You’ve got your boots on, you can walk into combat

Infantry, the poor bloody infantry. Those daft bastards who venture onto the battlefield to put themselves in harms way to defend the values of their political masters, or enforce to the will of the peace loving peoples of their home nations.

I intend to cover the absolute basics of infantry operations here, platoon coherency, visibility, movement, shooting, close combat and morale. Other rules will be covered in the appropriate sections, here we are dealing with the Pongo’s and their desire not to die in combat and get paid the following day/week/month, nothing else.

How do these rules define infantry?, Simple, any section of foot troops, who move unassisted beyond their own physical attributes, generally armed and armoured to the lowest  economically acceptable value to their employers and intend operate as a single entity within some very vaguely defined rules of military conduct. 6-12 people, armed with firearms, possibly 1 or more heavy weapons, with some form of body armour, communication devices and the ability to use said items in an aggressive manner.


1.0 – Platoon (Squad) Coherency

You have to remain close enough to your commander to hear him. You have to be close enough to your squad mates not to feel alone and scared. You need to be concentrated enough to make your firepower count. You need to be far enough away to make sure one blast does not kill you all. But close enough that you can get medical help from your people if needed. But also close enough that if anyone is killed, you can work out how they died and decide to avenge them or get the heck out of there before it happens to you.

Based upon the rules concept that 1mm = 1m, we will allow all Squads (elements) in the platoon (formation) to be required to remain within 2cm of each other.

This seems close, but allows 20m between Squads, 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 Platoon has Squads 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 Platoon involved suppressed,

Example, (ADD IMAGE)

The 33rd Ghulam infantry platoon have lost 2 squads this turn in the centre of their formation, leaving a large 11cm gap in the line, by the end of the turn the Tegmen better have them back together, he can only issue movement orders to achieve this.


1.1 – Visibility

How far can you see?, and more importantly how well can you see and most importantly, how can you process the information of what you have seen and react to it accordingly? With the curvature of the Earth human beings can see about 3 miles, approx 4800 metres, or 4 metres 80 centimetres on our table top. Please note, again the curvature of the Earth, approx 8”/20 cm per mile, is the primary limitation on humans sight, and in a sci-fi game, this will obviously be challenged on other planetary bodies. Also, Flat Earthers can fuck off.

Based upon our understood limitations, we are determining the visibility of a Squad at 100cm (1m) on the tabletop.

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

We currently allow Squads to draw LoS though friendly Squads, (though this will be amended later)

(ADD IMAGE, few LOS Examples)

1.1.1 – Elevation

This is important for all shooting and LoS issues. The higher up you are, the rather you can see (see the first paragraph in visibility). But, we want to avoid all sorts of complex calculations for this, so in the basic game, elevation provides NO bonus to sighting distance, BUT, elements above another element can ALWAYS trace a LoS over them.

1.1.2 – Terrain

As it states above, all sorts of tings block your LoS, Buildings, Woods, Vehicles, Hills, Clouds of deadly toxic fumes, etc. Most types of terrain allow you to move through them (Woods, Hills, etc), but how far can you see into them?

In the basic rules, we will simply state that you can see 1cm INTO AND OUT OF any area terrain such as Woods, Buildings, etc. Simple.


1.2 – Initiative

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 Platoon 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 so)

You many NOT ‘skip’ acting on turn to act.

You may decide not to act be removing an order marker from a Platoon, but you may NOT remove an assault order, these always remain.


1.3 – Orders

What to do?, what to do… Well, to start with, you can give your Platoons some orders (1 per Platoon) 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 Platoon in any direction, maintaining Platoon 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.

Assault

You MUST move towards the nearest visible enemy unit, maintaining Platoon coherency, fire at your ‘reduced’ rating and engage enemy Formations. This is the only allowed method of getting into base-to-base contact with enemy units. You MUST move your full movement allowance (plus dice, minus terrain), you need NOT shoot.

The shooting occurs at any point in the assaulting players move, but before they reach base-to-base contact.

