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"Chain of Command & Battlegroup" Topic


29 Posts

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World War Two on the Land

1,554 hits since 28 Sep 2018
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Mark68 Inactive Member28 Sep 2018 6:02 a.m. PST

I'm trying to decide on CofC or Battlegroup for my next WW2 foray. I only know a little about both, but one thing I'm not too keen on is having to 'spot/observe' your target before shooting at it in Battlegroup.

Is this done all the time?

Nick B28 Sep 2018 6:29 a.m. PST

Yes – and for evry shot. So if you do a "fire" action you get to shoot twice by have to spot for each shot even if you spot on the first.

What size of game are you looking at? IMO CoC is reinforced Platoon size (per side) whilst BG is more company sized actions.

You can play small games of BG but I don't (personally) feel it is best suited to that size of game.

Mark68 Inactive Member28 Sep 2018 6:33 a.m. PST

Well, I've got IABSM for the bigger games, so I'm really looking for something that does small platoon sized.

I was under the impression that BG can comfortably do platoon sized games.

Sharpe5228 Sep 2018 6:43 a.m. PST

I don't know Battegroup however IMHO if you already play IABSM you will find CoC easy to learn, both being from TFL with some similiar mechanism.
Besides, CoC is really at reinforced platoon level a bit like Bolt Action.
Marco

captaincold6928 Sep 2018 7:22 a.m. PST

I haven't played BG, but I have played CoC.

CoC is awesome. Platoon + games and with a couple buddies you can play Big CoC

figuresales Inactive Member28 Sep 2018 7:42 a.m. PST

The Battlegroup spotting rule is a very neat game mechanic.

It simulates the incidental smoke, haze and dust present on a battlefield as well as deliberate attempts by the enemy to avoid being seen.
Rather than adding in extra rules to cover smoke, undulating terrain, fieldcraft/training, weather and such like it simplifies it down to a single mechanic.
Assume the enemy is trying not to be seen, so roll to determine if they manage it.

Mark68 Inactive Member28 Sep 2018 7:50 a.m. PST

Doesn't that get in the way after a while, having to roll to spot all the time? I understand why it's in there but I'm not sure I could take to it.

Neal Smith28 Sep 2018 9:21 a.m. PST

If you want platoons, then CoC hands down.

Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2018 9:22 a.m. PST

I did not like the spot rule myself to begin with. After sometime what I realized is that it helps you tremendously when you want to make that dash across open ground and your opponent has to make the roll. The trade off was worth it then.

Nick B28 Sep 2018 9:42 a.m. PST

Whilst spotting in BG is supposed to represent "incidental smake and dust" there are no rules for smoke generally. So no representation of small unit tactics for the British i.e. 2" mortar.

IMO CoC beats BG hands down for this scale of action.

figuresales Inactive Member28 Sep 2018 10:16 a.m. PST

"…….Doesn't that get in the way after a while, having to roll to spot all the time? I understand why it's in there but I'm not sure I could take to it……."

It is only a single dice roll without any modifiers and does not interfere with the flow of the game. Not using it would require extra rules and modifiers to shooting for all the things "spotting" incorporates.


"……So no representation of small unit tactics for the British i.e. 2" mortar…….."

Absolutely wrong. When I play British my troops use smoke and other evasive fieldcraft at every opportunity to prevent getting shot, and what is even better, they do so without me having to worry about ordering or calculating it. IT IS INCLUDED IN THE SPOTTING ROLL
Just because the player wasn't involved does not mean it isn't happening. I don't tell my soldiers to reload their rifles either, strangely they know how to do that too.

dragon628 Sep 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

Absolutely wrong. When I play British my troops use smoke and other evasive fieldcraft at every opportunity to prevent getting shot, and what is even better, they do so without me having to worry about ordering or calculating it. IT IS INCLUDED IN THE SPOTTING ROLL
But isn't it included in the spotting roll even if you don't have the 2" mortar?

