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"Differences between CoC and BA?" Topic


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VVV reply11 May 2018 10:10 p.m. PST

I would think that self-preservation and fear would provide sufficient reason.

There is a thread about movement. I added an image from the WW2 US infantry manual where it shows a squad moving in column, proceeded by a couple of scouts. The scouts are supposed to detect the enemy before the rest of the squad does (if need be by simply dying). It also shows the squad being shot down if the scouts do not spot the enemy. Luckily in WW2 if you are behind your lines, you are safe from direct attack. I appreciate that in CoC you are dumped straight into combat and its kill or be killed. I suppose that its the same in BA but it takes place over a longer time period.
Which goes to show that you can't know the rules just by reading them, they need to be played. If you had played the rules you would understand that just moving on the table doesn't do the same thing as the jump off points.

Fair enough. You can explain the difference, it is after all one of the things that is not done in Bolt Action.
When I move onto the table initially, I am looking to control the areas of the table that seem to be the best things for me to have or deny them to the opposing player. I thought that was what Jump Off points were for as well.
So, giving all troops an average movement rate is better than rolling die, ignoring that fact there being an average is because all troops don't in fact move at the same rate? That's just lazy rule writing.

No its doing it without rolling dice. Taking the normal speed that you expect units to move and saying 'thats how far they are going to move'. It also follows in the footsteps of expecting every unit to be able to do something. In CoC have to roll dice to actually get your units to do something, then roll more dice if they move. Great if you like rolling dice.
BTY out of curiosity how well are/did your rules sell? I'm curious because I had never heard of them before.

Very nicely thank you. When I have some time free, I will add the units for airbourne operations that I been working on. Different to both CoC and BA because they are designed for company level, although there are rules to expand them to battalion level. Still 1 figure = 1 man. I don't know where you go looking for rules. I use both Amazon and Wargames Vault. If you order printed copies, they print them off, send you the copy and then send me the money. And I don't have to do a thing. Works for me.
BTW there is a Yahoo group for the rules, free to join.
Obviously I have no idea how many WW2 sets you have used/seen. I have a fair few here and I suppose I started with the Airfix and the WRG ones (which seem really basic now).

Northern Monkey12 May 2018 7:12 a.m. PST

Your Yahoo group has 35 members. There have been no posts in 2018. There were three posts in 2017. Looks like you're right up there challenging BA and CoC.

VVV reply12 May 2018 7:21 a.m. PST

Its up to people what they post, not me. In the Best Allies group we had a chap who was very enthusiastic about the role of French Revolutionary Commissars and what they did> He thought that they should be included in the rules :)

Northern Monkey12 May 2018 8:27 a.m. PST

But it is indicative of the number of people playing them and enjoying them.

Look, size isn't everything, numbers of copies sold doesn't determine what is a good game and what's not. However, you've been pretty derogatory about good rule sets that lots of people like and do find enjoyable. I just wonder if you shouldn't play a proper game with those rules before trashing them so openly. The best test of a game designed for a platoon of infantry per side is not one with six tanks.

Most of your comments and criticisms are down to never having played CoC and therefore not understanding how the game works properly. Some of your objections, like wanting all of your troops to follow your orders and to do so at a set speed are not wrong, just a bit dated now. Most sets of rules I play recognise that under fire troops don't perform like they do on exercise. But playing a game with infantry forces will give you a better understanding of the game. If you still don't like it then you'll be able to criticise it from a more informed position. At the moment this all seems a big dog in a manger.

VVV reply12 May 2018 9:45 a.m. PST

But it is indicative of the number of people playing them and enjoying them.

Perhaps. These days I am not a follower on other rules sites – what do people talk about?
Most of your comments and criticisms are down to never having played CoC and therefore not understanding how the game works properly.

My comments are based on my experience on playing CoC, if you think I got anything wrong in my playing of the scenario, please feel free to let us all know.
Some of your objections, like wanting all of your troops to follow your orders and to do so at a set speed are not wrong, just a bit dated now.

Perhaps I am old fashioned. But until I see reasons for throwing dice for moving troops, I am inclined to stick to my 'dated' thoughts.
Most sets of rules I play recognise that under fire troops don't perform like they do on exercise.

Or indeed as in real life. You are right, I never fought in WW2 but like anyone I can read the reports of actions and write a set of rules to reflect history. Then of course (primary objective) is that people have fun and that the rules are not bogged down with unnecessary detail. But everyone knows that.
But playing a game with infantry forces will give you a better understanding of the game.

And why do you think that infantry give a better view of CoC (or indeed Bolt Action)?
I don't see any difference in rolling activation dice, shooting, shock.
If you still don't like it then you'll be able to criticise it from a more informed position.

There was no criticism of Chain of Command at the start, just the difference between the two rules.
You roll more dice in CoC, well you do, no one is going to deny that.
You don't get to activate all your units in CoC, again true. That leads to the obvious that you cannot take advantage of having more units than your opponent. Its just a fact.
And the game took longer under CoC. 15 minutes instead of 5. A fact, cannot be argued with.
Activation dice are CoC big problem, get rid of those the game would work a lot better. Of course then you have to have a new way of activating units, changing the initiative of players turn and getting command dice.
Personally I don't like random movement but if others do, good for them. Its always irritating to roll a '1' to make a move, it hardly seems worth doing. But I have played Warhammer where they also have had random moves.

jdginaz12 May 2018 12:02 p.m. PST

Yeah I saw your yahoo group but with no posts in the last 8 months and just three the year before I figured it was a dead group.


Compare that to TFLs CoC, in their last podcast Rich mentioned that that CoC had sold 24,000 copies so far. There is a very active fan based Facebook group with just shy of 2600 members, a forum with 2300 members not to mention their yahoo group. Seems to me that there is a rather large portion of WWII gamers that feel that the Command Dice work very well.


"These days I am not a follower on other rules sites – what do people talk about?"

The same thing that most wargamers talk about with a set of rules they like, AARs, pictures of their minis, post scenarios & mini campaigns etc.


"My comments are based on my experience on playing CoC,…"

No you haven't played a real game of CoC yet. I wonder why you are so wedded to that ridiculous Hollywood scenario. Would it be because you know knew that it wouldn't show CoC at its best? It wouldn't be difficult to run a simple infantry game to give it a real test, say the Patrol scenario from the rules. There are several videos on youtube that could help you learn how the game is really play instead of your inaccurate assumptions.


"…if you think I got anything wrong in my playing of the scenario, please feel free to let us all know."

As many have tried to explain to you, the scenario.


"…I am inclined to stick to my 'dated' thoughts."

That's fine but allow that others are willing and able to progress instead of remaining stagnant.


"Then of course (primary objective) is that people have fun and that the rules are not bogged down with unnecessary detail."

Having read the summery and reviews of your rules It's ironic that you would mention rules getting bogged down in detail.


"And why do you think that infantry give a better view of CoC (or indeed Bolt Action)? I don't see any difference in rolling activation dice, shooting, shock."

