Shellshock Combat System WW2 Blitzkrieg Rules
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Blitzkrieg WW2 Rules


Don't be fooled by its small size. Blitzkrieg is a true wargame; it's just been squeezed down to fit into your wallet. Blitzkrieg is a World War II era specific version of the Shellshock Combat System. Shellshock is the most robust, easy to learn, and exciting wargame system you can find. It's also one of the most realistic.

Shellshock was designed from the onset with an overlying premise of maneuver and strategy. The deciding factor in a Shellshock battle is to out-flank your enemy. The winning player must use good strategy and find weaknesses in the strategy of their opponent. You must think the same way a WWII tank commander had to think.

There are no mathematical breaks or loopholes in the Shellshock system. Your strategy, pitted against your opponent's strategy, is what wins the battle, the way a wargame is supposed to be. Sure luck (or fate?) is a factor, but it always is in battle.

As you play Blitzkrieg don't panic by how quickly things get destroyed. Shellshock is not like the other wargames who state a machine gun only has a range of 300 feet. Shellshock was based off of real life ballistic charts and statistics. If a high-pressure 88mm round hits you, you feel it. There is a reason the Sherman was nicknamed the "Ronsin Lighter."

If you do not have miniatures please print out the unit markers we have made available on the website. These are not to scale, but are still good visual markers. Please fee; free to pull them down. This is free. We won't nickel and dime you to death.

Unless otherwise specified, the "clips" of record sheets that you see throughout the rules are from an M4A3 Sherman LP Blitzkrieg record sheet. (Some formatting is lost, but otherwise correct.)

Types of Play

Do you wish to play a hex based game, or a miniature's based game? These rules were written for Miniatures based play, but the adjustment for hex based play is easy enough. To convert to hex rules, one inch equals one hex. Every 45 degrees of turning equates to one hex-face change. That's all there is to it.

Game Set Up

Make up armies to fight each other. All units have an Estimated Combat Value (ECV) in the lower left-hand corner.

|  2  |                       |
+-----+  Right Tread          |
|  1  |                       |
| 558 |    |

Building opposing armies of roughly the same ECV makes for a fair fight. Let it be known that many fights in WWII were far from fair. A good general always tried to out number his opponents. Sun Tzu said the perfect ratio was 10-to-one. If you wish to replicate historical battles you may be surprised at how one sided a battle usually was.

We would recommend for your first battle that you play a game of 2 Panthers against 3 Sherman LP's and one Sherman Firefly. While a simple scenario, it will allow you to get the hang of the Blitzkrieg rules. This battle usually takes new players about an hour or so to play out. After a few turns you should be right in to the swing of things. For more experienced players, a typical aggressive battle of about 7,000 points on each side will last roughly 1.5 to 2 hours.

Set the terms of what is required to win the battle. Make sure all the players understand what types of terrain and units are on the map. Maps can be purchased or made and this manual can not even begin to list all the sources available. We sell affordable maps and miniatures of varying grades, as do many of other companies.

Don't be fooled, a better-looking map does not make you a better player. A high quality map is just eye candy. It's the ability to use what you have that makes you a better player, not how much you spent on your terrain. You would be amazed at how much tactical strategy and experience one can gain just by laying a few books, cups and saucers down and going at it. (Salt and pepper packets from your favorite fast food establishment make for cheap tanks too!)

Game Turn Overview

There are four main phases to each game turn:

  1. Initiative
  2. Movement
  3. Combat (Simultaneous)
  4. Aftermath

I. Initiative Phase
This is where you determine which units go first.

Each person that is playing has a roll off using their 1d20 (one 20 sided die). Whoever looses the roll off moves at least half of their force. When the first player is done moving half of their force, go onto the player that rolled second lowest and so on. After going through the rotation once, everyone moves the remaining half of their force in rotation again. Initiative is re-rolled at the beginning of each game turn.

(SPECIAL NOTE: The proceeding initiative rule is a very basic way of determining initiative. We highly recommend playing with the "Initiative Chits" optional rule as soon as you are familiar with the game. This is one optional rule that should be considered standard because it adds so much to the game.)

