Issue: 2

Iron Cow
1/300th SF Armour and Infantry rule
by Steve Blease

These simple rules should allow you to create relatively large land battles, pitting armoured companies and infantry battalions against each other. The basic system can quite easily be extended to cover artillery, aircraft etc. All dice rolls should be made on a percentile die (ie. two ten sided dice, one representing tens, the other units).

All range and movement distances (speeds) are in millimetres. Should you wish to use grav vehicles instead of the ground effect vehicles (GEVs) in the rules below, ignore the speed in woods column, as grav vehicles will fly over them.

The procedure for combat is as follows. Firstly measure the distance between the element (vehicle or infantry unit) firing and its target. If the target is within the range shown below of the firer, throw a percentile dice and note the score. If this figure is less than or equal to the % figure on the charts below (ie. the one before the /), then the target is hit.

Assuming it has been hit, you then need to check if the hit has penetrated the armour. To do this merely compare the firers penetration factor (the figure behind the /), against the targets armour value (front, side or rear depending on where you are firing from). If the penetration figure is greater than the armour value then the target is destroyed. If it is equal, then the target is immobilised and can only fire, but not move. If an immobilised target is hit again with another immobilising shot, it is destroyed. If the penetration figure is less than the armour value, then the target is not destroyed or immobilised.

For example a medium GEV tank spots an enemy light GEV tank side on and decides to engage. The range between the firer and target is 265mm and consequently falls into the 300mm range band. The firer has a 50% chance of hitting their target and rolls 36% on the percentile die. He has hit the target. Then he compares his penetration factor at this distance which is 8 against the armour factor of the side of the target (remember the enemy was side on) which is only 6. The penetration factor being the highest the target is destroyed.

Please feel free to add to or amend these rules to your hearts content, they are very basic. For the purposes of simplicity I've ignore morale, but would suggest some proviso that a unit down to 1/3 of its original strength should automatically retire or dig in (or at least be diced for to see if it will continue to attack).

As to scenarios please don't just line up your opposing forces on either side of the board and charge towards the middle, give a little thought to them. Opposing forces needn't balance, and in attack/defence scenarios the attacker should be around three times as strong as the opposition. This type of action is historically the most common, and this should be reflected in the type of scenarios you play. Another interesting idea is a larger force charged with escorting a column of supply trucks, being attacked by a smaller, but more mobile enemy attack force.

Type Speed (mm) Ranges (mm) %/Penetration Armour
Road Cross Country Woods 50 150 300 450 600 750 Front Sides Rear
Fortress Tank 120 100 80 80/18 70/16 65/12 55/12 40/10 20/8 18 16 12
Heavy GEV Tank 200 175 45 80/16 65/12 55/12 40/10 30/8 10/6 12 10 8
Medium GEV Tank 250 225 45 80/12 65/10 50/8 30/6 15/4 - 10 8 6
Light GEV Tank 300 275 45 80/8 60/6 40/4 10/4 - - 8 6 4
Medium GEV APC 275 250 50 80/8 60/4 40/4 10/2 - - 8 6 4
Light GEV APC 325 300 50 80/6 60/4 40/2 10/2 - - 6 4 2
Power Armoured Infantry 120 100 80 80/4 60/2 35/1 - - - 2 2 2
Regular Infantry 100 80 60 80/4 55/2 25/1 - - - 1 1 1

Regarding models any manufacturers will do. The Citadel Epic range and the WizKids Battletech vehicles are widely available in various games shops. However well worth checking out are some of the smaller companies models namely Ground Zero Games, Scotia Micro Models and Irregular Miniatures.

Ed Note:This article is the seed from which the Iron Cow rules grew. The rules are produced by Wessex Games and were reviewed in Ragnarok 19. For further details regarding price and availability, send an SSAE to Wessex Games, 4 Old Acre Road, Whitchurch, Bristol, BS14 0HN.