Copyright 1998 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

Advanced Operation Sandpit

With these rules, you can play various eras of armored combat!

Range and Damage for Guns

WW2 and Korean War:

German 88, US 90 - R6, 10-6-4

US, German regular 75, Russian 76 - R5 - 6-4-3

PZ5 KWK 75, US 76 - R6 8-6-4

37mm, short 50mm gun - R4 - 4 -3 -2

120mm gun - R6 - 12-8-5

Bazooka, Panzerschreck - R1  4-4-4*

Panzerfaust, PIAT - R1 3-3-3*

1955 - Present

US 90mm w/ HVAP   R6 12 - 9 - 6

US /UK 105mm gun  R6  13- 10 - 7

US 120 R8  15 -12 - 9

LAW, RPG  R1 5-5-5*

Dragon R4 10-10-10*

TOW - R6  12-12-12*

Shillelagh - R6 12-12-12*  10-8-6

Armor Defense and Speed

Remember -- the numbers in sequence represent Frontal, Side, Rear

WW2 to Korea

PZ1, Bren carrier**, 1/2 tracks, light armored cars, Japanese tanks 2-2-2

PZ2, US M3 /M5 light tank, early PZ3, Crusader, Russian BT series, Marder*, Hetzer, Italian tanks  3-2-2

PZ3, PZ4 (early - 1940-42), M3 medium Lee/Grant, Valentine, M36/M10 TD, Stug3, Matilda, SP guns  4-3-2

PZ3, PZ4 (1943), Stug 3 (1943), Jagdpanzer, M4 Sherman (early), T34 / 76 5-3-2

M4 (later), T34 / 85, SU 85 / 100 6-4-3

PZ 5, Jagdpanther, Brummbarr, Churchill 7-4-3

PZ 6 "Tiger 1", M26, KV series, SU 120/152, JS1, JS2, Comet  8-5-3

PZ6 Tiger 2, JS3 - 9-5-3

Elefant, Jagtiger - 10-5-3


Class 1 fast PZ1, PZ2, M3/5 lights, crusader, armored cars

Class 2: quick M4, PZ5, T34, half tracks

Class3 so-so M3 medium, PZ3, PZ4, Jagdpanzer, Stug, Japanese tanks, Italian tanks, SU 85/100 et al

Class4 slow: Tiger 1, Tiger 2, JS 2, Churchill, Matilda, Valentine, Brummbarr

Class 5: ponderously slow Jagtiger, Elefant, KV series, ISU heavy 120/152, JS1,

1955 to Present

M46, M47, Centurion 1 - 5  9-5-3

M48, M60, T54/55, Leopard 1, Centurion 6-8,  10-5-3

M60A1,M60A2, 60A3, Leopard 2-3, T64, T72 10-6-4

Chieftain, T-10, M103 12-6-4

M1 Abrams 13-7-5

M113 /114, M42 "duster", BTR, SP guns, armored cars 2-2-2

M41 light, M551 Sheridan, BMP/BTR, Bradley - 3-2-2


Class 1 fast  M113/114, Bradley, BMP, BTR, M41, M551, armored cars

Class 2 quick M1 Abrams, M60A3, T82, Chieftain, Leopard 3

Class 3 moderate M47, M48, M60, M60 A1-2, Leopard 1-2, T54/55/64/72, Centurion 5-8, T34

Class 4 slow M46, Centurion 1-5, JS3

Class 5 ponderous - M103, T10

Infantry Weapons


The older rule applies to the rifles used in WW2, with the exception of one extra shot per round for the M1 rifle and carbine.

New firing:  M16, AK47, FAL, H&K, SMLE  these fire 3 rounds at R1, and can fire as submachine guns at R1/3

M79, M203: these fire a grenade up to R1 - use the artillery drop rule if aimed at R2/3 to R1  Under R2/3 it can fire direct at large targets, aim is like any rifle, damage and blast is that of a grenade.

New weapons: the newer classes of submachine guns, though shorter than modern models, have the same characteristics.  This applies to the Mac 10/11, Uzi, MP5, etc.

