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Subject: Post your one Sentence Houserules! rss

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Frank Clarke
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Here I continue my fanatical PanzerBlitz ruleset jeremiad.



This time with houserules that must be expressed in a single sentence. The rules will obviously be crude, simple, and often don't go far enough. Rather like myself.
If you want to play with somebody else, houserules will have to be short.

Please post your 1 sentence PanzerBlitz houserules!

So here we go:

Gripe #0: "Spotting/PanzerBush/Smoke/Aircraft/Lack of Americans and Brits"
Rule: "Use the Panzer Leader Rules".

Gripe #1: "Heavy artillery is too powerful, small mortars are useless"
Rule: "For direct and indirect fire, (H) or M weapons with less than 10 Attack Points have their Attack Points doubled, while (H) or M weapons with more than than 15 Attack Points have their Attack Points halved."
Comment: A 3" mortar fires 200 lb of projectiles per minute, a 25pdr (Sexton) 125 lb per minute.

Gripe #2: "Combined fire against "A" units is unrealistic, if one SU-76 can't penetrate a King Tiger frontally, neither can two.
Rule: Fire against "A" targets cannot be combined unless the lines of fire go through different non-adjacent hex-sides on the target, viz "Outflanked":


Comment: Vehicles will eventually take disabling damage from massed small caliber fire, but not a whole platoon in 6 minutes. Outflanking lets you shoot at the weak rear and side armor of your enemy.

Gripe #3: Spotting is too difficult, Reconnaissance by Death is the only option.
Rule: "Instead of attacking or moving, on a die roll of 5 or 6 in its attack phase, a unit spots a single unit, infantry within 4 hexes, or non-infantry within 10 hexes.
Comment: If you have less than an hour to take the objective, Reconnaissance by Death isn't completely unrealistic, but there is also Reconnaissance by shooting, binocular, and sending 1 guy forward.

Gripe #4: The poor training of Soviet Units is not represented.
Rule: "A player may re-roll any natural 6 against a Soviet target, once per attack".
Comment: The USSR lost 10 times as many men in combat as the UK and USA combined. In the game most of the Situations favor the Russians, so we can make things more difficult for them.

Gripe #5: Nobody ever runs away.
Rule: "For every "D" result on an undispersed unit not in a Fort, roll a D6, a 5 or a 6 forces the unit to move a full move immediately, and the "D" is changed to a "DD".
Comment: Withdrawing is common, even among veteran units. The "DD" encourages you to move somewhere safe.

Gripe # 6: Infantry in towns turn into tanks.
Rule: "The only Effect On Defense for Town hexes is that Vehicles get a +1 DRM, non-Vehicles get a + 3 DRM, individual units may be attacked."
Comment: If an SU-100 attacks infantry, they are better off in the open than in a town in PanzerBlitz.

Gripe # 7: Nobody can start the game dug in.
Rule: "The Situation may permit the placement of immobile Improved Position counters at the start of the game which offer +2 to attacking DRMs."

Comment: A Soviet defender would usually have everything dug in.

Gripe # 8: Where is the mud and snow?
Rule: "Optionally, vehicles moving off road (or partly offroad) at more than half speed (round up) must roll a 1-4 after the end of their move, a 5 or 6 gives "D" result."
Comment: Tanks were constantly getting stuck and unstuck when moving offroad. Driving 10 hexes offroad in 6 minutes (25kph) is risky in ideal weather. Obviously the 1-4 might vary by time of year, or in marshland, where offroad travel might be impossible. In heavy mud and snow movement rates would drop to 1, but that would be boring.

Gripe # 9: Where are the Squad Leaders, running around rallying the broken units?
Rule: "A Soviet unit must roll a 1-4 on a D6 to recover from a "D" or "DD" result, unless adjacent to a undispersed friendly unit"
Comment: Invisible Squad Leaders actually are running around rallying your troops, you just can't see them. The Soviets have fewer Squad Leaders, and running from unit to unit takes time if the troops are far apart.

