03/03/2015 at 06:53 #18946Ivan SorensenParticipant
Hope you have a fantastic trip!
Are you going to a real country in Scandinavia or just to viking pillaging sites?03/03/2015 at 07:18 #18950
Cheers Ivan I’ll just check if everything’s still there 🙂
I’ve never once blamed the Danes for anything they did… if the Irish lived in Denmark we’d have spent all our time in other countries too 😉
“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”03/03/2015 at 12:07 #18969
Thanks for another very informative post, you are a gold mine of military insight. What I was getting at was that a company attack is really a set of platoon attacks going on simultaneously where some platoons get stuck in it and others are held in reserve. From your description I think we agree on that. The point I was trying to make was that the company HQ has no really significant role in the tactical combat decisions made in the attack after the initial planning and doling out company resources. Thus as a gaming mechanism the company HQ should only act as a clearing house for allocating activation pips to the platoons. It follows that gamers can see a company attack as a multi-platoon attack and thus the two-step down rule would allow the gamer to control teams rather than squads. The gamer thus makes the attack plan (a company HQ level job), allocates activation points to his platoons (a company HQ level job) and then makes the decisions on how to conduct each platoon attack given the supply of activation pips allocated to each platoon ( a platoon level job). I actually do not agree with the two-step down rule so I was trying to come up with a work-around to the rule being the seditious and iconoclastic bastard that I am.
On the matter of tanks and a -1 to hit modifier for tanks which are not moving, I would argue that both tanks need to have been stationary for the bonus to apply. In modern tanks with sophisticated gyro-stabilisation and fire-control computers the motion of the firer can be compensated for better and so the need for the firer to be still is not as great, to arrive at a correct fire solution However, if you’re a gunner in a Crusader cruiser tank firing at a Panzer III and your gun stabilisation is you shoving your shoulder into the two pdr gun and your fire control computer is optical gun sights and the Mk I eyeball, then moving your tank on the short halt and firing again means having to restart laying your gun on your target, thus losing benefit of homing in on the target in a second shot.
With respect to the idea of radio honchos who are so good at their job that they can effect the outcome of a battle, I am a little confused. Unless the radio operator is assigned to a FOO or a FAC all he is doing at the platoon or troop level is listening for commands and maybe reporting battlefield information on the squadron or regimental net. So how would this effect direct fire? I can understand that such a radio operator could warn others of the presence of unseen enemy forces but the tank rolling around the corner would still have to acquire, identify, and lay sights on the enemy before firing a round. Thus, I don’t see the grounds for such a bonus. Also, when one considers that significant numbers of radios were reception only sets at the start of WWII and that field phones and human runners were more often used than wireless sets for most of the war, then the idea of a radio honcho becomes even less feasible.
Finally on the matter of my sanity or lack thereof I think you may have misunderstood the situation. As you are a proud Marine, Texan and ‘friend’ of goats, I am a proud nutter of the highest order. Sure, I’m not barking mad and do not paint pictures of liquid clocks flowing off of tables or execute naked performance-art in flash mobs around town, but I am still pretty eccentric. So thank you for your kind words concerning my lack of mental stability and cheers to a fellow traveler down the candy-metalled road of unreality.
As to my time to post on TWW, I have a week off for March break so I am painting, assembling and posting like crazy while I can.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson03/03/2015 at 20:34 #19002
The War Panda:
I wish you and yours a good, safe trip and I hope you don’t get the miniatures DT’s while you’re traveling.
Cheers and Bon Voyage.
Rod Robertson.04/03/2015 at 03:12 #19017Just JackParticipant
“Jack I never thought of you as being particularly humorous…”
Then you don’t know me very well 😉
“…but that thinly veiled opening broadside made me chuckle.”
Not thinly veiled anything man, though I did re-read my post and it’s a bit frumpy. First, it’s hard to get the correct tone on the internet (re-reading my post, it’s sterner sounding then was my intent), and second, I was tired and only wrote about half of what I wanted to, and so I only got through my rant about a company level game. I apologize, I wasn’t trying to be a @#$%… Actually, the whole point of that was not being a wise-ass, or taking shots at anyone, I really was getting at the idea that we (as players) have way too much control if we’re trying to put ourselves in the shoes of the company commander.
