Phase initaitive is determined by ADR and Ballad’s RAW rules with a few adjjustments that will be described later.
(how are turns handled?)
Base movement doesn’t count as an Action and can be done freely. But performing listed Actions in SoS/Ballad manual count as an Action. (RAW)
Turns are resolved highest first ADR/bought initiatives first, rolling off against ties (standard RAW here). Declarations are made beforehand though (especially for Actions such as Shoot), and are done in reverse order of turn resolution (RAW again). In some cases, without explicit actions (eg. like Shoot) declared, certain declarations may be implicitly implied such as Covering Fire if the general intent of the player is to look out for enemies in general. Also, Shooting/Reloading on opportunity once getting into cover or finishing movement, is also possible, and doesn’t need to be revealed/declared beforehand since it’s highly situational. (eg. as long as he has his weapon ready, it’s assumed such opportunity acts are reasonable without requiring explicit declarations)
I interpret Base Movement as something that can be done as part of an Action, or without one. They are resolved in standard turn order. Thus, on every phase, everyone (regardless of ADR) has a “turn” and has to declare something, even if it means just moving somewhere.
In order for Ballad miniatures to work in an orderly turn-based manner while still keeping nature of simulatenous movement (where each miniature is a single unit (ie. single soldier)), if you do declare to move, your final position does NOT block enemies’ movement by default. (Except in certain situations, see
Speed Control regarding Hasty vs Cautious movement) on what type of resolved movement landing positions are able to block enemies.
Also, in all situations among friendly units, current/final positions do not block allies, regardless of whether they declared to move or not. This can result in unrealistic situations of passing through friendly units, in cramped areas which is physically impossible to give way. It is naively assumed friendly units have enough space to “give way” to other friendly units. (In a tabletop setting though, it is quite easy to abjucate this)
Why this collision unrealism of walking through units? Because turns don’t exactly work when in reality it’s actually simultenous movement, which means anything could have happened in between the time moves are made, making it impossible/tricky to track without having the risk of pre-declared actions/paths go haywire.
As such, some form of abstraction (going through units) has to be accepted to a certain degree.
Do note that even though you can move through friendly units while resolving your movement during your action turn, your final landing position for your turn cannot be colliding/intersecting against friendly units. If it does, only the latest non-colliding position along your plotted movement path is used as your final landing position.
If you wish to swap positions with a willing friendly unit during and at the end of your movement, it can be done so at additional 1 MOB cost per swap at the time of resolution, and only done only against friendly units that didn’t declare any Actions to start with.
Units are allowed to move in ANY phase according to the ADR/initiative order. But whether they can perform Actions or not on their turn may be still subjected to the ADR tier phase rules. (see below)
See next sub column section on
Bystanders and Line of Fire to see how miniatures are handled in blocking Line of Fire.
See next sub column section below on
Time & Space Aspects to see how such time and space aspects are handled in SoS/Ballad.
In order to benefit from Moving Target missile defense bonuses (Moving +1 or Sprinting +2), you must fully commit to your final marked destination, ( which must be at beyond half of MOB distance away (direct distance) from your starting position while moving at full speed to no longer count as Moving Slowly). You lose the ability to halt your movement or/and perform actions in the event you encounter an unforeseen enemy while resolving that movement. (Declare that you are moving/sprinting “Hastily”). See sub-column section on
Additionally, based on the plotted path you make in relation to the enemy shooting at you, the majority of the plotted path must be in a direction lateral to the enemy’s firing direction to ensure/increase the chance of gaining (rather than foregoing) Moving Target bonus.
To easily calculate this, determine how many yards (ie. MOB units) segments of movement occurs in lateral vs non-lateral direction in relation to shooter. Roll number of lateral MOB segments at TN7 vs number of non-lateral MOB segments at TN7 for a BS of >=1 to determine if you succeed in getting Moving Target bonus. If there are no non-lateral MOB segments to contest against, you automatically win this contest. Do this roll against every enemy that ends up shooting at you.
For weapons without Ease of Aim, you can still Aim for longer than 1 phase instead, but for only up to max 2 phases (not 3) for a total of additional 4 MP. (each aim phase +2 MP, for max +4 MP total).
(Slow Beginner’s handicap) If you are below profeciency level 4 for such weapons without Ease of Aim, you can still aim for up to max 3 phases instead, but your total MP cannot exceed 8 MP in this manner.
