Home Forums Sci Fi 6mm Sci-Fi The defence of reactor 7: A FiveCore Company Command AAR

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  • #14724
    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    My first outing with my Lovely 3mm minis, trying out a new rule-set no less!

    FiveCore: Company Command is a stand-alone Company-level rule-set, based around NWG’s FiveCore mechanic. Fast and easy without being too simplistic.

    A small bit talking about the rules, and then on to be battle-report.


    The full AAR on the blog:  http://lasersandbroadswords.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-defence-of-reactor-7-fivecore.html

    Hope you like it!

    (PS. I’m not affiliated with NWG, just a fan of their products!)

    #14728
    Rules Junkie JimRules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    I bought these rules last week, and I can’t wait to get the time to try them out… flippin’ “holidays”!! I’d been sussing out what I have suitably based in 1/300, but 1/600 looks good. I hadn’t realise the Fivecore supplements were applicable to the company rules… money could be spent this night.

    I like the design philosophy of NWG rules. I’d got NEIS, but they were a bit complex for me (I know they’re not exactly complicated, but I’m very simple), the Company Command rules are spot on. I smiled at the suggestion in the rules that a cuppa might be necessary before you read on in the “vehicles” section, but when I’d thought through the possibilities for tank-on-tank engagements I think they’ll work well.

    Thanks for the AAR!

    #14762
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    I was trying to cover all bases, since the 5core crowd tend to like their stuff very quick and simple 🙂

    The one possible quirk is that I may have made anti-tank fire a tad too weak. If you get cranky the tanks aren’t blowing up, add another Kill die and watch them go!

     

    Thanks for buying, let me know if there’s questions!

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #14770
    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    Thank you for the kind words!

    I really enjoy the various NWG titles, but Five Parsecs is still my favorite 🙂

    #14775
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    Frontier Commander?

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #14776
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Alex,

    Sci-Fi is not really my thing, but I love seeing someone else playing 5Core CC, as well as the 3mm stuff.  I think you gave a fantastic review of the rules, and I totally agree with all your points.  I’ve got quite a bit of 3mm stuff lying around, but never seem to get to it (buying a boatload of 6mm stuff didn’t help that cause), but it always looks so charming, and I find myself perusing PicoArmor’s website, almost purchasing something then realizing I already have it in 6 or 10mm…  How long did your fight take?  I’ve played 12 games so far, and the average has been an hour, longest an hour and  a half, shortest 40 minutes.  For me, that’s a another on the plus side for the rules.

    Regarding Ivan’s: “The one possible quirk is that I may have made anti-tank fire a tad too weak. If you get cranky the tanks aren’t blowing up, add another Kill die and watch them go!”

    That’s what I do, and it’s I’ve got burning tanks as far as the eye can see!  Makes the game play faster 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #14806
    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    @Just Jack:  The great thing about the rules is that they are historical, yet I managed to play a convincingly “sci-fy-y” game with them anyway 🙂

    Thank you for your kind words, I try to give as fair and unbiased reviews as I can, knowing there is no such thing as truly unbiased, if that makes any sense :p

    There are too many great toys out there, I agree! I currently have  3mm, 6mm and 15mm projects running, sci-fi and fantasy both just to make it interesting..  My solution is usually to buy them all, 3mm is so cheap anyway, and I can use most 6mm buildings I own too, so thats a big plus!

     

    The game took about 90 minutes, mostly because I spent so many actions on the tanks trying to kill each other, while what they were actually doing was nothing of the sort. I take unhealthy amounts of pics as well, which adds some time too.. And sorting them out afterwards is always a nightmare..

    I will most certainly try the “panzer-quick-kill” approch to armor next game, just to see if I can’t fit a few more tanks in then as well!

     

    @Ivan: Frontier commander sounds like a good name for the sci-fi supplement. I would like to request rules for power armor and mechs too, pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top?

    #14863
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I like your 3mm stuff—I’m considering buying some of 1980s moderns (probably the only way I’d do Cold War stuff in miniature—I want the look of armored forces dragging their logistical trains behind them).

