THUNDERCUBE mini game

MancInventor

Gang Hero
Yak Comp 1st Place
Apr 6, 2017
530
1,974
153
Harrogate
[Update]

Draft version uploaded to the vault.

https://yaktribe.games/community/vault/thundercube_draft1.840/

The last 2 pages are for a roster and a quick ref that I haven’t put together yet. I would appreciate it if people can note any mistakes (spelling or otherwise) pick up any ambiguities or challenge any rules here. This is a Yaktribe community game for our own members benefit so let’s make it the best fun it can be for all of us!

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On the back of the success of the THUNDERCUBE at Yakday Peterborough, we agreed that this awesome idea could be a great official side-game with a just a tiny bit of polish and refinement and a set of recorded rules!

Before we go in to specifying particular rules etc, I think it would be a good idea to capture the abstract of the game mechanics.

Existing:

Generate pit slave from the hired gun section including the 4 advances.

Up to five pitslaves in a (square) ring. 4 are placed in the corners at 16" apart, and one in the middle at random (d6 roll off). A small a,out of scatter terrain is placed evenly around the ring. Players take turns starting with higher D6 until only one pitslave survives.

All ammo rolls automatically fail.

5 exp for take-downs (OOA, not man down), a bonus 10xp for winning the Final

After heats are run, winners play runners ups from the heats in one-on-one battles in the semis. Final is played between the winners of the semis.

No stat limits.

Roll injuries as normal. Count any that would be weird as full recovery.

Proposed:

We would like to include some sort of 'fan factor' mechanic. Must be simple to keep the heats quick and snappy. This could be modifiers to combat resolution, another tie break in the event of tied initiative or increased income.

Crowd interaction. Booing those that stand and shoot whilst cheering wildly for those that charge in with wanton abandonment. This could apply in game modifiers or alter fan factor post battle.

Stray shots - we were really amused by the idea that stray shots went into the crowd. What about reducing a randomly selected (D6 roll) players fan factor by one representing their support literally dying in the stands?

Amended and abridged injury table. Quick and snappy, but with enough options to keep it interesting (we don't need captured, or any of the scars but emnity could be more prevalent). Possibly include damage to equipment which requires income to repair? Some form of humiliation to please the crowd? Sold for scrap?

Amend advances and skills to be more apt to the arena and less likely to create a bloodthirster!

Pit slaves that reach a certain fame (exp + cost) earn their freedom and effectively retire, maybe come out of retirement to face the next bout of champions - a la Borris the Butcher getting a bye to the final (essentially to preventing him racking up a load of extra exp!)

Exp - it makes sense to keep the exp fairly similar to keep the flow during the game, but I definitely think d6 exp for surviving is in order.

Starting level. Generating 4 advances made everyone different which was really good, but starting from green Juve on the exp ladder meant that some guys got very tough very quickly (Borris!) if they did well in the early rounds. Start the pitslave at ganger?

I like the ammo rolls auto-fail rule!

Other Ideas:

Could be run as a campaign if the player is a guilder or slaver and you increase your number of pitslaves and/or improve their equipment with income from pit fights? You then need to select which pitslave will enter which battle, but we don't want to essentially end up with a pitslave gang-fight between 2 players in an enclosed space. Or do we?


These are just my ideas and observations, please chip in and argue for/against changes, even list some of your own! I will try to amalgamate any decisions onto the OP and if we get a good coherent rule-set I will happily knock up some pretty PDF "official" THUNDERCUBE rules.

@CaptainDangerous as the master and creator of the THUNDERCUBE shall have the casting vote in the event of any controversy.

Will you start the fans please!! -wait, wrong TV show. Er, ACTIVATE!
 
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:LOL::LOL:
Love it mancinventor!
It is already set in stone that the THUNDERCUBE will return next year!
Day one will be individual fights I.e. Exactly as you have explained. But on the second day it will be teams!
Depending on particulars, it could be 2v2 or 3v3 but it will be the same as in folks will only still control one fighter, but after the first day, just whose team will you be joining!?

I can't wait to hear what folks think and ideas!!

An example of an adapted injury could be if you roll captured, then that would mean that your fighter was choked out from a headlock!? Or if they roll infected wound they fell victim to a Vulcan neck grip!?
Or would creating a completely new injury table be more appropriate?

