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"Mismatch between transports and passengers?" Topic

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Achtung Minen09 Sep 2019 8:49 a.m. PST

There are situations that in real life would be fairly straightforward, but yet are awkward for wargames trying to represent history on the tabletop. One of those cases is where a platoon of mechanized infantry splits its sections up across different transports. An example of this might be the Soviet Razvedki troops that sometimes transported three sections split across five M3 Scout Cars, or early Cold War Volksarmee Mot.Schützen who were transported in three sections split across two BTR-50PK.

This raises potential questions for wargaming, such as how do you keep track of which men are in which transports? Particularly if you play with section-based figures, this seems like it can become cumbersome to keep track of. How do you handle debussing and bussing, for instance, and how do you track casualties while sustained mounted on the transport? Does anyone have any clever ideas or workarounds to these problems?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 9:10 a.m. PST

We punt.

Mark one squad per transport and treat the extras as empty, if more transports than teams.

If there are more teams than transports, just double up.

surdu200509 Sep 2019 10:08 a.m. PST

I have a card off table that represents each vehicle. I place the figures onto the appropriate card to show which vehicle they are riding. I also have the possible spaces in the vehicles numbered so that I can randomize who in the vehicle is hit by small arms, shrapnel, spalling, etc.

These are the ones that I use, because they are MDF and have circles cut in them for the figure bases: link

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 10:58 a.m. PST

I don't think casualty tracking is worth the trouble. If an NCO or weapon operator is a casualty, their place will be taken by a cross-trained member of the section. That's how it's supposed to work, anyway…

As far as "One vehicle hares off with the ATGM and crew" -- that's a little trickier.

Stryderg09 Sep 2019 11:08 a.m. PST

Dice for it. In the real world, it would definitely matter who became a casualty (especially to the casualty). On the table, one mini with a rifle is pretty much the same as another mini with a rifle. Losing one or the other shouldn't slow down or break the game. And if it's a 'special' that gets taken down, somebody else is going to pick up that weapon. ("special" in this context would be the guy with the MG, bazooka, flame thrower, mortar, etc)

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 11:34 a.m. PST

We approach this the wasy Jeff and Stryderg do when we play skirmish – mostly we play grand tactical so this is not an issue

Achtung Minen09 Sep 2019 4:37 p.m. PST

Thanks for the advice all, I think I'll take Mark's technique!

Mark 109 Sep 2019 5:54 p.m. PST

My preferred ruleset is Mein Panzer (from ODGW).

The primary infantry unit is the squad. This is a single stand representing 8-12 men. Usually that would be riflemen with an LMG and perhaps an AT weapon. But it could be engineers, or a larger gun crew, or whatever.

But there is a smaller unit -- the team. This is a single stand representing 2-6 men. Teams are usually used for support weapon crews, or small gun crews, or command, observation or commo teams.

Teams are easier to kill than squads. They have less firepower than squads. But they are also harder to spot than squads.

For my mis-matched transport I separate my squads into teams for transit. When they de-bus they re-assemble into squads (provided they all de-bus at the same time at the same place). Or they don't.

So for example my recon troops, whether US Armored Cav (in M3 Scout Cars in Tunisia) or Italian Sahariana, have one team per vehicle. When they de-bus for scouting or fighting on foot, they are a rifle team per vehicle. If it is tactically appropriate I may assemble them into squads. Or they may spread out more as teams. If they do spread out they have less combat power, but are more stealthy.

Easy peasy. And it all seems to make sense to me.

(aka: Mk 1)

Thomas Thomas24 Sep 2019 8:01 a.m. PST

In Combat Command (platoons are the atomic unit), a transport model represents the number of vehicles needed to transport a platoon. So it could be many jeeps or carriers or just a couple of trucks.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

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