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  • #159452
    madman
    Participant

    From page 9 the ONLY reasons a unit would perform a reaction test are;

    1.being surprised

    2. being outflanked, which I assume is defined as being attacked from their flank (not defined) or say having enemy in their flank and within X distance

    3. or taking casualties or a combination of the above.

    So a unit can only take one reduction in their reaction number per combat (one or any combination of above means only a single reduction). There is no reaction reduction for being under fire. What am I missing?

     

    #159453
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    No, the reaction total never changes. (The only way it can change is in a reaction result where the unit flees abandoning heavy weapons and wounded, but it’s now an option included in any of the tables, but is there if you want to build your own table) They start with 21 reaction points, they keep 21 points.

    They use up numbers in their reaction code. So the first time the unit with a total of 15 above tests, they do so on the 3 table, which is a pretty good table. The next time they test is on the 2 table, then they rally a little, test on the 3 table, then it’s back to the 2 table. The fifth time they test is also on the 5th table, but then on they drop down to the default 1 table which isn’t good news, They might be able to hold their position but don’t ask them to attack. Even if they’ve used up all eight numbers in their reaction code, if somebody shoots at them, they still check the casualty table as having a total of 15.

    Think of their situation as being their nerve is shattered, they’re exhausted, but the instincts you hammered into them in training, keep your heads down, spread out, keep low, are still there, so they’re still as hard to kill as they were.

     

    #159455
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    From page 9 the ONLY reasons a unit would perform a reaction test are; 1.being surprised 2. being outflanked, which I assume is defined as being attacked from their flank (not defined) or say having enemy in their flank and within X distance 3. or taking casualties or a combination of the above. So a unit can only take one reduction in their reaction number per combat (one or any combination of above means only a single reduction). There is no reaction reduction for being under fire. What am I missing?

    The first time you’re under fire, you’re surprised. Ex-regulars have assured me this is an effect, even when you sort of expect it, you’re surprised. Even if it’s an ‘oh damn, not again’ sort of surprise. Effectively the stress is ratcheted up.

    If you’re shot at and enemy inflict enough casualties to need to roll on the table, then there are still ‘casualties’ even if they’re not enough to mean you start taking bases off. Think of the casualties at being at a level where they don’t impact too much on the smooth running of the unit (you aren’t losing a lot of fire power because men are dead or wounded, ) but you’ve got a steady dribble of men having to be helped back to the medic or somebody running backwards and forwards with medikits or whatever. Your fire power isn’t effected but the stress is still building.
    If you come under fire but there is no point in rolling (effectively the modified difference is going to be less than 1) then there is no effect on the unit, they don’t have to test their reaction.

    Even troops with a reaction total over 20 who cannot lose bases at the level of fire will still suffer a thin trickle of casualties. In their case they cope with it better because they have more good numbers in their reaction code so they remain useful longer.  This means their units are resilient enough to keep their firepower even after they’ve been through a lot, and also they’ve got the training and experience to be able to roll with it and to keep going longer than other troops can.

    This is why any human soldier, no matter how fabulous, only has eight numbers in the reaction code. When they hit the ninth it is always 1 because at that point they’ve pretty much taken what they can. Some units have reaction codes that hit 1 a lot earlier.

     

    #159456
    madman
    Participant

    The first time you’re under fire, you’re surprised. Ex-regulars have assured me this is an effect, even when you sort of expect it, you’re surprised. Even if it’s an ‘oh damn, not again’ sort of surprise. Effectively the stress is ratcheted up. If you’re shot at and enemy inflict enough casualties to need to roll on the table, then there are still ‘casualties’ even if they’re not enough to mean you start taking bases off.

    Makes sense first time under fire is both a potential reaction check (don’t know off hand if it applies there) as well as affecting the casualty table. But if you are in a position where there is no chance of casualty then no effect.

    Please note: On the Over 20 reaction points part of the table there is no numbers for any modified difference below 8+. Is this a mistake or intentional. I can see no chance at 1-2 as there is a -, but none until 8+ to 10. I assume this is a mistake, please elaborate.

     

    If you come under fire but there is no point in rolling (effectively the modified difference is going to be less than 1) then there is no effect on the unit, they don’t have to test their reaction. Even troops with a reaction total over 20 who cannot lose bases at the level of fire will still suffer a thin trickle of casualties. In their case they cope with it better because they have more good numbers in their reaction code so they remain useful longer. This means their units are resilient enough to keep their firepower even after they’ve been through a lot, and also they’ve got the training and experience to be able to roll with it and to keep going longer than other troops can. This is why any human soldier, no matter how fabulous, only has eight numbers in the reaction code. When they hit the ninth it is always 1 because at that point they’ve pretty much taken what they can. Some units have reaction codes that hit 1 a lot earlier.

    Only using the table when you have veteran or better troops can you never have a chance of losing a base, and depending on the answer to the above it may be either very large or small. Still have to get to where reaction tests are taken in game terms.

    #159457
    madman
    Participant

    BTW Jim I am being mister picky here not to beat my chest but because I like these rules and am looking for ones for my use and hope by being a bit of a devil’s advocate help the author improve or fix the game. In the above post is it intended to be no effect or did those results get missed.

