Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rifles & Racket (Muskets & Mayhem's WW2 Cousin)

Well I think it has finally happened.  My mad apothecary has once again broken all the rules and developed a hybrid rules system with a sequence of play that should seem familiar if you have seen our initial Horse & Musket concept called "Muskets & Mayhem."

The M&M sequence of play harks to a simpler time of playing with Toy Soldiers but hones a sophisticated order of events to where the commander of troops must put serious consideration into the plan prior to executing it.

"Rifles & Racket" uses the exact same play sequence from M&M but is set in World War II and as such units will have all of the distinctive capabilities that a squad of infantry would have had during the second world war.  The concepts of morale, troop quality, importance of figures and management of key resources are still there.  But the combat system is borrowed from another tried and true game system: Charles Grant's BATTLE.

Followers of my blog will note that I have always held a special place in my heart for BATTLE and my single complaint about it was the fact that the sequence of play was insufficient.

Well, with the M&M sequence (developed from another Charles Grant system!) you can almost directly insert the BATTLE combat rules and capabilities in with almost no tinkering.

So here is the sequence of play for RIFLES & RACKET:

  • Initiative
  • Movement
  • Artillery & Artillery Casualties + Morale Checks
  • Stationary Fires & Stat. Fire Casualties + Morale Checks
  • Moving Fires & Moving Fire Casualties + Morale Checks
  • Morale: Attempt to recover morale failures
  • Melee resolve melees.

Should look familiar if you read any of my Muskets & Mayhem blog posts.
Initiative is self explanatory.  The winner of this D6 roll controls the sequence and may decide to move or fire first throughout the turn.

Movement is done by platoon.  The initiative player decides who will move a unit first.  Then the other player may move a unit.  All of this is done until movement on both sides is completed.  Infantry all move 4 inches.  Vehicles have their own movement values, subject to Charles Grant's BATTLE rules (Quick Reference Sheet is available at the link below)

Artillery phase.  FO must be stationary.  Both sides roll Artillery fire missions.  use a scatter die and 1D6 for every 10 inches an FO is from the target.  Roll for each unit under a barrage template.  (Charles Grant's BATTLE rules have a great attack mechanism for Artillery attacking light armor, infantry, and AFVs).  I will post a link to download the QRS for free - you just have to join a yahoo group first)  Casualties and morale checks from artillery fire are taken now.

Stationary Fires.  Units who did not move may fire at this time.  All casualties during this phase are simultaneous.  Meaning they may still get a chance to fire, even if they become knocked out as a result of the other player's stationary fires.

1 Squad of infantry is a stand of 4 figures.  Squads fire at a rate of 1D6 per 2 figures.  So a full strength squad stand with 4 figures gets 2D6.  If it is designated as an LMG squad, it receives the LMG To Hit values per Charles Grant's Battle and rolls 2 dice since it has 4 figures.  Heavy weapon stands always only fire with 1 weapon system.  All figures count as crew. 

Any time a stand loses a figure it must make a morale check.  This is done in exactly the same way as Muskets & Mayhem using the Troop Quality rules.  A unit who fails this morale check is pinned and may not move or fire until it recovers morale.

Units taking a hit may make a save throw based on their Troop Quality as well.

Elite / Veteran 2+
Regular 3+
2nd Rate 4+
Conscript 5+

Moving Fires.  Units who moved during the movement phase may now fire at a -1 modifier.  (yes, even AFVs).  Again, the BATTLE QRS has all of the ranges, and To Hit values for Rifle, LMG, HMG, Mortars, etc.

AFVs have "Strike Values" for their guns, and "Defensive Values" for their Armor.  BATTLE has these all listed.  To adjudicate a hit, there is a To Hit value with 2D6 at range.  If hit, roll 2D6 and add the result to the vehicle's STRIKE VALUE to see if you beat the armor.  If beat, the vehicle is destroyed.

Morale.  Since morale is taken every time a unit loses a figure, the Morale Phase is used to recover morale for both sides.  This is done simultaneously and in any order.  Simply roll the unit Troop Quality to remove a pinned status.

Melee.  Resolve Melees.  Units in contact are in locked in melee.  They may not fire.  Units must pass a TQ check prior to entering melee.  If a unit being charged passes a TQ check, they may break off and withdraw or they may fire at their chargers.  Both units roll 2D6 in melee.  Higher roll is the winner with the following modifiers (per CG's BATTLE)

Command Stand within sight: +1
Command Stand within 1 move: +2
Target Unit Pinned: -2
Unit separated from other units: -1
Elite or Veteran: +1
Conscript: -1

BATTLE Practical Wargaming QRS can be found below.  Use the SQUAD tables!  Happy hunting!



  1. I love it!
    You can see how it works like squad leader, but faster.
    Do you plan to use Charles Grant's 'full' armour rules...and use a 'tank stick' ?

    I've sent you an email on where I think these could go ;)

    So far, the system lends itself to Horse & Musket and WWII. Modern is just a step up..and ancients...hmmm...still possible.

    1. I tried this with a quick game of micro-armor the other day and it worked brilliantly! We really have something here!

  2. Applied to join the yahoo group..need to get that QRS :)

    1. Check your email - by the way the QRS for squad and platoon and all the OOBs are available on the "Old School Wargaming Group" yahoo group as well!!

  3. You really are quite a machine when it come to rules tinkering!

    1. Paul,
      I may enjoy tinkering and trying to write gaming rules better than actually gaming. I certainly do more of it than gaming or painting.

  4. Been awhile since I checked in. As usual your blog does not disappoint.. Lots of good stuff going on. I have dutifully collected your M&M rules and will repeat with R&R once the mad dash to Oldhammer USA Weekend is over. Of course I still need to stop collecting rules and actually play some games.

    1. Glad you stopped by, Sean and I'm glad you enjoy the blog. Please let me know if you try the M&M rules out. I have played a few games of them and enjoy them very much. They are like an "old school" version of Black Powder I think (and based on Charles Grant's "The War Game"). I am looking forward to see how the Oldhammer USA weekend goes. I'll be tuning into your blog.

      What exactly is Oldhammer? Seems like something I'd like...

      Also - instead of wargamer, I'm teetering dangerously close to "rules collector" instead of gamer... Gotta play more games!

    2. Hi Steven, Oldhammer is a term used to describe a pretty amorphous thing, but in a nutshell, it's reasonably like minded individuals who like the older Citadel/GW models (1979-1992?) and playing older versions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB) and 40K. In addition to this many have resurrected/kept alive a lot of the old Specialist Games like Blood Bowl, Warmaster, Man O'War. This blog should be a good jump off point http://oldhammerinthenewworld.blogspot.com/ the guys in England are having their 3rd get together this weekend and the 2nd US one is next weekend. I am way behind on getting my army together.