Mark Mokszycki
United States
Snohomish
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb




Below are some of my latest homemade playtest counters, current as of 8-6-11. Please note that these are for playtesting purposes only. They are not final versions!





Here we have a comparison between representative British and German infantry units featured in Operation Dauntless.



Above: The British 4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment (Lincolns), 146th Infantry Brigade, 49th "West Riding" Infantry Division (aka "the Polar Bears"). Not shown: A small number of carrier units for transporting the mortars, MGs and AT guns. These single-sided transport carrier units are not to be confused with the battalion's heavily armed (and double-sided) carrier platoon, shown above at far right.

Below: 3rd Battalion (mechanized), 26th Panzergrendier Regiment, 12th SS Panzer Division.



Note: The two green truck units at lower right are part of 2nd (motorized) battalion, not 3rd (mechanized) battalion; these battalions are both present in the game, and appear close together on the counter sheet.

Stats are as follows:

Top left: Anti-Tank Strength (with AT range, in hexes, in superscript. If not AT range is given, the range is 0 hexes, representing weapons such as grenades, PIATs, and panzerfausts)

Top right: Armor (if a vehicle)

Bottom left: Combat Strength (used in adjacent hex combats)

Bottom middle: Ranged Attack Strength (with range, in hexes, in superscript)

Bottom right: Movement Allowance





At a glance, the German battalion seems to have a real advantage! Not only do their infantry have superior stats, but just have a look at the wealth and variety of supporting AFVs...

Of course, the above counters don't tell the entire story.

For starters, both British and German infantry companies reduce to a Combat Strength of 3 on their flip sides (British companies drop from 4 to 3, while Germans drop from 7 to 3) representing a serious shortage of manpower for the Germans. The Germans have superior weapons, and plenty of them, but they suffer from a lack of ammunition and replacement troops.

Furthermore, the German companies suffer a negative DRM on the Recovery Table, for the very same reasons. Thus it is much easier for a reduced British company to recover to full strength than it is for a reduced German company to do the same.

And it gets worse for the Germans. While weaker, the British battalion shown above is one of ten battalions featured in the game, while the German panzergrenadier battalion is one of only three such battalions, plus the Aufklarungabteilung 12 ("Armored Recon Detachment", featured below in light blue) which can put up quite a fight in their own right.



This formation is available as a Variable Reinforcement in some scenarios, including the campaign, although one or more platoons are automatically available as a frontline fighting force in many scenarios.

Furthermore, the British player has massive artillery assets at his disposal (including aircraft and naval guns), while the German player has only meager artillery assets.

The British player also has the support of the entire 8th Armoured Brigade, featured here.



By comparison, in most scenarios the German player has only one company (3 platoon-sized units) of panzer IV tanks available on a permanent basis, and these are often partially depleted, meaning one or more units on their reduced side.



The German player also has the possibility of sacrificing Victory Points to bring in additional panzers or superior Panthers or Tigers as Variable Reinforcements.





So who has the advantage? In game terms, hard to say. I've attempted to craft the victory conditions such that the game is as evenly matched as possible.

The British, with their overwhelming artillery, air, and tank support, clearly have the ability to either push back or destroy the Germans. The Germans cannot hope for a win in the strategic sense. Over the long term, they need to perform a well executed fighting retreat, or they will die.

But the Germans have "teeth" and they can cause a high number of British losses as the game progresses. The British morale is rather brittle and the Brits adhere to Monty's creed of "casualty conservation", taking their time in order to lay down massive "crawling" artillery barrages before assaulting German held villages and strongpoints. The victory conditions do not give the British player the luxury of sacrificing units willy nilly. So if the German player can inflict enough losses and/or buy enough time, he can win the game!

Thanks for looking!



For more information about Operation Dauntless, join us at our forum on consimworld:

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?8@820.Tv5XcabWBGu.0@.1dd485...











9 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Esposito
Canada
flag msg tools
Hello Mark,

could you explain the reasoning behind why British Armor troops with Firefly has 18 Attack when there is only 1 Firefly and 3 Sherman III per troop? Looking at the above Brigade out of 45 tank Troops there are now simulated 20 Firefly Troops with the way you have the Firefly Troop set-up. Instead of having a total of 20 Firefly you now have increased the total to 80 Firefly's in the Brigade instead of the max 20! I understand that the Firefly Troops drops to 10 attack when taken casualty. Why not just have 4 Sherman III troops and 1 Firefly troop per Tank Squadron? Would this not give a better representation of the number of Firefly in each Squadron? I know that at this stage of the war the Firefly were allocated 1 per Troop.

Dave
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Mokszycki
United States
Snohomish
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for your comments. We tried representing the Fireflies many ways, and all had their issues. These included a separate firefly troop counter, a separate counter to represent the single firefly in each troop of 4 tanks, and further abstractions. All proved less than perfect. What we settled on is a compromise of realism and simplicity. The only downside to the decided method is that it gives, at first glance, the appearance of 80 fireflies (but see below).

For starters, having a separate counter representing a troop of 4 fireflies represents them in a rather unhistorical manner - a sort of tank destroying "super troop". Even though 24th Lancers were the last to incorporate their fireflies into the standard 3 and 1 (3 Shermans to 1 Firefly) configuration, they had almost certainly done so by the time of the Martlet battles gamed here. A separate counter for the fireflies also encouraged "firefly hunting" by the German player, and the Fireflies had little to no staying power.

Another method - the extra counter per single Firefly method - resulted in far too many total counters, so it was never playtested. My goal was to keep the total to 2.5 countersheets, including markers. It set this limit to avoid cluttering the map, keep playtime fast, and keep production costs down.

The method we settled on - Fireflies as the front side of the two-sided counter - works quite well to achieve believable results and historical outcomes of the tank battles. What may not be immediately apparent is that the firefly-enhanced troops take only their first shot as a firefly (AT Rating 18) and subsequent fire is at a -10 DRM (equivalent of AT Rating 10 - that of a Sherman). I understand that this is not evident from the counter art; it's in the list of modifiers under the AT Fire Table. This method gives the fireflies a bit more staying power - more total shots as fireflies - but they start dropping off quickly as the troops take fire and become reduced to their Sherman sides. Viewed as a whole, the tank battles work out to have reasonably realistic outcomes using this method - and without the need for excess counters or unhistorical fielding of the fireflies / unhistorical firefly hunting on the part of the German player. The lesser of all evils. :-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Mokszycki
United States
Snohomish
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fyi, I also considered doing the same exact thing with inverse notation... that is, giving the firefly-enhanced troops an AT Rating of 10 (standard Sherman) but then granting them a +10 DRM to their first shot on the AT Fire Table.

The problem with this notation was the need for some reminder, so that the British player doesn't forget his bonus. Printing it right on the counter as an 18 AT rating makes it really obvious, and he'll take notice of his awesome first shot potential when moving and formulating attacks with his units.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.