NQM is a set of operational guidelines to fight divisional and corps level battles. A single player can comfortably handle a division in the Divisional Scale Orbat (DSO) version of the game. In a multi-player game, a corps, with all its corps-level assets can be managed by two or three players. With more than two people, we usually play with an umpire.
A Soviet infantry regiment of 3 battalions is going to winkle a nest of Fascist Vipers out of their position to show us how it should be done.
NQM resolves movement simultaneously by player agreement. Defenders can be hidden or laid out on the table. Recce usually engages first to try to find the enemy.
Here is a Recce sequence : The regular armoured car squadron rolls red 5, white 2 , blue 4 against regular infantry. It withdraws without shooting having spotted the defenders. The defenders can shoot against it at effective range but elect not to.
Then the main body of the division usually moves up to engage the defender. It is a good idea to bombard with artillery first : The 120mm medium Mortar fires 1FU at the medium dug-in defenders, scoring 2. No effect!
The attacker then begins a firefight, which he must win to close assault the defender. We can see the two leading battalions closing to contact the defenders for a firefight. If he does not win the firefight at first, he can carry on until he does in subsequent moves.
Firefights are usually resolved by battalion of 2 stands. In regimental or brigade attacks, three or four battalions can resolve their firefight together on a single enemy position.
Only the front rank of fighting stands in contact with the enemy, a second rank of support stands, and divisional supporting armour and direct fire artillery will usually be engaged in the firefight. Indirect divisional and corps artillery will have preceded the firefight, or will be protecting the flanks.
Here is the firefight : The 4 regular light stands (2 fighting, 2 command/support) in contact for the firefight need 5s to put pips onto the medium enemy. They score 1 pin. In return, the enemy fire 2 light CUs back scoring a 4 to put 1 pin onto the attacking Soviet regulars. The Soviets have neither won nor lost the firefight this round. [the green dice show how many CUs each battalion has left]
The next round sees the Soviets score 1 pin from 4 CUs on the Germans and take 2 from 2CUs in return. They must break contact next move or reinforce to continue the firefight. They do so by adding the regimental command/support stand to the firefight. In the third round they score 2 pins from 3 CUs on the Germans and take 1 from 2CUs in return, so have won the firefight in this round. Both the defenders and the two lead Soviet battalions have exhausted their CUs and can only engage in close combat from here on in.
The attacker close assaults. If he wins a round of close assault, he can push that number of bases into the position. If he loses, he has that number of bases pushed out of the position, he must pull back and reorganise before he can begin again.
Soviet 6-5-5 matches the 6 and 5 against the German 5 and 3. Two wins to the Soviets place 2 pins on the defender. He only has one unwounded base now, so can only defend with one die.
Soviet 5-3-3 matches the 5 against the German 1. The last unwounded stand is pushed out of the position. There are still 3 wounded stands in the position, but if they hang around next move, they will be overrun and lost.
After the firefight, close assault, any defender counterattacks have all finished, both sides will usually attempt to reorganise before continuing. Fighting disorganised is dangerous because you cannot use supporting troops not in direct contact with the enemy. Logistics are important, because without Combat Units (of fire), you cannot do anything other than close assault an enemy.