Basic WW2 Rules
Basic Rule Set: WWII
The clips of record sheets that you see throughout the rules are from a Sherman LP Basic Training record sheet, unless otherwise specified. Some formatting is lost, but the clips are generally correct.
Lastly, as you play Shellshock do NOT be shocked by how quickly things get destroyed. This is not like some other wargames that state that a Machine Gun only has a range of 300 feet. Shellshock was based off of real ballistic charts and physics. When you get hit by a 120mm Sabot round, you feel it. So if you are being fired upon, don't be discouraged when a third or more of the your active units blow up, you will get your chance for retribution momentarily.
Color Coding The Record Sheet:
Please print out, or at least have a computer up with the "colorized" starter-recsheet.
The RED areas are where you look when you are attacking. (Think blood.)
The BLUE area is where you look when on defense. (Think the opposite of red.)
The GREEN area is where you look when moving (Think green means go.)
The BROWN area is where you look when you have received internal damage. (Think, the feces has struck the revolving air re-locator!)
It may seem like there is a lot of information on the record sheet but as you can see from the color coding, you are never looking at too much of the record sheet at anyone time.
Deciphering Dice Descriptions:
Shellshock Starter rules require:
Types of Play
Game Set Up
--------- | Total | |-------| | 870 | ---------
Starter recsheets are ready to print and have all the information filled out. Blank unit sheets require you to fill in: pilots, gunners as well as ammunition and missiles. Make sure you add the ECV of any items, people, etc, you add to the unit. Set terms of what is required to win the battle. Make sure all the players understand what types of terrain and units are on the map.
If you do not have miniatures please print out the miniatures we have made available on the website. Please go to: _______ and pull them down and follow the directions.
Game Turn Overview
I. Initiative Phase
For every unit on the battlefield, there should be a counter (penny, scraps of cardboard, etc) numbered 1 through the total number of units on the battlefield. (We call these initiative chits) Remove the highest number chit and replace it with a chit labeled "R." This is the red chit, and gets to move whenever it wishes, even if it interrupts another players move.
Place the chits in a bag. The player with fewer units picks first. (If there is the same number of units on both sides, use some other random method.) When you pick a chit place it next to one of your units. Only after this is done can the next player pick a chit. Keep going in turn until each unit has a chit.
Initiative is re-picked at the beginning of each game turn.
II. Movement Phase
At the beginning of the movement of each unit you must announce what speed your unit will travel for the rest of the turn.
------------------------- | Speed | Turn | Kreigs | | | 3 | | ------------------------- | 1 | 1 | 1 | | 2 | 2 | 2 | | 3 | 3 | 3 | | 4 | 4 | 4 | | 5 | 5 | 5 | -------------------------
Right beside it is the Turn and Kreigs Columns. The last number in the speed column is the max speed of the unit on open ground a/k/a cross country.
Just below the speed is the Road Speed. This is the speed the unit can travel at while on pavement. Air units don't have Road Speeds.
Road Speed 6 | 4 | 0 7 | 5 | 0 8 | 6 | 0
Keep record of what speed you travel at.
You can either maintain the speed you had last turn, or you can accelerate up to your max speed, or decelerate down to zero by the amount shown on the record sheet. (Upper left hand corner of the green area.)
----------- |Accel. | | B 2 | | Y: | ----------| |Decel. | | B 8 | | Y: | -----------
To go in reverse, you must have ended the last turn at a speed of zero.
On the first turn of the game either agree to have all units start:
You move the units in the order of their initiative chit.
Announce your speed for that unit for the rest of the turn and start moving. When done, go to the next unit, announce its speed so on and so forth.
You have to determine where you can go.
You have a hex shaped chart in the green area, just to left of the speed column, called "Movement."
---------- |Movement| ---------- | | | 1 | | 0/ \0 | | 0\_/0 | | 2 | | | | Free 0 | ----------
The top of the chart represents the front of the unit. To move in this particular direction it takes the specified movement points. If that direction says 0, you can not go in that direction. This does not mean you can not turn to go in that direction, it only means your unit can not stay facing FORWARD and move in that direction. ie, a tank does not have the ability to move diagonally as an auto-gyro can.
Below the movement chart is "Free" followed by a number. This is for a free hex facing at the end or your movement. Some units that are extra maneuverable such as auto-gyros get this ability.
