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David Brown04 Jun 2018 2:25 p.m. PST

A recurring theme in this long winded thread has been the issue of friction.

It appears that Justin's (VVV) interpretation is that in a wargame friction should not exist without a bespoke reason for its appearance, such as enemy fire.

Well, I'm not sure he's successfully rebutted the numerous and various opposing entries asserting the importance of incorporating friction into wargaming regardless of time or place, if it is to bring the game even vaguely close to reality.

I'm still not sure why this almost universally agreed concept has not been accepted at this late stage. Ok, we can all agree to disagree on how it should be represented, (i.e. it takes too many dice rolls, or whatever). But at the end of the day it exists, and wargames rules should cater for it in one form or another.

I'll provide two further examples of friction.

Modern Day London – Firearms operation – all panned to go ahead at a set time and place. But it was delayed and the operation went in late and therefore not as effective as planned. Why? Because one gun ship was involved in a simple road traffic accident en route to the RVP. Friction!
(Also the equivalent of just walking down a country lane – so apparently it shouldn't have happened, if we were to wargame this incident, according to some?)

WW 2 – Normandy 1944 – Sherman tank in action – "Trooper Martin (gunner) had already proved that he was not one to respond to my orders with alacrity and he showed a marked reluctance to fire. I repeated my order to fire…." Friction!

A WW2 set of wargame rules should cover friction at all levels, including the slow advance to contact because the tank ran someone over by mistake AND the slow fire rate in action because the gunner refused to obey orders or simply froze.

DB

VVV reply04 Jun 2018 2:29 p.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.


Nope – already thought of that one – 1's and 2's can be combined to make 3's and 4's. Plus there are really only 3 Shermans that you have to worry about. The real killers are the 5's and 6's which you cannot use to activate your units. Remember what I said about getting the right dice rolls, well the US force didn't, neither on one occasion did the solitary Tiger.
By extension, VVV Reply's tank scenario is all gravy, no meat. Not even any potatoes.

See above but hey, actually try your idea and see how it comes out.
Does that mean if you're not under immediate fire that everything goes exactly according to plan?

You have it, you are not under fire, its a cake walk.
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

And thats the ridiculous bit, having random unexplained events happening every 2 minutes or so, as I pointed out earlier. That one is called 'putting the cart before the horse'. So if there is no reason for the units to be messed up, don't do it. In other words, don't introduce fiction into historical rules.
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

Good I like reality. You obviously know of these events, so you can point them out. I have already given some quotes from McDonalds Company Commander where attacks have gone without a hitch, so I don't see the justification of these accidental events happening – and they are happening every 2 minutes don't forget in a platoon sized force, so lets have them.
BTW our rule was to advance until we came under 'effective enemy fire' which we took to mean, someone getting shot. But in practice when we saw 'enemy' we stopped and figured out what to do about it, go round them or assault them (no artillery or tank support for us).
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.

But what is the justification for the 'friction' in CoC, just for activating units. None that I can see. So do without it, speed the game up and allow players with larger forces to take advantage of them. Well thats my view. Easy to test, play a game of CoC without unit activation rolls and see what you get.
Well, I'm not sure he's successfully rebutted the numerous and various opposing entries asserting the importance of incorporating friction into wargaming regardless of time or place, if it is to bring the game even vaguely close to reality.

The rebutal is if you have no evidence for it, then don't put it in. Rather than 'put it in because you think it was there'. Oh and I provided quotes to support my view.
I'm still not sure why this almost universally agreed concept has not been accepted at this late stage.

And I invite you to read the story of the Emperors New Clothes. Just because someone tells you that something is so, does not mean it is.
In this respect I believe that Bolt Action is right and Chain of Command is wrong, there has to be a reason for units not to do anything. Hell I would accept something on the CoC Random events table (when you roll lots of 6's) but not as a basic part of every phase. Then you have the random roll for movement. Just too much random in CoC. Its like a fixation to want dice rolls for everything. The only thing I can think of that CoC does not roll dice for its the placing of Patrol Markers. But otherwise, its; selection of forces, force morale, deploying to jump-off points, activating troops, moving, shooting, combat, doing damage, saving and random events.

Munin Ilor04 Jun 2018 5:20 p.m. PST

Nope – already thought of that one – 1's and 2's can be combined to make 3's and 4's.

You do understand that combining dice means decreasing the overall number of things that can activate, right? That's the part I'm getting at – by setting up your scenario in such a way that it limits which rolls you can use for successful unit activation, you are skewing the results before you ever roll a single die.

Ergo, your scenario is a flawed comparison, because it takes something that is intended to be an addition to a particular rule set (in this case, tanks in CoC) and makes it the main (indeed, only) event.

Re-read what I said about snipers. It's exactly the same. And it would be an equally flawed comparison, because it too skews the inherent balance of the game by limiting activation opportunities.

See above but hey, actually try your idea and see how it comes out.

I don't have to; I can look at the rules (snipers only activate on "1" and can't be activated by a Senior Leader), to the math (the likelihood of rolling a 1 on any given independent die is 1 in 6), look at the number of units I have (5), and deduce that I'll only be able to activate all of them once every 7776 phases.

Ergo, I know it will come out poorly because it's not what the game is designed to do. And because math is cool.


Does that mean if you're not under immediate fire that everything goes exactly according to plan?

You have it, you are not under fire, its a cake walk.


Uh. Wow. OK, then let's examine this, shall we?

BTW our rule was to advance until we came under 'effective enemy fire' which we took to mean, someone getting shot. But in practice when we saw 'enemy' we stopped and figured out what to do about it, go round them or assault them (no artillery or tank support for us).

So why did you stop before someone got shot? Were you >gasp< not following the letter of your perfect orders from your superiors? Were you >shudder< exercising some local common sense or caution in the face of an uncertain foe?

Now let's imagine that rather than some OC or MILES system saying, "Sorry, chap, you're a casualty for the rest of the day" that instead your head (or that of a nearby teammate) just unceremoniously exploded.

Do you suppose you might have been even a slightly bit more hesitant that you were in the comfy, cozy confines of your scripted exercise?

And thats the ridiculous bit, having random unexplained events happening every 2 minutes or so, as I pointed out earlier. That one is called 'putting the cart before the horse'. So if there is no reason for the units to be messed up, don't do it. In other words, don't introduce fiction into historical rules.

No, see, that's the problem; it's not a reason. If it were only one reason, I'd agree with you. No the problem is that there are a million reasons.

Like when your squad makes a dash across the field, but half of them double back to pick up Private Sweeney, who stepped in a hole, tripped, and landed face-first in the dirt. Or when that little mound of earth that Jameson went prone and took cover behind turns out to be an ant-hill; and yeah, he'll live, but while everybody was looking his way to try to figure out why he was screaming and rolling around (because we're all paranoid about snipers), nobody saw the German LMG team run from the house to the barn – or at least not quickly enough to get off a shot at them. Or when the runner carrying orders from the platoon Lt is so out of breath that he has to repeat the instructions to your squad three or four times before you can figure out just what you're supposed to be doing. Or even just when you're ordered to advance and Corporal Taggart – a veteran of Bastogne – says, "Hold up a sec. I don't like the look of that hedge." Because whether he's right or wrong, no junior man in the squad is going to be like, "Pfff, Taggart. What a pussy. Let's go, guys, we've been ordered to move."

