Help support TMP

"Your Preferred WWII and Modern Turn Sequence?" Topic

44 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Modern Discussion (1946 to 2008) Message Board

Back to the WWII Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest

World War Two on the Land

950 hits since 17 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Desert Fox17 Jan 2019 1:29 p.m. PST

I have always struggled with which turn sequence best represents WWII and moderns AFV combat.

Which turn sequence do you prefer for WWII and modern, predominately tank combat, and why?

Move then fire?

Fire then move?

Side A moves, then Side B fires followed by Side B moves then Side A fires?


pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2019 2:09 p.m. PST

Prefer the Bolt Action sequence of allowing player choice based on a random draw.

Chuckaroobob17 Jan 2019 2:42 p.m. PST

Prefer the Disposable Heroes alternating activations.

Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2019 2:46 p.m. PST

Sequence/activation I am not sure.

I like the option of being able to chose between move/shoot or shot/move. Based on your questions I assumed you were designing something that include both actions on an activation. Battlegroup does this well with allowing you to do two things on a turn.

Wargamer Blue17 Jan 2019 4:38 p.m. PST

I agree with Snafu. Option of move/shoot, or shoot/move.

William Warner17 Jan 2019 4:48 p.m. PST

I prefer the initiative system used in Crossfire.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Jan 2019 5:27 p.m. PST

Action points – one point to move, one to shoot, etc. UNits get 3-5 points based on how long turns are etc.

Martin Rapier18 Jan 2019 12:00 a.m. PST

If forced to pick one, fire then move.

It automatically gives the defender an advantage, but allows for prep fire in an assault.

A move, B fire, B move, A fire is just fire then move written down slightly differently.

Skarper18 Jan 2019 12:29 a.m. PST

I developed a system which works well for me.

Play proceeds in 2 minute initiative turns.

If you hold the initiative you can select a unit or group of units [they have to meet certain logical criteria] which can then be active. They can move and fire as many times as they like providing they pass an action task check. Most actions can provoke enemy fire. Under certain circumstances individual units can do a lot….or not very much. If you fail you activation task check no other units within 100m can attempt any.

I like it because it allows for extreme events but limits the average activity to quite realistic limits. I have played out some historical scenarios and matched the rates of advance quite closely.

I also like that certain units seem to do all the work while others contribute a lot less. You can also deploy historical numbers of support weapons without producing unhistorical losses, since most of them stand idle for long periods and those that are active draw return fire and run low on ammo.

It's a complicated system to explain but quite simple in practice. It owes a lot to Crossfire which I played once.

Not everyone would like this system, for sure. Simpler rules seem to be in vogue these days and I can understand why.

Fred Cartwright18 Jan 2019 3:18 a.m. PST

Interesting Skarper. Are these just a home set or have they been published?

UshCha18 Jan 2019 4:02 a.m. PST

We use IGOUGO on a tank by tank basis. The side with the lesser number of elements having some limited priority. However our system is not that pure, some multi element movement is allowed within an integrated system.

The turn sequence cannot be completely independent of other parts of the overall system.

Why this system? It reproduces as far as we can see trhe sort of actions one reads in first hand accounts. It allows for credible reproduction of the various tactical manuals.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2019 5:56 a.m. PST

Yes, interesting Skarper. Will you tell us more?

Skarper18 Jan 2019 7:17 a.m. PST

Just a home set. I have not worked on them for a while now.

The key concept of this system is the Activation Task Check ATC.

There are various modifiers depending on what the unit has already done or if they have been pinned/suppressed, etc.

More capable units or those with a good leader pass these tests more easily, so can do more. The basic test is a DR <= Morale level, 7 for typical trained units.

The scale of units is similar to ASL. I started with that as a base but rapidly diverged so now it is only vaguely similar.

Everything requires some kind of ATC. Movement, Firing, calling down artillery fire etc. When it is not your initiative you can attempt to fire on enemy units moving or firing in your line of sight. Both players stay busy at all times and there are constantly significant decisions to make.

It is essential to gain fire superiority and suppress the defenders before trying to move, but it takes ages to eliminate the enemy by firing at them they take cover and become very hard to kill.

Normal Guy Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2019 8:27 a.m. PST

I always thought Spearhead had a simple but effective order of things.Don't have it in front of me so will probably have some errors, but AT guns fired earlier in the sequence than armor, then nonmoving infantry, stationary armor, moving infantry, and moving armor. With very additional rules, Arty laid out each to their particular advantage.