    #14869
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Alex,

    Indeed, another aspect of the beauty of the rules is their flexibility; I hear Ivan’s even working on a naval adaptation 😉

    And I know what you mean: I can’t be unbiased about the rules, I like them too much.  Now the author…

    Too many toys, so little time.  I’m currently torturing myself over a tremendous amount of lead on e-bay that I really don’t need but really would like to have, for way too much money.  Can I hold off?  History says probably not…

    And I’m with you, I use the same trees and buildings (mostly) for 3 and 6mm, and it works great for me.

    I think 90 minutes is still pretty good in the overall scheme of things.  I’ve become a master of playing a turn, snapping a photo, then scribbling some notes I won’t be able to read later, then rolling my next activation.  The “panzer-quick-kill” approach does help with time, it makes the fast-play rules even faster.  And I’ve (once again) modified the rules a bit for tank-vs tank:

    This is just based on my own perception of tank fights, but I think it’s very quick, the first shot wins, the won with the initiative gets the first shot, and if that first shot misses, the return fire probably does the job.  So, first thing is, I’m not too concerned with Guard Fire in tank-vs tank engagements, as I want the side with initiative to do what they do in real life, dictate the pace and course of battle.  So I have no problem with a tank sitting there taking a minute to spot and figure things out while an enemy tank (with the initiative) dashes into its arc of view, halts, and fires.  If the sitting tank survives that round (in good morale order or pinned, but not ‘man down’ or ‘hunker’), I let him return fire for free, and then fire (or move/fire, fire/move) in his own turn (if activated).

    Now, as always, it’s not that cut and dry; if I have a tactical situation in which the activated unit is moving up and not aware of enemy armor on the field, then I’ll probably let the ‘sitting’ tank (and certainly ATGs) Guard Fire.  But that brings up one more change to the rules I’m playing: when conducting anti-tank fire in Guard Fire, I allow kill dice AND shock dice to be thrown, not just shock dice.  I play the rules as written for infantry (shock dice only for Guard, kill dice only for Snap), but for anti-tank fire I believe there should be a chance to knock the tank out.

    And I keep visiting Pico Armor’s site; “oh, but I don’t really need that…”

    V/R,
    Jack

    #14874
    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    @nathaniel: Thanks! I can’t recommend O8 enough, his stuff is great! he makes lots of cold war-era tanks and such as well 😉

     

    @Jack:  The beauty of 3mm gaming is that you can afford it even if you don’t need it, that’s how I got started..

    I like that houserule, I also prefer armored units to wreak each other fairly quickly. I think I might try it next time, with more vehicles of course!

    #14896
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    Anti-tank reaction fire is Kill dice only yo. Page 27.  🙂

     

    There could be a lot of sense to handling it something like this:

    Anti-tank gun facing towards the moving tank? AT gun fires first.

    Any tank or AT gun facing away? Moving tank fires first.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #14902
    Rules Junkie JimRules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    “another aspect of the beauty of the rules is their flexibility”

    Yeah, I’ve been thinking while reading through the rules that there are plenty of ways to add granularity to the system without making it more complicated. For example, although the rules don’t particularly distinguish between training levels, if you want to include a difference you could say poor quality rifle sections only get their 1 kill die if the target is within 12″ (or 6″ or whatever). Or perhaps they get a kill die, but 6s don’t count. You could do something similar for tank engagements perhaps… dunno, I’ll work it out when I finally get a game or two, perhaps now I’m heading back to work I’ll get the time

    #14903
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    You can mess with that stuff a lot, to get it the way you want it, for a particular scenario.

    My method is generally to give an extra activation per turn to the superior side, if need be (say, SWAT vs regular criminals).

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #14904
    Rules Junkie JimRules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    Oh, I forgot to ask: Ivan, in the mortar/artillery rules it mentions counting up the numbers of bases in the effected areas and rolling that number of shock (and kill for artillery) dice – I assume that means one dice is applied per stand? Cheers!

