Home Forums WWII Air Support in BKC

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  • #94111

    I spent a couple of enjoyable hours running simulations for Air Support for BKC last night. My first game will be next Wednesday, with a follow-up game 10 days later.

     

    I’ve decided to simplify a few aspects to ensure the game runs smoothly & quickly. These “tweaks” are marked with an asterisk.

    I have also decided that all aircraft and all AA guns will have the same stats (& that AA guns may only fire at aircraft). Typically, each field force has 3-4 Command stands & 1 mobile AA unit.

     

     

    1. Germans will dice to see if they get Air Support (odd/even). Allies automatically receive Air Support. *
    2. Prior to starting, for each aircraft, throw a D6 for the number of times it can be called (NB a failed Command roll will count as a call). *
      3. Air Support will only be requested (not scheduled). * NB a FAC will be necessary to request support.
      4. Unlike off-table artillery, the FAC does not need a line of sight to the target. *
      5. An aircraft needs a successful Command roll (equal or under) to be requested. A specific model can only be used once per turn.
      6. FAC Command roll will be at -1 if the enemy was successful in summoning Air Support the previous turn.
      7. FAC Command roll will be at -1 (cumulative) for each successive request for Air Support in a given turn.
      Procedure:
      a. Model is placed on the baseline & the player charts a straight course (use fibre glass rod) to the enemy baseline, passing over the chosen target.
      b. Anti-aircraft fire is calculated. Each Command stand  within 20 cms & each AA unit within 30 cms that are not Suppressed, fire. This becomes the number of attacks as per army lists (3 per CO, 2 per HQ & 4 per AA).
      c. 1 dice for each attack  which hit on a ‘6’. If there are sufficient hits that equal or pass the planes’ ‘hits’ value (ie 4), it is knocked out and may not be used again. If it is not knocked out, roll 1 dice per hit & any ‘6’s mean the attack is aborted.
      d. If the attack is successful, choose a Target, throw 2 xD6 and a directional dice. Measured from the Target’s base, this is the hit point and a circular fire zone 16cms * wide is centred on this.
      e. The player controlling the aircraft decides either to concentrate his fire (double number of attack dice ie 8 ) on one target unit or target every unit with a normal number of attack dice (ie 4).
      NB to be a target, a unit must be at least half within the fire zone.
      NB for every hit the aircraft took, it loses an attack dice.
      f. Scoring, armour saves, suppression etc as per the normal procedure.

     

    This looks far more complicated than it actually is. Comments?

     

    donald

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by Deleted User.
    #94115
    deephorse
    Participant

    You are correct. It does look complicated.  Why does the FAC not need line of sight to the target?

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #94123

    You are correct. It does look complicated. Why does the FAC not need line of sight to the target?

    I found I could zip through it pretty quickly. Really very little to memorize. Command roll…..AA…..Firing.

    Off table artillery wouldn’t fire at random: they need a target that an FAO can see & give co-ordinates for.  An aircraft, on the other hand,  has the ability to find its own target. No?

     

    donald

    #94132
    Etranger
    Participant

    ……

    1. Germans will dice to see if they get Air Support (odd/even). Allies automatically receive Air Support. *

    5. An aircraft needs a successful Command roll (equal or under) to be requested. …
    6. FAC Command roll will be at -1 if the enemy was successful in summoning Air Support the previous turn.
    7. FAC Command roll will be at -1 (cumulative) for each successive request for Air Support in a given turn.
    …..

    donald

    This seems illogical or not alternatively not clearly laid out. The allies (almost) automatically get air support every term, therefore the Germans will nearly always be at -1 in the second term. That then becomes -2, -3 etc for each successive turn. By turn 7, the Germans are at -6 on their command roll. They’ll be getting air support every turn unless they roll double 6 (command fumble).

    For those unfamiliar with BKC, you have to roll under a certain ‘command level’ on 2 dice for each command, typically 9 or less for Germans & 8 for ‘usual’ allies; with success allowing an activation for that commands elements, & the chance for additional command rolls at a cumulative -1 per additional activation (eg 9 or less for 1st activation, 8 or less for 2nd, 7 or less for 3rd etc). Roll over the target number & that command’s turn is over. (You can have multiple commands/HQs and an overriding Battlegroup Commander).

    Presumably there is a +1 (not -1) penalty for enemy air activity in the preceding turn, & a cumulative -1 bonus for friendly air activity in preceding turns?

    #94134
    deephorse
    Participant

    You are correct. It does look complicated. Why does the FAC not need line of sight to the target?

    I found I could zip through it pretty quickly. Really very little to memorize. Command roll…..AA…..Firing. Off table artillery wouldn’t fire at random: they need a target that an FAO can see & give co-ordinates for. An aircraft, on the other hand, has the ability to find its own target. No? donald

     

    Close Air Support (CAS) does not operate at random either.  You may be mixing up two different missions that Allied fighter-bombers had.

