Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fast-Play WWII Rules, EDIT: v.8 even better!



In my previous post reviewing and considering the rules, posted here:
NT WWII Rules Review
I came up with the below changes I was considering.
  1. ATGs and Mortars move < Infantry, can enter edge of terrain if not move thru.
  2. Long range for Infantry, ATGs, Tanks = 24" with a -2 Hit modifier.
  3. Infantry and Tanks in base contact with any other Unit, +2 Hit bonus.
  4. I think there should be some declining effectiveness with Hits taken, and
  5. ...an opportunity to rally them off somehow.
  6. Smoke!  A useful and fairly basic tactic, also simulating the dust and debris clouds of a barrage.  There are Barrage rules in the WWI 1HW rules...
I've now played a few times with the Rules As Written, or RAW, and am now revisiting these thoughts.  After no less than seven [7!] drafts and several playtests and much revision, I ended up with an hour-long game that I was satisfied with.  This, it should be emphasized, was especially important with visiting and re-visiting what NOT to put in!  In the end, these are the big things that are in this v.7 of my 1HW WII rules:

  1. wrote rules for using 2-3 bases FoW style.  That's what my stuff is based for!
  2. added Dug-in for Units.  If you don't move/fire, you can dig in, taking 1/2 Hits.  In effect it is like woods / town but you can do it anywhere.
  3. Unit Fire is -1 at 5 Hits, -2 at 10 Hits.
  4. diced movement rather than fixed move distances - lots of friction from simple change.
  5. Turn sequence is Mortar Fire, Actions [move or shoot], Routs/Rallies/End.
  6. added rallying - if you do nothing else, you roll off a dice worth of Hits at the turn end.
  7. I switched to average dice, "D5" or 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5 on a 6-sided dice, for all rolls.  Easy to switch back for less predictability!
  8. Units that do not take an action, rally or dig-in, may go "Ready" instead.  This allows them to shoot in the opposing Action phase after any phasing unit has acted.  In effect, it is an overwatch.
  9. I tweaked the shooting table a little.
  10. I added Front and Rear to all Units, and they're penalized shooting out of their front arc or being shot at out of their front arc.
  11. I did add long range fire at 24" for ATGs and Tanks, it is 1/2 effect.
  12. I added a Close Range of 2", where Fire is doubled.  Related note, I added a -4" penalty to any movement within 2" of any enemy Unit.  Sort of a ZoC that slows.
Below are the rules as I played them, plus a few more changes leading me to re-designate them v. 8 as of Nov 3, 2015.  Latest Edits:
10/10/15 = target priority rule, clarified flank shooting
10/11/15 = clarified mortar shooting, added +1/2/3 to movement dice.
11/03/15 = clarified cover bonus, changed all moves +2", ATGs enter woods edge.
As usual, the WORD formatting didn't carry over well.  Lengthier explanations - AKA Designer's Notes - may come later.  The Batrep is next post!  If you email me, I can send you the WORD doc.  There may be a way to download it if I load it, someone will have to tell me how!

