Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Splendid Little War - Wargaming Rules

This week, Wargame Wednesdays presents a set of quickplay rules for the Spanish American War (SAW).  A friend of mine referred to this (lovingly) as the Spanko-Yanko war.  I don't know about that, but these rules were written to play some fun club night miniature wargames using the very nice "Rough Riders" figures recently re-released by The Virtual Armchair General.  As the website states, these were released back in the 90s by Richard Houston, and they were sculpted by Chris Ferree.
The figures nice - not up to the standard of modern figures, but certainly fine for back in the 90s.  I bought a bunch of them from Patrick at TVAG when he first released them, and I got them painted up for me by a good friend in Virginia.  Well, one thing leads to another, and before you know it - there was talk in my old weekly club about playing a game with them.  So a ruleset was needed, and for small projects like this I really like homebrew rules, so "A Splendid Little War" was born.

Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.
- Theodore Roosevelt

A Splendid Little War

Wars for small, quick games simulating land combat in the Spanish American War
by Chuck Turnitsa
Figures and Battlefield
  1. 15mm figures
  2. Infantry stands are 25mm square (or whatever is convenient).
  3. MG and Artillery stands are 30mm square (or whatever is convenient).
  4. Units should be organized by stands.
    1. An infantry unit should have between 4 and 6 stands.  
    2. A Machine Gun unit should have 1 stand
    3. An Artillery unit should have 1 stand
  5. Each stand should have several figures mounted on it  
    1. An Infantry unit should have 3 figures
    2. A Machine Gun unit should have 1 MG and 2 crew members
    3. An Artillery unit should have 1 gun and 2 crew members
  6. The table top should be prepared before the battle.  
    1. The fighting space should have ample areas of cover (jungle), especially at the edge of the battlefield.  
    2. There should be one or two small built up areas, on a road network, in the central part of the battlefield.  
    3. Roads have no effect in the game, unless they pass through jungle, then they permit full speed movement, and also artillery movement
Game Setup
  1. Each side should have 3 or more brigades of troops.
  2. Each brigade should have a handful of units.
    1. Infantry units are from 4-6 stands of infantry
    2. MG units are 1 stand of machine guns
    3. Artillery units are 1 stand.
  3. Prepare a card for each brigade, identified on the card. Prepare 1 “bonus” card for each side.
  4. Shuffle all these cards together.
Turn Sequence
  1. Take turns flipping over a card.  When a card is flipped, all of the units in that brigade may move.
  2. If a bonus card is flipped, a Brigade that HAS ALREADY MOVED may move again. Units that contacted the enemy during the first move may not move during this bonus move.
  3. If a bonus card is flipped first, then that side may identify a Brigade of the enemy’s as “pinned” which means that it may not move that turn on its regular card. If the enemy draws its own bonus card,after it would have normally moved the “pinned” brigade, then it may moveit normally.
  4. All units move 6 inches each turn. Artillery may not enter rough terrain. Infantry and MG units move half in rough terrain (except Moro warriors and Philippine Scouts).
  5. If an Artillery unit or MG unit move, they may not shoot.
  6. An Infantry unit may charge the enemy.If this is the case, the unit gets +1d6 inches added to their basic move.
  7. See charges and responses (below) to determine what happens during a charge, and how a unit may respond to being charged.
  8. After all cards have been flipped, and all units have moved then all artillery and MG fire takes place, simultaneously.
  9. After all artillery and MG fire is done, then all infantry fire takes place, simultaneously. Units charged may fire; charging units may not.
  10. After all firing takes place, then fight hand to hand combat (see charges and responses, below).
  11. Shuffle cards and begin next turn.
Firing Sequence
  1. Infantry may fire 12 inches
  2. MG may fire 24 inches
  3. Artillery may fire 48 inches
  4. Infantry fire is done by rolling 1d6 per stand firing, and scores a hit on a 5 or 6.
  5. MG fire is done by rolling 3d6 per crewman (there are 2 crewman per MG stand, initially), and score a hit on a 5 or 6.
  6. Artillery fire is done by first picking a target point, then rolling a drift dice and 1d6 (2d6 if over half range). If the drift dice indicates a hit, then good, otherwise drift the target point the amount rolled on the dice.Roll 1d6, and any unit within 1 inch of the landing point takes that many hits.
  7. US units under cover may be fired at, but receive a save of 4,5,6 per hit scored.
  8. Spanish units under cover may not be fired at (they are adept at hiding – learned in the war against Cuban rebels – and are using smokeless powder, so are not easily spotted).
  9. Units under cover may fire out of cover, if they are at he edge of that cover.
  10. Units that lose a stand must test morale – see below.
  11. Each infantry stand can suffer three hits before being removed.
  12. Each MG stand can suffer two hits before being removed.  After 1 hit, it can only move half speed.
  13. Each Artillery stand can suffer two hits before being removed.  After 1 hit, it cannot move, but may still pivot to fire.
Charge and Response
  1. When a unit wishes to charge, before measuring the distance to the charger, roll 1d6 and add that many inches to the unit’s move.
  2. If the unit has enough move to contact the enemy, then the charge is a success.
  3. If the unit does not have enough move to contact the enemy, then it stops after moving as far as it can.
  4. The charged unit may shoot during the Firing sequence part of the turn, but only at the charging unit.
  5. The charging unit may not fire, even if it did not contact the enemy.
  6. If the charging unit loses a stand, and then tests morale, it may fail (see below).  If it does fail the morale test, then it does not make contact (but may be shot at by the charged unit).
  7. If the charged unit gets to move after being contacted, and wants to evade, it moves away 1d6 inches. If the charging unit has enough remaining movement to catch it, then it is removed from the game. An evading unit may not fire or charge another unit.
  8. If the charging unit makes contact, then both sides roll 1d6. The higher modified roll wins, the loser taking the difference in hits. The winning unit automatically takes 1 hit. The losing unit automatically routes (see below)The following modifiers affect the dice toss.
    1. Charging unit gets +1
    2. Larger unit gets +1
    3. Unit defending earth works or in a building gets +1

Morale and Results
  1. When a unit has to roll a morale test, roll 1d6, if it is Less than the number of stands remaining it passes.
  2. If a unit fails morale, it has two choices, it can route, or take 1 full stand as casualties.
  3. If a unit routes, move it 2d6" away from the enemy.  It is marked as routing.
  4. When a routing unit's Brigade is activated in the turn sequence, then roll a morale test for the routing unit, if it passes, it recovers from routing, and may turn to face the enemy.  If it fails, it continues routing (2d6").

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