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"How restricting movement for squads/sections" Topic

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1,345 hits since 13 Mar 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Last Hussar14 Mar 2018 4:21 p.m. PST

I'm revisiting my 'Delayed Resolution' rules.

I'm still using card activation. At the moment I am thinking 1 card for 'Junior Platoon leader' – the sergeant, one for the senior leader – Lieutenant, and one for each section.

What should sections not ordered by a leader, ie activating on their card not the leaders, be able to do movement wise. (firing etc will always be allowed)

I'm thinking possibly having 'classes'
A – move as long as they start or end in a leaders radius
B – move as long as they start in leaders radius
C – Must Start AND end in radius.

Leaders will be able to move with troops on the section card, but not use any 'leader' abilities.

Radius will be 3cm – a base width

If there are Scout groups a unit can always move to that if the group doesn't move.


Pizzagrenadier14 Mar 2018 5:38 p.m. PST

I think at the least it should be based on whether they are attacker or defender.

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member14 Mar 2018 9:39 p.m. PST

Pizzagrenadier +1

Also think about:

If moved previous turn, keep moving because nobody told them to stop. Or at least move to nearest cover in the same direction as previous move.

If didn't move last turn, don't move now because nobody told them to start.

Move towards (closest?) leader.

Move same as the closest guys to them are moving.

Martin Rapier14 Mar 2018 11:03 p.m. PST

The three classes in the OP are those used in Crossfire, and they work fine.

Irl, with WW2 mass conscript Armies, about the best the platoon CO could hope for was either "walk slowly forwards until someone shoots at you" or "follow me".

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2018 5:13 a.m. PST

I guess it depends how complicated you want to get; the reaction of men to fire can get quite tricky. For example, every squad should be given an order at the beginning of the game, and they should try to fulfill that order until told otherwise, or morale/combat forces them to rethink the order and/or go into a self preservation mode. If the order is to advance and seize the farm house, the troops will do so until they come under fire. At that point the troops will go to ground and available cover. They may never leave cover until ordered to move forward or to fall back. This will be impacted by training and doctrine, as a squad of peasant Russian conscripts may be more than happy to remain in cover, a group of well trained and highly motivated soldiers may start thinking about how they are going to overcome the obstacle in front of them.

Andy ONeill15 Mar 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

I would suggest no effective leadership = no move.
In combat terms anyhow.
Elites have more effective leaders. They're volunteers, high motivation and their training emphasises freedom to take intiative. Maybe they're quite prone to acting without or even despite orders.

The theoretical sub sections a number of armies manuals described just didn't work well in practice.
For most regular units.
If you sent some part of a squad/section off expectng initiative then you were going to be disappointed.

Thomas Thomas15 Mar 2018 7:09 a.m. PST

Except for some elite units WWII mass armies were "platoon" based and rarely maneuvered independently below that level. Russian perhaps due to small size of companies and chronic understrength units could go with companies as the atomic unit.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame and Glory Games

Andy ONeill15 Mar 2018 8:47 a.m. PST

My father described platoon combat movement as "the three legged beast".
Two legs down, the other moves.
But it's all one beast.
You don't just send one of your legs off somewhere.

Last Hussar15 Mar 2018 3:49 p.m. PST

Good answers so far – thanks guys, even the ones that may contradict another – both are good

The 'Three Legs' is more a tactic than a reaction from how I understand it.

Bit of an explanation.

I started writing these rules – a revit themselves of a set I'd written early 90s (!) and then I discovered 'I aint been shot Mum' and "Troops Weapons and tactics", both by TFL, and mine fell by the wayside.

HOWEVER. I do like the idea I was originally trying for (In these, not the 90s set), that you really don't know how your men are going to react – hence the delayed resolution.

The idea of this is that "Fire Points" from shooting are marked on the unit, but not resolved until the unit is activated.

At that point the player declares what the unit is going to do. The FP on each base are then resolved. The 'Hit' number is variable based on the action declared – so a unit that tries to move is more vulnerable than one that is content to fire.

This is to annoy BOTH players!

Owning player – "I'll move them forward – Bleeped text, they are suppressed" – ie he is planning but the unit really isn't up for it!

Other Player – "I've put a lot of fire on that position, should be good to assault"
[Lucky target die rolling]
Oh Bleeped text – they aren't actually suppressed!"

The reason these fell by the wayside was I found the Lardies who were also trying to put 'Friction' in.

