Free Fastplay Umpire Guidelines for Operational Level Tabletop Wargaming.
|MODELLING THE GAME - HOW TO ORGANISE THE TOY SOLDIERS|
|Ground Scale, Figure Scale||2|
|PRE BATTLE ORGANISATION Order of Battle, Command, Control||4|
|MORALE AND UNIT GRADING|
|STARTING THE GAME|
|Sequence of Events||7|
|MOVEMENT Movement Rates||7|
|MOVEMENT RATES TABLE, REAL ESTATE TABLE||7|
|THE RECCE SEQUENCE|
|RECCE SEQUENCE TABLE, ENGAGEMENT TABLE||8|
|COMMAND REACTION TIMES|
|Command Reaction Times||9|
|COMMAND REACTION TABLE, TASK TIMINGS TABLE||9|
|THE COMBAT SEQUENCE|
|The Fireplan - Artillery Fire, - Air to Ground Fire, Effects of Fortifications||10-11|
|ARTILLERY EFFECT TABLE, WEAPON RANGE TABLE||11|
|Winning The Firefight||12|
|WINNING THE FIREFIGHT - TABLE 12*||13|
|Special Attack Rules||13|
|CLOSE ASSAULT TABLE||14|
|Special Assault Rules||14|
|POST COMBAT REORGANISATION||15|
|THE COMBAT SEQUENCE SUMMARY||17|
|Collection Points for Casualties and Vehicles||18|
|Units of Logistical Accounting||18|
|WEAPON AND ARMOUR CLASSIFICATION||19|
|DESIGNER'S NOTES, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS||20|
MODELLING THE GAME - HOW TO ORGANISE THE TOY SOLDIERS
For 1:76 scale models use 1:2,500 as the ground scale with 1:200 houses and aircraft. For 1:144 or 1:200 scale figures use 1:5,000 as the ground scale with 1:300 for houses and some of the larger aircraft. For 1:300 scale figures use 1:10,000 as the ground scale with 1:300 houses and aircraft, or smaller if you can obtain them. The idea is that the roofs of the houses should just hide the top of a tank model.
A Four-company German Infantry Battalion advances with Infantry Gun Support.
One vehicle Model represents 1-2 Coys, and can have a strength marker on the back to show how many fighting platoons it represents. Use a small tin plate (clippits are ideal) on which a Sasco magnetic square can be stuck, or a piece of cork into which round headed pins can be stuck, or simply paint the strength onto the back of the vehicle or its base. Platoon detachments are shown by a vehicle with a strength of one marked on the back. It is usual to represent tanks, rifle companies and artillery at Company strength, and recce, infantry heavy weapons or anti-tank guns at Platoon strength.
Infantry figures are represented by a fighting company of a stand of usually 3 figures, or by 1 figure stands representing commanders, platoons, OPs, snipers, medics etc. The minimum unit of manoeuvre is the rifle company of three figures, or platoon stands of one or two figures. If you base your figures singly for skirmish games, it is convenient to group them together as a company by blu-tacking them onto a 25-40mm base for speed of movement during play. To be ordered and self supporting, place bases in contact during movement and attacks. You can see this in the picture above and in the Orbats
PRE BATTLE ORGANISATION
Units are either TEETH ARM (Armour, Infantry, Cavalry), SUPPORTING ARM (Air, Artillery, Anti-Air, Anti-tank, Engineer) or LOGISTIC (Transport, Logistic, Maintenance, Medical, Provost).
The Order of Battle (ORBAT) must state if supporting and logistic units are UNDER COMMAND, IN DIRECT SUPPORT, or IN SUPPORT, of teeth arm units.
UNDER COMMAND: The supporting unit is commanded receives its ammo resupply from the commanding unit. No other unit has a call on the supporting unit.
IN DIRECT SUPPORT: This term usually applies to artillery. The supporting unit is allocated exclusively to the supported unit, and experiences no command reaction delay when bringing down fire - it comes in the hour that it is asked for, and immediately on pre-registered targets. The supporting unit may only support other units by order of its own superior HQ. In practice this means Div HQ for Div Arty. The supporting unit receives its ammunition from its own chain of supply, not that of the unit that it is supporting.
