Home Forums WWII Thoughts on tactical level game rules (Squad Leader scale)

Viewing 33 posts - 41 through 73 (of 73 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #146452
    madman
    Participant

    “I always used to say that miniatures wargamers will not take any of these matters seriously until there are little metal castings available representing tasks, boundaries, objectives and engagement areas. With the rise in popularity of neat plastic markers and game accessories such as those made by Litko, maybe the time is not so far off.” John, insightful as always. This may be my next 3d printing project. I can see printing unit boundaries, phase lines, and engagement areas easily.

    I have seen pictures of game play for a game I have picked up but, based on the amount of questions and answers, I am waiting for a newer living rules to be made available. Since opponents are not as abundant presently that may take a while and allow more updates to Q&As and living rules. In any case the point is in some of the pictures of the game play front lines are represented by coloured sticks (I assume 1/4″ square). Since as far as I know this is not a part of the game I assume the player(s) are using this for their own ease of game play. If being used by two players gaming through some on line method this looks like an ideal solution to assure themselves each is on the same map. So I guess that is boundaries. Engagement areas works as well but I am sorry, what is meant by phase lines? Lines of attack, movement or the push of forces as modified by the reactions of their opponents? Thank you.

    #146453
    madman
    Participant

    John

    This is big and maybe difficult to address as separate areas but I will give it a try.

    Stephen Madjanovich wrote:
    1. Command and control which requires the player to deal with an inability to do everything with perfect knowledge of the situation and your own sides performance and the enemy’s disposition and to a lesser degree their capabilities.
    2. Real world unit organizations and command structure.
    3. An easy to deal with sequence of play. (my words based on his points)
    [snips]
    I would rather find or slightly modify an existing game but like many of you I am sure I have very specific aspects I am willing to compromise on and ones I want.

    Arriving late into this thread, let me annoy everyone straight away by suggesting that the three points listed are all aspects of the same big point: Modelling command and control, henceforward C2. The real world organization and command structure exist only to support the ability of the commander to get their forces to do what they want them to do, and confirm that they have done it. The sequence of play exists only to limit the ability of the player to get their toy soldiers to do what they want them to do, which is then usually confirmed instantly, apparently by lossless telepathy.

    So the question boils down to “how do we wargame C2”?, which is not a question with a short or simple answer. However it might be helpful to keep that question in mind when looking at different sequences of play — is the turn sequence/activation scheme/set of command radii intended to model C2, or provide a game mechanism for the fun of mechanism?

    As Phil Barker points out, the function of a C2 system in a wargame is to limit the players’ freedom of action, whereas the real life one is supposed to enhance the commanders’, so they are doing approximately opposite things.

     

    I agree wholeheartedly. This conflict between real world C2 and game play C2 is perhaps the hardest part to put into livable game play. Almost all rules ignore it, and IMHO, are lesser for it. But some rules (CoH) allow all units to activate but by their use of mechanism(s) enforce a limit to how much each unit can do. While others (CoC) limit how many units may activate but again by the imposition of their rules may allow continuing activations (roll double 6s for another go). So which of the methods you choose to “live with” is based on either your interpretation of “reality” or, more likely, which provides better game play in your mind. This will affect rules choice. If there is another possibility provided by another rules system please bring it forth. Myself I kinda like the idea of every unit being able to activate but then being limited, by luck as well as opponent’s actions, to how much they can achieve in a single turn. The alternate, limited units activating, I take as a good second. Just my opinion.

     

    #146455
    madman
    Participant

    OK john

    Read the second part of your treatise and agree wholeheartedly BUT;

    1. How on earth would you implement any small part of that in a game. Even given my penchant for two platoons to a couple companies plus support I should have some form of plan in mind before the game starts (read SHOULD!). You would either have to give written orders to every platoon or squad or just assume your will and the way to handle the individual units reflects your battle plan.
    2. That was the method WRG used to impose on all it’s “WWII to modern rules” back in the day. (I only had those rules so can’t comment whether they used the same approach in any other rules). To me it was the most useless part of the game. Unless you just write the orders then give them to an umpire who interprets and performs all the actions of those units I could not see how that aspect could be played out.

    So to me a great idea which cannot be implemented in game terms. Please prove me wrong and I could see this being implemented in a computer game (since I don’t play computer games this may be a common item in some).

    #146459
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    That was the method WRG used to impose on all it’s “WWII to modern rules” back in the day. (I only had those rules so can’t comment whether they used the same approach in any other rules). To me it was the most useless part of the game. Unless you just write the orders then give them to an umpire who interprets and performs all the actions of those units I could not see how that aspect could be played out.

    Well, the problems here are those inherent in all written order systems.  But they work fine if you do them as declaratory in the manner of Black Powder.

