Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Corp, Division, Regiment Reassignment - Game Effect?? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chad
United States
Denver
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
We will bury you
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just finished reading the Last Offensive also Charles B MacDonald (thanks for the recommendation) and one of the big themes I notices was how often Corps, Divisions, Regiments were shifted depending on the the need (Units getting separated, terrain, desire for additional force, objectives, etc. This happened on both sides.

Has this ever been simulated in a game? Is it even necessary? Or does our near omniscience make this level of command and control moot - and it is effectively built in?

For example, if I am playing The Mighty Endeavor and I decide to move the 83rd Infantry Division from the Huertgen Forest to Alsace. Is it just assumed that Bradley made the call and moved it from one corp to another? Should there be an impact from this move?
5 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Severus Snape
Canada
flag msg tools
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me." Blaise Pascal
badge
"There is yet faith, but the faith and the hope and the love are all in the waiting." T.S. Elliot
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There are many designs that apply bonuses or penalties for "divisional integrity," and I imagine that there are some that apply them same idea to regiments and battalions.

I am curious about whether or not this has been done at the corps level.

Yours is a great question, and I am not a lot of help.

goo
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For some games, this aspect of organization/command and control is simulated. The historian/simulation buffs--players--want it, others may see it as needless and time-consuming chrome. Various designers have taken a stab at various levels of detail on this issue.

Probably the most well-known mechanic was a "divisional integrity" rule that doubled the combat strength of a division when all its regiments were stacked together. We see this in games using the Panzergruppe Guderian System from way back in the 1970s. It was well-received (for the most part; the nit-picks were regarding stacking rules in division-equivalents. Having nine regiments in a single hex with all of them doubled seemed a bit too much!). When SPI published Highway to the Reich (first and second editions), companies from different divisions suffered a penalty when fighting together, unless the division commander from one of them was present. Since then, there have been a number of systems that penalize players for mixing up formations. There are also systems that allow players to transfer units from one formation to another, typically with some sort of delay factored in.

Am sure you will get posters here who will relate to you their favorite systems that simulate this aspect of formation organization and command and control.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad
United States
Denver
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
We will bury you
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I knew about the divisional integrity bonus from a couple of games - but have seen nothing at the Corp level - and certainly during the last 5 months of the war, divisions were moved around almost continuously (Patch and Patton were exchanging divisions almost like Pokemon cards)

Is it the divisional integrity rules making the most sense because most of the time, the entirety of the division (including divisional support elements like AT and Artillery) is transferred? but at the Corp level, these support elements were generally retained (and jealously guarded)?

Certainly at lower levels (Battalion and Company) a penalty makes sense given they likely are not fully brought into the communications/support net.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Fung
United States
Old Greenwich
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Utrecht wrote:
I knew about the divisional integrity bonus from a couple of games - but have seen nothing at the Corp level - and certainly during the last 5 months of the war, divisions were moved around almost continuously (Patch and Patton were exchanging divisions almost like Pokemon cards)

Is it the divisional integrity rules making the most sense because most of the time, the entirety of the division (including divisional support elements like AT and Artillery) is transferred? but at the Corp level, these support elements were generally retained (and jealously guarded)?

Certainly at lower levels (Battalion and Company) a penalty makes sense given they likely are not fully brought into the communications/support net.
The basics is that Army and Corps were administrative HQ's so they did not have any set number of subordinate units under them. Corps would have from one to many divisions and independent assets (engineers, artillery, AAA, etc.). Armies would have numerous corps under them but also possibly full divisions that were not in a corps but directly under the Army HQ (often as the army reserve).

Division on down were set formations. They had the same organization as their type: infantry, armor, airborne, etc. As a set formation, they were usually indivisible: if you move the division, you move the whole thing because the division commander owned all those subunits along with attachments assigned to him by corps and/or army level (engineers, artillery, AAA, etc.).

Regiments at times could be detached from the division to be used by corps or army, but this was fairly rare. Doing so you have to change up the communications network, supply, etc. that were all integrated within the set formation division.

So mention of regiments being shifted here or there I would gather would be the reserve regiment moving at the discretion of the division commander (or an overzealous corps or army commander).

You basically keep the set chain of command intact unless there's a specific reason to break it up.

In your example of moving the 83rd Division across fronts, there would be some jockeying between the Army Group, Army, and Corps commanders as who needs a full division, if it was available, and if the owning corps/army could dispense with it vs. Bradley, Patch, or Eisenhower saying, "just do it". So it's all covered in the game but depends on the scale you are talking about. In The Mighty Endeavor, moving around the division is no problem and simulates what happened from D-Day (2nd Div, 8th Div, and 29th Div diverted to Brittany) all the way to VE-Day.