Ok please listen very carefully, since it was designed to be a infantry game with support playing a all armor scenario, a scenario it's not designed to handle, is like using a ACW scenario to test a rule set designed for the ECW.


"There was no criticism of Chain of Command at the start, just the difference between the two rules."

It can be argued whether you started with criticism or not but you definitely miss-characterized CoC.

"You don't get to activate all your units in CoC, again true."

Sometimes you can and others you can't. Much like the real world.


"Activation dice are CoC big problem, get rid of those the game would work a lot better."

It may be for you, but as pointed out earlier not for a considerable number of WWII gamers.

VVV reply12 May 2018 12:36 p.m. PST

Compare that to TFLs CoC, in their last podcast Rich mentioned that that CoC had sold 24,000 copies so far.

Beats the hell out of me then. But I am glad to hear they are doing so well.
Having read the summery and reviews of your rules It's ironic that you would mention rules getting bogged down in detail.

Really I thought they were very clean. But don't forget you get far more than CoC; fighting over the entire world, fighting in buildings and weather.
As many have tried to explain to you, the scenario.

Scenario is fine. So tell me what mechanics of the rules I got wrong. Thats the important bit. First time I am bound to have got something wrong.
That's fine but allow that others are willing and able to progress instead of remaining stagnant.

Fine but lets have rules advance on the basis of reality rather than you accepting the idea that rolling dice is simulating reality (Emperors New Clothes syndrome). I think the fact that you cannot actually argue your position and just ask for your views to be accepted, shows that you are not thinking about what you are posting.
Ok please listen very carefully, since it was designed to be a infantry game with support playing a all armor scenario, a scenario it's not designed to handle, is like using a ACW scenario to test a rule set designed for the ECW.

No it is not. Surprisingly enough there are rules for both Tiger and Sherman tanks in both sets of rules. So all you have is a game with 1 unit on one side and 5 of the other.
I repeat (ever so boring) both sets are games of infantry with support (as is mine) so I was being equally unfair to both sides :) it is not a mix up of out of period troops or anything that the rules cannot handle. Your comment has been posted by others and is as equally invalid as it was when they posted it.
But again I will say to you, play the game with the forces you want, under both rules. Record the die rolls and see what happens. I think you will get the same results as I did; CoC uses far more dice, takes longer and you cannot get all your units to activate. Its there, it happened, its reality, no getting away from it with any 'jokes' you like to dream up.
It can be argued whether you started with criticism or not but you definitely miss-characterized CoC.

In what way? This seems right on the button (my original post)
Chain of Command is heavily dice driven. Both sides will have similar forces (HQ + 3 sections) but whether you get to use those sections and when will depend on die rolls. Same with support, what you can have depends on what you roll. Movement again depends on what you roll.
Bolt Action, you use points to choose what you can have with limits on what you can choose. Everything in your army gets to move/fight but when you can do it depends on picking orders out of a container, shared with your opponents orders.
Basically I would go with what your local group plays and if you don't like the rules, go and find another set.

I was challenged on my comments, ran the test and the results matched my comments. Now you may wish to think I cheated, so do it yourself and then you will see thats how both sets work.
Different rules, covering the same subject and doing it differently, as you would expect.

VVV reply12 May 2018 2:23 p.m. PST

Having read the summery and reviews of your rules It's ironic that you would mention rules getting bogged down in detail.

Here are the reviews that I know of, I don't see any mention of being bogged down in detail
link
Otherwise these look like a fun set of simple rules. I may have to give them a go and see if I can wean my Bolt Action players to something less amorphous and random.

link
All the 'usual' features of this skirmish scale of wargaming are present in a relatively digestible format, which is assisted by a sensible structure of numbered sections in the rules. In particular, I liked the attempt to include heroic actions, as games often miss this contribution to success on the battlefield. This allows the player to game real-world examples, such as Audie Murphy at the Colmar Pocket or Brad Pitt in the Hollywood film Fury. I was less keen on some assumptions about WWII weapons, especially the classification of 'assault weapons' (which mainly refers to submachine guns in the text) there being no allowance for late war assault rifles (Authors note: Assault weapons allow the user to move and fire without penalty, the US army list includes the option to upgrade the M1 Rifle to an assault weapon, the carbine is an assault weapon. An MP43 would count as; range 24, power 3, assault 3).

If you have links to other reviews I love to look at them.
BTW I give details of 4 heroes in the rules: Robert Cain, Otto Carius, Audie Murphy and Yakov Pavlov. Of course in real life there were a lot more, from private on upwards.

kevanG13 May 2018 3:53 a.m. PST

"You don't get to activate all your units in CoC, again true. That leads to the obvious that you cannot take advantage of having more units than your opponent. Its just a fact."

I've played many games where I activated all my units in one turn in Coc…most multiple times in fact

VVV reply13 May 2018 5:01 a.m. PST

OK, I was not able to do that in my test. I think there was even one phase where the single Tiger was not able to activate.
It all depends on what you roll. Lots of 5's you will generate Command Dice (US got 1, Germans got 2). Lots of 6's and interesting things will happen.
In the test I think I rolled 8 sets of activation dice (5 dice in a set) per side. So thats 80 of the dice that were rolled.
But the real simple point is that in Bolt Action you get to move all of your units every turn (they don't roll to test if they can do anything). That is a significant difference in how the rules play and allows you to use a superior number of units to your advantage (as I mentioned).

kevanG13 May 2018 5:57 a.m. PST

I rarely had any Coc game go beyond 2 turns.

VVV reply13 May 2018 6:57 a.m. PST

Three turns, 8 phases for me.
But that was my mistake, I had not noticed Force Morale,
So in CoC you start off by rolling for your Force morale, then when something happens to your units or leaders, you roll on the 'Bad Things Happen' table (p65), that can reduce your Force Morale. As Force Morale drops, the number of dice used for activation's reduces and get down to zero and your force has lost.
That could have ended the game earlier.

kevanG13 May 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

You didn't notice force morale?….Its what determines the supports and if you could even get a tiger.

Did you have anything other than tigers and shermans in this test game you were playing?

Did you roll 5 dice each side?

Sounds a bit like playing football with hockey sticks to see if you liked rugby

VVV reply13 May 2018 10:58 a.m. PST

The scenario is set. A Tiger 1 vs 3 Sherman 75s and a Sherman 76. As in the film. The scenario is detailed at the beginning of the thread.
5 activation per side for CoC. As said in the report of the scenario.

kevanG13 May 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

sorry, I must admit I had thought you would have had infantry in an infantry game.

VVV reply13 May 2018 11:51 a.m. PST

Yes other people said that earlier. But the rules remain the same, so no problem.
If you read the battle reports you will see the differences between the rules and thats because of the mechanisms they use, regardless of the troops involved.

jdginaz13 May 2018 2:04 p.m. PST

"Fine but lets have rules advance on the basis of reality rather than you accepting the idea that rolling dice is simulating reality (Emperors New Clothes syndrome). I think the fact that you cannot actually argue your position and just ask for your views to be accepted, shows that you are not thinking about what you are posting."

