This is something which I've been thinking about for some time. I think the command and fire-and-movement mechanics of M44 are exactly as good as the similar rules in C&C:A or BL- very good indeed in other words. And the multiplicity of terrain types is part of what makes M44 the game it is. But the richer diversity of unit interactions in Ancients left me thinking that core M44- with its essentially identical Americans, British and Germans, was feeling a bit flat. So I decided to expand the nationality rules to make each army have its unique flavour.
Before the rules, thanks are called for to neil1967 and Randwulf at DoW: M44. The British 'big push' rule was Neil's idea first, and Randwulf helped fix the Kampfgruppe rule.
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units, a German player may choose to discard 1 command card and order no units. The player may then draw 2 cards, choose 1 to keep, and discard the other.
A German player may form a Kampgruppe- ie. combine 2 depleted units into 1 unit. The 2 depleted units must be of the same type: infantry, armour, or artillery. If a unit with a special ability combines with a unit without that special ability, that special ability is not retained by the Kampgruppe; ie. units must each have the same special ability for that ability to be retained by the Kampfgruppe.
Order both units. Move either or both units so that they are in the same hex as each other. Remove any models in excess of the unit's full strength. The opposing player does not gain a victory medal for the removal of the depleted German unit. Neither of the 2 depleted units forming the new Kampfgruppe, nor the newly formed Kampgruppe, may move any further or battle at all in the turn in which the Kampgruppe is formed.
The German player's hand capacity is reduced by 1 card for the rest of the game each and every time a Kampgruppe is formed; NB. the German player's hand capacity may not be reduced below 3 cards through the formation of Kampgruppe.
A British infantry unit may always fire at an opposing infantry unit with a minimum of 1 battle dice after battle dice reductions are applied for the defending infantry unit's terrain. Battle dice reductions due to the attacking unit's terrain may reduce this as normal; eg. British infantry in wire firing at an infantry unit in woods at 3-hex range would have 1-1=0 battle dice and would therefore be unable to fire. Bonus battle dice gained via Tactics cards are always applied on top of this; eg. the aforementioned unit would fire with 1-1+1=1 battle dice if using the 'Their Finest Hour' card.
'The 'big' push'
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units as normal, a British player may choose to play a command card as a plan. The command card is played face-down in front of the British player. The British player does not draw a new card when he plays a card as a plan. In subsequent turns, the British player may either play command cards from his hand as normal; or he may develop his plan, by playing another card face down in front of himself as above.
When the British player starts a turn with 2 planning command cards face down in front of him, he must go ahead with the plan. Both command cards are revealed, and are executed in the same turn. The British player replenishes his hand to its full value after playing his planning cards.
- The printed 'Medics and Mechanics' card orders 2 units instead of 1
- 'Recon 1' to be used as a 'Medics and Mechanics' card.
At the start of the game, and immediately after (ie. before the card's orders are issued) the play of the 'Their Finest Hour' card, the US Army may 'mulligan'
- the US Army player may discard as many cards as he chooses
- the US Army player then draws 1 card fewer than the number of cards he chose to discard
- the US Army player then draws 1 extra card on the conclusion of his next turn, to refill his hand to its normal size.
'Russian command rule'
In late-war scenarios, in which the Russian command rule is taken as not applying:
- the rule still applies
- but the command cards which the Russian player may play from their hand now include all Tactics cards as well as those already specified.