Solo Game House Rules and updates

FYOB Order Dice update

Order Dice Update

The use of the Order Dice as a disruptor is one of the main features of the FYOB rules to ensure that there can always be a gap between what you want your plastic officers to do and what they actually do.

In the past, whilst the Order Dice have had an impact on armoured vehicles (determining whether they fired from stationary or moving positions for example), they have had little effect on Infantry and CSWs etc.

That has now changed for the new version of FYOB.

New Rule - An infantry, CSW, artillery element etc can undertake 3 phases during it's bound - Fire, Move or undertake any other action.  "Any other action" is now defined as spotting/reporting, merging, getting into/out of a truck, etc - in fact anything other than firing weapons or moving from their present position to a new position.

The Order Dice is thrown for the element and the resultant Order given (Fire, Move, Action) is the first thing that the element will do.

If ordered to FIRE for example, the element will fire and then move or spot or report etc.  If ordered to ACTION then it will spot/report (for example) before it can move or fire.  Once the initial order has been followed, the remaining phases of the bound can be conducted in any order but the 3 phases can still only be undertaken once per bound.

This new rule has implications for advancing troops who may need to move and spot/report in the right order and for defending troops who will need to avoid orders to FIRE before having spotted the enemy.  If the defenders do get a FIRE order, they may have to "pass" on the firing phase and spot the enemy so that they can fire next bound.

The new rules will be incorporated in the new FYOB version which is in the final thoes of production now (2013)

My House Rules

FYOB House rules and rules updates

Click on each heading to reveal rule

Undetected elements

I use a single unpainted figure to represent concealed infantry elements.  Use your own rules to determine how and when these elements are detected

Observation is one of the most contentious issues in wargaming - can you see my tank behind that house, can I see your troops in the woods?  Rapid Fire has a fairly comprehensive observation chart that is not too complicated and suits the speed of the game well.  A single die roll sorts out most of the "can he/can't he" decisions.


In a solo game, often played over several sessions, it is important to distinguish between those elements that can be seen and those that cannot. To do this, I divide my elements up into 4 basic types - infantry, softs, armour and artillery.  I have small bases of figures, a truck, a small tank and an artillery piece, mounted on a proper base but painted matt black all over.  I call these black models "shadows".  The infantry versions are shown above for British, German, American and French troops.  A single shadow model is used to represent an element or group of elements that is on the table but not yet spotted by the enemy.  A composite force, perhaps comprising armour and transport, will have a shadow representing either.  Towed artillery is shown by a soft skinned towing vehicle - it is not neccesary to show the artillery piece as well when it is not deployed.

The shadows are numbered and cross-referenced to a list until they are placed on the table.  As an element is observed/spotted/acquired (whatever term you wish to use), the shadow is removed and the actual element replaces it on the table.  Cohesion within the elements on the table means that, for me, if one element has spotted an enemy shadow, they will communicate the fact to their colleagues.  Thus when the shadow is replaced, it means all elements on the observing side are now aware of it's presence.  If a composite force is spotted, then all elements within that force are spotted and placed on the table.

A waste of models - buying them just to paint them black?  Well actually, old or broken vehicles and "prototype" models representing my early attempts at scratch building are ideal.  If you do have to buy a vehicle, try eBay or similar for something that might be damaged or badly made/painted.  You would not want  to use them for a game but they can often be picked up for a few pennies and make excellent shadows!

Incidentally, the red paratrooper in the foreground of the photograph is the "Aim point" for landings.  All deviations away from the landing point (as a result of wind etc) are measured from this figure.  When all the paratroops have landed, this figure is removed.

John Wayne's revolver

We have all seen those films where the hero's gun never runs out of ammunition.  Wouldn't life be good if that were the case with everything!

In FYOB and FYOW, supply is an important factor and I restrict all weapons apart from infantry rifles/SMG's etc to a specific number of rounds.  This adds a new dimension to the game and reflects the actual dilemnas faced by soldiers as well as taking away the temptation to shoot at everything on every bound.  In some scenarios, infantry fire can be restricted if it has a bearing on the battle.

