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Subject: Accurate Ranks for Personality Cards rss

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Bradley Knoll
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Perhaps the personality cards could have rank titles that are historically accurate instead of the US Army structure simply applied. With the cards already indicating Squad Leader (SL)and Assistant Squad Leader (ASL) it indicates the position of the personality cards. PFC has no real game function as far as I can tell.

Maybe restrict the custom ranks to core nations, provide an equivalency table in the rulebook or on a card, and include rank insignia on the card like the great cards from David Muñoz de la Peña (davidmps). The actual rank insignia make it intuitive because the higher the rank the fancier the rank insignia.

US: Sergeant (Sgt), Corporal (Cpl), private First Class (PFC), Private (Pvt)

Britain: Sergeant (Sgt), Corporal (Cpl), Lance Corporal (L/Cpl), Private (Pte)

German: Feldwebel (Feld), Unterfeldwebel (U/Feld), Gefreiter (Gefreit), Soldat (Sdt)

Soviet:Serzhant (Serz), Mladshiy Serzhant (M/Serz), Efreitor (Efreit), Krasnoarmeyets (Kras)

Japan: Gunsō (Gunsō), Gochō (Gochō), Jōtōhei (Jōtō), Nitōhei (Nitō)

French: Sergeant (Sgt), Caporal (Cpl), Soldat de 1ère Classe (Sdt 1è), Soldat de 2ère Classe (Sdt 2è)

Italian: Sergente (Sgt), Caporale (Cpl), Soldato Scelto (Sdt Sc), Soldato (Sdt)

I would like to see the full spelling on the cards to keep the historical reference in full with a rank insignia and SL and ASL designation.

http://www.wwiivehicles.com/default.asp
(all nations here too)



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Dave Terhune
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Japanese rank "abbreviations" should be kanji instead of a shortened form of the romaji.

軍曹、伍長、上等兵、二等兵
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Bradley Knoll
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Thanks for your input, you obviously know more about Japanese.

Do you not think that a mix of Kanji (rank) and Romaji (name) would look odd from a player point of view?

Do you think that only full romaji should be used if soldiers names are spelled with roman letters?
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Dave Terhune
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To be honest, I'd kind of like to see the Japanese soldiers' names in kanji, too. Maybe both kanji and romaji, with one above the other? Something like this, perhaps, using Sgt. Tanaka as an example.

Tanaka-gunsō
田中軍曹
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Mark Bigney
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Not that this means anything, but I'll put a strong vote against using kanji (or cyrillic, or the Greek writing system, et al--not that anyone is suggesting that, which I take to be indicative). For one, I doubt it would be consistently applied.

More importantly, though, for the overwhelming majority of wargamers for whom kanji is indecipherable, it could lead to considerable usability issues. In my case, I can confidently assert that it would lead me to be completely unable to differentiate which rank is which, stripping more theme from the game than would be added by the use of kanji.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Volfield wrote:
To be honest, I'd kind of like to see the Japanese soldiers' names in kanji, too. Maybe both kanji and romaji, with one above the other? Something like this, perhaps, using Sgt. Tanaka as an example.

Tanaka-gunsō
田中軍曹

They'll need to fix some of the names first to do that, a couple don't even seem Japanese to me.
 
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I couldn't agree more. I think Mark and Scott are quite right about playability and whether the names were even Japanese to start with, but there are enough smart people around this that I'm sure that some solution could be found that balances playability, historical and cultural accuracy and maintains it's lineage to the parent game.

Definitely a good discussion, though ...
 
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Please *don't* use other scripts! If a Japanese edition is ever made, wonderful. But I don't want the Japanese edition. I would have no idea what to call the units that were labeled in a completely different alphabet!
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While I understand and appreciate the sentiment, my internet vote is on the side of 'English only, please'! At least, on the front of the cards. It might be cool to have the non-latinized version of the names on the back of the cards, since it's redundant at that point and not the primary playing face of the card.

Of course, that would make QA a complete bear with all these bonus nationalities. Oh good gravy, I don't even want to think of it. Just stick ti the latin

For the ranks, though, that would be cool to see as long as a clear and consistent SL/ASL designator is kept. During the game I don't particularly care what rank Scrub McNationpants is, I only care about that after the game when he has heroically and against long odds gunned down three opponents and won a bout of fisticuffs with two more.
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David Janik-Jones
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Does this mean we should abandon the fully Cyrillic Soviet cards?

Shucks.
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Michael Dorosh
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bk_otj wrote:
Perhaps the personality cards could have rank titles that are historically accurate instead of the US Army structure simply applied. With the cards already indicating Squad Leader (SL)and Assistant Squad Leader (ASL) it indicates the position of the personality cards. PFC has no real game function as far as I can tell.

Maybe restrict the custom ranks to core nations, provide an equivalency table in the rulebook or on a card.



As a point of order, there were no "equivalencies" between armies. Militaries were very different in terms of what they used the ranks for. A Gefreiter was not a command position - it was a private soldier who had been in the Army for six months and was entitled to a pay raise, nothing more. A typical squad might have eight Gefreiten and Obergefreiten in it, or any mix of Gefreiten, Obergefreiten, Grenadiere, etc. in addition to the leadership positions.

Trying to marry up those kinds of details across armies is difficult. You list "Lance Corporal" as a rank in the British Army, when of course technically it wasn't - it was an appointment, generally held by a section 2 i/c. There was no "equivalent" of this in the German Army.

I agree that it would be nice to see historically accurate terminology, but this might only serve to confuse, though either way, it would probably not have any impact on the game. If using the ranks, though, they should be used correctly after being thoroughly researched.
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Bradley Knoll
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
bk_otj wrote:
Perhaps the personality cards could have rank titles that are historically accurate instead of the US Army structure simply applied. With the cards already indicating Squad Leader (SL)and Assistant Squad Leader (ASL) it indicates the position of the personality cards. PFC has no real game function as far as I can tell.

Maybe restrict the custom ranks to core nations, provide an equivalency table in the rulebook or on a card.



As a point of order, there were no "equivalencies" between armies. Militaries were very different in terms of what they used the ranks for. A Gefreiter was not a command position - it was a private soldier who had been in the Army for six months and was entitled to a pay raise, nothing more. A typical squad might have eight Gefreiten and Obergefreiten in it, or any mix of Gefreiten, Obergefreiten, Grenadiere, etc. in addition to the leadership positions.

Trying to marry up those kinds of details across armies is difficult. You list "Lance Corporal" as a rank in the British Army, when of course technically it wasn't - it was an appointment, generally held by a section 2 i/c. There was no "equivalent" of this in the German Army.

I agree that it would be nice to see historically accurate terminology, but this might only serve to confuse, though either way, it would probably not have any impact on the game. If using the ranks, though, they should be used correctly after being thoroughly researched.



The intent is not to have exact equivalencies but to add some flavour that is more historically accurate and ditch the US structure just being painted over everyone.

US structure for everyone is incredibly inaccurate and boring. Exact historical ranks/appointments are confusing and could impact playability. Somewhere in the middle, like my list, keeps it familiar or simple to players and provides a more historical interesting portrayal. Up Front is a historical wargame, not a history project.

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One thing is for sure and that is that the structure with four ranks (five if you count SSGT) needs to be kept as it is an important aspect when playing campaigns.

If that can be done by using national terms, then that's nice and the equivalencies need not be completely exact in my opinion. However, please don't make this too difficult. Everybody needs to understand what the national ranks means in game terms. If that cannot be acheived, then I think it's better to keep the US system. Boring, OK, but it works its purpose.

R.
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Mark J
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stroar wrote:
One thing is for sure and that is that the structure with four ranks (five if you count SSGT) needs to be kept as it is an important aspect when playing campaigns.

If that can be done by using national terms, then that's nice and the equivalencies need not be completely exact in my opinion. However, please don't make this too difficult. Everybody needs to understand what the national ranks means in game terms. If that cannot be acheived, then I think it's better to keep the US system. Boring, OK, but it works its purpose.

R.


And Up Front is a game far before it's a history lesson. Play-ability needs to take precedence over historical accuracy if the two are not mutually compatible.
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Re: The Ranks for Campaigns . . . couldn't there just be a conversion chart or something so that players can easily see the German equivalent for SSGT, and keep track of the campaign that way? I like the idea of nationally-appropriate ranks, and it seems that except for campaigns, this would not affect game play.

Another option is to simply have a super- or sub-script after each rank on the card, showing that rank's appropriate "level" with PVT being "superscript 1" and increase it as the ranks increase. Then you would have the national typed-out rank for game/theme/coolness and the superscript to let you know what that soldier "counts as" for campaign purposes.

Just a suggestion.
 
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Michael Dorosh
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cmontgo2 wrote:
Re: The Ranks for Campaigns . . . couldn't there just be a conversion chart or something so that players can easily see the German equivalent for SSGT


As explained above, there were no "equivalents". German platoons were commanded almost entirely by NCOs, and in the American army, by officers. What would the point be in having a list of equivalent ranks, just because the names sound the same? The actual responsibilities were leagues different. Then, too, where would you place British warrant officers? The Germans never had any, and American warrant officers were so rare as to practically be non-existent in infantry battalions. Yet in British practice, they were mandatory to fill slots for company sergeants major, quartermaster sergeants, and the RSM position - for which there was also no equivalent in the German or American armies. None of which had much to do with tactical fighting at the squad level in any event.

Quote:
Another option is to simply have a super- or sub-script after each rank on the card, showing that rank's appropriate "level" with PVT being "superscript 1" and increase it as the ranks increase. Then you would have the national typed-out rank for game/theme/coolness and the superscript to let you know what that soldier "counts as" for campaign purposes.

Just a suggestion.


Or just leave the ranks as what they are - unimportant chrome and delete any reference to them at all. When the bullets flew, the "natural fighters" tended to take over, regardless of their actual rank, once the squad leaders and designated fire team leaders were down. It might actually be more realistic not to have ranks at all. In combat, insignia was painted over and stripped off of uniforms to camouflage them from snipers, and everyone in good units knew who the leaders were anyhow.
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
cmontgo2 wrote:
Re: The Ranks for Campaigns . . . couldn't there just be a conversion chart or something so that players can easily see the German equivalent for SSGT


As explained above, there were no "equivalents".


I meant make it "nation appropriate" - the German "equivalent" of a SSGT should be whatever rank generally practiced that role for the Germans. If they didn't have that role, then name that rank something else. Just seems to me that German troops should have German ranks. But at the end of the day, it's not that big of a deal to me.

'Twas just a suggestion, anyway - and in any case, I'm still buying the game regardless.
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DiploGuy wrote:
stroar wrote:
One thing is for sure and that is that the structure with four ranks (five if you count SSGT) needs to be kept as it is an important aspect when playing campaigns.

If that can be done by using national terms, then that's nice and the equivalencies need not be completely exact in my opinion. However, please don't make this too difficult. Everybody needs to understand what the national ranks means in game terms. If that cannot be acheived, then I think it's better to keep the US system. Boring, OK, but it works its purpose.

R.


And Up Front is a game far before it's a history lesson. Play-ability needs to take precedence over historical accuracy if the two are not mutually compatible.


+1, Keep this simple, not "historically accurate" (in quotes, because the forums will be abuzz with all the errors we find in nation/army specific nomenclature!)
 
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When I first encountered this game (which goes into considerable detail about weapon nomenclature) and found a PFC in a German squad I almost scrubbed in from my list of 'historically valid' games outright.

I suggest that ranks/titles should be appropriate to the nationality in the same way that names are (and could have the same, low, significance).

Game roles, however, should be consistent across all the nationalities and preferable be 'neutral' (EG squad leader, commander etc.).

I'm not a major board wargamer but I am a long-term miniatures wargamer and getting the historical 'flavour text' right is important to me.

Maybe the answer is to separate the 'rank' of a personality (printed on their card) from the game role (on a separate chit?), that way you could easily have (EG) a British RSM taking personal command of a squad in a critical situation.

If the game models differences between various rifles and squad support weapons (an anachronistic term i admit) why shouldn't it also model the differences between how authority and responsibility is apportioned in different forces? The difference between a German squad and a British one is not just that one has an MG42 and the other has a BREN (the rifles being very similar except in house clearing).

Nick H.
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