New SCS unified sequence of play
Different games may establish a first player, chit pull system, initiative determination, or limitations on active formations each game turn. But regardless of these systems, each activation of a side or formation follows a single standardized sequence of play, unifying the disparate ones provided in the original games as printed.
Ready phase – ready any unready units in the activated formation or side (“untap” them)
Air phase – determine any air support, allocate to missions, and resolve air missions
Reinforcement and replacement phase – place any new reinforcements on scenario designated entry areas, add steps to eligible units
Road movement phase – active formations conduct road movement up to 2x MA at 1/2 MP per hex roads, 1 MP trails. Artillery units that use Road movement are marked unready and may not conduct bombardment this turn.
Movement phase – all units from all active formations can move full MA, exploit capable units (only) may overrun once.
Bombardment phase – moved to this position in the sequence of play. Artillery units that moved suffer -1 to their bombardment rating, stationary artillery units get full rating.
Combat phase – conduct combats in any order desired, resolve retreats and advances from each; ready enemy artillery may support
Enemy reaction phase – ready enemy exploit capable units not starting in ZOC may move 1/2 MA, no overruns
Exploitation phase – exploit capable units may move full MA or overrun, marked spent, or move 1/2 MA and remain ready
Supply phase – activated friendly units (only) check supply, are marked out of supply if they cannot trace
Rally phase – activated DG friendly units (only) remove all DG markers
Notable points – units are “unreadied” if they move more than 1/2 MA or overrun in exploitation phase, conduct artillery bombardment, or conduct defensive artillery support during the enemy combat phase. Note that non-artillery, non-exploitation capable units are never “unready”; since they never have a chance to act during an enemy activation the concept does not apply to them. Unready units may not reaction move or conduct defensive artillery support during the enemy player turn. Readiness / unreadiness has no other effects.
Air phase – available air points have two possible uses, interdiction or bombardment. An air point conducting interdiction places an air marker on the map; that hex and all adjacent hexes cost +1 MP to enter for all enemy units and road hexes in that area cost a minumum of 1 MP per hex before this penalty. There is no further effect from multiple overlapping interdiction missions, and this is also not cumulative with the +2 MP for entering a ZOC. An air unit conducting air bombardment is a normal 4 rated artillery attack that does not require spotting and has unlimited range. (Exception – air bombardments within 1 hex of un-DG, in supply enemy Flak unit get bombardment rating 3). All available air points must be allocated to specific missions (including hexes attacked) before resolving any air bombardments.
Bombardments may only be conducted once against any given hex and artillery bombardment may not be conducted against any hex already hit by air bombardment. More than one artillery unit or air point can conduct bombardment against the same target hex only in the following manner – 3 units with the same bombardment rating may conduct bombardment fire with a bombardment number 1 better than their printed rating. This is called group fire. No other multiple fires are allowed, and no hex is every subject to bombardment fire more than once in a given activation.
Artillery units that use road movement (in that phase only) may not conduct bombardment in the same phase and are unready, therefore they won’t be eligible to conduct defensive artillery fire in the opponent’s immediately following turn either. Artillery units that move in the normal movement phase may conduct bombardment, but suffer -1 to their bombardment rating for moving. Stationary artillery units get their full bombardment rating.
Note that some early series games (E.g. Crusader) instead give artillery units 2 bombardment ratings on a larger “bombardment table” scale, 1 with a front side small movement allowance and a smaller rating on their back side with a higher movement allowance. Those use the bombardment rating of their side, which replaces the stationary vs moving rule above.
Road movement phase – the usual SCS restrictions on road movement all apply – no stacking, no movement within 3 hexes of enemy units, no movement through friendly units, continually on a road or trail. Distance covered is not unlimited, instead spend up to 2x printed MA, at a cost of 1/2 MP per road hex and 1 MP per trail hex. Air interdiction markers can raise this cost, but may still be moved through (unlike a ground unit ZOC, which would be too close to an enemy unit). Units that road move in the movement phase may always still move and fight normally in all other phases, except that artillery units that use the road movement phase may not conduct bombardment and are marked as unready. Units may be moved in any order, one at a time, to comply with the restrictions on not conducting road movement through friendly units, by remember that they cannot begin or end stacked.