Rapid Fire! deals with this issue with a simple rule affecting tank guns and artillery but I prefer to use a house rule.  The data I have collected for each type of tank shows the number of rounds carried and this is scaled down to give each tank a specific number of rounds.  I do not break this down further into AP, HE, smoke etc - the tank simply has the capability of firing X times using whatever round type it chooses.  You may consider this too detailed when set against the background of the rules I am using.  However I like the idea of restricting firepower and in the same way as different tanks have different speeds.  Besides, the German SturmPanzer VI (Sturmtiger) with its 380mm L5 howitzer should not have the same number of rounds as a Sherman!

Er Kompt!!

The Bavarian Corporal famously made the prediction that he was coming to England a few months before changing his mind and heading East instead.  In solo wargame terms, planning and launching an assault against yourself may seem something of a thankless task - after all, unless I am a half-wit without a short term memory to speak of (no comments please wife...), how can I surprise myself?

The answer is as simple as a few blank white postcards.

It is bound 6 of the game and the British CO has seen off the German assault.  He now wishes to counter attack whilst the Panzers fall back.  The plan is to attack on either bound 7, 8 or 9 depending on how quickly he can bring up some reserves, shuffle his defensive line to release some much needed armour support and call up the artillery to harass the retreating force.  3 plain white postcards are used - one marked with an X.  They are shuffled and placed in a pile on the Admin table.  At the start of bound 7, a card is drawn and the attack will be launched if it bears the X mark.  If it is blank,  the preparations continue and the CO does not draw another card until the start of bound 8.  All unused or blank cards are recycled for their next use.

This system has the advantage of letting a predictive system determine when the attack will take place without it becoming totally random (you have control of the bound numbers and the number of cards used).  The CO will have been given his orders by his superior and now has the task of assembling the required force.  If he goes early, he may find the retreating Germans in disarray but may only have a small force at his disposal.  Going 3 bounds later may give him a better strike force but his foe may well have found a decent defensive line and "rallied" their confidence.

Incidentally, in FYOB, the "Continuous Momentum" and "Casualty Milestone" factors determine the mental state of the troops on the ground and the reaction of the German Commander as his attack starts to falter.  The mechanisms in FYOB determine (1) at what point the individual elements dive for cover or retreat and (2) when the commander calls off the attack and sets a rallying point for his forces.

AOO and FOO figures

Radio contact must be established to change artillery targets and to call down an air strike or artillery fire from a battery.

Refer to Authority (Radio) Test rules for details.

An Artillery Observation Officer (or Forward Observation Officer) (or just Observation element) must be stationary during the bound he attempts to contact the battery but other radio operations can be carried out on the move.  (This does not apply to Observation Officers in aircraft of course!)

The AOO cannot fire and therefore, if he throws a Fire order on the Order Dice, he may interpret this as an Action order.

A AOO may be in an aircraft but can only direct fire during the 5 bounds spent over the table. If driven off he may not direct fire.

An AOO can direct 1 battery unless a Radio truck is present on the table in which case he can control any number provided that they are directed at the same target.

If the radio operator fails to net his set in, he may try again on the next bound. If after 3 attempts, the radio is still not netted in, it is deemed to be DIS for the remainder of the game

Buildings, bridges and rivers

Hits on buildings

I use a system of defence values for buildings, determined at the start of the game.  This is very old school Charles Grant but it is a simple system and it works for me!

When hit by HE fire, the building absorbs damage first (before the occupants) on a cumulative basis to the following extent;

Wire/road block, "loose" obstacle         2 points

Small building/hut etc                           4 points

House, water tank, emplaced gun etc   5 points

Factory, hotel, church etc                      7 points

Pillbox, coastal gun emplacement         9 points

Bridges

Type A 3 pts

small wood or iron structures over a stream or ditch.  No vehicles other than motorcycles or KettenKrad etc may cross

Type B 9 pts

stone or iron structure over a small river.

5pts damage = no heavy traffic may cross

Type C 12 pts

iron bridge over river.

7pts damage = no heavy traffic may cross

Type D 15 pts

stone or girder bridge over river

10 pts damage = no heavy traffic may cross

Bridge types must be specified at the outset of the game.  Refer to "Construction and repair" section for details of repairs to bridges after damage.

Rivers

Rivers are divided into 3 categories for ease.  Each stretch of water encountered during a game or campaign should be identified as belonging to each of these three categories at the outset.

Class 1 water

This is, essentially, a river that is an extension of the sea and therefore, by definition, the sea is Class 1 water.

