Most of the mechanics for AFV combat are covered by the rules of ordnance in Chapter C.
3.1 COVERED ARC (CA): A vehicle possessing turreted armament actually has two CA: a Vehicular CA for movement and bow-mounted weapons, and a Turret CA for turret-mounted weapons. The C3.2 definition of CA is applicable to both but may be based on different points of reference, depending on the orientation of the counter.
3.11 VEHICULAR COVERED ARC (VCA): The VCA is identical to the CA defined in C3.2, and is used for all bow-mounted weapons and vehicle movement, as well as determining Target Facing for any hull hit vs the vehicle.
EX: The VCA is outlined in red, the TCA is outlined in blue.
3.12 TURRET COVERED ARC (TCA): The TCA determines the Field of Fire of all turret-mounted weapons, and differs from the VCA only when a turret counter is placed on the vehicle with the Gun pointing toward a different hexspine than that of the vehicle counter. Should the TCA and VCA coincide and the vehicle is a BU CT (or CE OT) AFV, there is no need for a turret counter and it is removed. However, whenever a vehicle fires a turret-mounted weapon outside its VCA (To Hit Case A), the VCA is not changed (unless the vehicle uses the NT DRM application of Case A). Instead, a turret counter is placed so that the fired-on target lies within the TCA (see 3.51). The TCA may change as a result of firing a turret-mounted weapon outside its current TCA and the VCA may change for firing a turret/bow-mounted weapon outside its current VCA (Case A), or at the end of any friendly fire phase in which the AFV is eligible to fire (a turret-mounted weapon for TCA or turret/bow-mounted weapon for VCA) without using Intensive Fire (as per C3.22). The TCA may also change freely with each MP expended during the MPh. The TCA change must be announced as the MP are expended but can coincide with MP expended for movement, stop, start, or Delay purposes; i.e., the MP cost for a TCA change is not in addition to other MP expenditures. The MP expenditure required for a TCA change during its MPh is doubled if in a woods or building obstacle (not Bypassing those obstacles or on a road) or rubble hex (C5.11). For Narrow Streets see B31.12. The Target Facing of any turret/upper superstructure hit is based on the target's TCA—not its VCA.
3.2 TARGET FACING: D3.2 Target Facing When an AFV is hit it is necessary to determine the Target Facing of the AFV to determine what AF modifies the Modified TK#. Target Facing is determined as depicted in the diagram, depending on which target hexside is crossed by the firing unit's LOS. Note the difference in the procedure for determining Target Facing for a target in Bypass (2.32). If the LOS of the firing unit runs exactly along a hexspine of the target hex which determines Target Facing, the Target Facing is that least favorable to the attacker. If the fire originates from within the target hex (Case E To Hit DRM; C5.5) the colored dr of the To Hit DR determines the Target Facing: 1-2 Rear, 3-4 Side, 5-6 Front [EXC: Bypass; 2.32]. FT/MOL/DC attacks made from within the same hex attack the Rear Target Facing, even vs Bypass vehicles. In the diagram, the shot along the E7-F7 hexspine is vs the front Target Facing.
3.3 BOUNDING FIRST FIRE: Vehicles are not eligible for Opportunity Fire (A7.25), but unlike Infantry, a vehicle/its Passengers/Riders may move and also fire (or vice versa) in its MPh; this is termed Bounding First Fire. Any vehicle that fires during its MPh is using Bounding First Fire and is marked with a Bounding Fire counter [EXC: if the only weapon fired did not exhaust its Multiple ROF]. However, to use Bounding First Fire, any vehicular ordnance must use one of the Case C To Hit DRM (either Case C, C1, C2, or C4; see C5.3-.33, C5.35). The vehicle can expend additional Delay MP while stopped (including at the outset of its MPh prior to movement) by announcing their expenditure one at a time. A vehicle may move again in the same MPh after using Bounding First Fire (or just stopping) provided it has sufficient MP (even to the extent of stopping and firing a Multiple ROF Gun again; see C2.24). The DEFENDER can intervene to attempt Defensive First Fire after the announcement of expenditure of any MP (even Delay MP), but must do so before the announcement of the next MP expenditure or of Bounding First Fire; the target cannot be forced to return to a previously occupied hex or CA after it has announced a MP expenditure that legally changes its position. A vehicle (including its PRC) with either a Prep Fire or Bounding Fire counter cannot fire during its AFPh.
