Home Forums WWII Suppression and Withdrawal

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  • #72390
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    A situation came up in my latest game http://hereticalgaming.blogspot.com/2017/09/blocking-action-at-neuville-6th-june.html that left me with a question about suppression (neutralization in WRG rules): if (IRL) a group has a covered withdrawal route, should a suppressed group be allowed to retire rather than be pinned statically?

    During the game, a section of infantry was in and around a farmhouse getting shot at by 2 x tripod mounted MG42s and 1 x bipod mounted MG42 at about 250m (with some accompanying rifle fire); so generally the occupants were suppressed.  They did however have a covered way out to the rear.  On reflection, it seemed odd that they would stay in the building taking fire rather than withdraw to an unobserved location behind it.  Any opinions?

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #72391
    Mike
    Keymaster

    My rules have orders and each order has an associated difficulty.
    My fall back order requires a roll of 2+ on a d6, whereas a dig in/take cover has a 3+, a rush across open ground into HTH has a 5+.
    Being suppressed adds to the difficulty and the ability of their CO reduces it.
    Generally they cancel each other out.
    So with my rules if you have suppressed troops the best way to unsuppress them is to find the safest route out.
    Which in your example would be a safe retreat from the farm house, out the back door.

    I tried to make my rules and orders’ difficulty take into account the likelihood of being killed if you follow that order.
    It seems daft that if you have a safe way out of a dangerous situation and wanted to take it you would not.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Mike.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Mike. Reason: lack of any sense of word skills
    #72400
    Grimheart
    Participant

    WW, With 3 mg’s firing at them I would suggest that static “pinned” would be very much correct. Thats a lot of bullets heading their way.
    You say the section are “in and around” the farmhouse so I assume getting to the way out to the rear might be very problematic for at least some of the section given the weight of fire directed at them.
    Even if the ones directly in the farmhouse could escape they would have to leave behind their mates outside….probably not likely while they are still alive!

    ps – and of course in “real life” they probably wouldn’t be sure that the route outside was not compromised, with a sniper or so just waiting for them to break cover….many real possibilities all of which tend to mean you generally stay where you are at least relatively safe.

    Interest include 6mm WW2, 6mm SciFi, 30mm Old West, DropFleet, Warlords Exterminate and others!

    #72402
    paintpig
    Participant

    a covered withdrawal route to the rear

    I guess it would seem unusual that they would not at least try/start to make their way out of the said tricky sitchiayshun

    I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel
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    #72403
    Patrice
    Participant

    ps – and of course in “real life” they probably wouldn’t be sure that the route outside was not compromised, with a sniper or so just waiting for them to break cover….many real possibilities all of which tend to mean you generally stay where you are at least relatively safe.

    That’s what I think too. If they have MG bullets whizzing around their heads it’s difficult for them to have a clear look around them to consider the withdrawal route.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
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    #72404
    MartinR
    Participant

    One of my pals who trains people in this stuff in real life suggest in his notes on ‘Wargaming for the Modern Infantry Officer’ that suppressed subunits can usually crawl away to safety unless the weight of fire is so heavy that any movement at all runs the risk of being killed.

    Given that the chaps have a covered withdrawal route, then yes, they can probably crawl away. Ground is very crinkly, and it is very hard to hit people with bullets who are hiding in the crinkles.

    Which also why so many infantry assaults arrived to find the enemy position unoccupied apart from a few wounded/KIA. Cutting off the escape routes before the assault goes in is a way of stopping this, but such wide flanking is exhausting, difficult and dangerous in real life.

     

     

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

    #72407
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    One of my pals who trains people in this stuff in real life suggest in his notes on ‘Wargaming for the Modern Infantry Officer’ that suppressed subunits can usually crawl away to safety unless the weight of fire is so heavy that any movement at all runs the risk of being killed. Given that the chaps have a covered withdrawal route, then yes, they can probably crawl away. Ground is very crinkly, and it is very hard to hit people with bullets who are hiding in the crinkles. Which also why so many infantry assaults arrived to find the enemy position unoccupied apart from a few wounded/KIA. Cutting off the escape routes before the assault goes in is a way of stopping this, but such wide flanking is exhausting, difficult and dangerous in real life.

    ^ that, and it’s easier to pop smoke to cover a withdrawl than an advance.

    Until/unless the attacker deploys overwhelming numbers, or artillery or aircraft, the defender usually has a significant advantage anyway, especially in a prepared position.

    There were some vids on YouTube of WWII Wehrmacht infantry small unit tactics, both in attack and defence. Some were made by the US Army. Might be something useful there if you care to look.

    "I'm not signing that"

    #72431
    John D Salt
    Participant

    This seems to be the direction Phil Barker’s thinking developed in later sets.

    This line of rules went through five versions:

    War Games Rules, Armour & Infantry 1925-1950 (Jun 1973)
    War Games Rules, Armour & Infantry 1950-1975 (Jan 1974)
    Wargames Rules for Armoured Warfare at Company and Battalion Battlegroup Level, 1950 to 1985 (Jun 1979)
    Wargames Rules for All Arms Land Warfare from Platoon to Battalion Level, 1925-1950 (Jun 1988)
    Wargames Rules for All Arms Land Warfare from Platoon to Battalion Level, 1950-2000 (Jan 1993)

    In the 1973 and 1974 rules:
    “A neutralised element will not attempt to fire or move during its next bound, except that cavalry, or infantry riding in soft vehicles or on top of AFV must dismount and may complete their normal move provided they do not move nearer to a located enemy.”

