So I played and posted a game my (8-year old) son and I played using the Too Fat Lardies' rule "I Ain't Been Shot Mum," and the response has been very positive. In my battle report blogpost I mentioned that I'd made some tweaks to the rules and received quite a few inquiries as to said tweaks, so I've made the decision that it would just be easier for everyone if I wrote up my list of tweaks.
First I'd like to say this feels a little strange; I really like the rules, so I feel a little strange typing this up, and I mean no disrespect to the Lardies or anyone enamored with IABSM as is. Having said that, I don't know that I've ever played a set of rules exactly as written, and folks want to know, so here we go. And before I go any further, let me list what I believe to be the 'guts' of the rules, i.e., what makes them special for me, so that we understand what I kept, before I get into what changed.
-Card Activation, primarily by leader ("Big Men") and platoon, 'random events' (poor fire discipline, heroic/hesitant leaders and troops, vehicle breakdowns, ammo/fuel shortages, etc...) worked into the card activation, and the random length of turns to add to the friction (the dreaded 'Tea Break' card).
-The use of real and dummy blinds and spotting rules, the idea being that units the enemy is unaware of have a huge advantage in terms of command and control on the battlefield, as well as the spotting concepts to replace blinds with actual troops.
-Variable, diced for movement (rolling the appropriate number of D6 to determine how far a unit will move, rather than set movement rates), for further friction.
So, what did I do? Here we go:
-I simplified the troops on the table. IABSM is a 1:1 scale game using singly-based infantry; that was not what I wanted for fights at the reinforced company level, so I went to one base=one squad/crew-served weapon/Big Man/vehicle.
-To play that way I had to change the activation system and morale effects, so squads no longer receive between 0 and 4 orders dice (unit rating, casualties, and morale). Platoons still activate as a whole when their card comes out, but then I changed so that stands can:
*move (infantry with 2D6, vehicles with 3D6, with pips added/subtracted based on terrain moved through)
*fire (with a bonus to firing for remaining stationary)
*move and fire/fire and move (only 1D6 movement for vehicles and infantry)
-I'll also say here, movement is real simple: good going is 1" per pip, bad going is -1 pip per dice, really bad going is -2 pips per dice, and road travel is +1 pip per dice.
-Another thing I changed in the activation: under normal IABSM rules a stand can activate either when it's platoon card comes up or when activated by a Big Man. To further accentuate the (positive) effects of small unit leadership, I allowed a stand to be activated on both its platoon card AND by a Big Man (assuming both cards came out during the turn, which doesn't usually happen in my experience).
-I like the of friction so much that I do not allow units that did not activate to fire or spot on the Tea Break card, nor do I allow the concept of 'reserving dice' for reaction/opportunity fire.
-Having said that, following the game I decided that when the Tea Break card comes out I will allow any Blinds whose card did not come out to activate.
-Morale: units are either in good fighting order, pinned, suppressed, or combat ineffective (pulled off the table). Units in good fighting order activate as above.
*Pinned infantry cannot move unless it is to fall back, but they can fire, but their firing solution is affected by being pinned.
*Pinned vehicles can move or fire, but not both.
*Suppressed infantry cannot do anything until rallied.
*Suppressed vehicles cannot do anything except fall back until rallied.
*Both pinned and suppressed units suffer penalties in close combat.
-Combat was perhaps the biggest change I made, and it's very simple, I basically imported the combat system from Ivan Sorensen's "5Core Company Command" (5CCC). In Ivan's rules you roll D6 of different types, called 'Kill Dice' and 'Shock Dice.' Kill dice inflict casualties on the target, and Shock dice inflict negative morale effects on the target, and the effects can be spread to adjacent, nearby targets. I don't want to spell all this out; they are, after all, Ivan's rules, so if you want to get into all this, please pick up some of the 5Core rules. But I'll hit a few of major points here:
*I stuck with the Lardies' concepts of targeting, i.e., there are poor shots, fair shots, good shots, and great shots. This is, indeed, subjective, but it's okay, you'll figure it out ;) For me, I have no problem looking at a situation and making the call: I've got a single rifle squad that's pinned down firing, but they've caught the enemy at fairly close range, in the open, and three squads bunched up, so that's either a fair shot or a good shot (would probably be a great shot if we weren't pinned). Troop quality: well, their infantry are better than ours, so let's call it a fair shot, so go with the rules (in 5CCC) as written.
*As an example, a rifle squad in 5CCC under 'normal' conditions fires with one Kill dice and one Shock dice (1K 1S). A poor shot might be simply 1S, or not even allowed, while firing down onto a bunched up enemy unit in the open might get something like 1K 3S, or even 2K 3S. 5CCC has stats for every conceivable weapon, both infantry and vehicles, so those stats are what I'm using as the 'fair shot' in my games of IABSM. As another example, in my last game (KG Klink fight #5), Pz IIIs firing on the Char B from the frontal aspect fired with only 1S, while getting to the Char B's flank/rear at point blank range gave them 1K 2S.
*Firing effects from 5CCC, listing the pip you rolled on the type of dice you rolled:
<Rolling a one on a Kill dice: the target has taken casualties and is suppressed. It cannot do anything until it is rallied, and it cannot rally itself. It suffers a severe penalty in close combat, and if it fails a rally roll it could stay suppressed or be destroyed.
<Rolling a six on a Kill dice: the target has taken casualties and is rendered ineffective, removed from the table.
<Rolling a one on a Shock dice: the target it pinned. Infantry can fire but not move except to fall back, vehicles can move or shoot, but not both. Both suffer a slight penalty in close combat. Failure to rally can see them become suppressed or stay pinned.
<Rolling a six on a Shock dice: the target is suppressed. Infantry cannot do anything except rally (or be rallied by a Big Man), vehicles can only rally (or be rallied by a Big Man) or fall back. Both suffer a moderate penalty in close combat. Failure to rally can see them move 'up' to pinned or fall back and remain suppressed.
*Close combat from 5CCC is a 1D6 vs 1D6 roll off between the units involved, with various positive and/or negative modifiers based on unit type, morale level, and tactical situation. Basically the winner kills the loser and gets a consolidation move.
So, that's what I did, and we had a blast. I hope this helps, and please let me know if you have further questions. As I get questions and answers I'll edit this post to include them, so that everything is in one spot (I get folks contacting me both here in the comments and via e-mail).