Greetings wargamers and welcome to a long-awaited update; version 0.2.2 of The Icarus Project.
I’ve been talking for some time about this version of the rules, and how excited I am by it. Version 0.2.2 represents the largest update to the system in its lifetime. As you’ll see below, this update is MASSIVE.
So let’s dig in and talk about some of the changes!
Let’s talk about some of the more significant changes;
The biggest noticeable difference to this version of the rules is the visual design. The entire book has received a design update that brings the branding in line with everything else related to the game.
This came about after a discussion in the playtest group where players were telling us they never really took grenades of any type because they were too expensive. The cost of a few grenades across a strike force was the same as getting an additional model. So we have gone through and reduced the points cost of grenades of all types to make them more attractive as an option.
All factions now have larger background sections before their army lists to give players more insight into their chosen faction.
The new dangerous terrain section includes a selection of special terrain including barbed wire, minefields, and swamps to make your battlefields more interactive and narrative.
Another major update in this version was lots more diagrams and explanations of how rules worked, and the rules for building movement received this treatment.
Previously, Critical Condition was a very passive and boring rule. If you reduced a model to exactly 0 health they were in Critical Condition and unless they were healed before the end of the next game turn they died.
Under the new rules, at the start of the following game turn after a model enters Critical Condition, the owning player rolls a D6. On a result of 5 or 6, the model staunches their wounds long enough to make one last heroic effort and they get one more game turn of actions before they die – unless they are healed.
This gives models in Critical Condition the chance to perform the sort of heroic actions stories are told about and makes the condition much more engaging and fun.
Connected to the new Critical Condition rules is the Last Sacrifice rule. Inspired by many a heroic moment in film and fiction, the Last Sacrifice rule allows a model in Critical Condition who has at least one grenade in their inventory to detonate the explosive and potentially take their enemies with them.
Courage also received an overhaul in this update. Previously courage was an all or nothing affair, and there was nothing to represent the wearing down of a solider’s morale over time.
Previously to perform a courage test the owning player would roll a D6 and if the result was equal to or higher the model’s courage stat, the test was passed.
Under the new system, the owning player rolls 2D6 and removes the number of wounds a model has suffered from the result. If this new result is equal to or higher than the model’s courage value, they pass the test. This means that as models suffer wounds over the course of a game, they are more likely to fail their courage test and break.
Another major addition to version 0.2.2 is the Battlefield Orders system. This is a mechanic that I have wanted to add to the game for some time.
Every Game Turn, both players will roll a D6 to see if there have received new orders. These orders include things like recovering the black box of a downed aircraft, holding or destroying a specific location, or eliminating the enemy to ensure no witnesses.
These battlefield orders are intended to make each game more unique and give an extra optional objective that can tip the game in favour of the player who accomplishes it.
Battlefield orders also have the option to be intercepted, which means that your opponent might know what you are trying to do and work against you for their own reward.
These orders are particularly useful to encourage movement around the board and discourage players camping in a corner of the board – which is a valid strategy but hardly the most exciting!
Along with new Battlefield Orders, a new mission has been added.
Night Raid sees the attacking player attempting to infiltrate an enemy position, hack a computer terminal, and escape with vital intelligence.
This scenario replaces the chance of playing any other scenarios using the night time rules. We found that most players would ignore night rules when they rolled them most of the time, so moving them to a dedicated scenario made more sense.
You’ll see that each of the scenarios currently has placeholder text included. This will be replaced in the next version when we add a simple linear campaign to the scenarios to allow you to play through them start to finish and tell a single story!
Previously some options in strike forces weren’t worth taking because their equipment was available elsewhere. So we’ve gone through each list and rearranged available equipment to be more narrative-appropriate and encourage more diverse list building in general.
The Nexus special rule was previously capturing slaves. While this is background appropriate, it almost never came up in-game and was often forgotten.
The new War Dance rule allows applicable units to perform an intimidating display that prepares them for battle. In the following turn the model that performed the War Dance gains a +1 bonus to close combat attack rolls and courage tests.
The Nexus are a very tribal culture, and drawing from real-world tribal cultures for the War Dance helps the rules better reflect the background.
The Nexus have also been given the Expert Climbers rule, which grants a +1 bonus to any agility test made while attempting to climb an obstacle. Having 6 limbs has to have some benefit, after all!
These two changes come from the realisation that the Nimbus crew had overwhelmingly religious surnames. Gabriel is the closest thing the story has to a “main” character so changing his name was not going to happen, so Jesse and Charlie both got name changes.
During the expanding of the Ji’tar background, a new type of character was introduced; the Disciples of New Dawn. These cultists worship the Old Gods of the Ji’tar and have been making large scale sacrifices in their name.
This new rule is the first step of some changes that will come over the next few updates, and separates the URC from other factions by making them immune to many effects and rules that only apply to organic creatures.
For example, models with the Robotic rule do not suffer the effects of toxic or poisoned weapons.
As part of making the URC more distinct, the Disruptor has received some tweaks. It has been reduced in cost to make it more viable as an option and now causes damage. It causes 1 damage to organic targets, and 2 to models with the Robotic rule.
The Disruptor has also been changed from being a specific tool to use against the URC to a more general purpose tool used to give bonuses to hack devices, disarm bombs, and disrupt energy shields, negating their bonuses.
The final change to 0.2.2 is the removal of Mad Natty from the Mercenaries list. I decided he didn’t bring enough to the game to warrant being a playable character, so he will remain a character in the background.
As I have already said, I am very proud of this version of the rules and think it is the best so far. If you’ve never played The Icarus Project before, there’s never been a better time to get involved.
You can download a copy of version 0.2.2 by clicking the image below. We’ve also put together a printer friendly version without any of the background or artwork to save you some ink. The layout is a little messed up in that version so just be aware.
We’ve also made the Quick Start Rules available to download. The QSR is the perfect starting point to learn the very basic rules of the game.
But if you want the full experience, click below for the full version 0.2.2
Related to this release is an announcement regarding the stat cards we include with our miniatures.
Before now, many of the changes made in this version of the rules had been held back because they would have made the printed stat cards invalid. However, we have decided that going forward we will no longer update stat cards when models’ stats change, and we will not be releasing stat cards with new models.
This gives us the flexibility to be able to change the rules as is needed.
Stat cards will return once the rules leave Beta and are printed. When that happens, model’s stat lines will remain fixed unit the next edition.
Models that currently have stat cards will continue to be packed with them, even though many of them will not longer be correct, because we know many of you like the artwork included on them.
That’s all for today folks, so download the beta rules, get playing, and share your feedback with us!