Walking Sailor18 Jan 2019 9:13 a.m. PST

In smaller games alternate units fire. In large games, or to speed things, every one fires, results are applied at the end of the phase/turn.

Lee49418 Jan 2019 1:21 p.m. PST

My rules (published) use Side A Moves, both Sides Fire, Side B Moves. Initiative is rolled each turn with winner deciding to be Side A or B, so a Side can get back to back moves. Each team/model gets one additional Combat Action per turn played whenever owner desires.

The Combat Action allows the team to Fire during either Sides Move, or to Move during the both Sides Fire Phase. This means a team can either Move twice or Fire twice (ie move twice and fire once or fire twice and move once), during each turn.

Produces a very dynamic game where firefights flare up and die out in ripples across the front giving (according to many gamers) a "real feel" to the ebb and flow of the action. Cheers! Lee

Keith Talent18 Jan 2019 9:44 p.m. PST

I not sure it matters that much…providing it works! I think it more depends on the scale you are attempting to represent than anything else.

foxweasel19 Jan 2019 2:18 a.m. PST

I'm currently testing some I've written that allow two firing phases. Side A can either fire or move, or both but at half rate for each. Side B can fire during side A's movement phase (obviously side A can fire during side B's movement phase) I'm trying to encourage the use of fire and manoeuvre, suppressing the enemy before moving and correct use of ground. It takes a fair bit of fire to suppress a position, but once suppressed it doesn't take a lot to keep it suppressed.
It's quite difficult to keep it fun and not sounding like a training pamphlet.
Sorry just realised you specified AFV gaming.

UshCha19 Jan 2019 3:06 a.m. PST

Foxweasel, It sounds fun, no point having a game that is not a bit like a training manual. If it was not it would be fantasy and on the wrong board.

foxweasel19 Jan 2019 3:21 a.m. PST

UshCha, exactly so. I'm teaching Platoon and Section tactics next week, it's all simple enough but hard to turn into a fun game.

UshCha19 Jan 2019 7:33 a.m. PST

You just have not played MANEOUVRE GROUP ;-)!!

Could not resist ;-).

We did a game based on a link by Seneffe here on TMP

YouTube link

Not being soldires it was hard to work out where to put claymores etc but it was fun and the first part of the action is by Half section and full section so MG will do it, sort of.

You can contact me through Facebook Brian Handley in the 10 mm wargames group.

foxweasel19 Jan 2019 8:26 a.m. PST

Ha ha, I remember being forced to watch those dull videos when I first joined up in the 80s.

Legion 419 Jan 2019 8:34 a.m. PST

I'm still an advocate of Unit Activation(UA). With each side taking turns to activate 1 unit. The Unit can move and fire or fire and move or just fire.

You have to use Opportunity Fire with UA. And only units on Fire Orders can do this. Each player assigns Order Counters(OC) to each unit. Placed inverted at the beginning of the turn. OCs = Fire, Charge, Advance and Fallback. The counter is flipped over to reveal it's orders when activated.

You can roll off 1d6 at the beginning of each turn to see who can activate a unit first. You can also assign an " Initiative" Rating(IR) to each force at the beginning of the game. Based on historical accuracy, etc., for each game/scenario. E.g.: Standard = 0, a good IR would add +1 to the roll.

+2 Great IR.

-1 for poor IR.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2019 12:33 a.m. PST

You guys got to watch videos! All we had were chalkboards.

Foxweasel, try using concealed defenders and ambushes, that always makes it more interesting. Fear of the unknown etc.

UshCha, great video! A perfect example of a prepared infantry defense. I especially liked the barbed wire and Claymores. The fact that the video emphasized the ability to safely fall back is especially realistic and interesting but I didn't see anything about tactical reserves, rally point or counterattack. That Brit LT is a real leader!

Falling back to draw the advancing enemy into an ambush is a tactic mostly overlooked in games. It's called a "Fighting Withdraw".

Personally, I never liked the idea of having to "activate" a unit to get them to do something but I understand the concept and the limitations we have in designing a game. Why? Because I never felt I needed to be "activated" to take action. In tight situations, you fall back on your training and drills. Good leadership helps but is not always needed.

In Grenada, the Ranger unit that jumped from C-130's onto the airstrip from about 400 feet immediately got pinned down. After a few minutes, a Corporal shouted "I've had enough of this s--t", got up on his own initiative charged the enemy positions across on a hill. Almost immediately, his fellow Rangers on both sides got up and followed him until the entire line (a battalion?) charged and took the enemy positions on a hill that included Soviet 23mm AA guns. A failed unit initiative roll does not mean individual initiative can be ignored. Of course, a rule like this could easily be abused.