With shooting the audience we said, just for the lols, that a roll of 1 to hit meant that you took out an audience member! (Edelweiss was a particularly good at this I recall?)
I think there should definately be a record of how many audience a fighter kills, but as for how it would effect anything I'm not so sure. Perhaps killing too many would result in a decrease in fan factor......literally! :D

But I really love the fan factor idea! Perhaps having a better ld gives re-rolls or dice modifiers in the exactly the same way as blood bowl!?
Perhaps there could be different tiers of equipment that a gladiator could have, so like if he gets to Gang champion level, he could have a plasma pistol if his patron could afford one!?

This is awesome! :)
 
Maybe once your fighter gets up to ganger level he can swap his pistol arm for another pitslave weapon? If the patron can afford it.
I liked the fast levelling up from green juve, even though I took part in all four THUNDERCUBE!s and took out boris in the last one I still didn't level up once.
I have no problems with boris levels of butchery from lots of quick advancements as it rewards success and adds to the story quickly, with only four THUNDERCUBE!s per weekend if we start on ganger levels there would be far fewer advancements and less of a feeling of progression?
How about for fan factor, the fighter with the highest fan factor may temporarily increase one of his stats by 1 once per fight. This might be movement to guarantee the charge, strength if you are facing boris levels of indestructibility etc
Starting leadership is your starting fan factor, Highest leadership gets plus 1 to fan factor? After each fight in which you aren't taken out add d3 to your fan factor
Using a gun in a match gives a minus 1
Rolls of 1 to hit with shooting roll another dice, 4+ you hit the enemies supporters, minus 1 to their fan factor 1-3 you hit your own supporters -1 to your fan factor
Taking cover minus 1
For every charge made add 1
For every enemy taken out add 3
Something to add something through a signature move would be cool, maybe if some one is downed you roll a d6 if you want to try your signature take down, on a 3+ you boost your fan factor by 10 for the next game only, on a 1or 2 you spend too much time noncing and the downed opponent is able to get back up
Help me out with something for taunting? Am just spitballing ideas
 
I love this. How about changing something on the injury chart to like "Mercy of the Crowd" where they decide your fate and a Guilder gives a thumbs-up or thumbs down. Could helped to be swayed one way or the other by your fan factor.

Like the signature moves idea too! If you were changing up the skills you could possibly change one to incorporate 6 signature moves you can roll for. (Got to be one for Skull Crusher ala GoT's the Mountain, right?)

I'm definitely inspired to convert up a pit fighter for this.
 
Maybe once your fighter gets up to ganger level he can swap his pistol arm for another pitslave weapon? If the patron can afford it.
I liked the fast levelling up from green juve, even though I took part in all four THUNDERCUBE!s and took out boris in the last one I still didn't level up once.
I have no problems with boris levels of butchery from lots of quick advancements as it rewards success and adds to the story quickly, with only four THUNDERCUBE!s per weekend if we start on ganger levels there would be far fewer advancements and less of a feeling of progression?
How about for fan factor, the fighter with the highest fan factor may temporarily increase one of his stats by 1 once per fight. This might be movement to guarantee the charge, strength if you are facing boris levels of indestructibility etc
Starting leadership is your starting fan factor, Highest leadership gets plus 1 to fan factor? After each fight in which you aren't taken out add d3 to your fan factor
Using a gun in a match gives a minus 1
Rolls of 1 to hit with shooting roll another dice, 4+ you hit the enemies supporters, minus 1 to their fan factor 1-3 you hit your own supporters -1 to your fan factor
Taking cover minus 1
For every charge made add 1
For every enemy taken out add 3
Something to add something through a signature move would be cool, maybe if some one is downed you roll a d6 if you want to try your signature take down, on a 3+ you boost your fan factor by 10 for the next game only, on a 1or 2 you spend too much time noncing and the downed opponent is able to get back up
Help me out with something for taunting? Am just spitballing ideas

I like the idea of changing/upgrading weapons. After the grand finale of the THUNDERCUBE mega battle, I can't get the idea of some sort of pitslave combi flames weapon out of my head! Obviously 1 shot due to auto ammo fail.

Agreed with the levelling up. It was a kind of hyper-critical observation really, after all, the winner of day 2 was a noob starting on 0 exp, so it can't actually be that much of an issue!

