Home Forums WWII Your fave squad level rules?

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  • #137824
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    No, I’m not fishing for nice words 🙂

    Having just picked up a copy of Disposable Heroes: Point Blank and thinking it looks rather keen, I figured we could have a chat:

    What is your favorite / most liked / most played set of rules for WW2 squad level gaming?

    We define “Squad level” here as the amount of figures you have on the table is around one squad of infantry.
    If “most liked” and “most played” isn’t the same thing, then tell us both.

    As a follow-up question:
    If you play WW2 both with single-based and team-based figures (f.x. Nuts and Command Decision) do you do so in different scales or the same?

    And finally:
    Is squad-level gaming the primary type of WW2 game for you or is it a secondary/occasional thing?

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

    #137829
    Tony S
    Participant

    The lowest level I play is platoon level.   For that level it’s usually Chain of Command, or sometimes Battlegroup.

    As for basing, it’s a mess!  I have 15mm in teams based for Poor Bloody Infantry (a company level game) for Russians and German Heer, but I also use them for Battlegroup and CoC which require individual figure removal.  I just place a die behind the base to show how many men are left.   But I ended up liking CoC so much, that when I painted up French and Fallschirmjager, I did so by basing them individually.  And just to confuse the issue even more,  my Commonwealth and German Heer in 6mm, are all based as teams, actually on the same size bases as my 15mm!

    “Never” would be my answer for the final question, but I’d certainly have no objections to playing at squad level, if a set of rules appealed to me.  Actually, come to think of it I used to play that type of skirmish.  It was on the floor of my bedroom, using my collection of Britains 54mm figures, with books and toy blocks for terrain and – I think – Featherstone’s rules as I had just discovered his books in the library!    But it’s been awhile….

     

     

     

     

    #137835
    Shaun Travers
    Participant

    Hello Ivan,

    There are quite a few questions in there!

    What is your favorite set of rules for WW2 squad level gaming? NUTS!

    What is your most liked set of rules for WW2 squad level gaming? 5Men in Normandy as the mechanics are so cool.

    What is your most played set of rules for WW2 squad level gaming? My own, based on NUTS! but with less dice rolling.

    If you play WW2 both with single-based and team-based figures (f.x. Nuts and Command Decision) do you do so in different scales or the same? I do squad in 20mm and team based in both 20mm (preferred) and 6mm (more so at the moment).

    Is squad-level gaming the primary type of WW2 game for you or is it a secondary/occasional thing? Squad level is a very occasional thing.  It has also been fairly recent.  After starting gaming WW2 in 1980, I only played my first squad game in about 2012.

     

    #137839
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    What is your favorite / most liked / most played set of rules for WW2 squad level gaming? Nuts!, although an honourable mention for the WRG infantry action rules; I like Five Men at Kursk too, although I am really just getting started with them.

    If you play WW2 both with single-based and team-based figures (f.x. Nuts and Command Decision) do you do so in different scales or the same? Different: single-based 15mm, team-based 6mm.

    Is squad-level gaming the primary type of WW2 game for you or is it a secondary/occasional thing? Secondary.

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

    #137840
    Thuseld
    Participant

    I play mainly (read like 6 games since August and basically none before that) at about Platoon level and use Battlegroup or A Sergeant’s War for that. I play this in 6mm, with 1.2.3 basing, although I avoid using the single infantryman bases as much as possible.

    The handful of times I have played about a Squad level I used Flying Lead and played it single based, 20mm. I enjoy them because I have the measuring sticks useful for the three distances needed in Ganesha Games games.

    #137841
    MartinR
    Participant

    I not really a skirmish gamer. Tactical, yes (platoon and up) but not a single section, although I have dabbled.

    At the moment we use Fistful of Lead for WW2 skirmish, and that seems to work OK, although we tend to run platoon sized scenarios LOL.

    I guess my favourite game at this scale was AHGCs Up Front, which captured the essence of small unit fire and movement very neatly.

    From a gaming pov, my biggest issue with skirmish is plausible scenarios. There is very little a WW2 rifle section can do on its own apart from patrol. The Skirmish Campaigns scenarios are great, but pitched at rather bigger battles.

