Home Forums WWII Effects of Rubble (also for modern, sci fi, other periods)

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    Avatar photoAnonymous

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    Avatar photokyoteblue

    I’m no expert but it’s hard to charge up a street when there is no street cause the buildings have fallen into the street. Then the defenders have piled up the rubble and shoot you as you charge over the uneven rubble..


    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    My rules give buildings Structure Points.

    “When a building has lost half or more of its SP then it is so damaged it can no longer offer concealment and is now just classed as cover.”

    So buildings can hide troops or offer cover, and if sufficiently damaged no longer offer a hiding place but just cover.

    So for my rules, cover helps to block incoming shots but the enemy still has LOS.
    Where as buildings offer concealment where there is no LOS and you can not be directly shot at. (though the building can)

    Plus as KB says, cover (rubble, walls, barrels) etc can impede movement.

    Not sure if that helps at all?

    Avatar photoRhoderic

    What kind of ground scale do you use, and on a related note, to what extent do the rulesets you’re familiar with abstract terrain? In the kind of skirmish-oriented games I’m used to, terrain isn’t much abstracted, so a pile of rubble represents the exact pile of rubble it looks like, a collapsed wall represents the exact collapsed wall it looks like, and so on. With rulesets for this sort of gaming, the usual rules mechanics for difficult ground and cover & concealment would deal with the effects of fighting over rubbled buildings. Actually turning intact buildings into rubble mid-game is a different matter though, falling outside what a typical wargamer can represent on the table (just as he/she can’t represent bridges being destroyed, roads being cratered, stands of trees being shredded under devastating barrages, etc) and therefore not usually touched upon much in the rules.

    Rulesets designed for larger-scope battles using a ground scale other than 1:1, where a building on the table is actually representing a BUA, might present different problems and opportunities. There might be more leeway here to rubble buildings mid-game without representing that on the table, or simply to have an intact-looking building actually represent a rubbled BUA from the start. If there are “area terrain” rules for intact BUAs but not rubbled BUAs, I could see that as a problem given the information you’ve provided about the advantages of defending rubble.

    Avatar photoPatrice

    My rules give buildings Structure Points.

    a pile of rubble represents the exact pile of rubble it looks like, a collapsed wall represents the exact collapsed wall it looks like, and so on. With rulesets for this sort of gaming, the usual rules mechanics for difficult ground and cover & concealment would deal with the effects of fighting over rubbled buildings.

    Yes exactly.

    Piles of rubbles can be easily made from small gravel or (clean!) cat litter, glued on a piece of card; and then in the game they are considered as difficult terrain to walk on, and as protection for units and/or characters who are just behind.


    Avatar photoMartinR

    I think the main problem with defending unprepared buildings is that if they aren’t already in bits, they very soon will be (and landing on your head), so rubbled buildings have already largely collapsed and ideally all the combustible material has burned up as well. The collapse also generates more randomness in the defended positions (no ‘top floor, third window from the left’ if there aren’t any floors or windows). Rubble also obstructs streets etc.

    I have come across various games which distinguish rubbled buildings as opposed to intact ones, but generally it is just in terms of protection benefits. In tactical games this sort of thing is probably determined best before the scenario starts, as the firepower required to say,  burn down half a city or reduce a village to a smear of brick dust in the mud takes a fair degree of organisation and time to apply.

    At the level of game I play this is usually part of the pre-game setup, or in grand tactical or operational games might be produced as part of the preparatory bombardment. Very destructive weapons might produce in-game terrain effects, but these are usually items which  might be considered WMDs – chemical weapons, WW1 style deep mine explosions, and of course tactical nukes.

    Nukes produce a startling variety of obstruction effects, glowing radioactive holes in the ground, instant firestorms (which make that forest you were hiding in a tad unpleasant), complete blocking of roads and demolition of BUAs, knocking down all those bridges you were hoping to cross etc. Modern Spearhead captures those effects rather well, and I blagged them for my own WW3 rules. Conducting a regimental assault behind a nuclear barrage actually needs a fair bit of planning if you aren’t going to accidentally block all your routes of advance.





    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoRhoderic

    Just to clarify what I said earlier about a typical wargamer not being able to represent buildings being rubbled mid-game, I was referring to the notion of having every piece of destructible terrain (whether buildings, bridges, roads, stands of trees and whatever else might be destructible) in both an intact version and an interchangeable “devastated” version. For most wargamers this isn’t doable in a way that looks good. I suppose one can simply replace an intact building with generic piles of rubble that bear no similarity to the structure they replaced, but I personally wouldn’t be content with that. I’d want some recognisable remnants of the original building’s appearance (but with copious amounts of rubble around at the base – I tend to be a bit annoyed with the way ruined buildings are so often represented without the accompanying rubble in wargaming, as if some big work crew has been there and cleaned it all up before the battle).

    That’s why I favour the approach MartinR described: The devastation of the terrain will have happened pre-game, if it happens at all. At least that’s what I do in the larger scales. If I was gaming some very large-scope battle where such heavy bombardment might be happening in-game, I’d be doing it in the smaller scales (6mm, 3mm, maybe 10mm) where I suppose it might be at least somewhat more feasible to model each building or BUA with interchangeable intact and rubbled pieces – at least if I don’t have to cover the entirety of a large board in dense city terrain. Not that I relish the prospect of such a terrain-building project very much…

    Avatar photoMartinR

    Well, in a tactical a game, you could always rule that if a building is hit in some spectacular fashion by a very dangerous weapon (150mm+ HE etc) then it is rubbled. ‘Spectacular’ can be rules specific, but in CF maybe if you roll an HE kill (I can’t recall how many dice a 150mm throws vs cover), it reduces the building the rubble as well. In others, throw a ‘6’ or something. All  a bit arbitrary but makes the players who want to blow stuff up happy.



    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoGaz045

    Troops occupying a rubbled building get the equivalent bonus’ of dug in troops…….

    Rubbled streets and buildings are impassable to tracked and wheeled vehicles ……….in my sci- fi games grav vehicles can traverse such terrain but accompanying infantry can’t due to flying debris………

    My 5cents……..


    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    In the past, my experience has been that if there are rules for demolishing buildings, people tend to spend too much time doing so because typically the damage from a collapsing building will be far greater tahn the damage from what the attack was to begin with.
    The old Space Marine tactic of knocking down hte building THEN occupying it, since it was safer that way 🙂

    As far as actual rubble, bad going and cover? Imagine it would be quite a nightmare to assault since enemies can hide literally anywhere and “in plain sight”.

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