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"Rapid Fire at platoon level" Topic

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World War Two on the Land

1,668 hits since 15 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Jubilation T Cornpone16 Feb 2019 12:01 a.m. PST

I am building forces for North Africa, Sicily, Italy etc in 20mm using Rapid Fire rules. I don't have any issues with the '8 men is a company' basis of the ruleset for Battalion size games as I make exactly the same distinction playing ACW, Zulu wars etc where one man is 10 or 15 or 25.
With Rapid Fires nominal scale of 1:15 for infantry and 1:5 for vehicles/guns, it strikes me I could easily adjust the scale so those 8 men could become a platoon rather than a company which would allow me to fight smaller actions. I realise I am quite probably preaching to the converted here which is the reason for my post. Does anyone already do this with Rapid Fire? If so, with infantry scaled down to 1:5, how do you scale the guns, Tanks and vehicles?
Cheers. Gerard, Barely Legal Wargamers

Richard Baber16 Feb 2019 12:49 a.m. PST

We started with RF when it first came out, then reverted back to Charles Grant`s "Battle" rules (a direct ancestor of RF anyway) as we preferred smaller actions ourselves.

4DJones16 Feb 2019 2:03 a.m. PST

A tank is partially obscured by the corner of a building … or is that five tanks partially obscured by five buildings? We gave up when we realised we had to see more than double in this game.

Gaz004516 Feb 2019 2:30 a.m. PST

I've played it as squad level with individual vehicles….much easier for me to visualise and appreciate…..8 men to a company on skirmish level terrain doesn't compute!!

Fred Cartwright16 Feb 2019 2:35 a.m. PST

There was a scenario in the original version of RF that was played at 1:1. It was France 1940, but can't remember the details, so obviously the authors played it at varying levels.

deephorse16 Feb 2019 4:20 a.m. PST

There was a scenario in the original version of RF that was played at 1:1. It was France 1940

There is. And later in the rulebook there is a scenario for Vaagso in which the figure ratio is changed to 1:5.

Worrying over whether my tank that is partially hidden by a building is really five tanks partially hidden by five buildings is irrelevant and misses the point. The reality on the tabletop is that there is one tank model and it is partially hidden, so treat it as such.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 6:30 a.m. PST

Rapid Fire, or so I have been told, was originally a skirmish level game which was scaled up. I do know one of the criticisms by some on the rules is some of those "artifacts" from skirmish days have bled over into what we have now.

Rapid Fire is very adaptable. Yes, have played it just fine with 1 to 5 for infantry and 1 to 1 for vehicles and guns. And it can go the other way. The first scenario in their Battle of the Bulge book (Death of a Division 18th Volksgrenadier Division v 106th Infantry Divsion) "bathtubs" the game with one figure representing 45 troops and each vehicle or gun representing 15.

Green Tiger16 Feb 2019 7:59 a.m. PST

As said above you can scale it in either direction – works fine…

French Wargame Holidays16 Feb 2019 9:48 a.m. PST

I have played in both levels quite regularly as I like to do commando/LRDG/SAS/Fallschirmjager actions.


wrgmr116 Feb 2019 10:10 a.m. PST

Company or platoon, really the game is the same.

Jubilation T Cornpone16 Feb 2019 10:33 a.m. PST

Thank you for everyones comments and input.

Centurion904616 Feb 2019 11:50 a.m. PST

I have been gaming at RF 1:4 scale (Figures – Guns – Vehicles) for over ten years to include Company, Battalion and even Brigade (annual BIG game stye) actions. I posted my thoughts and some of the detailed ORBATs info on the GUILD, but sadly that forum is now gone.

If you PM me I can share my thoughts – not everyone's 'cup-of-tea', however, for me I believe the 1:4 scale approach achieves the right balance between relative realism and fast play (Colin and Richard's original intent).

deephorse16 Feb 2019 2:15 p.m. PST

Since most posters on this thread, and you, are not Supporting Members I fear that your thoughts will forever be a mystery to us, much as I would like to hear them. If you could find some way to communicate them to us I would be very grateful.

forrester16 Feb 2019 2:59 p.m. PST

I suspect that ratios get forgotten very quickly once you are playing anyway.
I'm not aware of anything in practice to prevent you from simply treating your RF battalion as a platoon. You'd have to lose one of the four companies in a British unit to do so.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 3:59 p.m. PST

I too would like your thoughts on RF 1:4, but as you're a basic member, one cannot PM you.

