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Subject: Op Sheets help ... rss

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Keiron
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Hi,

Well I finally got around to reading all the rules and have started to set up my first ever TCS scenario - 4.1 'The Center Gives Ground'.

I've seen a lot written about using line entry command, and not a lot about using graphics on Op Sheets, as they were intended. I'm dead keen to use the Op Sheets and I'm hoping some of the folks on BGG will help assist me in drawing up legitimate Op Sheets.

So, from the GD '42 rules, the Soviets set up first and thus are required to draw up their Op Sheets before knowing how the Germans are set. All they have is the terrain, the objective and the knowledge that the Germans are generally to the East to go on.

Am I interpreting GD '42 rule 1.4g right by believing that the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Brigade (1GDTB) and the 49th Tank Brigade (49TB) must be on the same Op Sheet? and also that the elements of the 3rd Mechanised Brigade (3MB), that arrive as reinforcements, must also have their own Op Sheet, completely separate from the 1GDTB and 49TB?

In my first stab at an Op Sheet, I assumed the above was correct.

Now, here was my first moment of pause. Both the 1GDTB and 49TB contain a fair number of units, how specific do you need to be with your Task Organisation?

I had generally broken it down to: 49TB will cross and advance to the North of Luchessa River and take the Village of Voronino (before joining up with 1GDTB at Vasil'tsova on a later Op Sheet), and that the 1GDTB will advance South of the Luchessa River and take Vasil'tsova.

I drew this on my Op Sheet (i'll attach an image to this post tomorrow).

Looking at the examples in the Series Rules, the Op Sheets were broken down a bit further and so I began to do the same. I broke the 49TB into three groups - Reconnaissance, Assault and Reserve. My intention being that the 'Reconnaissance' group would proceed ahead of the other two groups and provide suppressing fire cover for the 'Assault' group. The 'Reserves' where the 49TB's two AT guns that I felt would not be of much use north of the river until contact had been made with the Germans.

Anyway, I thought a little more about this, and began thinking about what I wanted to do with the 1GDTB. I had intended to break them down in a similar fashion to the 49TB but I wondered whether I should be plotting this kind of information onto the Op Sheet in a graphical fashion (like the examples in the Series Rules)?

Also, GD '42 rule 1.4g 4) says that units on a single implemented Soviet Attack Op Sheet can only entail the capture of one German controlled VP village. In my Op Sheet above I have the 49TB taking Veronino, before moving on to Vasil'tsova. Is this allowed?

All thoughts and opinions are welcome. I'm hoping this will become a trial and error lesson for other noobs like myself in writing drawing up effective Op Sheets as the designers intended (actual used examples are sparse across the entire range of TCS games).

Thanks!



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Tuukka
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Kappa_ap wrote:

Am I interpreting GD '42 rule 1.4g right by believing that the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Brigade (1GDTB) and the 49th Tank Brigade (49TB) must be on the same Op Sheet? and also that the elements of the 3rd Mechanised Brigade (3MB), that arrive as reinforcements, must also have their own Op Sheet, completely separate from the 1GDTB and 49TB?


49th Tk and 1st Gd Tk must be on the same Op sheet. Elements of the 3rd Mech can be attached to 49 Tk/1 Gd Tk, so they can be on the same sheet also (on errata it reads: "One Motorized Battalion and one tank battalion may be attached to 1 Gd Tk/49 Tk from 1, 3 or 10 Mech"), or you can make them a separate op sheet. At least this is how I understand it.

Kappa_ap wrote:

Also, GD '42 rule 1.4g 4) says that units on a single implemented Soviet Attack Op Sheet can only entail the capture of one German controlled VP village. In my Op Sheet above I have the 49TB taking Veronino, before moving on to Vasil'tsova. Is this allowed?


I think that taking Voronino is legal as it is not a victory point village, just a waypoint on a flanking manouvre. It might be risky though as bridge at Travino has been blown up and only infantry can cross the river (and I think you have to bypass Travino as that is a VP village).
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Keiron
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Ok. So here's where I got to with the Op Sheet I mentioned in my post above:



What would peoples comments be with how I'm going about things so far?
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Keiron
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LtUrban wrote:
Kappa_ap wrote:

Also, GD '42 rule 1.4g 4) says that units on a single implemented Soviet Attack Op Sheet can only entail the capture of one German controlled VP village. In my Op Sheet above I have the 49TB taking Veronino, before moving on to Vasil'tsova. Is this allowed?


I think that taking Voronino is legal as it is not a victory point village, just a waypoint on a flanking manouvre. It might be risky though as bridge at Travino has been blown up and only infantry can cross the river (and I think you have to bypass Travino as that is a VP village).


