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From www.historicalboardgaming.com Also available as a PDFFile:HBG Marker Rules.pdf


BATTLE MARKER

OPTIONAL RULES

Updated: 6/1/12

Optional rules and House rules have been a part of gaming since the beginning. To continue 

this tradition, the staff of HBG have compiled some of our favorites from all over the Internet as 

well as what we use in our games at home.  We not only want to provide our customers with a 

high quality product, but also offer suggestions on how to implement these pieces into your 

game. Several rules are outlined in a detailed format so that you might take them at face value, 

and enjoy. Others simply point you in a general direction. We encourage you to use these rules 

as a guideline to creating your own house rules. Thank you for your patronage. 

The HBG Staff

– Doug – Adam – Mike – Chris –

We would love to hear from you! If you have house rules or ideas you’d like to share, send 

them to us. If we love it, we’ll post here with the others. Send your rules to:

Markers@historicalboardgaming.com

Terminology

In an effort to clarify rules without bogging down these pages with redundant text, we’ve 

outlined a few terms to refer to.

Activating Units:  Some units require activation to unlock their full potential. To activate a 

unit, it must first be moved into the desired territory. Once there the player must declare the 

unit activated, and place an activation token under it. Both movement and placement may only 

be done during the non-combat movement phase. (Note: these units can be moved and activated on 

the same turn)  Once activated, they may not be moved again. 

Built-In Anti-Aircraft:  Units with this attribute in essence have an Anti-Aircraft Gun 

attached to the unit. Insert your favorite AA Gun rules. This is a great concept to help reduce 

game board clutter.

First Strike:  Units that have first strike make combat rolls before any other units. Any 

casualties inflicted by these units are removed immediately without receiving their combat roll 

unless the unit also has a first strike ability. In some cases both attacker and defender will have 

units with first strike. In this event both sides make all first strike rolls, and results are 

considered to happen simultaneous. 

Pairing:  Units can receive bonuses to movement, attack, or defensive rolls when matched with 

other units. The pairing effect is always a 1 for 1 ratio. These bonuses are temporary, only 

lasting for the duration of the combat. The pairing bonuses only last as long as the 2 units are in 

play.

Non-Combat Units

“Airfield”

Cost:  2

Movement: N/A

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  N/A

Transport Class:  N/A

Airfields can be built in any land territory controlled for one round, and does not require 

a factory to be built. Airfields must be present for air units to take-off or put down in land 

territories. Air units may land at airfields captured on the same turn unless that territory was 

taken with paratroopers only. In this case a player must maintain control of the territory for one 

full round before air units can use the airfield. 

Airfields have no combat value, may not be taken as casualties, and do not maintain a 

zone of control. Enemy players conducting strategic bombing missions can destroy airfields. 

Each country may destroy their own airfield preventing them from falling into enemy hands. 

To do this a player must have controlled that airfield for one full round, and declare it 

destroyed on their own turn.

“rAdAr” 

radar Option 1:

Cost:  10

Movement: 1 during non-combat movement (no movement once activated)

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  N/A

Transport Class:  Same as armor

This unit grants defensive advantages for fighters (only), and requires “activation”. Once 

activated fighters in the same territory as the radar station may defend in territories “1” 

adjacent space away. The adjacent territory can be a land, sea, allied, even an open territory 

enemy units are simply trying to move through. Fighters are able to defend against ground, 

naval, and air units.  This unit also allows fighters to be used as interceptors in an adjacent 

territory. 

Unless used as interceptors, any time fighters defend adjacent territories they would 

create an actual combat situation. Thus, any surviving enemy units planning on moving 

through a territory would not be allowed to do so.

After combat any surviving fighters used must return the territory they originated from. 

Radar may only be used during an enemy players combat movement phase. It is not allowed 

during the defensive movement phase. 

Radar may be captured by enemy nations, and may not be taken as casualties. Players 

must maintain control of captured radar for one full turn before they are allowed to use them. 

Inactive radar stations cannot defend or be taken as losses if that territory is attacked. If a 

territory is occupied with an inactive radar station it would be considered lost and removed 

from play.

Players may destroy their own radar stations, however this must be done during the 

controlling players turn. Players may attempt to destroy enemy radar stations with strategic 

bombing. Apply same rules for strategic bombing of factories with the exception that bombers 

receive one cycle of combat rolls. The player must roll a successful hit (rather than damage), 

which destroys the station. If this occurs, remove the radar station from play.