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

    #137866
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    I play Blitzkreig Commander in 3mm, 6mm and 10mm (depending on theatre) with one element being a platoon.

    I play Chain of Command in 15mm.

    Never been taken with the idea of squad level WW2. Played some squad level Stalingrad games decades ago and though the mechanisms were fine the games seemed really samey.

    The fact that more and more rule sets seem to be available only as pdf’s, which I loathe,  doesn’t help.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #137889
    madman
    Participant

    I don’t play WWII at that level but have played, a few times, and enjoyed Chain of Command at the platoon plus support level. I am very interested in cold war to ultra modern at the level of a squad or two with a support team and would be willing to discuss this further if you want.

    #137892
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Not that I often get to play at the moment, I use USME WWII for my skirmish fix at squad level. Using either 15mm or 20mm single based chaps.

    I have also played Flying Lead which gives a nice cinematic game. I too like the measuring sticks!

    I normally play platoon / company level with 10mm and crossfire rules, however I do have North Africa in 15mm waiting to be based and painted. Again so many projects and never enough time.

    I have recently bought Doom Squad, although only played one small game of Napoleonics. Might have to dig  them out for a WWII commando raid game….. North Africa in 15mm 😉

    Tally-Ho!

    #137924
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    My go-to has been NUTS! in it’s various forms.  Works especially well for me in solo mode.

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

    #137945
    Dave Whitehouse
    Participant

    Hi Ivan,

    To be honest it’s never appealed to me and I have been playing for forty years.
    I have individually based figures to play Chain of Command or the old WRG skirmish Rules in 15mm. I also have armies for Crossfire.

    Sorry I find that level doesn’t appeal, I do like platoon level games as they have more support and varied elements.
    cheers

    Dave

    #137957
    deephorse
    Participant

    Playing nine guys with a rifle and one with a LMG v nine guys with a rifle and one with a LMG (roughly speaking) does not interest me in the slightest.  As Martin wrote, a WWII infantry section did very little by itself despite what Hollywood would have you believe.  I bought Disposable Heroes, and all the supplements, many years ago, but my gaming group couldn’t grasp the low level tactics required to use the rules realistically and so they’ve languished in a box ever since.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #137961
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    From a gaming pov, my biggest issue with skirmish is plausible scenarios. There is very little a WW2 rifle section can do on its own apart from patrol.

    This is definitely true but I think it points to an unexploited area of gaming, in that there aren’t too many games which focus on the patrolling aspect of the patrol.  To be fair, I think Nuts! kind of got this, by making its basic campaign element a mix of alternating section patrols and then platoon combats, although the average patrol in Nuts! is calibrated to experience a bit much action (for very sound entertainment reasons, I imagine).  We do need a miniatures game like Ranger!

    Reading a few regimental histories, much of the basic experience of the WW2 infantryman was patrolling (or manning a small defensive position), interspersed with some slightly bigger platoon sized fighting patrols and some very nasty larger actions.

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

    #138023
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    I would like to make a counterpoint regarding the idea of playing tabletop games echeloned at the squad level; it’s been mentioned several times that playing squad-level games is not fun or not accurate as squads would only act independently in order to carry out ‘patrols.’  On the one hand, that is doctrinally not true because squads also are called on to detach for other missions, such as to man outposts (the old ‘babysit a bridge’ or man an OP), to carry out security tasks (convoy/VIP escort, sensitive site security, such as a radio relay station), and they can be called on to carry out ambushes, particularly night ambushes.

    Even this gets tricky as often that mission will be referred to as an ‘ambush patrol,’ in which case we’d have to break down the various types of patrols to decide which ones are, and which ones are not, suitable to be carried out by a single squad.  For example a squad will regularly carry out reconnaissance, counter-reconnaissance, and economy of force patrols, but I’ve never heard of a single squad carrying out a combat patrol, those are typically done at platoon level, and sometimes even company-level, being multi-day operations.

    On the other hand, and this is the point I really came to make: in my opinion it is not inaccurate at all to play squad vs squad, attack/defend games on the tabletop.  If you understand how a company level attack works (in standard terms, a rifle platoon in the assault, a rifle platoon in support, and a rifle platoon in reserve), only one platoon actually has the job of maneuvering onto the objective, and once the assault platoon begins taking fire it devolves to squad/section fire and maneuver, then team fire and maneuver, and then individual fire and maneuver.

