Get Ready For War

I’m finally going to run my WWII Commandos game. Here’s how it will work. You guys will each play a Sgt in the US Army commanding a squad of special forces soldiers. You’ll each have three soldiers under you and your squads will be pairing up for missions.

At the beginning, you’re all fresh out of training and untried in battle. Being special forces however, you’ve had a higher level of training than the common soldier. You’ll need them too, because the muckity-mucks plan to send you guys on the hairiest missions in the European Theater.

System

WWII Commandos will be played with the Fudge 1995 rules using the standard scale.

  • Superb +3
  • Great +2
  • Good +1
  • Fair 0
  • Mediocre -1
  • Poor -2
  • Terrible -3

Attributes

  • Physical – Physical strength and constitution. Catch all for any physical checks.
  • Intelligence – Brain power. Catch all for any non-physical checks.
  • Awareness – How aware you are and how quickly you can react to a situation.
  • Psychological – Mental constitution. How well you can handle battle stress.

Skills

  • Small Arms – Pistols, rifles, machine guns (M-19, MG 42, etc), & smgs.
  • Heavy Weapons – Artillery, tanks, etc.
  • Melee Combat – Hand to hand combat.
  • Survival – Ability to survive in the wilderness.
  • Tracking – Following a trail to find something or someone. Also how to tell if you’re being followed.
  • Demolitions – Proper handling and deployment of explosives (dynamite, C4, etc.)
  • Stealth – Ability to move undetected and leave no trace of your presence.
  • Tactics – Analyzing a battle field and knowing what to do to win. Higher success will reveal more information about the battle (eg. the presence of a squad that’s trying to flank your position) and allow you to issue better orders.
  • German – Language training for the more dangerous missions you might face. Terrible is a non-speaker or someone who knows a few words. Poor is conversational with a heavy accent. Mediocre is fluent with a heavy accent. Fair is fluent with a moderate accent. Good is fluent with a slight accent. Great is fluent with no accent. Superb is fluent with the ability to mimic any accent.
  • Medical – Medical knowledge and first aid skills.

PC’s will have one additional skill

  • Leadership – Applies to squad based actions and commands. It’s exact mechanic will vary from situation to situation per GM discretion. For squad based actions (eq. assaulting a machine gun nest) it will be used as a modifier. For squad based orders (eg. deploying troops to specific positions) it will translate to how well your orders were understood and carried out. This stat becomes especially important when you split your troops up.

Gifts

Choose one gift. Gifts are subject to GM approval. This gift should be something that will help your character in battle. Gifts will apply as a modifier to appropriate rolls. For example, Keen Hearing might warn you about an approaching patrol with a +1 modifer to your Awareness check. Born Leader would overcome any penalties for bringing in a new squad leader.

Faults

Choose two faults. Faults are subject to GM approval. Faults should be something that will hinder your character in battle. Faults will not necessarily be applied as a modifier. Faults are a sweetener and not a major part of this game and will be applied by the GM as appropriate.

Some faults may be more appropriate for an SC than a PC. An Impulsive SC might fire on the enemy before the rest of the squad is in position. A Talkative SC might say something at the wrong time and alert the enemy to the squad’s presence. These wouldn’t be appropriate for a PC.

Physical faults should be avoided but are not disallowed. Remember, these men were chosen for their top physical conditions. A character would have to be able to hide a physical fault to have made it through the selection and training process.

Character Generation

You’ll need to make 4 characters each. It should take you no more than fifteen minutes to create all four though. You’ll make 1 PC and 3 SP’s. Be sure to balance your squad’s skills appropriately.

The Standard Commando Template

Attributes

  • Strength Good +1
  • Intelligence Fair 0
  • Awareness Fair 0
  • Psychological Fair 0

Skills

  • Small Arms Combat Good +1
  • Heavy Weapons Fair 0
  • Melee Combat Good +1
  • Survival Good +1
  • Tracking Fair 0
  • Demolitions Fair 0
  • Stealth Fair 0
  • Tactics Fair 0
  • German Poor -2
  • Leadership Fair 0
  • Medical Mediocre -1

For comparison, the average infantry grunt has Fair stats across the board and no specialized skills (Heavy Weapons, Demolitions, Tracking, Stealth). They would be considered Poor to Terrible in those skills.

The PC’s

  1. Using the default template, you have two additional points to assign to your attributes. No attribute may be raised above Great.
  2. Using the default template, you have three additional points to assign to your skills. No skill may be raised above Great.
  3. Choose one gift and two faults.

The SP’s

  1. Using the default template, you have one additional point to assign to your attributes. No attribute may be raised above Great.
  2. Using the default template, you have two additional points to assign to your skills. No skill may be raised above Great.
  3. Choose one gift and two faults.

On Going Play

Character Development

Characters will receive a “tick mark” every time they successfully return from a mission. The typical mission lasts 1-3 game sessions. Tick marks can be used to increase skill levels according to the following table. This applies to both PC’s and SC’s.

Good To Great – 7 Tick Marks Fair To Good – 5 Tick Marks Mediocre To Fair – 3 Tick Marks Poor to Mediocre – 2 Tick Marks

Skills can be raised any time the squad returns to base. Skills can be raised more than one level at a time for the cumulative cost. For example, if you wanted to raise your Tracking skill from Fair To Great, it would cost 12 Tick Marks (5 from fair to good plus another 7 from good to great).

Skills advancement must make sense according to the characters prior actions. Skills that haven’t been used extensively shouldn’t be advanced. For example, a character who rarely uses their tracking skill, may not be permitted to raise it from Fair to Great even if they have the points available. Skill advancement is always subject to GM approval.

The Eternal Dirt Nap

The game will be action packed. Characters WILL die. Any SC’s that die will be replaced with new SC’s when you return to base.

If your PC dies, you can promote an SC to be your new PC. You’ll keep the SC’s stats throughout the remainder of the mission. Leadership will automatically be available at the Fair level. When you return to base, you’ll be able to raise one attribute and one skill to match the standard PC power level. If you promote an SC whose gifts and faults apply more appropriately to an SC than a PC, they should be retooled. The GM will let you know when this is necessary on a case by case basis.

You can also create a new PC from scratch. Creating a new PC from scratch has it’s disadvantages though. Squads that don’t know you might not trust your leadership. A GM determined penalty will be applied in appropriate cases. This penalty will decrease as your squad comes to trust you. It may also be decreased by Gifts or the Leadership skill.

WWII Commandos

Adapt