FIONN KELLY'S COMBAT MISSION ARMOR RULES - UPDATED FOR CM v1.12


 
 

Tired of Combat Mission small scenario imbalance caused by one player choosing too many heavy tanks or yet another Pershing vs JagdPanther slugfest? Then why not try some pbem games using one of the two Armor 'rules' below - 'Short-75 Rule' and 'Panther-76 Rule' - devised by Fionn Kelly to try and eliminate the 'killer heavy tanks' and bring some balance, tactics and strategy back into the smaller armor battles.

Or how about adding a little more manoeuvre and dash to an Infantry-only battle? If so, you may care to try Fionn Kelly's 'Recon Rule' which adds reconnaissance vehicles to an Infantry-only battle.

Please note these 'rules' are guidelines only and provide a solid basis for players to set up balanced battles without worrying about whether your opponent has bought a killer heavy tank. If you play by these 'rules', you should agree them with your PBEM opponent before starting the battle.

NOTE: These Rules have been amended to cater for the armor changes applied to Combat Mission with effect from version 1.12.
 
 

Some Important Initial Notes

Artillery

Artillery should not necessarily be included in the rules below, but in many ways limiting artillery size inevitably follows from the application of these rules. For example, if playing to the 'Short-75 Rule', it would seem a little off kilter to purchase 300mm+ artillery to simply blast the enemy apart. Fionn Kelly suggests the levels of artillery consistent with the various armor limitations should be as follows:

1. Recon Rule - has its own specific limitation of up to and including 81mm calibre

2. Short-75 Rule - allow up to and including 105mm calibre

3. Panther-76 Rule - allow up to and including 155mm calibre
 
 

Bunkers & Aircraft

Although again not necessarily included in the rules below, these possible components of a battle can have a very unbalancing effect on the game and go against the spirit of the rules which are trying to define as evenly balanced a game as possible. This is especially so under the 'Recon Rule' and 'Short-75 Rule' but perhaps slightly less so under the 'Panther-76 Rule'.

The recommendation is Bunkers and Aircraft should be EXCLUDED for games played under 'Recon Rule', 'Short-75 Rule' and Panther-76 Rule' unless both players agree to their inclusion from the outset and can prepare accordingly.
 
 


1. RECON RULE



The 'Recon Rule' is aimed at offering a little spice to essentially Infantry-only games by allowing players to purchase reconnaissance vehicles in addition to infantry.

The 'Recon Rule' game allows vehicles, including light tanks, to be included but limited to those with maximum 50mm guns - this is simply so that the Germans can field Pumas since they have no cheap 37mm armed vehicles which can go toe to toe with the Allies otherwise - and up to a maximum calibre for artillery of 81mm.

HTs, mortar carriers and flamethrower vehicles are all allowed, but not flamethrower tanks since they would not be vulnerable to a 50mm gun.

60mm, 75mm and 81mm mortars and FOs are all allowed - 81mm being the maximum.

There is no limit to the size of towed guns permitted, so you can buy big AT and IG guns if you really want overkill!

The balance of infantry vs armour in his force is entirely up to each player.

Allies should realistically take one country only and although you can mix paratroopers with regular troops, you should not have units from two countries.

Applying the 'Recon Rule' should result in games of dash, chance and manoeuvre in which no one arm of an army is sufficiently strong to dominate the enemy by fire and, as such, it should result in teaching good infantry tactics as infantry will be the key to victory.

Games played to the 'Recon Rule' are usually tactically richer than Infantry-only games whilst still maintaining the essential Infantry focussed nature of Infantry-only games. Furthermore, 'Recon Rule' will help teach infantry tactics for assaulting towns and the like as neither a player's artillery nor his direct fire firepower will be sufficient to suppress an enemy hiding in houses or to destroy those houses.
 
 


2. SHORT-75 RULE



The 'Short-75 Rule' is an attempt to allow CM PBEM opponents to limit armor purchases to medium tanks, rather than have every single PBEM battle turn into an engagement between highly armored super tanks carrying 88mm and 90mm guns. This list spells out specifically which tanks are included and which are excluded by the 'Short-75 Rule'. You can add to or subtract from this list as you (and your opponent) see fit.