IN SUPPORT: The supporting unit is allocated to one or more units, and comes in the hour after the one it is asked for. All units that are allocated units in support have equal call on them. The supporting unit administers itself, as per units in direct support.
A Soviet Mortar Company in direct support, with Supply company having just delivered more Heavy mortar ammunition. Only a complete Anorak would say these two units were not in contact.
Written orders at the start of the Operation must cover Aim, Objectives. Use CRT (Command Reaction Time) when reacting to unexpected events, e.g. reinforcing, or changing axis of attack, or when releasing units with no supporting orders to act in support of subunits for attacks. See CRT Chart.
Orders must detail Command Structure, Allocation of Support and Logistic units, Location of HQs, Timings. Changes to plan must suffer COMMAND REACTION TIME (CRT) - See Command Reaction Table.
MORALE AND UNIT GRADING
A unit will take a BREAK TEST as its key level of casualties are reached in a battle. Use 1D6 and refer to the close combat table. The unit passing a break test may continue to attack if the odds are against it, or need not withdraw, or surrender depending on the circumstances. Having passed the test, the unit's resolve is judged to be firm enough to fight on to the finish (with one exception - see Tank Terror). A unit that has failed its break test is disorganised, and must reorganise in a safe place before it can fight again. A disorganised unit which is assaulted by an enemy will disperse and reform overnight at its Divisional Logistics Area (DLA), or surrender if retreat is not possible.
The attacker who fails to pass his break test may GO TO GROUND (see combat for effect of this), and engage the defender in a firefight, or withdraw to a safe distance, at his own discretion. The attack may only be pressed home if it is then reinforced with previously unengaged reserves. This may be reserve companies of the battalion, or extra artillery support for example. Note that units which cause fewer casualties than they receive from the defender in any one round must also receive reinforcements before they can press home an attack. Note that armour, and troops in APCs or on Tanks can close assault even if they do not win the firefight.
A unit may only withdraw if its line of retreat is clear, that is out of the effective fire zone of troops capable of direct fire, and if the retreaters are at least as mobile as the pursuers. Broken defenders may elect to sit tight in their position in the hope that the attacker is unable to press home his attack, but if he does, then the close assault overruns the defender who surrenders, at no further loss to the attacker.
The following is a summary of qualities that a unit possesses. These qualities appear elsewhere in the appropriate part of the rules.
Only small units trained for a special role and kept out of the battle line for that occasion qualify as elite. Thus Paras and Commandos are Veteran not Elite, but their Pathfinder units may be Elite. Brandenburgers are Elite but Fallschirmjaeger are Veteran. Unit never refuses combat, or disobeys orders and will interpret orders intelligently. Independent single figure stands are OPs or snipers. Not disorganised in defence. Can hold fire until contact zone.
As Regular, but with enough battle experience to know when to fight hard, and when to break off unfavourable attacks. Take break test at 33% casualties (3,6 OK). When disorganised and attacked, Veterans will not surrender but will withdraw or if surrounded, successfully break out in single stand groups, on 1D6(3,6)per stand.
Veteran German Infantry hold a key town.
The majority of professional infantry with some pre-war experience, and sound morale and training. Will take break test at 50% casualties suffered: use 1D6 (4-6 OK).
Drafted troops with sound basic training but moderate enthusiasm for war. With the right handling Conscripts can be upgraded to Regular and Veteran status. Test at 33% casualties for refusal to attack (5,6 OK).
MILITIA or HOME GUARD:
Volunteers with more enthusiasm than training. With the right handling, Militia can be upgraded to Regular and Veteran status. Test at 33% casualties for breaking (5,6 OK). Disorganised Militia that are attacked will always surrender.
These are Regular, Conscript or Militia troops taking part in their first battle. Test first for failure to press home attacks at the first casualty. Disorganised, unsupported, Green troops will always surrender if this is possible.