Radar Option 2:

Cost:  8

Movement: 1 during non-combat movement (no movement once activated) 

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  N/A

Transport Class:  Same as armor

Radar stations add defensive bonuses to defending anti-aircraft guns. When radar stations are 

present in a territory, all defending anti-aircraft guns receive a +1 (D6) +2 (D12), +3 (D20) bonus 

to their defensive rolls. 

Radar may be captured by enemy nations, and may not be taken as casualties. Players 

must maintain control of captured radar for one full turn before they are allowed to use them. 

Inactive radar stations cannot defend or be taken as losses if that territory is attacked. If a 

territory is occupied with an inactive radar station it would be considered lost and removed 

from play.

Players may destroy their own radar stations, however this must be done during the 

controlling players turn. Players may attempt to destroy enemy radar stations with strategic 

bombing. Apply same rules for strategic bombing of factories with the exception that bombers 

receive one cycle of combat rolls. The player must roll a successful hit (rather than damage), 

which destroys the station. If this occurs, remove the radar station from play.

Radar Option 3:

Cost:  4 per unit

Movement: N/A

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  N/A

Transport Class:  N/A

Naval units may receive radar upgrades allowing improved anti-aircraft abilities.  During 

normal combat, each naval unit with radar score hits on attacking & defending aircraft on rolls 

of “1” (D6), “1-2” (D12), “1-3” (D20).  Submarines may not receive this upgrade. Upgrades can 

be done at any naval base, or adjacent factory that player controls.  Place the radar token under 

each naval unit receiving the upgrade. 

Miscellaneous Radar Options:

  This unit may only be accessible with technology development

  ”Built-in Anti-Aircraft”

“rAil StAtion” & “rAilroAd”

Rail Option 1: (rail stations & Railroad)

Cost:  15 (Rail Station)

1 (Railroad)

Movement:  N/A

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  N/A

Rail allows each nation to extend the movement of their ground units each turn during 

the non-combat movement phase.  Units wishing to use rail must begin the turn at rail stations. 

Only units that have not moved during any other phase may use rail. Units may not move 

prior to, or after using rail. 

Rail stations and railroad may be built in any territory controlled for 1(+) round.  It is not 

required for these units to be built in factory locations.  Rail stations cannot be built any farther 

than 4 territories away from one another, and must be connect by railroad markers.  Rail 

stations also have “Built-in Anti-Aircraft”.  As the non-combat movement phase precedes the 

place units phase, newly purchased rail stations and railroad markers may not be used the same 

turn they were purchased.

Each nation’s rail capacity is determined by the number of rail stations that power 

controls. For each rail stations a power controls their rail capacity increases by 1 up to a 

maximum of 6.  The number of units that can use each rail station is limited to the IPC level of 

the territory the rail station is in (max 6).

The distance units may travel is restricted to a maximum of 4 spaces.  However, distance 

can be affected by strategic bombing. For each damage marker on a rail station it reduces the 

range a unit can be railed by 1.  Rail stations can be damaged with strategic bombing like 

factories to a maximum of 6 damage markers. 3 damage markers would render the station 

inoperable.

Allied players may share rail stations and railroad, however players may not use enemy 

rail. Rail stations may be captured by enemy nations, but railroad markers are removed from 

play rather than captured. Players must maintain control of captured rail stations for one full 

turn before they are allowed to use them. 

Note: Rail movement may not cross the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, or Turkish Straits.

Rail Option 2: (Rail Station & Railroad)

Cost:  10 (Rail Station)

1 (Railroad)

Movement:  N/A

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  N/A

Rail allows each nation to extend the movement of their ground units each turn. Each 

nation may move up to 2 ground units from one rail station to another during the non-combat 

movement phase.  There is no limit to the distance these units may travel, only number of units 

allowed to use the rail.  An uninterrupted line of railroad markers must connect rail stations. 

Only units that have not moved during any other phase may use rail.  Units may not move 

prior to, or after using rail.  For gaming purposes a nation may only use rail stations and 

railroad they control.

Rail stations and railroad may be built in any territory controlled for 1(+) round. It is not 

required for these units to be built in factory locations.  As the non-combat movement phase 

precedes the place units phase, newly purchased rail stations and railroad markers may not be 

used the same turn they are purchased.

Rail stations and railroad may be captured by enemy nations. Players must maintain 

control of captured rail for one full turn before they are allowed to use them. Players may 

destroy their own rail stations and railroad, however this must be done during the controlling 

players turn.  Players may attempt to destroy enemy rail stations with strategic bombing. 

Apply same rules for strategic bombing of factories with the exception that bombers receive one 

cycle of combat rolls. The player must roll a successful hit (rather than damage), which 

destroys the station. If this occurs, remove the rail station from play.