Please understand that this 'rule' isn't really a rule at all, it's just an agreement between opposing players to limit their armor purchases in quick battles to try to get away from playing the umpteenth King Tiger vs. Super Pershing battle.

Anti-Tank guns are not on the excluded list because, although deadly to tanks, they are highly vulnerable to shelling and infantry attack. Tank Destroyers (though thinly armored) are excluded because of their large amount of AP rounds, their mobility, and their relative invulnerability to infantry. You can certainly add these tanks back in if you wish, but the German player may be especially vulnerable to the fast tank destroyers (Hellcat and Jackson in particular) which are not only fast vehicles, but also have very fast turrets.

The reasoning behind including some tanks with larger calibre weapons such as the 95mm, 105mm, and 150mm guns is they do not fire AP rounds, and carry a very limited number of hollow core (c) shells with which to kill enemy tanks. They are mostly just infantry killers and are themselves very susceptible to AP rounds. But feel free to exclude them if you wish.
 
 
 
Short-75 Rule
American
Included
Excluded
M5A1 Stuart
37/884
M4A3(75)w+
75/619
armor
M4
75/619
M4A1(76)w
76/793
gun
M4 Crocodile
75/619
M4A1(76)w+
76/793
both
M4(105)
105/473
M4A3(76)w
76/793
gun
M4A1
75/619
M4A3(76)w Easy 8
76/793
gun
M4A2 (French)
75/619
M4A3(76)w+
76/793
both
M4A3
75/619
M4A3(76)w+ Easy 8
76/793
both
M4A3(105)
105/473
M4A3E2 Jumbo
75/619
armor
M4A3(75)w
75/619
M4A3E2(76) Jumbo
76/793
both
M7 Priest
105/473
M26 Pershing
90/854
both
M7A1 Priest
105/473
T26E4 Super Pershing
90/976
both
M8 HMC
75/381
M10 TD
76/793
gun
M24 Chaffee
75/619
M18 Hellcat
76/793
gun
  M36 Jackson
90/810
gun
M36B1 Jackson
90/810
gun

 
 
Short-75 Rule
British
Included
Excluded
Tank
Gun
Tank
Gun
Reason
Stuart V
37/884
Sherman IIA
76/793
gun
Sherman II
75/619
Sherman IIC Firefly
76/884
gun
Sherman III
75/619
Sherman VC Firefly
76/884
gun
Sherman V
75/619
Challenger
76/884
gun
Badger (Canadian)
-
Churchill VII
75/619
armor
Centaur IV
95/503
Churchill Crocodile
75/619
armor
Cromwell IV
75/619
Churchill VIII
95/503
armor
Cromwell VI
95/503
Comet
76/792
gun
Cromwell VII
75/619
Wolverine
76/793
gun
Cromwell VIII
95/503
Achilles
76/884
gun
Churchill VI
75/619
Archer
76/884
gun
Churchill AVRE
290/48
Sexton
88/610
gun

 
 
Short-75 Rule
German
Included
Excluded
Tank
Gun
Tank
Gun
Reason
H39 Hotchkiss
37/705
Tiger
88/773
both
Lynx (Pz IIL)
20/780
Tiger late
88/773
both
Panzer IVG
75/790
King Tiger Porsche
88/1018
both
Panzer IVH
75/790
King Tiger
88/1018
both
Panzer IVJ
75/790
PantherA
75/925
both
Wespe
105/496
PantherG
75/925
both
Marder II
75/790
PantherG late
75/925
both
Ostwind
37/820
JagdPanzer IV
75/790
armor
Wirbelwind
20/780
JagdPanzer IV skirt
75/790
armor
Hummel
150/460
Nashorn
88/1018
gun
Marder III late
75/790
PanzerIV/70(V)
75/925
both
StuH42
105/496
JagdTiger
128/920
both
StuH42 late
105/496
JagdPanther
88/1018
both
StuG IIIG
75/790
Flammpanzer
-
armor
StuG IIIG late
75/790
Hetzer 38t
75/790
armor
StuG IV
75/790
 

 
 
 

3. PANTHER-76 RULE



The 'Panther-76 Rule' is an adaptation of the 'Short-75 Rule' to allow the use of the German Panther tanks and the Allied tanks that carry 76mm guns. It still excludes the true heavyweights (King Tiger, JagdTiger, JagdPanther and Pershings), but gives a wider range of armor choices.