STARTING THE GAME
1. Write new Orders.
3. Decide level of attack. Preliminary bombardments. Remove Arty ammo.
5. Apply morale results if appropriate.
6. Run the close assault sequence. Check morale if casualties force it.
9. Move to next event.
For campaign map moves, allow 12 x hourly rate per day to allow for halts etc. The Advance in Contact rate is used for attacking troops who break into a position, or fight through an area forcing the defender to withdraw. The Road March move rate normally only applies to Echelon or Transport and HQ units. The lead fighting elements of a unit move at the Move to Contact rate unless moving non-tactically on roads.
|For a really fast way of doing movement - see the FAQ page||
|Lt Recce||5 kph||2kph*||10kph **|| *only against Lt recce,
otherwise as for
foot or armour
|Armoured||3kph||1kph||6kph||**Also Armour on Tk Tptr units|
|Horse Drawn Transport||-||-||2kph|
Further penalize movement for congestion etc.
|Frontages||Col Depth|| This table shows the space
that a unit occupies on the ground.
Use the lower limit in close
Terrain and the upper limit in open.
|Coy in Def||3-500m||300m|
|Bn in Def||1-2Km||1Km|
THE RECCE SEQUENCE
This sequence is used for recce and other stands coming up against a concealed enemy. The defender rolls 3 dice, a Red, a White and a Blue. ROLL THEM ALL AT ONCE. The recce can elect to look at a position likely to contain enemy, or the defender can shout STOP at a point where the recce is likely to be engaged, with any adjustment being made once the dice result is in the open. Advancing recce can only look at one area per hour. This has the effect of forcing them to adopt a slow low-risk advance, or a fast high-risk one.
To make the recce sequence run even faster in the early part of the game, consider dispensing with the recce's limit on movement, but only allow them to make ONE recce test per move. If the recce blunders into a hidden defender that it has not recced, it is ambushed and cannot shoot and scoot. (See more comment here)
RED: Does Recce sight the enemy first on the RECCE SEQUENCE table below? If the recce does not sight a concealed enemy in defence, then:
WHITE: Still using the Recce Sequence Table, does the enemy ambush the recce, or allow it to pass by unmolested without seeing the defence: Defenders choice. If the recce fails to spot the enemy, and the enemy fails to ambush, or stay hidden from the recce, then the defender opens fire:
BLUE: Check against the ENGAGEMENT TABLE to see how close they can allow the recce to come before opening fire. The defender fires and places casualties on the recce before the recce replies. Before the result is known, recce troops only can shout "SHOOT AND SCOOT", which allows them to halve their casualties received and withdraw to safety without returning effective fire or expending ammo dice. (Back to "How to Play)
|E||6||5||4||2||Y||Use 1D6 to equal or better the score|
|V||X||6||5||3||2||Y = ALWAYS|
|R||X||6||5||4||3||X = NEVER|
|Harassing Range||Effective Range||Contact Range||
Use this table when units open fire on an enemy for the first time, to see if they can hold their fire until close range.
CRT is the time taken for new information to reach the appropriate command level and be acted on.
If a single Battalion in a Division is attacked, then other Battalions from the Division can return supporting fire against the attacker in the first hour of the attack, (this would include organic battalion mortars, and artillery Regiments IN DIRECT SUPPORT with FOOs under command of the battalion being attacked), and the other Battalions can counter attack in the second hour after the start of the Enemy attack (ie next move).
The Division HQ can call for support to its Corps HQ in the first hour of the attack, so other units from the Corps could give supporting fire in the second hour of the attack if they are IN SUPPORT of the Division or UNDER COMMAND of the Corps. Batallions from another Division in the Corps could also move off to counter attack in the third hour of the Enemy attack.
If they had no such orders, it would take 1 hour for those new orders to be issued, so that counter attacks could begin in the fourth hour of the attack.
|COMMAND REACTION TABLE (Back to Content Page)|
|Div to Corps 1 Hr going up||
These times may be halved
for veteran armoured and
veteran motorised units.
|Corps to Army 2 Hrs going up||
Generals can short-circuit
the CRT by being at the
point of action.
|Army to Army Grp 2 Hrs going up||Orders are generated and take the
same amount of time to come back
down the chain of command
|Task air support (Corps)||4 Hrs|
|Task air support (Army)||8 Hrs|
|Plan major river crossing||8 Hrs|
|Establish inf bridgehead||1-3Hrs|
|Establish vehicle bridge||2-12 Hrs|
|Lay Minefield||8 Engr Coy Hrs/Km|
|Major river bridge demolition||8 Engr Pl Hrs|
|Minor river bridge demolition||1 Engr Pl Hr|
|Dig in infantry Company||6 Hrs|
|Fortify position using defence stores and engineer assistance||1 day|
1. Air can fly 1-3 sorties per day, decided at the start of a campaign or scenario.
2. Where a time range is given, roll a die, or make an umpire decision.
EFFECTS OF FORTIFICATION
FORTIFIED troops have strong defensive positions with dug in land lines, obstacles and stockpiled ammunition. They are not disorganised by air attack less than heavy bombers, or any artillery below 160mm calibre prior to the attack. Troops in defensive positions need not be in base to base contact.
