M44 House Variants
Wed, 07 July 2004 07:39
M44 House Variants posted by Walt Mulder v1.2 7/29/04
New items/variants/updates: Rubble/Cover, Light Tanks modified, Wheeled/Support vehicles, artillery collateral damage, bridge demolition, alternate River rules, simultaneous play added.
A unit comprises all the figures in a given hex. (I am basing firepower on the premise that the tanks in the game are Medium tank variety and move at a rate of 3 and fire at 3,3,3.)
Self-Propelled Artillery/Anti-tank units: Armor, 2 figures. Move 3 or Fire 4,3,2,1 and require LoS to target. If fired without LoS, treat all fire as if it were artillery with the same modifiers (or lack of). May not use spotters. (These represent various mobile anti-tank vehicles with fixed guns that pack a wallop at close range, but should also have a bit of extended range if fire as artillery. Their use was such that they would not expend ammunition firing at unseen targets unlike barrage artillery.)
Medium/Heavy machinegun infantry team: Infantry, 2 figures. May either move 2 or Fire 4,3,2,1 against infantry units or 2,1,1 against armor units. Takes 2 hits in 1 roll of dice to eliminate. (We're dealing with a small unit of 2 or 3 men at most here and not a full squad. The ability to assault a tank or armor units even with a heavy machinegun team would cause minimal damage.)
Bazooka/panzerfaust/PIAT/panzershrek infantry team: Infantry, 2 figures. Move 2 or fire 4,3,2,1 against armor units and 2,1,1 against infantry units. Takes 2 hits in 1 roll of dice to eliminate. (Again, we're talking a team of 2 men with the best chance of taking out an armor unit from close range by hopefully hitting it in the rear. Not very effective when taking on a full squad of infantry.)
Special Forces/Engineers: Infantry. These units represent specialized weapons and teams not listed here such as bunker assault, bridge demolition specialists, and flame-thrower units. They are already represented in the game as Special Forces and don’t require a further category other than specifying any further special ability in a scenario description. (See “Bridge Demolition” below for how to use these units to accomplish this task.)
Snipers: Infantry, 1 unit. Move 2 and no fire, or move 1 and fire 1,1,1,1,1 with no terrain penalties (e.g. firing into woods or buildings does not cause the -1 to the die roll). May fire after moving into restrictive terrain. May ignore retreat flags. May not be targeted by artillery units. Takes 2 hits in 1 roll of dice to eliminate. (This guy is hard to spot and if he's smart, takes his shot and slinks away.)
Spotters: Infantry. Only regular infantry teams (including SF/Engineers) may act as spotters for artillery. They are normal infantry for all game rule purposes. For artillery to use a spotter, they must have LoS to both the target and the firing friendly artillery unit. (I'm working on a rules idea for adding a 5th figure with a radio to a 4-man infantry team. The last figure to be eliminated would be the radioman but all 5 would need to be eliminated to gain the Medal. If the radioman is the last man alive in the team, he may only move and spot, but not attack.)
Light Artillery: Artillery, 2 figures. Move 2 or Fire 3,2,2,1,1,1. (These represent small man-portable mortar units or even light anti-personnel guns. Up close you have the inherent firepower of the weapon plus any small arms fire from the associated gun support team.)
Heavy Tanks: Armor, 4 figures. Move 2 and battle 4,4,4. (These are the big ones like the Maus, E100's, or Stalin 2's.)
Light Tanks/Light Armor units: Armor, 2 figures. These units represent armored cars, half-tracks, light/small tanks, armored recon vehicles and other vehicles with either medium/heavy machinegun or mortar/light anti-tank capability. Move up to 4 and battle 3,2,2. (Possibly 2,2,2 might be better for these units.) These units are treated like armor for all card, attack, and defense purposes but fire with the range and power as indicated. (Examples: If firing from or into city terrain they get -2 like armor. They require armor or grenade hits to eliminate.
Support units: Infantry, 3 figures. These units encompass all wheeled vehicles used in a supporting role and are treated like infantry for card and die hit purposes. These represent jeeps, trucks, motorcycles, and units with un-armored vehicles and light weapon support, including those able to tow artillery, build and repair bridges, port supplies, fuel, and ammunition, and behind the lines support squadrons. Move 5 or fire 1,1,1, or use special abilities.
- Ability 1: When activated by a Command card and adjacent to another unit, this unit may sacrifice itself by being removed from the board (regardless of how many figures it has remaining) to add 1 additional figure to the adjacent unit it is supplying. The unit it is supplying cannot have more figures than its original starting number specified in the scenario. If eliminated it counts as a medal for the opponent, if sacrificed for support, it does not.
- Ability 2: When activated by a Command card and adjacent to an artillery unit (not-self propelled) it may load one adjacent artillery unit and transport it up to 5 spaces (the artillery unit transported may not have been activated this turn). The artillery unit is placed in the new final movement space and this support unit is sacrificed (removed from the board). Sacrificed units do not count as Medals for opponents.
