Monday, 17 October 2016

Carpet Bombing in Operational Games.

We are two weeks off our next operational game and Mark has asked that I clarify the rules on carpet bombing.

Image result for ww2 carpet bombing
A King Tiger, flipped over during carpet bombing!

I look at this as a similar function to preliminary bombardments in our WW1 games.  In WW2 I would say the equivalent is a naval bombardment, a pre-offensive bombardment, like at Alamein or Kursk, a Soviet artillery concentration which they used for all their offensives from late 1942 on-wards and, of course, a heavy bomber attack used by the western allies in Italy and Northwest Europe.

The Rules

A carpet bombing attack costs 250 points.
Depending on the year and campaign the defender is told to create a possible army reserve costing 125 points without knowing if the attacker will use carpet bombing.
The attacker chooses a table before the game begins.
Once the defender has laid out all their defending troops and before the attacker begins play the umpire announces that a carpet bombing attack has occurred against a particular table.
No HQ on that table can receive an order change until after it has been under direct fire (If the attacker never goes onto that table then the disruption caused by the bombing will neutralise the defenders for the whole game).
If fighting does occur on that table then whenever a defending unit is revealed a D6 is rolled; 4,5 disordered, 6 dead!  Neither side will be able to judge how effective the carpet bombing is until combat occurs.
The defender may call on their army reserve of 125 points at any point in the game, but will lose one game point from their final score.  The defender must decide if this is worth it.

My Thinking

The reasoning for the above is to simulate an operational feature we never get to play.  The attacker has an option to plaster a particularly important table; neutralise 1c with its fortress like town, neutralise 2c which carried the bulk of the German reserves in the previous game, or ensure a back table is disrupted before a paratroop drop.  The defender can call on extra reserves as high command is fully aware that a carpet bombing strike preludes a major attack and is therefore willing to send special reserves.  However, these reserves are not being used elsewhere and the local commander must make a serious decision as to whether these army reserves are really required; hence the loss of a game point which is not worth while if the defender is not going to do something interesting with them.

Both sides need to make decisions and the carpet bombing adds another layer of depth without making things complicated.

Let me know what you think.


  1. I like the idea but it will require a dummy run in one of our games to see how this works out. 250 points is not cheap but it depends on the attackers strategy so may be worth while if something needs flattening.

  2. The 250 points is an additional spend for the attacker that generates extra points (125) for the defender. In attack/defend operational games the attacker chooses the formations (a division plus a brigade) and whatever points these formations are worth are halved and that's the points the defender gets.

  3. I like the idea of rolling for units in the area once they are contacted (as opposed to having 3-4 turns before the enemy turns up to un-suppress units). Especially as suppressed units can't fire back :)