Wednesday, July 6, 2016

WWII Rules: as played in last two posts

Psst, hey buddy...want to play quick, exciting, WWII battles to a conclusion in an hour? Read on!


WWII RULES!!


Well, here they are in all their glory. Obviously, there's more advanced rules coming regarding how to express technical variation on the table. Those who know anything could surely guess that I wasn't only going to play with popular medium tanks of the war only, right!?  While these are inspired by the NT approach in "One-Hour Wargames", they are very much chromed so that players are forced to make decisions that seem realistic for a company / battalion commander, while the rest is left to the dice. There's still plenty of control by us 1000-foot generals, but the diced movement and target priority rules suppress the more egregious offenses of "gameyness". 

This approach, and using the 30 scenarios in NT's rules give the game a strong "mission-oriented" feel.  Accomplishing the mission with the resources at hand, while opposed by the enemy, is more on the player's mind than charts, modifiers and a lengthy rulebook. Hopefully, the intent of the rules will be realized and players will be able to play some WWII games that are interesting, challenging, and fun, but have great feel for the period.

So without further ado...


ONE-HOUR WARGAMES: WWII

GAME CONVENTIONS
• Dice are standard six-sided, written D6 [roll 1 die] or 2D6 [roll 2 dice add results], D6+2 [roll D6 add 2], etc. If written D3, then it is a D6 modified identically, but the final modified value of the roll is: <1=0, 1-2=1, 3-4=2, 5-6=3, 7-8=4 .  Round up if the die was even, round down if the die was odd.
• A Turn is about 10 minutes, but may represent 5 to 15 minutes of Actions - or inaction!
• Groundscale is about 1”=40m [or yards].  This makes 12” about 500m.
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 do have contours and 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 or posture where natural or man-made features give little solid cover but obscure sight lines, e.g. in a woods/town or laying smoke, etc. This limits accurate spotting and shooting.
Hits.  Casualties, damage, ammo, and fatigue are expressed by Hits.  A Unit with 2 Hits is -1 to its Fire: at 4 Hits it is -2 and 2 Hits become permanent [use a red die].  At 7+ Hits a Unit is 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.  Units represent common types, with average training and some combat experience. For Advanced Rules, Units are also characterized as Hard or Soft targets.  Hard means Armor or concrete protection like tanks or bunkers; small arms and shrapnel don’t affect them. By contrast, all Fire affects Soft targets.  A platoon’s teams move and fire as it suits them, but only actions with noticeable results are gamed. Some of the results of these threats are seen in an opponent’s low rolls.
      i.    Tank [Hard] Units are medium tanks: Sherman, Cromwell, Mk IV, and T-34 with 2+ MGs. 
     ii.    Infantry [Soft] 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 [Soft] Units represent specialized medium guns of 57mm, 6pdr, or 75mm with rates of fire and ammunition types 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 [Soft] Units are 3”/75mm/82mm mortars or light field guns common to infantry battalions.  They have an MG to fight infantry, and some LAW or AT rounds [if field guns] to fight tanks.
Three Bases of guns, infantry or vehicles make a Unit.  All face the same direction and a visibly unique base/vehicle indicates the Front and Fire Arc; the two other bases must be parallel or behind it.  Tanks keep 2” between bases, others 1”.  Aside from this, bases/vehicles are free to move in relation to each other.

Fire Types & Line of Sight
Direct Fire traces LoS mutually to/from a full Base edge of two Firing and two Target Unit Bases.
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 the full Base edge of its Unique Base to the full Base edges of two Target Unit Bases.
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 entirely within Area terrain, e.g. town, wood, reduce mutual LoS distance between Units to under 4”.  If only lining the edge, LoS is unaffected but the Unit counts as Concealed.
·         Units Dug-in or Concealed may only have LoS traced to them at 12” or less if marked “Ready”. Concealed are those behind smoke/dust, in Area Terrain, e.g. towns, woods, etc.

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. Ready, Rally and & End Step                     3. Ready, Rally and & 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:  separated due to slow response time, but targets freely.
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 Actions 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 may perform Fire Actions with his Units marked “Ready” after any Phasing Unit has performed an Action. They do so with a “-1” penalty then the Unit is no longer Ready.

A) FIRING ACTIONS. Roll D3 to inflict Hits on Target Unit, apply modifiers for Hits, chart, terrain & range.
·         Ranges. Measure between the closest Bases closest points.  Units have a 2” Close Range and a 12” Effective Range.  ATGs and Tanks also have a 24” Long Range.
·         Firing to Front or Flank. Units Fire 360°.  Their Front is measured 180° off the unique Base’s front edge.  If the measured Range line between Units is behind a Unit’s Front, the Unit is Firing to its Flank and is penalized, or is taking fire upon its Flank and suffers additional Hits.
·         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.
·         Target Priorities.  Mortars may target freely; other Units prioritize Targets by Range: Close first, then Effective, then Long. Within Ranges, however, they may target freely unless an identical Target Unit type is closer, e.g. Tank/Tank, Infantry/Infantry; then they must target the closer Unit of the two.