Blog link: http://www.fclarke.com/2014/05/panzerblitz-panzer-leader-1-s...
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Tom Bierschenk
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"75mm infantry guns (2 H 12) and company mortars (3 M 12) may add their factors in to CAT infantry attacks if within range. Infantry guns require LOS; mortars may fire indirectly."

This is a historical and accurate way to reflect the role of infantry guns and 81/82mm mortars. And it strengthens the weak German infantry as well.
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Frank Clarke
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kajmakchalan wrote:
"75mm infantry guns (2 H 12) and company mortars (3 M 12) may add their factors in to CAT infantry attacks if within range. Infantry guns require LOS; mortars may fire indirectly."

This is a historical and accurate way to reflect the role of infantry guns and 81/82mm mortars. And it strengthens the weak German infantry as well.

Thank you.

I also have a Hesitation system, inspired by "Retro" ASL:

Gripe: Your Panther platoon at the end of a long road is suddenly surrounded by 6 kamikaze truck platoons filled with engineers. You can kill one of them, then they kill you.
Rule: "Once per unit per turn, any time a unit is about to move into a hex where it could receive a 1:1 or worse direct fire attack if all enemies with LOS could fire at it, the defender may roll a D6, a 6 ends that unit's turn, and no other unit may enter that hex this Player-Turn".

Comment: It is a long sentence, I'm stretching it . This means that when you order your grand assault, one unit might not go, and hesitation on a road or narrow gap can block the whole assault. Maybe they didn't get the order, maybe enemy fire drove them back, maybe they can't read a map, or maybe they were too scared to move. So it abstracts different things.
You could have Quality numbers for each side, and roll 2D6 for a more fine grained system. Maybe a 5 or a 6 for Trucks anyway .
 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

Great thread idea, congratulations... I'm afraid my reply is a little outside the criteria set forth, but here goes...

Russian 'Infantry Units' (Rifle, Engineer, SMG...) are treated as 'platoons' with the number of counters added to make up the equivalent of the 'companies'. Attack and defense factors modified. Only Russian infantry units stacked together may combine their AF with other units in the same hex, unit type limits apply.

Russian units didn't operate on a 'company-level' because the wanted to, they had to. This will add to the vulnerability of Russian units instead of rewarding them for it. Too many things to go into to 'proof' this idea in this thread.

"Without good rules, you cannot have a good game".

Dennis
 
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Frank Clarke
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@Dennis, more than one sentence but thanks .

Gripe #10: Can has Fog Of War?
Rule: "Use counter stands rear towards enemy."


Comment: Just a paper triangle with a slot cut in it. Once the counter is spotted you may dispense with the stand.
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

Gripe: Reconnaissance by Death!

Comment: Most every organization would set out outposts, observation posts, security posts and just plain patrols.

Possible fix: All units have a 'zone-of-observation' that exists around the actual hex they occupy, just like a 'zone-of-control'. From it, the unit can 'spot'.

I really like the 'unit stands' idea! Very clever indeed! Simple, easy to employ and effective. What more could you ask for? 'Two thumbs up' for that idea!

"Without good rules, you cannot have a good game."

Dennis
 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello....

Gripe: An Army full of Daniel Boone's...

Where did all these Olympic-Crack-Shots come from? Many 'documents' that suggest 'normal ranges' for 'small arms' units is basically 250 yards... give or take.

So, 'Rifle' type infantry units ... range 1. 'SMG' type infantry units, range 1 at 1/2 AF... full AF when assaulting.

"Without good rules, you cannot have a good game."

Dennis
 
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Frank Clarke
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@Dennis
It was pretty easy to hit man-size Targets with a Sterling SMG at 100m, we never fired further than that even though the back sight was 100/200m.
An SMG would be borderline at 250m I agree.
0 AF at 1 hex and a huge AF for CAT would be interesting, pure assault troops.
There is a great PPSH41 video on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5v2x2jbKrU
 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

Good point. I tried the assault only concept for 'SMG' units. It seemed to 'work', at least for me anyway. The only thing is, what, if any, 'modification' should be applied to that attack type!? I'm trying to avoid 'gamey' rules and applications thereof. I've been to one too many gamming conventions, where 'rules' are used just for 'playability'.

