Friday, August 7, 2015

Die Fighting 2 at Historico..., and a DF2 FAQ

I ran an eight player game of Die Fighting 2 at Historicon on Friday afternoon; my original thought was to base it upon the Battle of Wavre, but once I contemplated the reality of the 1 hour gap between the end of the previous game and the start of the next, it became clear that any changes in the terrain would have to be minor. Thus, we used the other half of the Ligny table for this game. Unfortunately, as previously noted, I didn't have my camera available, so if any of you took pictures of the game, please feel free to send me some!

 Using almost all of the 200 red "resource" dice, 50 each green and yellow "free" and "command" dice respectively, and a dozen "black dice", all courtesy of I actually didn't need the second 100 red dice, using chips for multiples of 10 dice. 

    We had a full slate of 8 players; each commanded a Prussian or French force of about 8-9 units - 1 battery, 1-2 Cavalry units, rest varying kinds of Infantry from Landwehr to Grenadiers. It was a very eclectic group of gamers, including Eric Burgess, Ian Black (who was a big help as he knew the rules better), Dave Sweet (Charlie's son, my general age and an old friend), two guys who had never played even a single miniature wargame before in their lives (!), and another fellow who had DF 1 and liked it, but seemed unfamiliar with the changes in DF2.

    I had all the players roll for and rate their commanders (the Prussians rolled 3/5 commanders as Foolhardy, including the C&C, while the French had two Headstrong Commanders!). As a result, the Prussians figured defending looked like a good bet! I also had the players roll up their troop quality, as I wanted them to see how this was done (Poor, Crack, or average)

   The French advance took off quickly with 2 Infantry action cards in Turn 1, and the Headstrong commanders - many green "free" dice rolled when over 24" from the enemy. However, the French "Officer Action" card was among the Turn 1 discards, so they greatly outstripped their leadership; the card wasn't turned until late in the second turn, which made them vulnerable to counter attack and artillery fire - especially Dave S.'s murderous Prussian 12 lber battery.  One of the complete newbies launched a vigorous and very successful counterattack with his Cavalry as well. We played through 4 turns but didn't fight to a conclusion with so may players new to the rule The Prussians had a solid lead by the end of the game, with a number of French units having acquired the dreaded "black dice", and we had a very good run through of all of the game mechanisms. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the players happily accepted the free Die Fighting 2 CD's that Bob had kindly provided!

 Tery S sent a ciuple of pics of the game, s here's the first,  with the game just getting under way.

And a second, after the very first few cards were turned by each side.

One thing I didn't do, but is really crucial for Die fighting games once the players have the mechanics down, was to assign objectives and resource die values to them. This counteracts the tendency to excessive caution, and the inevitable increased resource die expenditure associated with advancing and/or attacking.


** For those of you that received promotional copies of DFII for your participation in the  Game, but are not yet in the update database, please forward your email address to Bob Jones by direct email ( )  to receive the latest Update #2- 7/20/15.

In Die Fighting 2, the various period templates act as a sort of QRS; I think a second page would be helpful for new players with a summary of the key rules mechanics, as well as the period specific weapon ranges. On the other hand, the progressive development of the rules has been fun to watch - the use of green "free" dice for moves distant from the enemy has been a big plus, along with the "black dice", Resource Die pools by command, and the elegant system for eliminating dice for movement and combat in difficult terrain corresponding to the terrain type. Speaking of that, I think another useful thing would be a sequence of actions for dealing with a unit's rolls. As I understand it, it would go like this:

1) Roll all dice (red resource, green free, any successfully allocated yellow leader dice, and any acquired black dice)

2) The black dice and any and all other dice with scores matching that of a black die are removed.

3) any dice with scores matching or less than that of the terrain type the unit is moving through, fighting or firing into are similarly eliminated.

4) The player may now re-roll any or all multiples (pairs, triples, etc) of his choice, UNLESS the unit in question is "Poor", in which case no re rolls of multiples are allowed.

5) Crack units may re-roll their lowest die. Additional re-rolls of the lowest die may also be allowed by other circumstances on the Free Dice Table; such re rolls are done one at a time,  sequentially, so that a given die could be re-rolled multiple times.

