Grzegorz Kurylowicz
Poland
Gdańsk
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At first. I consider myself as not begginer in wargaming. My set of vatiants is on the bottom of this post, so just skip following backstory
At the moment I own:

-set of polish TiS wargames (Polska 1939, Normandia 1944, B2WW, Arhnem 1944, Afrikakorps)
-Triumph and Tragedy
-Unconditional Surrender
-Holland '44 by GMT
-D-day at Omaha solitaire
-Axis and Allies 1940
-Tide of Iron with Normandy expansion
-prv owned Memoir 44, but could't stand it. Little game for children
-Bolt Action system

And of course CoH AtB 2 and Price of Honour. Not one of this game is perfect simulation, but with some adjusments some of them can get close.

As for CoH system. I really enjoy graphics. They give me feel of real battlefield. Now my first priority is neat squad level game. Tide of Iron with many variants gave me what I needed, but it's often too big to set up firefight for let's say 1 hour. As squad level games I considered ASL, CC, Band of Brothers, Lock'n Load, but CoH came to me as "the one". I tried hard to enjoy gameplay of this title, but could not. As it turned out, many people had same problems with this system as me. 7-point activation, CAPs, overall issue with used units. Storming fortified positions just didn't seem right and realistic reffering to historical books and battlefield reports. Amount of luck in various situations is just frustrating.
In many games, f.e. MG nest with 2 rifle squads couldn't keep fortified position becouse MG got hit after roll od 5+6 and got "cowering" chit. Squads made one shot each (4 points) and just standed and watched, as opposing squads took happy walk trought open field and lost the line within one round. In this point "impulse" system works better. But this was 2nd edition core rules. Solo expansion, and recent 3rd edition rules introdused d10 roll, negating 7 point activation, which is first best thing done to this game. After this update (game was collecting dust on my shelf for a while) I started wondering, how can I make this game great.

What I like in this system better, than others is facing and actually activation system. After this "patch" is no need to waste unit for OP fire. You just always have OP fire with various units. Now you can switch them every activation, which is good. CAPs did make it possible, but... in the mid game, after you took losses, it was useless. Overall it gives feel of controlling whole battlefield, not just single unit at the time. So if anyone have not heard of 3rd edition updates yet, I'm going to write them here. Actually those are "variants" for 2 ed Some of those ideas are straight from f.e. Band of Brothers or Bolt Action. Let's go!

--1--
VARIOUS ACTIVATIONS (7AP OUT)
Straight from 3rd edition.

A-- Instead of using 7 activation points, you roll a D10. For 3rd edition you get custom dice. I just use regular D10, where 0 is 1, 8 is 3 and 9 is 5. Activation costs are the same.
You move, you roll D10, 0 and 1 spends unit. You can switch units every activation. It makes possible to react, especially at the begginig of a turn. With statistics, overall number of activations are similiar to 7AP system. But it gives you narrative aspect. Now you have heroic moves and more feel of battlefield confusion.

B-- If you activate unit two times in a row, you get +1 action cost penalty. If you want to push hard, you need to take risks.

C--ORGANISED MOVEAs my own adjustment, I always give first move for free if unit is not in LOS of enemy unit. Even for heavy weapons. Units behind field of fire should relatively in good organisation. With D10 system sometimes unit on the far side of battlefield could not get to desired position becouse of unlucky first roll of 1... every damn turn. If amount of units is closer to "vast", I use any markers to point, that first free move is used. Personally, I use "spend" tokens from TOI.

D--From core rules. Just as reminder. Cousious move in the open. Infantry needs to take +1 AC, or get -1DM.

--2--
SPOTTING

If a unit reaches cover position moving in without enemy LOS, enemy rolls a D6. On 5+ enemy is spotted and can be attacked normally. If roll is 1-4, it's considered out of LOS, until it makes any action, or activates at the beginnig of new round. Mark it with "hidden" token.


Every single time in CoH firefights, defending in any type of cover terrain was very hard due to attacking units just waiting for unit to show itself in the "danger" hex. And have been killed or knocked out before had chance to fire once... Even taking part in airsoft firefights you quickly realise, that you have to change positions while you defend. And only option to not die and kill any attacker is to change window in the building. And when you are concealed, initiative of making fire exchange is at your side. Defender, occupynig new fortified position HAS TO have opportunity to "first fire".

--3--
FINAL OP FIRE (or self preservation instinct)
Band of Brothers

Spent unit can fire if enemy unit reaches adjacent hex with +1 bonus. Plus attacked unit automatically pivots towards attacking unit (troops focus their attention on close danger)

It gives more options of micro scale flanking.
Now activated unit is not just a pile of rocks. Yes, there is always risk of enemy player having extra activation card. But now you won't pass enemy line like dead army of Aragorn. Especially with lucky D10 roles... In one game, one enemy unit walked trought almost whole map and killed 3 units, because my friend was rolling 6s and 7s every time... 20 times in a row. For pete's sake, those chits are people! In the middle of battlefield. Sometimes trained.. and elite. Let's give them any self preservation instinct.