(eg. Level L < 3: (L + 2 + 2 + 2) <= 8, but for Level 3, aiming for 3rd phase can only give +1 MP for last phase due to 8 MP cap. (3 + 2 + 2 + 1(not 2) = 8)
For Ease of Aim weapons, you can aim for up to max 3 phases in a row for a total of additional 6 MP. (each aim phase +2 MP, for max +6 MP total). However, there is no more PER bonus after all 3 phases of aiming. (Ballad alpha 1.8^ rules). Instead, other bonuses are included as of below:
The Initiative tier table is updated as of below (Ballad alpha 3.0 rules)
ADR 1-2: N N Y (1 action in a Round)
ADR 3-7: N Y Y (2 actions in a Round)
ADR >=8: Y Y Y (3 actions in a Round)
Action quota mode: After the first round of combat (of 3 phases), phase number no longer applies but for unengaged characters that cannot act in all 3 phases (eg. those that can only act in phases 2/3 only), they can still act in any of the phases instead, but cannot exceed the total amount of times they can act for the entire Round. (Eg. put a “marker” on themselves to indicate they have already acted once in a Round, or can no longer act anymore in the Round as their action quota is exceeded)
(bottom right up)
At the time action declarations are made, miniatures do block Line of Fire and can act as some sort of cover known as “bystanders”. This applies to both friendly and enemy units, which means unintended friendly fire is possible. These miniatures are known as “bystanders” at the time of declaration, if they happen to block a target partially (at least 50%) or fully up to (100%). Cover divisions work as per usual under (1/2)50%, (3/4)70%, (8/10)80% cover conventions with regards to bystanders.
No Called shots can be made against targets partially/fully blocked by bystanders.
Declared bullet shots will always either hit or miss intended target (or potential bystanders) at the time it was declared only. For example, if during resolution, another (non-bystander)unit visually moves in front of a target, the bullet will still go through that unit as if he “wasn’t there” to begin with. (He wasn’t counted as a bystander during declaration).
However, in special cases, with
Speed Control and Hasty movement mode, a player can make himself a “bystander” during resolution, if he’s close enough to move in and shield someone, and volunteer to attempt to try and take the bullet for another person instead.
For the case of bystanders that only partially block targets at the time a shot is fired, If the target hits a part that is blocked by a bystander, the bystander typically takes the hit by default, but at a new random hit location roll. For Regular Fire shots, re-roll ½ the Missile Pool rolled against the original target to determine BS in terms of damage.
Bystanders that manage to move away in time before the shot was resolved (ie. due to resolving their ADR turn earlier to move away, if their final position are deemed no longer blocking the shot at all ), they are no longer considered a blocking bystander at the time the shot was resolved.
Bystanders that are free to Move though, because they didn’t conduct any non-mobility Actions, but didn’t manage to “move” at all due to their turn not resolving yet, can still roll a 50/50 chance to avoid getting hit at the time the shot is made. If they succeed, the original hit roll against target occurs as per normal.
When Firing into Melee, if your margin of failure falls within 2 (
>= -2BS < 0BS <- note: non-RAW modification) off the required defense RS (increased due to Firing into Melee +2), you’ll end up with a 50/50 chance to hit a random person in the melee or otherwise miss entirely.
RAW RULES from Ballad Alpha 3.0 (reference)
**A missile attack against a target in a Melee Bout which misses has a 5/10 chance of hitting another
random combatant in that Melee Bout - including allies! Roll for the new target, then roll ½ the Missile
Pool rolled against the original target to determine BS. This hit is automatic but the shooter has no
control over where the attack lands. All modifiers to original attack’s damage apply.
If you resolve your action turn by doing your Base Movement (or Sprinting) into cover or out of a given enemy shooting range-band, any declared enemy Shots (or Melee-engage/Charge actions) will still occur based off the original parameters at the time it was declared.. (eg. If you weren’t in cover at the time the shot was declared , but managed to move into cover on your turn before the declared shot’s turn , the declared shot still occurs as if no cover existed. Same principle applies likewise with regards to the presence ( or lack thereof) of bystanders the moment a shot is declared.
As such, any kind of Base Movement (including Sprinting) CANNOT be used to cancel away ( or even alter) validly declared actions that were made during the phase. Sprinting, however, can be declared as a contest against a melee-engage/charge declaration made to avoid getting engaged in Melee, but still requires a contest of MOB dice at terrain TN (eg. simple flat smooth terrain is tn4) at
BS4 - (MOB distance units required to get within melee-engage distance). to a minimum of BS 0. If the enemy is Charging,
MOB distance units required to get within melee-engage distance is halved for the purpose of the contest. Likewise , situationally triggered Active Defense (eg. if you managed to get into nearby cover in time) can be used), but the shot still occurs as if no cover existed. ( it is only opposed against the situational Active Defense roll )
Phase shoot/melee-engage declarations should be considered beforehand to determine if a shot/melee-engagement could occur on you at the given originally declared parameters (could be from any source, even from SUppressive/Covering Fire/etc.), so, while resolving your movement during your turn, you would defer your turn (visually suspended) first , anytime before moving into an area that would cause any declared Attack parameters to change…. eg. before you get into cover/change cover exposure, or change the range-band or move out of engager’s MOB range, your visual movement pauses for the purpose of handling those declared attacks, and only resume later at the end by landing at your final destination… (ie. if you are still alive after taking fire and remain un-engaged).