II. Movement Phase
This is where the units move one at a time in the order of initiative.

Located just below the armor chart is the speed of the unit.

11   Speed   10 

Don't consider this the actual speed, consider this how many movement points the unit has. While moving in open terrain your unit uses 1 movement point per inch traveled.

You can go from a complete stop to full speed in one turn. You can also come to a complete stop from full speed in one turn. If this seems unrealistic to you, see the optional acceleration rules, but do remember this is a 12 second turn and many of the WWII tanks can achieve full speed in that time.

Just below the speed is the Road Speed. This is the speed the unit can travel at if it begins, ends, and traverses its entire movement while on pavement.

Road S.	15

To go in reverse, you must have ended the last turn at a speed of zero. Going in reverse requires two movement points to travel 1 inch.

To the right of the two speeds you see the movement costs for traveling through certain terrains.

Water	4	 	Trees/RG	2	 
1 Level	2	 	2 Levels	3	 

Water stands for shallow water. Some units have "amphibious bulkheads" (Pontoons) that allow them to float ON deep water. If your unit enters deep water without this device, the unit is destroyed. In the span of a typical game you can not raise or lower pontoons. You can declare that the unit has its pontoon erected but this will mean the unit can not fire because the gunner can not see.

Turning and Moving

As your unit starts its movement phase you may wish to point your tank in a different direction. If you are going to move this turn, declare what speed you are going to travel this turn up to your full speed. Turn your tank up to 45 degrees, then move forward (or backward), or you can move forward half of your declared speed, make your 45 degree turn, then continue forward the remaining half of your movement points.

Turning usually does not cost a movement point, but while in a city, on pavement, a 45 degree turn costs 1 movement point. A 90 degree turn is 2 movement points. (NOTE: The Blitzkrieg version is the only Shellshock version in which you will find turns that cost movement points!)

If you are traveling an odd number movement this turn, say 5, you can turn at either 2 inches or 3 inches.

A few units are extra maneuverable. Stuarts, Panzers and T34/76's can make an additional 45 turn at the end of their movement if they wish to. You can tell a unit is extra maneuverable because it will have a "*" to the right of the speed.

From a "Stuart"

11	Speed	12*	
	Road S.	19

If you state that your unit is not going to move forward or backward during this turn, you can make a 180 degree turn.

When you complete your movement you must state in what direction your turret is facing. (If your unit has one) Please remember the direction. We recommend toothpicks cut in half as turret direction indicators.

Full Turrets: These can point in any direction at the end of the turn. The firing arc is 30 degrees off center in either direction. (Picture the face of a hex) When all units are done moving, full turrets can turn up to another 60 degrees in response to enemy movement.

Pintle Mounts: The gunner must "un-button" and man-handle any weapons mounted on a pintle mount. This must be declared at the end of the unit's movement. When movement is done for all units, pintle mounts do not have the ability turn another 60 degrees.

Fixed Cannons: The Jagdpanther, Preist and SU-85 are two examples of units that use Fixed Cannons. These cannons can not change facing without changing the whole facing of the tank. They still have a firing arc of 30 degrees off center. (This represents the tank pivoting, not the cannon turning.)

III. Combat Phase

Time to blow stuff up! Combat is simultaneous, so if your unit is destroyed it still has the ability to hit its target before it is considered rubble. The rounds are already on the way when the firer is hit.

Many units have multiple gunners. The rules are written from the point of view of one gunner, not the unit as a whole. You must repeat these steps for each gunner inside each unit with a viable fire solution.

There are basically 5 parts to combat resolution.

  1. Finding valid targets.
  2. Figuring out what the "to hit roll" (THR) is and rolling.
  3. If you hit, how much damage did you do, and did you do enough damage to cause internal damage?
  4. If you did do internal damage, how much internal damage did you do and how much of the unit was effected?
  5. What specific items were destroyed, and can the unit still function in a useful capacity?

Background information that will help combat make more sense:
(optional reading, but very helpful)

There is only one way to kill a unit, GOING INTERNAL and destroying the stuff inside the unit, ie the engine, guns, crew etc.

