Revised Quick-And-Dirty Fire Combat Option

Figures do not have armour dice. Instead, they have an armour rating. The armour rating is equal to the armour die in the book divided in half. For example, a figure with an armour rating of D8 would have an armour rating of 4.

The armour ratings look like this:

Armour Die
Armour Rating

The armour rating is calculated after any armour dice shifts. A figure in D8 armour behind hard cover would have D12 armour, which results in an armour rating of 6. A D12 Power Armour figure behind soft cover already has the maximum die possible for armour, so it would continue to have an armour rating of 6.

One change must be made to the artillery rules. Give anti-armour submunitions a die shift UP 1 against Power Armour. Instead of having a D6 impact against Power Armour (as they are considered a dispersed target), they now have an impact of D8 against Power Armour.

The combat resolution system remains the same up to, and including, the calculation of the number of potential casualties. The attacking player rolls a number of impact dice equal to the number of potential casualties. These dice are compared to the armour rating of the figures in the squad. If an impact die exceeds the armour rating, one of the potential casualties is wounded. Otherwise, the armour protected the potential casualty.

Note that the status of wounded figures — killed, injured, or okay — is unknown until the squad conducts a Reorganise action in order to treat the wounded. Exception: as usual, Power Armour troops test for the status of wounded figures as soon as the PA trooper is wounded.

As an option to speed up combat even further, players should round off fractional potential casualties instead of rolling for the fraction. For instance, if there are 2 and 7/8 potential casualties, the players should choose to round up the potential casualties to 3 (or, if they prefer less bloody conflicts, round down to 2).


Design Notes

Stargrunt II combat resolution takes a long time, a little too long, in my opinion. It only takes a single opposed die roll to see if a squad misses or suppresses an opposing squad. The number of dice rolls goes way up when a unit hits the target and causes casualties. This is because of the armour roll. You have to make an opposed die roll for each potential casualty. You can't just roll a bunch of dice at once and get the results for all the figures.

The benefit of this house rule is speed. Opposed rolls are slower than unopposed rolls. Each player has to pick up the correct dice and roll them. In multi-player situations there is a good chance that at least one of these players will be distracted. Often one of the players wants to be the last one to roll, and so he waits until his opponent has rolled the dice before he rolls his. In testing, a combat that resulted in three or more potential casualties took between two thirds and half as long to resolve in this system than in the regular system. This is simply because it's faster for one player to pick up three dice and compare it to a rating number than it is for two players to dice off against each other three ore more times.

Another benefit is that you can have figures with an armour rating of 1. This would be suitable for non-combatants without any armour (such as unarmed townspeople).

There are a couple of caveats to this system.

There is a slightly higher chance of scoring a casualty under this system than under the regular combat resolution system. The average roll for D8 armour is 4.5, while in this system the armour rating is a 4. This doesn't have a huge effect in the game. If players are worried about it, simply round down all fractional potential casualties. Example: if there were 2 and 7/8 potential casualties, the players would round this down to 2.

With this house rule it is impossible to wound a figure in D8 armour or better with a weapon with a D4 impact. Likewise, a figure in D12 power armour is impervious to weapons with a D6 impact or lower. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Should an archaic musket have any chance of wounding someone in power armour? Scenarios where there is that great a discrepancy between impact rating and armour rating are fairly rare. Only archaic firearms have D4 impact, and only light autopistols and anti-armour submunitions against dispersed targets have D6 impact. If it's an issue for players, they can simply choose to use the regular combat resolution whenever there is a difference of three die types or more between the impact die and the armour die.

(The anti-armour submunitions issue is the biggie here. The simple solution is to shift the impact up one versus PA, as they are dispersed like infantry but armoured like light vehicles.)

There are no outright kills with this rule, unlike the regular rule where a figure is automatically killed if the Impact Die is greater than twice the Armour Die. The "quick and dirty" rules in the rulebook don't have outright kills, either. What this rule does do is force players to use medics and to take Reorganise actions to treat casualties. This, in my opinion, is a good thing.