06/01/2023 at 19:32 #181914
I am back! I haven’t posted a batrep in ages; I’ve played a few games with different rules, but they all left me cold, aggravated, and frustrated, so each time I threw in the towel and went back to painting. I suppose I’ve known all along what I needed to do to get my mojo back: go home 😉 If you’re not aware, 5Core Company Command is home, my happy place, the set of rules that’s never let me down. I’m not sure why it took me so long to go back home; too caught up in wanting to try different rules, I suppose, but damn I’m glad I did. For the first time in a LONG time I played a wargame and actually had a bunch of fun doing it, and I absolutely can’t wait to play more.
Part of my issue was also venue; that is, ongoing campaigns that actually didn’t fit well with 5Core Company Command (5CCC). I’d played a ton of 5CCCC on my ‘Cuba Libre’ blog, but there is a bunch of admin stuff and painting I need to do before I get back to that. I’d played a bunch of ‘Kampfgruppe Klink’ with 5CCC, but it doesn’t feel right anymore, I want something bigger (higher echelon, but without losing individuality and without taking too long; this is where I’ve spent most of my time so far, haven’t found a suitable solution) for Operation Barbarossa. Then there were others, like ‘Two Brothers’ (Vietnam), my Marines in WWII, French IndoChina, my Israeli War of Independence, etc…, that aren’t ready or don’t match up well. So, what to do? Start a new campaign, of course 😉
So what did I do? It’s time to follow some dogfaces trudging through and across the Mediterranean and European Theaters of Operation, kicking some Nazi butt! And who better to lead them than Lee Marvin???
This is Major Lee Reisman, Commanding Officer of “Task Force Reisman,” a combined-arms force of roughly battalion size, consisting of the following:
-1 company of tanks (four platoons, two each of M-3 Stuarts and M-3 Grants)
-2 companies of infantry (three rifle platoons, each)
-1 armored reconnaissance company (1 platoon of M-3 Scout Cars and two platoons of halftrack-mounted armored infantry)
-attached heavy weapons (a platoon each of M1 37mm ATGs, M1917 MGs, 60mm Mortars, Combat Engineers, M-7 Priest Self-Propelled Guns, and M-3 GMC Tank Destroyers)
And what shall we watch them do? Here’s my (once again, overly ambitious) plan:
-Operation Torch, the landings vs Vichy France in French Morocco
-Tunisia, from assisting ‘Blade Force’ early on through Kasserine, to the bloody end
-Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily
-Operation Avalanche, the invasion of Italy (Salerno)
-Operation Shingle, the landings at Anzio, up to Rome
-Operation Dragoon, the landings in Southern France
-Cracking the Siegfried Line/Hurtgen Forest
-The Battle of the Bulge
-Operation Grenade, Into the Ruhr
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: right now it is approximately 0400 Local Time on 8 November 1942, off the coast of French Morocco, near Port Lyautey, the assault elements already forming up in their landing craft for the run into the beach, which everyone hopes will not actually be defended by the poor souls of the Vichy French Army. The plan for TF Reisman is for both infantry companies to land simultaneously, Dog Company on the left and Easy Company on the right, with two platoons of tanks landing between them, able to support in either direction, as appropriate, with the remainder of the Task Force in reserve and scheduled to arrive approximately two hours later in the second wave.
Of course, things do not go according to plan: with Allied Forces coming from various locations (primarily the US and UK), the need for operational secrecy, and the ever-present threat posed by German U-Boats, there wasn’t much time or opportunity for amphibious exercises and rehearsals. Add to this the fact the transports were not combat loaded (“last on, first off”), confusion as to the nature of the landings (Allied officials were attempting political overtures to ensure French cooperation/non-aggression right up to the last minute, to the point preparatory naval and air bombardment was not conducted), and horrible weather, and the green US troops were lucky to get ashore at all!