DUG IN troops have had time to prepare shelters with overhead cover They are not disorganised by any artillery below 80mm. They need not be in base to base contact.
|ARTILLERY EFFECT TABLE (Back to Content Page)|
Use this table above to check the minimum calibre of artillery needed to cause disorganisation on an objective, and count as effective indirect fire.
|WEAPON RANGE TABLE (Back to Content Page)|
|Max Effective Range||Max Harassing Range|
|INF SMALL ARMS||300m||1Km|
|INF ATK (Boyes)||200m||-|
|Lt Atk GUNS||500m||1Km|
|M Atk GUNS||1Km||2Km|
|88mm Atk etc||2Km||3Km|
|Up to 47mm Tk||300m||600m|
|48 to 76.2mm Tk||500m||1Km|
|81mm Mortar||3Km||see note 2 below|
|3" Mortar||1.5K||see note 2 below|
|120mm Mortar||5Km||see note 2 below|
|105mm Arty||15Km||see note 2 below|
|150+mm Arty||18km||see note 2 below|
|200+mm Arty||20Km||see note 2 below|
1. You may wish to reduce these ranges or use other published data for specific battles.
2. For artillery used as Harassing fire - Harassing fire that "scores" causes disorganisation, but no casualties. Harassing fire only costs 1/3 of a Fire Unit.
WINNING THE FIREFIGHT
Winning the Firefight is done after the Fireplan leaves the objective. During each hour of fire each stand can fire once, Use 1D6 for each CU being fired off. Distinguish by coloured dice between Light, Medium and Heavy CUs. Pick all your dice and roll them at once.
UMPIRE! Penalise unfairly players who make a meal out of rolling dice - life is too short!
Tanks only close assault infantry or anti-tank positions. If they win the firefight and roll into the positions the infantry have to take a break test, which they must pass to stay in position - even if they have previously passed break tests for casualties.
If the infantry stay, and the tanks do not move off the position next move then the infantry may fight a close assault against the tanks with the infantry as the attackers and the tanks as defenders. Note that this is not the same as infantry attacking tanks in close country with fire as light targets, and only applies if the tanks have no supporting infantry of their own. In cases where a mixed infantry/tank force close assaults a position, place casualties on the attacking infantry first until none are left, then treat the battle as for tanks alone.
Having won a firefight against other tanks, tanks just advance the correct distance, pushing the enemy tanks in front of them. Tanks do not take BREAK TESTS.
The attacker fires off COMBAT UNITS of fire (CUs) as many times as is required to win the firefight or until he calls off the attack. The firefight is won when the attacker causes more casualties on the defender than he has received himself.
Having won the firefight he then close assaults if he is attacking a position, or simply pushes forward at the correct rate of advance in contact if engaging mobile troops, or troops not in a defended position.
Use 1D6 per CU expended at EFFECTIVE RANGE. For ambushes at effective range or firefights at contact range (100m), shift the level of effectiveness of the weapon up one level, eg from L to M
dice for each CU fired. For AMBUSHES at CONTACT RANGE use two shifts Ouch!
|M Mor M||
|Show a hit on a stand by placing a casualty marker. Markers should be placed at random, but no stand should receive a second marker until all unmarked stands are|
|When we use little dice directly as FUs and CUs, we use Green, Purple and Black Dice to show L M and H fire. It is a tradition that Heavy dice seem to roll a lot of ones!|
* There used to be 11 other tables in front of table 12. We kept on calling it that even when the other tables vanished!
