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13,773 hits since 4 Feb 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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leesow Inactive Member04 Feb 2012 5:12 a.m. PST

Have you tried these NEW Combat Action Command (CAC) 15mm rules for WWII?

Here are some comments on play and tactics from recent games …

CAC Fire During a Move Phase

A CAC lets either side Fire during a Move Phase. However, the team fired at need not have moved to be a target. You can't avoid getting shot at by simply not moving!

Further, either side can declare CAC Fire before any moves take place. I've been in many intense battles where both sides just simply "let fly" during the Move Phase before any moves are made. Remember the famous line from the hit movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly … "when you got to shoot .. shoot!"

Remember CACs are declared ONE Team at a time, and the enemy Target Team can also CAC to force a CAC Duel.

Terrain & Line of Site

You will have more fun playing if you and your opponent take time before starting to play and review each Terrain Feature on the table and make sure exactly what type of terrain it is, Clear, Rough, Soft, UnSafe, etc. For hills make sure everyone knows where the "crest lines" are and for rivers and streams whether they are fordable or not.

Also remember that in CAC LOS is based on "WYSIWYG" – if you intend Hills to BLOCK LOS then make sure that either the Hills are high enough to do so, OR that all players know the hills are intended to block LOS even if they are not actually high enough. In a perfect world we'd all have the exact terrain needed for every battle, in the real world we use what we have and "hills" may need to proxy as "mountains"!

As a point of "gamesmanship" when I see a person moving up to a Terrain Feature, a Hill for example, I simply ask them, do you intend that team to be "hull down" or fully visible or completely hidden? A little courtesy saves a lot of debate when the shells start flying!


12345678 Inactive Member04 Feb 2012 9:59 a.m. PST

One post, one piece of advertising! That seems to be taking the p**s somewhat!

Mooseheadd Inactive Member10 Feb 2012 5:37 a.m. PST

Has anyone played these rules and would like to give a quick review as to how they play….

Some Chicken Inactive Member10 Feb 2012 7:48 a.m. PST

One post, one piece of advertising! That seems to be taking the p**s somewhat!

And apparently one stifle too. Welcome to TMP.

Martin Rapier10 Feb 2012 9:02 a.m. PST

Shame about the acronym. CAC. snigger.

Cyclops Inactive Member10 Feb 2012 10:03 a.m. PST

A CAC duel? Oh dear.

bgbboogie Inactive Member10 Feb 2012 11:29 a.m. PST

Not another set of rules talk about a flood……no more please….!!!!

Mobius10 Feb 2012 2:23 p.m. PST

Shame about the acronym. CAC. snigger.


Oh, sorry, in the spirit of the post. Funny!

28mm Fanatik11 Feb 2012 2:16 p.m. PST

This post is totally counterproductive. Instead of making me interested the shameless plug has made be resolve never to try it. Looks like I'm not the only one turned off by it either.

And I refuse to be persuaded on how good a game is by someone who spells 'Line of Site.'

Martin Rapier13 Feb 2012 11:23 a.m. PST

"This post is totally counterproductive"

Well, yes. New(ish) account, one post, one advert. Puts me off every time. It isn't even a very informative advert. Mr Sows appears to be the author.

Shame really, they have a website:

but no free tryout version. Looks vaguely FOW-ish with points lists, team basing etc.

Available for a mere 39 USD from OMM!

Cholmondley Warner Inactive Member13 Feb 2012 1:42 p.m. PST

Is the picture on the cover a fair representation of the game?

Martin Rapier14 Feb 2012 7:42 a.m. PST

I think the AAR gives a better idea.

Caesar Inactive Member14 Feb 2012 8:41 a.m. PST

Nobody wins in a CAC duel.


bgbboogie Inactive Member14 Feb 2012 8:55 a.m. PST

I was dropped in the CAC once……does that help?

IanB3406 Inactive Member14 Feb 2012 9:01 a.m. PST

I thought it was a joke, but now I think they are 12 year olds trying a scam.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member15 Feb 2012 9:11 a.m. PST

Still, hard to decide whether you want a CAC fight or a dose of VD.