I also have a partial FAQ for DIe Fighting II, taken from the Repique Rules Yahoo Group:

According to the period template, we figure a player should never, ever form your infantry into square when threatened by cavalry.  By staying in attack column, you get an extra free die in combat.  By staying in line, you get to fire quite effectively at the closing cavalry (assuming you are loaded of course).  If you are in square...nothing.  The infantry gets no bonuses, the attacking cavalry gets no disadvantages.  Although the infantry in square is less effective for firing, and a much juicier target for enemy firing, which is indeed as it should be. 

Now, in playing other rules, sometimes squares are considered to have no flanks, so that may be true in DF2, so that perhaps might be a benefit.  Sadly, the period template is silent on this issue.  Personally, I would say a square does not have flanks  and therefore should never be outflanked, or attacked from the rear.

Also, sometimes in other rules squares are considered "self-supporting", in that both flanks are considered "supported" even if no units or terrain are nearby.  That also may be true in DF2, so it should get a reroll of the lowest die roll, and perhaps an extra two dice.  I say "perhaps", because the free dice table isn't clear.  The box under two free dice is indeed highlighted, but there is no "X" printed there like every other line on the table.  But if it is true that two free dice are given, forming square is also highly effective against infantry combat, which I really don't think was the case.  Quite the opposite in fact. 

In fact, what the heck is a supported flank in DF2?  I can't seem to find a definition.  Friendly units?  Which ones?  Do infantry units support cavalry?  Vice versa?  How close?  Is march column OK?  Is anchoring a flank on terrain considered support?  What level?  Two or higher?

No problem Tony, I think your issue is simply answered by two factors.  

One:  The tinted cell on the Napoleonic Chart was intended to include the word Square.  This in effect, recognizes the principle strength of the square, that it could not be flanked or easily scattered by cavalry. It is a simple omission typo. I will send corrected tables.

Supported flanks in our rules is either a unit on each flank, or within 6" of that flank.  I.E. an enemy unit could not flank the unit without exposing itself to flanking. (another rule of six!)

Two: as for a square being effective against infantry combat, that is only true if the attacking infantry adopts tactics that move away from what infantry and guns would do in that situation and that is shoot them to pieces.  Any firing unit at a square gets two free green dice.  Given that in an exchange of fire the firer in line would get 2 red, 2 green, and the Square is giving any unit its firing at 2 green dice in its defense. The Square will not survive that long-even with added command dice on defense.  This is particularly true if infantry and artillery target squares for combined fires., Which, given the opportunity, is what they would do.

On the other hand, cavalry does not have these options, as they will be down two dice in melee. (No flanks bonus for square) and if they try mounted fire, they lack the effectiveness of infantry, plus the square gets the mounted target advantage in its fire which compensates somewhat for the Squares lower firepower.

Command dice and the quality of the unit as well as type can influence the combat, but my attempt was to make squares effective against cavalry, but far less so against infantry.  A plus 7 result would, of course, be a broken square in disorder.

Squares, emergency squares, and impervious squares, have in my opinion, been given too much credit by wargamers, as is evident in most earlier and later periods not using it frequently. The Napoleonic wars were its heyday, but even there it was generally reserved for situations where horse was the primary threat and firepower was not available to the enemy.  In the Colonial Wars, it was used on multi-unit scales on defense, but usually only against natives who were either unarmed or poorly armed with firepower weapons.

Remember the final fate of Cambronne and his Grenadiers at Waterloo.  They were not meleed into submission from their tiny square, but shot to pieces.

Thank you for noticing the typo-I will be posting a corrected table to each of you.


Our biggest question was about Skirmishers:  Aside from getting their reloads wrong and thus allowing them to reload up to Twice (on Special Actions and R-R-R-R card -0 just not reading the cards, etc, rules are clear enough) , we were a little unsure about whether the target unit still pay the cost in red dice for any losing result. For example, if my skirmishers final score is "10", and their targets' roll is "7", then the target stands and becomes disordered (no black die), It doesn't have to pay *extra* red dice to stand in place, BUT does still pay the usual 3 Resource dice for the loss in combat. Right? . 


Yes, Peter, they pay.  No exceptions.