But get ashore they did; they had a heck of a time forming up, with units missing each other in the dark and chop, then promptly headed towards shore, where French shore batteries added to the chaos by engaging the Allied Fleet. Dodging incoming shells in the dark, in heavy seas (enough to swamp several landing craft), without land-based beacons, the inexperienced Americans were tossed up on shore in a confused mass of cold, wet, miserable, confused, and scared GIs. Small unit leaders, or at least those able to function, immediately set about untangling the units and getting them moving inland, waiting to see would the Frenchmen turn out to be friend or foe.
A look at the map, north is up, the Allied invasion fleet out to see to left (west). At top right is Hill 88, and just below it is the river “Wadi Sebou.” At far right is the outskirts of the town of “Mehdi,” and just below it are karst bluffs rising up out of the sand, matched by a similar escarpment at bottom center, just off the south end of Dog Company’s invasion beach. There is a coastal road running north-south just beyond the beach, with an artery running east into Mehdi. The remainder of the area is desert pocked with broken ground and scrub brush.
Americans are in their landing craft at far left (west) and the French deployed across their baseline at far right (east). The French artillery battery is atop Hill 88 (top right), the Rifle Platoon is dug-in on the outskirts of Mehdi (far right), and the Weapons Platoon is dug-in atop/behind the southeastern bluffs (bottom right).
The US force: the US has a Company Commander, a company of infantry (-), a platoon of armored vehicles, and a platoon of support. The units are understrength and intermixed, in order to demonstrate the chaotic nature of the landings.
CO: Captain May, Dog Company commander
2nd Lt Carney and his 2nd and 3rd Squads from 2nd Platoon, Dog Company
2nd Lt Morris and his 1st and 2nd Squads from 1st Platoon, Easy Company
2nd Lt Olsavsky and his 1st and 3rd Squads from 3rd Platoon, Easy Company
2nd Lt Figures and Sgt Simpson’s M-3 Stuarts from 1st Tank Platoon
Sgt Dawson’s M-3 Grant from 3rd Tank Platoon
Sgt Martin’s M-3 GMC Tank Destroyer from the Tank Destroyer Platoon
Sgt Humphries’ 1st Squad from the Combat Engineer Platoon
Cpl Tolbert ‘s 3rd Squad from the Machine Gun Platoon
Cpl Noonan’s 2nd Squad from the 60mm Mortar Platoon
The Vichy French defenders:
-Commanding Officer, Capitan Oulette, who’s heart really isn’t in it, but their Commandant is quite the committed Quisling, having already arrested several officers who refused to fight, now threatening executions for cowardice in the face of the enemy and vowing traitors’ families will face repercussions
-A reduced Battery of one 25mm ATG and one 75mm dual-purpose gun.
-A Weapons Platoon of 2 machine guns and one 81mm mortar
-A Rifle Platoon of a Platoon Leader and three rifle squads
On the run in, receiving enemy fire from The Kasbah.
And hitting the beach!
The French guns on the bluffs hammer away mercilessly at the untried dogfaces.
The CO, Captain Mays, braves intense enemy fire to move over and rally Lt Carney’s 2nd Platoon, ordering, begging, pulling, and kicking his men to claw their way off the beaches!
The climax of the battle is reached as US troops advance to the enemy trenchline. Will the doughboys prevail, or will the Frenchmen throw the invaders back? Well, you’ll have to click on the link to find out 😉
Man, what I fight! As simple as it was, I can’t tell you how much I needed that, I really had a lot of fun and feel like I’m back to my old (wargaming) self. It’s been quite a long time. Even if I did force the French to put up a much stiffer fight than they chose to do in real life. In any case, next fight coming soon.
Jack06/01/2023 at 22:08 #181917Tony SParticipant
Sounds like you had a terrific time! And with your gorgeous table, how could you not?
I particularly enjoyed the way you let 5Core generate the story. It is a great, sadly underappreciated system isn’t it? I do hope your grand campaign plans come to fruition.07/01/2023 at 01:54 #181918
Thank you for that AAR. Like you I have been looking (buying, reading and discarding) way too many rules looking for something that works for me in this scale (forces level not miniatures scale).
Which version of 5CCC are you using? I bought the latest and greatest from Wargames Vault last year(?) the “people’s edition” and found it a mess. Sections not there and some of what was there made no sense. See my questions to him in the Nordic Weasel forum here. He sent me the original edition of the game which had many of the missing elements and was nearly complete. This is one of the rules sets I am more like to adopt as my main use for this scale.07/01/2023 at 11:06 #181934Deleted UserMember
Couldn’t decide which side to cheer for. I usually avoid siding with the Allies but this time they’re fighting the French. Turns out the French are Germans in disguise 😀07/01/2023 at 16:14 #181961
Also curious if you tried I Ain’t Been Shot Mum? I played it once at a convention and it seemed pretty good as well once you get past the Britishisms (tea time instead of end turn and Big Men instead of leader or hero). Another title with great ideas but IMHO poorly finished (or not at all) is Hell and Uncivil Disorder. Again like Weasel’s rules in need of completion but great concepts in there. Much more ‘useful’ thank his Hellfire rules which I find too complex for the benefit in some aspects.07/01/2023 at 17:31 #181964
Tony – I certainly did, it felt great! 😉 I appreciate it, and yes, 5Core certainly works very well for me, and the campaign is progressing very nicely, I’m almost all the way through Morocco and almost finished with Blade Force, then it will be on to Kasserine and El Guettar to close out the campaign in Tunisia. I’ve played twelve games so far, working on getting them written up, my plan is to post one batrep per week. Gotta pace myself so I don’t completely drop out and disappear again.
Madman – Thanks, glad you liked it, and yes, it seems I’m caught up in the ‘ooh shiny,’ must keep looking for new stuff despite the fact I’m perfectly happy with 5Core. And I recall we discussed some of this previously; I’m not sure which version I’m using, probably the original one I’d imagine, I was heavily involved in getting it published but didn’t really pay too much attention to what came after. I’m happy to hear you’re looking to adapt them; if there’s anything I can help with, just ask, I’m happy to help, and I’m told that I have a knack for explaining some of the concepts in a bit more of a simple and straightforward manner than is laid out in the book 😉
I’m not familiar with ‘Hell and Uncivil Disorder,’ but I’ve played, and enjoyed, quite a bit of IABSM. I kind of get on spurts where I’ll play a string of several games and have lots of fun with them, then kind of burn out on them. The card-based activation is super fun and super aggravating at the same time, and the more games I play in a row, the more the latter starts to outweigh the former. Another aspect for why I’m not really playing it right now/anymore, is that it seems to work better for me when I have a ton of troops on the table (usually a battalion’s worth, you can see a series of six fights here: http://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2019/10/on-northern-shoulder-of-kursk-with.html), but now that I’ve made the move to 15mm it doesn’t work because it’s too many troops for a 6′ x 4′ table. It worked pretty well in 10mm, and would probably be even better in 6mm.
Thomaston – Yeah man, that’s just your natural penchant (you and Rod) for wanting to see me lose! 😉 Hope all is well.
Jack07/01/2023 at 21:22 #181969
I like the scale of 5CCC and IABSM which is similar to Squad Leader/ASL that is units are squads, single weapons and individual vehicles. That is my sweet spot. I could also see partial squads or fire teams as single units being desired as well. My one mental block is are leaders, and their effect, gamed on the table, or is their presence abstracted? I have played games with both and frankly either can work. Just which direction to pursue? A few other rules go there but other aspects of those rules don’t do it for me. Another one I gamed and found fun was Crossfire. It just needed so much terrain I didn’t pursue it further. That and my opponent is a once to twice a year availability kind of guy.
Now two “conditions”. One: I like more detail to my armour rules. Each of these games really simplifies armour combat to either keep infantry dominant or to use similar game mechanics. Secondly: in my case I intend on having infantry centric games the large majority of ones I play. So either there is no armour so no rules to slow things down or for the very small number of total forces on the table again they don’t impact overall game play and game time.