    #14905
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    I do it by rolling the dice all at once, then just assigning results to the stands nearest to the centre of the blast. So if you roll a Bail and nothing else, the stand closest to centre Bails.

    You could roll separately for each stand and it’d be fine too but it takes longer and we never found the extra time was worth it.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #14906
    Rules Junkie JimRules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    Gotcha, that makes sense, thanks!

    #14915
    Just Jack
    Participant

    See what I mean about not liking the author?  He’s always popping in to correct me when I screw up the rules 😉

    Sorry, I admit to still confusing myself sometimes between 5MIN and Company Commander; I’ll be damned if I’m going to admit my reading comprehension problems to you guys…

    Alex – “The beauty of 3mm gaming is that you can afford it even if you don’t need it, that’s how I got started..”
    The bad news is that I don’t need to; I just put out a 2nd mortgage on my house AND a year’s pay, but I’ve got about 180 MBTs, 100 APCs, and various recon, air defense, helos, etcc…, in 6mm, winging its way to me as we speak.  My willpower didn’t even hold a full 24 hours…

    Ivan – “I do it by rolling the dice all at once, then just assigning results to the stands nearest to the centre of the blast. So if you roll a Bail and nothing else, the stand closest to centre Bails.”  Amen brother, more beauty in the rules.  Simple, quick, common sense.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #14916
    Just Jack
    Participant

    See what I mean about not liking the author?  He’s always popping in to correct me when I screw up the rules 😉

    Sorry, I admit to still confusing myself sometimes between 5MIN and Company Commander; I’ll be damned if I’m going to admit my reading comprehension problems to you guys…

    Alex – “The beauty of 3mm gaming is that you can afford it even if you don’t need it, that’s how I got started..”
    The bad news is that I don’t need to; I just put out a 2nd mortgage on my house AND a year’s pay, but I’ve got about 180 MBTs, 100 APCs, and various recon, air defense, helos, etcc…, in 6mm, winging its way to me as we speak.  My willpower didn’t even hold a full 24 hours…

    Ivan – “I do it by rolling the dice all at once, then just assigning results to the stands nearest to the centre of the blast. So if you roll a Bail and nothing else, the stand closest to centre Bails.”  Amen brother, more beauty in the rules.  Simple, quick, common sense.

    All the 6mm stuff I already have, plus what I just bought, now I’m thinking about putting them on platoon bases (3 vehicles per).  Hello, Battalion (or brigade) Commander, anyone?

    V/R,
    Jack

    #14934
    Rules Junkie JimRules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    JJ: I’d been thinking along the same lines, the rules should work for 1 base = 1 platoon with hardly any modification. Perhaps limiting the distance small arms can fire, depending on the size of the gaming area?

    #14949
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Jim,

    We’re on the same page buddy!  I was even just pondering company/battery-sized stands.  Nine ‘line’ companies and three support (arty batteries, recon, etc…) would be a pretty much full-strength brigade.  For me, playing in 6mm on a 3′ x 3′ with multi-based units, might just be all-right.

    I agree with you on the point of moving up in echelon requiring a decrease in weapons ranges.  I haven’t put it on the table yet, but maybe arty range is 18″, tanks 8″, infantry weapons 6″ (maybe make them the same to keep life simple?).  Treat ATGMs just like the special troops they are in the rules currently, mortars and HMGs too, I think.

    I’ve long been looking for a simple game to play divison-sized actions; maybe battalion-sized stands?  The rules are perfect for adaptation; the mind boggles.  Definitely more to come on this.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #14951
    Rules Junkie JimRules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    Jack, when I first read your post I thought “ah, he’s getting carried away….battalion sized stands?!?”. But while making a cup of tea I had second thoughts… there’s no reason I can see why the game mechanics wouldn’t work with division-sized battles. Shouldn’t have doubted you really, after all you’ve got a few games under your belt whilst I’ve still to start playing!

