Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Discussion on the Into Battle Rules

Over at Board Game Geek, a fellow gamer has opened a discussion topic on my hex based Into Battle rules. 

Chuck generally likes the rules and is thinking about how the rules can better work on a larger table and is revisiting some concepts such as how Out of Command units might remove their Opportunity Fire marker.

I think the post could bring some interesting points out and I know some gamers reading this blog came here because of these rules. So if anyone fancies popping over to BGG and just looking or commenting, here is the link.


  1. Hi Norm,

    Thanks for the shout out! Yes my gaming group really loved the rules. They are already asking when to play again. We played the breakout scenario from TaM but with 4 of us. I fudged the table area by a couple of hexes bigger and gave both sides a few extra units so each of us had a few more toys to play with. The scenario turned out to be a nail biter with the Germans winning but almost on the verge of morale collapse. We didn't do any extra for command, each team decided together where to put command focus. I did make a concession or two about movement, we allowed vehicles to move 2 hexes unless they were under direct threat meaning AT that could actually engage them if they moved.
    My post on BGG was how to expand the rules to cover larger tables and bigger battles but still maintain their same simplicity and feel. Let me preface any idea by saying I really like rules that give you options that have varying levels of risk with matching rewards. But to balance that, the rules also need a command level feel. I may want that infantry squad to charge across that open field and storm the farmhouse, but without being the 'man on the ground' my squad leaders are going to do their best to follow the order but not in a fool hardy manner. Or maybe they are fool hardy but that's a rule design conversation for another day.
    So how best to allow for faster movement on larger tables so units can get to the action quicker? My initial thought is to expand the movement by 1 hex, 2 hexes normal, 3 hexes if the movement is unobserved. But there needs to be risk/penalties for units moving quicker. For infantry, easy solution is to give any op fire a bonus 1 die roll against fast moving infantry. Logic says if you are moving quicker, you are not using the terrain as much to conceal your movement so become an easier target. Vehicles though are different, faster movement doesn't make them easier to hit, being less cautious maybe does. But one thing tanks that move quicker do suffer from is they are less prepared to acquire and engage targets until they slow. Maybe vehicles that fast move get marked with an op fire marker so they are unable to respond during the opponents move.
    Well enough rambling for the day, just some ideas to noodle on and try out in our next game.

  2. All good, I never really gave bigger tables must thought as the design imperative was on a sort of 2 x 3 foot space, but my favourite scenario in the rule book is No.6 Escaping Bobruisk and the fact that the gameboard grew to a 10 x 7, giving more space to breathe, may be a reason I like it so much.

    As I said on BGG, the system seems quite stable, so should take tweaks rather well. My search for some older variants on the rules will have me scavenging amongst a small collection of pen drives - I am notoriously bad at keeping older versions or development notes, so I may well be disappearing down a rabbit hole on this one. Glad to hear that your group had a general positive vibe to TaM.

    My other site (Commanders) has a WWII page with several links to other TaM related material.

    LINK - http://commanders.simdif.com/ww2-tactical.html

  3. Congrats on your game Norm! May fortune follow shortly! 😀

  4. Thanks Stew, the blog / internet thingy has given us a fantastic opportunity to share ideas, thank goodness for blogs and forums. We all used to do this sort of thing many years ago, but within the smaller bubble of the home or club.



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