This is a clear example of individual initiative overcoming a units overall inability to respond to the enemy fire with a single individual displaying what it takes to make the difference. That's what I'm trying to duplicate.

To me, this is what true leadership is all about and in desperate circumstances, it can come from the lowliest crazy PFC or a 2nd LT on his first mission doing the stupidest but most unexpected thing and surprising the s--- out of the enemy. SURPRISE is the key. There are enough historical examples to fill a book. But then again he can take a headshot as soon as he raises his head. This is what makes a game interesting and unpredictable.

Of course, it always depends on the level of play in the game.


UshCha20 Jan 2019 2:49 a.m. PST

Alternate movement, UA to use Legions 4's term is not disimilar to some computor analysis codes for fluid flows. Although in the real thing the fluid is flowing all the time, you actualy analyse it bit by bit as you can't do it all at once. The trick is to split the fluid up into "bits" that are not too big or not too small and not to do two much to each bit at a time. In our own UA (I like that term) there is a sub system that allows limited effects inside the main loop (action reaction cycles) that cover very fast responces (approximately) 10 sec. To make the thing work in addition some issues are delt with at 1/2 move as it were. Now this does add some inacuracy as in any time marching simulation as to when X was hit but its as good an approximation as needed.

However even we abuse UA a bit by allowing some simultanious actions. Some simultanious movement is allowed but not simultanious fire.

Legion 420 Jan 2019 9:51 a.m. PST

What I like about UA is the "flow". I.e. It is as close to "simultaneous" as you can get without a computer. The system is dependent on Order Counters, with Opportunity Fire(OF). I.e. a unit on Fire Orders can shot at another that spends e.g. 1/4 of it's movement in the Firer's LOS/FOF. Note the Firing unit's OF is that unit's activation. Which happened during one of the enemy's unit's movement. The OF is "triggered" by the enemy moving into the LOS/FOF of the Firer on Fire Orders.

Plus the Firer may decide to Not fire until a "better" target shows up. I.e. Priority of Fires/SOPs. Don't shot at a Jeep, wait until an MBT or ADA, etc. unit is in your LOS.

This demonstrates that units can't run around in the open, at least not for very long. And you have to move from cover to cover, use camo/cover/concealment. Or get blasted !

Note the Firing unit has to have not fired and in turn can only fire once as turn. And marked with a counter that shows that.

Of course a unit on Fire Orders can just wait until it's "activated"/given the command to fire at any target(s) within its' range and LOS. E.g. an enemy unit is in a structure. And has to be removed/suppressed so by what would then be covering fire. Enabling other Friendly units to move without taking fire/less fire.

This is key IMO to any modern or future ground combat game system. Most guys who were Grunts or Tankers, know this. You spend much of your time avoiding being or becoming a target.

Personally, I never liked the idea of having to "activate" a unit to get them to do something but I understand the concept and the limitations we have in designing a game. Why? Because I never felt I needed to be "activated" to take action. In tight situations, you fall back on your training and drills. Good leadership helps but is not always needed.
True on all accounts but it is a system that adds organization/order to an event in reality is generally neither. And attempts again, make things appear happening at the same time. As I tried to describe already in my paragraphs above.

UshCha20 Jan 2019 11:18 a.m. PST

I wounder if it may be of interest to takes a very basic test case. An example might be say 4 tanks moving over the crest of a small ridge into view of an anti tank gun and resolve the game sequence. Now this is a poor example of tactical skill but it does allow simple analysis to see how various systems cope with this at the very basic level.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2019 2:40 p.m. PST

Sounds interesting but I need a little more info.

Is the anti-tank gun concealed or is it automatically spotted? What is the max range it can be spotted if not firing?

Is the anti-tank gun on the flank of the four tanks?

Are the tanks buttoned up?


Lee49420 Jan 2019 3:12 p.m. PST

Ushcha. I'll take a "shot" at it. As the tanks come into sight over the hill the AT gun has a choice, it can decide to use its CAC (Combat Action Command) to fire or not. If in Cover and it has not fired before it will be hidden until it fires.

Let's assume the ATG CACs to fire. If the target tank survived it may CAC to fire. The remaining tanks can then also CAC to fire at the ATG. The moving tanks will take penalties for the ATG Cover and because they moved before firing.