    You’ve actually reminded me of an idea I’d given up on: I love “Triumph of the Will” by Too Fat Lardies, a game that’s aimed at 1920s and 30s brigade-sized battles where each infantry unit is a company. One of the reasons I liked them was the scale, so I’d tried to think of a way of shoehorning them into the modern era, but found it impossible. Fivecore CC might be the perfect alternative. Yeah, my mind’s boggling too

     

    #14955
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    Platoons would probably work without too much trouble. The ranges suggested above seem fine to me.

    Actually, the combat mechanics as written would probably do fine for company-stands. After all, it takes a lot of punishment to put a company out of action completely, while they’d be more likely to be driven off.

    Certainly need to reduce the ranges. Maybe have them only roll Kill dice at fairly short range?

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #14957
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    Also, you people are crazy but in the good way 🙂

    I guess you’d have to figure out air power and large scale support as the scale goes up.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #15012
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Jim – No sweat, I’m always getting carried away, but that don’t mean it won’t work! 😉  I think it definitely has merit.  I have Triumph of the Will also; I loved the idea of it (and the time period as well), but it just didn’t seem to work for me either.

    Ivan – I’m telling ya, platoon, company, even battalion bases will work using the same basic mechanisms.  Just a little tinkering to tighten thing up is all it needs.  For example, I was thinking (at least for company or battalion bases) having arty on board, basically treat like the current light mortars, and re-do the random events, and make one of them air support.  At least fixed wing; I’ve been toying in my head with having rotary attack on table and treat essentially like a flying tank.

    I know that’s going to make some folks’ head explode, and I hope it doesn’t lead anyone to think the rules unserious.  My point is simply that (I believe) gamers too often focus on ‘flavor’ and not enough on capability.  It’s like the constant debates on special forces you see on the internet, about how unit ‘x’ is the baddest of the bad, then inevitably someone asks something along the lines of “why doesn’t ‘y’ military train all its soldiers to ‘x’ unit’s standards?”

    They entirely miss the point of why special forces and regular forces exist: capability, i.e., the fact that this unit gives commander a, b, and c capabilities, while that unit gives the commander d, e, and f capabilities.  You wouldn’t send the SF guys to hold a ridgeline against an armored battalion attack, and you wouldn’t send an ATGM unit to conduct an in-extremis hostage rescue; different capabilities, both needed (depending on the mission profile).

    I’ve rambled quite a bit, but my point is that commanders (and in terms of company bases and battalion bases, we would be brigade or division commanders, respectively) think in terms of capabilities and operational considerations.  If you’re a WarPac commander, you have T-72s and Mi-24s; they have the same operational capabilities, but different operational considerations (ATGM vs SAM/AAA threat, terrain, weather, etc…, but a FARP is a FARP, whether for tanks or helos, in the overall scheme of things).  So, when you get to a high enough echelon in gaming, I’d submit there’s not a lot of difference between a company of main battle tanks and an aviation company of attack helicopters.  The first will be less lethal but have more endurance, the latter the opposite, and they face different threat environments, which, from the commander’s standpoint, would probably be the big decision point, i.e., “I really want to use my helos, but since we can’t mitigate the enemy’s AA threat, I’m going to have to go with the heavy package (assuming helos were part of the ‘light’ package, i.e., less troops in that particular battlespace).”

    And I know I haven’t sent you the naval stuff I was supposed to, but that’s no reason you shouldn’t have been working on some aircraft rules (I know you like sci-fi better than historical, so write some spaceship stuff and I’ll tinker backwards from there) 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #15055
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    Actually, from what I can tell, most spaceship games basically ARE naval games (in spaaaaaace!) so you might be closer to the truth there than you expected 🙂

    Now you got me thinking about how to handle fast air assets and whatnot. Roll 1 Kill die if the air asset tries to carry out a mission within range of unsuppressed AA units, “knock down” air units rally off table.

    You’d need to assign ranges for everything, especially if it goes up to platoon or company stands. If the stands were companies, we’re playing what? Brigade commanders?

