Rules Clarifications

This web page exists to answer rules questions for players of Free Fire Zone. Answers which are official (that is, direct from the publisher or the designer) are marked like this; other answers are the best guesses of staffers here at THE MINIATURES PAGE.

If you have rules questions, please email them to us and we'll try to get an official answer for you.

Q: Can a unit perform more than one Activity per turn?

A: No.

Q: On pg. 7, it says that a unit "makes a normal move into base to base contact" -- is this on the same turn as the Assault, or on a previous turn? (In other words, do you move into contact on the turn you assault, or do you have to move into contact before you can assault?)

A: The part which states "makes a normal move into base to base contact" refers to the type of movement carried out by the troops. In other words, the player declares a close assault and moves his troops into contact using the normal movement procedure, dicing for the movement distance as appropriate (see Close Assault procedure, on pg. 21). The movement takes place during the turn in which the assault is declared. The Close Assault activity is assumed to cover the movement into contact as well as the ensuing melee. Obviously, however, the closer the unit is to their intended target, the greater the chance that they will actually reach it, as opposed to running out of steam a few yards short.

Q: On pg. 19, first paragraph, what are "maximum permitted casualties"?

A: I must admit that this paragraph was not one of my better examples of clear, concise written English! The amendment sheet provided at the end of the rules clarifies the paragraph with a much clearer explanation. In essence, however, the maximum permitted casualties is the maximum number of casualties that the firer could possibly inflict:

e.g. e.g. A player has a score to hit of 80. If he throws a result between 31 and 80, he inflicts one potential casualty. If he scores between 21 and 30, he will score an additional potential casualty. If he scores between 11 and 20, he will score two additional potential casualties and so on. If he scores 00 (zero), then he will score the maximum permitted potential casualties, in this case 1 + 4 additional potential casualties.

Q: On pg. 21, the Anti-Tank Fire section makes a distinction in the second paragraph between tanks and light AFV's, and the chart refers to "heavy armoured vehicles." Which vehicles fall into either of these categories?

A: Heavy Armoured Vehicles are all those which are not light AFVs. As most of the AFVs used in Vietnam were APCs or other light armoured vehicles (M-551, V-100, etc.), the heavy AFC category includes vehicles such as M-48s, M-41s, Australian Centurions, etc.

Q: On pg. 23, on the Effects of Support Fire chart, how are the Elite and Veteran modifiers applied?

A: The effect of the Elite and Veteran modifiers in Fire Support situations is to increase the chance of the fire falling where it is required. In other words, the greater the level of training and experience of the troops calling in the fire, the more chance there is that it will land on the target. This reflects the real world where the better trained troops generally have more expertise in these sort of things but also allows for practical experience to show through, thus Veteran troops will have learnt how to call in the fire support simply through hard-earned practical experience.

Q: On pg. 24, Casualties from Support Fire, would a figure in field defenses with overhead protection get a -2 modifier? (Do the modifiers add together?)

A: Yes, the modifiers for field defences and overhead cover are cumulative. This reflects the benefits of several feet of sandbags, logs, or earth over the trench or bunker, as opposed to a position which is open to the sky. As someone who was under air attack in the Falklands War in 1982, I can vouch for the benefits (both real and psychological) of overhead protection!

Q: On pg. 25, Calculating the Effects of Air Support, how do you determine the "Direction of Fire?

A: This is not specifically stated. However, I have perhaps assumed that the reader would probably figure it out -- this will need to be amended in future editions. (Having said that, you are the first one to ask this question!) Anyway, assuming that the controlling unit is in communication with the inbound aircraft, then the men on the ground can specify the direction in which the attack is to be made. ("Lay nape along the tree line 100 meters east of my yellow smoke." "Roger that, you boys y'all keep your heads down now...") The controlling player may therefore nominate the direction of the fire.

Q: On pg. 25, Correcting Fire, I don't understand how air support/fire is corrected.

A: For each further mission on a target which has already been engaged by air support or artillery fire, the requesting troops get a +1 modifier on the dice throw to determine whether or not the fire is on the target. This will increase the chances of hitting the target, to the point where after 4 fire missions or air strikes, any succeeding strikes will automatically land in the right place. In addition, if the subsequent strikes miss the target, the distance by which the fire misses the target is reduced by 50 meters (refer to the charts in the support fire sections). Obviously, however, in order to correct the fire, the requesting unit must remain in communications.

Q: With regard to Air Support, can you get multiple strikes from a single Air Support mission?

A: Only if the unit on the ground stays in communications in order to correct the strikes.

(As a note on the fire support rules, I personally feel that these are the weakest part of the rules. However, since originally writing them, I have obtained a book on the U.S. artillery in Vietnam, plus more details on how air strikes were controlled. I will probably try and devise a better system for the air and support fire for my own use, and put these out either as an amendment sheet, or in a revised later edition if required. As yet, however, most players seem satisfied with the existing system.)

Q: On pg. 24, Casualties from Support Fire, how are tanks affected?

A: Good question!!!!! You have finally caught me out. AFVs are not affected by support fire. (Although any exposed crew or passengers will be -- "D'you guys still think it is safer sittin' on top of the tracks?") In over a year's worth of playtesting, we did not encounter this problem, and the omission is probably due to the fact that the majority of vehicle casualties were caused by mines or direct fire as opposed to support fire. I will have to give this some thought. I can only plead that, as it was my first attempt at commercial rule writing, I was still learning, and that the odd mistake be allowed!

Last Updates
22 July 1996reformatted
15 April 1996reorganized
23 March 1995first published
Comments or corrections?