First Strike (BattleTech)

From Karriviki

First Strike is a fusion of Alpha Strike and Reflex System.



A First Strike game consists of a series of turns. During each turn, all units on the table will have an opportunity to move and fire their weapons or make physical attacks.

Step 0: Command phase

A) If only one combat team has a command unit present on the field, the elements on that team will benefit the following modifiers for Initiative:

  • +2 light infantry units and support vehicles
  • +4 mechanized infantry and combat vehicles
  • +6 BattleMechs

B) If two or more combat teams have a command unit present on the field, each command unit makes a command check [Tactics(COG)].

The following modifiers apply:

  • Battlefield Intelligence provides +1 ... +5 depending on specifications
  • Observation units +1 each up to +5
  • Command Center (or eq.) provides +1 ... +5 depending on specifications
  • For each element after the third in one combat team -1 per element

The command unit with the highest result wins the command phase for next three turns. For the duration of the three turns, all elements commanded by the winning command unit may apply a +2 modifier for Initiative check. This modifier stacks, with the max modifier availeble to elements as listed on the table in 0A.

On the fourth Turn reroll the command checks. If the command unit that won the last command check wins again, the modifier stacks to +4. If the opposing command unit wins the check, all modifiers will be zeroed (the opposing command unit does not apply a +2 modifier for its elements).

Step 1: Initiative Phase

The lead units for each 'element' make the initiative check [Tactics(OODA)].

The following modifiers apply:

  • The command modifier from Step 0
  • If all the units in the element have compatible Ground Formation Types +2
  • If the lead unit has one or two units or elements under his command +3
  • If the lead unit has three or four units or elements under his command +0
  • If the lead unit has five or more units or elements under his command -3
  • Damaged C3I systems on the lead unit : double the modifier stated by the critical hits table
  • For each disabled or destroyed unit in the element -2
  • If the lead unit is also the command unit of a combat team -4
  • BattleMechs: For each heavy and assault mech in the element -1

The element with the highest result wins the Initiative for that turn. Because movement and combat are considered to occur simultaneously, the winning element executes unit movement and combat actions after the element(s) with the lower Initiatives.

Step 2: Movement Phase

The element with the lowest Initiative roll moves first. The element with the highest Initiative roll moves last.

Step 3: Combat Phase

As with the movement phase, the elements with the lowest Initiative roll acts first in the Combat Phase, but element declares and resolves all of his units’ combat actions at this time.

In the Combat Phase, each unit may execute one attack. Damage from these attacks is resolved immediately, but the effects do not take place until the turn’s End Phase. This means that a destroyed unit will normally have a chance to return fire.

Step 4: End Phase

All elements may complete the End Phase simultaneously.

After resolving all End Phase actions, the turn ends and the players return to Step 1, repeat all these steps until one side meets its victory conditions for the scenario.


The core conversion between Alpha Strike terrain play, and hex map rules, is 2” per 1 hex and 1” per 1 level of elevation. A unit that can move 14”j can therefore move up to 7 hexes on a map.


Weapon attacks may be attempted at or within range brackets in use: Short (0-3 hexes); Medium (4-12 hexes); Long (13-21 hexes) and Extreme (22-30 hexes). Physical attacks of all types can only be performed between units that are in the same or adjacent hexes.

Roll To Hit

The attacking unit can make one or more attacks depending on the damage value for the range bracket in question. The damage value is divided into two-point groups (if the damage value is odd the last group is a one point group), and each group is a separate attack.

To execute an attack, the controlling player rolls xD20 for each unit and compares the total to the modified to-hit number. If the dice roll equals or is less than the modified to-hit number, the attack succeeds. Otherwise, the attack fails.

Applying Damage

Damage is applied in vertical sections, starting from the right (in the examples below sections are numbered from 1 to 5).

Check off one armor or internal structure bubble for every point of damage delivered against the unit, until all damage is applied.

As card dam 2.png

As card dam 3.png

As card dam 4.png

If only armor bubbles were checked off, roll once (1D20) on the Minor Critical Hits Table for each attack.

If any Internal Structure bubbles were checked off, roll once (1D20, +5 for each Structure bubble checked off in one attack) on the Minor Critical Hits Table for each attack.

Note that some weapons may provide a modifier for the Critical Hit Roll:

  • AC special ability +2
  • SRM special ability +3

Critical Hits Tables

Minor Criticals (1D20)

Roll Type Effect
1 - 14 nil No Effect
15 Fire Control Malfunction -2 to Hit on the next Turn
16 Weapon Malfunction ½ damage available (round down) on all range backets on the next Turn
17 Mobility Malfunction ½ MP available on the next Turn
18 Command Systems Malfunction The element has -2 to Initiative on the Next Turn
19 Engine Malfunction +1 Heat
20 Roll again for Major critical hits (2D20H) -

Major Criticals (1D20)

1 - 2 Weapon Hit -1 damage for all range brackets
3 - 4 Mobility Hit -1 MP
5 - 6 C3I Hit -4 to Initiative
7 - 8 Crew Hit Crew takes 1 point of damage
9 - 10 Armor hit Add 1 additional point of armor damage. Do not roll again for Critical Hits.
11 - 12 Structure Add 1 additional point of Structure damage. Do not roll again for Critical Hits.
13 - 14 Engine Hit +1 heat on each turn when firing weapons or using jumpjets
15 - 16 Subsystem Hit Disable one special ability
17 - 18 Unit stunned Unit is stunned for 1D6 rounds
20+ Unit disabled Unit is disabled for the rest of the game

Modifications to AS Cards

Divide the Internal Structure bubbles into two rows. The top row has half of the IS bubbles (rounded up), and the bottom row has the rest, as shown in the following examples:

As card mod 3.png

As card mod 1.png

As card mod 2.png