    I think I mentioned elsewhere that at that scale, you could even do something interesting things. Insurgents and spec ops guys aren’t combat units, they’re area effects that will slow down your movement until they are cleared out. Para drops might become a thing too.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #15087
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Interesting about naval/space flight games.  But don’t forget we still need WWII and beyond air combat rules (or at least I do 😉 )

    I like your suggestion for fixed wing, and I think coming up with ranges isn’t that big a deal.  Company bases = Brigade Commander, four infantry companies or 3-4 armor companies is a battalion, three ‘same’ battalions is a regiment, a mix of 2-4 battalions (armor, mech, inf) is a brigade.  The only issue I’ve ever come across that was problematic with company stands is weapons companies, in which you have MGs and maybe recoiless rifles (direct fire weapons) and mortars (indirect fire weapons).  But maybe you just treat them as ‘specialty figures’ which get attached to the rifle companies, which isn’t real far off from what happens in real life, though not as granular.

    Also interesting about SF (in irregular warfare role) and insurgents; you could also make it a random event (“ambush”).  Paratroops and helo assault would be fantastic.  See how fun and easy this is!?

    V/R,
    Jack

    #15097
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    Presumably if the stands are companies, you’d just have a general “heavy weapons company” though I do like your idea of making them specialist attachments.

    Maybe recon elements would work in a similar (as attachments). I have this vague idea about being able to “send out” recon elements, forcing enemy units to stop moving upon coming within a certain distance of recon units or allowing extra reaction fire when within recon range or…something.

     

    So …platoon stands or company stands? Platoon stands is how Command Decision works from memory, I don’t know if anyone does companies.

    The only concern at Brigade/Regiment level is that you start to get a LOT of additional support elements.

    Soviet motor rifle regiment has 3 infantry battalions, 1 tank battalion, 1 arty battalion, 1 AT battery, 1 AA battery, 1 recon company, 1 engineer company plus assorted other weirdness (including a music band of 16 men+officer, obviously vital for the war effort), according to Isby.

    Some of those might be abstracted or be made into specialist stands but it’s still looking like on the uncomfortable side of 15 elements.

    Of course, that’s at full, book strength and we both aren’t big fans of those 🙂

    Thoughts?

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #15156
    Thaddeus BlanchetteThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    This is a great AAR and I love your figs! I am now thinking of buying company commander myself.

    For my vote, make stands companies and call it Kampfgruppe Command or  Combat Command. There are very few brigade -division level hames on the marker.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #15157
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    I’m leaning towards company stands but the jury is still out.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #15166
    Rules Junkie JimRules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    I’m kinda torn here. I prefer the idea of a brigade level game (and as Thaddeus points out, it’d be pretty unusual), but I think battalion level would work better with the rules as they stand.

    I think I’d like to deploy a stand of musicians though. I know from personal experience that kazoo recitals can have a severely demoralising effect, on civilians at least.

    #15175
    Just Jack
    Participant

    My vote is for company stands.  Or battalion stands 😉  But not platoon stands (that is what Command Decision does, but they have a veritable boatload of stands on the table), we need to go big here but not lose our sweet spot of 7-12 stands.  And yes, I’m in agreement with Ivan that TO/E doesn’t belong on the tabletop.  At higher echelon I tend to think of it not due to combat losses, but due to other issues (assuming company stands):

    -This company or battalion is out of the line for refitting, retraining, or R&R.
    -That battalion is out of the line as it is the local tactical reserve.
    -This company is not available as it is flank security for the brigade (off table).

    But I think we’re okay here.  I’d say you go with units (stands) that are line companies, i.e., rifle companies and tank companies (not including the command stand), and everything else is a ‘capability.’  When you talk about the others, I think you can use specialty figures:

    -the arty battalion gets broke up into, essentially, fire missions allotted to line companies, the CO, or recon elements (?).  The only issue I see here is when the enemy wants to use his air/arty for counterbattery.

    -the recon company gets broken up into specialty figures, but this is the tricky one, as they won’t be attached to line companies, but will operate ahead of them.  I haven’t thought this all the way through, but obviously one aspect of their mission is to call in supporting fires, and another would be screening, which could be modeled by delaying the enemy.  I.e., they’re not strong enough to defeat an enemy line company, but they would engage, force the enemy to deploy, then fall back, just like real life.  Of course, all that would be abstracted, but with the same effect on the tabletop.