Since the ATG and each tank gets ONE CAC only each turn, unless other troops or guns get involved it will be a short lived firefight. If the ATG is not supported it will probably die rather quickly.

My rules stress importance of supporting units etc. Much more detail but hope that gives you a feel! Cheers!

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2019 3:48 p.m. PST

Sounds good. Is there any chance of the AT gun getting two rounds off before one of the tanks fire?

Is the AT gun automatically spotted when it fires?


Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2019 4:09 p.m. PST

Legion and UshCha,
Yes, alternate movement can come very close to a simultaneous computer simulation. However, I think it really depends on the turn length or the distance units are alternately moving. The longer a "turn" and the further they move each time is going to throw opportunity fire out of sync with the shooters rate of fire.

To simulate 1:1 opportunity fire, ideally, movement and rate of fire should be in synch. So if a vehicle is moving at 25kph he'll move 35-40 meters every 5 seconds. So if that vehicle is moving from cover to cover across 150 meters of open space he'll cover it in about 20 seconds. Depending on the shooter's weapon platform performance, overwatch, range, crew efficiency, rate and of fire he could get off 1-3 shots before the target is again out of the LOS. You can see where seconds really count in 1:1 combat but not larger scale when units are platoons or companies.

In a 1:1 engagement the smaller the turn/timing increments are the more accurately you can model opportunity fire and you can use fewer rules and exceptions. That's been my experience.


Russ Lockwood20 Jan 2019 9:31 p.m. PST

I've played CAC a number of times, so I'll give this a shot…

>Is there any chance of the AT gun getting two rounds off before one of the tanks fire?

During a phase, no. During a turn, yes. In its basic form, CAC uses four phases:

Side A Moves
Both Sides Fire
Side B Moves

A unit can CAC *once* to fire in one (not both) of the movement phases, and then fire in the regular Fire phase.

>Is the AT gun automatically spotted when it fires?

Yes, but I believe it gets off the first shot.

Here is the After Action Report (AAR) if did of the game. Sorry, here without photos -- I include the photos in my monthly newsletter of AARs, rules analysis, observations, puns, and whatever else I find of interest in these games [minis, board wargames, card, euro, and everything else] in a PDF I send to my private e-mail group. If you want to be added, email me: and put WWII CAC AAR in the subject line to separate it from spam.


MicroCAC: 6mm Combat Action Command
by Russ Lockwood

A few years ago, we were heavily into gaming 15mm WWII with Combat Action Command (CAC), a tactical set of rules where each stand was a squad or specialty troop (sniper, mortar team, etc.) and each model represented one vehicle. CAC offered a grognard-level amount of detail on weapon cards as befitting the scale, but it also required a grognard-level attention to detail to learn.

Author Lee Sowers recently revamped CAC a bit for 6mm gaming and invited me down for a playtest of the revised system. It took a couple turns to reacquaint myself with the CAC turn sequence and processes.

He umpired two games, one between me and Dennis and another between John and Allen. The two games were not linked.

US Dennis vs. German Russ

We each had a goodly-sized force of 28 units. As I recall (dangerous), I had two commands each composed of one PzIV, one STuG IV, 1 75mm AT gun, mortar, MG, and three infantry (half with halftracks and half with trucks). I had a third command with a PzV and three halftracks with quad 20mm AA guns and a fourth HQ command. I also could call on (die roll) 75mm and 105mm off-board batteries. I scattered my units throughout the woods dotting the hilly terrain.

Dennis' force had lots of Shermans, Stuarts, and truck-mounted infantry, plus an armored car command and a M-36 Jackson. He also had two 105mm off-board batteries.
We were even up in points.

CAC Revisited

CAC uses a four-step sequence of play: Initiative roll, Side A moves, Both sides fire, Side B moves. However, within that comes the CAC variation -- a 'free' action that can be taken any time with the proviso that CACs within the movement phase generate firing and CACs within the firing phase generate movement.

Each unit has a card with all the necessary stats and specs. That's probably the most time consuming part of the game -- finding the card and finding the stat. Thankfully, each card has a photo of the particular unit, which is helpful. Finding the specific stat gets easier with play because the cards all use a common layout.

Game Highlights

I cautiously advanced to try and take the woods on the top of the center hill, but Dennis and I split the terrain and engaged in some goodly sniping. Artillery proved the tipping factor in this battle for the hill, with me getting the worst of it.

Along my right flank, US recon armored cars barreled down the road, to be picked off by my CAC-enabled quad 20mm halftracks and the Panther tank.

