Posted in Preview

Twilight: 2000 – Preview #3 “Combat”

Now after character creation, let’s have a look at the heart of Twilight: 2000, combat. The rules are very exciting and feature the most tactical fights of the Year Zero engine to date.


Combat in many games of the Year Zero engine is similar. If it comes to a fight, you check whether there is an ambush and then the initiative is determined using cards. Everyone involved in a fight has one quick action and one slow action, and factors such as vision, movement, and distance affect the rolls. Instead of adding dice as usual or removing them before the roll, the individual factors now increase or decrease the height of the dice. The terrain on which the fight takes place also influences visibility, attack and cover. By default, you use hex maps for this, where each field corresponds to 10 meters.

To get a good impression, I ran through an example. To do this, I used my previously created character Jet, the trigger-happy Grunt.

Jet was separated from his group in the last fight and is now wandering through a bombed field. He can make out a ruin and approaches it carefully. Near the remains of a house, he can catch a single marauder and does not hesitate.

First, both sides do an opposed Recon roll to check whether Jet is spotted and whether there is a potential ambush. He has no value in the Recon skill, so he only has to bet on the Intelligence attribute (D = D6). Fortunately, he moves through some trees and he can raise the die by one level. The D8 shows a 6, the marauder fails the test and so Jet has the upper hand. He receives the initiative card 1 and can begin immediately.

Jet refrains from taking cover and prefers to aim his M4A1 so that he doesn’t get -2 on the roll. The opponent stands on pavement and thus the attack by Jet gets no penalty. The marauder stands 4 hexes away, the short range of Jet’s weapon, so no penalties. He rolls Agility (B = D10) and Ranged Combat (B = D10) and receives a 10 (2 successes) and a 9 (1 success). In addition, Jet wanted to be on the safe side and uses two Ammo Dice. The two D6s show 6 and 3, so another hit. We add the 6 and the 3 and thus have to remove 9 bullets from our magazine that we used for the attack.

The hit zones are determined for both hits, the two D6s show 4 (torso) and 1 (leg). The basic damage of the M4A1 is 2, the first hit is increased by the two additional successes (the first success is required to hit) and is thus above the crit value of the weapon. Since the marauder is not wearing armor (so no reduction of damage), he suffers a critical hit. The opponent receives a total of 6 damage points, since this is higher than his hit capacity, he is incapacitated anyway. Nevertheless, I determined the critical hit with a D10, the marauder suffers a kidney rupture and will die of his injuries within a few hours without medical assistance.

Had the marauder had cover or wore armor; the situation could certainly have been different. Then he would have had to make a test on Coolness Under Fire, if allies were still in sight, then he could also have used the dice for the morale of the group.

I find the fight in Twilight: 2000 extremely exciting. Fights are dangerous and my example was very much in favor of the player character. Tactical action and the use of sight, range and cover are absolutely necessary if you want to get out of the conflict in good health. However, that’s exactly what makes Twilight: 2000 exciting. Now of course there are countless other elements, such as vehicles, explosives, gas warfare agents and artillery. All of these bring additional tactical possibilities.

In the basic box there are various maps for fighting, as well as tokens for people and vehicles. The preview for those also makes a good impression, especially the maps. Overall, you can visualize the fight even better and the whole thing can almost be seen as a board game or wargame, which should by no means be seen as a criticism from me. I think fights will be relatively slow in the beginning and until everyone knows which modifiers to take into account or what influence which terrain has, it can drag on a bit. But it’s precisely because of the many possibilities that I like Twilight: 2000 so much so far.

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