A Class 1 river can be crossed using a bridge (usually steel or stone), inland craft or ferry.  It can be navigated by Elite or Special Forces troops in a dingy or rubber boat, canoe etc.  It can be navigated by E-Boats, MTB's etc and small armed trawlers.  Not normally available for submarines unless surfaced.  Can be swum by Elite or Special Forces troops only.  Travel is subjected in a FYOW game to restrictions on speed as a result of weather (see weather rules).

Class 2 water

This is a large river represented on the table by a river in excess of 6 inches wide (20mm scale)

A Class 2 river can be crossed using a bridge or ferry.  Can be swum or crossed in a dingy, rubber boat, canoe etc by troops with Regular or Enhanced Regular or Special Forces capability.  It can only be navigated by the craft mentioned here.  Travel not affected by weather.  Can be bridged by a pontoon bridge unit.

Class 3 water

This is a small river or canal represented on the games table by a stretch of water less than 6 inches wide.

It can be crossed using a bridge, dingy or rubber boat or be waded by all troops.  Travel not affected by the weather.  Can be bridged using a bridge-laying AFV.

Observation

I allow any group of 4 figures (1/2 of a company), a vehicle, a gun crew or an aircraft/boat the opportunity to observe enemy positions each bound.  They get one test (if such a test is required) for every 4 figures, vehicle, gun crew etc that they are trying to spot.

The basic idea that 4 figures get one test to see 4 figures gives rise to the name The 4 x 4 Rule.

This is modified from Rapid Fire! and allows a greater chance of observation for larger groups trying to spot larger targets.

I also have a set of parameters for FOO/Recce troops spotting geographical features or buildings to use as artillery targets.  A modified version of this rule allows covert operations to gather information about a building or other feature.  The observer has to get within a certain distance to claim automatic ability to gather information.

FYOB/Rapid Fire House Rules

Favourite Rules plus...

We all have a favourite set of rules and mine is Rapid Fire! The original and the updated sets give me a fast, fun game that allows me to play scenarios based on either a range of RF scenario books or the vast number of pieces published in magazines or by people like Mark Piper (worth checking out his website!!).

However, when you are playing a solo game, apart from the mechanism that you use to play solo (and I hope you have tried Fight Your Own Battles of course!) there will always be certain rules in play that are unique to solo wargames.  This page sets out some of the rules I use and I will add to them as pictures etc become available.

FYOB and FYOW Extra rules and rule updates

Click to reveal each rule

Convoys under attack

Recent games have suggested that the convoy rules, where a ship is a ship, are a little basic and do not allow the introduction of escorts such as Destroyers and Corvettes which had different roles.

The initial change is to consider the options when setting up the escort fleet.  Normally this is 1+d3 ships but now I consider that a Corvette represents 0.75 of a ship so a roll of "2" (giving 3 escorts) could give me 4 Corvettes instead of 3 Destroyers.

When defending against an attack (where the destroyers roll a d6) the Corvettes only roll a d4 but as you are likely to have more of them, they can double-team the raiders.  This also means that the Corvettes can disrupt attacks rather than sink enemy raiders - and that feels OK.

To clarify (and to clarify the original rules), when the initial "exchange" results in the attacker scoring higher, it rolls 2 x d6 to attempt to sink the escort.  Where the escorts are double-teamed, only one of the escorts is sunk should a double be thrown.  This is where having more ships can be a bonus.

Submarines

However, when attacked by a submarine, the Corvettes are damaged on a roll of 4 and sunk on a 5, 6.

A clarification - submarines can be selected as a raider option when the fleets are determined (pg 68).

Flying boats

The player can elect, instead of a squadron of light/dive bombers, to recruit an anti-submarine aircraft (the famous PBY Catalina perhaps?).  This aircraft has the range of a super-fighter.

The PBY can be sent on patrol over the sea.  It patrols a wide area for all daylight sessions less 1 (to simulate its journey to and from the patrol area).  For each session over the sea (squares do not have to specified), the PBY throws a d6 and on a score of 6 detects a submarine.  It attacks the submarine by throwing a d6 with the result giving;

6  =  submarine sunk

5, 4, 3   =  submarine unable to move during the next session

2, 1   =  no effect of attack

Subsequent attacks on the same submarine in subsequent sessions by the same aircraft (i.e. a continuous attack) get a +1 bonus on the dice roll.

