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"Treadheads at KublaCon this weekend" Topic

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World War Two on the Land

771 hits since 25 May 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2018 12:53 p.m. PST

I'll be running demo games on Friday and Saturday with the big game starting at 10am on Sunday.

It will be a group of Russian T-34/76's led by some KV-1's attempting to get past a German PakFront and is attacked by a group of outgunned German Panzer III's.

Here is a link to the current WIP version of the detailed rules for download:

I'll be taking them down on Tuesday.


stephen m26 May 2018 3:55 a.m. PST

Just looked quickly at the rules and have the following thought. How many tanks per side is a player to control? At the level of detail presented I assume this is a single tank to at most a platoon. Am I correct or did I assume incorrectly? Thank you.

Schogun Supporting Member of TMP26 May 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

Is there any way to download the rules without having to sign up for a SlideShare/LinkedIn account?


Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

I'm not sure. Send me an email at treadheadgames AT gmail DOT com and I'll send you a copy.

Yesterday at the convention, we had two new players controlling 8 tanks and anti-tank guns each playing the intro game and had reinforcements come in on later turns to replace losses. I took 5 minutes to explain the basics and the vehicle data cards, the players did not read the rules. We never had to refer to the written rules, just how to use the data cards. We got in 120 turns in 150 minutes of play. It was a pretty intense close range engagement with a total of about 45 shots taken by both sides.

Gameplay revolves around reacting to a threat in your LOS and then determine how many turns it will be to get your shot off. You place your action chit on the turn chart on the future turn number it will shoot. When that turn is called out you execute your order to shoot (if you are still alive). Determining the timing is no more difficult than adding 2-3 die roll modifiers with one D20 die roll in the basic and advanced games and a single D20 roll in the intro game without adding and variables. That's pretty much the gameplay loop.

The big difference between the Treasheads system and other games is that most games units activate randomly or attempt to activate by the player. The reaction result to activate is normally a yes/no.

In Treadheads you can always react to a threat during any turn but the action or order you give will not be executed for a certain number of turns unknown to your opponent. This is the timing of an event.

Units can always attempt to cancel current orders to react to new threats on the turn they emerge as units are always "active". Reacting is automatic, executing the order will take time.

This timing concept allows moving and shooting to be synchronized making opportunity fire easy without additional rules or exceptions. Since the future turn to shoot is unknown there is a fog of war created.

Treadheads uses historical performance and timing values, not abstractions. Historically, this depended on their Situational Awareness: (buttoned up/unbuttoned, suppressed or not, overwatch in the right direction), weapons platform performance (turret rotation, rate of fire) and crew performance (better crews can accomplish more in the same amount of time) and tactical advantages (ambush, flanking), surprise).

The intro game abstracts these factors together and randomizes them with a D20 roll. The basic and advanced games show engagement delays from poor SA and the historic turret rotation times to get the gun on target and allow the player some risk-reward tactical decisions to shoot sooner but with an accuracy penalty. These tactics are the same ones real crews use.

Once the player feels comfortable using the data card there is nothing else to refer to. The basic and advanced games do have other charts.

The game actually moves very quickly because players move their units at the same time and do not hold up other players when determining their timing to execute an order. We got through 120 turns in 150 minutes. Most tanks were shooting every 10-15 turns. With each turn equal to a second that's a fairly historic rate of fire. Anti-tank guns fired the fastest, crews with two-man turrets the slowest. Each time a tank fired there was a 5% chance of a jam, misfire, malfunction so nothing is guaranteed.

The intro game (see the T-34/76 data card on the last page) to fire a "Ranging" shot abstracts together spotting, reaction, engagement delays, turret rotation and aim time and randomizes it with a single D20 die roll to make it variable within historical parameters. A "Ranged In" shot is the 2+ consecutive shot at the same target and is based on historical rats of fire for that particular vehicle with some randomness so it is not predictable.

New players do find the data cards intimidating until they know how to use them which takes a few turns. Players have found that once you wrap your head around the concept of timing determining how quickly an action is performed (which is basically how the initiative is determined) and the factors that affect the timing the game plays pretty much like any other game. Timing is intuitive and easy to understand.

Players that were military tank crewman pick it up quickly because the game uses the same technical jargon and tactics as in their manuals.

I've been playtesting the intro game recently and I think it can serve as a good solitaire game simulating commanding a company of 10-12 tanks. The basic and advanced game put the player more in the role as the tank commander and gunner with a number of historical engagement options. The intro game abstracts those details making the game easier and quicker.


stephen m27 May 2018 2:19 p.m. PST


Thank you for the explanation. Like Schogun I am not on Linkin etc. and would appreciate a copy of the rules. I just scanned a lot of the pages on the linked site you provided. Thank you.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2018 10:12 a.m. PST

Schogun and stephen m,
Check your e-mail.


kcabai28 May 2018 5:17 p.m. PST


I would like to get a copy as well. I know some guy named Tibor, who said these were not as good as his. I am curious. Thanks,

kcabai28 May 2018 6:47 p.m. PST


I am kidding, Tibor is a good friend of mine. He has often spoke great things about your rules, and would love to have a look.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2018 8:23 p.m. PST

Tibor has told me so much about you I feel like I already know you. I'd be honored if I could add you to my distribution list. I need to clear up some areas for ConSim World next month and meeting with some publishers. Your experience and knowledge would be extremely helpful.

Yes, Tibors Prowling Panthers is a good one. Especially his gunnery, just ask him who did it for him.


MrMagoo31 May 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

I hope you run Treadheads next year at Kublacon. I didn't get a chance to play it, but I'd like to give it a whirl. Can you send me a copy of the rules, if I email you?

Thanks, Andrew

kcabai31 May 2018 4:10 p.m. PST


Anxious to see any AARs on this, hope it went well.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2018 8:05 p.m. PST

Yes, email me for a copy. AAR in progress.


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