--4--
HIT THE GROUND! SUPPRESIVE FIRE!!
Bolt Action, Tide of Iron

A--PINNING. Always on roll of 6+ (on 2D6), unit under fire gets a "pin marker" (unit's attack modifiers don't apply, terrain defence modifires do apply). If unit already has pin marker, number gets one down. Unit with 1 pin, gets another on 5+, 2 pins, 4+ etc. Every unit under artillery or mortar fire receives 2 pins. If unit is shooting at long range, gets -2 modifier to pin check. So basic value is 8+.

At the end of round, if only fresh units are with pin markers, they're considered spent, and player have to pass.


I imagine, on real battlefield, heavy fire has a snowball effect. It always bothered me, how uneffective and useless most of the times were mortars...

B-- MORALE (or "chaos") CHECK. If unit has pin markers, you need to check if unit understands and obeys, let's say, NCO's command. Roll activation D10 before order. If you roll more than spend number, do action, and check spend again. If you roll spend number, you just don't follow this order, but stay active. If unit has 2 or more pin markers, it gets flipped to the spent side. If unit was activated by CAPs, again, order is just lost. If unit has 3 pin markers, it also gets -1 attack modifier.

C--PIN REDUCTION. After both players has passed, at the end of a round every unit with pin markers, discards one pin.
Units in range of officer discard 2 pins.
Units may also reduce pins by rally action. In addition to rally attempt, unit may discard 2 pins. Rally doesn't require success like normal damage counter and morale check.

D--UNDER FIRE OPTIONAL - Before discarding pin markers, players can choose pinned enemy units without any cover ('in the open") and pair them with own NOTpinned units, and mark them with "under fire" marker. Pinned unit cannot remove pin, but "firing" unit has to fire at paired unit as it's first action of the next round. It gives feel of more constant action, and makes firing units a little less aware of what is going on arround them. ...and keep critical enemy units pinned.

E-- SUPPRESIVE FIRE. Every unit can choose "second fire mode". If it chooses "SF", it gets it's attack modifier to the roll of pinning (f.e. HMG has red 5, it would pin enemy unit on 1 (2D6), so always. MG fear German rifle (red 2) on 4+). But it can inflict normal damage chit only on roll of 12 (lucky shot, or random ricochet). Every unit can perform maximum of 2 suppresive fires trought whole firefight. Mark them with any "ammo" token. It's obvious, that this kind of "barrage" takes greater ammount of ammo, and troops in short firefights had limited number of shots.
...optionally russians can have one ammo.


On average, you need 8-10 to hit unit. If you not... you face army of terminators. Wrong! Again. Self preservation! Bullets fly, men hit the ground. Core damage chits are not enough. As I wrote before, it's waaay to easy to storm defenders. This rule gives you more need of planning even small strongpoint. Good for simulation fans. Bad for fast game fans...
Of course pin markers work in addition to damage chits and are cummulative. Personally for me this set gives more human factor to the game.
As I researched, in the time od 2WW, most fighting formations used tactic of suppresive fire. In my opinion it's necessary to include this mechanic in any squad level tactical combat game.

--5--
OFFICERS
Bolt Action, Lock'n Load

Let's use common organisation (correct me if I'm mistaken). Rule of 3. One squad consists of 8-12 men with corporal. One platoon is 3 squads plus support weapons. Lead by CO. Three platoons is company. If scale of firefight includes force of platoon, I introduce one NCO for +/- 3 squads. If there is more than 6 squads, one CO. Plus as an option, leader of tank platoon.

A--Range of NCO is 6 adjacent hexes. NCO has stay always with squad. If squad with NCO is ellimininated, NCO as well.
CAPs can be used by all units on the map. (bravery, valor, etc. As designer notes in the rulebook). But in range of NCO, one used CAP can be recovered at roll of 5+ on D6. In addition, action cards can be used ONLY in range of NCOs. If NCO is killed with the unit, every other unit within his range gets 2 pins immidiately due to shock and concideration, what to do next.

B--In PIN REDUCTION step, all adjacent units remove 2 pins.

C--When unit within range of officer is activated, officer can move to another unit.


CAP system and action cards... no. It feels not good enough. I think it's matter of making game more streamlined. But it doesn't work at all for me. There is no such thing as "ghost commander" spectating over battlefield. In serious tactical wargame has to be any kind of physical leader or commander(s). Even in firefight "Krojanty charge" (PoH) you can read about commander.

--6--
LIGHT BLOCKING TERRAIN

You can trace LOS trought light woods and wooden buildings, but if you shoot, don't add any AM. (excluding mortars)

--7--
OBJECTIVES

Personally don't like... or misunderstood controling mission goals. As I understand, you take it if run or ride trought it. I recently played with rule of area control. To take control of objective, you have to adjacent to the objective hex and no enemy units. Small change.

