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"Need some help on simple ultra-modern game design." Topic


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644 hits since 6 Jan 2013
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BrotherSevej Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 12:53 a.m. PST

Okay so I did some research for my simple modern wargame. It is platoon-level game, a base/unit is a platoon.

Combat mechanic is pretty simple. If you attack you roll 3 dice (2 dice if your unit is reduced). You must equal/beat target number, which depends on the type of the target. If you cause 2 hits, the target is reduced. If you cause 3 hits, target is destroyed. Reduced units that roll 2 sixes (because they're only limited to 2 dice) may roll 1 bonus die in attempt to completely annihilate their opposition.

Command and Control is also simple. At the beginning of a turn, both players roll a command die for each of their company. Sum the dice results, higher goes first. Players activate companies (which consist of several platoon bases) alternately. There's no command range.

When a unit is activated the command die is placed on one of the company's platoon. A basic activation costs 2 pips. Companies which are assigned dice with lots of pips can get second activation, but only firing (not moving). This is to compensate the absence of "reaction system".

There's quite a bit of other rules (recon, artillery, CAS with both helicopter and A-10s, special abilities such as ATGM, etc), but that's the basic.

So here's where I need help.

1. How would you model command in a tank company? Should they be placed in a different base? Should this base able to move and attack? Or should I assume that command is sticking to one of the platoons?

2. What is the helicopter rough equivalent of a company? How many helicopters are in there? Do they fly in a large group, or in small groups with different targets?

3. Artillery battery. I plan to have 3 artillery base in a battery (+1 targeting center). Should each base able to fire in different locations that are far away between each other?

FoxtrotPapaRomeo07 Jan 2013 1:09 a.m. PST

1. For Western forces, Tank company(/squadron) may operate as a company or as separate platoons(/troops) or in a mixed armoured cavalry squadron. And maybe in support of or supported by other elements (mechanised, motorised or on foot infantry). Depends upon what the mission is and what they are trained to do (tank versus mechanised formations, etc).

1a. As an aside, infantry platoons of Western forces should also be able to act independently if required, so I's have a company command and each platoon represented separately.

2. Helicopters in my neck of the woods operate in squadrons, with two or more constituting a flight. Flight composition varies on the assigned task. I would have each helicopter represented individually.

3. If you are talking modern Western 155mm guns supported by a network of feeds and laser guided (etc), one shot, one kill. So each gun can operate independently. I'd have six guns and a number of forward observers. Of course, are we talking SPGs or towed? How mobile do you want them to be?

BrotherSevej Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 2:43 a.m. PST

@FPR
Thanks!
1. Hmm… I think I'll allow an armor company have a base of mech. inf. platoon and vice versa.

2. How many helos making up a squadron? How many usually dispatched to support a company of tanks? I know this vary with mission, but I need to dumb down the numbers.

3. I'm using the SPG, like the Paladins. I think they'll be mobile, but for gameplay purposes will be a little watered down. Since my game will be hex-based, at the beginning of the turn player marks down which hexes will be targeted, but the guns fire at the end of the turn (after everything else have moved). So there's a little bluffing element.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 3:42 a.m. PST

It partly depends what level of overall game you are einterested in. If you are going to have a reinforced battalion then have separate company HQ stands, but if looking at brigade+ then either ignore comany HQs or amalgamate them into one of the combat platoons.

As above sub-units should be able to cross attach so you can form mixed combat teams of company equivalent size (more or less).

For game purposes in a game of this scale I'd use choppers in elements of 4 machines each (so call it three to a squadron). IIRC a typical armoured division on the Cental Front had at least one squadron of attack helicopters in direct support and one squadron of recce machines, but I can't recall the exact orbats.

For game purposes just make a stand or two (or none!) of helicopters available and limit the number of missions they can fly and/or have some sort of air support call roll to bring them in.