You may not issue an assault order if you cannot reach your opponent (based on your maximum potential movement)

Fall-Back

You may move your Platoon in towards your table edge with a plus 5cm movement bonus, maintaining Platoon coherency and fire at your ‘reduced’ rating at any eligible enemy Formations.

Engage

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

Reform

You may only move up to 5cm + D5cm (Normal penalties apply). You may NOT fire. You may remove the ‘reduced’ status from one Squad, and check the others to remove the ‘reduced’ status (See under Shooting 1.5.4Recovery/Reforming)


1.4 – Movement

How far can you run?, and still be capable of constructive action at the end of it, carrying how much?, and still being within a reasonable distance from your squad mates to be able to communicate with them?, how about when under fire?, or being chased?. or watching for terrifying arachnid, poison spitting aliens?

Anyone with a concise answer, well done, you’re a bloody genius.

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. so from 11cm (110m) to 20 cm (200m) per 10 minute round, presuming out basic ‘Regular Infantry Squad’.

Now this does not sound like much, but in battlefield conditions, worrying about your vulnerability to death generating projectiles, trying to spot the shooter of said projectiles, trying to keep in any scrap of cover you can find, keeping your squad mates in cohesion, listening to the inane drone of the command web, thinking about what on earth you are doing here and trying not to stand in anything that might kill you, it’s not a bad distance.

Now in a small change to most games, being in certain terrain will not unduly effect this, Urban environments with a plethora of hiding spaces are not necessarily going to slow you down, but they don’t speed you up either, we have only a few modifiers that effect the combat speed of a Squad.

1.4.1 – Optional Rule – Move, Move, Move. You MUST move. You can 1D10 to your movement by surrendering 1 point of armour. You may fire at your ‘reduced’ rating at eligible enemy Formations, Essentially you encourage your Platoon to run faster 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!

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, Close Urban Environment
Impassible N/A Volcanoe, Lake, Cliff, 
Fall Back Order Issued +5cm see Orders
Move, Move, Move (optional) +1d10 cm See MovementOptional Rules
Road +5cm The whole move MUST be on road

1.5 – 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 Squad in your Platoon 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.

1.5.1 – Firefight

The basic Firefight range of an Infantry Squad in our game is 20 cm (200m). 

Long Range for Firefight is > 20cm to a max of 30cm, and adds 2 to your target number

Short Range for Firefight is < 10cm, and deducts 2 from your target number

Engage Order Issued, deducts 1 from your target number

1.5.2 – Heavy Weapons

The basic Heavy Weapon range of a Heavy Weapon in our game is 40 cm (200m). 

Heavy Weapons may fire in EITHER anti-personal or anti-vehicular mode (more on this later)

Long Range for Heavy Weapons is > 40cm to a max of 100cm, and adds 1 to your target number

Short Range for Heavy Weapons is < 12cm, and deducts 2 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 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 > 20 cm and =< 30 cm
Firefight Short Range -2 < 10 cm
Heavy Weapon Long Range +1 > 40cm and <= 100cm
Heavy Weapon Short Range -2 < 20 cm
Engage Order Issued -1 see Orders, Firefight Only

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

1.5.3 – Hits and Armour

You’ve been hit, it was bound to happen, 8 weeks basic training and a 6 months at your battalion cadre was not enough, you went to ground to slow, failed to spot the incoming fire and are now on the ground wondering how you got there.

For every hit a Squad 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. Well not entirely, but you’re not dying. and that’s a good thing!

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 Marines take heavy fire from the advancing Sovs, but in the sandbags they add 3 to their armour value for a total of 5. Deducting this from 11, they have a save of 6 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, Trenches 4
Re-enforced Urban Environment 5
Bunker 6

1.5.4 – Hits and their Effects

You’ve been hit and your cheap-ass polycarbide armour has a gaping whole in it, and the bosses idea of setting up in this stupid wood was a bust, what’s next?