    -engineers are a specialty figure that provide a capability, such as bridging, building/removing obstacles, etc…  Now, I have given thought to the ‘outliers,’ such as WWII German use of armored reconnaissance and engineer units as the centerpiece for mechanized battlegroup.  First, I there will always be outliers, but I think the rules are flexible enough to handle this.  Second, as an example of this flexibility, I would submit that, in terms of capability, that armored reconnaissance simply becomes a mech infantry stand with an added shock dice (for extra automatic weapons), and the armored engineers simply become a mech infantry stand with an added kill dice at very short range (for the flamethrowers and explosives).

    -air defense units are specialty figures attached directly to line units (maybe the CO, too, but only if you allow the CO to be targeted, maybe by supporting fires only?), and operate in ‘reactive fire’ situations to protect their parent unit when attacked by air assets.

    -I could see treating AT companies both ways, i.e., as stands for countries who’s doctrine was for them to fight as companies, but, more likely, as specialty figures again attached out to line units.

    -I’ll leave you guys to figure out what to do with the band.  In my experience, their combat role in high intensity operations was CASEVAC, and low intensity operations they were perimeter defense, convoy protection, and EPW handling (i.e., rear area security issues, and not to say they didn’t do that in high intensity ops as well).

    On a side note, I’d recommend mech/motor companies are represented by vehicles when mounted, by infantry when dismounted, removing the vehicles when the infantry dismount.  This will help keep the number of units on the table down, and it will also keep players from doing something that drives me insane, which is having an infantry company in trucks advance, dismount, then use the trucks as some sort of combat element…

    I know folks on the modern side may counter regarding AFVs supporting their dismounts; I’m not trying to deny this, I’m just saying include any AFV combat capability (such as ATGM) into the dismounts’ combat capability (as opposed to having the vehicles running around as a separate combat unit, which is not, so far as I know, any nation’s doctrine).  Here’s what I mean: you have a Bradley company; the Brad company has organic TOW ATGMs on their vehicles.  The company reaches close terrain, the infantry dismount and take up positions with the vehicles in support.  So, in the case of the game, while the company is moving up, have our Bradley Fighting Vehicle(s) present on the table.  It has certain stats for taking on tanks (let’s say 1K 1S at ‘x’ range).  When the Bradley’s reach their dismount point, take the vehicles off the table and replace with an infantry stand.  Now, our ‘normal’ infantry stand has an AT rating of 0k 1s at ‘y’ (short) range (to model its LAW/RPG-type weapons), but our mech infantry have a 1k 1s at ‘x’ (long) range to simulate the Brads in support (or even dismounting their ATGMs?).

    Again, I don’t know of any country that practices sending its Brads, Marders, BMPs, BTRs, etc…, off on their own mission once the infantry have been dropped off (though, as always, I could be wrong).

    And Ivan, of course you’d use a Soviet unit as the example 😉  But using what I’ve outlined above, we’re okay with units on the table.  From your MRR:
    -three MR battalions automatically become two (six stands) as the third is the regiment’s (off table) reserve.
    -the tank battalion is three stands, for a total of nine ‘line’ units and a CO (who doesn’t count for these purposes).
    -Arty, air defense, recon, engineers, and the band are specialty figures that provide additional capabilities as attachments to the line units.

    So, even if you didn’t have an MR Bn off table as the reserve, you’re still only at the ‘max’ of 12 stands.  Then, if this side is at full strength, you’ve got to figure they’re the attacker, and the defender has fewer units (that’s why the attacker chose this location for the attack).  Where this system could struggle is with incredible combat capability AND numerical differences, with the prime example being the NATO vs Warsaw Pact games.  To be honest, I’ve yet to see a game pull this off satisfactorily; some are better than others, but it’s hard to pull off.  Maybe you have a small NATO force (five units) with a significant combat advantage (2k 2s vs 1k 1s) against a huge WARPAC force (15 units); this could work, as 15 units would be very unwieldy, which is kind of what is expected, right?  The only issue is the counter that WARPAC trained to all do the same thing, so maybe you up their chances for a ‘different’ activation roll: instead of 1 and 6, on 1-2 the whole force moves but doesn’t shoot, and on 5-6 the whole force stops and shoots; in between they still get the normal 1 per 3 unit activation?  Maybe give NATO 1 per 2 unit activation on ‘normal’ rolls?

