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Author Topic: Forward Command - Company Level WWII Rules (Playtesters Sought!)  (Read 1356 times)
Gazza
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« on: 03 July 2017, 11:47:20 AM »

Over the last year-or-so and largely for my own amusement I have been developing a set of rules for, as the subject title intimates, company-level WWII actions. I initially intended these to be purely "house rules", but friends who have played and enjoyed them reckon that they might appeal to a wider audience. I am not convinced, but thought that asking in this august forum for interested parties to test and critique "Forward Command" - or ForC - could do no harm. The only caveat is that I currently game Europe 1939-40 so all the army lists I have drawn up are for that period and theatre. Still, it should not prove onerous to substitute, for instance, Tiger IIs for Panzer Is  Wink in order to try them out! I have provided links below to the rules themselves (still rough, but legible) and several army lists. One of my goals was that the rules should not be more than four pages long, which, despite the work I know the current iteration requires, I have managed to adhere to. I look forward to any comments and queries!

  Forward Command Rules

  BEF Army List
 
  German Army List
  
  Dutch Army List
 
  Belgian Army List

THE FRENCH AND POLISH ARMY LIST NEED SOME EDITING, BUT SHOULD BE UP SHORTLY.

Also, regarding the Tiers of HQs, I would recommend that Germans generally have Tier A, regulars from other nations Tier B and reservists Tier C. The intention is to include this information within the individual lists when I have time. Note that this not because I am some German fetishist, but just because at this point in the war German training and communications were far superior to most of their opponents. In 1940 both the French and British possessed better armed and armoured tanks than the Germans, but the Germans were able to circumvent this deficiency by employing superior tactics and use of radios.

Note: in the Army Lists Charge = Assault.

Hmm, that's all for now.
« Last Edit: 03 July 2017, 01:24:33 PM by Gazza » Logged

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Ithoriel
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« Reply #1 on: 03 July 2017, 01:36:53 PM »

Downloaded, on a first skim it looks pretty straightforward.

Don't have suitable figures so will have to try and inveigle a couple of friends who do into playing!
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ronan
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« Reply #2 on: 03 July 2017, 01:59:21 PM »

Hello
I think I'll give a try (solo) as soon as you can upload a french list.
It sounds interesting !
Thanks !

( although "All measurements given are in good old British Imperial  inches. " ... Shocked    mumble, mumble... XXIst century .... mumble mumble ... )  Tongue
 Wink
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Gazza
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« Reply #3 on: 03 July 2017, 02:42:52 PM »

Hello
I think I'll give a try (solo) as soon as you can upload a french list.
It sounds interesting !
Thanks !

Right, the French lists is done (well, provisionally - as with all of 'em): French Army List

If you have any questions then please message me or post here. I have tried to research each army as fully as I am able, but I am sure there will be countless errors. I must point out, though, that the rules are not really for rivet-counters and I have bracketed speeds, armour etc as much as possible.

As to measurements...no cms please, we're British  Tongue
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #4 on: 03 July 2017, 03:30:12 PM »

As to measurements...no cms please, we're British  Tongue

Too late, already done a conversion. Not sure I have anything in the house with which to measure distances in inches.
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ronan
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« Reply #5 on: 03 July 2017, 04:36:12 PM »

Too late, already done a conversion. Not sure I have anything in the house with which to measure distances in inches.

Don't tell Gazza, but I often (almost always) use 2cm for 1 inch : 
- it's easy to convert
- it looks good (for 10mm figs in Chain of Command for example)


 Wink


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Gazza
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« Reply #6 on: 03 July 2017, 05:41:19 PM »

Not sure I have anything in the house with which to measure distances in inches.

I carry a handy 10" measuring stick in my trousers, although I must confess that using it has got me barred from many a club and even the police called on me when I produced it at the local GW store.
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'Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.' - GB Shaw

Das Blog: http://we-stand-and-fight.blogspot.co.uk/
ronan
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« Reply #7 on: 04 July 2017, 02:14:20 PM »

Hello

I had my small solo game last evening (but I was not able to play till the end).
I wrote a short AAR here http://2d6.fr/?p=4290 if you find it interesting.

( yes I did not use bases )

I found it works and does the job ! Thanks !
It's easy to play without exhausting my brain ! ( I was tired and I could play !  Smiley )
It's strange when the passive player can't react, fire etc. But while playing I understood it was not that necessary, due to the scale I believe.

