A clarification of ‘half’ in the Break Test conditions for casualties.
By Tim Bancroft & Rick Priestley
“Fancy a quick half?”
“Ah, great. I’ll have the bottom half, then. Hand me the glass…”
“Hah. You can’t catch me with that one. It’s one of those Greek philosophical questions, right? If I let a tortoise run 50 metres along the 100 meters course, then race after it, when will I catch it up?”
“Well, by the time I’m also almost there, it’s moved on another half, right, so I’ve go to run further?”
“What, 50 metres?”
“No, half of that… look, the point is, every time I run half, the tortoise has run another half of its half.”
“You mean a tortoise is running 150 metres?”
“No, half of a half… that’s 12.5, or 6.25, depending. On top.”
“Aah… I see. Or I don’t. I think I’ll have a coffee instead.”
* * *
After listening to the discussions on the forums, at games days, at how half-understood explanations have been interpreted and how many definitions of half there are, we set down to talk about Break Tests (page 44 of the Antares rule book). For more than half an hour.
It was only then we realised that even our own interpretation of the rule was inconsistent in detail; so there you are, obviously, some clarification was required! Rather than worry about which method was that originally intended, we decided to consider the merits of both, taking into account that both versions were being played; and apparently by roughly equal numbers of players in so far as we could tell.
In the end, we decided to re-write the Casualty Tests rule either clarifying it, or amending it (depending on how you are currently playing it) as follows. This affects the bullet point ‘Half number casualties’ which is charged to read (italics indicate changes to the text):
“⦁ Half casualties. A break test must be taken if a unit is shot at and hit by an enemy unit taking one or more casualties as a result, and has suffered at least half of the models it started the game with as casualties in total. Take the test after adding any pin(s) for the hits taken.
For example, if a unit of 5 men is shot at and suffers 2 casualties no break test is triggered. If the same unit is shot at and takes another casualty then a break test must be taken.”
This puts the interpretation of ‘half’ clearly along the same lines as the ‘Fail’ results of the Break Test (p.45), which is measured against the original number of models in the unit. It also means that once a unit has suffered half of its original number of models as casualties, a Break Test is triggered each time the unit takes another casualty from shooting. The effect is to model the surviving squad members becoming increasingly concerned as their compatriots are being drastically whittled away.
We are aware this is a different approach to Bolt Action, as is much of Antares, and we’re also aware that it’s what half of the player base has been running with for a while, now. We’re also really sorry to both halves if there was any inconvenience or misunderstanding but hope that we now have a clear rule.
Mine is still the bottom half.