…So this morning I was thinking about how to handle snipers in my under-development WWII skirmish game. (You know the rules are almost done when you start thinking about snipers and vehicles getting stuck in the mud.) I implemented snipers in Beer and Pretzels Skirmish (BAPS) many, many years ago. (There are still some very unique aspects of BAPS that I think are superior to many popular sets of WWII skirmish rules.) There really are two kinds of snipers. The first is the good marksman who was handed an improved rifle (or the same rifle but with a scope) and was designated the squad or platoon sniper. Often these snipers were not given significantly different training than any other infantryman. The second was the specially trained sniper who not only had a better weapon but also had greater skills in marksmanship and camouflage.
The first case is easily handled by giving the squad or platoon sniper an “elite” accuracy attribute and increasing the range on his rifle. The second case is a little more difficult to address without a lot of goofy rules. These are not fully-developed thoughts but just a laundry list of some ideas. Some are a rehash of things from BAPS, but others are new. Here are some ideas I’ve been considering:
- Snipers don’t flip a card to determine which figure they hit. They get to designate their target — before shooting. They do have to flip a card to determine the hit location and severity.
- In contrast to the previous bullet, maybe a really good sniper just flips a card for wound severity and not for hit location. In this way, the sniper would essentially negate any cover benefit the target soldier might be using.
- When a sniper fires, he flips an additional card after resolving the shot. If any explosion marker (used for HE) shows on the card, the sniper must displace (move) at least 24 inches before firing again as a sniper. If during this displacement he shoots at someone, it is merely as an “elite” accuracy rifleman. A key to a sniper’s longevity is to fire a few shots and move before the enemy pinpoints their location. Most rules don’t enforce this tactic, so snipers can become overly powerful in a game.
- Once a snipe reaches his new location, it takes some number of activations (TBD) to establish himself. This means set up a good firing position, emplacing camouflage, etc. This cannot be done in the open. Once established, the sniper position should be difficult to spot. This would require the use of the optional spotting rules, which are a modification of those in Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII.
So what are some other things I need to think about?
- Blowing holes in walls,
- Refining modifications to spotting,
- Dog mines,
- Land mines,
- Calling for off-board artillery, and
- Close air support.
As these rules are for me and not for publication, I don’t need to make a comprehensive list, but at some point, I need to come up with the attributes (armor, reliability, etc.) for the vehicles I have in my collection.