Oh Justin, you could give lessens on not seeing what you don't want to see. The position has been argued by myself and others here. Just because you choose to ignore or deny those arguments don't mean they aren't there.


"I repeat (ever so boring) both sets are games of infantry with support (as is mine) so I was being equally unfair to both sides :)…"

So you admit finally that your scenario was an unfair test.


"Here are the reviews that I know of, I don't see any mention of being bogged down in detail"

As I had pointed out already I've read the reviews. For one thing needing to roll a morale check for each unit to activate their orders. Which in fact isn't really all that different than rolling Command Dice to activate units just more time consuming to have to do it one at a time for each unit. Spotting seems like it would be tedious having to keep track of who spotted whom and whether they have moved out of LOS and have to be spotted again. The shooting resolution looks cumbersome.

"BTW I give details of 4 heroes in the rules: Robert Cain, Otto Carius, Audie Murphy and Yakov Pavlov. Of course in real life there were a lot more, from private on upwards."

So???


"You don't get to activate all your units in CoC, again true. That leads to the obvious that you cannot take advantage of having more units than your opponent. Its just a fact."

Maybe if you had actually played a game of CoC instead of the stupid scenario you might understand that yes it is possible to take advantage of having more units. Here is an example.

Say I'm playing an attack/defend scenario, I'm playing a veteran German Infantry Platoon vs. an elite British Para Platoon. First, we figure the difference in the Force Ratings, The German infantry are +0 and the Para are +9. That means the Germans get 9 points for support and since they are attacking I roll two D6 for extra support as the attacker. I roll a 4 so I add that to the 9 so end up with 13pts. Half the roll goes to the Paras so they end up with 3pts. Not much they can do with that. He ends up deciding to take two 6" lengths of barbed wire. Since I'm attacking I decide to take a additional Senior Leader for 2pts., a green infantry squad for 3 pts., MMG for 4 and a leGI 18, always good to have a little HE when facing elites, using the final 4 points. That gives me three extra units.

So we start the game. After a few phases I have all my units on the table and in position. They are lined up like this, on the far right and facing a little to the left front is one of the platoon squads. A few inches to its left and facing forward is the green squad. To its left 3" is the infantry gun also facing forward, with a SL within a couple of inches so he can help activate the gun when needed. The MMG is next 5 or 6 inches to the left. And finally on the far left flank are the remaining two platoon squads with the Platoon Leader.

So now it's my phase, and I roll 6,4,3,3,1. Since there is only one 6 its of no use. I use one of the 3s to activate the squad on the far right to fire. Then the 4 to activate the SL and he uses 2 command points to activate the green squad and the infantry gun to fire. Then he uses his third point to order the MMG to provide covering fire for the two squads on the far right. Finally I combine the 3 and 1 to activate the Platoon Leader and he orders the two squads with him to move forward.

Now there is one way you can use the dice with the Senior Leaders to not only to activate all the units in your platoon but also 3 extra support units. So yet again you are proven wrong. Even if I don't activate all the units each turn I can still get benefits for have more units by maneuvering them around his flank, using the to provide covering fire or putting them on overwatch among other things.

Note you can roll poorly in your rules and not activate your units unlikely but it can happen. In CoC the only rolls that would prevent you form doing anything are rolling all 5s or a 6 and four 5s.

jdginaz13 May 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

"Fine but lets have rules advance on the basis of reality rather than you accepting the idea that rolling dice is simulating reality (Emperors New Clothes syndrome). I think the fact that you cannot actually argue your position and just ask for your views to be accepted, shows that you are not thinking about what you are posting."

Oh Justin, you could give lessens on not seeing what you don't want to see. The position has been argued by myself and others here. Just because you choose to ignore or deny those arguments don't mean they aren't there.


"I repeat (ever so boring) both sets are games of infantry with support (as is mine) so I was being equally unfair to both sides :)…"

So you admit finally that your scenario was an unfair test.


"Here are the reviews that I know of, I don't see any mention of being bogged down in detail"

As I had pointed out already I've read the reviews. For one thing needing to roll a morale check for each unit to activate their orders. Which in fact isn't really all that different than rolling Command Dice to activate units just more time consuming to have to do it one at a time for each unit. Spotting seems like it would be tedious having to keep track of who spotted whom and whether they have moved out of LOS and have to be spotted again. The shooting resolution looks cumbersome.

"BTW I give details of 4 heroes in the rules: Robert Cain, Otto Carius, Audie Murphy and Yakov Pavlov. Of course in real life there were a lot more, from private on upwards."

So???

"You don't get to activate all your units in CoC, again true. That leads to the obvious that you cannot take advantage of having more units than your opponent. Its just a fact."

Maybe if you had actually played a game of CoC instead of the stupid scenario you might understand that yes it is possible to take advantage of having more units. Here is an example.

Say I'm playing an attack/defend scenario, I'm playing a veteran German Infantry Platoon vs. an elite British Para Platoon. First, we figure the difference in the Force Ratings, The German infantry are +0 and the Para are +9. That means the Germans get 9 points for support and since they are attacking I roll two D6 for extra support as the attacker. I roll a 4 so I add that to the 9 so end up with 13pts. Half the roll goes to the Paras so they end up with 3pts. Not much they can do with that. He ends up deciding to take two 6" lengths of barbed wire. Since I'm attacking I decide to take a additional Senior Leader for 2pts., a green infantry squad for 3 pts., MMG for 4 and a leGI 18, always good to have a little HE when facing elites, using the final 4 points. That gives me three extra units.

So we start the game. After a few phases I have all my units on the table and in position. They are lined up like this, on the far right and facing a little to the left front is one of the platoon squads. A few inches to its left and facing forward is the green squad. To its left 3" is the infantry gun also facing forward, with a SL within a couple of inches so he can help activate the gun when needed. The MMG is next 5 or 6 inches to the left. And finally on the far left flank are the remaining two platoon squads with the Platoon Leader.

So now it's my phase, and I roll 6,4,3,3,1. Since there is only one 6 its of no use. I use one of the 3s to activate the squad on the far right to fire. Then the 4 to activate the SL and he uses 2 command points to activate the green squad and the infantry gun to fire. Then he uses his third point to order the MMG to provide covering fire for the two squads on the far right. Finally I combine the 3 and 1 to activate the Platoon Leader and he orders the two squads with him to move forward.

Now there is one way you can use the dice with the Senior Leaders to not only to activate all the units in your platoon but also 3 extra support units. So yet again you are proven wrong.

Note seems like you could roll poorly in your rules and not activate your units unlikely but it can happen. Just as it's unlikely to roll all 5 or 6s is in CoC.

VVV reply13 May 2018 8:35 p.m. PST

So you admit finally that your scenario was an unfair test.

Equally unfair to both sides, that was posted early on. So boring to repeat it of course.
And the scenario is unfair (so obvious of course) because both sides don't get to pick their forces or the tactical situation. The ambush occurs, then both sides fight it out. Using the rules and the units in the rules. End of.
Say I'm playing an attack/defend scenario

Then just do it and post it. I didn't suppose anything, I did it.
For one thing needing to roll a morale check for each unit to activate their orders.

In my rules, units do a morale check to change or cancel current orders. They can always do something based on the orders they are using. I hope you will be able to see the difference between that and having to roll to do anything (CoC). So nope, you were wrong, yet again.
So think before you post.

jdginaz13 May 2018 9:18 p.m. PST

Just because it's unfair to both rules doesn't mean it's a fair teat of either set of rules. It just means that it isn't a fair test of either set. I can't figure out why you are unable to understand such a basic concept.

So you are unable/unwilling to admit that I proved that not only can you activate all the units in a platoon in one phase but also that you can activate extra units also.

VVV reply13 May 2018 9:28 p.m. PST

Just because it's unfair to both rules doesn't mean it's a fair teat of either set of rules.

Not supposed to be a fair test of the rules, read the title of the thread, its supposed to compare the rules. If you followed the rules for choosing units as per the rules they would never be the same. Under CoC you roll for what you get, under BA you use points values. For the test of how both rules work, you need to have both sides the same, so you can see how different rules make for a different game.
From the test, the result was different. Under BA the Shermans were able to kill the Tiger, no problem. The length of time taken to play the game was different, CoC taking 3 times longer to play and in CoC you roll a hell of a lot more dice.
I was unable to activate all the units (tanks) under CoC because I didn't get the right dice rolls to do it. I could suppose that I did, but then all I would be doing is imagining that what I think is real. Would not life be wonderful if we could just imagine it away.
You want to do something real, put together a scenario. Play it through under both rules. Come back and tell us what happened. Now what wrong with that? Apart of course from you not having the Bolt Action rules but then someone in your local gaming group could lend you a copy. If you make any mistakes I will point them out.

jdginaz14 May 2018 12:19 a.m. PST

Well I'm not going to sped $40 USD buck on a set of rules just to play one scenario. Waste of money there more important things for me to sped money on. Besides I've read enough review by other who play/have played both sets for me to know the differences and that CoC is a much better representation of WWII at the platoon level.

" If you make any mistakes I will point them out."

Not having play a real game of CoC yet yo not qualified to point out mistakes to me.

BTW I noticed on yo website that you claim to be a professional Wargamer. So people actually pay you to play wargames?

VVV reply14 May 2018 3:34 a.m. PST

Well I'm not going to sped $40.00 USD USD buck on a set of rules just to play one scenario.

The option to borrow a copy from someone in your gaming group.
BTW I noticed on yo website that you claim to be a professional Wargamer. So people actually pay you to play wargames?

Yes that is my job, wargamer.

Wolfhag14 May 2018 7:34 a.m. PST

NorthernMonkey,

I have to say, Wolfhag, that I don't see it like that at all. It seems to me to be much more simple than that, being a case of whether the gamer should have 100% control of his force all of the time or not. Whether troops robotically respond to their leader's every wish, or whether command and control in battle is a challenge.

I respect your opinion and I also do not agree that all units should robotically do exactly what the player wants them to do 100% of the time. I also do not think that units realistically "activate" like robots either by being told by the player exactly when to be turned on and off.

Here is a quote from Otto Carius (one of the top German tank commanders from WWII):
"Unfortunately, impacting rounds are felt before the sound of the enemy gun's report, because the speed of the round is greater than the speed of sound. Therefore, a tank commander's eyes are more important than his ears. As a result of rounds exploding in the vicinity, one doesn't hear the gun's report at all in the tank. It is quite different whenever the tank commander raises his head occasionally in an open hatch to survey the terrain. If he happens to look halfway to the left while an enemy antitank gun opens fire halfway to the right, his eye will subconsciously catch the shimmer of the yellow muzzle flash. His attention will immediately be directed toward the new direction and the target will usually be identified in time. Everything depends on the prompt identification of a dangerous target. Usually, seconds decide. What I said above also applies to tanks that have been equipped with a periscope."

When seconds count, which is the case in most 1:1 engagement/skirmish games, using seconds as a timing mechanism solves a lot of gaming problems. That's what I've tried to model with SA Checks resulting in a delay from being buttoned up, suppressed, poor training, or flanked/surprised. It handles the initiative and opportunity fire without additional rules. Neither BA or CoC claim to realistically synchronize timing so cannot be criticized for not doing it.

My opinion is that command dice, alternate and random unit activations, special opportunity fire and overwatch rules, etc are artificial attempts to get the timing and interaction between opponents in a more realistic and believable manner. They can make a game somewhat interactive but cannot realistically synchronize the timing between shooting and moving. That's not a criticism, it's an observation.

Games should be judged based on what the designer intends it to accomplish, not what others think he should have done differently or what he got "wrong".

Games like BA, CoC and others have done a good job at taking the hobby away from the traditional IGOUGO game sequence. I consider all of this a WIP with new ideas continually springing up and that's a good thing, even if someone does not agree with it.

My approach is different and starts with all units on the battlefield are activated, awake, under some type of order or command and watching out for the enemy.

Based on factors like training, C&C, current orders, situational awareness, tactical advantages, suppression, and weapons platform performance they will "attempt" to respond to enemy threats when they are aware of them (spotted and in LOS). The key word is "attempt" which is the player's option to have the unit attempt to respond or not.

This is different than the binary result of an activation die roll and different than a player selecting a unit to immediately activate like in BA, CoC and many other games.

Based on the factors I listed above will determine how "quickly" they can execute the action in a future turn. The quickness and speed variables introduce the concept of timing into the game and allow all units to be synchronized to the same turn, interact with each other in a more realistic manner and give a better simulation of the OODA Loop, initiative, and opportunity fire. Playtesting pretty much supports that but still a WIP.

Synchronizing firing timing with a playable simultaneous movement system eliminates the need for special opportunity fire and initiative rules. The direction your gun is pointing (overwatch) will determine how quickly you can respond to a threat. This gives a different experience to the player than other games. It's all about speed, timing, and some risk-reward decisions by the player and not entirely dependent on the outcome of a die roll.

The future turn an action will take place is somewhat predictable but not random. This creates a Fog of War between players. You can somewhat predict where a moving unit will be (just like in real life) but you don't know the exact turn your opponent will shoot because of the different variables in timing and some risk-reward decisions by the player. Nothing is 100% assured as SNAFU's can interfere with the best of plans.

It eliminates much of the die rolling that other games have to determine initiative and the number of units that will activate, etc. It's not for players that like rolling lots of dice.

The timing aspect introduces delays which slows down a units ability to act quickly allowing the enemy to get inside his OODA Loop and eliminates the need for initiative rules.