    Alternatively, if you want to keep the surprise in, write all the orders and objective types on bits of card and keep them face-down, revealing them only when you change them (i.e. when you put down new hidden orders, your opponent gets to see the old ones – if the unit has violated its previous orders at any point, they automatically rout or surrender. This encourages a sensible caution in keeping within the confines of the orders).  I haven’t done this latter with WRG, but I have done it with other systems (notably “Schlachtenbummler” (forgive spelling!), a Richard Brooks’ set for late C19 warfare) and it works perfectly well.

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

    #146466
    madman
    Participant

    Well, the problems here are those inherent in all written order systems. But they work fine if you do them as declaratory in the manner of Black Powder.

     

    Alternatively, if you want to keep the surprise in, write all the orders and objective types on bits of card and keep them face-down, revealing them only when you change them (i.e. when you put down new hidden orders, your opponent gets to see the old ones – if the unit has violated its previous orders at any point, they automatically rout or surrender. This encourages a sensible caution in keeping within the confines of the orders). I haven’t done this latter with WRG, but I have done it with other systems (notably “Schlachtenbummler” (forgive spelling!), a Richard Brooks’ set for late C19 warfare) and it works perfectly well.

    Please elaborate. I do not know either of these rules. How, other than what you stated briefly in the second section, does this work? Thank you.

    #146469
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Written order system can be used in the following ways, although the second way depends upon having rules definitions of what each order permits.

    1. Black Powder uses a declaratory system, i.e. players declare what their units are going to do and in that system, roll to see if they can achieve it (and sometimes are allowed to do some extra exploitation stuff).  If the orders system to be followed in your game has specific meanings (i.e. ‘Move’ means certain things, ‘Attack’ means something else – WRG 1925-1950 2nd edition has these) then you are letting your opponent know that those are the limitations on your units at that time, which your opponent will hold you to.  If the rules have mechanisms for changing orders, then your opponent holds you to that, too.

    2.  If you can only give orders with specific meanings in the rules, then you make some counters with those orders written on.  You then add some more counters with things like ‘Village 01′, Point ’02’, Bridge ’03’ or whatever.  When issuing orders to units, put those counters next to the command element face down.  In principle, this kind of thing can deal with conditional orders too, depending upon your appetite for such things (or simply write out the orders on a bit of paper, if you prefer – the key thing is that once placed/written, they stay face down where both players can see them)   Whilst those counters are down, the owning player is responsible for acting in accordance with the restrictions the rules place on that activity.  When the owning player changes the orders, the previous orders are revealed and the opposing player checks that the owning player has acted within the rules.  The new orders are then placed faced down.

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

    #146470
    John D Salt
    Participant

    in some of the pictures of the game play front lines are represented by coloured sticks (I assume 1/4″ square). Since as far as I know this is not a part of the game I assume the player(s) are using this for their own ease of game play. If being used by two players gaming through some on line method this looks like an ideal solution to assure themselves each is on the same map. So I guess that is boundaries. Engagement areas works as well but I am sorry, what is meant by phase lines? Lines of attack, movement or the push of forces as modified by the reactions of their opponents?

    Since I’m the one who mentioned them, I suppose I ought to answer.

    Phase lines are the lines used to mark the limits of each phase in a plan. To take a classic example, and one you might have heard about in connection with the WW2 pundits’ sport of making rude remarks about Montgomery, the plan for the invasion of Europe involved a series of phase lines showing where the Allied armies were supposed to have got to by various times: Avranches-Domfront-Cabourg by D+20, out past St. Malo, Rennes and Falaise by D+25, St. Nazaire and Nantes by D+35, Brittany cleared by D+60 and up to the Seine by D+90. All the Monty-baggers like to complain about not taking Caen until too late, and like to skip lightly over the fact that the Allies were over the Seine and had liberated Paris by D+90.

    At the more tactical level, phases serve to divide the plan up into stages, as I had hoped my little example would illustrate. Essentially, what an element is supposed to be doing changes with each phase. Not all plans have phases; in the most recent command practice I’m aware of, they tend to be frowned on. I think this is in part a reaction to the horrible over-complication of the plan “H” Jones VC created to attack Darwin and Goose Green: I believe his ‘O’ group opened with “This will be a six-phase, night-day, silent-noisy battalion attack”, which can hardly have been welcome news to his company OCs. Similarly the withdrawal plan for Op Jubilee (the Dieppe raid) used a horribly over-complicated scheme of numerous phase lines to collapse the perimeter during withdrawal, and it would probably have been hard enough to make it work even without an enemy to interfere.

    Any wargame that lets a player change what their elements are going every turn is, essentially, letting the player execute, without penalty, a plan with a huge number of phases that in real life would produce a crippling level of complication and friction.

