D3 Dice WW2 One-Hour Wargame Variant

WW2 Rules

These rules are a variant of One-Hour Wargame WW2 rules by Neil Thomas. The key differences or additions are:

  1. The use of playing cards to determine the order of activation instead of IGO-UGO turns.
  2. Using a D3 dice (1,1,2,2,3,3) to determine combat results which are either below average, average, or above average.
  3. The use of a hex grid to regulate movement and shooting.

I use these rules for fighting in North-Western Europe 1944.

Units Types

  • Infantry (mechanised with half-tracks, motorised with trucks, or foot infantry)
  • Anti-Tank (AT) Guns (towed anti-tank gun units)
  • Tanks
  • Self-Propelled Guns (SPGs are treated as tanks when shot at, but shoot as AT guns).
  • Mortars and Artillery (are treated the same except mortars have minimum firing distances and artillery can be off-table).
  • Armoured cars - are treated as tanks when shot at, but shoot as infantry guns.

Sequence of play

The game is played in a series of turns using a shuffled deck of cards to determine unit activation order.

At the start of a turn deal a card face up for each unit on the tabletop and off-table artillery units. Then units from both sides are activated one at a time starting with the highest value card (Kings) working down to the unit with the lowest value card (Aces). Using suit order for similar value cards - Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs.

When activated a unit can choose to either move or shoot.

A unit which has not been activated can take evasive action when shot at. After taking evasive action it is then treated as activated (see Shooting section).

Once all activations are complete the game turn is complete. Deal out the cards again reshuffling the pack of cards if necessary.


Units may move some or all of their movement allowance. A unit’s movement allowance is determined by the unit's movement type.

  • Foot infantry, mortars, artillery and AT guns - 1 hex
  • Mechanised Infantry, Motorised Infantry*, Tanks, Self-Propelled Guns - 2 hexes
  • Reconnaissance (armoured cars and jeeps) - 3 hexes

*Motorised infantry units are treated as foot infantry for the remainder of the game as soon as they take a hit.

Units may turn during their movement without penalty.

Units must cease movement when entering a hex adjacent to an enemy unit.

Units in hexes adjacent to an enemy occupied hex, can only leave the hex is moving into another hex not adjacent to an enemy unit.


Woods and Buildings - provide cover to infantry units

Broken Terrain (eg walls and hedges) - provide cover if between the shooter and target

Rivers - can only be crossed via bridges and fords

Marshland and Lakes - impassable to all units

Hills - provide cover for tanks positioned on hills

Only 1 unit may occupy any terrain hex. Up to 2 friendly units can occupy an open terrain hex.

Units moving into, through or out of woods, buildings or broken terrain units may only move 1 hex.

Interpenetration - friendly units may pass through each other freely, unless adjacent to an enemy occupied hex.


Units may only shoot at units they can see, or in the case of artillery and mortar indirect shooting where there is a friendly sight the target for them.

All units can be sighted if within 2 hexes providing line of sight is not blocked by hills, woods, buildings, and other units.


The procedure for shooting is as follows:

Measure Range - determine if the target is within range.

Infantry, Armoured Infantry, A/Car, Anti-Tank Guns, and Tanks - 2 hexes

Artillery - Unlimited and cannot target units in hexes adjacent to friendly units.

Mortars - Unlimited with minimum rage of 2 hexes and cannot target units in hexes adjacent to friendly units.

Line of Sight - determine if the target can be seen. Line of sight is blocked by hills, towns, and enemy units.

Assess the effects of shooting - Units roll a D3 and modify the score:

-1 for infantry and A/Cars shooting armoured (tanks/SPG) units

-1 for AT or SPG units shooting at infantry units (all types)

+1 for AT, tank, or SPG units shooting at armoured (tanks/SPG) units

+1 for mortars and artillery shooting at infantry units (all types)

-1 if target can take evasive action

-1 if target is in cover

-1 if the target is at long range 2 hexes (this does not apply to artillery and mortars)


Infantry in woods, towns, or broken terrain -1 from the registered hits.

Tanks (not other armoured vehicles) deployed “hull-down” on hill tops -1 from the registered hits.

Evasive Action - Units in open terrain which are shot at and have yet to be activated during the turn can take evasive actions, reduce hits by -1. A unit taking evasive sacrifices it action for the turn.

Units that have already been activated during the turn cannot take evasive actions.


Artillery and mortar units instead of shooting can lay down smoke to provide cover to unit, or units, in open terrain. Place smoke (eg Cotton wood) on the hex and this remains until removed at the start of the next turn.

Off-Table Artillery Fire

In most cases artillery units will be off-table. Although I will often place artillery on the base edge or beside the tabletop as a reminder of a unit in play, so a card can be placed against the unit.


Units are eliminated after accumulating more than 8 hits.

A couple of optional rules…

Hidden Units (optional rule)

Units at the start of the game can be hidden. They remain hidden until they move, shoot, or an enemy unit moves into an adjacent hex. Hidden units cannot be shot at until they are revealed.

Joint Activation (optional rule)

When there are two friendly units in a hex the can be activated together providing they remain together when moving or shoot at the same target. They can choose which activation card to use for their joint action, but both are considered activated and both cards removed after the joint activation.

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