The designers of Close And Destroy knew what they didn't want when they started work on these rules – they didn't want a game which was so excruciatingly "real" that it was bogglingly complex and impossible to play and enjoy. Close And Destroy was meant to be first and foremost a fun game that was quick to learn and play; at the same time, the game intends to present an accurate feel for modern combat.
The Game System
At the start of play, one side is designated the "attacker," and the other side is the "defender." These roles alternate, so that on even turns the same player is always the attacker, and on odd turns the other player is the attacker.
Each turn is made up of five phases:
| ||All units can fire, with the attacker getting first fire. In addition, artillery spotting rounds land during this phase.|
| ||All units may move, with the attacker getting first movement. Opportunity fire occurs.|
|Fire Phase||All units can fire, with the attacker getting first fire. Artillery fire may be adjusted. Artillery missions are now announced.|
|Move Phase||All units may again move, with the defender getting first movement. Opportunity fire occurs.|
|Fire Phase||All units can fire, with the attacker getting first fire. Artillery missions take effect now.|
Each phase also consists of several steps. For instance, during a Fire Phase:
|First, artillery functions for that phase are handled.|
|Second, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) fire takes place. Unless the target is at very close range, the missile will not actually reach its target until the next Fire Phase. (For this reason, no ATGM fire is allowed during the final Fire Phase of the turn.) The attacker makes all of his ATGM attacks; then the defender makes his attacks (nothing is simultaneous in this game system).|
|Third, all non-artillery, non-ATGM units may fire. The attacker makes his attacks, then the defender makes his.|
The Movement Phase breaks down like this:
|First, one player moves. (Which player moves depends on which Move Phase this is, as explained above.) Units are moved one at a time.|
|While a unit is being moved, the opposing player may announce attacks on it. However, ATGMs are not eligible to fire at this time.|
|Then, after all stands have been moved, the opposing player may attack with any unit that has not attacked yet this phase. Vehicles that moved this phase are attacked at their final positions. ATGMs may fire.|
|Now the three steps are repeated again, with the other player moving and being shot at.|
The end result is a game that is very active. Stands can move up to twice per turn, and can fire (if circumstances allow) up to five times per turn (once in each phase).
There are no rules in this system for morale, command control, mines, and aircraft (but there is an air supplement). No scenarios are provided.
Movement and Visibility
All vehicles are given three movement ratings – one for road movement, one for cross-country movement, and one for woods movement. There is also a penalty, individualized by vehicle, which applies to that rating if the vehicle makes any uphill movement in a phase. Some vehicles have a movement rating to be used when "swimming" or fording.
Movement for infantry is handled similarly, except that all infantry share the same ratings. Infantry move at the "road" rate within a town, but at the "woods" rate within buildings.
Under the standard rules, all figures begin play on the tabletop – there are no hidden units. However, nothing can be attacked unless it has first been spotted by an observer. (Optional rules allow for one player in a scenario – the defending force – to begin play with his stands not visible.)
Any stand may be an observer. For observation purposes, stands fall into two categories: open (i.e. infantry and unarmored vehicles) and closed (armored vehicles). Armored vehicles may choose to "unbutton" at the start of the turn – this makes them an "open" unit for spotting purposes, but makes the unit more vulnerable to artillery fire. Once unbuttoned, a vehicle stays unbuttoned throughout the turn.
Whether a target can be spotted depends primarily on range, modified by these factors: whether it moved, whether it is in cover or not, and whether or not the target has fired. For example, a tank moving through good cover and which hasn't fired, will always be spotted if it is within 500 meters; if it is further away, it cannot be spotted. If it halts under cover, the spotting range goes down to 250 meters; if it fires, the range goes all the way up to 2 kilometers.
Combat comes in three categories: tank fire, small-arms fire, and artillery fire.
Tank Fire. The attacking player announces who is firing, what the target is, and what ammunition is being used. (The rules cover 10 types of ammunition, and the data listings tell which ammo any stand can fire. Ammunition expenditure is not kept track of.)
