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"Disposable Heroes II WWII Small-Scale Skirmish Rules Now Available" Topic

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1,254 hits since 13 Apr 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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SGT Yuengling Inactive Member13 Apr 2017 11:31 a.m. PST

Disposable Heroes II is a great game, and an improvement over the first edition. Kudos to Keith Stine.

Schogun13 Apr 2017 12:21 p.m. PST

FYI --

Soft Cover $40 USD
Hard Cover $55 USD

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Apr 2017 12:30 p.m. PST

I appreciate the Editors posting this from my yahoo group, but they missed some information about the product –

Disposable Heroes 2 – WW2 Small Unit Skirmish Rules was originally funded through a successful Kickstarter in early 2017.

DISPOSABLE HEROES II is a WWII platoon level historical miniature wargaming system. It is designed not just to put you in command of the troops and weapons of a WWII platoon but in the historical tactical situation of a platoon commander. It is your rifle squads that will carry your attack forward, or be the difference between holding the line or the enemy breaking through. DISPOSABLE HEROES II recreates a realistic tactical battle?eld situation of a platoon commander.


Realistic ground scale and platoon frontage
Effective Fog of War system
Accurate availability & deployment of platoons
Singular command and control system
Unique firefight mechanics
This is not just another platoon-level WWII system. DISPOSABLE HEROES II offers a unique tactical challenge with a focus on recreating the actual battle? eld conditions that platoons fought in.

Hard cover (limited quantity) and Soft cover editions are available:


If you would like a PDF version of Disposable Heroes 2, please visit our download store at:


This book is owned and published by the Iron Ivan Games division of Sinister Laboratories, a joint venture between Rattrap Productions LLC and Brigade Games and Hobby LLP.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian13 Apr 2017 8:51 p.m. PST

I appreciate the Editors posting this from my yahoo group…

Actually, you sent out an email. grin

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2017 9:18 p.m. PST

How are these different from the first edition?

dualer13 Apr 2017 10:42 p.m. PST

Bashytubits beat me to it. What would convince me to invest in v2?

Schogun14 Apr 2017 4:55 a.m. PST

There's more info on the KS page:

The changes sound good.

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Apr 2017 11:02 a.m. PST


The following similarities to the original system as well as the key differences between the old and the new, as well as improvements are presented below.

Scope: Disposable Heroes II focuses on platoon level WWII point of contact combat, just like the original. Players activate units (or teams) and vehicles in a 1:1 scale simulation of individually based miniatures. Units take individual casualties and the weapons they are carrying matter.

Scale: Also like the original, the rules are designed for 15-28mm Miniatures individually based. Games are ideally played on 4'x6' or 6'x8' tables. The table represents a space of between 50 and 100 yards and the action represents a platoon sized attack with some outside support.

Alternate Unit Activation: The original Disposable Heroes used an alternating Activation system between players modified by force initiative. This allowed the action to ebb and flow between opponents and very little downtime between players (which made it an ideal convention game). Disposable Heroes II retains this basic system, but features some new tweaks and changes to improve on an already solid Activation system.

Weapon Ranges and Unit Characteristics: Weapon ranges are the same as they were in the original Disposable Heroes. As far as unit characteristics are concerned, the original Accuracy and Close Combat scores as well as the original Guts morale system have generally been retained.

Army Books: There were a large number of army books written and produced for the original rules system which included hundreds of unique vehicles. However, Disposable Heroes II is completely backwards compatible with the original army books until new books can be produced. The lists in the old army books are usable with minimal change, while all of the vehicles are usable as is straight from the old books.

Vehicles: Players familiar with the original Disposable Heroes will find that vehicles are displayed and perform much the way they had before. This includes the vehicle ID cards that include the armor stats, weapons, and crew. However, there has been some streamlining of the vehicle rules.

Artillery: Much of the original artillery and indirect fire system from the first edition has been retained and veteran players will find many similarities between the stats and functions of the weapons in the game. However, there have been some changes to streamline artillery firing.

Game Time and Multi-Player: Disposable Heroes II runs around the same amount of time to play a game as the original, and perhaps less. Two players can set up and play a game in as little as an hour or two. The system also easily handles multi-player convention type games or large scenarios as easily as it had before.


Alternate Unit Activation: While the new Disposable Heroes II uses a similar Activation system, there are some critical differences that allow for a much more flexible and dynamic Activation system. Instead of Activating each unit on the board once, the players receive an Activation Pool from which they draw Activations which they may spend on any unit they wish, even multiple times. This allows players to push units forward, or spread their Activations out to react to new threats or exploit weaknesses. However, the player who Activates the same unit over and over might find himself outmaneuvered, or over extended. The players do not place their Activation counters on their units or on the table, but spend them from a limited pool until they are used up. There are also several opportunities built into the system that allow some platoons to spend multiple Activations at once, called "Push" Activations. These improvements in the Activation system create a much more fluid and dynamic game. A lot can happen in a single turn on Disposable Heroes II and often the actions of the players will be very decisive. One of the key differences is the way Activations are used. When units Activate, rather than moving and shooting in a predetermined order, a unit now receives Tactical Points that they spend to take actions. These actions include moving and shooting of course, but they also include rallying, regrouping broken units, and bringing in off board fire support among others. This makes Activating a unit much more flexible than before. These Tactical Points can also now be shared between units so that players have even more options in the way they command their units. However, distance, Command and Control, and training and experience all factor into the use of Activations and Tactical Points.