Turns are basically timing mechanisms and are announced sequentially. All units that selected an action by the player in a previous turn perform that action when the turn is announced (if they are still alive). This makes delays from suppression and poor tactics deadly.

If no actions are scheduled the next turn is announced. Each turn many units may be shooting and there may be a number of turns no units shoot.

The game moves along quickly and allows a player to attempt to react to enemy activity (unless they are in a blind spot), including changing his current order. There is less downtime for players. The battlefield is more dynamic and changing allowing for more immediate player interaction.

Hopefully, I've explained why I agree with VVV Reply about overwatch and opportunity fire being the main drivers (it's about reaction times) in an engagement and I've shown that I do not have units robotically perform as the player wants 100% of the time on the exact turn ordered.

If it sounds complicated, I played a simplified game version (fewer options) with six kids aged 9-12 that were running the game on their own after 15 minutes.

In an attempt to get back on topic: I do think that CoC command dice give the player some problems to solve using risk-reward decisions by selecting how he'll use the command dice. It's variable so introduces a fog of war without additional burdens on the player. My opinion is that rolling a lot of dice is somewhat "gamey" but it's also something many players enjoy which is more important than tedious "realistic" rules. I've watched a number of games of BA and participated in a few and to my surprise players were always having fun. I was kind of bored as I was forced to always activate last.

I think both games succeed to a great degree in accomplishing what their designers intent was.

Wolfhag

VVV reply14 May 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

Wolfhag has made good points.

being a case of whether the gamer should have 100% control of his force all of the time or not.

Is really, does the player have control of their force all the time or not? And I think most rules would allow enemy fire to stop a player from doing whatever they want.
The ability to fire first is also an advantage. Thats why I oppose, all of one side doing their thing, then the other side doing theirs. Its too big an advantage.
And of course its down to what players want to play, fast or with a bit more thought to it.

Wolfhag14 May 2018 9:43 a.m. PST

I look at a tank-tank engagement like a Wild West shootout. You have a choice of being very quick on the draw but with a 40% chance to hit or being a little slower but with a 75% chance to hit. That's the player risk-reward decision and FoW that makes it interesting. It's about timing and decisions.

CoC has that risk-reward decision with the player deciding on how to use the command dice. Whether it is realistic or not does not really matter. The player is in the loop and having a hand in his own fate. That's engaging, tactical and entertaining.

The CoC movement system is somewhat variable. In a "design for effect" you can use any reason you want to fill in why it went slower or faster. It is quicker but lacks the details of a "design for cause" that would generate the exact reason for a unit going faster or slower. Personally in a 1:1 game I like the "design for cause", larger games "design for effect". If it works as the designer claims fine even if it's not your cup of tea.

Wolfhag

VVV reply14 May 2018 9:33 p.m. PST

I think who shoots first, matters in infantry combats as well.

Basha Felika18 May 2018 10:48 a.m. PST

Given earlier comments on the suitability of your chosen scenario to test rule sets primarily focused on platoo-level infantry actions rather than Armour vs. Armour, it might be interesting for you to re-run the scenario but using the TFL "What a Tanker" rules instead?

VVV reply19 May 2018 1:49 p.m. PST

Just easier use the basic rules of course, for both sets. As pointed out, both sets have rules for Shermans and Tiger tanks. Don't buy into the idea that both rules cannot handle tanks.
If people want to run their own scenarios as a comparison of the CoC and BA rules, that sounds like an excellent idea. So far, no takers.

VVV reply20 May 2018 3:49 a.m. PST

Since I did not use Force Morale in the Chain of Command test. I went through the test again, but this time imagining that Force Morale was being rolled for as well. To see if this made a difference to how the game played.
Initial Force Morale determined by die rolls.
US rolls 3 which = FM of 9. Germans roll 1 = FM8
Each tank counts both as a support unit and the appropriate leader. So the KO of a tank forces two rolls on the FM table (p65), at least thats the way I read it.

On turn 1, phase 1

Sherman 75 KO, roll for the tank 1, FM -1
roll for the leader 3, FM -1
US FM reduced to 7, they are fine
Turn 2. phase 1

Sherman 75 KO, roll for the tank 2, FM -1
roll for the leader 3, FM -1
US FM reduced to 5, they are fine
Turn 3, phase 1

Senior leader wounded, roll 3, FM -1
US FM reduced to 4, -1 one command die for each activation now.
Turn 3, phase 2

Sherman 76 KO, roll 2 = FM -1
Senior leader dead, roll 5 = FM -2
US FM now 1, total of -3 command dice per activation
But the game ended at that point (with only one immobilised US Sherman left). So the failing US FM was fairly much irrelevant.

I like rules which means that games do not have to be fought to the bitter end but Force Morale is a poor way to do it. The initial FM depends on a die roll (and troop quality), not on the number of units involved. So once again a larger force in CoC is disadvantaged. Its larger number of units, providing more chances to be hit and provoke a FM test. Most rules that use this sort of system, base it on a proportion of the units in an 'army'. That way the larger (and we can assume, worse) 'army' can take more damage before running away than its smaller, better opponent.
Bolt Action, well the more you lose of your 'army' the less you can do. That comes from the fact that everything in a BA 'army' can activate every turn. In BA games tend to be limited by limiting the number of turns that are played.

Wolfhag20 May 2018 6:35 a.m. PST

Interesting thread with lots of mechanical detail and differing opinions.

To be clear, I have not played CoC, only read the rules and watched some videos. I'm not an expert. I've played BA a number of times and have the rules.

My take is that with BA being only 6 turns long every unit should be able to participate every turn and you get some interaction in the way you use the command dice and the randomness of the draw.

In the lower level 1:1 games you really need some good unit interaction between moving and rates of fire. In CoC they state a phase is "just a few seconds of action". BA does not state the turn length.

In CoC I can't tell if a unit is performing these few seconds of action only when activated or not. Since a tanks realistic RoF is about 6-8 rounds per minute (every 7-10 seconds) in CoC it should not be firing every phase. However, that would lead to the assumption that when a tank is "activated" to fire every few phases is it assumed that the crew was reloading and aiming in the phases it was not actually firing? It's not clear in the rules so you'd have to ask the designer. I'd have to make the assumption that when not "activated" the crew is still doing something.

In CoC a turn represents a "significant period of play" so it's abstracted enough that you can't perform a realistic time and motion study regarding the interaction between opponents movement and rates of fire.

For me games using "activations", especially with an abstracted turn length like BA, make it hard for me to wrap my head around the interaction between units and what actions if any, non-activated units are performing. For me CoC seems to give a better representation of that interaction and it will necessarily take up more time and die rolls to reflect that. The Command Rolls give the player more decisions in how to use the units and tactics.

Like in CoC, if a unit does not "activate" for three phases when it does "activate and fire do the three phases of "inaction" represent the crew activity of reacting, loading, aiming and firing?

