Where does he get those wonderful toys?

Vehicles. Treads. Sleds. Rollers. Blowers and Gravs. The method of propulsion is not really that relevant, it’s a platform for transporting troops or ordnance on the battlefield in as safe a manner as possible, and delivering their cargo to the correct destination as quickly as possible. It’s a vehicle, be it a Tank, APC, IFV, SPA, SPG or any other an acronym you care to use.

As with the previous Infantry post intend to cover the absolute basics of vehicular operations here, Squadron coherency, visibility, movement, passengers mounting and dismounting, shooting, and morale. Other rules will be covered in the appropriate sections, here we’re dealign with the tread’s and the awesome power encapsulated in the word Tank. (but also trucks and stuff)

How do we define a Vehicle?, well, we’re starting with a mechanical device capable of carrying or transporting something, crewed or un-crewed is not relevant, if it is not Infantry and not a Flyer, we count it as a Vehicle.

Also be aware, Squadrons may not issue Assault orders and Vehicles cannot Close Combat. I am sure your head is full of vehicles crashing into barricades or rolling over infantry, the reality is that at such a close range, vehicles are EXCEPTIONALLY vulnerable to Infantry and try to avoid this situation.

Mechs we will do elsewhere, and yes, we’re having mech as impractical as they are, they look awesome and are a sci-fi staple.


2.0 – Squadron (Vehicle) Coherency

Vehicles are not Infantry, they can be further apart and still be easily seen and generally have onboard communications devices (of variably quality of course, two cans on a string will not be accepted by most soldiers, except British ones obviously), fire co-ordination is generally much easier for the crew, and the weapons involved in an entirely different scale to what Infantry use (in general), but still, your biggest vulnerability is being alone with no support, then those Pongo’s can commit all sort of heinous acts in your hindquarters, and no-one wants that.

Based upon the rules concept that 1mm = 1m, we will allow all Vehicles (elements) in the Squadron (formation) to be required to remain within 4cm of each other.

Thats 40m between them, as before, that’s a LOT of space.

1.0.1 – Out of Coherency

You cannot deliberately go out of coherency, only casualties and morale checks should ever cause this. If you do, why are you playing with these rules, and gaming in general, obey the rules dammit!

When a Squadron has Vehicles out of formation, it must correct this the next time they have an order. They must finish the order in coherency, you may not issue an order that will not result in the formation being coherent at then end of the action. 

If a move order results in them not achieving coherency because of terrain issues (e.g. heavy trench works between sections), this is acceptable as long as both elements move directly towards each other along the shortest direct distance.

Failure to achieve coherency under any circumstance except the above exception will leave the elements involved suppressed,

Example, (ADD IMAGE)

The USMC Tank Squadron of Paladin Heavy Tanks has lost its lead vehicle, leaving a large 11cm gap in the line, by the end of the turn the Lt better have them back together, he can only issue movement orders to achieve this.


2.1 – Visibility

We covered how far he average person can see in the Infantry post, but in any ‘modern’ combat vehicle, there should be some assistance to this distance. Sights, Tactical Computers, Satellite Relays, Periscopes, all these devices will aid the crew in operating their vehicle more efficiently. Hopefully.

Based upon our understood limitations, we are determining the visibility of a Vehicle at 200cm (2m) on the tabletop.

Any interruption to this, Buildings, Woods, other Vehicles, blocks the LoS. We operate that if the Vehicle can draw line to it, it can see it.

We currently DO NOT allow Vehicles to draw LoS though friendly Vehicles, (though this may be amended later)

(ADD IMAGE, few LOS Examples)


2.2 – Initiative

This is exactly the same as the Infantry post, but later a general post will centralise this, but for now, it remains here.

All players roll 1D10, re-rolling all ties until a clear order of initiative exists. The player with the highest initiative score reveals ONE order, and enacts that order with the Squadron it was assigned to. The next player in the Initiative order acts, revealing ONE order and enacting it.

This continues to all orders are revealed. If a player runs out of orders to reveal, they simply wait until the other players finish revealing and enacting all their orders. (and possibly taking a serious beating whilst they do)


2.3 – Orders

As with Infantry, you can give your Squadrons some orders (1 per Squadron) at the start of your turn. 

You may also issue no order if you wish. (optional, ONE no order may become an Advance order?)

Your choices are as follows

Advance

You may move you Squadron in any direction, maintaining Squadron coherency and fire at any eligible Non-Friendly formation. This is the standard ‘move and shoot’ order, you may NOT shoot and move, but you need not move OR shoot if you do not wish to under an Advance order.