This is the stuff that von Clausewitz was talking about. And again, it stems from not only being shot at, but also from not wanting to be shot at in the first place. One thing that is clear from every primary source I've read from every engagement in recorded history: nevermind combat itself, dumb Bleeped text happens in warfare in general. Does it happen constantly? No. Is it always catastrophic? No. But do those tiny effects add up to unpredictably unreliable behavior? Absolutely.

Thus, 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

The rebutal is if you have no evidence for it, then don't put it in. Rather than 'put it in because you think it was there'.

That's the thing, if you read any of the sources, you find scads of this stuff. It's everywhere. Italian tanks capturing Point 175 just outside Sidi Rezegh because they blundered into an 8th Army assembly area and figured it out more quickly than the Brits did. Rommel and von Ravenstein mistakenly bivouacking with a British unit overnight, luckily avoiding detection because they were traveling in a "requisitioned" British vehicle – because their own had broken down. Or how General Hooker's grand plan to extend his communications net prior to the battle of Chancellorsville was undone because troops in his own army like to use the glass insulators on telegraph poles for target practice.

Material wear, ammunition shortages, sleep deprivation, hunger, etc. These are constants in warfare. I don't want to have to roll to see how well-rested my troops are or what their ammunition supply is or how many un-maintained hours the drive-train on their Pz IV has.

In the absence of having to roll every Bleeped texted tiny thing, Command Dice are a great way to abstract something that virtually everything I've ever learned about warfare tells me is always there.

jdginaz04 Jun 2018 9:48 p.m. PST

I don't criticise Chain of Command (if I did you really would not like what I posted, all your illusions up in smoke).

You keep stating that you haven't been criticizing CoC just comparing them to BA yet just in your last post shows the lie of that statement.

And thats the ridiculous bit, having random unexplained events happening every 2 minutes or so, as I pointed out earlier. That one is called 'putting the cart before the horse'. So if there is no reason for the units to be messed up, don't do it. In other words, don't introduce fiction into historical rules.

Just too much random in CoC.

Those are criticisms not comparisons and there are may more of your statements like those throughout this thread.

Tiny Hordes05 Jun 2018 12:24 a.m. PST

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.

Quite, and I fear this is about the only useful insight the thread will ultimately give us.

VVV reply05 Jun 2018 2:21 a.m. PST

Were you >shudder< exercising some local common sense or caution in the face of an uncertain foe?

You have it right.
You do understand that combining dice means decreasing the overall number of things that can activate, right? That's the part I'm getting at – by setting up your scenario in such a way that it limits which rolls you can use for successful unit activation, you are skewing the results before you ever roll a single die.

Now I can see that you are gradually getting there but don't worry I can take you through the rest of the way until you 'get it'.
So after (in Chain of Command) you have had one of the Shermans killed. Just what do you need to roll to activate all three of the remaining Shermans? (remembering that in Bolt Action you don't need to roll a thing, they will all automatically activate).

TacticalPainter0105 Jun 2018 2:36 a.m. PST

I have already given some quotes from McDonalds Company Commander where attacks have gone without a hitch, so I don't see the justification of these accidental events happening – and they are happening every 2 minutes don't forget in a platoon sized force, so lets have them.

That's not what your quotes said, that's only how you interpreted them.

When I pointed out MacDonald said the pace was too fast and he slowed it down, you put this down to the men's tiredness and yet nowhere does MacDonald mention that, there is simply no evidence, only your opinion. What he does say is he was alert to the potential for enemy fire and he conducted himself accordingly, which suggests this was the reason he wanted to slow the pace. What his quote does tell us is that men move at different speeds and that speed changes according to actual or imagined events – in this case fear of the unknown, which it turns out was no threat at all.

Despite the absence of any known enemy or enemy fire his platoon moved at variable pace. This we know, because MacDonald tells us. You chose to add a layer of interpretation for which MacDonald provides no evidence.

So the action went without a hitch and smoothly – but we only know that in hindsight and because MacDonald tells us that he eventually discovered there was no enemy. MacDonald tells us this wasn't apparent at the time, he acted with caution and tells us exactly why.

In theory it was a walk down the road, in practice it went at a variable pace and without the need for the enemy to do anything. Why you think that is evidence to back up your argument mystifies me.

VVV reply05 Jun 2018 5:49 a.m. PST

When I pointed out MacDonald said the pace was too fast and he slowed it down, you put this down to the men's tiredness and yet nowhere does MacDonald mention that, there is simply no evidence, only your opinion.

Nope – as usual. Luckily its easy enough to quote what I said.
Yes I noticed that and it was either too fast because it was too tiring or it would have upset the time table of attack. But either way, the commanders choice and not a random action.

Then we have this
What he does say is he was alert to the potential for enemy fire and he conducted himself accordingly, which suggests this was the reason he wanted to slow the pace. What his quote does tell us is that men move at different speeds and that speed changes according to actual or imagined events – in this case fear of the unknown, which it turns out was no threat at all.

And the quote you refer to, pace was slowed before the listening for the enemy fire.
Captain Calhoun sent his 2d Platoon down the road. I assembled my CP group and the 3d Platoon and waited until the F Company men had gone two hundred yards. I signalled "Forward" and we started toward the objective on the run, a single column following the ditch on either side of the road. The pace was too fast, and I slowed to a fast walk. I listened intently for the sound of a telltale explosion in the distance that would mean the enemy tankers were opening fire, planning exactly how I would drop to the scant cover of the shallow ditch. But the telltale explosion did not come. We entered the town, and I looked back and saw two more platoons following us.

Please note, no reaction to fire that did not come. Which is exactly what you would expect.

TacticalPainter01, you get stuff wrong, you keep on getting stuff wrong and its obvious (and provable) when you get stuff wrong. By their posts, people should be judged.

BTW (everyone else) just why would anyone want to run down a road into an enemy held town? Sure you both as a real-life or table-top commander could order it (under either Chain of Command and Bolt Action) but it would probably not leave you many troops left. Now this is one thing that rule writers mull over, should you let players do stupid things and I think the answer is yes, they will learn from them. I hope that in real life an NCO would say, 'Don't do it sir, it would be suicide'

Basha Felika05 Jun 2018 8:24 a.m. PST

Tiny Hordes, I thought the first 7-8 posts were helpful but after that….

VVV; "pace was slowed before the listening…"; you can't assume that from the quote as written though you might choose to infer it if it supports your argument.

As written, it's equally valid to read it that the ordering of a slower pace and the listening took place simultaneously (or, indeed that the listening was already taking place when the order was given) but I appreciate it's difficult to believe that an office of infantry could walk and chew gum at the same time! :-)

But now we're dancing on the head of somantic pins, rather than discussing core game mechanisms.

Munin Ilor05 Jun 2018 10:03 a.m. PST

That's the part I'm getting at – by setting up your scenario in such a way that it limits which rolls you can use for successful unit activation, you are skewing the results before you ever roll a single die.

Now I can see that you are gradually getting there but don't worry I can take you through the rest of the way until you 'get it'.
So after (in Chain of Command) you have had one of the Shermans killed. Just what do you need to roll to activate all three of the remaining Shermans? (remembering that in Bolt Action you don't need to roll a thing, they will all automatically activate).


