Sorry for my absence the last couple of weeks. I’m in the middle of changing jobs and working on a grad thesis, which hasn’t left a lot of time for gaming. In any case, let’s get back to some World at War goodness! Thanks to a comment from Pascal, I’m going to do a short article on Assaults and Overruns, two very important aspects to the World at War system.
Assaults and Overruns occur when two enemy forces occupy the same hex. This represents the dirty business of close-quarters no-holds-barred down in the mud combat. The major difference between an assault and an overrun is that assaults occur when:
- vehicles fight each other in any terrain
- vehicles and infantry fight in defensive terrain
- infantry fights other infantry in any terrain
- vehicles fight infantry in open or open hill terrain
Assaulting is very simple. You simply add up the assault factors on the counters participating in the assault and you roll the total number of dice to hit. The assault factor for each unit can be found in the lower right corner of the counter as shown here:
Let’s have a very basic example, shall we?
In the example above, the T-72 enters hex F12 and assaults the Abrams. The T-72 scores one hit on the Abrams while the Abrams scores no hits on the T-72. Normally, the Abrams would be able to take the hit and retreat back to another hex to fight another day. However, the hex behind the path of the assault is a lake/water hex so the Abrams is actually destroyed. A wreck marker is placed in hex F12 along with the victorious T-72 counter.
Note that if the assault had come from hex F11 to the north of the Abrams, it would have survived the assault and been moved into hex F13.
HQs and assault
Do HQ bonuses affect assault? The answer is – sometimes. If a unit with an HQ is participating in an assault and does not begin the assault combat under an Ops Complete marker then the HQ bonus dice are added to the assault.
Let’s just run through a quick example:
In the example above, the Alpha HQ and an Abrams are in hex F12 and they are Ops Complete. Maybe they moved and/or fired earlier this turn or maybe they even used opportunity fire to shoot at the Soviets 1st HQ and T-72 approaching them in G12. Either way, the American units are Ops Complete so when the Soviets enter hex F12 and the assault begins, they will not be able to use their HQ bonus.
On the other hand, the 1st Guards Tank Division and the T-72 in G12 jump are not under Ops Complete and they jump gleefully into hex F12 to scrap it up with the Americans in assault combat. Because they are not Ops Complete, the HQ can add its bonus (two dice, as shown in the upper left corner of the Soviet HQ counter) to the assault.
The Soviets go first. The T-72 can normally roll 2 dice and score hit on a roll of 4 or higher. However, they add in the two HQ bonus dice and are now rolling 4 dice and will score a hit on a roll of 4 or better. The Americans, however, just get to roll the Abrams normal assault factor of 2 dice with a hit scored on a roll of 4 or higher.
The Soviets roll four dice and get 4/5/2/1. Two hits are scored on the Americans. Before we allocate those hits, the Americans can fire back. They roll two dice and get a 4 and 1. Now we allocate the hits:
The Abrams and the American HQ took more hits than the Soviets so they must retreat. Without a viable retreat path, they are destroyed.
The Soviet T-72 is disrupted. Since a unit with an HQ took a hit, we must roll for HQ reduction. We roll a six sided die and the HQ will be reduced on a roll of 1. Luckily, for the Soviets, they get a “5” and the HQ is fine and dandy.
Disrupted units in Assault
Units that are disrupted before an assault begins can still participate in combat but there are some penalties. The number of dice on the assault factor stays the same but the to-hit number is raised to “6”.
As a result, in the example below, a T-72 moves into hex H11 and starts assault combat with the disrupted Abrams. The T-72 will roll 2 dice for a hit on 4 or higher. The Abrams, however, will roll 2 dice but only score a hit on a “6”.
The T-72 rolls two dice and gets a 1 and a 4 and scores one hit but this hit is not yet allocated.
The Abrams rolls two dice and gets a 5 and a 6. The Abrams scores one hit on the T-72.