Below this chart is a set of terrain modifiers, if you come across any of these terrain features while moving you have to multiply the movement cost, by the terrain value to see how much it costs to go into the next hex. The first is Open, which just means open ground. If the number is 0, your unit can not go through this type of terrain. If you do not have enough remaining movement points to travel into the next hex, you can not enter that hex.
Open | 1 Rough | 2 Trees | 4 Level 1 | 2 Level 2 | 3 Water | 3
Water stands for shallow water. Some units have "amphibious bulkheads" (Pontoons) that allow them to float ON deep water. If your unit enters deep water without this device, the unit is destroyed.
3 | 2 | 1 4 | 3 | 1 5 | 4 | 0
To the right of your current speed is the turn number. This number is how many hexes you must travel forward before you can make a turn. Turning does not use up movement points. It is possible to turn tighter than the currently stated turn number. Most players wisely avoid this. For instruction on how to do this, please see the standard rules under movement and slipping.
When done moving, you must announce which direction the turrets of your unit are facing. Place the movement chit in a pile in the corner of the table and go on to the next unit until all units have moved. It is a good idea to keep the initiative chits in order.
What is the Kreigs column?
III. Combat Phase
Many units have multiple gunners. Please note that the rules are written from the point of view of one gunner, not the unit as a whole. You must repeat these steps for each firing gunner inside each unit.
There are basically 5 parts to combat resolution.
Quick background information that will help combat make more sense:
(If you have run through one of the Jumpstarts you can ignore this italicized section.)
First I must explain a little about how you kill a unit. There is only one way to kill a unit, GOING INTERNAL! And destroying the stuff inside it. (ie the engine, guns, crew etc.) There are three external ways to get "inside." Damage, Shock and Penetration. Damage is like ripping away the skin/armor of the unit with a cheese grater. Shock is like getting hit with a baseball bat, and Penetration is like stabbing through the skin with a knife.
All weapons have a value that represents how much "damage" it does in these three respects. (Though that value may be zero) So a cannon that does 10/8/6 does, 10 damage, 8 shock, and 6 penetration.
Just as there are three ways to "get inside" there are three things that each unit has to protect the unit. (Though that value may be zero.) There is Armor, this is what damage is assessed against. There is Shock Threshold, this is what the shock damage is assessed against. And there are Penetration Values, this is what penetration damage is assessed against.
A weapon's "power" is rated by how much how much damage, shock, and penetration it does. This is known as its d/s/p. d/s/p will be appearing in the rules constantly. Remember what it means!
The "armor" charts are just to the right of the Defense Values. Armor has four sides, is at the top of the armor charts and is shown by a rectangle with numbers around it and "Arm" in the center of the box. The top number on the box represents the front of the unit. Shock Threshold is below the armor and is the number to the right of "Shock T:" Penetration has six sides, and is shown as a hexagon with numbers around it, with "Pen" in the center of the hexagon.
1. Figuring out what you can hit.
What weapons can you shoot?
The manifest area is the large area that takes up most of the record sheet. Look below where the internal chart reaches into the manifest area. This is where the weapons and ammunition, as well as the "body sections" where weapons are located, are listed.
Weapons are divided into "sections." One obvious section would be a turret. The body itself is a section. Only one gunner can take control of one section a turn. Two gunners can never fire weapons out of one section in one turn. Only a pilot with gunnery skills can control weapons in the "Body " section. Note that ramming is not a weapon, and a pilot without gunnery skill can still ram.
Any weapon in a section can be fired, assuming you have enough ammo to fire the weapon. (Mark off ammo and adjust kreigs as you use them.) The target must be in the firing arc the gunner is facing. (30 degrees off center, this is also the front hex face, expanded out.)
__ __ __ __ /xx\__/ \__/ \__/xx\ \__/xx\__/ \__/xx\__/ / \__/xx\__/xx\__/ \ xx = Firing Arc \__/ \__/xx\__/ \__/ \__/ \__/ \__/ ## = Unit \__/##\__/ \__/
There are a couple of exceptions that restrict what weapons can be fired. You can only fire 1 grenade at a time if used with other weapons. If fired by themselves you can fire two at a time.
To fire at a unit with an Indirect weapon, the units must be at least 12 inches away from each other. (Yes, you still must add +1 to the THR, see below.)
2. Figuring out what the "to hit roll" (THR) is and rolling.
To the right of each weapon you will see a column titled "dVT". This stands for Defense Value Type.
dVT 76mm Rifled C. B
Ask the target what their defense values are for the types of weapons you are firing at them. This can be found in the blue section, in the Defense Values chart.