That’s also the context of my comment about worrying whether an individual tank has HE or AP loaded; not whether it was appropriate for a tank skirmish game, but if it was appropriate for a company (commander)-level game. For a tank skirmish game, I suppose you could worry about the type of round in the breech; personally I’d worry more ammo consumption, though I’m sure there is room for both. And I wasn’t joking about individual crew positions, there are skirmish games (like NUTS!) that actually do that. But if you go with a crew as a whole, I’d really take a look at Force on Force as the model for crew quality in opposed reaction tests to see who moves/shoots first (you use different die types: D6, D8, D10, D12, with better crews using bigger dice. If you don’t roll better than a 4 you don’t get to do anything if you do you get to do something, if you both roll 4+ the high roller goes first).
I do need to know how many tanks we’re talking about in a tank skirmish game!
Have a great trip Panda, and you guys be safe.
“…you are a gold mine of military insight.”
Alright, let’s not get too carried away, Rod 😉
I agree that you can play a game where you have a Rifle Company on the table and you make the decisions of a Squad Leader (that’s who makes the decision on whether to split his squad up or not, not the Platoon Commander, as some folks who’ve heard of the “two-steps down’ deal believe); but you had said something about games being a teaching/learning tool, and I guess I jumped to the conclusion that you were trying to get a look from the perspective of the guy commanding everything that’s happening on the table.
I want to help but I’m not following you on what you’re trying to figure out with regards to the company attack game though. I’d like to understand so that I can help you out (if you want help); I’m so confused!
Regarding tank firing modifiers, how about something like this:
Firing at tank that moved: no modifier (hit on 6+ on D6; I put 6+ as John is keen on special skills for crews, and I’m sure one of them will be a positive modifier for gunnery)
Firing at stationary tank: +2 (hit on 4+ on D6)
Firing at stationary tank, and you remained stationary after hitting the target with last shot: +4 (hit on 2+ on D6)
I understand and agree with everything you’re saying about stabilization/lack of stabilization in tanks, but I’m not sure where you’re going with it. If we’re talking about crew modifiers, there are gunners that are simply faster at acquiring and laying the gun on a new target than other gunners are, and there are crews that are better at assisting the gunner at getting the gun on target quicker than other crews are. For example, a tank commander giving out super accurate firing commands, a driver that’s good at movement which keeps the armor facing the threat and placing the gun close to the intended target and is good at timing out the firing halt with the gunner, so that he knows exactly when it’s going to occur and where his target will be in relation to the gun’s current lay.
I’d also say there are radiomen that are adept enough that they can listen to traffic on the company and battalion nets, decipher it in real time, in context, and then relay the pertinent info to the crew so as to give them 360 degree, real-time situational awareness regarding friendly and enemy activity and intentions, which is a tremendous advantage and allows you to anticipate and engage. At least I think so; I wasn’t a tanker, but I know there were RTOs that could do that on the infantry side (actually monitoring three nets sometimes).
So, with regards to RTOs affecting the overall outcome of the battle, I’m lost again; are we talking about a company level game or a tank skirmish game? I’m talking about a tank skirmish game, specifically an individual tank’s radioman giving them a positive modifier for target acquisition, specifically regarding targets the tank can’t see but other friendly elements can. There are games out there that actually have you roll to attempt to communicate such info via radio, so I suppose you could go that route as well. I think the fact it’s a receive only set is irrelevant, as we’re talking about the ability of an individual tank’s radio operator to take in all the information and pass it in a useful manner to his crewmates.
I agree that we’re all crazy; we play with toy soldiers for goodness’ sake!
Take care fellas.
Jack05/03/2015 at 03:44 #19085
“…you had said something about games being a teaching/learning tool, and I guess I jumped to the conclusion that you were trying to get a look from the perspective of the guy commanding everything that’s happening on the table.”