    Just for pickiness, I would add that front lines are not normally regarded as boundaries; rather, boundaries are the imaginary lines between friendly units that are supposed to stop them getting mixed up and interefering with each other. One of the very few rules for fratricide I have ever seen was in a WRG set that made it likely for elements to fire on friendly elements that wandered over the wrong side of a boundary. One of the things about boundaries in real life is that they risk becoming lines of weakness in a defence, when an attacker moves along a boundary and the defenders on each side have assumed that it’s the job of the blokes the other side of the boundary to deal with them. A celebrated example is that of “Dickie’s Bridge” in Normandy, where an armoured car patrol happened upon an inter-Corps boundary that was not being adequately watched, and infiltrated far beyond the front line to find and capture an intact and unoccupied bridge, now more formally known as Taurus Bridge and embellished with the charging bull insignia of 11th Armoured Division.

    Front lines, incidentally, now come in a variety of flavours, and in keeping with modern tastes each has its own distinguishing ETLA. FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area) is the term for front line, and one can distinguish the FEEP, the Forward Edge of the Enemy Position, and the FLOT, the Forward Line of Own Troops. In WW2, the FLOT would have been the line of forward defended localities (FDLs).

    All the best,

    John.

    #146471
    John D Salt
    Participant

    How on earth would you implement any small part of that in a game. Even given my penchant for two platoons to a couple companies plus support I should have some form of plan in mind before the game starts (read SHOULD!). You would either have to give written orders to every platoon or squad or just assume your will and the way to handle the individual units reflects your battle plan.

    A company commander has to give orders to his platoons, and I think that would be the appropriate level for a game covering a company or two a side. The orders are unlikely to be especially complicated, and I would hope can be handled by a fairly limited vocabulary of orders in the game. Really at this level there’s probably not a lot most elements would do other than observe, shoot, move, communicate, and reorganize. I haven’t played Frank Chadwick’s “Command Decision”, but he uses a scheme or orders chits, which players place face-down by each element, each turn. So, if I recall aright, does Buck Surdu’s splendid BAPS, which is a tactical level or two lower. AIUI the player can change the orders chits each turn; my idea would be to limit the extent to which this is possible. It makes sense to me to give an order to an element, which it continues to try to fulfil until the order changes. One could use a scheme of PIPs or similar to limit the number of orders a commander can change each turn. Another idea would be to construct a plan by giving an element a stack of orders chits to execute in sequence. I’ve never seen this in an historical wargame, but it is the basis of the boardgame “Robo-rally”, and is the sort of thing computer programmers have been trained to be good at, but other people find quite hard.

    That was the method WRG used to impose on all it’s “WWII to modern rules” back in the day. (I only had those rules so can’t comment whether they used the same approach in any other rules). To me it was the most useless part of the game. Unless you just write the orders then give them to an umpire who interprets and performs all the actions of those units I could not see how that aspect could be played out.

    So to me a great idea which cannot be implemented in game terms. Please prove me wrong and I could see this being implemented in a computer game (since I don’t play computer games this may be a common item in some).

    Anything that can be implemented in a computer game can be done manually, it’s just that it might be a lot of effort.

    One idea I like is, instead of giving your orders to an umpire to carry out, give them to your opponent. Obviously this isn’t going to work with competition gamers, but I’ve never played a competition game in my life, so it doesn’t really worry me. Then again, I quite like the idea of the players writing a tactical plan and then passing both plans to a computer for adjudication. In my imaginings a 3-D animation of some of the more ludicrous incidents in the resulting battle would be presented in hi-res graphics while the players howl “NOOoooo! I didn’t mean them to do THAT!”, while the machine conducts a thousand runs of the battle using different pseudo-random number streams and prints the aggregated results as a pie-chart of decisive and marginal wins and draws. Hard to blame bad dice when your plan loses 832 fights out of a thousand.

    Although it is no longer the fashion, there was a time when simultaneous written orders each turn was a perfectly normal way of playing wargames (and some people tried to reserve the term “miniature warfare” for those wargames that used a stated ground and troop scale and simultaneous written orders, in a vain attempt to make it sound more grown up). SPI published a whole bunch of tactical games using their SiMov system, and while people might not like it, you can’t say it didn’t work. If you can write an order for one turn, why can’t you write an order for more than one? Indeed, any tactical game that involves an artillery fireplan is pretty much going to require players to write a plan for the whole game in advance. Which is no dount another reason why so few tactical games include a sensible treatment of artillery.

    Another of the things that I think militates against more interesting approaches to C2 modelling is the lamentable wargamerism of fighting most battles by lining troops up along their respective baselines and mutually advancing on the enemy. This is a perfectly reasonable way of doing what I would call “battlegaming”, wargaming in any historical period when formal battles were fought in this way, which is pretty much any time up to the invention of the magazine rifle and dull-coloured uniforms. Since then, it is much more likely that, instead of a meeting engagement, one side will be attacking, and the other will be defending. If one assumes an attacker/defender game, I think the problem of modelling C2 would become a lot easier.

    For the defender, a lot of the planning would be implicit in their selection of emplacements, obstacles, fields of fire, and which elements to hold in reserve. The fire plan would consist of a number of DF tasks, for MGs and mortars as well as artillery, and the rest of their plan could probably be characterised by a simple policy statement on when to open fire (placing an open-fire line of coloured wool on the table might give the enemy too much information), and for those parts of the defence intended to withdraw, their withdrawal route and the signal to withdraw. Decisions on when to commit reserves for counter-attack could probably be left to the player, but they should be able to demonstrate that they could in real life know the information on which they were making their decision — no releasing the reserves to counterattack an enemy you haven’t seen yet.

    For the attacker, a fire programme would have to be written, and there seems to be no escape from that. There should also be a plan of which elements attack which positions in which phase, which I don’t think needs to be frightfully complicated. Moreover, once the defending player is committed to the defence plan, the attacker can place his objectives, targets, final assault positions, rally points, phase lines and all the rest of it directly on the table. The defender will be able to see them all, which means knowing a lot more than would be possible in real life, but, having committed to a written plan, can no longer act on that information. The attacker has to do a lot more planning than the defender, but less writing, as their plan can be shown largely as control measures placed directly on the table top. Once the game starts, the defender will act as a plumpire, revealing concealed defenders or obstacles as the attacker encounters them, and firing DF tasks when they are triggered. I would hope that the fact the attacker can’t see most of the defensive layout until it is revealed, and that the defender can see everything but mostly can’t act on it, would also make the problems of spotting and recce less difficult to hande than they are in a meeting engagement.

    I suppose I really ought to write a game along these lines and take it to COW. A game I have taken to COW, which I can’t imagine most wargamers enjoying much, was called “I have a cunning plan”, and was, you will be unstartled to know, all about planning. The players represented the staff of an armoured infantry battle group, and their job, during the course of the game, was to produce planning products very like those that a real BG staff would produce — the BG Engr and IO did the battlefield area analysis and produced a go/no-go overlay, the attached gunner produced a fire plan, the logisitics officer made dumping and resupply plans, the COS with contributions from everyone else produced the decision support overlay and scheme of maneouvre and synchro matrix. These were all lovingly drawn in doctrinally-correct colours and shapes from the APP-6A manual. The game materials were OS maps, transparent plastic overlays, reference handbooks and coloured pens — not a model soldier or toy tank in sight. The old WW1 saying has it “Bread is the staff of life, and the life of the staff is one long loaf”, but the game kept most of the participants very busy, adele penguin on amphetamines busy, producing a simple plan for an entirely straightforward action that a normal wargamer would have laughed at for its triviality. Just like a real BG planning exercise, there was a certain amount of fighting over the coloured pens. The game ended with the COS — Martin R, I believe it was — explaining the orders, with a rather bemused-looking CO (whose attempts at interfering with his staff’s planning efforts had been sternly rebuffed by them) looking on. I still remember the collective sharp intake of breath when Martin (or was it Jonathan Crowe?) said “Hang on — I’ve just thought of something”, but luckily they decided not to completely revise the entire plan at three minutes before orders.

    More fun for most people would be Omega Games’ splendid solitaire game “Ranger”. This uses a map and a chinagraph pencil for the player to make a plan on, and executes the plan by means of a programmed-paragraph booklet. It’s more like real infanteering than any other wargame I’ve played, even if it doesn’t smell of wet 58 webbing.

    I’m sure there’s plenty more to be said, and vastly more about how these sorts of ideas might be applied to air and naval wargaming, but I’ll shut up for now.

    All the best,

    John.

    #146485
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    A mechanism which I tried once went like this:

    A wargames table was set up in the usual fashion, with six chaps playing a 1980s cold war gone hot game.

    There were two tables set up upstairs for three wargamers a side, each with a hand drawn map of the table.  They wrote orders to the people down below.

    The orders would be taken downstairs where the chaps playing the game would play their first turn, then they would have one minute to report to their CO.   They could only exercise initiative based on the experiences of each and all of the three or four subunits they controlled, and within their orders.

     

    The two umpires would rush upstairs whilst the chaps below were playing their next turn and deliver the reports and collect the orders immediately.

     

    There were also two lonely CinCs, each with their own table and reports and fire mission requests from their three subordinates.

     

    So, everyne was talking one turn late and receiving two turns late.

