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Basic Optional Rules


Even before starting a Game you must first discuss which Optional Rules to select with your opponent. The list seems long and daunting but the majority of players in the Club are very flexible on these. Below is a screenshot of the Optional Rules for WDS Gettysburg.


Generally, a starting place for the negotiation of the Optional Rules is that all boxes are checked except for the first – Manual Defensive Fire. The other most common rule to uncheck is Artillery Capture. But let us take a quick look at all the Optional Rules.


Special Note: For a much better understanding and a more complete explanation and demonstration of these Optional Rules see the Advanced Training section of the Curriculum.


Here’s a quick idea of what the optional rules do:


1. Manual Defensive Fire – Actually selects whether play is Turn or Phased.


2. Optional Fire Results – Averages two die rolls to get casualties.


3. Optional Melee Results – Averages two die rolls to get casualties.


4. Quality Fire Modifiers – Unit quality used to modify Fire values.


5. Higher Fatigue Recovery Rates – Increases Fatigue recovery by 5x, 3x, and 1x default levels.


6. Victory points for Leader Casualties – Awards VP for killing leaders based on their ratings.


7. Rout Limiting – Reduces odds of routing the further units are from one that initiated.


8. Density Fire Modifier – Increases fire value against large stacks.


9. Night Movement Fatigue – Units moving at night acquire fatigue.


10. Mounted Cavalry Skirmishers – Mounted cavalry exerts a skirmish ZOC.


11. Higher Disrupted Movement – Changes disrupted unit movement from ½ to ¾.


12. Optional Melee Resolution – Melee resolved in separate phase in Turn based play.


13. Alternate Fixed Unit Release – Fixed units released when enemy within 5 hexes.


14. Quality Melee Modifiers – Unit quality used to modify melee values.


15. Isolation Rules – Reduces melee strength of isolated defenders by ¼.


16. Weak Zone-of-Control – Units may move or retreat through one hex of enemy ZoC.


17. Partial Retreats – Allow some units to retreat from hex even if not enough room.


18. Automated Defensive Fire – AI conducts defensive fire in Phased play game.


19. Flank Morale Modifier – Morale increased one if friendly unit on flanks.


20. Full Melee Defensive Fire – A/I Defensive fire against units melee at full strength (Turn play).


21. Bridge Limit and Repair – Allows bridge repaired and limits movement across until fully repaired


22. Artillery Capture – Allows capture of guns and using them against the enemy.


23. Artillery Retire by Prolonge – Allows unlimbered gun to move back one hex.


24. Artillery Ammo by Cannon – Uses ammo at rate of one ammo per gun that fires.


25. Proportional Opportunity Fire – Size of stack figured in triggering of opportunity fire.


26. Mixed Organization Penalty to have a -1 morale modifier applied to units in the same hex with units from different brigades.


27. Extreme Fog of War - the visibility highlight only displays from friendly occupied hexes and any units in terrain other than a clear field have their numbers completely hidden.

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