Monday, 5 April 2010

First draft of the new 'Modern' wargames rules

First, an explanation.

When I sat down to write the first draft of my latest development of Joseph Morschauser's rules I fully intended it to use individually based figures. However I have not yet had the time or the inclination to rebase (or should that be de-base?) any of my existing 20mm troops and so I decided to go with multi-figure bases for this draft.

Secondly, I have moved away from 3-inch/75mm squares to 4-inch/100mm hexes because I wanted to use my large collection of Hexon II terrain and because I happen to think that hexes work better with the less linear warfare of the mid to late 20th century.

Thirdly, I hoped that my play-tests could be set in the 1930s as I have really begun to 'get into' that era of warfare recently as a result of my involvement in the Interbellum blog.

On to the rules ...

- o 0 o -

20th CENTURY WARGAMES RULES
Developed by Bob Cordery from Joseph Morschauser's original 'Modern' period wargames rules.

PLAYING EQUIPMENT

The following equipment is needed to fight battles using these rules:
  • A battlefield and suitable terrain;
  • Two armies;
  • A battle scenario (either generated by a campaign or as a ‘one-off’ battle);
  • A pack of playing cards with fifty-two playing cards divided into two colours (Red and Black) and four suits (Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, and Spades);
  • At least two D6 dice (one for each side).
BATTLEFIELD AND TERRAIN

The Gridded Battlefield

  • Battles are fought out on a gridded battlefield marked in a grid of 4-inch/100mm hexes.
Terrain
  • Pieces of terrain that are not flat and/or open terrain (e.g. trees, buildings) must fit – whenever possible – within one hex on the battlefield.
  • The placement of a piece of terrain in a hex indicates that entire hex is filled by that type of terrain (e.g. a tree in a hex indicates that the entire hex is wooded; a building in a hex indicates that the entire hex is a built-up area).
  • Where pieces of terrain are large than an individual hex (e.g. a hill) they must be sized in multiples of hexes (e.g. two hexes, three hexes, or six hexes) and be marked in 4-inch/100mm hexes in the same way as the battlefield.
ARMIES
  • The armies used are made up of a number of Units.
  • Units can be grouped together for aesthetic purposes but are treated as separate entities during the battle.
UNITS

Types of Unit
  • There are several different categories of Unit.
  • These are:
    • Infantry;
    • Cavalry;
    • Artillery;
    • AFV;
    • Command;
    • Miscellaneous.
NB. Although data about minefields has been included under ‘Miscellaneous’ in the Unit Data section below, they are not Units as such.
Command Units
  • Command Units represent the player's alter ego on the battlefield.
  • A Command Unit may not initiate combat with enemy Units, although it can support friendly Units and may defend itself if it is attacked.
  • Before the battle begins both sides must decide how good their respective commanders are.
  • For battles that are fought as part of a campaign, a commander’s ability (or Command Value) will be determined by the events leading up to the battle.
    • If the commander is rated as ‘Good’, the commander has a Command Value of 2.
    • If the commander is rated as ‘Average’, the commander has a Command Value of 3.
    • If the commander is rated as ‘Poor’, the commander has a Command Value of 4.
  • In the case of 'one-off' battles a commander’s ability (or Command Ability) is determined by the throw of a D6 die:
    • Score is 1 or 2: Commander is 'Poor'.
    • Score is 3, 4 or 5: Commander is 'Average'.
    • Score is 6: Commander is 'Good'.
  • A commander's Command Value affects their ability to activate stands (see Turn Sequence).
  • If a Command Unit is destroyed the player can continue to activate Units but the Command Value is increased.
    • If the commander was rated as ‘Good’, the Command Value is increased to 3.
    • If the commander was rated as ‘Average’, the Command Value is increased to 4.
    • If the commander was rated as ‘Poor’, the Command Value is increased to 5.
  • The presence of a Command Unit in a hex that is adjacent to one occupied by a friendly Unit reduces that friendly Unit's Close Combat Power by 1.
Representing Units on the Battlefield
  • Units are represented by a number of model figures and equipment (e.g. a Field Gun and gun crew) mounted on a common base.
  • AFV Units are represented by a single model that may be mounted on a base.
  • Miscellaneous Units are represented by a single model or terrain marker.
Base Sizes
  • There is no set base sizes for Units, but a base must fit within the limits of a 4-inch/100mm hex.
Unit Data

