Home Forums WWII Command structure and organization

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    Avatar photoRetroboom

    Hey guys, I’m curious if you can educate me on which ways command structure and unit organization or best reproduced on the tabletop. It seems to me there are 2 common ways I usually see this:

    The Flames Of War/Crossfire way – Where squads and leaders are tied together into a platoon and behave as somewhat isolated groups.

    The ASL/FiveCore way – Where squads are squads and freely float around the table interacting with squads maybe from other platoons, and gaining benefits from leaders who are free to influence whomever they wish.

    Which of these tends to be more “realistic” (i hate to use the word, but there you go)? I’ve always designed from the “Squads form a Platoon” angle, though there are design benefits from the latter as well.

    Anyone with actual experience that can educate me? Thanks!!!

    Richmond, VA. Let's play!

    Avatar photoMartinR

    One of the limitations of SL/ASL is that it doesn’t model command and control structures at all, even John Hill recognised this. Real military units don’t work by random groups of chaps being grabbed by the nearest leader (apart from unusual circumstances). Even in IABSM the ‘big men’ (analgous to SL leaders) are tied into a formal organisation structure, just as they are in Crossfire.

    The latter two rules also model higher level formations (companies, battalions) which FOW doesn’t as the player is placed in the notional role of company commander.

    In terms of design for effect, many aspects of SL work very well (the primacy of morale effects, MG beaten zones, enfilade fire etc), but as model of command and control it is pretty random.

    Real infantry platoons shouldn’t behave as isolated groups either (unless there are special circumsatnces), but as part of larger sub-units and units.

    I prefer to place the players at appropriate levels in the command structure, but in terms of the original question, the FOW approach is more ‘realistic’ although SL has a far better model of tactical infantry combat. It depends what you are interested in simulating really, and it is important not to focus on these things in isolation as it is the overall outcome which is important.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoFredd Bloggs

    You want realistic, Chain of Command, proper use of the lower NCO’s to do their jobs within fire teams and sections.

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