Allied and Enemy Forces

1939 - 1945


Using US and British equipment :US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Soviet Union

Using US equipment only: US

Using Soviet Equipment: Soviet Union


Using German equipment: Germany, Rumania, Hungary, Croatia

Using Italian equipment: Italy

Using Japanese Equipment: Japan, Manchuria (post 1942)

1950 - 1960


Using US Equipment: US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain, Turkey, France, South Korea

Using British Equipment: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain


Using Soviet Equipment: Soviet Union, Red China, North Korea, Warsaw Pact

Using WW2-era US Equipment: Red China, Viet Minh

1960 - 1990


Using US Equipment: US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, South Vietnam, Taiwan, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Phillipines, Thailand

Using British Equipment: UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Jordan

Using Indigenous Equipment: West Germany, Israel, France, Japan

Using Soviet Equipment: Israel

Using WW2-era US equipment: Turkey, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Phillipines, Thailand, South Vietnam

Enemies, Coalition Allies and Neutrals

Using US Equipment: Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. Bahrain, Pakistan, Iran, North Vietnam (pre-1973, captured from South Vietnam), Ethiopia, Afghanistan

Using British Equipment: Egypt, Syria, India, Pakistan, Kenya

Using Indigenous Equipment: Sweden, India, Red China (makes own variants of Soviet weapons), South Africa

Using Soviet Equipment: Russia/USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Red China, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, North Vietnam/Viet Cong, Somalia, Nigeria

Using WW2-era US equipment: Yugoslavia, Croatia, Vietcong / North Vietnam, Ethiopia

Who's Fighting Whom?

Confusing?  Okay, here are some of the fights which have ensued since 1914:

WW1: US, UK, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Belgium, Italy  and Russia against Germany, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Turkey

WW2: - ETO - US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Russia, Yugoslavia, Greece, Brazil against Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy and Rumania

WW2: - PTO - US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Holland, Russia, Phillipines, India China against Japan

1st Israeli War: Israel against Egypt, Jordan and Syria

Korea: - US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Greece, against North Korea and Red China

IndoChina: France versus the Viet Minh

Kenya: UK versus Mau Mau

Suez Canal Incident: Israel, Britain and France against Egypt

Vietnam: South Vietnam, US, South Korea and Australia against North Vietnam/ Viet Cong

Israeli 1967 War: Israel versus Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon

Cyprus: Turkey versus Greece (ongoing incident)

South America: Peru versus Ecuador (recurring)

North Ireland: Irish versus English (ongoing)

1973 October War: Israel versus Egypt and Syria

Afghanistan: Afghani rebels versus Soviet Union.

"Border Incidents" Soviet Union versus China

Mozambique: Portugal versus rebels

Cambodia: North Vietnam versus Khmer Rouge

Rhodesia: Rhodesia versus rebels, Zambia

Iran vs Iraq (recurring incidents)

Gulf War: US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Syria, Israel versus Iraq (recurring incidents)

Afghanistan: Taliban tribe versus others (ongoing)

Russia versus Chechnya (ongoing)

Croatia versus Serbia

Bosnian Croats and Muslims versus Bosnian Serbs (ongoing)

Angola: Communist government and Cuba versus Rebels and South Africa

Want to re-create an historical battle?  Take your pick!

Advanced BattleField Rules of Engagement

Of course, our basic Operation Sandpit rules are spare. They are a quick and fast rule set for all ages. Those who want something more realistic will need to append the rules. Maybe you have, and maybe you are planning to do so.

The character of your rules will depend on the character of the players. The rules will be straightforward for folks who want a challenging, balanced game. They will be limiting for those who would rather win than have fun. (I have seen too many of the latter. They usually end up in little "arms races" with each other, and argue over the rules whenever things start going against them. They are idiots.)

Here are a few suggestions and ideas of our own:

Loaders: there is a class of light weapon that usually has a shooter and at least one loader. These include shoulder-fired rocket launchers (bazookas), light and heavy machine guns, .and small mortars, such as the 60mm Mortar. We recommend that each such weapon be accompanied by a loader. The weapon retains its rate of fire so long as it has the second crewman. If the crewman leaves or is taken out, the rate of fire drops to half for the next and subsequent moves. Only replacement of the loader will bring back the full rate of fire. Adding a second or third loader does not increase the rate of fire further.

This rule applies to weapons such as:

This list is not complete, but should serve as an example.

Radiomen: a unit has to have a radioman to receive commands, once it is three moves or more from its commander or headquarters. It also has to have a radioman to call in artillery and support. Units without radiomen and more than three moves away will continue to carry our their last orders and then hold. Only by sending a runner can the unit be given new orders. A replacement radioman can be sent.

If the unit is contacted directly by a unit with a radioman, it can receive an order. However, it cannot act on that order until the next move.

Tanks are assumed to have a radio.

Minesweepers: in the real world, minesweepers belong to combat engineer units. The old magnetic style minesweepers have gone out of vogue, since newer mines use non-magnetic materials. For our purposes, a minesweeper is a combat engineer. His presence with a unit will facilitate getting through obstacles, such a fences, revetments, etc.