     

    I would have liked to develop the idea further, but everyone got pissed off that they didn’t know what was going on.

    #146486
    Chris Helm
    Participant

    Hi Stephen,

    I was interested to see you remark in your opening post that you’d tried Nordic Weasel’s ‘No End in Sight’ but that they’d failed to satisfy the ground rules that you’d set out in the first couple of paragraphs.

    I’m a fan of Ivan Sorensen’s rules, in the main, and I think it’s perhaps unfortunate that you picked NEiS because you’re quite right, that ruleset definitely leans towards the lower end of the operational level you’re interested in.  It’s much more the ‘platoon of individuals, grouped into squads’ than the ‘company of platoons, built up from squads’.  The result is that the rules aren’t so elegant as most other rulesets in the Nordic Weasel canon, particularly the sets built around the FiveCore mechanisms.  (*Actually I ‘d say NEiS is much ‘fussier’ than Ivan’s other rules but that maybe that’s being too harsh.)  Also NEiS is, I believe, one of Ivan’s earlier rulesets and I think that shows.  It’s not as tightly written and presented as the newer parts of the canon.

    If I were looking for something from NWG that would deliver what your ground rules demand, I’d pick FiveCore Company Command.  It’s pitched at the right level, with the basic units being infantry squads and heavy weapons teams of various kinds.  The command and control system is workable and entertaining.  It caters for vehicles, off table artillery and the like but they aren’t core to the game.  Units come in a limited number of different ‘flavours’, rifle squads, assault squads, engineers and so on but the rules provide for further tuning of unit capabilities by attaching ‘specialists’ here and there, such as AT teams, additional LMGs and so on.  The ‘specialists’ mechanism alone makes the rules for me, as it makes it easy to see on the table which units are differentiated and the differences are easy to remember and administer during play.  The rules also include a whole suite of supplementary sections covering everything from unusual situations and solo play to scenario generators and war generators.  And all for $7.99 on Wargames Vault.

    If you’re interested and want to take a look at some games played with this system by someone who really pushes its limits, take a look at Just Jack’s ‘BlackHawkHet‘ blog at http://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/search/label/5Core%20Company%20Command.

    I hope that’s some use to you.  Good luck with your search, I’ll follow this with interest.  And no, I’m not the NWG sales rep.  I just enjoy playing the rules and I’ve discovered that they’re more nuanced than is apparent at first.

    All the best,

    Chris

    #146490
    madman
    Participant

    John

    Post #146470 Easier this way as the quotes are getting too messy for me.

    Now I know what you mean. This is what I see on the maps in books, movies and occasionally overwritten on game boards by paint programs on photos of the game boards. Again as used not very implementable but a good aid to games as described by grizzlymc if you could get that many guys playing again.

    #146491
    madman
    Participant

    John

    post #146471

    As I understood the need to write orders made them complex enough that the application to a game table would be unworkable. Just the levels of detail and specifics. If you just reduce that to nothing more than fire, move, fall back or hold without the need to state targets, locations, time requirements etc. then all this becomes more plausible in game terms. Yaquinto’s Panzer, and others in the series, originally had you writing orders for each unit but they were only about this level (3 or four basic choices without specifying details). The update has replaced this with counters placed beside the unit.

    I like keeping the chits at platoon level. Then the platoon needs to fulfill the order but has flexibility as to how when where. Again as long as the orders don’t get too involved. Changing from one chit to the next would be an action forcing the platoon to hold for some small period of time to receive and verify changes. This level i can see and would be willing to attempt. BUT would the company commanders also be issued orders and would not these be more involved?

    The old write an order down to follow is one of the parts of Wooden Ships & Iron Men I always loved. But applied to tactical ground games or air games they fall apart IMHO. Check Your 6 (CY6) has something similar in that you have to commit to a specific action sequence every turn. If you pilot is good enough they can deviate one action sequence either side of what is written down. Wings of war (or whatever it is/was called) you pick your next three actions as cards and have to follow them, without change, until the turn ends. No flexibility at all. Don’t like.

    Troops starting on the table edge has been solved so elegantly and effectively by Chain of Command’s patrol phase. Problem solved.

    I am going to have to come by a copy of ranger. If for no other reason than to scratch this new itch!

    #146492
    madman
    Participant

    grizzlymac

    Great idea which I could never see playing. We did do double blind Air & Armour run by an obsessive gamer up here a couple years ago. That was fun for us gamer but I really wonder how much fun he had being the referee. He has tried to get another game going but between finding 6 like minded players and now the covid shutdown it may be some time, but I enjoyed myself even if I am not a fan of the game scale I had a good day. Frustrating…

    #146493
    madman
    Participant

    Chris

    I find myself adapting to many scales of play nowadays, partially to try out new or alternate things and partially since my potential opponents prefer that scale. I have Company Commander and found some aspect(s) disappointing, but don’t for the life of me remember what and may tastes may have changed with the wind or experience with other systems which also don’t address my “present” ideas. As I said I could see a few tweaks and finishing some sections which seem to have missed a final work but my opponent squashed that with the attitude that it wasn’t his job to finish the designer’s game. A point I give only if the rest of the game requires so much revision that you would be writing your own game. My biggest point was it seemed to easy to get units stuck trying to advance and that plugged up game play. But a different scale, so..

