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Civilians in the Combat Zone
by René Raap

The Combat Zone is not all about fighting, people actually do live there...

Most of the time they stay safely inside, but sometimes they have to go out for an errand.

Always at the wrong time.

Wouldn't it be great to add some civilians to your games of Combat Zone? They would create interesting situations: running into lines of fire, blocking areas and generally being a nuissance to everyone involved.

Regular forces wouldn't be allowed to shoot at them unless in the direst of situations, while gangers would take full advantage of innocent bystanders, hiding behind them or shooting them if they are in the way.

To add civilians at the start of the game each player rolls a d6, add the scores to determine the number of civilians. Reroll every '1'. Next take it in turns to place one civilian within 18" of the centre of the board. The player who rolled the highest must place the first civilian.

In case of a tie both players roll another d6, but do not add additional civilians for these scores.

Civilians may not be placed within 3" of each other. If you find that this results in too few civilians, you could agree on a certain minimum of civilians plus the 2d6.

After rolling for initiative players may each move two civilians, with the player starting the turn going last. Civilians may be moved up to 20cm, normally they will not charge any fighters or end their movement within 5 cm of them.

You can instead use the EM4's orientation randomizer to choose speed and direction for each civilian. (3cm x number rolled)

Civilians block line of sight with their entire base. For combat and shooting purposes civilians count as greens with a toughness of 7.

If a civilian survives being shot at:

If they are over 20cm away from the shooter, they will immediately move up to 20 cm to put as much cover as possible between them and the shooter and then they will 'keep down'.

If they are within 20cm of the shooter, roll a D6.
1-2The civilian is unarmed and will flee as above.
3-4The civilian gets pissed off and will assault his attacker immediately. While charging he wil pick up something to hit his target with, so the civilian will count as armed with a club.
5-4The civilian is carrying heat and will take a shot at his attacker. He/she is carrying a heavy pistol and will fire two shots, needing 6's to hit.

Armed civilians that survive an attack will become part of the opponents forces from the next turn onwards. They may be activated like a normal unit, but do not generate any initiative dice.

Optional rules:

Dispersing the civvies: Regular forces may try to disperse civilians as soon as they come within 10 cm of them. To do this a trooper must spend 1 AP calling out to the civvie to find some place to hide for the duration of the skirmish.

Roll 2d6: an 8+ means a succes, remove the civilian from the board. Because rank is imposing subleaders may add +1 to this roll, leaders +2.

Human shields: Irregular forces are not held back by any concern for casualties amongst the civilian population. They may target and attack the civilians at leisure. They may even use them as cover.

If a ganger is touching the base of a civilian he may shoot from behind him.

In this case regular forces may still target the ganger, but they will suffer an additional -1 to hit and will hit the civilian on a result of the score they needed to hit minus -1 or -2.

Example: a veteran needing a 5 to hit, would need a 6 to hit when targetting a ganger who is using a civilian as a shield. If the trooper scores a 4 or 5 he will have hit the civilian.

Gangers of course may fire past civilians blocking their targets at any time, suffering the same penalties to hit.

NOTE: Civilians who are 'fired past' count as having been targeted, and react as if they had been the target. (Charging or shooting at the attacket, etc)

Exception: A 'Human Shield' in base-to-base contact counts that person as the attacker on a roll of 1-4.

Since these rules might favour one side over the other they are optional and I recommend you discuss with you opponent if you are going to use them or not before starting the game.

0080 Thug and 0085 Killer Bimbo. Magnum Mabel

When I came up with this idea, I browsed through EM4's catalogue. First up were the 0036 Female Reporter and her 0037 Cameraman, definitely civvies.

They also make for a nice objective for some side to have to rescue. Imagine them stranded in the middle of a bad neighborhood surrounded by thugs and you've got a scenario already.

I made a real effort to make these figures look as unmilitary as possible.

For the reporter I went with a dark skin, purple outfit and golden jewelry to give her a classy look.

0037 CameramanThe cameramen got light paints with a bright shirt and a no-nonsense bodywarmer (I went for green, can't seem to shake off the habit I guess).

The third civvie would be 0080 Thug. Although he's not that unarmed, actually. I went for a plain look with a jeans kinda paints and a white shirt.

So he wouldn't feel lonely, I paired him with 0085 Magnum Mabel. For all her charms and skimpy clothing, I must say, that gun still draws the eye!

0070 Female Exotic Three civvies aren't nearly enough, so I browsed through the catalogue some more and came up with an idea. Miniatures holding a pistol can be easily converted into smoking civilians.

I cut the pistol from the 0070 Female Exotic, made a recess between the upper fingers and drilled a small hole between them to inserte a small piece of iron for a cigarette.

I gave her a bright orange shirt with a flat beige paints. The cigarette was painted white with a dark grey tip and a orange line in between. I really like the effect.

I also came across the civilians of the Spacelords range and saw some possibilities. 3706c Civilian, carrying documents and 3706e Civilian, in street wear could be modern people with the right paintjob.

I imagined the one with the documents being a rapper in flashy trainers wearing bling bling and studying his next rap. Purple with white lining on the side and white details it would be and gold for the bling offcourse.

For the other I went for an older punker look, since he had lots of detailing that would look good when painted as metal.

I gave him a drybrush with dark grey, picked out the details with metal and finally painted some signs and text on his jacket.

Well, that's all for now. I'll get back to painting some more civvies and working on other ideas.