Indy's Dirtside II Bug Rules

These rules are intended for use with Brigade's collection of bug vehicles as designed by Jeremy Claridge, but are easily adaptable/useable for any Bug force you want to field.

As of Jan 9, 2003, this page is a draft set of rules. They are still being fleshed out (and hopefully will be done in the next month or so; cross fingers).

General Overview

Bugs live in a "hive" structure hierarchy: there are Brain Bugs who control the actions of the Hive and the Rest Of The Bugs who do all the work as directed by the Brain Bugs. There are a very few Bugs which have some autonomy from the Brain Bugs, but they are few and far between, and are used for very specialized tasks.

In general the "worker" Bugs and "warrior" Bugs are indistinquishable from one another. Only their special functions determine whether or not a particular Bug is a worker or warrior.

In general Bugs will not attack unless they are directed to by a Brain Bug. However, if a Bug unit is attacked, it will defend itself if possible (unless it is busy doing something else, like performing some directed or "pre-programmed" task).

Brain Bugs and Bug Control

With a few exceptions, members of a Bug Hive are not autonomous, and require direction from Brain Bugs. Think of the various Hive members as being the arms, legs, feet, heart, etc. of the Hive, and the Brains are...the brains of the Hive. Brains can either control directly the activity of a set of Hive members, or issues a set of "programmed" orders for some Hive members so as to not overload their capacity for multi-task controlling of the numerous Hive members. This latter would be akin to a "fire-and-forget" set of orders.

Brain Bugs come in two basic sizes: large (Homon; Size Class 4) and small (Tetran; Size Class 2). Rumor has it there are Size Class 5 Brain Bugs out there, but no one has ever seen them. There are "minor" Brain Bugs, but they are only in control of the Bug infantry units.

Physically the large Brain Bugs are more akin to Size Class 3, but the larger Size Class indicator is reflective of how powerful their minds have become since growing from being a small Brain Bug.

Brain Bugs can directly control other Bugs from their Hive equal to 4x the Brain's Size Class. Thus a Small Brain (Tetran) can control up to 8 other Bug units, whereas a Large Brain (Homon) can control up to 16 other Bug units. The size of the Brain Bug also determines the distance at which they can control other Bugs, as does whether or not the controlled Bugs are in a line of sight. Tetran Bugs can control units up to 36 inches away if they are in line-of-sight, or 24 inches away if LOS is blocked. Homon Bugs can control units up to 48 inches away if in LOS, or 36 inches away if out of LOS.

"Pre-programmed" Bugs may only be given very specific task orders before being released. They may not have more than one task order at a time. Thus, for example, a squad of Ciccod medium tank Bugs might be instructed to go to a certain point and attack/destroy any enemy unit within range of their weapons system. Specific size class of enemy units might be specified. But anything more complicated than this would be too much for the Bugs to absort and process (thus a Brain Bug could not tell a squad of Bugs to go to said point, stay for X turns, kill any enemy unit that comes within range, and then return home; too much for the Bugs to handle).

A non-Brain Bug which is not under any direction (either direct control or "pre-programming") may not attack, and will be in a "confused" state. This is reflected by rolling 1d6 for each Bug unit. On a 1-2 the Bug may move at only half speed towards its Hive home (or the nearest Brain Bug, whichever is closer). On a 3-4 the Bug will not move at all. And on a 5-6 the Bug will move (again, half speed) in a random direction (1d12 for direction). In any event, they will defend themselves if attacked, but that is all.

If a Brain Bug is killed, all Bugs that were being controlled by it suddenly are left with no control, and are directionless (see preceeding paragraph).

Infantry Bugs are under the control of a minor Brain, which would be the equivalent of a Platoon leader in Human terms. Regular Brain Bugs do not trouble themselves with the infantry-level Bugs, but can communicate with the minor Brains in the infantry Bug groups and direct them accordingly. Minor Brains can control up to 11 other infantry Bugs at a time, but that is it. Minor Brains cannot give "pre-programmed" orders, and if a minor Brain is killed, the infantry Bugs fall into disarray and attack anything within range, prefering close assault over ranged combat. Their targets are irrelevant, and may be their own forces or the enemy. Whichever is closer (and in the arc they were facing if applicable).

Large Brain Bugs are the only ones that have the equivalent of a Counter Battery Radar ability. This combined with their Command Center Control capability means that the large Brain Bug is "over capacity" in the DSII design system, but this is permissible due to the nature of the large Brain Bugs. Small Brain Bugs cannot have the Counter Battery Radar ability; they must "grow" into large Brain Bugs to develop this.

Ranged "Weapons" Systems of Bugs

While not as wide as those available to Human armies, Bug units have a variety of ranged offensive "weaponry" they employ against enemies of their Hive. The specific Bug weapons are different than those the Humans use, but their effects are very nearly the same as certain Human weapons, and therefore will be referred to in the terms of the Human weapons systems.

