Christopher O
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
INTRODUCTION

Learning the World at War System - Basic Training is intended for people who have never played a wargame before and would like to start with World at War: Blood and Bridges. If you’ve played wargames before, skim this section briefly, then move on to Advanced Training.



Welcome, soldier! You’ve decided to take the Queen’s coin and join the British Army. I know it will be a decision you will not regret. My name is Staff Sergeant Atkins, and I’ll be your Training Officer. Never played a wargame before? Not to worry, soldier. It’s my job to make sure you learn what you need to know.

Your training will be presented in three parts. Basic Training, which, as you might expect, will cover the basics of wargames in general and the Blood and Bridges system in particular; what a unit is, what a marker is, what a hex is, what "stacking" means, how to move and how to shoot.

Advanced Training will walk you through some of the more complex things about Blood and Bridges; formation markers, command and morale, transporting units, missiles, opportunity fire, assault combat, overrun combat, artillery, helicopters and close air support.

Finally, once you think you’ve got a handle on that, there will be a few Field Exercises, training walkthroughs which are detailed examples of play, some created for this guide and one scenario drawn from the Blood and Bridges manual.

Now a lot of what I just said, like morale, opportunity fire and assault combat, might sound like gobbledygook to you right now. Relax - I’ll explain each item in simple English as I come to it. Ready? That’s the spirit. Let’s get to it, shall we?

SETTING UP

Right, first things first. Find a nice quiet place with a large table and good lighting. Make sure you aren’t going to be interrupted by the family pet, significant others or kiddies. As wonderful as they are, they tend to be a distraction.



Open up your box and lay out the gameboard (that’s the large cardboard foldy thing for those of you who struggled with your O-levels). Take out the rulebook and put it aside for now. You may wish to reference it from time to time. Take the two player aid cards - the 8-1/2" x 11" inch glossy cardstock sheets with "Player Aid Charts & Tables" written on one side and "Terrain Effects Chart" on the other - and put one where you can look at it easily. Place the dice within reach.

There are also two very pretty sheets of square counters with vehicles and the like printed on them. You’ll see that they’re printed on both sides - that’s important - one side is different from the other, unlike some other games you may have played. If you haven’t already, punch out the counters carefully, making sure they don’t tear or fray as you pull them apart. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can use a utility knife or a rotary cutter to get a more precise cut.

However you do it, keep the markers sorted roughly into the same groups that you punched them out in - matching colours, shapes and names, generally. Some people who play wargames like to sort the counters into special compartmented trays for easy set-up. Others separate them in small plastic baggies like one uses for crafts. At the very least, find yourself at least one plastic zip-locking bag to put all the counters in once you’re finished - you don’t want them rattling about in the box when you put it away, now, do you?

Now, you may be saying to yourself, 'what’s all this, then, Sergeant?' Never fear, soldier. An old soldier’s adage is "divide and conquer", so we’re going to start very small with just one piece.

UNITS AND MARKERS

Sort through the khaki-coloured pieces (that’s dark beige for you fashion-impaired types) and look for a marker with the word Infantry written on the top, the name 1 KR underneath and a rectangle with a diagonal cross beneath that. It looks like this:



This, lads and lasses, is what wargamers call a counter, sometimes also called a piece. This particular counter represents a unit of infantry - soldiers who don’t drive vehicles or man large guns. In Blood and Bridges, one infantry unit counter like this represents a platoon - about 30-40 men and the equipment they carry. If you flip it over you’ll see some of the numbers are different. In most wargames, an unit counter which is flipped is called reduced - that is, it is damaged or reduced in capacity in some way. Some unit counters have nothing on the other side. We’ll cover those when we start shooting things.

Now, fish through the pile of counters and find one that looks like this:



This type of counter is an administrative marker or more simply just a marker. Markers are counters which indicate the status of something - you usually put them on top of a unit, or on a track on the board or in a specific place to mark it. For example, the counter you’ve pulled out indicates the unit you place it on top of has completed operations for the turn - "ops complete". Don’t worry about what that means just yet.

Finally pull out a counter that looks like this:



This happy little fellow is a unit counter for a group of T-80 main battle tanks. Nasty brutes they are - you’ll be tangling with them a lot, I’m afraid. When you see a vehicle of some kind pictured on the counter, the counter usually represents a platoon of between 3 and 6 vehicles of the type pictured. There’s that word again: platoon - platoon is just military lingo for an organizational unit made up of about 9-40 men. For example, this T-80 platoon has three tanks in it, each with three men sitting in it - nine men. Fear not, you won’t be quizzed on this - but if you end up liking wargames, you’ll start hearing words like platoon and company a lot and it helps to have a general sense of what they mean.