EXAMPLE: A Russian T-72 announces fire at a U.S. M60A3. The tank is firing Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) ammo.
The defending player now looks up the target's class, which is specific to the particular vehicle type under attack, and depends on angle, movement, and intervening terrain (units may receive a "hull down" bonus, even while moving, if the lower half of the vehicle cannot be seen).
EXAMPLE: The M60A3 is a class G when moving and seen from the front.
The attacker now goes to the Weapon Chart matching the weapon (and ammunition) being fired. Correlating range with target class, he discovers both the percentage chance to score a hit and the penetrating power of the shot. (The percentage chance is halved if the attacker is taking opportunity fire and already moved this phase, unless the weapon is a stabilized main gun.)
EXAMPLE: The T-72 125mm gun firing APFSDS at a range of 1500 meters against a class G target has a 50% chance to hit, and a penetration factor (if it hits) of 280 mm. The player rolls 01 – a hit!
Any hit on an unarmored vehicle results in destruction. Against tanks and other armored vehicles, however, the attacker must roll on the Hit Location Tables. There are three tables, depending on whether the shot came from the target's front, side, or from overhead.
EXAMPLE: On a roll of 2 from the front, the attacker scores a hit on the turret.
There are four hit locations: turret, hull, deck (overhead shots only), and track. A track hit immobilizes the target, but has no other effect. Turret and Hull hits have a slight chance to riccochet, resulting in no damage. (Certain ammo types are immune to riccochets, however.)
EXAMPLE: There is a 30% chance of a front turret shot riccocheting. With a roll of 7, the Russian player narrowly avoids that fate.
If the round hits and does damage, its penetration rating is compared against the target's armor rating. Armored vehicles have individual armor ratings for the front, side and rear of both hull and turret. If the penetration exceeds the armor, the target is knocked out.
EXAMPLE: The M60A3 has a front turret armor rating of 300mm – just enough to defeat the APFSDS penetration of 280mm. The American tank survives.
Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. A number of special rules are provided for ATGM fire. When a missile is launched, only its flight path and general target area must be specified. The specific target can then be selected during the following fire phase, when the weapon actually goes off. When an ATGM is fired, the firing stand is automatically spotted for visibility purposes. The missile may fail to guide, however, if the firing gunner takes any fire whatsoever (including artillery fire). A missile will also be destroyed if it flies through an artillery mission's area of effect. The rules note certain launch vehicles which can fire from cover (for instance, the U.S. M901 ITOW) or which can dismount their gunners (the Russian BRDM ATGM vehicle).
Small-Arms Fire. Each infantry stand has the capability of making one small-arms attack per phase. In addition, most stands may also make ATGM and Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW) attacks. (A stand may forego its small-arms fire in order to make additional ATGM or LAW attacks.)
The Infantry Weapons Fire Table provides the base chance to hit, based on the type and nationality of the firing stand, the range (short or long for that weapon), and the target's terrain and movement.
If the attack is successful, the Effects of Fire table reveals how many figures on the target stand are killed. The target's terrain and movement are factors in the final result. So is the status of the attacking stand (i.e. how many figures are "alive").
EXAMPLE: A U.S. squad armed with 5.56mm guns fires on a Warsaw Pact infantry squad hunkered down in some entrenchments. At a range of 350 meters, the chance to hit is 20%. The American player rolls 16, and scores a hit. The U.S. squad is at full strength, so it does the full 2 KIA damage to the Russian squad (2 of the stand's 8 figures are now dead).
Artillery Fire. The artillery system is directly tied to the sequence of play, as explained above. Artillery can only be called in by a forward observer. Artillery fires either by platoon (3 tubes) or by battery (6 tubes).
A spotting round has a 40% chance of being on target. If the round is not on target, it will fall 500 meters, 1 kilometer, or 1.5 kilometers in any direction (short and long shots are the most common). If the round falls where the observer cannot see it, that artillery loses its chance to fire a mission this turn. Artillery does not deviate if the mission is a repeat of a mission from the preceding turn.
During the second fire phase of the turn, the observer may adjust the spotting round by 500 meters. No die roll is necessary.