Infantry Units
  • Rifle:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 4 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
  • Submachine Gun:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 2 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 4, 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
  • Machine Gun:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 4 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 4, 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
  • Antitank Rocket:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 2 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
  • Mortar:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 4 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
  • Engineer:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 4 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
Cavalry Units
  • Rifle:
    • Can move 3 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 4 hexes but may only fire when dismounted.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
Artillery Units
  • Antitank Gun:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 6 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 5.
  • Field Gun:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 9 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 5.
  • Field Howitzer:
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 6 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 5.
AFV Units
  • Tank:
    • Can move 4 hexes on roads and 2 hexes off roads.
    • Weapon range is 6 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
  • Armoured Car (Armed with a Machine Gun):
    • Can move 6 hexes on roads and 2 hexes off roads.
    • Weapon range is 4 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 4, 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 5.
  • Self-propelled Gun:
    • Can move 4 hexes on roads and 2 hexes off roads.
    • Weapon range depends upon its armament (see Artillery Units).
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
    • Close Combat factor is 3.
Command Units
  • Command:
    • Cannot initiate combat with enemy Units.
    • Can move 2 hexes.
    • Weapon range is 2 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 4, 5 or 6.
    • Reduces the Close Combat factor of any friendly Unit in adjacent hex by 1.
Miscellaneous
  • Pillbox (Armed with a Machine Gun):
    • Weapon range is 4 hexes.
    • D6 score to hit is 4, 5 or 6.
  • Minefield:
    • D6 score to hit is 5 or 6.
TURN SEQUENCE

Before battle commences
  • Each side is allocated a colour – Red or Black.
  • The number of Units each side has on the battlefield at the beginning of the battle is counted.
  • This determines the number of playing cards of each colour that are placed in the Unit Activation Pack.
  • Before the first turn the Unit Activation Pack is thoroughly shuffled and placed face down where both players can see it.
During a battle
  • The top playing card in the Unit Activation Pack is turned over to reveal which side will have the opportunity to activate a Unit that is already on the battlefield or that has arrived on the edge of the battlefield.
  • The commander of that side must then see if they can activate the Unit.
  • They throw a D6.
    • If the score is equal to or more than the commander’s Command Ability, they may activate a Unit of their choice.
    • If the score is less than the commander’s Command Ability, they may not activate a Unit.
  • Once an activated Unit has completed all the actions it may take, the playing card is discarded and the next playing card in the Unit Activation pack is turned over and the procedure is repeated.
  • Once all the playing cards in the Unit Activation Pack have been turned over the turn has ended.
  • The playing cards in the Unit Activation Pack are gathered together and are shuffled again before the next turn begins.
  • If a Unit has been destroyed during the turn, a playing card of the appropriate colour is removed from the Unit Activation pack before the pack is shuffled for the next turn.
  • If a Unit has entered the battlefield during the turn, a playing card of the appropriate colour is added to the Unit Activation pack before the pack is shuffled for the next turn.
MOVEMENT
  • A Unit may pass through a hex occupied by a friendly Unit.
  • A Unit can end its activation in the same hex as another Unit as long as there is sufficient room in the hex to allow this to occur.
  • Machine Gun, Mortar, and Artillery Units may not move and then fire or fire and then move during the same activation; they may either fire or move.
  • Changing the direction a Unit is facing in order that it can defend itself from a Close Combat attack does not count as movement.
  • A Unit can change its direction any number of times during its movement.
  • A Unit can be moved all or part of its movement distance once it is activated, but cannot be moved again during the same activation (i.e. If a Unit has moved only part of its movement distance during an activation, it cannot be moved the rest of its movement distance later in the same activation).
  • A Unit cannot move through a hex that is adjacent to a hex occupied by an enemy Unit.
  • If a Unit moves into a hex that is adjacent to a hex occupied by an enemy Unit it must:
    • Stop in that hex;
    • Face the enemy Unit;
    • Move no further during that activation;
    • Fire at the enemy Unit if it that is permitted and it has not fired before moving, and
    • Engage in Close Combat if that is permitted.
  • If a Unit moves into a hex that is adjacent to two or more hexes occupied by enemy Units, it must choose which enemy Unit to face and engage in Close Combat.
  • If a Unit is activated and it is already in a hex that is adjacent to a hex occupied by an enemy Unit it can:
    • Break contact with the enemy Unit by moving into a hex that is not adjacent to a hex occupied by an enemy Unit or
    • Remain in contact with the enemy Unit and behave as if it had just moved into a hex that is adjacent to a hex occupied by an enemy Unit (i.e. follow the procedure laid down above).
FIRE COMBAT

General Rules

  • Each Unit can only fire once during each activation, and all of that fire must be directed at the same target.
  • Machine Gun, Mortar, and Artillery Units may not move and then fire or fire and then move during the same activation; they may either fire or move.
  • Fire Combat can take place before or after a Unit has moved.
  • Fire Combat cannot take place after the Unit has engaged in Close Combat.
  • The effects of different weapon types are as follows:
    • Rifle fire, Submachine Gun fire, and Machine Gun fire can only destroy Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery Units.
    • Artillery fire (including Mortars and all forms of Artillery), Tank fire, and Antitank Rocket fire can destroy all types of Units.
  • With the exception of Tank and Armoured Car Units and Pillboxes, Units have a 120-degree arc of fire forwards.
  • Tank and Armoured Car Units and Pillboxes have a 360-degree arc of fire.
  • With the exception of Mortar and Howitzer Units, Units can only fire at enemy Units that are visible and in direct line-of-sight.
  • Mortar and Howitzer Units can fire over other Units, trees, hills, etc., and hit enemy Units behind these obstacles.
  • Direct line-of-sight is an imaginary, straight line from the centre of a hex to the centre of another hex.
Resolving Fire Combat
  • To determine if Fire Combat has been effective, the firing side throws a D6 die for the Unit that is firing and compares the result with the relevant section in the Unit Data section shown above.
  • To determine the effect of a hit on a Unit, the side whose Unit has been hit throws a D6 die:
    • If the target is in the open, a die score of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 results in the Unit being destroyed.
    • If the target is in soft cover (e.g. woods), a die score of 1, 2, 3, or 4 results in the Unit being destroyed.
    • If the target is in hard cover (e.g. entrenchments), a die score of 1, 2, or 3 results in the Unit being destroyed.
CLOSE COMBAT