ONE-HOUR WARGAMES: WWII

GAME CONVENTIONS
• Dice used are standard six-sided [less predictable] or average [more predictable].  Whichever is chosen is used for all dice rolls throughout the game and abbreviated D6 or D5 respectively.
• A Turn is about 10 minutes, but may represent 5 to 15 minutes of Actions. Or inaction!
• Groundscale is about 1”=50m [or yards].  This makes 12” about 600m.
Measuring distance, and LoS between Units, may be done at any time.
• Terrain represents significant features of military impact.  Flat table spaces without table terrain still have scattered terrain features soldiers use for limited cover and/or concealment.
Dug-in includes foxholes, shallow trenches and gun pits with camouflage to conceal a Unit.  It assumes efforts to site vehicles and guns effectively and to establish safe fire lanes with broad coverage.  Any Unit except a Tank may take advantage of cover and concealment and “Dig-in”.
• Concealed Units are in a position with a bonus against Fire, whether Dug-in or in a woods/town etc.
Hits.  Casualties, damage, ammo, and fatigue are expressed by Hits.  A Unit with 5 Hits is -1 to its Fire: at 10 Hits it is -2 and five Hits become permanent [mark them red]. At 15+ Hits a Unit is destroyed and removed.
• Units are a platoon of about 3 tanks or guns, or 40 infantry with attached LAW/HMG.  Unit types are: Infantry, Mortar, Anti-Tank Gun [ATG], and Tank.  All Units represent common ones of their type, with game characteristics that assume average training and some combat experience.
      i.    Tank Units are medium tanks: Sherman, Mk IV, Cromwell and T-34 with 2+ MGs. 
     ii.    Infantry Units have a proper mix of small arms, snipers MGs, and anti-tank weapons such as grenades, mines, rockets, and light ATGs [2pdr, 37mm, 47mm guns].  Therefore, the net fighting power is derived from about 40 infantry plus their crewed support weapons. 
    iii.    ATG Units represent specialized medium guns of 57mm, 6pdr, or 75mm with rates of fire and ammunition resulting in net equal performance against medium tanks over the course of several shots.  They also have some HE rounds and a crewed MG to fight infantry. 
   iv.    Mortar Units are 3”/75mm/82mm mortars or light field guns common to infantry battalions.  They have an MG to fight infantry, and some AT rounds or LAW to fight tanks.
Three Bases of guns, infantry [FoW style] or vehicles make a Unit.  All face the same direction showing the Unit’s Front and Rear.  A visibly unique base/vehicle, e.g. a command Tank, measures Range for the entire Unit.  The two other bases/vehicles must be parallel or behind the unique one.  Tanks keep 2” between bases, others 1”.  Aside from this, bases/vehicles are free to move in relation to each other – there are no formations.

Fire Types & Line of Sight
Direct Fire is used by all Units to Fire at Units they can see.  The LoS is traced from two Firing Unit Bases to two different Target Unit Bases, a full Base edge to a full Base edge.
Indirect Fire is used by Mortar Units to Fire at Target Units to which it has no LoS.  A friendly Unit observes for it, tracing a LoS from its Unique Base to any two Target Unit Bases, a full Base edge to two full Base Edges.
Line of Sight [LoS] is obstructed by intervening terrain of sufficient apparent height, such as hills, woods and towns, and friendly Units that are not Dug-in.
·         Area Terrain. Units may trace a LoS across one edge of an area terrain feature, such as a town, wood or cornfield, but the total LoS is limited to 4” or less.
·         Concealed Units may only have LoS traced to them at 12” or less if marked “Ready”.

PLAY SEQUENCE

A full Turn has two player Phases of three Steps, first Attacker [Player A] then Defender [Player D]:

Phase A, Attacking Player                          Phase D, Defending Player
1. Mortar Fire Step,                                         1. Mortar Fire Step,
2. Actions Step,                                               2. Actions Step
3. Routs, Rallies & End Step                          3. Routs, Rallies & End Step

Player A starts the game with his phase, followed by Player D.  The Players continue to alternate Phases until Victory has been achieved by the end of a complete Turn of both Player Phases.

1) MORTAR FIRE STEP
Summary. After ascertaining LoS to Target Units, Phasing Mortar Units may take a Fire Action; this is their only Fire opportunity.  If they do not Fire they may Move during the Action Step.  [see “Fire” below].

2) ACTIONS STEP
Summary. The Phasing Player sequentially selects Units to perform one Action, Fire or Move.  He resolves the Action, then selects another Unit until all desired Phasing Units have performed Actions. 
Ready Units.  The Non-phasing player performs Fire Actions during this Step with his Units marked “Ready” after any Phasing Unit has performed an Action. Remove the Ready marker as the Unit is no longer “Ready”.

A) FIRING ACTIONS are resolved by rolling a D5 to inflict Hits on a Target Unit.
·         Ranges. Measure Range between Unique Bases.  Infantry, ATGs & Tanks have a 12” range and a 4” Close Range. ATGs & Tanks have a 24” Long Range.  Mortars have a 48” range and no Close Range.
·         Friendly Units may only be Direct Fired through if both are Dug-in, or the Firing Unit is a Tank and the other is Dug-in.  Dug-in Units have safe fire lanes while Tanks are high and mobile.
·         Firing to Front or Flank. Units Fire 360°.  Their Front is measured 180° off the unique Base’s front side.  If the measured Range between Units is behind a Unit’s Front, a Unit is Firing to its Flank and is penalized or is taking fire upon its Flank and suffers additional Hits.
·         Target Priorities.  Generally, Units should prioritize Fire at the closest Target Units against which they have the best modifier and least penalized shot.  All factors being equal, closest is the highest priority.  So Tanks will fire against Tanks and ATGs first – even if Infantry are closer, for example.

