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Just Jack


Yeah, it’s a tough one.

I’m with you on suppressed troops not being able to do anything; typically I go from ‘good order’ to ‘pinned’ (can shoot with a penalty but not move, penalty in close combat) to ‘suppressed’ (no shoot or move, severe penalty in close combat, if it gets bad enough you can’t even self rally, a senior leader has to come rally you, and additional effective fire can force you to fall back).

“I think that firing troops could be treated as effectively out of command unless positively rallied, or break contact, although this should be easier than for suppressed troops.”
What do you mean by ‘out of command’?  I’ve used that term (and “command radius”) in Napoleonic games but have never applied a concept like that to WWII or later games.  It doesn’t feel right to me, but knowing you, you’ve added some wrinkle or concept that makes it relevant!

“Your idea for not even bothering to roll for firing is a good one.”
I’m not so sure! 😉  Part of the issue here is that it doesn’t work out great in games without hidden deployment/movement, as you get to the old ‘why would I move out there if I know you have guys over there and I’ll be instantly, automatically pinned or suppressed?  And even if you’re using blinds, I don’t like the idea of finding out my squad was suppressed for five turns by a dummy counter, or a single sentry.

Another issue is that I’m never a fan of automatic results, for anything.  I once had a discussion with Ivan (Nordic Weasel) about why my games seem to have so much drama in them; I replied “it’s the dice.”  I never use any of his recommended ‘auto’ successes or fails, and I’ll be damned if I don’t end up with a full, fresh rifle squad close assaulting a suppressed enemy team in the open… then losing or being thrown back by rolling a ‘1’ on one of those ‘all you gotta do is roll anything but a 1’ rolls.  I don’t like the idea of saying ‘that rifle team right there is going to suppress any enemy unit that comes into LOS, no matter what;’ what makes them such steely-eyed killers that they couldn’t suffer a lapse in attention, or nerves, or have their sights set to the wrong range or elevation, or any of a million different things that can go wrong in combat?  Or who’s to say that the guys they’re shooting at didn’t wake up feeling like extra special bad-asses this morning and aren’t about to be pinned down by a few scattered rifle rounds?

Ivan uses a middle way; in his No End in Sight rules, a man can fire at anyone that comes into his LOS, which either hits or misses, but there’s another aspect where the guy moving (and being fired on) sets a target destination and rolls a dice to see how far he can go, and if he doesn’t make it (and doesn’t get shot) he ends his movement pinned.  It’s interesting, but I’m not really a fan of that, either.

“So a tactical commander always needs reserves to achieve anything because all his committed troops will either be suppressed or suppressing.”

“And with this system, you could even make ammo consumption a meaningful thing.”
That’s true, but that’s farther than I’m willing to go in a platoon- or company-level game.

“But I am still thinking!”
I appreciate it!