Subject: DS2 for WW2

Several people expressed interest in this, so I've dug it up from my files. 
WRT previous posts on vehicle stats, you'll find that I tend to view the 
size classes as "wider" than the difference between a Sherman (say) and a 
Panther, although the Panther carries a bigger gun. The only one that I put 
into Class 4 is the Tiger II. The intention of this is to provide some 
differentiation should you wish to put a WW2 vintage force up against 
something later (eg. 1980s). Same reasoning for introducing the KEC weapon 
type. I think I had the Harry Turtledove books in the back of my mind at 
the time.

Comments welcome!!

DIRTSIDE II for WWII by Mike Elliott

This short article describes some suggested modifications to DIRTSIDE II 
for the World War II period. It is based on the article by James Clay on 
WWII using the original Dirtside which appeared in  Ragnarok (92/93, Issue 
6). With acknowledgements to James Clay.


Churchill tanks, Tiger tanks, Mustangs, Spitfires and D-Day are most 
certainly not the normal realm of Science-Fiction wargaming. Historical 
gaming still has some attraction to Fantasy and Science-Fiction wargamers, 
especially when you consider how many SFSFW members are also members of the 
SO20CW. The most popular period among them are probably the WWII and Modern 
periods, using 1/300 miniatures.

This article aims to provide additional rules to enable the DIRTSIDE II 
system to be used for the WWII period. This will enable gamers to fight 
conflicts between historical forces and "alien invaders" from different 
dimensions in time and space. It will enable "historical" gamers to be 
introduced to a set of SF rules (that doesn't have orks!), whilst enabling 
them to still use their Shermans and Tigers. Also, turning the coin on its 
head, it will introduce SF gamers to "historical" gaming.


As in the regular rules,each element must have a Mobility Type defined for 
it. Applicable types are Infantry, Cavalry, Low Mobility Wheeled, High 
Mobility Wheeled, and Slow Tracked. It is unlikely that any vehicles from 
this period would rate as Fast Tracked. In addition, I have introduced two 
new mobility types. Very Slow Tracked has a Basic Mobility Factor of 5". 
Terrain effects are the same as for Slow Tracked. Secondly, Half Tracked 
has a Basic Mobility Factor of 8" and terrain effects the same as for High 
Mobility Wheeled. A minor omission from the rules is any provision for 
towed weapons (such as anti-tank guns). This is simply remedied by saying 
that it takes half the BMP of a towing vehicle to limber or unlimber a 
towed weapon. When a towed weapon is fired upon in the forward arc then its 
gun shield is considered as armour; when fired upon from the side or rear 
then it should be treated as an infantry target. Towed weapons also count 
as "open topped" when under fire from artillery.

An optional addition is that EVASIVE MOVEMENT is permitted for VERY SMALL, 
HIGH MOBILITY WHEELED vehicles. An example of such a vehicle would be a 
jeep used by special forces such as the SAS in the Western Desert or the 
Paras in Operation Market Garden.


Obviously, no post 20th century technology is permitted, such as Grav 
vehicles, walkers, mass driver cannon and so on! All vehicle power plants 
are CFE types.

The majority of weapons systems of the World War II period were 
conventional guns that fired shells or bullets. To represent such weapons, 
I have introduced a new type that I have called Kinetic Energy Cannon or 
KEC.  There is no restriction on the size of KEC that can be fitted to a 
CFE powered vehicle other than the normal restrictions due to vehicle size. 
The KEC weapon type is available in all sizes from 1 to 5. KEC weapons cost 
5 x Class of weapon. The KEC weapon type corresponds roughly to actual 
weapons as follows:

KEC/1   less than 37mm
KEC/2   50mm or 57mm
KEC/3   75mm
KEC/4   17pdr
KEC/5   88mm or larger

The ONLY type of Firecon that will work with this weapon type is a Basic 

Ranges are as follows:

KEC/1   6"      9"      12"
KEC/2   8"      12"     16"
KEC/3   9"      18"     24"
KEC/4   10"     20"     30"
KEC/5   12"     24"     36"

Chit validity is as follows:
Close Range     RED and YELLOW chits only.
Medium Range    RED chits only.
Long Range      GREEN chits only.
against Infantry        YELLOW chits only at any range.
Direct fire against infantry is the same as for HVCs.

All infantry element types are available. Anti-armour teams are equipped 
with early anti-tank weapons such as Bazooka, PIAT or Panzershreck. These 
operate as IAVRs. Anti-armour teams are therefore the only element type 
that has IAVR capability. HMGs count as APSWs. Assault teams are primarily 
equipped with SMGs. Local Air Defence teams are equipped with a light AA 
weapon such as an HMG on an AA mount.