Generally in the World at War system, each unit counter represents a platoon of some sort.

THE MAPBOARD

Now, let’s look at the board.



One of the first things you may notice is that the lovely map is overlaid with thin black hexagons. Hexagons, or hexes for short, help divide the map into equal-sized areas. In chess, the equal sized areas used are squares, but the problem with squares is that the distance from one square horizontally or vertically is less than the distance between diagonal squares. With hexagons, the distance between each hex is exactly the same in every direction, which makes measuring movement easier.

At the top of each hex is a letter (or letters) and a number. The letter(s) and number together make the hex number (even though a letter is involved). Hex numbers are used to find specific hexes more easily. In Blood and Bridges, the hexes are lettered sequentially by column left to right and numbered by row top to bottom. If you look at the map closely you should be able to figure out the pattern easily.



Try to find hex number E7 right now. It’s in the top left corner of the map, just south of a town called Werthoven. We’re going to be doing most of our training exercises in this area of the map.

Put the infantry unit counter you found earlier on hex E7. In some wargames it matters which way the counter 'faces'. In this game it doesn’t, so just place it so the text is right-side up from your perspective.

Congratulations, you’ve just deployed your first wargame unit into the field; a unit counter in a hex. This is why they’re sometimes called hex-and-counter wargames. So, you got a cardboard piece representing about 36 men or so milling about on a road just south of a town called Werthoven. Now what?

STACKING

The hex your unit occupies represents a space about 150m wide. If you were to place a second counter into this hex (like, say, another infantry unit), your counters are said to be 'stacked'. Counters in the same hex go one on top of another, not next to each other - they 'stack'. The maximum number of friendly (that is, people on the same side) unit counters that can stacked in a hex at any time is two - (with an exception for units being transported by other units, but we’ll get to that later). This maximum is called the stacking limit. In Blood and Bridges, this limit is in effect at all times, even when moving your units. Administrative markers do not count towards this limit, only unit counters. You can only enter enemy hexes under certain circumstances, usually which result in a messy end for one or both of the participants. Don’t worry about that for now.

MOVEMENT

Moving a unit is what we’re going to do next. Look at the middle number on the lower half of your infantry counter.



This number (and all numbers in the same place on unit counters in this game) is the movement factor of your unit. The movement factor is how far your unit can move in a given amount of time and is an abstracted value of speed and mobility. Each time your unit moves it spends movement points, abbreviated as MPs. Think of MPs as a kind of currency which you have to pay to move into a new hex from the hex you currently occupy. Your movement factor is the amount of movement points (money) you have to spend each turn.

This infantry unit (and indeed, all infantry units you’re likely to encounter in BnB) has three movement points to spend (a movement factor of three). If you look at the player aid chart on the Terrain Effects Chart side, it shows how many movement points you have to pay to enter each type of terrain pictured on the map. Generally for infantry, the cost for almost any terrain is 1 MP. The exceptions are ruined city hexes and shattered forest hexes, which cost 2 MP to enter for infantry. You must move into an adjacent hex when moving; despite what the Doctor Who fans among you may enjoy, teleporting is not allowed in this game.

To move your unit from E7 to D7 (a clear terrain hex) the cost is 1 MP. Move your unit from E7 to D7 to C8 to B8. In each hex you are spending 1 MP. Since you have entered three new hexes, you have 'spent' all of your movement points and would be done for the current part of the turn (in the World at War system each group of units, or formation, may potentially move up to twice in a turn or, very occasionally, not at all).



Good. You’ve ordered an infantry platoon to move 450m to the southwest. See how easy that was? Let’s let them rest for a moment and have a cup of tea while we get you into a tank.

Now, one step harder. Take the T-80 unit you picked out before (we’ll assume we’re driving captured equipment) and place it on D5. Move it into C6. Checking the player aid card on the Terrain Effects Chart side, you’ll see that the terrain in C6 is 'cultivated' and it costs 2 MP for tanks to move into. You’ll note that the T-80 has a movement factor of 7, of which you have used 2 MPs, so you have 5 MPs left. Now move the T-80 into C7, a clear space, using 1 MP (4 MP left). Next, C8, a woods hex, which requires 2 MP for tanks to enter, leaving you with 2 MP. Now, move the T-80 into the clear hex in C9 - yes, you guessed it, 1 MP, leaving you with 1 MP. On to D9 - what’s that, you say? Movement point cost for a rough hex is 2 MP? You’re quite right. That means the tank cannot enter D9. If you cannot spend the movement points cost to enter a hex, you may not move your counter into that hex. Since you have 1 MP left, you could move into B9, C10 or D8 - any adjacent hex which only required 1 MP to enter.



You may use all, some or none of your movement during a turn, but you cannot save MP from turn to turn.

Assume that we’ve ended our current turn. On a future turn our T-80 has 7 new MPs to spend on moving.

Next we’re going to drive our T-80 over the rough then back up the road to Werthoven. We move into D9 (2 MPs) then E9, E8 and E7 (3 more MPs). Now, ordinarily, moving into a city hex requires 2 MPs for tanks and other vehicles, but read the description for road terrain on the player aid card. If you move following a road from one hex to another, you only pay 1 MP instead of the usual terrain MP cost. Move into Werthoven hex E6 for 1 MP. At this point you’ve used 6 MP. We cannot move into F5, because moving into a town hex without using a road costs 2 MP. You can move into E5, because you would be following the road between E6 and E5. Do that now.



Assume another new turn. Now let’s drive this piece of quality Soviet workmanship through the town and up a hill. Move the T-80 into F5 (2 MPs, because there is no connecting road) then F6 (1 MP), leaving you with 4 MP. Ordinarily, moving into a clear hex such as the one in G7, would only cost 1 MP, but because you are crossing a crestline going up (up the hill, that is), it costs 2 MP; 1 MP for the terrain being entered (clear) and 1 extra MP for the hill. A hill is a shaded area on the map which is surrounded by a white crestline and light grey "hash marks" which are supposed to indicate a change in height. In the area we are looking at, near Werthoven, G9, G8, G7, H5, I7, J7 (and so on) form the outline of the hill. Everything within the white crestline is the hill, everything outside a crestline is assumed to be at ground level. As our tank is moving from ground level to a hill over a crestline, it is going up. If our tank was moving from a hill hex like H10, through G10 to F9, it is moving from a higher elevation (hill) to a lower elevation (ground level) and would not have to spend extra MP for going uphill.

Finally, move into H7, a woods hex, for 2 MP, using up your remaining 2 MP.



This is pretty straightforward, but if you’re having trouble, take a moment now to drive your T-80 around, counting out MP costs as you go, referring to the Terrain Effects Chart as you go. Remember that you only have 7 MP in an activation (more on that later) so stop each time you reach seven (or less, in some cases). Don’t worry about mucking up the countryside; the Crown will reimburse those poor German farmers.

Once you’re confident that you understand how movement works in World at War, you can move on to the next training exercise - the firing range!

[CONTINUED BELOW - CLICK ON THIS LINK TO JUMP TO IT]
47 
 Thumb up
6.92
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Cheadle
United States
Flushing
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you, THANK YOU, Thank youlaughlaughlaugh
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Atack
United States
Round Rock
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Damn bro! Where I was lazy in trying to help the new folks you stepped up.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Cheadle
United States
Flushing
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This is the reason why I love the people on BGG.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Fionte
United States
Crossville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Exceptional. And exceptionally generous. Thank you, sir!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Makis Andreou
Cyprus
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On behalf of the following:

1. Gamers who think wargame rulebooks are scary (my self included!)

2. People who buy their first wargame full of excitement, only to find out that they have to spend hours reading BGG forums and googling terms on the internet in order to find out how it plays.

3. Wargame companies looking to sustain profits in times of economic crisis!

4. Wargame designers who spend ages developing complex systems which very few people appreciate.

5. Experienced players with inadequate tutoring skills


THANK YOU!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Price
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Kozure wrote:



SETTING UP

Right, first things first. Find a nice quiet place with a large table and good lighting. Make sure you aren’t going to be interrupted by the family pet, significant others or kiddies. As wonderful as they are, they tend to be a distraction.



And they tend to move your tanks around without asking and without obeying the movement costs. Little blighters.

Hey, that hand looks familiar!

Just a quick note - the T-80 platoons will be either 3 or 4 vehicle platoons, depending on whether they are tank or motor rifle battalions.

Great job, can't wait for shooting. Hopefully there will be a detailed comparison of British v Soviet gun laying systems - or may be not.

Steven
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher O
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Steven,

Thanks for supplying the various component close-ups. I was going to write up a list of thank-yous once I finished this piece, but I'm beginning to realize that explaining wargames to someone who might have never played a wargame before is a really monumental task.

I'm going to take it in bite-sized chunks, but it is tricky.

Somehow I got it into my head that Soviet tank platoons were five vehicles... not sure how. I will correct the error.

As for the other comments - thanks all, for the compliments and the tips. I'll try to do it right through, though as I go through the rulebook I keep on running into concepts that, when I think about it, aren't really intuitive to non-wargamers at all.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Price
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Chris,

What you are attempting to do is a monumental task, which is the reason everyone appreciates it. Your welcome to use any image if it assists.

As a staff sergeant you seem quite nice to the new troops. That hasn't always been my experience with these beasts!

Steven
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffrey Lewis
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Chris,

A posting above and beyond the call of duty!

Best,

Jeff
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher O
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ranged Combat, Terrain and Concealment
RANGED COMBAT

Ready for more? Brilliant.

Most of the time in World at War, you be pushing heavy metal about - the tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles. For now though, we’ll start with the basics - infantry.

Remember that Infantry unit you left in B8? Don’t worry if you’ve moved them - just put the counter back in B8. Now, dig out any Soviet infantry counter - it doesn’t matter which one; in this game they’re all pretty much the same except for the unit they belong to. Place that infantry unit in hex B10.



Now, look at your infantry counter. In the bottom left there is a yellow number. That’s your HE firepower, 2. The wee number to the upper left of the bigger yellow number is the unit’s HE range (2), and the number to the upper right of the yellow number is the unit’s HE To-Hit number (5). The yellow HE firepower number is the number you generally look at when most units fire at infantry, helicopters or thin-skinned vehicles (section 1.3.4.2 of your rulebook describes what "thin-skinned vehicles" are).



We want to fire at that scruffy-looking lot of vodka-reeking Soviet infantry over there in B10. Don’t mind the insults; lads and lasses, they call us capitalist running dogs and the like; it’s all in good fun. If you don’t think it sporting to fire on helpless targets, imagine they’re target silhouettes or somesuch.

First thing you need to check when you fire at something is make sure nothing is in the way. In wargames, this is called line of sight. Line of sight can be a complex and contentious concept and could take far more time than I’m willing to take to explain completely, but simply put, checking line of sight (often abbreviated LOS) is imagining that if you stood in one place whether you’d be able to see to the place that you want to shoot at. Deciding whether one unit can see another in this way is called checking line of sight or checking LOS. Section 7.3 of the rules explains the technical definition of line of sight. Some wargames (and wargamers) have complicated rules about exactly when you’re allowed to check line of sight and whether you’ve committed to a shot or not. The World at War system doesn’t muck about with such frippery. If you want to check LOS, check LOS, as long as you’re not being ridiculous about it. If you run into someone who gives you a hard time about checking LOS in World at War, well, consider finding a new opponent.

The second thing you must do when firing is to count the range. To count the range, count the number of hexes between the firing hex and the target hex. Do not count the hex with the firing unit but do count the unit with the unit being fired on. You can fire on a unit up to twice the range of your unit - with infantry, you use your HE firepower on a unit up to 4 hexes (2 x 2) away.

When firing at ranges above your printed range, it is called extended range. Weapons with an underlined range cannot fire at extended range. The range printed on their counter is their maximum range.

Units with no underline under their range value get a better chance of hitting their target if you fire at a unit which is at half range or closer (fractions rounded up), called reduced range in this game.

The Soviet infantry in B10 are two hexes away from our infantry in B8. There is nothing between the two units that would block line of sight. The range between the units is 2 hexes.



Since LOS is OK and range is OK, we can fire. We take a number of dice equal to the HE firepower of the unit (2) and roll them. We are trying to roll a number equal to or greater than the To-Hit number of the HE firepower, which is 5 in the case of infantry. For each dice that rolls equal to or greater than the To-Hit number, we score a hit on the enemy infantry.

The first hit on a unit with no disrupted status marker on it disrupts it; in real life terms the unit has become disorganized and possibly has taken a few light casualties or some damage. If a unit which is already disrupted (has a disrupted marker on it) takes a hit, it is reduced. A unit which is reduced is flipped to its back side. If it is already on its back side, the unit is eliminated instead and removed from the game. If the eliminated unit was a vehicle unit, you would put a wreck marker in the hex where you eliminated that vehicle.

Imagine that we roll a 5 and a 6. Since both dice equaled or exceeded the To-Hit number, the enemy infantry takes two hits. The first hit disrupts the enemy unit. Place a disrupted marker on top of it.



The second hit reduces the enemy unit. Flip the unit over to its back side, then replace the disrupted marker on top of the flipped unit. This is important - in some other games this is not done this way. If you’re having trouble remembering which side is the reduced side , the side with the white (not coloured) band is the reduced side. Astute trainees may also notice the numbers are smaller - reduced, if you will. Funny, that.

Now, you fire. Roll two dice and try to get a 5 or a 6. Since this unit is already disrupted and reduced, the next hit you get will eliminate it. It shouldn’t take you more than two rolls of two dice, but stranger things have happened.

Poor blighters; heroes of the Revolution all.

Place a new Soviet Infantry unit counter in B11. Once again, your line of sight is fine, but the range is now 3 hexes. This is greater than your range, but less than double your range. Because you are firing at extended range, your To-Hit number is increased by one, (from 5 to 6) which makes your chances of hitting harder. You now must roll a 6 to hit.



Bang away at the Soviets again. Odds-wise, it should take you about three rolls of two dice to get one hit. Remember that the first hit disrupts, hits after the first on a disrupted unit reduces it.

Once you’ve sent that lot to sleep with Lenin, place a third unit in B9. Since the unit is now one hex away (half range) you are firing at reduced range, and your To-Hit number is reduced by one (from 5 to 4), which makes it easier to hit. You need a 4, 5 or 6 to hit now. You should hit with every other die roll, so it shouldn’t take more than two or three rolls of two dice to kill the Russkies.



Well, you’ve established you can hit stationary man-sized targets in the open at up to 450m away. Bravo. *golf clap* Most of the time in the field it won’t be that easy.

TERRAIN & CONCEALMENT

Right, march your infantry platoon back from B8 to E7. We’re now going to learn about how enemy units try not to be seen when we fire at them. Most inconsiderate.

Find four Soviet infantry units in the countermix. Place one each on C6, C8 and G7 and E6. Find three Ops Complete status markers and place it on the units in C8, G7 and E6. We’re surrounded, lads and lasses. We’ll have to do something about that.



Whenever a unit in World at War fires at another unit, the target unit may gain some protection from the terrain it is in. In World at War, this protection is called the Defensive Bonus. If the target is a soft target or unarmored vehicle, its owner rolls a number of dice equal to the defensive bonus of the terrain. The defensive bonus for each type of terrain is listed on the Terrain Effects Chart side of the player aid card. We’ll talk about how many dice armoured targets roll in the next section.

You can see that the defensive bonus for the infantry in the woods hex in C8 is 1. For infantry in the cultivated hex in C6 is also 1 - note that there is no defensive bonus for vehicles in cultivated terrain. For infantry in a city hex such as E6, the defensive bonus is 2. Now, here’s a slightly tricky one. The infantry in G8 is in open terrain, but they are on top of a hill - they are higher than we are. When a unit fires on an enemy unit which is higher than itself, the target unit gains a defensive bonus of 1. Now, there are all sorts of reasons for that bonus, which involve military-sounding terms like "hull down" and "gun elevation" and "plunging fire", but let’s keep it simple and just remember that if you have to fire on something that is higher than you, it’s harder to do.

Let’s fire on the enemy infantry unit in the woods. LOS is clear, and the range is 2. You are cleared to fire; you roll two dice... say, for example, a 1 and a 5. If the infantry unit was not in terrain that gave it a defensive bonus, it would now be disrupted. Since it does have a defensive bonus, it rolls one die (since the defensive bonus is 1). Infantry and unarmoured units must roll a 5 or higher to defend themselves against a hit - this number is called the Save Number. For each die that is equal to or greater than the save number (5 for infantry and unarmoured vehicles), one of the attacker’s hits is ignored. Say that the target unit rolled a 5. One of your hits is ignored. Since you only rolled one hit, it’s as if you scored no hits on your target. The terrain has protected the infantry from the fire you’re directing at it.

Say you roll again - this time getting two sixes. That’s ordinarily two hits. Your target rolls one die for the defensive bonus of the terrain. The Soviet get lucky as well and roll a 6, which is equal to or higher than the unarmoured Save Number of 5. The infantry can therefore ignore one hit - but you still got one hit. A hit on an undisrupted unit causes a disruption marker to be placed on it.

Repeat this process of rolling to hit, then rolling for the defensive bonus of the target, until you eliminate the infantry unit in C8. Remember that once disrupted, further hits on a unit reduce it.

Now, the infantry in G8. Fire on it, remembering that it has a defensive bonus of 1 for being uphill, until it is eliminated. No dice roll examples - just get to it!

Next, let’s take on the unit in the cultivated hex in C6. Note that this unit does not have an Ops Complete marker on it. The Ops Complete marker indicates that a unit has moved or fired already in a previous activation. If we’re translating this to real life terms, a unit with an ops complete marker is making a lot of noise and light by firing or moving around - you can see the people or vehicles moving or the muzzle flashes from their weapons being fired. A unit without an Ops Complete marker, by comparison, is relatively hard to spot - it hasn’t moved or fire yet. We can imagine the men or vehicles of the unit have found hiding places - but only in terrain where you can hide!

If the target unit is in the same hex as a Wreck marker, or occupies Woods, Wooded Hill, City, City Ruins, Rough, Shattered Forest, or Cultivated or Craters (both infantry only) terrain, and is NOT under an Ops Complete marker or moving (there are a few other details/exceptions, which you can read in section 6.1.5 of the rulebook if you want), it is concealed.

Add one die to the defensive bonus of the terrain for concealed units.

Thus, in this case, an infantry unit in cultivated terrain which is not marked with a Ops Complete marker is concealed. Its defensive bonus is 2 (1 for infantry in cultivated terrain, plus 1 for being concealed).

Try to kill this unit. It might take a while.

The last unit to consider is the unit in the city in E6. LOS is OK - the unit is adjacent. Range is one. Because the range is equal to half of the normal range of the infantry (2), we are firing at reduced range.

What is our To-Hit number? Four - usually it is five, but it is reduced by one for reduced range. We are rolling two dice, hitting on a four or greater. The enemy infantry in the city is rolling two dice for its defensive bonus of 2 (vehicles only get 1 defensive bonus in cities), saving on a five or higher. If the unit in the city also had no Ops Complete marker on it, it would be concealed and would roll three dice to protect itself.

So, you roll two dice, hitting on a 4, 5 or 6. Your opponent rolls two dice, saving on a 5 or a 6. See how long it takes to kill this infantry unit.

Much harder, isn’t it? That’s why most military units prefer NOT to be seen. Try to remember this. In my experience, forgetting the concealment bonus and forgetting to place wreck markers (covered in the next section) are the two most common things to forget when learning the game, even for experienced wargamers.

Right then. Next exercise is the tank gunnery range; we’ll see you there shortly.

[TO BE CONTINUED - MORE TO BE POSTED AS IT IS WRITTEN]
34 
 Thumb up
1.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kozure wrote:
TO BE CONTINUED - MORE TO BE POSTED AS IT IS WRITTEN


I sure look forward to seeing more of this. Tried the game yesterday with a friend, but neither of us are wargame veterans. In fact, it was his first wargame session. I think this could be very helpful. So hopefully we'll see more soon.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher O
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Riptcord wrote:
Kozure wrote:
TO BE CONTINUED - MORE TO BE POSTED AS IT IS WRITTEN


I sure look forward to seeing more of this. Tried the game yesterday with a friend, but neither of us are wargame veterans. In fact, it was his first wargame session. I think this could be very helpful. So hopefully we'll see more soon.


Unfortunately I've thrown up a few too many BGG plates in the air at the moment; I'm trying to write an example of play for B-29 Superfortress, this guide for World at War, some charts for Fields of Fire and a variant for Small World.

I'll try to get something done, but the B-29 example of play is earlier in the queue. Thanks for your interest and I hope you have fun learning the system.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kev.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Read & Watch at www.bigboardgaming.com
Avatar
Kozure wrote:
RANGED COMBAT

Ready for more? Brilliant.

Most of the time in World at War, you be pushing heavy metal about - the tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles. For now though, we’ll start with the basics - infantry.

Remember that Infantry unit you left in B8? Don’t worry if you’ve moved them - just put the counter back in B8. Now, dig out any Soviet infantry counter - it doesn’t matter which one; in this game they’re all pretty much the same except for the unit they belong to. Place that infantry unit in hex B10.



Now, look at your infantry counter. In the bottom left there is a yellow number. That’s your HE firepower, 2. The wee number to the upper left of the bigger yellow number is the unit’s HE range (2), and the number to the upper right of the yellow number is the unit’s HE To-Hit number (5). The yellow HE firepower number is the number you generally look at when most units fire at infantry, helicopters or thin-skinned vehicles (section 1.3.4.2 of your rulebook describes what "thin-skinned vehicles" are).



We want to fire at that scruffy-looking lot of vodka-reeking Soviet infantry over there in B10. Don’t mind the insults; lads and lasses, they call us capitalist running dogs and the like; it’s all in good fun. If you don’t think it sporting to fire on helpless targets, imagine they’re target silhouettes or somesuch.

First thing you need to check when you fire at something is make sure nothing is in the way. In wargames, this is called line of sight. Line of sight can be a complex and contentious concept and could take far more time than I’m willing to take to explain completely, but simply put, checking line of sight (often abbreviated LOS) is imagining that if you stood in one place whether you’d be able to see to the place that you want to shoot at. Deciding whether one unit can see another in this way is called checking line of sight or checking LOS. Section 7.3 of the rules explains the technical definition of line of sight. Some wargames (and wargamers) have complicated rules about exactly when you’re allowed to check line of sight and whether you’ve committed to a shot or not. The World at War system doesn’t muck about with such frippery. If you want to check LOS, check LOS, as long as you’re not being ridiculous about it. If you run into someone who gives you a hard time about checking LOS in World at War, well, consider finding a new opponent.

The second thing you must do when firing is to count the range. To count the range, count the number of hexes between the firing hex and the target hex. Do not count the hex with the firing unit but do count the unit with the unit being fired on. You can fire on a unit up to twice the range of your unit - with infantry, you use your HE firepower on a unit up to 4 hexes (2 x 2) away.

When firing at ranges above your printed range, it is called extended range. Weapons with an underlined range cannot fire at extended range. The range printed on their counter is their maximum range.

Units with no underline under their range value get a better chance of hitting their target if you fire at a unit which is at half range or closer (fractions rounded up), called reduced range in this game.

The Soviet infantry in B10 are two hexes away from our infantry in B8. There is nothing between the two units that would block line of sight. The range between the units is 2 hexes.



Since LOS is OK and range is OK, we can fire. We take a number of dice equal to the HE firepower of the unit (2) and roll them. We are trying to roll a number equal to or greater than the To-Hit number of the HE firepower, which is 5 in the case of infantry. For each dice that rolls equal to or greater than the To-Hit number, we score a hit on the enemy infantry.

The first hit on a unit with no disrupted status marker on it disrupts it; in real life terms the unit has become disorganized and possibly has taken a few light casualties or some damage. If a unit which is already disrupted (has a disrupted marker on it) takes a hit, it is reduced. A unit which is reduced is flipped to its back side. If it is already on its back side, the unit is eliminated instead and removed from the game. If the eliminated unit was a vehicle unit, you would put a wreck marker in the hex where you eliminated that vehicle.

Imagine that we roll a 5 and a 6. Since both dice equaled or exceeded the To-Hit number, the enemy infantry takes two hits. The first hit disrupts the enemy unit. Place a disrupted marker on top of it.



The second hit reduces the enemy unit. Flip the unit over to its back side, then replace the disrupted marker on top of the flipped unit. This is important - in some other games this is not done this way. If you’re having trouble remembering which side is the reduced side , the side with the white (not coloured) band is the reduced side. Astute trainees may also notice the numbers are smaller - reduced, if you will. Funny, that.

Now, you fire. Roll two dice and try to get a 5 or a 6. Since this unit is already disrupted and reduced, the next hit you get will eliminate it. It shouldn’t take you more than two rolls of two dice, but stranger things have happened.

Poor blighters; heroes of the Revolution all.

Place a new Soviet Infantry unit counter in B11. Once again, your line of sight is fine, but the range is now 3 hexes. This is greater than your range, but less than double your range. Because you are firing at extended range, your To-Hit number is increased by one, (from 5 to 6) which makes your chances of hitting harder. You now must roll a 6 to hit.



Bang away at the Soviets again. Odds-wise, it should take you about three rolls of two dice to get one hit. Remember that the first hit disrupts, hits after the first on a disrupted unit reduces it.

Once you’ve sent that lot to sleep with Lenin, place a third unit in B9. Since the unit is now one hex away (half range) you are firing at reduced range, and your To-Hit number is reduced by one (from 5 to 4), which makes it easier to hit. You need a 4, 5 or 6 to hit now. You should hit with every other die roll, so it shouldn’t take more than two or three rolls of two dice to kill the Russkies.



Well, you’ve established you can hit stationary man-sized targets in the open at up to 450m away. Bravo. *golf clap* Most of the time in the field it won’t be that easy.

TERRAIN & CONCEALMENT

Right, march your infantry platoon back from B8 to E7. We’re now going to learn about how enemy units try not to be seen when we fire at them. Most inconsiderate.

Find four Soviet infantry units in the countermix. Place one each on C6, C8 and G7 and E6. Find three Ops Complete status markers and place it on the units in C8, G7 and E6. We’re surrounded, lads and lasses. We’ll have to do something about that.



Whenever a unit in World at War fires at another unit, the target unit may gain some protection from the terrain it is in. In World at War, this protection is called the Defensive Bonus. If the target is a soft target or unarmored vehicle, its owner rolls a number of dice equal to the defensive bonus of the terrain. The defensive bonus for each type of terrain is listed on the Terrain Effects Chart side of the player aid card. We’ll talk about how many dice armoured targets roll in the next section.

You can see that the defensive bonus for the infantry in the woods hex in C8 is 1. For infantry in the cultivated hex in C6 is also 1 - note that there is no defensive bonus for vehicles in cultivated terrain. For infantry in a city hex such as E6, the defensive bonus is 2. Now, here’s a slightly tricky one. The infantry in G8 is in open terrain, but they are on top of a hill - they are higher than we are. When a unit fires on an enemy unit which is higher than itself, the target unit gains a defensive bonus of 1. Now, there are all sorts of reasons for that bonus, which involve military-sounding terms like "hull down" and "gun elevation" and "plunging fire", but let’s keep it simple and just remember that if you have to fire on something that is higher than you, it’s harder to do.

Let’s fire on the enemy infantry unit in the woods. LOS is clear, and the range is 2. You are cleared to fire; you roll two dice... say, for example, a 1 and a 5. If the infantry unit was not in terrain that gave it a defensive bonus, it would now be disrupted. Since it does have a defensive bonus, it rolls one die (since the defensive bonus is 1). Infantry and unarmoured units must roll a 5 or higher to defend themselves against a hit - this number is called the Save Number. For each die that is equal to or greater than the save number (5 for infantry and unarmoured vehicles), one of the attacker’s hits is ignored. Say that the target unit rolled a 5. One of your hits is ignored. Since you only rolled one hit, it’s as if you scored no hits on your target. The terrain has protected the infantry from the fire you’re directing at it.

Say you roll again - this time getting two sixes. That’s ordinarily two hits. Your target rolls one die for the defensive bonus of the terrain. The Soviet get lucky as well and roll a 6, which is equal to or higher than the unarmoured Save Number of 5. The infantry can therefore ignore one hit - but you still got one hit. A hit on an undisrupted unit causes a disruption marker to be placed on it.

Repeat this process of rolling to hit, then rolling for the defensive bonus of the target, until you eliminate the infantry unit in C8. Remember that once disrupted, further hits on a unit reduce it.

Now, the infantry in G8. Fire on it, remembering that it has a defensive bonus of 1 for being uphill, until it is eliminated. No dice roll examples - just get to it!

Next, let’s take on the unit in the cultivated hex in C6. Note that this unit does not have an Ops Complete marker on it. The Ops Complete marker indicates that a unit has moved or fired already in a previous activation. If we’re translating this to real life terms, a unit with an ops complete marker is making a lot of noise and light by firing or moving around - you can see the people or vehicles moving or the muzzle flashes from their weapons being fired. A unit without an Ops Complete marker, by comparison, is relatively hard to spot - it hasn’t moved or fire yet. We can imagine the men or vehicles of the unit have found hiding places - but only in terrain where you can hide!

If the target unit is in the same hex as a Wreck marker, or occupies Woods, Wooded Hill, City, City Ruins, Rough, Shattered Forest, or Cultivated or Craters (both infantry only) terrain, and is NOT under an Ops Complete marker or moving (there are a few other details/exceptions, which you can read in section 6.1.5 of the rulebook if you want), it is concealed.

Add one die to the defensive bonus of the terrain for concealed units.

Thus, in this case, an infantry unit in cultivated terrain which is not marked with a Ops Complete marker is concealed. Its defensive bonus is 2 (1 for infantry in cultivated terrain, plus 1 for being concealed).

Try to kill this unit. It might take a while.

The last unit to consider is the unit in the city in E6. LOS is OK - the unit is adjacent. Range is one. Because the range is equal to half of the normal range of the infantry (2), we are firing at reduced range.

What is our To-Hit number? Four - usually it is five, but it is reduced by one for reduced range. We are rolling two dice, hitting on a four or greater. The enemy infantry in the city is rolling two dice for its defensive bonus of 2 (vehicles only get 1 defensive bonus in cities), saving on a five or higher. If the unit in the city also had no Ops Complete marker on it, it would be concealed and would roll three dice to protect itself.

So, you roll two dice, hitting on a 4, 5 or 6. Your opponent rolls two dice, saving on a 5 or a 6. See how long it takes to kill this infantry unit.

Much harder, isn’t it? That’s why most military units prefer NOT to be seen. Try to remember this. In my experience, forgetting the concealment bonus and forgetting to place wreck markers (covered in the next section) are the two most common things to forget when learning the game, even for experienced wargamers.

Right then. Next exercise is the tank gunnery range; we’ll see you there shortly.

[TO BE CONTINUED - MORE TO BE POSTED AS IT IS WRITTEN]


So the big question is did you give up or get busy?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher O
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hipshot wrote:

So the big question is did you give up or get busy?


Little of column A, little of column B.

I will try to come back to this. My problem is that I'm great on the initial inspiration, but not always good on the follow-through.

I've had a good time away from this, so maybe I can come at it with a fresh impression.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kev.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Read & Watch at www.bigboardgaming.com
Avatar
This was great by the way as are all your variant counters. Its been very helpful for me to learn the system.
I'm reading Revelations before I play much more to get a feel for what the 'world' looks and feels like.
Thanks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith Plymale
United States
Huddleston
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Awesome work Christoper.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.