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"Situational Awareness/Hidden Movement" Topic


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508 hits since 28 Sep 2012
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Aldroud28 Sep 2012 8:17 a.m. PST

I've been kicking around different ideas and pondering how to incorporate the mental state of soldiers and leaders engaged in combat.

Basic unit – a squad, led by a squad leader. A squad characteristic is it's troop quality (TQ). TQ ranges from untrained (TQ4), trained (TQ6), veteran (TQ8) and elite (TQ10).

Rather than focus on ranges and such, I assume that most every weapon a squad carries outranges the battle space defined by terrain. What matters more is the awareness a squad leader has about things going on around him. If there's more going on than he can keep track of, he becomes less effective and thus the squad becomes less effective.

I guess the easiest way to describe is by example.

A TQ6 squad is occupying a defensive position in a house astride a road with surrounding houses and hedges etc. Opposite this squad are five enemy squads. The squad leader has 'eyes on' one of them, occupying a house across from them. During the opposing player's turn, each unit declares a movement or firing. The TQ6 squad makes an awareness check (if the player chooses to) to see if the squad can act/react. The check is an opposed die roll between the two players, the TQ6 squad tossing a d6, the opposing player tossing a d4 if within 6 inches, a d6 if within 18 inches, and a d8 if beyond 18 inches.

If the awareness check succeeds, the TQ6 squad can act/react. If it fails, the squad can not. Additionally, the enemy unit can reposition itself up to 6 inches in addition to any other movement it conducted. This represents a unit being 'lost from view'.

The TQ6 squad has a limitation, however. It can only track so many things going on. A TQ4 unit can track 2 enemy units, TQ6 3, etc. Any awareness check beyond the initial allotment gives the player a die shift down (d6 becomes d4, and you know the drill). Once the TQ6 player has attempted awareness checks on 4 units, he can no longer keep track with that unit (3 alloted checks, one at reduced d4, and then nothing left).

It doesn't matter if the TQ6 player succeeds on each awareness check, just that it was attempted. Any unit the TQ6 squad chooses not to attempt gains the free 6 inch reposition as well.

Any unit that FIRES at the TQ6 squad, however, is automatically in the squad's awareness.

Rambling I know, but does this get the idea across?

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2012 11:10 a.m. PST

While I have no real problem with your concept overall. Tagging it all on the Squad Leader has it's problems. Other members of a Squad often have input. "Hey Sarge, look over there." But that's more about your explanation than the idea itself.
I leave doutful situations up to a percentage die roll. But I have no formal rules as to how to arrive at the number to be rolled. When, or if I ever have an opponent again I'll probably need to fix that. I should anyways.
It's not a bad idea. I just had to fuss.

HistoryPhD28 Sep 2012 2:13 p.m. PST

In combat, it's likely that not all members of the squad will have the same training level. Previous casualties are replaced with guys that are generally "newbies"

basileus66 Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2012 10:42 p.m. PST

Force on Force uses it, and I believe it works very well in small engagements. It is a little bit messy in big games, until you become familiar with it; afterwards, it's very intuitive.

Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2012 4:13 a.m. PST

I like this concept because the mechanic change the value sets used in the game. By focusing on those factors that occur in real life, especially the abilities of leaders keepuing the unit focused upon the situation at hand, is a challenege in a combat situation. The distractions and possible information overload demands that leaders be capable of quickly "triageing" info and sorting it into "actionable" and "archival" categories. Actionable for required actions right now and archival for use later; less important at the moment, but still important enough to act on later.

The focus of the design being at the level of leader is spot on! After all, he is the one that must juggle all the tasks associated with his position: Reports up the chain, consideration of pre mission briefs, status of his men, knowing the SKAs of his men, their status on ammo, food and water, terrain around the unit, location of enemy and friendly forces, lateral lines of communication, fatigue, etc. in order to keep the unit a functioning force. Oh, and above all, what is his assigned mission, ROE, time frames, etc. The more complicated the plan, the harder to keep all the strands resembling rope.

HistoryPhD: i believe I know what you meant but how you stated it alludes to a misconception. Since the 20th century, training has been standardized. If the soldier is not a specialist he is just another rank on the mission. Now since soldiers , regardless of training levels remain in life as individuals (and units ARE comprised of individuals), some could be extremely helpful while others are problem children! Newbies are of unknown quantity. ( I used quantitity here because every soldier brings different SKAs to the fight, as individuals….the number of qualitities they bring = quantity). Some examples: ability to hump larger loads, willingness to impress their leader, level of alertness (willingness to keep oneself ready for missions, illness, personal home situations, etc.) Again, all considerations that could come into play when the lead starts flying that can influence and degrade overall unit performance that is NEVER considered by wargamers!

Applying this concept to higher command levels would be easy. Instead of considering the indivdual man, you are now applying a value to how well the subordiante unit functions. Again, recognizing that the unit is comprised of individuals of differing abilities….that can change for the next snapshot in time.

I like the way you think!

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2012 4:35 p.m. PST

Your description is reminiscent of the processes Stargrunt used where squads were rated and the rating determined the type of die used in various rolls and also determined the range of effectiveness in weapons use. If I remember right, there were two dice that were rolled for each squad when it had its turn or needed to react: one for squad overall quality and one for squad leader quality. The system also used opposed die rolls for combat. Range bands for fire combat were based on quality and the type of die rolled when firing.

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