Assuming you still have 5 dice and are not using a Senior Leader/radio control, your odds of activating all three remaining Shermans is 546 in 7776 (that includes both rolling 3 or more 3s as well as combining 1+2 to activate as well). So you're batting about 7%.

And that's the core problem – why your scenario is an inappropriate comparison – by choosing tanks (which have limited rolls that can activate), you have skewed the odds enormously.

Had you chosen 3 infantry squads (i.e. a normal infantry platoon for most nations) instead of 4 tanks, you'd have had complete, unaided activations (i.e. not including Senior Leader activations) of all your units 26% of the time instead of only 0.6% (46 in 7776). And again, that's without factoring in the effects of Senior Leaders, which raises your odds of fully activating all of your squads (which Tank Commanders can't do, they can only activate a single position in another tank via radio control) to well over 80%

Thus my point: if you play the game the way it was intended, the effects of "I can't activate all my stuff every phase" is greatly ameliorated. Why? Because working with infantry platoons is what the game was designed and balanced for.

Statistical skew is not hard to understand. That you continue to cling to such a highly-skewed scenario as a basis for "comparison" speaks to a fundamental lack of understanding of what the game is trying to model.

BTW (everyone else) just why would anyone want to run down a road into an enemy held town?

How about "because the longer you stay in the open, the more likely you are to get shot?" Or maybe "because running men are harder to hit than walking men?" As for why a road, how about "because the road offers firmer footing than the fields/meadows/swamps and if neither approach offers significant cover, I'll take my chances on the place where I can run fastest?" Or maybe just "because the ditch along the road offers the only realistic cover along this line of approach."

But here's the key thing you keep glossing over – MacDonald had to slow his men down. Why? What would cause men to try to move quickly, even if the direction of that movement was towards the enemy? Might it be that at some level the men decided that the less time they spent in the open, the better off they'd be?

And this is the important bit: left to their own devices, MacDonald's men would have run into the town. So all of your asking "why would anyone do that?" misses the key, crucial point – the men there, at that time, on that ground decided it was in their best interests to do so. You can armchair NCO that decision all you like, but it doesn't change the fact of the matter.

And the fact that MacDonald had to take explicit action to slow his men down means that at some level his men were acting counter to his wishes. He had to exercise tactical control. He had to overcome friction.

VVV reply05 Jun 2018 2:08 p.m. PST

Assuming you still have 5 dice and are not using a Senior Leader/radio control, your odds of activating all three remaining Shermans is 546 in 7776 (that includes both rolling 3 or more 3s as well as combining 1+2 to activate as well). So you're batting about 7%.

Well you would assume wrong. The answer is you need a 3 and a 4 in a roll of 5 dice, to activate all three tanks. One tank on a three and the senior leader can activate his own tank and another (using the radio, although why a radio is only allowed to activate one unit on the net beats me).
You have five dice to do that with and you can use the 1's and 2's to make up that 3 and 4, if you get them in the roll.
Now if you think that is a big disadvantage to playing a normal game of Chain of Command, you are living on a different planet to me. As I said before, if you roll 5's and 6's thats the problem, because they simply don't count toward activating units.
That is the walk-through as to why the Hunt the Tiger scenario is not unduly unfair under Chain of Command.
But the point you raise is, add more tanks, then there is simply no advantage under CoC, they sit there doing nothing (although I suppose you could say they are sitting there as a reserve ready to replace losses but then Force Morale means that they would never be used). Under Bolt Action the more tanks (or anything else) you have, the power of your force increases because you get to use more of it. Now you have to think that is more realistic.
Now the solution, is to stop dice rolls for unit activation in CoC. Everything gets one basic action but (and this is the good bit) leaders get to order units to do more than the basic action, so at last leaders are doing what they should, pushing troops to fight harder.
And all done by simply taking something unnecessary out of the rules. You still get to keep your dice rolling if you were worried about that, as you need that for your 5's and 6's.
But here's the key thing you keep glossing over – MacDonald had to slow his men down. Why?

Not glossed over, its key. Read the quote. He ordered his men forward at the run. Then he ordered them to move at a fast walk. Why, in my view it was because he had a platoon already 200 yards ahead of him and his men running meant they were closing the gap and making the two platoons a better target. Just my thought on the matter of course
What would cause men to try to move quickly, even if the direction of that movement was towards the enemy?

Being ordered to do it. There is a nice little story from WW1 where US troops took their objectives, then formed up in column of march to move to the next objective. German guns overlooked their positions from hills and slaughtered them. Why did they do it, because thats how they had been trained and their officers told them to do it.
And this is the important bit: left to their own devices, MacDonald's men would have run into the town.

Well the actual important bit is that they were ordered to start running and then ordered to proceed at a fast walk. No friction and troops doing what they are told to do.
Its there, you can read it and you still get it wrong. Truly stunning.

David Brown05 Jun 2018 2:56 p.m. PST

VVV,

Re:

That is the walk-through as to why the Hunt the Tiger scenario is not unduly unfair under Chain of Command.

No, it is unfair, as has been pointed out quite a few times already, by more then just a few posters.

I've open my copy of CoC and it states in the introduction that:-

"At the heart of the rules is the infantry platoon…"

Thus your walkthrough is unfair because it is not representing what CoC was designed to do. Period.

Your walkthrough is only valid or "fair" as you state, if you are experimenting with an atypical or out of the ordinary game representing all tank actions, and stated as such.

DB

jdginaz05 Jun 2018 3:33 p.m. PST

One tank on a three and the senior leader can activate his own tank and another (using the radio, although why a radio is only allowed to activate one unit on the net beats me).

A Senior Leader has three command points so can activate his own plus TWO other tanks.

I am thinking of company Gs attack into Varlossen, no opposition to speak of but then no problems either.210 German prisoners, 30 Germans killed.

Not exactly no opposition. If you read a little earlier in the chapter you'll see that they were being shelled by enemy armor in another village to the northeast.

MacDonald writes

"I was suddenly afraid of crossing the exposed forward slope of the hill leading to Varlossen".

Then shortly later states

"Another round of enemy shellfire suddenly whistled overhead and crashed behind us, followed by another and another."

So a fair amount of enemy action.

After asking the Battalion Commander if they, E and G companies, for permission to ride the tanks into Varlossen they get permission to send one platoon each on the tanks ahead into town. After the platoons on the tanks get inside the town they are to send the other platoons down one at a time.

When they are ready they send off the tank mounted platoons. But a bit of friction happens and the tank that G Company's platoon is on has motor trouble and falls behind the other tank and he worries that an enemy tank will fire on it. But fortunately it gets its motor running again and they move on. The next paragraph then states.

"The lead tanks began to spit tracer bullets from their machine guns into the grey line of buildings before them. One hundred yards to go. Fifty yards. The riflemen jumped from the tanks and raced on foot toward the town and disappeared from view. They made it! I felt like cheering."

Interestingly the full story of Varlossen is somewhat different that your original post would indicate. It was defiantly not a simple stroll down the road. Enemy shelling, friction and stress in abundance. Also when MacDonald sends the other platoons down the hill he writes that he simple ordered them forward, he doesn't write whether he orders them to run or not. You are assuming that he ordered them to run. Oh, also they were ordered to stay to the right of the road. So no strolling down a country road.