There are three external ways to get "inside" a unit: Damage, Shock and Penetration. Damage is like ripping away the skin/armor of the unit with a cheese grater. Shock is like getting hit with a baseball bat, and Penetration is like stabbing through the skin with a knife. All weapons have a value that represents how much "damage" it does in these three respects, even though that value may be zero.

A weapon is rated by how much damage, shock, and penetration it does. This is known as its d/s/p. d/s/p will be appearing in the rules constantly. Remember what it means! A cannon that does 4/3/2 d/s/p does 4 damage, 3 shock, and 2 penetration.

Just as there are three ways to "get inside" there are three things that each unit has to protect itself. (Though that value may also be zero.) There is Armor, which is what damage is assessed against. There is the Shock Threshold, which is what the shock damage is assessed against. Finally there are Penetration Values, which is what, you guessed it, penetration damage is assessed against.

1. Finding a valid target.

In Shellshock, because of the scale used, a typical kitchen table will represent an area about 1 mile by 1/2 a mile. One inch = 88 feet. This is within range of just about every weapon used in armored combat except machine guns which have an effective range of 1/2 a mile, or 30 inches.

If you can see your target you can hit it. In military terms this is called line of sight. Everything blocks line of site: enemy units, hills, trees, buildings, ground elevations, even your own units (except infantry). If there is ever a time where a piece of terrain or a tree is right at the edge of blocking line of sight, the two players must vote on if they can see each other. If both agree you both have line of sight to each other. If one or both of the players don't want to see each other, neither of you have line of sight to each other.

What weapons can you shoot?

The manifest area is the large area that takes up most of the record sheet. This is where the weapons and ammunition are listed, as well as the "body sections" where some weapons are located. Weapons will have four boxes to their right.

Any weapon in a section can be fired, assuming you have enough ammo to fire the weapon. (Mark off each round of ammo as you use it.) The target must be in the firing arc the weapon is facing. (30 degrees off center) Visualize this as the front of a hex face, expanded out.

 __    __    __    __
/xx\__/  \__/  \__/xx\
\__/xx\__/  \__/xx\__/
/  \__/xx\__/xx\__/  \
\__/  \__/xx\__/  \__/
   \__/  \__/  \__/       ## = Unit
      \__/##\__/	  xx = Firing Arc

2. Figuring out what the "to hit roll" (THR) is and rolling.
Find out what type of weapon is being fired.

To the right of each weapon, in the first box, you will see either a "B," "AP" or "I". This stands for Ballistic, Anti-Personnel, and Indirect weapon, respectively.

76mm Rifled Cannon	B	5/4/3	4/3/2	3/2/1
                                36 rnd. Ammo Bin		

Ask the owner of the TARGET unit what their defense values are for the types of weapons you are firing at them. This can be found in the upper left hand corner of the target's record sheet, under the Defense Values chart.

Defense Values	F/B	Sds
Ballistic	8	4
Indirect	10	6
Anti-Personnel	13	10
Physical	4

There are separate numbers for the front/back and sides of the unit. For example, you are firing a Cannon and a Machine Gun at the front of the target, which are Ballistic and Anti-Personnel weapons respectively. Ask the TARGET what its Ballistic and Anti-Personnel Defense Values are for its front. In the case of the Sherman LP that would be 8 for Ballistic and 13 Anti-Personnel.

The target's defense value is the number you have to roll against with the hit dice. This is the "To Hit Roll" (THR). There are only two modifiers to the THR: For every full 12 inches the units are separated, measured center of unit to the center of the other unit, you add a +1 to make the unit harder to hit. The other modifier to the THR is the gunnery skill of the gunner. Subtract the gunnery skill of the Firing Gunner from THR to make the target easier to hit.

Gunnery Skill	2d6	+1

You roll the to hit dice once. Roll 2d6 (2 six sided dice) and add the results together to see if you hit. This one roll determines if all the weapons hit. If the sum of the 2d6 meet or exceed the defense value of the target for that particular weapon, after applying modifiers, that particular weapon hits.

For example, while shooting at the front of the Sherman, you need an 8 to hit with ballistic weapons, and a 13 to hit with Anti-Personnel. You are 14 inches away, more than 1 full foot, so now you need 9 and 14, but you have a gunnery skill of +1, which brings you back to 8 and 13. You roll 2d6 and get a 9. The Ballistic weapon (the Cannon) hits and the Anti-Personnel weapon misses.

