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Author Topic: Buildings and Trenches  (Read 923 times)
fred.
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« on: 13 May 2019, 07:38:41 PM »

In our latest game, we had French defenders largely in two villages, with some trenches as well as in houses. They were being attacked by a mixed German force.

We found that the defenders were very hard to shift from the terrain. While I understand that defenders in buildings are hard to deal with, I just want to validated what we were doing, and if this tallies with other peopleís experience. It certainly felt that the attacker having a 50% points difference was not that much to do the job.

Infantry in buildings, have the following defensive advantages
Attacker at -1d6 shooting dice due to low profile
Only hit on a 6
Save of 5+
Only suppressed on a 6+
Hits and suppression come off at the end of the defenderís turn.

On the first village, forces were approximately equal, with the attacker having the advantage of a SP 150mm SIG, also having scheduled infantry and air strikes available.

The attacker used smoke to allow them to get close, then got into a fire fight. This went badly as they were in soft cover 5+ to hit no save, vs the defender (as above). At least in half-range they got an extra 1d6 (although the defender got this too).
Scheduled air hit several stands of defenders but caused 1 or 2 hits, which on 6 hit units is fairly minor.
Ultimately the defenders shot the attackers to pieces with no casualties to the defenders.
To be fair this was a holding attack - and as that did its job. But it still it seemed very one-sided.

In the other village, the Germans ultimately massed 3/4 of their troops. But again had a lot of trouble shifting 2 units of infantry from one building. On the surface they did things right, they put in direct fire, assaulted with engineers (the German engineers are very good in CA) but it was very tough going.

One Close Assault seemed to highlight the attackers problems.
Single defending infantry stand, with 3 shooting dice and CA of 4.
Attacking Engineers with CA of 8, along with several supporting stands.
The attackers fired first with at least 4 units - not sure this caused any hits (only a 1 in 9 chance of causing a hit, followed by a 1 in 6 of suppressing).
CA by the engineers.
First the defenders shoot, 3 shots at 4+ to hit. I think this caused 2 hits on the attacker
The engineers roll their CA assault dice needing 6s to hit. (I think it was 10 dice, could have been slightly more) fluff this and get zero hits, would have expected 1 or 2.
The defenders roll their CA and score 1 hit.
So the result is 3-0 to the defenders, which on the combat results table for CA is auto death for the attackers, and suppresses all their support.
While the dice results were a bit swingy, the average result would have been 3.5 to the defenders vs 1.5 to the attackers. Which is very close to the 2:1 results causing auto death.
Perhaps the attackers could have got a second stand in, which would have helped - but it would still be down to the dice roll

I know the methodology is to suppress the defender before CA, but the odds of doing this are minimal, 1 in 9 to hit, then 1 in 6 to suppress. You are likely to have killed the unit as to suppress it.

The defender firing against the attacker who counts as in the open is deadly.

The previous week my infantry had been very successful at assaulting the Panzers, but the tanks were in the open, so hitting them was much easier. And it was easy to suppress them first, as they were in the open.

Have we done anything wrong mechanistically, or anything wrong tactically?

In the end the German player just shot the defenders out, but did this with a huge number of units firing at short range. Not something that could be repeated for every defended building.

Once the Panzers moved off from failing to shoot up infantry in a house, they destroyed 4 Souma tanks in 1 turn of shooting, which highlighted how tough the infantry in a building was in comparison to some good early war tanks.
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Cross698
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« Reply #1 on: 13 May 2019, 07:55:32 PM »

You seem to have done it right. It is very difficult to dislodge troops in trenches or in buildings for the reasons you have pointed out. Flamethrowers are a must, if you can get them close enough!

It was mentioned in a thread previously, but I think that someone was suppressing on morale class - 4 Green 5 Trained 6 Veteran, which I am toying with!
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Steve J
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« Reply #2 on: 13 May 2019, 08:24:08 PM »

This is one reason we ended up using the 'hits stay on' optional rule, otherwise it became almost impossible for the attacker to win.
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Dr Dave
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« Reply #3 on: 13 May 2019, 09:06:25 PM »

Fred, you said: ďHits and suppression come off at the end of the defenderís turnĒ

Hits come off at the end of the active (attacking) players phase surely, the defender has to be penalised when and if he is suppressed.

We use the suppression as a function of unit morale - itís an optional rule in CWC. Otherwise everyone is the same. The Italian Libyan troops are the same as the Australians? Nahhhhh  Grin

On the attacker / defender argument. It is tough. 50% extra is nowhere near enough. 2:1 minimum would be better, but still perhaps not enough. 3:1 is the classic. Copehill Down can hold a bttn, then needs a brigade to take it!
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fred.
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« Reply #4 on: 13 May 2019, 09:18:06 PM »

Fred, you said: ďHits and suppression come off at the end of the defenderís turnĒ

I was meaning the hits and suppressionís on the Defending units.

Using the quality based suppression sounds useful - which moves suppression to a 5+ in general.
As to hit rolls are affected by terrain, Iím not sure suppression needs to be too, otherwise its a double counting of the effect of cover.

Iím also not sure the 5+ save is needed inside buildings. As this is on top of the 6 to hit. Was the save in earlier versions?

Iíd be OK with a save on top of the 6 to hit for proper fortifications.