SO what I'm looking at here is units not activated by a leader – what would they do?

The four orders that can be given on Activation are
Move, Fire, Hunker Down, Rally
Hunker Down is the one with the highest 'To Hit' number- ie the unit does nothing other than try to lose its Fire Points with as little affect as possible.
Rally is trying to reduce the status from Suppress -> Pin -> Ok
Fire is … well duh!
All of those the Corporal can do (i.e the section/squad leader).

Move is the easiest to hit – there is a 1 in 12 chance of the worst result coming up (Hunker down its a 1:36) because it means men actually exposing themselves.

Its back to that 'Friction' – if a Lt or Sgt isn't shouting at them, what would they do?

Basically – what would the Cpl do? (Cpls not individually represented)
I'm thinking
If in the Open – Move to Cover
Move towards a Leader
Join up with other parts of the same squad/section.

Possibly my OP is what can the Leader order? So I'm splitting the post now!

I'm a big fan of limiting what the Coy commander can order – make the units act for their own reaction.

Martin Rapier17 Mar 2018 1:23 a.m. PST

How subunits respond will depend on what they understand their mission to be and what they are trained to do.

The default reaction of almost all troops who come under effective fire is to stop, take cover and shoot back (or just stop). Once they stop, it is hard to get them going again.

Even dead hard super elite gung ho Paras (read some of the accounts of Goose Green) let alone hastily trained conscripts. In the assault on Periers Ridge on D Day, both lead companies hit the deck under a few bursts of MG fire from a handful of Polish gunners fighting for the Germans, and it took the regimental CO walking up and down the line to get them moving again, even the officers.

Otherwise they will either keep walking towards their objective (if attacking) or sit in their slit trenches covering their arcs (if not attacking).

Last Hussar17 Mar 2018 2:24 a.m. PST

The problem has always been how to programme Little Tin Troops in a way that isn't too cumbersome for the table, especially at company and below level.

In these rules when you fire you don't resolve the effect immediately. You mark the number of fire points on the unit. When the unit is activated it then resolves the FP, with the hit chance dependant on the action the player announces, so if the unit is activated and the power announces Move the FP are resolved on 4+, but fire on 5+.

I've put in a "advanced" (optional) rule that stops certain actions being declared depending on the amount of Fire Points waiting to be resolved.

Wolfhag17 Mar 2018 9:07 a.m. PST

Here's what I'm using:
When an infantry unit comes under fire it can react by hitting the deck and Hunker Down (safer but cannot shoot back), hit the deck and return fire, withdraw (automatic) or advance under fire (requires passing an aggressiveness check).

The results of small arms fire take place after 5 turns allowing a "volume of fire" to be utilized so and the results are not determined immediately so it is somewhat of a delayed resolution.

Failing an aggressiveness check lowers the unit's aggressiveness rating. As a unit takes more suppression and fails aggressiveness checks it will be very hard to get the unit to advance in the face of enemy fire. Leaders can influence aggressiveness.

Withdrawing out of enemy LOS allows a unit to recover their aggressiveness level and recover from suppression. This makes it more playable to conduct a fighting withdraw.

Suppression has the effect of making units less aggressive, react slower, shoot worse but take fewer causalities (spending more time ducking than shooting back). Players can "self-suppress" to limit causalities and still return fire but take fewer causalities.

Hunkering Down will protect you from all small arms direct fire and allow recovery from suppression but you cannot shoot back so you are giving the enemy the initiative.

Leaders can influence the aggressiveness check but will have a chance of becoming a causality. Use them wisely.


Last Hussar17 Mar 2018 10:36 a.m. PST

I'll look at incorporating some of that, thanks.

What I'm looking at is how squads not under fire should be allowed to move. Ideally there would be orders but I don't really want to bog the game down with 'are they fulfilling them?'

Defenders are easy- must stay where they are, unless a leader orders then to move.

I'll go and type a few things up (on tablet at the mo, so touch screen) and come back to you all.