When the RRRR card hasn't appeared in the deck, and one uses the alternate 4R procedure in lieu of the final card in your deck, we were again a bit unclear as to the details of the procedure. Let us say that I have  a commander rated for 4 Yellow dice; he has 2 left when the card is turned. Here's how we did it:

We kept his 2 existing dice, of course, and then rolled two free dice for the 2 expended dice - on a roll of 3,4,5, or 6 the die was restored, and 1 or a 2, it was not..  Let us say that a 2 and a 4 are rolled - that would restore one of the 2 dice, so that he now has three Yellow dice. We then rolled those three dice (only),  and also ignored any rolls of 1 or 2 for replenishing the Red dice of that command. is that right, or should we have done it differently?


Point 3.  "They will roll the full complement of yellow command dice for each stand" (ALL OF THEM) and only dice that roll 3 or above (a 66% chance) will be restored for that officer. This would include any unused dice (in our games that's a rare circumstance).  There is no advantage to not using all available command dice within a turn.

The dice that pass the test are available for the next turn and only those dice are used to replenish red resource dice. They are counted at full value.

Example:  A four die commander rolls his four dice to test for restoration.  He rolls a 2-4-4-6.  The 2 roll die is taken from his stand and placed at the edge of the table.  It is not restored, and is unavailable on the next turn. (remember the modified card must always be the LAST card of the turn).

With those three dice (the 4-4-6) that passed the test, he rolls 2-4-4 and gets 10 red resource dice added to his bucket. 

Quick question. Where can one buy 6 sided dice in bulk?
On average how many dice does one use per game? I'm trying approximate what I need. Of course in all of my gaming materials I don't have enough of one color to make Substitutions.


Chessex 12mm d6 dice come in boxes of 36 for about $7 in a wide variety of colors.  One box of green, yellow, and black will be enough for 4-6 people in a DFII game.  One box of red per person/command is enough.  They are available from Amazon.  
Amazon also offers 16mm red dice in blocks of 100 (casino seconds) for about $14-15.  That would be enough for a couple people/ commands-possibly three.
You can also choose to use poker chips or those little wood game cubes to denote 5 red dice and then make change as needed.  This would allow a single Chessex box to work for 2-3 people.
Using 12mm for all colors would be fine.  I have to admit dice "collecting" can easily become addictive.  You'll never run short of dice again! You'll also be ready for Die Marching!

In addition, a block of 200 16mm red dice is selling for $19 with free shipping! That would be enough dice for 4-6 gamers.
In England, D4 Games seems to be a source.

I checked Amazon this morning and found several deals for Chessex dice. If you stay with solid colors (no translucent dice) the 12mm d6 sets of 36 can be had for $5-6.


One of the more difficult things to communicate to people is that, while the red dice are used in large numbers, the game itself is not a bucket of dice game-its just that the red dice are essentially removed from play rather than removing soldiers or keeping a record or morale with poker chips or checking off a list.

Under the initial DF system a lot of dice were needed as the number of units contributed to the initial large pool of dice.  The new system actually uses far fewer red dice as they are constantly "circulating" between the discard bucket and being refreshed under the 4R card as well as by rewards for objectives and enemy unit eliminations.  Usually 36-50 red dice are the maximum a player has in his possession at any time.  The ebb and flow of red dice becomes a real tension builder, especially when a command has dwindled to 10 or less.  One good attack can put him in disorder by emptying his bucket.  It also limits his actions of movement and combat by choice-without the need to write a lot of extraneous rules.  It is this tight integration of mechanics that makes DFII so simple to learn and play, but so subtle and challenging to play well and grab victory.

Very few Green, Yellow, or Black dice are ever used at any one time, and usually a half dozen of each of them is sufficient.  In fact, any one command maxes out at 5 yellow dice, and usually a unit with 2 black dice is not long for the battle.  More than 3 green dice on any one action is rare.

I am going to experiment with using single dice bags (similar to the ones that RPG players use) rather than buckets for each player, as it better disguises his red dice supply.  We are also now throwing all discarded red dice from movement, or combat into a common discard bucket, where both sides draw from, under the watchful eyes of the DM, to replenish their supply under the 4R card.

I'll write a Blog entry on these developments as we explore them.