I forgot about leadership ha ha. I was going to suggest scrapping leadership altogether- there are no leaders in the arena! It depends if we're keeping fear/horrible scars or not.

I love the idea of the fan factor ebbing and flowing throughout the game. Stealing D3 fans from any pitslave you take down? Great idea to use it as a stat boost too, maybe once per turn test against fan factor (like a leadership test) and if you pass you get the temporary stat boost? Maybe 0-2 fans = fan factor 3, 3-5 fans = fan factor 4, 6-10 fans = fan factor 5, 10-20 = fan factor 6 etc. Each pitslave starts with D6?

Taunting, hmm. How about:

"Taunting: A pitslave may elect to taunt an opponent within 12" instead of shooting in the shooting phase. The target must pass a fan factor test or else becomes enraged"

"Enraged: the fighter may not shoot and must attempt to charge the nearest target by the shortest route (including over any obstacles). The fighter rolls double his base attack rolls but WS and I are reduced by 2 as they are so out of control they abandon all thought and technique in a fit of rage"

A successful taunt (i.e. Enraging the target) earns D6 fans?

I am loving the idea of owners paying for weapons and upgrades. How about the pitslave earns his fanfactor in creds after each bout multiplied by the number of take downs?
 
Draft version uploaded to the vault.

https://yaktribe.games/community/vault/thundercube_draft1.840/

The last 2 pages are for a roster and a quick ref that I haven’t put together yet. I would appreciate it if people can note any mistakes (spelling or otherwise) pick up any ambiguities or challenge any rules here. This is a Yaktribe community game for our own members benefit so let’s make it the best fun it can be for all of us!

(Edit) - I intend to have draft 2 uploaded by this time next week so please get any comments to me by then!
 
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This is great! Love it and cannot wait to participate next year too!

Few comments:

Psychology is cool and I really love the "fan factor" mechanic, I think this will work best when integrated with psychology rules and the Leadership characteristic.
(I'm thinking mostly here about the "double fear" and head wound type injuries & ferocity skills really, my pit slave chief has "double fear" with horrible scars and killer Rep, which we have decided as a house rule confers a -1 Ld reduction for the nerve test required when he charges or they charge him) it can also be hilarious to watch these "hardened and fearsome" pit slave hirelings run for cover (The crowd goes wild!! Boooooooo Hisssssssss!!!) when they are broken!!:ROFLMAO:

I also totally agree that your pit slave should be able to progress up the ranks through pit fighter (extra combat arm) and up to "pit slave chief" and "mighty pit slave", "legendary pit slave" (mythic pit slave) etc... etc... with all the associated wealth, glory and "shiny kit" / tech perks this should allow.

I love the "collateral crowd damage" mechanic it's awesome!!

I also love the discouragement for shooting, but the retention of it as a tactical decision.

I think the taunting mechanic is also hilarious and brilliant but could do with some refinement.

I really like the idea that your pit slave can easily be transferred into the hireling pool (once they have earned / fought / escaped to freedom) and could make for some really fearsome characterful hirelings.
 
Haven't had time for a proper read yet but here are some bits that need sorting
18x18 square not rectangle?

Gaming paraphernalia second from last sentence an? Should be and

Under generating a pitfighter, mini roster isn't one word?

The crucible of battle sentence needs an in

Explain how to get 3 arms and at what level etc

Will have a proper look later

Ps nice job :)
 
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On the Advance table, make 3 = +1S and 4 = +1T to cut out a needless dice roll.

In the blue fluff text on p. 5, either it's a fight between Boris and Borris the Butcher or there's a stray r in the name. (Although it's Borris on p. 12, so maybe the crowd are chanting the wrong name?)

Is there any particular reason why experience levels start at 20-, 30- etc instead of 21-, 31- etc (as is usual)?

Is the advance from 'Survives Against the Odds' (p. 15) entirely separate from experience?

p. 15. The surgeons should probably be barbers, unless this is some variant spelling or reference that I'm not recognising.
 
