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"Review of O group" Topic


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1,113 hits since 18 Feb 2022
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2022 1:45 p.m. PST

After my review of Battlefront I now have had time to review O group. Found here:
link

Enjoy

Joe

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2022 3:27 p.m. PST

Joe,

I think that's a good review.

Mr. Brown deserves due credit for O Group, and also for Too Fat Lardies in getting it published under their Reisswitz Press organ.

For the style of gaming we're trying to do in my area, I don't think we'll have the opportunity to teach the rules properly, which is a shame, as I think the system most novel.

I remember having discussions with you back on the forum when Warlord's Cruel Seas came out, and that's the type of gaming [style] that we can successfully present at our public game days (as just an example).

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2022 11:25 a.m. PST

Joe Legan you mentioned a house rule:

A unit that didn't do anything in the turn can either continue its move at a much slower pace [1 hex] or rally with reduced success.

I like this idea, but the game doesn't use hexes. What is the ground scale of your hexes?

- Ix

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2022 5:10 p.m. PST

Joe,

Than for this review (and of the Battlefront rules), very interesting and useful. I have a question to ask, and even though it's a sincere question I still do it with a bit of trepidation as some folks on the internet have a tendency to get bent out of shape and assume malintent where there is none. So, purely in the interest of garnering your opinion in order to better inform myself, I shall ask anyway.

I read some reviews of "O Group" and watched some videos on YouTube and I came away with the feeling/belief that "O Group is nothing more than a scaled up version of "Chain of Command." Could you please let me know what sets "O Group" apart from "Chain of Command" that makes it truly a battalion-level game?

Additionally, I've played quite a few enjoyable games with "Chain of Command" (including an entire 10-game campaign that I scaled up to company-level), but while I enjoy the rules what (primarily) keeps me me from using them all the time is that the (very clever) activation system works well for for ‘even' fights (1:1 force ratios) but not so well for ‘uneven' fights (force ratios of 2 or 3:1 in favor of the attacker). I'm not much for equal forces encounter-style battles, pretty much everything I play is an attack-defense scenario, with force structure on the table being 2:1 in favor of the attacker, but actually 3:2 (for the attacker) as each side has an off table reserve, and I apply this from platoon-level attacks (2 squads + support in the line with 1 squad in reserve vs 1 squad + support in the line with 1 squad in reserve) all the way up to division level (2 brigades/RCTs + support in the line with 1 brigade/RCT in reserve vs 1 brigade/RCT + support in the line with 1 brigade/RCT in reserve).

My issue in this case is that an attacker is rolling let's say six activation dice each phase, but the defender is only rolling 3, maybe even only 2 dice. Now some folks have told me that makes sense because the attacker has twice (or three times) the forces. However, I disagree based on the idea that the activation dice represent the force, I believe they represent command capability/flexibility, and I believe that a decent defender who's had some time to walk the ground, identify key terrain and avenues of approach, site his forces, do an appropriate fire plan, register supporting fires, tie in comms, establish resupply points, casualty collection points, rally points, reserve staging areas and routes, etc…, is not going to find himself on the short end of the command capability/flexibility stick.

I'm not denying that things can happen to put the defender on the short end of the stick; the attacker's pre-battle stonk could knock out the MG team covering the crucial avenue of approach, or cut all the comm lines, or knock out the CP, but that's not what we're talking about. We're saying the attacker starts the game with three squads, so he gets six dice, and the defender starts the game with one squad, so he he gets two dice, and that doesn't sit right with me.

I've tried monkeying around with the numbers but haven't figured out a logical, accountable way to do it, and it always seems to end up that the defender is simply able to do whatever he wants each phase (excluding those phases with too many 5s and 6s), I.e., swings too far the other way, is too powerful.

So I'm curious regarding your opinion as to whether "O Group" works for ‘unbalanced' games, or if anyone has done anything (or if I've missed something) to make "Chain of Command" a little better with unbalanced forces.

Thanks again for the reviews, and I eagerly await your response and some enlightening discussion ;)

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2022 6:54 p.m. PST

Fly,
Yep remember those discussions well. A friend of yours was involved too I believe. I finally got flotilla forward done! Yes I think this would be hard to teach newbies quickly; some subtlety is attached.
YA, my hexes are 4 inches and I use o groups ground scale. I would roll 2d6 and take the lower one. If you are adventurous roll 1d4 instead. :)
Jack, when did you get out? Have heard from you in ages. Agree with your comments about Coc plus I think it works better in Europe. TW&T is a better simulation. Don't get me wrong, Coc is a good game- I was a playtester. That said the rolling for orders is different in o group. You have much more discretion in what you are allowed to do. You do feel like you are in a TOC. Both attacker and defender normally roll 9 dice. That said the rest of the game plays like coc just upscaled. For many people that will be a good thing.
Thanks all!

Joe

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2022 7:42 a.m. PST

Sorry Jack, late last night. A direct answer to a question I didn't answer; yes it does play well asymmetric in that I have played 2 companies against 1 without problems. I haven't tried Vietnam yet in regards to that type of asymmetry. That is this weeks project.