Close Assault. This aspect of the 'game' is one of the most difficult to come up with a good set of rules for. Basically because of the chaos of the type of combat that it is. So much happens, in so many different ways, that its difficult to find relative, consistent, information on which to build rules around. I'm guessing that its going to be based more on the after action data then the event account information. Not the best situation, but one that may be unavoidable.

That video is wild! Wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that!

"Without good rules, you cannot have a good game!"

Dennis
 
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Juan Valdez
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juster2 wrote:
Here I continue my fanatical PanzerBlitz ruleset jeremiad.

[]


Gripe # 9: Where are the Squad Leaders, running around rallying the broken units?
Rule: "A Soviet unit must roll a 1-4 on a D6 to recover from a "D" or "DD" result, unless adjacent to a undispersed friendly unit"
Comment: Invisible Squad Leaders actually are running around rallying your troops, you just can't see them. The Soviets have fewer Squad Leaders, and running from unit to unit takes time if the troops are far apart.

Blog link: http://www.fclarke.com/2014/05/panzerblitz-panzer-leader-1-s...


I like it, but haven't played it yet.

I'm inclined to exempt Russian Recon and Guards units.

 
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Frank Clarke
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mtngrown wrote:
I'm inclined to exempt Russian Recon and Guards units.

Recon would need its own rules, good point, I use the German Security as German Recon. Recon units, including armoured recon should be independant and harder to spot. That could be another sentence .
Guards can be 1 hex apart then . I just like to have the Soviets poorly organised.
 
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Byron Henderson
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Interesting topic. Okay, I'll try.

Gripe: AFV may not take part in CAT.

Rule: German Assault Guns (no SPA) that move no more than two hexes and do not use road movement (although they may use roads to negate terrain while moving) may add their AF to any CAT attack that includes at least as many infantry type units as AGs.

Comment: This basically distills my Combined Arms Assault Tactics (CAAT) rule down to its core. The actual rule includes some additional notes to allow ("A" class) tanks and "I" class vehicles to also take part but this is the very basic rule. It goes a long way towards allowing the Germans to even the playing field against the Russians in any 1941 scenarios.
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Matthew Rauh
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The idea of allowing/adding small mortars and infantry guns to add their firepower to a CAT has got me rubbing my unshaven face. Intriguing!
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Frank Clarke
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pugbuddy wrote:
Interesting topic. Okay, I'll try.

Gripe: AFV may not take part in CAT.

Rule: German Assault Guns (no SPA) that move no more than two hexes and do not use road movement (although they may use roads to negate terrain while moving) may add their AF to any CAT attack that includes at least as many infantry type units as AGs.

Comment: This basically distills my Combined Arms Assault Tactics (CAAT) rule down to its core. The actual rule includes some additional notes to allow ("A" class) tanks and "I" class vehicles to also take part but this is the very basic rule. It goes a long way towards allowing the Germans to even the playing field against the Russians in any 1941 scenarios.

Based on your CAAT (which I like!), I had:
"One armored unit may take part in each CAT attack, only if it could enter the hex. Same restrictions as an infantry unit. Soviets cannot do this before 1944."
I would exclude open topped I suppose.

http://www.fclarke.com/2014/05/panzerblitz-rules-expansion.h...

I think that a well written sentence (or two) can get you 80% of the effect of 6 paragraphs of rules, and that would be enough for some people. Especially me, with limited mental capacity.

For Squad Leader I use the Mythic Fate Chart: http://alesmiter.blogspot.ca/2013/02/game-review-mythic-part...
"Can I attack the Nashorn crew with the Flails on my Churchill?" Very Unlikely, 5% at chaos level 2. I call this "Advanced Squad Leader", since it gives you a rule for every occasion. The Ruleless Rulebook ☯.
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Byron Henderson
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Quote:
Based on your CAAT (which I like!), I had:
"One armored unit may take part in each CAT attack, only if it could enter the hex. Same restrictions as an infantry unit. Soviets cannot do this before 1944."
I would exclude open topped I suppose.