    Obviously how all this goes down is dependent upon the strength and will of the defender; if the defender is relatively weak (in terms of strength and/or will to hold the objective), it’s quite possible they quietly endure the attacker’s preparatory and supporting fires, watch the enemy assault platoon advance into effective range, then open fire, forcing the assault platoon to react, then pull back.  In that case, the assault platoon goes to ground/finds cover, returns fire, and the platoon commander either waits until the enemy fire stops and then gets his platoon moving again, or he commences squad fire and maneuver (one squad moves while two lay down fire).  Seeing as how the enemy left, you end up with troops happily walking onto the now undefended objective, whistling as they go.

    But if the defender decides to hold and fight for the objective, they continue to fire on the assault platoon, the platoon moves to squad/section fire and maneuver, and now the attacking squad begins team, and possibly even individual, fire and maneuver.  So with the enemy being attrited by supporting fires and the ‘company attack’ taking fire and devolving into a low-level fire and maneuver, you can absolutely end up with the enemy having five or six guys holding onto the last vestige/key point of their defense (the rest having become casualties or having withdrawn of their own accord) being attacked by eight or nine guys that are the pointy end of that so-called ‘company attack.’

    That is how company assaults are generally planned, and how they can go from “200 men in the attack” to only having a handful actually reach and take the objective.  This assumes an assault is actually planned, not that some dumbass at higher headquarters decided that prep/supporting fires will take care of the enemy so just get your company on line and prance onto the objective, which time and again saw rifle companies in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam gutted as soon as they crossed the Line of Departure.

    To play games like this you have to be willing to provide the appropriate backdrop to the fight; it’s not “1st Squad was detailed to launch an attack on Hill 181,” it’s “A Company was detailed to launch an attack on Hill 181.  The CO designated 1st Platoon in the assault, 2nd and Wpns Platoons in support, and 3rd Platoon in reserve.  2nd and Wpns got into position and took Hill 181 under fire as 1st Platoon crossed the Line of Departure on line.  200 yards from the military crest 1st Platoon was taken under enemy machine gun and small arms fire; 1st Platoon’s Commander built up his base of fire with 1st and 2nd squads and ordered 3rd Squad to envelop; 3rd Squad advanced to within 50 yards of the objective before coming under fire.  The Squad Leader established a base of fire with 1st Fireteam and led 2nd Fireteam into close combat.  With 1st Fireteam laying down fire, Sgt Snuffy fired off a flare to order 2nd and Wpns Platoons to shift fire, then lead 2nd Fireteam (let’s call that a total of six men) forward, where they reached the left flank of the enemy’s defensive line;* in brutal, point-blank range combat Sgt Snuffy and 2nd Fireteam took the enemy’s far left bunker and began an enfilading fire on the rest of the enemy’s defensive line that compelled the remainder of the defenders to fall back, conceding the military crest.  2nd and Wpns Platoons shifted fire prior to 1st Platoon’s troops getting onto the objective, and once the objective was taken 2nd and Wpns re-positioned in order to provide fire to isolate the objective, 1st Platoon began consolidating on the objective, and 3rd Platoon began moving up to reinforce 1st Platoon on the objective (or even carry the assault on past 1st Platoon).

    *Please note, the asterisk is where the tabletop action for the squad-level game would pick up.  I finished out the narrative just to show how we would hope the company-attack concluded.

    Thus we have shown how the company attack devolved into a squad-level game with six dudes per side 😉  On a side note, we could also talk about infiltration attacks, in which a company crosses the Line of Departure as a series of ‘cells’ (which are largely going to be squad-sized anyway) that work, typically in the dark to flow through the enemy’s defensive zone (the area they expect to occupy by fire) and into their defenses (the area they physically occupy) in order to flow into enemy rear areas and close assault defensive strongpoints without having been exposed to supporting fires and the defensive fire plan.  But ultimately that would still allow you to play out squad-level attack/defend games as one of the squad-level infiltration cells are reached the enemy headquarters or a particular strongpoint needing reducing; even if the strongpoint was a large fortification (such as a blockhouse) housing a platoon-sized element, I would just play it that the infiltration squad has worked around to the rear of the blockhouse (that was the point of the infiltration) and is up against the rearguard element of the platoon occupying the blockhouse, with a further assumption that the defenders are now aware they are under attack and so the rest of the platoon in the blockhouse is busy firing on attackers to their front and are thus unable to reinforce their rearguard element.

