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"Rules for Urban Combat" Topic

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streetgang6 Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2018 10:27 p.m. PST

I'm looking for rules that cover tactical level urban combat, preferably at the company or battalion level. Please provide a brief description of how the rules you recommmend model city fighting. Thanks in advance.


Lion in the Stars28 Jun 2018 11:26 p.m. PST

Do you mean "player in charge of a battalion" (where one stand is probably a squad, maybe a platoon) or "one stand equals one company" (where the player is probably in charge of a Division/BCT)?

Those are two very different levels of detail.

repaint29 Jun 2018 3:21 a.m. PST

that's the game you are looking for:


A review to check if it is for you:


Easily adaptable to miniatures but you will lose a bit of the fog of war unless you put the miniature onboard once it is revealed.

The guy used it as a tool to train officers in Urban warfare.

I have read about it but did not buy it because I have too many wargames at home already but I am eyeing it. The rules are not so simple though.

dwight shrute29 Jun 2018 3:36 a.m. PST

Bob Cordery ( wargames development ) put on a very clever ww2 urban combat game at a convention in London in I guess 1996 ish , if he is on here maybe he can provide more info .

UshCha29 Jun 2018 12:29 p.m. PST

Ok so there is us:-


Now its 1:1 but by fire team or squad normally. Company level (max a company battle group) are possible. Urban requires, at least for our rules, an actual urban terrain. If you just want to play urban then you would need at least 10 buildings and if you are really into just urban, maybe 20 or even 30 buildings.

Each building although very large in ground scale plays the role of a building but a bit abstracted. Troops can move into buildings through any wall, they are not restricted to walls or windows. The number of troops that can fire from cover in a building is restricted to 1 figure per aperture (you can have buildings per-prepared with additional protection and firing ports). Arcs of fire are restricted by the height of the shooter if he wants to claim cover. He can lean out of a 3 story building and shot at troops directly below him but cannot claim cover from the building.

It realistic so at least at the start its easier for the defender, as they get pushed back out of pre-prepared positions it takes a heavy toll on both side. With larger buildings some artillery may not be of use, the round goes off before it hits the middle floors.

Tanks are often useless as they cannot elevate guns to high enough angles to hit higher floors at close range. Armored AA guns are a great help.

Typically we assume buildings have basements so destroying buildings in prolonged Artillery bombardments does not do a lot.

If you pull in lots of guided weapons its not much of a challenge and probably not worth playing anyway, so reducing buildings to rubble is not covered. But hey otherwise you would want two sets of buildings and even I shy away from that.

In summary its good for command and control at company level with attached artillery and AFV's.

By the nature of things there is no points system they don't work in realistic terrain, it varies too much. Urban fighting in a simulation requires thought so our rulesa are not suited to convention games as is where the punters have little or any knowledge of the period or even the tactics for urban combat.

streetgang6 Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2018 7:13 p.m. PST

Lion in the Stars, sorry for the confusion, I meant player in charge of.

Repaint, Urban Operations is a great game, definitely a good add to your library.

UshCha, thanks for the link, I'll have to give those a try.


Legion 430 Jun 2018 7:05 a.m. PST

Of course in the real world the first rule for MOUT is avoid it if at all possible … evil grin

UshCha30 Jun 2018 12:34 p.m. PST

Legion 4,
Have to agree, that is why we went to 1/144 you can do more open spaces where mobility is more often the key. Personally we found about 10 houses is ideal for MOUT under our rules. You can play bigger but it can be come a bit the same. In the end the advantage to the defender generally wanes but it just kills lots of troops.
The nature of the terrain means that co-ordination even between platoons is a bit minimal. It becomes isolate, assult clear and then protect and do over again.

Streetgang6. I have some urban scenarios you can use. They are based on our buildings but you could use your own terrain instead. If you collect Minature Margames we did a scenario based on Kafjie which worked well if you like that sort of game. You can translate easily to other theaters.

Legion 430 Jun 2018 4:08 p.m. PST

Yes we were trained for MOUT but we also were all trained and believed that maneuver and mobility was a much better option. wink

Cordon & By Pass !

When we war game now … I usually don't go into an Urban area unless I have to. But as we know e.g. Germany is full of small villages, hamlets, etc. And some very big towns and cities. Trying clear/capture places like Frankfort, Wurzburg, etc., could/would be a nightmare. frown

UshCha02 Jul 2018 8:33 a.m. PST

Steetgang6 My email is in the rules If you want scenarios, no charge for rule owners.

streetgang6 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jul 2018 9:39 a.m. PST

Thanks UshCha! I'm off to Historicon in a couple of weeks and hopefully will be able to find a set.

Legion 4, Avoid MOUT was the mantra of the day. However, US Army has identified urban areas as no longer avoidable and is on the hunt for new techniques, equipment, tactics, procedures, organizations, et al, to deal with combat in cities.


