14 – Close Assault

Chris Kemp’s Not Quite Mechanised

Free .pdf copy of the guidelines for personal use.

CLOSE ASSAULT

The attacker can close assault with any fighting stands that have unwounded figures on them, and in addition, if there is more than one stand close assaulting, must have an unwounded Bn command figure in the assault. The defender can defend with any stand, on the position that is under attack, that has an unwounded figure on it.

The attacker takes 1 die for each unwounded figure assaulting, and the defender takes 1 die for each unwounded figure defending, both up to the following maximums:

CLOSE ASSAULT – Table 9

  ATKDIE DEF DIE Attacks up to X times BREAK TEST AT Score to Hold Firm
5 4 no limit never never
4 3 1/3 (3,6OK)
3 2 3 1/2 (4-6OK)
2 2 1/3 (5,6OK)
3  1 1 2/3 (5,6OK)

All the collected dice are rolled at once and matched up; attackers highest against defender’s highest and so on. Unmatched excess dice are ignored, equally matched dice are standoffs, the remaining winning dice each cause 1 casualty on the loser.

This sequence can be repeated up to the maximum of attacks that the attacker can roll (e.g. 3 times for veteran attackers), until the attacker wins, or gives up or either side loses a break test. The whole assault from start to finish takes one hour unless a result is not reached, in which case the combat may carry on for further attacks in the next hour. Every point that the attacker wins allows one base to break into the position. Every point that the defender wins allows them to push an attacking base back out of the position. Large positions may be broken down into areas, each containing one or more defending bases.

SPECIAL ATTACK RULES

  • TANKS IN CLOSE COUNTRY Once tank terror has been overcome, infantry in close country may choose to fire at all tanks in range unsupported by infantry as if they were light targets. This represents the infantry’s ability to seek out a tank’s blind spots. Alternately, they may close assault the tanks as normal
  • FOLLOW ON ATTACKS Having completed an attack sequence, the attacker can chose to fight or move on without pausing to reorganise. With one exception (see below) the subsequent moves count towards disorganisation as if the unit is still in battle. Reorganisation begins when the attacker stops moving, fighting, or being under fire. Disorganised support stands cannot fire.
  • COUNTERATTACKS The defender may counterattack if he has uncommitted troops to hand. If these are Veteran (morale permitting) or Elite they may do it immediately the attacker has taken the position. If the defender does this then all except Veteran and Elite attackers, who are still in supply,  will count as disorganised. If the defender has Regular or worse troops, the counterattack will go in in the next move (morale permitting). At this stage, the attacker may well still be disorganised. Properly timed, a counterattack can be devastating; but it is a hard act to pull off. 
  • UNIT OVERRUNS The exception is a unit which overruns another unit without having to fight it during the close assault phase, because the defender has no unwounded figures with which to resist the assault, or the unit is broken and therefore cannot resist.
  • Note: Unsupported tanks can overrun infantry positions that cannot cause casualties through anti-tank fire, without achieving fire superiority, but if the infantry do not break, surrender or withdraw due to morale, the tanks must continue on through the position or suffer attrition in subsequent moves from infantry close assault on the position.

Soviet quad AA was rare, but good for morale. This one is dug in.

Free .pdf copy of the guidelines for personal use.

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11 responses to “14 – Close Assault

  1. Jim

    Are there any example of close assault sequence. It it complete by bn or stand. Since the number of die is limited, it seems it should be done by stand or at most 2 defender or two attackers. Or is this to encourage local reserves, since you can only have 4 defending dice, why have a third company in the line.

    • Hello Jim,

      I usually mass close assaults into the largest blocks that I can. The whole close assault should be conducted by one headquarters, usually battalion, but could be regiment, brigade or even division. It is usually best to have a reserve to bring into the assault if it stalls, to reinforce it and get it going again. The point of having more stands than you can bring to bear with attacking dice, is to absorb casualties and allow the attack to continue before a morale check is needed. Equally with the defender, more stands prevent the position being overrun and wiped out.
      I’ll stick some examples up when I get a moment.

      Kind regards, Chris

    • Dear Jim,

      I have put an example of a brigade level formal attack here: https://notquitemechanised.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/the-battle-of-washboard-ridge-an-nqm-close-assault-example/

      It contains two separate battalion attacks. One goes smoothly, one falters, is reinforced, and goes ahead again. If it doesn’t make the use of reserves clearer, please let me know. In general, the close assault with more troops in it will have more staying power, even though ‘all of them aren’t fighting all the time’.

      The idea of limiting the dice is to reflect the way that an attack rolls through a position in fits and starts, rather than the Hollywood idea of everyone just charging in.

      Kind regards, Chris

  2. Jim

    Thanks, especially for the example. So sending in two un-blooded regular moral stands, with 6 figures would not be helpful as they would only get 3 dice. Better to save the second company for a follow on attack if needed. If there were two defending stands, who decides if its one or two combats. Two dice for each defending company or two dice total to defend the position. And (hopefully) one last question. If the assault fails, do you need to win another firefight or can you just send in another company. It would help if I could actually play a game but I’m on the wrong side of the Atlantic. Thanks again for the help.

    • Dear Jim,

      The value of sending in two (s3) stands with spare capacity is that they can take 3 pins between them and continue to fight with 3 dice in the next round. Saving the second company makes sense if you want to reinforce a previously failed firefight that has just been won, but cannot close assault until it has been reinforced.

      Here come the tactics :

      1. Two companies under the command of one battalion HQ make it a single battalion attack.
      2. Two companies each with its own batallion HQ would force you to put in two individual battalion attacks.
      3. If you want to coordinate the two battalions into one attack of two companies, you would also need a brigade HQ

      Here is where it gets complicated :

      The Defender decides if he is going to defend with one or two dice.
      If he elects for one die, only one casualty can be forced on him, but the odds against him are three against one and he can inflict a maximum of one casualty.

      If he elects for two dice, two casualties can be forced on him, but the odds against him are only three against two and he can potentially inflict two casualties.

      If the attacker is putting in two uncoordinated battalion attacks in the same move, the defender can defend against each one in sequence. In theory this should be worse for him, but in practice he usually does better because he does not have to split his available troops between the two attacking units, as in the WASHBOARD RIDGE example.

      Once a close assault begins, it can surge to and fro in a defended position until :
      1. A conclusive morale test is forced (the usual decider).
      2. One side is overrun because it has no strength points left to contest the attack or counterattack (usually the defender, if the attacker is doing it properly)
      3. One side runs out of steam and withdraws voluntarily (often an attacker, who has bitten off more than he can chew!)

      In direct answer, once the assault starts, it will fight through to conclusion over as many moves as it takes, with as many reinforcements thrown in as the HQ COORDINATING THE OVERALL ATTACK can drum up.

      Hope this helps, Chris

      Hope this helps, Chris

  3. Jim

    OK, I seem to have two different copies of the rules. One says combat (dice) is per figure the other per stand. If its per stand and a stand is combat capable with up to 2 hits then I think everything in clear.

    • Dear Jim,

      Not the clearest bit of writing I ever did:

      1.Firing is per stand. One stand can fire one CU per move.
      2.Close Assault is up to the maximum number of dice permitted, provided that there is a strength point (without a red or black pin on it) available for each die used. So an (s3) stand with two pins on it can still fight in close combat, providing one die.

      Regards, Chris

  4. Jim

    Think I got it now. Thanks.

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