    One of my wargaming dreams goes something like this: I play out a division-sized action with bases that represent a company/battery (probably using Blitzkrieg Commander); when opposing units come into base contact, rather than use the rules mechanism for melee/close combat, I set up and play a company-sized game where one base represents a squad, weapons team, or single vehicle.  As I play that game, if opposing units come into base contact I set up and play another game, this time at a squad vs squad level.  Someday…

    I hope this was useful for anyone considering playing squad-level games.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #138025
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    From a gaming pov, my biggest issue with skirmish is plausible scenarios. There is very little a WW2 rifle section can do on its own apart from patrol.

    I have written a couple of scenario books for THW for NUTS! with the majority of the scenarios being squad sized.  There is a lot you can do.  In one you have to track down a break in a land line, in another you must recover a wounded member of a patrol that was stashed in a hollow tree by another wounded member.  There are position probes, prisoner snatches, vehicle recoveries, sneaking into an a farmhouse in an enemy occupied area to liberate wine, hunt the sniper, raids, harassment, taking an isolated enemy bunker… many many options, all of which were taken from personal memoirs and histories I read.  Small games can be very fraught with intensity, especially if you have an investment in the troops you are using.  Honestly, if a squad vs. a squad isn’t fun it may come down to the rules that are being used if not the payers.  (apologies if that comes off as sounding like an ass, not intended).

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

    #138031
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Jack,  although I agree that you can definitely do a section’s part in a larger attack (and I have done it), you do have to ‘bracket off’ quite a lot of stuff to make it work, whereas you can do independent platoon and company attacks more often.  And I think that more of what you say applies to post-1960s squads/sections than to WW2, as far as I can tell.

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

    #138032
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    When reading memoirs of this or that soldier or riflemen, the notable (and thus memorable) parts always seems to come down some variation of “So there we were, me, Joe and Richard” and it goes from there.

    I think it’s easy to maybe overthink this.

    Take a 15mm guy and measure what your gaming table is, in real life real estate in “true 1 to 1 scale”. Probably 200 meters across at the most?

    How long does a full squad level battle take in real life time? A few minutes? Maaaaybe 10 minutes if we assume a lot of sneaking around?

    The entire thing can go down while Company is still trying to untangle the truck with all the ammunition from the ditch it just drove into 🙂

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

    #138033
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    And that’s without factoring in “bath tubbing”.

    We are all used to accepting that the 12 guys we painted last night is actually an entire battalion, so why can’t the squad level battle stand in for the fighting around Carentan or whatever ?

    Not my personal preference, but as valid an approach as anything else I should imagine. Heck, Rapid Fire essentially does this already (with the caveat that I haven’t played the most recent one)

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

    #138034
    Thuseld
    Participant

    Thanks for the interesting read, people. This is why I come here.

    #138040
    Just Jack
    Participant

    John,

    “Jack,  although I agree that you can definitely do a section’s part in a larger attack (and I have done it), you do have to ‘bracket off’ quite a lot of stuff to make it work…”
    Certainly, but for me it’s not so much ‘bracketing off’ as ‘skipping to the interesting part.’ 😉  Which is a joke, of course, you’ve seen all the company-level fights I play.

    “…whereas you can do independent platoon and company attacks more often.”
    I would submit that, particularly in WWII, you’re still having to ‘bracket off’ if you’re playing platoon-level.  I would imagine that most actions are company actions, so in a platoon-level game you’re just playing as the assault platoon with maybe a machine gun or mortar from Weapons Platoon in support, using it on table because it’s cool but would be off table in real life as they’d be 500 to 700 yards away.  I apologize, I’m certainly not trying to pick at you, I suppose I’m just trying to point is what each of us chooses to put on the table is all simply a matter of personal taste, and pretty much anything can be rationalized.  Okay, not absolutely anything 😉

