First Watch:
Rules Clarifications

Picture of the game in play

If Player A (with lower initiative) is moving, can Player B (of higher initiative) interrupt to move his units?
No. The order of movement is determined after initiative dice rolls, but before any player moves. If a higher-initiative player does not use his option at this time, he loses it.

Fragmenting up movement leads to confusion and massive time increases. This is not to say that in a very small battle with agreeable opponents, you couldn't get them to agree to it as an optional rule.

As the rules are written, it seems the Road Terrain Movement Multiplier never counts if you are going uphill or downhill (since the worst modifier is always applied). Is this the intent of the designer?

Yes. The uphill modifier is by far the worst. Players, through mutual decision, may slow play by breaking down movement - applying modifiers to portions of a move, so that if a unit spends the first part of its move on a road coming up to a slope, the slope penalty doesn't apply until it actually starts moving up the slope. (I don't encourage folks to do this, because it does slow down play in a large size game - but with agreeable opponents and a small size battle...)

Do the mud, snow, and jungle terrain movement modifiers apply to cavalry only? (The phrasing in the rulebook isn't clear whether the mud-snow-jungle modifiers are a continuation of the cavalry movement explanation, or not.)

The mud-snow-jungle modifier applies to all units.

On the infantry fire table, there are two different modifiers for fire vs. open-top vehicles. Could you explain the difference?

Target is open-top vehicle means vehicles with no overhead armor, such as half-tracks and some self-propelled guns. Target open-top armored vehicles pertains to something riding, such as infantry or kegs of beer.

The data charts do not indicate which vehicles are "open-top."

We assume players have the miniature as a reference.

Which infantry units are equipped with grenades? Is there an ammo limit? Any restriction on attacking with grenades?

Grenades have to be purchased, using the infantry weapons table as a guide. Any unit may be equipped with grenades: infantry (the World War I grenade vest holds 11), a jeep (how many would fit in the glove compartment?), or a Stuka. Some common sense may have to apply. If it could be a problem, decide before beginning play. An infantry counter may attack with one grenade per turn

Does the "disappearing" target modifier apply during opportunity fire? For instance, if the target has not yet moved half of its movement?

Opportunity fire ignores the disappearing target modifier. After all, the firing unit sacrifices its movement for that turn!

Rule 4.0 says that an artillery roll which equals the kill number "tracks the target." Do you mean that the target suffers a track hit?


Can I assume this means the vehicle can no longer move?

Yes, unless players elect to allow tracks to be fixed, or tires to be changed - that would be up to them.

What about targets without tracks?
On a unit with tires, the tires are assumed to be shot out. Only units with tracks or tires are affected by a track hit.

The Anti-Aircraft Table (5.2) allows a successful shot to cause an abort. Does the plane abort its current attack, or abort its entire mission and leave the game?
The plane aborts its entire mission and must move to exit the board as soon as possible. See Optional Rule I: Jettison Ordnance.
Same table, instructions say to roll once "per barrel." Which weapons have more than one barrel?

Once again, we assume the player has the miniature for reference.

Most of the bomb sizes seem huge compared to the template, which only goes up to 1,000 lbs. Many bombs are 5,000 or even 8,000 lbs.

We consider the 500 lb and 1,000 lb bombs the most common of the larger variety. The 5,000 lb and 8,000 lb were very limited and special purpose. I suppose you could increase the "instant kill" zone one ring for over 1,000 lb, but this is not incorporated in the current production version of First Watch.

So in other words, the 5,000 lb. bombs were not used for direct ground support, and would seldom be seen on the tabletop in a standard game? For a plane like the Tempest with a 2,000 lb. load, should the player just take two 1,000 lb. bombs, or just one 1,000 bomb?

The values listed in the tables are maximums and I urge folks to use them (pass the carnage please). Gamemasters designing scenarios for their friends to play should keep in mind the closeness of the airbase to the front lines (theater and battle specific); and that more bombs equal less fuel. Those fond of the historical often can tailor their games using information garnered from reading books.

Which units are considered "field pieces" on Table 5.1, the Strafing Table? Are there any guns which are not field pieces (i.e., anti-aircraft guns, mortars, etc.)?
All towed guns (anti-aircraft guns, mortars, etc.) are considered "field pieces."
Optional Table 3.2.3 says to use "the thickness of the armor at the location of the hit." How is this determined?
Since the optional rule distinguishes between turrets and hulls, use the facing of the location which was hit (turret or hull) to determine the armor value. Upper vs. lower hull does not affect armor value, but does indicate whether a hulldown vehicle takes a hit.
The optional rules allow certain vehicles to fire smoke. Shouldn't artillery have the same capability?
Optional Rule M: "vehicle" should read "unit."
What's a typical infantry organization?
An example of an American squad translated to game terms could be as follows:

Three counters:

  1. ) HQ ( 1 individual )
  2. ) Rifle/SMG ( 4 individuals ), and
  3. ) LMG - The BAR ( 1 individual )

I personally use the two-counter method for U.S. infantry - one for men and one for BAR - but I am quite fond of speeding up the play process.

Last Updates
18 January 1997more questions answered
30 November 1996questions answered
24 August 1995page first published
Comments or corrections?