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Subject: OCS multi-unit formation dispersion rss

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prouler DCS
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Hello all.

I can only find one rule encouraging the concentration of multi-unit formations. This rule (12.6f) states that all the trace supply of the formation is done from one hex only. The problem is that even considering this rule, the dispersion of the units can be very high. No historical delimited zones for each division, etc.

Is there any other rule or house rule penalizing the dispersion of the units of the same formation?
 
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Jim Daniels
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see 12.5c

"If all units of the formation needing fuel are not
using the same HQ for supply throw(or using the same dump for
direct-draw), apply the single-unit method (below) to fuel units that
cannot draw from the common source"

single unit method only lasts for the phase...not nearly as efficient as fueling the whole formation for 1SP and the turn.

there may be another rule of similar impact for combat supply...didn't dig it up.

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Jason Cawley
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You aren't wrong - it is very weak and certainly not terribly historical. Most players keep their formations together because they can, not because they need to. If you literally send them to far ends of the map, then your overall supply costs are very slightly higher, but that's really about it.

As for how to "house rule" it to a more realistic usage, I like only allowing best unit quality rating for the main formation taking part in combat factor contribution terms. Whenever more than one formation takes part, you have to average the quality ratings of all the involved units. This encourages unit integrity in a realistic way, with the quality level mixes one usually sees in the games that is. Use if you like it.
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prouler DCS
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JasonC wrote:

You aren't wrong - it is very weak and certainly not terribly historical. Most players keep their formations together because they can, not because they need to. If you literally send them to far ends of the map, then your overall supply costs are very slightly higher, but that's really about it.

As for how to "house rule" it to a more realistic usage, I like only allowing best unit quality rating for the main formation taking part in combat factor contribution terms. Whenever more than one formation takes part, you have to average the quality ratings of all the involved units. This encourages unit integrity in a realistic way, with the quality level mixes one usually sees in the games that is. Use if you like it.


Hi Jason.
Thanks for your response, but I find dificult to understand your house rule proposal.
Can you explain it using an example?

My proposal is to make a coordination check for every combat. Units from the same formation are not affected, but other units have their combat values downgraded randomly using a die, from 75% to 25%. This is a way to simulate coordination problems between units of different formations, and encourages the use of units of the same formation in an attack. Units of the same formation must be close to use them efficiently.
 
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prouler DCS
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High Krausen wrote:
see 12.5c

"If all units of the formation needing fuel are not
using the same HQ for supply throw(or using the same dump for
direct-draw), apply the single-unit method (below) to fuel units that
cannot draw from the common source"

single unit method only lasts for the phase...not nearly as efficient as fueling the whole formation for 1SP and the turn.

there may be another rule of similar impact for combat supply...didn't dig it up.



Hi Jim.

The problem is that trace supply can be thrown really far, and can't prevent the dispersion of units of the same formation.
 
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Tankboy
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Not exactly sure where your going with this, but OCS properly rewards players when they keep their Formations tight and not dispersed, Mostly in fuel supply requirements.
This alone should be the only factor concerning you to not disperse your Formations.
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prouler DCS
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Fly by Night wrote:
Not exactly sure where your going with this, but OCS properly rewards players when they keep their Formations tight and not dispersed, Mostly in fuel supply requirements.
This alone should be the only factor concerning you to not disperse your Formations.


For me this issue is important, because in my current game of OCS Korea the american units defending in the Pusan perimeter are being positioned as they arrive, each one in a different position. All of them can be supplied from Pusan without problem, but there is no division cohesion. Historically from south to north the position of the american divisions was: 25th, 24th, 1st cav. In my game there is no reason to divide the front by divisional zones, because all units can be supplied without problem from Pusan.
That's why I need an additional house rule to encourage divisional concentration.
Divisions are under the command of a General, who controls its regiments to make it as efficient as posible as a whole. What kind of control can a General do if the regiments are far from him?
 
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Jason Cawley
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prouler - sure I can easily explain what I mean. The relevant clause from version 4.2 of the living rules, section on combat -

"Each side selects a unit whose Action Rating (AR) will “lead” the combat. Subtract the defender’s AR from the attacker’s AR and use this difference as a Dice Roll Modifier (DRM) affecting both Surprise determination and the combat roll."

Since each side only needs to select one lead unit, they can generally select their best unit to get the best action rating, in the rules as written.

