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"Generation of rational Uncertainty " Topic


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1,104 hits since 17 Dec 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

UshCha17 Dec 2017 4:55 a.m. PST

Note if you are a game playerm not a simulation adict, or fight with figures over 15mm this is unlikely to be of interest and is applicable to only 1:1 representations.

We played a simple game but it brought home a number of (to me, interesting points). Unusually of late for us the board we played on was 6 ft by 4 ft ( 1800 by 1200m). The requirement was to reconnoitre the route and drive of enemy if in small enough numbers or fix in place until more resource was available. We decided on a platoon in defence. As this was a battalion on the move there time was limited. We were using dummy markers so that there were 3 sets one of which was real. This we realised in many ways was not an optimum solution. Using markers limits the area needing to be searched and also the short board allows a speed of movement not commensurate with the following battalion.

The simulation would have been much improved had we put a divider down most of the centre of the board creating " U" shaped board with a road length approximating 4500m and marking the defenders on the map. While the board width is reduced to 600m the defenders had only LAW/MAW's so restricted the defenders too relatively close to the road. The increase in depth makes it an imperative to trade speed for security and to make the attackers do better terrain analysis to define the high risk zones. This improves the plausobility of the game.

The alternative we have used in the past is for example to use the same 6 by 4 board but state that the enemy may be placedon either of the to two passes of the board. Hence there is a possibility that there is no enemy in the fisdrt pass. However ther becomes an issue if the enemy deployment is across the area covered by the fist and second pass and psycologicaly you do not get the impression of the sheer space that needs to be copverd and the inevitable insufficent time to do so.

Clearly setting up the game just on the basis that the enemy is in this board is wholey inadequate as it does not set up the start conditions in any plusible way.

How do you cope with these issues?

Legion 417 Dec 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

3-6mm has the advantage of more "realistic" long ranges for many weapons systems. We'd always use rectangular size table for 6mm which is our preferred scale. @ 6 x 4 ft.… We never tried a U shape board. Just seems to not need it for Bn/Bn TF + or in 6mm. Dummy/Hidden Markers do have a number of uses depending on the scenario/situation, of course …

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

Allow units to go "Infiltrate"(Hidden movement). The procedure described below will add tension to both players and tactical situation on the table, is playable and actually captures the element of surprise pretty well on a game table under the eyes of the 100 foot generals! :

On the turn when they go "Infiltrate", place a marker from where they start and remove the unit from the table. Each turn they are "hidden", the owner rolls to see if they are "discovered". Additional markers record how many turns they have been hidden. Roll a die (of appropriate sided as your scenario allows). If the die roll is below the number of turns "Infiltrated", they are discovered. When discovered, place the unit the on the table anywhere within the possible movement rate for the number of turns "Infiltrated". No premeasuring allowed. Take into consideration terrain and any other usual movement penalties your rules require for movement.

If the Infiltrated unit MUST unmask (rolled less than the number of turns they have been "Infiltrating"), any unfriendly unit with range and line-of-sight to the unmasking unit gets a free fire. The unmasked unit receives benefits of cover they end up in, but are considered to be "surprised".

Allow "Infiltrated" units to voluntarily "unmask" during their turn. In this case, the Infiltrated unit is NOT "surprised", but their targets of fire are considered to be on the turn they voluntarily unmask.

Any attacks against "surprised" units must receive double casualties and morale negatives to pass a morale check. This mechanic can capture the "feel" of surprised on the miniature table for both the minis and the players, and remains playable.

Please remember me if you steal the idea for your published rules sets! 8>)

v/r
Tom Dye

UshCha17 Dec 2017 9:50 a.m. PST

Tom,Leigon, these look like tactics that are for areas where you are reasonably sure there may be s o meting. They are not practical for covering say 4.5 km in say an average of 10 km/hr. This is about covering a lot of ground say 20 min ahead of a Motor Rifle Battalion on the move. I can find the reference paper if you are interested.

dragon617 Dec 2017 9:53 a.m. PST

Tom that is a very neat idea.
I'm not sure why double minuses are applied to the "surprised" units? Do your rules not cover surprise?

