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Welcome to On Military Matters: Combat Action Command Rules Overview and Introduction
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Combat Action Command
WWII Miniatures Rules

Overview and Introduction


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Combat Action Command simulates a platoon, several platoons, or a force as large as a company battling another platoon or company. While I participated in company-level training maneuvers with the US Marines, I never fought in WWII or anywhere else, so what I know of those wars is only what I’ve read in books, watched in documentaries, and seen in movies and TV shows. I wanted a game that would recreate those passages and scenes. CAC was created as a tool for gamers, historians and the military to simulate and study small unit combat -- and to have fun.

CAC is more of a simulation than a game, so I encourage people to test its limits and try new things. If you discovered a special Team in a book without stats in CAC, perform a little do-ityourself analysis of other Teams’ stats and create the stats for that special Team. For armor, take the effective armor and actual penetration, divide by 5mm, and include a subjective allowance for defects -- such as the early Panther’s turret shot trap or the Sherman “Ronson” effect.

The distance scale is 3 inches equals 100 meters, with movement and ranges at normal movement speeds and effective weapon ranges, not the fastest speed or longest range. There are enough small arms stats given that you should be able to recreate any Team that does, or ever will, exist. Combat Quality is self-explanatory. Remember that even the worst-trained troops have an advantage over mobs and militia. Hit Results and Damage Tables reflect research into various battles and small-unit actions. So go ahead. Experiment. Have fun. Learn something.

If you don’t like a rule, change it! I have had the opportunity to play with many gaming groups, unfortunately, that means I have also spent countless hours arguing over rules. So I will make this real simple, if you have a question about a rule that is unclear, resolve it by mutual agreement. Or roll a dice or flip a coin. But if you understand a rule, and simply don’t like it, then change it or the Team’s stats. Whatever. Instead of hours of debate or grumbling about the Armor or Penetration of a given AFV or weapon, if you think I’ve gotten it wrong, then by all means, adjust the stats. Experiment. Have some fun. Learn something.

Or e-mail a question or visit the CAC web site: www.combatactioncommand.com

Double Time Movement and Double Rate of Fire are factored into the CAC interrupt mechanism but without lots of detailed rules. If you want to move Double Time, use CAC to get a second move during the Fire Phase. Or, if you want a higher rate of fire, use CAC to fire in the Move Phase. CACs reflect the reality that you can move faster or shoot more, but not both during a turn.

Finally, some rule prohibitions were made just to keep the things simple. One example: Forward Air Controllers call Air Strikes using Sighted Fire and NOT Suppressing or Searching Fire. You really can’t bomb anything that moves or looks funny, although doubtless some FACs did call in air strikes on suspected, rather than actual, enemy positions. However, if you want to make a house rule, go right ahead. As you should expect by now, I hope you: Experiment. Have some fun. Learn something.

Glossary

Every set of rules uses unique vocabulary and CAC is no different. Here’s a quick reference:

(#d6 Rolled) or (roll#d6): The number of d6 that you roll To Hit Target Teams.

(2d6 Accuracy): The basic accuracy of a gun firing Direct Fire HE or AP; to this number you add/subtract all applicable Modifiers on the Firing Team’s Data Card. You must roll less than or equal to this number on 2d6 to score a Hit.

d6: A normal six sided die used for all dice rolls except Damage/Hit Result rolls (which are made with a d20). 1d6 means roll one six-sided die; 2d6 indicates roll two six-sided dice, etc.

d20: A twenty side die numbered 1 through 20 used only to roll for Damage/Hit Results; one d20 (1d20) is rolled for every Hit.

AAA (Fire): Automatic Anti-Aircraft Fire; weapons some Teams have to fire at Aircraft, only AAA may fire at Aircraft.

Aiming Point: Center of Template placed on the spot you aim an Air Strike, Artillery Barrage or Direct Fire HE (HE).

Air Strike: a single bombing, rocket attack or strafing run made by an Aircraft Team.

Artillery Barrages: An archaic WWI term which is useful to define Off Table Artillery fire using a Template “Called In” by a FAO; same as “Fire Mission” in modern military jargon.

ATR & ATRL Teams: Anti-Tank Rifle and Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher Teams; i.e. Bazookas, PanzerFausts, Panzershrecks, and PIATs.

Base Contact (also base-to-base contact): When Friendly and Enemy Team bases, or the actual miniatures or models, are physically touching.

CAC: Combat Action Command, let’s you Fire during a Move Phase or Move during the Fire Phase. Also allows FAO/FAC to call in Artillery Barrages/Air Strikes.

Combat Command: All teams under your command. Your Combat Command will also have a Combat Quality (CQ) Rating based on CQ Rating of all teams in the command.