Note: Rail movement may not cross the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, or Turkish Straits.

Rail Option 3: (Rail Station Only)

Cost:  8

Movement:  N/A

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  N/A

Using rail each nation may extend the movement of ground units each turn during the 

non-combat movement phase. Units wishing to use rail must begin the turn at rail stations. 

Only units that have not moved during any other phase may use rail. Units may not move 

prior to, or after using rail. 

Rail stations may be built in any territory controlled for 1(+) round.  It is not required for 

these units to be built in factory locations.  As the non-combat movement phase precedes the 

place units phase, newly purchased rail stations may not be used the same turn they are

purchased.

Rail stations add “1” extra movement to any unit able to use the station.  The number of 

units that can use each rail station is limited to the IPC level of the territory the rail station is in. 

There is no maximum rail capacity for each nation. However, each damage marker on a rail 

station reduces the number of units able to use the station by 1. Rail stations can be damaged 

with strategic bombing like factories to a maximum of 6 damage markers. 3 damage markers 

would render the station inoperable.

Rail stations may be captured by enemy nations. Players must maintain control of 

captured rail stations for one full turn before they are allowed to use them. 

Note: Rail movement may not cross the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, or Turkish Straits.

Rail Option 4: (Rail markers only)

Cost:  3

Movement:  N/A

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  N/A

Rail allows each nation to extend the movement of their ground units each turn.  Each 

nation may move units along any connected railroad markers. Only units that have not moved 

during any other phase may use rail. Units may not move prior to, or after using rail. For 

gaming purposes a nation may only use rail stations and railroad they control. 

A nations rail capacity is measured in points determined by its industrial output. We 

suggest trying a 7:1 ratio. At the beginning of each players turn, take the nations position on the 

IPC chart and divide that number by 7. The result is the number of rail capacity points a player 

may spend. Players may expend rail capacity points to make fewer units travel farther, or have 

more units receive a smaller movement bonus. 

Example: Germany begins the turn at 29 on the IPC chart. 29/7=4 (round down). Germany may spend 

all 4 points to move 1 unit 4 spaces, or 4 points to move 2 units, 2 spaces.

Railroad markers may be built in any territory controlled for 1(+) round.  It is not 

required for these units to be built in factory locations.  As the non-combat movement phase 

precedes the place units phase, newly purchased rail stations and railroad markers may not be 

used the same turn they are purchased.

Railroad may be captured by enemy nations. Players must maintain control of captured 

railroads for one full turn before they are allowed to use them. Players may destroy their own

railroad, however this must be done during the controlling players turn. Players may attempt 

to destroy enemy railroad with strategic bombing. Apply same rules for strategic bombing of 

factories with the exception that bombers receive one cycle of combat rolls. The player must roll 

a successful hit (rather than damage), which destroys the railroad. If this occurs, remove the 

railroad marker from play.

Note:  Rail movement may not cross the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, or Turkish Straits.

Miscellaneous Rail Options:

  Rail can be used during the combat movement phase

  Rail can be upgraded with technology, improving a nations rail capacity. 

“reSeArch”

Research Option 1:

Research tokens are a representation of scientists, or research teams.  For each research 

attempt being made toward technology development use one research token. During the 

purchase units phase place these research tokens with all other units being purchased until a 

player is ready to make the attempts. This is a simple and more aesthetically pleasing way to 

track your research development.

Research Option 2:

As to not list optional rules on Research Development we will simply list some concepts 

for you to fit into your current format.  Research tokens would represent “Research Centers” 

having one or more of the following effects:

  Each player must purchase a research center in order to begin technology development.

  For each research center a player controls they receive “1” free dice when attempting 

technology development.

  When using rules where technologies are achieved at random, a research center may 

allow a player to chose their technology rather than having it randomly selected.

  Players may build research centers (one per power), which add a bonus to the die roll 

when making technology attempts.

Ground Units: 

“Anti-Aircraft Gun”

Anti-Aircraft Gun Option 1:

Movement: 1

Attack:  N/A

Defense: 1 (D6), 2 (D12), 3 (D20)

Transport Class:  2 per naval transport

A/A guns may only be involved defensively in land combat against air units.  There is no limit 

to the number of A/A guns allowed in each territory. Each unit receives one defensive roll each 

combat cycle regardless the number of attacking enemy aircraft. A/A guns can be taken as 

casualties. A/A guns are considered regular units, and do maintain control of territories in 

regards to Blitzing, etc.

Tactical Abilities:  First Strike; can only target air units (with the exception of rockets). 

