24/01/2024 at 11:15 #194519
After much toil and playtesting, my partners-in-crime at Manoeuvre Group have released their first army list in quite a while! This is the Cold War Army Lists for 1981 to 1985 Part 1 available from Wargames Vault ($6.50), including British, German, Russian and US forces, in the new Issue 2 standard. As with all MG army lists, the lists are heavily researched real lists and thus suitable for any game system, not just MG.24/01/2024 at 17:25 #194539
Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.24/01/2024 at 17:37 #194540
The second is probably a typo and one which their spellcheck maybe didn’t pick up (which I can pass on, but the primary author is off to Australia for three weeks tomorrow).
The first I can’t speak to, since I don’t know what is planned for Parts 2 and onward (its seemingly “Russian” in the lists itself). I’m not the expert in the period (I just do model tanks and only by nation of manufacture from what it says on wikipedia) so I’m not in a position to be able to debate on that, I’m afraid.24/01/2024 at 17:55 #194541
As far as I’m aware, and I’ll defer to John and Guy here, there is no formation in the modern German army designated Kampfgruppe (or kampgroup)
Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.24/01/2024 at 18:57 #194542madmanParticipant
I question the “playtested” aspect. Is that so the units give the kind of results you would expect or are you trying to make balanced tournament units? If the former OK and if the latter then another GW clone. Units should have what they were equipped with and if creating gamey force just call it a W40K variant.24/01/2024 at 19:36 #194544
I question the “playtested” aspect. Is that so the units give the kind of results you would expect or are you trying to make balanced tournament units? If the former OK and if the latter then another GW clone. Units should have what they were equipped with and if creating gamey force just call it a W40K variant.
Absolutely the former. (That is, provided what you expect is a simulation of how the real tactics should behave.) MG is not a game remotely designed around competition-style tournament play (the pair of ’em are about as far away from the GW end of wargaming as it is possible to be); it’s all scenario-based (that is, the end user’s own scenarios, not, like proprietry ones or something), and intended to simulate real-world tactics as best as they can.
(Case in point, they play sometimes with a former platoon commander who always beats the living crap out of them without needing to know the rules, because the game models the tactics well enough he just does what he used to and it works…!)
The army lists are thus essentially real-world force organisations, with some game stats tidily at one end.
(They are not immune to typos, though, and I can’t catch everything myself, especially when it’s terminology I only have a modest layperson’s understanding of. I can only pass those on, and as I say, half the team (that does the documentaion) is away tomorrow.)
So, for example, while they’ve been sorting the lists, they spent several weekly games doing trench warfare and realised they needed to slightly re-write the infantry assault rules to cover niche situations like “what happens if you are assaulting an enemy unit and not their position and you pursue and they run off through another enemy unit which you then reach” and such. (MG itself had a version update a few weeks ago with said changes, congruent with writing these lists.) That’s sort of what I was thinking of particularly when I said “playtesting.” Tweaking the simulation so it works like how it should in the real world, not fixing “balance” or some such.
(They play once or twice a week (and have since they started writing it), so even those rare corner cases are getting vanishing small or obscure. Hell, they play more than I get to nowadays…)
Which was about the time I started writing Acclerate and Attack (my staship rules) which was 2002?24/01/2024 at 20:34 #194547madmanParticipant
Sounds good. I just hear things which sound like “adjust forces to balance” (or unbalance) the game gets me twitchy. Of course unbalancing the game so you can sell the next iteration of the game’s most powerful miniatures which cost (generation x 25) is GW’s name of the game it seems.25/01/2024 at 08:21 #194559MartinRParticipant
Brian (one of the authors) is very active on TMP. You can get an idea of what Manouvre Group is like from his numerous posts. They also usually have a table at Partisan in the participation game section.
"Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke25/01/2024 at 10:59 #194577Guy FarrishParticipant
I’ve never met Brian, but his enthusiasm from what I have read is definitely not for a ‘balanced tournament’ approach.
As for Kampfgruppe; I don’t think the Bundeswehr has officially used the Kampfgruppe title since the 1950s – probably the Heerestruktur 2 changes?
I could be wrong. A German major I worked with in the late 80s used to use it as a joke about the good old days – I think it was a joke – but the Canadians and Dutch used to look a bit worried.
Kampgroup? Who hasn’t had finger trouble when typing?
Warsaw Pack is a new one on me but Warpac was such a common shorthand that perhaps the sound stuck? If so, let’s stop it now! (Warsaw Pack Faction?).
Why Russian vice Soviet? This was a fraternal alliance of Soviet Socialist Republics comrade not some revanchist fascist empire built on a discredited nationalistic model.
Was there a Motor Rifle Company battlegroup in Soviet organisation? Without trawling the net or actually reading something, I thought Soviet Regimental battlegroups were about as small as their combined arms ops went at this period? Again – could be wrong. There were plans to drop down to battalion level based groups – tank battalion plus motor rifle company or possibly vice versa but I think things fell over before they could introduce the concept officially.
Might be nice for a game to play through some variants of the organisations anyway to see how they might work, or not. Jim Storr and his brother did something similar for British and NATO organisations, fighting the Cold War as a series of wargames to test ideas. See his ‘Battlegroup’, Helion & Company, 2021. Worth a read.25/01/2024 at 11:18 #194579
Now that I know where I’m looking for it (and I’m not in my own working hours), “Warsaw pack” in the product description is definitely a typo – and that’s my bad, I missed it on my own check for them. As they haven’t gone quite yet, I can get the aforementioned Brian to log on to Wargames Vault and change that for him myself.
As to the other – no idea. A cursory google (and then bing, as I remind myself google is no longer that reliable) indicates that the word has been used instances other than MG army lists, so I don’t know if its a typo or not and beyond that, I’m not the expert. (I am playing starships with the other half later today to try and remember to ask, but by that time, if anything needs to be done, it’ll be mid-Feburary before it can be.)
(Edit: done (to Warsaw Pact”); in the absense of other data points, I have also made the spelling of “kampgroup” to “kampgroupe” consistent with the cover, to be changed when/if necessary, because again, I missed that discrepancy myself; though in fairness when it’s a word I’m not familair with, so I glossed over it. It may still be wrong – I have NO idea – but if so, its consistently wrong until (and if it needs to be) fixed.)25/01/2024 at 14:38 #194590
Was there a Motor Rifle Company battlegroup in Soviet organisation?
Devolving command and control to small units? That sounds dangerously capitalist comrade, would you like us to book you some re-education classes?
(Warsaw Pack Faction?).
Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.26/01/2024 at 11:27 #194641
Right. I’m told that kampfgruppes are specifically war-time combat formations (thus why it hasn’t been used in recent times, because Germany hasn’t been AT war since WW2), which are formed from taking elements from, say, a Panzer Division and a Panzer Grenadiers Division. Rather that use the much longer German compound words for the specific names for each version (e.g. the name for the reconnaissence version), the MG authors have chosen to simplify and use the generalised anglicised version “kampgroup” for consistency.
(The agreement was supposed to be to take the offending “e” off the end, but apparently that didn’t make it as far as the cover…)
I can only relate this to, rather than debate this with, you about it, since it’s not my field and I’m not the authors (at best, I’m the occasional proof-checking and upload-thing-doer); and can thus only suggest you direct polite inquiries in their direction (either here or at TMP). (Bearing in mind the aforemention Brian/UshCha may or may not be around until he returns for Australia and the other half doesn’t use forums to my knowledge.)26/01/2024 at 15:07 #194646
“Kampgroup” is not Anglicised anything. It is a meaningless amalgam of German and English. In English English it translates as ‘campgroup’ or ‘fieldgroup’ at a stretch. In German it means nothing (Feldgruppe?).
The English translation of Kampfgruppe is battlegroup.
I, and just about everyone else here, knows what Kampfgruppen were. I’m arguing about what they are. Again deferring to Guy and John, as far as I know the Kampfgruppe concept of an ad hoc formation does not exist in the German army in the 1980s, and neither does the formal battlegroup/combat team.
As it goes Aufklärungsbataillon 7 is shorter than writing 7th Reconnaissance Battalion 🙂26/01/2024 at 16:24 #194648Guy FarrishParticipant
I’m told that kampfgruppes are specifically war-time combat formations (thus why it hasn’t been used in recent times, because Germany hasn’t been AT war since WW2
Somebody better tell the Heer they were at war in the 1950s then!
The original plan after the Blank Office (I always love writing that!) set about German Army rearmament c1950 was for 36 Combat Groups/Kampfgruppen in 12 divisions – as you say mixed tank and infantry units, based on the US Combat Command system, in turn nicked off the Wehrmacht.
The Panzergrenadier element initially didn’t have any IFVs ( or even APCs come to that) however – they were back to being Gummipanzergrenadier in trucks- when they started moving to 1/2tracks doctrinal differences suggested the Germans needed a less cumbersome model than the US system and they came up with the Heerestruktur 2 around 1958 and implemented in 1959. This removed the formation of Kampfgruppen and went to a brigade structure within divisions.
Since then there has been no formation called Kampfgruppe in the Bundeswehr. Whether something called Kampfgruppen would have emerged in time of war is another matter, although the smart (?) money in the 80s was any war in Europe wouldn’t have lasted long enough to change structures.
If someone were scraping together the remnants of a division for a task oriented mission c 1984 I guess someone might have called the resultant mess a Kampfgruppe, but would you know its orbat? Doubt it.
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