Certainly an option but I excluded "A" and "I" class vehicles in my "one sentence" because, well, it would require more than one sentence!
 
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Juan Valdez
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MachewR wrote:
The idea of allowing/adding small mortars and infantry guns to add their firepower to a CAT has got me rubbing my unshaven face. Intriguing!


I'm adopting this subject to LOS limitations for small guns and mortars.

If PB had step losses it would be tempting to allow the big guns to fire danger close, which would almost surely result in friendly fire casualties at this scale.

However, I've read that Russian infantry did not function at all well in smaller than company-sized units, but I cannot recall the reference.

 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello....

The 'thread' seems to be doing well...

I have a few questions/comments....

First, why do the Russians 'have fewer Squad Leaders'?

Gripe: "Trucks". Used in 'gamey fashion' by rules lawyers to salvage their 'victory'.

Simple fix, make each 'truck' lost worth say 5,10 or 20 units toward the victory conditions. Just keep increasing the worth of each truck until the 'lawyer' gets the 'hint'. Remember its still supposed to be a friendly game in which everyone is supposed to be having fun, eh?

Gripe: Russians receive advantages from having to operate on a company level instead of being hindered by it.

Fix. "Russian Company" units... no 'odds ratio' increases, no die-roll-modifier increases for 'attacking'. When 'attacked' -2 die-roll-modifier.

As far as I know, Russian 'Company' units operated as such... in terms of PB scale that is, at least when 'attacking'. The problem is, the invulnerabilities of having company sized units on one side and not the other. So, because of their lack of, lets say 'everything', relative to the Germans (training, leadership training, tactics.... ) it should have the effects felt at this game level.

Gripe: Over stacking... putting two or more companies in a single hex just makes for a target-rich environment.

Fix. No more than one 'company', or its equivalent may be stacked in a single hex without incurring a 'penalty'. Which will be, +1 column shift when attacked. Additionally, a -1 die-roll-modifier for each unit, regardless of the 'size', for each unit over the single company, or equivalent stacked in the hex.

You are not limited by this rule, but you'll pay the price for assembling a 'mob' instead of a military unit being 'deployed' for battle.

Just a thought, keep it coming guys this is getting interesting.

"Without good rules, you cannot have a good game."

Dennis


 
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Frank Clarke
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dgk196 wrote:
Hello....

The 'thread' seems to be doing well...

I have a few questions/comments....

First, why do the Russians 'have fewer Squad Leaders'?

The Soviets had about 20-40m people killed in WW2, turnover was high. About 6 million Russians were taken prisoner, so they weren't really well-organized. They had Commissars and SMERSH blocking units to shoot people who retreated. So there must have been Human Resource issues.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties_of_the_...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrier_troops

Good point with the stacking.
 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello....

Sorry, misinterpretation on my part. I thought you meant that organizationally they where not including 'squad leaders' in their platoon/company units. Seems obvious now that you mentioned it. Yes, their level of leadership must have suffered because of losses and lack of training and experience.

Some 29 million men (est.) where lost by the Russians in combat. Of that about 80% where in the infantry or around 23 million men. Just to replace them would have been difficult. But add to it that the Russian army was expanded and new troops had to be found for the new units too.

So, I guess that in general, it can be said that the experience factor as regards their leadership played more of a role than their training did. As for the infantry soldier, they didn't fare much better. From late 1941 it was the norm for soldiers to complete their basic training never having fired their rifle, or 'zeroed' them in.

The ammo was the problem, first priority where units in the field. Ammo wasn't allotted for training. This never changed during the war, as losses and replacements overwhelmed the training structure and supply. So, training didn't really improve. Russians relied on field training and exercises before battles.

