14 – Winning the Firefight


WINNING THE FIREFIGHT is done after any preliminary bombardment leaves the objective. During each bound (move) of fire, each base can fire once, Use 1D6 for each CU being fired off. Distinguish by coloured dice between Light, Medium and Heavy CUs. Pick all your dice and roll them at once. If the target has different defensive types e.g. tanks and infantry, it is perfectly acceptable to decide that antitank guns will prioritise armour and infantry will prioritise infantry. It is therefore acceptable to roll dice in batches by intended target type. Umpire, keep the pace going if players make a meal out of rolling dice – life is too short!

  • The number of casualty markers (aka PIPs) scored by each die rolled by the firer is allocated to the target by the owner of the target. He allocates one casualty marker for each PIP evenly until every one is allocated to a base. Any base that has to take more than the base limit is overloaded and destroyed, together with the excess PIP.

  • Having won a firefight against other tanks, tanks just advance the correct advance in contact distance, pushing the enemy tanks in front of them. Tanks do not take break tests in this case.

  • The attacker fires off combat units of fire (CUs) as many times as is required to win the firefight or until he calls off the attack. The firefight is won when the attacker causes more casualties on the defender than he has received himself.

  • For every one that is rolled on 1D6 during firing, place an out of ammo marker on a base. That base can no longer fire until it is resupplied by a LOGISTIC base (not MEDICAL) and the marker is removed.

  • Having won the firefight he then close assaults if he is attacking a position, or simply pushes forward at the correct rate of advance in contact if engaging mobile troops, or troops not in a defended position.


  • Tanks close assault infantry, or anti-tank, positions by firing off CUs against them. If they win the firefight and roll into the positions the infantry have to take a break test, which they must pass to stay in position – even if they have previously passed break tests for casualties. Anti-tank units that are overrun are destroyed as the tank treads grind the guns into the mud!

  • If the infantry stay, and the tanks do not move off the position next move then the infantry may fight a close assault against the tanks with the infantry as the attackers and the tanks as defenders. Note that this is not the same as infantry attacking tanks in close country with fire as light targets, and only applies if the tanks have no supporting infantry of their own. In cases where a mixed infantry/tank force close assaults a position, place casualties on the attacking infantry first until none are left, then treat the battle as above for tanks alone.

Antitank battalion

This SP3 strong antitank battalion has an out of ammo marker and two casualty markers. It needs a LOGISTIC and MEDICAL base to fully reorganise.

15Mm figures by QRF, Plastic Soldier Company and Peter Pig. Staff Car by Syborg 3D Printing.

12 responses to “14 – Winning the Firefight

  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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