Having said that I looked at some armour centric games as well but found the infantry rules either so secondary to be useless or frankly such a poor afterthought they might as well have been left off. I also pursued a couple other sets for which I never got a decent reply wrt to infantry in the rules. My go to is could you run an enjoyable game using ONLY infantry and what are the basic game mechanics of the infantry section of the rules.
For armour rules I come from Tractics which is how I started 50 years ago. So roll to hit, roll location and compare penetration against armour at that point. Then either assign damage based on ammo type and size or have same affect an effect roll. I have no issue reducing this more but still like this slightly granular and different from how the infantry combat is handled aspect.
It also can come into play when using the same rules for near future or sci fi where infantry wears armour so modeling the effects of that armour is considered. Either a penetration is required for effect or a combined penetration and effect of armour on combat result (damage) is implemented.08/01/2023 at 21:27 #181983
“My one mental block is are leaders, and their effect, gamed on the table, or is their presence abstracted?”
The overall commander in 5CCC gets a ‘free’ activation each turn, which is very useful for rallying under fire, and provides a bonus to troops in close combat. I’ve also used additional command stands similarly, as a sort of ‘bonus,’ in order to help model qualitative differences between opposing forces on the table top. In IABSM, they sort of just fight like any other stand (if I recall correctly), but their command cards are removed from the deck should they become casualties.
“I like more detail to my armour rules.”
I suppose you could ‘bolt it on’ to either set of rules. The lack of detail doesn’t really bother me in company-level games as I my viewpoint is the Company commander is not concerned with where a tank got hit, or what kind of ammunition it uses, only whether it is still in the fight or not. But, as always, to each their own, and I don’t see how it would adversely impact either set of rules to add more detailed tank/anti-tank mechanisms (other than making the game longer).
” Secondly: in my case I intend on having infantry centric games the large majority of ones I play.”
That’s part of what I love about 5CCC. The armor rules are seamless because they use the exact same mechanisms as the infantry rules, which keeps the game simple and quick.
“It also can come into play when using the same rules for near future or sci fi where infantry wears armour so modeling the effects of that armour is considered. Either a penetration is required for effect or a combined penetration and effect of armour on combat result (damage) is implemented.”
See, from my standpoint at company-level, the lack of that level of granularity doesn’t bother me: either the firing unit has the capability to render the target combat ineffective or it doesn’t (and thus warrants Kill Dice), and/or the firing unit has the capability to affect the target’s combat capability (to pin it down or suppress it) or it doesn’t (and thus warrants Shock Dice). For example, we could say that an M8 Armored Car firing its 37mm main gun at the frontal armor of a Tiger I at point-blank range cannot knock out the target, so warrants 0 Kill dice, but could adversely impact the Tiger’s crew, so warrants 1 Shock dice, maybe even a second Shock dice if we’re feeling charitable due to the shooting occurring at point-blank range, the quick-firing capability of the armored car, and let’s say they’ve got a cool, veteran crew that knows it’s survival rests on not panicking and delivering fast, accurate fire on the Tiger’s vision blocks, for example.
It’s a super easy, quick system. I suppose a potential downside to it is that the players/umpire have to constantly make ‘value’ judgments on capability/effectiveness (rather than being able to look in the book and see exactly how it should be rated), but that doesn’t bother me in the least (is actually a strength, which allows me to constantly tailor the action to my beliefs and preferences), and is the same as IABSM’s judgement calls on ‘good/okay/bad’ shots in any case.
Jack09/01/2023 at 00:33 #181991
“That’s part of what I love about 5CCC. The armor rules are seamless because they use the exact same mechanisms as the infantry rules, which keeps the game simple and quick.”
Need to play a game with armour once I get the basics down.
“See, from my standpoint at company-level, the lack of that level of granularity doesn’t bother me: either the firing unit has the capability to render the target combat ineffective or it doesn’t (and thus warrants Kill Dice), …” Probably needs house rules or scenario specific rules. In a game between near peers wrt technology not an issue as written. It is when one side has a technology advantage and how that is implemented. Your solution looks very good. Part of my “use these rules for anything” mentality and the adjustments or additional rules to be implemented. Thank you for the ideas.