Obstacles. There are natural and man-made obstacles on any battlefield.

Direct Fire Weapons: these include firearms, machine guns, bazooka-type weapons, antitank weapons and tank guns. You can only fire these at targets your gunner / shooter can see. Targets moving through a forest cannot be seen except when they are close to the edges. Ditto for targets in a fog bank, etc. They only become visible when they fire at you, or when they come into direct view of the gunner / shooter.

Of course, you can use indirect fire on any target. Artillery and mortars can be called in to drop ordnance on an area. The enemy will either move or continue to be shelled. (It pays to have a radioman, a mortar squad and a few field pieces). The enemy has to reveal what items are destroyed when a concealed unit is shelled. You might want to make it easier with a rule that states that any unit being shelled reveals itself. This is something you and your opponents must decide before a battle.

Bridges: determine the type of bridges before the game; Footbridges can only accommodate foot traffic. Light bridges will handle jeeps and trucks, and some of the stronger light bridges can handle half tracks, APCs, SP guns and light tanks. Medium bridges will handle everything up to medium tanks. A stronger bridge would be needed for heavy tanks. (Use of bridges can limit heavy tanks, making a game more challenging.)

Concealed movement suggestions for rules:

Organize your troops into the units that will go forward together. For each such task group of infantry and tanks and others, take a circle of paper five inches wide and ten inches long. Write on one side what is in that unit, task group - how many vehicles and what type, how many soldiers, etc. On the other, mark a unit number - say Task Unit 1, Task Unit 2, etc.

Begin a battle by placing these on the ground with the unit number showing "face up" and the unit tally on the underside. Move them as you would real units, at the speed of the slowest unit. (this is why it is a good idea to have trucks or APCs for the infantry). All the enemy knows is that someone is there, but he won't know the unit's exact size until it gets close enough to see. Once a unit is seen, all pieces are placed on the battlefield.

To see a unit, you need to have reconnaissance. That means fast scout units or air recon (Hey, here's a use for helicopters!). When troops come into line of sight, they are exposed and placed. Determine how far a scout can see - perhaps R4. A man with binoculars is considered a forward observer, and can see R5 or R6 (this you must determine with your opponents before starting a game). If there is something between your scout / observer and the enemy, he cannot see them even if they are within range. Being behind or deep within woods, behind a town behind a hill, ridge, in a gully, etc. keeps them out of sight until they are visible to the direct view of the scout.

For air reconnaissance, a unit in the open will be seen momentarily by the aircraft. Roll a die. 1-2 means the pilot saw the entire unit. 3-4 means he saw 60%, and 5-6 means he only saw 20%. This amount of all types - infantry ,tanks, etc - must be placed on the board. Factors which affect air recon cause the die roll to be adjusted by adding or subtracting to the final number:

You can develop other factors. In this case, the lower the number, the more that is exposed.

A unit can be concealed by having artillery provide smoke as covering fire. However, it must remain in the smoke and move back into concealment or remain hidden. Likewise, a unit cannot fire while engulfed in smoke - this goes for the concealed unit and the opponents, as well.

Morale suggested rules

Morale: call it fighting spirit, esprit de corps or the will to stand, morale has a greater effect than many suppose. In the old days of wargaming, morale was called to see if a unit would hold or fold. The way to differentiate elite units, in those days ,was to give them a better morale status. We know that in real life, elite status is fighting spirit plus fighting ability. So how is this handled on the play battlefield?

Mostly, it is ignored by folks who just want a fast game. However, some folks want it stated clearly. Morale is not a hard principle to apply. I admit that in these rules, any suggested morale will be like that used by gamers in the 60s.

A unit will operate normally until it makes contact with the enemy. Contact is what erodes morale. A unit will need a morale check if:

Roll one die. 1 - 3 the unit holds. 4 it moves back 1/2 move. 5 it moves back 1 move. 6 it routs two moves. In case of a rout, the unit can affect others it might pass through. If a routing unit passes through a friendly unit of smaller size, that unit must also check morale. Units of larger or equal size need not check morale if passed by routing unit.

The rout can be stopped if the routing unit is checked by an officer. However, that officer and his unit must hold heir position for the next move. The routing unit rolls moral die again. 1-3 means the officer stops the rout, 4-6 the officer fails and the unit keeps running. A stopped unit must hold one move.

Here are some items that will affect morale:

You can devise other things that will affect morale in your rules.

Morale adds a new factor to the games. Real troops react to fear, but plastic ones do not. Since our plastic troops do not react emotionally to danger, we need to simulate it with the morale rules.

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