Yes we felt the 3:1 odds was needed. And ultimately this is what the Germans managed, by leaving half the french facing 1/4 of their force. Then destroying the French armour.
Itís hard to know if it is our expectations are out of line, or its the game results. While attacking a village should be hard, Iím not clear how hard it should be. Otherwise they will just be avoided - which is a valid tactic, but at times there were certainly attacked successfully.
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Big Insect
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« Reply #5 on: 13 May 2019, 09:27:00 PM »

I am back

You played it right

Smoke also helps in an assault

As does a lot of suppression fire

But getting troops out of buildings is a very difficult task - it is why defended villages were by-passed if possible in Normandy or subjected to heavy artillery fire or air attacks ahead of armour and infantry assaulting

Cheers
Mark

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ianrs54
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« Reply #6 on: 14 May 2019, 07:49:57 AM »

Also use a lot of artillery !
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Jimbo94
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« Reply #7 on: 14 May 2019, 10:35:54 AM »

Using smoke and a lot of artillery costs points, assuming you can have smoke and a the assets is not guaranteed to arrive unless pre planned.
Using up precious points on stuff that might not be used especially with FAO on CV6 etc is not going to make your chances of assaulting the buildings (now with less troops as more spent on assets)

I'm running my first Game of BKCIV at the club this week and I am dreading it, having to explain yes, its very difficult to assault those conscript Russians in the town even though you have better command, recce, better troops, full air superiority, pre planned air and artillery strikes, two to one points advantage, smoke etc
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Steve J
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« Reply #8 on: 14 May 2019, 10:51:25 AM »

Jimbo, it might be easier to go with a simpler scenario to start with, based upon experience. I've found a fairly simple encounter type action works, so that all players can get a handle on the mechanics. This can be done on a 4' x 4' table or smaller. You can get in quite a few games that way. Then you can add in all the other stuff, such as pre-planned artillery etc once everyone is au fait with the main mechanics. Hope this helps?
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Cross698
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« Reply #9 on: 14 May 2019, 11:25:46 AM »

I would try the optional rule - that a unit that receives 2+ Hits from Off table Artillery or Air Attacks is automatically suppressed!
https://pendraken.co.uk/ProductImages/BKC-IVOptionalRulesGeneral.pdf
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Jimbo94
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« Reply #10 on: 14 May 2019, 11:35:59 AM »

Jimbo, it might be easier to go with a simpler scenario to start with, based upon experience. I've found a fairly simple encounter type action works, so that all players can get a handle on the mechanics. This can be done on a 4' x 4' table or smaller. You can get in quite a few games that way. Then you can add in all the other stuff, such as pre-planned artillery etc once everyone is au fait with the main mechanics. Hope this helps?

Thanks for the suggestion
Scenario has already gone out to the players so I'm committed to it now!!
As its actually a breakthrough scenario I will suggest to the attacker that he avoids the BUAs
Cheers
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Shedman
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« Reply #11 on: 14 May 2019, 11:59:11 AM »

A lot of our BUAs are 5+ to  hit as we find shifting troops from 6+ BUAs a pain  in the neck
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Cross698
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« Reply #12 on: 14 May 2019, 12:16:34 PM »

I don't have a problem with the cover, i think it is the saves plus the subsequent "suppression roll". Fortifications and trenches do make units very difficult to Knock out or even suppress. I personally am inclined towards the morale/training of the unit as a better mode than the "Hit" required to suppress. Also a unit that takes shelter in a building or fortification should lose the low profile bonus too. Also I think HE from artillery or mortar fire should be easier to hit troops in trenches - as per v2 were a unit behind a wall or hedge or unit in crops was harder to hit from direct fire, but not from indirect! Afterall in WW1 trenches, once the bombardment started, troops hit the dug outs, so if you want the benefits then you need to purchase a trench and dug out - it then becomes a matter of points. Having seen some of the Youtube films showing support guns firing (albeit at close range), those buildings tend to disappear, along with any troops inside.
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fred.
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« Reply #13 on: 14 May 2019, 01:02:19 PM »

In our game the attackers did have smoke and arty. The smoke was used to allow them to get up close. The arty landed on a different part of the village, but was fairly ineffective

I think it is a case of player expectation / playability vs reality. And that is very hard to judge and balance.

We recently played a game of Rommel, in which the Belgian infantry in villages held off loads of German attackers. Partly as the Belgians were able to rotate units into the villages over a river line, and partly as the Germans spread there attacks across two villages, when they perhaps should have concentrated on one. It felt realistic, but it wasnít an interesting game for either the attacker or defender.

In BKC it seems essential to suppress the enemy before assaulting them. But suppressing troops in BUA or fortifications is not predictable. And the statistics show you are are likely to kill them as suppress them. Therefore why bring assault engineers, when you may as well just bring more shooty stuff.   


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« Reply #14 on: 14 May 2019, 01:57:14 PM »

On way to improve the suppression rate from artillery or airstrike and (potentially) mortars is to go for the optional 2 hits = auto-suppression optional rule.
It speeds up game-play as well - which is primarily why it was 'invented' - especially for large multi-player games.
We play this as standard at Slimbridge/Berkeley.

With Mortars you'd only apply it to Soft targets - you could argue that it could apply to Vulnerable (open topped vehicles) as well maybe.
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