Fall-Back

You MUST move your Squadron in towards your table edge with a plus 10cm movement bonus, maintaining Squadron coherency and fire at your ‘reduced’ rating at any eligible enemy Formations.

Engage

You may not move your Squadron. You MUST fire at any eligible non-friendly formation, and deduct 1 from your base target number for Heavy Weapon (NOT Firefight). You may NOT choose not to fire when an Engage order is issued, you MUST use all your Heavy Weapons points.

Reform

You may only move up to 5cm + D5cm (Normal penalties apply). You may NOT fire. You may remove the ‘damaged’ status from one Vehicle, and check the others to remove the ‘damaged’ status (See under Shooting 2.5.4Repair)


2.4 – Movement

Now, vehicles move faster than Infantry, correct?, and the crew should always be in a more readied state than mere Pongo’s surely?, In theory yes, but, you consider that you’re in a tin box with limited vision, and absolute bullet magnet that everyone can see for at least one kilometre around, and every targeting system is designed specifically to shoot you. Plus you have to move carefully, one unseen ditch or tree stump and your hung up and exposed to fire. It’s not as simple as you might imagine to operate Vehicles on the battlefield.

No rate of movement is consistent on the battlefield (or with human beings in day to day life), so a random factor is introduced into movement for our game, you can always elect to stop short of your movement, but never to exceed it.

Our basic principle is that a Formation moves it’s movement statistic, plus 1D10 cm.

Again, it does not sound like much, but your crew is trying to cover every possible angle to make sure they are not shot at by some horrible weapon, they are cautious to device laid to eliminate them, and always on the look out for stray enemy infantry carrying that ‘odd shaped tube’

2.4.1 – Optional Rule – Go, Go, Go. You MUST move. You may add 2D10 to your movement by surrendering 1 point of Armour. You may fire at your ‘reduced’ rating at eligible enemy Formations, Essentially you encourage your Squadron to put the pedal to the metal and ignore potential dangers and fire control to gain and additional movement dice.

Simple Linear Obstacle, a ’small’ obstacle, sandbags, domestic fencing, hedging, field walls on an enclosed field, ‘small’ streams/brooks

Complex Linear Obstacle, a ‘larger’ obstacle, high walls, razor wire, bocage, industrial wire fencing, large streams

Road, an actual road that is kept clear and passable, somewhere you can see more easily the dangers, and worry less about your balance!

We need to consider some small differences for Grav/Tread, etc, this will be covered later

Description Cost in Cm Notes
Simple Linear Obstacle -1cm Domestic Fencing, Field Walls, Hedges
Complex Linear Obstacle -3cm High Walls, Razorwire, Bocage
Rough Terrain Half Moorland, Desert, Snow, Swamp, Ploughed Field, River
Impassible N/A Volcanoe, Lake, Cliff,
Fall Back Order Issued +10cm see Orders
Go, Go, Go (optional) +1d10 cm See MovementOptional Rules
Road +10cm The whole move MUST be on road

2.5 – Mounting and Dismounting from vehicles

Getting a section of soldiers on or off a Vehicle is not as simple as it sounds, it really isn’t. If it’s a lorry, they tend to be high off the ground, so people carrying heavy loads need to be careful and go slowly. If it’s an APC/IFV, then it’s a nightmare of bumping into each other, leaving 1 by 1 from small exits designed for Hobbits and having no idea what’s outside. Add to this the fact that you’re in a terrifying battlefield environment and you have orders being shouted at you from all levels, and you are trying to keep an eye out for the bastards who want to damage you bits, it’s a mess.

It costs time (we represent this by movement) to Mount/Dismount a vehicle. (I was going with embark/disembark, but thats for ships and planes only, and board/unboard is also wrong) 

We break down the complexity of this task into three grades, Simple, Standard, Complex, these cost 25%, 50% and 75% of the vehicle AND the passengers movement respectively.

In this version of the rules we will only deal with Standard Mounting/Dismounting. To Mount/Dismount a vehicle costs BOTH the Passengers and the Vehicle 50% of their movement.

You can Mount and Dismount in one turn for 100% movement for both Formations (Infantry and Vehicles), it’s legal, but you have to question why you’re doing it. Unless you have an understanding of the military mindset, then you accept it and keep your head down.