3.31 MG/CANISTER/FT FIRE: Any non-ordnance weapon [EXC: FT; Gyrostabilized CMG vs acquired target (11.13)] using Bounding (or Bounding First) Fire has its FP halved. If a vehicle fires any weapon other than its MA during the MPh it may not fire its other weapons/PRC during the AFPh.
3.32 FINAL FIRE: Unlike Defensive First Fire, a vehicle using Bounding First Fire has no opportunity for an equivalent form of Bounding Final Fire. However, if the vehicle did not exhaust its Multiple ROF during its MPh, and did not fire any other weapons (including PRC) during its MPh, it may fire that Multiple ROF weapon (only) again once (C5.3) during its AFPh using the Case C To Hit DRM for ordnance, or halved FP for MG/IFE if not in Motion; or Case C4/quartered FP, if in Motion. [errata included]
EX: It is the DFPh of the T34/85 in 1F7. It wishes to fire (using the Infantry Target Type) at the 4-6-7 in J5, so it must change its TCA one hexside from E7-F6 to F6-G7. Having done so, it may now fire at J5 with a +1 DRM for CASE A due to changing a T Type Gun one hexside, a +1 DRM for being BU, and a +3 DRM for terrain (Case Q).
During its MPh (shown by the blue dots) the T34/85 starts, changes its VCA to F6-G7, and moves to I6—expending a total of five MP before stopping. The 6th MP for stopping is the second MP expended in the LOS of the hidden AT Gun in H3 with a H4-I4 CA. The AT Gun immediately fires at the tank, with a +3 DRM for case J1, before the tank can announce a Bounding First Fire attack on the 4-6-7 in J5. Although the AT Gun hits the tank, it does not penetrate its thick frontal armor. However, it did roll low enough on the colored dr of the To Hit DR to retain a Multiple ROF. The tank must now make an unenviable decision. If it uses Bounding First Fire to fire on the now concealed AT Gun after first expending a MP to change its CA, it must use the +5 DRM of Case C1, plus Case I (BU), Case K (Concealed, C6.2) and Case Q (TEM), making a hit all but impossible (C3.6). Even if the tank were to roll a 1 on the colored dr of its TH DR and retain another shot, its To Hit chances remain negligible especially since it cannot acquire the concealed Gun. Spending an additional (Delay) MP to increase its stay in LOS of the target to 4 MP allows it to use the +4 DRM of Case C, but also allows the AT Gun to improve its next To Hit attempt by switching to Case J (instead of J1) and would allow the AT Gun a potential of two more shots (one per MP expended) against the stopped tank (C6.17) if the AT Gun retains its Multiple ROF.
Should the tank start up (7th MP) and change its VCA to J5-J6 (8th MP) in an attempt to move out of LOS (via J6 and K6) it could be fired on through its more vulnerable side Target Facing and/or in J6 (9th MP).
Starting up (7th MP) and moving toward the AT Gun with the intention of an OVR attack has the advantage of preserving the front Target Facing, but increases the penetration capabilities of the AT Gun (C7.24) and allows it as many as five (1: start up; 2: change CA; 3: enter 15; 4: enter 14; 5: enter H3) more potential shots (Multiple ROF C2.24; Intensive Fire C5.6; OVR Prevention; C5.64). All of which is a moot point since, even with a maximum ESB chance, the tank lacks the 22 MP necessary [8th MP to change VCA to H5-I5, 9th MP to enter I5, 10th MP to enter I4,18th MP to enter H3 obstacle, and 22nd MP for OVR] to make the OVR (7.1).