    “And I think that more of what you say applies to post-1960s squads/sections than to WW2, as far as I can tell.”
    I would like to clarify what you mean by this, but this is the internet and you and I have a large time difference, so I’m going to take a shot at this under the assumption that you’re disagreeing with the concepts of fire and maneuver as doctrine and as carried out on the WWII battlefield.  Assuming that is the case (and I apologize if I am off base and your issue lies elsewhere), but I absolutely must disagree.  It’s funny, I had this exact same conversation years ago on TMP when a guy told me WWII soldiers couldn’t do fire and maneuver because their weapons weren’t capable; my immediate reply was that there’s nothing high-speed ninja about fire and maneuver, it’s nothing more than a simple way of saying “you guys shoot while we run, and then we’ll stop and shoot while you run,” and it can be done with any projectile-type weapon that extends the range of a man beyond his fist, to include slings and rocks and bows and arrows.  Anyway, back to the case at hand.

    That infiltration stuff I wrote about in the company attack was thought up by a British officer and put into practice as ‘stormtrooper tactics’ in WWI, and Jary’s “18 Platoon” (admittedly, I have not read the whole thing, but from excerpts I’ve read and discussions I’ve had) references his version of platoon fire and maneuver as essentially “split the platoon in half, put all the Bren Guns in one half and use it as a base of fire to support the other half in closing with the enemy,’ with the final close assault occurring when he and a couple of his ‘gutful men’ reach the objective.  Brecourt Manor is another example, and there are many more.  Hell, look at the fact that every WWII army’s rifle squad/section is broken down into a machine gun team/group and a rifle team/group, and each of them wrote doctrine to support exactly that concept and table of organization!

    We can absolutely have discussions about how effective this organization was (there’s a reason the USMC went with three fireteams of four men, each built around a BAR, and it’s had a lot of success), if the weapons of the day were appropriate to the doctrine, how many machine guns are too many machine guns (in terms of weapons organic to the rifle squad), if this is proper use of machine guns in any case, if troop training was sufficient to pull the doctrine off, if small unit leaders of the day were up to the task, etc…, but what I described above regarding a company attack is small unit tactics 101, straight out of the manuals.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #138041
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    To Jack’s point from the Squad Leaders instructions part of Fm7-10 (from 1942 I believe)

    Unless otherwise ordered by the platoon leader, the squad leader permits his squad to open fire only when fire action is necessary to cover a further advance. At the first firing position, the squad seeks to gain fire superiority over the enemy to its front. Fire superiority is gained by subjecting the enemy to fire of such accuracy and intensity that his fire becomes so inaccurate or so reduced in volume as to be ineffective; once gained, it must be maintained. Unless supporting weapons or other units are able to maintain fire superiority without any help from the squad, enough members of the squad must remain in position and continue the fire to maintain it.

    The automatic rifle’s capacity for putting down a large volume of fire makes it especially useful for this purpose. Meanwhile, other members of the squad move forward, take up firing positions closer to the enemy, and, by their fire, cover the forward movement of the rearward members. By this combination of fire and movement, the squad advances close enough to capture the hostile position by assault.

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

    #138043
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    I don’t want to suggest that WW2 sections/squads couldn’t do this, I 100% agree that they could (most of them).  Maybe it is just a function of the particular books I have read, or the often quite narrow attack frontages used, or the generally high troop densities compared to now, but the impression I get is that in set-piece attacks, the sections/squads were used as the basic blocks.  Again for independent platoon attacks – I have just been reading the regimental history of the Durham Light Infantry in WW2, and discrete platoon attacks weren’t that rare – but not every attack can be easily broken down into separate platoon actions.

    I suppose I’m just trying to point is what each of us chooses to put on the table is all simply a matter of personal taste, and pretty much anything can be rationalized.

    Very much agreed.

    Here is a thought experiment: how much of the latest series of KG Klink or Cuba Libre can be easily broken down into the actions of the discrete sections/squads involved?  Most of them involved quite complex interactions between numerous squads/sections on both sides. Whereas your SOF games have concentrated on rather different things.  I think I am just agreeing with the logic of your design choices.