Last Hussar17 Mar 2018 1:44 p.m. PST

SO Thoughts –
Defenders are placed at the start of the game [there will be rules for hidden/blinds for both Attackers and defenders – that's not what this thread is about though]
A unit in defence may not move (?or move with in a set boundary/radius??) except to reposition if threatened (allied to 'within set radius') unless specifically ordered to do so.
A leader in defence may move freely between his units.
A Leader in defence may be ordered to reposition his platoon by the Coy CO (the player). To do this when activated he may take no action that turn, and the platoon is still on Defend orders. On the next turn units in that platoon may now move towards their new location following the rules for ‘Attacking' units, until they reach their new location, at which point they revert to Defend orders

(NB a unit is a section/squad equivalent. It is made of 2-4(ish) bases, each representing 2-4 men. So a British Infanty unit is 1 LMG and 2 rifle bases. These are organised into ‘Platoons, under 1 (?or 2 leaders- Lt and Sgt). The player's force is a number of platoons. The player – Coy Commander is not represented on table)
Those not motivated by a Leader (ie activating on their car being drawn, not because a Leader has been activated ) may only
If out of command move towards a Leader.
If in the Open may move towards the nearest piece of cover that doesn't take them closer to the enemy whether in command or not.
If out of command continue to move in a straight line if moved last activation and initial move was ordered by a leader
The other actions – Fire, Rally, Hunker Down – are always available

On a Leader's activation all units under him may activate whether in command or not
Any unit in command (ie close to a leader) may Move

So they can only start moving if Platoon leader told them too. Once they do they can only go in the direction ordered (some latitude to be given its okay to detour slightly to stay in cover). If they are stopped for any reason (pinned, break for cover) then they can't start moving again until remotivated by the leader.

Wolfhag17 Mar 2018 3:13 p.m. PST

Last Hussar,
Regards to how and when can a squad not under fire move.

Personally, I'd look at what their mission orders are.

Are they on a patrol? Are they moving to contact? What happens when they make contact? If attacking do they perform fire & movement? Attempt to flank? Where is the rally point? When you get a mission these variables are normally addressed ahead of time or handled by training SOP. Training drills you to perform actions without "waiting" to be activated.

I'd think the Platoon Leader would give the mission orders and Squad Leaders figure out the best way to accomplish the mission. If it gets bogged down the Platoon Leader / Sergeant can evaluate and change mission orders or get the troops to keep moving to accomplish their mission orders.

I don't consider units being activated or not if on a mission they don't need to be continually "activated" unless friction or the enemy decides otherwise. Once they accomplish their mission they use their initiative or wait for new orders.


Andy ONeill17 Mar 2018 4:25 p.m. PST

Ww2 companies had missions.
Anything below that followed orders. Largely speaking anyhow.

A squad leader in a modern squad has totally utterly different training and motivation to a ww2 squad leader.
Most people in charge of ww2 squads wouldn't really be leaders in modern terms.
Advice from modern professional soldiers might seem "realistic" but it isn't. Not for ww2.

Last Hussar17 Mar 2018 6:18 p.m. PST

The Activation by card draw isn't so much being told what to do, its more the discrete period of time that unit is active and doing what ever its been told/trained etc to do, because no game can be simultaneous: it is the point in the game when we concentrate on them, and if 'a' went before 'b', well for that minute or two they happened to be a bit more on the ball, or just reacted quicker.

Wolfhag17 Mar 2018 10:13 p.m. PST

Andy O'Neal,
Could you clarify? Is that a generalized statement or are there examples?

I was early 1970's with mostly WW2 equipment and tactics. We didn't do any of the MOUT training as they do now but patrolling and fire & maneuver don't seem to have changed much from reading the manuals.

I admit training, equipment, and personnel is much better than what we had. However, the Rifle Platoon has pretty much stayed the same since 1943 until changes they are making now.


Wolfhag17 Mar 2018 10:33 p.m. PST

Last Hussar,
Are your game turns abstracted or a finite amount of time?

I agree about Platoons operating together so Squad Leaders always have their teams within sight and the PL always has some type of control over his Squad Leaders (or attempts to). Things start breaking down when each echelon loses C&C.

I'd expect it would be hard to "activate" them or advance under fire but probably pretty easy to get them to fall back to safety and regroup.

While I don't use activations I get the same result by needing a Leader to get a unit to move under fire again or if they are pinned down. I've tweaked my attrition to be easy to suppress but hard to kill unless caught int he open or ambush.

Sending Squads off on their own might be just for patrols or some type of limited recon. If tactical we'd use a skirmish or Vee formation to move sort of like a bounding overwatch between squads trying to keep everyone in sight.


Andy ONeill18 Mar 2018 2:25 a.m. PST


If you want examples read Wigram's report, I think Martin Rapier published this version:

That describes what was happening in british infantry units in 43. Platoons often split into two rather than three. Even then, one essentially just sits there and provides covering fire. ( Arguably Requiring no leadership) At best it's a two leader based platoon with only one ( The lt ) exercising any decision making. The lt leads his men into assaults. The sergeant can be trusted to control the fire base of brens. Nobody can really be trusted to wander around doing stuff unless the lt is there telling them where to go.

This is not what the manuals say.
If you read them they have individuals sneaking about one by one across fields and all sorts of clever stuff.
You might wonder how come that's in the manual but not real world practice.
It wasn't taught.

My father went through infantry training twice in the UK, again in India and then taught it there.
He said they didn't use those manuals. "Initiative" from enlisted men? Not considered to be a great plan.
These are largely speaking conscripts.
( Dad volunteered but that was very unusual ).
Bear in mind his India training was for the chindits and was equivalent to special forces.
He caught Malaria and (luckily for him and me) was transferred out just before they flew into combat.

ww2 patrols were usually led by an officer.

There's also a US report somewhere you could look for if you're keen.
The US army had large squads and they included sub units. One of these were "scouts".
The original idea being these wandered off and scoped out the ground / enemy then reported back.
In practice the scouts wandered off and just became ineffective without leadership. The advice in the report is not to use scouts in regular units.
It's a while since I read that and I'm afraid I don't have a link.

Last Hussar18 Mar 2018 11:28 a.m. PST

ANdy – the LArdies site has a post on it somewhere describing what you've just said. Junior officer (ie LTs) casualties where disproportionate because they would lead the Rifles in assaults, while the Brens would be grouped under the Sgt to provide the fire base.

It is more how to replicate the average PBI lack of willingness to the table without complicated rules. The theory and practise is fine, but how do we do that for figures without bogging down.

Northern Front Inactive Member19 Mar 2018 11:31 a.m. PST

I would disagree that platoon leaders always have squads or fire teams in their immediate command radius. It was very common for platoon leaders to send squads well forward to take a building, for example, while platoon HQ held back to direct support weapon fire. Teams and squads had to act independently at many points as they could not remain in eye or voice contact through urban environments or even normandy hedgerow territory.

I think it is also important to note, that some nationalities operated pretty well outside of direct leadership and could act independently… while other nations, using conscripts and such, had to keep the heat on their men at every turn.

Last Hussar19 Mar 2018 2:44 p.m. PST

The question is how to enact that on the table – I don't really want to resort to written orders every time a group is sent forward, hence

"If out of command continue to move in a straight line if moved last activation and initial move was ordered by a leader"

Northern Front Inactive Member19 Mar 2018 6:56 p.m. PST

So, what I've done in the past is give a pool of activation points for the turn, based on an orders roll. The better the roll the more activation points a player receives for that turn. A smaller part of that pool may be used for independent actions outside of command radius. Units inside command radius also receive a small bonus to their activations via a leadership bonus. This gives the motivation required for units to stay in command radius but also gives some flexibility to move outside of command radius.

Last Hussar20 Mar 2018 4:07 p.m. PST

Heres the thing

Platoon leader says to squad "Capture that barn."
The direct route is across an open field, but it is perfectly valid for squad to follow hedge line to the barn (ie the other 3 sides of the rectangle)
So we allow this

Halfway up the 'long edge' (that parallels the direct route) the player realises the squad would be better off 20cm to the side as the enemy is outflanking, but the squad can't see that.

The squad is told to go to the barn. How do we stop the player moving to the side, despite not being the order WITHOUT resorting to written orders.

The squad reaches the barn. Under what circumstance can they be moved?

Now British platoons, at least, had runners so you could say a runner arrived, but its all about stopping instantaneous reaction.

Typing that last paragraph I am thinking 1 unit that is out of Radius can receive a new order on a roll of 'x' during the Lt turn

Andy ONeill21 Mar 2018 4:16 a.m. PST

I use a variant of stargrunt2.
Leaders have actions and squads have actions.
Communicating is an action – and gets harder the further away etc. ( In my variant ).
Use your action to tell a squad something and you can't then do other stuff.

Wolfhag31 Mar 2018 9:55 p.m. PST

Andy ONeill,
I finally got around to reading that report. Fascinating from the viewpoint my knowledge of the British Army in WWII is pretty slim.

It seems like their experience was similar to other armies in the fact that 80% of the fighting was done by 20% of the men and leadership was most important.

I think a lot of guys would let others fight if they didn't have to but that does not mean they are completely ineffective or won't follow along and give some support.

The one unknown factor in reports like these is the motivation on both sides and their intent on carrying out an attack or defending a piece of terrain. When you hear reports of Germans falling back easily is that because of their poor quality and leadership or because they are conducting a fighting withdraw or just the outposts and it was their mission to fall back after putting up some fight. How intent are the attackers in carrying out their attack and how hard are they being pushed? These are unknown variables.

In our games we'll take 80% causalities in a single attack while in real life 5% might be enough to stall an attack.

Sometimes infantry is the main assault force and other times their main responsibility is to help identify enemy positions for the supporting arms to pound.

In the game I'm working on I don't want the scenario to break down into a long range attrition firefight so I give players options to avoid that but still

I don't see any reason for defending screening forces to fall back to alternate defensive positions and then conduct a counterattack with their reserves. There's no reason for an attacking infantry formation to hunker down and wait for a mortar barrage or other supporting arms to soften up the defenses. That's what combined arms combat is all about it isn't it?

I think attackers could react differently depending on terrain and range too.

To try to get back on the topic; maybe the choices the squad makes on their path depends on an urgency or being cautious.


Andy ONeill01 Apr 2018 2:25 a.m. PST

Brains and bullets by Leo Murray gives multipliers for psychological effects like being near a leader

VVV reply Inactive Member02 Apr 2018 2:25 a.m. PST

I'm still using card activation.

I would not bother.
If you want to think about what leaders can do, then so long as they are within range to issue new orders they can do so. Once a unit has been given its orders it continues to follow them until enemy action intervenes.
Example, a unit has been told to advance, it continues to advance until attacked, then it either sorts out the attack on its own or waits for something to happen to allow it to continue.
The question is how to enact that on the table – I don't really want to resort to written orders every time a group is sent forward, hence

Don't, have a few simple orders which give a range of actions to a unit. Once given, those are the unit orders. They continue with them until changed or as a result of enemy action (which could be an artillery strike).
I don't see any reason for defending screening forces to fall back to alternate defensive positions and then conduct a counterattack with their reserves.

It would be done to preserve the unit. Maybe the odds it was facing would be hopeless and if it stayed in position it would be overrun.
The squad is told to go to the barn. How do we stop the player moving to the side, despite not being the order WITHOUT resorting to written orders.

We as the players see it all. If the direct route is safe then the player will more the troops direct to the barn. If not the troops will take the 'safe' route. You can avoid that by having hidden unit markers, so you don't know where the enemy is, just where they may be.
In our games we'll take 80% causalities in a single attack while in real life 5% might be enough to stall an attack.

Indeed its amazing how many unrealistic rules are out there :)

Blutarski02 Apr 2018 2:56 p.m. PST

Thanks for posting the Wigram document. Interesting reading.


Andy ONeill03 Apr 2018 2:25 a.m. PST

I've often wondered if what Wigram saw in practice was worse than he put in writing.
His report is explosive stuff.
Anything he put in it would be questioned and he'd have to substantiate it.

Last Hussar03 Apr 2018 2:39 p.m. PST

Re Card Activation- I'm not using it 'no matter what' – I like the mechanic, but I'm not wedded to it. I just feel it gives that feel of men acting not as one big block. 'Big Block' is good for high level pre 20th Century, but this is the 'dash-stop-shoot' feel. I like the dice activation in CoC. I don't think low level WW2 onwards suits IGOUGO.

As to casualties (unrelated- I haven't mentioned them) I am moving away from 'kills'. I think Black Powder does it right. I believe that rather than 'casualty/figure' removal units should have a 'break point' – 'kills' DO NOT mean dead people. To me, as much as I like CoC, I don't like the 'kill' mechanism. It needs to be understood that 'kill' means 'ineffective'. The section can be full strength, but most of the men are too scared.

VVV reply Inactive Member07 Apr 2018 1:53 p.m. PST

I don't think low level WW2 onwards suits IGOUGO.

Actually seems a perfect representation. Each group of men/AFV moving fighting as they can, rather than the 'big blocks'.
Dice/cards may be liked but they have nothing to do with reality. Of course that does not stop the mechanic from making a fun game. Monopoly is and has been very popular.
I agree, a kill means that figure/vehicle simply is not making a contribution to the battle any more. Realistically someone should be looking after the wounded but really does not make a difference to the battle and do we want to game it?
Unit strengths of course most rules use the organisation strengths. Bolt Action is different in that you start off with a minimum and can add more to the unit. My rules allow players to tweak units by adding or removing figures using basic points values.
Officers work differently in different armies. In the German, NCOS were given great leeway. Japanese officers were supposed to supervise operations directly. I think in all armies there were situations where officers (or just bold individuals) were needed to make things happen.
Most armies doctrine seemed to say that all of the squad members should be in communication with the squad leader.

Wolfhag09 Apr 2018 9:35 a.m. PST

I'm not sure what you mean by "low-level WWII" but if it means vehicles in a 1:1 relationship IGOUGO can present some real problems for opportunity fire.

I look at opportunity fire (firing at a moving vehicle) as a time and reaction problem. That means it needs to interact with the games time scale and reaction/spotting rules as moving and firing timing needs to be synchronized.

In a low level 1:1 vehicle game you could use turns that equal 10 seconds. That interacts well with a typical guns RoF of 6 rounds per minute and allows a vehicle moving at 32kph to move just under than 100m.

While not perfect it would eliminate many of the special rules and exceptions that most games must use to simulate opportunity fire in an IGOUGO turn sequence that cannot synchronize movement and firing.

It could work with random firing activations each 10-second turn.

When units fire at each other, you use a randomized or delayed activation sequence. Maybe use a deck of playing cards with the face cards removed. Put a card next to each vehicle that will be firing and fire in order of 1-10. Good crews could be a -2 and poor crews a +2, use other modifiers as desired. Ambushing units always fire first (I like ambushes). That could give a good interaction between firing units with some suspense and Fog of War. You issue a fire order by placing the card but it is randomly delayed.

The firing sequence could be considered each of the 10 turns of firing to be one second apart. On the firing turn, the moving unit is fired at considering it has moved 10% for each turn into the 10 turn sequence of firing. So if it is to move 100m being fired at on turn #8 of the firing sequence means it has actually moved 80m (this syncs up movement and firing) and it may be out of LOS and safe from fire. No special rules needed.

This could also be considered an example of a "Delayed Resolution" as you do not know exactly when a vehicle or gun will fire.

Shoot & Scoot: As soon as a vehicle fires it can start moving. That means a unit that fires on the 3rd turn into the 10 turn firing sequence will be fired at as a moving target for 4-10 firing turns.


Last Hussar09 Apr 2018 6:22 p.m. PST

I would counter that IGOUGO has nothing to do with reality: men sitting there impassively while the enemy manoeuvres with impunity, then moving in concert, knowing they will be unmolested while friends get into position.

Andy ONeill10 Apr 2018 10:22 a.m. PST

I think alternative activation is way better than igougo.
It only takes a few fairly simple rules to cover op fire.
I don't see anything but downside to igougo.

Wolfhag10 Apr 2018 11:43 a.m. PST

In an alternative activation system don't units

sitting there impassively while the enemy manoeuvres with impunity, then moving in concert, knowing they will be unmolested while friends get into position.

as Last Hussar stated?

I think this is most pronounced in larger multi-player games. If you end up activating last you are pretty much hosed.

I think the problem can be somewhat solved with reactions but then the game becomes a series of chain reactions and not real alternative activation.

The main problem is the inability to reflect timing between all units on the table. Timing solves many of the problems created by artificial game mechanics.


Andy ONeill10 Apr 2018 12:03 p.m. PST

No, I don't see that series of chain reactions at all.

Marc at work12 Apr 2018 4:27 a.m. PST

What a great thread – I had missed this before so I am pleased it has continued. I have been looking for rules that simulate my reading of WW2, where orders were often typed out the night before, and troops tried to follow them. There are some great ideas coming out here about how this might be replicated.

Thanks gentlemen. I hope this continues to move forward and generate ideas. What you have been discussing is way better than my initial point of view, which would have involved the attacking units having plans written out, then being stopped by enemy action, and needing an officer to get them started again.

Really enjoying this thread


VVV reply Inactive Member12 Apr 2018 6:26 a.m. PST

I would counter that IGOUGO has nothing to do with reality: men sitting there impassively while the enemy manoeuvres with impunity, then moving in concert, knowing they will be unmolested while friends get into position.

But thats not how an IGoUGo system has to work. The enemy (if it can) reacts to the enemy moving/firing. If they did not, then it would be unrealistic, of course.
I have found alternate sides, activating a unit at a time, with over-watch rules makes for a fast moving game without the imbalance of one army moving then the other (Warhammer style).
When a unit moves/fires the enemy (if they can see them) can react to that and either the activated unit continues with its move, or else is move is stopped. So a lot of movement can be made if the enemy is not reacting or is halted quickly if there is effective enemy fire. As it says in the rules:
Overall the rules use the popular I go then You go (Igo Ugo) system of play. It makes it much easier in terms of player interaction. The main difference is that player cycle through their units rather than getting to move their entire army before the other player takes their turn. So forget huge sweeping advances for one unit (although a unit can do a lot in a turn) but rather an objective can expect to be taken by the actions of several units working in co-operation. Likewise a defence may consist of several units working together which may have to be suppressed before the objective can be attacked.

Of course part of good game play is to decide the order of your unit activation. Both players know what they can do in each phase of the game. So the rule mechanics are clear and simple to follow.
I decided to make a normal soldiers move, 25% of a rifles effective fire range. So all a soldier has to do to reach the enemy is make 4 moves toward them, without being killed/wounded. You can do it in 3 moves on a bicycle!

Wolfhag13 Apr 2018 11:14 a.m. PST

VVV Reply,
I can agree with the way you laid it out with reactions. The only thing that could be out of sync is movement. If you allow an activated unit to move its full movement value in a turn it can be abused.

How? If you outnumber the enemy you can pretty much wait until all of his units are already activated and then activate your moving units to move unmolested. Do you have an exception or rule to cover that?

This is why I suggested all moving units "activate" first by placing some type of movement marker next to them. Now they can be targeted by the enemy during the entire turn. I think that a more fair way to do it.

When an enemy targets a moving unit you can immediately react and provide suppressive fire to cover the friendly movement. The result of the suppressive fire would be determined BEFORE the enemy fires at your moving unit. This would give a fairly good simulation of coordinating fire & maneuver.

I think the way you have infantry movement interact with defensive fire should work well.


VVV reply Inactive Member13 Apr 2018 12:24 p.m. PST

If you outnumber the enemy you can pretty much wait until all of his units are already activated and then activate your moving units to move unmolested. Do you have an exception or rule to cover that?

Yes thought of that one
Once a player has spent one of their units, the other player must activate one of their units until that is spent. If a player has no more units to activate, then other player continues activating their own units, one at a time until they are all spent. The action phase ends when all units are spent.
Note: if when it is a players turn to activate a unit and they have less units remaining to activate than their opponent does, then they may choose not to activate a unit and instead let their opponent do so.

I think the idea of over-watch fire against over-watch fire, could get a bit out of hand. After all you could have over-watch fire against suppressing over-watch fire and so on…
But you cannot (in my rules) over-watch against a target you have not spotted. So it is possible to 'sneak' around the table without being shot at at all, if you do it right.
I think any decent set of rules should be play-tested, as that brings out things that the rule designers did not think of. In our case it resulted in the automatic spotting rule, where a unit within 5 of the enemy (a bit less than a normal infantry move) and also in LOS, or a unit which declares a charge, is automatically spotted. That came about from squad of Japanese infantry that used cover to approach the enemy and charged, all without being spotted as part of the rules as written up til then. So you can get 90% of the way by thinking out the rules but the to get to the final result, they must be play tested.

Wolfhag13 Apr 2018 1:11 p.m. PST

VVV Reply,
Hmmm, sounds like Maneouver Group?


VVV reply Inactive Member13 Apr 2018 2:32 p.m. PST

Sorry Manoeuvre Group nothing to do with me. But they look interesting
But the scope of the period they cover does seem extreme.
UshCha, who helped write them is on this site
TMP link

Wolfhag17 Apr 2018 12:18 p.m. PST

I'm fairly familiar with Maneouver Group and have a copy of it.

I found playtesting with players that are unfamiliar with WWII tactics and other rules can give a completely different viewpoint and I've gotten some of the best feedback from them.


VVV reply Inactive Member20 Apr 2018 1:12 p.m. PST

Well I would go for someone who knows about the period, then they can say if the game has the right 'feel' to it.
Experienced players can also find 'holes' in a set of rules.
I give as an example some players at the club were playing an ACW board game which they liked but was boring as the Union always won. I pointed out that cavalry could move through an enemy unit, provided the space behind was clear. So with a single line of units, the Confederate cavalry could move and take Washington in the early weeks of the war. The fact that the Union then had to concentrate their forces to stop that from happening made the game a lot more balanced.

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