Possible Paratrooper House rule??



  • I have stated on these threads that I am not a big fan of House rules, but one dawned on me as I played a 1944 battle Americans versus Germans and I used 4 U-S Paratroopers.

    As we know, the U-S or Japanese player can place these paratroopers in any hex he wants (except pond hexes) at the end of his movement phase as long as the unit doesn’t “land” adjacent to an enemy.  This is one reason why the unit is 9 points– this is a great advantage.

    To add a little unpredictability to what was by no means an easy task in the 1940s…

    At the end of your movement phase, you may place Paratroopers.

    For each paratrooper unit, roll one die.

    Result of 1 to 5: You may place the paratrooper as outlined in the unit’s special ability as printed on the stat card.

    Result of 6.  Miss Drop!

    The opposing player places the paratrooper wherever he wants! (except in a pond hex, unless you want to really get crazy and drown the unit, as many paratroopers did in flooded marshes and the Channel during Normandy).

    So, to get back on topic, if you roll a six when deploying a paratrooper unit, the enemy player decides in which hex it lands.  This can be ANY hex, including one adjacent to an enemy unit.  We all remember St. Mere Eglise. (Adjacent means same or bordering hex).

    Once the “miss drop” paratrooper lands, any enemy units may make defensive fire that ignores cover to disrupt the unit, and this face-up disrupted marker doesn’t come off until the start of the next casualty phase.

    The miss-drop paratrooper unfortunately falls in on several squads of enemy infantry, who open fire and disrupt him, immediately reducing his effectiveness in the following assault phase.  Of course, all rules for defensive fire apply (one defensive fire attack per phase per unit, no defensive fire by disrupted units, and units with special three 6’s attack can kill the miss-drop paratrooper immediately (ie. Marines M2-2 flamethrower).

    If you really want to get nuts, the opposing player can choose to drop the miss-drop paratrooper in a pond and drown him, or you  can “land” the miss-drop paratrooper in a forest hex and disrupt him.  The latter would only apply if you have created a rule re: paratroopers not being able to land in a forest hexes.  Since when can paratroopers land in a forest???

    Any thoughts?

    This all may be misguided given the unit is worth a whopping 9 points, and you should get your bang for your buck.

    But it seems ridiculous that you can land a paratrooper exactly where you want him.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    I agree. Anywhere you want at anytime you want is too powerful. I like the house rule where you can only drop on the first turn. Maybe the paratroopers were already dropped and knew where to drop because of some previous recon and then they suddenly appear in the first turn.



  • I don’t have a problem with dropping them on any turn… there are advantages and disadvantages to waiting, but it was not possible to drop them that accurately, especially at night time.

    In the airborne invasion of Crete, the Germans seemed to drop many of their men where they wanted (I’ll have to look it up to be sure), unfortunately for them, Crete’s UK and New Zealand defenders were aware the attack was coming and were waiting to massacre the Germans as they fell out of the air.



  • I think that the paratrooper rules are good.  The question i have is do you collect the initiative from a paratrooper that has not entered play or do you have to wait untill he is on the board



  • i would say he should have to wait until he is on the board.  good house rule by the way, ill try playing with it tonight.



  • Let me know if you had any “miss-drops” or if the rule is playable.  Â

    I am thinking about using all paratroopers in a game, once I have enough.  11 paratrooper squads on a mission.  Would be a cool scenario if you played all paratroopers who have to secure a bridge the Germans need to hold on to so they can get their tanks across a river.

    Would be an easy scenario to construct.
    By the way, I did not intend to allow vehicles to make defensive fire against a miss-drop paratrooper, consistent with the rules that soldiers do not provoke defensive fire from vehicles.



  • Hey all.  I like the idea of the “misdrop,” but I think if the opponent is allowed to drop you into a lake/pond (which would destroy you instantly), he should have to roll a 4,5, or 6 first.  If the opponent rolls a 1,2, or 3 he should have to place you in a hex surrounding the intended misdrop lake/pond.  All the original house rules for the misdrop would remain the same (with this exception).