New Characteristic: There is a new characteristic for units in Disposable Heroes II. Player familiar with Iron Ivan's squad level rules called Disposable Heroes: Point Blank will be familiar with it. It is called Training & Experience (T&E). This characteristic represents the units ability to function in the face of battlefield friction as well as their force inertia. A unit with a higher T&E will have access to "Push Activations" which means they will be able to Activate twice in a row during a turn, allowing a platoon commander to push his forces or react more quickly to the actions of the enemy. It also applies to many other rules in ways that gives better trained and more experienced units more options or better chances of completing some actions. Combined with the Guts characteristic, this gives a much more thorough representation of the variety of forces that fought in WWII. From Soviet factory militia at Stalingrad, to US Army Rangers at Point Du Hoc.

Casualties and Killed: One of the criticisms of the original Disposable Heroes was in how it handled fire that produced casualties. It was thought to produce casualties and reduce units too easily and too quickly. While the original rules intended to represent casualties as unit degradation in an abstract form, on the tabletop players still saw their models being removed from the table as too bloody. Disposable Heroes II handles shooting, cover, and casualties in a much more nuanced and realistic way than before. Units shoot using a Fire Points system that is more streamlined than the previously clumsy system of counting models and weapons and adding up rates of fire then adjusting for movement and range. Players simply add up Fire Points and roll to hit. Also, when hits are applied, the scores needed to inflict casualties is handled differently. Instead of a single effect from a dice roll, all weapons now have an Incapacitating/Suppression score. The first number represents the chance of a weapon producing an actual casualty and the second number gives the weapons chance of suppressing a unit. The Incapacitating score is very low, while the Suppressing scores are much higher. Also, when weapons produce "suppressing hits", it causes the unit hit to roll multiple Guts Checks. This new system creates less casualties where models are removed, but encourages suppression and building fire superiority against an enemy. Also, to depict the extreme difficulty in inflicting casualties on units that have gone to ground, a unit that is suppressed cannot lose models to direct fire weapons. This increases the importance of using close assault with grenades and fire from support weapons such as mortars to achieve tactical results.

Vehicles: Tank combat in Disposable Heroes II has been streamlined. The original system of target acquisition, firing, and hit location/penetration has been retained, but simplified with some processes becoming automatic under certain conditions. For example, it used to be that players had to roll to hit every time they fired, even when the target had already been acquired and hit. Now, however, once a target is acquired and hit, all further hits are automatic, and players may choose the location hit. This simulates the crew dialing the gun in on their target. This significantly reduces the number of rolls needed to resolve armor combat in Disposable Heroes II and makes armor battles much more decisive. Maneuver becomes much more important in the new system and getting off the first hit becomes critical, as it was in real tank encounters. Besides streamlining the armor combat system, Disposable Heroes II has been designed to still be backwards compatible with all of the original vehicle cards that came with each army book.

Scenarios: Disposable Heroes II is designed to be played with a specific set of scenario rules to truly bring out the flavor of WWII point of contact combat. A big part of this is the hidden deployment rules and the way units are revealed and brought into action. An attacking platoon might have some idea of where the enemy might be based on the terrain and how they think the enemy might defend it, but this is not certain. Both players will deploy in secret based on pre-arranged Deployment Points. Once the game begins, units are only revealed under certain conditions, forcing an attacker to come up with an attack plan and stick to it. Disposable Heroes II works with any scenarios, but the scenarios provided are part of what really make Disposable Heroes II work as a simulation. The rules for hidden units do not require making a map or recording hidden unit movement. Hidden units are simply marked with a number that corresponds to the various Deployment Points on the table. So while an attacking enemy might know where the defender is located, he can't be sure! This simple system is easy to use and truly creates tension and friction in ways that traditional scenario set ups, jump off point gimmicks, and card driven rules simply cannot capture. Also, there is a new rule that creates tension within the scenario. Called "First Fire", the first unit to fire on an enemy will have a decisive impact on the game. This First Fire gives bonuses to hit and wound in such a way that it encourages the defender to hold his fire for most effect, but not for so long that the enemy gets too close. This recreates the tension an advancing enemy faces when attacking a silent and seemingly empty battlefield… and the tension a defender faces waiting with fingers on triggers until the right moment to fire. WWII combat veterans often describe how a battle began when "all hell broke loose". The First Fire rules are unique in recreating this tension and give an accurate representation of the stress of a combat encounter.