    In the 1979 rules, the term “neutralisation” is changed to “suppression”, and its effetcs become milder:
    “Troops on foot who become suppressed cannot join in suppressive fire, and the effect of their aimed fire is reduced. They can retreat if in a building or vegetation, otherwise they remain halted. Engineering work takes twice as long.”

    In the 1988 and 1993 rules, both terms are used, with “neutralisation” being the stronger form of “suppression”, lasting for a while after the fire lifts (in accordance with Canadian artillery terminology):
    “Troops on foot who are suppressed have their fire effect reduced and immediately change temporarily into HOLD or DASH unless already in those modes, affecting subsequent shots at them that bound.”
    “A neutralised element must immediately change temporarily to HOLD mode and cannot shoot or communicate.”

    Since DASH mode cannot be used in successive turns, it would seem sensible for a suppressed element to use it to get to cover, and when used as an “exigency mode” the rules say it can be used “only in retirement”.

    I spent quite a lot of my first two years in the TA providing enemy for our battalion’s rifle companies on exercise. Often we would take a few pot-shots at the other side, and then leg it back to our next fire position, so that the rifle companies had lots of exercise and had to get pretty slick at putting in section or platoon attacks if they wanted to catch us. I discovered that, under most sets of wargames rules, playing “tip and run” like this is almost impossible, because the sequence of play often makes it impossible to get away without being pinned in place by (often astonishingly quick and well-directed) return fire, no matter how careful you were about picking a fire position with covered escape routes. This struck me as rather unconvincing. I think the development of his rules over time suggests that Phil Barker would agree. Letting neutralised elements withdraw under cover seems a very sensible house rule to me. You might still want to enforce the rule (in the 1973 and 1974 sets) that elements of a platoon with a neutralised platoon HQ cannot move, and it might make sense to say that elements neutralised by indirect aea fire cannot make such withdrawals unless under overhead cover.

    There’s also the point that practically everyone’s doctrine for prepared defence incorporates the use of first and second alternate positions (that is, different positions covering the same approach — if it covers a different approach, it’s a subsidiary position). There seems little point in such things if it is effectively impossible to move between them once the shooting starts.

    All the best,

    John.

    #72436
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Wargames Rules for Armoured Warfare at Company and Battalion Battlegroup Level, 1950 to 1975 (Jun 1979) 

    Off topic, but the best of the bunch of WRG ‘Modern’ rules IMO. The early sets needed a tad more development, and the later sets fell foul of the Curse of Barker that afflicted  WRG in the late 80s. see also Ancients 7th.

     

    "I'm not signing that"

    #72441
    Les Hammond
    Participant

    I let my suppressed infantry ‘melt away’ if the situation allows it, for example in a building under heavy fire why wouldn’t they leg it out of the back door and into a forest at no risk to themselves?

    Notwithstanding suicidal hold orders, it’s got to be better than staying put, being repeatedly suppressed & then overrun.

    Suppressed in the open, however, I also allow a crawl towards a safer position away from attackers. Seems reasonable.

    6mm France 1940

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    #72605
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Thanks very much for all of your comments, all really useful.

    I am beginning to feel I am treading the same path as Phil Barker in slow time!  I think someone must be telling me to buy the later edition of the rules…

    Again, many thanks

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #72608
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I find myself having a good deal sympathy with Not Connard Sage’s remarks — the most recent WRG rules in this line were very clever, but there was a lot to be said for the old WRG reaction test. It might be quite fun to try to write the “missing” set in the series, the WW2 equivalent of the second “modern” set, which I suppose would be called “Wargames Rules for Armoured Warfare at Company and Battalion Level, 1925 to 1950”. The existing armour classes already specify where to put WW2 vehicles such as Sexton, Sherman and Comet, so it should be fairly obvious where to fit in earlier vehicles. Light mortars and PIATs are already included. Artillery calibres don’t change much over half a century. All you’d really need to do is add anti-tank rifles, perhaps add an SMG-only group for the Russians, refine the categories of small guns (88mm and smaller) to give appropriate detail for WW2, and ignore all the rules you don’t need, mostly about guided missiles. A cheating person might even lift a lot of these refinements direct from the later-edition WW2 rules.

    All the best,

    John.

    #72614
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I find myself having a good deal sympathy with Not Connard Sage’s remarks — the most recent WRG rules in this line were very clever, but there was a lot to be said for the old WRG reaction test. It might be quite fun to try to write the “missing” set in the series, the WW2 equivalent of the second “modern” set, which I suppose would be called “Wargames Rules for Armoured Warfare at Company and Battalion Level, 1925 to 1950”. The existing armour classes already specify where to put WW2 vehicles such as Sexton, Sherman and Comet, so it should be fairly obvious where to fit in earlier vehicles. Light mortars and PIATs are already included. Artillery calibres don’t change much over half a century. All you’d really need to do is add anti-tank rifles, perhaps add an SMG-only group for the Russans, refine the categories of small guns (88mm and smaller) to give appropriate detail for WW2, and ignore all the rules you don’t need, mostly about guided missiles. A cheating person might even lift a lot of these refinements direct from the later-edition WW2 rules. All the best, John.

     

    I found the AFV armour and gun classes and infantry organisations from the 1988 WWII set useful. Not brilliant, but at least they gave a starting point. The body of the rules, meh.

    "I'm not signing that"

    #72639
    Shaun Travers
    Participant

    I have had the same thought as John – use the 1979 edition Modern rules for WW2. Way back in the early 80s I used the rules for some modern games and seem to remember I liked them, although that is through 35 years of nostalgia (I am in denial but like to believe I would still like Tractics for instance). Over the last few years I have read the rules with a inkling to play WW2 with them, but have never got further than reading.

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