So, I second deephorse's suggestion. Why not just post them here?

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 6:39 p.m. PST

Motion called and seconded – please call for a vote as I would like the information as well.



Jubilation T Cornpone17 Feb 2019 7:43 a.m. PST

Yep, Centurion9046, I will definitely third that one. If you could possibly post whatever information you have I would be grateful.

Centurion904617 Feb 2019 12:46 p.m. PST

Ooops… I have enabled my supporting membership for folks who want specific details. I am currently on vacation, however, will endeavour to post some general details on this thread in the next couple of days.

alphus9918 Feb 2019 1:32 p.m. PST

Thanks, Centurion9046, I'd appreciate hearing more

Centurion904619 Feb 2019 10:15 p.m. PST

I got a bunch of PM's that I will answer on the weekend. Some general points about my RF 1:4 scale gaming:

1. The principal fighting unit is the Infantry Battalion or Armoured Battalion/Regimental Group with attachments that typically include Artillery and Engineers.

2. The principal sub-unit is the Rifle Company or Armoured Company/Squadron with attachments that include Battalion support weapon Detachments/Sections (MG Mortar AT Gun Pioneer Carrier, etc.) and if applicable artillery forward observers (FOO). Morale is calculated at company level and includes attachment numbers when calculating overall Company Group losses.

3. 1:4 scale is applicable for figures and models. A notable exception is battalion support weapons that can be either centralized or decentralized (attached) to sub-units (i.e Rifle Companies). An example being a UK Inf Bn Mortar Platoon (44-45) of 3 models (representing one platoon of 6 tubes) divided into x3 one model Mortar Sections (representing 3 sections of 2 tubes each), the sections being attached as required to individual Rifle Companies. This support weapons scale of 1:2 is generally applied to all GE UK US battalion support weapons in order to allow for support weapon attachment to Rifle Companies.

Tomorrow night I will post the organization of a UK Rifle Company (44-45) at a scale of 1:4.

Jubilation T Cornpone20 Feb 2019 3:32 p.m. PST

Absolutely brilliant stuff Centurion. Just what I was after. Much appreciated.

Centurion904621 Feb 2019 8:12 p.m. PST

UK Rifle Coy (44-45) ORBAT (x34 figs):

OC & Signaller x2 figs
Sniper x1 fig
PIAT Tm x2 figs
2" Mortar Tm x2 figs
Rifle Pl = Pl Comd w/Sten (x1 fig) Bren Tm (x2 figs) Rifleman (x6 figs)
Rifle Pl = Pl Comd w/Sten (x1 fig) Bren Tm (x2 figs) Rifleman (x6 figs)
Rifle Pl = Pl Comd w/Sten (x1 fig) Bren Tm (x2 figs) Rifleman (x6 figs)

Battalion attachments:

Mortar Sect x4 figs w/3" Mortar & Universal Carrier
Carrier Sect x3 figs w/Bren Gun & Universal Carrier
Assault Pioneer Det x2 figs & Jeep
Anti-Tank Sect x2 figs w/Bren Gun x6 figs w/6lb ATG & Universal Carrier

Other Arms attachments:

FOO Pty x2 figs & Universal Carrier

Tomorrow night I will post the organization of a GE Rifle Kompanie (44-45) at a scale of 1:4.

Jubilation T Cornpone22 Feb 2019 3:27 p.m. PST

Excellent Centurion. Really good stuff.Thank you.

Centurion904623 Feb 2019 4:57 p.m. PST

GE Gren Kp (44-45) ORBAT (x29 figs)

Kp Comd & Signaller (x2) figs
MG Gr. – x3 figs w/sfMG42 & Infanteriekarren IF8
Gren Zug = Pl Comd w/MP40 (x1 fig) – MG42 Tr. (x3 figs) – Grenadiers (x4 figs)*
Gren Zug = Pl Comd w/MP40 (x1 fig) – MG42 Tr. (x3 figs) – Grenadiers (x4 figs)*
Gren Zug = Pl Comd w/MP40 (x1 fig) – MG42 Tr. (x3 figs) – Grenadiers (x4 figs)*
*x3 Panzerfaust 30-60-100-150 are allocated tom each Zug (scenario based)

Battalion attachments:

MG Gr. – x3 figs w/sfMG42 & Infanteriekarren IF8
GrW Gr. x3 figs w/GrW 34 & Infanteriekarren IF8

Regimental attachments:

Pz.Jgr Tr. – x2 figs w/RPzB 54 & Infanteriekarren IF8
Pz.Jgr Tr. – x2 figs w/RPzB 54 & Infanteriekarren IF8

Tomorrow night I will post the organization of a US Rifle Company (44-45) at a scale of 1:4.

laretenue24 Feb 2019 8:44 a.m. PST

Interesting, C9046. Our approaches coincide, although my platoons are universally 10 figs strong, with 3x 3-fig groups (can be Sections/Squads) plus one OC. With slight tweaking, this is to allow use for Battlefront F&F/Battlegroup PG/Crossfire.

