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HIT THE DIRT

WW2 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN


Jon Sword & Steve Pike.
INTRODUCTION
These rules were written with one aim, to deliver a fast, enjoyable game with
mechanisms that are relevant to WW2 in the period from D-Day to VE Day on the
Western front.
Games based outside of this will need amending and adding to as players see fit. In
style we have tried to make the rules play like many other periods and we hope to take
out a lot of fiddling about that can often bog down WWII games. We have also used the
rules for more modern conflicts like the Falklands.
Remember, rules are there for the guidance of wise men or the blind obedience of fools.
We hope that you enjoy using these rules.
Dagger and Spike.
FIGURE SCALE
It doesnt matter what figure scale you use as the rules suit any figure scale. However,
we use a scale of approximately 1 to 10 and, more importantly perhaps; we have our
armour and guns on the same ratio. We find that this gives a better game where the
infantry take priority and games do not revolve around AFVs.
TURN SEQUENCE
We use a more fluid turn sequence. This is because WW2 is primarily about fire and
movement. Therefore our games tend to need a little bit more concentration but we
think this results in a much better type of game.
Each phase may include communications (comms) and this is achieved on the throw of
a D6.
Man pack radios fail on a 1 or 2 and vehicle mounted radios fail on a throw of 1.
Throw a D6 for each level step you make, e.g. Company Command to FOO and then
FOO to guns. Infantry and armour units take the test as a unit because they are netted,
e.g. once a platoon sends OK then all of the company hears.
1.

PRE GAME MAP APPRECIATION, ORDERS & PLOT DEPLOYMENT


All units should be given orders by means of arrows denoting axis of advance or
arcs of fire plotted on the map. Units do not wander around the table aimlessly
looking for trouble and reacting to any situation instantly. These kind of games
are poor and unrewarding. Units may change orders depending on what they can
see and are ordered to do via radio comms / runner / personal leadership etc.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


2.

MOVEMENT PHASE
Both side move simultaneously. If it becomes important who moves first then
follow the table as for who fires first. It may be necessary to fire at the same time
as moving and units may do this if eligible but remember they can only fire once
per turn. Such fire is allowed to cover the movement of troops by pinning or
perhaps suppressing your opponent. This is crucial in the WW2 period. Units
that are on over watch may also fire at any unit that may be out of sight at the
beginning or end of the movement phase counting as snap shots and includes
pre determined / speculative firing.

3.

SPOTTING PHASE
Spotting is taking into account two main features, observation and aiming,
alternatively known as acquisition. This enables you to see what the general
picture is and also to lay your weapon sights on the target. As a consequence of
the WW2 soldiers ability to use field craft to avoid being shot, it is necessary to
spot continuously. This means you only keep eyes on a target if both you and
the target remain static once spotted. If either or both move then you must respot. Troops that are informed by radio comms of the position of the enemy must
still spot to fire because they need to lay their weapons. The point of the comms
is to validate a reaction to a known contact, thus you may turn to face a new
direction.

4.

FIRING PHASE
Both sides fire simultaneously. As with movement, this means that at some point
it has to be decided who fires first . Priority is decided in the following order and
may change along your front:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Troop quality
Static defenders
Over watch
A D6 throw

There is no priority by weapon firing so a player can use any sequence or order
as it depends on tactics. It is simply assumed that all firing continues throughout
each move to cover the whole move. As a guide, where no preference is
required, follow the sequence listed below:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

Indirect HE from all sources


Direct HE, including grenades and aircraft bombs, satchel charges,
demolitions and flame throwers
Anti-tank, including aircraft anti tank and AP shots at non AFVs such as
anti tank guns
Small arms, including AFV mounted MMGs etc.
Any other

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


5.

ASSAULT PHASE
Conclude any assaults which may include firing as above.

6.