    I dunno, but the basic rules mechanisms are solid enough, and there are enough internal options to make this a lot of fun to play with.  Oh, and apologies to Mr. Wasburg, we’ve totally derailed this thread, and I didn’t mean to distract from his great battle report.

    V/R,
    Jack

     

     

    #15181
    Thaddeus BlanchetteThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    I think you could cop an idea Spearhead if we go company-sized stands and simply have motorized-mechanized troops based with their vehicles. Don’t make it too complex!

    This could end up being the DBA of moderns if we do it right.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #15182
    Thaddeus BlanchetteThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Another thing: don’t make the units “companies”, per se, but company-like elements. Roughly a company. This is what I already do with my Blitkrieg and Future War Commander rules. This way, the more flexible, better equipped and better supplied and maintained armies get 3-4 stands per battalion while “mass has a quality of its own”  armies get 2 or even occasionally one stand per battalion.

    So my NATO-esque Blue Army has battalions that are 4 stands and my Pact-style Red army has 6-8 stand battalions.

    In other words, don’t try to make one stand EXACTLY one TO&E company.

    This way you get 6 stands of infantry (3 battalions) in your MRR along with 2-3 stands of tanks, depending on unit readiness and equipment and etc.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #15183
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thad,

    I think your first idea is fantastic, I love the idea of having vehicles and infantry based together for mechanized/motorized infantry.  However, I think you could actually play it either way and not have a major effect.  I say this only because a lot of folks (myself included) like basing that’s as universal as possible, and having vehicles and infantry together is not how most rules do it.  Not to mention all the re-basing I’d have to do.  I think the rules are flexible enough to support both options.

    I need to really ponder your second idea.  At first is strikes me as not so hot, and the reason I say that is because commander’s think in terms of force structure, and that force structure is companies, not half companies, etc…  It’s like the classic conundrum of 1 tank=3 in real life, where you have three 3-tank platoons.  I’d say represent that with three tanks, as the commander is thinking in terms of platoons as maneuver elements, but a strict reading would give you four tanks for your nine ‘real-life’ vehicles.

    I really don’t like creating force structures that don’t exist, but maybe that’s just a mental hang-up I have that not everyone has, and maybe we’re saying the same thing but using different rationale.  I don’t have a problem with ‘odd-shaped’ formations, i.e., five rifle companies on the table, where a lot of guys would look at that and say, ‘how the hell did you get five?  One battalion is three, two battalions is six, how’d you get five?”  I don’t have a problem rationalizing that we have five because one was destroyed/is on flank security/is regimental reserve.  My mental hangup is saying that five is the T/O strength, when I know that five can’t be the T/O strength.  Five is two battalions minus one, or it’s one 1st Battalion (+), having been ‘plussed up’ with two rifle companies from 2nd Battalion.  I’m not sure I’m making sense, but I guess it’s just what’s locked in my head.  When you’re planning, what are my maneuver elements, what are my attachments, detachments, and supporting fires?  Those T/O line companies are the building blocks of any plan.

    Having said all that, when you look at the force structure for Company Command (it’s based on your overall situation and a die roll, and I can’t imagine Ivan’s newest set of rules would be any different 😉 ) you’ll see that you end up with (I can’t remember exactly, but let’s say) 5-10 core infantry units, so I think you may end up with the same dynamic as you’re discussing above, but that’s how you get from  a real-life T/O unit to a ‘non-standard’ force on the tabletop.

    Please forgive the ramble, hopefully it makes sense.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #15184
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    Well, to an extent, it’s always going to be “company or roughly equal”.