In a more well known example, the 82nd and 101st moving into the Battle of the Bulge, these were SHAEF strategic reserve, i.e. under Eisenhower because there were no theater reserves.
11 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Fielding
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The game should include the boundary lines between armies & corps. Usually in situations that are interesting to the gamer, it was those lines which were shifted rather than transfering units.

For instance, when the Bulge happened, the northern boundary for the Alsace was shifted north, and the existing units had to defend much more frontage.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The War Gamer
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
Pick a game in my "Want to Play" category, and let's play! There's so many to choose from...
badge
Pick a game in my "Want to Play" category, and let's play! There's so many to choose from...
Avatar
mb
I find that the best command and control feature in a game is one that restricts a unit to its own area of operations (ie, its own fire lane), and one that has a realistic attach / detach process from one unit to the next. There are those who might see that as too restrictive but I digress.

I don't think players actually realize just how huge their A-Historical advantage is in allowing players a low orbiting satellite view in WWI & WWII, and just how unnatural it is to knee jerk react to sudden changes on the battlefield due to that unnatural point of view.

Few games I'm aware of address these issues, and is one of the many reasons why I'm so hooked on the Grand Operational Simulation Series.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Fielding
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I was thinking of dropping wooden cubes on hexes to show the boundary, and things like ZOC do not cross, and a defender cannot attack or pursue across the boundary.

With some computer aided assistance, the lines are not known to the enemy (unless there are rules for Intelligence Gathering).

God help you if the enemy attacks before you have shifted units to cover a new boundary line. Units scheduled to be leaving the "zone" -- which might be the line hex and the one on either side -- would be in "transport" mode.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron A
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bulge 20 lets you reassign corps. Most units on board are armies, their component corps are kept off map. You have to play a G-1 card to detach a corps from an army to the board or to send it to army group HQ. You also have to spend a G-1 card to get a detached corps back to an army from army group HQ. So, transferring US XIII Corps from the 9th Army to 1st Army takes 2 G-1 cards, one to detach from 9th Army to l2th Army Group HQ, and then a 2nd card to get it from l2th AG to 1st Army.



Of course, the kicker is, you have limited cards every turn and there are always lots of things you want to do.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin McCleary
United States
Huachuca City
Arizona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It is not uncommon to modify Corps (or any subordinate unit) boundaries during operations. It's terrain/objective driven. So "chopping" a division (or a Corps) from one Corps (or Army) to another may not entail any actual lateral movement of the unit but an adjustment of the left/right boundary. It does have logistics, fire support,security implications and as noted C2.

Games at any level don't typically address unit boundaries and the associated restrictions and required coordination and the time factor is almost invisible to the player - it all just happens. Units just move wherever they want and shoot whatever they want which is not the reality of how it works.

Depends on how far you want to drill down in detail at a given echelon.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Cawley
United States
Anthem
Arizona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

Chad - lots of games treat these assignments as so flexible that they just don't have formations or unit integrity effects in the first place. You can send whatever to work with whoever and it is just assumed the administration of all that is handled by staffs and players don't need to worry about it.

But some think that is much more flexibility than historical commanders actually had. It also leads to gamey optimizations like factor counting and treating all your "2s" and "3s" as equivalents for "topping off" to this odds column or that defense strength per hex. So designers respond with incentives to fight the formations more historically.

There are basically 3 such systems. One is to have HQs with designated subordinates that activate their controlled units together and don't activate others. This pretty much forces formations to stay together because a unit activating in a sector with no "friends" can't accomplish anything. It needs to be near the units that activate with it, so formations are kept together in a realistic way.

This approach then needs some cross assignment system to handle (1) higher level units that flex tasked across those formations, like corps or army level artillery in a division formations game, or independent TD or SP gun units, engineers, whatever. And (2) maybe to handle some limited number of cross attachments. But if (2) is made too flexible it defeats the purpose of having the activation system in the first place, and if the bookkeeping or prior planning is too hard, its playability cost outweighs the realism gain.

The second system is to apply formation limits only in combat, trusting that this will provide enough incentive to hold formations together even in "we go" all units activation or flexible activation of everything within command radius of a given HQ. This does tend to have the downside that attackers will care about it much more than operational defenders, who frequently don't need to counterattack and so never hit the attacker unit coordination rule cases at all.

Two main rule types occur in such systems though. Either there is a bonus for unit integrity, fixed or flexible, or there is a penalty for having too many formations in the combat, or a hard rule excluding more than a few units from formations after the "lead" formation.

Unit integrity bonuses may be only for all the units of a formation being in the same hex or being in the combat, or they may be for either side for each full regiment - Panzergruppe Guderian system and GOSS system respectively. There are minor variations but those are the most common.

Attack coordination limits are either only 1 unit "cross attached" to the lead formation, like in Ardennes '44 or Normandy '44, or they are coordination rolls for large attacks like Roads to Leningrad/Moscow and similar.