Combat Victory Action Decision Command
Panzerkampf Combat Victory Action Decision Command Aufstragtaktik of War

We are getting close to the perfect name for a ruleset here!

Acronym leaves something to be desired

Lancer Nomore Inactive Member15 Feb 2012 10:35 a.m. PST

There was an article in Miniature Wargames this month with a sort of battle report which didn`t really explain how the rules worked. I just about worked out you have a unit statistics card that gives you all the info you need. Lots of multiple dice rolling too.

I wasn`t overly inspired, although one of the regular feature writers seemed to like them.

Russ Lockwood07 Mar 2012 2:08 p.m. PST

Yes, the MW article could have provided more info about the rules mechanisms within the context of the battle. It's always a tough mix to attain, especially within page limits. Sowers has an opportunity to correct that on his website.

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I edited the rules, so I have a free copy of CAC (and supplements), and have been playing it the last few months.

CAC is generally at the same level as Flames of War -- 1 model = 1 vehicle, 1 infantry base (CAC calls it a Team) = 1 squad, etc. This is also, if I recall, the same scale as Hasenhauer's WWII BattleFront, or for that matter, the boardgame Squad Leader. I use my 15mm FOW "army" (more like a company) -- same base sizes. 1" = 33.3 yards.

Anyway, the key difference between CAC and the others is the use of command interrupts that allow you to do something (shoot, move, call in artillery, etc, albeit with some restrictions) when you see trouble. Nothing new per se -- interrupt mechanisms have been around since the 70s, but the interrupt is integral to the sequence of play and success on the table.

The cards contain all the to-hit stats like cards should, but the clever bit is the d20 damage table, unique to the particular unit based on training, leadership, and all the other variables that go into this single die roll (or die rolls if you get hit by several things at once). I can tell you that getting US infantry to storm a hamlet held by German elite troops requires copious amounts of artillery and support fire. Of course, elite troops "cost" about twice as many points as regular GIs.

Figuring out when to interrupt the enemy and WHAT to do with said interrupt action is what makes this more than an I-go-U-go game where one side takes it on the chin and hopes for enough left to land a counterpunch. Every time I play, I learn more nuances. I sent Sowers several AARs for his website that include commentary about the action (and questions about various procedures).

Sowers will be running several games at Cold Wars. Hopefully, some gamers will stop and play or watch and post back some observations here.


Ross Mcpharter Inactive Member08 Mar 2012 1:28 p.m. PST

Russ, I'm still not clear on the infantry scale. Does 1 infantry base represent a half section or full section?

Cheers Ross

Grey Matter 13 Inactive Member19 Mar 2012 9:03 p.m. PST

@Grizzly : You forgot "Flames". Combat Victory Flames Panzerkampf Action Command Decision Nuts of War of The Third Reich of the Occult.
This way, we cover ALL aspects and include the off the wall WW2 stuff as well. Save your money and wait for the straight to DVD movie…

Mobius20 Mar 2012 12:29 p.m. PST

The interrupt I take it is of the opponents move and fire? That would make in the antithesis of the Crossfire system.

IronMarshal23 Mar 2012 4:56 p.m. PST

Each stand is a "team." Depending on the type of platoon, there are different numbers of teams. For instance a US armored infantry platoon consists of 6 troop teams, one mortar team, 1 machine gun team, two bazooka teams and an HQ team, while a US para/Ranger platoon has three troop teams, one sniper team, two machine gun teams, a bazooka team and an HQ team. A German grenadier platoonis similar to the US armored infantry platoon (6 troops, 1 mortar, 1 machine gun, 1 panzerfaust team, and an HQ).As I understand it, each AFV team is a single AFV. I am going to play my first game tomorrow, and am looking forward to it.

Ross Mcpharter Inactive Member23 Mar 2012 9:20 p.m. PST

Thanks Ironmarshal, just what I was hoping. Good luck with the game!

leesow Inactive Member16 May 2012 7:51 a.m. PST

Yes, I am the author and a TMP Rookie so I apologize if my posts offend anyone. It was done at the suggestion of my gaming friends who are avid TMP readers.