Roll D3: -1 for 2+ Hits or -2 for 4+ Hits, then apply modifiers below, left to right:
  Target Unit
Firing unit
Infantry
[soft]
Mortar
[soft]
ATG
[soft]
Tank
[hard]
Firing Ready
Firing to the Rear
Firing at Rear, Marching
Close / Long Range
Vs.
Concealed
Vs. Crack / Unrealiable
Infantry
-
-
-
-2
-1
-1
+2
+3 / -3
-1 ea.
-1 / +1
Mortar
+2
-
+2
-2
na
na
na
na
-1 ea.
-1 / +1
ATG
-2
-2
-2
+2
-1
-1
+2
+3 / -3
-1 ea.
-1 / +1
Tank
-
-
-
+2
-1
-1
+2
+3 / -3
-1 ea.
-1 / +1
Terrain Modifiers. Apply the following benefits for the Target’s situation:
a.            Woods. Units in Area, in / through Smoke or Dust gain Concealed for each instance.
b.            Cover. Units in towns or Dug-in halve Hits against them.
c.            Hillcrests. Tank Units halve Hits against them if they’re behind a hill crest line except from Mortars.
If the modified number is less than ‘1’, no Hits are scored. Mark the firing Unit with white cotton.
Remove Target Units with 7+ Hits, otherwise add the Hits, using a Red die if it ever passed 4 Hits. 
B) MOVEMENT ACTIONS
Summary. The Phasing player picks a Unit, rolls the die and applies any bonus / penalty, then moves any portion of it and marks the Unit “Moved” [e.g. a dust cloud].  Each Base may move up to the total amount rolled and turn freely on their center.  By rolling the dice, the Unit counts as moving [losing Ready or Dug-in status, etc].  Tactical move distances assume precautions against enemy observation and fire; Marching Units are committed to speed over safety – mark them with a second dust cloud as there’s a bonus for shooting at them.

Roll the D6 indicated below, add any bonus and move any portion of the total.
Unit Type
Tactical
Threatened, <2”
Dug-in
Road or Marching
ATG, Mortar
1” + D6
na
-2”
x2
Infantry
3” + D6
-2”
-2”
x2
Tank
6” + D6
-2”
-2”
x2

Terrain. Units are affected by terrain as follows:
a)    Woods, Rocks. Area terrain, provides Concealment, only Infantry move through.
b)    Brush, cornfields. Area Terrain, provides Concealment for all Units but Tanks.
c)    Towns. Area terrain, provides Concealment , only Infantry may end its move within a town.
d)    Rivers, Marsh, Lakes. 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. 
Marching Units do so only in open terrain; they may use roads but may never be Threatened.
Turning is Movement. Bases turn freely on center but all must end facing one direction, Unique base foremost. If a Unit only turns in place, the Unique base may be in the back; swap it with foremost base.
Interpenetration  is allowed, but only through friendly Units only if the Acting Unit can completely clear it.
Dug-in Units subtract 2” from their movement and are no longer Dug-in after they roll Move dice to abandon their positions.  This reflects the difficulty of gathering troops together after they’re fully positioned.
Threatened Units have an enemy base within 2” of any of their bases.  ATGs and Mortars may not move when Threatened; Tank and Infantry Units lose 2” 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. Remove 1-3 Hits by rolling a D3 if in Cover or a Tank, D3-2 if neither. Crack Units get a +1 and Unreliable Units a -1 to the die. This is a major effort to reorganize, resupply, and repair, OR,
Ready. Infantry, Tanks or ATGs may become “Ready”.  This allows them to take a Fire Action during the opponent’s Actions Step after any Phasing Unit has acted.  They lose Ready status by Firing or Moving; they may Dig-in or Rally. They may only be seen at <12” if Concealed.  The Unit is waiting to ambush enemy Units moving into sight; if none appear, they improve their position and prepare. OR,
Dig-in.  This means they halve Hits against them and count as in Cover for Rallying. Other Dug-in Units and friendly Tanks may fire through them.  If also Ready, a LoS cannot be traced to them over 12”. They’ve gained cover and coordinated their position with friendly Units to minimize fratricide. 

Advanced Rules
Unit Quality. This is characterized as Crack, Reliable and Unreliable. Crack get a ‘1’ benefit when Fired upon and when Rallying while Unreliable get a ‘1’ penalty. The Fire chart and Rally rule show these in amber.


More advanced rules are coming…

Feedback will be welcomed. I regret I haven't figured out how to put a doc up here at the Blog, but I may get that explained to me and then you won't have to deal with the formatting problems from my cut'n paste into the post!

2 comments:

  1. Nice additions to One Hour Wargames.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Dale. I feel like these are "There", not just "There for now" and that only lots of play will reveal any weakness in the design at this point. The math was very informed by some of the others, and that process is in preceding posts.

    What's left now are the special rules and such, and how to organize them. I'm thinking of going with a 2-tiered system that leans into NT's thought on only presenting significant battle-affecting details, which is why all his OHW rules are either +2 or -2, a big difference on a D6. So what I understand from that is that only something that has a big effect is going to be in his OHW rules. [that hasn't stopped me from adding in some -1 and +1 mods on certain units from time to time...].

    So my thought is I'll start with a whole pile of +2 / -2 modifications in one batch, then have the -1 / +1 mods in a second batch, and one can limit what is used as desired.

    ReplyDelete