Please note this is purely a work in progress version - there's a lot still missing. It's being stored here for availability.

This version 8 Jan 2004


Rules for Modern Infantry Ground Combat

©2004 - Steve Gill


Game Concept


Time Scale.

Ground Scale.


Figure basing.

Playing Area and Terrain.

Playing Area Size.

Terrain Types.

Terrain Setup.

Table Grid.

Mission Design.


Figure setup.

Helicopter and glider insertions.

Para drops.




Game Sequence.

Turn Sequence.



Observation / Spotting.


Interrupt fire.

Weapon Ranges.

Ranged Attacks on infantry.

Close Assaults.

Off-board Support

Hidden Units.



End Game.

Sample Units.





Rhodesia / Zimbabwe.


SWA / Namibia.



Sample Scenarios.

Simple Assault

Search and Destroy.


Convoy Ambush.

Firebase Defence – patrols and attack.


Game Design Notes.

Game Concept

The idea behind these rules is to provide a game that reasonably simulates modern combat (post WW1, the fire and manoeuvre era) at a platoon to company level without micro-managing the actions of individual protagonists.

The game does not differentiate between specific pieces of equipment or individual abilities, these are abstracted into the units’ abilities.

The focus of the game is primarily infantry actions, it has not been optimised for simulating mass armoured conflict.


Time Scale

Each turn is roughly 15 minutes of game time.

Ground Scale

10mm = 25m or 1 inch = 50 yards for those that want to use imperial measurement.


Figures can be anything up to 10mm. For larger figures (up to 25mm) the ground scale should be halved and element base sizes doubled.

Figure basing

Infantry are based on 30mm (or 40mm) square element bases for general use. Each element represents a single squad or section or other unit of a similar size. It is suggested that they are based in such a way as to show their type a little: neat formations for trained troops, more haphazard for untrained. All figures should be facing roughly the same direction.

Optionally an element can use a 60mm by 15mm (or 80mm x 20mm) base to signify extended formations (single line or column). This format is used by units for ambushes, sweeping an area and for travelling quickly.

Optimally one can use two 30mm by 15mm (or 40mm x 20mm) bases for each element that each represent a fire team. These bases can be used so that the element’s formation can be changed without requiring duplicate figures. This format gives further opportunities to show the status of an element without the need for special counters. Suppressed elements can be indicated by turning one of the two bases so the figures face different directions, reduced strength elements can be indicated by replacing one of the bases with a blank base.

It is useful to have something recognisable, a figure or terrain feature, to mark the centre of each element for measuring movement.

Vehicles are represented by single models that don’t need to be based though basing them may reduce wear and tear on the figures.

Artillery should be mounted on bases at least 30mm square and large enough to hold the artillery model and its crew.

Playing Area and Terrain

Playing Area Size

The table size required varies depending on the size and complexity of the game to be played. The game has been intended to be playable on a small table (2’x2’ or 600mm x 600mm) but it is often better to use a larger table than you might think you need.

Terrain Types

Terrain can be broken down into five main categories:

Open – the infantry’s nightmare, nowhere to hide. Often this is prepared fire lanes. This sort of terrain should be rare.

Normal – fairly easy to move through, but with enough cover (bushes, folds in the ground, etc.) to feel safe.

Dense – hard to move through, usually requires paths or machete work, easy for enemy to hide in.

Buildings – provide solid cover intermixed with clear fire lanes, a nasty operating environment.

Impassable – linear obstacles that can’t easily be crossed by a soldier in combat kit (cliffs, fast or wide rivers, etc.). These obstacles require help from engineers to be crossed during combat.

Terrain Setup

Roll for terrain available

Attacker sets up terrain, defender then selects location.

Table Grid

For reference during the game the table is broken up into a regular grid of squares. The horizontal references run A, B, C, etc. while the vertical references run 1, 2, 3, etc. allowing an area to be referenced by its grid co-ordinates – A1, A2, etc.

Mission Design

Normal mission - Attacker must achieve three objectives to complete the mission – one primary and two secondary from a list of options.

Priority mission – Attacker must achieve two specific primary objectives.

The defender does not necessarily know the attacker’s objectives.


Defender selects/places six possible objectives an numbers them one to six.

The attacker makes an intel roll. The defender must inform the attacker of the location of that many objectives.

The defender makes intel roll. If successful (equal or greater to the attacker's intel roll) then the attacker must confirm primary objective.

Figure setup

Defending units are placed within their control area – roughly 2/3rds of the gaming area.

Attacking units are placed in their area towards the starting base point.

Helicopter and glider insertions

Helicopter and glider insertions are planned at beginning of game – turn and location. Roll for each one two turns before due to arrive.

1 – arrives two turns early

2 – arrives one turn early

3 or 4 – arrives on time

5 – arrives one turn late

6 – arrives two turns late

Para drops

Para drops plotted at begin of game. Roll for arrival time as above.

Drift and spread will be a problem.


Section or fire team level elements

There are two unit stats - motivation & training/equipment quality - ranging from 0 to 3.



An infantry element represents the smallest effective combat unit of the force represented. It consists of a number of combatants depending on national unit organisation and the unit quality. Quality is a combination measurement based on a unit’s training and equipment.

Type                       quality                    figures                    represents

Elite                        3                              2 – 6                        Exceptional troops, whether through training or experience

Regular                  2                              5 – 10                      Normal troops with good training or experience

Green                      1                              5 – 20                      Troops short on either training or experience

Untrained              0                              10 – 30                    Troops with little or no training and experience


These are further defined by their motivation level:

Type                       motivation

Gung-ho                                3

Normal                   2

Uneasy                  1

Mob                       *

* ?a mob starts with a motivation level of 3 which drops by 1 each time the units manoeuvre roll indicates no advance?


Optionally they can then be further defined by their equipment level:

Heavily equipped – carrying more than just basic combat gear.

Normal kit – carrying basic combat gear.

Lightly equipped – stripped down to the bare essentials.






Game Sequence

The attacker generally makes the first move and takes the first turn in a game. The only time the defender moves first is if the defender's units are making scenario programmed moves which the attackers react to.

Turn Sequence

Roll one die for commander’s command points – these can be added to motivation rolls during the turn.

One element at a time in any sequence, all elements must be used in a turn.

Roll for command per unit.

Move the unit, if required and command roll permits.

Take fire from all enemy capable of firing on the unit.

Repeat for other units.


Command roll to move at section level.

Commanders make roll at beginning of turn – these points can be added to the units’ rolls to aid motivation.


+1 per element motivation

+1 per command point added to unit

-1 if currently suppressed

-2 if at reduced strength

-2 if being asked to move into, or further into, open ground


Maximum of +4 modifiers to an element’s roll.


<0 - fade away

0 - 4 - defensive (may only move as long as not getting closer to any known enemy)

5 - 8 - may advance, remove suppression

>8 - must advance, remove suppression


Units can move in any direction. Movement is measured from the centre of the unit.


Dense                                     100yds, +50yds if elite, +50yds if lightly equipped, -50yds if heavily equipped

Normal going                        200yds, +100yds if elite, +100yds if lightly equipped, -100yds if heavily equipped

Non-tactically                       500yds, +200yds if elite, +200yds if lightly equipped, -200yds if heavily equipped

Infantry will stop on the edge of any open ground and cannot move into it without a new motivation roll.

At any point while moving in a turn an element can make a single change from normal to extended basing. The element centre remains the same.


Soft         Light       Heavy

Dense                                     200yds   100yds   200yds

Normal going                        600yds   500yds   300yds

Non-tactically                       900yds   800yds   700yds


Debussing or enbussing can occur once in a turn. While on a vehicle the unit mis treated as part of that vehicle.


Pioneers can prepare a route for themselves or others through impassable terrain. Once they’ve moved to the edge of a linear obstacle they stop and other elements can move over them to pass the obstacle.

Observation / Spotting

Spotting is required to target an enemy unit.

Usually only required in a possible ambush situation.


Elements take fire at the end of their move from all enemy elements capable of attacking them.

Elements are capable of attacking an element if:

1.   They had line of sight to them at the beginning of their move.

2.   They have line of sight to them at the end of their move.

3.   They had line of sight to them for at least half of the route they moved through.

4.   They are not under close assault.


Interrupt fire

Can only happen in first half of unit’s move, attacked by one unit only, sends unit back where it came from if get suppressed or better result.

Weapon Ranges

                                                Close                      Long

Infantry Weapons                               200yds                   400yds

Fire Support                          200yds                   600yds

Indirect Support                   -                               100 - 800yds


Halve the range of infantry weapons and fire support if firing out of, into or through dense terrain.

Ranged Attacks on infantry


Base Modifiers (non-cumulative)

1 per element quality attacking at long range

+1 per element quality attacking at close range


Situation Modifiers (cumulative)

+1 if fire support element attacking

+1 if defender moved

+1 if defender moved non-tactically

+1 if defenders in open ground

-1 if no attackers at full strength

-1 if defenders in dense terrain

-2 if defenders are emplaced (in trenches, bunkers or buildings)


Maximum modifier of +6 is permitted for an attack on any one element.


Add the roll of 1D6 to the total modifiers


Defender quality +5 - suppressed

Defender quality +6 - reduced strength

Defender quality +7 - destroyed


Close Assaults

Fire and manoeuvre time.

At the beginning of a player’s turn elements can be moved into close assault with an enemy they are capable of moving into base-to-base contact with. Elements in extended formation cannot close assault, as assaults require concentrated firepower.

Up to 8 elements can move into contact with one enemy element. The first element moved into contact with an enemy is the primary attacker, they are the ones actually attempting to overrun the enemy position, all others are supporting the attack. Once all the assaulting elements have been moved they receive fire as per normal, after this the results of the assaults are worked out. If the primary attacker is suppressed or destroyed by enemy fire while moving into the assault then another element must be designated as the primary attacker.



Base Modifiers (non-cumulative)

1 per element quality of the primary attacker

+1 per element in support


Situation Modifiers (cumulative)

+1 if defenders in open ground

+2 if defenders suppressed

-1 if primary attacker at reduced strength

-1 if defenders in dense terrain

-2 if defenders are emplaced (in trenches, bunkers or buildings)


Add the roll of 1D6 to the total modifiers.


Defender quality +5 - suppressed

Defender quality +6 - reduced strength

Defender quality +7 - destroyed


Off-board Support

Targets are designated then given an action number greater than 10. Each turn the controlling player rolls one die, once the total reaches the action number the fire occurs. Action numbers may not be repeated by a player in a game.

Hidden Units


Elements that can’t be detected by the opposition at the beginning of the game.


Elements that are hidden by their similarity to other groups, usually innocent non-combatants

Both these and the non-combatants are represented by similar elements. Each of the elements is marked or numbered and the owning player has a list to identify which units are which.

End Game

Achieving all the mission objectives is an instant win.


If, in any turn, all of the attacker’s units are suppressed or none of the attacker’s units are willing to advance they have pretty much given up the initiative for the attack and will stop where they are and entrench.


Sample Units




Green and Untrained, gung-ho through uneasy


Regular, gung-ho to normal


Regular, mostly normal


Elite, gung-ho


Viet Cong

Regular to Untrained, gung-ho through uneasy


Regular, some elite, gung-ho to normal


Regular to Untrained, gung-ho through uneasy

US Raw recruits

Green, normal to uneasy

US Marines / experienced

Regular, gung-ho & normal

Green Berets / Rangers

Elite, gung-ho


Rhodesia / Zimbabwe


SWA / Namibia


Grenadan Troops

Green, uneasy

Cuban Advisors and ‘Construction Workers’

Regular, some elite, gung-ho to normal

US Infantry

Green, normal to uneasy

US Marines

Regular, gung-ho

US Rangers

Elite, gung-ho


Sample Scenarios

Simple Assault

Search and Destroy


Convoy Ambush

Firebase Defence – patrols and attack



Element                                  a single game unit, effectively the same as a unit (below)

Reduced strength


Unit                                        the base military formation


Game Design Notes

The game is intended to reasonably simulate modern low-intensity combat. It must be realised that many of the more important factors in modern combat are determined at a higher strategic level, but only the results of this strategic combat can be covered by a game of this nature.

For the game setting the following are assumed:

The protagonists in the game are all capable of hurting each other. There'd be no point otherwise. This applies to both unit abilities and the tactical situation.

The game scales have to take into account the time spent by troops waiting and preparing as well as those brief moments of intense action.

Units will fire on all the enemy units that they are able to rather than simply pick on one unit. All enemy units are threats to the guys on the ground.

Troops would generally prefer not to have to risk their lives and will actively spend time finding cover and improving defensive positions.

Troops are most at risk when they move, they're breaking cover and moving away from their carefully selected defensive positions. While moving they will be moving tactically and doing their best to use any available cover.

Troops that think there are enemy around will move tactically rather than standing around in the open waiting to be shot at.

Stationary troops will have a better chance of both spotting and hitting targets.

Concentrated firepower is more effective than individual fire.



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