Spooner628 Sep 2018 12:04 p.m. PST

I think the BG "Spotting" for each shot should be, did you get effective fire? It is a mechanism to create variablitity for being in cover. With only a d6 any bonus is such a big jump, so either you have next to no modifiers or you need to have layered dice rolls to get extra grainularity. But again I have found that if you change the roll from "Spotting" to did you get effective fire then I find that people stomach the roll better. Personally I like the extra roll. You can get some interesting swings in fire effectiveness.

Chris

jdginaz28 Sep 2018 1:31 p.m. PST

CoC is the favorite game of our group hands down.

One of the guys in our group is a former NCO who served in Afghanistan he claims that it simulates the kind of decisions the leaders have to make in combat really well.

PiersBrand28 Sep 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

You spot for AIMED FIRE in Battlegroup… Targets dont tend to stay still when shot at…. smoke and dust gets in the way… stuff happens… someone hands you a cheese sandwich…

You dont spot however for SUPPRESSION FIRE in Battlegroup.

It is better described as getting a bead on the target for effective fire and the rulebook contains a whole page discussing the ethos behind the abstraction of the mechanic.

Battlegroup also works perfectly well for platoon sized games. 90% of all my games revolve around a single platoon per side with support.

brucka28 Sep 2018 2:49 p.m. PST

So, no -1 if you are handed a processed/ersatz cheese sandwich?

Do what many people do, get them both – you are guaranteed to have fun with either they both have their strengths and great online support.

[As an aside for skirmish level, I find the best rules for unbalanced forces/scenarios (if that interests you) still is Arc of Fire].

cj177628 Sep 2018 2:52 p.m. PST

I do the same as Piers,one platoon plus supports for Battlegroup.

Keith Talent29 Sep 2018 1:34 a.m. PST

Both sets have their merits, personally i feel the "smoke is incorporated into the spotting roll" mechanism is a total cop-out, and rather lazy rule writing.
CoC doesn't have spotting as such, but has a different (and extremely elegant ) abstraction by way of the JOPs and ambush rules.
For platoon v platoon I'd go CoC, which also doesn't rely on a points system but uses historic organisations. Groundscale is a lot less in CoC. If you are playing in 15mm, then CoC is true ground/figure scale.
Depends what you are after.

Mark68 Inactive Member29 Sep 2018 6:36 a.m. PST

CoC it is

Thanks all.

Tony S29 Sep 2018 6:46 a.m. PST

I play both regularly, and quite enjoy both. To continue the metaphor – sometimes I like cheese sandwiches, sometimes I like ham sandwiches. For me, BG is a bit more of a traditional wargames set of rules, whereas CoC is a little more original. Not being pejorative; just my feeling. As I said, I'll happily play either.

There is a points system in CoC by the way. The game does start with historical orders of battle, but then you use points to roughly balance the scenario. Roughly, because as the author has said, how much is a 37mm anti tank gun worth if your opponent hasn't any armour? Not much, but it can quite valuable if he shows up with an armoured car. (For CoC by the way, we always keep our reinforcements and attachments secret from our opponent until we deploy them from the Jump Off Points).

BG has a more traditional wargames army list, but the lists produce historically plausible forces, unlike some of the silliness of, say, Bolt Action.

I get the criticism of the lack of smoke/spotting rules in BG, but smoke can be a difficult thing to get right in wargames rules. It can be overly powerful sometimes, and make for a frustrating game. And a table full of cotton! I've had a game of BG where our tanks, at point blank ranges could not spot each other. Seems silly, but we simply rationalize it as the inability to get a decent shot off, not the inability to see 45 ton Panther at ten metres distance.

Overall, it works for us.

The only thing I don't like about BG is the cost. Those (admittedly very beautiful and very high quality) books are bloody expensive. But I still buy most of the supplements and am really looking forward to the (someday soon I hope) Cold War set, Battlegroup NorthAG. Of course, I hear rumours of a Cold War CoC version, or "I Ain't Been Nuked Yet Mum" too, and obviously I'd get them in a heartbeat too!

If I absolutely, positively had to only take one set to a desert island, I'd take CoC. The difference, for me, is the fantastic pint sized campaigns available for CoC. They are not only cheap, but like all campaign systems for all wargames rules, make each battle much more interesting by placing it in context. The pint sized campaigns are based on historical affairs, mostly Normandy 1944, but there is a campaign supplement where you can easily produce your own campaigns with a bit of research.

TacticalPainter0129 Sep 2018 5:02 p.m. PST

CoC it is

Thanks all.

Mark68, I put this together to help people get started with CoC, you might find it useful Getting started with Chain of Command

Mark68 Inactive Member30 Sep 2018 1:40 a.m. PST

That's bookmarked

Thank you!

Thomas Thomas02 Oct 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

The BG system is essentially two rolls to hit. Because they are cramped by using d6 they have to use multiple rolls to do anything (see 40K and its ilk). So they have concealment modifiers on the "spotting" roll and other modifiers on the "to hit" roll to spread things out so you don't get modified off the chart all the time.

The PIP command system in BG though is pretty good – though not fully develop seems a bit better than CC's more random command control. Try both but admittedly BG is expensive.

TomT

TacticalPainter0102 Oct 2018 3:38 p.m. PST

CC's more random command control

I guess it depends on how you want to perceive what is ‘random'.

I see it more as unpredictable. In game turns it means phases of play are neither predictable or identical. While phases see each player make a command roll, no two phases will represent the same level of activity. I feel this helps break up the predictable flow of each player's actions. As a result no two phases replicate the same amount of ‘time', in some cases a lot will happen, in others less. In my opinion this is a good thing and keeps players constantly alert to the command challenges that present themselves.

Random tends to imply that players have no control, but that only looks that way when players don't have a plan of action. The command dice should not determine your plan, your plan should determine how you make use of the command dice. There's a big difference and if you utilise many of the mechanics in CoC, like judicious placement of leaders, you find you can determine far more of how the game will unfold than the term ‘random' would imply.

Powermonger05 Oct 2018 12:45 p.m. PST

I will remark this expression:

"You dont spot for SUPPRESSION FIRE in Battlegroup."

It is very important to know there are two types of fire in BG before making any judgement of the observation roll.

And for me, BG and CoC are complementary.
In an Utterly simplified way:

- BG is the smartest, historical, non-competitive way to play FOW-scale wargames
- CoC is the smart, historical, non-competitive way to play BA-scale wargames

Regards,

Diego

wargamingUSA Inactive Member27 Oct 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

+1 to Diego for those characterizations.

Our group has been knee-deep in developing a WWII era rules set that plays at a slightly diferent level; stands as platoons. We need a break, want to stay WWII focused, and try something none of us has played before, hence the question below.

Q: Our group is thinking of playing a pseudo-pulp WWII era game with a max of 40-50 figures on the board… think the movie Casablanca with some more armed characters and a couple of small military or paramilitary units. Does CoC lend itself to this type of game?

Thx.

Achtung Minen27 Oct 2018 1:49 p.m. PST

Q: Our group is thinking of playing a pseudo-pulp WWII era game with a max of 40-50 figures on the board… think the movie Casablanca with some more armed characters and a couple of small military or paramilitary units. Does CoC lend itself to this type of game?

I would say use Nuts! for that… or Battleground Weird WWII or Pulp Alley.

wargamingUSA Inactive Member27 Oct 2018 2:47 p.m. PST

Pulp Alley has been suggested within the group.
Still looking to find other good options.
Thanks for the input.

Munin Ilor29 Oct 2018 10:33 a.m. PST

You could absolutely do it in CoC, but your characters might not be as "characterful" (in the sense of having individualized special rules) as some other systems might give you. There's nothing to say you couldn't develop your own, though, and I've seen people do "Dirty Dozen" style CoC scenarios to hilarious and awesome effect.

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