Some of these rules are so loose that they only add fiddle. In Ardennes '44 RAW with the optional rule for factor limits on attackers too, it is rare to hit the formation limits before hitting the attack factor limit. Because you are given one "free" higher formation unit (often an armor support unit e.g.), and one unit from a "cross attached" formation. As long as only 2 main formations participate, you won't hit the coordination limit.

They don't always work well with some special formations, either. In Ardennes '44 for example the 150th Panzer Brigade is a unit with US equipment used for a ruse attack. As such it isn't part of any divisional formation. It can be the single "cross attachment" to any other group, but that means attacks along division "joins" can't use it and even small elements of both divisions. But navigating those issues tends to be a minor restriction if the players mostly keep their divisions together. And the defending Americans frequently don't care about these things at all.

In my opinion, most non chit pull activation systems err too much on the side of letting players use all their units as an indifferent "soup" and don't force enough use of formations together. But it is best if the rules on such things are simple and incentive based, not hard bookkeeping heavy systems that require formally "slotting" formation A into formation B for duration X all over. It's just too much admin overhead for the realism gain.

Keep the system simple and don't change it if it is working, is my advice. If units are posted willy nilly all over the map without regard to formation (I'm looking at you OCS), then that system needs more unit coordination systems.

My favorite for OCS, by the way, is the following. If all the units of a given mobile division are present in one combat, then it can use its highest QL rating for the fight. But they aren't, it has to use the lowest such present. Defenders always get to use highest. This gets rid of the incentive to send a few "5s" hither and yon to leading infantry division attacks and similar gaminess, and provides a realistic incentive to keep a given panzer division e.g. fighting against the same hex, if not stacked together.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The War Gamer
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
Pick a game in my "Want to Play" category, and let's play! There's so many to choose from...
badge
Pick a game in my "Want to Play" category, and let's play! There's so many to choose from...
Avatar
mb
JasonC wrote:

My favorite for OCS, by the way, is the following. If all the units of a given mobile division are present in one combat, then it can use its highest QL rating for the fight. But they aren't, it has to use the lowest such present. Defenders always get to use highest. This gets rid of the incentive to send a few "5s" hither and yon to leading infantry division attacks and similar gaminess, and provides a realistic incentive to keep a given panzer division e.g. fighting against the same hex, if not stacked together.
I love this idea. Mind if I borrow and pass it around a bit?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Cawley
United States
Anthem
Arizona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

Joey - absolutely. I use it along with a whole passel of "new OCS" changes, but it is perfectly separable, on its own.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Pavitt
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Campaign for North Africa (of course) has a rule section devoted to assigning and attaching sub-units to larger formations. It also has historical assignments (which change over time), rules for forming battle groups, etc.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Zurunkel
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There are several chit-pull games, such as Army Group Narwa, that limit which units can be activated, based on their Corps affiliation. Off hand, I don't know if any allow one to change a unit's affiliation.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SBGrad wrote:
Bulge 20 lets you reassign corps. Most units on board are armies, their component corps are kept off map. You have to play a G-1 card to detach a corps from an army to the board or to send it to army group HQ. You also have to spend a G-1 card to get a detached corps back to an army from army group HQ. So, transferring US XIII Corps from the 9th Army to 1st Army takes 2 G-1 cards, one to detach from 9th Army to l2th Army Group HQ, and then a 2nd card to get it from l2th AG to 1st Army.



Of course, the kicker is, you have limited cards every turn and there are always lots of things you want to do.
I do something like this in my games The Scheldt Campaign and Third Lebanon War, which use developments of the Bulge 20 Staff Card system (expect it's brigades and regiments under a division HQ, not corps under an Army HQ).
It's much more efficient to move your units around grouped under a higher command HQ, but the HQ can only hold so much and when you want to swap out tired units for others, it takes time and effort to organize.
Fairly simple way to reflect this limitation.

Brian
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Okay, maybe the wrong century but Blue vs. Gray's major design feature is building out your armies by attaching/detaching/transferring subordinate formations. Pretty cool actually.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Abe Delnore
United States
Pittsburgh
PA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Utrecht wrote:


I just finished reading the Last Offensive also Charles B MacDonald (thanks for the recommendation) and one of the big themes I notices was how often Corps, Divisions, Regiments were shifted depending on the the need (Units getting separated, terrain, desire for additional force, objectives, etc. This happened on both sides.

Has this ever been simulated in a game? Is it even necessary? Or does our near omniscience make this level of command and control moot - and it is effectively built in?

To a great extent, this kind of flexibility is built into games where:

1. The main combat units are divisions;

2. There are corps headquarters that project some kind of command or supply span; and

3. Divisions can receive those services from any corps headquarters.

Many gamers upon confronting this type of game have the urge to impose further detail. Tie divisions permanently to corps! Limit the number of divisions a corps headquarters can serve!

But what you are seeing in MacDonald's account suggests this kind of detail may not have much simulation value.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls