Home Forums General General Representing Troop quality

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  • #131581
    Adrian Arnold
    Participant

    Afternoon all

    I’m having a bit of a quandry.

    I’m starting to work on the basics of some Vietnam era platoon-company rules for multi-figure bases in 15mm and I’m trying to think of methods to display the quality of the units – It’s a little tricky as ideally I’d want as few markers on the table itself as possible (Not always possible I know) and unlike say a Fantasy game it’s not like different quality units could be represented by better or different armour or equipment as physically a GI is a GI and NVA is NVA….

    So far the only real ideas I’ve come up with are coloured markers to represent the quality (Similar to dirtside 2/startgrunt 2) Or Colour coded sections on the bases – Either a raised area, or the back edge of the base

    The former is a little obvious for both sides whereas the latter is less obvious (especially if it’s the rear edge of the base) BUt the formar is also more flexible..

     

    Hmmm.. Decisions.

    So, what are peoples thoughts?

    #131582
    MikeMike
    Keymaster

    I used to put a simple vertical stripe on the back of the base.
    0 stripe = raw
    1 stripe = regular
    2 stripes = veteran

    Simple subtle and stripes look military.

    If you need more detail you could then colour code the stripes.

    #131584
    Darkest Star GamesDarkest Star Games
    Participant

    I use a method similar to Mike’s for 3mm/6mm.  1-4 stripes on the rear face if the base for which platoon/company the team belongs, and the color denotes troop quality.  When a team takes a casualty a small  base with a casualty figure is placed (with white edges).  If the team is suppressed a small vertical white smoke plume is placed next to it, and if they are pinned/hunkered down a dark grey/black plume is placed.  This is solo/same side play.

    Are you working on solo or PvP rules?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #131589
    Radar
    Participant

    You could use different coloured flower tufts to denote experience. No flowers = grunts, yellow = regulars, red = veterans for example

    #131591
    deephorsedeephorse
    Participant

    My thinking is “why is it necessary to display troop quality on the tabletop”, especially in a platoon/company sized game?  Are there going to be so many units that the owning player(s) cannot remember what quality their own troops are?  I don’t know much about the Vietnam War, but were there that many different troop qualities to choose from?  Surely the vast majority will be ‘middle of the road’, making the number of poor or elite units on the table even easier to remember.  And, in a platoon/company level game how many different quality levels could there plausibly be on the table?  Won’t most platoons present be from the same company/battalion etc. and therefore be of the same quality?

    Before I joined Facebook I thought that a) most people were reasonable and intelligent, and b) they could spell words correctly. Guess what ......

    #131594
    irishserbirishserb
    Participant

    You could use the number of tufts of grass on the base to denote troop quality, or possibly a discarded or dropped piece of equipment, maybe a canteen, pack, ammo box showing ascending or descending quality indicate by object size.

    #131597
    Darkest Star GamesDarkest Star Games
    Participant

    I don’t know much about the Vietnam War, but were there that many different troop qualities to choose from?  Surely the vast majority will be ‘middle of the road’, making the number of poor or elite units on the table even easier to remember

    Most units thought of themselves as “elite” at that time, mostly due to “lifer B.S.”.  But to be honest, the true capability of a platoon or company during the Vietnam war was directly related to its condition at the time of the action due to fatigue, number of new replacements, number of troops active on the operation, training time, dedication of the combat vets, number of short timers, etc.  Most Companies were run at 50%-65% capacity the majority of the time which had a huge impact on firepower and mission capability.

    But in game terms, I would think that this would come down to how the unit is broken down.  If you’re moving a platoon at a time the distinction of quality is not that big of a deal, probably more homogeneous.  But if you’re defining squads or fireteams then you could very well have a FT or a SQ that has better leadership, experience, luck, etc that makes it stand out from the rest.  “Have First squad go ahead, Chief is a ghost of a pointman and they’re the hard chargers. Third squad just got 3 cherries and Second just lost Jonesie to that boobytrap and are squirrely today…”

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #131599
    Adrian Arnold
    Participant

    Thanks folks 🙂

     

    looking at 1 base per fire team, so pretty much two bases/squad. Plus on the VC/NVA side, you’d have fresh militia alongside veteran main force VC units as well 🙂

    Initial plan is for PVP as well… if I just wrote it for solo play I’m pretty sure the missus would kill me as she’s my usual opponent 🙂

    #131606
    MartinRMartinR
    Participant

    For company level games, I just put this stuff on the game briefings. Poor quality Volksgrenadiers alongside good quality Panzer grenadiers or whatever. The players don’t apparently have any problem remembering which unit is which, especially when they wear different uniforms (like VC and NVA mainforce).

    If you need to differentiate, give them different numbers of platoon HQ figures. Poor troops get 1, competent ones get 2 and elites get 3.

    The only real issues arise when differentiating leader quality, when some sort of indicator is useful, assuming the poses are similar.

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

    #131627
    ThomastonThomaston
    Participant

    If I were to do this I’d probably do it through painting.
    GREEN units will have nice fresh uniforms and everything is regulations.
    REGULAR units will have some non standard stuff like things on their helmets, less uniform looking.
    VETERAN washed out uniform, lots of bare heads, headbands, more spaced out, non standard weapons (XM177), mud on their knees.

    Tired is enough.

    #131639

    My thinking is “why is it necessary to display troop quality on the tabletop”, especially in a platoon/company sized game? Are there going to be so many units that the owning player(s) cannot remember what quality their own troops are?

    It never does to underestimate how thick some wargamers are!

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    #131677
    Tony STony S
    Participant

    For games of Peter Pig’s Square Bashing for WW1 and RCW, I paint up some extra officer castings individually based.  Regular troops don’t get any of these markers.  For green troops I place the officer ahead of the stands – “Follow me, boys!”.  Veterans get the officer behind all their stands – “Right behind you lads!” – as by now he’s realized that charging at the forefront of an attack isn’t conducive to living a healthy and long life.

    Not sure if that would work at much lower Vietnam scale of game.

    I know my method showing troop quality for Napoleonics (Green are all in greatcoats, veterans have their officer mounted) would not really work terribly well!

     

     

    #131679
    MartinRMartinR
    Participant

    I know my method showing troop quality for Napoleonics (Green are all in greatcoats, veterans have their officer mounted) would not really work terribly well!

    LOL. For  horse and musket games, my green troops don’t get any flags, whereas veterans might get two. Or really big hats.

    Back to the OP. For something flexible and unobtrusive, I usually put a small square of magnabase on the rear base edge, painted to match the rest of the base and I’ve made up a bunch of markers of various types out of steel paper so I can mark the bases up in a flexible manner. I usually use this for unit affiliation, which matters a lot in WW1 games where everyone does literally look identical! I’ve got some in yellow, green and red, so you could do unit quality that way.

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

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