Kyote John – Sure, and see below.
Whirlwind John – Hmmm… All good points, but from my standpoint, “Break Contact” drills are an integral part of platoon tactics, techniques, and procedures, and are practiced until you can do it blindfolded in the dark 😉 So, rather than some sort of willy-nilly, run for your life, every man for himself-type exercise, the close assault isn’t going well, the small unit leader signals break contact, and the squad carries it out, laying down covering fire, perhaps tossing smoke, grabbing casualties as possible, and falling back to cover, taking advantage of micro-terrain in order to do so (the ‘escape route’ you’re referencing, though this would, must, occur, even without the covered avenue of approach/retreat, it’s just going to be more difficult and perhaps more costly). Particularly given the fact this is a company-level game, with one stand equals one squad/weapons team, I think it fits what the Company Commander’s view of the battlefield would be, i.e., he would not be controlling that, his subordinate leaders would be carrying it out based on the tactical situation with no input from him. I would go so far as to say it wouldn’t even bother me in a platoon-level game using singly-based figures, as the player is assuming the role of the Platoon Commander and those actions/decisions are below his purview. I’d say the only point where we can’t ‘abstract’ that out would be in a squad-level game, where the player should be essentially making the decisions/carrying out the actions of the individual soldiers. At least that’s how I end up playing them, despite any attempts to ‘program’ the subordinates to act in line with the squad leader’s intent but still of their own volition. For me, those attempts inevitably end up taking up too much time and I break down and give the individual troops far too much… ESP? 😉
“What is the specific issue with the reserves? Hard to design a mechanism to reflect how hard it is to control committed squads/sections?”
Indeed, Sir. The easy answer is to have an environmental effect, call it ‘Engaged,’ and give it a definition, something like “enemy is within 200 yards and has LOS to your unit,” and that means… what? They’re under fire and will no longer move? That implies the fire is effective, but we already have a measure for that (the opposing player makes the conscious decision to utilize that enemy unit within 200 yds with LOS to actually open fire on your unit, and then rolls dice to see if your unit is Pinned, Suppressed, and/or taking casualties), so it’s redundant, and if we’re not doing that the implication is that the opposing player DOES NOT have to make a conscious decision to act (he just places troops within 200 yds and LOS to yours), they’re assumed to be firing at yours, and the fire is assumed to be effective enough to keep your men from moving.
Another solution is to say ‘engaged’ units halve movement and firing dice, which is probably more reasonable, but for some reason still doesn’t sit well with me. I need more and better ideas! 😉