    I have seen much of Jack’s work and we have had discussions. The results frankly escape me now but I think we agreed to disagree.

    I also have Hammer of Democracy and started a thread with questions but can’t for the life of me remember enough to see if I want to go that way again. I will look there. There are so durn many choices and rabbit holes to go down I am spending all my time looking at them!

    #146495
    madman
    Participant

    OK, two rules I have been going over are Crossfire and Fireball Forward. Forgive me my ignorance but are there discussion forums with Q&As, FAQs or just people willing to talk about these rules? Preferably with the designers on board so I can get it “from the mouth”. And please NO FACE***K. For whatever reason I am persona no grata there. Thank you in advance and these look pretty close to what I am looking for.

    #146585
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Stephen, I am getting a 403 forbidden post response, I’d be happy to chat about this elsewhere.

    #146636
    madman
    Participant

    Stephen, I am getting a 403 forbidden post response, I’d be happy to chat about this elsewhere.

    I am sorry I don’t understand. Are you trying to link to some site?

    #146698
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    No, I can’t post my reply on this site.  Damned if I understand why.  I have checked it for naughty words and the like.

    #146699
    madman
    Participant

    Weird

    I am also on Wargaming Drop Zone;

    http://www.wargamingdropzone.com/forum.php

    And the GHQ forum;

    https://forum.ghqmodels.com/viewforum.php?f=2

    If that works.

    #146704
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    One last try

    Believe me, being the umpire was fascinating.  Although today I would not be able to run up the stairs.,

     

    The problem, as I see it, is the rather simple question of who the wargamer is.  In most 1900-2020 games you are at least a dozen people with three ranks.  In the game I have just described, each person round the table was three company commanders (or Sov Bn), his immediate boss was commanding a Bn with a bit of support (Or a Sov Regt) and the two chaps trying to make sense of it all, were Brigadiers or divisional commanders.

     

    The key point here is that, in a normal game, the four players per side would have the telepathic sense to be able to put each platoon where they wanted them with no failure to move or poor positioning.  I think that the idea was worth working with, but people thought the blue on blues, the delayed and uncoordinated advances were a failure of the approach.  I rather saw them as a resounding success.

     

    #146705
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Worked, got me buggered.  Knots in the cables?

    #146706
    Noel
    Participant

    I recently discovered Heroes of Normandie. It’s a sort of serious, sort of Hollywoodized version of WWII. It originally started as a miniatures game, but they decided to make a boardgame out of it instead.

     

    It has some interesting ideas. It uses a square grid, but each space is treated as an octogon and sometimes you target a space, others you target the intersection of spaces.

     

    It doesn’t pretend to be a simulation, although it does fire team tactics pretty well. Weapon differences, unit organizations and tactical doctrines are represented. Morale is less present than I’d like.

     

    You have a limited number of move or fire activations per turn, depending on your force org and quality. Any units not activated can just move later on.

    #146743
    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    I recently discovered Heroes of Normandie.

    Well, that’s rather synchronicitous – on Tuesday I blogged about HoN on my BBBBlog. Actually, HoN seems to have a couple of different incarnations. The version I have uses maps with a relatively small number of squares, just 5×5. I can’t work out whether that’s a distilled version of the larger boardgame, or the larger game was developed from it, or what.

    Anyway: don’t know that it’s what the OP was after, but as you say, interesting game.

    Chris

    Bloody Big BATTLES!

    #146751
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Agreed, but a set of rules which impose specific conditions for the terrain is just a game. If playing in North Africa doesn’t suit the game then it can’t carry over to different theatres and is therefore limited, not by the nature of warfare but by the conditions imposed by the rules. I have printed crossfire out and will be reading it this weekend. Thank you.

     

    I play Crossfire in the N Mediterranean theater!  It’s very interesting to see a game where most of the battlefield is defined by crest lines and depressions, instead of buildings and woods.  I use 6mm so that I can have contours actually block the figure’s line-of-sight, it gives you a whole new appreciation for how terrain affects visibility.

    #146753
    John D Salt
    Participant

    OK, two rules I have been going over are Crossfire and Fireball Forward. Forgive me my ignorance but are there discussion forums with Q&As, FAQs or just people willing to talk about these rules? Preferably with the designers on board so I can get it “from the mouth”.