If you ever roll a 6 on both dice (box-cars), roll again and add the results to the first roll (12). This is how you make hits on Defense Values that are higher than your gunnery skill can normally achieve. Look at the AP defense values of the Tiger II.

Clipped from a Tiger II

Anti-Personnel	25	19

If you roll box cars again, re-roll again and add again to your hit roll. You would need to roll a 12, followed by another 12, before you would have "hit" a Tiger II.

Ramming attacks figure the THR a little differently. Ramming attacks have the same Defense Value from the front, back or sides. To ram, the attacking unit must be able to move into the same space as the defending unit, not just touch it. The defending unit must have finished moving this movement phase. In other words it has already moved this turn, and the attacking unit is able to move into the same spot. Determining THR of the ram is the same as a typical a weapon except that gunnery skill does not affect THR.

3. If you hit, how much damage did you do? Any internal damage?

A 76mm Rifled Cannon, like on the Sherman, has a High (5/4/3), Mid (4/3/2) and Low d/s/p of (3/2/1).

76mm Rifled Cannon	B	5/4/3	4/3/2	3/2/1
	                        36 rnd. Ammo Bin

The Mid d/s/p (middle box) stands for what the weapon is generally capable of doing in Damage/Shock/Penetration. The High is the maximum damage the weapon will do, and the Low is the minimum the weapon will do.

Ramming (beside the engines) shows the d/s/p's multipliers. (Explained later)

ICE Engine:  [5] Hits		Phys	0.58 / 0.58 / 0.23	 

Now flip a coin once. Heads you use the High d/s/p's; tails you use the Low d/s/p's. If you have hit with multiple weapons, you do not flip multiple coins. If you rolled high, add all the high d/s/p's together of every weapon that hit. If you rolled low, do likewise.

Let's say you rolled low. After all the weapons Low d/s/p's are added together and you have:

                  D     S     P
First Weapon:     3     2     2
Second Weapon:    3     2     2
Total:            6     4     4

6/4/4 total. Subtract 6 from the armor on the side you hit the unit (front, back, left or right side.)

2	A	2

Did you reduce the armor down to zero? If so, any additional armor damage is converted into Internal Damage.

In the above example with a total of 6/4/4 d/s/p, if you had hit from the front you would have 0 points of armor left, but no internal damage. If you had hit from either of the sides you would have done 4 points internal damage. If you had attacked from the rear, you would have done 5 points internal damage.

Shock works a little different.

Shock T:  3

Many have likened the shock threshold to a force field. If the shock damage you inflict is equal to or less than the shock threshold of the target unit, nothing happens. If the shock damage exceeds the shock threshold of the target unit, the excess (over-shock) turns into internal damage. The Shock Threshold of the unit is never reduced. With the example given above (6/4/4 d/s/p) we would have done 1 point of internal damage.

Penetration damage works the same as the shock, but you compare your penetration damage to the penetration factor according to the angle of the hit (Front, back, front left, front right, rear left, rear right.)

0 /\ 0
0 \/ 0

All over-penetration is converted straight into internal damage just as with shock and damage. The penetration factors of the unit are never reduced. Using the example from above (6/4/4 d/s/p) we would have done three points of internal damage if it were a frontal attack, and four points of internal damage if we had attacked in the rear or sides.

Calculating Ramming Damage

If you rammed successfully, multiply your ram speed by the d/s/p numbers shown. There is no high or low. There are three numbers in decimals (sorry, time to grab a calculator) to the right of the engine. If you hit your opponent and he is moving towards you add his speed to your speed. This is the ram speed.

Multiply the ram speed times the decimals and this is the d/s/p of the ram. If you hit from the side, or your opponent is standing still, the ram speed is calculated off of your speed only. If the target is moving away from you at the time of the ram, subtract his speed from your speed to calculate the ram speed. Ramming isn't common so these math calculations will not occur too often.

If your unit does not have a ram plate, when you ram another unit they ram you back with their ramming numbers. Smashing into a tank that is the same size or bigger than you is not going to help your cause much. The damage of the ram is the number shown times the speed you were traveling when you hit.