Please feel free to post comments, good, bad or indifferent here. You can also email me directly via the CAC website.

Blownapart Inactive Member16 May 2012 12:55 p.m. PST

Our group has palyed 10+ scenarios using this excellent rule set. Lee is very responsive to answering questions about the rules. A warning to all players this is not your flames of war game. This set of rules is the best tactical set of rules our group has played-- yes we have played way to many. The set of rules is one of the few that actual reward military tactics of the period, as the sequence of play is designed for the fire and manuever tactics of modern combat. The refernce cards are great as it provides all of the information needed for a platoon. You do not have to be searching through books and tables to find what your fire value is.

We just finished a 10000 point battle (yes we pushed the game system) of kursk. Some 60 tanks were engaged and the battle came down to the last die roll to take the objective. Yes Panthers and Tigers are tough but proper tactics by the russian slowly whittled down the opposition. It is a terrible feeling to have your Panther mobility killed and not able to do anything for the rest of the battle. Russain su152 are deadly at breaking up massed tank attacks- watch out for those guys.

Great game Lee --- we need more data cards!

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member16 May 2012 1:53 p.m. PST

Cheers Blownapart. Bloody good job you joined TMP today, as leesow was just needing someone independent to plug his game and improve his rep. What a stroke of luck.

Blownapart Inactive Member16 May 2012 4:45 p.m. PST

R Mark Davies If you havent tried these rules please do.As the first read you say "so what" THen you play a turn and you go " wait a minute" then you sit and ponder as the perverbial Grinch did stealing christmas- and the light goes on-- THIS AINT SIMPLE. Our first playtest had a german platoon assaulting 2 teams of airborne and a MMG behind a wall. The german player acustomed to flames of charged across the open field within 200 yards of the airborne. THe airborne stayed hidden untill he got to 100 yards then opened up by the end of the turn the entire german platoon was scurring back to the woods they came from wounded and scared. Note the german just wanted top see how the game went-- well it is not a charge game. Proper tactics by the german on the next try finally rooted out the airborne but with 50% casulaties-- airborne are really tough.

Blownapart Inactive Member16 May 2012 4:46 p.m. PST

Soory that should read flames of war

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member16 May 2012 5:06 p.m. PST

I guess you missed the sarcasm.


Monk de Wally de Honk Inactive Member17 May 2012 3:08 a.m. PST

RMD – That went straight over the top of his head.

kevanG17 May 2012 5:22 a.m. PST

I watched one game and played in another…

There were quite a few 'no way' moments. I think the armour values need …err…..tweaking. <= code for re-written.

I found the average armour values of the achilles tank destroyer and the T34 compared to one other just a tad too close for comfort which made me realise that the methodology for evaluating the armour wasn't thought through.

Anyway, why have buckets of dice to oppose another bucket of dice just to calculate a modifier to a d20…..isnt that what the d20 does in the first place?

but then I am scathing of unnecessary complication that gains nothing. Having a seperate results chart for every weapon /troop type is another eyebrow raiser that falls into that catagory.

In summation, A mildly interesting game that makes me want to ask the designer why he made the decisions he did, rather than play another actual game.

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2012 11:16 a.m. PST

I suspect there is a language barrier.
Thank you for your analysis of the game. Do you know anyone not involved in playtesting the game who is not friends with the designer who has played it?


leesow Inactive Member17 May 2012 11:52 a.m. PST

I'll try to answer a multiple of comments in this one post.

1 – More Data Cards are coming. I'd love feedback on which specific periods of the war and which units people wanted most. that would help get them out faster.

2 – I'd be happy to discuss the "design" elements such as Armor in greater detail, but am not sure this Forum is the place. I respond to all emails from the "Ask A Question" link on the Combat Action Command website Home Page.

3 – There are hundreds of people playing CAC and as far as I can tell from the "screen names" none except myself were in the original design or play test group. Some of the people that tried the CAC at Cold Wars have since asked about playtesting – again please email me directly from the CAC website if you would like to become a playtester.

4 – Nice Hand Puppet.

Blownapart Inactive Member17 May 2012 4:19 p.m. PST

Yes I am not a playtester for the original CAC game. I did get the sarcasm but gave Mark the benefit of the doubt in being serious. :) we do need some levity on these message boards once in a while. I disagree with kevin G -- armour values of a tank are not constant as most games have you believe-- Im sure he knows that.At this level of game there should be results that hit just the track or are shot trapped against the hull-- In the end Statisically one either has one Die roll for hit damage and another for morale effects or you do it with simple tables as in this game. Playing 2 games is just the tip of learning -- our group of old guys quickly memorized most of the charts so only looking up d20 results became the norm.

Blownapart Inactive Member17 May 2012 4:20 p.m. PST

I agree -- great hand puppet.

kevanG18 May 2012 3:35 p.m. PST

"I disagree with kevin G -- armour values of a tank are not constant as most games have you believe-- "

You are disagreeing with somehing I didn't say and I dont think any rule set makes you beleive anything about armour thicknesses

But lets get some points straight.

The only 2 things you can be sure of when a round hits a tank are the thickness of the armour and its angle on the tank. You cannot guarantee anything else so that must be what the variable die rolls for gun effect and armour effect are measuring….why have 3 sets of die rolls to do this?

If I recall correctly, A Panther cannot fail to penetrate a T34/76's front armour …..while the Panther can never be penetrated by the T34/76….mno chance of a vision sli hi or turret ring or the like. A quick comparison suggested we would be better replacing them with M10's as the panhers could actually fail to penetrate an M10…..his promted a close look at comparison values where the ineffectivceness of autocannon against armour was puzzling …tankbusters used them.

The stug 3 and panzer iv armour comparison was the most puzzling.

leesow Inactive Member18 May 2012 4:45 p.m. PST

There are three sets of die rolls for the following reason –

Penetration Rolls reflect the effect of the round (i.e. early British Shot tended to shatter on face hardened plate etc) and the angle at which the shot hit the target.

Armor reflects the quality of the armor (and type) as well as any "weak spots" like shot traps or vision slits etc.

The d20 determines what happens when ypu actually score a damage causing hit – every hit, even on a Sherman, did not cause a Brew Up, perhaps you just knocked a track off etc.

As for your armor/pen analysis, not sure where you got your data, I am looking at the Panther Data Card Armor = 3d6+19 (min = 22) and the T34 76mm, Pen = 2d6+11 (at close range) which is a max of 23, so the T34 can score a +1 Penetration and destroy the Panther, albeit with a very low percentage, but that's realistic, this is your "Vision Slot" hit.

But there is more – when confronted with armor they could not penentrate, crews would often fire HE. There is a case during the Bulge when Shermans actually got Tiger II Crews to Bail Out by peppering them with HE. Most of the Russian SPG "Animal Killers" had a poor AP round and so would just fire HE to blow turrets off Panthers and Tigers. The T34's 76mm Gun has a -5 FAV (Fully Armored Vehicle)Modifier with HE which means it can score M-Kills and Track Damage versus Panthers, for all intents and purposes knocking them out.

In CAC Historical Tactics will yield Historical Results.

Just as a side note in Flames of War a T34 has a Pen of 9 versus the Panthers Armor 10 which is really "no chance" of either Killing it or Bailing the crew. No rules are perfect

Perhaps I missed your point, if so my apologies, feel free to restate your question and I will try again!

Cheers! Lee

leesow Inactive Member19 May 2012 4:25 a.m. PST

Ops! One of my friends pointed out that I failed to address armor questions on the M10 and Stug. Here goes.

Armor is based on "Armor Basis" which factors in slope, thickness, and other factors mentioned in my last post such as type, quality, and "weak spots". To keep the rules simple, Front Armor Thickness is averaged using a weighted average on where a shot is likely to hit as a function of that armor's thickness. Most AFVs had Front Armor consisting of a Lower Hull, Upper Hull or Glacis Plate, a Turret Front and a Mantlet. These varied from vehicle to vehicle; for example a Tiger I's mantlet covered all of the Turret Front, whereas early Sherman's did not. For most AFVs these four sections of Armor would vary in thickness and slope, sometimes considerably. But these were combined into one "average" value for Front Armor to prevent yet another die roll for where the shot struck.

Armor is expressed as a #d6 rolled plus a Constant. The more consistent the armor value across the Front of the AFV, the better the armor, the less the slope (less slope = less variability in outcome when a shot strikes) and the fewer the "shot traps" or other weak spots, the higher the Constant. That is why a Tiger I's armor is 1d6+22. Data was actually fed into a computer model to crank out the resulting "Armor" value.

What does the #d6 + Constant equate to? The average roll on a d6 is 3.5, however you can't roll a 3.5, it's either a 3 or a 4. Which makes the "average" or expected Front Armor for the Tiger I from 25-26.

Now that we have the process let's look at AFVs.

M10 3d6+6 = 15-18
T34c 2d6+10 = 16-18
Pz IVH 2d6+10 = 16-18 (yes the formula works this = to T34)
Stug III 3d6+9 = 18-21

The T34c and Pz IVH work out the same, and the basis, and all other factors, were pretty much the same for the T34 "C" late war model compared to the Pz IV H model.

The M10's armor is not as good as the T34's, albeit not by much. The M10 actually had a decent level of armoring it's weakness was no turret top armor. In CAC this is NOT used to lower the Front Armor Value, but rather makes it a PAV (Partially Armored Vehicle).

Stug's carried heavier armor than Pz IV's.

Let's take a minute to look at Flames of War values for these AFV. I cite FOW because its is probably the most well researched and widely played WWII rules on the market today.

M10 = 4
T34 = 6
Pz IV = 6
Stug III = 7

While the numbers are different (because the rules systems are different) you will see they "rank order" exactly the same. We may differ slightly on the "degree" of difference between an M10 and Stug (I would have given the M10 a '5'), but that's a function of research and design. The difference is not enough to affect play balance or how you would build an army list.

Hope that clears up the Armor questions I missed! Lee

kevanG19 May 2012 12:00 p.m. PST

Well, You've convinced me.

Blownapart Inactive Member19 May 2012 1:12 p.m. PST

Lee thanks for the post-- it cleared up a few questions that we had. KevanG sorry that I was reading you wrong as it appears that you are a very knowledgable guy. It just that many gamers have their teeth cut a specific set of rules or something they have read and their vew point is based on that norm. i was mainly trying to point out to the many that read these posts to have an open mind and things are not always black and white as some game systems make you believe. To lees point in one of the battles I learned the hard way as my 4 Panthers confronted 10 T34's. I figured stay at range and just blow the H__ll out of them. They opened up with HE and in three rounds of fire 3 out of my 4 panthers were disabled. ( DId kill 6 T34) not sure the Furher would see that as favorable.:)

leesow Inactive Member22 May 2012 5:10 a.m. PST

There will be CAC Mega Battles at NJCON in June and Historicon in July – Check PELs for times and table locations. Here is your chance to come and try the CAC rules. Please Register Early! All CAC games were filled to capacity at Cold Wars. I will also host CAC Demo games for those in the NYC area of the United States. You may contact me via mail from the Combat Action Command website. Lee

PiersBrand22 May 2012 7:13 a.m. PST

In CAC Historical Tactics will yield Historical Results.


But there is more – when confronted with armor they could not penentrate, crews would often fire HE. There is a case during the Bulge when Shermans actually got Tiger II Crews to Bail Out by peppering them with HE.

So one case of Shermans firing at a Tiger II with HE is a 'historical tactic'? Kinda makes it read like the rules are designed around one historical incident.

I dont know much about WW2 but I have not come across many accounts from tank crews that recount firing HE as the standard tactic for use against German armour. I've read of smoke and WP being used to convince crews that their tank was on fire but not 'peppering' with HE…

I learned the hard way as my 4 Panthers confronted 10 T34's. I figured stay at range and just blow the H__ll out of them. They opened up with HE and in three rounds of fire 3 out of my 4 panthers were disabled.( DId kill 6 T34)

So the T-34/76, which cant hurt a Panther from virtually point blank, can sit at range and knock them out at a 2 – 1 kill ratio with HE?