    Although not the actual horses’s mouth (Arty Conliffe being the horse, see https://crossfire.wargaming.info/), there was a very good and thoughtful page on Crossfire on the old LLoydian Aspects web pages, versions of which are preserved in aspic here (I can’t tell any difference between them):

    http://www.lloydianaspects.co.uk/wargaming/crossfireMain.html
    http://www.lloydianaspects.co.uk/vintageSite/wargames/crossfire/cfireh.html

    Lloyd has now re-branded himself as Lindybeige, and still not learnt how to spell “opsimath” or “eremite”, but as far as I know not added anything Crossfirey lately.

    All the best,

    John.

    #146754
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I play Crossfire in the N Mediterranean theater! It’s very interesting to see a game where most of the battlefield is defined by crest lines and depressions, instead of buildings and woods. I use 6mm so that I can have contours actually block the figure’s line-of-sight, it gives you a whole new appreciation for how terrain affects visibility.

    Now that’s an interesting observation. Since the effectiveness of modern weapons is more often limited by intervisibility than by mere distance, having a good model of the terrain in pretty important anyway, but in the case of “Crossfire” it also largely does away with any objections to the simplification of not bothering to measure range.

    I don’t know how precisely you delineate crest lines — naturalistic terrain models make them a bit hard to nail down exactly — but there is a mathematical formalism (going back to the mid 19th century, see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/casa/sites/bartlett/files/migrated-files/paper43_0.pdf ) that describes a landform very simply using summits, immits (low points), saddle points, crest lines and course lines. If you imagine draining water from a flooded landscape, the summits (local maxima) are the first points to appear as the eater is drained, and the immits (local minima) the last. Crest lines connect summits to summits; course lines connect immits to immits; and saddle points are where a crest line and a course line cross (the point is a local maximum in some cross-sections, a local minimum in others). This sort of representation makes if fairly obvious what the field of view (viewshed) from any point to the local horizon. I suspect that Coutney Allen did an analysis along these lines to help him define the areas in his area-movement game “Thunder at Cassino”.

    A similar approach used to be recommended to junior officers as part of their terrain appreciations, using the mnemonic GROUND:

    G — General
    R — Ridges
    O — Observation
    U — Undergrowth
    N — Non-passable
    D — Defilade

    Under “Ridges”, Infantry Training Part VIII says:

    “Take a grease pencil (any other colour except blue) and mark on a talc with a single line the highest part of all ridges and spurs (i.e., the watersheds). Mark the streams or lowest lines of valleys and re-entrants in blue (i.e., the water-courses).”

    All the best,

    John.

    #146758
    John D Salt
    Participant

    As I understood the need to write orders made them complex enough that the application to a game table would be unworkable. Just the levels of detail and specifics.

    I really don’t buy the argument that writing orders down makes things more complex. Since the pieces we play wargames with are, outside the realm of computer games, inanimate and unable to act by themselves, every single action a player wants them to perform has to be specified by the player. I see no reason why specifying the action in writing should be any more complex than specifying them in speech. Since I would expect orders to last more than one turn, it should arguably be less complex than specifying a fresh order every turn. Lots of wargamers dislike writing things down, but that doesn’t make it “complex”.

    [snips]
    I like keeping the chits at platoon level. Then the platoon needs to fulfill the order but has flexibility as to how when where. Again as long as the orders don’t get too involved. Changing from one chit to the next would be an action forcing the platoon to hold for some small period of time to receive and verify changes. This level i can see and would be willing to attempt. BUT would the company commanders also be issued orders and would not these be more involved?

    Quite right; and, in an ideal real-life C2 hierarchy, the platoon’s orders would have been extracted from the company’s orders, and the company’s orders from the battalion’s, and so on up to Army Group or whatever the top of the COC is. Also in real life, British Army commanders currently follow a thing called the “one-third/two-thirds” rule, which means that each level of command should take one-third of the available time before H to prepare and give its own orders, and leave the remaining two-thirds for subordinate commanders to prepare and give theirs. So, if a brigade gets an order to attack in six hours, the brigade staff should get two hours for planning, the battalions an hour and 20 minutes, the companies a bit over 50 minutes, platoons a bit over half an hour and platoons a bit over 20 minutes. One disastrous mistake is to skimp the time for orders at the lower levels, which means that the blokes at the sharp end do not get a full picture of their part in the plan. As reported in “Killer Butterflies”, in WW1 this sometimes meant a force successfully getting across no man’s land, fighting its way into an enemy trench, and successfully taking its objective, but then retiring when all its officers had become casualties because nobody more junior had been told what the plan was. As a contrasting example of good practice, an officer cadet I knew at Newcastle UOTC successfully passed his certificate of miltary training despite becoming a casualty right at the start of his platoon attack. He made his appreciation, gave his orders, and strode boldly off at the head of his men, only to fall into a tank trap. He heard the crack of his leg breaking, but, with commendable presence of mind, shouted “Sergeant, take command and carry on” as he subsided to the ground.