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Great work @MancInventor, love it! (y)
I noticed the rockdrill doesn't do D3 damage, don't know if that's deliberate, but it definitely still should in my opinion.
I think maybe tipped blades and booster pump should just be combined back into tool upgrades for simplicity and to echo its orgins more closely, also I feel armour plates should still give negatives to initiative
The injury chart seems a little harsh, I could imagine a lot of deaths and it being pretty demoralising, at yak day I think we had 2 deaths total with the standard injury chart and that felt about right. Maybe make it so that only a further unlucky roll would result in death.
I'm also with @The Duke on the point about intergrating the psychology, leadership and fan factor into a neat little system.
It would also be nice to be able to gain some skills from outside of those available to a standard pit slave hireling.
But it easy for us to chime in with tweaks and suggestions when you've done the bulk of the work. The whole layout looks amazing and the little boxes of fluff are brilliant. I hope none of this has been disparaging, it is not my intention, this is some awesome work mate.
 
Really great stuff; I've already started rolling up characters for sculpting practice. One thing I've noticed is that whilst there are details for weapons, there are none for skills, which stops it being a self-contained package.

Happy to pick through page by page, but I want to roll up five fighters tonight with maybe a test game tomorrow.
 
Cheers guys - this is what drafts are for!

All good points, and please pick away, I’m too close to it to notice the mistakes (such as the D3 damage for rockdrill @Ned Noodle)

Psychology- I agree. I initially thought that fear, frenzy etc might clutter the battles but it’s probably lost more character than it gained in streamlining. I’ll bring it back.

Skills is a good point as well, I don’t know why I didn’t include them when I’ve got everything else!

As for modifying the advance table, Maybe taunting could be a skill instead of an option from the get-go? I’ll come up with some other arena specific skills but I’m I’m open to suggestions here guys lol.

@Ned Noodle Injuries I tried to keep as abridged as possible, I didn’t think they were that harsh, especially as essentially you can buy a medic after you’ve got 20 exp, which is only 4 take-downs away! Having said that, there are a number of additional injuries that could be includedn I really wanted to include the possibility of damaging the pitslave weapon. I also thought about a “we can save the parts” option that is basically dead except you can start again keeping all the weapon & armour upgrades (and possibly staff). I’m glad you like the fluffy bits as I took a few liberties with the Molerats hoping you wouldn’t mind:p

@radulykan the 18” square thing was making me itch a bit, but if you remember @CaptainDangerous had marks on the arena walls that meant the playing are was an 18” square - it just looks a bit odd in a rectangular arena! Maybe we make it a minimum of 18” but no more than 20”. The 3rd arm thing was covered by the ** in the quartermaster’s store (I.e. must be champion to purchase) but granted, I could probably explain it better.

@Ben_S thanks. These are exactly the kind of things I didn’t even notice though I’m staring at them lol. I’m sure there’s more so keep looking please!

One thing I am struggling with a bit is that I was trying to find a few images of the Pitslave weapons like the ones for the pistols. Anyone know where I can find some?

Also, I’m not beyond the idea of adding some new weapons. When looking for miniatures photos to include, I noticed quite a few people have modelled a ball and chain type thing. If anyone has any ideas please pitch in, I like the idea of a gas-axe type weapon........

Thanks for all the feedback guys, I will consolidate the proposed changes for v1.1 in the OP on Friday evening and update the PDF by Sunday unless there are any wild objections to the proposals. My main focus this week will be making a pretty looking roster sheet - I probably won’t do the quick ref until we nail the rules.

Thanks again.
 
I'd like to get a game in, though I doubt I'll have time soon. Taking a closer look at the rules though and I don't see the point of laspistols or buzz saws. Compare them to autopistols and chain saws and they're the same cost but worse as far as I can see.
 
My fault - buzz saw should be S5, but the las pistol was something I was aware of. The issue being that laspistols in necromunda had a better ammo roll, but in THUNDERCUBE there isn’t really an ammo roll as they automatically fail! I didn’t want to remove laspistols as they are legitimate pitslave weapons.

So, how to solve a conundrum like the laspistols - maybe allow them to ignore the first ammo roll? Or just knock a few points off the price? What do you think guys?
 
Having a lower price might do it, D6 fans for every cred saved can be a massive incentive; if you paid 10 for the pistol and 10 for a PS weapon, even if you rolled poorly for creds, it may still be enough to get you moving quickly. Bearing in mind how beastly initial advances can be, I'd rather take lesser gear and be mobile enough to evade.