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.

  • 1 pip = extra Command Activation Attempt (max. one per unit/per turn)
  • 2 pips = Release of any Reserve/Outflanking Unit (Btln/Regt)
  • 3 pips = free complete barrage from one Bgde or Div Art Btln (use all fire units)
  • 4 pips =
    •  Activates Helicopter support if available
    • Activates an Air Strike attempt (still have to roll as per rules)
  • 5 Pips = free complete barrage from one Corp Art Btln (use all fire units)
  • 6 pips = Counter Battery Strike, opponent loses 1 whole Art Btln (roll for which one)

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 .

Extra Command Activation Attempts can be given to any unit (Btln if ‘Western/Regt if ‘Soviet’), and have to be declared straight away, before all units have been attempted ‘normally’, and can only be attempted once per move. The idea is to give units a chance for a ‘double move’ to push an attack or it can also be used as an insurance against a failed or partial activation.  This will also give another round of firing as well – it is a complete bonus move, any opposing overwatch fire is allowed (if opponent has any ROF left) as is ‘hold fire’ reaction shooting too. You still need to roll for activation as per below.


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 unit has been engaged for the first time roll 1d6 for each unit (Btln if ‘Western’/Regt if ‘Soviet’) to check if it Activates from list below. Recon Btlns automatically activate but need to check for suppression removal if needed. This will also decide what happens to suppressed stands in that unit –

  • 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 at end of the turn.)
  • If result is 1 less than QC number then any Company/Btln with a supressed stand can only move half – no strat moves allowed for rest of Btln/Regt. Stay suppressed.
  • If result is 2 less than QC number then unit can’t move any Company/Btln with a supressed stand – half move for rest of unit. Stay suppressed.
  • If result is 3 or more less than QC number then whole Btln can not move. Stay suppressed.

Die Roll modifiers:

  • +1 if no suppressed stands in Btln/Rgt
  • -1 if Btln/Rgt has stand out of Cohesion
  • -1 to die roll if Command stand is suppressed
  • -2 to die roll if Command stand is eliminated

I hope that I have explained these ok, please get in touch if not and I’ll answer any questions – also any suggestions on tweaking them also gladly accepted.



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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