“It’s a super easy, quick system. I suppose a potential downside to it is that the players/umpire have to constantly make ‘value’ judgments on capability/effectiveness (rather than being able to look in the book and see exactly how it should be rated), …” To me these need to be addressed before games. Since I have a hard enough time getting opponents let alone a referee then these need to be brought up and how to handle them decided upon by the players.
Thanks for the ideas and I am sure to pick that brain a few times in the future.10/01/2023 at 02:42 #182048
“Need to play a game with armour once I get the basics down.”
And for the record, don’t get fooled by all the chaff, the basics are this: pick a side and roll a D6. If you roll a 1, everyone can move without drawing react fire, but then every enemy that saw it gets to move without drawing react fire too, and then it’s the enemy’s turn. Roll a D6, rinse and repeat.
If you roll a 6, everybody that can shoot gets to shoot, then every enemy that can shoot gets to shoot, then it’s the enemy’s turn.
If you roll a 2-5, count the number of your units and divide by three, that’s how many units you can activate to move and shoot/shoot and move. Enemy units that can see you can react, but then they don’t get to activate during their turn. Now it’s the enemy’s turn, roll a D6 and carry out. If they roll a 2-5, any of your units that didn’t activate during your turn can react during the enemy’s turn.
Shooting is simple: you have the two kinds of dice (Shock and Kill), and you roll them at the same time, looking for 1s and 6s.
1 Shock: The unit is pinned, it cannot move but can fire or rally when activated, can’t react, -1 in close combat
6 Shock: The unit is suppressed, it cannot move or shoot, only rally when activated, can’t react, -2 in close combat.
1 Kill: The unit is taking casualties and panicking (“Men Down!”), cannot move, shoot, rally, or react (can only be rallied by another friendly unit moving into base contact with it), -3 in close combat.
6 Kill: The unit is knocked out of the fight.
Rallying requires you to roll a D6 to see what happened; 2-5 is successful, 1s and 6s are bad news, carry them out just as you would being shot at , with the exception being that suppressed units that roll another 6 actually fall back 6 inches and stay suppressed.
Close combat is a D6 vs D6 roll with modifiers for troop quality and morale state (described above).
That is 5Core in a nutshell, couldn’t be simpler, buy the rules and get the eight million different pieces of chrome/flavor and add in to taste, but you can play a game of 5Core with what I just gave you, so everyone should be playing 5Core. Now go play! 😉
“Probably needs house rules or scenario specific rules. In a game between near peers wrt technology not an issue as written. It is when one side has a technology advantage and how that is implemented.”
I do it all the time, and it’s no different than what I was talking about with a 37mm ATG firing at a Tiger. You can’t hurt it, but if you’re really lucky you might make them hesitate, or even back off (if you manage to suppress them and then they fail a rally roll with another suppression; happens quite frequently in my games, actually). And you can do whatever you want; if I’ve got particularly brittle troops, when they roll to rally, I’ll make them use 2D6 and force them to take the WORSE of the two rolls! If they pass that once then I’ll typically go back to a 1D6 rally roll to show they’ve kind of “cowboy’ed up” for this fight. Conversely, for heroes and really veteran/committed troops, I’ll typically roll 2D6 for rally rolls and allow them to take the better roll, but nothing aggravates you more than rolling snakeyes or boxcars!!!
“To me these need to be addressed before games.”
Certainly, but I suppose I have an advantage here, I’m either playing solo or I’m umpiring for little boys, not playing against another adult. Having said that, I used to play IABSM against my father and we’d have to talk through the ‘type’ of shot and work to an agreement, so it can be done.
“Thanks for the ideas and I am sure to pick that brain a few times in the future.”
It’s my pleasure, happy to help. I certainly hope Ivan isn’t mad with me laying out the guts of the rules; I haven’t spoken to him in awhile, but if he’s the same dude he was, he’d just be happy people were playing 5Core.
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