I'll be interested to see whether your PzGr or FJ platoons increase the numbers of automatics.

Incidentally (assuming your troops are 20mm too), where do you find all the IF8 carts? I can't wait for Valiant to reissue these in the proper scale …

Centurion904624 Feb 2019 9:53 a.m. PST


Interesting that you mention Battlegroup. I did do a playtest last summer in which I ran 'The Roadblock at Antoniushof Farm' scenario (from BG Wacht am Rhein) using the RF rules (@1:4 scale) and then using the same RF 1:4 scale ORBATs to play the scenario with the Battlegroup rules. I felt it worked relatively well, and my overall takeaway was that you could slightly increase my RF 1:4 scale ORBATS in order to accommodate both rules systems.

I will post a Pz Gren Kp (44-45) ORBAT in the future, key difference as you alluded to being an extra MG42 Tr. per Zug.

I actually use the Valiant 1/72 scale (aka c.25mm) figures for my WW2 gaming and was really stoked when they introduced the IF8 cart… I know that the c.25mm scale is controversial, however, most of my gaming is solo so it isn't an issue for me.

Centurion904624 Feb 2019 10:25 a.m. PST

US Rifle Coy (44-45) ORBAT (x41 figs):

Coy Comd & Signaller x2 figs
Bazooka Tm x2 figs
Rifle Pl = Pl Comd w/Thompson (x1 fig) BAR (x1 fig) Rifleman (x8 figs)*
Rifle Pl = Pl Comd w/Thompson (x1 fig) BAR (x1 fig) Rifleman (x8 figs)*
Rifle Pl = Pl Comd w/Thompson (x1 fig) BAR (x1 fig) Rifleman (x8 figs)*
Weapons Pl = Pl Comd w/Thompson (x1 fig) M1919A4 MMG Squad (x3 figs) 60mm Mortar Squad (x3 figs)
*A maximum of x3 BAR's (extra BAR's replace Rifleman) can be allocated to each Pl (scenario based)

Battalion attachments:

HMG Squad x3 figs w/M1917A1 HMG & Jeep
Mortar Squad x3 figs w/81mm Mortar & Jeep
Anti-Tank Pl = x1 fig w/Pistol x2 figs w/Bazooka x4 figs w/M1 57mm AT Gun & Veep

Other Arms attachments:

FAO Det x2 figs & Jeep

I will be busy for the next month, however, if there is interest (?), I can subsequently post the following organizations in the latter half of March/early half of April:

1. GE Pz Gren Kp.

2. SU Rifle Coy.

3. UK Mot Inf Coy.

4. US Armd Inf Coy.

5. US Para Inf Coy.

laretenue24 Feb 2019 11:39 a.m. PST

Well, I'll be interested anyway.

alphus9925 Feb 2019 3:44 a.m. PST

Great, thanks @Centurian9046 :)

I'd love to see the other orbats when you get time

tayerigonz Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2019 5:03 p.m. PST

Centurion9046 are you planning to post the rest of the orbats and can you please include UK Para and Airlanding COY 1944-1945

laretenue14 May 2019 2:01 a.m. PST


Still keen to see your remaining RF1:4 ToEs, if you're still intending to post them …

laretenue14 May 2019 3:50 a.m. PST

At the risk of repeating what I said many months ago, I'm intrigued because my approach is almost identical overall.

Centurion9046 has opted to bathtub Sections/Squads as Platoons rather than Companies, as in standard RF. For my part, I'm trying to preserve the Platoon's triangular structure (at least while the Pl remain's at full strength) to play Coys for WWII F&F, Battlegroup PG or Crossfire. This allows me if I wish to contrast rifle- and LMG-armed Sections/Squads. It gets me into slight difficulties when reconciling 2x MGs per German Squad with a three-Squad Zug, but the problem goes away once the Zug is down to two Squads anyway.

So what is the experience of others on this board?

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