15. OFFENSIVE COMBAT
15.1 OVERVIEW
15.2 GROUND ATTACKS
15.3 DEFENSE MULTIPLIERS (DMs)
15.4 MECHANICS OF GROUND ATTACKS
15.5 RESOLVING GROUND ATTACKS
15.6 COMBAT RESULTS TABLE
15.7 ADDITIONAL ROUNDS OF COMBAT
15.8 COMBAT TRAINING LEVELS
15.9 ADVANCE AFTER COMBAT

15.1 OVERVIEW:
15.11 After air and naval missions are completed as set out in the sequence of play, including the assignment of air to ground support, defensive air support, and the interception of defensive air support, the attacker carries out any airdrops he wishes to make during the regular combat phase.
15.12 The attacker resolves his ground attacks, including those arising out of seaborne invasions, one attack at a time in whatever order he chooses. After each attack is resolved, the attacker has the option of advancing surviving units into hexes previously occupied by the defending enemy units.
15.13 Once all regular ground attacks are resolved, all naval units still at sea, including defending patrols (EXCEPTION: Submarine patrols - 21.4184B) return to port.
15.14 Exploiting armor units are then moved to breakthrough hexes, after which exploiting armor units move, uncommitted air units fly ground support, fly defensive air support and intercept defensive air support, and unused airborne units airdrop. Exploitation combat is then resolved.
15.15 The combat capabilities of air (19), naval (22) and airborne (10.5) units are dealt with in greater detail in the rules relating to those units.

15.2 GROUND ATTACKS:
15.21 ELIGIBLE UNITS: The attacker may attack with all, some or none of his ground units which are adjacent to or, in the case of airborne units, on top of, enemy ground units (EXCEPTIONS: Ground units in swamp, jungle and jungle/mountain hexes may neither attack nor be attacked during monsoons - 34.24B. Replacements may not attack - 10.23).
15.22 ATTACKS OPTIONAL: An attacker is never forced to make ground attacks (EXCEPTIONS: Airdrops on top of an enemy ground unit; overruns thwarted by enemy defensive air support - 13.531; seaborne invasions which are not subject to enemy interference; announced ground attacks to which the defender has responded with a tactical atomic attack - 43.422).
15.23 MAPBOARD BOXES: Ground attacks from the mapboard into a mapboard box, and vice versa, are not allowed. Ground combat involving units adjacent to and in the Australia, India and Urals boxes is resolved by attrition.

