by John Moher

At the Auckland Wargaming Club we tend to play a lot of casual "Pick Up" style games, with no real objectives or themes. As a result I wanted to find a way of defining whether either side has performed significantly better than the other, other than a cursory examination of the table, so that they may claim a significant victory which would have resulted in a decisive breakthrough and so on...

This is done by a 2 stage victory point system, The first is based upon the percentage of surviving troops on either side (with bonuses for reserves that remain uncommitted off table). The second involves the allocation of Victory Objectives on the battlefield, but with a twist!

Surviving Force VPs

  1. Once initial planning has been completed total the number of Fighting Battalions in the Division (Do not include Artillery, Recon, or other units that are "attached" to Fighting Battalions). Usually a typical force will end up with 3-7 of these (but occasionally as many as 10). Divide 50 by the number (of Fighting Battalions), this is the VP value for each battalion (round off any fractions to 0, , or 1). This value will be multiplied by the number of surviving units.
  2. At the end of the game total up the number of surviving battalions as follows, and multiply by the VP value determined in (1) above;
    • Any RESERVE battalion still uncommitted (off-table) at the end of the battle counts as 2.
    • Any battalion still fighting on table that has not suffered any morale failure counts as 1.
    • Any battalion that retreated off table but had not suffered any morale failure counts as .
    • Any battalion that is on table, has suffered a morale failure but has since rallied (Advanced Rules) counts as .
    • Any battalion that is eliminated (by any means), or has suffered a morale failure and has failed to rally (Advanced Rules) counts as 0.
  3. The Maximum score possible is 50, the minimum 0.

This serves to place emphasis on preserving units in being, or alternately maintaining a Reserve that only gets committed as a last resort, as a real Divisional General would have to do. It also provides incentives to "save" units that are taking heavy casualties, even if this involves a break off that causes the unit to retreat off table!

Terrain Objective VPs

  1. Prior to any Planning, Order Writing, or allocation of Attachments, the opposing players must agree on the commanding ground that will serve as the Victory Objectives; See below. There must be at least 3 Objectives and can be as many as 7 (5 is the ideal number).
  2. Before play starts both players secretly assign points values to the objectives, recording them on their order sheets. They must divide 50 VPs between these 3 to 7 objectives. They must assign a minimum of 5 points to each objective but may only assign up to a maximum of 20 to each.
    • In the case of Built Up Areas the VPs are divided between the sectors, and the number assigned must divide evenly by sectors (eg. A 3 Sector Town must be assigned 6, 9, 12, 15, or 18 points. It can't be assigned 3 because this is less than 5, nor 21 because this is greater than 20. It can't have any other values because they do not divide into the number of sectors.)
    • EXCEPTION: In cases where a single contiguous built-up area consists of 10 or more sectors the opponents may agree that this represents 2 objectives. Double VPs in this case must be assigned, ie. a minimum of 10 (or the number of sectors if greater), up to a maximum of 40, subject to being divisible by the number of sectors.
  3. Players must agree on how to determine control of each of the objectives. Usually this will be the last force occupying it, or if this force has moved on to another location it will be assumed to still control the objective with its rear echelon troops if no enemy have come within 9" of it (excluding Recon, however Recon may occupy an objective) or occupied it!
    • All the town sectors of a town are considered controlled if one side occupies at least 1 sector prior to the start of the game, and the enemy occupy none, and the situation remains unchanged throughout the game! Or if one side has entered and occupied at least 1 sector during the battle and the enemy has not or was not occupying any. In all other cases they may only count actual occupied sectors for VPs and any unoccupied ones are considered contested and do not count for either side!
  4. At the end of the game each side scores VPs for each objective it controls. However, the VPs it scores are those assigned to the objective by the opposing side, not it's own side!
  5. The Maximum score possible is 50, the minimum 0.

When assigning objectives it is important to try to remember some of the common battlefield laws; such as crossroads and built-up areas are worth nothing if you don't hold the high ground 12" away (eg. Dien Bien Phu), or that the highest pieces of ground are always the most vital (eg. Tunisia, Caen). During an Offensive crossing points of major water features (eg. Arnhem, Caen) can also be vital. Occassionally large areas of forest or cover may be vital if they allow large bodies of troops to be hidden, or are located where they provide a commanding view (eg. on a forward slope). Very rarely even roads can be vital (eg. XXX Corps at Arnhem) depending on the terrain, but remember before the game to agree on how to define control of these objectives, simply occupying them is often not sufficent.

An optional alternative for the terrain VPs is to have say, 5 objectives, but each side assigns only a total of 40 VPs to them (instead of 50). The remaining 10 VPs are a "bonus" awarded to the side that controls more than 50% of the objectives at the end of the game! (This requires a reasonable number of objectives and an "odd" number of them. This will, avoid it being too easy to achieve, and that only 1 side (if any) can claim the greater than 50% control.)

Determining the Victor

By adding the Surviving Force and Terrain Objective scores together each side will come to a total between 0 and 100. The side with the highest has won a minor (or insignificant) victory. However if that side has won by a difference of 20 points (or more) then they have gained a decisive victory (a victory which may in turn lead to a major victory for the rest of their Army).



The SPEARHEAD Website is edited and maintained by John Moher. SPEARHEAD is © 1995-2000 Arty Conliffe. The contents of these pages are © 1997-2000 John Moher, Arty Conliffe, Hans Johannsen, John Kovalic, and/or the appropriate Authors and Contributors.