When the artillery mission occurs, all stands within the target area undergo an artillery attack. The target area varies by artillery type, and its shape depends on whether the mission was fired in box or line mode.
Vehicles caught in the mission zone are attacked individually. A die roll is made, with the result depending upon the type of artillery firing, the terrain where the target is located, and whether the target is hard, soft, or unarmored.
If infantry are caught by an artillery mission, one die roll is made which applies to all enemy troops. (If friendly troops are also involved, a separate die roll is made for them.) A chart compares the artillery type with the target's terrain and movement situation, and a die roll reveals the number of figures killed. A second number indicates whether any crew- served weapons are destroyed (i.e. when firing on a towed artillery piece).
EXAMPLE: A platoon of NATO 81mm mortars lays down a box pattern of fire extending 50 meters by 50 meters. Caught in the fire are 2 enemy vehicles, 1 enemy towed gun, 2 enemy squads, and 1 unfortunate friendly squad. One roll is made for each vehicle. The first vehicle is a command car out in the open – on a result of 4, the car is killed. The second vehicle is a tank in the woods – the roll is 7, which does no damage. Another roll is made for the enemy gun crew and the two squads. They are in the woods – on a roll of 1, 5 figures are killed (divided among the 2 squads and the gun crew) and the gun is knocked out. A last roll is made for the friendly squad in a stone building – on a roll of 2, it loses 2 figures.
Most of the vehicle data has been condensed onto a few charts, with separate versions for NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The Armor Chart lists all of the armor values, the Movement Chart provides movement rates and penalties for all vehicle types, and the Vehicular Target Size/Class Chart tells the target class per vehicle type and situation.
There are also a number of Target Fire Tables – at least one for each weapon type, and sometimes more if the weapon can fire multiple types of ammunition.
The tables are located in the center of the rulebook, and can be pulled out for easier reference.
Lastly, each vehicle has its own entry (with illustration) in the Vehicle Data Section of the rulebook. Along with historical information, the entry lists the weapons carried by the vehicle, the ammunition types it can fire, passenger capacity, smoke capacity (an advanced rule), and countries which operate the vehicle.
Unlike vehicles, the infantry come in only four flavors: squads (U.S., NATO, and Warsaw Pact) and fire teams (U.S. only). All squad weapons (other than LAWs and ATGMs) are factored into a single small-arms rating.
One of the features which sets this ruleset apart from other modern miniature sets is its coverage of military doctrine and organization – 14 pages of the rulebook.
Separate sections discuss Warsaw Pact and NATO doctrine. For instance, the Warsaw Pact discussion begins with an analysis of the Soviet blitzkrieg concept, presents the Soviet command system, describes the preferred tactics for mounting an attack, and then recounts the Soviet approach to employing infantry, armor, artillery, and recon assets.
Unit organizations are provided after each doctrine section, starting at squad level and working up to division. Within NATO, organizations are given for the U.S., U.K., and West German armies.
The Advanced Rules
The major change in the advanced rules for Close And Destroy is to free the artillery from the rigid sequence of play used in the basic game. Artillery is no longer shackled to firing all spotting rounds in the first Fire Phase, then all adjusting of fire in the second Fire Phase, and so forth. Everything can happen during any fire phase, but each battery can only complete one action (firing spotting rounds, adjusting, or firing for effect) per phase.
Fire can now be adjusted in multiple consecutive phases. A successful artillery mission can be used as a basis for adjusting fire (skipping the spotting round process). However, each battery may only fire for effect once every three Fire Phases.
Two alternate means of artillery plotting are allowed in the advanced game: map fire and pre-plotted fire.
Map Fire. Only dedicated batteries may undertake map-fire missions. All map fire is plotted before play begins – map coordinates, game turn, game phase (first, second or third fire phase), firing unit, firing pattern, and munitions type must be recorded. Spotters and observers are not required.
When map fire occurs, the mission lands without prior warning (no spotting rounds required). Map fire is never on target – deviation rolls are required. Map fire can be aborted, but doing so takes the firing battery out of the game.
