Martin's VBCW Rules

Martin’s VBCW Rules

These are my VBCW rules, pretty old school but then so am I. Feel free to steal, ignore, improve, criticize, that's basically how I wrote them. They are fairly well tested and seem to work quite well, but then again I wrote them so I'm bound to say that. Like all rules they are a work in progress and I recommend that any unforeseen circumstances are played using the mind set that makes VBCW so barking mad.

These rules are squad based I Go U Go rules where squads are activated based upon the leadership of their commanders and then carryout actions. Units can become pinned due to weight of fire upon then and this affects their capability to carryout orders. Pins are applied to a unit every time it saves against a hit. There is a need to keep simple records but that is good for a campaign to add unit personality
Dice rolls are generally using D10 and D6. On a D10 a perfect roll, 1 or 10 depending what is needed always succeeds, this is also true for a catastrophic roll of 1 or 10.

Turn Sequence

1.       Roll for initiative – highest score goes first in turn
2.       Roll for activation. Either test all units and then move or test each unit and carryout it’s actions before testing the next unit. I prefer the former, there is already enough lack of control. A possible alternative would be to roll for activation by the commanding general and if they pass then test all. If the general fails then activate one unit at a time
3.       Carry out actions
a.       Move
b.      Fire
c.       Melee
4.       Test for morale where needed by either side

Leadership tests are carried out by rolling a D10 against the unit commander’s leadership and scoring LESS THAN OR EQUAL to that value. To be in control of a unit all members of that unit must be within 1 hand span of the leader. If the unit covers a greater area then there is a penalty and the unit MUST move back into control range during the next turn.
The standard leadership is 7 but veteran commander’s leadership is 8 and raw leaders is 6, see personalities later.
Factors affecting leadership value
-1 per pin on the unit – 1 pin is applied per saved hit and casualty
-1 if unit not in command radius of its leader
-1 per figure lost this turn
-1 if less than ½ stating strength
-2 if routing
+1 if defending an obstacle
+1 if enemy not in sight or not within 18”
+1 if friendly standard visible within 18"
+1 if fighting hated enemy

If test is failed then the unit must do one of the following
a.       Halt
b.      Shuffle position – assume better position or move back into command radius but CAN NOT advance or significantly change location. 
c.       Return fire / continue firing. Unit may not open fire at a new target unless it was fired upon by it this turn.
Some units can have subordinate commanders (NCO’s) and units (usually HQ units) can split into 2 or more parts. In this case they test leadership against the NCO. Normal sub units are HMGs, LMGs mortars, snipers and medics (the last 2 can act alone using their own leadership). These splits are generally to supply support fire. They can freely join back to their original unit when within command range and can move back towards unit commander even on a failed activation through unless pinned.. These sub units can only change orders on passing a leadership teat, otherwise they will carry out previous orders

                                     Std (off road)     on Road     rough (woods, steep hills, marsh)   Charge
Infantry                                     4                   6                        3                                            4
Heavy Weapons                        3                  4                         2                                         N/A
Cavalry                                     6                   9                        3                                          12
Soft Vehicle                           N/A               18                      N/A                                       N/A
Armoured Car                           6                 12                      N/A                                       N/A
Tank                                          6                   9                      N/A                                       N/A

Turning is free except for vehicles that are turning round which takes a whole move, if possible. There must be +50% vehicle length to turn, or vehicle length for skid steer vehicles. You could of course reverse at ½ speed.
Obstacles take whole move to cross, soft vehicles and armoured cars can’t cross obstacles.
Cavalry may jump linear obstacles but on a roll of 1 on a D6 the rider is dismounted. Needs a 5,6 on D6 in subsequent turns to remount. Unit may continue without dismounted riders but normal leadership rules apply. Riders may catch up
Tanks may cross linear obstacles but on a roll or 1 on a D6 become stuck and need a 6 on D6 to free on subsequent turns
Units may run up to twice in a battle, running is tiring. Running is double speed for infantry and cavalry only. Infantry carrying heavy weapons may not run. Units cannot run and fire
All figures in a unit can fire unless there is no LOS or there is a friendly figure in direct line of target. If unit moved then only the front rank can fire.
Basic to hit is 7 or more on a D10.
Factors affecting D10 score
Greater than half range -1
Target moved this turn -1
Target pinned    -1
Target obscured by smoke -2
Effects of cover are added to save throws

Only figures armed with a weapon can use that weapon. If that figure is lost then so is the weapon. For weapons such as grenades, molotovs, mortars, rockets and flame throwers there is a limited supply of ammunition. At the start of the battle throw a dice for each such figure throw to decide who many shots there are with each of these. I generally use D3 Molotovs, D6 grenades, and D6+1 mortar bombs and rockets.