Failing to do anything and ending its MPh accomplishes nothing because the AT Gun can continue firing at it during the ensuing DFPh as long as it retains its Multiple ROF. The safest solution is to spend its 7th MP to start in reverse, and its 8th-11th to Reverse (2.21) back to H6 and out of LOS. The AT Gun may fire at it again in I6 before it leaves the hex because it expended another MP in I6 to start (C6.17).
3.4 ARMOR LEADERS: Infantry leaders have no effect on vehicular or Gun performance. However, a special class of leaders known as Armor Leaders can affect vehicular/vehicular Gun performance, although they have no effect on Personnel or non-vehicular Guns [EXC: either an Armor or a Passenger leader can direct a FG consisting of its CE halftrack/Carriers and Passengers/Infantry/Cavalry; see 6.64-.65]. An Armor Leader is depicted in counter form by the silhouette of an exposed tank commander with rank, and a Strength Factor ranging from 8-1 to 10-2.
3.41 An Armor Leader is considered inherently present in the particular AFV his owner assigns him to, and his presence is noted on a side record. The Armor Leader counter remains out of play until the owner needs to use his morale/leadership factor to verify/avoid a result even if the AFV is CE (a normal CE counter is used to hide the true identity of the Armor Leader). The Armor Leader's morale/leadership factor may be used both before and after he is revealed.
3.42 The inherent crew of a vehicle always has the same Morale Level as any Armor Leader in that vehicle. Should the Armor Leader pass/fail his MC/TC, the crew passes/fails also; a separate MC/TC DR for each is never made.
3.43 An Armor Leader affects only its own vehicle/crew (even a captured vehicle) and ceases to exist once the crew takes counter form. Should that particular vehicular crew counter reoccupy a vehicle, the Armor Leader will once again exist in that vehicle.
3.44 The leadership modifier of an Armor Leader can be used only to modify a vehicle's MA DR (To Hit if ordnance; IFT otherwise), OVR DR, CC DR, HD Maneuver dr (4.22), halftrack FG (3.4), and Bog Removal DR. An Armor Leader cannot modify non-OVR MG/FT (unless MA) attacks, but neither does his use of an AAMG prohibit application of his leadership to other uses. Being BU does not void an Armor Leader's effects, although BU penalties (Case I To Hit DRM) still apply. An Armor Leader's negating a positive DRM of any kind is not sufficient to allow his vehicle to Interdict.
3.45 INEXPERIENCED CREWS: A SSR may specify certain armed vehicles to have Inexperienced Crews. Each such crew is treated as if it contains an inherent 6+1 Armor Leader, which is not shown in counter form. Usage of this "quasi-" Armor Leader is the same as for any normal Armor Leader [EXC: his leadership modifier must be used whenever it is optionally usable by a normal Armor Leader; and the quasi-Armor Leader can never be eliminated or removed from its crew].
3.5 VEHICULAR MG/IFE FIRE: The MG/IFE armament of a vehicle, unlike a SW counter (A9.2), may make only one fire attack per Player Turn unless it is the vehicle's MA with a specific Multiple ROF, in which case it and its ROF will be listed as the MA in the lower left-hand corner of the counter.6 [EXC: RMG/CMG/AAMG FP can be used more than once per Player Turn if counting their potential use in CC; see A11.62 for use of AFV MG in CC. MG/IFE may also be used more than once by vehicles making multiple OVR attacks (7.14)]. Non-CC vehicular MG fire is limited to the same fire phase (A.15) as the vehicle's other weapons or that of its PRC; if any weapon is fired from a vehicle, the remaining weapons must fire in the same phase or forfeit their non-CC fire attack opportunity for that Player Turn [EXC: Bounding (First) Fire; 3.31-32]. The FP of a vehicle's various MG/IFE armaments may all be added together for one attack (assuming the target lies within their respective CA), or fired separately at different targets [Mandatory FG (A7.55) applies]. If fired together in one attack, the worst applicable CA DRM of any participating MG/IFE (3.52) applies to the total attack. The target can be the same unit attacked by the MA or a different target altogether. It makes no difference which weapon fires first. A vehicle may use MG fire on a target it cannot affect (e.g., to check the LOS before committing his MA to fire). See also 3.52-.54 and BU; 5.2.