Couple of Quick queries (I know the answer in DF1 just checking still same)

1. When a unit is fired upon or meleed does it as Defender still expend 2 resource dice from its Command Pool ?

If yes what happens if attacked or fired upon when no Resource Dice left ? 
I know all command units will be disorder when resource rice are expended but can they still 'defend' with 2 (non existent) resource dice ?

2. Re squares do they need two other units on flanks to gain the +2 free dice or this taken as an inherent ability of squares (not certain from template) ?

Am sure I will have more as I get into nitty gritty of play :-)


PS I would interested to see if you could use the DF 1 synchronous etc deck phasing mixes in DF2 as an optional rule. I miss how we always gave Frederick the Great or similar the ability to select his cards compared to stricter structure by opponents 

PPS I printed out all the PDF rules clips (by copy/pasting the text only onto a word doc) to give me a sort of 'proper rule book' as I still find this easier then using iPad etc. Might be worth considered a similar printable version for any future update 

1. You always have a choice to expend either 1or 2 resource dice for any action including combat defense.  The choice of 1 or 2 has a subtle effect over time.  Never been spend more dice voluntarily than you need to is good advice.  Of course, each person's idea of what they "need" to spend will vary on situation and their current die reserve.

No, when you are out of dice, your command is disordered the moment you cannot pay for a combat loss.  You have NO resource dice so you're in a double-bind.  This is the moment the enemy can really inflict losses, similar to the old combat dicta than most losses were after the line broke, and the enemy was in pursuit.  The Concede card should never be forgotten. This makes DFII unique in that it brings a sensible commander to conceding a loss, which almost never happens in other games, where a fight to the finish is the pattern.

2. No, a square is a self-contained, flank-less formation and needs no further support.  However, of it has squares or any other units to its immediate flanks or within 6" they do get the re-roll for supported flanks in addition.  Wellington's reverse slope line of squares should prove proof against most horse-unless artillery or infantry appear.

3.  Any of the mechanics from DF ought to transfer if desired.  My attempt with DF 2 was to simplify and focus the core mechanics to suit the multimedia presentation and to make the rules very accessible.

4.  I was aware that the PDF could be printed as a standard rule set.  I am really trying to figure out a way to free gamers from the printed vs multimedia format in a way they are comfortable with...we'll see.


Ok so defender does expend red dice to defend (as per DF1) 

So just to be crystal clear if fired upon by enemy Hvy Arty my defender expends 1/2 red dice then any unit that suffers bounce through also uses/loses 1/2 red dice ?

If I have no red dice in pool and am shot at I can only use free and command dice ? 

But if I suffer no actual loss from fire the command units stay ordered ie disorder ONLY (?) occurs if command cannot pay red dice to 'buy down' a loss or suffers heavier losses of 7+ ? 


Re media via written I think it is about achieving right balance of easily accessible info. I personally just find it quicker to thumb through printed PDF than scroll/tap through individual 'pages' on iPad when I have a query. As familiarity is achieved with rules this will lessen I expect although the memory banks and their info retention are tad eroded nowadays :-) 

You must use at least 1 die to take any action, even defending in combat IF you have it.  Otherwise, you can only roll the green dice or command dice.  This usually gives the attacker a minimum initial two dice advantage which soon leads to a combat loss and the disordering of the command for lack of resource dice.  A defender is further at risk from using command die for this desperate roll as it exposes his command to officer loss or wounding.  See slide 29.

One of the neater aspects of DFII is artillery fire on enemy lines is using up resource dice by the enemy even when they don't "hit", illustrating the slow gradual grinding losses by small numbers to exposure to artillery.  This makes artillery a good attritional weapon aside from its more striking effects when in favorable positions, canister, etc.  Few games illustrate this as well, I think.

The siting of artillery is crucial in DFII, and in the Napoleonic period horse artillery really begins to have a purpose quite apart from its generally lighter weight of ball limitations.

Am seeing very readily the key decision to add CIC dice at game start too especially for a command with poor initial dice pool 


Yes, the CIC dice pool is crucial.  The tension between allocating it prior to play to the commander you wish to lead the main attack, or to a command that is defending out of low command resources, or defending high value objectives is high!