Once you have checked for internal damage against the Armor, Shock and Penetration, add the internal damage from each to achieve the total internal damage the unit has taken from this volley.

4. If you did go internal, how much internal stuff did you blow up?

So, you did some internal damage. We have to see how much stuff inside of the unit you have destroyed. There is a horizontal chart that runs below the Defense Values and the Armor charts. This in the "Internal Amount" chart. Take the internal damage points done by this volley and see where it falls along the bottom of the chart. Lets say we have done 4 points of internal damage. This is "5 lines."

Internal	1 line	2 lines	3 lines	4 lines	5 lines	6 lines	7 lines	8 lines	9 lines	Dead
Amount	        1       -       2       3       4       5       -       6       7       8+

These "line" numbers are how many horizontal rows you cross off in the Manifest. If you have done enough internal damage points to end up in the section marked dead, this means the unit is automatically destroyed.

5. What specific items were destroyed, and can the unit still function?

Now roll a 1d20 to see where to start crossing off lines on the Manifest.

| 20 |	Crew: Driver, Gunner, Loader, Commander                   |
| 19 |  ICE Engine:  [5] Hits	Phys	0.58 / 0.58 / 0.23	  |
| 18 |	4 Hour Fuel Tank                                          |
| 17 |								  |				 
| 16 |								  |				 
| 15 |	Sighting Periscope                                        |
| 14 |								  |				 
| 13 |	Full Turret (+15, -0):					  |				
| 12 |								  |				 
| 11 |	76mm Rifled Cannon	B	5/4/3	4/3/2	3/2/1	  |
| 10 |		 36 rnd. Ammo Bin			          |
|  9 |								  |			
|  8 |	7.92mm Coaxial MG	AP	2/2/0	1/1/0	1/1/0	  |
|  7 |	   19 rnd. Ammo Bin                                       |
|  6 |	Pintle Mount	 19 rnd. Ammo Bin			  |
|  5 |	12.7mm Machine Gun	AP	3/2/2	2/1/1	1/1/1	  |
|  4 |	Left Tread                                                |
|  3 |								  |				 
|  2 |	Right Tread	                                          |
|  1 |	                                                          |

Cross out the number rolled on the 1d20 and cross off the coinciding line. Now go up by the remaining number of vertical rows. For example, you have done 5 internal damage points. On the target unit, in the Internal Amount chart, this is a 6 line hit. You roll a 1d20 and get 7. Now cross off 7 and go up another 5 rows. Rows seven through twelve are crossed off.

Successive hits in areas that are already destroyed are skipped. Keep going up on the internal location chart. If a line does not have any equipment in it, it still "dissipates" the lines of internal damage.

Extra large pieces of equipment that take up multiple spaces are boxed off. These pieces of equipment are destroyed if any of the lines are hit. As you can see, hitting any line 16 through 18 will knock out the Fuel Tank.

17       4 Hour Fuel Tank	
Pieces of equipment to the far right are affiliated with the number they line up with. Hitting line 10 would hit the Rifled Cannon and the ammo bin, (possibly causing a secondary explosion) but hitting line 9 or 11 would only destroy the cannon. The weapon description line is not the actual weapon.
11	76mm Rifled Cannon	B	5/4/3	4/3/2	3/2/1
10                                      36 rnd. Ammo Bin		

Secondary effects:

If a turret or pintle mount is hit, the weapons inside it are not destroyed. It just means that the turret is locked in the last direction it was facing.

A pintle mount is not "mechanized." This means a person has to stick their body out of the tank (un-button) to operate the weapon and pivot it on the pintle mount.

If a tank is unbuttoned, all AP weapons fire against the Ballistic Defense Value. If the tank is successfully shot while unbuttoned with any other weapon, (Non AP) all shock automatically goes internal (the Shock Threshold is effectively reduced to zero while the tank is unbuttoned). Shock is not reduced for AP weapons firing at an unbuttoned tank.

If fuel or ammo bins are hit, both players roll 1d20. If the defending player ties or wins, nothing happens. If the attacker wins, the unit explodes.