One thing that works well is the idea of taking advantage of cover. CAC uses a d6 firing system, so a 1 modifier for light cover and 2 modifier for dug in under cover helps. Moves into open terrain that generated an opportunity shot (CAC) more often than not suffered damage -- although the d20 roll for damage provided both spectacular explosions and disappointing pings.

Tastes Great, Less Filling?

For us CAC veterans, it played fine once we got back into the rhythm of the turn sequence, although Lee corrected Dennis and me far more than once. This is similar to when we first learned this system of many gradations. Like any rules, if you want the tactical detail, you've got to learn the nuances. For new gamers, I'd limit the number of different types (and thus different cards) to three: one type of tank, one type of infantry, and one type of artillery.

The ranges with 6mm scale figures are closer to 'reality' than with 15mm or 20mm figures. We discussed chopping the firing and movement ranges in half due to the scale 6mm being 'half' of 15mm. That also means chopping the tabletop size in half, too.

Lee tried a new victory process whereby each eliminated stand is 2 points -- when you have lost points equal to beginning stands (thus, 50% of your force), the game ends. It forces players to be aggressive in a 3-hour game, otherwise, the game ends in a draw. Dennis and I were about a third or so of the way through after two hours. John was two-thirds to the limit and Allen about halfway or so from what I could see.

On the downside, the game still uses an inordinate amount of counters on the tabletop to mark the status of the individual stands -- CACs, firing, damage, and so on. If you are seeking simple binary status -- fully functional or eliminated -- CAC is not for you.

On the Web

Lee is planning to post the 6mm variation for CAC on his website. Visit there for more information, but you'll still need the CAC rules and data cards to play.


This was from my 12/16/2018 AAR. Hope it gives you a better idea of the rule mechanics. -RL

UshCha21 Jan 2019 4:44 a.m. PST

Ok so its WW2. ATG in cover.

I will cover the typical approach there are alternatives like in the real thing.

The platoon commander Groups moves the tanks to Halt at the appropriate position (he hopes). The tanks cannot fire on the move. The ATG fires at a first tank and resolves the effect. The platoon comander then has an option. He could Order the tanks to fire smoke (if they have it and retire, if he has briefed the unit to do so). OR the firefight continues. If the ATG Hits (most likely)or misses any one surviving member of the tank platoon can return fire as a reaction, assuming they are in vision arc.
If buttened up this could be an issue. If the second tank misses the ATG the gun fires at the second tank at 5% lower factor. Assuming a 4 tank platoon, another tank of the platoon can fire. Either one that has not fired or one that has fired previously (but with less accuracy due to rection). This "chain" continues untill one player choses not to react. As the base hit rate is typicaly 70% its unusual for the chain not to end with destroyed targets. If a unit has more than 3 reactions the model penalises the target in other ways i.e increased leadership, perhaps think of it as exhaustion in trying too much too quickly). While the ATG has to fight to the last, he has no way of pulling out. The tanks can always react to cover.

Now obviouly normaly the ATG would not be unsupported and its friends could join in as did the members of the tank platoon.

Such engagements will be deadley as most ATG's will engage at 500m or less so its a fratic Firefight.

Interesting that nobody else covered escapeing as the Allies did in Normandy on occation to avoid 88's.

Legion 421 Jan 2019 9:09 a.m. PST

In a 1:1 engagement the smaller the turn/timing increments are the more accurately you can model opportunity fire and you can use fewer rules and exceptions. That's been my experience.
Yes, scale in time, game/actual RW equivalent scale in ranges/distances, unit size, etc., all play/go into how we/you do UA.

We play 1 tank/vehicle/FA = 1 tank/vehicle/FA and Infantry are based in 3-8 man/women/alien Fire Tms/units … I.e. an Infantry stand has @ 3-7 or 8 figures.


Lee49421 Jan 2019 10:09 a.m. PST

Thanks Russ! Good stuff. Love your AARs.

Also like your "binary" dead or alive outcome comment. In CAC tanks and teams incur varying levels of damage and combat capability degradation. While that does result in various Markers, it also more clearly approximates real life results.

Same with the Data Cards. Each contains about 100 pieces of data unique to that tank or team, for example movement rates across various terrain are different for different tanks based on "flotation" and HP to weight ratio etc. There are also dozens of different CRTs so each tank/team has theirs on their Card, for example Sherman's will Brew Up (depending on the Model) more often than say Tigers.

Good news is that once you know how to read the Data Cards you almost never need to refer to rules, national differences, or exceptions while playing a game.