General Rules

  • If opposing Units are in adjacent hexes they are in Close Combat Range.
  • Opposing Units in Close Combat Range must engage in Close Combat.
  • A Unit cannot move past an enemy Unit within Close Combat Range without engaging in Close Combat.
  • If a Unit is blocked part way through its movement by a Close Combat situation, it cannot move further.
  • A Command Unit may not initiate a Close Combat but may defend itself if attacked.
  • The presence of a Command Unit in a hex that is adjacent to one occupied by a friendly Unit reduces that friendly Unit's Close Combat Power by 1.
  • Close Combat is conducted at the end of an activation; it can never take place at any other point during an activation.
Resolving Close Combat
  • The Unit that is initiating the Close Combat is the Attacker; the Unit they are attacking is the Defender.
  • The Attacker and Defender both roll a D6 die for their Unit.
  • The results of each die rolled are then assessed:
    • If an Attacker’s die roll is greater than or equal to its Close Combat Power, the Defender's Unit is destroyed.
    • If a Defender’s die roll is greater than or equal to its Close Combat Power, the Attacker's Unit is destroyed.
    • If one Unit is destroyed, the surviving Unit has won the Close Combat.
    • If neither Unit is destroyed, the Close Combat ends as a draw.
    • If both Units are destroyed, the Close Combat has resulted in mutual annihilation.
SPECIAL RULES

Roads

  • Except where shown above, roads do not increase the maximum distance a Unit may move.
  • A Unit must remain on the road for its entire movement during a turn if it uses the ‘on roads’ movement distance.
Hills
  • 1 point is temporarily added to the Close Combat Power used by a Unit that is in Close Combat with an enemy Unit that is uphill from it.
  • A Unit uses 1 additional hex of movement to cross a hill contour.
Rivers
  • When crossing a river at a ford, a Unit moves into the river during activation A and stops; it can move up to it maximum movement distance out of the river during activation B.
  • A Unit that is in a river can fire during its turn.
  • 1 point is temporarily added to the Close Combat Power used by a Unit that is in Close Combat with an enemy Unit positioned on the bank of the river it is crossing.
Woods & Built-up Areas
  • Only Infantry and Cavalry Units can move through woods or built-up areas off road; all other Units must move on roads if passing through woods or built-up areas.
  • Mortar and Field Howitzer Units that are in woods or built-up areas can fire out of the woods or built-up areas at an enemy Unit.
  • All other Units that are in woods can only fire out of the woods or built-up areas at an enemy Unit if the firing Unit is no more than 1 hex into the wood or built-up areas.
  • An enemy Unit cannot see a Unit that is in a wood or built-up areas Unit unless the enemy Unit comes within 3 hexes of the Unit that is in the wood or built-up areas and throws a D6 die that scores a 4, 5, or 6.
Minefields
  • An Engineer Unit can lay a minefield that fills a hex by remaining next to the hex for 3 turns.
  • An Engineer Unit can remove a minefield that fills a hex by remaining next to the hex for 5 turns.
  • A Unit may move through a minefield without stopping but must throw a D6 die when it passes through the minefield; a score of 4, 5, or 6 destroys the Unit as it passes through the minefield.
Barbed Wire
  • A Unit can lay a 100mm length of barbed wire in a hex by remaining in the hex for 1 turn.
  • A Unit can remove a 100mm length of barbed wire in a hex by remaining in the hex for 1 turn.
  • Tank and Self-propelled Gun Units can move through barbed wire without stopping.
  • All other Units must stop and may remove the barbed wire during their next activation or stop and not resume their movement until their next activation.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    Looks good and I will look forward to giving them a spin. I am sure I could persuade at least one of the SEEMS fraternity To give me a game and when I do I will of course report back.

    All the best,

    Ogre

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Bob,

    The rules look good.

    I'm sure you will be much happier with hexes. I've been waiting for you to change over! You're Hexon terrain is perfect and looks great.

    On to the games!

    Jim
    Green with envy over your Hexon stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ogrefencer,

    I am pleased with the way they turned out in the end. A simple set of mechanisms that seem to work together; what more could one ask for!

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. With a bit of luck a PDF version of the rules will be available later this week.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jim,

    Thanks for the comments!

    I have been hankering to get my Hexon II terrain out of its storage boxes for some time, and now I have the perfect excuse!

    As you say, on to the games!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tradgardmastare,

    Thanks. I hope to give the rules a tryout later this week, and will write a blog entry about how well - or badly - they work.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  6. I look forward to a battle report, Bob!

    ReplyDelete
  7. DestoFante,

    I look forward to writing it!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete