Tag Archives: NQM Squared

Tidying the Rules

Following the ALAMEIN Game I have tidied the rules to address some specific “problems” that the players commented on. Take this defended square as an example:

Defended position in contact with three sides of the square but no minefield

Defended position in contact with three sides of the square but no minefield

  1. An attacker may not occupy a square until he has defeated the enemy in that square. He may enter the square if the defender has surrendered and is still occupying the square. Example: The brave Italian battalion is in a defended position that contacts three sides and is the sole occupant of the square. It does not have to decide which edge it is defending as the position covers three sides of the square, and it is in contact with the position. The attackers can bring 2 fighting battalions to bear in close assault against it. It would not matter if one was attacking “from the flank” as the position is almost in all round defence. If one of the battalions had worked its way round to the undefended rear, the attack could go in as a Light versus Light. As it is, the attack is Light versus Medium.

    4th Indian Division Brigade Attack with 2 Battalions Forward

    4th Indian Division Brigade Attack with two Battalions Forward

  2. Close assault may only occur across the boundary line between two squares, by the attacking units on the boundary line. Example: The attacker has gone in on the flank. He does not avoid the defences that cover three sides of the  square, but he does avoid the minefield to the front of the position. The defenders are in contact with the position, which is in contact with three sides of the square. There is only one brigade attack against one regimental defence regardless of the fact that the defenders appear to be lined up against the front of the square and the attackers only appear to be attacking one battalion.

    4th Indian Division Flank Attack against a Colonial Regiment

    4th Indian Division Flank Attack against a Colonial Regiment

  3.  A defender may only defend across a boundary line by being in contact with the boundary line. If the defences that the defender is in contact the boundary line, this suffices. This means that a defender in contact with a corner can defend one to four square edges, and any close assaults from these edges must be resolved as one close assault, with the attacker and defender each choosing where they place their own casualties. A defending unit who’s defences fill the square will count as being in all-round defence. A wise attacker with overwhelming strength may decide that it is easier to win the firefight so comprehensively that he overloads and destroys the defender before close assaulting, because even if he attacks simultaneously from all four sides of the square, there is only one close assault. As a defender, you may only want three sides to be defended if you have to counterattack the position from the rear with armour. It would  be usual to have infantry lanes through your own minefields to the rear, but you must specify this in your plan.

    Colonial Battalion Defends Four Sides of a Square with Minefields

    Colonial Battalion Defends Four Sides of a Square with Minefields

  4. A defender with no remaining strength points may not contest entry to a square. If the defending unit cannot retreat out of the square, it is overrun. A unit may not carry more hits than it can absorb. Any excess causes the unit to be lost.

    50 Division Takes Heavy Casualties but Advances on D+2 to D+3

    50 Division Takes Heavy Casualties but Advances on D+2 to D+3

  5. Any attacker having the temerity to place his unit overlapping the defences or the defending unit has immediately blundered into an ambush and takes hits as if he is a light target, with the defender rolling twice his normal dice. In the example picture above,  the Crusader regiments have not quite blundered into a minefield, but they are crowded and will count as ambushed if fired upon.

    7 Armd Div Advances

    7 Armd Div Advances

  6. Any defender crowding units into a square such that they overlap loses the benefit of the defence and counts as a light target.

    Colonial battalion defends two sides of a square

    Colonial battalion defends two sides of a square

  7. In both the examples above just think of “cocked dice”. If your opponent kindly points your ungentlemanly behaviour out to you, then you have been given a chance to rectify your error. If you cannot not put your own house in order, then you suffer the penalty. The umpire should be vigilant as even the calmest players get carried away in the heat of the moment. I don’t know where to start on Plum Pudding Hill!
    Plum Pudding Hill

    Plum Pudding Hill

    In any circumstance where there is ambiguity, each side may claim the most favourable interpretation to apply to their own side  and must accept the opponent’s interpretation of their own side in return. The umpire will be even-handed in this respect without fear or favour.

I think that if I had started squares from scratch, I would have chosen Tim’s Megablitz 40mm square bases, but there are a lot of 50mm FoW bases out there, and at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter all that much, unless there is a disparity in base size between sides.


Leave a comment

Filed under "Rules" Explanations, 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Western Desert, WWII

NQM Squared – The Main Changes

164th Light Afrika Division

164th Light Afrika Division

There is not that much that needs to be changed to make NQM compatible with squares. Here is the first draft of the main changes. I have not entirely decided how to manage orthogonals yet. Currently:

  1.  All units may translate one diagonal move per turn. For example, infantry moving one square may always take it diagonally if they wish. units must still abide by rules governing entry to or exit from squares.
  2. Defences may sit entirely in one square or on the boundary of two, or four squares, controlling every square they sit in. They may be close assaulted in every square they are in, during the same move. They may receive fire from every unit that chooses to shoot at them from the same square or across a square boundary for longer ranged weapons. Defenders must choose who they are shooting against.
  3. Attackers must first win a firefight to close assault any square that a defender sits in. They must enter the square that the defender is in to do so. Defenders may have more than one line or position of defence in a square. Each line or position must be close assaulted  and defeated to control the square.



The Advance in Contact/Assault (A) rate is used for attacking troops who break into a position, or fight through an area forcing the defender to withdraw.

The Road March/Rout (R) move rate normally only applies to Echelon or Transport and HQ units on good roads, or anyone fleeing or withdrawing from enemy contact.

Nose to Tail on the ORANIENBAUM Road

Nose to Tail on the ORANIENBAUM Road

The lead fighting elements of a unit move at the Move to Contact (M) rate unless moving non-tactically on roads, in which case they move at the Road March/Rout (R) move rate.

Troops in defences are Static (S)

Happily, these Initials coincide with Tim Gow’s Megablitz “SMART” movement states and are expressed in Squares (but I haven’t felt the need to adopt Tim’s closed decision-making, nice though it is, as defenders can choose to stay or withdraw, unless forced to retire by morale. Defenders are only overrun if the attackers are more mobile e.g tanks or motorised troops overrunning infantry).


Movement rate Expressed in Squares:

Advance in Contact/Assault (A) – Move to Contact (M) – Road March/Rout (R)

Light Recce: A2 M4 ** R6 ***

Armoured: A2 M3 R5

Motorised A2 M3 R5

Foot: A1 M1 R2

Cavalry/Cycle/Horsedrawn A1 M2 R3

Table 1.

* Further penalize movement for congestion etc.

** Only against Lt Recce, otherwise as for foot or armour

***Also Armour on Tank Transporter units


Frontages *, Column Depth

Battalion: 1-2Km, 2Km (5cm – 10cm)

Brigade or Regiment: 3-6Km, 9Km (15cm – 30cm, 45cm)

Division: 6-9Km, 12Km (30cm – 45cm, 60cm)

Table 2.

*Use the lower limit in close terrain and the upper limit in open.

Chris Kemp’s Not Quite Mechanised – Umpire guidelines for tabletop operational war games . Copyright 1985-2015



To make the recce sequence run even faster in the early part of the game, consider dispensing with the recce’s limit on movement, but only allow them to make ONE recce test per move. If the recce blunders into a hidden defender that it has not reconnoitred, it is ambushed and rolls at -1 to its normal modified score.

This sequence is used for reconnaissance bases or stands (recce) and others coming up against a concealed enemy.

The attacker rolls a Red die, the defender rolls a a Blue die. ROLL THEM BOTH AT ONCE. The recce can elect to look at a position likely to contain enemy, or the defender can shout STOP at a point where the recce is likely to be engaged, with any adjustment being made once the dice result is in the open.

Advancing recce can only look at one area per move. This has the effect of forcing them to adopt a slow low risk advance, or a fast high-risk one. For those who ask, “why does recce not get a bonus?”, their advantage is speed. If you feel they are more skilled than infantry line troops, then upgrade their status accordingly.

Apply the following modifiers:

Elite +2, Veteran +1, Regular 0, conscript/militia -1, Green -2

Compare the scores. The Highest wins.

If the defender wins by:

+1, the attacker may remain in contact,

+2 the attacker withdraws out of contact,

every point over +2 places a pin on the attacker.

If the attacker wins by:

+1, the defender lays out his minefields and outpost line,

+2 his main defensive line as well,

every point over +2 places a pin on the defender.

Leave a comment

Filed under "Rules" Explanations, 15mm Miniatures Wargames, NQM Squared, Rules Examples, The "Rules"