251 Series of Half-tracks

The 251 series of half-tracks were used in a variety of roles.

Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Platoon with 251/1 SPW

The 251/1 SPW (mittlere Schützenpanzerwagen) or rifleman’s medium armoured vehicle was designed to transport gepanzerte (armoured) panzergrenadiers into battle.

The 251/1 increases the panzergrenadier’s movement speed and improves Reaction Dice from 3D to 4D. These improvements are included in the unit statistics.

Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Platoon with 251/1 SPW
Type: Mechanized Infantry *
Move: Average (Fast) *
Reliability: Average
Reaction: 4D
Weapon: Rifles and machine guns
   Range: 4/8/16
   FP: 6D AT: -
Weapon: Panzerfaust
   Range: 1/2/3
   FP: - AT: 5D
Notes: Rapid deployment. High firepower. Deployed anti-tank teams.
  • High Firepower: The 251/1 MG negates the -1D penalty for FP when using Rapid Deployment.
  • Panzergrenadiers are classed as mechanized infantry and use the Rapid Deployment special rule. A future post will provide more information on using mechanized infantry in Combat HQ.
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Wild Dice and Staff Orders

Questions

We played a larger game on Monday night. 8 command dice on each side. US troops versus Germans. Four of us played which included 3 new to the game. It was a terrific game. they all commented about how well it played.

 

 

Question 1

I was a bit unsure as to how we could use Wild Dice.

A. Create a larger dice chain but can we add two or more Wild dice to do this?

B. Can we create a dice chain of wild dice only to any number?

C. When adding to a combat, Reaction or Rally again only a single Wild dice or multiple?

Question 2

When reserves arrive having moved three moves can they fire? Same for units rallied in same turn?

Question 3

There is no benefit in mortars on table using direct fire. Correct? They can still opportunity fire without direct by using a spotter? I thought they might have needed direct LOS to opportunity fire.

Question 4

Can a staff order be used to disengage a unit during opponent’s Opportunity fire?

Answer 1

Wild Dice are restricted to one usage per action. With three Wild Dice you could use one to add to a Dice Chain, use another to add to the Unit’s reaction Dice, and the third to add to its shooting dice. You can, however, double up Wild Dice with Staff Orders and therefore play 2 Dice per action.

A. Only one dice can be added to increase the size of a Dice Chain.

B. You’re free to use as many Wild Dice to create a Wild Dice only Dice Chaint.

C. Only one Wild Dice can be added (but you can use a Staff Order as well).

Answer 2

Reserves may fire at the end of their move. They are subject to the -1D penalty for a double move and the -2D penalty for a triple move. Units under Blinds cannot fire after moving, even if they are spotted. They may use Opportunity Fire later in the turn by deploying out of the Blind.

Units which rally cannot fire as part of the rally activation, but they may use Opportunity Fire later in the turn.

Answer 3

Any army that is equipped with radios may Opportunity Fire with mortars without LOS of the target providing the mortars have an unsuppressed spotter.

For simplicity, I assume that all late war armies are equipped with adequate radios. Early war armies are not so equipped and I’d also say that late war Soviets, apart from Guard units, are probably lacking radios. You could also make it a problem for the Germans as their supplies start to dry up.

So no radios equals no Op Fire without direct LOS by the mortar team.

Answer 4

No. A disengage order can only be issued during a player’s Command Pulse. By not allowing Disengage during as an Opportunity action, it gives a nice advantage to Shoot and Scoot units and Break-Off units. I did play around with more interactivity during an Opponent’s Command Pulse but decided that alternate Command Pulses handled it fairly well.

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Armoured Carriers

 

Armoured carriers are a special class of vehicles that can be used to transport infantry and mortars, tow guns, and act as weapon mounts for infantry and anti-tank guns.

