By Hermann Luttmann
HAMMERIN’ SICKLES – Detailed Sequence of Play
Hammerin’ Sickles is played in a series of Game Turns, the actual number of turns depends on the scenario selected. Every Game Turn (about 20 minutes of real time) is played in a predetermined sequence. Each Phase must be completed in its entirety before proceeding to the next Phase.
A) COMMAND DECISION PHASE
During the opening phase of a turn, each player must decide which of his nine available Event chits will go into the draw cup and which will be excluded from the Game Turn.
Each player first secretly chooses any one of his nine Event chits (the Key Chit) and places the chosen chit directly into the draw cup. This Key Chit should represent an Event the player really needs to occur during the turn. Note, however, that placing the chit into the cup will not assure the chit not being played this turn – the ever-present Fortunes of War chit may block its use!
Each player then flips his remaining eight Event chits to their common side and mixes them up. Then the opposing player randomly selects three of these chits and places them out of play – these chits will not be used this Game Turn! Players may not look at these Excluded chits now or during the course of the Game Turn.
The remaining five non-excluded Event chits for each side are now placed into the same draw cup with the Key Chits.
Finally, both players place their eligible Division Activation chits (for Divisions that are in the game at this time), both of their CIC chits and both Wild chits into the draw cup with the Event chits. The cup is then shaken and placed within reach of the drawing player (determined in the Chit Draw Phase).
B) ARTILLERY PHASE
i. Union Artillery Step
The Union player conducts Movement or Fire with all his Artillery units in any one designated hex and any hexes containing friendly Artillery units that are adjacent to that designated hex. Each eligible artillery unit may then either conduct Movement or Fire Combat (not both!) in any order during this step.
ii. Confederate Artillery Step
The Confederate player will conduct Movement or Fire with all his Artillery units in any one designated hex and any hexes containing Artillery units that are adjacent to that designated hex. Each eligible artillery unit may then either conduct Movement or Fire Combat (not both!) in any order during this step.
iii. Both sides alternate Artillery Steps
After the Confederate player completes actions for his chosen hex(s), the Union player selects another hex containing a friendly Artillery unit(s) that has not already Moved or Fired this step and conducts another Artillery Step. The Confederate player then does the same. Players alternate Artillery Steps until all Artillery units have either Moved, Fired or passed. Once a player passes, he may not Move or Fire additional artillery units this turn.
C) CHIT DRAW PHASE
The Confederate player is the chit-puller on “odd” numbered Game Turns and the Union player on “even” Game Turns. The designated chit-puller will now randomly draw one chit from the draw cup. He will look at the chit and then, depending on the type of chit drawn, proceed as follows:
i. Event Chit:
The Event chit is handed to the owning player (blue for the Union player; gray for the Confederate player). He may look at it and even play it immediately, if applicable. Normally, he will simply place the chit in front of himself (face down so his opponent can’t reference it) saving it for later use or apply it immediately as a Command Event. The chit-puller then draws another chit.
ii. Wild Chit:
If a “Wild” chit is drawn, its effect is immediately enacted with any necessary die roll being made by the non-chit-pulling player. After any effects of the chit are completely resolved, the Wild chit is discarded for the turn and another chit is drawn.
iii. Division Activation Chit:
If any Division Activation chit is drawn, the owning player will immediately select any of his eligible Brigades to activate (one that belongs to the drawn Division and has not already been activated by the Division Activation Chit). Play then proceeds to Phase D (Brigade Activation Phase), which is resolved normally. At the end of the phase (after the Rally Step) the owning player then rolls to determine if the Division Activation chit is discarded for the turn or placed back into the cup. Another chit is then drawn.
iv. CIC Chit:
If either CIC chit is drawn, the owning player will immediately select any one of his Brigades to activate (even if it was already activated this turn). Play then proceeds to Phase D (Brigade Activation Phase), which is resolved normally. The CIC chit is then discarded for the turn and another chit is drawn.
D) BRIGADE ACTIVATION PHASE
i. Orders Step
The active player must select one of four Orders under which the selected Brigade will operate:
Attack = 4 MPs are awarded to the Brigade’s units; all types of combat are allowed; the units may not Rally.
Defend = 2 MPs are awarded to the Brigade’s units; Fire Combat only is allowed; the units are allowed only a restricted Rally.
Maneuver = 6 MPs are awarded to the Brigade’s units; neither Combat nor Movement adjacent tan enemy is allowed; the units may not Rally.
Regroup = Neither Movement nor Combat is allowed; the units may use the enhanced Rally
ii. Fire Combat Step
All the units of an active Brigade may issue eligible Fire Combat, if allowed by their selected Order. Each Fire Combat is resolved to conclusion.
iii. Movement Step
All the units of an active Brigade may conduct movement, up to the number of Movement Points allowed by the selected Order (if any).
iv. Close Combat Step
Units found adjacent to an enemy-occupied hex may conduct Close Combat, if allowed by their selected Order. Each Close Combat is resolved to conclusion.
v. Rally Step
The active player may attempt to Rally eligible units (flip such units from reduced-strength to full strength; remove Morale Hits; bring units back from the Broken Track) if allowed by the selected Order.
If any chits remain, return to Phase C. Otherwise, go to Phase E.
E) END TURN PHASE
i. Reset Brigade Activation Status Markers:
Those Brigade Activation Status markers on the “Activated” side are flipped to their “Available” side. In addition, any Brigades entering play next Game Turn have their Brigade Activation Status markers added to the existing group of markers for use next turn.
ii. Update Broken Track:
Move any units on the Broken Track to the next lower-numbered box, except units located in the “Available” box remain there.
iii. Army of the Potomac Reinforcements:
The Union player may make any eligible rolls to determine the status of the next Union Reinforcement Group.
iv. Killed CIC and Division Activation Chits:
Any chits that were “Killed” in a previous turn and are now available to re-enter the game are placed back into the draw cup.
v. Prepare for Next Turn:
Both players gather all nine of their Event chits together to get ready for next turn’s Command Decision Phase (including any assigned as Common Events to the Army of the Potomac Reinforcements and Confederate Command Coordination Tracks). Finally, move the Game Turn marker up to the next space of the Game Turn Track. If this is the last turn of the scenario, count of the number of Victory Points for each side and determine the game’s winner.
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