My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Flying Lead - Owning the Rules (Part 2)

Gone to ground can create problems

This may be just an issue we created for ourselves after reading an answer to a question on the Ganesha Games Flying Lead forum which may have been carelessly answered.

If a figure has 'Gone to Ground' or been 'Shaken', it is deemed out of sight of the enemy, and therefore cannot be shot at again, unless some (undefined) situation occurs. This is similar to the 'Duck Back' and 'Hunker Down' results in THW games.

The problem comes with how you get out of that situation (where you cannot see of be seen by the enemy). We required a move to crawl out from behind the tree, rock, depression in the ground, etc. But, if the figure rolls one action, and they pop up, they are exposed, but cannot fire. So, they tend not to pop-up at all. This can lead to several turns of the figure staying 'Gone to Ground', waiting until they roll two actions.

This situation might be more realistic, but it slows the game down. Rather than requiring a move to pop-up, the simple act of firing should count.

By the way, I play that when a 'Shaken' figure recovers (spends two actions), then go to 'Gone to Ground' status so that they are still hidden until they do something else (besides recover).

There is nothing slower than two actions for a Short move (and that should be exceptional)

The first scenario Don and I played of Flying Lead was from the NUTS! scenario book The Big Hurt. The first scenario in that book is a battle that takes place in the middle of a woods. Thus everyone was reduced from a Medium move to a Short move for practically the whole board. This made some actions problematic, like crawling. Should crawling, a Short move in open ground be reduced to a Short move costing two actions? What if the person crawling is dragging an encumbrance (like a wounded buddy)? Is that a Short move for three actions?

After having played that scenario twice now, and another which was heavy on the woods also, I have come to the conclusion that a Short move costing two actions has to be exceptional, and there is nothing worse than that (which I am pretty sure is in the rules anyway). The chance for turnover is too great if crawling through a woods requires two actions.

So, I have amended these situations as follows:

  • Moving through woods reduces a Medium move to a Short. If the player already moves a Short (due to injury or crawling) it remains a Short.
  • One figure carrying or dragging a wounded figure moves a Short for two actions, unless the carrying figure is Strong, in which case it only requires one action.
  • Moving across a body of water deep enough to slow you down requires two actions to move a Short, unless the figure is Strong or Light, when it only takes one action.
Another idea for changing up terrain, is that the first move action is a Medium, but second and third move actions are Short. This means the game does not slow down tremendously, but does not allow figures to sprint through the brush like there is nothing there.

Also, given that the brush is thicker at the edges of a forest (and hence the LOS rules being as they are), it makes sense that you are slowed more at the edges than in the center. So you could make all move actions at the edge give you a Short move, while in the center use Medium for the first move action only, as indicated above.

Grenades should not be allowed to pre-measure

The one thing that bothered me about Warhammer 40K and rules of that sort, was the precise placement and measurement of template weapons. As I was throwing grenades at Don's squad, finding the precise point that would produce the most effect, it came back to me.

This change is simple: the player with the grenade throwing figure places a marker down where the grenade lands. They may not measure to that point (to see what range band they are in), nor from that point (to see who is in which blast band). If the target point ends up outside of the thrower's range, draw a line from the thrower to the marker and back the marker to the extent of the thrower's range, and then automatically count the throw as three failures on the 'To Hit' roll (meaning it automatically deviates a Long). The same rules would apply to firing rifle grenades or any HE rounds.


As I play more Flying Lead I may come up with additional changes. I would like to hear what you think about them, as some of your ideas may be better than mine.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").