15.3 DEFENSE MULTIPLIERS (DMs):
15.31 DETERMINING DEFENSIVE STRENGTH: The attacking strength of a unit is always equal to its printed combat factor. The defensive strength of a unit equals its printed combat strength times its net DM. While the defensive strength of units may be increased (15.32) or decreased (15.33), according to terrain and other factors, units never defend at less than their face value. All positive and negative DMs are taken into account in determining the net DM for defending units (15.35).
15.32 POSITIVE DMs: Units receive a positive DM (their defensive strength is increased) as follows:
A. Defending units receive a basic +2 DM, regardless of terrain.
B. Units defending against seaborne invasion receive a +1 DM, even if some of the attacking units are attacking from adjacent land hexes or are dropped airborne units (EXCEPTION: Units defending against seaborne invasion do not receive a +1 DM if at least half the invading ground factors are marines).
C. Units defending against attack from across a river or crossing arrow receive a +1 DM. This is negated if some of the attacking units attack from a hex which is not across a river or crossing arrow (EXCEPTION: 15.321). An airborne drop on a defending unit similarly negates the river or crossing arrow terrain advantage of that defending unit.
D. Units defending in a forest, jungle, mountain or swamp hex receive a +1 DM. Units defending in a jungle/mountain hex receive a +2 DM.
E. Units defending in a fortress hex or behind a fortress line receive a +2 DM. This is negated if some of the attacking units attack across an unfortified hexside. This may only occur in attacks against Maginot hexes, and in attacks against Singapore, which is only fortified against seaborne invasions unless its fortifications have been upgraded. In contrast to rivers and crossing arrows, airborne drops do not negate this DM.
F. Units defending in a hex containing a fortification or behind a fortification line receive a +1 DM. This is negated if some of the attacking units attack across an unfortified hexside (EXCEPTION: 15.321). This may only occur in attacks against West Wall hexes. In contrast to rivers and crossing arrows, airborne drops do not negate this DM.
G. Ground units in a hex containing a beach defense counter receive a +1 DM when defending against seaborne invasion. This +1 DM is negated if the ground units are also attacked by enemy ground units from an adjacent land hex, but is not negated solely by an airdrop (32.55). If a hex contains both a fortification and a beach defense counter, ground units defending against seaborne invasion receive a +2 DM and ground units defending against other ground attacks receive a +1 DM (32.56).
H. Units defending against airdrops, without being attacked by other enemy ground units:
15.321 Axis units defending in West Wall hexes which are attacked so as to receive the benefits of both river (15.32C) and fortification (15.32F) defenses across different hexsides receive a +1 DM. Axis units which receive the benefits of both river and fortification defenses across the same hexside(s) receive a +2 DM.
15.322 The DM of defending units may increase in later rounds of combat as a result of the elimination of attacking units which outflanked a river, crossing arrow or fortress defense line, the loss of marines in a seaborne invasion or the loss of attacking units with a high level of winter preparation.
15.33 NEGATIVE DMs: Ground units are subject to a negative DM as follows:
A. Infantry, replacements and partisans incur a -1 DM if attacked by at least one exploiting armor with a CTL of two or more, unless defending in a capital, objective hex, IC, bridgehead or railhead. Airborne, marine, commando, Chindit and armor units (subject to 15.331) are not subject to this -1 DM when attacked by exploiting armor.
B. Italian and minor country units are subject to a negative DM as follows:
C. Infantry and replacements with a CTL of zero or less incur a -1 DM unless defending in a capital, objective hex, IC, bridgehead or railhead; or in their home country. Canadian, South African and Free French units are considered to be “in their home country” when defending in Britain (82.13, 58.624). Partisans always incur a -1 DM.
D. Ground units are subject to a negative DM as follows:
E. Pacific theater Western Allied infantry and replacement units (but not armor, marine, airborne, commando or Chindit units) on the turn of a Japanese surprise attack.
F. Nationalist Chinese ground units operating outside China if the Chinese Resistance level is 0 or lower; all Nationalist Chinese ground units if the Chinese Resistance level is -3 or lower.
G. As specified by the following RGT and weather results:
H. Enemy units incur a -1 DM if attacked by the Chindit, provided the Chindit is in a hex which does not contain and is not adjacent to any other Western Allied ground units.
15.331 Armor treated as infantry because of supply problems, army oil effects or Pacific terrain effects are subject to negative DMs in the same manner as infantry. These effects do not reduce the DM of marine, airborne, commando or Chindit units.
15.34 DMs APPLY TO OVERRUNS: DMs, both positive and negative, also apply to units being overrun.
15.35 CUMULATIVE EFFECTS OF DMs: Units may be subject to positive and negative DMs for more than one reason in a single turn. Such effects are cumulative, but no unit ever defends at less than face value. Defending units in the same hex may be subject to different DMs during the same attack.
EXAMPLES: A 2-5 armor unit is attacked on clear terrain. It receives a +2 DM (15.32A) - its defensive strength is four.
A 2-3 Rumanian infantry unit on clear terrain near the outskirts of Stalingrad is attacked by exploiting armor. It receives a +2 DM (15.32A), a -1 DM (15.33A) and a -1 DM (15.33B), for a net DM of zero. Its defensive strength is two, since a unit never defends at less than its printed combat strength (15.31).
A 4-5 Russian armor unit and a 3-3 Russian infantry unit on clear terrain are attacked by exploiting armor. Both Russian units receive a +2 DM (15.32A), but the 3-3 infantry unit receives a -1 DM (15.33A), so the total defensive strength of the Russian units is eleven.
A 3-2 infantry unit on clear terrain is attacked across a river by exploiting enemy armor. It receives a +2 DM (15.32A), a +1 DM (15.32C) and a -1 DM (15.33A), for a net DM of +2. Its defensive strength is six.