VVV reply05 Jun 2018 9:44 p.m. PST

No, it is unfair, as has been pointed out quite a few times already, by more then just a few posters.

Agreed, they said it. But is it true, no. But hey I have shown what is needed to get all the US tanks doing something (a 3 and a 4). Its make your own mind up time.
Thus your walkthrough is unfair because it is not representing what CoC was designed to do. Period.

Yep you will get that, if you decide something is unfair, it will be unfair forever, even when you are shown it is not the case. My view is that CoC can handle it, not a problem, The inability of a commander to activate all their units is just part of CoC as you need to get the right dice rolls to get things done. Why Too Fat Lardies wrote the rules like that, I have no idea but it has no basis that I can see in reality – as I mentioned earlier.
A Senior Leader has three command points so can activate his own plus TWO other tanks.

Again wrong. Command by radio (p51) only allows you to use one initiative point on another vehicle. You are right in real life, I would expect a general order to all vehicles on the net to be given. But you cannot in CoC, thems the rules.
Not exactly no opposition. If you read a little earlier in the chapter you'll see that they were being shelled by enemy armor in another village to the northeast.

Yep reaction to enemy action covered both Chain of Command and Bolt Action. Likewise moving through different terrain. Both seem reasonable in a set of rules.
As for the action
"No use now," the artillery observer said. "Sonofabitch will sure give us hell when he catches us on that open hill to the next town." I was suddenly afraid of crossing the exposed forward slope of the hill leading to Varlossen. It had been an easy day as far as casualties were concerned. I wondered why regiment did not let well enough alone and forget this next objective until the next day. The Germans would pull out during the night, if we would only give them time. I went downstairs and found that my company had assembled. F Company was forming across the road. The tanks that would support us were lined up on the road. The Colonel called Captain Calhoun and me together for final instructions. Another round of enemy shellfire suddenly whistled overhead and crashed behind us, followed by another and another. "They're giving them hell back there in Ellershausen," the Colonel said. "Easy Company lost a jeep and trailer in the first barrage." The Colonel said the instructions were the same as before. "Let me know when you're ready," he said. I walked to the crest of the hill with Captain Byrd while the company was forming. We stood looking at the terrain before us when the next barrage came in. We could tell by the swish instead of whistle that it was intended for us instead of the town behind us. The Germans had evidently found the range of the confusion of men and tanks on the hill. The shells burst all around us, and shrapnel whistled low overhead. I could hear the sound of the gun being fired in the distance, followed by the noise of the shell in flight that grew in intensity and found me holding my breath when it finally exploded on the hilltop. Fragments whined above the shallow ditch. Another burst sounded in the distance, and we knew another was on the way. "Two bits on where she'll land, Mac," Byrd laughed falsely. "No takers," I answered. I winced as the shell exploded on the hilltop.
We waited for the next shell, but it did not come. I stood up and looked around. The hill was barren, except for the TDs and tanks which had pulled back to the reverse slope. There were no casualties. I was amazed at how quickly the mass of men had found cover. A talk with Captain Calhoun brought the decision to ask the Colonel for permission to ride the tanks into Varlossen. The less time we were exposed on the forward slope of the hill the better, it seemed. It was obvious now that more than one enemy tank had fired. They had the range and could easily blast any slow-moving object that appeared on the other side of the hill. "Each of you send one rifle platoon on tanks," the Colonel decided, "and both of you keep on the right of the road. The hill seems to drop off slightly on that side. Have the platoons take your extra 300 radio with them, and as soon as they're inside the town, we'll send the rest down one platoon at a time."

How the Colonel could make a plan when he knows that there is no point as its all random, beats me :)
Yes I know accidents/bad things happen (even when the enemy is not shooting at you) but the reason to make always happen as part of just doing stuff with your troops is both wrong and unrealistic. Its cart before horse time :)
Also when MacDonald sends the other platoons down the hill he writes that he simple ordered them forward, he doesn't write whether he orders them to run or not.

Well we know this
Both platoons signalled ready. The big tanks raced their motors and plunged down the hill in a race toward the town. One tank fell behind. Something was wrong with its motor. I saw it was Bagby's tank, and I knew the men riding it were cursing the misfortune that had stalled them on the open slope. I expected at any moment to hear the sound of the enemy tank, but the motor started again, and the tank raced on. The lead tanks began to spit tracer bullets from their machine guns into the grey line of houses before them. One hundred yards to go. Fifty yards. The riflemen jumped from the tanks and raced on foot toward the town and disappeared from view. They made it! I felt like cheering.

Now (just an aside) I always thought that infantry riding tanks into the assault was just a Russian thing. Now I know differently. Lessons from real-life accounts, how useful for a rules designer.

jdginaz05 Jun 2018 10:41 p.m. PST

Again wrong. Command by radio (p51) only allows you to use one initiative point on another vehicle.

Actually you are wrong.

A Senior Leader using a radio may, for one command initiative, activate another vehicle under his command which has otherwise not been activated in this Phase, regardless of the distance between them.

What that is saying is that for one command initiative you may activate another tank. It doesn't say you may only activate one other tank or you may only activate one other tank for one command initiative. So since the SL has three command initiatives and it only costs one CI to activate another tank he can activate two other tanks besides his own.

So since you didn't use the Senior Leader's CI correctly even under your own criteria your test scenario is inaccurate.

VVV reply06 Jun 2018 1:02 a.m. PST

VVV; "pace was slowed before the listening…"; you can't assume that from the quote as written though you might choose to infer it if it supports your argument.

Yes I can say that because the pace was slowed before he mentioned for listening for explosions. In fact what was said, was what he was planning for his men to do, if they were fired upon. It never happened, so he did not do it. So he planned for enemy action (reasonable) but did not have to put the plan into effect. That is what he wrote, so I don't have to imagine anything.
What that is saying is that for one command initiative you may activate another tank. It doesn't say you may only activate one other tank or you may only activate one other tank for one command initiative.

Quite right, the rules say for one vehicle. Clearly and simply. I see no rule for doing more than one. So that would have to be another one of your assumptions. On your current success rate with assumptions, thats not a route I would take.
So since you didn't use the Senior Leader's CI correctly even under your own criteria your test scenario is inaccurate.

What you say is wrong. What you may be trying to say is that I played the scenario wrong (incorrectly). And that would be expected. Remember when I asked people to pick up on any mistakes I made. Well no one did.
I found out that I had missed out rolling for Force Morale, so I added in rolling for Force Morale to see if that would made a difference. Well the answer was yes, but not much (see earlier posts).
But lets assume you are right, all you need to do is roll a single 4 on the dice and all the tanks can be activated. However that really does blow Munin Ilor's idea that the scenario is unfair under CoC, right out of the water :)
So I have a suggestion, all the expert players of CoC decide what roll you need to activate all 3 US tanks in CoC (3 and a 4, or simply a 4) and let us know how to play it. But in Bolt Action its simple, everything gets to activate, you just have to choice which unit to activate, when you get the opportunity to do so (just as you do in CoC).

David Brown06 Jun 2018 2:10 a.m. PST

VVV,

Thus your walkthrough is unfair because it is not representing what CoC was designed to do.

Yep you will get that, if you decide something is unfair, it will be unfair forever, even when you are shown it is not the case.

Mmm…not entirely convinced by that rather bland assumption regarding my decision making processes, especially when we've not even met!