Cheers! Lee

Skarper22 Jan 2019 2:53 a.m. PST

In my system, as the 4 tanks cross the ridge into line of sight of the ATG, it will almost certainly get a shot before the tanks can spot it and fire on it. The tanks could stop and try to engage, but the ATG would probably get the next shot.

There would then be a duel, and depending on range and how well hidden/dug in the ATG gun was it could easily knock out 3-4 tanks.

As the poster of this test did say, it is poor tactics and in WW2 the advantage was with ATGs versus unsupported tanks.

This was particularly common in the western desert battles when German 50mm PaK 38s were easily concealed and lethal at very long range to British tanks that had limited HE ability.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2019 7:58 a.m. PST

That sound about right. What determines the sequence of shooting between all of them.


Legion 422 Jan 2019 9:04 a.m. PST

In my system, as the 4 tanks cross the ridge into line of sight of the ATG, it will almost certainly get a shot before the tanks can spot it and fire on it. The tanks could stop and try to engage, but the ATG would probably get the next shot.
Yes, that is the way Opportunity Fire(OF) would using UA. The Tanks in that unit would get to return fire, but only those that survive. The AT Wpns would have to be on Fire Orders to use OF. And once they fire that is their "activation" for that turn and are marked as "Fired". They, like all units/wpns, only fire once a turn. In our system/scale.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2019 9:51 a.m. PST

Here is a different approach using Action Timing to replace traditional IGYG, activation and initiative rules. Each turn is one second and used to determine the Action Turn. When reacting to an enemy it could take 5-15 seconds/turns to shoot. Better crews will be a little quicker than poor crews.

Games turns are announced sequentially. All units with an Action Turn for the announced turn execute their action and immediately determine their next action and Action Turn. There is no orders phase. If there is no action for that turn the next turn is immediately announced.

All units are considered active and can respond to enemy activity on the same turn it occurs, select an action and determine the Action Turn it will execute. There is no unit activation or initiative rules. All units are active as they would be in a real battle and can react to enemy activity in their LOS, that includes changing orders.

The results of small arms fire volume are determined every 5 turns and there is no Action Timing to shoot them (some abstractions). The result is mostly suppression which will increase a units Action Turn forcing them to take longer to shoot.

Scenario: A German 75mm AT Gun is concealed at the edge of a forest. It's pointing at a road 500m away that comes from behind a small hill. The crew had enough time to get ranged in on that point so they'll almost be guaranteed a hit on any vehicles that show up and ambush them.

Turn #1 – Four US Sherman's moving at 12kph with exposed commanders crest over the hill at a range of 400m instead of using the road. Those Yankees are either stupid skylining themselves or they are being unpredictable. They are automatically spotted by the AT gun.

Intel had told the Sherman's it was mostly infantry and anti-guns in their sector so here is their ammo loadout:
Sherman #1 has a Veteran crew and a HE delay round loaded
Sherman #2 has a Green crew and an AP round loaded
Sherman #3 has a Veteran crew with a WP round fuse loaded
Sherman #4 has a Trained crew with a HE delay loaded

The Sherman's can't spot the concealed gun unless they get within 300m or it moves. Either way the AT gun is surprised and flanked because the tanks are outside of the guns arc of fire. The crew picks up the trailing arms of the gun to point it at the advancing tanks. It takes 5 seconds/turns to get it facing the Sherman's and the gunner spends 5 turns aiming. He'll fire on turn #11 at Sherman #4. All info is on their data card.

However, that movement is something the Sherman's can attempt to detect on turn #1 with a Situational Awareness Check. Sherman's Action Timing (rolling a D20 with modifiers for crew type) results and Action Time:

Turn #1 Sherman #1 Veteran crew detects the gun. His Action Timing is 14. His Action Turn to fire is turn #15. He points the model at the AT gun.

Turn #1 Sherman #2 Green crew detects the gun. His Action Timing is 15. His Action Turn to fire is turn #16. He points the model at the AT gun.

Turn #1 Sherman #3 Veteran crew detects the gun. His Action Timing is 11. His Action Turn to fire is turn #12. He points the model at the AT gun.

Turn #1 Sherman #4 Trained crew detects the gun. He is going to fire his bow and coax machine guns on turn #1 as there is no delay. The results of small arms fire is determined every 5th turns. He points the model at the AT gun and opens fire.