MORALE TESTS
These take place at the instant of the cause applying as they have direct effects
upon movement, firing or assaults etc. The results of any tests are applied
immediately.
MOVEMENT
Crawling
Vehs Reversing
2

Normal

Assault

Obstacles

6 + D Avg

8 + D Avg

-4

Regular Inf

8 + D Avg

10 + D Avg

-3

Vet/Elite Inf

10 + D Avg

12 + D Avg

-2

Wheeled Veh

24 + D Avg

26 + D Avg

N/A

Horse Drawn

N/A

10 + D Avg

N/A

-6

Light AFV

16 + D Avg

6 + D Avg

-8 *

Medium AFV

12 + D Avg

6 + D Avg

-6 *

Heavy AFV

8 + D Avg

6 + D Avg

-4 *

Troop Class
Raw Inf

* D6 Test for AFVs taken every move spent crossing over obstacles to see if a track is
thrown. Light AFV throws a track on 1 or 2. Medium AFV on 1. Heavy AFV N/A.
Repairs by the vehicles crew takes 2 moves or by an ARV in 1 move.
Medium / Heavy AFVs make gaps in hedges except Bocage which requires a Cullin
device to be fitted to the vehicle.
OBSTACLE TYPES Ditch, Stream, Woods (not on track), Substantial fences and
walls, broken ground, ploughed fields, wire of any type and railway lines.
SOFT GROUND TEST The chance of bogging down for Light AFVs = 1 or 2, Medium
AFVs = 1 to 4 and Heavy AFVs = 1 to 5.
In addition moving uphill or through built up areas reduces speed to HALF.
NOTE: All units may move at the rates above plus a D AV until fired upon and thereafter
by LV bonus whilst they are led by a Coy / Bn Commander. Once he is lost all
movement reverts to the standard set move speed only.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


SPOTTING AND OBSERVATION
Any units must be spotted unless previously spotted and neither side has moved.
Spotting takes place all the time throughout the game and is also part of acquisition
during firing of all types.
Type of Target

D6 Score Required

Troops / Vehicles in the open

3, 4, 5, 6

Partial cover / camouflage

4, 5, 6

Full cover / smoked off / Inside buildings etc.

5, 6

MODIFIERS
+1

Already acquired with no breaks


Moving target up to medium AFV and Infantry platoon in size
Recce units and OP teams including FOO and FAO
Sniper
AFV on over watch
Spotting weapons with a back blast or flames
Veteran / Elite
Within 12"

+2

Firing repeatedly, belt fed or already fired any weapon from the same
position
Heavy AFV or Infantry Coy group or larger
Spotting within 2"

-1

First time spotting a target


Spotting whilst suppressed
Target is above 36" from spotter
Spotter under small arms fire or direct HE including cannon fire
Spotter moving (except recce troops)
Closed down AFV spotting ATG
Attempting to spot through rain, mist or battle smoke

-2

Spotter under indirect HE or mortar fire including flame throwers


Target is static and not firing
AFV attempting to spot infantry in groups less than 4 figures within 4" of
the centre of the vehicle
Target is above 48" from spotter
Attempting to spot outside the 45 arc of normal observation
Spotting whilst pinned or withdrawing

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


SMALL ARMS
Effective Ranges (Inches)

Weapon

Short

Long

SMG Groups

12

Not Effective

Rifle / LMG

18

36

MMG / HMG / Cannon

24

40

Sniper

36

48

Firing groups are no more than 6 figures, single LMG, HMG or cannon.
To hit the target throw 1 D6 per platoon, firing group or LMG / MMG etc and consult the
table below:
Target in

Firing Group

Open

Soft Cover / Prone

Hard Cover

4, 5, 6

5, 6

Sniper

3, 4, 5, 6

4, 5, 6

5, 6

SMG Group

3, 4, 5, 6

4, 5, 6

5, 6

LMG / MMG

3, 4, 5, 6

4, 5, 6

5, 6

4, 5, 6

4, 5, 6

5, 6

3, 4, 5, 6

3, 4, 5, 6

5, 6

Rifle Group

Single Cannon
Multiple Cannon
MODIFIERS
+1

Short range targets


2nd time firing at the same static target
Enfilade / bunched target / Sky lined
Veteran / Elite
Static defenders firing from prepared positions or MMG from an AFV

-1

Firer also under fire


Target is prone infantry
Firer is moving
Target is moving
Target is over 36

EFFECTS OF HITS 5, 6 = kill from automatic weapons, 6 = kill from rifle groups.
Throw a D10t o test if an officer or other specialist figure is hit. Throw 1D6 per figure
firing in rifle / SMG groups / Sniper, 3D6 per LMG, 4D6 per MMG or single cannon, 6D6
per multiple cannon .Cover effects on the volume of fire hitting is reflected by dropping a
dice for each type of cover.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.

INDIRECT FIRE
1.