Hits are now allocated. The Abrams, already disrupted before the assault, is now reduced. The T-72 is disrupted. Since the T-72 was the attacker and it failed to score more hits than the Abrams, it must retreat into the hex from which it attacked so it is moved back to hex I12.
Note that HQ bonuses are still given to disrupted units that are not Ops Complete. The number of dice added to the assault roll is the same as indicated by the HQ bonus but the “to hit” number will still remain a 6. This is why it is always a good idea to keep HQs and disrupted units to the rear. Remember that disrupted units can still move away from the enemy! So rotate them to the back to avoid them giving the enemy an easy assault win.
Assaults in Cities vs Infantry
Infantry and vehicles conduct assaults in the same exact manner described above EXCEPT when the terrain in which the assault takes place is city/town terrain hexes.
Because infantry are awesome at using built up city hexes to hide in and vehicles are meant for open ground fighting rather than urban combat, this situation is represented in World at War with bonuses given to infantry when involved in urban combat against vehicles.
When infantry are involved in assault in a city hex (whether as attacker or defender) versus vehicles, the infantry gets a +1 bonus to the number of dice it rolls for the assault and a -1 bonus to the “to hit” roll. The tanks/vehicles still get the same number of assault dice and “to hit” ratings.
Note that this infantry bonus only applies to undisrupted infantry. Disrupted infantry only roll their normal number of dice as indicated on their counter and only hit on a roll of 6.
Let’s look at an example:
In the example above, the T-72 is assaulting into a city hex (N6). The T-72 will roll its normal assault stats, which is 2 dice for hits on 4+. Because the infantry are in a city hex, the infantry’s number of assault dice increases from 3 to 4 and the to hit is now lowered from 4 to 3.
The T-72 rolls two dice and gets: 6 and 5. Two hits are scored but not yet allocated.
The US infantry rolls four dice and gets: 1, 3, 6, 6. The infantry scores three hits on the T-72.
Hits are now allocated. The US infantry is disrupted and reduced. The T-72 is eliminated and a wreck marker is placed in hex N6. Because the US infantry scored more hits on the T-72, it remains in the city hex N6.
The lesson here is to never send your vehicles into a city hex with good order enemy infantry. Try to soften them up first with your HE firepower or artillery.
If your opponent is silly enough to put infantry in the clear terrain within close distance of armored units, then you’re in luck! You can use overrun to send your vehicles into a hex full of infantry (and infantry only) to conduct an overrun. Vehicles get a considerable bonus when entering a hex full of enemy infantry. The number of assault dice rolled for the vehicles is tripled although the “to hit” number remains the same.
To conduct an overrun, you simply move your vehicles into the enemy infantry hex but you must make sure you have enough movement points to do so. Your vehicles pay one extra movement point to enter the hex and they must have enough movement point left to exit the hex afterwards.
Here’s an example:
The assault factor for the T-72 is two dice, which is tripled to six dice! The “to hit” remains the same at 4+.
The overrun begins and the T-72 rolls: 6,4,4,4,6,1. The US infantry takes five hits. These hits are not yet allocated.
The US infantry now fires back with its assault factor of 3 dice for 4+ to hit. It rolls a 5,1,6.
Hits are now allocated.
The T-72 is disrupted and reduced. The US infantry is disrupted, reduced, and eliminated.
Because the T-72 is disrupted in the attack, it cannot actually move into hex R8 as planned. It must retreat back to the hex from which it attempted the overrun, so it is moved into P7.
|Overrun: The aftermath.|
If the T-72 had not been disrupted in the attack, it would have been allowed to move into the R8 hill hex behind the eliminated infantry.
Note that eliminated infantry are not replaced with wreck markers.
This shows why it’s always a good idea to keep your infantry in cover. Put them in a city or at least a woods hex!
Note that, as in assault, disrupted units have their “to hit” number raised to 6.
I think that covers all the basics. Please leave a message in the comments section if you see any mistakes or have any questions.