Most all larger-than-"infantry"-sized Bug units have built-in APSW-like to defend against the hordes of infantry"-sized Bugs that might attack them when they are out and about. The APSW is essentially directable low-level energy discharges that can fry small Bugs but leave larger units (vehicle-sized) unharmed. Even Brain Bugs have a limited APSW capability.

Some Bug units use larger weapon-type systems than APSW. As Bugs are living entitites, they do not carry seperate caches of ammunition. Rather, they use their own internal bioenergies to send discharges against enemy units. Two of these weapons systems are energy-based and are essentially identical to the HEL and the DFFG. One of the non-energy bioweapons system sends out a high-speed stream of super-dense "pellets" that are created within the Bug entity which employs this offensive system, and it is akin to the MDC. Another non-energy bioweapon system that is a more recent development among Bugs (still pre-Human encounter) is the SLAM system, where the SLAM Bug (Agrom) fires out hundreds of explosive pellets the Bug had produced before the combat engagement. This is very draining on the Bug, both to produce the thousands of pellets for a combat engagement, and to fire them, so SLAM Bug units typically travel much slower than most other Bug units.

There are Artillery Bug units as well. Bug artillery units do not have a separate "ammo carrier" Bug to resupply them. They generate their own ammo from within, and once their cupply has been exhausted, they must feed for a while then spend some time regenerating the energies (or non-energy biomass) that they sxpel from their bodies for artillery attacks. Artillery Bugs can carry a number of volleys equal to their Size Class plus 1. Thus a Size Class 3 artillery Bug could fire four salvos before being exhausted.

There are only certain types of bio-munitions artillery Bugs may fire: HEf/MAK (plasma discharges), Smoke (a bio-agent that acts the same), and Biochem (fairly lethal against other Bugs, as they have no capability to "button up" or take appropriate countermeasures).

Lighter artillery Bugs are more general in their bio-munitions, whereas larger artillery Bugs are more specialized. Thus a light arty Bug might have a range of bio-munitions from HEF/MAK, Smoke, and Biochem, but a large artillery Bug might have exclusively HEF/MAK plasma bombs.

Bug Defensive Systems

Most all Bugs have some sort of chitinous armor, formed by layers of plates. This plate layering gives the Bug chitin an ablative quality, so all Bug armor is considered ablative.

All Bugs "vehicles" generate a disruptive electromagnetic field that is similar to an active ECM suite. Usuallyl this is powerful enough to be considered "Enhanced", but some Bugs generate stronger or weaker fields. Infantry Bugs do not generate an electromagnetic field strong enough to be taken into consideration at this scale.

Bug Movement Capability

Bugs have a variety of moving about. Most Bugs use thousands of cilia "feet" to move, which is equivalent to Tracked (Slow, Medium, Fast) of Human vehicles. A few Bugs have VTOL capability, and a very small subset of Bugs have Walker capability. There are aerospace flying Bugs, and their movement is pretty equivalent to those of Human aerospace units.

Bug Confidence and "Under Fire"

In general Bug units do not suffer from Confidence checks. However, Brain Bug are affected by them, and by extension, any Bugs they are controlling directly are affected as well (the "pre-programmed" Bugs not under direct control are not affected by Confidence checks; they continue to perform whatever task they were assigned until either the task is done or they are all killed). If a Brain Bug fails a Confidence check, whatever result that is applied to the Brain Bug is also applied to all units that the Brain Bug is currently controlling. The Brain Bug may release units from control at this point, but the units that are released remain at whatever Confidence Level the Brain Bug had fallen to prior to release. Note: if a Brain Bug falls into a Broken or Routed state, all Bugs it was controlling are immediately released and are considered directionless. The Brain Bug may not attempt to Rally, and must escape as best as possible from the combat zone.

Bugs that are "pre-programmed" do not suffer from being "under fire", even if an element of a group is damaged or killed. The rest continue on with whatever task they were assgined until it is done or they are all killed.

Bugs that are under direct control of a Brain also do not suffer from being "under fire". They continue onward, single-minded under the direction of the Brain Bug.

Bug Quality and Leadership Levels

All Bugs are considered Regular troops. Unless they are autonomous, their leadership rating is based on the associated Brain Bug. Autonomous Bugs have their own Leadership rating.

Bug Squads/Platoons

Brain Bugs typically operate individually, but other Bugs operate in groups, which range from 1 to Many, where "Many" can be variable. But for simplicity's sake, Bug "vehicles" should probably not operate in groups larger than 3-4.

This means a Tetran Brain Bug can directly control up to up to two groups of 4 Bugs, and Homon Brain Bugs can control up to 4 groups of 4, or 5 groups of 3 Bugs.

Bug Unit Stats