15.4 MECHANICS OF GROUND ATTACKS:
15.41 All defending ground units in a hex must be attacked collectively (EXCEPTION: If Pearl Harbor is attacked by a Japanese seaborne invasion or airdrop, only two of the units count towards its defense - 12.19). The combat factors of the defending units, as modified by their DM, are added together, as if they were one unit. The attacker may not attack them separately.
15.42 If the attacker has more than one ground unit in a hex, they need not all attack the same enemy hex. For example, one ground unit could attack in a northeasterly direction while another attacked to the southeast, or did not attack at all.
15.43 An attacking ground unit may not split its combat factor and make two or more separate attacks. The entire combat factor must be applied to one attack.
15.44 DEFENDING UNITS IN DIFFERENT HEXES: Attacking units may attack enemy units located in two or more hexes in a single attack, but all the attacking units must be adjacent to all the defending units involved in the attack. In such an attack, air units conducting ground support or defensive air support may be placed on any of the hexes being attacked. Similarly, an airborne unit may airdrop on any one of the enemy hexes and participate in such an attack.
15.45 OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS ON MORE THAN ONE FRONT: While the BRP cost for offensive operations need only be paid once for units which attack on more than one front (9.57), with the hex which receives the action determining the front for which offensive operation BRP expenditures must be made (9.71), the BRP cost is counted on all the fronts involved when determining whether an attrition is permitted, but is counted only for the front in which the attacking unit is located when determining whether a full offensive is being conducted for that front.
15.46 A ground unit may only be attacked once during the regular combat phase, although this attack may consist of more than one round of combat. (EXCEPTION: Attacks by more than one alliance faction against the same hex). This does not preclude a second attack against a defending unit during exploitation.
15.47 Only two ground units may attack from any one hex (EXCEPTIONS: Armor units in a breakthrough hex - 16.45; airborne units, commandos, marines and Chindits; Russian ground units employing shock army tactics - 42.24I).

15.5 RESOLVING GROUND ATTACKS:
15.51 DETERMINING GROUND COMBAT ODDS: When all preparations for attack and defense are complete, each attack is resolved. The attacker calculates the strength of his attacking force, including air factors from ground support air missions and fleet factors from shore bombardment. The defender calculates the strength of his defending force, including defensive air support, taking into account the net DM due to terrain and other factors (15.32, 15.33). The strength of defensive air support is not affected by the DM of the defender’s ground units, although the strength of defensive air support flown against seaborne invasions is tripled (18.611C). The total attacking and defending strengths are expressed as a ratio (fractions are ignored), one die is rolled and the appropriate odds column on the Combat Results Table is consulted.
15.52 RESTRICTIONS: The attacker may not select a column on the Combat Results Table which is lower than the actual odds. Attacks greater than 5:1 are allowed, but the 5:1 column is used to resolve the attack. Similarly, attacks at less than 1:4 are allowed, but these automatically result in the elimination of the attacker without loss to the defender (EXCEPTIONS: French and Chinese units may not participate in attacks at less than 1:1 odds - 75.21, 80.21; airdrops, seaborne invasions and attacks against fortifications and fortresses at less than 1:1 odds are prohibited - 10.55C, 21.5152, 32.21A).
EXAMPLES: 20 factors attacking units with a defensive value of 10 would be a 2:1 attack; 19 factors attacking units with a defensive value of 10 would be only a 1:1 attack; five factors attacking units with a defensive value of 13 would be a 1:3 attack.
15.53 SELECTING AN "Ex" RESULT IN PLACE OF A "d" RESULT: An attacker who obtains a "d" result may take an "Ex" result instead (EXCEPTION: Early German “d” results may be replaced by an “Ex-1” result - 15.54).
15.54 EARLY GERMAN EXPLOITATION ATTACKS: "Ex" results from German exploitation attacks are treated as "Ex-1" results:
A. In Poland in Fall 1939.
B. On the western front during the first two Axis player turns in which the Axis conduct any western front offensive ground or air operations, but no later than Summer 1940. Normally this will be Spring 1940 and Summer 1940.
15.55 ATTACKS AGAINST FORTIFICATIONS: At the defender’s option, when resolving ground combat against any hex containing a fortification, fortress, beach defense or a fortified one-hex island, other than beach defenses attacked from land, directional fortifications attacked from behind and tactical atomic attacks (43.424A):
A. If the attacker has a CTL of 1 or less, “Ex-2”, “d” and “D” results may be treated as “Ex-1” results.
B. If the attacker has a CTL of 2, “d” and “D” results may be treated as “Ex-2” results.
C. If the attacker has a CTL of 3 or more, “d” and “D” results may be treated as “Ex-3” results.
15.551 MIXED FORCES: If a force containing units with different CTLs attacks a fortified hex, 15.55 is applied based on the lowest attacking CTL. If all the attacking units with the lowest CTL are eliminated, additional units are only eliminated if needed to meet the loss requirement for the next highest CTL, and so on. Higher CTL units may be eliminated in place of lower CTL units in order to preserve the lower CTL units
EXAMPLE: A joint German-Italian force of 24 factors attacks six British factors in a fortified Suez at 24:18 (1:1) odds. The German CTL is two and the Italian CTL is 1. The Axis combat die roll is a “6”, but the “d” result is reduced to an “Ex-1” result, based on the CTL of the Italian units. The maximum loss from an “Ex-1” result against six defending factors with a DM of 3 is 12 factors. The number of Axis factors actually removed then depends on the composition of the attacking force.
If there were 12 or more attacking Italian factors, the Axis lose 12 factors.
If there were between 6 and 11 Italian factors, once they were removed the loss requirement would change to an “Ex-2”, based on the CTL of 2 for the German units. Since an “Ex-2” result would require the elimination of only 6 factors, no additional units would be removed.
If there were fewer than 6 Italian units, they would be removed, then German factors would be removed to meet the “Ex-2” loss requirement.
This example assumes that Italian units would be removed to meet the “Ex-1” loss requirements, but German factors could be taken (the Axis player might prefer to lose German AAF in order to retain Italian infantry units). Regardless of what units the Axis player chose to eliminate, Italian units would survive the attack only if 12 Axis factors were removed.