That is correct, but I was more interested in the tactics of a company attack and not the chain of command and the decision making process. My students are High School students and not officer cadets in training.
“I want to help but I’m not following you on what you’re trying to figure out with regards to the company attack game though. I’d like to understand so that I can help you out (if you want help); I’m so confused!”
No worries Jack. I don’t need help as I am always right (except when I think I might be wrong). I was just trying to get across a point view that I did not really think the “two-step-down” model for command and control is always valid and was trying to make the point that a company attack could just as easily be viewed as a multi-platoon attack in game terms – thus the flawed “two-step-down” model could apply to a game in which a company is attacking if you (plural) were a strict adherent to the rule.
“I understand and agree with everything you’re saying about stabilization/lack of stabilization in tanks, but I’m not sure where you’re going with it. ”
My point was only that should a WWII tank move between firing its shots it would be almost impossible to accrue an accuracy bonus due previous shots fired because of the crudeness of the fire control systems and stabilization systems of the time.
“For example, a tank commander giving out super accurate firing commands, a driver that’s good at movement which keeps the armor facing the threat and placing the gun close to the intended target and is good at timing out the firing halt with the gunner, so that he knows exactly when it’s going to occur and where his target will be in relation to the gun’s current lay.”
Sounds good, but when you tank is moving and you’re bouncing across broken ground it all rather goes to sh&t and you loose any bonus from laying your gun on the target before you moved. These might allow a tank to fire faster at an enemy tank but would not make a shot more accurate.
“I’d also say there are radiomen that are adept enough that they can listen to traffic on the company and battalion nets, decipher it in real time, in context, and then relay the pertinent info to the crew so as to give them 360 degree, real-time situational awareness regarding friendly and enemy activity and intentions, which is a tremendous advantage and allows you to anticipate and engage. At least I think so; I wasn’t a tanker, but I know there were RTOs that could do that on the infantry side (actually monitoring three nets sometimes).”
While knowing that an enemy is nearby may reduce surprise or panic at the moment of contact and could enhance laying the gun on target faster, I still don’t think it would make the shot happen any more accurately and so there should be no bonus for hitting due to an outstanding radio operator. FOO’s and FAC’s are another matter and here superior radio men in FOO Tanks, Carriers, Scout Cars or on-foot teams would be very valuable and might very well effect the outcome of a tactical battle by bring arty fire down faster on the enemy’s heads.
“I think the fact it’s a receive only set is irrelevant, as we’re talking about the ability of an individual tank’s radio operator to take in all the information and pass it in a useful manner to his crewmates.”
If most of the sets are receive-only, then who is sending the intel about unit positions? The information is likely to be old and probably out of date because it was collected and relayed to a higher echelon transmitting set by slow means (runners, flags, flares, etc). Thus I remain unconvinced.
“I agree that we’re all crazy; we play with toy soldiers for goodness’ sake!”
While I generally concur, it seems clear to me that some here are more crazy than others (cough-Panda-cough) and we must always keep that in mind when trying to make reasoned arguments about the hobby to such addled comrades.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson06/03/2015 at 16:56 #19180
crazy than others (cough-Panda-cough)
Oh you poor thing Mr Robertson….you seem to have a real nasty personality…oh I mean “cold”…let be get something for that horrible “cough”…how about a nice soft pillow covering your mouth and nose till no more coughing …or breathing
“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”06/03/2015 at 19:24 #19190
The War Panda:
“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”
And the double nightshade draft should clear up that cough nicely so no need for an aggressive regime of pillow therapy… at least for me.
Cheers and good health.
Poor Mr. Robertson06/03/2015 at 19:28 #19191
We work to live and don’t live to work. So join the siesta and live a little. Enough of the ballyragging b’y!
Rod Robertson.06/03/2015 at 19:30 #19192
Now can we get back onto wargames and suggestions for good games for me to try and explore?06/03/2015 at 19:55 #19194
Why else are we here Rod, if not to serve you
That was sarcasm. I can’t be sure you wouldn’t have taken that seriously. Megalomania and narcissism and all that good traditional Scottish stuff.
