I’m working with some friends to produce a set of WWII war game rules and I've written about our approach to activation and actions before. We’ve now drafted some rules for hills, heights and depressions that we think reflect the impact that height and height differentials have in battle and we’re seeking feedback on the approach.
The game we have developed could work at any figure and unit scale but is primarily designed for use by smaller scale miniatures at 1 stand represents a platoon and using the battalion as a manoeuvre group. Ground scale is flexible but is in the 1” is 50 -100 yards range.
The rules we have drafted are as follows;
Height advantage in AHLL is based upon the difference in height between two the opposing units or formations. Each change in ground height is referred to as a tier. A battlefield is likely to have multiple hills or ridges, some of which may have multiple tiers. When applying the high ground advantages, it is the differential in unit height which is important, not the height of the hill.
1st Tier benefits
- Units can see 6” further providing that light and weather conditions allow.
- Direct fire does not suffer the long range to hit penalty (the penalty to hit infantry at long range still applies)
- Units benefit from cover when direct fire is targeted at them, even if they are in open ground.
2nd Tier benefits
- All the benefits of the 1st Tier
- Units can draw a line of sight over Linear Terrain features, such as hedges and walls
- Disguised/ Dummy formations are detected and removed if they move to within 24” of any unit or formation on the tier. Genuine formation counters still deploy at 12”
- Any FO or HQ calling in supporting indirect fire or aircraft rolls twice and selects the highest result.
3rd Tier or higher benefits
- All the benefits of the 1st and 2nd Tiers
- Units can draw a line of sight over Tall Area Terrain, such as woods and villages, providing the target is at least 6” beyond the furthest edge of that area terrain
- Indirect fire controlled by a FO or HQ unit gains a bonus to hit reflecting improved spotting and fire correction.
Areas of terrain below the general height of the battlefield such as depressions or perhaps riverbanks and beaches below bluffs, limit sight in and out of the depression. Depressions no matter how deep have only 1 level.
Units within the depression cannot see units above them unless these units are on the edge of the depression, and vice versa. Units on the edge of the depression benefit from the 1st tier height advantages.
Blocking Line of Sight
Higher ground has a number of impacts on drawing a line of sight to units on a hill.
- Higher ground blocks line of sight.
- Units on the rear slope of the highest tier of a hill may be declared as hidden by the controlling player. Units forward of these units may not draw a line of sight to them, nor call in fire targeted on them, and vice versa.
Firing at Units on Higher Ground
- Units may fire at visible targets which are on higher terrain as long as their line of fire does not pass through another unit which is within 2” of that higher, target unit.
An American tank formation is on a low hill (tier 1) looking down a valley. Below the tanks a German mechanised formation is attacking a village held by American infantry. Beyond the village the ground rises sharply up a larger hill (tier 2). A formation of German tanks is deployed on this hill.
The American player measures the range and finds he is at medium range against the German infantry and long range against the tanks.
The American tanks have tier 1 advantage against the mechanised formation. In this case providing cover to the Americans against any direct fire from that formation.
Should he fire at the German tank formation, the Germans gain the benefits of tier 1, granting cover against the American tank fire which remains at long range.
The German tanks however have tier 2 advantages over the American infantry defending the village and tier 1 advantage against the American tanks. German tank fire at the American tanks would be treated as at medium range and the American tanks would not be regarded as in cover
What do you think?
Does this adequately reflect the impact of height?
Is it too complicated?
Have we missed anything?
Keep rolling those dice!
Charles the Modeller