     

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

    #138044
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    Some very good points already made and I’ll probably just re-inforce them. For myself Platoon level actions are the smallest I would play, but most games are Blitzkreig Commander at Battalion level as I find they give the most challenging games.

    #138047
    MartinR
    Participant

    Well, a lot of this is personal preference and how we relate to toys on the tabletop. Like I said, I don’t find squad level actions particularly engaging outside the framework of a platoon/company level action, particularly in WW1 and WW2. Modern (Iraq, Afghanistan) is different as the troops are vastly better trained and equipped.

    I’m a big battle guy, and that applies to all periods (with the exception of Star Wars!). I know some people aren’t comfortable with one model tank representing a platoon, whereas I will happily pretend it is a battalion or a brigade. Each to their own.

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

    #138074
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Whirlwind John – I’m with you.  Regarding “…Durham Light Infantry in WW2, and discrete platoon attacks weren’t that rare…”
    When you say ‘discrete platoon attacks,’ what does that mean to you?  Are you saying a rifle platoon stands detached and is going tromping off 5km away from the rest of the battalion and carry out some task, or do you simply mean the ‘company commander has given 1st Platoon the task of taking the farmhouse’?”

    “…how much of the latest series of KG Klink or Cuba Libre can be easily broken down into the actions of the discrete sections/squads involved?”
    In both cases one base=one squad/wpns tm/vehicle, so literally every single time two opposing stands came into base contact I could have set up a 2′ x 2′ table and played out a squad vs squad fight to determine the winner of the IABSM or 5Core Company Command game’s ‘close combat,’ rather than simply roll dice in accordance with the rules’ melee mechanics.  I agree that how each opposing unit got into that particular situation was a result of complex interactions with plenty of other units, but once the attacker has closed with defender, everything else is out the window.  In that immediate time span there is no support and there are no reinforcements, it’s five minutes of fury to determine who will be the last men standing.  From my standpoint, it’s literally that simple and straightforward.

    Steve – I’m a fan of all levels, they each have a special place in my heart 😉  I really enjoy your BKC games, but like I said, someday when I’m playing BKC and I have a Close Assault, I’d like to stop the BKC game and play a lower-echeloned game, rather than use the simple roll off for CA.

    Martin – Indeed it is, and I hope I haven’t couched my comments in an inarticulate way, I was simply hoping to point out to folks that want to play squad vs squad tabletop games that there are certainly options besides ‘Sergeant, take your squad and patrol down to the river and back.’  And to that end, Darby put a lot more meat on that bone, anyway, I ended up getting off on a tangent about company-level tactics…

    “Modern (Iraq, Afghanistan) is different as the troops are vastly better trained and equipped.”
    I disagree wholeheartedly, but won’t tie you up in a discussion if you don’t want to have one 😉

    I really enjoy you big battles, just saw you’ve posted another one and headed over now to have a gander.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #138075
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    When you say ‘discrete platoon attacks,’ what does that mean to you? Are you saying a rifle platoon stands detached and is going tromping off 5km away from the rest of the battalion and carry out some task, or do you simply mean the ‘company commander has given 1st Platoon the task of taking the farmhouse’?”

    Sometimes the former, but sometimes the latter, but if the latter in the sense of a task that the rest of the company or battalion wasn’t in a position to support.

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

    #138089
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “…a task that the rest of the company or battalion wasn’t in a position to support.”
    I gotcha, and man, assuming we’re talking about an attack, obviously sometimes you find yourself in those types of situations, but that’s what we called ‘getting caught with both feet in the air,’ and can (and sometimes did) very rapidly turn into a @#$% sandwich.  I can’t recall us doing it on purpose, but it often happens in urban environments where a support or reserve element is moving up to assist a unit in contact, but takes too wide a berth (gotta watch out for friendly fire in real life), or even gets lost, due to the narrow frontages you are generally confined to in a city, and now you have two or three elements (whether they’re companies, platoons, or squads at this point, doesn’t matter) that are left to figure out and take care of the situation all on their lonesome.

