Dave Esposito
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Quote:
In AoB Uwe made German infantry squad from two parts:
- Rifle squad - 8 men, Mauser rifles, one MP-40 MP. (2 FP)
- LMG team - 2 men, MG 34 LMG. (4 FP)
As high as 4 FP value of LMG team results from two reasons - very good MG 34 LMG + 50-200 rounds ammo belts feeding system. It was ultimate early war machine gun.

You can see German 1941 infantry platoon structure at this image:
http://img229.imageshack.us/i/ger1941plpfiz3.jpg/

But in 1939 things were different.
Germany had two types of infantry platoons - 1937 and 1939.

1937 platoon was made from 3 squads of 13 men armed with Mauser rifles and MG 34 LMG (but with 75 rounds boxed magazines).
You can see German 1937 infantry platoon structure at this image:
http://img230.imageshack.us/i/ger1937plpbnd6.jpg/

I`d like to keep here 2 counters structure - Rifle squad with 9 men and 2 FP and LMG team with 4 men and 3 FP (FP is lower due worse feeding system, but still with superior 2 AP fire cost).

1939 platoon was made from 4 squads of 10 men armed with Mauser rifles and MG 26(t) LMG (Czechoslovak ZB vz.26), with 20 rounds boxed magazines.
You can see German 1939 infantry platoon structure at this image:
http://img229.imageshack.us/i/ger1939plptwg1.jpg/

This type of platoon will use single counter squads of 10 men, with 3 FP - MG 26(t) was to weak to put in on a separate counter.

Soviet 1939 squads, made of 13 men, armed with Mosin rifles, DP LMG and AVS-36 automatic rifle, were similar to 1941 squads - and they should stay with 3 FP. DP machine gun was an effective weapon, with 47 rounds, pan magazines. On the opposite - AVS automatic rifle had trends to jam, and soldiers disliked it.

So, knowing all the numbers from above we can design Polish infantry.

Polish 1939 infantry squads had 19 men armed with Mauser rifles and one wz.28 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) with 20 rounds boxed magazines. Polish squads should be made from two parts (according to our infantry manual):
- Rifle squad - 9 men with Mauser rifles and BAR LMG (3 FP).
- Rifle squad - 10 men with Mauser rifles (2 FP).

Such construction is coherent with infantry structures from AoB, and it is much better than giving Poles one 19 men 3FP squad with 12/12 defence. Squads made of 2 'squads counters' will give Poles niece close combat efficiency.
With 140 counters on my disposal I have enough place to include two Polish infantry platoons: 3x Rifles BAR and 3x Rifles at each of them.

Such distribution will let me also to build Polish National Defence platoons made from one squad of 14 men armed with Mauser rifles and BAR, and two squads of 10 men armed with Mauser rifles (1x Rifles BAR and 2x Rifles).

There will be also 3 German platoons, two 1937 type and one 1939 type, and 4 Soviet platoons (AoB infantry is OK, but SoS Soviet infantry is too modern).

Next time I`ll write about support and cavalry stats.



Michal,

German Infantry Platoons in 1939 where either Type A or B Reich. Platoon type "A" had a 5cm mortar and type "B" had no 5cm mortar.

Type "A" and "B" rifle section had:
1 NCO Squad Leader
1 Assistant Squad Leader
1 MG Gunner
2 Assistant MG Gunners
7 Riflemen
Total" 12 soldiers.

Verified using KStN (organization and composition) 131a and 131b 1937. The next change to the infantry platoons and sections was 1940 and that is another story.

I really hope you dont give each Polish squad 2 counters but just increase the amount of FP on the counter. More counters equal more units to fire each round. Even making the German squad into 2 units should not happen. The LMG was for the squad so it could maneuver and close with the enemy. If you follow this trend the 1942 German PzGren squad which has 12 soldiers and 2 xLMG would be 3 counters 2xLMG and the squad counters, if you combine all three, the FP score would be 10! Yet the PzGren Rifle sqaud in Storms of steel is only 5 FP and it has the same squad composition as the 1942 PzGren squad. I hope you can see where this is going. IMHO you really need to rethink splitting the squads down.
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Michał Ozon
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Dave,

I`ll answer you after weekend. I write you some questions which I had to answer myself when I was creating infantry units for PoH:

1.But what with German squad in AoB? Why is it splitted?
2.How fought German infantry squad. Was it splitted on the battlefield, with different roles of each group?
3.How fought Polish infantry squad. Was it splitted on the battlefield, with different roles of each group?
4.How Chad Jensen showed Polish infantry in Combat Commander?
5.What is the scale of Conflict of Heroes, how many soldiers are in squads and teams?
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Michał Ozon
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Uwe and Yalnin gave some reasons of our decision here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/4795035#4795035

But let`s go back to my questions:

1. German units in AoB are splitted to show their greater firepower, mobility and tacitcal flexiblity in opposition to Soviet infantry. the same goes here, in September Campaign. MG34 was so lethal in terms of this Campaign, that we have to show that on PoH battlefields.
2. German player, with units splitted will be able to create firegroups and assault groups, to recreate real German infantry tactics. It is easier for players to do it with units splitted.
3. Polish infantry was created to be close assault weapon. It had assault LMG (BAR, with 20 rounds magazines, much lighter than MG34 with 70 rounds magazines). Polish 19 men squad was operating in two sections - 9 men with BAR as assault-firing group and 10 men with grenades as assault-grenadier group. Such big squad need to be splitted, to fit CoH scale and infantry stats. We can`t just increase unit`s firepower - because unit with firepower of 5 would be too strong for this period. And we would have to increase such unit`s defense, to show it`s greater vitality (19 men in single unit!) - so we would get "super infantry" with 5 FP and 13/12 defense. We couldn`t go that way...
4. In Combat Commander Polish units are splitted into Rife and BAR Rifle section. German units aren`t splitted, but German rifles often gets additional LMG weapon counter. So Chad Jensen`s conclusions are similar to mine.
5. CoH scale - squads of 7-14 men and teams of 2-4 men. Our splitted units fit well into this division. Germans with one squad and one team, and Poles with two squads. One "super" squad of 19 men would blow up this scale.

SoS showed infantry in it`s support role. In AoB infantry is a main weapon, same as in PoH. So we decided to keep it as in AoB, to make CoH system consistent.
 
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Dave Esposito
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Michal,

So in SoS infantry are just a side show and the Tank is dominate weapon on the battlefield? It just does not make any sense after reading about German infantry tactics in PoH and AWtB and the two counter system.What changed in 1943 to warrant infantry as a side show and not continue the trend of breaking the German squad down?


I fully understand the concept about employing machines guns in battle. Here is the problem by adding an extra maneuver unit. The squads LMG is to support its squad not the squad to the left or right. It purpose was to give dedicated fire support to its inherent unit. In war games players don't see it that way, they see an extra maneuver unit to do whatever with. I really cant see a squad leader letting his LMG team fire on another target then his squads targets or employing that LMG on the other side the town outside of visual and voice contact. Its like players using trucks to run around behind the lines and capturing victory hexes.

I gather by breaking down the Polish squad into 2 units shows the ability of the polish squads to act independently from one another as Polish infantry tactics where on par with the Germans in 1939? Having bigger than normal size squad is not the problem as the over all firepower of both units combined is not game breaking.

Having spent all those years in the Army and I tend to look at things a little differently then most people when it comes to war games. Today with everyone in the section having voice comms slitting your section up is not a big deal. Yet my two M249 LMG gunners supported my section not the other platoons sections as they had their own LMG for support. I could only imagine the blast my section 2IC would get from me if he decided to wonder off and do his own thing while in fire fight. By adding that extra maneuver unit you just gave the LMG the ability to act on its own, this goes for the extra polish squad as well.

I enjoy a good chat as it helps understand the design philosophy that goes into making war games balanced.
 
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Michał Ozon
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Dave, thanks for your posts, I also enjoy substantive discussion.

Could you propose stats for German, Polish and Soviet infantry squads for PoH, coherent with AoB and SoS? Support teams aren`t so controversial.

For Germans:
- Rifles (MG34)
- Rifles (ZB vz.26)

For Poles:
- Rifles (BAR)
- Uhlans

For Soviets:
- Rifles (DP)
 
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Dave Esposito
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Michal,

I cant really advise on what to give each unit comparable to CoH as I don't know the formula that you use. I however have my own formula that I came up with and can put some numbers together to show you my results for squads.

Here are a few numbers from my formula, my numbers are very high and don't equal anything except a raw firepower score:

1943 German Infantry Squad : 24
1943 Soviet rifle Squad 1 DP : 20 or 17 with no carbine weapons
1943 Soviet rifle Squad 2 DP : 25 or 22 with no carbine weapons

1939 Polish Squad : 23, 19 men 18 rifles 1 BAR
1939 German Squad : 18, 12 men 10 rifles 1 LMG

As you can see 1943 the squads are very close to one another in raw firepower scores unless you use the squads with no carbines. By 1943 there was 3x carbines per squad.

1939 the Polish squad has about 28% more raw firepower than the German squad which it should as it has more men and weapons. What I have not calculated into the FP score is training and tactics and overall effectiveness.

Some people will look at the FP score for the 39 German squad and shake their heads and think I'm out to lunch but once I add in the effective score it works out to "25" adjusted FP score.

Here is an example of an American Armored Infantry Squad in Winter 44: Firepower score = 25, 9 man squad and here is the score for 44 Infantry Squad = 31, 12 man squad. Here is the score for a winter 44 German Infantry squad = 24, 9 man squad.

Michal, I think all the design work that has gone into the CoH system is great. I mentioned to Uwe, how I thought CoH molded the Tiger tank and ranged mechanics very good. I have been testing some of my own scenarios. I just like to here from the designers to see their thought process in wargame design.

Dave

 
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Michał Ozon
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German infantry in SoS (43) has 4 FP and 12/11 defense in CoH system.

So according to your formula, Polish infantry in PoH should have 4 FP and much stronger defense - at last 13/12 (German squad after a loss of 5 men has almost 50% casulties. Polish squad only 25% casulties). And it brings us a "super infantry" problem.

Second thing: scale - CoH scale is really low - we have here teams of 2-3 men in single counter. And now we are going to pack a 19 men into a single counter? Both such counters need to take 2 hits to be destroyed - it is an aberration - 2 men can take the same amount of damage as 19?

Third thing: Polish infantry regulations: platoon`s front was 400 m wide, one squad had 100m front - two CoH hexes. So we should be able to deploy Polish infantry squad on 2 hexes, not on a single one.

We will wait for playtest results before making final decision.
 
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Kai von der Aa
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I am not such an expert with this specific topic...but what Dave said about the wrong playing when some gamers group the MGs from different squads together or use the split groups in a non-realistic way or just drive with empty trucks to victory points is just what it is: A problem with the latitude the gamers have.

For me I think splitting the groups or the MG and the rifle section makes sense just to give supporting fire with a MG while the other soldiers of the group advance at the enemy. With all in one counter this just doesn't work.

If players want to mix the MGs from different squads it's not realistic but it's also the price fo this degrade of latitude.

Perhaps some rules can handle the problem. But that would also mean that some counters have to be reworked just to show which MG belongs to which rifle group and a rule should state some guidelines for using the counters just the way the troops would behave in reality. - But with that the game would be very complex and no more a fun game for the average wargamer but a very special game for simulation enthusiasts.

But if your discussion leads to development of improved realistic stats and tactical usage without downgrading the playability it would be great for sure. Just my 2 pence.

(Perhaps we see in the future the normal CoH in this eurogame style as we know it and also a CoH expert level game covering some more of the complex but realistic simulation things?)
 
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Chris K.
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Kihrin wrote:


Perhaps some rules can handle the problem. But that would also mean that some counters have to be reworked just to show which MG belongs to which rifle group and a rule should state some guidelines for using the counters just the way the troops would behave in reality.


Actually the counters already show which MG and which Rifle belong to the same squad, and more often then not it works out alright in our games that they stick more or less together or cover the approach of their own squad.
 
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Dave Esposito
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ozy_pl wrote:
German infantry in SoS (43) has 4 FP and 12/11 defense in CoH system.

So according to your formula, Polish infantry in PoH should have 4 FP and much stronger defense - at last 13/12 (German squad after a loss of 5 men has almost 50% casulties. Polish squad only 25% casulties). And it brings us a "super infantry" problem.

Second thing: scale - CoH scale is really low - we have here teams of 2-3 men in single counter. And now we are going to pack a 19 men into a single counter? Both such counters need to take 2 hits to be destroyed - it is an aberration - 2 men can take the same amount of damage as 19?

Third thing: Polish infantry regulations: platoon`s front was 400 m wide, one squad had 100m front - two CoH hexes. So we should be able to deploy Polish infantry squad on 2 hexes, not on a single one.

We will wait for playtest results before making final decision.


Michal,

I never mentioned anything on how my formula FP score bares any relationship with Attack Value for CoH. I gave raw data and one example of any adjust FP score with effectiveness added in.

When a squad starts taking casualties morale starts to be affected the will to continue fighting through such adversity is what separates well trained disciplined soldiers then raw recruits. Even seasoned soldiers break on taking casualties just look at the Old Guard at Waterloo.

For deploying troops in any type of formation the ground will dictate what is best for any unit be it a squad, platoon or company.

I wish all the best in testing PoH.
 
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Dean halley

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Dave and Kai,
The combat values in CoH games reflect more than numbers and weapons. They also represent training, leadership, historical performance and other "soft" values.

I just started reading a book written by a guy that was an officer in the a Weapons Company of the 164th National Guard Infantry Regiment at Guadalcanal (and throughout the war). His men hadn't even fired their machine guns and mortars before going to the Island. Amazing! So they will have higher AP costs and lower Firepower values than a similarly equipped Marine Corps or German unit.

So it is never a one to one comparison that can leave some things opon to opinions. Uwe and I have had some discussion on Japanese unit values, and there are some areas that we disagree on. I am trying to set him straight. HAHAHA

Dean
 
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uwe eickert
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Dean hit in on the head. The FP of the units are not just based on raw FP, but on the overall unit combat effectiveness. This includes the organizational ability to direct teams of men to fight and lay fire intended by command. This is one of the issues for the Polish in 39, where larger groups of less experienced men were commanded by fewer non-coms, etc. Complicated manouvers were more difficult to carry out for the average Polish unit, but pity the German unit that got into close range. This is what we are trying to model with the unit FP costs combined with the CAPs available in the firefights. A difficult and often subjective job to say the least.
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Dave Esposito
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Uwe,

I understand the concept about raw fire power and overall unit effectiveness to come up with some sort of attack value. Unless you are designing historical scenarios and tend to mold the units that participated in that battle around their real battle performance then you will have varied results. For the most part, we mold war game pieces from a set value that has been determined from some formula that we have devised which is the case with the CoH system.

The German squad from 1939 to 1945 has always been built around the LMG, if by splitting the squad into two, one for the LMG and the other for riflemen what happens to the LMG once the men manning it are dead? I guess the other 7 guys in the squad just leave the sections main firepower weapon behind? This is the case for AWtB and PoH.

When you look at a unit to determine the value of defense we must take into consideration what its function is. Should a three man ATR unit take just as many hits to destroy as the same nineteen man squad? First we must ask the question can the ATR unit function after taking 50% casualties? This will depend on the will of the sole individual to continue fighting and manning the ATR which is can be operated by one person. Can an infantry squad function after taking 50% casualties? Again it comes down to the will of the unit to continue to fight. We can’t look at the number of men in a unit to determine the overall defensive value but the effectiveness of these units after taking casualties. Should a nineteen man squad have a higher defense than a three man ATR team or should the ATR team have a higher defense score as there is only 3 soldier’s vise 19? It would seem logical that the Polish squad would have longer staying power to do to its sheer size vs. the ATR team. When we mold firepower scores to equal hits then a hit can be of any size it’s an arbitrary figure. If we mold hits to equal a determined number of soldiers dead then yes, the Polish squad will have more staying power then most squads but CoH is not designed like this instead it uses the hit values to determine staying power and every unit can take 2 hits unless you have AV of 4 or more after the dice roll than the unit is destroyed.

Designing a war game is a never easy; the need for balance is a key ingredient that will ensure that the game is a success or failure. I have been working on a formula for about a year and I’m still not happy with the overall results. The variation of attack values it staggering; the Stg44 sections has devastating firepower for example using just raw a firepower score that has to be adjusted for unit effectiveness. As a designer we must we draw a line between historical and balance,playability!
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uwe eickert
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I agree Dave.
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