Roll a d5 for Hits, subtracting -1 for 5 Hits or -2 for 10 Hits, then apply modifiers below:
  Target Unit
Firing unit
Infantry
Mortar
ATG
Tank
Firing on a Rear
Firing to the Rear
Close
Range
Long
Range
Infantry
-
-2
-
-2
+2
-2
x2
na
Mortar
+2
-
+2
-2
na
na
na
na
ATG
-2
-2
-2
+2
+2
-2
x2
1/2
Tank
-
-
-
+2
+2
-2
x2
1/2
Terrain and Range Modifiers. Apply the following benefits for the Target’s situation:
a.            Cover. Units halve Hits in towns, and/or Dug-in.
b.            Woods. Units in woods halve hits except from Mortars.
c.            Hilltops. Tank Units on a hill top halve hits except from Mortars.
d.            Range. Units Fired upon at Long Range halve hits, at Close Range double Hits.
e.            Maximum defensive benefit is quartered Hits. Round fractions down.
Remove the Target Unit if it has more than 15 Hits, otherwise mark the Hits on the Target Unit.
Mark the firing Unit with white cotton.


B) MOVEMENT ACTIONS
Summary. The Phasing player picks a Unit and rolls the dice, totals them and applies any bonus or penalty amount.  He then moves any portion of it and marks the Unit “Moved” [e.g. a dust cloud].  No Base/model may move farther than the total amount rolled but they may turn freely.  By rolling the dice, the Unit counts as moving even if no distance is moved [losing Ready or Dug-in status, etc]. 

Roll the d6 indicated below, add the bonus and move any portion.
Unit Type
Movement
Threatened, <2”
Dug-in
Road
ATG, Mortar
1d5+2
na
-4”
+4”
Infantry
2d5+2
-4”
-4”
+4“
Tank
3d5+2
-4”
-4”
+4”

Terrain. Units are affected by terrain as follows:
a.    Marshland and Lakes. Impassable.
b.    Woods. Only Infantry move through, but ATGs may enter the edge, subtracting 4” from the total rolled.
c.    Towns. Only Infantry may end its move within a town
d.    Rivers. These may only be crossed via bridges or fords.
e.    Roads. Units may use a road to enter prohibited terrain, ignore penalties, and trace a LoS.  If a Unit moves entirely by road and does not Assault it may increase its movement distance by 4”.
Turning. Moving Unit Bases may turn freely but must all face the same direction at move’s end.  
Interpenetration. A Unit may only pass through a friendly Unit.  They must clear it completely, having no part of any of its bases between the stationary friendly Unit’s Bases.
Dug-in Units subtract 4” from their movement and are no longer Dug-in after they roll Move dice.
Threatened Units have an enemy base within 2” of any of their bases.  ATGs and Mortars may not move when Threatened while Tank and Infantry Units lose 4” of movement.  Soldiers didn’t like to maneuver close to the enemy, and exercised a slowing cautiousness when they even suspected the enemy was nearby.

3) RALLY & READY STEP
Phasing Units that did not take an Action during their Turn may do any one of the following:
Rally. Hits reduce a Units Fire dice by -1 for 5 Hits and -2 for 10 Hits.  Units remove Hits by Rallying. Roll a D5 and remove that many Hits if Concealed or a Tank: remove D5-2 Hits if neither.  This represents a major effort to reorganize, resupply, repair and get shirkers back into the fight. OR,
Ready. Phasing Infantry, Tanks or ATGs may be marked “Ready”.  Ready Units may take a Fire Action during the opponent’s Actions Step after any Phasing Unit has acted.  Ready Units lose Ready status by Firing or Moving; they may Dig-in or Rally.  This represents a Unit lying in wait to ambush or open fire upon enemy who move into their sights; if no threat develops, they will continue to improve their position and prepare. OR,
Dug-in.  Phasing Units that do not Fire or Move may become “Dug-in”.  This means they halve Hits against incoming Fire and count as Concealed Units for Rallying.  It also means they can shoot through friendly Dug-in Units or be fired through by Tanks.  They spent time getting cover and/or concealment, making them harder to detect and Hit.  They also coordinate their positions with friendly Units to minimize the chance of fratricide. 


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