15.6 COMBAT RESULTS TABLE:

Combat Results Table - 15.6

 

1:4

1:3

1:2

1:1

2:1

3:1

4:1

5:1

1

A

A

A

A

a

Ex

Ex-1

Ex-2

2

A

A

A

a

Ex

Ex-1

Ex-2

d

3

A

A

a

Ex

Ex-1

Ex-2

d

D

4

A

A

Ex

Ex-1

Ex-2

d

D

D

5

A

Ex

Ex

Ex-2

d

D

D

D

6

Ex

Ex

Ex

d

D

D

D

D

Modifier

+1

For each previous round of combat


15.61 COMBAT RESULTS:
A: The attacker loses a number of factors equal to the modified value of the defender's units, taking into account the defender's DM.
a: The attacker loses a number of factors equal to half the modified value of the defender's units, taking into account the defender's DM.
Ex: The side with the fewer combat factors, taking into account the defender's DM, loses its entire force. The larger side removes at least an equal number of factors, taking into account the defender's DM. The strength of defensive air support is unaffected by the DM of the defender's ground units when computing the attacker's exchange losses.
Ex-1: The defender loses his entire force. The attacker loses as many factors as the defender, applying to the defender's ground units a DM one level lower than the defender's actual DM. If this reduces the defender's DM to zero or less, the attacker's losses are limited to the strength of the defender's defensive air support.
Ex-2: The same as an "Ex-1", except the defender's DM is reduced by two before determining the attacker's losses.
Ex-3: The same as an “Ex-1”, except the defender’s DM is reduced by three before determining the attacker’s losses. This result may only occur as a result of an attack against a fortified defender when the attacking units have a CTL of 3 or more.
d: The defender loses half the number of defending factors, ignoring DMs.
D: All defending units are eliminated.
15.62 PARTIAL LOSSES: When a combat result requires the partial elimination of a force, fractions are always rounded up. Neither side may eliminate factors unnecessarily, but a player may eliminate more factors than required in order to preserve specific units.
15.63 AIR LOSSES:
15.631 VOLUNTARY AIR LOSSES: Air factors which provided ground support or defensive air support may be taken to meet the losses required by a ground combat result.
15.632 INVOLUNTARY AIR LOSSES: At the end of every round of ground combat, other than the final round of ground combat, ground support and defensive air support units which exceed the 3:1 air support limit for ground combat due to ground unit losses are eliminated. This also applies to CVEs which provide ground support. The elimination of all the ground units engaged in a battle does not necessarily result in the elimination of all the air units which provided ground support or defensive air support to those ground units, depending on the ground combat result in the final round of combat.
15.64 FLEET LOSSES:
15.641 VOLUNTARY FLEET LOSSES: Fleets that provided shore bombardment for a seaborne invasion may be taken to meet the losses required by a ground combat result, as set out in 21.528. Each fleet factor eliminated satisfies one factor of ground combat loss. The attacker may choose to incur fleet losses in excess of what is required in order to preserve ground, air or other naval units. The losses in factors assigned to fleet factors that provided shore bombardment may not exceed the value in combat factors of the shore bombardment component of the ground attack. Destroyers carrying ground units for a seaborne invasion are unaffected by ground combat results and may not be taken as losses.
15.642 EFFECT ON SUBSEQUENT COMBAT ROUNDS: If ground combat continues into another round, the 3:1 limit on support from shore bombardment is again applied to that round of ground combat. Ground unit losses in the first round of ground combat therefore reduce the permitted amount of shore bombardment in the second round of ground combat. Fleets which provided shore bombardment in the first round, but which are ineligible to provide shore bombardment in the second round, are not eliminated.