Heavy weapons training usually consisted of lectures, with no hands on training. 'Crews' where shown pictures of weapons to go along with the lecture. So it went for most of the training for the 'ground-pounders'. Also, the near constant, reorganizing led to much confusion. The goal was to make things as simple as possible for every level of command. And so, the tactical options where limited, because units still had to coordinate with support units, even if on a very basic level.

Obviously its much more complex and volumes have been written on the subject to definitively address the subject here. For me, I start by limiting the function capabilities of the Russian units in the game or assess 'penalties' for their over-sized, undertrained, inexperienced units. To paraphrase... 'basically the Russian army was that of a Napoleonic era army with automatic weapons.'

Dennis
 
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Frank Clarke
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dgk196 wrote:
I thought you meant that organizationally they where not including 'squad leaders'

The game "Squad Leader" has inspirational leaders in addition to the normal NCO's and junior officers, and these heroic guys run around rallying the troops. The scenarios give fewer leaders to the Soviets, so they tend to lose control. I was going for that kind of effect.
Based on the losses, Soviet infantry assaults must have been horrific in actuality, you wouldn't want to play as the Russians if the game were 100% realistic. I'll settle for a Disorganised Soviets / Efficient German stereotypes.
 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

Indeed, how much 'realism' is desired!? As 'gamers' we all have to decide the level that we are satisfied/comfortable with, to be sure. For me, a 'high-level' incorporating as much data and circumstances as possible, is desirable, for others, not so much. But that's fine, isn't it?

By incorporating as much realism you sometimes start to impose, or require, that players have to use the types of tactics that where used. Very vulnerable Russian company units need to have heavy weapons support to succeed in defending or attacking. And so, maybe it should be in the game too!?

In short, the less trained, less experienced troops are, the more they need to have an all-arms approach. Their lack of such doesn't endow them with the ability to alter plans on-the-fly with much success. And so, as players, and as the Russians did, you need to be prepared to incur large losses if you don't coordinate all units and their support. And even then you would still end up with lots of lost units. Its just the nature of the beast.

The encouraging aspect of the thread, here, is the range of alternatives to be considered. I look forward to the ideas and feedback, it is getting interesting, eh? Of course, that's just my approach to the game... not required for anyone else. Its still a game being played for fun.

Dennis
 
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Byron Henderson
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I tend to think that many of these issues, in game terms, have been addressed by the addition of different Soviet infantry units into the game. They have the following to choose from:

3I2/8-1 - Conscript/penal companies
3I4/10-1 - Early War (1941-42) Rifle
4I4/12-1 - Late or "better" 1942 and reduced strength (due to manpower shortages) 1944-45 Rifle
5I4/16-1 - 1943-45 Rifle (this reflects the final reorganization of the infantry that took place roughly around the time of the Stalingrad encirclement).

5I5/13-1 - Early Guards units and reduced strength (due to manpower shortages) 1945 Guards
6I5/18-1 - 1943-45 Guards Rifle

6I1/10-1 - 1942 SMG units
8I1/12-1 - 1943-45 SMG units

There are enough Russian infantry types (I didn't bother listing Recon or Engineer) that players can develop scenarios based on their abilities with ease. That doesn't mean that a DRM for the Germans could not be added to specific scenarios but I think it would depend more on the scenario itself as to whether there is a need.

One of the strengths of PB is that it can accommodate all of these options. Gotta love a game like this!
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Byron Henderson
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Quote:
Based on the losses, Soviet infantry assaults must have been horrific in actuality, you wouldn't want to play as the Russians if the game were 100% realistic. I'll settle for a Disorganised Soviets / Efficient German stereotypes.


Part of this issue has to do with the fact that the game is armor-centric (which is also why units in Towns/Cities are considered armored targets) and effective infantry assaults are pretty much limited to CAT. Direct Fire ratings are based on a unit's abilities vs. armored units, not against soft targets. Norman Beveridge's Barrage Fire rules are effective in addressing this shortcoming in the game.