    An insurgent force might not be formed into platoons and companies but they’ll have a force of troops that is sizable enough to engage an enemy company on relatively even footing and that’ll be a unit in game terms.

    On the topic of APC’s, I guess there’s really a big questions here:

    For vehicles that are supposed to stick around and provide support (Bradley, BMP) would they ever operate as a completely separate element from the infantry company? I am guessing that would be a negative, certainly from the brigade commanders perspective. Hence, they aren’t a separate unit at all.

    Now, that means we need to distinguish between foot infantry, mechanized (M113) and “heavy” mech (Bradley) in fighting ability and movement rates but those are easy enough things to solve.

    The other option is to “swap out”. They either operate mounted (use your Bradley models, move fast and shoot a lot) or dismounted (replace with infantry stands, move slow and shoot a lot). When they go from one status to the other, remove one model and replace it with the other.

    More or less like cavalry in a lot of games actually.

     

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #15207
    Thaddeus BlanchetteThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    I make no claims to being an expert. But what I get out of reading military history is that most commanders at this level tend to think in terms of what’s needed to do the job versus what they have on hand.

    So yeah, Joe the brigade commander doesn’t count tanks, but he DOES (or should) have a notion of what he needs and what the units he’s ordering about have and can do. So if Captain Bob’s company is whittled down to half it’s normal size, Brigadier Joe or his immediate subordinate, battalion commander Major Steve, will attach a platoon from another company to it.

    It’s also a matter of what the relevant maneuver unit is. Armies that emulate the Germans (which would be mostly those of the West) think in terms of battalions at this scale while Pact-style armies think in terms of regiments.

    Plus, as I understand it, we want the rules to be generic enough to go from WWII to the future, so it might not be best to fix a rigid “1 stand = 1 company” scale. If you say “about one company of 10-15 vehicles”, the TO&E fetishists can happily assume it’s always a company, while the folks who are more abstract can think in terms of over all force.

    Given the way units get swapped about and used on the modern battlefield, I’m increasingly in favor of modeling TO&Es a level or two above the elements in play.

    For example, my WWII game has each stand set as a half-company of around 6-8 vehicles. Did such an element actually exist as a maneuver unit? No. It makes for better TO&E modeling at the battalion scale, however, and makes for easy modeling of mixed companies.

    It seems much more realistic, to me, to have a 1943 German tank battalion of, say, 7 tank stands, facing off against a Russian Brigade of 12 tank stands than have nine German platoons versus twenty four Russian. In other words, the battalion or regiment is treated as the TO&E organizational unit, but below that you have, basically, force markers.

     

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #15209
    Thaddeus BlanchetteThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Regarding the APC/infantry issue, IIRC, Spearhead just asumes that the unit adopts whatever formation is best for it as a target. So armored against small arms and shrapnel, soft against armored piercing.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #15248
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    So I’ve thought about it some more and to an extent, doesn’t the “What does it represent” question solve itself ? (or rather, the player solves it).

    At the most abstract, each infantry stand is a “unit”. Whether that unit is very specifically a company or it’s an amalgamation of force that corresponds to a company doesn’t really change the mechanics, that’s on the players end.

    In other words, if Jack has 5 stands and they represent 5 actual companies, and Thad has 5 stands that represent 8 actual companies (or whatever), the in-game effect is the same, right?

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #15251
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thad and Ivan – You guys are absolutely right, and I apologize as I swear I actually meant to address the “eye of the beholder, call it whatever you want issue.”  I wrote “I need to really ponder your second idea.  At first is strikes me…” and I bloviated for awhile, but never came back to the second point, which was it’s purely a semantic issue, the stands represent whatever you want them to represent.  For me they will be companies 😉

    Sorry, I just lost my train of thought and never got back around to where I wanted to end up (that’s what happens with a baby around!), hope I didn’t seem to frumpy, though I guess it makes me a T/OE fetishist 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #15253
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    I don’t think anyone was upset 🙂

    I’m going to make a check list of things we’ve talked about and things I’ve thought about, probably later tonight.

    So obviously this thing will need some testers..

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

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