Targeting Armoured Carriers

  • Armoured carriers are weakly armoured and are treated as Soft Targets. Anti-Tank fire is considered to pass through the platoon causing minimal damage. HE and machine gun fire are much more effective.
  • Adding a gun or a mortar to an armoured carrier does not convert it into an AFV. It remains an armoured carrier.
  • Armoured troop carriers and gun tows are not targeted separately. The carrier is Dispersed at the same time as the infantry or gun.

Armoured Carriers as Troop Transports

  • An armoured carrier increases a carried unit’s Reaction Dice in a similar way to Light and Medium Cover. This increase is permanently factored into the unit statistics.

Armoured Gun Tows

  • Armoured transports add +1D to a gun’s Reaction Dice.
    • A Pak-40 towed by a SdKfz 251/1 has its Reaction Dice increased from 3D to 4D. When deployed the Pak-40 would have a 5D Reaction.

Armoured Gun Tows with Machine Guns

  • In addition to increasing a gun’s Reaction Dice, armoured carriers negate a gun’s +2 TN combat penalty when attacked in Close Assault.
    • A Pak-40 towed by an Opel Blitz truck is close assaulted by Soviet infantry. The Pak-40’s TN of 4+ is increased by +2 to a TN of 6+ making it highly likely that it will lose the close assault.
    • Later A Pak-40 towed by a SdKfz 251/1 is close assaulted by Soviet infantry. As the SdKfz 251/1 is armed with machine guns, the Pak-40’s TN remains at of 4+ giving it an improved chance of defeating the Soviet infantry.
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Command Dice Clarification

This is part of an irregular series on rules clarifications. If you have any questions on the rules, send me an email and I’ll get back to you.

jim@wargamesdesign.com

 

Command Dice Question

Command Dice of 4, 4, 4, 3

Assuming I want to activate 3 different command groups using the 4’s for a single order in each Command Group, can I on my later Command Pulse with the 3 activate any unit that took part in the Command Pulse that used the 4’s? (for the example assume I’m ignoring suppressions).

In this example, let’s assume I only had enough units to make up 3 Command Groups and used the 4’s on all three. What would I use the Dice Chain of 3 for in that turn? Aside from potential suppression removal. I’m not saying it would be tactically the best option but if someone wanted to do it, what would I tell them about the single 3? Just discard it and do nothing for that Pulse?

Answers

Activations

Only once per turn. Once activated a unit cannot be activated again until next turn. A unit may use Op Fire and have a suppression removed as both of these are not counted as activations.

Dice Chain of 4, 4, 4, 3

Once activated the units cannot be activated again.

Activating the three Command Groups

Yes, that’s correct. A Command Dice that cannot be used has to be discarded on the player’s next Command Pulse.

That’s where Staff Orders become useful. Restocking one Staff Order would cost two of the 4’s, allowing all Command Dice to be used.

Alternatively, one Command Group could have been given a Double Move order with two of the 4’s. Then the 3 could be used next Command Pulse on the remaining Command Group (or before using the 4’s).

Often it’s about using your Command Dice in the most efficient way. And as you say, if one unit was suppressed, the 3 Command Dice could have been used to remove its suppression it.

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Commonwealth Infantry Battle Group

  • Core Unit Points: 1065
  • Units: 16
  • Command Dice: 6
  • Staff Orders: 4
  • Rally Dice: 4
  • Morale: 14
  • Artillery Response Dice: 5
  • Artillery Supply: Average
  • Initial Barrage Round Modifier: +1

Core Units

Infantry

  • 1x 3” Mortar Platoon
  • 3x Medium Machine Gun Platoons
  • 1x Recon Universal Carrier
  • 9x Rifle Platoons with PIAT

Off-Table Artillery

  • 3x 25-pounder Batteries

Support Unit Dividers

Use the following dividers when recalculating battle group statistics after adding support units.

Command Dice Divider: 3

Staff Order Divider: 4

Support Groups

One to three support groups can be added to the core group.

Infantry Support (144)

  • 3x Rifle Platoons with PIAT

Armour Support (372)

  • 3x Churchill Mk VII

Anti-Tank Gun Support (240)

  • 3x 6-pdr ATG & Universal Carriers
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