That seems mightly at odds with the Russian assessment of their performance against Panthers and the statistical data found in Zetterling's statistical analysis of Kursk.

I'd be interested in seeing the data that backs up such a kill ratio and HE performance.

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 May 2012 7:48 a.m. PST


Sane Max Inactive Member22 May 2012 7:56 a.m. PST

Stug's carried heavier armor than Pz IV's.

Let's take a minute to look at Flames of War values for these AFV. I cite FOW because its is probably the most well researched and widely played WWII rules on the market today

well, that's convinced ME.


Jemima Fawr Inactive Member22 May 2012 8:35 a.m. PST

But convinced you of what, Pat?! ;o)

PiersBrand22 May 2012 9:51 a.m. PST


Is that in Zaloga's 'Armoured' series of hardbacks?

Im sure it happened, just not sure it was a default tactic as the rules 'seemed' to make out. Sounded to me from reading more a kinda 'if all else fails, try HE' kinda deal.

Im more concerned over T-34/76s knocking out Panthers… Just dont fit for me.

Thus Im interested in the data behind that Eastern Front recreation.

Mobius22 May 2012 10:54 a.m. PST

T34c 2d6+10 = 16-18
Pz IVH 2d6+10 = 16-18 (yes the formula works this = to T34)
This is wrong!
T34c (Model 1943) = varies <12-22> avg 16-18
Pz IV H = varies <12-22> avg 16-18
In reality the armor of the T-34c varies from ~7cm on the turret to 9cm on the hull.
But the Pz IV H varies from 5cm on the turret to ~8.5cm on the hull.
So a better solution would be PZ IV H 3d6 + 5 = <8-23> avg 14-17.

leesow Inactive Member22 May 2012 12:17 p.m. PST

Good comments from all. Apologies if I miss anyone!

The Data and Formula I used for Armor Basis came up with a value of '16-18' for the Front Armor of both the T34c and PzIVH. Neither had serious issues with Shot Traps or Weak Spots, hence 2d6 are used. That led to 2d6+10 yielding 16-18. You could use 3d6 for the PzIVH, or you could reduce the Constant to 9 yielding 15-17 if you prefer. I would be interested in how much impact such a "tweak" actually had.As it says in the designer's notes, my primary goal was for people to play, enjoy and learn, so feel free to tweak.

You might find it interesting that the Armor for the PIVJ is 2d6+8 to reflect German problems with Armor Quality in the final year of the War. That Data Card is not out yet.

HE was often a tactic of desperation when crews felt they couldn't penetrate the other guys armor. And Allied crews had that feeling a lot. Also, most Sherman's carried way more HE than AP and were often more likely to have HE loaded, since the majority of targets encountered were "soft" and not armored. HE against armor may not have been actual SOP, but it was often used nontheless.

As for the T34s versus the Panthers, the T34 is really not a match for the Panther, however depending on how they are used and the dice that are rolled in any one engagement the loss rates may vary. A Panther has weak Side Armor, a factor that was well exploited by the Canadians in Normandy.

Just a note about the Shermans vs. the Tigers example, I came across that example long after the rules were written. Researching and writing the rules took over 7 years and I have over 500 reference books, like Jentz and Zetterling, in my personal library, not to mention materials from NARA (US)and the Bundearchive (Germany). Even given that, I am certain I made errors and am happy to consider all new data and points of view. So I appreciate everyone's comments!



Spreewaldgurken Inactive Member22 May 2012 12:37 p.m. PST

" materials from NARA (US)and the Bundearchive"

Jetzt bin ich neugierig. Wann haben Sie im Bundesarchiv gearbeitet? Sie meinen das Militär-Archiv in Koblenz? Oder irgendwo anderes?

Mobius22 May 2012 1:12 p.m. PST

Neither had serious issues with Shot Traps or Weak Spots, hence 2d6 are used.
I'd say 50mm turret front armor vs. 70mm in a T-34c is a serious weakspot.

You might find it interesting that the Armor for the PIVJ is 2d6+8 to reflect German problems with Armor Quality in the final year of the War. That Data Card is not out yet.
With flaws and all it became the equivalent of allied armor.

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