(extracted from the main rules)
This is a set of wargame rules intended to simulate actions between about one brigade equivalent a side, supported by divisional or even corps troops where they would have been available.
The basic philosophy of the rules can be summarised:
a. That morale and leadership are decisive factors in these battles
Once you apply this philosophy - particularly to the battles in France and the Low Countries in 1944 it turns out that the focus of games moves away from waves of tanks hurtling across the fields, but a complex interplay of artillery, infantry and tanks - carefully orchestrated within an overall plan. Artillery fire planning takes a much higher importance in STONK than in many games - as does the operation of infantry. Using the information in these rules it is possible to simulate long battles - lasting days - including the all important logistics and preparation.
To make this work, in STONK the focus is on the operations of companies
- with platoons and heavy weapons as the smallest units separately represented.
It is important that players think of these bases as indivisible, and concentrate on the actions of companies and battalions as a whole - and my advice is to focus on the company as your basic sub-unit; treating platoons very much as subunits.
There are a number of lookup tables in the rules that have been specially
designed to combine a whole load of relevant factors into a single die
When starting out using these rules it is best to start small (as indeed it is with any new rules), and try out actions involving just one battalion a side. There is a sample scenario, map and counters with this edition of the rules to allow you to do this straight away - without even needing models.
It is important to continually bear in mind the ground scale used with
these rules. 1:4000 (or 1cm = 40m) and this is very small.
On the subject of scale; in 1944, a British armoured division could,
and often would, attack on a frontage of one mile or less. This would
be represented by a frontage of some 40 centimetres on the table top.
A great deal of emphasis is placed upon the umpire in these rules, and
he should have a good knowledge of the period first, and the rules second.
The best criterion for choosing your forces is whether they actually
fought in the NW Europe Campaign and a short search through one of the
many excellent books on the period will settle the question.
These rules are not to be treated as Holy Writ; they were not written with that intention, but simply as a set of guidelines for keen WWII wargamers to fight brigade battles of the type typical in NW Europe in the period.
The interpretation of the rules is therefore not absolutely fixed, but
dependant upon the tactical situation you are attempting to simulate.
To help readers who are relatively new to the period, I have included a short bibliography and some web links at the end of the rules.
The rules are in two parts:
Part I is the bare bones with the main tables with little or no
explanation - intended for the more confident wargamer or those who have
already read the whole rulebook;
Part II is the fuller explanation of the rules given in Part I, with notes and examples, to try to put the rules in their proper perspective, as well as a handy glossary of terms for those not yet fully familiar with the period.
Good luck, and have fun.