The rules for riverine craft can be used to design landing craft and 
landing support vessels for amphibious operations (hmm, the raid on St. 
Nazaire could be an interesting scenario...).

Artillery is handled as follows. A 105mm artillery element counts as LIGHT 
ARTILLERY, a 155mm artillery element counts as MEDIUM ARTILLERY. For 
anything less than 105mm, including mortars, a new class is introduced, 
VERY LIGHT ARTILLERY. Artillery can only use HEF or smoke rounds.

VERY LIGHT ARTILLERY is a size 1 weapon (for weapons fit purposes) and 
causes 1 chit to be drawn for every 2 elements firing on VEHICLE elements; 
1 chit to be drawn for every element firing on INFANTRY elements. Note that 
this means that VLA are ineffective against vehicles when firing an OPEN 
SHEAF (you can't draw 1/2 a chit).

Since weapons of this period are less effective than moden and futuristic 
weapons, the size of the beaten zone is reduced to a 1 1/2in radius from 
the impact point. Similarly, lacking the sophisticated modern targetting 
systems, they are also less accurate. To simulate this, the fall of shot 
may deviate from the intended target point. Roll 1d6 and subtract 1 for the 
deviation distance (in units of 1/2in) and roll 1D12 for the direction 
using the "clockface" method (the direction of "12" should be agreed).

Aircraft pay for FGPs (even thogh they actually have CFEs). This represents 
the increased cost of airframes. Guided missiles are not available but all 
other aircraft weapons are with the usual restrictions.

Zone Air Defence systems are multiple AA weapon mounts such as Bofors guns 
or the German Wirbelwind. 


In the mid 20th century, communications systems were far less reliable than 
they are even today. Consequently, we must introduce some rules to make it 
more difficult for commanders to communicate orders to their troops. For a 
commander (at company level and above) to communicate with subordinate 
units, he must have a Communications System available. Such a system is 
represented either by a specialist infantry team or a vehicle. 
Communications Systems are available in three qualities, Basic, Enhanced or 
Superior. A Basic Comms. system costs 60 points, an Enhanced system 90 
points and a Superior system 120 points. All Comms. systems occupy 8 
capacity points.

In order to activate a unit, then the unit's superior commander must 
successfully communicate with it. Roll a D6 for Basic system, a D8 for an 
Enhanced system or a D10 for a Superior system (note that it is the quality 
of the Comms. system with the superior commander that is considered here).

If the score is LESS THAN DOUBLE the superior commander's LEADERSHIP number 
Communication fails, the unit's activation is lost this turn (the unit 
takes no actions and it's COMMAND MARKER is inverted).

Communication is successful and the unit is activated as normal.

The following are suggested DIRTSIDE II stats for a selection of WWII 

PzKpfw I: Size 2, Armour 1, Very Slow Tracked, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon 
Basic, 1 * APSW.

PzKpfw II: Size 2, Armour 1, Very Slow Tracked,  Stealth 0, ECM 
None,Firecon Basic, 1 * KEC/1 in turret, 1 * APSW.

PzKpfw III: Size 2, Armour 1 or 2, Very Slow Tracked,  Stealth 0, ECM None, 
Firecon Basic, 1 * KEC/1, KEC/2 or KEC/3 in turret, 2 * APSW [Gun and 
armour depends on variant].

PzKpfw IV: Size 2, Armour 1 or 2, Very Slow Tracked,  Stealth 0, ECM None, 
Firecon Basic, 1 * KEC/3 in turret, 2 * APSW.

Panther: Size 3, Armour 3, Slow Tracked, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon 
Basic, 1 * KEC/4 in turret, 2 * APSW.

Tiger I: Size 3, Armour 3, Very Slow Tracked, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon 
Basic, 1 * KEC/5 in turret, 1 * APSW.

Tiger II: Size 4, Armour 4, Very Slow Tracked, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon 
Basic, 1 * KEC/5 in turret, 2 * APSW.

T-34: Size 3, Armour 3, Slow Tracked, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon Basic, 1 
* KEC/3 in turret, 2 * APSW.

Churchill: Size 3 Armour 3, Very Slow Tracked, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon 
Basic, 1 * KEC/3 in turret, 2 * APSW.

Sherman: Size 3, Armour 2, Slow Tracked, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon 
Basic, 1 * KEC/3 or KEC/4 in turret, 2 * APSW. (The KEC/4 option is the 
Sherman Firefly or equivalent).

M3 Half Track: Size 2, Armour 1, Half Tracked, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon 
None, 1 * APSW (optional), capacity for 2 infantry teams.

Jeep: Size 1, Armour 0, High Mobility Wheeled, Stealth 0, ECM None, Firecon 
None, up to 2 * APSW (optional), capacity for 1 infantry team.

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