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"Differences between CoC and BA?" Topic


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Keith Talent30 May 2018 6:46 a.m. PST

"It was a phenomenon of WW2 (and later wars). The enemy could see you and shoot at you, whilst you could not see them. Why the writers of both sets of rules did not consider it important beats me but they both did."

The ambush rule in CoC models this very well.
The ambushing team is placed on the table. It fires at the enemy from a previously undisclosed position. The ambushing player then has the option of removing the ambushing team and taking it back into his pool of undeployed units.
The unit ambushed effectively has no recourse, or any real idea of where the fire came from. The firing unit has disappeared. It is no longer there.
Again, an elegant and innovative solution to a common wargames mechanic, which many (most?) rules fail to address successfully.

VVV reply30 May 2018 8:54 a.m. PST

The unit ambushed effectively has no recourse, or any real idea of where the fire came from. The firing unit has disappeared. It is no longer there.

Yes I like that one. Don't know why its just limited to infantry teams. Were not A/T guns hard to spot as well?
The rule performs that task during the patrol phase when friction is not an issue. During the rest of the game, when friction is a factor, variable movement applies.

And there also are actions in the rest of the game where friction is not an issue. So there is no need to have a special rule for modelling when friction is not an issue, you just move your units. Unless of course you take the view that friction is always there, even without any cause (as put forward by some of the posters on this thread).
And that of course is the fundamental question with CoC, if there is no friction, why assume that there is?

Basha Felika30 May 2018 2:10 p.m. PST

Given that CoC attempts to recreate the intense, short period of active contact (typically lasting a few minutes), I think it's reasonable to assume that friction IS always there, and referenced in the previous quotes. The earlier approach to contact (the leisurely walk down the country lane, preceded by a few scouts) is adequately covered by the Patrol Phase.

On your other points regarding A/T guns in ambush – sure, they were hard to spot until they opened fire, but less easy to shift position (skedaddle) once they had done so.

Again, it's handled well enough by the usual C+C mechanism: the target tank moves into LOS of the defender's JOP, it's highly unlikely that, in the following phase, the defender will not manage to 'find/make' the '3' usually needed to deploy/reveal and fire the A/T gun at its target.

In the unlikely event that proves to be impossible (a load of 4,5,6's in the 5 dice rolled), the A/T gun crew was momentarily distracted (a matter of seconds) or reacted more slowly than expected to the appearance of said tank.

If that 'poor' set of dice includes 2 or more 6's, the odds are that the second bound will see them get one of the various dice combinations needed to get them onto the table and firing, whether or not a Command Dice is used for an Ambush.

Keith Talent30 May 2018 2:42 p.m. PST

"Yes I like that one. Don't know why its just limited to infantry teams. Were not A/T guns hard to spot as well?"

I think the issue with heavy weapons ambushing (and subsequent removal )would be their mobility.
In essence whenever an AT gun ( or any other unit for that matter) deploys and fires from a JOP it is ambushing, or at least getting in the first shot.
If you use a COC dice to perform that ambush and you time it right you get 2 shots before the enemy can reply ( not AT guns as you point out).
The other issue with AT guns firing in ambush and then being removed again to model not being spotted is range. A COC table is only a couple of hundred yards square, and in practice an ambushing gun is likely to be at an even closer range than that to its target, probably only 100 yards. A firing ATG will be spotted that close, and doesn't have mobility to get away.
Infantry anti tank weapons-PIATs, anti- tank rifles etc may fire and then slink off.

TacticalPainter0131 May 2018 12:32 a.m. PST

Yes I like that one. Don't know why its just limited to infantry teams. Were not A/T guns hard to spot as well?

An AT gun can deploy to a jump off point and fire. That's effectively an ambush. Even though the JoP tells you there may be enemy present, you can't see anyone and won't detect the AT gun until it fires. Frankly I'd never deploy an AT gun any other way, why give away its location if you are not going to fire?

Of course, once deployed it can't be removed and can be subject to return fire, but at these ranges I'd think that's to be expected.

An infantry team using ambush and disappearing as quickly as it appears makes sense though.

The beauty of the way units deploy from JoPs is that while the JoPs tell you that 'enemy activity has been noted in this area', you know little else. Approaching the area without due caution would be very unwise and if you are suddenly hit by a burst of LMG fire from a gun you hadn't previously noticed you shouldn't be too surprised. You had been warned.

CoC's patrol phase and Jump Off Points do a great job of presenting fog of war without any need for book keeping.

VVV reply31 May 2018 1:14 a.m. PST

I think the issue with heavy weapons ambushing (and subsequent removal )would be their mobility.
In essence whenever an AT gun ( or any other unit for that matter) deploys and fires from a JOP it is ambushing, or at least getting in the first shot.

But an ambush is not a movement, just shooting from a concealed position. I am thinking of an ambush in CoC representing the odd hidden units scattered around (not the same unit popping up in different places). The return to the force 'pool' just a way to limit the number in use.
And yes I appreciate that with the CoC the ground scale means you are already up close and personal. So spotting probably has no relevance. Same with weapons ranges I notice (in CoC).
I handle ambushes differently, using 2 hidden markers for each unit in hiding. The owning player may convert a hidden marker into a unit as part of activation, they are then in play and can be used normally. Only defending forces get to use hidden units and they can be anything but cost an additional 33% in points.
If that 'poor' set of dice includes 2 or more 6's, the odds are that the second bound will see them get one of the various dice combinations needed to get them onto the table and firing, whether or not a Command Dice is used for an Ambush.