Lord Lovatt's lot

In recent research into various mini-campaigns, it became clear that the special characters that led some of the British Special Forces  required an extra set of rules.

In the early draft of FYOB, I did have a "Character" level for an Officer - bought rather than created.  It is around this (originally discarded) set of notes that I have formatted the rules below.  In each case, the FYOB rule number appears alongside.

3.2   Each figure within the force "costs" 3x the value of Elite/Veteran troops.  Special Forces/"Ace" AFV Commanders cost 3x the value of their (Elite) AFV.  This calculation is made after considering all special capabilities (see Troop costs in FYOW)

7.1   The Character Officer is rated using a d3+4

9.0   The orders given can offer a variety of routes to the objective.  The player chooses whichever suits him best.

11.2   Each Special Forces element led by a "Character" is it's own Battlegroup.  Casualty Milestone tests do not apply to the Battlegroup.

15   When ORTs are taken, +1 to the d6

23   The first 50% of Momentum Tests are ignored

34   An extra Rallying Throw is gained automatically without the need to take a Leadership Tests.

44   The element may start the game concealed automatically.  It may move whilst concealed but will reveal itself on a d6 throw of 1 after each movement.  On subsequent bounds, the element throws the d6 again and can conceal itself on a throw of 5 or 6 when in suitable ground.  The player should exercise discretion on what is possible regards an escape from detection for each situation.

48   The element cannot be part of a Group

50   If the Officer is lost, the replacement gains a +2 on the d6 rating throw

57   No Leadership Test is required on landing after a parachute drop.

XX  (see below) Special Forces may carry 2 loads where normal infantrymen carry 1 load.

XX (see Observation above) Special Forces count as 2 figures each when observing

Load "weight/size"

Each vehicle, boat, aircraft etc has a capacity rating and this represents the maximum load that can be carried. All weapons etc are expressed as being a certain weight/size in "loads".

A figure can carry his own personal weapon, any grenades, binoculars, flare gun, food/ammo ration etc as part of his personal kit and this is not counted as a load. In addition a figure may carry 1 load.

When a figure is being transported, he is counted as 1 load and any other equipment that he is carrying (listed below) is counted in addition. Therefore a man with a large explosive charge is counted as 2 loads.

The following items are shown with their load rating

A figure                                                 1

Small explosive charge                        1/2

Large explosive charge                         1

Large explosive detonation pack          1

Mine detector equipment                     1

1 inch x 1 inch mine coverage              1

Radio                                                    1

Manpack flamethrower                        1

Hand held AT weapon                          1

Ammo for hand held AT weapon        1 (n/a with PzFaust)

Mortar up to 50mm                             2 }

Mortar up to 81mm                             3 } be guided by the number

Mortar over 81mm                              4 } of crew members

Light Machine gun                              1 } required

Medium machine gun                         2 }

Heavy machine gun                            3 }

Parachute                                            free

1 unit of SUPPLY                                1/2

Carrying capacity

The following vehicle/carriers have the capacity as stated (note that 1 figure counts as 1 load)

Horse                                                                            2

Rubber boat                                                                 4

Bicycle                                                                          1 1/2

Motorcycle                                                                   2

Motorcycle/sidecar, Kettenkrad etc                             4

Universal carrier, jeep                                                  6

Kubelwagen, car etc                                                    4

Specialist/radio truck/prime mover for artillery          4

Service truck                                                               12

Light tank (up to Pz II, Vickers, A10 etc)                      4

Other tanks (all others)                                                6

Transport aircraft                                                       30

Glider (to mid 1942)                                                    8

Glider (after mid 1942)                                              30

Points Values

Points Values for all equipment

Since the re-printing of the Rapid Fire! rules, the values for soldiers, tanks and guns etc have disappeared.  They were included in the first version of FYOB and then removed in favour of the values shown in the original RF rulebook.  Now that the new RF rulebook is used, FYOB is left with no values to which to refer!!  (Confused yet.....?)

To make amends, I have attached a pdf file that shows the values for troops, vehicles and guns that I use in my FYOB and FYOW games.

Please click on the figure image below for your FREE pdf download

As ever, I am happy for you to modify them as you feel appropriate.

 


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