- Ability 3: When activated by a Command card and adjacent to or in a small river hex (see “River variant below), or adjacent to a large river hex, the unit may be sacrificed to repair/place a bridge across that river hex. NOTE: This is not a demolition team and cannot be used to destroy bridges (only Special Forces/Engineers as designated in the scenario may do that: See “Special Forces/Engineers” above).
Wreckage: Slows armor unit movement. When an armor figure is destroyed, leave it in the hex on its side or turned over. Armor units must pay an additional 1 movement when moving into a non-clear space with any armor wreckage in it. N/A for artillery or infantry.
Dead Infantry: Destroys morale and ties up the troops. When an infantry figure is killed, leave it on its side in the hex. Reduce the number of dice rolled by 1 for infantry attacking out of a hex with dead friendly infantry units or use an action to remove any fallen comrades from the hex (evacuate the wounded so to speak, and restore the hex to full combat viability). Dead enemy units in a hex have no effect on morale.
Swamp: This can represent anything from muddy ground to lowland marsh. It does not represent flooded areas. Units must stop when entering Swamp terrain. They may attack the turn they enter it if their movement allowance permits. All units attack out of swamp terrain at a -1 die penalty.
Roads: Roads for M44 should be considered major for purpose of movement. Units may move an extra 1 space along roads as long as they start and finish their movement along the road. Units on road hexes are considered to be in the type of terrain the hex depicts. (Example: a unit on a road through woods terrain is considered to be in woods terrain for attack or defense purposes). All town hexes are considered to have roads but units still must stop when entering them. Units moving along roads do not need to stop when passing through wooded or swamp hexes with road. Boscage terrain may not have roads.
Depression Terrain: This terrain represents depressed ground such as Ravines, Gully, and Balka that is only usable by infantry units. Entry or passage by armor or artillery units (other than light/mortar artillery units) is not allowed. Units in depressed terrain may only be attacked from an adjacent hex by enemy infantry or armor. Artillery may attack normally against depressed terrain without any penalties.
Minefield: Many minefields were marked or cleared when discovered. Their impact on the course of the war was minimal, but they did serve to slow down forward movement. A minefield hex is known terrain. Units may enter a minefield but must stop upon entry. Infantry units entering the minefield immediately roll 1 die for any damage and apply the result (if any). Armor/artillery units roll 2 dice when entering minefields. After that, the hex is treated as if it had wire (the unit may either combat at -1 die or use its attack action to clear the minefield. Minefields are not automatically cleared by armor like wire. They (armor or infantry, but not artillery) must use an action to clear them.
Railroad: Units on railroad hexes are considered to be in the type of terrain the hex depicts with the same restrictions. (Example: a unit on a railroad through woods terrain is considered to be in woods terrain for attack or defense purposes). Railroad is added primarily for flavor in missions to be designed for destroying a railway yard, train, or battles around train stations such as in Arnhem.
Rubble/Cover: Rubble represents unprepared positions (destroyed buildings, natural walls, etc.) that can benefit the occupying unit and always remains in place. Rubble blocks LoS and slows movement. Infantry units entering rubble must stop (but may still combat if they only moved 1). Armor must pay an additional 1 movement to enter a Rubble hex but are not required to stop. Units attacked in rubble by non-artillery units may ignore the 1st retreat flag rolled against it.
Drift: Artillery may either have a direct line of sight (LoS) to target, use a spotter, or fire in the blind. Artillery that has direct LoS to a target never drifts. Artillery that fires using a spotter still has a 50% chance of drifting off target. Artillery that fires in the blind has a 75% chance of drifting off target.
Place a hex over the desired target and designate one side as "number 1". Use an 8-sided die when rolling for artillery attacks without a spotter (in the blind) or without direct LoS. On a roll of 1-6, the artillery drifts into the numbered hex shown above. On a 7-8, the artillery hits the target hex. If using a spotter, roll a 12-sided die. On a 1-6 the artillery drifts into the numbered hex shown above. On a 7-12 the artillery hits the target hex. Artillery that has direct LoS to its target always hits without drift.
Illumination Shells: These are fired like normal artillery at a targeted hex (either in LoS or not per variant spotter rules) without a need to roll dice. This is done in the movement phase prior to combat. They always land in the target hex automatically illuminating the hex they land in and all surrounding 6 hexes. For example, say an artillery unit and armor unit are activated at night. The artillery fires an illumination flare into an enemy hex illuminating it and all surrounding hexes. The tank is within 3 hexes of the enemy. It can fire at the enemy since it can see into the adjacent hex at night, plus the two illuminated hexes.