Joe

BigDan Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2022 1:05 p.m. PST

I just played my first, trial game of O group last week and it does play differently from CoC. Emphases is on the POV of a Battalion Commander and the types of actions you take and decisions you make reflect that.

We played with defender (me) with 2 line companies with support and attacker with 3 line companies plus support. The defender only had 1 less order die, 8 as opposed to the attckers nine.

In addition, being on defense, my units required fewer orders in the lead up to the main attack I was able to bank, or save, more orders than the attacker. The result was that I had more flexibility and was able to maximize my main efforts.

The rules are so different to what we are used to that a bit more effort is required to learn but IMO well ll worth the effort.

FWIW if any of you are in Western KY or South West Indiana we plan on several more learning games in the coming weeks.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2022 2:43 p.m. PST

Joe – Yeah, yeah, yeah, you already used that one. 'Tis true, I've been quiet here, haven't played a game in… well, I can't even remember anymore, but I've been painting my ass off and hopefully will show some of it off, soon. And thanks for coming back, and no worries about 'Vietnam-style' asymmetric, I'm only looking for 'asymmetric' as in unequal forces, and that answers the mail.

BigDan – Excellent, thank you for the detailed response. My only question would be, was life too easy for the defender (getting 8 dice for two companies and the attacker getting 9 dice for three)?

"In addition, being on defense, my units required fewer orders in the lead up to the main attack I was able to bank, or save, more orders than the attacker. The result was that I had more flexibility and was able to maximize my main efforts."
That sounds perfect.

Sounds like I need to pick up 'O Group' and give them a read, then. The funny thing is, I'm not actually interested in battalion-level gaming, I'm looking for brigade-level, but I'm a simple man and will probably just bump up the tabletop units without changing anything else (i.e., if one stand is a platoon, I'll just play it as one stand is a company, etc…).

On a side note, I've been looking at the Fistful of Lead rules and modifying them to do brigade-level battles, with each unit being a battalion of three to five company level stands. More to follow, when I get some time.

I'm originally from Cincinatti and appreciate the invite, alas Texas has been home for the past 12+ years and I won't be able to make any games. I will, however, be looking for more info and some batreps from you and Joe ;)

Thanks a bunch guys.

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2022 6:37 p.m. PST

Jack,
What have you been painting? Now that I am getting into larger actions am thinking 6mm for armor heavy stuff like wwIII. Have heard good stuff about fistful of lead. Similar to Deadman hand?

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2022 9:07 p.m. PST

Joe,

I've been painting up 15mm forces, have completed 9 more, almost done with two, and have recently begun two. I went and took a bunch of photos this evening, I'll start posting them ASAP.

6mm, eh? So I'm going bigger and you're going smaller. I've got a bunch of 6mm stuff that's never seen the table, should probably sell it…

I apologize, I'm not familiar with Deadman's Hand, and I haven't actually played Fistful of Lead, but I bought the gunfighter rules, the big battles rules, and the space dogfighting rules, and I love the concepts.

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP22 Feb 2022 4:29 p.m. PST

15mm is where you should have been all along. :) am thinking 6mm only for the armor heavy stuff. www III and maybe II. You have any modern 6mm? Email me and we can talk.
Started a Vietnam scenario with o group/battlefront, working well so far.

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP22 Feb 2022 5:29 p.m. PST

Regarding 15mm, apparently! I mean, I love my 10mm, but the issue is that all my terrain is 15mm, and it started to bother me, until I just got to the point that I decided to jump in.

I'll email you, I've got WWII and Cold War 6mm stuff. A lot of it is multi-based (three vehicles on a 60mm x 30mm stand), but I do have some singles West Germans and Soviets (and Vietnam, too).

Here are pics:
link
link
link
link

I'll keep an eye out for your Vietnam batrep(s). Having said that, I'm not particularly interested in playing Vietnam above platoon level, maybe company. I thought I was, which is why I did up those 6mm forces, but they've never seen the table, so apparently I'm not ;)

I posted my first 15mm force here on TMP, WWII US Airborne.

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2022 1:47 p.m. PST

Jack, you have been busy! If you play higher level with 15mm you don't think the ground scale will bother you too much? That is why I am thinking 6mm for armor engagements. For infantry stuff like Vietnam I think I would still like 15mm but you 6mn stuff looks great, those boats are cool.
Thanks for the email, will respond today or tomorrow.

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2022 4:19 p.m. PST

Joe,

Yep, posted another one earlier.

Yeah, I don't mind the abstraction that comes with playing higher echelon games with larger scale figures; oddly enough, it bothers me more to play 1:1 games with bundles of large troops on top of each other.

No rush on the email, whenever you get to it.

V/R,
Jack

Pyrrhic Victory28 Feb 2022 1:53 p.m. PST

Joe,

Just around to this. Thanks for the shout out in the review! I think it's a solid review and I understand exactly where you are coming from. I very much look forward to seeing the results of your o group + Battlefront mashup

Ed

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2022 5:26 p.m. PST

Ed,
Wonder what happened to you. My mash up is posted. Look for "o group and battlefront". Ignore Jack's comments when you get there, he is a marine!

Joe

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