The battlefield of the 23rd century is far different from the battlefields of the past. Though battles are fought with bullets and energy weapons, there is an underlying threat of those systems being hacked and neutralized, leaving the soldiers defenseless in the field.
Hackers are equipped with an Integrated Comms Encrypted Phased Interlock Key (ICE PICK). This is used to sabotage the networks that these systems use to function.
Everything and everyone is hackable. Each model has three different sets of hackable systems – Targeting, Comms, and Mobility. A Hacker must choose which system they want to target prior to rolling the dice.
When a model equipped with an ICE PICK is within 12” of an enemy model, they can spend an Action Point (AP) and make a Willpower (WP) check, with the Target Number (TN) being the Firewall Value of the Target (Determined by their Armour). A lightly armoured target is extremely difficult to hack, where as Power Armour and SquIDs are far easier to hack.
Each success reduces the affected Attributes by 1 for an entire turn. Once the turn is over, the hacking effect is cleared. Hacking effects are not cumulative, but a more powerful hacking effect will replace a less powerful effect.
Line of Sight is not a requirement for executing a hacking attempt against a target, though if it is attempted in Close Combat, it provokes a Free Strike.
Systems – There are three systems that can be hacked by a model using an ICE PICK. Each system monitors two attributes that are affected when a system is hacked.
Targeting – A model’s targeting systems govern the model’s ability to acquire targets and execute attacks against them. A model’s Targeting System governs their Attack (ATT) and Marksmanship (MRK) Attributes. Hacking attacks against a model’s Targeting System reduce those attributes by the amount of successes scored in the hacking attempt.
Comms – Hacking a model’s Communication Systems (Comms) is devastating, as it cripples their ability to be effective on the field. A model’s Communication Systems governs their Initiative Value (IV) and Willpower (WP). Hacking attacks against a model’s Comms reduce those two attributes by the amount of successes scored in the hacking attempt.
Mobility – A model’s mobility systems affects their ability to move or defend themselves. A model’s Mobility Systems governs their Movement (MOV) and Defense (DEF) Attributes. Hacking attacks against a model’s Mobility Systems reduce those two attributes by the amount of successes scored in the hacking attempt.
White Hat Hackers are nothing new, and are a boon on the battlefield when it comes to defending the most technologically advanced troops.
A model within 12” of a model being affected by an enemy hacker can attempt to Counter Hack. To Counter Hack, a model must spend an Action Point, choose a System that has been affected by an enemy hacker, and make a Willpower (WP) test (TN 4). For each success, one point is restored to the affected Attributes.
It is of importance to note that attributes cannot be increased past their original values in this fashion – only to their original value.
There are a variety of programs that hackers have access to that they can execute on a model to give it an edge on the battlefield. There are four different programs that hackers have access. A model can only have one program running on them at once, and the Hacker must stay within 12” of that model.
Overclock – A hacker using the Overclock ability allows a model’s tech to move more smoothly and respond faster to commands. The Hacker must target a model within 12” and make a Willpower (WP) roll (TN 6). For each success, that model is granted one additional Action Point to their Pool that turn. These additional Action Points (AP) can be held onto to be used in the opposing player’s turn as Interrupts.
Enhanced Targeting – This program enhances and highlights enemies on the battlefield, making them far easier to see and target. The Hacker must target a model within 12” and make a Willpower (WP) roll (TN 6). For each success, the target of this ability gains +1 to their Marksmanship (MRK) Attribute. This boost only lasts for the remainder of the player’s active turn.
Scrambler – The Scrambler program enhances a model’s ability to withstand hacking attempts. A Hacker must target a model within 12” and make a Willpower (WP) roll (TN 4). For each success, the target of this program adds +1 to their Armour’s Firewall. This boost only lasts for a single turn.
Enhanced Comms – This program allows for a faster transfer of data over the battlefield. A Hacker must be within 12” of the target model, and 12” of another model (though the Hacker can be the target of this program). The Hacker then must make a Willpower (WP) roll (TN 6). Each success is 1 unused Action Point that can be taken from a model and transferred to another model within 12”.