Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Using Force on Force/Tomorrow's War in the Traveller Setting

Low Tech Infantry Unit
I have rather enjoyed the Ambush Alley Games series of rules sets for engagements in the modern world.  Ambush Alley (for regulars vs. insurgents), then Force on Force (for regular vs. regular encounters) have recently been combined into one Osprey hardbound publication called (surprisingly) Force on Force. The rules within Force on Force cover both the insurgent vs. regular and regular vs. regular battles that we might find in today's world. Ambush Alley Games also has a sci-fi set of rules called Tomorrow's War, which I have not personally seen, but uses the same basic model as Force on Force, but taking the weapons to a science fiction level).

Using the RAFM 15mm sci-fi figures as they were originally intended (packaged for Game Designers' Workshop's Striker), one can easily convert the weapons systems for Traveller/Striker into Force on Force parameters. The platoon sheets that were included in the Striker sets can allow one to come up with some interesting science fiction forces based on the Traveller/Striker model, an example of which can be seen to the right.  One could also take the suggested morale and initiative ratings on the sheet to come up with the various quality dice used in Force on Force.
RAFM has nearly every Traveller/Striker figure available again, just not packaged in the organizations that Striker calls for.  However, the fine folks at RAFM will allow special orders, so if you tell them you desire 'x' of one figure and 'y' of another, they will take care of your needs (they do want a minimum of a $20.00 order when doing this).  I have recently taken advantage of this service, and RAFM provided me with two platoons of low tech infantry and one of high tech infantry as organized on the old Striker sheets.
Bear in mind that if you decide to use Force on Force (or Tomorrow's War) you will need to purchase extra leader and support weapons figures to cover the random events that can occur from Fog of War. 
Let's go through an example of how to order some low tech infantry from RAFM:

Low Tech Infantry Unit Order
Looking at the low tech infantry sheet (Striker Set #1), one needs twenty figures to field a platoon.  Those twenty figures consist of one officer, one mortar gunner, two NCOs (the same pose as the standard rifleman), four automatic riflemen, and twelve riflemen.  All these poses are found within RAFM's Infantry Pack #4.  So, to order the twenty figures necessary, one would add two packs of Infantry Pack #4 to one's shopping cart, proceed to checkout, then send RAFM an email ( describing the poses desired.  When I created my order for two platoons of low tech infantry I emailed RAFM and attached a picture of their Infantry Pack #4 with the quantities of each figure desired notated on the pic shown here along with my order number.  Brock from RAFM confirmed that he received my email with picture attached, and in a couple of weeks I received my order with the correct number of figures and poses I needed.  On the same order I also ordered twenty of the Infantry Pack #1 to use as the high tech infantry from Striker Set #4, so my order was for a total of sixty figures, which RAFM handled with ease (at least from my point of view).

Converting ratings from Striker to Force on Force was rather easy as found out by my gaming buddy, The G Dog.  Taking the most common of weapons from the Traveller universe, here is what he has come up with:

Assault Rifle - 1d small arms
Advanced Combat Rifle - 1d small arms
Gauss Rifle - 1d small arms
Snub Pistol - 1d small arms
Accelerator Rifle - 1d small arms
PGMP-12 - 3d medium support weapon
PGMP-13 - 3d medium support weapon
PGMP-14 - 3d medium support weapon
FGMP-14 - 4d heavy support weapon
FGMP-15 - 4d heavy support weapon
Light Assault Gun - 2d light support weapon
LMG - 2d light support weapon
Grenade Launcher - 2d light support weapon
Auto-GL - 3d medium support weapon
RAM GL - 3d medium support weapon
RAM Auto-GL - 4d heavy support weapon
Submachinegun (SMG) - 1d small arms
Shotgun - 1d small arms

Flak Jacket - one defense die
Combat Armor TL11 - two defense dice
Combat Armor TL12 - three defense dice
Combat Armor TL14 - four defense dice
Battledress - four defense dice

