Sunday, 24 May 2015

20mm WW2 skirmish '44 France with Advancing sections (own rules)

Last year I played a few games of NUTS! and then I modified it a bit to be NUTS! but using 1d6 (rather than 2d6) and card activation, and adding in light and heavy wounds. I added in the wounding to make it easier for campaigns.  But over the last year I have been thinking of going in a different direction.  I have revised them heavily and while some of the NUTS! reactions will still be recognisable, not much else is.  I was looking around for an alternative activation mechanism – I had already moved from NUTS! to card based last year -  and in my head I thought it would be good to roll per figure/group to activate and have some way to alternate between the sides.  I thought maybe 5+ for regular, 6+ for green, 4+ for veteran sounded about right…and then remembered that I seem to remember FUBAR (that I have but never played) had something like this.  FUBAR is exactly like this! I also used something similar for some battalion level rules I write a few years ago, but went back to card based.  So I am using FUBAR based activation, but not much else from FUBAR.  I also wanted to cut down on modifiers so I have 1-2 for all the rolls/reactions except firing, which has 4.

Anyway, before testing out some other skirmish rules I have, I thought after spending many hours revising and tweaking these rules that I should give them at least one go before moving on to other rules things (the other things being playing with other published skrimish rules and likely combining my own skirmish rules with my battalion level rules to produce a company game that played on a 2'x2' table at 1:900 game scale with reactions like NUTS!.  for the latter, I am hoping to scale the ranges down and keeps some of reactions to produce a company level very solo friendly game).

I went with some old favourites from the NUTS! game played last year.  We are back in Normandy July 1944 on the way to Maltot with a section from the British 7th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment of the 43rd (Wessex) Division.

Corporal Box (leader and veteran, +1 to spot rolls, Sten SMG)
Lance Corporal Airfix (leader, Bren)
Private Jones (first KO = pinned)
Private Killan (+1 to melee, first pinned = shaken)
Private Barret (-1 to shoot)
Private Hart (+1 to shoot)
Private Peel
Private Tennyson (green; can run and shoot)

Assuming another patrol and need to get to the other side.
Rolled up some random terrain,  and them placed 3 PEFs/blinds as per NUTS!

The board.  British patrol enters from the bottom, the three possible enemy forces are the three animals.

The QRS that I used - just need to write the rules around it!
I was going to write this up interspersed with pictures but I have done the previous three skirmish writeups as a comic.  So I decided to go with the comic style again. There may be some shots out of focus.  If I am doing a comic, I tend to take about 3 times as many photos as I would use, and craft a comic from the images.  If doing a report interspersed with pictures, I tend to only take about 25% more pictures and just not use the poor quality ones.  I had to use all but one image to craft the comic, so used a few poor ones that may have not made it.

I have rambled on enough, onto the 5 page comic.  After it is the tidied up notes of what occurred in game terms.

Click on the picture for a larger version - likely easier to read.

A translation of the events in rule terms
The section moves into woods.  The Possible Enemy Forces (PEFs) all roll 6 for activation and move closer to the section.
Box and Airfix also succeed for activation and move into into the middle of the woods with the two other soldiers each has with them (as a group activation)

Next turn, Airfix activates, moves forward, and now at the edge of the wood can spot the Trojan pig PEF.  The Trojan pig has a (lesser) chance to spot so a spot contest opposed roll. Airfix wins.  The Trojan is revealed to be...a pig.

Barret and Jones activate, as does the two PEFs.  Out of the last 11 activation rolls, I have rolled 7 6's!

Random event rolled - one British soldier has the trots and it pinned.  Oh no, it is Corporal Box!

Lance corporal Airfix moves up to edge of woods and can see the chickien PEF. Another spot opposed roll.  Airfix win, the chicken is an LMG team and Airfix gets the first fire with the Bren.
The two Germans are shaken (-1 to fire until next activation) and retreat to the nearest cover in the shellholes.

Now to resolve Airfix, who can also see the COW. Another spot opposed roll (note the opposed roll occurs as the cow has a chance to see Airfix, and vice versa; need to see who spots first). COW wins and is 3 riflemen. They fire and Tennyson is shaken and retreats into the wood.  Airfix returns fire -  two Germans down and the third retreats back to the wood, shaken.

Jones and Barret activate and move up to the edge of the wood and spots the German that has just retreated into their wood. No spot roll off required - the German is shaken.  Jones and Barret fire for no effect.  The German returns fire for no effect, so now there is a firefight resolved by opposed rolls.  It is a tie (after modifiers) and so both are shaken and both retreat further into their  respective woods.

Box activates and is unpinned.  Killan also advances, beats a spot rolloff versus the German LMG team in the shellhole, fires, misses, LMG return fire misses, firefight sees a tie again (after the opposed roll) and both shaken.  Lot of ties occurring!

For the German activation,  the LMG is still shaken (rolled a 1) but the German in wood advances, spots, fires, misses, and the return fire return fire misses. The ensuing firefight (opposed roll) sees the sees the German down and out.

Next turn the British Bren team fire on German LMG team - 2 hits, two Knocked Out.

No more Germans to activate so will call it a day (it is time for my bed anyway). I could keep playing and moving the British to the other side with the possibility of more Germans appearing as part of random events.  But I don't.

50 minutes including notes, photos, a short break, looking up a couple of rules and first time playing. I kept forgetting to roll a couple of dice at the same time for hit and damage, which would have speed it up some.  I think this game would be 30 minutes if it was the third time I was playing.  A few tweaks are required to the firefight rules (the opposed roll once the first trading of shots has missed). I need to actually write the rules behind the QRS as even though I mentally knew some of the process behind the table, I was making up some of the detail as I went along.  In short: it was fun, fast, the rules played as expected (a good thing), seems solo friendly and nothing jarring on how it may have occurred in real life (to me, in my limited view of history and soldiery anyway!). Now to scale them up to company level.  I also need to write the rules for section (squad) level as I expect to use them again sometime.


  1. Superb, loooks like a funny and dynamic game...great job!

    1. It was very dynamic. The rules are loosely derived from NUTS! and NUTS! gives a similar result.