Ah, yes. Hadn't read that far down the German set-up instructions, and completely missed that Travino was a VP village.

Hmmm. That would change my plans somewhat.

Ok, so my Op Sheet needs some tactical revision

In terms of the approach to writing/drawing it (tactical decisions aside)does it require more detail, is it ultimately up to me how much detail I use?

Should I break down the graphic to represent the actions of individual groups or is a simple axis of advance with an objective enough?
 
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Dave Langdon
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Depends if its solo play. You could be more specific with parameters, such as order of echelon attack for Russians, a reserve to be committed at a certain casualty rate, or reinforcement of attack at an objective. Its better to be more rigid with the Russians in historical terms and a bit more flexible with the Germans.

A vague plan will end up you hand of god style reacting to the situation as it unfolds. Whereas if it starts bad and you have to wait on a support echelon it gives you an unfolding drama.

I give orders to each major formation (defined by large for Russian but more flexible as German)...these orders are generally time based, specific hex based, and casualty threshold.

So in terms of your plan, more specific for Russians advance, timings, time to achieve objective, rally point if routed, support, follow through attack of reserves if initial objective reached etc.

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Tuukka
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Soviets cannot use alternatives or preliminary instructions and their objectives are restricted to one VP village. This combined with the fact that soviet command prep rating is so poor that using reserves on op sheets is hard or impossible, makes their op sheets look pretty simple (and rigid compared to German's). So I think your's looks fine.
 
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Dave Langdon
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If your playing solo i think it plays more historical with more flexibility, you can base the plan on what actually happpened. Head to head apply the law.
 
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Kev.
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So............ what happened?
 
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Keiron
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hipshot wrote:
So............ what happened?


Thanks everyone for your comments and advice thus far.

Had a really busy week and didn't get much of a chance to think things over after my last post.

However, I have downloaded and read three of Lee Foresters articles on maneuver warfare and Op Sheets from the Gamers Archive website, and on Friday I purchased an Osprey book on WWII Infantry Tactics - Company and Battalion (I haven't started reading this yet).

I'm hoping to get a bit of a better idea on how to use my companies/battalions effectively, or at least a vague idea of how they would have been used in reality. I'm then going to try and re-write/draw a more detailed Op Sheet.

I'd like to use time/timing in my Op Sheets but don't feel particularly confident about my current ability to set my units achievable goals. I was wondering if I should have a quick go without the Op Sheets to get a feel for how it plays out - how quickly does overwatch fire bog you down? - however part of me doesn't wan't to proceed without the Op Sheets.

Hopefully I'll get a bit of time to look at this week.

Thanks again everyone.
 
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Rick McKown
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Hello Keiron,

There is something to be said for playing around with the movement and combat mechanics before adding Op Sheets (think of it as Battalion / Regimental staff officers having cut their teeth as platoon and company commanders before undertaking planning at this level). Your Op Sheet looks like a sound starting point--the planning that goes into an Op Sheet does involve coordinating in time and space. One thing that I commonly do in laying out Op Sheets which would, I think, be relevant for your Soviet attack, is to develop the plan in distinct phases--when does each major sub-unit (may be company or battalion depending on the game) cross the LD? Where do I want each major sub-unit to be (and by what general route will they get there) at particular points in time as the operation unfolds? For each phase I try to make a reasonable estimate of how long it will take for, say, Bravo Coy to get from point "A" to point "B", and within any phase some sub-units will get to their phase objectives earlier than others (which can be useful in the plan to establish overwatch fires). Commencement of each phase can be tied rigidly to the clock ("All coys will commence Phase 2 @ 1400 hrs", probably a good Soviet approach), tied flexibly to the clock ("All coys will commence Phase 2 NLT 1400 hrs, no move before 1320 hrs"), tied to events in the game ("Commence Phase 2 on the turn after Bravo Coy occupies Obj Zulu"), etc, tied together to achieve the operation's overall objective (in the GD'42 environment a specific VP village). For rigidly controlled forces like the Soviets with limited (or no) ability to use reserves or alternates the plan either unfolds substantially as you (the commander) intended or at some point you admit defeat and execute your failure instructions; you have relatively little control over what happens once you set the machine in motion.

The problem, of course, as we used to say to our OCdts when teaching them the basics of planning, is that "No plan survives contact with the enemy" (we used to attribute that quote to Eisenhower, but I've seen it attributed to von Moltke). Which is why the ability to use reserves and alternates in TCS is so very important! As we also used to teach them, "a plan is a common base for making changes", as I learned from my DS back when I was a Snotty!

Ciao,

Rick McKown
 
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