3.51 MAINTAINING CA: Once a vehicle fires any turret-mounted weapon, any of its other turret-mounted weapons which fire within the current respective CA must pay the same CA Change penalty as the first weapon which fired. If, after firing, another turret-mounted weapon (or the MA which has retained a Multiple ROF) wishes to fire at another target outside the current TCA, the Case A TH DRM would be applicable based only on the move from the current TCA to the new TCA (C5.12) but only if the preceding shot(s) were taken at a Known enemy unit; otherwise no further change in TCA is allowed during that phase. These same principles also apply to bow-mounted weapons if changing the VCA to fire. If the VCA is changed, the TCA changes the same number of hexspines while retaining its position relative to the VCA. Any further changes of the TCA incurs normal TCA Case A DRM in addition to the NT Case A DRM of the VCA change [EXC: Bounding First Fire does not pay CA change DRM (C5.13) nor does it prevent further changes in TCA/VCA]. Once any vehicular weapon fires, its other weapons may fire in that phase only from that same hex [EXC: OVR; and MA retaining a Multiple ROF may fire again from another hex if the previous shot(s) were Bounding First Fire].
EX: It is the German PFPh and the CE Pz IVH in 19X5 with a VCA of X6-Y6 and a TCA of W6-X6 is about to pick its targets. The German wants to fire at all three Known Russian units so he decides not to combine any of his MG factors and to attack each target separately. He starts by using his AAMG vs the 5-2-7 because it pays no DRM for fire outside its CA (1.83) and its use has no effect on the tank's other weapons. He decides not to fire his BMG because to do so he must change his VCA and that would require penalizing the first shot of all CA-restricted weapons firing as NT Gun Types rather than T Types (C5.11). He now decides to fire his CMG vs the 4-4-7 in Z5 but must pay a +2 DRM due to the two hexspine change in its TCA to Y6-Y5 (C5.1). The attack fails to harm the 4-4-7 so the tank fires his MA against the same target—again with a +2 DRM (but this time to the TH DR; 3.51). However, the TH DR contains a 1 on the colored dr so the tank maintains its Multiple ROF. The tank could now fire on the 4-4-7 with a -1 Acquisition TH DRM but decides against that and changes its TCA one more hexspine to X4-Y5 where it can fire on the 6-2-8 with a +1 Case A To Hit DRM (3.51 & C5.12). Assuming it again retains its Multiple ROF, it may fire on the 6-2-8 again with no Case A DRM (C5.12) and a -1 Acquisition TH DRM or it may change its TCA again—say two hexspines to W5-W6, where it may attack the 5-2-7 with a +2 Case A To Hit DRM.
Using the same diagram, assume the tank changes its VCA two hexspines to X4-Y5. As a result, the TCA is now at Y5-Y6. If the BMG fires on Z3—it must do so with a +4 DRM (NT Gun Type; C5.11). If the TCA is also to change to X4-Y5 in order to fire at the same target, it must do so with a +5 DRM (+4 [two hexspine change with NT Gun Type] +1 [further TCA change from Y5-Y6 to X4-Y5 with a T Gun Type]).
Now assume the tank changes its VCA from X6-Y6 to Y5-Y6, but the TCA changes from W6-X6 to W5-W6. The BMG would fire with a +3 Case A DRM, any turret-mounted weapon would fire with a +5 Case A DRM (+3 [one hexspine change for NT Gun Type] +2 [two further TCA hexspine changes for T Gun Type] = +5).