Movement phase – all units may move and all exploit capable units may conduct overruns during movement, terrain permitting. Overruns are prohibited across major river or escarpment hexsides or into swamp terrain, but may be attempted against all other terrain types. (This is a deliberate relaxation of the restrictions on them, an makes eligibility for them more uniform across series games). Overruns are by a single moving stack, and cost 3 MPs. In overrun combats, defensive artillery support may not be used, but armor advantage, quality advantage, ambush and surprise all apply normally. There is no advance after combat earned in overruns, only entry to the target hex which has already been paid for. After a successful overrun the stack or its units may continue moving up to the limits of their MA but may not overrun again.
Combat phase – in the combat phase, non-phasing but ready, non-DG, in supply enemy artillery may conduct defensive fire if they are in range of at least 1 of the attacking hexes for that combat. Only 1 unit may so support per combat, and regardless of its bombardment rating the effect is a -1 DRM on both sides of the CRT. Mark such a unit unready; it may not support again until its own next activation.
Enemy reaction phase – this is new to most of the games though a similar phase was present in Stalingrad Pocket for the Germans only. In new SCS it is always available to ready, non-DG, in supply exploitation capable units of the non-phasing player, provided they do not start in EZOC. They may move up to 1/2 MA and may enter EZOC, but may not conduct overruns. Otherwise they move normally. Note that this allows mobile reserves to try to close holes created in the combat phase before enemy exploitation, if they are available.
Exploitation phase – as normal SCS, all exploit capable active units may move again, conducting overruns again. However, any that conduct overruns or spend more than 1/2 their MA in this phase are marked “unready” (aka “tapped”, rotate 90 degrees). This prevents them from reacting in any enemy reaction phase until they activate again. Exploitation does not require that the units do not begin the phase out of enemy ZOC; all exploitation capable units may exploit including overruns. This is again a deliberate relaxation of the original SCS requirement.
Supply phase – only the activated formation is checked. Units out of supply are reduced 1/2 in all factors, and lose the ability to bombard (including defensively), exploit or reaction move. Any unit that can trace in this phase has any out of supply marker removed.
DG removal phase – only the active formation removes DG markers at this time. Enemy units DGed keep their DG status until they activate, themselves, and go through their own next activation in the DG state, recovering only at the end of their own activation.
Unit types and special abilities
New SCS units fall into several more types than in basic SCS, building on the usual SCS categories of exploitation capable or not, and artillery type units or combat type units. Some units types are some special capabilities in New SCS, and all such special cases are covered here.
Tank units are those with armor symbols, armored Pz Jgr, and armored TD – collectively these are terms “tank” units. These are armored units for all combat and bombardment procedures, and contribute to armor advantage odds calculations both offensively and defensively.
Armored car, mechanized infantry and any other light armor units – collectively termed “light armor” – are armored for triggering calculation of armor advantage, requirement of enemy AT ability to penalize them for retreating through ZOC, and defensive benefit vs bombardment. But they do not contribute anything to armor advantage odds calculations either offensively or defensively.
Both tank and light armor units contribute to density calculations for ordinary combat resolution, but not to the separate penalty for 3+ soft attackers in a single hex. They also do not contribute to the unit count for bombardment step loss tables. The enemy may chose an armored unit as the first step loss only if at least one of his involved units is tank or defending anti-tank, or if the combat was an attack on terrain granting the defender at least one column shift where no armor advantage can be earned by either side (“close terrain”). Armor units may not be chosen as the first step loss for bombardment losses unless there are no non-armored units present. As always, step losses after the first are chosen by the player taking those losses.
