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Subject: Has anyone tried reducing strength of damaged units? rss

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Swood
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One thing that has always seemed a little strange to me in Memoir is that damaged units hit with full power. The effect of this is that I often find myself sacrificing units instead of properly retreating them.

Recently I've been considering the idea of reducing the power of damaged units such that standard infantry might look like this:

4 pieces - 3,2,1
3 pieces - 3,2,1
2 pieces - 2,2,1
1 piece - 2,1,1

Tanks might work like this:

3 pieces - 3,3,3
2 pieces - 3,2,2
1 piece - 2,1,1

I haven't tried this yet, but I have a feeling this alone wouldn't work without coming up with a re-stacking (unit combining) rule. Without that, terrain effects might render a board full of damaged units completely useless.

A re-stacking rule should be simple enough though... damaged units can enter the same hex as another damaged unit as long as the hex does not contain more pieces than allowed by the original unit type. Neither unit can battle this turn. At the start of the next turn, they begin activating as a single unit.

Anyway... just some thoughts.
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Drake Coker
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Quote:
The effect of this is that I often find myself sacrificing units instead of properly retreating them.


That doesn't sound like the best idea given that the game gives victory points for eliminating units

I think many of us have probably felt the full-strength firepower from a nearly-dead unit was a little odd. But, M'44 doesn't really pretend to focus on realism. It's a simple, fun game and I've not felt much desire to tinker with it.

Of course, if you find that your idea works for you, game on!

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Kent Reuber
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I was never bothered by the lack of diminishing strength. From what I've read, only a fraction of the men in a unit actually fired at a given time. I assume that many were back behind the lines in reserve, with only part of the unit in front with a clear field of fire. So, as losses occur, I visualize men coming forward to plug holes in the line with fire strength remaining relatively constant until a unit reaches the point where it breaks down entirely.

The miniatures rules Volley & Bayonet do something similar. Each stand is a brigade in size, but the frontage of a unit is that of a regiment or so. The rest of the brigade is behind acting as a reserve.

If you really want to have firepower diminish, don't allow a unit to inflict more casualties than it has units figures remaining. It's simple, and doesn't require much modification. The Commands & Colors-like game Advanced Vive l'Empereur does just this.
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Swood
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Olvenskol wrote:
That doesn't sound like the best idea given that the game gives victory points for eliminating units


Hmmm... maybe that's why I never seem to win.

And Kent, thanks for the info that helps me visualize why it's not so strange for damaged units to maintain full power. That actually makes sense.
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John O'Haver PhoDOGrapher
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Quote:
If you really want to have firepower diminish, don't allow a unit to inflict more casualties than it has units.


I might try that. Roll the same number of dice but cap the number of casualties at the number of figures in the firing unit. I'd still count all retreats rolled, I think.

The problem with reducing the number of dice rolled in Memoir 44 is as you said, how quickly the terrain penalties would combine quickly with the dice reductions from casualties. Units could be rendered completely ineffective pretty quickly.
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Sean Shaw
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Plus, the removal of units isn't just a factor of losing men and getting casualties, it's also a direct reflection of morale. If they unit loses cohesion and completely loses morale, they disband...hence one of the reasons why if you can't retreat any further, you lose a guy. It isn't because for some reason running kills you, but that the morale is reduced even further if you are caught where you can't run.

At least that's how I've seen the unit reduction in the C&C/Battlecry games.

A small unit can still put out it's firepower as long as it retains cohesion, in fact that's part of the military battle idea in some portion...that even a unit that has casualties can still hold a site or retain it's position...but at the same time, if it loses leadership or loses cohesion...it might cease to exist.

Even if all the men are alive, a unit can suddenly become ineffective due to zero morale.
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Lukasz P
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I play with more simple rule - number of units on the hex is a maximum number of dices they can use. Except guns, because they are the best.

First I look on the unit summary card, then on terrain, and then on the board: they can't roll three dices, because there is only two of them. So roll two.
 
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Anthony Simons
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There are numerous ways of explaining how M44 (and the C&C system in general) abstracts the fighting unit into being represented by a number of figures on a board. None of them are definitely correct, because this is such a high-level abstraction; but many of them are fairly applicable.

While suggestions to use the figures as a direct representation of unit strength are interesting, I must point out that realistically it's not easy for any unit to use its full firepower simultaneously and effectively. Besides which, I would prefer to leave this game as simple as it is; that is part of its appeal.

If you want reasoning, the figures represent how much damage the unit can take until it is no longer an effective fighting force.
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Marchino
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Reducing the power of damaged units is a very intersting variant.
You can see my post of 29/4/2010 (HOUSE RULES AND HOUSE CARDS).
 
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Matthew Bysouth
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Whilst it might seem odd at first that firepower and unit strength are not directly correlated it does work well in this highly abstracted system and I've never felt the need to tamper it with it. Although, as many others have posted before, the C&C system seems more suited to earlier forms of warfare than World War II for a variety of reasons - one of which is the way in which this aspect of the game can be better explained in earlier forms of warfare. However, I understand that the Napoleonic version that GMT are releasing does indeed feature reduced firepower in direct correlation to any reduction in strength a unit may have suffered. It will be interesting to see how this is implemented and whether people will be tempted to try and 'retro-fit' these rules to other C&C games.
 
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Miroslav Krajcovic
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Funny I have tought of the same thing

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/6076641

goes along my fire back / defend idea:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/603266/fire-back-defend-...

 
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Jared Orlando
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Just looked at a preview for Battlelore 2nd edition and it handles the reduced units with removing the successes of sides of the dice. Two swords count as a hit only if you have all units. You could do the same with dice for memoir 44. Only hit infantry units if you roll infantry units and no hand grenade for damaged units. Just my two cents...
 
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Christopher Taylor
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jawsvvvvv wrote:
Just looked at a preview for Battlelore 2nd edition and it handles the reduced units with removing the successes of sides of the dice. Two swords count as a hit only if you have all units. You could do the same with dice for memoir 44. Only hit infantry units if you roll infantry units and no hand grenade for damaged units. Just my two cents...

Two swords is always a hit in BL2.

One sword is only a hit if the attacking unit is not "weak". Weak units have one figure remaining.
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Jaakko Tusa
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I think that reducing dice rolled by unit strength would cause auto-retreat tactic most of times. You could 90 % tell, what is your opponents next move... Now there's good option to stay in heat and fight back. And there are many situations now, when you have to fall back in order not to lose game.

I guess adding this feature would cause to whole fighting system to be rebuild.
 
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I think the most you would want to do is reduce a "weakened" (1-figure) unit by one die. With the 3-2-1 firing system in M44 (as in BC150), reducing die by figures would render units unnaturally ineffective. CCN does reduce die by figure lose, but, aside from artillery, units roll more dice to. Begin with, and do not reduce dice as range increases.
 
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David Williams
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Rolling less dice doesn't seem a good idea to me, due to the small numbers of dice involved. Even losing a single die can almost completely nullify a units effectiveness once combined with terrain. For example a 1 unit infantry attacking from a defensive position will get no dice unless it's adjacent and even then wire would render it useless.

A much better idea would be to follow Battlelore 2.0's idea and say 'weak' units no longer score hits on grenades, except against artillery. So they still roll dice but each die is less likely to hit.

But personally I like the mechanism as it is, because it combines well with the fact you can never afford to lose troops because it gives the opponent a crucial point. Attacking with a weak units is a risky thing to do because it will be very vulnerable to counter attack. It encourages risk-taking, if weak models are not capable offensively then running away will seem like a no-brainer.

You could also rationalise this as the troop losing their composure due to morale and not paying sufficient attention to defense. Perhaps they have lost a small number of men, but the remaining soldiers become more desperate and aggressive and take bigger risks. The loss of the last model reflects routing of the unit, not necessarily its destruction.
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