Hitting a tread, wheel, or other locomotion device: While most units will not be able to move forward if one tread is destroyed, the unit can still rotate, but only half as fast.

If the sighting periscope is hit, you loose 1d6 from your to hit roll. You only have 1d6 and your gunnery skill to hit the target.

Loss of Function:

If, after assessing what pieces of equipment are destroyed, the unit can no longer function, (all weapons are destroyed, its no longer mobile, crew killed etc.) that unit is considered destroyed. Leave it there for rubble and additional cover. Other units can not roll over it, they must move around it.

If a unit is destroyed, and has not fired this turn, it still can. Damage done during the Combat Phase is considered simultaneous. In other words, it is assumed that everyone is firing their weapons at the same time and the bullets are already on the way to their target when the firer is struck and destroyed.

Move on to the next gunner/unit until all fire solutions have been resolved. Weapons can only fire once a turn.

IV. Aftermath
Let's pick up the pieces.

Make sure all ammo, armor, and other "depleted items" are marked off. Go on to the next turn, re-roll for initiative.

Give it a go!

Here are the Units

Scratchpad area:

You will notice on the right side of the record sheet there is an area that has the armor charts, as well as 20 boxes that coincide with the unit manifest. As mentioned earlier a lot of units get destroyed, some in the first shot. But some do survive. There is very little on the "real" record sheet that is actually marked when a unit is damaged. Only the armor chart and manifest area.

We have provided this scratchpad area to the right so you can mark off the damage that occurs to one unit without having to mark the main record sheet where all the information of the unit is.

You of course will still need to reference the main part of the record sheet for information on speed, internal amount damaged, power of the gun, etc., but now you can record the damage and "control" seven different units on only one page, and since many units are destroyed in only one blow, you can feasibly run 15+ on just this one page.

There is also a scratchpad area on the infantry sheets below the "real" record sheet with area to mark what special weapon the infantry group may be using.

Shellshock is a very combat intensive game, with many units getting destroyed, if you make copies on a continuous basis you would be wasting a whole lot of trees, money and effort. I would highly recommend buying sheet protectors and putting the records sheets in them and marking damage with water soluble markers. Then when done with play just wipe them off with a damp rag. As a hint you may have to wipe down the sheet protectors with window cleaner before you use them, because they usually have a waxy film on them that the marker won't adhere to.

To see more hints & tips for the Shellshock Combat System, or to see the other Shellshock games available, please visit


You can't have WWII without infantry. While Shellshock is an "armor" based game, it was always envisioned from inception with infantry in mind.

We recommend you not play with infantry until you have played at least two or three games. It is also recommended that you play using the chit initiative optional rule.

Characteristics of infantry:

Infantry are set up in squads of 8 men with up to two extra men carrying special weapons.

Infantry squads move as one, though they can fire at more than one target. A group of 8 men can fire in two different directions, each group using the "damage numbers" of 4 men. Then each special weapons soldier can fire on a third and fourth target a piece. Or everyone can fire at one target.

If you wish to have larger groups of infantry together, you just have lots of 8 man squads all in one spot. They all act independently.

You can not break up a squad. Two squads that have been reduced in size can combine if in total they do not have more than 8 men and 2 special weapons.

Infantry do not have initiative. Infantry move any time they wish, but can only move and fire once a turn. (While using chit initiative consider all infantry to have a red chit.)

Infantry Movement:

Infantry have a max speed of 4. If they run at 3 or 4, they accrue exhaustion points. If the squad moves at slower speeds they have the ability to remove exhaustion points. If the squad reaches 6 exhaustion points they collapse and are out of the fight. There is no way to revive an "exhausted" group during play.

Shooting infantry:

Targeting and firing on infantry is the same as firing against another unit, however, damage is done a little differently. There are two types of weapons to consider when targeting infantry, Anti-Personnel (AP) and everything else (Non-AP).

AP weapons firing on infantry is a little different. Combine the d/s/p (high or low) done and inflict the total on the men. Each point kills a man.