    #159458
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Don’t worry, I might just send you my next set to proof read because you have the gift for it

    The troops over 20 won’t lose bases unless there is a lot of serious firepower. This means that as a unit they hang together well, they keep their fire power, they remain dangerous when other units are starting to look battered.
    BUT
    Whilst they cannot lose bases, they are still losing a trickle of casualties because people are shooting at them. So they will react to these casualties.

    With these rules, whilst it’s useful to kill people, that isn’t really how you defeat the other side. It’s more important to break their will to fight. So that is done by forcing them to react. Even it they react well, the stress you’re putting them under eventually undermines them.

    If you have two units facing off against each other, unless one is very much superior to the other, it tends to bog down in an ineffective firefight where both sides are in cover or have gone to ground and both have pinned each other. In some turns, neither side might be inflicting casualties on the other.  The better one will ‘outlast’ the other but by the time the other does bug out, the better unit is also ground down. So you are constantly probing the flanks, trying to get behind them. Because that unit you’re outflanking cannot pin two units, unless it gets help, you’ll soon get fire superiority with the boost of outflanking

    (When you set a scenario up you can state that a unit dug in in a certain position doesn’t count outflanked if you wish)

     

    #159461
    madman
    Participant

    Don’t worry, I might just send you my next set to proof read because you have the gift for it<noscript></noscript>

    Can we say anal retentive boys and girls? I would be happy to help out and this wouldn’t be the first set. I used to game with a guy who didn’t care if the rules went for him he would still argue till you turned blue or grey. So I have always kept it in mind how to write rules with minimal interpretations and with minimum verbosity.

    So they don’t take casualties until attacked at 8+?

    #159463
    Tony S
    Participant

    Interesting questions madman.  Especially since I tried a little solo play last night, and had some questions as well.   I think we have similar thought processes – and conclusions.   I think there’s a really good game here, that I passed over lo these many years gone by now, but there are a few little things I am finding inconsistent.

    I was rather taken with the concept that units will take some bases off, but more commonly they will break and run because of the reaction limits.  Love that!  Mind you, I only regarded “casualties” as “base removed”, so things will move along much quicker, and the troop quality gradient will be a bit less steep.  Elite troops, since they lose bases much, much less regularly, tended to have their reaction codes last much longer.  If the definition of what constitutes a casualties roll in the reaction table is in there, I missed it.

    Also, to make madman feel less alone, I’ll add my anal retentive note.  On the casualty table, the row titles are driving me crazy!  In my mind, a row that has 1 to 2, and row marked 2+ to 5, means that’s a difference of two applies to both rows.  Because 2+ means anything 2 and above.  I’ve changed it to 3+ to 5 on my QRS.   Because I’m just that sad.

    I was also a trifle confused about shooting at armour.   It is stated that any hit, even if didn’t penetrate, means the vehicle is pinned.  Which is great, and I certainly agree with that general philosophy, except that I can’t figure when this event would occur.   If you roll and score higher than the armour on the to hit table, you penetrate.  If you roll lower, you don’t hit (I presume, as one is referring to a “to hit” table) and therefore there is no pin.  I assumed that rolling equal would mean a hit, but ineffective but enough to cause a pin?

    I did note that mecha, which are suggested to halve their armour values because they are silly large targets, are therefore vulnerable to small arms now.   And speaking of, as near as I can figure it, powered armoured troops are invulnerable to small arms, because it is hard to roll 16+ on a D12.   I do admit that I used the rules for small arms against armour for firing against power armour.  They is, if the firing troops roll a 10+ and are under half range, they then can roll as D12+10.

    I also noticed a confusing bit that never comes into play, but I’m guessing was perhaps leftover from a concept that was abandoned, or perhaps intended for something that was never developed?  Under Order Point costs, it is stated that it takes one point to help stop a group from firing at friendly aircraft?  What’s that for?

    Finally, how do you measure ranges?  From the rough centre of the group?  Each individual base, with the proviso that that might mean some stands are under half range, whereas others aren’t?

    And now really finally – thanks for all your patience and willingness to answer questions and comments by gamers.  Tremendous!  Thanks!

     

    #159464
    madman
    Participant

    One of Us! One of Us! One of Us! Since getting back into gaming about five years ago now one of my main aims has been finding a set of rules for micro armour gaming from just after WWI (the start of squad or part of a platoon infantry tactics) to near and eventually far future. I have bought and read many sets and played a few including ones from back in the day. Nothing has scratched all my itches but when something gets close I stand up and pay attention. This is pretty good. Even if I don’t end up using it as is I like to help the designer and players both get things straight and give the designer input. What they decide to do with it is their business.

    One thing I have noticed is I am more aware of the game scale I want to play micro armour at. Part of that is because I have found an intense interest in skirmish gaming as well which I have gone with 15mm to play.

    Interesting questions madman. Especially since I tried a little solo play last night, and had some questions as well. I think we have similar thought processes – and conclusions. I think there’s a really good game here, that I passed over lo these many years gone by now, but there are a few little things I am finding inconsistent.

    I have yet to bring it to the table and have not read beyond what I have referred to above. Since getting back into the hobby I have a narrow minded focus on infantry actions, or very infantry centric so keep that in mind when I comment. As for inconsistencies the author did state that there may be areas where the players need to work together in a friendly manner to agree on points of contention. My intent is point out these potential areas so the author can decide what is correct and inform us.