Actually Justin, I remain open to be convinced. I'm open to differing opinions and arguments when they are accompanied by good, credible evidence to support the assumption, as opposed to merely stating that other opinions are not correct, with flimsy assertions such as:

and I invite you to read the story of the Emperors New Clothes.

In fact, throughout this entire debate you have only produced, at a very late stage, one piece of WW2 historical evidence to support you claim.

Currently, your argument lacks sufficient weight and credibility to convince me, and I might point out every other poster on this thread, as to the correct assumption of your argument; that friction is overdone/unrealistic in CoC and more correct/realistic in BA and AAF.

DB

VVV reply06 Jun 2018 6:37 a.m. PST

Mmm…not entirely convinced by that rather bland assumption regarding my decision making processes, especially when we've not even met!

Judge people by what they post is my motto. Your posts certainly will get the respect they deserve, at least from me.
Currently, your argument lacks sufficient weight and credibility to convince me, and I might point out every other poster on this thread, as to the correct assumption of your argument; that friction is overdone/unrealistic in CoC and more correct/realistic in BA and AAF.

Thank you for sharing that. But let me make my point even simpler for you and everyone else; friction is imagined in Chain of Command and ignored, outside of combat and movement, in Bolt Action/Action all Fronts.
Whether it is better to put in something that is not there or to ignore what is there, is down to what you prefer. But one thing is certain, the more needless rules you add to a set of rules, the slower they will be. Both CoC & BA rules ignore; weather, night fighting and spotting the enemy. So there is no difference between them there.
One early piece of evidence was Hunt the Tiger. 400+ dice rolled and 15 minutes of play under Chain of Command, 23 dice and 5 minutes of play under Bolt Action. You also have the artificial limitation on what you can do with your units in Chain of Command.
On the plus side, I prefer the result (Tiger wins) that Chain of Command gave.

UshCha06 Jun 2018 6:52 a.m. PST

As an outsider (I don't play either), I think that the thread is a little at cross purposes. That things wenT well general is true. The random and bizarre things also happened. Surely the question neither side seems to address is How often?

The Americans had a bad time on Omaha beach. How much was friction and How much bad planning. T
1) Their DD tanks were mainly sunk. One of the issues was they had not had the training of say the British had. They were sunk as they went broadside to the swell (they recently found them). This was probably as a result of inexperience even me an ex-dingy sailor kNows how that is almost certain to end badly. Also the Brits took more risks and put the DD tanks in much closer to shore.

So what of that is actually avoidable and what is actually rally random?

In reality nobody else had such problems so the probability of it happening depends on how much is actually really random.


Perhaps the other thing is, what is the aim of the game? Personalty I game to learn to understand how tactics should work. I screw up enough as it is adding random events even if at the relevant rate is not helpful.

In Normandy one Sergent Hollis is credited as keeping the whole of his division moving off the beach by his heroic acts. 1 man in a division! That's roughly 1 in 10 000 to 15 000. Now that represents less chance than throwing 1 on 3 consecutive D6's. Is that worth the effort for an occurrence less than once in 18 games. That is where the nub of the question is, there is no right answer.

Personally to me catering for such rare odds detracts from the overall game as it takes time away from other bits that would improve overall realism, but that is only a personal view.

So perhaps you need to discuss probabilities of the out of the ordinary and are they well reflected in the games?

Anecdotal evidence tends to be noted just because it is rare so may not be a useful aid to the probability of the event occurring.

toofatlardies06 Jun 2018 7:10 a.m. PST

There is nothing in the slightest "out of the ordinary" about a platoon leader in action (within 150 yards of the enemy, so we are talking about close quarters) not being able to control his men with absolutely certainty that his every demand is being met instantly.

The fact that a platoon commander says to a squad leader "move round the flank of those buildings and put down covering fire" does not mean that he knows precisely how long it will take to make that movement nor does he know precisely when the covering fire will begin. He has this as a central plan, but he cannot say "Aha, I know Squad One will be putting down fire in exactly two minutes time, so I will send Squad Two on their manoeuvre in 121 seconds".

Of course, he will know that he can roughly expect that fire to start being laid down in "two or three minutes" so he waits until that started before sending Squad Two forwards. That is what we talk about as friction in Chain of Command.

To suggest that such delays never happen, that troops can operate at a predictable metronomic rate of movement and that the platoon commander will be aware of what is happening at all times and can rely on his men to act according to what he wants, even though at times he will not be in line of sight of them and has no way to tell them what he wants is, frankly, utterly ludicrous.

What is equally ludicrous is that we are still here discussing military principles which are taught at every military college in the world and to every aspirant officer and NCO who walked the planet. Apart, apparently, from one.

I have read many absurd threads on TMP, but this one takes the biscuit.

TacticalPainter0106 Jun 2018 7:54 a.m. PST

Surely the question neither side seems to address is How often?

VVV would give the impression each phase of CoC is some sort of crazed random dice fest. Like most of his comments, this is far from the truth. The previous post puts it into much better perspective.

On balance most games will have moments of frustration when things refuse to go as you hoped, this will be balanced with moments when your units exceed expectations. Generally though, the average is well, not surprisingly, the average. The key is, as is clear from the previous post, I don't have absolute certainty what will unfold each phase.

It may not suit everyone, but I derive a great deal of gaming satisfaction trying to manage this. But I can get that sort of satisfaction in many other games, dare I mention Backgammon again. So why CoC? Because it feels right and accords with my reading of the period. I play historical games as a matter of choice, if I don't feel the game is playing out in an historically plausible way then I'm inclined to set it aside and look elsewhere.

Basha Felika06 Jun 2018 8:59 a.m. PST

VVV

Just to point out, you have misread/misunderstood the radio rule: the SL can activate 1 vehicle for 1 command. A SL has 3 commands. Nothing to stop him using all 3 to activate 3 different vehicles (maybe not even his own), in just the same way as he could use them to activate 3 different infantry sections or fire teams, had you chosen to use them.

So, the chance of activating 3 or 4 tanks with 5 command dice in a single player turn (using 3s, 4s or a combination of 1's and 2's) is better than you think.

Oh, and unless you were there, or were the author, you cannot be so absolutely certain when and in what order the pace slowing and listening took place just because he wrote about them in that order – as I said, sometimes even infantry officers can multi-task; though I accept they're rare beasts in my experience.

kevanG06 Jun 2018 9:08 a.m. PST

"I have read many absurd threads on TMP, but this one takes the biscuit."

You mean the doctrine that " We cant move now, its not our turn " isn't in the military manuals?????

I'm shocked….shocked I say! So shocked I'll need a lie down with a cup of tea and a cream cracker.

Basha Felika06 Jun 2018 9:28 a.m. PST

Kevan, you know you need to roll a 2 before you can lie down, and a 3 if you want to try and eat the cracker in the same turn?

Munin Ilor06 Jun 2018 9:43 a.m. PST

RE: Tank Commanders:

On the topic of the odds of activating 3 tanks, note that I specifically mentioned full activation. A SL Tank Commander can activate via radio as many other tanks in his armored platoon as he has CI, but that is a limited activation in that it only allows one crew position to be used (e.g. driver but not gunner, or bow-gunner but not main gun, etc). Nor does it allow the for the removal of Shock or the placement of the tank on Overwatch. To get either of these effects, or to activate more than one of any given tank's crew positions in a phase, the point remains – you must activate the tank itself on a 3 (or by combining 1+2).