AT units, Pak, foot or towed Pz Jgr, light and heavy Flak, and “tube” artillery (not mortar, rocket, or IG) – collectively “anti tank” – contribute their defense strength to armor advantage odds calculations only when defending. Their ZOCs are effective at penalizing armored units for retreating through ZOC. They do not contribute their attack strength to armor odds calculations when attacking. AT capable units are “soft” for all density and bombardment purposes.
All other units are “soft” for all combat purposes, including infantry, engineer, MG, etc, and these never contribute to armor advantage odds.
Light or heavy flak / AA units reduce the bombardment strength of enemy air attacks within 1 hex of their location to a bombardment rating of 3. Terrain, density, armored target effects all still apply normally. There is no additional effect from multiple friendly flak units.
Engineer and pioneer units have special abilities for both movement and combat. For movement, they can reduce the MP cost of any hexside obstacle (river, stream, balka, AT ditch, etc) to 1/2 its normal cost round down, and obstacles that cost +1 MP to zero cost, if they spend their movement phase adjacent to either side of that obstacle. Engineer units do not block road movement through them, an exception to the usual rule on that point. In addition, units may treat any hex containing a stationary friendly engineer unit as a trail hex for purposes of road movement phase movement, considering it connected to any adjacent roads or trails.
In combat, if the defenders earn at least 1 column shift from their terrain, any non-DG attacking engineer reduces the number of those column shifts by 1. Flame tanks and similar “engineering funnies” have the same effect as engineers for combat only, without the movement ability. If the defender has no advantageous terrain shifts, combat engineers fight like infantry with no special effects.
Yellow box artillery units and all rocket artillery are treated as “green” quality in all normal combats, where their defense strength is used. Ready, in supply and non-DG artillery units *may* provide defensive fire support to their own combats (-1 DRM, marked as spent), whether stacked with other units or not. All flak, mortar, and IG gun type units have the normal quality level of their formation in ordinary combat.
Basic combat procedure
Combat is voluntary and requires all attackers to be adjacent to the defending hex, which defends as one force. Phasing units may attack only once in a phase and non-phasing units may only be attacked once in a phase. The phasing player may conduct his attacks in any order he wishes. Always apply the full results of a combat, including retreats and advances, before initiating the next combat.
Total all attacking factors, potentially modified by terrain and unit state, and divide by total defense factors to arrive at an odds ratio. Round to the nearest odds column using the standard combat system rounding conventions (3.5 to 1 is 4 to 1, e.g.). Before resolving the combat, determine whether either side earns an armor advantage DRM. In combat phase fights only (not overruns), the defender may also assign one ready artillery unit within range of any of the attacking hexes to provide defensive fire support for a DRM.
Combat is resolved by rolling 2d6 of different colors, a white die and a colored (usually red) die. The individual dice determine ambush and surprise effects if any. The dice are totaled for the main CRT result, always using the same initial roll, though DRMs may apply differently to attacker and defender results. Defender losses and retreat results are determined by the odds column and combat die roll, read off the right side of the CRT. Attacker losses are determined by the total defense factor strength and the same die roll, read off the left side of the CRT. Various DRMs may modify the roll on either or both sides of the table as summarized below.
Factor effects and column shifts
Units that are DG at the moment of combat have their combat factor halved. Some terrain types (water barriers, hexside terrain, attacking out of swamp or salt marsh) may also reduce combat factors as shown on the TEC. Out of supply units are also halved. Units may be halved twice if multiple effects apply; retain all fractions until final rounding.
Good defensive terrain can provide 2 left or 1 left column shift for the odds column, defender result side of the CRT only. This is applied after the 5-1 maximum column, meaning the best column vs a unit in -2 city terrain will be the 3-1 column, for example. Defensive terrain does not move the defensive firepower column used for attacker losses on the left side of the CRT.
If the defender does not occupy terrain giving a left column shift, then it is possible for either side to earn an armor advantage in the combat. In any attack into defender shift terrain, neither side can earn armor advantage.