For the purpose of blocking bystander fire/enemy unit checks though, the final intended landing position of the miniature is always used, and not the intermediary (visually suspended) position when it comes to determine whether a moving unit still remains a bystander.
If you resolve a Melee Engage/charge , any slated declared missile attacks made from any unit against you that wasn’t the target of the melee engage/charge (even if declared earlier, resolve later) , will always have to resolve their shots first before you actually resolve to get into actual melee (shots don’t count as firing into melee). In Ballad games, this might mean deferring the actual melee attack across two turns ( one for resolving the Engage and the other to conduct the melee itself)
Speed is determined by your Mode (rate of movement/attitude) and your Stance. It can control the availability of indirect/situational opportunity Action triggers as well, such as Active Defense, Take Cover or Covering Fire.
Cautious will make you move at the slowest possible rate to reach target destination point for the phase.
You still have the ability to perform Covering Fire in this mode, or respond to unforeseen threats that might be seen while moving by either halting on the spot (canceling your final destination point), or/and finally taking an Action if you haven’t taken one yet.
You cannot benefit from any Missile Defense bonuses in this mode.
If your overall movement is below half of your MOB, you count as Moving Slowly any only suffer -2 penalty to your dice pools.
Hasty will make you move at the fastest possible rate to reach target destination point for the phase.
You forego any ability for Covering Fire or halting your movement and fully commit to reaching your target destination.
You may benefit from any Missile Defense bonuses in this mode as long as your final destination is beyond half MOB units away.
If your overall Normal (or higher) speed rate moves at least 1 MOB unit (eg. 1 yard), you always count as Moving Fast (even if you moved at half MOB or lower) instead of Moving Slowly.
If your overall Normal (or higher) speed rate moves within half MOB distance towards your target destination, you still count as an obstructing unit against enemy units at your final destination. In this situation, you can also opt to be an obstructing unit against unresolved enemy fire in (eg. to possibly take a bullet for someone else). If your movement is within 1/3 of your MOB (rounded down), you can further opt to roll an ADR test against your shooting opponent to forego the additional 50/50 bystander hit chance roll in taking a hit for someone else.
If your overall Normal (or higher) speed rate moves within 3 MOB units (eg. 3 yards) and also within half of your MOB distance, towards your target destination against unresolved enemy Shoot declarations, and you have no Actions declared as you attempt to get into cover, you automatically trigger situational Active Defense on virtue of such Hasty movement. If your movement is within 1/3 of your MOB (rounded down), you always receieve Active Defense, otherwise, roll an ADR test against your shooting opponent to determine if Active Defense applies or not.
Implicitly determines your overall body exposure in relation to environment and how fast you can move.
Can be used to take cover behind Half or more cove to be fully covered. You can only move 1 feet per phase. Moving like this while behind Half Cover (or reasonably high enough cover) still grants you full cover. Hasty mode is disabled in this Stance and Cautious is always used.
Used to take cover behind Half or more cover to be fully covered. You can only move a quarter of your MOB (divide by half twice, rounding down twice), to a minimum of 1 feet per phase in this stance. Moving like this behind cover that isn’t at least 3/4 causes you to lose cover. You need to crawl instead..ie. Prone, if you wish to move from behind Half Cover (or reasonably high enough cover below Half Cover..) if you want to main Full cover while moving.
You can move up to your MOB distance in yards. Moving within Half of your MOB distance while in Cautious Mode (or lower than 1 MOB in Hasty Mode) counts as Moving Slowly and thus only incurs a -2 penalty to relavant dice pool Action rolls (if any), instead of standard -4 penalty.
You can move up to double your MOB distance in lieu of any Actions.
For hostage that are being held closely and used directly as human shields, there is no 50% chance roll to hit them if a body part covered by he hostage is rolled . (Hostage is always hit) Since the hostage is likely struggling a bit, called shots to bypass hostage cover receives a greater MP penalty ( not sure by how much, or maybe some other penalty)…. ( I think ballad called shots rules need a bit more work).
If bullet hits hostage, there could be differing AVs assosiated with differing hostage body parts, and its possible that bullet can go through hostage and hit the enemy behind as well. (Someone needs to homebrew this)
(draft, needs testing for balance)
To hit an EXACT single body part zone. It now costs 6MP.
To hit any exposed side of a body part (if any). Costs 4MP.
Chest(Vitals) is treated as human’s left side for the purpose of this. And Chest(Non-Vitals) on right side.
Perform (modulus roll of 5) with 10 sided dice hit locations to half the possible coverage range of areas that may be hit. This is intuitive to use on tabletop and doesn’t require dice cumbersome dice re-rolls. Costs 3MP.
Combine with favoring expoed side (if any), it wll costs 5MP.
Low: Use hit locations from 1 to 5 always. If Arms are hit, roll at 50/50 chance to hit either the Belly or still hit original Arm.
High: Left Arm and Right Arm is still hittable. For anything else, use hit locations from 6 to 10.