Miscellaneous Anti-Aircraft Gun Options:

  Can be upgraded to Anti-tank weapons with technology development. 

“Minefield”

Minefield Option 1:

Cost:  2 Mines for 3 IPCs

Movement: 1 during non-combat movement (no movement once activated)

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  1 (D6), 2 (D12), 3 (D20)

Transport Class:  4 mines or 2 mines & 1 infantry/artillery per naval transport/truck

Minefields are single use defensive units that require “activation”.  They may only be 

involved defensively in land combat against ground units.  There is no limit to the number of 

minefields that may be placed in a territory.  For game play purposes, active minefields protect  

the entire territory when attacked by ground units. (Optional: Minefields only protect a single 

border) Minefields will remain active until detonated. 

Minefields have “first strike” capability.  When attacked the defending player 

controlling active minefield(s) should roll for each minefield one at a time.  Each roll expends 

one minefield regardless if it scores a hit or not.  Each active minefield rolls to hit until all 

enemy units are destroyed, or all minefields have been expended. The minefield’s controller 

may move freely through the territory without being subject to them, as would the controller’s 

allies.

Inactive minefields cannot defend or be taken as losses if that territory is attacked. If a 

territory is occupied with inactive minefields they are considered lost and removed from play.

Minefield Option 2:

Cost:  5

Movement: 1 during non-combat movement (no movement once activated)

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  1 (D6), 2 (D12), 3 (D20) 

Transport Class:  Same as infantry

Minefields are defensive units that require “activation”.  They may only be involved 

defensively in land combat against ground units. Players may only have one minefield per 

territory.  For game play purposes, active minefields protect the entire territory when 

defending. (Optional: Minefields only protect a single border)

Minefields have “first strike” capability, however only during the first cycle of combat. 

When attacked the defending player controlling active minefield(s) would receive “3” defensive 

rolls regardless the number of attacking enemy ground units.  The mine’s controller may move 

freely through the territory without being subject to them, as would the controller’s allies.

Minefields may not be taken as casualties, and do not maintain a zone of control. 

Minefields do not receive defensive rolls if there are no other friendly units to help in defense. 

If an enemy player captures a territory with a minefield, the minefield would be removed from 

play.  Inactive minefields cannot defend or be taken as losses if that territory is attacked. If a 

territory is occupied with inactive minefields they are considered lost and removed from play.

Miscellaneous Mine Options: 

  Minefields prevent units from Blitzing

“rAil Gun”

Rail Gun Option 1:

Cost:  14 (Maximum of 2 per country)

Movement: 2

Attack:  3 (D6), 6 (D12), 10 (D20)

Defense:  2 (D6), 4 (D12), 7 (D20) 

Transport Class:  N/A

Rail guns are long ranged ground support weapons designed to attack and defend 

adjacent territories. They may only be used in land territories and may not be transported over 

sea zones. Unlike all other units, rail guns cannot be moved into enemy territories during the 

combat movement phase. These units can be positioned during the combat movement phase, 

but must remain adjacent to the enemy territory the player wishes to use it against.

This unit receives attack/defensive rolls each cycle of combat as long as the controlling 

player has other ground units involved in the combat. Upon any combat cycle the controlling 

player no longer has ground units, the rail gun may no longer be used in adjacent territories. 

Each rail gun may only participate in one combat situation per turn. If a rail gun is within 

range of more than one combat situation it must be declared which territory it will be used in 

before any combat begins.

Rail guns may be used to defend the territory they are in. Rail guns are a regular combat 

unit and maintain a zone of control. For game purposes only “2” of these units may be in play 

at any time per country. These units may be rebuilt if destroyed.

Rail Gun Option 2:

Cost:  12

Movement: 2

Attack:  4 (D6), 8 (D12), 13 (D20)

Defense:  1 (D6), 2 (D12), 4 (D20) 

Transport Class:  N/A 

Rail guns are long ranged ground support weapons designed to attack adjacent 

territories. They may only be used in land territories and may not be transported over sea 

zones. Rail guns may only be moved during the non-combat movement phase, but may be 

moved into newly occupied territories.

Each unit receives one attack roll during the first cycle of combat. Each rail gun may 

participate in as many combat situations as they are adjacent to per turn. 

Rail guns may be used defensively, but only to defend the territory they are in. Rail 

guns are a regular combat unit and maintain a zone of control. There is no limit to the number 

of rail guns a country may have in play.