    I was rather taken with the concept that units will take some bases off, but more commonly they will break and run because of the reaction limits. Love that! Mind you, I only regarded “casualties” as “base removed”, so things will move along much quicker, and the troop quality gradient will be a bit less steep. Elite troops, since they lose bases much, much less regularly, tended to have their reaction codes last much longer. If the definition of what constitutes a casualties roll in the reaction table is in there, I missed it.

    Again I haven’t gotten far enough to see when and where reaction checks are made. I did miss-read the earlier section on scale and thought each base was to represent a company (not my scale) but realized that is the size of a player’s force. That is very close to my “ideal” scale of anything from a reinforced platoon to a battalion, so I feel this game scratches “that itch”. I have also become more tolerant of rules which don’t tie you down to specific unit sizes for what the individual “bases” represent. So depending on how you envision your troops a base can represent a fire team or weapons team of two to four troopers up to a squad or half platoon of a couple dozen troops. I like that as another game of this scale I like, Hind & Seek, doesn’t impose specific unit sizes so I see a base composed of four highly trained paratroopers whereas a motley gang of Mujahedeen armed solely with Khyber Pass Lee Enfields may number twenty or more individuals.

    Also, to make madman feel less alone, I’ll add my anal retentive note. On the casualty table, the row titles are driving me crazy! In my mind, a row that has 1 to 2, and row marked 2+ to 5, means that’s a difference of two applies to both rows. Because 2+ means anything 2 and above. I’ve changed it to 3+ to 5 on my QRS. Because I’m just that sad.

    Funny as I like the way Jim wrote it best. To each his own and interpretations come with the player(s).

    I was also a trifle confused about shooting at armour. It is stated that any hit, even if didn’t penetrate, means the vehicle is pinned. Which is great, and I certainly agree with that general philosophy, except that I can’t figure when this event would occur. If you roll and score higher than the armour on the to hit table, you penetrate. If you roll lower, you don’t hit (I presume, as one is referring to a “to hit” table) and therefore there is no pin. I assumed that rolling equal would mean a hit, but ineffective but enough to cause a pin?

    Not gotten that far yet.

    I did note that mecha, which are suggested to halve their armour values because they are silly large targets, are therefore vulnerable to small arms now. And speaking of, as near as I can figure it, powered armoured troops are invulnerable to small arms, because it is hard to roll 16+ on a D12. I do admit that I used the rules for small arms against armour for firing against power armour. They is, if the firing troops roll a 10+ and are under half range, they then can roll as D12+10.

    I see Mecha as anything from a powered loader, a la Aliens, to the towering behemoths of BattleTech. So I might have issues with size when I get to that point. I guess size may be defined as quantity and “size” of weapons carried. My background, and the direction I started on when getting back into gaming, for sci fi was Traveller and Striker for combat game.

    I also noticed a confusing bit that never comes into play, but I’m guessing was perhaps leftover from a concept that was abandoned, or perhaps intended for something that was never developed? Under Order Point costs, it is stated that it takes one point to help stop a group from firing at friendly aircraft? What’s that for?

    Oh, no I totally agree with this, especially lower tech troops which have no such thing as IFF (Identification Friend or Foe). Anything looking down on you is bad and it would take a higher up kicking someone’s ass to keep them from filling the air with lead. Even at higher tech there often won’t be time to determine who the target is especially with the increasing use of battlefield drones either for attack or information gathering.

    Finally, how do you measure ranges? From the rough centre of the group? Each individual base, with the proviso that that might mean some stands are under half range, whereas others aren’t?

    Good question. I take it as from the centre of the attacking group. If one or more units in that group have no LOS do they still add to the attack? (This may be covered later in the rules).

    This also goes back to the definition of unit(s) and orders. If you want each platoon to use a single order to function as you want what happens if you don’t have enough orders? Can you join two platoons together and have them both use a single order? What about splitting a platoon into two or more squads or sections same question. Do you have to set your organization before the start of the game or can you spend order(s) to split or combine units? If you combine units and one or the other is suffering the ill effects of combat how is that apportioned? Can you split a unit into broken troops and unaffected ones? This may seem trivial or obvious but to me it is the niggly little details which can make or break a set of rules.

    And now really finally – thanks for all your patience and willingness to answer questions and comments by gamers. Tremendous! Thanks!

    Yes, thank you Jim and everyone who looks in here. Especially contributors but players or readers usually have some input. Jim, it can take a lot of guts to put yourself out there by publishing a set of rules and I thank you. Please take our criticisms and questions as seeking help from you and trying to help by bringing thoughts you may never of had to light so you can improve your game either in future editions or by answering or addressing our concerns here. Thank you.

    #159465
    Tony S
    Participant

    Oh, no I totally agree with this, especially lower tech troops which have no such thing as IFF (Identification Friend or Foe). Anything looking down on you is bad and it would take a higher up kicking someone’s ass to keep them from filling the air with lead. Even at higher tech there often won’t be time to determine who the target is especially with the increasing use of battlefield drones either for attack or information gathering.

    I’m in total agreement with that!  My comment was directed at the fact that there’s nothing in the rules that have friendly fire, so there’s no reason to mention that it takes one point to cease firing at your own aircraft.  Seemed like a really good idea, but somehow never got put in?

    And there are some rules in the rallying section about combining disintegrating units.  Again, I really like that.   Lots of clever bits in these rules!

