Hammer Bob

(Or Bob Hammer)

Martin Sparkes and myself (Bob Butler) are attempting to create a skirmish version of Warhammer 40K. The intent is to allow squad level skirmish battles using 40K models, units, characters and point costs. Each player might be controlling about 100 points of models, six to 12 men. As there are far fewer models on the table than in 40K, more detail is covered in the game, but hopefully not so much detail as to greatly slow down play. In this early version, vehicles are not covered.

When deciding what to call the game, I suggested Bob Hammer. Martin proposed Hammer Bob. The final decision might have to be reached on the table top.

This is a very preliminary draft, V0.1, Feb 3, 2002. Blue text indicates new ideas that Martin has not seen yet. Gray indicates disagreement.

Killing Things

Pure 40K mechanics are used. For ranged combat, roll ballistic skill, then strength of weapon against toughness, then saving throw if applicable. For hand to hand, roll on the attacker skill against defender skill table, strength against toughness, then saving throw if applicable.

Taking Turns

The 40K system gives all models on one side of the table up to six actions (move in transport, debark, shoot, charge, hack, pursue) before the other side can respond. Classic 40K often results in one side gaining an overwhelming advantage before the other side can make any response. In this system, each side takes turns activating a single model. There is a much more fluid back and forth flow.

Originally, a single model was only going to get one action. The result was too static. Once a shooter got in range of an enemy, or a melee expert into hand to hand, there was no movement at all. We are thus trying a one action and a little movement system.

At the start of each turn, roll to see which player acts first. If both sides have equal number of models, each player takes turns activating one model. If one side has more models, the player with more models activates two models until both players have an equal number of models left that have not acted. No model can act twice in one turn. As battles get large, markers to indicate units that have already acted might be placed.

Possible Actions

Move The player moves his full movement rate, usually 6 inches, but see movement rates (below).

Fleet The player moves his full movement rate plus 1d6, for models with fleet of X only.

Half Move, shoot. Only pistols, assault weapons and rapid fire weapons at short range may move and shoot. Rapid fire weapons fire one shot at targets within 12 inches. (Rapid fire weapons can be used as Assault 1 range 12 weapons, firing every turn, or Heavy 1 full range weapons, firing every other turn.)

Half Move, watch. Again, only pistols, assault or short range rapid. The player is watching a certain direction. If an enemy comes into line of sight and range within 45 degrees of the direction the model is watching, the model can take an immediate shot. If this shot is in the same turn as when the player declared the watch, the player does not lose his next action. If the shot is taken in the following turn, the model's action in the following turn is spent. (One can not act twice with the same model in one turn.)

Aim Heavy weapon. Heavy weapons, including sniper rifles and rapid fire weapons shooting at long range, must be aimed before they are fired. Any 40K weapon that cannot shoot if the character moved may only be fired on every other turn. The direction of aim must be specified in the aim turn. Any target within 45 degrees of this aim line may be selected on the following turn.

(Exception. Martin wants to fire heavy weapons every turn if the target does not move at all. One has to aim the first shot, but one can fire heavy weapons every turn if the target remains stationary. Martin and I disagree on this one.)

Watch aimed weapon. If one aimed a heavy weapon on the prior turn, but there is no desirable target, one can go on watch until a target appears within 45 degrees of the watch line.

Move - Shoot - Move. Some models (Eldar jet bikes, Tau battle suits, Warp Spiders) can move, shoot, move in normal 40K. These models may also do so in BobHammer, but with the Watch rules the ability will not be quite so potent. One can take part of one's movement, shoot, then take the rest of the move.

Charge. Move into base to base contact with an enemy. Attack the enemy once. (This is the charge bonus extra attack.) Base attacks and multiple attacks from having a high Attacks statistic or multiple close combat weapons do not occur until following turns. One has spent most of one's allotted time running towards combat.

Half move, assault. If one needs only a half move to reach base to base, one gets a charge bonus attack plus one's full complement of attacks.

Half move, examine. If a model has taken a wound and is not moving, one can try to figure out if he is dead, unconscious or faking unconsciousness. It takes a leadership test to succeed, with a minus one per inch range penalty. One might look for traps with examine as well.

Half move, disarm. If a model is down and either dead or faking death, one can toss their weapons out of reach. Within reason, other quick actions that might take a few seconds might be attempted.