    I just had a Eureka! moment; maybe this is why casualties are so high all the time on the tabletop?  In real life, if you are properly supported and your company/platoon/squad gets into more trouble than it can handle, the commander commits more forces/supporting fires to extract the unit in trouble.  In games you rarely see an element withdraw; on the tabletop, you’re playing a ‘discrete’ squad, platoon, or company-sized game, so when you get in trouble you’re stuck, all you’ve got is what is on the table, so you generally get annihilated, or something close to (though I must tip the hat to Chain of Command and Battlegroup for their ‘Force Morale’ concepts to help rectify this).

    The only set of rules that I can recall handling this differently was Disposable Heroes 2; you and your opponent each command a platoon of infantry, but you really never have the entire platoon on the table at the same time.  The rules make each side go with the doctrinal ‘2 up, 1 back,’ so in the standard ‘attack/defense’ game, the defender has a platoon of infantry, but starts the game with only one squad on the table (in the defense the platoon has two squads in the line, one in reserve, and they’ve opened their frontage quite a bit, so the attacker is striking the ground occupied by a single squad), and if you get in trouble you can call in the reserve squad, but it affects the victory conditions.  The attacker begins with two squads on the table, and if things get out of hand he can call in the third, reserve squad; again, it affects your victory conditions.  It’s an interesting idea, but obviously rather restrictive, and I don’t recall exactly, but it had some other parts designed to make the attacker push forward as rapidly as possible that I wasn’t particularly fond of.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #138092
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Nuts kind of does, in that more troops will show up as a battle drags on with a very likely result being “the rest of your platoon”.

    One thing I sort of wish games would tackle (though I understand why they do not) is communications.

    If my squad got sent up to do something and we ran into trouble, how do I get word back that I’d like fire support and more men NOW?

    Well, I gotta send a runner right? It’d be interesting to have to actually do that on the table.

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

    #138094
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Jack, very much in the situations you say, although they often seem to have been platoon counter-attacks in the context of company and battalion defensive missions.  I wonder if this is because, with very brief exceptions (Kasserine, early Bulge, Korea) there haven’t been that many American units in these kind of bad situations, whereas a lot of the stuff I have been reading is from the 1940-2 period where it unfortunately wasn’t abnormal for British units.  So you get missions like the right-hand company has been overrun and then a single platoon from the reserve or from the centre company has to put in a counter-attack.  Or a platoon gets a fighting patrol mission to seize a slightly isolated Axis defensive position (sometimes with company or battalion level support).

    I think that you are right in your diagnosis, but I would go further: lots of combats IRL are pretty much foregone conclusions.  IIRC a British infantry battalion in 1944, given 8 hours planning time, was supposed to be successful 100% of the time in its attacks, presumably because it could get all its recce done and its support sorted out.  And the very structure of a tabletop game tends to discourage the response of the odds look rubbish, I am withdrawing.

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

    #138095
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Ivan, I think what Nuts! would need is not just to make it a random event, but a situational one (i.e. if when PEFs are revealed, the enemy force is greater than 50% of friendly total, then a runner can go and actually fetch more, or something like that).

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

    #138096
    Striker
    Participant

    What is your favorite / most liked / most played set of rules for WW2 squad level gaming? – Most played: Disposable Heroes (1st ed), Battleground WWII, A Corner of Hell.  I have a lot of rules, all of the ones already mentioned.  There are rules I’d like to play and having read them feel like they have something to offer but it would be a one-off game so never really able to utilize a ruleset fully, Nuts! is one for sure I’d play but the reaction system is just new enough that I’d like to have a veteran player involved.

    If you play WW2 both with single-based and team-based figures (f.x. Nuts and Command Decision) do you do so in different scales or the same?  – Yes different scales.  28mm for single based, 6mm for any team based.

    Is squad-level gaming the primary type of WW2 game for you or is it a secondary/occasional thing? – It’s a primary game.  A game where more than a platoon is on a stand I would use counters.  Platoon=stand games really don’t interest me much in miniatures and that’s because of the visuals.  A single tank is 3-5 but the house is a house?  It can be handled by using different terrain but I feel that few games I’ve played in at stand level have anything other than single structures and suddenly a tank platoon is “hiding” behind a house.  If it’s stands then I want to use templates like in AK-47, usually a terrain appropriate colored felt and buildings that are removable but can be put back to pretty things up. I play this level on the PC (East Front and it’s sisters) and that is fine but it’s hex based really.  I don’t play much squad based games due to other’s interest but squad-level gaming is my primary interest and what I buy & build for.

