FFT3: Troop Quality, Initiative and Command Rules

Whilst I really like the FFT3 rules, I have been toying with the idea of adding a couple of house rules concerning troop quality, initiative and unit activation, I like a bit of friction and can’t resist a tinker! These house rules are meant to be nice and simple, in keeping with the rest of the rules, and to not slow things down too much. This can now be seen and downloaded at the FFT yahoo page here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Fistful-of-TOWs/files/FFT3/Variants/

Troop Quality

Whilst I fully understand the reasoning behind these, a few of us at the club find the 7 different classes a bit much with the some of the changes to ROF/to-hit and base quality rating so high or low that they become either unbeatable ‘supermen’ or so abysmal it’s not worth the effort playing. Yes good troops are better and bad troops are worse but everyone in between are usually much of a muchness, and everyone can either have an off day or do something amazing. So in an effort to even it out a bit (and to also admittedly to help with the new activation rules) I’ve come up with the following, obviously please ignore if you dig the vanilla stuff:

  • Elite – Quality 3/ To Hit +1/ ROF +1/ Cohesion 8″
  • Veteran – Quality 3/ To Hit +1/ROF 0/ Cohesion 6″
  • Regular – Quality 4/ To Hit 0/ ROF 0/ Cohesion 4″
  • Conscript – Quality 4/ To Hit -1/ROF 0/ Cohesion 4″
  • Reservist – Quality 5/ To Hit -1/ ROF -1/ Cohesion 2″


Initiative Phase (at start of each Move).


  1. Both sides roll 1d6, highest die gains initiative: player with initiative last move wins any ties.
  2. if a tie on first move then roll again.
  3. if the scenario is an attack/defend one, attacker automatically has initiative on first move so rolls 2d6 to see if any bonus gained.
  4. If you win the initiative you can choose whether to go first or second in the move

The difference in the die roll determines what bonus actions you receive as an award for gaining the initiative from the following list. (E.G. Player A rolls a ‘2’ and player B rolls a ‘5’. Player B gains the initiative and has 3 ‘pips’ to use). Obviously this list can be altered to suit your own preferences or scenarios. I call these ‘Command Pips’.

  • 1 pip = extra Command Activation Attempt (max. one per unit/per turn)
  • 2 pips = Release of any Reserve Unit (Btln/Regt)
  • 3 pips = Activates Helicopter support if available
  • 4 pips = Activates an Air Strike attempt (still have to roll as per rules)
  • 5 Pips = Counter Battery Strike, opponent loses 1 Fire unit (roll for which one)
  • 6 pips = Electronic Warfare attack: -1 to all enemy Command Activations for next turn

Obviously you can mix and match up to the amount of pips you have. So if 4 pips rolled you can use 2 x 2 pips or 1x 1pip + 1 x 3 pip etc.

Also, if you don’t want to use them when you ‘win’ them just save them for use later – we use dice to keep track. However you can never have more than 12 pips saved at one time .



Command Activation/ Suppression Removal (at the beginning of each movement phase)

I realised after playing a couple of games that having changeable initiative would knacker the whole suppression removal as written in the rules so I’ve added these bits in bold to get around the problem – I’ve played them and they seem to work ok and add a wee bit more friction. I’ve also changed the die roll score to be more straightforward.

At the start of your movement phase after a company/Btln (Btln if ‘Soviet’ and using half companies) has suffered either a loss or a suppression roll 1d6 for each to check if it Activates from list below.

  • if result is equal or greater than the units QC number then move as normal. Remove suppression markers at the end of the direct fire phase. (I use a marker that is yellow on one side and green on the other – yellow shows for suppressed, flip it over if it passes so that you know to remove it)
  • if result is 1 or 2 less than QC number then can only move half. Stay suppressed.
  • if result is 3 or more less than QC number then can not move. Stay suppressed.

If you ‘fail’ then you can spend a Command Pip trying again (only one attempt per unit/per turn) and if second attempt is worse than first you have to take that result!

If you fail to remove suppression then you have to check again next move and thereafter until you lift it, test for taking loss happens only on the turn immediately after the fact. All suppressed independent platoons (such as Regimental/Battalion HQ units, AT or Recce) test for themselves.

Die Roll modifiers (cumulative):

  • +1 if no suppressed platoons in unit
  • -1 if Company has stand(s) out of Cohesion
  • -1 to die roll if Command stand is suppressed
  • -1 if suffering Electronic Warfare attack
  • -2 to die roll if Command stand is eliminated



3 thoughts on “FFT3: Troop Quality, Initiative and Command Rules

  1. Thanks for posting these. I will certainly be giving them a try out. They appear to take as an inspiration (correct me if I am wrong) the Command system from Warmaster style rules but cut out the micromanaging. This avoids repeat successes giving one side an unassailable advantage eg when a force can move right across the table without the other side being able to effectively respond.


  2. Thanks for considering giving these a go David – I’m not sure if it is based on Warmaster but I was definitely inspired by playing a game of Blitzkreig Commander recently (not sure if that is where they get the idea from). I thought that having a maximum of 5 pips to spread amongst units would curtail the ‘panzer rampage’ effect.

    Please get back in touch once you have tried them out with any suggestions etc.


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