Non-AP weapons must be adjusted. This is called the Non-AP Conversion. The infantry take damage equal to 1d6 multiplied by the weapons Shock Damage. For example, if you fire a weapon with a Shock of 2 (Damage and Penetration are ignored) and roll a 3 on 1d6, you will have inflicted six AP damage points to the infantry group, killing six infantrymen.

Infantry use Small Arms. This is the reverse of the Non-AP Conversion. If an infantry unit fires against other infantry (against the AP defense) and hits, simply consult the unit record sheet to determine the damage, which varies by range. For example, if a unit of 6 men fires at another infantry unit 8 hexes away, they will inflict 1d6+2 damage if they hit. If they move to within 6 inches, they will inflict 2d6 damage on a successful hit.

When infantry shoot at tanks they fire against the AP defense value. If there are 5 or more men in the unit (and all are firing at the tank), they do the 1 point of damage (against armor) if they hit. If there are 4 men or less in the squad, there is no effect at all.

Special weapons:

Squads can have up to two men that can carry special weapons.

Bazooka: This is a Ballistic Weapon, and does standard d/s/p to tanks. Range of only 12. If fired against infantry use the standard Non-AP Conversion rules.

Mortars: This is an Indirect Weapon. If fired against a tank, it does standard d/s/p. If it is fired against an infantry group and hits, it does 1d6+2 AP points.

Flame-thrower: Very short range, but when shot against other infantry, it kills 2d6 men. (Either killed out right, badly burnt, or stopped to help the wounded.) Note that flame-thrower attacks against armor automatically hit (unless the attacker rolls snake-eyes). They do no damage, but the unit is considered suppressed. If the unit is unbuttoned, the crew is killed and it is out of the game.

Field Guns:

Field guns are machine guns and the guns taken that are placed on a wheeled frame. They can be used to fire on infantry and tanks. It is recommended you be familiar with the basic game and have progressed to "chit initiative" before playing with field guns. As you can see there are 6 field guns available. The 17 pounder is specifically British. The 88mm is specifically German. The other weapons can be used by any army.

Characteristics of Field Guns:

For purposes of the game, field guns are immobile, but they can be rotated during movement 45 degrees. They can fire off bore 30 degrees.

Field guns have abbreviated damage, shock, and penetration charts. Field guns do not have armor, or penetration that covers the rear arcs. If a field gun receives internal damage that is equal to its internal points it is considered dead. If it receives internal damage that doesn't kill it, it remains undamaged.

Field guns have no initiative and "rotate" when they wish. With chit initiative rules they are considered to have red chits. Targeting, shooting, applying damage, and receiving damage, are the same as compared to a typical unit with the above noted exceptions. Physical attacks against a field gun automatically hit.


As you may have read from the website, Shellshock is designed to be modular. You can add to Shellshock or subtract from it to make play fit your style and speed. What follows are a couple of suggestions. Remember, these are all optional and it is recommended that you play a few games without any optional rules to learn the system.

Initiative Chits: This is the most important and most recommended optional rule. This rule is what makes Shellshock shine and give game play that added bit of chaos that makes Shellshock so realistic. Using pennies or scraps of paper (bingo and mini-poker chips work great) numbered one through the number of units on the board. (We call these chits) Take the highest numbered chit and replace it with a chit labeled "R" for Red. Place all the chits into a bag. During initiative the side with the least units picks a chit, announces the number, then places it on a unit. When done, the next player picks and so on each time placing the chit before going on to the next unit/player. This is done till all chits have been placed and all units have a chit. Now move in the order of the chits, first one, then two, and so on. The red chit can move anytime it wishes, which is usually last. Fire is still simultaneous.

1 d/s/p: As you can see, all weapons have Mid d/s/p's. While this number can be used to generally evaluate the power of the weapon, it is not actually used in play. If the players wish to speed up play a bit, don't flip the coin to determine high or low d/s/p. Just use the mid d/s/p, or for the more blood thirsty players, always use the High d/s/p's. (Always using High d/s/p's is not recommended.)

3 d/s/p's: This allows a little more variation in play. Use all three d/s/p's. Either use or make a 1d3 (3 sided dice) (Instructions on the website) or use a 1d6 and designate 1+2 low, 3+4 mid and 5+6 high.

