it must have a card left to play remaining in the deck.   By using Opportunity Fire it sacrifices its chance to move on its next card.

Alternatively, a player may hold on to one card as an “initiative card” to be played later.  This can be used to interrupt another unit's turn but it requires a successful TAC to achieve.  In our game Initiative Cards are limited to one per player at any one time and they only apply to one unit at a time (any additional units activated on the same card are activated as usual).

Action a la Mode

Arc of Fire units are always in one of three Modes - Advance, Defence or Confused.

  • In Advance Mode some of your figures can move while others fire.
  • In Defence Mode, none may move, any or all can fire. You also get bonuses in cover and the ability to use opportunity fire.
  • In Confused Mode you can move or fire. If any element of the unit fires, none may move. If any move, none may fire.

That'll do.  You'll pick it up easily enough.

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