When a Squad takes a hit, and fails to save, they immediately become ‘reduced/damaged’. This does not always mean half the Squad is dead, it means injuries, shock, the heavy weapon ammo was lost in the shelling, the comms have went down to interference, you dropped the tea bags, essentially the combat ability of the squad is reduced.

When you are reduced, check your unit profile, you must use the values after the slash (/), generally you lose Firefight, Heavy Weapon and Close Combat values, but their are exceptions (covered later)

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

So, one unsaved hit = ‘reduced/damaged’, two unsaved hits = dead (hors de combat)

1.5.4 –  Recovery/Reforming

Your squad is a mess, Sarge is dead, the radio needs fixed, two guys are down and the medic needs help with them, shells are still landing, and there is movement in the tree line to your right where there are no friendlies reported. Plus your boot lace is coming undone, can it get any worse?

You may be required to take a recovery check for a ‘reduced’ Squad, to be able to remove the ‘reduced’ state and recover your combat readiness.

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

Per Squad 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 squads in formation in cover, deduct 1 from you target number

Platoon Suppressed, add 1 to your target number

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

1.6 – Close Combat

Sometimes, they get close, too close for any reasonable person to want to be, and that that point, it gets very messy.

When two opposing infantry formation get into base-to-base combat, we enter Close Combat. A swirling maelstrom of death and destruction, as grenades, knives, shotguns, carbon fibre energy whips, sharpened entrenching tools, handguns, impromptu bricks placed in socks, broken bottles and fists get employed to keep you alive, and them down.

You may attack multiple targets and assign your Close Combat points between them as you see fit.

The defender also assigns Close Combat points between their attackers as they see fit.

Elan, we always favour the attacker, and deduct 1 from their target number

Cover, defenders always gain from resisting someone OUTSIDE their cover, and deduct 1 from their target number

You modify the base target number of 5 (Base Five), by the modifiers, and that’s what you need to HIT

You roll your Close Combat points in 10-sided dice every 5 or better is a HIT (Close Combat is LETHAL)

Then go through the normal Hits and Armour Save process. With one important caveat, Cover can ONLY be claimed if one side is OUTSIDE of the cover. if both are inside, no-one benefits.

Example (ADD IMAGE)

Legionnaires from 14th eme, assault Ghulam positions, near the Geothermal Power Station, Caliph City, Aleph Prime


1.7 – Morale

Platoons 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 Squads in your Platoon 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 Squads ‘reduced’ or removed, it this exceeds the halved initial Platoons total, you require a morale check.

Example

The Takeda Corporate Response Force began the game with 7 Squads, they have a Morale Check point of three. Currently they have lost 1 Squad and 3 are ‘reduced’, a total of 4, they are over their MCP, they must now check for morale, and hope that their Corporate Bushido mentality sustains them in the heat of combat.

1.7.1 – Morale Check

You have exceeded your Morale Check Point (MCP) for your Platoon, 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 Squad 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 squads in formation in cover, deduct 1 from you target number

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

1.7.2 – Suppressed

So, you failed the Moral Check huh?, bummer. Now your troops are in disarray, panic has set in, fire control has been lost, men are ditching heavy equipment in case they need to flee, orders are simply being ignored and caution has to be used as some men sill shoot their own officers rather then obey orders from the idiots that got them into this situation.

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

If in cover and NOT in Firefight range of an enemy Platoon, your Platoon will not leave the ‘safety’ of the position.

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 and 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.

Close Combat – ‘Come ahead if you think you are hard enough’, well, this shows how hard they are. Knives, Bayonets, Grenades, the plethora of close range carnage generators you have to hand.

Armour – How good is the armour of your element, be it re-enforced poly carbine, Kevlar, metal plates in a harness or chainmail.

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 Close Combat Armour Notes Points
Regular Infantry Squad Infantry 10cm 3/1 1/0 2/1 2
10
Regular Heavy Weapon Squad Infantry 10cm 2/1 2/1 2/1 2
15

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *