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.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

'61-'65 Q&A

The author of '61-'65, Sergio Laliscia, took the time to answer a number of questions and comments I had about the rules, so I thought I would post them here. (Only minor editing was performed, mostly by removing my comments and keeping just the question.)

Q: It states that the Leader bonus applies to Squads. When the Corporal rolls for rallying, does he get the Leader bonus too (i.e. a 2+ activation)?

A: No, he doesn’t: it’s always a 3+.

Q: How exactly is an attached Leader at risk as a casualty? I found the rule that states how he becomes a casualty in close combat if he is attached, but did not find one for shooting. Also, is an attached leader at risk if its squad won the close combat?

A: You are right it is not clearly stated that the Leader is at risk only when attached in close combat and when shot at and unattached. Yes, you have to test for Leader loss even if its' squad wins the close combat.

Q: If a double line has four figures in front and four in the rear is it outnumbered by an enemy Squad of eight in single line? If so, is it outnumbered by four?

A: Yes. This was a decision I made. I preferred to give more importance to the frontage width than the mass.

Q: Does a double line require a frontage of four figures, like a line?

A: No, it doesn’t. Three is the minimum.

Q: A unit may only make a limited number of Move actions, depending upon its formation. Obviously, using the movement stick is a Move action, but are the following actions also considered Move actions, for purposes of the limit you can make: Change Formation, Wheeling, Changing Face 90º or 180º?

A: Changing Face (90º or 180º) or Formation is not considered “moving”, but Wheeling is.

Q: If a Squad loses a single figure in close combat, but because of having an attached leader and getting a '1' or '2' on the survival roll loses that leader, will the Squad have to check morale because it lost two figures in the combat (1 from the Squad and 1 attached leader)?

A: No, it has to check Morale just if Green (for the Leader loss).

C: The wording for Changing Formation makes it nearly impossible to change formation. Moving the rear of a column into line means moving forward (they rarely formed line rearward), thus closer to the enemy. Considering that the action is probably rated as a move, I would think that it would be more important that no figure move farther than it could normally move.

R: You are right, that was bad wording. What I meant is that no figure can come closer to the enemy than the closest friend before the formation change. In other words you cannot use a formation change (that we do not consider movement) to close towards any enemy.

Q: Does the attacker determines which side is his baseline, as with SDS?

A: In 61-65, being that the table is a rectangle, you sit down with your baseline in front and only then are the roles (attacker or defender) determined and terrain placed. So no player switches baseline.

Q: It says that you can shoot with two, one, or no actions, but I was always considering that the "no actions" reference was to return fire. Is it possible for the active squad, with one action, to move and then fire at -1? Or is the "no actions" reference really only intended for return fire?

A: No, you can, with 1 action, move and then fire “at will”.

Q: It says that when a Skirmisher pair loses a figure, if it passes more dice than fails in the morale check (i.e. passes twice), it may take a free 1M move to "join a friendly Squad". What happens if the Skirmisher is more than 1M from any friendly Squad?

A: It is removed from play. We forgot to say that.

Q: What happens if the Skirmisher is more than 1M from its parent Squad, but is within 1M of another friendly Squad?

A: He can join that squad.

Q: One final question - and this is more of a point of curiosity - why is it that you suggest splitting the company up in multi-player games, rather than giving each person a company? Obviously if you use more than one Company per side you will need to increase the board size, but I was just wondering if your group had tried it and found a problem?

A: Nothing wrong in running multi-company battles. Just maybe waiting problems? In a game with three companies per side you could have some people waiting 20 minutes before their turn.

Q: The only downside that I can see to this is the Leaders. Knowing when they can or should be able to act.

A: You have the same problem running just a Company. What the Captain will do must be agreed upon by the team.

Again, I would to thank Sergio for taking the time to answer all of my tedious "rules lawyerly" questions. (Or as Rich Jones would say: pedantic.) :^) I think '61-'65 is a great game and I look forward to developing scenarios for it. Some of the answers, such as the Skirmisher rules, shed a new light on what the designer intended.

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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").