We rarely have more than a single stand of attack helicopter in table at once, even in big battles, but the same stand may reappear a few times. Transport choppers are another thing, a Soviet airborne brigade rides a lot of helicopters.

BrotherSevej Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 4:00 a.m. PST

May be at most 6-7 companies, which is about 18-21 platoons. This is at most. I'tll be likely at 4-5 companies. If command is on separate base, should they act like the platoons or just marker attached to a platoon? Should they be allowed to make their own attack?

PS I have to note that the game won't feature infantry. They're incorporated into the IFVs or Recon.

(Jake Collins of NZ 2) Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 1:01 p.m. PST

If you're not having command radius, why would you bother representing company commanders separately? Seems like chrome for no reason to me in the type of simple game you want.

BrotherSevej Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 2:35 p.m. PST

Because in a 14 tanks company, a command made up of 2 tanks seems to be a considerable fighting power. Also the lose of a command base may make it hard to activate a company.

UshCha07 Jan 2013 2:54 p.m. PST

You need to work out how much ground a platoon takes up. In defence it will cover about 500m in attack a company battle group will attack on about the same frontage.

Same issue will apply to tanks. In defence they will normaly have at least 1 alternate position and possibly 2. Typically the alternate position should be at least 50 yds from the other and recent studies say 75 yds apart is better. On that basis a tank company could take up as much as 800 to 1000m of frontage. Depending on ground and timescales these issues will be critical to a plausible game. This is why often real units form more ammenable company battle groups that have say 2 tank squadrons and 1 infantry platoon or vice versa, 2infntry platoons and 1 tank squadron. The choice is dependent on the terrain being covered.

BrotherSevej Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 5:14 p.m. PST

Ah, yes… ground scale. I have to say that I highly condense the game so it would be playable on roughly 2' by 2' table.

I actually have not decided this, since I'm still tinkering with movement distance & firing range (which will decide the practical scale). My plan is to use 2cm square bases, on 2.75cm hexes.

Right now an MBT movement rate is 3 spaces and its firing range is 4. A hex covers about 500m. So a platoon occupy a laaaarge space, but I'd sacrifice scale for playability. Even with this scale the MBT firing range is still roughly half of what it should be.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2013 5:03 a.m. PST

Why not go with 500m hexes but allow players to stack up to a company in them? That way you could have one platoon hold a 500m frontage on defence, but a full company assault on a 500m frontage as per UshChas suggestion. Perhaps a loer stackign liit for amroued vs infantry platoons.

Unless you are in the desert, MBTs aren't going to be firing at 4000m. Why not go with the proper max ranges and use terrain to make up the difference?

You will obviously need hexes big enough to accomodate multiple bases (plus terrain). We use Kallistra 10cm hexes, company bases and 1 hex = 1 km for brigade+ sized actions.

BrotherSevej Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2013 5:34 p.m. PST

There's a lot of things need to be factored in. First is the physical dimension of the miniature itself. It needs to be playable on a small area (60x60cm ideally, 90x90cm at most). A game playable on small area can easily be played on a bigger area, but a game that needs a big area is difficult to be played on smaller area.

Secondly, if I increase firing distance, I feel I also have to increase movement range, which practically shrink the available space. While I want to emphasize the game on maneuver, I still want plenty of space.

Thirdly, with a certain stacking limit, I reduce the "resolution of the battlefield", the same amount of playing area and lesser amount of hexes (because the hexes are bigger). The higher the stacking limit, the less I can shrink the battlefield.

As I said there'll be no infantry platoon. So far the units are: MBT, IFV, Recon, Artillery, AA, and Gunships.

May be in the future I'll make distinction between superior MBT and ordinary MBT, infantry, transport helicopter, etc… but for now I want to keep it simple. The amount of bookkeeping involved in transport stuff is what I want to avoid, therefore, no infantry.

(oddly, I also have other design involving small unit action that has stacking limit… so yes, it's a little bit odd way of thinking)

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