Combat Quality (CQ): Is the noncom leadership, training, morale, equipment level, supply status, tactical doctrine and discipline of a Team all rolled into one characteristic which is called the Combat Quality (CQ) Rating for that Team. Your Combat Command also has a CQ Rating which is based on the CQ Rating of the majority of Teams in your Combat Command.

Cover: There are four Cover Classes, to provide Cover a Terrain Feature must be at least as large as the Team (or its Base):

  • 1 In The Open = No Cover
  • 2 Light Cover = behind a fence or embankment; or in a building, ruins or patch of woods or forest
  • 3 Heavy Cover = a Team in Light Cover that passes a CQ Test is in Heavy Cover
  • 4 Dug-In = field works and hasty fortifications such as foxholes, trenches, bunkers and gun pits

Critically Wounded (Critical Markers): Teams that have lost greater than 50% of their Strength Points get a Critical marker and fire at half effect and move at half speed.

Data Card: The half page “card” that shows all of the key statistics and information needed to play and fight with a team. Note that Troop Teams have all of the stats for a standard Platoon listed on one card.

Direct Fire HE (HE): Direct LOS Fire with High Explosive Shells – (written as HE).

Direct Fire AP (AP): Direct LOS Fire with Armor Piercing Ammunition – (written as AP).

Enemy Team: The Bad Guys.

FAC (Troop Team): Forward Air Controller (Team) calls in Air Strikes and/or Combat Air Patrol (CAP) Missions; in some scenarios an FAC may be in a plane in which case it is an Aircraft Team with the FAC capability listed on its Data Card.

FAO (Troop Team): Forward Artillery Observer (Team) calls in Artillery Barrages and/or Counter Battery Fire; in some scenarios an FAO may be in a plane in which case it is an Aircraft Team with the FAO capability listed on its Data Card.

FAV: Fully Armored Fighting Vehicle on Tracks; Tigers, Shermans, Panthers, and T-34s are all FAVs.

Firing Team: Team that is firing at a Target Team.

Friendly Team: the Good Guys.

HQ: Three types: one Commander in Chief (CiC) Team or Commanding Officer (CO) Team for the Combat Command, one Second in Command (2iC) or Executive Officer (XO) Team for the Combat Command, and one Platoon HQ for each Platoon.

Infantry and Heavy Weapons: Personal weapons such as rifles and man-packed weapons such as Bazookas, MGs, Flamethrowers, etc.

LOS (Line of Sight): Direct line between two teams or between a team and object.

Personal Combat (PC): up close and “personal” combat at close range with knives, picks, shovels, pistols and hand grenades by Teams in Base Contact. Also known as hand-to-hand combat, or melees. Only Troop Teams may initiate Personal Combat.

Scatter Die: A standard Scatter Die rolled to determine the Deviation Direction of an Artillery Barrage or Air Strike.

Side A & Side B: regardless of the number of people playing or armies represented, there can only ever be two Sides in CAC. The winner of initiative determines whether to be Side A or B.

Spotting: You must “Spot” an Enemy Team to shoot at it or for a FAC or FAO to call an Air Strike or Artillery Barrage in on it. There are several categories of being “Spotted” and each category has restrictions as to what can shoot. (see Table 1.1 in section 7.0).

Target Team: An Enemy Team that is being fired at by a Firing Team.

Team Types: Troop; Gun; Vehicle; Armored Fighting Vehicle; and Aircraft (Off Table Artillery is not represented by Teams).

Terrain Feature: A single piece or patch or area of terrain: for example; a building, ruins, bridge, patch of woods, or hill.

Wounded: Team that has lost less than half of its Strength Points from the fire of one Enemy Team. A wounded marker counts as one strength point loss for all future damage and hit results resolution.

SUPPLEMENTS

Combat Action Command Data Cards Cover

Combat Action Command
Late War 1944-1945 Data Cards

by Lee Sowers
Item: 197291D
Cost: $19
Supplement to Combat Action Command rules provides 44 new data cards covering 1944-1945 tanks, vehicles, and troops AND Tournament rules. These clever cards do most of the work for the wargamer with training, morale, experience, and weaponry incorporated seamlessly into game play. Learn how to use one card and you learn them all. These 44 cards cover US, British, German, and Soviet tanks, guns, vehicles, and platoons. Cards included:

German

  • 1. 88mm Flak 36 AA
  • 2. Pak 39 75mm ATG
  • 3. Jagd Panther
  • 4. JagdPanzer VI (p) ‘Elephant’
  • 5. Opel ‘Blitz’ Medium Truck
  • 6. Kubelwagen (also OP version)
  • 7. Pioniere (Engineer) Platoon
  • 8. OST (Security) Platoon
  • 9. Panzer Grenadier Platoon
  • 10. Luftwaffe Feld Platoon
  • 11. StuH 42 105mm sf
  • 12. JagdPanzer IV (75mm L/48)
  • 13. SdKfz 7/1 20mm Quad AAA
  • 14. SdKfz 7/2 (Arm) 37mm AAA
  • 15. SdKfz 250 (OP version)
  • 16. SdKfz 251/22 Pak 39 sf AT
  • 17. Brumbar
  • 18. StuG III
  • 19. Pak 38 50mm ATG
  • 20. Pak 76.2cm (r) ATG

US

  • 21. M16 Quad .50 cal AAA
  • 22. M18 Hellcat
  • 23. Jeep (also OP version)
  • 24. GMC Medium Truck (US/UK/USSR)
  • 25. US Regular Infantry Platoon
  • 26. US Combat Engineer Platoon
  • 27. M8 37mm GMC ‘Greyhound’ A/C
  • 28. FFI – French Resistance Fighters
  • 29. M7 105mm HMC ‘Priest’
  • 30. M8 75mm HMC ‘Scott’

UK

  • 31. Churchill Mk VII Infantry Tank
  • 32. Universal Carrier (OP version)
  • 33. British Rifle Infantry
  • 34. 17 Pdr QFG - ATG
  • 35. M4 Sherman
  • 36. M4 Sherman VC ‘Firefly’
  • 37. M10C ‘Achilles’
  • 38. Cromwell Mk VII Cruiser Tank

USSR

  • 39. SU-85 Tank Destroyer
  • 40. Desant Troops (tankodesantniki)
  • 41. IS-II Heavy Tank
  • 42. IS-152 Assault Gun
  • 43. SU-100 Tank Destroyer
  • 44. KV-85 Heavy Tank

Combat Action Command Anzio Cover Combat Action Command
Anzio 1944 American Rangers/1st Special Service vs
German the Hermann Goring Panzer Grenadiers

by Lee Sowers
Item: 197291S
Cost: $10

Supplement to Combat Action Command rules includes 2 Scenarios and 8 Data Cards. Take a walk in the sun with this new January 1944 Italy supplement to Combat Action Command containing eight new Data Cards and two new scenarios -- the Hermann Goring Panzer Grenadiers counterattack on the US 1st Special Services 'Devil's Brigade' Force in the village of Artena and Col. Darby's US Ranger assault on the Hermann Goring Panzer Grenadiers in the village of Cisterna. Also included are two new rules sections: Paratrooper Drops and Night Battles. Cards included:

US

  • 1st Special Service Force: 'Devil's Brigade' Platoon
  • Army Ranger Platoon
  • Army Paratroop Platoon
  • M2/M3 Halftrack

German

  • Hermann Goring Fallschirm-Panzer Platoon
  • Panzer III L/M
  • Panzer III N
  • SdKfz 251 Halftrack

Miniature Wargames Magazine: March 2012 Combat Action Command
Battle of Bulge Scenario: Patton Gets Champagne

by Lee Sowers
Item: 916347
Cost: $8.50

CAC replay of battle between US 4th Armored vs. German Fallschirmjager. Includes four data cards:

  • US Rear Echelon: Cooks and Bakers
  • US M4A3E2 Jumbo Sherman
  • German Paratroop (Fallschirmjager)
  • German STuG IV

Miniature Wargames Magazine: June 2012 Combat Action Command
Scenario and Rules: Frost Defends Arnhem: Part 1

by Lee Sowers
Item: 916350
Cost: $8.50

CAC Scenario of German SS attacking British paras at Arnhem. Includes CAC "Lite" rules and includes two data cards:

  • Frost's British Airborne
  • German SS Panzergrenadiers

Combat Action Command
Replay: Frost Defends Arnhem: Part 2

by Lee Sowers
Item: 916351
Cost: $8.50

CAC battle with German SS attacking British at Arnhem. Includes eight data cards:

Miniature Wargames Magazine: July 2012 UK

  • Glider Platton
  • Royal Engineers
  • 6lb Towed AT Gun
  • Frost's HQ

German

  • Humber Armored Car: Grabner
  • Sdkfz 250/9 20 cm + coax
  • Sdkfz 222 (4) 2 cm
  • Sdkz 231 (8) 2 cm + coax

WEBSITE

Lee Sowers runs a website for CAC: www.combatactioncommand.com

Combat Action Command by Lee Sowers
Item: 197290
Cost: $39

A clever set of rules written by Sowers, who adapted his modern version that taught tactics to Delta Force, NY City SWAT, and various army units into a WWII set of rules. Can be played with nail-biting gusto on a three foot square area. Data cards carry all the necessary info -- newbies learn quick how to play, grognards use historical tactics to achieve victory.

8.5x11, full-color, Data Cards and markers included.

Order Combat Action Command from On Military Matters

  • Click here to go to the OMM home page
  • type "197290" into the keyword field (upper left, just underneath logo)
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