In years of play, and with certain 2nd edition corrections, it was suggested that certain rules that we've "adjusted" through the years into our accepted home rules for playing Fortress Europa be collected and posted. They are listed below with the back-up justifications:
FORTRESS EUROPA - Home Rules (Ron Glass – Feb12, 2008)
1. BAD WEATHER RULE – Optional Rule 31.13
• Turn 1 is automatically clear as per standard game.
• Turn 2 is also automatically clear (there is no weather roll).
• Beginning on Turn 3, add +1 to the weather die roll per turn until a Storm result occurs - (turn 3 = +1, turn 4 = +2, etc).
• Once a storm result has occurred, there are no longer any die roll modifiers to any future die rolls and weather results are as rolled per the weather chart.
2. PORT RULE – Rule 18.7.8, 18.7.10, and part of Optional Rule 31.18
• Rouen is added as an inland port of SC Value 2.
• The die roll for port damage is eliminated.
• All ports, when liberated, are automatically assumed to be damaged.
• Damaged ports are reduced to 1 / 2 their current SC Value, ROUND UP.
• SC Value 1 ports do not reduce to 0, retain the SC Value of 1, and do not need to be repaired.
• If recaptured by the Germans and then reliberated, it’s value is again 1 / 2 of the current value at time of liberation, regardless if previously reduced and/or repaired. (ex., a port of value 9 is liberated, so is at value 5; after 2 turns of repair, it’s value = 7; Germans recapture and Allies reliberate it, so it’s value is now = 4 ).
• A port may never drop below SC Value = 1 despite any number of liberations.
3. MULBERRY RULE - Rule 29.5
• Mulberry storm damage possibility is rolled on as per standard game.
• If damage is rolled, it is 1 / 2 of the Mulberry SC value, ROUND UP.
4. LUFTWAFFE REPLACEMENT RULE – Optional Rule 31.2
• Luftwaffe TAC counters may be deactivated and exchanged for additional INFANTRY replacement factors to be added to the German Replacement track
• Only 1 TAC counter may be exchanged per month but can be during any turn of the month.
• Exchanging, or not, in any given month does not affect the option to do so in future months.
• Exchanged counters may NOT be reverted to TAC counters
• The 1 TAC counter to be exchanged must come from the available TAC counters from that current month, not the used TAC counters or any other month’s TAC counters.
• This step is performed at the end of the aircraft phase, after the Germans place their TAC counters on the AMC and mission adjustments/results are performed.
• The infantry replacement is immediately added to their replacement track total and is usable by the German during the replacement phase of the turn of exchange
• The deactivation and exchange of the TAC counter has an effect on the German available TAC counters as follows:
1. The odd numbered counters exchanged (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.), reduce the maximum available TAC counters for the current highest value months only. (ex. Exchanging 1 counter would reduce all months with the game maximum of 10 counters down to a maximum of 9 counters).
2. The even number of counters exchanged (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.), reduce ALL remaining months TAC counter available numbers by 1, including those already reduced from the game maximum by odd # counter reduction. (ex. Exchanging the 2nd counter would reduce all remaining game months availability by 1 TAC counter, and in doing so reduce the game maximum 9 from the 1st counter down to 8 TAC counters for those months.
Home Rule Technical Discussions
1. Storm Rule – The first invasion occurs at the end of the June I week and represents only the first 1-2 days ashore, the rest being the loading and transit from England. Using meteorological info from numerous Atlantic positioned ships, islands, and other sources, the “GO” order would not have been issued without a clear window of at least 5 days, the minimum the Allied forces required, so most of the June II week is covered as clear. It is also early in their summer storm season so the chances of a major storm event were almost nil. An aside, but the Germans used meteorological data transmitted from a few surviving submarines in the Atlantic to identify the storm that covered their initial attacks in the Battle of the Bulge. They knew it would take 2 days to reach the Ardennes once identified, and that it would last at least 3 days, all from their limited submarine readings. The Allied landings were much better prepared for any weather “surprises”.
2. Port Rule – The Allies almost never liberated a fully functional port of any size and the Germans often did minimal to no damage to the small ports. The Germans were pros at wiring up torpedoes, mines, and other explosives; sinking small vessels in key spots; and sabotaging the critical functional links need for port operations. The Allies had limited Construction Battalions (CBs, or SeaBees) so used their infantry division’s intrinsic engineering support for port repairs. They were not always the most experienced at sabotage detection or the kind of construction repairs needed for port operations. Most were combat engineers used for demolition or quick defensive position preparation. This home rule modification is historically accurate, and is slightly mitigated by the round up of the values and keeping the 1 SC Value ports as fully functional. Per the original rule 18.7.9, if a 0 factor port can handle 1 fully equipped unit arriving, then it could also handle the supplies for 1 unit.
3. Mulberry Rule – this rule is modified to keep the round-up on damage consistent with the port home rule. Mulberries were designed to ride out storms, were designed to be repaired quickly, and had support forces trained on how to use/repair them. It does not really affect the 12 SC Value Mulberry unless damaged 3 times (12 halves to 6 halves to 3 halves to 2 (instead of 1) ). The 9 SC Value Mulberry halves to 5 (instead of 4), then 3 (instead of 2), so the effect is an additional minimal offset to the insured port damage rule.
4. Luftwaffe Replacement Rule - this was actually done as both a consolidation of units to bring reduced Fliegerkorps up to full strength and when there were not enough planes / pilots to keep them operational and functional as units. As skilled pilots, planes, spare parts, and fuel became scarcer, the need for substantial ground support for minimal units went away. The best of the best went to other units as consolidation, but a typical deactivation of a Fliegerkorps could realistically produce about a regiment of troops, or enough to abstractly equal 1 replacement point. These deactivations were planned events, so allowing only 1 per month balances allowing the decision to be made during any given week of the month. And, as a large part of the German airpower was being “shuttled” around Europe at the time, almost like aerial wolfpacks, going from the east front, to Italy, to the west front, for focused offensives or in response to Allied offensives, any exchange would affect the “grand total” first, but would also eventually affect the local committed Luftflotte forces. The staggered reduction is the abstract reflection of that reality.