Tally Ho!

Saturday 24 June 2017

A WWII interlude

With Scipio recalled to  Rome (well on holiday actually) this week we returned to playing WWII to test some rules I'm developing for club use. We've played and somewhat enjoyed Chain of Command but found the Germans too powerful. We played Bolt Action but found it too much like part of the Warhammer family.

So I'm developing rules that try to provide the kind of game we like:
  • The basic unit is the squad with players each controlling a reinforced platoon.
  • It should support 2-3 players a side.
  • Vehicles should be viable but not overwhelmingly powerful.
  • Fire and Manoeuvre tactics should win the day, with pinning/suppression a key part of the game.
  • There should be no command friction mechanics so everyone gets to move all the time.
So the basic elements of the game were set as follows:
  • Firing comes first in the turn so people are "Pinned" and may therefore be out of the action that turn if they loose the firefight.
  • Assaults will be bloody and somewhat risky affairs for both sides.
  • Shooting will be based on Fire Points that translate into dice rolled for hits. The 1/2/3 hits cause Pins but additional hits cause kills.
  • Morale is solely about how may of the squad remain.


For this game both sides had a platoon of infantry - 3 squads for Fallschirmjäger and 4 squads for the Finns / Russians, who were also reinforced by an HMG, 2 light mortars, and a sniper.

We went for a simple "capture the flag" scenario with each side holding an objective and trying to capture the others. I've adopted a version of the Chain of Command Jump-of-Point concept to give an element of hidden movement, so the game began with an empty table.

View from the Finnish side - the broken-down 251 is the German objective

Close-up of the 251

View from the German side - the hut is the Finnish objective

Close-up of the hut

The Battle

The battle began with the Germans deploying all their forces onto the table in the first round. One squad held the objective, one was close by in the third advanced on the Finnish hut in the cover of a hill
FSJ deploy to protect the 251

FSJ capture a hill near the hut
The Finns responded by deploying the bulk of their units in the centre to protect the hut. Two squads of infantry deployed on the left-hand side to threaten the 251. 

Finns on the left

Holding the centre
As the game settled into a fire fight the Finns used their superior numbers to surprise the Germans. Infiltrating through the centre of the battlefield they managed to flank the squad protecting the 251 and threatened to overrun the position. 

FSJ exposed and flanked
To test the rules the Finns launched and assault into the FSJ flank, but were beaten back by the more experienced Germans.

Finns / Russians holding the hut
The game ended in  a draw as it was clear neither had the strength to dislodge their opponent from their objective.


So the good points:
  • The game was pretty fast and the turn sequence worked well enough.
  • There was plenty of movement in the game
  • Artillery was fun to use

The bad points:
  • Shooting needs to be more deadly - probably about 50% more. Whilst Pinning was fairly straightforward there were very few deaths / combat non-effectives.
  • Assaults need to favour the successful attacker who gets into a good position. 
So a number of tweaks needed to increase the decisiveness of shooting and make Assaults reward the bold.


  1. Any chance of seeing the rules as they stand at present ?

  2. I'm doing a fairly large rewrite to the infantry shooting rules s better to wait for that I think