One thing I didin't like : It's possible (and easy) to recover every DS and get back in full strength..  :-

I used 8'' moves for the motos.
And add the "R" to the german sdkfz 221


Some small points ( IMHO)
- some minor errors in the text ( I know it's a draft / personnal document  Wink ) Let me know if you want my notes.
- No bonus for road movement ? ( or may be I missed it)
- The french B1b is too fast for my taste

Once again : Thank you !
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Gazza
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« Reply #8 on: 04 July 2017, 03:47:11 PM »

That was damnably quick, Ronan. Thank you for trying out the rules and particularly for taking the time to write a batrep (even if you couldn't finish the game!).

I will attempt to answer your queries:

Quote
One thing I didin't like : It's possible (and easy) to recover every DS and get back in full strength..  :-

Regrouping (ie. recovering from DS). I wanted damage to represent the psychological effect of being under fire as much or even more than the physical, so DS don't necessarily represent deaths or even casualties. Also, after a few games you will find that quite often you don't have enough CPs to fully recover Units with DS, so often they
will be acting with the penalties associated with whichever DS they are on (ie. they are less effective).

Quote
- some minor errors in the text ( I know it's a draft / personnal document  Wink ) Let me know if you want my notes.

The text is a bit of a mess! Since putting it up yesterday I have made some changes, but any notes you may have would be much appreciated!

Quote
- No bonus for road movement ? ( or may be I missed it)

Good point! Perhaps road movement should plus 1/2 a vehicles' usual speed rounding down.

Quote
- The french B1b is too fast for my taste

Just checked that out. According to my research the Char B1 was actually a little bit quicker than the Renault R35/40. Definitely nipper than the Renault FT or British Infantry Tank Mk.I. I have tried to bracket speeds a bit... It is difficult because some of these early war tanks performed atrociously off-road, yet where fine on-road.

Quote
And add the "R" to the german sdkfz 221

All armoured cars should have the 'Reconnaissance' ('R') rule. This was another oversight on my behalf.

*****************

I hope these have answered your questions. If you have issue with any of them or want to know anything else then please ask. I'd very much like to see a another batrep too!

I am also toying with the idea of making Assaults more deadly. If you have any reactions regarding this, please let me know.

Edit: I will have to stat up some R75s for the Aufklärungs-Abteilungs. 8" speed would be spot-on! From all I have read they were usually the first thing the Allied soldiers saw of German ground forces.  
« Last Edit: 04 July 2017, 04:12:01 PM by Gazza » Logged

'Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.' - GB Shaw

Das Blog: http://we-stand-and-fight.blogspot.co.uk/
Gazza
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« Reply #9 on: 05 July 2017, 09:11:44 AM »

Changes to Assault rules (previously 'Charge'):

Assaults are conducted in the same manner as before, except that the difference between winning and losing scores is used to calculate the amount of DS the losing Unit receives. So if one sides score '5' and the other scores '3', the latter receives 2xDS. This makes Assaults much quicker and more deadly, which is probably closer to the reality. In cases where one Unit is outnumbered, the outnumbering side elects a Unit to lead the Assault, the other friendly Units each gift the leading Unit +1. Note that these supporting Units must be activated in the normal manner (issued an Assault Order) to do this.
« Last Edit: 05 July 2017, 09:15:34 AM by Gazza » Logged

'Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.' - GB Shaw

Das Blog: http://we-stand-and-fight.blogspot.co.uk/
ronan
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« Reply #10 on: 05 July 2017, 11:22:11 AM »

Hello Gazza
I sent you a private message with some notes.

I noticed here the changes you made ( I may have a game in the next days..) Thanks

For the speed of some vehicles, I understand the difficulty..

For the recovery, of course I will play more before changing anything  Wink
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bigjackmac
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« Reply #11 on: 07 July 2017, 02:12:22 PM »

Ronan - Great batrep, thanks for posting buddy!  I look forward to more.

Gareth - I downloaded and read the rules last night; pretty straightforward and easy to read, I love the brevity!  Some quick questions (and forgive me if I screw up, I don't have the rules in front of me right now so I'm going off memory):

1.  Is this a correct statement: a CHQ or PHQ that is suppressed can generate only 1 CP and must use it to regroup?

2.  Regarding command points and actions, I like the chart that shows allowable actions, so that you've got move-fire/fire-move etc...   But I want to make sure I understand: is it 1 CP to move-fire, or one CP to move and one to fire?

3.  Coming off question #2, if the answer was two CPs to move and fire, is there a limit to how many CPs a unit can use in a single turn (going off the chart, it seems like 2 CPs, but I want to make sure I've got it right).

4.  CHQs can't give orders to anyone, just pass them to PHQs?

5.  Aside from the target prioritization guidelines (must engage enemy units within 5") is there anything else that keeps the enemy from sitting back and shooting up your CHQ and PHQs?

