21.0 Optional Rules
You can use these or not, depending on what you want out of your game. Be warned that some might alter balance slightly, and take note that in general the options tend to be used sparingly. We have rated them with a letter grade to show their overall popularity.
21.1 Recon - D
This option is for those who want to incorporate some of the special attributes of recon units. For this option, a “recon unit” is any unit (regiment or smaller) with a recon, motorcycle, armored car, cavalry, or commando symbol.
During any phase in which it moves, a recon unit can spend 1/4 its printed MA and 1T to recon an adjacent hex. The other player must then reveal the total number of steps and whether Heavy or Light AT is present (as in 9.4e).
21.2 Proportional Loss - A
Adjust strength proportionally when a multi-step unit has taken losses, rather than 9.11d. The formula is (Strength x Current Steps / Printed Steps). Round these strengths immediately.
Example: An 11-strength division with two of three steps has a new strength of 7.
21.3 Independents - D
In any attack by independent units that does not also include an attacking divi- sional unit, double the attacker’s supply cost (to 2T per step). Furthermore, inde- pendent units cannot use internal stocks when attacking.
Attacks that combine independent units with divisional units must use a divi- sional unit for the Action Rating. This does not apply to defense.
21.4 Long Range Air - B
Apply the following to aircraft moving more than 1/2 their printed range:
- A) Air Combat Rating is reduced by one.
- B) Barrages suffer an additional shift of one column left. This applies regardless of the number of aircraft in the barrage that are affected.
- C) Fighters that do a Base Transfer must become Inactive (a change to 14.11).
21.5 Re-Basing Limits - C
Allow only one unit per base Level per turn to apply the Base Transfer mission’s “Fighters can remain Active” clause, or to enter as Active reinforcements at a given base. Count an Air Strip as a Level-1 Air Base for this rule.
21.6 Convention Tempo - D
This rule makes for an ahistorical high rate of operations. It can be used in any scenario and any of the games to make a more intense gaming experience. In a multi-player convention setting it keeps everyone active, and it can also help new players (who have not optimized their play) adjust to the system’s demands.
21.6a Double all at-start, on-map SP, excluding Organic Trucks that might be loaded.
21.6b Double the rail capacity, and all Transport Points at start.
21.6c Increase reinforcement supply amounts and all shipping capacities by 50%.
21.6d Players get to roll twice on their Variable Replacement Tables during every Reinforcement Phase.
21.7 Revised Rebuilds - B
There are several changes to 13.5:
- Limited Hoarding. Repls some- times represent remnants of elim- inated units that have been reor- ganized and returned to action. As such, at least 1/2 of Pax and 1/2 of Eq must be used on the turn they are received. (So no saving them for later unless at least two are received on a given turn.)
- Easier Rebuilds. Reinforcing Repls can arrive in the hex with any HQ that is in trace supply (not “eating off map,” etc.). There is no longer a need to march or rail them forward.
- One-Repl Rebuilds. All steps can now be replaced with either 1x Pax or 1x Eq, regardless of previous cost. (But “no rebuild” units still cannot return from the dead, nor can units that don’t have a rebuild cost.) For instance, it now costs just 1x Pax regardless of whether the old cost was 1x, 2x, or 3x Pax. If the game’s Rebuild Table shows a mix of Eq and Pax being required, the cost is now 1x Pax except in the case of units with Track MP (on either side of the counter), in which case the cost is now 1x Eq.
21.8 Attacking Empties - B
Some players are puzzled as to why a unit could move 100% of its MA and attack an enemy unit to move at least one hex further, while another unit can’t attack the empty hex to do the same thing. This option also helps sooth guys who are disturbed by being penalized for having a “too successful” preparatory barrage (and not getting to attack at all).
21.8a Any unit otherwise able to attack in a Combat Segment can do so, even if no enemy units are in the target hex.
21.8b Do not assign the empty hex a zero Combat Strength. Instead, the attacker pays his attack SP normally for all units involved and the units paid for can advance into the target hex. No Combat Table roll is needed and no exploit result is possible.
21.8c Air-dropped combat units can “attack empties” on the turn they land at no supply cost. (Our thanks to Dick Horneffer for this suggestion to give the paras some post-landing movement.)
21.9 Reactive Artillery - C
By popular demand, a test rule from v4.0 that did not make the final cut…
21.9a Allow artillery that is in Combat or Move Mode to fire in the player’s Reaction Phase even when not marked in Reserve.
21.9b This rule does not allow the artillery to move in Reaction, or do anything beyond the normal rules in Exploitation.
21.9c Artillery in Hedgehogs can take advantage of this rule.
21.9d Ric Van Dyke cannot use this rule.
21.10 Supply Caches - new
The Supply Cache is a new type of marker that players hold off-map until “spent” at any friendly HQ as either Forage or Shells. The markers address the perceived tilt in mechanics favoring airpower at the expense of the big guns, and also serve an “anti-raider” role.
21.10a Shells. A player can spend a Supply Cache marker to pay the cost of an artillery barrage being thrown supply by an HQ. Shells are available even if the HQ is not in trace supply.
- Shells pay 2T of an arty barrage’s cost per marker spent. No “change” is given if the cost is reduced below zero.
- Shells also allow artillery units to fire partial factors. For instance, a 26-1-1 could barrage with just ten points — essentially a free barrage after the marker’s cost reduction.
21.10b Forage. In the Supply Phase, a player can spend a Supply Cache marker to allow an HQ to provide all combat units within its Throw Range with trace supply. Some restrictions:
- Forage can only be used when enemy action cuts the HQ’s trace supply. It cannot be used by spearheads!
- Forage can only be used on the first turn an HQ is out of trace supply. After that, if still out of supply, it must breakout, eat off the map, or risk attrition.
See Change Notes for more on how to use this rule in older series games.
21.11 Construction - B
This rule adds a bit more detail to the rules for hedgehog construction and port repair.
21.11a Big Hogs. Engineer-Capable units are required to improve an existing hedgehog—Level-1 is the limit of what can be done by regular troops.
21.11b Small Ports. The cost of Port Repair (19.0d) is reduced to the port’s current capacity if damage has reduced that capacity to under 1 SP. Example: if the current (damaged) capacity is 2T, it costs 2T to repair a level.
21.11c Hog Reduction. A hedgehog is reduced by one level when captured. (Note this applies only to hogs shown by counters—hogs printed on the map are handled normally.)
21.12 Transport - B
This first pair of rules adds a bit more detail to the rules for Air and Sea Trans- port. The next two are to ensure that Strat Mode is used for redeployment, not penetration.
21.12a XYZ Transport Missions. An Air Transport mission is normally flown from Base X to the “mission hex” at Base Y, and from there to Base Z (where plane goes inactive). Cargo is loaded at X, unloaded at Y, and the transports return empty to Z. The air units in a mission can come from different X’s and return to different Z’s, but in general this is the procedure.
Under this enhancement, cargo can be loaded at both X and Y (to full capacity of aircraft at both stops), and cargo can be unloaded at both Y and Z. Range of an XYZ mission is figured as whichever leg is longest (either X to Y or Y to Z). Aircraft can return to different Base Z’s, and come from different Base X’s.
In XYZ missions, Base Y and Base Z are both “mission hexes” for the purpose of flak and interception (so possibly two of each), assuming loading/unloading activity occurs.
21.12b Cloak of Night. Ports in an EZOC are not completely shutdown for Sea Cap. Under this option, a player can still ship to/from these ports up to their current capacity, but spends 4x the normal Sea Cap to do so. This represents night deliveries, etc.
21.12c Strat Column Spacing. Only a maximum of 3 RE of units in Strat Mode can end a segment in a given hex. There can still be a total of 10 RE in the stack; the new limit is just on Strat Mode units. Units found in excess of this limit are destroyed (owning player’s choice). (Exception: a single multi-step unit or multi-unit formation, even if it is larger than 3 RE, can always end a segment in Strat Mode in a hex.)
21.12d Strat Direct Draw. All units in Strat Mode must end movement in a hex where they can receive trace supply via Direct Draw (not by “eating off the map” or “HQ-Throw”).
Game-Specific Note: Don’t use Strat Direct Draw (21.12d) in BALTIC GAP , which was designed for aggressive use of Strat Mode.
21.12e. Air Transport DRMs. Add a terrain DRM to Air Transport Table:
- -1 if hex contains Very Close, OR
- -2 if hex contains Extremely Close.