    Oh – I forgot to mention my specific thanks for Jim pointing out that one can quickly make rough and ready mental approximations for the math bits without much loss of accuracy, but lots of savings of time.  Even though I too was forced to memorize the times table (I remember my mom forcing me to do so at the kitchen table, and not letting me leave until I got it right) I admit I was using a calculator when I soloed it.  Mea culpa!

     

    #159467
    madman
    Participant

    Devil’s advocate time again. This time it is scale & movement, the group and command and orders.

    I am not sure if the intended size of unit for each side is a company, which is defined as the maneuver element in THE GROUP: or each element of a player’s team is a company. In command and orders your modified die roll is the number of groups which can be activated or moved. So is each base, or groups of bases, that is provided and order to move or is it each company? In any case no base is to move more than 2″ from an adjacent base. Perhaps this is what defines a “group”. I had a bad reaction to something similar which is imposed in the Striker Leader set of rules where units have to be within 1″ due to communications issues. OK for low tech small units which need to be within such distances for, say a squad leader to maintain command and control before personal communicators maybe with video as well, again a la Aliens. Here making units which wish to operate as such, using only one order between them, works fine by me.

     

    #159469
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Don’t worry, I might just send you my next set to proof read because you have the gift for it<noscript><noscript></noscript></noscript><noscript></noscript>

    Can we say anal retentive boys and girls? I would be happy to help out and this wouldn’t be the first set. I used to game with a guy who didn’t care if the rules went for him he would still argue till you turned blue or grey. So I have always kept it in mind how to write rules with minimal interpretations and with minimum verbosity.

    So they don’t take casualties until attacked at 8+?

     

    You might like a comment made by one of my playtesters back when Hell by Starlight was being playtested

    “Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A foolish consistency is the Hobgoblin of little minds”. I think he was a prat!”

    #159470
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Interesting questions madman. Especially since I tried a little solo play last night, and had some questions as well. I think we have similar thought processes – and conclusions. I think there’s a really good game here, that I passed over lo these many years gone by now, but there are a few little things I am finding inconsistent. I was rather taken with the concept that units will take some bases off, but more commonly they will break and run because of the reaction limits. Love that! Mind you, I only regarded “casualties” as “base removed”, so things will move along much quicker, and the troop quality gradient will be a bit less steep. Elite troops, since they lose bases much, much less regularly, tended to have their reaction codes last much longer. If the definition of what constitutes a casualties roll in the reaction table is in there, I missed it. Also, to make madman feel less alone, I’ll add my anal retentive note. On the casualty table, the row titles are driving me crazy! In my mind, a row that has 1 to 2, and row marked 2+ to 5, means that’s a difference of two applies to both rows. Because 2+ means anything 2 and above. I’ve changed it to 3+ to 5 on my QRS. Because I’m just that sad. I was also a trifle confused about shooting at armour. It is stated that any hit, even if didn’t penetrate, means the vehicle is pinned. Which is great, and I certainly agree with that general philosophy, except that I can’t figure when this event would occur. If you roll and score higher than the armour on the to hit table, you penetrate. If you roll lower, you don’t hit (I presume, as one is referring to a “to hit” table) and therefore there is no pin. I assumed that rolling equal would mean a hit, but ineffective but enough to cause a pin? I did note that mecha, which are suggested to halve their armour values because they are silly large targets, are therefore vulnerable to small arms now. And speaking of, as near as I can figure it, powered armoured troops are invulnerable to small arms, because it is hard to roll 16+ on a D12. I do admit that I used the rules for small arms against armour for firing against power armour. They is, if the firing troops roll a 10+ and are under half range, they then can roll as D12+10. I also noticed a confusing bit that never comes into play, but I’m guessing was perhaps leftover from a concept that was abandoned, or perhaps intended for something that was never developed? Under Order Point costs, it is stated that it takes one point to help stop a group from firing at friendly aircraft? What’s that for? Finally, how do you measure ranges? From the rough centre of the group? Each individual base, with the proviso that that might mean some stands are under half range, whereas others aren’t? And now really finally – thanks for all your patience and willingness to answer questions and comments by gamers. Tremendous! Thanks!

     

    Technically, because we’re not always dealing with whole numbers 2+ can be different to 2

    Sometimes results will be ‘somewhere between two and three. 2+ is probably not a good term to use

    Remember all armoured vehicles are vulnerable to ‘small arms fire’. If the infantry roll 10, 11, or 12 when firing at armoured vehicles (or mecha etc with small arms and are under half range, you roll again. This time with a d10 treating them as a crew served weapon. Obviously somebody has a buzz bomb/rpg or whatever. ) Armoured troops will probably crush infantry but they’ve got to be professional when doing it and ideally be well supported

    Same with powered armour troops, you pick them off with crew served weapons, or take them out in melee with shaped charges (you take a dice roll drop when facing them but still have a chance) and also you can wear them down with reaction.