    #138097
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Agree with Martin up-thread that it is all in what you are comfortable and happy with. There’s of course no “wrong” answers.

    Like Striker, while I do enjoy larger scale games, I do think “1 to 1” representation has a special quality to it that I particularly enjoy.

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

    #138102
    madman
    Participant

    So disposable Heroes 2 is over $50 USD plus, plus. Out of my range to buy “just to see if it looks interesting”.

    So what is it about the system you like?

    What is the sequence of play?

    What is the combat system?

    Are there leaders and what effect in game terms do they have?

    And more after these are answered. Thank you.

    #138103
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Martin – Rereading my reply to you, I want to make something clear, please: when I said “…tie you up in a discussion if you don’t want to have one,” I meant that in terms of me being long-winded and that not everyone can/wants to devote a bunch of time to my silly ramblings on the internet.

    Ivan – Yeah, Nuts!, IABSM (through its number of activations being lowered by casualties and shock), and, of course, your own NEiS all do that.  For me, personally, I think it’s probably realistic to feel yourself (as the tabletop commander) becoming mired and unable to get things done, but it’s not particularly satisfying on the tabletop (for me).  As I’ve said a million times, I’m much more a fan of the 5Core Kill/Shock dice and the immediate results/carrying out of results regarding casualties and morale.

    I’ve also given thought to the idea of runners and other forms of communication.  Part of the problem, to me, is that it could be incorporated into a platoon-level game, but would be more appropriate to a company-level game, but then it seems to me that should be done using individually-based troops, which is madness! 😉  The other issue is that using runners is a huge oversimplification; in real life you have a signal plan, consisting of various flares, smoke, even signal mirrors and flags, and then you (at least in modern times) have a no-comms plan for disasters (think of the British 1st Airborne in Arnhem), emissions discipline (“radio silence”), and comms-denied areas (EW/jamming).  This would require players to actually formulate a plan prior to the tabletop fight starting; in this case, carrying out the plan is the (relatively) easy part!

    John – I understand your point about this happening in local counterattacks, and this: “…with very brief exceptions (Kasserine, early Bulge, Korea) there haven’t been that many American units in these kind of bad situations…” may be true in terms of the defense, but my point above was that this will often happen on the offensive, when there is a misunderstanding or mis-appreciation of the terrain, or when a unit gets into trouble and instead of moving within the construct of mutually-supporting elements someone panics and makes the rash decision that the only way out of this mess (saving 1st Squad or 1st Platoon or A Company) is to send 2nd Sqd/Plt/B Co out and around, but now 2nd Sqd/Plt/B Co gets into their own mess and now both 1st and 2nd are being annihilated.  When you read of attacks  going in and being repulsed, suffering 60% casualties, sometimes this is what happened (sorry, I can’t quote any sort of percentage regarding how often that was the case).

    “…lots of combats IRL are pretty much foregone conclusions.”
    Man, that is not an idea that I can get on board with at all.

    “And the very structure of a tabletop game tends to discourage the response of the odds look rubbish, I am withdrawing.”
    Though I agree wholeheartedly with this; in real life most commanders are not willing sacrifice their men and thus allow/order their men to fall back when it’s clear they’re about to be close assaulted out of existence.  I’ve never seen nor heard of a tabletop commander doing that, most of us are fighting tooth and nail, and if the game has Force Morale/a breakpoint we scream and holler that we could have won when it is reached and our force involuntarily ‘quits’ on us 😉

    “…not just to make it a random event, but a situational one…”
    I was thinking the squad leader/platoon commander would grab the nearest riflemen and tell him to go tell the boss ‘we’re in trouble and need help,’ then we would activate the runner each turn and track him across the table until he reaches the boss and delivers the message, then tracks back to the squad leader/platoon commander to tell him what the boss said.

    Stephen – I’m sorry man, I have it but I haven’t played it, I’ve only read through it once when I first got it (maybe two years ago?), so I’m not familiar enough to answer those questions.  If you go to Iron Ivan’s blog you can see some batreps that will give you an idea of how the rules work, which is what convinced me to buy them in the first place.

    V/R,
    Jack

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