SPECIAL ATTACK RULES
1. VETERAN INFANTRY can close assault in the hour that they win the firefight, inferior Infantry assault in the next hour. If Veteran infantry take the position in their first round of close assault, after one round of firefight, then the action is complete from start to finish in one hour.
2. SHOOT AND SCOOT. Anti-tank, recce and artillery units that outrange their attackers have the option of firing off 1 CU or FU at maximum effective range, then withdrawing without being disorganised before the enemy returns effective fire. Instead of shooting and scooting, they can fire off a second CU in the same bound, but the attacker can then return fire if they are able to close to effective range with the enemy.
3. TANK TERROR. Regular, or poorer troops who are unsupported by friendly tanks or effective anti-tank fire, have a 50% chance of surrendering to tanks attacking them for the first time.
If however the tanks roll on, the troops will go back to their positions and will automatically fight thereafter. This rule is intended for infantry facing predominantly tank units, not infantry or motorised infantry units supported by tanks.
The attacker can close assault with any fighting stands that have unwounded figures on them, and in addition, if there is more than one stand close assaulting, must have an unwounded Bn command figure in the assault. The defender can defend with any stand, on the position that is under attack, that has an unwounded figure on it.
The attacker takes 1 die for each unwounded figure assaulting, and the defender takes 1 die for each unwounded figure defending, both up to the following maximums:
|ATKDIE||DEF DIE||Attacks up to X times||BREAK TEST AT||Score to
||(Back to Game Sequence)|
|E||5||4||no limit||never||never||Elite and Veteran|
|V||4||3||3||1/3||(3,6OK)||units win drawn|
All the collected dice are rolled at once and matched up; attackers highest against defender's highest and so on. Unmatched excess dice are ignored, equally matched dice are standoffs, the remaining winning dice each cause 1 casualty on the loser.
This sequence can be repeated up to the maximum of dice that the attacker can roll (e.g. 3 times for Veteran attackers), until the attacker wins, or gives up or either side loses a break test. The whole assault from start to finish takes one hour unless a result is not reached, in which case the combat may carry on for a second round in the next hour. Every point that the attacker wins allows one stand to break into the position. Every point that the defender wins allows them to push an attacking stand back out of the position. Large positions are broken down into areas, each containing one or more defending stands.
After combat, a unit up to battalion size is disorganised and at reduced effectiveness until all casualty markers are removed, or until resupplied if out of ammunition, or fresh orders given if needed, whichever is appropriate. Refer to the troop classifications earlier to see how badly they are reduced in effectiveness.
Fresh orders are needed if the unit is to move on after securing an objective. In the absence of orders Veteran and Regular troops will dig in on an objective and reorganise. Conscripts and below will remain disorganised until orders arrive, and will not dig in unless ordered to as part of the attack orders.
Note that regiments and brigades do not become disorganised unless the appropriate headquarters has been directly engaged in combat and has suffered casualties. Divisions do not become disorganised unless both main and rear Headquarters have been attacked and suffered casualties.
Show disorganisation by an appropriate marker. A medic or red cross figure is a good way of doing this. Show casualties by placing a marker (we use a red pin) to show loss of effectiveness on the stand. The marker does not prevent the stand from shooting (lack of ammo does that), close assaulting, or moving, but if the number of pins (regardless of colour) exceeds the strength of the stand, then the stand is said to be OVERLOADED, and is permanently removed.
The best tactic is to withdraw stands with pins on them to reorganise when possible.
During reorganisation a unit can remove half of its casualties (red pins). Odd casualty figures are rolled for (4,5,6 on 1D6 to remove them).
Once red markers have been removed, the remaining stands with one red marker for every figure on them are taken off, (or the strength marker at the back of the stand is adjusted from a red to a black pin), together with their markers which are all placed in the brigade medical post (if the brigade has one).
Example: Two stands, each of three figures has received five casualties. These are shown by red pins. On reorganisation, two red pins come off automatically. 1D6 is rolled and comes up as a 4, so the fifth odd red pin can also come off. This leaves two red pins, which are changed for black pins. The player elects to put one of these black pins on each stand rather than both onto one.
At the end of the operation or battle, half of those markers are removed in the same way, leaving only a quarter of the original casualties as permanent losses to their units. This is only really important for campaigns, when units regenerate strength after a battle.