I play always with this set of rules. Combined with core mechanics IMO works well and feel more realistic. Yes, it works against attacker, but in most games attackers won. I haven't notice problems with balance so far. IMO it's even better, because firefights feel little less dependent of poor dice rolling. Next observation. Game is now a little longer and harder. And maybe this is not goal of CoH. But with overall presentation and innovative core rules it can be good. Anyway I finally like Conflict of Heroes my way of playing it.

Now. My variants .rar:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



--1-- (3rd ed mostly)
VARIOUS ACTIVATIONS


A-unit spent on D10 instead after 7AP
B-two actions in row with one unit costs +1AC
C-ORG MOVE - free first move out of enemy LOS (mark with some token)

--2--
SPOTTING


Unit making move out of LOS to cover terrain in LOS of enemy is considered out LOS unless it:
-makes any action
-flips to active side at the begginig of new round (someone finally spotted them)
-enemy rolls 5+ on D6

--3--
SELF PRESERVATION


Any unit (inc spent) can attack enemy unit moving into hex adjacent to an unit with +1 modifier. Unit automatically pivots towards attacker.

--4--
HIT THE GROUND, SUPPRESIVE FIRE


A-PINNING - if attack roll (with only DM) is 6+ and 8+ at long range(-1 for every PIN), defender gets PIN.

B-MORALE CHECK - if unit has and PINs:

1 PIN - roll activation die before action. If it would spend unit, action is forfeited, unit NOT spent.
2 PIN - same as 1, but unit is spent.
3,4 PIN - -1 AM for every PIN above 2.

At the end of round, if only fresh units are with pin markers, they're considered spent, and player have to pass.

CAP action is forfeited same as normal if unit doesn't pass morale check.

C-PIN REDUCTION - at the end of a round, every unit removes 1 PIN (2 in range of officer). Unless UNDER FIRE variant is in play.
Units may also reduce pins by rally action. In addition to rally attempt, unit may discard 2 pins. Rally doesn't require success like normal damage counter and morale check.

D-UNDER FIRE - before PIN REDUCTION, player can choose enemy unit in the open hex and pair it with own unit without PIN and mark them with UNDER FIRE token. Pinned unit cannot remove PIN, but firing unit as its first action of a new round HAS TO perform attack towards paired unit.

D-SUPPRESIVE FIRE - any unit, while firing can choose SF mode. It gets AM to 2D6 attack roll and inflict 1 PIN on 6+ (-AM). After SF mark it with ammo token. No unit can perform more than 2 SFs over the firefight.

--5--
OFFICERS


Add one NCO to every 3 squads, one tank leader, if there's tank platoon (min 3 tanks) and CO if there's more than 9 squads.

Every NCO, CO has range of 1. Only in range player can use action cards and can recover 1 CAP (after use) on roll 5+ on D6.
If NCO dies with his squad, every adjacent unit receives 2 PINs.

--6--
LIGHT BLOCKING TERRAIN


LOS trought light woods and wooden bld. Attack without AM. (excluding mortars)

EXTRA SET OF TOKENS

1.Organised move (I use used from TOI)
2.Pin markers (I use pins from TOI)
3.Under fire (I use rout from TOI)
4.Concealed in cover terrain
5.Ammo
6.Officers (I use any number tokens to distinguish 1st, 2nd platoon etc)





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James
Canada
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The 3rd edition rules will appeal to you. You need the special Spent Die in order to play (or creative minds can craft chits...)There is no more 7 APs per unit. Now you activate a unit and roll the special Spent Die, and if the roll is > # APs your unit spent, the unit remains fresh. I even you this when playing solo (instead of drawing an AI card to see if the unit is spent.)There is also fatigue (AP cost +1 if you consecutively use the same unit to perform actions.)
I'm not sure about controlling objectives, but the way I play,a unit must be on the objective in order to control it.

Two things I don't like about COH, is the idea of placing damage markers under your units so nobody can see them. I understand the idea behind this, but we find it frustrating and slows the game down. I guess we are used to playing ASL. The idea of constantly picking up your damaged units to see what the damage marker is, does not appeal to us, and so we simply place the damage markers face up (we made smaller markers so as to not completely cover the units.)The other thing has to do with pivoting. Foot units pay 1 AP to pivot (they must be really slow.) I understand pivoting for vehicles, but infantry should be able to turn around 360 degrees without much difficulty. We made a house rule where pivoting is free for infantry (unless pinned, in which case they can't pivot.) Also, infantry units can freely pivot to face their attacker after the attack is resolved. These are house rules, and will not appeal to players who are stickler for rules.
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Grzegorz Kurylowicz
Poland
Gdańsk
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We never use secret damage counters.
 
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