    What do you think? 😐

    This addendum to the “misdrop” house rule has worked flawlessly for my brother and I so far.



  • I have no problem with that…. I actually wouldn’t even bother with dropping men into a pond, but if you want to do it for enhanced realism, then I think your idea of rolling a die is fine so your opponent doesn’t lose 9 points just from bad luck… but then again, this is war.

    I am wondering— for those who have used this rule… if/when you roll a six when deploying a paratrooper, has your opponent dropped the paratrooper far away or in an enemy occupied hex???



  • Re: Paratroopers.

    Just read a few pages of Keegan about Operation Overlord (Normandy).  The British 6th Airbrone Division (not represented in Set II– boo!) hit their drop points on open pasture and rallied quickly thanks to their experienced pilots.

    As for the Screaming Eagles-- inexperienced pilots, “the narrow neck of the Cotentin Peninsula was easy to overshoot and the valley of the Vire was heavily flooded by deliberate defensive inundation.” Only 3,000 Screaming Eagles rallied and some roamed for days behind enemy lines while rations and ammo lasted.  And there was worse for others-- Some fell into the sea, many drowned in flooded areas and others were scattered by poor navigation or fear of flak, dropped miles from their objectives.  The area in which they were scattered was 25 by 15 miles!!!

    And this wasn’t all bad… because the scattering of the parachutists actually contribued to the confusion and disorientation of the Germans.

    Keep in mind this was a night time drop, so there was the great possibility of a miss-drop.

    As far as day time drops…

    Let’s look at what Keegan writes about the German daytime airborne invasion of Crete- the first paratrooper operation in history not supported by ground forces.

    After the Luftwaffe’s preparatory bombardment, “The Germans had no control over their descent; they jumped from their Junkers 52s, in groups of 12, their parachutes opened by static line… Slipsteam and wind carried them indeed ‘like dolls’ to their landings…”

    Crete’s New Zealand defenders knew the assault was coming, as well.

    Keegan says “400 of III Battalion, 1st Assault Regiment’s 600 men were killed before the first day was out.”  Many were killed or badly injured by the fall, and many were shot right out of the air.  The 3rd parachute Regiment was slaughtered as it arrived directionless, right upon waiting defenders.


    So, it would have been great for the game designers to have factored in some kind of possible bad event like a miss-drop or injury
    on the stat cards of each paratrooper, depending on the nation and year involved.  The Crete invasion was 1941-- and went so poorly Hitler suspended all future airborne operations.

    Normandy was in 1944-- by then the British and Americans had had three more years to test out the tactic.

    I suppose my proposed house rule will do… again, the map the game is played on is relatively small… only 1,800 meters long and not even that long wide… so even if there isn’t a mis-drop or some big calamity, a paratrooper wouldn’t have to drift very far to land where he isn’t supposed to on the maps used in this game.  And the enemy forces already deployed on the map would be able to see the paratroopers falling to earth.

    Bottom line-- no way could paratroopers land that accurately.  🙂



  • Personally I think if you roll a mis-drop then you should roll two more dice to determine where the unit actually lands. First die determines direction (you’d have to decide beforehand which hex side is #1 and count clockwise from there) and the second die determines how many hexes away it lands. This is similar to rules in other tabletop games for indirect fire weapons and I think it makes sense here.

    For whatever reason letting the opponent decide what hex the mis-dropped unit lands in doesn’t seem any more fair than always having the unit land in the chosen hex (it just swings the pendulum the other way).



  • Good suggestion, but to balance your rule I suggest that

    On a roll of of 1 to 3, the player who owns the paratrooper chooses in which he wants the unit to land, consistent with the rules as printed on the stat card.

    On a roll of 4 to 6, you would roll two more dice as you are suggesting.


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