I've played the Fury scenario numerous times using a "Time & Action" turn sequence with simultaneous (virtual) movement. All units are active and under some type of order. There are many variables that determine how quickly they can perform an action. Units will not be firing every turn.

The turns are one second but are really a timing mechanism to determine how long it takes to react, order, perform and execute or "activate" that order in a future turn. It's closer to CoC than BA. I've tweaked the order timing for different actions to reflect historical accuracy.

In most scenarios, the Tiger got 1-2 kills but never won. The Sherman 75 kept the Tiger under WP fire while the other attempted to flank it. The rapid rate of fire of the Sherman 75 kept the Tiger from being effective. In one game a Sherman almost got into the Tiger rear for the kill shot.

I'll be playing a Fury demo scenario at KublaCon this weekend.

Wolfhag

VVV reply20 May 2018 7:52 a.m. PST

The Command Rolls give the player more decisions in how to use the units and tactics.

I never understood why limiting what a player could do, by the throwing of dice gives a player more decisions, not less.
Surely if you have all your units to move/fire per turn, you are making decisions for a greater number of units? And my earlier point was, by limiting the number of units a player can activate, it takes away the advantage that an 'army' with more units has (to suppress the enemy with some units and outmanoeuvre them with the others). I was always taught you needed 3 to 1 superiority to beat a dug-in enemy.
Just putting the other point of view of course.

Wolfhag20 May 2018 9:55 a.m. PST

VVV Reply,
I think there are some others that are more familiar with CoC that can answer that better than me but I'll try.

4.5.2 UNIT ACTIVATIONS
When activated, any Leader, Junior or Senior, who is attached to his men or within command range of them, may use one Command Initiative to do the following:
Activate one Team or Section. If they are firing he may add his own fire himself at no cost in Command Initiative.
Activate a single Team and place it on Overwatch.
Activate one weapons Team, Section or Squad to put down Covering Fire into an area of terrain.

There seems to be more flexibility than selecting which single unit activates in BA.

Since both games use a different timing method/game turn length it's really like comparing apples to oranges as to which one is "better". I think both games accomplish what the designer intended whether you and I agree on the outcome is a different matter.

Personally, it would be unfair if every in BA did not activate in a turn and it would be wildly unrealistic if each unit in CoC activates each phase. You could also come to abstracted conclusions as to why a unit in CoC did not activate in an entire turn too.

I really agnostic in the discussion as I don't really play either game, I'm just discussing the differences. Whether you or I like the differences or not is a different matter and not what the original post was about.

I consider our hobby a WIP and both games have greatly contributed to furthering the hobby with BA bringing in many new players.

Wolfhag

VVV reply20 May 2018 2:14 p.m. PST

There seems to be more flexibility than selecting which single unit activates in BA.

Yes but what I said was that allowing all the units in your 'army' to be activated allows for more decisions to be made, rather than selecting from a the choices allowed from die rolls. Remember that a unit in BA has a choice of six orders to chose from, for every unit in their army, every turn.
I get the limited time view but try this, lets say CoC is talking about 10 second segments, sure not everyone would be firing/moving in that 10 seconds. But if there were not twice or three times as many troops on one side compared to the other, would you not expect twice/three times the activity on one side compared to the other? (more units, more activity). Instead of both sides having the same chance of activity (since they roll the same dice) regardless of the size of their force.
And why do units not do anything in a phase of CoC, simple, they did not roll the right dice.

Pyrrhic Victory20 May 2018 5:01 p.m. PST

If one side has 2 or 3 times the forces as the other, you'd be playing Big CoC and would get 2-3 times the Command dice as the other side. Basing the amount of units that can be activated on the number of platoon HQs present is a recognition on limits of span of Command. There's a reason that the very large early war platoons got slimmed down to what could be managably contolled by a single Lieutenant…

TacticalPainter0120 May 2018 7:04 p.m. PST

And why do units not do anything in a phase of CoC, simple, they did not roll the right dice.

That's not necessarily the case at all. Here's an example, I can activate a squad leader (and therefore his squad) on a roll of 3. The leader can have the squad teams do different things (say have the LMG team fire while the rifle team manoeuvres). On a 2 I can activate the squad to all do the same thing. On a 1 I activate one team. What if I don't roll any of these with my 5 dice? If I have placed a senior leader, like my sergeant or lieutenant, within command range then on a roll of 4 (or any combination of dice that give me a 4) he can take control of the situation and make things happen.

Rolling five dice means things will happen and depending on how well you've optimised your chain of command you will face a range of choices. You may simply have limited your options with poor tactical decisions. It pays to assign a good leader to an important action. Chaos and confusion beyond your control (the random nature of the dice) will interfere with some of those plans. The game will test your ability to deal with the unpredictable, one of the challenges of command in combat.

It helps to not take the ‘do nothing' quite so literally, it's an abstraction. It works for many of us, but clearly not for all.

VVV reply21 May 2018 12:30 a.m. PST

That's not necessarily the case at all

OK you have given us the example of what (in CoC) you can do if you roll the right dice. What about the rest of your force that under BA would be cheerfully doing something?
Chaos and confusion beyond your control (the random nature of the dice) will interfere with some of those plans.

Which means, you roll the right dice, you can do stuff, you don't, you won't. Indeed there are many game systems that make what you can do with your troops dependant on die rolls (DBx, Black Powder, Warmaster come to mind) but often they allow for troops to be grouped together, so that you can get your troops moving, at the cost of flexibility in what they do.
IMHO Chain of Command puts the cart before the horse by saying that in every phase 'chaos and confusion' reigns. But it is a choice.

Wolfhag21 May 2018 6:49 a.m. PST

VVV Reply,

Which means, you roll the right dice, you can do stuff, you don't, you won't.

I think in a game where a phase equals a few seconds I don't think that's a bad thing. Why? Because it represents a delay which can be caused by a variety of C&C and battlefield factors. That delay abstracts the friction and chaos factor in the game.

Of course, the "delay" in C&C is abstracted and many times the players choice. That may not reflect a high degree of realism but it is playable and succeeds in the way the designer intended.

Personally, in a 1:1 game, I like the approach where each vehicle and team/section tactical deployment, situational awareness, training, friction/suppression and weapons platform dictates how quickly they react to threats and carry out orders, not the dice. That introduces timing and delays that allow all units to interact with each other eliminating initiative and special opportunity fire rules. There are a few decisions the player can make and there is one die roll to randomize the result. It's less dependent on the dice than CoC.

I think that CoC does introduce a delay of a "few seconds" (a game phase) so does abstract that timing aspect. For me, that's a huge advance in gaming if you visualize it the right way. By randomly parsing activations, BA does not (in my opinion) introduce that timing aspect like CoC but with only 6 turns it really cannot. The delay is caused by the dice draw and players decisions for the units activations. It's a different system designed to accomplish the same thing in a different way so, in the end, it comes down to personal preferences. Just like selecting beer, cars or women. My preferences are IPA's, Porsches and brunettes. Actually, blondes but my wife is a brunette.

Here is another detailed writeup: link

Wolfhag

VVV reply21 May 2018 7:37 a.m. PST

I think in a game where a phase equals a few seconds I don't think that's a bad thing. Why? Because it represents a delay which can be caused by a variety of C&C and battlefield factors. That delay abstracts the friction and chaos factor in the game.

Is there such a thing? I cannot think what it might be. After all we are talking about an area just a couple of hundred yards square, some of which is occupied by the enemy, so distance certainly not a problem. Enemy action, well thats covered by shock (in CoC, Pinned in BA).
Very short periods of time, yep covered that earlier. If you more troops, then you would expect more to be happening, that does not happen in CoC (what can be done is limited by rolling dice, end of, more troops make no difference, eliminating the historical advantage in outnumbering the enemy). So no that idea goes out of the window. BTW also consider this, in CoC the same unit can be activated over and over again, so the delay imagined for reloading etc does not apply to them. There is no reason for the forces that a player has in CoC to be limited but they are, by a rolling of some dice.
That that is the way the designer intended CoC to work, I have no doubt of.
Again we can see that people enjoy playing that sort of game.
Realistic? no.
I would say that wargames are games of rolling dice and is certainly part of their appeal. The Warhammer rules are very popular and they are often described as 'buckets of dice' games. In the 1970's I wrote a set of computer driven rules for ultra-moderns. Just enter the details of the firing and target units, input the range and the computer gave the result. Not a die in sight (the computer handled the luck side with a random generator). But players missed the thrill of rolling dice, so the game was modified to show dice being rolled and the result. The lesson I learned from that was, players like rolling dice and a game should include that. I said at the beginning of this, that CoC is heavily dice driven and I think that is now obvious to all.
Command and control in small unit actions in WW2 is a very interesting subject and deserves a lot of reading where you can see the different approaches that different armies took to it, with varying degrees of success.

Wolfhag21 May 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

VVV Reply,

BTW also consider this, in CoC the same unit can be activated over and over again, so the delay imagined for reloading etc does not apply to them.

I'll agree it's not "realistic" or even "fair". However, it does simulate to an extent a very important aspect of warfare that most systems miss, the OODA Loop. Better trained and experienced units will perform more actions in the same amount of time thereby getting inside of their opponent's loop and seizing the initiative.

So in effect "time stands still" for the poor units. Yes, to visualize it you do have to somewhat suspend belief to an extent with realism as in any game. I'll agree using only the dice is not the best way to do it but it does engage the player which is not a bad thing. Like you said players really do like rolling the dice and CoC has lots of that but too much for me too.

In WWII German Panzer III's were able to defeat Russian T-34/76's by flanking them. This gave them the advantage of surprise enabling them to get off the first shot. By the time the buttoned-up and semi-blind T-34 without a working radio could respond, engage and fire the Panzer III could get off two more shots (taking about 12 seconds) and move out. CoC can do this in a fairly playable but abstracted dicey way. I cannot see how BA would enable that to happen. Only by using 1-3 second phases/turns as a timing mechanism can you attempt to more realistically simulate it. While it may take a little effort I can visualize and justify (in certain situations) the CoC game mechanic, realistic or not.

I'll admit that in a CoC game there could likely be numerous situations where consecutive activations would be completely unrealistic too but I'm not really experienced playing the game. The command dice is not a one size fits all solution to Command and control in small unit actions in WW2. I think we are in agreement there.

Realistic? no.

Again, personal preferences like I stated above. If you feel that it does not tick off the realism box for you after taking a look at a fair comparison then it does not and people should respect that decision. Play what you like and ignore the others.

Wolfhag

jdginaz21 May 2018 9:55 a.m. PST

Interesting a lot of speculation on how a set of rules work by two guys who have never played the game.

Again Justin, in my post on the 13th I proved that your assumption that a player is limited by the dice and can't activate extra units to in a phase is wrong. But then I don't really expect you to acknowledge that fact. It's not your way, your way is to simply ignore the replies you don't like and to continue to parrot the same disinformation over and over again.

Wolfhag21 May 2018 8:22 p.m. PST

picture

Come on, chill guys.

Wolfhag

TacticalPainter0122 May 2018 1:16 a.m. PST

IMHO Chain of Command puts the cart before the horse by saying that in every phase ‘chaos and confusion reigns

That's your opinion of course. Give some consideration to this quote from someone who was there:

"The frictions of war – chance, bad weather, mistakes and ill fortune – are the only certainties of combat, along with death, injury and destruction……..war is a random and bloody business, where the weird geometry of chance has its play and its frictions and human fallibility and fragility abound. Combat is fast moving, confusing and often bewildering. There is no perfect science, only perfect intent that is unlikely to withstand first contact with the prevailing realities on the ground once battle is joined, and the enemy also gets a vote in the outcome." David Rinder, Tank Action: An armoured commanders war.

To me that says, yes, chaos and confusion reigns, BUT and this is a point that needs repeating CoC gives players some ability to try and influence this and bring some of it under control. It's exactly what armies try to teach junior officers. It's called ‘command and control' for a reason. If soldiers could be relied upon to perform as trained and by the manual, then command and control wouldn't be necessary, just send the men on their way. It doesn't happen and a game that lets it, isn't reflecting the period.

VVV reply23 May 2018 9:16 a.m. PST

To me that says, yes, chaos and confusion reigns, BUT and this is a point that needs repeating CoC gives players some ability to try and influence this and bring some of it under control.

But rolling dice does not achieve this worthy goal. What it does do is limit what you can do, depending on what you roll (you roll the right dice, you can do stuff, you don't, you won't). Give a player a load of troops to fight with and they will make enough mistakes to simulate poor command, no problem.
But lets think about it, in CoC a phase is around 2 minutes (calculation, a game of CoC simulates 15 minutes or so of combat and I got 8 phases in my test game so 15/8=2). Just how much bad luck does one expect to happen each and every 2 minutes? Hence my phrase, cart before the horse. CoC places too much emphasis on the problems a platoon would encounter (simply by existing, no enemy action involved), instead of assuming the drill works. And its that importance given to dice in CoC, for Command and Control that I say makes CoC unrealistic. Combat in CoC is perfectly reasonable, if using too many dice for my own taste.
Reading about WW2 small unit tactics is very useful and I recommend Second World War Infantry tactics European theatre by Stephen Bull, not the Osprey version that he also wrote.
Just imagine the problem, getting millions of conscripts to be able to fight, often with not much training. And the infantry usually drew the short straw when it came to getting the best men. Each army did it differently (see the discussion on the Italian army). And the Germans seemed to do it better than the others. But the training did work and if it didn't then the armies would have not been able to fight, its that simple.
And personally, I like rules that 'push' players towards using the historical tactics that their army used, even if that is the Russian tactic of putting a blocking unit behind a fighting unit and shooting anyone who did not do their duty.

Basha Felika23 May 2018 9:30 a.m. PST

VVV, if you played more CoC, I think you'll find that the rule mechanisms encourage the use of appropriate historical tactics by the different protagonists far better than most other platoon-level rules.

jdginaz23 May 2018 10:21 a.m. PST

"VVV, if you played more CoC,…"

…if you played any Coc…

Sorry Basha Feliks, but that needed to be fixed.

VVV reply23 May 2018 3:42 p.m. PST

VVV, if you played more CoC, I think you'll find that the rule mechanisms encourage the use of appropriate historical tactics by the different protagonists far better than most other platoon-level rules.

Yes both CoC and BA have national characteristics for the various armies.The effects that both sets of rule designers have created for their rules is however different. Which is better, thats up to the player to judge but both sets have national characteristics for their lists.
Any set of rules that you are thinking of that don't have that?

TacticalPainter0123 May 2018 9:01 p.m. PST

But rolling dice does not achieve this worthy goal. What it does do is limit what you can do, depending on what you roll (you roll the right dice, you can do stuff, you don't, you won't).

I think you've missed an important point. Rolling the command dice is not the command mechanic in CoC, it is one part of the command mechanic and that's a significant difference. Command in CoC is about how you respond to the fluctuating situation around you. Sure it flows around the command dice, but it also requires the actions of the gamer and it also influenced by events on the table. More than anything, the gamer/commander asserts the most influence. If you played the game more you might begin to get a better understanding of how this operates in practice.

What the command dice in CoC enable you to do, for which there is no equivalent in BA, is coordinate the actions of a number of units to tackle a tactical situation. This is where CoC really shines as it enables units to perform historically and reflects the different tactical thinking and limitations of different platoon structures and leadership. You really don't need to create lots of special rules to do this, the historical unit structures will bring this out during play.

But lets think about it, in CoC a phase is around 2 minutes (calculation, a game of CoC simulates 15 minutes or so of combat and I got 8 phases in my test game so 15/8=2). Just how much bad luck does one expect to happen each and every 2 minutes?

Firstly, it's not about bad luck, it's about the unpredictable nature of human activity. Secondly you seem to equate it all with bad luck, why so? Sometimes things go very well, in fact, far better than expected. Regardless, you must learn to take the good with the bad.

Your rules require the rolling of dice to resolve combat. That's all about luck. If one player rolls well and the other badly, am I right to ask, just how much luck do you expect to happen every time someone fires? It's all just luck, isn't it? This is the point where you tell me how you've factored in all the elements to reflect some semblance of the chance in 'real life', as if this wasn't something the writers of CoC might have considered when devising the notion of a command dice roll?

There's a training exercise they give junior officers. They are told they have one hour to plan an action. Just when they have nearly completed it, they are told things have changed, they need to revise the plan but they only have 30 minutes. This continues with changes and diminishing response times until the officer is given a change that requires a rapid and immediate verbal solution. Why? Because warfare is unpredictable and an officer needs to learn to adapt and change under the circumstances (revisit my earlier quote from David Rinder "war is a random and bloody business, where the weird geometry of chance has its play and its frictions and human fallibility and fragility abound"). The CoC command mechanic (which is not just the dice roll) is about creating this environment.

If you don't think human endeavours are fraught with opportunities for things to go wrong in a myriad of different ways, then this is a silly mechanic that reflects nothing. Yet, when you consider something completely mechanical, like the ability of an AP round to penetrate the armour of a tank, you are happy to introduce an element of luck, as if you accept things won't always work out as planned. I think there's a contradiction in there.

Just imagine the problem, getting millions of conscripts to be able to fight, often with not much training.

Well, yes indeed, let's imagine. Not much training you say?

But the training did work and if it didn't then the armies would have not been able to fight, its that simple……And personally, I like rules that 'push' players towards using the historical tactics that their army used, even if that is the Russian tactic of putting a blocking unit behind a fighting unit and shooting anyone who did not do their duty.

Hang on, at one moment you are saying there are millions of conscripts with not much training and then you are saying the training worked, but then you illustrate this with a reference to Russian blocking units, but I'm confused? If the training worked why do you need blocking units, surely something has gone wrong? Command has broken down? Units are not performing as ordered or trained? Or maybe it was just a case of bad luck, eh?

And the Germans seemed to do it better than the others.

Even if they did, they still saw a drop in performance as the war progressed. Hans Von Luck lamented the lack of good junior officers in Normandy, bemoaning the fact that the best of the German junior officers were lying in graves on the Eastern front. By 1945 the Germans had their equivalent of blocking units with various SS, Gestapo and military police units combing behind the lines and summarily executing those who may have deserted.

Peter White in his excellent memoir 'With the Jocks' talks about taking on tough Fallschirmjager units in late '44 and early '45 and says that they would put up a reasonable resistance but soon melted away or even surrendered once they had lost NCOs or junior officers.

Training gets you so far. The key to this is determining how well trained people will respond amidst the uncertainties of combat. From a war-game perspective, how do you create those uncertainties?

VVV reply24 May 2018 12:50 a.m. PST

If one player rolls well and the other badly, am I right to ask, just how much luck do you expect to happen every time someone fires?

Absolutely and the better a person is trained and the more experience they have the 'luckier' they get :)
For instance I was rated as a marksman, so thats a 85% score at a target 300 yards away (so thats a probability). A sniper would do better. But everyone misses.
On the other hand there is no point in adding an element of luck where none exists, or indeed vastly inflating the importance of luck. To give the example I gave earlier, walking down a country lane should be no problem. So why anyone would want to make it a matter of luck beats me. There is no reason for it.
As for Normandy, look at what happened. The Germans retreated, broken troops were reformed into ad-hoc units and they were still able to fight. The US forces on the other hand struggled to find infantry divisions able to fight effectively, so paratroops were used as ground troops to keep the offensive going. Training and tactics are the key to good troops.

TacticalPainter0124 May 2018 1:49 a.m. PST

Absolutely and the better a person is trained and the more experience they have the 'luckier' they get :)

What, just like Wittman? His luck ran out, probably to a rookie. Go figure.

On the other hand there is no point in adding an element of luck where none exists, or indeed vastly inflating the importance of luck. To give the example I gave earlier, walking down a country lane should be no problem. So why anyone would want to make it a matter of luck beats me. There is no reason for it.

You really just don't get it, do you? It's not about luck, it's about management. It's not about how lucky your move is, it's about how you, as a commander deal with the unexpected. You harp on about this walk down a country lane, like you harp on about the command dice and you harp on about luck. You don't know this game, you haven't any experience playing it, but most significantly it is now quite obvious that you simply don't get it. You are unable to grasp the intellectual rationale for the rules and therefore you are unable to form a coherent criticism of them. That's why this discussion is going around in circles and you are posting garbled, barely coherent and contradictory comments.

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