Here is the turn sequence:
No units have an Action turn for turns 1-4 so we move right to turn #5.
Turn #5 Movement Segment, Small Arms fire
The Sherman #4 bow gunners burst has no effect. They had no gunsight and had to aim by watching the tracers. The gunner's coax burst gets close enough to distract/suppress the gunner but no causalities adding two turns of Suppression which increases the Action Time to shoot. The AT guns new Action Turn is turn #13.

Turn #10 Movement Segment, Small Arms fire
Sherman #4 machine gun fire generates another suppression delay, the AT gun will now fire on turn #14.

Turn #12 Sherman #3 fires his WP round. It goes high and misses. He immediately reloads an HE delay round, rolls the D20 for his Action Timing with a result of 11 and -2 turns for the 2+ consecutive shots at the same target. His Action Turn will be turn #21.

Turn #14 – AT Gun is no longer suppressed and fires AP at Sherman #4. It hits and penetrates setting off the ammo in the sponson. The Sherman stops with the crew attempting to bail out. He immediately shifts fire to Sherman #3. It takes 8 turns to engage, aim and fire so his Action Turn is turn #22.

Turn #15 Movement Segment, Small Arms fire
No small arms fire

Turn #15 – Sherman #1 Veteran crew fires an HE shell with a delay fuse. He'll be aiming short in an attempt to get a ricochet airburst over the gun. It's a good shot and kills the assistant loader and distracts the gunner for 5 more turns/seconds. Their gun shield does not protect them from air bursts. The AT guns new Action Turn is turn #27. He quickly reloads an HE with a quick fuse taking 7 turns with an Action Turn on turn #22.

Turn #16 Sherman #2 fires an AP round. The D20 roll is a 20 which is a miss and also a SNAFU with a result of a misfire. These SNAFU's always happen at the worst possible time. He can spend 14 turns unloading and reloading another round or 5 turns to reset the firing mechanism and attempt to fire again with a 50% chance of success. He resets and will try again on turn #21.

Turn #20 Movement Segment, Small Arms fire.
No small arms fire

Turn #21 – Sherman #2 attempts to fire after the misfire and fails (only one chance allowed). Now he needs to spend 14 turns unloading and reloading with an HE quick round. His new action turn is turn #35

Turn #22 – Sherman #1 firing HE quick, the round hits the AT gun destroying it and the crew.

Turn #22 – Sherman #3 HE delay

Turn #27 – AT Gun firing AP at Sherman #3.

Turn #35 – Sherman #2 firing HE quick round at the AT gun.

That's basically how the game flows. This engagement would have taken a couple of minutes with 2-3 players familiar with the game system. The Sherman's surprised the AT gun by showing up on its flank screwing up his chances for a first shot ambush from a concealed position. If Sherman #3 WP round was effective it would have screened the Sherman's and kept the AT gun from firing on turn #14 when it knocked out Sherman #4 that was suppressing the gun.

You saw a good example of how suppression works with direct fire timing. Hits from HE shells and partial penetration spalling can do the same to tank crews too by forcing delays and killing or wounding them.

Players focus their efforts on evaluating the current situation and are able to exercise their individual initiative to shoot or move, be safe or aggressive and try to get inside his opponents OODA Loop. No one knows what unit will have the next Action Turn as each game turn is called out. You can see there is no need for initiative rules as the Action Time for every unit makes the entire game interact based on their timing.

Each vehicle model has a customized data card with all of the info needed to make a decision. This eliminates most of the die roll modifiers. Since the game uses one second turns for timing, historic performance timing values can be used for turret rotation, turning, rates of fire and reloading without abstractions or impacting play. There is very little borrowed from existing games.

What's different from other games: Players do not get to select the order which units will activate nor are orders executed on the same turn of activation like most games. Orders take time to be carried out and better crews will act more quickly with all other things being equal. There are no initiative rules and no activation rolls, Action Timing eliminates them. There is no orders phase. There is not a separate movement phase for each player. There is no turret rotation phase. You cannot arbitrarily interrupt players turn, you need to be faster than him. There are no special rules for overwatch and opportunity fire. Timing synchronizes all units to the same game turn and keeps players in the game and not having to wait for their turn like in most IGYG games. There are no markers on the table other than the movement marker showing the speed, distance moved each turn in a 5 turn segment and direction of movement (this results in playable simultaneous movement). Action Timing is based on historical values, not abstractions by the game designer.

Since you can react on any turn and change orders, players are not sitting idle and helpless while his enemy is shooting and moving like in many IGYG games. If a player forgot to fire on turn #32 and realizes it on turn #35 he can fire on turn #35, if he is still alive. All die rolls use a single D20 with hardly any modifiers to remember.