To determine whether either side has armor advantage, total the attacker’s tank attack factors only, and divide by the defender’s tank, anti-tank, and tube artillery defense factors. Round normally. If the attacker armor specific odds are 4-1 or better then the attacker has armor advantage. If the attacker armor specific odds are 2-1 or 3-1, then neither side has armor advantage. If the armor odds are 1-1 or lower, then the defender has armor advantage.
However, the defender may not earn defender armor advantage using only anti-tank or tube artillery defense factors unless the attacking force contains at least one armored unit. If the defender has a tank unit or the attacker has any armor units, then the defender may earn armor advantage, armor odds permitting.
Note that mortar and rocket units have no armor defense rating. Other (tube) artillery has its normal printed defense strength. Pz Jgr, AT, and Flak units (light or heavy) contribute their full defense factor for armor defense, but nothing for armor attack. Tank, SP TD, StuG, SU units always contribute their full attack or defense factor depending on their role in the combat. Armored car, mechanized infantry, and armored cavalry units are (light) armored but not tank units, so they do not contribute attack or defense factor to armor advantage odds; their presence only allows defenders to earn armor advantage even from gun units.
The effect of attacker armor advantage is +1 DRM on both sides of the CRT.
The effect of defender armor advantage is -1 DRM on both sides of the CRT.
Combat Results Table (for most tactical scale SCS games)
Divisional CRT (used for division scale SCS games e.g. Autumn for Barbarossa, The Mighty Endeavor)
Die roll modifiers
The maximum DRM on either side of the CRT is +/-3. Net DRMs >3 are +3, <-3 are -3.
Attacker armor advantage – +1 both sides of the CRT
Defender armor advantages – -1 both sides of the CRT
Defensive artillery support (combat phase only, not in overruns) -1 DRM on both sides of the CRT.
Defender density – if the defender’s hex contains 3 or more units, +1 DRM on the right side of the CRT.
Attack density – if any single attacking hex contains 3 or more units, -1 DRM on the left side of the CRT.
Soft attack density – if any single attacking hex contains 3 or more non-armored units, additional -1 left side.
Attacker quality advantage – if all attackers are higher quality than the best defender, +1 right side of CRT.
Defender quality advantage – if best defender higher quality than all attackers,-1 left side of CRT.
Ambush and surprise
Any combat may occur as an ambush (aka defender surprise), attacker surprise, or a normal combat. Normally, if the white die is a “1” then ambush occurs, if there is no ambush and the red die is a “6” surprise occurs. Various factors can increase the chance of either event.
If all the defending units are DG then ambush is impossible.
If all the attacking units are DG then surprise is impossible.
The max chance of ambush is on a roll of 1-3 on the white die.
The max chance of surprise is on a roll of 4-6 on the red die.
Best defending unit better than all attackers makes ambush 1 more likely.
If all of the attackers are in hazardous terrain, ambush is 1 more likely.
If the global intelligence condition (scenario set etc) favors the defenders, ambush is 1 more likely.
All attacking units better than all defending units makes surprise 1 more likely.
If the global intelligence condition favors the attackers, ambush is 1 more likely.
If ambush occurs, reduce any defender retreat requirement by 1 hex.
If ambush occurs and the defenders would otherwise take losses, reduce any defender loss requirement by 1.
If ambush occurs and the defenders take no step losses, instead increase attacker step losses by 1.
If surprise occurs, increase defender retreat requirements by 1 hex.
If surprise occurs and the attackers would otherwise take losses, reduce attackers losses by 1 step.
If surprise occurs and the attacker take no step losses, instead increase defender step losses by 1.
Terrain is “hazardous” if the attackers have their attack factors reduced by it for any reason e.g. across a river or bridge, and the base hex terrain in the attacking hex does not grant any defender columns shifts. So across a river out of forest or across a bridge out of a city is not hazardous, but either out of clear would be. The bonus is only earned if all attacking hexes qualify as hazardous in this sense. Note this is a stricter criterion than some earlier versions.