    The old write an order down to follow is one of the parts of Wooden Ships & Iron Men I always loved. But applied to tactical ground games or air games they fall apart IMHO. Check Your 6 (CY6) has something similar in that you have to commit to a specific action sequence every turn. If you pilot is good enough they can deviate one action sequence either side of what is written down. Wings of war (or whatever it is/was called) you pick your next three actions as cards and have to follow them, without change, until the turn ends. No flexibility at all. Don’t like.

    I’ve never played it, but the Wings of Thing rule strikes me as extremely silly. A much better method was presented at COW many years ago, where players laid cards in advance on a rolling basis, and a deeply cunning arrangement of patterns on the card edges restricted what cards could follow what others, so the player was limited in their next choice of card. But this, like the orders chits in SPI’s “Fighting Sail”, is supposed to show limits on the ability to maneouvre, rather than on C2.

    Although I concur with your dislike in this case, imposing inflexibility on the player is one of the things C2 rules have to do, to reflect the limitations on a commander’s ability to do whatever they like. The old WRG ads used to say “no more telepathic heroes”, but there still seem to be plenty about.

    ISTM there are two ways of limiting a player’s control. One is to limit the information available, by schemes of hidden movement or remote tabes as described by grizzlymc. In extreme cases, one might attempt a megagame, along the lines run by Jim Wallman and others. This is a lot of effort, and needs a lot of people, but has AIUI been done successfully with up to 50 people. I’ve never participated in a megagame, but I understand that once you have so many people involved there is absolutely no need for C2 rules of any kind to induce command chaos.

    The other way is to let the player have information they wouldn’t really be entitled to know, but prevent them from acting on it. This is what orders written in advance do. For wargamers devoted to showing off beautifully-painted models, it does have the great advantage of getting the toys on the table where everyone can admire them.

    Troops starting on the table edge has been solved so elegantly and effectively by Chain of Command’s patrol phase. Problem solved.

    Absolutely not my point at all. The “problem” of starting both sides at the table edge has been solved for at least fifty years by starting them at places that aren’t the table edge. My point was that the asymmetry between attacker and defender could be exploited to try to ease the problems of modelling C2. The defender can know where everyone is, but cannot do anything about it because they are limited to their written plan. The attacker has no idea where the defender is, but can largely be relieved of the necessity of writing things down by expressing their plan in terms of objectives, targets, boundaries and so forth placed directly on the table. As the defender presumably has the smaller force, and will be doing less movement, they should have a much simpler plotting job than the attackers would if you used the same rules for each side.

    All the best,

    John.

    #146768
    Etranger
    Participant

    John – there’s a bit of subtleness in the Wings of War cards though, as different aircraft types use different manoeuvre decks, which helps to reproduce eg the ability of rotary engined ‘planes (WWI variant, I haven’t tried the WWII version) to turn tighter than other fighters, or the more sedate two seaters to maintain a stately progress straight across the table. It limits the players ability to perform impossible acrobatic feats & means that they do have to plan a few seconds (in game time) ahead. Sure, there’s a bit of second guessing involved, but there are mechanisms to enable more skilled ‘ace’ pilots (not players) to react more quickly than the run of the mill pilot, or the novice. I find that the mechanics provide for reasonably realistic outcomes, unless you’re flying against my younger daughter, who’s a natural born killer in the sky & shoots down Se5a’s for fun!

    #147221
    madman
    Participant

    Sorry, not dead …… yet. I looked up Heroes of Normandie and it sounded OK. Have to download the rules and see better. Just too lazy and side tracked to sign up etc.. My other hobby is RC planes and I have two bankers boxes of 30 year old equipment I am trying to get rid of. So I have been very distracted and may be for another week or so. I will try to address the replies above. Thank you for your patience.

    #149571
    Keith Burnett
    Participant

    In the 2019 Lard Magazine there is a mod for IABSM to use the same activation mechanism as CoC – I Ain’t Been CoC’d Mum

    #149601
    madman
    Participant

    In the 2019 Lard Magazine there is a mod for IABSM to use the same activation mechanism as CoC – I Ain’t Been CoC’d Mum

    Sorry I can’t see buying an entire magazine for one article. Any chance you could copy it? Thank you.

    #149661
    Keith Burnett
    Participant

    Here’s the basic idea

    #149663
    madman
    Participant

    Great. Thank you.

Viewing 33 posts - 41 through 73 (of 73 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.