28 October 2008 | Tide of Iron

Re: Infantry Combat

From: John Goodenough, ToI Design Staff, FFG H.Q.

Combat is the heart of TIDE OF IRON and is the primary tool in achieving objectives and winning the scenario. There are many different forms of combat in TIDE OF IRON, including close-combat assaults, off-board artillery attacks, bombing runs, sniper fire, and tank battles. Each type of attack uses a streamlined system that maintains a rich tactical feel and features different advantages and disadvantages. This briefing session will focus on the basic infantry vs. infantry combat.Infantry vs. Infantry CombatOne of the unique features in TIDE OF IRON is the manner in which squads are formed. Each infantry figure is plugged into one of four slots in a squad base. This way, all the figures in the squad move together and perform the same actions. When a squad takes casualties, figures are removed from the squad baseFor this example, we have a full squad of four regular American infantry attacking a squad of regular German infantry.Let’s take a closer look at the American reference sheet and study the Regular Infantry combat capabilities. The first row of numbers shows the regular infantry’s range and firepower values when they attack other infantry. The bottom row represents the regular infantry’s range and firepower values when they attack vehicles such as tanks and transport trucks. As you can see, our squad is much more effective against other infantry than it is against armored vehicles.A Brief Note on ActionsBefore our squad can make an attack, it must be activated using an action that allows it to fire, such as Concentrated Fire, Fire and Movement, or Assault. Each of these actions will have its own modifications to the attack process, and these various actions are outside the scope of this briefing. For the purposes of this session, we will assume that our soldiers are using the Concentrated Fire action, which confers no penalties on the squad's firepower and offers no special benefits.Confirm Line of SightThe first step in our attack is to make sure that our squad has line of sight to the enemy squad. As you can see, in our example our soldiers have a clear line of sight to the German squad in the woods. Our example woods are only one hex large, and as such these Germans are automatically at the edge of the woods. If the Germans were deeper into these woods (or on the far side of them) they would be out of line of sight, but since they are at the edge they can both fire and be fired upon by our squad. The woods will confer cover on the German squad, which we will discuss later.Announce Type of AttackWhen you announce the type of attack, you must announce if you are making a Normal Attack or Suppressive Attack. A normal attack may inflict casualties or damage vehicles. A suppressive attack can only be made against infantry and affects the morale of the target instead of causing casualties. As a squad’s morale diminishes, it may be pinned and no longer able to move, disrupted and no longer able to attack, or even routed, which automatically eliminates the entire squad. In some cases, it will be better to pin or disrupt an enemy squad than to damage them and leave them still able to seize valuable objectives.We will cover both sorts of attacks in this example. Except where noted, the two attack types are resolved in the same way.Determine RangeNext we must determine the range, by counting the number of hexes from the firing squad to the target squad’s hex.    * If the target is in an adjacent hex, the attack is considered to be at close range.    * If the distance to the target is less than or equal to the attacker’s range value, the attack is considered to be at normal range.    * If the distance to the target is less than or equal to double the attacker’s range value, the attack is considered to be at long range.    * If the distance to the target is greater than double the attacker’s range value, the attack is considered to be at out of range and the enemy unit may not be attacked. Since the German squad is 3 hexes away and the American regular infantry’s range value against enemy squads is 4, the attack is considered to be normal range.Determine Attack and Defense StrengthThe next step determines the number of attack and defense dice that will be rolled.Since we are making a concentrated fire attack, our squad will attack with its full firepower value. The American squad is comprised of 4 regular infantry and each figure has a firepower value of 1. This brings our attack strength to 4 (1 firepower multiplied by 4 regular infantry). Since this attack is made with a Concentrated Fire action, we could also utilize combined fire from available fresh, friendly squads to increase our firepower – unfortunately, no such squads are currently available.The German squad’s defense strength is equal to any cover bonus granted by terrain and fortifications. The German squad is hunkered down in a woods hex, which provides a cover bonus of 2.Roll DiceNow we will roll a number of black dice equal to the attack strength (4) and a number of red dice equal to the defense strength (2).Determine SuccessesSince the American regular infantry are attacking at normal range, each 5 and 6 result on the black dice is considered a success. If we were attacking at long range, only 6 results would be considered successes and a close range attack successes on 4, 5, and 6 results. Any 5 or 6 result on red dice (regardless of the range) is considered a success. Each red success will eliminate a black success as the attack is blocked by the cover or armor of the defending unit.Open Fire!Our squad now fires and the dice are rolled. We rolled a 1, 3, 5, and a 6 result on the black dice and a 2 and a 5 result on the red dice. The red 5 result represents the woods terrain providing effective cover and will cancel one of the hits from the two black dice. The net result of this attack is one hit.For a normal attack, this one hit will result in one casualty to the German squad. The German player will remove one of his soldiers from the base, and when the last such soldier is removed the squad is eliminated. The weakened squad may continue to move, fire, and secure objectives. If more hits had been scored, more casualties would have been suffered. Four total hits are required to eliminate this squad.For a suppressive attack, one hit is enough to score a pinned result, so a pinned token will be placed next to the German squad. As long as they are pinned, the Germans cannot move – they are unable to leave their cover and expose themselves to the barrage of fire laid down by our troops. If these soldiers were near a vital objective, the cunning commander will see how pinning these enemy soldiers could be superior to killing one of their men and leaving the remaining three free to move to a more advantageous position. If we had scored more hits, we could have disrupted or even routed the squad in question. The presence of an officer, either in the target squad or nearby, can help a squad to resist and recover from suppressive attacks.This is an example of a basic infantry vs. infantry attack. There are many more options to explore in TIDE OF IRON, such as opportunity fire attacks, close-combat assaults, and combining fire with other friendly units. Further strategies and tactics will be detailed in future briefings.Dismissed!

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