Rail Gun Movement Option:

Alternate movement rules can be adopted for rail guns when using a combination of rail 

rules and railroad markers. Instead of the standard movement in the above-mentioned rules 

rail guns can use a portion of each countries rail capacity. Below is a suggestion on using this 

concept with the rail rules included in this document.

Each rail gun can be moved during the combat movement phase using one of the 

countries allotted rail capacity points. Movement would be restricted to only territories with 

rail stations or railroad markers. Distance and other movement related rules would work the 

same as other units during the non-combat movement phase. For each rail gun moved during 

the combat movement phase that country would have one less rail capacity available during the 

non-combat movement phase. 

Miscellaneous rail gun options:

  Friendly fire casualties on a roll of 6 (D6), 11-12 (D12), 18-20 (D20) 

  Reduced defensive capabilities when territory with the rail gun is attacked

  “First Strike”

Naval Units:

“nAvAl BASe”

Naval Base Option 1:

Cost:  15

Movement: N/A

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  2 (d6), 5 (D12), 8 (D20)

Naval bases can be built adjacent to any land territory controlled for one round, and do 

not require a factory to be built. Naval bases may only be involved defensively in sea combat 

against air, and naval units. These units maintain a zone of control for the entire sea zone. 

Ownership of these units can change hands depending on which player controls the land 

territory they were built adjacent to.

Players can have as many naval bases in a sea zone as desired. Each one receives one 

defensive roll each combat cycle.  Naval bases have “first strike” during each cycle of combat.

Naval bases are a combat unit, and can be destroyed like any other naval unit.  Capitol ships 

repairs may be done at any friendly naval base.

Naval Base Option 2:

Cost:  10

Movement: N/A

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  1 (d6), 2 (D12), 3 (D20)

Naval bases can be built adjacent to any land territory with a major or minor factory 

controlled for one round. Naval bases may only be involved defensively in sea combat against 

air, and naval units.  These units are only effective when other friendly naval units are present 

in the same sea zone. Ownership of these units can change hands depending on which player 

controls the land territory they were built adjacent to.

Players may only have one naval base per sea zone.  Naval bases receive one “first 

strike” roll for each attacking naval unit during the first round of combat only.  Naval bases 

may be damaged with strategic bombing like factories to a maximum of 6 damage markers. 3 

damage markers would render the unit inoperable. Capitol ships repairs may be done at any 

friendly naval base.

“nAvAl MineS”

Naval Mines Option 1: 

Cost:  3

Movement: 1 during non-combat movement (no movement once activated)

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  1 (D6), 2 (D12), 3 (D20)

Naval mines are single use defensive units that require “activation”.  They may only be 

involved defensively in sea combat against naval units.  There is no limit to the number of naval 

mines that may be placed in a sea zone. For game play purposes, active naval mines protect the 

entire sea zone when enemy naval units are present. (Optional: naval mines only protect 

against amphibious attacks) Naval mines will remain active until detonated. 

Naval mines have “first strike” capability.  When enemy naval units move into sea 

zones with active naval mines present, they would we subject to their abilities. The naval 

mine’s controller would roll for each mine one at a time.  Each roll expends one naval mine 

regardless if it scores a hit or not.  Each active naval mine rolls to hit until all enemy units are 

destroyed, or all mines have been expended. The naval mine’s controller may move freely 

through the territory without being subject to them, as would the controller’s allies.

As naval mines must be built in factory locations, they may be moved over land 

territories in route to their destination. (See movement) Inactive naval mines cannot defend or 

be taken as losses if that territory is attacked. If a territory is occupied with inactive naval mines 

they are considered lost and removed from play.

Naval Mines Option 2:

Cost:  10

Movement: 1 during non-combat movement (no movement once activated)

Attack:  N/A

Defense:  1 (D6), 2 (D12), 3 (D20)

Naval mines are defensive units that require “activation”.  They may only be involved 

defensively in sea combat against naval units. Players may only have one naval mine per 

territory.  For game play purposes, active naval mines protect the entire sea zone when 

defending. (Optional: Naval mines only protect against amphibious attacks)

Naval mines have “first strike” capability, however only during the first cycle of 

combat.  When enemy naval units move into sea zones with active naval mines present, they 

would we subject to their abilities. The player that controls the active naval mines would 

receive “3” defensive rolls regardless the number of enemy naval units present.  The mine’s 

controller may move freely through the territory without being subject to them, as would the 

controller’s allies.

Naval mines do not maintain a zone of control, however any enemy naval units moving 

through would have their movement reduced by “1”.  Inactive naval mines cannot defend or be 

taken as losses if that territory is attacked. If a territory is occupied with inactive naval mines 

they are considered lost and removed from play.