     

    Pinning for armour. remember armour can be hit by things like nerve gas or similar and their NBC protects. So they’re pinned even if they’re OK.
    You also have to score higher than the armour, so drawing still hits but only pins.
    Also some of the hits don’t cause a lot of damage (coms out, that sort of thing) so the troops are pinned

    I’m glad you spotted the aircraft, (as nobody else did in first edition) it was in the original playtest, got dropped as a concept but survived into the first edition. And then, thirty years later when I tarted up the second edition I spotted it and found a place for it

     

    Pop-up targets
    Infantry will fire at any aircraft if it just appears within small arms range of them with no
    warning. It will assumed to be hostile and to have been sneaking up on them. You can
    spend an order point to stop this. Page 16 🙂

    Basically aircraft can use pop up fire, but it has downsides in that everybody is nervous

    #159472
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Devil’s advocate time again. This time it is scale & movement, the group and command and orders. I am not sure if the intended size of unit for each side is a company, which is defined as the maneuver element in THE GROUP: or each element of a player’s team is a company. In command and orders your modified die roll is the number of groups which can be activated or moved. So is each base, or groups of bases, that is provided and order to move or is it each company? In any case no base is to move more than 2″ from an adjacent base. Perhaps this is what defines a “group”. I had a bad reaction to something similar which is imposed in the Striker Leader set of rules where units have to be within 1″ due to communications issues. OK for low tech small units which need to be within such distances for, say a squad leader to maintain command and control before personal communicators maybe with video as well, again a la Aliens. Here making units which wish to operate as such, using only one order between them, works fine by me.

     

    If you look at the scenarios, groups can be small, two ‘infantry’ bases travelling in two vehicles, or can be larger. The advantage of a larger group is more firepower, but that firepower can evaporate on the same reaction roll 🙂
    I didn’t really allow for units to be spread over a wide area, connected and controlled by one central commander. I felt t wasn’t needed because if you want to split the company sized manoeuvre element down into squad sized manoeuvre elements, you can, because the squad sized manoeuvre element now becomes the group. You just split them before deployment.

    The thing about the manoeuvre unit is that it is an ‘enclosed system’ for reaction. If you have the company as the manoeuvre unit and allow squads to go off and have adventures, their reaction would have a big negative effect on the rest of the unit, because the whole unit reacts.

    But have the squad as the manoeuvre unit then when they panic and throw their rifles away as they run for it, the rest of the company is still OK.

     

     

    #159473
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    I’ve probably missed questions people have asked. I’m not ignoring them, just missed them to feel free to ask again 🙂

    #159774
    madman
    Participant

    I was going to make up a big post with all my questions but too busy so I decided to just ask as I think or remember them.

    SNIPERS:

    So irregular or guerilla units “generate” snipers and drop them off during movement away from the enemy. Regular units can have snipers attached BUT no further information is included in the rules section.

    So do regular sniper units move like or with other regular units?

    Do regular sniper units position themselves anywhere on the table and can reposition freely during the game?

    Can a regular sniper unit be “generated” like irregular units can, same conditions and requirements?

    IMHO I think regular sniper units should be able to move and/or be generated by any of the above conditions/questions.

    #159775
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Now then, this is the way we played it. 🙂

    Snipers are largely scenario dependent. So regulars will be told a unit contains a sniper team. So if you want your regulars to have a sniper team per battalion then they’ve got one. If the regulars deploy on the table first, they can set the sniper team up on the map, but then the team doesn’t move. (It was a decision based on playtesting.) If they’re flushed out they scamper back to their unit. They don’t use points and are assumed to cover about 6″ a move so the player just notes the move they should arrive.  For us, trying to track them, and then spending points to move them etc, just snarled things up)

    Otherwise if they are with the unit or move onto the battlefield with the unit, like everybody else in the unit they stay within 2″ of the nearest elements of the unit. They act as snipers from there and the unit doesn’t lose firepower (so you don’t ‘lose’ a base to create a sniper.)

    But in reality there is no reason why you could not have regular sniper teams as small, one base units. The rules can cope with it. It does have advantages that it’s far easier to justify a sniper team with a reaction total of 21 pts, than it is an entire company. If you’re moving them, redeploying them, just as you would another unit, then I think you’d have to start paying command points for them. But this needn’t be an issue because in Hellfire games, because you tend to husband units a bit, there can be pauses where you just regroup and pull stuff back or push fresh stuff forward. That would be the perfect place to push forward a sniper base and use them to sow alarm and despondency. This could screw up the other side’s redeployment. Whilst the snipers don’t leave a trail of death and destruction, they are the mastic in the wheels of smooth military operations. They pin units and pinned units take more command points to move than unpinned units, and  command points are a finite resource. Also they’re causing ‘nominal’ casualties so units are reacting when the sniper gets a ‘kill’.

    This is where we hit the ‘ideology’ of the rules.

    I’ve aimed to produce a scaffolding, not a strait jacket. The rules are there to allow you to do what you want and have fun. I’m handing you a torch which will enable you to light up YOUR universe. So I’m more descriptive than prescriptive. I tend not to put in rules saying ‘don’t do this’ 🙂
    That’s why there’s no Official Hellfire Universe. It’s also why there are never going to be Hellfire championships and competitions. Because everybody will tweak it differently and people won’t play it the same. But it doesn’t matter if they’re playing the rules the way that suits them and fits their gaming style.

     

    #159777
    madman
    Participant

    Thank you that is the kind of explanation I was looking for. Or rather “official interpretation”. One thing though did you try giving sniper attacks “surprised” status? I would think appropriate but playtesting may have found it too powerful.

    I like not having to either track or use points on sniper units. Gives them that independence of action they are noted for. Until they are forced to regroup with the rest of their base unit. Either they have been recalled or lose faith in the “plan”.

    #159778
    madman
    Participant

    Next up is changing from the written sequence of play (IGO UGO) to a semi simultaneous Side A activates a group, then B, etc.. I started to write this up but upon reflection it will need more consideration in order to cover the various consequences. I will be continuing work on this as it is how I would like my games to go. If anyone out there would like me to post my thoughts and possible re-written rules let me know. I do not want to step on Jim’s toes so unless he wants this is strictly “in my hellfire universe” thoughts. To come if interest shown.

    #159790
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Thank you that is the kind of explanation I was looking for. Or rather “official interpretation”. One thing though did you try giving sniper attacks “surprised” status? I would think appropriate but playtesting may have found it too powerful. I like not having to either track or use points on sniper units. Gives them that independence of action they are noted for. Until they are forced to regroup with the rest of their base unit. Either they have been recalled or lose faith in the “plan”.

    Yes, when you’re first ‘successfully’ shot at by snipers, you are surprised. If both sides roll and the sniper is driven off, then there’s no surprise.
    If the sniper remains in action, keeps winning the rolls then the sniper is inflicting casualties, so the other side keeps reacting. But only when the sniper ‘wins’
    In one of the scenarios I put up on the web page, it is a tactic. You have a mountain people who appear as ‘cavalry’ but whose preferred tactic is to stay in cover, have a sniper or two creep forward and wear down the enemy, and then when the enemy are pinned and/or demoralised, they mount up and sweep in.
    Snipers cannot just be ignored because ‘they’re only killing two or three people out of a unit of 500.’
    But they don’t appear in every game because they can be powerful if used right and some armies struggle to cope with them. The sensible response is to put down ‘covering fire’ on an area where you think the sniper might be. As soon as there’s a shot from the area, the area gets hosed down. But of course you have to get the right area 🙂
    And you’ve got an entire group fighting  private war with one man, instead of taking part in the battle proper.
    So yes snipers are powerful but even when they’re rolling a d10 and the target is rolling a d6 they can suddenly evaporate as they’re noticed. So that probably keeps the balance

    When I played through the scenario which is on the blog as a download, from memory the snipers rolled four times, won three and had to scarper once. They were d8 to d6. Also they’re just scarpering back to a unit who in the scenario can just send out others. This is a cultural thing and something you would build into a scenario. After all, it’s a nice technique to have if your normal form of warfare is raiding lowland villages and chasing off the low grade militia. It’s less useful if you’re trying to defend against aggressive infantry with artillery support 🙂

     

    #159793
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Next up is changing from the written sequence of play (IGO UGO) to a semi simultaneous Side A activates a group, then B, etc.. I started to write this up but upon reflection it will need more consideration in order to cover the various consequences. I will be continuing work on this as it is how I would like my games to go. If anyone out there would like me to post my thoughts and possible re-written rules let me know. I do not want to step on Jim’s toes so unless he wants this is strictly “in my hellfire universe” thoughts. To come if interest shown.

     

    My attitude has always been once you’ve bought the rules they’re your rules so fiddle away 🙂
    If the ideas are really good and work well, I’ll probably end up using them.

    To an extend I have mitigated the IGO UGO because, firstly there are command points. So your go may not last as long as you’d hope and you might not be able to do the things you want. Secondly you can interrupt into the other go with your covering fire.

    Also because of command points, you can, for example, push an attack. The other side then might react frantically to it, and both sides can find themselves ignoring stuff which just shoots at each other from cover, achieving nothing but at least looking as if they’re doing something.

    If you do move down the ‘side A activates a group’ ‘side B activates a group’ then I think you have a choice, you might ignore command points or you could keep the command points to limit the amount of activation. I’d keep covering fire, and personally I would rule that a unit that put down covering fire hasn’t been activated. So the owning player can activate them.

    I’ve seen some strange things happen when you have ‘random’ activation where each unit has a card and activate when the card is drawn, but covering fire can help stop them being overrun without ever being able to react. But because the ‘rolling activation’ breaks down the ‘move structure’ you can see positive things coming from it. So the first activation is your artillery hitting a village. The other side do something. Then your air strike hits the village. The other side do something. Then your artillery assault the village. The other side do something.
    Whereas normally with IGOUGO you find yourself unable to coordinate attacks like this because moving might come before fire or whatever.

    #160100
    Tony S
    Participant

    I just stumbled across some interesting scenarios and ideas and variants for Hellfire.   Even one that offers a Judge Dredd scenario for Hellfire!

    https://www.sfsfw.org/a/system.php#hlf

    It’s obviously from Ragnarok, but a lot of the articles are available freely online.   The magazines themselves are for sale through Wargame Vault.  (And a lot of other articles for other rules are also there as well)

    #160105
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Looking at the magazines, there seem to be articles missing. Some I remember don’t seem to be there, so whether when they compiled them they only did the scenario side of things I don’t know.
    I remember doing an article where I sat down and worked out just how many ships you’d need to invade Earth, assuming you wanted to drop land forces to fight and conquer.
    From memory I took ship sizes from Traveller as a basis.

    Since then 40K has come along and built far far bigger ships

    #160106
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Tony, excellent find. Thanks for sharing.

    Tally-Ho!

    #160117
    Tony S
    Participant

    @Jim – the index only covers articles from issues 29 to 55.  So your memory of missing articles might just be based on fact!

    Even if it’s incomplete, someone went to some trouble to create the index, and place it online.   Awfully kind of them!  This hobby can be a most pleasant place.

     

     

    #160120
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Depends where you look, if you go by author they have stuff of mine from 13. Peter Pan, the wargame

    https://www.sfsfw.org/a/13/peter.php

    which is a game I’m modestly proud of 🙂

     

    #160166
    madman
    Participant

    Picked up the Science Fiction bundle from Wessex Games which includes Iron Cow 2103 plus. Quick read of IC shows little new or unique enough to want to play. I will go through Phase Line Bravo and see if there is good ideas in there. So for now I like Hellfire much better.

    #160172
    Tony S
    Participant

    I played a second game of HF solo tonight, and midway through realized that I’d forgotten about pinning.  As in – for some reason I thought pinning occurred as a result of the reaction tables.  It does not.  Any successful shot – whether casualties were caused or not – pins a unit, if I’m reading the rules right.

    But I can’t seem to find how a unit removes the pin?   Pinned units take 2 pips to move; I see that, but is the condition permanent?

    Thanks in advance Jim!

    #160174
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    You stop shooting at them, they stop being pinned. Recovery is automatic. If you’re ‘pinned’ from entering a minefield then it lasts until you leave the minefield

    When they’re pinned they don’t fight as well and are harder to move but they’re not crippled.

    #160175
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Picked up the Science Fiction bundle from Wessex Games which includes Iron Cow 2103 plus. Quick read of IC shows little new or unique enough to want to play. I will go through Phase Line Bravo and see if there is good ideas in there. So for now I like Hellfire much better.

     

    I confess I don’t know Iron Cow at all so cannot really comment.

    #160209
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    The thing about the manoeuvre unit is that it is an ‘enclosed system’ for reaction. If you have the company as the manoeuvre unit and allow squads to go off and have adventures, their reaction would have a big negative effect on the rest of the unit, because the whole unit reacts. But have the squad as the manoeuvre unit then when they panic and throw their rifles away as they run for it, the rest of the company is still OK.

      Oh man, I really like this!  Just by that choice you’re basically setting a up your ability to continue to operate once the shooting starts.  Makes great sense for the entire platoon to be heavily impacted for the lose of a squad but the company less so.  Dig it!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #160218
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Oh man, I really like this! Just by that choice you’re basically setting a up your ability to continue to operate once the shooting starts. Makes great sense for the entire platoon to be heavily impacted for the lose of a squad but the company less so. Dig it!

    What you have to remember is that the rules are generic. They’re there to allow you and your opponent to do things you want to 🙂
    So, for example, you might be running games with a background of infantry being really good at taking vehicles out in close combat. It’s simple,  under the close combat factors boost infantry.

    You might have a weapon system which fires sticky webs. Perhaps designed to restrain crowds. Well you might want to decide that instead of taking a number of bases casualties, that’s the number of moves the unit is pinned as it desperately tries to unstick itself 🙂

    If you play it a few times and feel that the reaction tables don’t really do justice to your Warp Knights (or whatever) just give them a couple of new reaction tables.

     

     

    #160433
    madman
    Participant

    I think I need to play a couple games before trying alternate activations versus IGO UGO. There is more to it (many areas are affected) and it needs some thought. I also don’t care for card drawn activation but could see the utility in a solo game. However I read the rules again in order to familiarize myself with them before attempting a game and have the following observations and/or questions. I am only considering the rules to the end of page 17.

    Define group, unit and bases. This is for me to do in order to make it more obvious to myself. I also want to go over the rules and maybe highlight each use to make sure I know which is being referred to.

    Reviewing the combat section I find the following;

    Troops in power armour cannot be hurt by any other infantry weapons. Even other troops in power armour are not powerful enough. Only crew served or vehicle weapons can damage them.

    What constitutes “cover”? I will define this in more terms for my own purposes.

    Casualty table
    Add Target to Groups Reaction Points

    Covering Fire
    what are the effects? Other than usual attacks? More than one target group?

    Anti Vehicle Fire
    infantry and cavalry sounds like RPGs, sticky bombs, rifle grenades
    they can hit but not penetrate (too low a roll on attack vs armour)

    Weapons Strengths
    Why have infantry weapons at all as they cannot penetrate

     

    #160446
    Tony S
    Participant

    With respect to infantry stands being unable to hurt power armour, or vehicles, see page 14 (well, in my old printed copy) “Anti vehicle fire”, first paragraph under “who can fire”.

    If infantry are under half range, and roll 10+, they then roll D10 like a crew served heavy weapon.  It doesn’t explicitly say it, but I use that for shooting at power armour too.   (With the caveat that I’ve only played two games solo, and managed to get some rules wrong in both)!

    #160456
    madman
    Participant

    That would be a work around but my background is Traveller and plasma and fusion guns could effect battle dress. Just saying.

    #160501
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Reviewing the combat section I find the following;

    Troops in power armour cannot be hurt by any other infantry weapons. Even other troops in power armour are not powerful enough. Only crew served or vehicle weapons can damage them.