Why Disposable Heroes II?

Why should you buy Disposable Heroes II you ask? In such a crowded market, and with popular systems demanding your attention, what makes Disposable Heroes II a better system than the rest?

Disposable Heroes II plays fast. Disposable Heroes II is intuitive. Disposable Heroes II emphasizes fire and maneuver and those tactics work. Disposable Heroes II actually creates tension between advancing attackers and hidden defenders without the need for maps or hidden unit movement record keeping. The hidden rules are simple and elegant. Disposable Heroes II actually captures the tension and shock of initial contact in a platoon level WWII battle in a way that no other system does. The friction the scenario design and First Fire rules creates is refreshingly realistic and yet very simple to use. Disposable Heroes II is designed as a full color illustrated rule book. Disposable Heroes II is fully supported. All of the original army books are usable and will be redesigned as the originals sell out. There is no "codex creep" other rules experience.

IggyRoo Inactive Member14 Apr 2017 8:26 p.m. PST

$30 USD seems a lot for a PDF

kallman15 Apr 2017 5:32 a.m. PST

I got my hardback copy through the Kickstarter and it is a nicely done rulebook and the changes that have been made improve on what was already one of my favorite WW II rule sets. Lon covered all the basics and for my part it looks like a faster game with for friction and really is scaled for skirmish level. I'm looking forward to running my first game soon and will post photos and a battle report.

OmniJackal15 Apr 2017 5:38 p.m. PST

I also got my hardback from the kickstarter. Book arrived damaged with the top 1/3 or so of the spine being assembled incorrectly at the factory. Too depressed to do anything about it. As much as I love this game, and the quality color of the book, it was also $60 USD for a hardback that isn't as thick as even the new V4 Flames of War rules which cost like $25. USD In fact, this is the third most expensive rulebook I've ever bought (1st is Warhammer 40k which is like 8x thicker if you include the fluff books in the set, 2nd is Seekrieg 5 which is 4 times thicker). The book costs as much as hard back Fist Full of Tows 3 which is 475 pages of rules and data. This game is simpler and doesn't need all the pages but it is shockingly overpriced for what you get. I don't regret it I just wish I had a perfect book for what I paid.

nazrat16 Apr 2017 8:12 a.m. PST

Did you even ask Lon for a replacement for your damaged book?

28mm Fanatik16 Apr 2017 11:53 a.m. PST

Backed the KS and received the HC book fast. Book arrived in perfect condition. No fuss no muss. Kudos to Brigade Games for its great service.

The 2nd Edition of DHC7B is an improvement from the first edition, not only just in the revised and streamlined rules but also in production value. The book is well illustrated and the layout is much better.

OmniJackal16 Apr 2017 5:05 p.m. PST

@nazrat – did you read the 3rd sentence where I said "Too depressed to do anything about it"? So to answer your question in a long and annoying manner since you didn't bother reading is no I have not asked for replacement because the book isn't worth $60 USD in the first place. It's a very very tiny book.

Captain Crunch Inactive Member16 Apr 2017 6:43 p.m. PST

"I just wish I had a perfect book for what I paid." I'm sure one email or phone call to Lon would have that issue resolved in no time.

companycmd17 Apr 2017 6:14 a.m. PST

Question: if this publication was free would anyone use it? See, the pricing of products is what I question in this hobby. Printing and binding costs because an author doesnt have the equipment to do so, nor distribution warehouses, so an author must pay others to do it, hence the need to charge for publication so the get out there is the first place.
But an eBook or PDF or whatever you want to call it. Did you take the fluffy pictures or hire someone to do it? Hence you need to get reimbursed. Did you layout the piece or hire someone? Hence the need to be reimbursed in order to stay alive doing it. If you dont do all the work yourself but you did all the research to put something together, well then. The point is in this hobby you are doing it for passion and desire to inform. If you're doing it to gain funds, ferget it you're in the wrong business. If you charge zero for good information and the information works fast and easy for gaming, then congrats and people will use it as word spreads. If you charge anything but zero and the rules dont work, well what then.

SGT Yuengling Inactive Member17 Apr 2017 9:50 a.m. PST

I invested in the Kickstarter because is was a good layout, explained well, with the differences and new rules or changes discussed. I purchased a few sets of tokens which are nice, and a campaign book for Arnhem (not a PDF), and got the hardbound book of the rules.

For myself, it is a great investment, irrelevant of if it cost too much for others. I don't mind investing in a hobby for a known improvement on a good product.

This is my go to WW2 skirmish game, and I plan adapting it to modern, WW1, interwar, and Viet Nam Skirmishing. I get to keep a dozen DH books, and continue to use them.

It's not about the cost, but what we gain from what we put in.

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