Lion in the Stars02 Jul 2018 11:56 a.m. PST

OK, player in charge of a company…

Assuming that you want the entire company on the table (not a platoon or two with access to the company assets), I think we're a bit light on rules for that these days. Lots of rules down at the small end, squad to platoon per side, more rules up high for a battalion-plus per side.

If you're OK with a platoon or two with company assets, I am very fond of the Ambush Alley/Force on Force rules. You can do team bases, but you will need some way of marking casualties. You will also need about 10 of each of the D&D polyhedral dice, at least d6, d8, and d10 (I recommend buying the Stargrunt dice sets, as the different die types are color-coded). Ambush Alley doesn't use d4s (though could for idiot civilian-militia types), and d12s are reserved for the really scary types, the guys that make other SEALs look bad. No need for d20s at all.

You will also want lots of buildings. Lots and lots of buildings.

Some folks have used Ambush Alley as a training tool while in the Sandbox, so it's pretty accurate in terms of how the troops behave.

Legion 402 Jul 2018 3:05 p.m. PST

Legion 4, Avoid MOUT was the mantra of the day. However, US Army has identified urban areas as no longer avoidable and is on the hunt for new techniques, equipment, tactics, procedures, organizations, et al, to deal with combat in cities.
I have heard that. Even saw Gen Zinni a while back being interviewed by the media. He said, with more areas becoming urbanized, improved road nets, etc. MOUT may be more necessary.

As I said, we trained for MOUT but it was not in the top slots of our METL. However, as we see, with asymmetrical warfare, i.e. terrorist/insurgent/guerilla warfare becoming more and more of the norm. The 3d Worlders, lower tech, etc., enemies see fighting urban areas does give them some advantages.

With one of the primary being collateral damage. 1st World forces can't use all their firepower available. The terrorist/insurgent, etc. knows this. So that gives them a real advantage.

We saw it in Mogadishu, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. And I don't see it stopping anytime soon. Sadly …

UshCha03 Jul 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

Steetgang6 we are .Pdf only so the link is the only place to get the rules.

Lion in the stars, long before we published the rules we made the fold flat buildings because in a small house like mine it was the only way to store 20 odd 1/72 buildings.
We still use these and have scales some down for 1/144 as you can somtimes get two small villages 1.5 km appart so you still need a big volume of buildings for smaller scales.

Lee49403 Jul 2018 4:47 p.m. PST

Everyone talks about asymmetrical warfare as if it was somehow unfair. Just like the AWI Brits thought we were unfair for not standing in neat lines so they could gun us down. Why would we think our enemies are so stupid as to not try neutralizing our firepower by their choice of terrain?

Legion 405 Jul 2018 6:45 a.m. PST

Oh I don't think it is unfair … It is a good concept for smaller lower tech forces to take on larger more high tech forces.

"Know your enemy" …

And as we see, e.g. in SE Asia/Vietnam, US SF working with the locals, i.e., "Yards", etc. took the war to the enemy(VC/NLF and NVA) on their own "terms". The US SF were said to be one of the most cost effective units there. 12 Green Berets leading 300, 400, 600, etc. local indigence forces. It was their backyard too …

Or as we see in the early days of colonial America, many of the locals, e.g. Roger's Rangers, et al used the indigenous peoples "field craft" against them in my cases. As with Daniel Boone, etc.

Again I don't see asymmetrical/insurgent/guerilla warfare as being "unfair". Anymore than I see the Germans in the early years of WWII using the Blitzkrieg. Against the less combat ready and effective force of most of Europe "unfair".

One of our ROTC instructors who was a Green Beret, with 2-3 tours in Vietnam, told us, "If you can't win … cheat … " … We got what he meant …

BenFromBrooklyn05 Jul 2018 11:07 a.m. PST

Asymmetrical warfare does not "neutralize our firepower by their choice of terrain". Not really.

It neutralizes our firepower by our choice of ethics.

The Russians demonstrated this quite well not in their first but in their second invasion of Grozny. In 1999, they simply warned that anyone remaining in the city… well…

"Persons who stay in the city will be considered terrorists and bandits and will be destroyed by artillery and aviation. There will be no further negotiations."

The terrain didn't help the Chechens. The Russians who had previously assaulted Grozny piecemeal with light forces simply shrugged and employed the TOS-1. It was built for this kind of warfare. Picture a battery of TOS-1 firing into an urban area.

The UN called the aftermath "a devastated and still insecure wasteland littered with bodies".

But it was, more or less, the end of the Chechen insurgency, at least in the form of anything more than an ongoing nuisance to Russia. The Russians won a decisive victory.

Legion 405 Jul 2018 11:52 a.m. PST

It neutralizes our firepower by our choice of ethics.
Yes that is very true. We could use all our firepower available. But we are not like some of our enemies … We are concerned and try to avoid collateral damage.

As opposed to some of our enemies it is a matter of policy, SOP, no concern, etc., And even with us trying to avoid it still occurs.

The UN called the aftermath "a devastated and still insecure wasteland littered with bodies".
I'm sure there are places in Syria that look very similar.

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