So my "house rule" is that the rule as written *only applies if there is only one formation on each side in the combat*. If there is only one formation, just select a lead unit and use its AR. But if the involved units on either side are from two or more formations, instead that side must *average* all of the action ratings of all its involved units to determine the AR it will use to resolve the combat. Round fractions *down*. You must still designate a lead unit; that unit must equal or exceed the average AR used in the combat resolution. If for some reason you have to designate a lower AR unit then the resolution uses that units lower AR.

So if you have a good mobile division that has some 4s for its armor or best recon unit or both, and 3s for all the other units, and you keep them together, then you are going to get to designate a lead "4" unit and fight with a 4 action rating - and thus better surprise determinations and combat modifiers etc.

But if instead, say, your defending stack is one 4 and one 2 from 2 different formations (maybe US and ROK, in your case, I suppose), you will still have to designate the 4 as your lead unit to get the fight resolved as "3" action rating.

You can get fancier and have the average for AR be weighted by combat factor or steps, but I don't find it necessary in practice. Because mostly the effect of the averaging is quite clear - you only get a "best unit" rating if you have "divisional integrity" and otherwise you get an average unit action rating, which is going to be a downgrade unless the force ARs are uniform.

If all of your units are 3s or all of your units are 2s, they don't suffer, but in most of the games that just doesn't happen, and there is enough "pressure" to want to get more out of your 4s and 5s and not get "dragged down" by your greener units, that it is a real penalty for division of forces.

I hope that helps explain my house rule to encourage "division integrity".
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M St
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Fly by Night wrote:
Not exactly sure where your going with this, but OCS properly rewards players when they keep their Formations tight and not dispersed, Mostly in fuel supply requirements.
This alone should be the only factor concerning you to not disperse your Formations.

Actually, most of the posts above yours point out explicitly that trace ranges are often long enough that mixing formations is perfectly viable.
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Eric Schaefer
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I'm not sure what you are looking for here--other than the fact that you want all of the units of a Division together in the same location. Unless you are looking for some sort of "cohesion" bonus or something as a new house rule to add to a combat?

I've never seen the need for that in a OCS game myself, as the ARs handle that quite nicely. Plus I agree with Tankboy's comment above. Keeping a division together for supply/fueling purposes is all that is required via the rules.
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Tankboy
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M St wrote:
Fly by Night wrote:
Not exactly sure where your going with this, but OCS properly rewards players when they keep their Formations tight and not dispersed, Mostly in fuel supply requirements.
This alone should be the only factor concerning you to not disperse your Formations.

Actually, most of the posts above yours point out explicitly that trace ranges are often long enough that mixing formations is perfectly viable.


In regards to Trace supply, sure. To physical supply needs, disperse your divisions at your peril. Not a smart move.
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Jason Cawley
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Eric - yes division integrity is the issue, and incentives for it. No that doesn't have to mean the same exact hex for a full division, but it means that that or stacked next to each other or holding one stretch of the line, is realistically more favorable for command and coordination, than a "unit salad" completely scrambled across the frontage. The latter is too viable in OCS rules as written, is the point.

In the case of Korea Forgotten War, for example, with no changes the supply reasons to stay together won't operate in the Pusan perimeter area, as even the unit salad approach will still not be penalized. And you can get more out of your marine 5s and 4s by stacking each with a quality 2 ROC division (though more steps might make enemy bombardment effective I suppose). Why would you keep the 1st Marine division together and assign it one area of the front? It is more effective to send them just where you want high effectiveness and stack them with crappy units from other divisions. This isn't quite realistic.

My house rule solution still allows "unit salad", and you can still get higher effectiveness by "corseting" lousy with better units - but only if they are 2 effectiveness better, and you still sacrifice some possible effectiveness compared to keeping the division together. In Korea terms, the 1st Marine division can have 5 effectiveness in two locations stacked with others of the division - can have 5 effectiveness when they attack together, etc. But they can't make 5 divisions of ROCs fight like 5s and 4s all across the perimeter just by spreading out and mixing in with them.
 
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Tankboy
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JasonC wrote:

Eric - yes division integrity is the issue, and incentives for it. No that doesn't have to mean the same exact hex for a full division, but it means that that or stacked next to each other or holding one stretch of the line, is realistically more favorable for command and coordination, than a "unit salad" completely scrambled across the frontage. The latter is too viable in OCS rules as written, is the point.

In the case of Korea Forgotten War, for example, with no changes the supply reasons to stay together won't operate in the Pusan perimeter area, as even the unit salad approach will still not be penalized. And you can get more out of your marine 5s and 4s by stacking each with a quality 2 ROC division (though more steps might make enemy bombardment effective I suppose). Why would you keep the 1st Marine division together and assign it one area of the front? It is more effective to send them just where you want high effectiveness and stack them with crappy units from other divisions. This isn't quite realistic.

My house rule solution still allows "unit salad", and you can still get higher effectiveness by "corseting" lousy with better units - but only if they are 2 effectiveness better, and you still sacrifice some possible effectiveness compared to keeping the division together. In Korea terms, the 1st Marine division can have 5 effectiveness in two locations stacked with others of the division - can have 5 effectiveness when they attack together, etc. But they can't make 5 divisions of ROCs fight like 5s and 4s all across the perimeter just by spreading out and mixing in with them.


Actually, no. You need to reread the game specific rules. You stack that 5AR Marine unit with a 2AR ROK unit, you use that AR2.

Using your house rules your no longer playing OCS.
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Jason Cawley
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Tankboy - My house rule is to modify the series rules, not the specific game rule, but fine. I quoted the series rule in question above; if there is a game specific one the other way for Korea great. I've only just started playing Korea, mostly Blitzkrieg Legend and east front stuff before that. The need for something to encourage division integrity is general.

As for telling me what I am playing, I house rule anything I like with my own games, thanks, and don't require anyone's permission in the matter.
 
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By all means, play whatever you like.
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prouler DCS
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For me divisional integrity is important, for the historical inmersion of the game. I'm not trying to change the actual rules, only change them with house rules to improve my playing experience.
I can understand that other players don't estimate this issue as important as me, but for me it's really painfull. Historically the front is divided always by zones for each division. Some overlaping is OK, and in chaotic situations a must, but the tendency is always to consolidate zones. I'm sure that the first obligation of an army general is to designate the zones for each division, and the obligation of the division is to designate the zones for each regiment, etc.

PD: Thanks Jason for your example and help.
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Owen Edwards
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I always know that stepping into certain kinds of OCS thread will leave me with the same feelings as stepping into certain kinds of ASL threads. Some brothers here know what I mean. No further comment.
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Fred Thomas
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Fly by Night wrote:
Actually, no. You need to reread the game specific rules. You stack that 5AR Marine unit with a 2AR ROK unit, you use that AR2.

Using your house rules your no longer playing OCS.

But if they're attacking from different hexes you get to use the larger one. So attack coordination is easier the more widely dispersed the attackers are. Are they trying to model bug-out contagion?
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Eric Schaefer
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I see where you're coming from, but if you want your divisional units together, just move them so that they are together--problem solved.

Historically speaking (and again, maybe not in Korea--not well versed in the initial US deployments to the Pusan perimeter), divisional assets can and would be broken down and assigned to other sectors, or attached to other divisions as circumstances dictated. In fact that was kind of the whole point of the German Kampfgruppe--taking other smaller units (sometimes even borrowing them from different formations) and making smaller combined arms "mini-divisions" (for lack of a better term) as the primary formation.

But, if this is important enough to you to house rule it, go ahead.
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Jason Cawley
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So the Korea specific game rule only applies to UN ROK units stacked in the same hex, and the rule is that the ROK rating is used regardless of unit sizes or ratings, and this is applied on a hex by hex basis.

So if a Marine 5 and some 3s are stacked in one hex, all UN units, and the other hex taking part in the attack is all ROK 2s, then the attack goes in as a 5. But if you mix in the same hexes, it goes in as a 2. Basically this discourages stacking with ROK units unless of the same rating as them, and it makes it harder to "stiffen" for defense, easier to lead on attacks (since defense is always one hex, attacks frequently from several).

(Note that very early on, the better ROKs are actually way better action ratings than the green Task Force Smith era US forces, so this ROK rating always used rule actually helps. The ROK 1st division should "lead" the weak Americans in that period, etc).

There is still every incentive to spread the Marines around the perimeter, stacked with other US units or on their own, and interleaved with ROKs. There is no incentive to retain divisional integrity in the line, the scrambled eggs incentive is just divided by nationality.

As for the comment "just keep them together if you want to", that misses the point. It is a question is realistic incentives in a competitive strategy game. If the US/UN player chooses to fight with scrambled eggs, is he penalized for this or rewarded, by the game system and its action rating procedures? The communist player doesn't get to just tell him to keep his units together; he's not in command of the enemy army.

So, I see the same need for a divisional integrity rule in this one, that I already saw in France in 1940. One man's opinion of course.
 
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