Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Activation Variations


The All Hell Let Loose rules use dice out of the bag to determine the next formation to act. This will be familiar to those who have played games like Bolt Action. Essentially each player places a dice into a communal bag for each of his formations. These are drawn at random and then allocated to a formation for it to attempt to act. I want in this post to talk about how this system can be tweaked or varied to provide more options in a game.


Firstly it does not need to be dice. I have used Lego pieces instead of dice. Playing cards could be used as well. However for the purposes of this post I will refer to dice being drawn out of the bag.


Multiple dice bags

Useful for larger games this allows multiple formations to act the same time cross a large table. This works best when there is an element of separation between players on the same side, such as a main force and a flanking force. Complications can arise when two formations wish to attack a single enemy formation.


Multiple Formations activated

Again for larger games rather than use multiple dice bags each dice pulled out activates 2, 3 or more formations. Some thought should be given to spreading the activity across the table. For example each formation activated must be controlled be a different player, or the HQ stands of formations being activated cannot be closer than 24” to each other.


Event Dice

A specific dice is added to the bag to determine when an event happens during a turn. For example the arrival of an aircraft formation, or flanking force. This could also be used for weather events such as a sudden snow or dust storm, heavy rain in a jungle game or fog descending or lifting. This can be varied further with this dice being ignored if it is not the first or second dice drawn out, or placing multiple dice in the bag.


Specific Dice

Rather than freely choosing formations to activate each die represents a specific formation, or formation type (tank, infantry, artillery etc). This works better using Lego or playing cards. This will constrain players and is an option instead of using discouraged to reflect poorer battlefield performance, particularly if the troops fought doggedly but were not well coordinated as it will not affect morale tests, for example Russian troops in 1942-3. This is also useful when playing a solo game.


Stop Dice

A dice is added to randomly determine the end of the turn. This is known as the Tea Card in the Too Fat Lardies I Ain’t Been Shot Mum rules. Whenever this dice is pulled the turn ends.


Short Dice

Normally one dice is placed in the bag for each formation but in this variant one or both sides have fewer dice than their available formations. This is useful where poor command and control was a feature of an army’s performance, perhaps for French troops in 1940.


Extra Dice

Additional dice are allocated, generally only to one side in a battle. This is a useful option when simulating a more manoeuvrable force when dummy counters would not be appropriate. No formation can activate twice but this is likely to hand the initiative to that army by skewing the likelihood they will act earlier in the turn.


Game Dice

One, or more, players are given a small number of dice that can be used at some point during the game, either added to the bag, or available as interrupts. This can be used when you wish to simulate the impact of a particularly effective general and their ability to red a battle.

All Hell Let Loose is now available from Wargame Vault.

Keep the dice rolling 


Charles the Modeller

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