MORTARS AND INDIRECT HE


Company / Battalion commanders and FOOs are the only figures that can call in
fire missions from the gun batteries. Mortars are requested the same way for a
company commander but not C.O. who will always override all other requests
where necessary. It is advised to state in the scenario a mortar or HE fire plan.
Follow the method below to resolve indirect HE:
Throw 1D6 for comms. Fail on 1 or 2 if man pack radio. Fail on 1 if vehicle
mounted radio. -1 to D6 if in woods or built up area.
Throw 1D6 to task the guns (they may be too busy). If DF add +1. The FOO
needs 2 or above except when following a fire plan and company / battalion
commanders need 3 or above except when following a fire plan.
For mortars, a company commander must score 2 and above to request
when not allocated to his company.
Throw 1D6 to range in. Static targets are ranged on a 3, 4, 5, 6 and moving
targets on 4, 5, 6. +1 to dice if the FOO is controlling the shoot. (Note this is a
single tube firing a single round, there is no need to plot a miss.
If FAIL, add +1 to the D6 roll for each subsequent attempt per turn.
If HIT, fire for effect with mortars THIS turn and guns NEXT turn or when
requested using the following number of dice:
Light Guns

4 x D6

Medium Guns

6 x D6

Heavy Guns

8 x D6

Rocket / Werfers

10 x D6

Assess casualties killed on the chart below:


Standing in the open

4, 5, 6

Prone in the open / in soft cover


Dug in / in hard cover

5, 6 Drop 2 Dice
6 Drop 4 Dice

Bunkers

Morale test only

Note: Kills against Med and Hvy AFVs are not possible. Light AFV`s and soft
skin vehicles should be counted as targets in soft cover with the crews /
passengers counting the same. Hard cover if in half tracks / Kangaroo etc. A kill
destroys the vehicle and occupants on the same throw, 3 kills are needed to
destroy the vehicle as well. Being under indirect fire causes a morale test.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.

2.

DAMAGE AGAINST BUILDINGS


The calibre of the guns must be capable of causing serious damage to
structures. Therefore guns cannot knock out bunkers but may suppress the
occupants even when they are not killed. Buildings will burn on a D6 roll of 3 (first
hit only).

3.

SMOKE SHOOTING
This is the same procedure if fired by guns or mortars. Once fire for effect has
been achieved the smoke screen will be built up by the gunners. Add into the
impact area 3" x 3" pieces of smoke for each gun to build the screen up instead
of throwing for casualties. The smoke screen will move 3" in the prevailing wind
direction and lasts for 3 moves only.
Local smoke can be achieved by 2" mortars and smoke grenades.
DIRECT HE (Including bombs from aircraft, hand grenades, charges etc).

AFVs on the move can fire HE assuming they are carrying HE ammunition.
To fire direct HE you must first spot the target. Throw 1D6 and refer to the table in the
Spotting section above.
To hit the target throw 1D6 and compare the result to the following table:
NB:

A score of 6 is considered to have hit any slit or embrasure opening on a bunker


or similar structure.
Range to Target

*Short (inc Grenades)

Target Type and Size


Small Target

Larger Area Target

4, 5, 6

3, 4, 5, 6

*Effective (inc Aircraft)


5, 6
*See the table below for gun / weapon range bands:
Gun Type

4, 5, 6

Range Bands (Inches)


Short

Effective

Light Gun

20

40

Medium Gun

30

60

Heavy Gun

40

80

Rifle / Hand Grenades

Man pack Flame throwers

Vehicle mounted Flame throwers

12

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


MODIFIERS
Hit a previous target in this area / second or subsequent shoot at same
target in last two moves.
Veteran / Elite.

+1

Dropping a grenade through a slit or opening in a bunker etc.


SP Gun or similar e.g. AVRE.
Target is sky lined.
-1

Firing into smoke or obstruction / cover from view / Soft cover.


Raw / poor troops.
Side on moving target or ALL moving targets to aircraft.
Firer is suppressed.

-2

Head on moving target.


AFV firing on the move.