    I mentioned before that I was reading “Air Power at the Battlefront” by Ian Gooderson.  I heartily recommend that anyone interested in this aspect of ‘modern’ warfare get a copy.  It could change your view on CAS. It’s 282 pages long, and I tend to dip in and out of such books rather than read them cover to cover, so my summary here could be slightly incorrect, but I don’t think so.

    Allied fighter-bombers had essentially two missions, Armed Reconnaisance (AR) and CAS.  AR was when aircraft flew behind the front line attacking pre-briefed targets and targets of opportunity.  By definition no-one was controlling these aircraft from the ground and it was up to the pilot to find and identify his target.  Interestingly AR missions had a much higher casualty rate amongst aircrew and aircraft than CAS missions did.  German flak was more likely to be behind the lines defending key points than it was protecting soldiers in their front line trenches.

    CAS needed liaison with and direction from the ground to be effective.  With clear direction and accurate smoke marking, of both the target and friendly troops, Typhoons attacked German positions within 100 yards of the Irish Guards during Operation Garden.  Conversely, when a Visual Control Post’s radio broke down, none of the overhead air support could be called in.  In another case a VCP could not accurately describe the location of a group of German tanks to their CAS until they got hold of an aerial photograph of the area, even though the Germans were just 250 yards from the VCP.

    Something else to consider is that the main effect of CAS was not that it destroyed German tanks and pillboxes etc., because for the most part it didn’t, but that it seriously affected the morale of the defending troops.  Guns, trench lines, and even tanks would be abandoned when threatened with rocket and bomb attack.  But once the CAS withdrew Germans would often return to man their guns and positions again.  Even when the CAS was out of ammunition, dummy attack runs could keep the defenders pinned.

    Something to put in your rules?

     

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by deephorse.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #94137

    …… 1. Germans will dice to see if they get Air Support (odd/even). Allies automatically receive Air Support. * 5. An aircraft needs a successful Command roll (equal or under) to be requested. … 6. FAC Command roll will be at -1 if the enemy was successful in summoning Air Support the previous turn. 7. FAC Command roll will be at -1 (cumulative) for each successive request for Air Support in a given turn. ….. donald

    ?

    Sorry. The -1 is not cumulative.

     

    donald

    #94138

    @ Deephorse.

     

    Thank you for your reply. I’ll certainly think on what you’ve written.  Given line of sight restrictions, if the FAC is in a position of only calling on targets he can see, there is a real chance of friendly fire as the rules stand. However, this may be the reality.

    Suppression is the most likely outcome of a successful attack so maybe not a million miles from your thoughts? I was also thinking about removing any unit from the possibility of it being targeted if it did not move in the previous turn as I figure they well may be camouflaged & in cover.  This “paralysis” may be closer to your description, too.

     

    donald

    donald

    #94147
    Alan Hamilton
    Participant

    My father was in a VCP in Normandy and afterwards.  His VCP comprised a  “White Half-track”, a Jeep and a 3 tonner.  He usually operated with an army HQ and went forward to deal with targets.  Once the target was identified an arrow made of recognition panels was laid out to indicate direction and the Cabrank of Typhoons called in.  He decided how many aircraft were required.  As the Typhoons approached a smoke bomb was fired either right or left of the panel and the fighters informed of bearing given by the arrow and to target (the Observer Target Line) and that the smoke was right or left of the line.  The target was indicated verbally.  And the Typhoons came in.  They did not have to fly down the OT line as this brought them over friendly troops and often arrived from one flank or another.

    As one mission of Typhoons was committed to the attack another group was ordered into the air to maintain the cabrank.

    Ahead of the troops was the “Bomb Line” and any aircraft with weapons left that was stood down from the cabrank could seek permission to go beyond the bomb line to engage anything that he could see.  Trains, road transport, river/canal boats were priority followed by artillery and other heavy weapons.

    So weather permitting there was a high probability of the RAF providing a flight or more of Typhoons.  As already said the objective was suppression of the target to allow ground troops to close in.  If destruction was required then that was a separate mission involving squadron or wing strength attacks by fighter bombers or bombers.

    The very appearance of the “jabos” was enough to suppress the enemy.  Rockets could render an enemy tank useless by concussing or killing the crew by a direct hit, disrupt fuel lines, blow off aerials, shatter vision blocks, destroy or damage wheels, tracks or tyres and he saw many tanks and other AFVs looking as if they were undamaged but actually useless.  I’ve read of crewmen committing suicide or being driven insane by the threat of constant air attack.

     

     

    #94514

    We had the BKC game today. The planes looked wonderful.

    In terms of the game, more ‘fear factor’ than solid results.

    The Stuka only received two sorties; one of which aborted and in the other, it missed.

    The two Allied planes got four sorties apiece. They managed to shoot up some trucks carrying infantry but went for a Panzer concentration, which was also a flak concentration, and both were shot down.

    Loads of fun, though.

     

    donald

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