'Panther-76 Rule' Changes for v1.12 onwards

1. The Tiger is now included under the 'Panther-76 Rule' since its armor is vulnerable to the 76mm gun's AP round.

2. Both 75mm and 76mm Sherman Jumbos are now allowed since the Panther can easily penetrate their frontal armor from medium range.

3. The Nashorn and the M36 Jacksons are now allowed since, although they have powerful guns, their armor is thin and they can be killed by any sort of ATG and tank gun.

4. The Panzer IV/70(V) (an up-armored JagdPanzer IV) is now included since, although its upper frontal armor is not usually vulnerable to a normal 76/793 AP round even with its lower (90%) armor quality rating, it is vulnerable frontally to any 76mm or 17 pounder Tungsten round. In addition, its thin side armor makes it very vulnerable to any flank shots.
 
 
 
Panther-76 Rule
American
Included
Excluded
M5A1 Stuart
37/884
M26 Pershing
90/854
both
M4
75/619
T26E4 Super Pershing
90/97
both
M4 Crocodile
75/619
 
M4(105)
105/473
M4A1
75/619
M4A1(76)w
76/793
M4A1(76)w+
76/793
M4A2 (French)
75/619
M4A3
75/619
M4A3(105)
105/473
M4A3(75)w
75/619
M4A3(75)w+ 
75/619
M4A3(76)w
76/793
M4A3(76)w Easy 8
76/793
M4A3(76)w+
76/793
M4A3(76)w+ Easy 8
76/793
M7 Priest
105/473
M7A1 Priest
105/473
M8 HMC
75/381
M10 TD
76/793
M18 Hellcat
76/793
M24 Chaffee
75/619
M4A3E2 Jumbo
75/619
M4A3E2(76) Jumbo
76/793
M36 Jackson
90/810
M36B1 Jackson
90/810

 
 
Panther-76 Rule
British
Included
Excluded
Tank
Gun
Tank
Gun
Reason
Stuart V
37/884
none
-
-
Sherman II
75/619
 
Sherman IIA
76/793
Sherman IIC Firefly
76/884
Sherman III
75/619
Sherman V
75/619
Sherman VC Firefly
76/884
Badger (Canadian)
-
Centaur IV
95/503
Cromwell IV
75/619
Cromwell VI
95/503
Cromwell VII
75/619
Cromwell VIII
95/503
Challenger
76/884
Churchill VI
75/619
Churchill VII
75/619
Churchill Crocodile
75/619
Churchill VIII
95/503
Comet
76/792
Wolverine
76/793
Achilles
76/884
Archer
76/884
Sexton
88/610
Churchill AVRE
290/48

 
 
Panther-76 Rule
German
Included
Excluded
Tank
Gun
Tank
Gun
Reason
H39 Hotchkiss
37/705
King Tiger
88/1018
armor
Lynx (Pz IIL)
20/780
King Tiger Porsche
88/1018
armor
Panzer IVG
75/790
JagdTiger
128/920
both
Panzer IVH
75/790
JagdPanther
88/1018
armor
Panzer IVJ
75/790
 
Panther A
75/925
Panther G
75/925
Panther G late
75/925
Wespe
105/496
Marder II
75/790
Ostwind
37/820
Wirbelwind
20/780
Hummel
150/460
JagdPanzer IV
75/790
JagdPanzer IV skirt
75/790
Flammpanzer
-
Hetzer 38t
75/790
Marder III late
75/790
StuH42
105/496
StuH42 late
105/496
StuG IIIG
75/790
StuG IIIG late
75/790
StuG IV
75/790
Tiger
88/773
Tiger late
88/773
Nashorn
88/1018
Panzer IV/70(V)
75/925

 
 
 
 
 

SUMMARY



Despite the above so-called 'rules' and limitations listed here, it is still up to PBEM opponents to choose what type of CM battle they wish to play and the rules by which they wish to play them. These guidelines can be either helpful or just plain irritating depending on your point of view.

Whatever rules you choose to play by, just be sure your opponent agrees with all of them before starting the battle. Proper communication beforehand is the key to safe and happy PBEMing.

With thanks to Fionn Kelly for the original ideas and for all the above data.

Robert Hall (Tomcat)