5.0 Modes

5.1 Units Affected by Mode

Ground units use the modes described in this section. Not all ground units can use all six modes; SP, ports, air bases, air units, and hedgehogs do not use any modes at all. Ships make limited use of Disorganized Mode (18.1d).

5.2 General Mode Restrictions

A unit affected by mode can only be in one mode at any given time.

Ground units without a mode marker are in either Combat or Move Mode, depending on the side of the counter showing. Markers are placed on top of a unit to show the other four modes: Reserve, Strat, Disorganized (DG), and Exploitation. When a mode marker is removed, a unit returns to Combat or Move Mode (depending on its existing orientation).

Units will move and fight according to the values on the side of the counter that is showing (either Move Mode or Combat Mode). Some modes modify these values. A unit with a mode marker uses the base values of Combat or Move Mode (it is said to be “oriented toward” the mode whose side is showing), but is only in the mode indicated by the marker. This means, for example, that a unit in DG Mode could never move by rail, which requires Move Mode, regardless of its counter orientation. Units of differing modes can stack, and one unit’s mode has no effect on the mode of other units in the stack.

Design Note: The implications of these various modes with respect to the turn sequence and each other will be apparent only after repeated play. Suffice it to say they are many and subtle. Good players will orchestrate the differences between these modes to their advantage.

5.3 Voluntary vs. Involuntary

Voluntary Modes are Combat, Move, Strat, and Reserve. Involuntary Modes are DG and Exploitation.

5.4 Mode Change

Units in Combat, Move, Reserve, and Strat Mode can change to a different voluntary mode in the Movement Phase. This is done as each individual unit or stack begins to move. For example, a unit in Combat Mode could be changed to Reserve Mode (with either the Move or Combat side up).

Reserve Mode units can be “released” during the Reaction and Exploitation Phases (see 5.7b). No other voluntary mode changes are allowed outside of the Movement Phase.

Mode change does not cost MP.

Involuntary modes are not chosen, they just “happen” as a result of combat, retreat, and barrage. The involuntary mode replaces the existing mode. An involuntary mode marker can only be removed during the player’s Clean Up Phase. Note that during the Movement Phase a unit in DG Mode can change its orientation between the Combat and Move sides of the counter.

5.4a Marker Limits. The game-specific rules place strict limits on the number of Reserve markers available to each side. To conserve these valuable markers, a player can show the entire portion of a stack that is in Reserve Mode with one marker (4.8b), and the marker need not be placed until after units have finished moving their 25%. There are no limits on using the other mode markers, but players should still conserve markers to keep stacks manageable. (They should not attempt to deceive their opponent by piling in extra, unneeded markers!)

5.5 Combat Mode

Combat Mode is the side of the counter with the greater strength and lesser movement values. These units anticipate contact with the enemy.

5.5a Combat Mode units are unable to use rail, air, and shipping transport. (Exception: Rail Repair units, 13.3g.)

5.5b Units must be in Combat Mode to convert railroad gauge (13.3f) and perform Engineering functions (13.8a).

5.5c Repl units and Transport Points cannot enter Combat Mode.

5.5d Units must be in Combat or Move Mode when landing via the Amphibious Landing Table (see 18.5c).

5.5e A unit must be in Combat Mode to exert a ZOC per 4.5. (Exception: Exploitation Mode, 5.9c.)

5.6 Move Mode

Move Mode is the side of the counter with lesser strength and greater movement. These units sacrifice some combat capability to enhance speed.

5.6a Move Mode is required for rail, air, and shipping transport. (Exception: Rail Repair units, 13.3g.)

5.6b Repl units and Transport Points have no Combat Mode side to their counters, so they are always oriented toward Move Mode.

5.6c Units must be in Move or Combat Mode when landing via the Amphibious Landing Table (see 18.5c).

5.7 Reserve Mode

Units in Reserve Mode can react quickly to events. Mark them with a Reserve marker. Reserve Mode units cannot attack, overrun, or barrage until released. The pool of Reserve Mode markers is limited, per 5.4a.

Units attacked while in Reserve Mode defend at half Combat Strength. Units in Reserve Mode can move 1/4 MA during the regular Movement Phase. They can also move when “released” per 5.7b.

Play Note: The 25% movement allowed for Reserves during the Movement Phase can be useful for shifting units in bad terrain (per 6.1c they can ‘always move one hex’) such as in Mountains or Jungle, and also to squeeze an additional 25% movement out of key units.

5.7a Orientation. A unit that enters Reserve Mode can be flipped to have either side of its counter facing up. This orientation (toward Combat Mode or Move Mode) cannot be changed until the player’s next Movement Phase.

5.7b Releasing Reserves. Reserve Mode units that are “released” by a player can be used during his Reaction Phase or Exploitation Phase. To release a unit, simply remove the Reserve marker: the unit is now in Combat or Move Mode, depending on its orientation (5.7a). A player can release a unit and have it move and overrun before deciding to release other Reserves.

  • A) Exploitation Phase. The released reserves have their full movement, barrage, and combat capabilities. They are able to attack or barragewith other released Reserves or Exploitation Mode units in the subsequent Combat Segment, and can overrun.
  • B) Reaction Phase. Released reserves move with half their MA, but have full combat values in overruns. Regular combat is not allowed in the Reaction Phase, but released artillery can barrage in the Barrage Segment.

5.7c Enemy ZOC. A unit cannot switch into Reserve Mode when in an enemy ZOC. Units already in Reserve Mode can enter/exit ZOC normally.

5.7d Enemy Contact. Remove Reserve markers from stacks that receive any kind of result (even an ignored Do1) when defending in overrun or regular combat. The units are now in Combat or Move Mode, as determined by their orientation (5.7a)).

5.7e Reserve Mode units cannot use rail, air, and shipping transport.

5.7f Transport Points are not allowed to enter Reserve Mode. (Exception: Organic Trucks can do so.)

5.7g No unit in Reserve Mode can be stacked with a hedgehog at the end of any Movement Segment.

5.8 Strat Mode

Strat Mode units don’t expect any contact with the enemy. Mark this mode with a Strat marker. Units in Strat Mode must be oriented to their Move Mode sides.

The advantage of Strat Mode is that units move using twice their MA. The mode does not confine them to road movement—they may freely leave the road net.

Strat Mode has several disadvantages: a unit cannot attack, overrun, or barrage, and its Combat Strength and Action Rating are both reduced to ZERO.

5.8a Enemy ZOC. Units cannot enter Strat Mode when in an enemy ZOC. Units in Strat Mode cannot move or retreat into an enemy ZOC. If forced to do so (in a retreat), they are eliminated. (If an enemy unit moves next to them, nothing special occurs.)

5.8b Supply. Units in Strat Mode can never “eat off the map” and must end their movement in hexes where trace supply is currently possible. An HQ in Strat Mode cannot throw supplies.

5.8c Transport Points cannot enter Strat Mode.

5.8d Strat Mode units cannot use rail, air, and shipping transport.

5.9 Exploitation Mode

This is an involuntary mode awarded to attacking units that achieve great success on the Combat Table. Mark the mode with an Exploit marker (keep the existing orientation toward Move or Combat). Exploitation Mode units (and Released Reserves) can move and fight during the Exploitation Phase (11.0).

Exploitation Mode units move using half their MA. Combat and Barrage Ratings are normal.

Remove all Exploit markers during the Clean Up Phase. The units are now in Combat or Move Mode, depending on their existing orientation.

5.9a Restrictions on gaining an Exploit marker are found in 9.13b.

5.9b Exploit markers have numbers to remind players of the minimum Action Rating (2, 3, or 4) needed for a unit in the stack to take advantage of the involuntary mode change.

5.9c Units retain any ZOC they had before gaining the Exploit marker.

5.10 Disorganized Mode (DG)

This involuntary mode is an adverse result of a combat, retreat, or barrage. Mark this mode with a DG marker and keep the existing unit orientation toward Move or Combat. Remove any other mode markers from the stack. Remove DG markers from phasing units during the Clean Up Phase. The units are now in Combat or Move Mode, depending on their existing orientation.

5.10a Entering DG Mode. Combat units enter DG Mode when any of the following happens:

  • A) They suffer a DG result in barrage or combat.
  • B) They retreat two or more hexes (apply a DG result the instant the unit retreats into its second hex).
  • C) They retreat into an enemy ZOC. If units that are already in DG Mode retreat into an enemy ZOC, inflict one step loss on those units. The owning player decides which unit takes the loss.

At the moment any of the DG triggers occurs, all combat units in the hex— even those not otherwise involved in a retreat—change to DG Mode. Note a unit that is already DG suffers no further effect, except as noted in “C” above.

5.10b Effects of DG. DG Mode units suffer the following effects:

  • A) They halve their combat, barrage, and movement values.
  • B) They subtract 1 from their Action Ratings. (Exception: the original/ unmodified Action Rating is used on the Attrition Table.)
  • C) They are unable to overrun or earn Exploitation Mode.

5.10c Transport Points are exempt from DG results and are never in that mode. (An Organic Truck in Reserve Mode does, however, lose its mode marker when the hex receives a DG result.)

5.10d DG Mode units cannot use rail, air, and shipping transport.

5.10e Engineering and Rebuilding. Rail Repair units (13.3g) and Engineer- Capable units (13.8a) are still able to perform their special functions when DG, assuming they are oriented toward Combat Mode. This also applies to the road-building and bridging units found in some games, and to HQs rebuilding units (13.5a), but not to non-engineer units building hedgehogs.

Units and their Modes