Pre-Plotted Fire. This option is only available to units which have had time to pre-register their fire (usually the defending side). Each battery can have up to three pre-plotted missions. Before the game begins, the following information must be recorded – map coordinates, firing unit, firing pattern, and munitions type.
To fire a pre-plot mission, the player must announce his intention in one Fire Phase (he announces which target he is firing at – "pre-plot #2" – without yet identifying the target). The mission is then fully revealed and resolved in the following Fire Phase. A spotter/observer is required. There is no deviation roll.
If a battery moves, it can no longer fire pre-plot missions. A battery can interrupt whatever it was previously doing to fire a pre-plot mission – that is, a unit could fire a spotting round, adjust, then announce a pre-plot mission, then fire the pre-plot mission (in four Fire Phases). However, all batteries are still subject to the rule preventing them from firing more often than once every three Fire Phases.
These additions to the game system are also made in the advanced rules:
- Multiple Rocket Launchers
- Smoke (artillery- and vehicle-generated)
- Armored Recovery Vehicles (with repair rules)
- Combat Engineering Vehicles (with obstacle and entrenchment rules)
- Armored Vehicle Launched Bridges
Close And Destroy II
This 68-page booklet is the air supplement to Close And Destroy, adding tactical air and helicopters (as well as ground-based air defense systems) to the game.
The designers contend that most other rulesets fall into two types: "...those in which tac air is magical and those in which it is inconsequential. In the magical type the appearance of air over the board causes all the ground units to run for cover, as the aircraft are going to kill everything right now. In the other case, everybody ignores the approaching aircraft as they can do little, if anything, to the guys on the ground."
Fixed-wing aircraft must move in a straight line at their maximum movement rate, and (depending on the size of the playing area) usually leave in the same phase that they arrive. Altitude can vary from 1000 to 50 meters. Rules cover two methods of attack (the diving approach and the lay-down approach), bombing, strafing, and the use of unguided missiles.
Rotary-wing aircraft operate in much the same manner as fixed-wing aircraft, except that they can move freely and are not forced to use their maximum speed, and they do not use the various attack approaches.
Ground weapons which can fire at aircraft include anti-aircraft machineguns (pintle- or turret-mounted guns), dedicated anti-aircraft gun stands, and anti-aircraft missile stands. All stands fire individually. Rules cover the use of radar (which may be on or off per stand), visibility (for instance, a "buttoned up" SPAD Vulcan cannot fire), and movement of firer. Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) may attack immediately if the target is at short range; otherwise, the attack occurs in a following phase, giving the target an opportunity to move out of range. Target facing may affect a SAM's chance of attacking – for instance, a Grail hand-held SAM is only effective if fired at the rear facing of an aircraft.
Anti-aircraft fire consists of a to-hit roll followed by a to-kill roll. The To-Hit Table matches the firing weapon with the range and target class (which depends on whether the aircraft is fixed wing or rotary, facing, and movement), and generates a percentage chance. If a hit is scored, the To-Kill Table correlates the specific target type against the general category of firing weapon and produces a kill chance – if the roll fails, the aircraft takes no damage.
For example: Warsaw Pact infantry in a BTR-50 APC fire their 12.7 heavy machinegun (HMG) at an attacking AH-1 Cobra helicopter 300 meters away. The target is Category E (rotary wing, moving, seen from the front), and the To-Hit chance is 40%. In our case, the Soviet player makes his roll ("20") and hits. On the To-Kill Table, the chance of an HMG bringing down a Cobra is listed as 30%. However, our player rolls "98" – the Cobra survives.
Also found in this booklet are:
- A discussion of air doctrine (9 pages)
- A scenario, including a battle report from a trial play-through (4 pages)
- Data listings for the planes (12 pages)
- Updates for the original game – includes notes on new organizations, some rules clarifications, rules for reactive armor and single-shot HE, and two weapon charts missing from the Close And Destroy book (U.K. 120mm rifled main tank gun, U.S./U.K. 165mm demolition gun) (4 pages)