Defense Values F/R F/R Sds Sds Ballistic 10 8 Energy 6 5 Missile 7 6 Indirect 12 10 Small Arms 12 11 Physical 7
There are separate numbers for the front/back and sides of the unit. (ie. You are firing a Cannon and a Machine Gun at the front of the target, which are Ballistic and Small Arms weapons respectively. Ask the target what its Ballistic and Small Arms Defense Values are for its front.)
The target's defense value is the number you have to roll with the hit dice, this is the "To Hit Roll" (THR). There are only two modifiers to the THR. For every FULL foot the units are separated, you add a +1 to make the unit harder to hit. The other modifier is the gunnery skill of the gunner.
MSRP: 1 Crew +P +G Commander +1 Pilot +1 Gunner +1
Subtract the gunnery skill of the gunner from the THR to make the target easier to hit. The gunnery skill of the gunner is found to the right of the gunner below the G column.
Roll your hit dice to see if you hit. You find the hit dice in two boxes below the defense values and to right for the kreig column.
Hit Dice d10 D6
There will be a "1d10" and another dice below it. The second dice goes up and down according to the targeting system in the unit. (from periscopes in WWII to full blown ranging and movement compensating targeting computers in the future.)
You roll the to hit dice once. This one roll determines if all the weapons hit. If the sum of the hit dice meet or exceed the defense value of the target for that particular weapon, that weapon hits. If you need a 5 to hit with ballistic weapons, and a 9 to hit with small arms, and you roll an 8, the Ballistic weapon hits and the Small Arms weapon misses.
If you ever roll a ten on a 1d10, while rolling the to hit dice, add the 10 to the roll, re-roll and add the result to the roll also. If you roll a 10 again, add the ten to the to hit roll and keep on going. This is what allows you to make hits on Defense values that may be higher than what is achievable using your To Hit Dice and your gunnery skill. Look at the Small Arms of some units.
Clipped from a Tiger II
Small Arms 30
Special ways of hitting a unit.
dVT High d/s/p Mid d/s/p Low d/s/p Kr S? I? 12.7mm Machine Gun SA 5/3/2 4/2/1 3/1/1 0 Y N
This means the weapon can Spreadfire. Spreadfire is the ability of the weapon to "sweep" over a small area thus allowing it a better chance of hitting the target. This advantage comes at a price, when a weapon spreadfires it reduces the weapon's ability to do damage.
When using spreadfire all weapons used must be able to spreadfire. All weapons must spreadfire the same amount. When using spreadfire you get to add 1d6 to your THR. Each 1d6 to your THR reduces all the weapons' d/s/p's by -1/-1/-1.
Before Spreadfire of 1
Mid 12.7mm MG 4 2 1 Spread -1 -1 -1 ------------------- Total 3 1 0
To ram, the attacking unit must be able to move INTO the SAME hex as the defending unit. The defending unit must have finished moving this movement phase.. In other words it has already moved this turn, and the attacking unit is able to move into it. The pilot's gunnery skill does NOT make the physical hit easier, but if the pilot has a greater piloting skill than the unit's MSRP, the THR of the physical attack is easier by that amount.
When you ram a unit without a ram plate, he ram's you back with HIS ramming numbers, so smashing into a same size, or bigger unit is NOT going to help your cause much. The damage of the ram is the number shown times the speed you were traveling when you hit. If you hit your opponent and he is moving towards you add his speed to the ram, if you hit from the side the ram speed is calculated off of your speed, if he is moving away from you, subtract his speed from your speed to calculate the ram speed.
The next few clips that follow are from a ficticious vehicle.
3. If you hit, how much damage did you do, and did you do internal damage?
dVT High d/s/p Mid d/s/p Low d/s/p Kr S? I? Body: 0.53 / 0.53 / 0.28 Full Turret (+15, -0) 76mm Rifled Cannon B 5/4/3 4/3/2 3/2/1 0 N N
The Mid d/s/p stands for what the weapon is generally capable of doing in Damage/Shock/Penetration. The High, is the maximum the weapon, can do, and the Low is the minimum the weapon will do.
Now flip a coin ONCE. Heads you use the High d/s/p's; tails you use the Low d/s/p's. If you have hit with multiple weapons, you do NOT flip multiple coins. If you rolled high, add all the high d/s/p's together of all the weapons that hit. If you rolled low, do likewise.
Let's say you rolled low, after all the weapons Low d/s/p's are added together and you have done...