6.  How big a table do you foresee using for these fights?  When I saw that infantry only moves 3" (and can lose some of that from terrain effects) and vehicles are usually ~6", that doesn't seem like much, particularly if you're losing distance to terrain effects.

Sorry to bother you about these, but I'm interested and would love to help you out by test playing a game or three.  But I'm not quick as Ronan, it's going to be a minute: this weekend I've got two Ambush Alley games planned, and the following weekend I need to finish up my "Phantoms Over Havana."  And I've got to figure out what troops/setting I'd use these for (as always, I've got to fold them into one of my ongoing projects/campaigns).

Thanks for posting the rules Gareth, good stuff!

V/R,
Jack
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Gazza
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« Reply #12 on: 08 July 2017, 11:04:33 AM »

Hello Jack, thanks for taking the time to read over my scribblings and fielding some pertinent questions. I should have a batrep up on my blog before the weekend's out, which will hopefully make thing clearer. On to your questions:

1. If a HQ is suppressed it may only issue one Order that turn. If they have generated more Orders during the Command Phase these are lost. The Order can be whatever the player likes, but a Regroup Order is probably the most sensible course.

2. You can issue as many Regroup Orders as you have CPs to do so. Each action is 1CP. So Fire=1CP, Move=1CP, Dash (move twice)=2CPs etc.

3. Interestingly, an earlier version of the rules had Units limited to either 1, 2 or 3 Orders per turn, depending on their quality. However, I decided that this was better represented by giving HQs different Tiers, with the higher Tiers likely to generate more CPs. However, you can only Fire or Assault once per turn, move twice (but not then Fire or Assault) or move then Assault or Fire (or Fire and Move). As I said in 2. Regroup Orders can be issued as many times as you are able. After a game-or-two you will see that this means some turns are spent redressing your battle line and not much else! I wonder, though, if a maximum number of Orders might be set? So perhaps no more than four per turn? Something to ponder...

4. Again, in the older version CHQs could issue Orders directly to Units, regardless of range. Do you think it makes sense to bring this back? Let me know after you've played a game!

5. You will find that in game you tend to keep your CHQ right at the back and PHQs behind their sections. Given that HQs are weak at Firing, your opponent will tend to prioritise the more deadly Rifle Sections and any Supporting elements. I have seen no deliberate targeting of HQs in the games I have played (including the ones against real people!).

6. I use a roughly 4'X3 1/2' table. Originally Speeds wre much higher, but I found the battle was raging by turn 2. The lower Speeds allow for more maneuvering. An average game last about eight turns and can be done in under two hours (that's stopping about three times to make tea).

With all these answers I am entirely open to suggestions on how you think things might be improved. I will add, however, that the one overriding criteria I have for ForC is simplicity - I am trying to avoid making them too complicated, which is something I know you appreciate in a rule-set! I am very excited at the thought of seeing some batreps from you in the future using ForC and am happy to answer any further questions.

Regards

Gareth
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Das Blog: http://we-stand-and-fight.blogspot.co.uk/
bigjackmac
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« Reply #13 on: 08 July 2017, 02:49:41 PM »

Gareth,

Excellent, thanks for the quick responses!  That all sounds good, I think I've got it.  Regarding units receiving orders, it's a little wordy, but I think I've got it: a unit can fire once, move twice, regroup as many times as you'd like.  But it's definitely going to be self limiting as you only have so many CPs in any case, and I can see how you might spend an entire turn doing nothing but 'rallying' the troops back into the fight.  But I really enjoy those types of (limiting) command mechanisms with regards to tactical decision making: do I turn over the initiative to the enemy in order to get my all my units back in fighting shape, or do I keep pushing with what I have, though we're becoming worn down and strung out? 

These look great, and I can't wait to get to them, just have to go in project order Wink  And I'm really looking forward to your batreps!

V/R,
Jack

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Gazza
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« Reply #14 on: 08 July 2017, 06:13:09 PM »

...I can see how you might spend an entire turn doing nothing but 'rallying' the troops back into the fight.  But I really enjoy those types of (limiting) command mechanisms with regards to tactical decision making: do I turn over the initiative to the enemy in order to get my all my units back in fighting shape, or do I keep pushing with what I have, though we're becoming worn down and strung out?  

That's it! In the batrep I'm writing up now, during turn 3 the Germans got quite badly mauled and spent most of their CPs regrouping, before resuming the advance in turn 4. I prefer these kind of rules - I'm more interested in the "friction" of battle than the hardware and whether this gun has a greater range than that gun.
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'Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.' - GB Shaw

Das Blog: http://we-stand-and-fight.blogspot.co.uk/
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