Infantry weapons
Small arms
Pistol                                6
Sawn Off Shotgun           6      2 shots
Shotgun                          12     2 shots
SMG                               12     3 shots – if d10 scores same then jammed and none count. Auto                                                  clear at end of turn
Rifle                               18
LMG                              18      3 shots – if 2 d10 scores same then jammed. Auto clear at end of turn
Grenade                           4      2” burst radius. D3 variation impact hit use direction arrow. Auto hit                                                   -1 save.
Molotov                           4      2” burst radius. D3 variation impact hit use direction arrow. Auto                                                            hit  -1 save. Burns for 3 turns extra -1 to save each turn. If vehicle hit                                                     then flames move with vehicle.
Smoke Grenade               4       2” burst radius. D3 variation impact hit use direction arrow. Smoke                                                   lasts 3 turns and doubles in size at end of 1st turn and halves at end                                                        of 2nd turn
Flame Thrower                 6      2” burst radius. Auto hit.  -3 save. Burns for 3 turns extra -1 to save                                                   each turn. If vehicle hit then flames move with vehicle.
Anti-Tank Rifle               18      -1 to save

Heavy Weapons – Heavy Weapons can’t move and fire.

HMG                               24      6 shots- If 3 same then jammed and none count. Auto clear at start                                                   of next turn. Any unit fired upon automatically received 1 pin.
Trench Mortar                 18     2” burst radius. D3 variation impact hit use direction arrow. Auto hit                                                    -1 save.
Rocket                              36     3” burst radius. D10 variation impact hit use direction arrow. Auto                                                    hit -2 save.

Mortar                              36      2” burst radius. D6 variation impact hit use direction arrow.Auto hit  -1 save.


Basic save is equal to or greater than 7

Infantry              7
Cavalry              7
Soft Vehicles      5 (2 hits)
Armoured Car     2 (3 hits) Can't be damaged by small arms except grenades and molotovs
Tank                  2 (3 hits) Can't be damaged by small arms except grenades and molotovs
Building             2


Soft cover             +1
Hard Cover           +2
Pinned                  +1
Camouflaged        +1 (must be stationary target)
Veterans               +1 (better at using available cover. Veterans are rare - not that kind of war)
Weapon factors     e.g if -2 to save then a 9 would be needed on a on a std save
Any saved hit is converted to a pin. This means that vehicles like tanks with a save of 10 are less can still be pinned by small arms fire, 
Maximum number of pins per unit is 6. Pins are removed 1 per turn on failed activation and automatically if activation test passed. I indicate pins with a D6 behind the unit.


Vehicles can be pinned like all other troops, even if the small arms fire couldn't have damaged them. For armoured cars and tanks it takes 2 or 3 hits to disable them. Once the disabling hit is achieved, inc soft vehicles, then roll D6
1,2, 3 - Vehicle simple stops and crew / passengers can dismount but count as pinned
4, 5 - vehicle skids and rolls onto side if moving. If stationary then small explosion. All passengers must save against hit before disembarking. Survivors pinned
6 - Vehicle explodes. All crew / passengers must save at -2. Survivors must take rout test and if passed are pinned.


Buildings are defended obstacles with high strength. Units will not rout out of a building but gain 2 extra pins instead. If a building catches fire then the occupants will always flee through the nearest exit immediately – this turn as per a rout move. Building catch fire if they fail a save when exposed to a flame attack, building burns for rest of battle and cannot be entered or approached within 2". If saves pass then fire goes out.
If a grenade is thrown into a building then all occupants in that room are hit.
If a building is damaged by mortar or rocket fire then that portion of the building collapses and the building becomes unstable. Occupants will leave as soon as activated. Occupants inside the blast radius are hit as normal. If building passed save then no damage to building or occupants.


Generally melee is unusual, too much lead flying. Figures must be in base to base contact or on opposite sides of an obstacle.
Attackers must charge into combat. Stop at ½ distance and fire at defenders. Firing is at an additional -1. Attackers may also throw grenades and molotovs. Defenders may return fire, this is simultaneous, if they pass activation test.
If attackers take sufficient casualties to take a morale test and if this fails then they will rout. Same applies to defenders.
If both sides stand then charge continues and attackers contact with defenders.
Combat is a series of individual duels with each defender and attacker rolling a D6. Highest score wins. If equal then a draw, if 1 side wins by 1 then loser is pushed back 1” and cannot join fight in subsequent rounds if needed. If 1 side wins by 2 then loser is killed, no save.
Apply the following factors
Charging +1
Using melee weapon, pistol, sawn off shotgun or bayonet +1
Defending Obstacle +1
Mounted +1
Fighting more than 1 person -2. Outnumbered can fight all attackers but the -2 applies each time
Side that loses most combats is pushed back 1 full move. If draw then continue to 2nd round. Repeat until there is a victor before moving onto next turn.


Morale tests are taken against leadership immediately. If passed then unit carries on. If failed then unit routs.
Test morale when
a.       Lost 25% of figures this turn
b.      Leader killed
c.       Routing unit passes within 6” of unit
d.      Unit isolated – no direct route to friendly unit without passing within move radius of enemy

It is good to add personality traits to commanders and special units to add flavour

Snipers - must be armed with a sniper rifle and must be stationary to gain bonus. +1 to hit. Can act independently but must take an activation test
Spotters - must be armed with binoculars or telescopes +1 to range for snipers or -1 to deviation on mortars and rockets
Leaders - for example good leader +1 to leadership, bad leader -1 to Ldr, sporty +1 to unit move or 1 extra run, animosity - will always try and target a specific unit, reckless will always charge nearest unit, etc. etc. You know the sort of thing. I think that +1/-1 is enough or they get too good.
Medics – re-roll 1 failed save per turn if medic is in command radius
Standard Bearers – Plus 1 to all units within LOS
Musicians – Re-roll failed activation dice for unit