So no, "just a 3 and a 4" does not cut it, because you are using your tanks less effectively that way.

Contrast this with an infantry platoon: when a Senior Leader (e.g. the Platoon Sgt) uses a CI to activate an infantry squad, that is a full activation. They fire and/or move at normal effectiveness. Provided he is within 4" (i.e. "attached"), he can also use his CI to rally Shock, put them on Overwatch, direct them to lay down Covering Fire, or use their National Characteristic as normal.

Put another way, when dealing with a tank platoon, a single 4 can activate only three individual positions within that platoon, and only CI used on the Commander's own tank can be used to reduce Shock. It is NOT the direct equivalent of rolling three 3s. Conversely, with an infantry platoon, a single 4 can fully activate three infantry sections. provided he with within his Command Radius of all three sections, it is exactly equivalent to rolling three 2s.

VVV Reply, do you see/understand the difference?

VVV reply06 Jun 2018 10:56 a.m. PST

Just to point out, you have misread/misunderstood the radio rule: the SL can activate 1 vehicle for 1 command. A SL has 3 commands. Nothing to stop him using all 3 to activate 3 different vehicles (maybe not even his own), in just the same way as he could use them to activate 3 different infantry sections or fire teams, had you chosen to use them.

So, the chance of activating 3 or 4 tanks with 5 command dice in a single player turn (using 3s, 4s or a combination of 1's and 2's) is better than you think.


Fair enough if thats the way to play it. Play it that way. But as pointed it out, it does mean that the idea that the Hunt the Tiger is unfair to the Chain of Command rules is absurd.
Oh, and unless you were there, or were the author, you cannot be so absolutely certain when and in what order the pace slowing and listening took place just because he wrote about them in that order – as I said, sometimes even infantry officers can multi-task; though I accept they're rare beasts in my experience

Indeed the only thing we can do is read what is written. Orders given and troops doing what they are told, because its a cake walk, no enemy action.
On the topic of the odds of activating 3 tanks, note that I specifically mentioned full activation. A SL Tank Commander can activate via radio as many other tanks in his armored platoon as he has CI, but that is a limited activation in that it only allows one crew position to be used (e.g. driver but not gunner, or bow-gunner but not main gun, etc). Nor does it allow the for the removal of Shock or the placement of the tank on Overwatch. To get either of these effects, or to activate more than one of any given tank's crew positions in a phase, the point remains – you must activate the tank itself on a 3 (or by combining 1+2).

So no, "just a 3 and a 4" does not cut it, because you are using your tanks less effectively that way.


But the driver is not needed, except to turn the Shermans toward the Tiger, to reduce the chances of the Tigers shot causing damage. Gunner well if you give him 2x Command Initiatives, it goes increase the chances of a hit slightly. Recovering from Shock not that important either, as Shermans tend not to survive being hit by a Tiger, as was demonstrated.
The only effective action Shermans have is to shoot and a result of 4 allows them to do that. More 3's of course would allow the individual tank commanders to do more actions. Yes I get that. You roll the right dice, you can do stuff, you don't, you can't.
Under Bolt Action you don't need to roll to activate your units. Simple and easy to understand. Get it?

Munin Ilor06 Jun 2018 1:41 p.m. PST

Under Bolt Action you don't need to roll to activate your units. Simple and easy to understand. Get it?

Totally get it. You get that it's a bad test, right? And you get why?

Also, the Shermans want to do more than just shoot. They also want to disperse, and move such that the Tiger is forced to put at least one of the Shermans into its side (or ideally rear) arc, where its armor is weaker. If you're just sitting there shooting and calling it a day then you a) deserve what you get, and b) are not being true to the actual scenario as depicted in the film (nor to the actual tactical doctrine of the period, for that matter).

But you still haven't addressed the skew of the scenario, and how the thing it does (use a bunch of units with limited activation possibilities) is not what the game is designed and balanced to do. Nor have you addressed the fact that a SL Tank Commander does not operate in the same way (statistically speaking) as a SL infantry commander.

Again, I just want to make sure you understand this, because you keep failing to provide any kind of response to the point when raised.

You are capable of conceding the fact the Chain of Command is not designed as an armor-vs-armor game, right? You recognize that the intent behind the rules is to simulate infantry actions, yes?

FWIW, your proposed scenario is WAY more interesting and fun under TFL's "What A Tanker!" rules (which are designed around armor-vs-armor combat), in which all of your units activate. They may not have the activation resources to do all of what you want every time, but they absolutely get to activate every turn.

Keith Talent06 Jun 2018 2:46 p.m. PST

"Judge people by what they post is my motto. "

Trust me VVV, there is utter unanimity on this point. No-one is failing to do that. Oh no, not in the slightest.

jdginaz06 Jun 2018 8:48 p.m. PST

@UshCha, The DD-tanks didn't turn willingly broadside to the swell, they were turned broadside but the wind and wave action.

Also can you give me more info on that Sgt. Hollis? I don't remember hearing of him and haven't been able to find any info on him on the internet or in any of my books. What Division was he in? I assume he was suppose to have been on Omaha beach as on Utah there was no problem moving off the beach.

jdginaz06 Jun 2018 9:31 p.m. PST

Orders given and troops doing what they are told, because its a cake walk, no enemy action.

Since the German armor had been shelling them before thee move, and during the move they were expecting to be shot at calling it a "cake walk" would be very unrealistic.

… the idea that the Hunt the Tiger is unfair to the Chain of Command rules is absurd.

No, what is absurd is your inability or more likely unwillingness to understand why it is unfair.

Since your posting on running your fury scenario there have been some 23 distinct individuals who have posted on this thread and not one of them has supported you in your belief that it was a proper scenario for testing how CoC works. In fact all but a couple have expressed their disagreement. It might due you some good to consider that fact.

UshCha06 Jun 2018 10:52 p.m. PST

He was a Brit.

link

The account of the tanks was that they sank as they turned to reach their target as they had drifted downwind, in turning thay came broaside to the waves and in the inclement conditions were swamped.

jdginaz06 Jun 2018 11:06 p.m. PST

That explains why I couldn't find a reference to him in my sources on the landings on Omaha :)

Thanks for the link.

jdginaz07 Jun 2018 12:30 a.m. PST

That explains why I couldn't find a reference to him in my sources on the landings on Omaha :)

kevanG07 Jun 2018 9:10 a.m. PST

"Kevan, you know you need to roll a 2 before you can lie down, and a 3 if you want to try and eat the cracker in the same turn?"

I am a senior leader, I have 3 activations on a 4 so I can build up a 4 from the other dice not a four.

The alternate turn thing means I either get the cracker or the tea , and my opponent gets what I leave in his turn

Basha Felika08 Jun 2018 12:30 a.m. PST

Kevan, but that's so unrealistic, especially when you have to roll dice to determine how far the tea moves twixt cup and lip.

Now, in BA, you can not only have both the tea and the cracker (though all accounts clearly state that it would be a Rich Tea – ok, the brand isn't stated but I just KNOW it was a Rich Tea, so it must be true), but your squad could also brew up the tea, even if the random drawing of chits means they might brew up AFTER you've drunk the tea, but we'll ignore that rather inconvenient fact and hope no-one notices.