2.5.1 – Combined Operations – Infantry & Vehicle Orders

This covers SEPARATE Platoons (Infantry) and Squadron (Vehicles), not combined Mechanised Formation (Platoons)

Infantry with Advance/Fall-Back Orders MAY Mount/Dismount Vehicles with Advance/Fall-Back Orders.

Infantry (Passengers) MAY be assigned an Assault Order when the Vehicles have Advance Orders. (presuming an assault OUT of the vehicles)

No other orders are valid combinations for SEPARATE Platoons (Infantry) and Squadron (Vehicles).

Example (ADD IMAGES)

So a Platoon (potential passengers) order an Advance, roll the D10 for a 5, total move 15cm. They move 4cm to mount a Vehicle (APC with 25cm movement), then spend 50% (7.5cm) to mount the Vehicle (APC), the Vehicle (APC) has used 50% of its movement to allow the passengers to mount, it may now only move 12.5m. The passengers lose the remainder of their movement.


2.6 – Shooting

Putting an effective weight of fire onto a designated target with enough accuracy to impede them. Thats what you’re doing, not ‘killing them’, just hitting the area around your target enough to make them keep their head down and to convince them to go away. It’s that simple

You take the number of Firefight and Heavy Weapon points per Vehicle in your Squadron that is firing, and state your target, work out the modifiers, roll the dice.

You can split your point amongst as many target as you have points (note, some forces are not well trained enough for this, we’ll cover that later)

All shooting can be pre-measured, we presume that the forces in question know the ranges of their weapons.

2.6.1 – Firefight

The basic Firefight range of a Vehicle in our game is 10 cm (100m).  Vehicle mounted firefight weapons are rarely crewed in this era, they are remotely operated or under drone control, never as reactive or controlled as crew mounted, this is the current principle of the game.

Long Range for Firefight is > 10cm to a max of 20cm, and adds 2 to your target number

Short Range for Firefight is < 5cm, and deducts 2 from your target number

2.6.2 – Heavy Weapons

The basic Heavy Weapon range of a Vehicle Mounted Heavy Weapon in our game is 80 cm (800m). These are the big boys, 120mm Cannons, Missile Racks, Heavy Laser Cannons, the serious weapons that you mount on Vehicles

Long Range for Heavy Weapons is > 80cm to a max of 200cm, and adds 1 to your target number

Short Range for Heavy Weapons is < 20cm, and deducts 2 from your target number

Engage Order Issued, deducts 1 from your target number

You modify the base target number of 7 (Base Seven), by the modifiers, and that’s what you need to HIT

You roll your Firefight and Heavy Weapon points in 10-sided dice every 7 or better is a HIT (and yes 30% effective fire is WAY to high, but we want the game to end in 1-2 hours max)

Description Modifier Notes
Firefight Long Range +2 > 10 cm and =< 20 cm
Firefight Short Range -2 < 5 cm
Heavy Weapon Long Range +1 > 80cm and <= 200cm
Heavy Weapon Short Range -2 < 20 cm
Engage Order Issued -1 see Orders, Heavy Weapons Only

Cover has no effect on to-hit rolls, that’s an effect of armour in these rules

2.6.3 – Hits and Armour

KLANG!, hopefully that what you hear when a shell bounces of your armour, but sometimes it’s a bright light, heat, a fresh new tan and you have a new airy and spacious front to your vehicle, and you ever have to worry about turning on the AC ever again…

Note, vehicles are immune to Firefight weapons, this may change via special abilities to some vehicles (soft skin), but for now, no Heavy Weapon, no hurtie tankie.

For every Heavy Weapon hit a Vehicle takes, you have an armour saving throw, you deduct your armour value from 11, and roll equals to or greater than, and you can ignore the hit.

Cover. Cover adds to your armour value in this game, phew!, the stronger the cover, the better your chances are of surviving a hit. You add the modifier to you armour score before deducting from 11

Example (ADD IMAGE)

The Sov MBT’s are taking fire from UMSC Phalanx APC’s, but in the woods they add 2 to their armour value for a total of 6 Deducting this from 11, they have a save of 5 or better, 50% chance of ignoring the hit.