And Tim…I’m shocked…ney…scandalized
And BTW I’m actually on holidays…mind you talking to Rod and Jack is far more laborious than anything I ever have to do at work
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”06/03/2015 at 21:24 #19203
The War Panda wrote:
“Why else are we here Rod, if not to serve you[?]”
A very enlightened and generous view. No sarcasm needed when faced with an ontological truth!
“Megalomania and narcissism and all that good traditional Scottish stuff.”
I think you’re confusing Scottish traits with English ones there. Scots are gentle and generous folk who would gladly give you the kilts off their rumps… if ya can pay for it! It’s the English who suffer the other traits you mention when they are in their less generous moods.
“And BTW I’m actually on holidays…mind you talking to Rod and Jack is far more laborious than anything I ever have to do at work”.
Panda, since you yourself are on another continent we on the continent of North America view it as sort of a holiday too … so we’re all in agreement. Poor bloody Spain!
Cheers and enjoy the holiday.
Rod Robertson06/03/2015 at 21:30 #19204
Wargames rules suggestions? Anybody?07/03/2015 at 04:37 #19217Shaun TraversParticipant
I know we are going back a long way but I am only just catching up. I at least go to work 🙂
Opposed roll between the moving and stationary unit, modify as appropriate (if desired). Could be as simple as 1D6 each, stationary unit shoots first on a draw?
This is how NUTS! works in general, and my own skirmish rules I used last year based on NUTS! works exactly the way you describe! I like it.
Consequence Vs Results
I used to be a big fan of the Consequence rules. Then I read more about combat.And then played IABSM. Now I am in favour of Results. Espcially at skirmish level, everything seems very very unpredictable that the only way to represent that on the table is not to use Consequence driven sets.
I also seem to get the idea from reading histories that in WW2 squads operated as squads and did not break up into fire teams 9e.g. British doctrine was one team for the Bren, one team for the rifles, but in practice it seemsed to not happen very much!). So I like rules that are squad based and not team based.
And I agree with everything Jack wrote back at the start – squads Vs teams; card activation and then rolling is too much (I have tried it and think either is fine but both is pushing it; I like the concept but find it too hard to play), Five Core concepts give a great Results game, even if I have not tried it :-). . He wrote a lot, and saved me a lot of typing.
And then Jack wrote another post about company commanders being concerned with plattons rather than squads. Also agree with. Although I have not read many histories and the company level, I have read one from an infantry battalion commander. He was concerned with what was in each company i.e. its strength/ability to fight. He deployed companies based on that and was not concerned about platoons very much – just how the companies were going against what they were supposed to achieve. He was concerened with the reduced abilities of the companies, but not so much specifically platoons.
I find playing very Reuslts driven game, you are not fighting the system, you are attmepting to bring order to chaos. Accept the chaos and work with it the best you can to win. I find it extremely satisfying. It is unlike chess with dice, more like hearding cats. But the command and control level of war, at least up to battalion level, seems to be more like herdng cats than chess with dice. I also find it hard to releate to a soldier, which is one of the reasons I don’t do much skirmish. But love Battalion level where I deeply care about each company.
On the 1 or 6 for Five Core etc being too random. Don’t forget, on a scurry (a 1), the other side automatically also get a move after yours, and a Firefight (6), the other side gets to fire as well.
Rod’s aummary of take aways from the discussion was a good one.
I have no suggestions on rules. I have none I am very happy with yet! But I have started the search for a skirmish game.07/03/2015 at 04:50 #19218Ivan SorensenParticipant
Shaun – since you mention Nuts, I’ll add that the very first version of Nuts had the best system for this.
Highest roll under rep shoots first, on a draw, stationary shooters shoot first.
They’ve tried to reinvent it every single time they do another game but they had nailed it the first time around 🙂07/03/2015 at 18:02 #19257
An interesting read and one which deals with the roles of groups (teams), squads, and platoons in some detail in the Canadian and probably the British armies of WWII.
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