EFFECTS OF H.E. ON TARGET


Gun Type

No of D6

Light Gun

Medium Gun
(Grenades)

Heavy Guns
(Flame Throwers)

Target Type and Effect


Targets in the open and stood up are killed on a 5
or 6; Targets in any type of cover or prone on a 6,
dropping 1 D6 for each cover type . Survivors take
a morale test.
Targets in the open and stood up are killed on a 4,
5 or 6; Targets in soft cover or prone on a 4 or 5;
Targets in hard cover on a 6. Drop 1 D6 for each
cover type. Survivors take a morale test.
Targets / equipment in the open are killed /
destroyed on a 3, 4, 5 or 6; Targets in soft cover on
a 4, 5 or 6; Targets in hard cover on a 5 or 6.Drop
1 D6 for each cover type Survivors take a morale
test.

MODIFIERS
+1

If target is bunched or in confined space such as a bunker, vehicle or


trench.

Officer casualties and weapons are diced for per small arms hits. Vehicles etc count as
3 casualties to be destroyed and are counted as well as (in addition and simultaneously)
any casualties inflicted on the dice throw.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


MINES
Un-cleared A/T and A/P mines explode on a D6 throw of 4, 5, or 6. Cleared mines
explode on a 6.
A/P mines count as medium guns for hits if exploded and A/T mines count as heavy
guns on belly shots as for Anti Tank firing. See below.
SATCHEL CHARGES
Explode, when set, on a D6 throw of 2 or above and count as heavy gun effects on the
direct HE chart above.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


ANTI TANK FIRING
To fire Anti tank weapons you must first spot the target. Throw 1D6 and refer to the table
in the Spotting section above. If spotted then continue measuring the range .

Gun Type

Range Bands (Inches)


Short

Effective

Light Gun

20

40

Medium Gun

30

60

Heavy Gun

40

80

PIAT / Faust

Bazooka / Schreck

10

Aircraft

80*

To hit the target throw 1D6 and consult the following table:
Target Aspect to Firer

Target Type
Static Target

Moving Target

Head On In Open

4, 5, 6

5, 6

Side On In Open

3, 4, 5, 6

4, 5, 6

5, 6

Hull Down *
MODIFIERS
+1

German or all veterans or modern AFV or gun etc or IR etc.


Short range (includes PIAT, Faust & Schreck).
Each subsequent round fired at the same static target up to a max of +3.
Target is sky lined.

-1

Firer under A/Tk or direct or indirect HE fire etc or suppressed.


Soft cover / cover from view. *(can count cover from view if hull down
but only if turret is covered by cover,i.e. Bush,tree etc)
Small AFV i.e. no turret small armoured cars etc.*(count even if hull
down).
Fast mover i.e. wheels or light AFV that moved over half allowable dist.
Firing weapon has Trunnion tilt or gun over side or back decks.

-2

Hard cover. *( do not count hull down as well as)


Target obscured by smoke, mist, dust or rain.
Snap shot. (moving target covered from view either at start/end move)
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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


EFFECT OF ANTI TANK FIRING
Armour Class

Gun Type

Light

Medium

Heavy

5, 6K

6K

NO EFFECT

4, 5, 6K

5, 6K

6K

3, 4, 5 ,6K

4, 5 ,6K

5, 6K

Light
Medium / PIAT/Faust
Heavy / Schreck / Aircraft
Hand held / A/T Grenade

As for Heavy Gun

MODIFIERS
+1

Close range.
Rear or Belly shot.

Throw a D 4 to determine damage effects on the AFV that has been hit.
Matching the armour value means the AFV is disabled.
Surpassing the armour value is a kill.
Scoring under the armour value means damaged is inflicted but not enough to disable
or kill the AFV but will add to any subsequent damage caused by any other firing.
Results are cumalative unless the AFV retires to repair to remove the damage caused
so far.
Light AFV s are valued at 2 .
Med AFV`s are valued at 3 .
Heavy AFV`s are at 4.
Super Heavy AFV`s are valued at 5.
Schurtzen armour etc adds 1 to defence value.
Shermans when hit even if only disabled must take the Ronson test. Throw 1D6 - 1, 2,
3, = brew up instantly.
A morale test must also be taken when fired at. If withdraw is the result and the AFV is
disabled the crew bail out.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


ASSAULT PHASE
Troops that are assaulting are using their weapons prior to contacting the enemy. If the
enemy stand and have fired first themselves, there may be a physical element to this
phase of the battle. Grenades are factored in and are not separate.
WHO FIGHTS
Suppressed troops fight and fire half their number. Pinned troops that are physically
contacted, even without an assault, must surrender. To enter buildings or defences the
assaulting attackers must suppress or pin the defenders. A maximum of 2 figures may
fight an outnumbered single figure.
HOW TO RESOLVE THE ASSAULT PHASE
MODIFIERS Add / subtract the following per group of figures firing:
+1

Veteran troops.
SMG Squad.
Assaulting this turn.
Supported by another unit firing at enemy being assaulted on Run In.
Supported by another unit also within reach of assault position.
Assaulting with at least half as many troops again as defenders.

