Copyright 1998 T. Sheil & A. Sheil All Rights Reserved
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*
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
Remember -- the numbers in sequence represent Frontal, Side, Rear
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,
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
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.
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)
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
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
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!
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.)
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: 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:
It is faced with overwhelming force. For instance, an infantry squad faced with a platoon of tanks would be forced to check morale.
It loses a percentage of troops to enemy fire (Choose that base number to be 10% or 25%. 10% is considered more realistic, but 25% is more playable) Should it win the morale roll, it will not have to check morale again until it loses more men. If using 10% as base number, then it will hold until it loses another 20%. For 25%, it will hold until it loses a further 50%. Winning the first roll means it has good morale and it will take a higher number of casualties to rattle it.
Being ambushed or hit from behind. An attack like this, if done by a significant enough enemy force, can force you to check morale. The ambushing unit must be at least 2/3 you unit's size and strength; the back-hitting unit has to be 3/4 you unit's size and strength.
Being surrounded / cut off and having no contact with command. If you have no radioman and are surrounded / cut off by the enemy, it could force a morale check.
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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