Low D S P First Weapon: 3 2 2 Second Weapon: 3 2 2 ------------------- Total: 6 4 4
...6/4/4 total. Subtract 6 from the armor of the side you struck the unit (front, back, left or right side.)
6 --------- 2 | Armor | 2 --------- 1
Did you reduce the armor down to zero? If so, mark the extra damage to the side, all of this extra damage is now Internal Damage. If you had hit from the front you would have 0 points of armor, if you had hit from the side you would had done 5 points internal damage. If you had attacked from the rear, you would have done 5 points internal damage.
Shock works a little different.
Many have likened it to a force field. If the shock damage you inflict is equal to or less then the Shock Threshold of the target unit, nothing happens. If the shock damage exceeds the shock threshold of the target unit, the over-shock, turns into internal damage. The Shock Threshold of the unit is never reduced. With the example hit given above (6/4/4) we would have done 1 point of internal damage internal.
Penetration damage works the same as the shock, but you compare your penetration damage to the penetration factor according to the angle of the hit (Front, back, front left, front right, rear left, rear right.)
1 0/Pen\0 0\___/0 0
Again, all over-penetration is converted straight into internal damage. The penetration factors of the unit are never reduced. Again using the example hit from above (6/4/4) we would have done internal damage. From 3, if it were a frontal attack, to 4, if we had attacked in the rear or sides.
If you rammed just multiply your speed by the numbers shown. (Sorry, some calculation) Ramming isn't common so this shouldn't be much of a problem. There is no high or low. This is true of all physical attacks.
4. If you did go internal, how much internal stuff did you blow up?
Internal 1 line 2 lines 3 lines 4 lines 5 lines 6 lines 7 lines 8 lines 9 lines RIP Amount 1 - 2 3 4 5 - 6 7 8
Take the internal damage points done by this volley and see where it falls along the bottom of the chart. With the Examples above let's say we struck in the Front of the unit.
The combined lows of the weapon were 6/4/4
6 Armor damage to the front. 0 points of armor left.
6 --------- 2 | Armor | 2 --------- 1
4 Shock. 1 point of overshock goes internal.
4 Penetration to the front. 3 points of over penetration go internal.
1 0/Pen\0 0\___/0 0
This is a total of 4 internal damage points. We look along the bottom of the Internal Amount chart, and see that 4 points of internals damage equals 5 lines.
Internal 1 line 2 lines 3 lines 4 lines 5 lines 6 lines 7 lines 8 lines 9 lines RIP Amount 1 - 2 3 4 5 - 6 7 8
This "line" number is how many horizontal rows you cross off in the Internal Location Chart. If you have done enough internal points, you go to the section topped with a skull and crossbones. This means the unit automatically dies.
Now roll a 1d20 and see where on the internal location chart to start crossing off.
The following chart is from the Sherman LP
Internal Location Chart 20 A 20 19 B 19 18 C 18 17 C 17 16 D 16 15 E 15 14 F 14 13 G 13 12 H 12 11 H 11 10 I 10 9 J 9 8 K 8 7 L 7 6 M 6 5 N 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1
Now go up by the remaining number of vertical rows. (ie. You have done 9 internal damage points. On the target unit, in the Internal Amount chart, this is a 6 row hit. You roll a 1d20 and get 7. Now cross off 7 and go up another 5 rows. (remember you had a 6 row hit and you are counting row 7 as one of the rows you destroy) so now rows seven through 12 are crossed out.) With successive hits in the same area, you don't count rows already destroyed. Keep going up on the internal location chart.
If there is a piece of equipment that takes multiple hits, and you have "hit" the same area in the internal chart again, even though you skip these struck areas, you hit the piece of equipment again. Likely destroying it. Try to remember that "B" will always be an engine, and this is one of the common multiple hit items. (see below)
Just because it is an engine or a turret, it does not automatically have multiple hits. The piece of equipment is only a multiple hit if it says so. The only things that are always automatically 2 hits (and won't say it) are treads, rotors, wheels, etc.
5. What specific items were destroyed, and can the unit still function?
The letters in the internal location chart coincide with letters in the "Pos" column to the left the equipment/weapons. If the letter is hit, it is destroyed. Notice that some pieces of equipment, mostly the engines and turrets, have to be hit several times before being destroyed.
B Engine:  Hits C 4 Hour Fuel Tank for Engine D Sighting Periscope E Left Tread F Right Tread
If a turret is hit, the weapons inside it are not destroyed. It just means the turret is locked in the last direction it was facing.