Smoke Shells: These are fired like normal artillery at a targeted hex (either in LoS or not per variant spotter rules) without a need to roll dice. This is done in the movement phase prior to combat. Place a cotton ball in the target hex to signify that smoke has been placed. Smoke remains in a hex for the duration of your turn. Apply any spotting and artillery drift effects. At the beginning of your opponent's turn, roll for wind drift (see "wind" rules below). All smoke on the board will drift 1 hex in the direction of the prevailing wind. At the end of your opponent’s turn remove any smoke YOU fired in your turn from the board.
Collateral Damage/Building Collapse: Any artillery fire targeting a hex with buildings has the chance of reducing those structures to Rubble. After applying any Drift (if used) and die roll results to any target units, roll a 12-sided die. On a roll of 10-12, the building hex is reduced to Rubble. Replace it with a rubble hex. Any units in the hex now lose their –1 (or –2 from armor) defense bonus. They now receive the rubble bonus that negates the first retreat flag if desired (see Terrain: Rubble/Cover). On a roll of 12, in addition to the hex turning to Rubble, 1 additional figure in the unit is eliminated.
Fog: Visibility is reduced to 2 hexes.
Night: Visibility is reduced to adjacent hexes only.
Wind: This will apply only if using smoke rules. The following results are for drift:
1- Wind blowing FROM the Axis side towards the Allies.
2- Wind blowing FROM the Allied side towards the Axis.
3- Wind blowing FROM the Axis left across to right side of board.
4- Wind blowing FROM the Allied left across to right side of board.
5-6 Calm winds.
Smoke: Smoke obscures only the hex it is in and blocks LoS. Units firing into or out of smoke hexes reduce their dice rolled by 1 in addition to any other terrain effects (Example: A unit firing out of a smoke hex into a woods would roll with a minus 2 dice modifier. Smoke in a hex has no effect on artillery other than blocking its LoS. Use cotton balls to represent smoke in a hex.
Bridge Demolition Rules: (for bridge construction see “Support units” above)Only Special Forces/Engineer Units may accomplish this task. When activated by a Command Card, this unit must start its turn on the bridge (or bridge section) targeted for demolition and use it’s entire action this turn to place charges (place a token or demolition chit in the hex to signify this). With the charge in place and in a following turn when activated by a Command Card, they must move away 1 or 2 spaces and can detonate the charge as their action. (Any other inherent actions allowed by the unit may not be accomplished when placing or detonating charges). If the unit is forced to retreat or eliminated prior to detonation, the charge remains in place. If the opponent can get units onto the target hex with the charge, they are rendered inert and removed. If any figures of the placing unit survived, they may still detonate the charges on the following turn as described above.
Alternate Airdrop Variant:Instead of dropping units in one location, you may start your hand moving across the board from one side to the other with a slight pause when a figure or two is dropped. This simulates the movement of the air transport across the drop zone or battlefield. All the same rules for placement of dropped units still apply.
Alternate River Hex Use: Use the river hexes as specified in the rules or scenario to only represent large rivers (no units may enter river hexes). Treat small rivers/canals as follows: Infantry Units ONLY are allowed to enter river hexes but must remain on their side of the river unless a suitable bridge hex or ford allows normal crossing. An infantry unit may spend its entire action to cross the river to the other side on the hex by using its entire action. An infantry unit crossing a river cannot fire, move, or perform any special actions for the turn other than crossing the river in that hex. Retreat into a river hex (from an adjacent hex) by infantry is allowed, but any retreat across the river in that hex to the other side is not.
Variant 1 for Simultaneous Play: Each player chooses a card to play and simultaneously turns it over. Initiative is determined as follows: Tactics cards are played before Command cards. If both cards are the same type, the card allowing the card allowing the most units to be activated has initiative and goes first. If still equal, roll a die and high roll wins. The player with initiative resolves their card first. Then the other player resolves their card. Normal victory procedures still apply and players draw their hand back to size at the end of the turn.
Variant 2 for Simultaneous Play: Each player chooses a card to play and simultaneously turns it over. Initiative is determined as follows: Tactics cards are played before Command cards. If both cards are the same type, the card allowing the card allowing the most units to be activated has initiative and goes first. If still equal, roll a die and high roll wins. Starting with the player that has initiative and then alternating between players, each player activates and moves a unit. After all movement is accomplished, and again starting with the player having initiative and alternating between players, each player fires/attacks with one activated unit until all activated units have attacked/fired.(My thanks to Giovanni Crippi from Giogames for ideas on simultaneous card play.)
Using Deluxe ASL Boards for Scenarios:(still coming soon but much of the stuff already above can be used)
DISCLAIMER: Memoir 44 © is designed by Richard Borg and published by Days of Wonder. The variants described here are not endorsed or approved by either the designer or the publisher and are meant for the sole enjoyment of those wishing to expand the game’s possibilities. Many thanks to all those gamers at Boardgamegeek, Consimworld, and the Memoir44 forum who contributed ideas for these variants. [Updated on: Thursday, July 29, 2004]
[Updated on: Fri, 30 July 2004 01:29]