Another option is to simply add +2 to the AF of each "I" class unit when it uses Direct Fire against a non-armored target (a Steven Bucey rule option). With the addition of German HMG units (6I6/6-1; not allowed to CAT), Soviet infantry won't run across open Steppe too often if the Germans have a defense set up that is anchored on a HMG platoon.
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

Yes indeed, you've gotta love a game like this. From the feedback, lots of 'situations' have been considered and solutions derived. Yes, there are many additional 'infantry' types available. But, the primary problem is the 'size' aspect (at least for me)of the units... company. I may not be considering all of the various aspects involved, but, I don't see how having more types of the same size unit addresses the relative size problem.

As an example, take three German Rifle Platoons, stacked together to form the basis of a German Rifle Company. Now normally, direct-fire would allow you to attack each platoon individually and the odds would be calculated as such and the outcome of the attack based on the odds ratio and the die-roll. Instead, imagine the situation, in that because they where stacked together, operating as a company, you had to attack the entire stack as one unit. Different odds ratio and most likely different results.

This is what happens by having Russian Company size units. Yes they operated as a company. But each platoon in the company had specific tasks and where assigned to them by the company commander. Heavy weapons support was allocated by him too. Specific weapons to support specific platoons with specific objectives. At times, the company would operate as if it where a single unit, as in when assaulting a position. But, even then platoons where assigned areas to operate in, relative to the other platoons.

And as such, each was an independent entity making up a larger group. There is currently no way to use tactics in taking on the individual platoons in the Russian company. The only way you can do that, is to have Russian platoons. So, if you have platoons (triple the number of Russian infantry units) instead of company's, you can compensate by multiplying all other units attack and defense factors by three. Not so hard, even for me!

This also would allow the makeup of the Rifle Company to reflect the changes as to its weapons and organization changes. For example, in the first half of 1943, Rifle company's had one of its three platoons equipped with SMG's instead of rifles. Then you could conduct a CAT as they did. Two Rifle Platoons suppression fire either flank and the SMG assaulting the opposite flank. Also, if you have platoons as the basis this would allow you to have the various heavy-weapons configurations of the various TO&E's for the company.

Just thinking out loud, you gotta love this game!

"Without good rules, you cannot have a good game."

Dennis
 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

Gripe: No variations for indirect-fire attacks.

A rule for establishing the method of applying the two basic attack types for indirect-fire artillery. These are based on the firing data being generated for the attack. They are ... deliberate... and ... rapid...

"Rapid" resolution will result in that indirect-fire attack conducted one turn after designating the attack. 'Call' for it on turn one... occurs on turn two. This will be an area-fire attack. That is all the attack factors effect all of the units in the target hex. Multiple units may attack the 'hex'. Each unit will be attacked in the hex as a result of this type of attack, in the following way.

Determine the number of effective attack-factors in the attack. This will be done by rolling one die to determine the percentage of the applied attack factors. Attack Factor Determination (DFM)...

Die roll of 1 will result in 1/8th of the attack factors applied to the attack.

Die roll of 2 through 5 will result in 1/4th of the attack factors applied to the attack.

Die roll of 6 will result in 1/2 of the attack factors applied to the attack.

This procedure is done for each unit in the target hex.

'Deliberate' will result in the attack being made two turns after the designating the attack. 'Call' for it on turn 1... occurs on turn 3. This will be against a specific unit in the target hex as designated by the attacker. One and only one artillery unit may be used in this type of attack. Determining the effective attack factors as follows....

Die roll 1 will result in 1/8th of the attack factors applied to the attack.

Die roll 2 or 3 will result in 1/4th of the attack factors applied to the attack.

Die Roll of 4-6 will result in 1/2 of the attack factors applied to the attack.

Only one type of attack may be conducted against a 'hex' per turn. Either a 'deliberate' or a 'rapid' attack. All other modifiers are applied as necessary... armor targets ... non armor targets... Towns.. and so on.

'Without good rules, you cannot have a good game.'

Dennis

 
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