If fuel or ammo bins are hit, both players roll a 1d10. If the defender ties or wins, nothing happens. If the attacker wins the unit explodes. Devices such as Halon systems and pre-stressed ammunition bins, give the defender a +2 advantage, and types of weapons, such as incendiary rounds and flame throwers, give the attacker the +2 advantage.
All treads, wheels, or other locomotion devices always have two hits. On the second hit they are destroyed. While most units will not be able to move forward if one tread is destroyed, the unit can still rotate.
If after assessing what pieces of equipment are destroyed, the unit can no longer function, ie. all weapons are destroyed, its no longer mobile, crew killed etc, leave it there for rubble and for additional cover.
If a unit is destroyed, and has not fired this turn it still can. Damage done during the Combat Phase is considered simultaneous. In other words it is assumed that everyone is firing their weapons at the same time and the bullets are already on the way to their target when the shooter is struck/destroyed.
Now move on to the next gunner.
For every unit destroyed remove the highest numbered initiative chit. Make sure all ammo, kreigs, armor, and other "depleted items" are marked off. Make sure all speeds were recorded correctly. Now throw the remaining initiative chits into the bag and go on to the next turn and pick initiative again.
VARIANTS OF PLAY & OPTIONAL RULES
As you may have read from other places on the website, Shellshock is designed to be modular. You can add to Shellshock or subtract from it to make play more your style and speed. Following are a couple of suggestions. Remember these are all optional and it is recommended that you play a few games without any optional rules to learn the system.
1 d/s/p: As you can see all weapons have Mid d/s/p's. While this number can be used to generally evaluate the power of the weapon, it is not actually used in play. If the players wish to speed up play a bit, don't flip the coin to determine high or low d/s/p. Just use the mid d/s/p, or for the more blood thirsty players, always use the High d/s/p's. (Not recommended)
3 d/s/p's: This allows a little more variation in play. Use all three d/s/p's. Either use a 1d6, make a dice, or use a 1d6 and make designate 1+2 low, 3+4 mid and 5+6 high.
Ranged d/s/p's: In this variant, if the attacker and target are within a foot, you use the High d/s/p's, if between 12 and 23 inches you use mid, and 24+ inches you use low.
Even Rambo misses: This is a common rule we enjoy using. If you ever naturally roll a 2, 3 or 4, (don't take into account the gunnery skill) it's considered a choke roll and automatically misses no matter what the THR is.
Lucky shot: This is another common optional rule. If while rolling the THR and using 1d10's you ever get 2 ten's in a row (or roll 2 tens on the first roll while rolling 2d10 for future units) all d/s/p's are automatically doubled.
Instant Death: This one is usually used in conjunction with Lucky shot. I you ever roll 4 tens, (or roll pairs of 10 twice for future units) the unit is automatically destroyed no matter what.
Initiative in halves (or thirds, or fourths): Sometimes you are playing with a large number of players, with a large number of units on the board. Instead of getting chits for every unit, just get a chit for each player. Each player picks a chit at the beginning of each turn. Each player in the order of the chit they picked then moves AT LEAST half of their force. Always rounding up. Go around the players once and then everybody, in chit order, moves the rest of their force.
Trees: In general a tree, or a tree hex is not one tree, but several trees. You can nestle into the trees and cover all of your sides but your front.
Tree cover: This allows you to hide behind a tree but still shoot out. The tree must be directly between you and your opponent. You can not be more than three hexes away, and your opponent can not be more than 24 inches away from you. Under this circumstance, you can shoot at your opponent and he can not see you. Infantry can be directly beside the tree to use this advantage.
Hull down and Motionless sickness: These two rules must be presented together to make either of them worth it. Motionless sickness means that if the unit begins and ends it's turn, motionless, and in the open, people who shoot at you only have to roll half your typical Defense Value Type.. Ouch. Hulldown means that you can position yourself up against a hill, tree or building or into a ditch, remain motionless and still have full dVT's when someone shoots at you.
Point Blank: This rules states that if you are in the adjacent hex all dVT's are halved. (It's twice as easy to hit an opponent. This rules never applies to missiles.)
Phased Play: This is another form of play, also considered the "high strategy" version. There are full instructions on playing it on the rules site. This is "the strategists ultimate pipedream." If you relish the "maneuver" aspect of war games, this form of play will leave you fully satiated... until you feel the urge to conquer again.