In a scenario, I have also allowed a defined "charismatic" commander, especially if rated superior, to roll twice on his initial roll, instead of once.  On e a gamer in on to the system, there are a LOT of creative tweaks that may be made using the command, troop quality rolls, and variations to any rules.  I do this quite often, but it must, in most situations, be made clear to the players well before the game day.

The adaptability and interconnected elements beg to be massaged for specific battles.  DFII is intended to be an open system and not a rigidly closed one.

One query that has just come up

On Officer Action card it states they may Rally one disordered unit sans a black dice
OK crystal clear
But in Rally section the phrase used is "may attempt to rally........" By discarding a command dice then it states No Roll is required.
Am assuming the word attempt is redundant/unnecessary ?

To be clear, Gary, that provision is limited to units that go disordered from an unsuccessful attempt to attempt something affected by the rules of six, and not from combat, and therefore, have no black die.  It is meant to allow command to order them up, but without any risk of failure, but still requiring the expenditure of a yellow die.  Note: all disorganized units without a black die whose command has red resource dice are automatically ordered on a 4R card.  This rule is useful prior to a 4R card's appearance, or on a modified 4R card.  

Yes, "attempt" is redundant.

Just played through a few phases tonight to try as many aspects of system as I could with Napoleonic template

Couple more queries.

How and when are pursuits conducted I don't see anything on slides ? Is it done as an option (spending red dice) if you defeat enemy appropriately ? 

I found that commands average around 20-24 or so dice at start (my highest was 31 lowest 15) and these are expended very quickly. A command of 7 units needs a minimum of 7 red dice to move together with 14 used usually. Ie around 33-50% of command total on one move card. Free and Command dice are of course additional. But if 14 dice used then it is very risky to use remaining red dice to do much else in a turn as firing is 1-2 dice. Now if enemy decides to shoot at you you mostly use another 2 dice and then more if having to buy down. I found a single Inf command teetering on losing all its dice in one turn after it moved and then was fired upon several times especially by heavy artillery. A charge by enemy horse then caused command to lose all its dice as it caused a catastrophic loss of 13 dice on one hapless unit. This all on first turn. Is this usual ?

I could see this happening to another Cav command as well which would end the game as two commands out of resources, and this with loss of at most 2-3 units to rout or Kia 

Am i getting rules wrong or (more likely) just tactically not up to best use of resources ? I am already seeing key use of CiC dice and real need for units to support each other and the real benefit of Guard and Crack troops.

I can foresee a lot of caution being the norm with several action cards unused as the 4RRR card or its substitute are awaited to rebuild resource pools after each bout of movement or combat by a command. This especially true if 2 commands are active whether due to attack or defense and therefore have depleted pools. 

Not complaining just trying to fathom the system but already toying with the idea of a boost to resource pools at game start (in addition to the boost available from CiC pool) especially for an attacker.


On your question of pursuits- Yes, as the rules state, on a melee victory (not a fire victory), you can make an immediate following move of the group to pursue by taking an additional move-if the unit has a black die it is considered a rear attack.  He is disordered, and the pusuit is sually pretyy devastating.  If, by any chance, the initial unit was catastrophically destroyed in the initial combat, the "pursuing Unit is then allowed a simple free move and may attack any unit it can reach.

Players new to this game often fall into your conundrum.  This is because in most games there a re few, if any, limitations on combat or movement-other than the enemy.  When I read history, I see the issue as more subtle than that-as the "friction" of war is also an enemy- to both sides!

My watchword is just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.  This includes-if you have a low die count do you advance or let the enemy take the lead?  Does the whole command advance at the same time or just some elements? Does cavalry, which has a huge upside if it can close, very vulnerable to dice loss if not used very carefully and at the right moment? (answer: yes).  Is there value in standing pat and trying to build up more of a "reserve"?  (answer: Yes ).  

You are quite right that command dice, Offcer stand placement, use of CIC dice, and Guard, Elite, and Crack troops are invaluable.

There is an"Zen" issue which gives a value to doing nothing at times.  I know this is contrary to every wargamers ingrained lessons from other games where everybody advances, and where there's all out attack on all parts of the battle field by BOTH sides, but I think history says otherwise.

One other watchword is obliquely suggested by the set-up suggestion and that is having about 7-12 units to a command, and, as mentioned, at least two commands on a side.  If you get too many units per command, or, conversely said, too few command per units in your army.  It can be difficult. (Note how this punishes native armies in the Colonial Command Size rolls). The game is designed to allow new gamers to build a 12 unit "division" to their liking and join up with other players in games of most any size! (of course, they might not be able to use all units in every battle).

Actually the game has the unusual quality that smaller commands are often easier to employ, but they do lack the fighting power of larger commands-which are often less  "mobile." Again, I think a reflection of historical evidence-without a bunch of rules required.

7-12 units at this scale should be about a Division per commander.  This allows for 4-6 infantry-2-3 horse-and a battery or two.

The game does require a somewhat less charge and be damned mind set, more discretion, and more coordination and smart use of resources than most war-games.  I find that it imposes without reams of rules, planning and concerted focused attacks, that are far more historical in nature than the freebooting, let-me-at-em, behaviors in many games.  I will also note that when the game reaches a climax-the result is seldom "mushy".

Before you go adding too many more dice, I'd hope you'd try to think about the core nature of the game, which is essentailly dice management! Once understood, the game seldom is over in a flash.

The key here is to ask yourself if there's a better way to play that fts the game (and I think history) better than the "everybody into the pool!" nature of many war-games.

Is this stuff about Pursuits in the rules or on Dvd as if so I missed it ?

Fully on board ref the philosophy of DF (both iterations) and indeed requires a bit of thought re use (misuse) of resource dice. 
My first play was a very basic test of systems hence the various queries and thoughts.
Agree re the dice boost idea (although as per DF1 things can get sticky for an attacking side) the CIC dice really need thought pre-game. 
Cavalry can move/charge a potentially huge distance (4-5 dice worth) but as I found can thus proceed into trouble if out distancing supports. A foolhardy Cav commander could be a major liability ! 

On this point if a unit does not declare a charge but due to extra dice for foolhardy leader there move would take them into contact do they make said contact or stop short or is a melee allowed but without the various possible bonus charging dice ?

One other thing is there a set range for initial deployment of units ? I allowed Artillery, light Cav and Skirmishers to set up up to 15" in and others 12" 


Slide 60.  The part about free to attack elsewhere if melee loser is evaporated, is a house rule, I'm afraid, to cover that relatively rare circumstance.

Gary, as a form of training wheels , it occurred to me that the simple act of allowing the sub-commanders to roll three times, and the CIC twice for initial stocks and then all commanders to roll twice on a 4R card thereafter, would allow gamers to get used to the new environment with a little less pressure on their resource dice supply.  This will extend the game and allow it to go on for an added turn or two. It shouldn't change any other mechanic.

After gamers see the interaction and flow more clearly, they can cut back to the standard rolls.  We have been playing under the present pattern for so long it seems second nature to us, and it delivers a resolution in just about 3 and 1/2 hours, seldom over four hours. That is perfect for our sessions.  I suspect the added dice will add about an hour to play.

The design is pretty robust at this point and easily allows such adjustments and experiments.

This conversation has prompted an idea for large games that I'm writing up to post on the Repique Blog in the next few days.  

I was always OK with the basic PK 20 impetus limiter and the sometimes big swings of initiative. With card decks etc this led to a superb 'narrative' style game.

But I could understand how others disliked it. Not so much the 'why can't I move everything' more the sometime 'why can't I move anything !? It did lead to some one sided games in terms of manoeuvre vis inertia

Some of the d12 etc options were more 'balanced' for want of a better term culminating I guess in Brent's Field of Battle system of (seemingly) equal impetus. I love FOB as I can get opponents to like it more readily than standard PK

Interesting to hear how DF approaches this aspect

One other observation:  in Piquet, I limited general attacks by the limitations of impetus and cards, usually 20 or more.  This was new to many gamers that complained about " never had a chance to move!", which was generally untrue, but the limitations put on them were unusual to games at that time.  These limitations were also overt-namely the immediate impetus roll, and available card.  I think this overtness was one thing that chafed some gamers.

In DFII, the limitations are far less overt.  You know that you'll get most of the same phases, though there may be a slight variation, and you can do, within the limits of the phase, anything you wish to, only limited by how close to the edge you want to go on dice use.  It's your choice!  However, you must judge the risks, the potential of 4R card,  the quality of your command, the positioning of your forces.  It forces decision making and taking responsibility for those choices.  We have one commander in our games who always seems to win,( not me) ultimately because he really gets it.  His demonstrated skill overcoming all manner of luck tells me that DFII truly rewards skill.

Btw our games of 30 units a side or so, seldom resolve in less than three hours or more than five hours.

1. When working out units available for each command, how do you determine whether they are Guard, Elite, Line or Militia?

2. On Transition Template, Attack Fire Factors row 5, Bombardment or Dense Formation, it has RRL for “Class V” & 2 Free dice for “Class” - what does this mean?

1. The rough percentages are laid out on the percentage table.  When it comes to assigning qualities such as Guard, militia, etc. The player would obviously wish to use units historically  designated guard, if possible, or if any units were known militia units, or recently reinforced with a new influx of recruits as militia.  

In fictional battles, One can designate these qualities in the proportion shown to units that are available, in essence, saying that a troop was superior on that day of battle, or decidedly inferior because of recent reinforcements, bad officers, poor condition, etc.  This allows the gamer to use these qualities even in the ACW, where , as I said above, there was no true Guard, or to reflect the Marie Louises in 1814 as essentially lightly trained militia. A lot of discretion is allowed by us in this regard, including adjusting the percentage table for specific battles.

In short, its at the player's discretion, but he should keep in realistic proportions as shown on the tables.

2.  Fire against Class V fortifications or buildings gets to reroll its lowest. They also get to reroll against targets in Class V terrain.  This recognizes splinter and concussive effects of transition period shells. Against structures, this is a recognition of artillery's ability  to sight in and destroy even heavy structures.  

The +2 Dice and "class" listing for bombardment is a reminder that structures get 2 free dice, BUT all rolls lower than their class do not count.  So, for instance, a battery rolling a 2,4,6,1 against a Class III target would only score the 4 and 6 for 10 points. I put this on the firing table because bombardment fire is not directly against the enemy troops, but the structure, and then, depending on the result, against the troops occupying, if any. See slide 67.

Thanks. I can't see any C-in-C in a fictional scratch game opting for less than the full amount allowed for Guard or Elite units & no Militia at all given the choice, though. 

Still studying the rules & 1 more question occurs.

If any unit Routs off the table, a 3d6 dice Resource dice are awarded to the opposing command bucket 
Are these Resource dice (& indeed, any from Objectives & Batteries taken) awarded to the opposing C-in-C to distribute throughout his Commands?
Two Things,  I have always found Army Lists not to my liking, primarily because they are often very artificial and arbitrary in their choices of units, and are often viewed by gamers as inviolate and rigid requirements that are seldom varied; a recipe for how many bags of a certain miniature type to buy. Army lists lead to excessive "legalistic" thinking in my opinion.  I have never included them in a rule set I designed.
I opted for these percentage tables as a less rigid and flexible way to create an army for a game.  It does allow this flexibility, but with that comes  a need discretion and judgement-and, frankly, a sense of appropriateness, history, and fairness.  If you use the percentage tables you are expected to use them with some good sense applied , and that means that you must accept the militia quotient as well as the guards.  The nature of your choices or adjustments to the percentages would, naturally, involve enough fair play (and explanation) that your opponent would not object.  It really isn't that hard.  If it is, you're playing with the wrong people! ;-)

The awards for victories are, as stated in the rules, awarded to the opposing commander's bucket (that caused the loss) NOT to the CinC.  DFII intends to focus the responsibility for the use and loss of resource dice on the individual commanders; likewise the awards from successful combat and the taking of objectives also are delivered to the individual "opposing" commanders/players.  The troops closest to the action and responsible for the death of an officer, over-running a battery, forcing an enemy unit from the field or taking an objective , would be the most aware and uplifted by the event. 

So let us say that I wish to insert the Concede card at the start of a turn. According to Slide 38, I would add the Conceded card to the 8 standard cards, and then discard three cards ()thus giving a 33% chance that I will discard the Concede card itself, correct?