Description Modifier Notes
Scrub, Grass, Hedge 1
Bocage, Low Walls, Light woods 2
Sandbags, High Walls 3
Urban Environment, Heavy Woods 4
Re-enforced Urban Environment 5
Hull Down Vehicle Pit 6

2.6.4 – Hits and their Effects

WHOOM. FLASH. Ozone Smell and ringing ears, ‘What the funk was that?’ you cry out?, well, it was a microwave guided 80mm solid core Sabot Missile hitting your forward armour, and passing right through it I answer…

When a Vehicle takes a Heavy Weapon hit, and fails to save, they immediately become ‘damaged’. This does not always mean half the Vehicle is destroyed. It means the computer goes down, the engine stops, the vehicle rocks from the impact, the crew are rag dolled around the vehicles interior, but you’re no necessarily hearing the choir of angels yet… 

When you are damaged, check your unit profile, under Damage Capacity it will tell you how many hits you can take before you have the status ‘damaged’, this is called the vehicles Damage Capacity. 

When these sun out, you gain the status ‘Damaged’ you must use the values after the slash (/), generally you lose Firefight, Heavy Weapon, Movement and Close Combat values, but their are exceptions (covered later)

When a Vehicle takes an unsaved hit when you are ‘Damaged’, they are removed, they are no longer combat capable for the duration of our game.

So, GENERALLY, one unsaved hit = lose your damage capacity, two unsaved hit = ‘damaged’, three unsaved hits = destroyed (hors de combat)

2.6.4 –  Repair

This will be covered in advanced rules. for now, no damaged vehicles may be repaired on the battlefield.


2.7 – Morale

Squadrons need to consider morale. it’s arguably the most important factor in warfare, the performance of all other activity is helped or hindered by the individuals morale.

Morale our system is as simple as the rest of the rules. Take the number of Vehicles in your Squadron at the beginning of the game and halve it, this is your Morale Check Point (MCP), rounding down (other formation many round up, see later), deduct the number of Vehicles ‘damaged’ (note, not those that have taken Damage, this vehicles with the status ‘damaged’) or removed, it this exceeds the halved initial Squadrons total, you require a morale check.

Example

The 8th Armoured Squadron, 17/21st Lancers began the game with 7 Vehicles, they have a Morale Check point of three. Currently they have lost 1 vehicle and 3 are ‘damaged’, a total of 4, they are over their MCP, they must now check for morale, and hope that their ’Sang Froid’ sustains them in the heat of combat.

2.7.1 – Morale Check

You have exceeded your Morale Check Point (MCP) for your Squadron, you must now take a morale check. Ouch.

You roll one 10-sided dice and 5 (Base 5) or better is a PASS (50/50 again…)

Per Vehicle Lost or Reduced over the MCP, add 1 to your target number

Entire formation in cover, deduct 2 from you target number

At least Half then remaining Vehicles in formation in cover, deduct 1 from you target number

Description Modifier Notes
Per Vehicle over MCP Lost or Reduced +1
Entire Formation in Cover -2
Half Formation in Cover -1

2.7.2 – Suppressed

Everyones on the net freaking out about losses and damage, the Lt is not responding, and from here his can is smoking heavily from the rear. You know you lost Beta-3 10 minutes ago near the Mill, and the crew leader from Beta-4 has not responded to any signals, but the monitor says his bio is active, the rest are all over the place, what do you do?

Your Squadron is now Suppressed. You cannot advance, and may only move towards your own table edge. 

Morale rules have been kept very simple in this initial draft, some more interaction is needed for the final version


The profile

This is the core of the game, here are determined everything that an element can do, broken down into some attempt at an explanation.

Description – What this element represent, Regular Infantry Squad, a Phalanx Main Battle Tank, a Hellbent IV APC

Type – What it is for the purposes of the rules, right now we only have Infantry, but we we will be adding Armoured Vehicles and Flyers

Movement – How far can you move on an Advance order (+1D10 cm)

Firefight – How effective are their Plasma Rifles, Bolt Casters, HV Rifles, Laser Carbines, Sonic Disruptors or whatever personal weapons the grunts are armed with.

Heavy Weapons – How good are their Atomic Destabilisers, Plasma Cannons, Metal Storm Cannons, Chain Guns, Missile Launchers, HMG’s or Laser Gatlings, whenever constitutes Heavy Weapons in your force.

Damage Capacity – How many serious holes can they sink into you before you stop working.

Armour – How good is your hull armour?, Cold Pressed Steel?, PolyCarbide?, A slice of Edam?, this number helps work that out

Notes – Any special abilities go here, none are officially in play yet, but consider Ablative Armour, you ignore your first ‘reduced’ status, others are under consideration

Points – How many point is this element worth

Description Type Movement Firefight Heavy Weapon Damage Capacity Armour Notes Points
Medium APC Vehicle 20cm/10cm 2/1 1/1 1 3
10
Medium MBT Vehicle 15cm/10cm 2/1 3/1 2 4
20

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