[Burning Empires]Firefight, what's up with the combat rules?

First off is it “Firefight”, or “Firefight!”? Second you mentioned in the sticky thread that Fight! and R&C are now defunct. Could you explain further how melee and firearms interact, sort of a crib notes explaination of combat? Also is the larger unit combat described and implemented as a direct application of scale to Firefight or is there a different mechanism for that.

And how does a person getting in a fight with a vehicle work, because history has shown i’m beligerant enough to have my character do things like bring a knife to a hit and run fight. :oops:


It’s FIREFIGHT. No exclamation point this time. Though the close combat rules in Firefight are called “I Corner Him and Stab Him in the Face!” So we kept up the exclamation point tradition for hand to hand stuff.

99% of all martial conflict in BE involves weapons fire. Even close combat prefers pistols to swords. If you can get your unit close enough to the enemy, you can use the Close Combat action in Firefight. Close Combat creates a lot of chaos on the field – it’s almost like a suicide move. Anyway, if you can successfully get into CC, then individual members of your unit can choose between Hand to Hand, Weapons Fire, Overbearing or Grenade Attacks. Each player privately chooses one action, then we play out the Close Combat. It’s very deadly, very fast. I don’t think we’ve had one last for more than three passes.

You can also get into Close Combat via the I Corner Him and Stab Him in the Face! mechanics. This is essentially a mini-Firefight, but only uses the CC actions. It cuts out the contact and observation portions of FF and gets straight to the death part. Works the same as above: each participant chooses an action and then we go for it.

gotta run!

Also, Close Combat with Imperial Hammer Cruisers is nasty. Real nasty.

Fanboys (Us): What is THIS like?

Thor: It is awesome.

Fanboys: What about THIS, what is that like?!?

Thor: Its the Awesome.

No details is killing me!!

Here is an SAT question:
Is Strategic War to Firefight as The Burning Sands’ Propoganda War is to Duel of Wits?

I assume that the Strategic War will be used form everything from Human vs Vaylen to Empire vs empire and House vs House?


Patience. Patience. All shall be revealed in time. Luke’s going to have some more previews for you later this week/next week.

In the meantime, you’ve asked about one of my favorite mechanics: the strategic warfare/macromechanics, otherwise known as Infection.

From a post at RPGnet:

The Infection Mechanics (which govern the phases and maneuvers) are some of the most exciting new things in Burning Empires, IMHO. They are a strategic macromechanic that play out over the course of a campaign.

The Infection consists of three phases: Infiltration, Usurpation, and Invasion. Each phase should last somewhere between 6 and 12 sessions of play, depending on how aggressive the group is. A campaign can consist of all three phases played in a row (about 18 to 36 sessions), or a single phase. For instance, each of the graphic novels depicts a single phase of the Infection.

In many ways, Burning Sand: Jihad was a dry run for Burning Empires, though we didn’t know that when we first started working on it. The Infection Mechanics are an evolution of Jihad’s Propaganda War mechanics.

When you build your worlds in the World Burner, you are not only creating a ton of setting color, you’re also giving advantages and disadvantages to the Vaylen and Human sides that can be utilized in the phases of Infection. These advantages and disadvantages take the form of a pool of points called the Disposition, which is roughly analagous to the Body of Argument in the Duel of Wits mechanic.

The Infection has a series of new maneuvers (again, somewhat similar to the actions in Duel of Wits). You play these out at a rate of one or two maneuvers per session. All your scenes–your moments of play–play out inside these maneuvers.

It’s created some pretty intense, fast-moving play for us. I’m really excited about them. (i.e., it is awesome!)

Examples of stuff that we have used the Infection mechanics for: taking control of the Church and purging its bureaucracy of enemy loyalists, bombarding a planet with asteroids launched by a mass driver, blowing up a generation/colony ship built out of an asteroid, manufacturing Vaylen-detection devices, a series of kidnappings and assassinations, etc.

Thor, is “awesome” a new “hot”?


Hey, I game with these guys on a regular basis and they won’t tell me squat, either! Don’t feel bad!

Geez. Sounds like a line that was tossed out of the Return of the Jedi script. :wink:

Double post. :oops:



cockpunch is independent of weapons fire, hand to hand, and grenades. it is oppossed to an overbearing action.

Thanks for the answers. Ok, i’m starting to get the picture here of what we are talking about. Roughly contemporary tech military campaign so the default, at a personal level, is battlefield combat senario where people mostly tend to shoot at each other in the 20-200 pace range.

The one question of mine that i don’t think has been covered yet is the vehicle vs. person combat. This is the specific senario i had in mind when i asked that question. A grossly mismatched “fight” that comes off more like a movie stunt But still roughly in the realm of posibility, a close friend of mine witnessed a person vs. car “combat” at a party once, and the person won.

I’m getting the impression that that is getting a bit “shiny” for Burning Empires? Haven’t actually read the graphic novels, just trying to piece it together for now.

The Firefight rules scale seamlessly from one-on-one fights to fleets of starships pounding on each other in the gravity well of a planet. It uses the same mechanics.

Vehicles are eligible for Disposition bonuses like Heavier Chassis, Greater Mobility, and probably superior weaponry.

A guy taking on an Assault Sled is in a bad way, although a tripod-mounted Heavy Laser or MPIML could help even the field.

As for your specific scenario, you’d either have to set tagging the homing device on the vehicle as your Unit Objective (if that’s what you intended to do all along), or you could make that your Compromise, if you did well enough in the Firefight.

Note that Thor said it can be done. You can have grossly mismatched sides take each other on and have a shot at victory because the system is similar to Fight and Duel of Wits – you must think tactically!


I caught that, thanks. So there are modifiers that allow you to pair off things that are different classes of units. Which is good too hear because infantry has historically been a serious threat to tanks if the tank doesn’t have support to keep the infantry from finesing a kill.

Are you saying that there was a PDF preview on another forum? :?

Come on Durgil, You were one click away. :lol:

Wow… :shock: