Last Sunday afternoon I played a game of Chain of Command (CoC) with Adam Clark. Adam is well versed in Chain of Command. My previous attempts at playing CoC had met with dissatisfying results on my part. There are of course aspects of CoC that I liked, but overall I had a hard time wanting to play CoC instead of Bolt Action.
The result of Sunday's game didn't change my take on CoC. Admittedly I'm a beer a pretzels gamer and that is what best describes Bolt Action to me. Certainly Bolt Action is not without fault, like any rule set, but my group has become adept at making the system work historically for us (based on force organization and scenarios that make sense rather than points and tournament style min-maxing which I think gives many decent rule sets a bad name).
That all being said, I do like certain aspects of CoC. That got me thinking - so I decided I'd like to try a few house rules. As with any house rules or modification, my intent isn't to complicate game play or make the games take longer - instead hold true to the simplicity of the core rules.
Anyways ... enough rambling from me ... there are all sorts of things I could discuss here, but at the end of the day all the matters is the rules I'd like to try out. Clearly these house rules are based on the same rules that exist in CoC.
So, for my next Bolt Action WW2 game I'm going to give them a try.
Bolt Action WW2 House Rules (Draft)
Tactical Advance – After moving a unit using an Advance order (even if crossing terrain), if the unit does not fire, it may immediately go Down. This represents the unit taking the best advantage of the surrounding terrain for cover.
Section Tactics – When ordering an infantry section with an NCO the player can decide to split the section into two teams provided there is a minimum of 4 models remaining in the section (minimum of 2 figures per team, which includes the NCO who is assign to one or the other). The section continues to be ordered using a single dice, however each team can execute a separate order (mark separately using an extra off colour dice that is not included in the order dice pool). Teams must remain within 12” of each other. If the NCO is eliminated or if the remaining number of models in the section drops below 4, the unit must reform as a “normal” section during its next action that involves movement (moving as far as possible to regain normal unit coherency).
LMG ROF – Magazine-fed LMGs increase their ROF from 3 dice to 4 dice. Belt-fed LMGs increase their ROF from 3 dice to 5 dice.
MMG ROF – All MMGs increase their ROF from 4 dice to 6 dice.
Firing Mortars – If a mortar has LOS to the target (or target point) the initial to-hit value is 5 instead of 6.
Force Morale – Each side in a battle has a starting force morale equal to their morale rating based on their troop quality (for the total force, per the normal rules for Bolt Action army building). For each platoon fielded beyond the first (the second, third and so on), roll 1D3 and add that result to the total force morale. Each time a unit is eliminated from the game that sides force morale drops. When one sides force morale reaches 0 the game ends immediately. Force morale drops based on the unit eliminated:
• Each vehicle drops force morale by 3.
• Each team (or single model) drops force morale by 2.
• Each infantry section drops force morale by 4.
This should be interesting. Given that all of our Bolt Action games are limited by a specific number of turns, the force morale may be unnecessary --- but, I've also seen desperate (and unrealistically aggressive) moves made in later game turns that are purely based on trying to win within a certain time span (turns). By adding force morale hopefully that will provide a secondary strategic consideration for how aggressive (or not) a particular side will be when attempting to take an objective or similar.