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Subject: Stealth variant - where Raiding player does not reveal their Units rss

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Little Skink
United Kingdom
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thanks to folks in General M44 Forum thread that started the ball rolling with this thread - moved it here now its becoming a Variant

- Play tested with South Vagsoy, Schwammenauel Dam and a couple of other scenarios using "stealth variant rules" below, some amends

Lots of words but it is fairly straight forward (I think). More comments welcome, its far from perfect . . .

Raiding player does not show Units on the map - instead has A3/A4 print of map and pencil
Raider Moves First

Base of standard map is lettered A through M from the left (Breakthrough maps have a lot more hexes and lower odds of finding Raider, so not played, yet)
Map sides are numbered 1 through 9 with 1 closest to Raider
This give a unique 'grid reference' for each hex

Typically Commands 5 Units of 3 men. Codename Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Echo that are *not* placed on the board
5 Units is based on 4 Objectives - 1 Unit per Objective and 1 is "reserve"
6 Units works well for 5 Objectives
Each Unit only has 1 set of explosives
Units enter board at the bottom, ie row 1 in a place of commanders choosing (unless scenario is parachute drop) or other agreed Entry / Exit
Units may not enter a hex occupied by Defending Units and must exit on next turn if Defenders move in - even if insufficient orders are available
Any Units Discovered at the board edge cannot retreat in combat but must exit as Ordered only - therefore Flags mean casualties

Parachute drop variant - similar to Scenario 2 in base game - except Units are dropped from 0.4m over centre of board (i.e. a little higher than usual to create more spread) while Defender is out of the room. Starting hexes are landing points which are recorded. Parachute Unit pieces are removed then from board and Defender can return to the room

Each turn 2 Raider Units may be Ordered - move as Infantry, all terrain effects apply except rivers, as below
Objectives - eg buildings, bridges etc are marked on Scenario
Orders are written/drawn/recorded - playing test we found having A4 of Map (kept hidden from opponent) really helped, single infantry unit piece fits in a hex on A4 printout perfectly, A4 print out fits in lid of M44 okay too
Orders recorded against Codename are likely to consist of turn#, hex moved to, and any actions
Orders are written in such a way that it is clear at all times what unit is where and what actions they are making

Explosives can be Set while in or adjacent to Objectives hexes - the Unit must be ordered, but not move, for 2 consecutive turns to set charges
If Unit moves before completion of setting charges, or is Discovered, the charges are not Set and orders to set charges must be restarted
When Explosives are Set a delay of +1, +2 or +3 must also be Set and recorded - this indicates how many game turns until they explode. This cannot be changed once done. Explosions happen at the start of Raiders turn
Any Units inside the Objective when charges explode lose 2 men
Any Units adjacent to the Objective when charges explode lose 1 man

Units being Discovered are subject to Close Assault by Searching unit, based on the dice rolls finding them
Raider units surviving Close Assault retreat from hex after attack is resolved (assuming no flags rolled in attack)
Discovered units can still Set their charges if they can be Ordered and remain in place for sufficient turns

Variant - using Breakthough cards offers assault searches ("Attacks") and non assault search ("Move out")

Units exposed by Barrage or Air Attack take damage and become visible
Once Discovered Units remain visible until they exit the board via Row 1 or other scenario exit
Once Discovered Units fight as Special Forces, eg can move 2 and fight

Terrain change - Raider Units may pass through a river hex to cross river, but (i) takes 1 order to enter river (ii) takes 1 order to exit (iii) must do this on consecutive turns or lose a unit to the river (iv) units choosing to remain in a river, or move along a river lose 1 man per turn. So, a Unit can choose to move in to a river to set charges but the Unit will lose 2 men

Defending player has Units, commands and moves as usual
Moves Second
6 command cards from standard deck [Breakthough cards work too - but add complexity, eg Orders are attacking searches, Move Out are non-combat searches - that is the dice are rolled as usual but a Discovered Unit is not attacked/damaged]
Command cards allow Searches in a hex - ie Unit moves and "attacks" with dice us usual
3 Dice are rolled for open terrain, hills
2 Dice is rolled for cover, eg Village, Forest, Hedgerow
An Infantry symbol or Grenade symbol means raider is Discovered and unit loses a man for each symbol rolled
A star symbol means any explosives set are found and defused
Barrage is permitted but not in "populated areas" - ie villages or any *hexes adjacent* to defender troops
Air Attack is permitted with up to 4 hexes targeted but not in "populated areas" - ie villages or any *hexes adjacent* to defender troops
Barrage and Air Attack cannot find explosives but Star or Grenade will set them off
Firefight allows Search in adjacent hex with extra dice as stated on card - its a very useful card in this variant!
Counter Attack allows Defending Player to replay last Command Card
Ambush and Close Assault is permitted but only to visible Units

Victory is determined from Objectives
Scenario ends when all Raider units exit board or are defeated - surrender is not an option
Each Objective destroyed by Raider is 1 medal for Raider
Each Objective protected by Defender is 1 medal for Defender
Raider unit destroyed do not earn Defender a medal
Defender Units destroyed do not earn Raider a medal
Highest medal count wins, so odd numbers can make it more fun

Play testing so far has shown:
Really hard to find the Raiders . . . but fun with the right scenario - if its too hard change scenario to create restrictions for movements of Raider, esp in charge setting locations
Protecting Objectives and being vigilant in searching for bombs is very important
Open field scenarios dont work at all well, you need bottle necks and terrain that restricts routes
Once Raider Units have used their explosives or get Discovered they can still be really useful to create diversions, drawing Defender Units away from Objectives
Dams make excellent targets as they only have limited hexes to Set Explosives from
Airfields make rubbish targets to defend, far too open - planning to play test a wire variant, where Raider must stop and spend 1 ordered turn cutting wire to gain entry through
Breakthrough card deck gives Defender more search opportunities - Use Attack as an Assault Search, ie dice rolls attack Unit if found. Use Move Out as a non-attacking search, ie dice rolls Discover unit but do not harm it

Issues still to resolve
Searching Woods and Villages is sort of broken - eg Defending Unit moving in cannot roll dice so if a Raider Unit is present it will simply leave . . .

Only play tested with Infantry for searching so far. Not sure how to involve Armour and Artillery as they don't feel like they belong in a stealth based game . . .

Good Scenarios so far:
South Vagsoy is fun for both sides
Schwammenauel Dam is a good scenario too - but yes I know the Brits were trying to stop the Germans blowing the Dams up - hey ho
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United States
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Sounds like you are attempting to create a SCOTLAND YARD version of WWII.

enjoy your creativity.
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Jesse Rasmussen
United States
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Interesting ideas. I’m glad you’re enjoying my scenario (South Vagsoy). It was a fun one to design and very interesting to research!
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Little Skink
United Kingdom
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thanks Clexton27, not played Scotland Yard but I guess the ways to approach stealth in any board game are limited - for M44 it seemed the obvious thing to write down hidden orders, the rest emerged from the existing rule set and intuition / common sense

Still need to get the searching for Raiders element refined mind
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