Do I have to announce that I am placing the Card in the deck?  per the Card definition, once I place the card in the deck I can no longer advance upon the enemy, either. 

I presume if the card does NOT turn up in the deck, and for some reason my situation improves such that on the new turn I choose NOT to place the Concede card in the deck this turn, that restriction is lifted?


Yes, it is lifted.  If the card isn't in the potential deck pool of cards, even if it was on the previous turn, you have no restrictions.  But if it does come up, even if your situation is not quite as dire as it once was, the battle ends.  You have given the orders to withdraw and only confusion would result from a reversal.

In a sense, it's' not coming up could be in some circumstances a good thing.  In imaginative terms,  the CIC thought of retiring from the field, but never sent the orders and now has seen some better opportunities.

We have announced the addition of the Concede card to the deck in our games. usually the situation motivating its addition is fairly obvious.

Just a thought. Re: reloading, in Transition Period (as a starting template for 1910-14) BL Rifles & Guns, as well as MG reload on the 4R card + the Specialized Actions card. As far as I can see, Skirmishers & dismounted Cavalry only reload on the Specialized Actions card. Is this right?

Yes, the skirmishers and dismounted cavalry only reload on the Sp. Action Card. 

Oh, there's also the question of Machine Guns. Do they count as Artillery? We have been using them as such & as with all late Artillery counting them as Horse Artillery, able to move on the Artillery & the Cavalry Action cards. Can't see any clear guidance but then I may just be missing it ......

Yes, they do for the transition period, and for most of the Colonial period.  The early examples were fairly large and bulky and were used,both by doctrine and in practice, in the same manner as artillery.  This applies to the Gatling, Mitrailleuse, Gardner, and the Nordenfeld.  This began to change to a more modern approach with the advent of the Brownings and Maxims, but this was very late in the Colonial Period, and for game purposes should still be considered artillery for allocation and phase purposes.


  1. Whew! Quite a post. I guess I will need to obtain the rules to see what all the fuss is about.

    1. DF2 is well worth a look; quite inexpensive due to the CD format, too!

  2. Thanks for presenting DFII at Historicon. Given several other games it was a lot of work, Im sure.

    Regarding yopur comment above: "I think a second page would be helpful for new players with a summary of the key rules mechanics, as well as the period specific weapon ranges."

    This, in fact, exists on the DFII DVD as "Summary 1" and "Summary 2" files on the "B" side and may be placed in a plastic document sleeve to be used as a single sheet.

    Thanks again! I'm now working on the DM extension for release this Fall, and plan to host a 1940 France game using a DFII variant this Fall as well. Both will be provided to purchasers of DFII as PDF files free of charge. My work on the Command Cards will be released after that.

    My WSS interest is now moving to the Peninsular where The Franco-Spanish Army defeated the English/Dutch/Austrian/ Portugeuse/Catalan. I'm adding a magnificent Dutch Marine regiment "St. Armant" to the OOB and several Portuguese units. I LOVE THIS PERIOD!

  3. You're welcome; I'd do it again without hesitation.

    On the "B" side -do you mean the printed side of the CD, Bob? Hmm, never occurred to me to look for anything there!

    As in the past, I am really looking forwards to Die Marching!

    I think your WSS armies are magnificent, Bob, and there certainly are plenty of colorful personalities during that era, if perhaps not so well known to most as some other eras.

  4. Yes, the "printed files" side of the DVD, has a lot of support files including designer notes, summary sheets, an excellent quick start sheet with the basic procedures of combat and movement as well as morale, and, of course, the period templates.

    One of the advantages of the DVD model is that both step by step video instruction and an extensive amount of printed support material, not to mention the slide show rules, can be contained on a very light and small media.

    1. No argument there - I never figured there would be more than would fit on one side of a CD! I will check it out!

    2. Peter, it's a DVD, not a CD ( and legally DFII, not DF2) the "B" side I am referring to is the non video, "files" segment of the DVD, not a literal " flip side" ala a 33RPM record. This is explained on the enclosed cover sheet.

    3. OK, got all of them, but never really looked at the "Quick Start Summary", which is as you say more or less the general summary sheet of the rules. Perfect!