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"Secondary combat effects on a tank platoon?" Topic

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1,899 hits since 22 Jan 2013
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BrotherSevej22 Jan 2013 6:45 p.m. PST

So my game is about tanks. A base is made of a platoon of tanks.

Should I include combat results such as suppressed, pinned, or forced fall back?

40k seems to ignore such results for vehicle. Unsure about other games.

emckinney22 Jan 2013 7:11 p.m. PST

I hate to say it, but if you're not sure about this, you probably shouldn't be designing your own set of modern armor rules. There are plenty of excellent choices out there.

Nandalf Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 7:21 p.m. PST

Hi, I think designing rules is a hobby unto itself, so keep going!

Yes, I would definitely have some sort of middle result, especially for a platoon scale game.

Maybe a single generic "Hindered" result, which could be from being under fire, tanks zig-zagging, or just through failing a terrain test etc.

Hindered platoons fight at reduced effectiveness or something.

As a wargamer, that would make sense, and would give the attacker AND defender a sense of achievement:
Attacker: "yes, hindered them!"
Defender: "phew, only hindered!"



BrotherSevej22 Jan 2013 7:21 p.m. PST

It's not that I'm not sure about it, but I'm just kinking out mechanism. Do people think it's important enough to be included, at that scale?

Like forced fall back. In most infantry games, you got hit, then you run back immediately. There's an "extra action" mechanism in my game. Once a company is activated, it may gain some "extra actions", which can be used by companies for OpFire or make a move or retreat (yeah this does mean inactive formations or active formations with poor activation rolls are sitting ducks!). So I'm weighing whether it's worth it to have immediate fall back mechanism during combat.

I did research on modern armor rules, but must don't fulfill my needs.

There is a "reduced" rule. This means that platoon fights at reduced effectiveness. But this is permanent. Hmm…

Mr Pumblechook Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 7:38 p.m. PST

Tank crew are still human beings. They get scared just like people on foot.

If someone's shooting at you with something you have good reason can kill you, it is going to have an effect on your actions.

Rather than reading various sets of wargames rules, read up on real life.

There are various accounts of what it was like to go to war in an AFV, such as Robert Kershaw's 'The Tank Men'.


Charlie 1222 Jan 2013 7:49 p.m. PST

Yes, all three (suppressed, pinned, or forced fall back) are reasonable effects for armor under fire. Especially if the source of said fire is unknown. Your first (and very reasonable) response is to get the heck out of whatever kill zone you just blundered into.

Legion 422 Jan 2013 10:24 p.m. PST

Agreed, if an AFV crew gets enough fire it won't function effectively …

Martin Rapier23 Jan 2013 3:30 a.m. PST

As above, suppressed, pinned and fall back are entirely reasonable. The whole fire & movement thing applies to armoured combat just as much as it does to infantry.

Depending on your combat system, these results may be generated directly by combat or indirectly via the morale system.

Tanks platoons have getting 'suppressed' in wargames since Panzerblitz came out a very long time ago….

Badgers23 Jan 2013 6:08 a.m. PST

What typically happens in real life? And how often? Is this different in modern combat as opposed to WW2? For example, is SOP when illuminated by a laser range-finder to pop smoke and reverse?

Martin Rapier23 Jan 2013 7:00 a.m. PST

Bear in mind this is the behaviour of whole platoons, so an event which forces platoon back well involve one or more damaged/destroyed vehicles, just not enough to render the whole unit combat ineffective. Similarly a 'suppressed' platoon could easily be busy jockeying back and forth from their firing positions, but rendering themsleve completely ineffective in the process.

I recall in Bill Bellamys 'Troop Leader', he said they spent whole of Operation Goodwood hiding in a depression in the ground while AP shells whizzed overhead.

nickinsomerset23 Jan 2013 7:03 a.m. PST

Technology to warn one is illuminated by laser is not widespread. In older money it used to be said that the last thing a Soviet tank crew would hear would be 3 quick "bangs"!

Standard practice when under threat would be pop smoke and withdraw, but a Troop/Plt of MBT is not going to be charging around FOW style, there will always be one foot on the ground. Have a look at the Troop and Platoon tactics videos here:

YouTube link

Tally Ho!

Milites Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 11:20 a.m. PST

Why three bangs, surely not a Rarden cannon versus a Soviet tank? Sorry being dumb again.

Frank Chadwick's rationale for CD's armour effects are the forced back result represents better cover, which seems always to be further back! Damage used to reduce tank platoons speed and ROF, IIRC.

nickinsomerset23 Jan 2013 11:51 a.m. PST

3 rounds from the ranging gun, prior to the introduction of the laser rangefinder,

Tally Ho!

Milites Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 6:15 p.m. PST

Ah, got you now, pre-decimalisation FC, which IIRC was a 50 cal?

WarpSpeed23 Jan 2013 8:06 p.m. PST

To be fair a Nato tanker would only hear a full regiment of 122 and 152 rounds falling.

BrotherSevej24 Jan 2013 12:55 a.m. PST

Wow! Thanks for the great replies. My concern was because of the platoon scale. For example on forced retreat. How often is it for a whole platoon to retreat at the same time. But you guys have given me enough food for thought.

BattlerBritain24 Jan 2013 4:21 a.m. PST

nickinsomerset: ranging gun – you're going back a bit there :)

What's that – Chieftains late 70's?

nickinsomerset24 Jan 2013 9:26 a.m. PST

There were still some Mk5s about in the mid 80s!

Tally Ho!

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