this review is done from playtest version of rules however i assume not much has changed in final product as game seems very solid, from my point of view the autor was inspired many game systems but it working well together.
So what is FT:Andromeda about? It is classic Reinforced platoon skrimish game as well as Gruntz,Tommorow war or Fast and Dirty. But this one is different in many many ways.
Unlike most of the gaming systems for 15mm it use only one type of dice – old revered D6 and didnt use much counters/markers.
What makes Andromeda so much different it is Control and Command systém – it is similiar to one used in famous skrimish game but i never though it could work in Platoon level game. You have number of command points which comes from number your deployed ,confident (non-panicked,non-broken etc.),regular units, squad attachments like APCs or squad suport teams didnt generate CPs. What are command points good for? One command point is used if you want to activate unit, you also using command points for calling reserves, increasing iniative ratting or perfoming special orders. However there is a catch. Your commander have command ratting which means how many orders he can spend, when orders are spend per phase then hand control to enemy player when he activate units in same fashion. You can also use CPs to react at enemy actions durning enemy phase , but when you run out of CPs the turn is over for you.
Special Commands are orders issued before activation phase, you can order your men to lay suppresive fire, concetrate their fire or fight better in Close combat.
Durning activation of unit, units must follow a sequence:
first regroup which is special action shaken infantry can try to rally while, vehicles with systém down or immoblised status can try repair themselves. Some weapons must need to be reloaded and this is done to i regroup action.
Second action in sequence is move – most infantry moves 6“ inches and can then perform run or shooting (Power armoured infantry cannot run) while vehicles can shoot on move unit they move full speed.
Then is shooting action in which unit can fire or infantry can use run action which grants them additional movement.
And last action is assault old fashioned charge of enemy positions.
Unit which has been activated cannot be activated durning turn but can react durning your opponent phase and perform defensive actions.
Hitting enemy is easy – it is only about how good the shooting unit is and applying modifers. Then if target is hit owning player must roll save on save table and if you are in cover you gain better save. Vehicles use same systém but if hit gets through – shooting player will roll on penetration table – on 1 vehicle will only suffer morale check but if score is higher it can be damaged or destroyed outright. Unlike games which used similiar systém here when the shoot is powerfull enough will grant you additional bonus modiferers on penetration table. Most infantry is dead when their armour is defeated.
Close combat is easy too – there is systém in which units are fighting durning close combat – charges goes first,then confident units, vehicles and shaken units goes last (if they survive that long)
when unit fighting it need to roll to on to hit table where their experience is put againts target there is similiar table to wounding target like in shooting. Vehicles are also more easily destroyed in close combat if units charging vehicle are equipped for this task. After close combat there is good old morale check if both units pass they will hold and fought another phase but combat is over but if one of them fail they will turn tail and run while other unit can move up to their maximal move allowance but cannot assault another unit.
There are other advanced rules like psionic powers, Electronic warfare, Off-board Artillery and ofcourse lots of gear weapons and other upgrades.
There is three basic scenarios with variable deployment all them is Evil company classics.
But what i like on Andromeda is your army cutomization . The game is played by points - the up to 1000 points you can také one platoon on 1001-2000 and so on. Every Platoon use what rules call Template – you can have generic platoon which is jack of all trades have access to most units but it doesnt have upgrades that other platoons have. Then there is Infantry platoon which can be upgraded to drop troops platoon, Special forces or garrison force – Droptroops can deploy from skies, Special forces are better trained and Garrison is conscript type platoon – more guys less trained.
Appart from that platoon can také some other upgrades – marksman guardians and other which improves their effectivness on battlefield.
Third type of Platoon is Rapid Response platoon – which means Mechanised infantry for subtype they can take instead of Mech infantry and jump infantry the mighty power armour troops. Another type of platoon – heavy recon exchange their basic troops for recon vehicles last type of platoon is Assault troops which grants jump troops as core choices and power armour troops will fill the rest.
And last one is for my all Treadheads out there – the Armoured Platoon this type of platoon doesnt have any subtypes and are made of vehicles or battlesuits. But instead they can také traits first is flanking force in which you can hold your units in reserve and then outflank your enemy and other is blitz which grants you additional movement on begging of the game.
When building your platoon you first must také the command units – depending how many you také more you can také your core units. Then there is Command support units – there is only limit maximal allowance in template. Then there is support list – for every core unit you can také one support unit.
There are lots of type of units, all of them can také various upgrades,weapons and armour – in this terms are game very cutomizable and ballanced. For example you can switch your Apcs for VTOLs and make Aircav styled platoon and so on.
So final verdict – if you are looking for easy and smooth systém or game systém which you can show to fortykay outcasts this game is for you – if you are looking for Hardcore hardscifi simulation you should také look on Tommorow war,Stargrunt II or Platoon Leader.