Lastly, assume the tank changes its VCA from X6-Y6 to Y5-Y6, but the TCA remains at W6-X6. The BMG would fire with a +3 Case A DRM, but any turret-mounted weapon would fire with a +4 Case A DRM (+3 [one hexspine change for NT Gun Type] +1 [one further TCA hexspine change for T Gun Type]).
3.52 Any BMG/CMG/IFE firing outside its current respective CA must add a DRM to its IFT DR equal to the pertinent To Hit DRM of Case A (Bow MG = NT, CMG = T or ST depending on Gun Type; 1.3). A vehicle which uses MG Bounding First Fire must use half FP instead [EXC: Gyrostabilized CMG vs Acquired Target; 11.13] because a Bounding First Firer must always fire within its current CA (C5.13).
3.53 The Case B To Hit DRM does not apply to vehicle MG; the FP of any MG firing during the AFPh is halved instead, unless it is MA attempting a To Kill DR as ordnance (A9.61).
3.6 FT: Vehicular-mounted FT are often more powerful than the Infantry SW variety of A22 and may have more FP, range, and different X# as depicted on the counter, but otherwise work the same [EXC: Motion Fire; 2.42]. Case A To Hit DRM apply as IFT DRM unless using Bounding First Fire (C5.13).
3.7 MALFUNCTION: Whenever a vehicle fires, that armament is subject to breakdown. A printed B# < 12 applies only to the MA unless Vehicle Notes specify otherwise. Breakdown Numbers are not printed on a vehicle unless the armament is prone to malfunction and has a B# < 12 or a X#; otherwise a B# of 12 is inherently assumed. Such ordnance malfunctions on an Original To Hit DR of 12 and MG/FT/IFE malfunctions on an Original IFT/CC DR of 12. However, unlike SW malfunction (A9.7), a vehicle cannot simply be flipped over to reveal a malfunction side because a vehicle is often still capable of movement/fire of other weaponry. Instead, a Gun, MA, SA, or MG Malfunction counter (of which there are three main types; BMG, CMG, AAMG) is placed on the vehicle until the weapon is repaired. Repair of each malfunctioned weapon can be attempted once per RPh with a separate dr for each malfunctioned weapon by any inherent crew that is not shocked or stunned [EXC: Repair of an AAMG requires a CE crew or Hero Rider]. A dr of 1 repairs the weapon and removes the Malfunction counter. A dr of 6 disables the weapon permanently and causes the malfunction counter to be flipped over to the Disabled side. A dr of 2-5 has no effect. Any vehicle whose MA and all Secondary Armament (if any, as per Vehicle Listing) are all disabled is immediately Recalled (5.341) unless that vehicle has Passenger/Towing capability.
3.71 LOW AMMO B# (B#): Some armed vehicles carried such a small ammunition load that Ammo Depletion must be considered even within the limited time frame of ASL scenarios.7 Such vehicles have a circled B# (e.g., B⑪) This symbol represents the possibility of normal malfunction plus the possibility of Ammo Depletion. A Gun with a B(#) malfunctions on an Original 12 To-Hit/IFT DR and suffers Low Ammo on any other Original To-Hit/IFT DR ≥ the B(#). A Low Ammo result includes all ammo types the vehicle is allowed to use, as per its Vehicle Listing and the scenario date. A vehicle suffering from Low Ammo is marked with a Low Ammo counter, which changes the original B(#) to an X# (as per A.11) and creates a new B(#) one less than the Original B(#).
EX: An IS-3 tank has a B⑪ signifying its limited ammo capacity. If it rolls an Original TH DR of 12, the MA will malfunction normally. If it rolls an Original TH DR of 11 it is marked with a Low Ammo counter. Thereafter, any Original TH DR of 11 or 12 will Disable the MA, resulting in Recall (3.7); any Original TH DR of 10 will malfunction the MA normally—leaving it subject to repair.