Oh, did I mention there's another set of really accurate and popular rules that would allow you to choose between 3 different types of tea…much more realistic…

Keith Talent08 Jun 2018 5:17 a.m. PST

Actually I have considerable experience as a professional tea drinker, and I'm going to run a comparison between the time it takes to drink the tea both with and without the cracker.
Except I'm not going to use tea, I'm going to use coffee.

Basha Felika08 Jun 2018 7:39 a.m. PST

Keith, completely meaningless: to be a proper comparison I'd substitute Guinness and a small bowl of pasta.

TacticalPainter0108 Jun 2018 8:53 a.m. PST

Orders given and troops doing what they are told, because its a cake walk, no enemy action.

It's dawned on me that VVV has been looking at this from the wrong angle. The CoC activation and movement rolls don't reflect MacDonald's perspective and decisions, in CoC they reflect the viewpoint of his commander, in other words, you the gamer.

Look at it this way. You, the gamer are not playing MacDonald, you are playing his commander. You want his unit to advance along either side of the road towards the village (‘orders given'). In CoC terms I will activate the leader and have them move normally (‘troops doing what they are told'j. I roll 2D6 and roll 12. As I haven't designated a specific end point for the move (they are just heading in the direction of the village) I watch from a distance as they move off at a brisk pace covering the 12" rapidly. In game terms the leader (MacDonald) has followed orders and moved his men forward. As the commander I've watched them move off at a quick pace in the direction ordered. I'm pleased, the advance is moving well.

The next phase they activate again and continue to move towards the village as ordered. This time the move roll is only 5. As the commander I watch the men now start to move at a slower pace. I don't know why, I just watch it happen, much as MacDonald's real commander must have done. We've debated the reason MacDonald slowed the pace, but we've no doubt he did do it, furthermore he did so without orders. So his commander (you, the gamer) simply watched it happen with no apparent reason.

I think it would be safe to assume he thinks there's a good reason, after all, MacDonald is an experienced officer.

The point is MacDonald's commander, who ordered the attack, doesn't see it progress at a steady rate, movement varies. MacDonald gets there in the end and there's no enemy activity. It's a cake walk (with the benefit of hindsight) but if you translate it into game mechanics, it was a series of moves, let's call them phases, where the unit acting under orders moved at varying speed. Whatever reason MacDonald had for slowing down doesn't really matter because what he does do is give us compelling first hand evidence that this sort of thing did happen even in the absence of enemy activity.

siggian08 Jun 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

I should point out that just because a unit does not activate in a phase, it doesn't necessarily mean that the men in the unit did literally nothing. All it means is whatever they did had no meaningful effect.

Maybe in that phase where they weren't activated, a couple of guys popped off a couple of rushed shots, a few more reloaded, maybe a guy ducked after a bullet creased his jacket, and so on. Or say they were advancing across a field and then did not activate. It could be a random shot rang out and they dropped to one knee. Now they're looking for the origin of the shot and trying to determine whether it was meant for them and whether they can still advance. There's all kinds of reasons a unit might not activate (do anything).

So basically if a unit did nothing effective, they effectively did nothing.

Teppsta08 Jun 2018 3:29 p.m. PST

"Hunt the Tiger" scenario.

Even if you accept that all the infantry "sat around" while the tanks went to it, I can't find any way a CoC scenario would ever give the 30+ support points required to field 5 Shermans.

So it is not a valid test of CoC as it is not even possible to field the forces used within the context of the rules as published.

Verily08 Jun 2018 4:05 p.m. PST

Is it possible for the "Hunt the Tiger" scenario be posted up somehow? I wouldn't mind trying it with various rulesets as well.

VVV reply08 Jun 2018 10:53 p.m. PST

Even if you accept that all the infantry "sat around" while the tanks went to it, I can't find any way a CoC scenario would ever give the 30+ support points required to field 5 Shermans.

Of course (as has been pointed out) neither would Bolt Action. That is the point, the scenario defines both the troops and the situation. After that, its just play the rules. Then you can see the differences between the two sets.
So it is not a valid test of CoC as it is not even possible to field the forces used within the context of the rules as published.

Yep that view has already been posted and shot down in flames but of course you can post it again if you like. It would still not make it true.
Totally get it. You get that it's a bad test, right? And you get why?

Its a great test and did what it was supposed to do highlight the differences between the rules. What more could you ask for?
Also, the Shermans want to do more than just shoot. They also want to disperse, and move such that the Tiger is forced to put at least one of the Shermans into its side (or ideally rear) arc, where its armor is weaker.

Oh my. Let me help you there. Under CoC there is no point in moving the Shermans (except to present their front armour to the enemy). On the table they would be 240 inches away from the Tiger and dead long before they got there. Also no point in getting round the flank because in CoC the Tigers flank armour is the same as the front. That is why activating the gunner is the only thing that the tanks need do. Everything else is pointless.
You are capable of conceding the fact the Chain of Command is not designed as an armor-vs-armor game, right? You recognize that the intent behind the rules is to simulate infantry actions, yes?

Yes this was discussed early on, both sets of rules are designed to do that. The scenario is equally unfair to both sets. The rules for both Shermans and Tigers (and other stuff) are in both sets. As said earlier.
Since your posting on running your fury scenario there have been some 23 distinct individuals who have posted on this thread and not one of them has supported you in your belief that it was a proper scenario for testing how CoC works.

Read the story of the Emperors New Clothes, lots of people thinking something which is not true as true, is possibly a feature of humans. Now refusing to believe evidence is harder to fathom.
VVV would give the impression each phase of CoC is some sort of crazed random dice fest. Like most of his comments, this is far from the truth. The previous post puts it into much better perspective.

Well 400+ dice rolled in CoC, compared to 23 under BA, certianly does give that impression. It has been said that after rolling the dice in CoC, you get to make choices. But you get to make the same choices in BA, without rolling the dice. Possibly the principle difference between CoC and BA. But as I have said, you could play CoC without rolling for unit activation's, certainly saving time and probably more realistic to do it that way.

TacticalPainter0109 Jun 2018 12:48 a.m. PST

Ah, I get it now, CoC is an unrealistic dice game played by people with no clothes on. Who would have thought?

Keith Talent09 Jun 2018 1:52 a.m. PST

"Under CoC there is no point in moving the Shermans (except to present their front armour to the enemy). On the table they would be 240 inches away from the Tiger and dead long before they got there. Also no point in getting round the flank because in CoC the Tigers flank armour is the same as the front. That is why activating the gunner is the only thing that the tanks need do. Everything else is pointless."
( I suspect you meant yards rather inches).

And that doesn't give you tiniest clue that your choice of scenario might have been a poor one?
Far from being "shot down in flames" many many individuals have shown why it was unsuitable, and you have ignored their responses where it hasn't suited you. Being totally selective in your arguments is not persuasive, merely tedious and predictable.
Even if CoC and BA were armour centric rulesets, which they most certainly are not, it would be a terrible comparison, an event which NEVER took place, (you were aware Fury is fiction?) an event not even based on history, – there are only single figure examples of US Sherman's encountering Tiger Is in NWE, and none them occur in the open, on a clear day with no infantry or artillery support, at ranges less than 300 metres.
Using an armour scenario to compare these 2 sets and then spending hours defending your poor choice has achieved nothing other than make you appear foolish.
Look, VVV, we understand ok? You've spent 6 pages digging yourself into a hole, and you probably realise this ( I hope), but you are obviously a person who hates admitting they are wrong, nonetheless,do yourself and everyone else a favour and admit it, because all you are achieving is depicting yourself as a laughing stock.

VVV reply09 Jun 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

The link to the Hunt the Tiger scenario
link
Basically 4 Shermans (one a 76) ambushed by a single Tiger, behind a hedge 800 yards away. Taken from the film, Fury.

( I suspect you meant yards rather inches).

Nope the range is 800 yards = 240 inches in CoC.
And that doesn't give you tiniest clue that your choice of scenario might have been a poor one?
Far from being "shot down in flames" many many individuals have shown why it was unsuitable

No it happened to work brilliantly, really showing up the differences between the 2 sets. From the length of time taken (3 times as long under CoC), number of dice rolled (400 in CoC, 23 in BA) and the inability of the Shermans (except the 76) to do damage to the Tiger, compared to the comparative ease of the Shermans destroying the Tiger under BA. And all facts, no opinions needed. As we have seen opinions can be completely wrong.
Look, VVV, we understand ok? You've spent 6 pages digging yourself into a hole, and you probably realise this ( I hope), but you are obviously a person who hates admitting they are wrong, nonetheless,do yourself and everyone else a favour and admit it, because all you are achieving is depicting yourself as a laughing stock.

Unfortunately, you are wrong. What I have shown is reality. That you don't like it is your problem not mine.
We have seen that CoC is need dice heavy (oh boy is it, 17x the number of dice rolled compared to BA), that you have to roll the right numbers to get any of your units to do anything and that it is a slower game than BA. Those are facts that cannot be argued with.
Now you have a view, I accept that, the fact that you have been wrong with most of what you have posted, should wake you up. I suggest you start making some real points. Something to contribute to the differences of the rules perhaps. Or what you could do is run your own scenario, report back how it went and then you and I could compare it. After all a set of rules is a set of rules, it should work the same regardless of who plays it. And anyone can of course play Hunt the Tiger and see how it goes for them.
There is nothing in the slightest "out of the ordinary" about a platoon leader in action (within 150 yards of the enemy, so we are talking about close quarters) not being able to control his men with absolutely certainty that his every demand is being met instantly.

The fact that a platoon commander says to a squad leader "move round the flank of those buildings and put down covering fire" does not mean that he knows precisely how long it will take to make that movement nor does he know precisely when the covering fire will begin. He has this as a central plan, but he cannot say "Aha, I know Squad One will be putting down fire in exactly two minutes time, so I will send Squad Two on their manoeuvre in 121 seconds".


And I am going to disagree. That is what watches are for, so that everyone can co-ordinate their actions, even if they are out of sight.
To suggest that such delays never happen, that troops can operate at a predictable metronomic rate of movement and that the platoon commander will be aware of what is happening at all times and can rely on his men to act according to what he wants, even though at times he will not be in line of sight of them and has no way to tell them what he wants is, frankly, utterly ludicrous.

And that is precisely my point, to imagine problems that don't exist is silly (utterly ludicrous, if you prefer).
One way of doing it imagines problems that don't exist, the other ignores the non-combat problems that are said to exist). So the big question is what creates the most realistic rules for the player to experience.
Lets go to p.100 of Chain of Command, the platoon in the attack. There the commander plans to flank the enemy, suppress them with fire, assault and over-run them. I see no reason that a player should not do the same, without having to bother to roll dice to see whether their troops can do anything that phase.
On movement. I suggest you go somewhere quiet. Set a point A and a point B. Time yourself and see after doing it a number of times if you really find that your times taken vary by a factor of 6. In fact the times should be about the same. Hence the view of the standard move, varied by the terrain crossed. That is your norm, and you don't need to roll dice for it.
By using such primary sources, combined with reading historical accounts to confirm that this was really the way in which men fought, we can build up a picture of the tactics of the period. This in turn guides us to produce rules which allow the strengths and weaknesses of the various forces to be reflect(sic) in our games.

A laudable aim but how does introducing imaginary factors (such as unknown reasons for units doing nothing) fit into the idea of an historical game?
Would not a more historical approach to gaming WW2 see all units given orders (from an Orders Group), then carry them out until stopped by enemy action or being given a change of orders. Then the more troops you have the more capable of over-whelming the enemy those extra troops, instead of as in CoC being limited in what your units can do by the rolling of some dice?
And the solution? simply allow every unit in CoC to do a basic activation every phase, with extra actions being ordered by leaders using their command initiatives.

siggian09 Jun 2018 6:16 a.m. PST

You realize that by having each unit activate in CoC, you are turning that game into UGOIGO. Most modern rules have moved awy from that style because it is slow and seems to less simulate the chaos of war.

VVV reply09 Jun 2018 6:28 a.m. PST

You realize that by having each unit activate in CoC, you are turning that game into UGOIGO.

I thought it already was (as of course is BA). The difference being that in CoC, all of the forces (that can activate) get to do their thing, followed by the other side.
It is the most horrible way to do IGoUGo but not my choice of course.
And just to remind folks, in BA activation is from blind selection from a container, but you do get to pick the unit you are going to activate.
And of course IGoUGo is incredibly popular as a rules system, both players can understand whats going on and get on with their 'go' without involving the other player. Flames of War another popular IGoUGo system?
Most modern rules have moved awy from that style because it is slow and seems to less simulate the chaos of war.

Add in over-watch and I think it works well. The enemy gets to move/shoot with their units and your side gets to respond. An enemy unit that keeps on pushing forward on its own will soon die.
Mind you the most interesting suggestion I was had was an over-watch responding to an over-watch. To which my reply was, then you have an over-watch responding to the over-watch, responding to an over-watch…. nah lets not do that.
Oh and could we know what 'most modern rules' those are? Its just getting back to facts, rather than opinions.

VVV reply09 Jun 2018 8:37 a.m. PST

It's dawned on me that VVV has been looking at this from the wrong angle. The CoC activation and movement rolls don't reflect MacDonald's perspective and decisions, in CoC they reflect the viewpoint of his commander, in other words, you the gamer.

And at the beginning of all this I thought Chain of Command would make a good set for a solo gamer, not everything you want to happen is going to happen.
Yes I could buy into that, you are just watching the action, not participating in it. If only the player was not telling their units phase by phase what to do.
The player as an observer would make more sense if your troops were given initial orders then carried on with them until they were forced (enemy action) to stop, or their superior command (player) got a change of orders to them.
Interesting idea but of course has nothing to do with the differences between how the two rule sets work.

Borderguy19009 Jun 2018 4:35 p.m. PST

Only thing I learned from this thread is I am stifling VVV. Geez I feel down this hole…

jdginaz09 Jun 2018 6:41 p.m. PST

BTY I went back and looked over your little test scenario and noticed a few interesting things.

By only using the Senior Leader to only activate one other Sherman instead of two you missed three additional shots they could have taken.

You activated the Tiger one time when you shouldn't have.

Your rolls of strikes vs. saves were pretty heavy in favor of the Tiger

Not moving the Shermans made it easier for them to be hit. (Moving flat out -1 to hit and they could have moved into cover making them harder to hit.

So an inappropriate scenario poorly run.

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