+2

Elite troops.
Defending trenches or other types of hard cover.

-1

Militia / Poorly trained or tired troops.


Suppressed.
Outflanked*.
Ambushed or surprised.

-2

Pinned.
No Leader.
Attacked in rear*.
* In some scenarios, troops may be constantly outflanked / surrounded therefore ignore.
Using the final figure as a base factor, throw 1D6 and add the score to the base factor
for each figure fighting, the highest score wins. If the result is the same for both sides
the combat will continue.
Lose by 1 or 2 figures = Pull back at assault speed.
Lose by more than 2 figures = Retreat at assault speed and take a morale test.
Winning units may choose to pursue or hold the newly won position but once contact
with the enemy is broken cleanly, the unit must spend a move stationary to re-organise.
The unit may fire during this period.
Losing units must also spend a move stationary re-organising IF they pass their
morale test. They may also fire during this period but do so as Suppressed.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


MORALE
WHEN TO TEST
When troops are fired at by any type of weapon.
When a unit receives a casualty / reaches 75% and 50% strength.
When attempting to assault / stand (Unit can avoid the test if it chooses to withdraw).
When AFVs suffer a disable shot to see if the crews abandons.
If attacked by aircraft , as aircraft attacks if spotted and then once fired at / bombed.
Friendly units of equal or higher class are seen to rout.
HOW TO TEST
Elite units throw a D12. Veteran / Regulars throw a D10. Poor / Raw troops throw a D8.
When a unit is reduced to 75% of its strength it drops to the next lowest dice and at 50%
strength to the next lowest dice again. i.e. an Elite unit at 50% strength will throw a D8.
The lowest dice that can be thrown is a D6. Units test as platoons, if operating
independently, up to company level. Coy and Bn tests are taken at the thresholds
indicated above and still taking casualties.
MODIFIERS
+3
Defending Bunkers or similar.
Assaulting an enemy that is pinned
+2

Winning the assault.


In hard cover / trenches.
Assaulting an enemy that is suppressed.

+1

In soft cover or Prone.


Not under fire or fired at but no casualty sufferd excludes sniper fire.

-1

Under Rifle / SMG fire and suffered at least 1 casualty or under sniper fire
even when casual.ty not suffered.
Each AFV abandoned or destroyed in testing unit.

-2

Under fire from sustained fire / cannon / Direct HE / Anti Tank fire if AFV.
Outflanked by fire or manoeuvre.
Losing or lost the assault
Company commander killed
In a mine field.
Suppressed.

-3

Under Indirect HE fire (including AFVs)


Attacked by aircraft
Fired at or threat of assault from rear.
Withdrawing.
Pinned.

-4

Under naval bombardment.


Under Flamethrower attack.
Routing.

* Add or subtract the LV of relevant Commander at the level being tested.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.


RESULTS OF MORALE TEST
-4 or Less
-3 to 0
1 to 2
3 to 5
6 or more

=
=
=
=
=

Rout or Surrender if cannot break contact or are poor quality troops.


Withdraw.
Pinned.
Suppressed.
Carry on.

DEFINITIONS
Rout::-

Panic stricken move to avoid death. May test once per move to try and
regain control. Infantry will surrender if they cannot break contact
cleanly or are poor quality troops.

Withdraw:-

Move at full extent of movement to a better and safer position with only
HALF of the unit allowed to fire ONLY if fired upon and can spot those
firing. Aircraft beaten off if fired at during run in to attack.

Pinned:-

No move and no fire until morale is raised. If no longer fired at must


take a test to move forward again but may withdraw without a test.
Aircraft as above.

Suppressed:-

May move at half speed and may fire up to half of total figures. May
also withdraw without a further test. Aircraft result as above.

Carry On:-

Continue to obey orders and move / fire at full effect.

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HIT THE DIRT. WWII 20mm RULES FROM D-DAY TO BERLIN.

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