Movement Rates

On our first play test, all models selected had the base 6 inch move, 6 charge. Martin and I didn't consider models with other movement rates. The obvious suggestions are...

Option 1. Add normal movement and charge movement together, then divide by two. Most models will have six inch charge plus six inch assault, yielding a six inch move. Warp spiders have a 12 inch move plus a 2d6 second move resulting in (?) a 6 + 1d6 inch movement?

Option 2. If one is moving into base to base contact with the enemy, one uses the charge rate of the model. If one ends the move out of contact with the enemy, one uses base movement. Thus jet packs moves 12 charges 6. Cavalry moves 6, charges 12.


If a model is threatened with immediate harm, and it has not yet acted this turn, it may be immediately activated. This spends the responding player's next activation of a model, so the attacking player would get to activate next. The aborting model is also treated as acted, and may do nothing more until next turn. Possible abort actions include...

Half Move. Player can attempt to get out of line of sight of a ranged attack, or out of the area of effect of a blast.

Parry. Add +2 to weapons skill against one opponent for the rest of the turn.

Dodge. Add +1 to weapons skill against all hand to hand opponents for the rest of the turn.

Snapshot. Attempt to get off a quick shot. One may not snapshot a heavy weapon or long range rapid fire shot unless one aimed in the correct direction on the prior turn.

Aborts do not automatically succeed. The attacker and defender roll D6, and add their initiative. If the aborting character gets the high roll, the defense succeeds before the attack lands. If the attacking character rolls higher, his attack comes in before the response takes place. If there is a draw...

Half Move - The player gets a cover save if he was attempting to get out of line of sight. He counts as a partial (gets hurt on a 4+) if he was attempting to leave a blast area.

Parry. +1 to weapons skill against one opponent.

Dodge +1 to all but the first attack.

Snapshot. Both attacks occur at the same time, and both have full effect.

Note, there is no initiative or dice roll involved if the opponent was on watch. If one is watching a door with one's weapon aimed at the door, whomever walks through the door eats it before he gets to respond.

If one continues to parry or dodge after parrying or dodging the prior turn, one does not have to roll on initiative to continue the defense already in place.

Hand to Hand

If an enemy model is moving into hand to hand, one can always turn in place to face one's opponent without aborting or losing an action. If one is on watch in the right direction, one gets a shot off as he comes in. If one has not acted in this turn, one might attempt to avoid hand to hand with a half move, or one might try a parry, dodge, snapshot, or counter swing.

If one leaves a close combat with a full move, the opponent gets a free (no action spent) parting shot. Don't be surprised if said opponent moves back into hand to hand on his next action, getting a charge bonus attack. Retreating might slow down the enemy's rate of attacks, but will not prevent attacks.

If one is continuing the combat, one can move one base diameter without penalty. Such a move might bring you to a model's rear quarter (+2 to WS). It might bring you out of base to base contact with one model, while continuing contact with another. Opposing models in the area can turn in place freely in response, without spending actions, to keep their rears covered.

One might retreat one base width out of hand to hand. One or more opposing models that were in base to base can select whether or not to follow you one base width. If no one follows, if you are no longer in base to base, you may not attack, they get no parting shots. You are no longer considered to be part of a close combat. Someone might shoot at you. If you rejoin the combat next turn with a half move, you get your charge bonus.

After Wounds

If a model has lost its last wound, WS drops to 1, opponent gets +2 on ballistic skill to hit, one may not attack in hand to hand, one may not parry or dodge, one may not aim a heavy or rapid fire weapon, and wounded characters have -1 on weapon skill with light weapons. After that, roll a D6.

5 - 6. Model is either dead or unconscious. Another model must spend a turn doing an examine to determine which. One does not determine whether the character is dead or unconscious until the game ends or an examine is successful.

4 - Screamer. Model is obviously badly hurt, movement rate is zero.

1 - 3 Model is down, movement rate is 1 - 3 inches. Model can play dead if a leadership test is made. Opponents should not shoot at down models faking death unless they also shoot at all down models.

A place to put rules that belong no where else.

If one is hit and wounded, regardless of whether you make your saving throw, you lose any attempt to aim a heavy weapon or long range rapid fire shot.


Martin is interested in developing characters. This would involve giving experience and purchasing additional skills and statistics. I'm trying to get the base system clean first.

To be continued...

Mail me at rwbutler@gis.net. I am truly interested in other's opinions of the Ladies.

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