The downside: The 4x7 inch double-sided data cards have a lot of info and take some time to get used to them. You need some off table record keeping. You need to know how to perform real tactics and maneuvers. You need to have a basic understanding of real gunnery terms and tactics to play the advanced version. There will be some new military terms and nomenclature you've never heard of before. You have to adjust your gameplay to thinking and reacting in real game time (somewhat like a video game) rather than performing within the constraints of a structured game sequence.

The player needs to determine what he's going to do and when and not wait for the GM to tell him what to do and when. You need to visualize the battlefield and how the action will unfold based on speed markers. On the positive side, the more historical knowledge you have and the more familiar with tank operations the quicker you'll come up to speed. Reading real manuals will help too.

I like the use of Action timing because for me it delivers a more historical feel for small unit 1:1 scale action engagements with fewer rules (no initiative, opportunity fire, overwatch, turn interrupt, no abstraction of the rate of fire). Action Timing paints a more descriptive picture of the action too. Players are involved in the same decision loop as their WWII counterparts and not need to immerse themselves in artificial and abstracted game mechanics.

Who goes next and in what order is determined by the timing of real actions with risks and decisions by players and not die rolls. With all other things being equal the better crews will be more effective. Artillery impact turns gives a better result against moving targets. You can execute real tactics like shoot & scoot, halt fire and reverse slope defense just like they are carried out on the battlefield without the need for abstractions and die roll modifiers.

I used the intro rules for the example which abstracts Engagement Delays from poor Situational Awareness, turret traverse and aim time. In the detailed version of the game, the player can shoot quicker by using less aim time but with an accuracy penalty. There 3-4 variables that determine the Action Timing which creates suspense as each turn is announced because you are never really sure who will fire next. SNAFU's mean no action is has a 100% chance of being executed correctly.

If you are interested in trying this out you can get my two-page rules for the intro game. That's right, two pages (one-page front and back) with number 10 and 12 font including some examples and illustrations. It includes the current data card for the Panther and T-34/85, their movement markers and a play aid. It also has a narrative of gameplay and designer notes.

Some examples of the older versions of the data cards and research I used are available on my Pinterest site: link


Legion 422 Jan 2019 3:41 p.m. PST

I see … interesting. And it is by far better than IGOUGO …

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2019 5:19 p.m. PST

I think it would "technically" be an IGYG. I like to describe it as:

"IGO before UGO because I'm faster and UGO after me if you are still alive"

The UA and UshCha's system presents problems and strategies for players that is different than the Action Timing concept. They are basically different ways to parse a turn between participants.

I'm pretty much a data geek and wanted to present the nuances of different weapons platforms using historic values while having crew differences play a major role in getting through your Decision Loop. Using one second turns gives split second results without any additional rules and opportunity fire is completely transparent to the player and I don't even have to mention it.

When we come to an anomaly or something the rules don't cover we just determine how long the action will take and what effect it will have on timing, movement or accuracy. It rarely conflicts with the basic rules.

I didn't go into how simultaneous movement works but I can post an image as an example if anyone is interested.

You are on my mailing list so you'll be getting the two-page version soon.


Skarper23 Jan 2019 12:47 a.m. PST

It seems like your system has similar goals to mine, Wolfhag.

I have no interest in IGUGO systems as they produce unrealistic and gamey results while often leaving one player passively watching as the other moves everything. If they can even fire before you can do anything it's hopelessly ahistorical.

UshCha23 Jan 2019 2:47 a.m. PST

I have to agree IGOUGO at 1 side at a time is definitely the worst it lacke the flexability of the modern battle.
Perhaps for those more interested in a "game" than reality it is probably easier to get folk used to that, to play occationaly in multi player games, particularly if they have minimal inyerest/understanding of the period.

Legion 423 Jan 2019 8:47 a.m. PST

I think it would "technically" be an IGYG. I like to describe it as:
"IGO before UGO because I'm faster and UGO after me if you are still alive"
Yes that makes sense. But when I say IGOUGO, I'm referring to one side moves/shoots All its' units. Then the other side does the same …

You are on my mailing list so you'll be getting the two-page version soon.
As always I will look forward to it ! thumbs up

I have no interest in IGUGO systems as they produce unrealistic and gamey results while often leaving one player passively watching as the other moves everything. If they can even fire before you can do anything it's hopelessly ahistorical.
Bingo ! gold star

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.