Ranged d/s/p's: In this variant, if the attacker and target are within 12 inches, you use the High d/s/p's, if between 13 and 24 inches you use mid, and 25+ inches you use low.

Even Rambo misses sometimes: This is a common rule we enjoy using. If you ever naturally roll snake-eyes (don't take into account the gunnery skill) it's considered a choke roll and automatically misses no matter what THR is.

Lucky shot: This is another common optional rule. If while rolling THR, you get box cars, all d/s/p's are automatically doubled.

Instant Death: This one is usually used in conjunction with Lucky shot. If you ever roll 2 sets of box cars (the first set of box cars have you re-roll and you get box-cars again) the unit is automatically destroyed no matter what it is, how big it is, or what you shot it with. Note that some players do not like this rule as a lone infantryman could, in theory, kill a Tiger II with one shot.

Initiative in thirds (or fourths): Sometimes you are playing with a large number of units on the board. Instead of moving your force in halves, move them in thirds or fourths. This rule is used when not using Initiative chits.

Motion Sickness: You can only accurately fire at an opposing tank if you are NOT moving faster than you gunnery skill. If you are moving faster than your gunnery skill, you only roll 1d6 (+ gunnery) on your THR.

Suppressing fire: After all units have moved you call for all suppressing fire to occur. You shoot your Anti-Personnel weapon at an opposing tank, but the AP defense value of the opposing tank is cut in half. The AP weapon, if it hits, does no damage. If you make a successful hit there is a marker placed beside the unit. For the rest of the turn, this unit only has 1d6 and their gunnery to use for the THR. Infantry can use this rule. Do note that many tanks AP weapons are on pintle mounts and this means that the crew must unbutton to be fire them. While unbuttoned, even if you are being fired upon by another tank doing suppressing fire, all goes straight to internal damage.

Tree cover: This allows you to hide behind a tree but still shoot out. The tree must be directly between you and your opponent. You have to be directly beside the tree hex, and your opponent can not be more than 24 inches away from you. Under this circumstance, you can shoot at your opponent and he can not shoot back at you if he is more than 12 inches away. He can return fire if under 12 inches away. Infantry can use this advantage.

Hull down and Immobile Targets: These two rules must be presented together to make either of them worth it. Immobile targets: any unit that begins and ends it's turn, motionless, or just spinning around, and in the open, have their Defense Value Types halved. Ouch. Hulldown: you can position your unit up against a hill, tree, building, or ditch, remain motionless indefinitely and still have full Defense Values when someone shoots at you. During movement you position your tank beside some terrain and announce hull down. Note that being hull down only protects your from the direction covered. Most of the time, this means that units to your rear (and sometimes sides) will get the Immobile Target bonus.

Point Blank: This rules states that if you are in the adjacent hex all Defense Values are halved. (It's twice as easy to hit an opponent.)

1/2 Acceleration: This is for people who don't think a unit should be able to go from standing still to full speed in 12 seconds. This rule simply states that a unit can not accelerate more than half of its full speed in any one turn. Everything can still stop on a dime. 12 seconds is a lot of braking time.

No magic bullet: If you hit a 3 or 4 location, you hit the left tread, but lets say you are shooting the right side of the vehicle. Instead, just say you hit the right tread, even though it was a left tread hit, and cross off locations 1 and 2.

Hidden Chits: Used with Initiative Chits optional rule. Don't announce the chit number and place the chit face down. Once all chits have been picked and placed, turn over chits.

Zeroing In: If you target a tank, and target it again the next turn while keeping that tank in your sights the entire time, you get a +1 to your THR. The maximum bonus from Zeroing In is equal to the gunner's Gunnery Skill.

Phased Play: This is another form of play, also considered the "high strategy" version of Shellshock. There are full instructions on playing phased here. If you relish the "maneuver" aspect of war games this form of play will leave you fully satiated. This is for players who are completely familiar with the Shellshock Combat System. A few simple rules will crank up your level of enjoyment instantly. Do not attempt phased play until you have graduated to at least two full games using the "initiative chit" optional rule.

If you have always wanted to be Patton or Rommel, Phased play is the version for you.

Copyright 1996-2016 by Glenn V. Domingo & Justin W. Gramm
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