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2017 11:34 a.m. PST

Hi, dragon6. Here's the rationale in what this simulates:

1. The "surprising unit" catches the target unit who is not expecting the enemy unit to be there. (The "surprise" factor.) Hard to achieve in most games as the "surprised unit" player can see it coming- which really negates the "surprise" element in most games.

2. The second effect is to ensure that the element of surprise gets accounted for in game mechanics. A unit being threatened from an unexpected enemy must have some sort of effect on the surprised unit's ability to maintain control over the men (loss of unit cohesion from the moment).

Yes, this is how "my" rules cover the element of surprise to combat the effect of the gamers having a birds eye view of the table.

Thanks for the compliment and question!

UshCha: Still can work if your units all must function under the same time/distance/movement rules. So leave the motor Rifle Btn off the board until, say 20 minutes game scale time, has passed. Guess I don't understand the issue you bring up here on this one. Of course, many games do not handle advanced recon very well and leave much of it up to the gamer on how he/she handles their miniature forces.

Best
Tom

UshCha17 Dec 2017 12:13 p.m. PST

Die rolling and hiddem movent are not the same. How well you detect an enemy trying to sneak up on you is not independent of the organisation and disposition of the force being sneakes up on. If there is a covered approach that has not been covered then your hidden movement system works. In some of our games we merley remove units hidden and place back in the new position when sufficent time has expired for them to get there and they are betrayed by fire or other issues.

You cannot have a unit in the middle of a flat area be attacked by a unit of sufficent size for it to be a threat, it makes the game implauseable and massively detracts from the enjoyment of the game.

The point is that to achieve speed vehicales may have to risk running down the road. This is more easily modlled when it is ovious that this cannot be achieved by sneaking several kilometers.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

Units can be detected by many ways! (In one first hand account- mine) by a cell phone going off just as the OPFOR was entering the kill zone! The die roll to see if that happens will increase the longer the "Infiltrating unit" remains hidden.

If you take the maximun possible basic movement allowance the unit could have covered per trn, times the number of turns "masked", deduct for the terrain- that is the maximum radius the unit could possible be at this point in the game. Nothing says it MUST use the full move distance- just like every unit has in every turn, the ability NOT to use it's full movement allowance. This allows for adequate time and distance relationships in the game to be maintained while still alllowing gamers to feel like they are in command to a lesser extent.

"You cannot have a unit in the middle of a flat area be attacked by a unit of sufficent size for it to be a threat, it makes the game implauseable and massively detracts from the enjoyment of the game."

One man with a gun shooting at you is a threat. What do you mean by "sufficient size"? What is implauseable about the element of surprise not being able to be achieved? Of course, if it's "just a game" then anything goes. But you prefaced your original question as a simulation. Murphy is alive and well in the real world, why can't he play too in our sims?

My question back to you is, What is the mission the advanced company has to accomplish and in what timeframe to accomplish it in? Sound like the scenario is flawed if the advanced party is not to be clued in to the Battalion's overall mission is and therefore is clueless as how to respond if/when a threat is identified. (ROE for the tasking).

Make sense?

v/r
Tom

Legion 417 Dec 2017 2:48 p.m. PST

This is about covering a lot of ground say 20 min ahead of a Motor Rifle Battalion on the move.
That may be a little harder to replicate in a game. Other than randomly placing "hidden" markers. Some actual units … others nothing … But even then it might be hard to play on the table or may not be worthwhile ?


The point is that to achieve speed vehicales may have to risk running down the road.
That is always the Cdr's conundrum. A saying heard at the Ranger School is, "Speed is Security". But like so many times as I have been told and repeated here. It depends on the Terrain & Situation. And it has been added, "What the highest rank in the nearby area orders you to do".

Units can be detected by many ways! (In one first hand account- mine) by a cell phone going off just as the OPFOR was entering the kill zone!
So very true. We all had classes on Noise & Light Discipline. From smell to sight and sound can give away a position/unit.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2017 5:12 p.m. PST

Thanks, Ralph.

v/r
Tom

Blutarski17 Dec 2017 6:11 p.m. PST

+1 to Tom. Very clever approach.

B

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2017 9:21 p.m. PST

Thanks, B.

v/r
Tom

UshCha18 Dec 2017 4:08 a.m. PST

Proably should have put this in from the start.

PDF link

key stuff from about page 25. This should give a better context.

Murvihill18 Dec 2017 11:16 a.m. PST

I'm a bit confused by the initial explanation, but if both sides knew it was a battalion vs a platoon that would negate surprise anyway. Just go full blast until you get shot at and then flank them. Even if you lose three platoons you still win. Markers are useful but I think map marking is better. Nothing slows down players than going against an unknown force in unknown locations. One timeI took a picture of the board, loaded it into the computer, marked the troop locations in powerpoint and printed it out, a quick way to deal with map marking.

UshCha18 Dec 2017 11:34 a.m. PST

Murvihill,
not sure I would want to be under your command. Rushing in with no plan is bad news. Thats why the Russians had a plan.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 5:52 p.m. PST

Usual way is to say the convoy must exit by Turn Y or lose--turn Y being so calculated that the convoy can't stop much or often. or it will lose even without being ambushed. If it is ambushed, different victory conditions apply.

Murvihill, you might want to read Street Without Joy. The French Army in Indochina evidently went with your plan. The Viet Minh habitually mined by the side of the road prior to the ambush zone. As soon as someone left the road to flank them…
Nor is losing three platoons to defeat one always and everywhere regarded as a victory, though I agree it's the sort of game which benefits from some uncertainty about the size of the ambushing force.

Lion in the Stars18 Dec 2017 6:40 p.m. PST

Die rolling and hiddem movent are not the same. How well you detect an enemy trying to sneak up on you is not independent of the organisation and disposition of the force being sneakes up on. If there is a covered approach that has not been covered then your hidden movement system works. In some of our games we merley remove units hidden and place back in the new position when sufficent time has expired for them to get there and they are betrayed by fire or other issues.

Modifiers to your detection mechanics can be part of the national characteristics. Whether those modifiers are part of standard equipment, organization, or training doesn't matter.


You cannot have a unit in the middle of a flat area be attacked by a unit of sufficent size for it to be a threat, it makes the game implauseable and massively detracts from the enjoyment of the game.

You suffer from insufficient imagination. Pretty sure we saw this happen several times in North Africa, and even more often during Desert Storm.


The point is that to achieve speed vehicales may have to risk running down the road. This is more easily modlled when it is ovious that this cannot be achieved by sneaking several kilometers.

So make part of the advancing forces victory conditions be "must exit the board in Y turns" where Y is 2 or 3 turns more than full speed down the road.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 6:40 p.m. PST

If you study the soviet deployment of the column, it is set up to make a hasty attack when opposition is found. If the contacting element cannot move the threat and continue on, the next echelon arrives and together, they will try to overpower the opposition, again, with hopefully overpowering firepower or numbers. Follow-on elements will provide secuity and perhaps even be leapfrogged to become the supporting element to advancing lead elements due to attrittion. Flank elements can also be brought into play as the lead element (if not successful in overpowering the encountered resistance) pins the enemy in place.

The whole idea is to sieze the iniative from the enemy and keep driving hard, never allowing him to fully have the time to get organized against your efforts.

Of course, you can do such on the sized table you described, but the players must understand that their support is somewhere behind and for the advancing player, bringing his flank guard into play with coordination of the leading forces pinning, as described above. If hasty attacks from both are unable to budge the opposition, the Battalion Commander "feeds in" fresh units and again, trys to overwhelm resistance or make a breakthru. usually, a breakthru will cause the enemy to fold out of fear of being cut off from their lines of communication (support).

Does that better address your issue, UshCha? Thanks for the reference. It's a well done thesis for the 70's!

v/r
Tom

UshCha19 Dec 2017 3:59 a.m. PST

Tom yes that is correct. Next time I will put the references at the start If I have them.

Legion 419 Dec 2017 7:27 a.m. PST

Street Without Joy
Great book ! And let there be no doubt, a force that knows how to set up and properly utilize the Ambush can be very effective.

The US military learned from the French experiences in Indochina, but the learning curve was steep at times, initially. However, by the time I started training in '75. Shortly after the war in SE Asia. We were trained to be very skilled at ambushes. Based on recent previous experiences.

We did a lot of training on the AT Ambush as well. And mines and booby traps were incorporated often in ambushes.

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