I am afraid luck does not work like that. A poor dice roll does not mean that another poor dice roll is any less likely to happen (unless the dice are biased). Each roll is a separate event and not influenced by the one before.
I think it's reasonable to assume that friction IS always there,

And as you will appreciate, unless I can see a reason for it, I prefer to assume that something is not there. It also makes rules 'cleaner' if you don't include things that are not there. But we have seen that Too Fat Lardies take the opposite view :)
We do obviously agree on some things not to include; wounded (and dead), friendly fire and air support (within the game).

TacticalPainter0131 May 2018 2:34 a.m. PST

I am afraid luck does not work like that. A poor dice roll does not mean that another poor dice roll is any less likely to happen (unless the dice are biased). Each roll is a separate event and not influenced by the one before.

No, that's not how probability works. If I roll a 1 with one D6, what's the chance I will roll a 1 again? There's a 1 in 6 chance, but there's a 5 in 6 chance I will roll another number. Therefore the odds you will roll the same number twice are against you. Not impossible, but 85% more chance it will be a different number. Rolling five D6 the odds of rolling the same combination of numbers is even more extreme. Factor in that in CoC you can use the numbers as they appear on the dice, or make up any combination for a number between 2 and 4, those odds increase dramatically. That argument just doesn't stack up.

It also makes rules 'cleaner' if you don't include things that are not there.

So in the case of movement we assume all areas of level ground are like a cricket wicket – smooth, even and crossed without hazard. Just like, say, a farmer's field or an area pockmarked with shell holes? We won't include things that aren't there because on our miniature battlefields what we see is what we get. Just like the world in real life? If I didn't model a depression in the ground, or a rabbit hole then let's assume it doesn't exist. War on a billiard table then, eh? And you talk about realism?

VVV reply31 May 2018 3:40 a.m. PST

So in the case of movement we assume all areas of level ground are like a cricket wicket – smooth, even and crossed without hazard.

Nope, just like being shot at, Chain of Command already has rules for different terrain (p.28). One piece of open ground is treated the same as another patch of open ground. So nothing else needed for 'friction' there. Same as Bolt Action of course.
No, that's not how probability works. If I roll a 1 with one D6, what's the chance I will roll a 1 again?

1 in 6, just as it was when you rolled the last time. What you rolled the last time has no effect on what you roll the next time. Although I have met some wargamers who thought it did :)
Anyone who imagines that when you roll 6D6, that there would be one of each result, every time, would quickly be proved wrong by a few dice rolls.
Once again TacticalPainter01 I am happy to explain your misconceptions about how rules work.

TacticalPainter0131 May 2018 4:24 a.m. PST

Once again TacticalPainter01 I am happy to explain your misconceptions about how rules work.

Where would I be without you master, humbled as always.

VVV reply31 May 2018 4:53 a.m. PST

Where would I be without you master, humbled as always.

Well learning something would be a start. But I do try. Perhaps one day you will 'get it'.
BTW if you are interested there is a formula for determining the number of dice for statistically significant results of a given number of dice, producing results that probability would predict (gosh there have been a lot of mathematicians doing work on this). I used it once to test the theory that GW dice are biased and yes they are biased toward throwing 1's (good for Chain of Command of course).
I cannot think of any wargame where you are rolling enough dice to produce to get a significant result that approaches probability.
As we have discussed, the Bolt Action system of putting Order Dice into a container means there is no luck involved in getting your units to activate, only when in the turn they will activate. Its a good system but takes too long IMHO (and biased toward the force with most units).
Decks of card based systems (like Memoir '44) also remove a lot of the chance involved in rolling dice.
And of course (sadly) there are people using loaded dice these days.

PMC31731 May 2018 5:29 a.m. PST

Just to add my pointless tuppence.

I have played a fair few games of BA, and find it to be … not great at delivering anything remotely resembling historical fighting.

Outnumbered forces react slowly and piecemeal, enabling qualitatively inferior forces to overrun and destroy superior ones with little or no redress.

Fire and movement tactics are almost impossible.

Forces are frequently totally ahistorical (or at least represent extreme cases).

It's "40K But In History" with a few tweaks. If I want to play 40K, I play 40K, where the silliness is part of it all. If I want to wargame small unit actions or platoon-plus actions in WW2, I want to use a ruleset that reflects that. I used to use Operation Warboard, then Rapid Fire, now I use Chain of Command.

Northern Monkey31 May 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

VVV, as a game designer, I'd have thought that knowing the difference between chance and probability would be a pre-requisite. Clearly not.

VVV reply31 May 2018 7:11 a.m. PST

Really, you surprise me Northern Monkey but of course your PoV.

I have played a fair few games of BA, and find it to be … not great at delivering anything remotely resembling historical fighting.

And I would agree with you, especially after playing a few games of it. I don't like the win in HtH and all your opponents are removed. But it is very popular, especially amongst the players I know (lots of tournament players). In Preston (UK) they played a lot of Flames of War but have dropped that after new rules came out. I would say they are looking for games of WW2.
It's "40K But In History" with a few tweaks.

Not surprising considering the game designers. Indeed many rules designers have been looking to transfer 40K to WW2. My interest in doing a set of WW2 rules came from trying to get young wargamers into historical gaming.
Outnumbered forces react slowly and piecemeal, enabling qualitatively inferior forces to overrun and destroy superior ones with little or no redress.