Note that the net effect of the ambush and surprise rules is to make combat less of a “sure thing”, and to reward use of terrain and better unit quality.
Overruns are conducted as ordinary combats with a few exceptions.
Only mechanized movement capable units may overrun, in either the normal or mechanized movement phases.
Overrun may only use one stack moving together, which must always attack from a single hex.
Overrun costs 2 MPs plus the cost of terrain in the hex.
Units may only conduct 1 overrun attempt per movement phase.
Defenders may not use defensive artillery support against overrun attacks.
Overrun attacks are not permitted against 2 left shift terrain, across major river or escarpment hexsides, nor into swamp terrain.
Units that overrun must stop if they fail to clear the hex attacked; their movement phase is over.
Units that successfully overrun may continue moving to the limits of their MA.
Units may always attack in the combat phase regardless of whether they previously conducted overruns.
If a mech unit moves more than 1/2 its MA or conducts any overrun in its exploitation movement phase, it is unready until the next time it activates. (This means it cannot Reaction Move during an enemy activation).
Applying combat results
Defenders in 2 left shift terrain only may ignore 1 hex retreat results, but must apply longer retreat results normally.
In all other terrain, defenders must fulfill the full retreat requirement.
If the defenders have no retreat requirement and took no step losses and attackers lost at least 1 step, all attackers must retreat 1 hex.
Units forced to retreat through EZOC must lose 1 additional step from the whole retreating stack.
However, armored units do not take EZOC step losses for retreating through EZOCs of units with no AT defense rating (e.g. infantry, light armor, pioneers, etc).
The enemy player chooses the first step loss inflicted, the owning player all subsequent losses.
However, the first chosen loss may not be an armored unit unless either the combat took place into column shift terrain or the opposing side has at least one unit with AT capability (including tank units).
If physically unable to retreat, units otherwise required to do so lose 1 step *per unit* for each hex of retreat they fail to fulfill.
Overrun attackers must enter the attacked hex if it was vacated by defenders as a result of the combat (retreat or elimination). They may continue moving, MA permitting.
Combat phase attackers may advance a number of hexes equal to the defender retreat requirement, provided the first hex advanced into is the defender’s hex. This advance is voluntary. Defenders never advance if attackers are forced to retreat.
In general, the bombardment rating of the firing unit is the number of chances out of 6 on the white die that the target is DGed by the bombardment. If 3 firing units with the same rating combined their fire on the same target, raise their bombardment number by 1. If any of the firing artillery units moved in the previous movement phase, the bombardment rating is lowered by 1. No more than 3 units may ever combine their fire in this manner on the same activation, and hexes may only be bombarded once per activation.
Resolve all bombardments by rolling 2D6, one white and one red or colored. The white die is the DG die and the red die is the step loss die. If the white DG die is a “miss”, then there are never any step losses and the red die may be disregarded. If the white die DGs any of the units present, then the red die takes effect. On the table for the bombardment rating of the attack, find the column for the count of soft units present in the target hex, in the columns 0, 1-2, 3+. Cross index with the red die to get the result, 0, 1 or 2. That many step losses must be taken from the target hex. However, the last step in the hex is never eliminated by bombardment.
Village and heavy bocage terrain and similar reduce the bombardment rating by 1. Also, all armored units always receive the same 1 reduction; note that this may result in a barrage DGing the soft units but not the armored units in a hex. City and fortified terrain reduce the bombardment rating by 2. However, the minimum bombardment rating is 1, meaning there is always some chance of at least DG effect. In addition, armor units and units in city or fortified terrain use their own column on the step loss charts, there are “0 soft units present” in those cases. Note that bombardment rating 1 attacks use the 2 or less step loss charts, and bombardment rating 5 attacks use the 4 or more step loss charts.