An infantry stand can carry a maximum of one casualty per figure. A company vehicle stand can carry one casualty per strength point shown on its marker at the rear. Any overloading of casualties results in permanent removal of that stand. Permanently removed stands are replaced by a dead marker or destroyed vehicle marker (Peter pig makes some jolly nice ones - or you can use puffs of smoke stuck to bases).
German recce reaches its limit at the edge of a Soviet-held village.
1. Decide which Command stand is commanding the attack. If it is eg. a battalion HQ then everything UNDER COMMAND and IN DIRECT SUPPORT can be used to support the attack. If IN SUPPORT are wanted for a task, then the HQ that has them UNDER COMMAND must agree to, or be ordered to release them and the appropriate COMMAND REACTION TIME penalty must be paid.
2. Run the Recce Sequence. This may also include any pre-attack artillery or air bombardment called down by the recce party. The recce party may also mark the start line for the main body of troops leaving the line of march to shake out into attack formation. They do this by leaving a stand at the start line. If they don't there is a chance that the main body may deploy too late and be caught in march formation (use the Recce Sequence table for this).
3. Run the Artillery Fireplan if there is one before the main attack goes in, and if not already done as part of the recce sequence.
4. Win the firefight.
5. Positional attack only. Close assault the position. This can only be done after the firefight has been won. Push back the enemy if he is mobile, or occupy his position if static. The onus is on the defender to get out of the way of the attack! If he cannot for any reason, then he may have to surrender.
6. Reorganise. Receive fresh orders, resupply with ammo and remove casualties. To successfully reorganise a unit, it must have an unwounded command stand with it. During this stage, unwounded stands may be amalgamated to form viable companies. Because each tank company stand contains its own company HQ, there is never a problem regrouping tanks.
Veteran Soviet Guards Motor Rifle Regiment (rather under strength!) They have dismounted from their transport, and are leading the armour in the attack
Log, POL, Ammo and Casualty markers. Click on them to see their definitions
Ammunition may be represented by ID6 of an appropriate colour to represent L (Green) M (Purple) or H (Black) fire. We just use these colours because they are the ones I happen to have. A base can carry dice equal to its strength marker and can fire 1D6 per turn. Dice are not expended during close assault (everyone is too busy hitting each other with rifle butts!) THERE IS NO NEED TO CARRY THE DICE ON THE BASES. We use a truck or pack horse behind the unit. If most of the the figures in the unit can fire 3 times before running out of ammo, we put 3 model ammo boxes in the truck, or have 3 pack horses, or men carrying ammo boxes, or whatever. Each time you hand over a marker, every stand that can fire in the unit is given 1D6 of the appropriate colour
DIV LOG = Logistic unit of Supply that generates enough dice to resupply a Div or Independent Brigade sized unit. DIV POL = enough Fuel to keep a tracked Div or Independent Brigade running for 1 Day. A Log or POL unit is represented by boxes or fuel drums on a base. A truck can carry 1 Log Or POL Unit. (Again, we no longer model POL units. As long as the unit has an extra truck or petrol bowser with it , it is in supply. If it loses the truck to enemy fire, or cannot trace a supply line back to its Supply Dump, then it is out of supply). There is a point to clearing strongpoints at road junctions now!
Resupply is effected by removing one Div Log from the Div Supply dump, and refilling each base back up to its max carrying capacity. This can only be done overnight unless a Bn vehicle goes back to the Div dump to collect the ammo.
N.B. Dice are not expended during close assault (everyone is too busy hitting each other with rifle butts!)
When the div supply dump wants more units from corps, it must swap a vehicle for a div log unit. Likewise, Corps must give army a vehicle for every div Log Unit that it wants. The onus is on Army and Corps to push vehicles forward during the first turn of the day. Vehicles are assumed to be EMPTY so if the need arises to move Div log units, they are placed on, or in the vehicle.
Fuel is accounted for by having a fuel vehicle per motorised or armoured division within one road march move of the headquarters of the division. Then a Corps fuel vehicle must be within one road march move of its own HQ and the div fuel vehicles etc forming an unbroken chain through Army back to a Railhead or Depot. Only Tank and mechanised divisions need fuel bowsers as other units do not expend significant quantities of fuel compared to ammunition.18
Infantry: all without anti-tank weapons against light or better armour.