And thats my problem (the opposite) in Chain of Command, I don't think that forces with superior numbers can out manoeuvre the enemy as they should (because they are limited in the number of actions they can make).
Good points of CoC; good combat resolution, the random events table and Command dice are fun and make it a bit quirky, ambush nice touch.
I don't like the allocation of forces, as so much in CoC, down to chance.

Northern Monkey31 May 2018 7:56 a.m. PST

How is the allocation of forces in Chain of Command down to chance? You select your platoon (no chance involved at all), then you select your support options up to a certain points value. Yes, if you are rolling to see how many points if support both sides can have, you will have an element of chance, but you then choose what support you want to take. Nothing random in that at all.

Once again, your misrepresentation of Chain of Command illustrates your total lack of experience with the rules.

As to not being able to use superior numbers, that's again not the case. The reason armies have structures, platoons, companies, battalions and so on is precisely because they recognise that there is a limit to how many troops a single commander can control. If you gave a platoon six sections, you'd simply find that Command would break down as the platoon commander couldn't effectively command that many men in battle. Chain of Command replicates the limits of what the platoon commander can do in any phase of play.

Having superior numbers is not about all of your men being active all of the time. Superior numbers allows you to cycle units in and out if the action, something (once again) Chain of Command allows you to do perfectly well.

You'd know this if you'd played a proper game of Chain of Command rather than a completely unsuitable tank-only scenario which bears no realationship to what the rules are designed to do. But no, you won't do that.

To be really truthful, the fact that you disagree with me and with other posters who have pointed out very clearly where you are making false claims about Chain of Command is a bit odd. The fact that you, as someone who claims to have learnt from military experience (albeit not in any conflict), completely refuses to accept the idea of battlefield friction is rather more amazing. Your elevation of your experience on peacetime training courses to the point where you think you can disprove or ignore Clausewitz is incredible. If I may be so bold, it does really reinforce the fact that you were a peacetime reservist. My own experience of war as a regular is rather different to what you experienced on exercise.

kevanG31 May 2018 9:24 a.m. PST

A wise man once wrote….

"This leaves any debates about historical accuracy where they should be…between the players"

VVV reply31 May 2018 9:33 a.m. PST

How is the allocation of forces in Chain of Command down to chance?

Because (p.80)
A we have already seen, the level of support available to a force is based on any difference between its Platoon Strength and its opponent's rating and the dice rolled for support according to the scenario notes.

Dice counts chance in my book. So it seems that actually playing the game has not taught you anything about it.
Perhaps you might come back when you actually know what you are talking about?
To be really truthful, the fact that you disagree with me and with other posters who have pointed out very clearly where you are making false claims about Chain of Command is a bit odd.

Because they are talking rubbish (see your comments above). I find that rubbish can be repeated as much as the poster likes and it remains rubbish. So give facts, as I do. It works better.
Having superior numbers is not about all of your men being active all of the time.

Wrong (again). It means some of your troops can be firing, whilst the others manoeuvre. Basic tactics of course. So just why do you think anyone should take you seriously Northern Monkey? Have you got anything worth posting?

Northern Monkey31 May 2018 10:11 a.m. PST

So everyone is talking rubbish but you? Never heard the expressions SNAFU or FUBAR? I've not met a soldier who hasn't! It's a way of life, not a rarity.

Now, would you care to point out what is said that was "rubbish". I stated that the selection of forces for a game was not random. You can't argue with that, you take a platoon of infantry. I said that selection of supports was not random as you get to choose what you want from the support lists. Random would be if I rolled a D6 and that told me "you get a Sherman". Having a variable amount of support, where you dice to see how many points you get is not random allocation of support options. You still get to choose what you select within the points available.

If that constitutes "rubbish" to you then you seem to have a very low tolerance threshold when it comes to other people's views. But I think we'd noticed that. Everyone is out of step but you?

Why are people playing BA and CoC when they should be playing your hugely superior rules? Maybe it's because people like rubbish? I'm sure it's very upsetting for you.

VVV reply31 May 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

So everyone is talking rubbish but you?

No there have been some good comments.
I stated that the selection of forces for a game was not random.

Read my reply. Rolling dice is chance in my book.
Having a variable amount of support, where you dice to see how many points you get is not random allocation of support options.

Certainly is. This is where your POV differs from reality. You compare that to picking a force in Bolt Action, no dice in sight, so no chance. You cannot have a 'little bit of chance' then say its not there.
If that constitutes "rubbish" to you then you seem to have a very low tolerance threshold when it comes to other people's views.

Actually I would say that I have been very tolerant of other peoples insults – but those again just count as rubbish. You want to be taken seriously, post something sensible.
Why are people playing BA and CoC when they should be playing your hugely superior rules?

Marketing? But don't compare my rules with CoC. No calling the troops by their names (never liked that) or actual throwing of grenades for me. I don't think you can even call for off-table artillery fire support (yes I know you can have mortars off-table but not battleships!), counter-battery fire or have preliminary bombardments in Chain of Command. So more like I Ain't Been Shot Mum which I know nothing at all about. But Too Fat Lardies rules are just not being played with the gamers I know. No points systems for choosing forces I would imagine is the reason for that.
Bolt Action are the rules of choice around here and used to be Flames of War. With lots of tournaments being organised.
Oh and just a by the way. Thank you Too Fat Lardies for a key word subject index, makes finding things so much easier (thats why I do it as well). Why none in Bolt Action I wonder?

Keith Talent31 May 2018 10:59 a.m. PST

BA is a points driven ruleset. The majority of players play to a points total, rather than a scenario. I think we can all agree on that. Forces can be pretty much anything, ranging from entirely historical to (literally) fantasy.
CoC is scenario driven (by nature, seeing as there is no points system as such).
In the main rule set, for the six outline scenarios (which cover probably 90% of the type of action an infantry platoon will, or should, ever face) the support values are subject to a very small variable range.
However, a lot of CoC players don't play pick up games with variable support values, they play games which are which either their own or published scenarios (pint sized campaigns), either produced by the Lardies or the community in which the support values are precisely pre-set. So there is no chance element at all.
Then again, what's wrong with (a small) element of chance in deciding what forces are available to a commander?
How many commanders ranging from lieutenant to general ever actually had the exact types or numbers of the troops they desired for a mission? Relatively few.
Troops don't turn up on time, private snuffy gets boils, people get killed…
So COC having a slight variable in the support levels availabile to a platoon commander (his core platoon is constant) is a bit more realistic than knowing you will always have exactly what you planned to have in advance.

toofatlardies31 May 2018 11:15 a.m. PST

Good points Keith. What is more, in the core six scenarios the amount of support available will vary depending on a dice roll. However, that then determines the number of points of support one can select. That mechanism is VARIABLE rather than RANDOM.

Random, as noted above, would be when the player did not select his choice of support options, but was that was randomly determined by, for example, rolling on a table to see what was available. There would be nothing particularly wrong with such a method, but my thoughts are that the players should be able to see what their mission is and then choose their support options according to that mission.

Variable, not random. It' different. Like Chance and Probability.

A bit like "those cows are small, and those are far away".

VVV reply31 May 2018 12:00 p.m. PST

Like Chance and Probability

Indeed probability is the chance that something will happen.
Results are what actually happens.
Statistics is the analysis of the results.
CoC is scenario driven

But then same in Bolt Action. There are six scenarios to play in the basic BA rules.
So the difference is how armies are chosen.
Bolt Action is points chosen from a shopping list. Familiar to all of us from many rules systems.
Chain of Command, your standard 4 units (except for a US armoured rifle platoon that has 6 basic units), then you roll (the variable bit) for your support options (see above) and choose from various shopping lists depending on how many support points you have to buy from.
And would anyone care to point out where I said force selection in CoC was 'random' because I could not find it. More imaginative thinking perhaps?
How many commanders ranging from lieutenant to general ever actually had the exact types or numbers of the troops they desired for a mission? Relatively few.

You have it and I think I said it earlier. Most of us use standard table of organisation for our units, totally unrealistic. Here Bolt Action has the edge, you start with the rump of an infantry squad and then can add to it, so you can have differently organised squads depending on choice.
Then again, what's wrong with (a small) element of chance in deciding what forces are available to a commander?

Nothing and its typically Lardy, they like to to roll dice – and I get their players like it as well. But denying that the dice are rolled, well thats just bizarre.
So COC having a slight variable in the support levels availabile to a platoon commander (his core platoon is constant) is a bit more realistic than knowing you will always have exactly what you planned to have in advance.

Well realism is taking historical forces and using those. Choosing the forces to fight with, well I don't think thats anywhere near 'real' but it works for our games. After that its the rule mechanics that determine how realistic the game is. Bolt Action, never going to happen. Chain of Command may just work. But I think it would work a whole lot better if each and every unit a player had was activated every phase (instead of rolling for it).

jdginaz31 May 2018 12:57 p.m. PST

I've come to understand that trying to explaining CoC mechanics to Justin aka vvv reply is like trying to explain it to my dog neither are ever going to understand. At least my dog has an excuse because he can't understand language.

So more like I Ain't Been Shot Mum which I know nothing at all about.

Yet I seem to remember you attacking it too under your previous incarnation before you left in a huff promising never to come back. What happened with that seeing as you are in fact back?

VVV reply31 May 2018 1:15 p.m. PST

Yet I seem to remember you attacking it too under your previous incarnation before you left in a huff promising never to come back.

Well you know more than I do.
I've come to understand that trying to explaining CoC mechanics to Justin aka vvv reply is like trying to explain it to my dog neither are ever going to understand.

Again it would have to come down to the reality of your explanation. I am not into the Emperors New Clothes.

TacticalPainter0131 May 2018 1:50 p.m. PST

I've always thought of the variable support rolls as another element of fog of war. Even with a fixed number neither side knows what the other may add to their force. Varying that number just means the type of support will vary and therefore no two scenarios will be the same.

One of the nice challenges of this type of scenario is trying to choose the best support for the mission, whilst also having to consider what your opponent may have.

PMC31701 Jun 2018 12:44 a.m. PST

I don't really understand this thread.

At first it seems as though VVV Reply is saying that BA is superior to CoC (it isn't, it's trying to achieve something very different; on one level it's like comparing apples and oranges – both fruits, but totally different otherwise).

Then VVV Reply acknowledges that CoC produces historically accurate results, but seems to say that there are too many dice rolls, movement is variable, and you can't activate everything all the time (and sometimes nothing), which are all considered bad things.

Well… ok?

If you want to compare rule sets, then pick a scenario, and play through it with different rules, and see what system fits you best.

What does it really matter if VVV Reply thinks CoC is rubbish, or if I think BA does a bad job of reproducing WW2 platoon level combat, or if anyone else thinks that rule set X is the best thing ever?

At the end of the day aren't we all just trying to play games and have fun? There doesn't seem to be a lot of that in this thread.

TacticalPainter0101 Jun 2018 1:03 a.m. PST

At the end of the day aren't we all just trying to play games and have fun?

No, not necessarily so. I play historical wargames rather than family games because I want to game out some of the issues that were relevant to a particular period of history. If I want to have fun I have plenty of non historical games. I read a lot of history, I'm interested in the period and I want my games to recreate some of the issues that impacted the ways that warfare differed from early periods. That's why this discussion matters to me.

VVV reply01 Jun 2018 2:37 a.m. PST

What does it really matter if VVV Reply thinks CoC is rubbish

Not so. Just pointing out how the rules actually work (dice rolling for so many things (like; what you have in your army, which units you can move a turn, how far you can move). So long as you know thats what CoC does and you want to do it, thats great.
At first it seems as though VVV Reply is saying that BA is superior to CoC

Sorry I thought its was obvious, a comparison of the two different rules and how they do things differently. Only some of the CoC supporters and Too Fat Lardies, who think that is a criticism.
Then we got onto what actually happened in WW2 and why a rule set works the way it does.
What does it really matter if VVV Reply thinks CoC is rubbish, or if I think BA does a bad job of reproducing WW2 platoon level combat, or if anyone else thinks that rule set X is the best thing ever?

Absolutely not. Providing people stick to facts rather than inventing things to 'prove' their point.
How the rules work, lets be real about it.
What happened in WW2, lets see what the people who were there reported it was fought and the manuals and training they received. Reality trumps imagination.
I've always thought of the variable support rolls as another element of fog of war. Even with a fixed number neither side knows what the other may add to their force.

Which of course makes it problematic for tournament play. As tournaments go for fixed points games.
A couple of years back, some of the tournament players and I were talking about having fixed sides for each game (rather than players bringing armies they had picked). That way games would be about how you play and not the armies you picked.

Tiny Hordes01 Jun 2018 3:29 a.m. PST

VVV, I would strongly encourage you to play a few actual games of CoC and then come back to us? Not oddball scenarios you've devised, just normal games using one of the Pint Sized Campaigns or the vanilla scenarios in the rulebook.

Many of your comments show that you've read the rulebook quite well and are familiar with the mechanisms, but I feel your lack of experience of the game shows through, and you seem to misunderstand some key areas. Playing a few games would sort that out.

Now, I'm not saying that in doing so that you'll magically come to love the game, but your comments would carry a bit more authority than they do at the moment.

Personally I don't post online any reviews of rule sets I've not played *at least* once. I figure my opinions aren't really worth much if I've not at least managed to achieve that minimum standard.

Basha Felika01 Jun 2018 5:17 a.m. PST

Worth pointing out that CoC is absolutely NOT designed to be "tournament-friendly". If you come to the game with that sort of experience and mindset, be it using 40K, FoW, BA etc, then you're going to find it more difficult to ‘get it', especially until you've played a few platoon-based games.

Northern Monkey01 Jun 2018 5:35 a.m. PST

PMC. My reason for posting is not to complain that VVV dislikes CoC, but that he misrepresents the game in the way he describes it. When the thread is all about how the various games play, I feel it imports to correct these glaring errors.

As many people have said, VVV may gain a better understanding of these, and presumably other, rule sets if he actually played them before commenting using negative terms such as describing the rules as silly or stupid or accusing people who disagree with him of talking rubbish.

jdginaz01 Jun 2018 11:28 a.m. PST

@PMC, Like Northern Monkey the only reason I've posted as much as I have is to counter how vvv reply is misrepresenting how CoC works. I really don't care whether he likes CoC or not he's not the only one after all. I do care though that others who might be interested in CoC might get the wrong impression of the rue because of vvv reply's posts.

My original post was simply a link to a blog with a comparison of BA and CoC and another link with a review of CoC. I had no intentions of posting more than that until vvv reply posted his misrepresentation of CoC.

What drives me crazy is when he claims that just because he read the rules he understands the rules as well if not better than those that have played the game especially when it's obvious that he doesn't. I've never heard of another gamer who has made such a ridiculous claim.

jdginaz01 Jun 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

Which of course makes it problematic for tournament play. As tournaments go for fixed points games.

Well, you got one thing right about CoC. But then again it was never designed for tournament play. It's fairly well known that TFLs don't design games for tournament play.

VVV reply01 Jun 2018 10:52 p.m. PST

My original post was simply a link to a blog with a comparison of BA and CoC and another link with a review of CoC.

You posted links to reviews. I posted the details of playing the same scenario under both rules, to show how they play differently
VVV, I would strongly encourage you to play a few actual games of CoC and then come back to us?

For what reason? Was my run through of CoC wrong?
the only reason I've posted as much as I have is to counter how vvv reply is misrepresenting how CoC works.

And in what way am I supposed to have misrepresented it? Really I would like to know what was wrong with the test I played. I do like reality.
Well, you got one thing right about CoC. But then again it was never designed for tournament play. It's fairly well known that TFLs don't design games for tournament play.

Fair well known, may not be known by everyone. So probably not wise to assume everyone knows it. As I said, that may be the reason why no one I know plays Chain of Command.
What drives me crazy is when he claims that just because he read the rules he understands the rules as well if not better than those that have played the game

What I said was that everyone can read the rules and play the game. Thats what rules are there for, to tell you how to play. And guess what, rules can be silly but thats still how you play them, unless you want to go 'in-house'. But we have in this thread people who play the CoC, who got the rules wrong, playing the game does not help unless you understand what you are reading.
My advantages for understanding rules, 47 years of playing wargames and 8 years as a senior system analyst (and yes reading wargames rules does help understanding government regulations).
But enough with the nonsense. Lets have some facts please. Just what do you think I have reported about CoC, that is wrong?

TacticalPainter0102 Jun 2018 12:47 a.m. PST

I do like reality.

I'm sure you miss it very much.

jdginaz02 Jun 2018 1:10 a.m. PST

Was my run through of CoC wrong?

And in what way am I supposed to have misrepresented it? Really I would like to know what was wrong with the test I played

Those question have been answered in post after post by multiple posters. Since you have chosen to ignore them I see no reason to answer them again now.

As I said, that may be the reason why no one I know plays Chain of Command.

I have my doubts that that it's all that large a group.

kevanG03 Jun 2018 2:17 a.m. PST

"Which of course makes it problematic for tournament play. As tournaments go for fixed points games".

+1 coc

kevanG03 Jun 2018 2:52 a.m. PST

"Was my run through of CoC wrong?"

You didnt have any spitfires….

VVV reply03 Jun 2018 7:56 a.m. PST

You didnt have any spitfires…

Or space machines from Mars, either. But you can't have everything you want in life. Now you have a nice day now.

Tiny Hordes03 Jun 2018 12:50 p.m. PST

For what reason? Was my run through of CoC wrong?

Yes.

Your scenario was different enough from a standard game of CoC that conclusions you draw from it aren't necessarily going to apply to normal games.

The designer would (quite reasonably) design the game assuming that you're staying within the rules they define. If you step outside that, you're testing a scenario the designer didn't intend, so you can't really criticise how the mechanisms perform. You're not testing the game as written, you're testing your scenario with some arbitrary rules shoehorned in. That's not a very informative test IMO.

VVV reply04 Jun 2018 4:02 a.m. PST

Your scenario was different enough from a standard game of CoC that conclusions you draw from it aren't necessarily going to apply to normal games.

And I would (repeat) disagree. All units used are standard to both rules, so nothing special needed.
Where do you feel that changes were made to how either Chain of Command or Bolt Action were played under the scenario?
The designer would (quite reasonably) design the game assuming that you're staying within the rules they define.

See above. The idea was to compare how both rules worked and that was done. Forget what the designer thought, that is irrelevant, once written the rules are in the hands of the users, no designer standing with you telling you how to play.
What I tested was the same forces, in the same situation, played under both rules. What could be a better test than that. The differences between the two sets were clear and easy to understand.
We know that
In Chain of Command, 400+ dice were rolled, the game took 15 minutes to play and that the Shermans were unable to penetrate the Tiger frontally (which I think is more realistic). Often the US side did not roll the right numbers to actually activate all its units (3 tanks).
Under Bolt Action, 23 dice were rolled, the game took 5 minutes and the Tiger was destroyed (by a Sherman 76). All the US tanks were able to do something every turn (because thats how Bolt Action works).
Now if you can think of anything that says that the games were played wrong, please do say because that could make a difference.
If you want to run your own scenario, which you think would give a better comparison, go ahead. Lets see if it makes a difference using different units (as indeed you suggest).
As I said I had that scenario ready to go because I had used it multiple times (under my own rules) as a participation game. Its simple, fast to play and shows the options available when a single strong unit is opposed by 4 weaker ones. The weaker units should be able to out-manoeuvre their opponent to gain a favourable tactical advantage (because the strong unit can only fire effectively at one enemy unit at a time). Well forget that under Chain of Command, unless you can get the right dice rolls.

kevanG04 Jun 2018 4:07 a.m. PST

I cant find anywhere in the rules how to get a single spitfire.

On that matter, I cannot find in the rules how you get 4 shermans.

Can you explain why your scenario is valid with 4 shermans and mine with a spitfire is not?

Northern Monkey04 Jun 2018 4:44 a.m. PST

In Black Powder, a Napoleonic French battalion is "standard" to the rules, but would it be a fair test of those rules to have one French battalion against one British cavalry Brigade, also a standard unit to the rules?

You could certainly do so, but it would give you absolutely ZERO idea how Black Powder actually played as a game.

Honestly, this is not difficult stuff to grasp. Games are like tools, they are designed to do certain jobs. With CoC that is to allow you to field a platoon of infantry plus some supports. Why not just try it? Or, more to the point, as you have clearly decided that you prefer your own rules, why not stop criticsing rules you know nothing about and just enjoy playing your own game.

VVV reply04 Jun 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

I cant find anywhere in the rules how to get a single spitfire.

No you won't. Or indeed space machines from Mars. I think you are looking in the wrong thread :)

For those people who don't get it. Running both rules through a game with the same troops and in the situation, shows very nicely the difference between the two sets of rules.

In Black Powder, a Napoleonic French battalion is "standard" to the rules, but would it be a fair test of those rules to have one French battalion against one British cavalry Brigade, also a standard unit to the rules?

So what is the other set of rules you intend to compare with Black Power? So you take your French battalion vs the British cavalry. See what happens and report back on what happens.
Not so much how the rules work, rather the differences between the two sets (as per the title of this thread).
Honestly, this is not difficult stuff to grasp. Games are like tools, they are designed to do certain jobs. With CoC that is to allow you to field a platoon of infantry plus some supports.

If you look at Bolt Action, that aim is exactly the same. So the idea is to see how both sets play the same action, differently. You obviously think some other scenario would be a better idea, so do so and get back to us.
Of course I prefer my own rules and I think they focus more on what actually happened in real actions in WW2 (thats why I wrote them).
As to knowing nothing about Chain of Command, I played it through. In fact we have seen that I know more about Chain of Command than you do and indeed your idea of maths. So yes I have read and played CoC, so wheres the problem? I don't criticise Chain of Command (if I did you really would not like what I posted, all your illusions up in smoke).
What I have posted that people don't like – which of course is reality – is the main difference between Chain of Command is that you can only do with your units, what your dice rolls allow you to do (roll the right dice you can do stuff, you don't, you can't). Some have said that gives you choices as to what you do with your units. But in Bolt Action you make the same choices but with all your units. Some have tried to justify the limitations of what you can do under Chain of Command with imaginary 'friction' but just like the Emperors New Clothes I am not buying into their imagination. There is more than enough happening in a game than to have to add in some fantasy as well.
And why do it, to point out the difference between CoC and BA. As I said
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.

And what have the supporters of Chain of Command given us, misinformation and insults.
So you have Too Fat Lardies making statements like
1. Movement in Chain of Command is NOT random. Normal movement uses 2D6 added together. As already pointed out, that presents a predictable bell curve of results. As a result the movement is technically variable as opposed to random. It is highly unlikely you will move 12" or 2"

Random is when you don't know what you are going to get, and the random bit in CoC for movement, is the bit between the limits (12 and 2). Hint rolling dice (should) mean you are getting a random result. And you get an awful lot of dice rolling in CoC. If thats what you want in a game, then fine but at least its worth mentioning.
CoC rolls dice for; army selection, getting units onto the table, activating your units, moving your units, in addition to all the other dice rolling you would expect in a game. Why they do it I have no idea. Perhaps they do it with all their rules or they find it meets customers needs (thats always a good idea).
But its how Chain of Command works, so its worth saying.

TacticalPainter0104 Jun 2018 5:49 a.m. PST

Well forget that under Chain of Command, unless you can get the right dice rolls.

Which is the one reason your scenario is flawed.

A normal game of CoC will see a force made up of squads (which can activate on a 2), each composed of teams (which can activate on a 1), commanded by a junior leader (who activates on a 3 and can have the squad's teams work together or separately). You then have a Senior leader who activates on a 4 and can also give commands to teams and squads. You roll 5 command dice and it's not about what you can't do, it's about how to do the best with what you have.

This is a rule set for platoon level skirmish, yet your scenario only features tanks. These normally activate on a 3. Not sure if you gave the Shermans the option for a senior leader (which the rules allow) which would have enabled up to three tanks to activate on a single roll of 4. If you just based it on activating individual tanks on a 3 then no surprise you failed to roll four 3s out of 5 dice every phase. If nothing else you only demonstrated the rules didn't work for this one specific all armour scenarios, but then that's hardly a revelation to anyone here.

.

Tiny Hordes04 Jun 2018 6:46 a.m. PST

And I would (repeat) disagree. All units used are standard to both rules, so nothing special needed.
Where do you feel that changes were made to how either Chain of Command or Bolt Action were played under the scenario?

The units you used are available in both games, but the scenario you set up is non-standard.

CoC's command dice mechanic assumes certain types of forces are being used, the scenario you've used uses different forces.

In a standard game of CoC you cannot use a platoon of tanks with no infantry. You use an infantry platoon that's potentially supported by one or maybe two tanks.

Now, there was subsequently published "Big Chain of Command" which does include rules for using tank platoons. However, you didn't set your scenario up using those rules either. In particular, using only one element on one side and several on the other is pushing the command dice mechanic to the limits. You can't expect that to be a balanced game. BigCoC includes rules about how to rate and balance games including armoured platoons.

Basically you made no attempt to play your test of CoC using actual CoC rules and some of the assumptions it makes about the forces on table. Several people have made this same point to you now.

CoC isn't well-designed to handle the scenario you threw at it, and why should it be? That scenario would never occur in a CoC game. Now if you really, really want to try out that scenario using a TFL ruleset, "What a Tanker" would work nicely. Until then stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, and blaming the peg when it doesn't.

The idea was to compare how both rules worked and that was done.

That's an assertion, and considering absolutely nobody is agreeing with you, including multiple people with more experience playing the game I'd say it's not a very convincing one.

Again, go play some actual games. You can't expect anyone to take your opinions very seriously until you've at least done that.

Basha Felika04 Jun 2018 9:01 a.m. PST

Gentlemen, Pig wrestling, as someone has already pointed out, is always far more fun for the spectators (and the pig) than you – suggest you just accept you're beaten and allow VVV his solitary moment of triumph.

VVV reply04 Jun 2018 9:43 a.m. PST

The units you used are available in both games, but the scenario you set up is non-standard.

Correct. Its my scenario. Quick and easy to run (as stated).
Basically you made no attempt to play your test of CoC using actual CoC rules and some of the assumptions it makes about the forces on table. Several people have made this same point to you now.

Both games were run under their rules. All published for anyone to see. Feel free to point out any mistakes I made.
CoC isn't well-designed to handle the scenario you threw at it, and why should it be?That scenario would never occur in a CoC game. Now if you really, really want to try out that scenario using a TFL ruleset,

Fair enough, you have a view that a scenario you design would be better. Feel free to do so (I keep repeating this).
TFL is not Chain of Command or Bolt Action.
That's an assertion, and considering absolutely nobody is agreeing with you, including multiple people with more experience playing the game I'd say it's not a very convincing one.

Both rules played, results shown. If you don't want to believe it, that of course is down to you.
And as for experience, we have all had the same experience, playing the games, using the rules. So what advantage does playing more games get you if you are doing it right in the first place?
I will repeat, do it yourselves and report the results if you think another scenario would make a difference to how the rules play. Or you can take my scenario and point out the mistakes I made, so you can tell me where I went wrong – and BTW I mean playing the game, not setting the forces up. In both CoC or BA would you get a game of one Tiger vs 4 Shermans but I do not see that makes any difference to the mechanics of the games played. Jump off points, unique to CoC and irrelevant to the scenario (troops already in position).
What other people say is indeed important, I invite you to read their comments and pay due attention to what they say. By their posts you should judge them.
BTW digging through my sets of rules (again) for this thread I came across Platoon Commander by Battle Plan Games.
TMP link
Sadly it looks as if they have gone out of business. But they look like a very good set of platoon level WW2 rules

Keith Talent04 Jun 2018 10:17 a.m. PST

I had read and played both BA and CoC ( 15/20 games apiece) prior to negotiating my way through this shambles of thread, so I'm afraid I don't really know for sure how either rule set will appear from this to someone with no experience of them.
There is, however, one salient feature and common theme which has emerged over the last 5 pages which is patently obvious to anyone reading it be they expert or novice.

Munin Ilor04 Jun 2018 11:57 a.m. PST

TacticalPainter01 had it exactly right when he pointed out that force composition (and the number on which each activates) is key.

Tanks activate on a 3 (and _only_ on a 3, unless you're allowing for one of them to have a Senior Leader, in which case that particular tank can activate on a 4). Radio communication between the tanks helps mitigate the activation issues somewhat, but VVV Reply's scenario still radically alters the statistical distribution of units that can activate in any given phase. Even with the ability to combine lower numbered dice, you're still hampered in your statistically likely activations.

Let's consider a similar match-up: 5 snipers vs 1 MMG team. By VVV Reply's logic, both of these options (snipers, MMG teams) exist in CoC, so it should be a valid test of the rules right?

Wrong. It (like the 5 Shermans vs Tiger scenario) is what's called a "skew" scenario, because the dice roll required to operate your entire force is skewed to one end of the statistical distribution. In the case of snipers (which activate _only_ on a 1, and cannot be activated by a Senior Leader), you would need to roll five 1s, the odds of which are 7776 to 1.

Skews are a bad way to evaluate anything, and coincidentally they are the thing that breaks competitive wargaming (especially in poorly-balanced games like 40K). "Oh, I'll just dump 180 basic, cheap Ork Boyz on the table because I am fairly positive you don't have enough shots to kill them all in 6 turns." Or "Haha! I've brought nothing but 15 heavy tanks, because once I focus down the two anti-armor-capable units you have that can deal with them, the rest of your army won't be able to so much as scratch me!" Or in Infinity: "I brought a 30-order list."

Different games mitigate skew different ways. CoC does it by making the meat of both sides' starting proposition be an infantry platoon. The entire Command Dice activation system is predicated upon and balanced around the idea that both players have a variety of teams, sections, junior leaders, and senior leaders in their force. Everything else (i.e. _all_ the support) is gravy.

By extension, VVV Reply's tank scenario is all gravy, no meat. Not even any potatoes.

Would you expect to show up at someone's house for Thanksgiving dinner, drink their gravy (and only their gravy) straight from the tureen, and feel fully confident in making pronouncements on how good a cook the host was?

Munin Ilor04 Jun 2018 12:12 p.m. PST

The discussion of being able to activate every unit in one's force has raised an interesting question, however:

In a wargame, under what circumstances is it OK for a unit to NOT do what you want? I mean, you can activate a unit in BA and have it do Bleeped text-all because it fails its pin check. Is that OK? I assume the answer is "yes," because there was no objection raised to it. But if so, how is that substantially different than not being able to activate at all?

Also, both Pinning (in BA) and Shock (in CoC) are exclusively a result of being under dedicated fire. If you're not getting shot at, you never take Pins/Shock. Does that mean if you're not under immediate fire that everything goes exactly according to plan? In BA, the answer is "yes," because absent Pinning, your unit will do exactly what you want it to do when it (eventually) activates. Its effectiveness in some of its activities is variable (dice are still rolled for shooting, for instance, but movement is fixed), but until you have taken dedicated enemy fire to the point where you are accumulating Pins, you're A-OK. You are on that proverbial "summer stroll down an open, sunlit street," apparently – nothing can go wrong.

Yet the field of battle represented by the table in CoC is only a few hundred yards in size. And because CoC has realistic ranges, everywhere on the table is in easy rifle range. If I know that the enemy is within easy rifle range, I suspect I'm going to be somewhat more circumspect in my activities. If the enemy is less than 200 yards away and my men are out for a "summer stroll down an open, sunlit street," then their training and leadership cadre has failed them, because they are about to die a sudden, messy death.

The vagaries of CoC Command Dice represent all of the million stupid, accidental, unintentional, ridiculous things that happen when people are trying to do something while also not getting shot. That the concept of "friction" (by whatever name it goes in whatever period) is so common in the period sources (and not just WWII, it's highlighted in pretty much every conflict in recorded history) speaks to the fact that it should be captured in any rule system that seeks to model the uncertainties of warfare.

CoC does a fantastic job of it, IMO. It's streamlined in that it captures the effect of friction without necessitating a lot of extra rules or bookkeeping on the part of the players. From a playability perspective, it seems to convey the idea really well on the table.

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