Using one of the most famous units within Traveller (The Duke of Regina's Own Huscarls or 4518th Lift Infantry Regiment), their ratings for Force on Force would be as follows:
Squad, Duke of Regina's Own Huscales
1 Squad Leader (Combat Armor 14, Gauss Rifle)
1 Assistant Squad Leader (Combat Armor 14, Gauss Rifle)

2 Fire teams, each with:
Team Leader (Combat Armor 14, Gauss Rifle)
Trooper # 1 (Combat Armor 14, Gauss Rifle)
Trooper # 2 (Combat Armor 14, FGMP-15)
Trooper # 3 (Combat Armor 14, FGMP-15)

The squad would throw 13 dice in combat, defense dice for the squad would be 10 +4. For a single fire team, defense dice would be 4 +4 (plus cover).  Some nasty buggers, for certain.

As you can see, one can still easily use the RAFM Citadel 15mm figures as they were intended (in the Traveller setting), making Force on Force, or its sci-fi partner Tomorrow's War, as rules set of choice.


  1. Excellent work. Looking forward to seeing other organisations. Happy to help (I'm a long-term Striker player, and have just got TW).

    I was wondering where you got your DROH squad and fireteam weapons and armour from? CT/SMC doesn't say what the squads are equipped with, beyond saying they are of ten personnel. TNE/Striker-II indicates that they wear Battle Dress and carry FGMPs (at least the Jump Troops of 6th Battalion did on Efate in 1110). Is there a canon source I'm overlooking?

  2. I will have to defer to The G Dog on the Huscarles' organization. I am sure he pulled it from a Traveller source, but not a TNE/Striker II one. I'll ask him where he found that info and post whatever info he has.

    As for helping out, would enjoy having more collaborators in the mix! I just got my copy of TW in the mail two days ago, and have scanned through its pages a few times. Thinking that the Fifth Frontier War setting will work fairly well. There are some tech level things to be fudged a bit, but most weapons will fit. While I like some of the info above, G Dog is leaning towards TW's way of handling heavier weapons.

  3. From The G Dog:

    All my data on the 4518th comes from an article in Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society. Issue #9 (The "war!" issue).

    Lift infantry squad is 12 men and 1 APC

    1 APC
    1 Driver
    1 Gunner

    1 Squad Leader

    2 fire teams, each with;
    1 corporal
    3 men

    The '10th Man" is a mystery. The book is vague, not detailing squad organization below the squad level. I tag him as the assistant squad leader for our TW puposes, making the squad chock full of leaders.

    An alternative is

    First fire team with;
    1 Squad leader
    4 riflemen

    second fire team with;
    1 Asst SL
    5 men

    The problem with the second org is that the SL has to drag around the first team. While in the first example, there is an abundance of leadership. Neither is right or wrong - there's no supporting detail to know. You can find either org used in Force on Force for modern countries.

    The kicker is that the 4518th consists of a crap load of Marines. Ex-Marines, Marines seconded from the Corps. So, I'd lean toward a modified Marine Org table. Which would be the SL, plus two four man fire teams. Which still leaves us with the mystery 10th man.

  4. I put it down to exingecies of the operation myself. Like we are seeing in Afghanistan, published TOE and actual origanisation and weapon loading.

    Excellent post!


  5. There is an interesting difference between the article in JTAS|9 and the otherwise identical piece in Spinward Marches Campaign. Whereas the JTAS article says an APC carries up to 14 personnel *plus* driver and gunner, the Spinward Marches Campaign says an APC carries up to 14 personnel *including* driver and gunner.

    Although the DROH indeed consists of a bulk of ex-Marines, it doesn't seem the Marine organisation carries over to the number of squads in a platoon, for instance. DROH has 3 squads plus HQ, whereas Imperial Marines have 5 squads plus HQ.

    Anyway, as regards the equipment of the squad, Striker-II seems fairly definitive that they wear Battledress (TL14) and carry FGMPs and tac missiles.


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