French: Hotchkiss 25mm Italian: CV33
|All soft skin vehicles. All troops moving to contact or road marching|
|LIGHT|| Infantry: all weapons up to and including
MMG and 60mm mortar
Artillery: up to 81mm,18pdr.
Most light tanks and armoured
cars. German: PzI, PzII
British: MkVI, Cruisers to A13
Russian: T26, T28, T35, T60, T70
Infantry in cover and scrapes
|MEDIUM|| Infantry: HMGs,81mm and 3" mortar
Strafing Fighter Aircraft using MGs/cannon
| German: PzIII, PzIV,
British: Valentine, Crusader
American: M3 Grant, M4 Sherman
Infantry dug in or in towns
|HEAVY||Infantry: 120mm Mortars, Demolition charges
Dive bombers. Fighter Bombers using bombs/rockets. Most 2 Engined Bombers
| German: PzV, Tiger
British: Matilda I, II, Churchill
Infantry in fortified positions
|VERY HEAVY||Artillery: 200mm and over||Casemated reinforced concrete structures such as The Maginot Line|
1. These categories are relative to each other, so that to get a LIGHT versus VERY LIGHT engagement, shift on the WINNING THE FIREFIGHT TABLE (Page 12) to MEDIUM versus LIGHT.
2. This table is set for 1939-1942. A weapon or armour classification may change with time. It would be valid to class a Panzer III, for example, as a medium tank in 1940 and a light tank in 1945.
3. These classifications are not absolute; they are meant as a guide. If you are fighting a battle in which it was recorded that, for example, 37mm guns made no impact on Matilda IIs, then class the Matilda as VERY HEAVY. The WINNING THE FIREFIGHT TABLE cannot cope with this shift, so light guns cannot harm with the target but medium or heavy can. Just because Matilda Is and Tigers are in the same category does not mean that a Matilda I can take on a Tiger on equal terms! Early on in the war, 2pdrs and 37mm guns might be classed as M against machine gun armed tanks.
These rules are intended for divisional level battles fought at the same level of detail as a unit history. To achieve the pace needed to fight a whole battle day in one 2 or 3 hour evening some compromises had to be made:
All combats had to be reduced to one operation. They had to be lumped together in the largest groups possible rather than splitting them down into fine detail. The number of steps taken to resolve combat, and the number of individual die rolls had to be reduced. Tables of factors modifying die rolls had to be eliminated entirely.
The key to the speed of the game is the use of the COMBAT SEQUENCE and the WINNING THE FIREFIGHT TABLE. Ammunition is collected from each side and a volley of dice is rolled. The casualties are quickly handed out and the game moves on. If players are allowed to linger over the die rolling, then the game will slow down.
The second key to speed is limiting the forces that each player controls. No one should have more than a Division to control. If you want to model two Divs attacking, then you need three players; two Div Comds and a Corps Commander to control the Corps assets such as artillery and engineers.
In our playtest campaigns we used the concept of a "PLUMPIRE" or player-umpire to command the regiments and brigades. This allows the Divisional Commander to be fed limited information. This goes a long way towards presenting the player with the sort of problems that a General would face.
Paddy Griffith for getting the whole thing rolling at Moore Park.
Bob Cordery, Graham Evans, Graham Hockley, John Hopper, Tom Mouat, Phil Steele, Chris Willey Will Whyler, and many others for advice during play testing, and providing toy tanks. Ian Russell-Lowell and the Grimsby Wargames Club for the idea of putting bases on tanks.
Wargames Development and the Conference of Wargamers.
Tim Gow for introducing me to lots of tiny dice (see also his excellent MEGABLITZ).
Suzanne for not suggesting that I take up a Man's Hobby and paint the house instead. Just Type "DIY hell" into any search engine" to see how lucky you are to be allowed out wargaming!
The following wargames rules have all inspired parts of NQM in some way or other.SANDSKRIEG by JOHN SANDERSON
BATTLE by CHARLES GRANT
ARMY CORPS RULES by PADDY GRIFFITH
STONK by JIM WALLMAN
BARBAROSSA 25 by FRANK CHADWICK
PRELUDE TO WAR by BOB CORDERY