     

    ========================
    Tony S has  noticed this one. If the infantry are close enough and roll 10+ on their d12 they roll d10 as a crew served weapon. So at short range things can get messy
    Especially as the infantry firing as crew served weapon only fire on one base because that’s what crew served weapons do when firing at heavy armour.

    You might like to fight 40K using Hellfire, suddenly space marines actually fight like they do in the background and novels, not like they do on the wargames table under the rules 🙂
    Endless hordes of cultists with no armour and light weapons very slowly wearing down a small party of space marines

     

    Cover is something you define by scenario. But you can be in cover just moving through a wood.
    Dug in is the next level and and be added to in cover. Dug in is agreed by the players. As in, ‘my guys have been there for four moves, and nobody has shot at them, they’ve not just gone to ground, they’ve dug in. It could be shallow scrapes, or they’ve got behind a fallen tree, or whatever

     

    Casualty table
    Add Target to Groups Reaction Points

    Yes, I should. It’s explained in the examples but should be more explicit

     

    Covering Fire
    what are the effects? Other than usual attacks? More than one target group?

    It’s fire that is worked out normally as normal attacks, but it is a mechanism to allow the ‘non phasing player’ to interrupt the other player. It starts making IGOUGO more simultaneous

     

    Infantry weapons and anti vehicle fire.

    Most vehicle armour is designed to keep out infantry small arms. It’s almost the standard basic. So you cannot expect to take out an armoured vehicle with a rifle
    But then infantry gets anti tank weapons. These are normally shorter range. So at half range infantry can penetrate on a 10+, which isn’t wonderful but better.
    But infantry comes into their own when you get into hand to hand combat when all the close range stuff comes into place and then decent infantry can give even the heaviest tanks a kicking

    Sorry for the delay in replying
    My lady wife and I have been up to see our daughter for a few days, first time in 18 months 🙂

    #160503
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    That would be a work around but my background is Traveller and plasma and fusion guns could effect battle dress. Just saying.

     

    Remember your infantry in Power armour “A d12 roll of 1 or 2 counts as 13 or 14 for troops wearing Power armour who are firing. ”

    Also at less than half range getting 10+ on your d12 means you reroll as a crew served heavy weapon, so they get the heavy weapon 3 in 12 times
    But by definition, 13 and 14 are also 10 + to power armoured troops get to count as heavy weapon 5 in 12 times

     

    #160505
    madman
    Participant

    Don’t you 40K me, them is fightin’ words. Mostly powered armour from some novels, etc. in the past and as I said heavily influenced by Traveller/Striker.

    I don’t see this half range means heavy weapons. Please show me where if you don’t mean play as Tony suggested. You keep coming back to 1 or 2 is actually 13 or 14 which is fine BUT you need to roll 15+ for power armour.

    Again I have not gotten far into vehicle combat/defense but again don’t see half range equals heavy weapons. I see improvised armour being early tanks, home made armoured vehicles as in the Spanish Civil War or ISIS improvised armoured vehicles. Therefore light mild steel which CAN be penetrated by bolt action rifles so there should be a chance, all be it small. I agree anti tank rifles, .50 cal sniper rifles and the like would be heavy weapons.

    Glad you got to visit family. I visited my mom for the first time since March 202 last week. I have a cough and sore throat this weekend so am just visiting by phone tomorrow.

    #160508
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Don’t you 40K me, them is fightin’ words. Mostly powered armour from some novels, etc. in the past and as I said heavily influenced by Traveller/Striker. I don’t see this half range means heavy weapons. Please show me where if you don’t mean play as Tony suggested. You keep coming back to 1 or 2 is actually 13 or 14 which is fine BUT you need to roll 15+ for power armour. Again I have not gotten far into vehicle combat/defense but again don’t see half range equals heavy weapons. I see improvised armour being early tanks, home made armoured vehicles as in the Spanish Civil War or ISIS improvised armoured vehicles. Therefore light mild steel which CAN be penetrated by bolt action rifles so there should be a chance, all be it small. I agree anti tank rifles, .50 cal sniper rifles and the like would be heavy weapons. Glad you got to visit family. I visited my mom for the first time since March 202 last week. I have a cough and sore throat this weekend so am just visiting by phone tomorrow.

     

    Remember you can roll 15+ because if you get 10+ on the d12, then you roll a d10 AS a heavy weapon which means you can roll up to 22

    At half range I don’t say what is actually doing the penetration. It could be that suddenly they’ve come within range of your plasma grenade launcher, or alternatively at this range your bolt action rifle will penetrate

    That’s the thing about a generic set.
    And remember that ‘close combat’ ‘starts’ at two inches, which is 200m which subsumes a lot of serious infantry anti-tank weapons

    #160510
    madman
    Participant

    Remember you can roll 15+ because if you get 10+ on the d12, then you roll a d10 AS a heavy weapon which means you can roll up to 22 At half range I don’t say what is actually doing the penetration. It could be that suddenly they’ve come within range of your plasma grenade launcher, or alternatively at this range your bolt action rifle will penetrate

    I keep looking at do not find this. Please reference where it is in the rules. If this is from Tony S’s house rules that is great as well, wait till you see all I want to put in, just trying to find this please.

    That’s the thing about a generic set.

    See second sentence above.

    And remember that ‘close combat’ ‘starts’ at two inches, which is 200m which subsumes a lot of serious infantry anti-tank weapons.

    I haven’t gotten that far yet.

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