15.7 ADDITIONAL ROUNDS OF COMBAT:
15.71 SECOND ROUND OF GROUND COMBAT: If, after resolving the initial round of ground combat, both sides have at least one surviving ground unit, the attacker may either abandon the attack or continue by attacking a second time if allowed by his CTL (15.82A). All ground, air and naval units involved in the initial attack take part in the second round of attack, unless they were eliminated in combat, exceed permitted ground support or shore bombardment ratios, or are unable to attack a second time because of their CTL.
15.72 THIRD AND SUBSEQUENT ROUNDS OF GROUND COMBAT: If, after the second round of combat is resolved, both sides have at least one surviving ground unit, the attacker may either abandon the attack or continue by attacking a third time if allowed by his CTL. This continues until one side or the other is completely eliminated or the attacker abandons the attack, either voluntarily or because further attacks are prohibited by his CTL.
15.73 ADDITIONAL FORCES PROHIBITED: Neither side may commit additional forces to the second or subsequent rounds of ground combat.
15.74 GROUND COMBAT ODDS RECALCULATED: The combat odds are recalculated before each round of combat. If partial losses drop the odds below 1:1 levels for seaborne invasions or attacks against fortifications and fortresses, or French or Communist Chinese attacks, further rounds of combat are prohibited (15.52). (EXCEPTION: Additional rounds of ground combat arising out of airdrops may be fought, if permitted by the attacker’s CTL, even if the odds drop below 1:1 - 10.55C).
15.75 ATTACKER RECEIVES A +1 DRM: The attacker receives a +1 DRM for his combat die roll for each successive attack. This modifier is cumulative (+1 in the second round of combat, +2 in the third round of combat, and so on).

15.8 COMBAT TRAINING LEVELS:
15.81 CTLs: All ground, air and naval units have a CTL, which reflects the research results in combat training for that alliance faction (41.92). The CTL of ground units in partial supply or subject to army oil effects is reduced by one (30.522A, 33.61C). This reduction is not cumulative. CTLs of air and naval units are distinct from the Air and Naval Nationality DRMs.
15.82 EFFECTS OF CTLs:
A. GROUND ATTACKS: A CTL of one or less permits only one round of ground combat. A CTL of two allows a second round of ground combat. A CTL of three allows a third round of ground combat, and so on.
B. AIR AND NAVAL SUPPORT FOR GROUND ATTACKS: The CTL of air and naval units only affects their participation in ground combat and has no effect on the number of rounds of air or naval combat in which they may engage. Air units are considered to be participating in ground combat when they are providing ground support (18.55); naval units are considered to be participating in ground combat when they are carrying invading ground units (21.51) or providing shore bombardment (21.52). air units with a CTL of one may only provide ground support for the first round of ground combat; destroyers with a CTL of one must withdraw from invasion combat, together with the ground units they were carrying (regardless of the CTL of the ground units) after the first round of invasion combat; naval units with a CTL of one may only provide shore bombardment for the first round of invasion combat. Air units providing defensive air support (18.61) are not restricted by their CTL.
C. BREAKTHROUGHS: Armor units with a CTL of zero or less may not create breakthroughs or exploit.
D. EXPLOITATION MOVEMENT: Armor units with a CTL of one have their exploitation movement allowance halved (round up); this reduction is determined before movement reductions from weather (34.41) are applied. Armor units with a CTL of two or more may exploit normally.
E. DEFENSE AGAINST GROUND ATTACKS: Infantry and replacements with a CTL of zero or less incur a -1 DM unless defending in a capital, objective hex, IC, bridgehead or railhead; or in their home country. Canadian, South African and Free French units are considered to be “in their home country” when defending in Britain (15.33C).

15.9 ADVANCE AFTER COMBAT:
15.91 ADVANCE AFTER COMBAT: Whenever ground combat results in the elimination of all the defender's ground units, the attacker's surviving ground units may advance, subject to stacking limits, into the hex(es) previously occupied by the defender. The attacker decides which units, if any, he wishes to advance immediately after resolving the attack, before he resolves any other attacks. Advance after combat in attacks against defending units in more than one hex (15.44) is permitted only if all defending units are eliminated; the elimination of the defending units in only one of the attacked hexes is insufficient.
15.92 RESTRICTIONS ON ADVANCE AFTER COMBAT:
A. Unsupplied ground units may not advance after combat.
B. Exploiting armor units may be prohibited from advancing after combat if this would break the chain of exploiting armor units (16.47).
C. Airborne units which have been airdropped may only attack the units on which they have been dropped and must remain in their drop hex until the end of the combat phase in which they are dropped (10.56).
D. Defending units may never advance after combat, even if the attacker is eliminated.
15.93 MULTIPLAYER DISAGREEMENTS: If two or more allies had ground forces participating in an attack and they are unable to agree as to which of them will control the vacated hex, neither may advance units into the vacated hex.