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One of the things I noticed both from Kippenberger’s “Infantry Brigadier” and as I plough on through “Killer Butterflies” is the pernicious effect of not allowing sufficient time for orders to filter down from top to bottom. Junior leaders are known to have a strong effect on combat performance, but if there is no time to tell anyone in the platoon what the plan is, apart from the chap in charge, then as soon as Sir stops a bullet, everything goes for a ball of chalk because nobody else knows what they are supposed to be doing. I have often previously moaned, and shall doubtless moan again, about the way no wargames rules I have ever met attempt to represent the basic business of ‘R’ groups, ‘O’ groups, and the extraction of orders.

A very interesting observation which inspired a couple of very rough ideas.  I wonder if one way to tackle it would be (if one were playing a face-to-face game at a club) for both players to submit their orders to a third party before the game who would then play out in a fairly free-kriegspiel manner what happened up to the point where the first commander was confronted with something unexpected.  This would then become the start point of the tabletop scenario.


The difference in tactics might then be represented as:

German section commanders can launch attacks (including assaults, rather than just fire) against any acquired targets (but they can’t move away from their specified path except to do that).  Genuine elite troopers from any nation can do this, whether section commanders or not.

British and US sections can only launch attacks* if the platoon commander is present against targets other than those specified as part of their orders.  Sections can however fire, retreat or hold on their own initiative.

If during the game however  the German, British or US player can organize a quick O group, then they get to move in new directions too, unless stopped by fire.  The British and US also get to behave like Germans until next halted by fire too.

You play solo?  Excellent.  Play the Germans and get a mate to write the Russian orders.  The Russians will follow their orders exactly and to the letter, until and unless they are stopped by fire.  Your mate can include conplans, but these must have exact triggers specified.


*We might be allow assaults from any nation’s troops if the section has already crossed the “last safe moment” line..



  • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Whirlwind.