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Author Topic: Replacing Commanders ?  (Read 1186 times)
Big Insect
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« on: 16 November 2019, 07:04:01 PM »

In a recent large multi-player game we had a situation were a number of HQs were destroyed, by being caught by concentrated enemy artillery fire.
These HQs were subsequently replaced by coming back on to the table, at their base deployment line, at -1 to their original CV.

However ... the rules state that a Command unit (our HQs) cannot be replaced more than once in a game. Due to the vulnerability of the HQs and the relative invulnerability of their formations  units (which were AFV/MBTs) the HQs were destroyed again in a subsequent turn, leaving the formations without commanders; and as we were playing Fixed Formations with a major issue.

Both formations had come on as a Flank Deployment, so were well over 150cm from their army CO, making it all but impossible for the CO to order them.
Equally, there were no enemy units within Initiative range, so the only actions open to both tank formations was to use Opportunity Fire in response to enemy actions.

As the enemy formations facing the 2 (stranded) tank formations was significantly smaller and significantly out-gunned by the tanks, the enemy player in command chose not to take any actions, other than continuing to rain down artillery on the tanks, to attempt to suppress as many as possible each turn, as he withdrew his units. All of which resulted in a rather unsatisfactory situation for all concerned.

So my question is whether we look to remove the restriction on replacing Commanders more than once? I can see no real disadvantage to doing so. It would IMHO greatly improve game-play and also avoid the unrealistic situation of units stranded without commanders.

I'd propose if we do allow this, that each time the HQ is replaced the -1 to the CV is applied on a cumulative basis - reflecting the impact of the erosion of the formations chain of command. This might ultimately end up with a similar result as the replacement HQs CV get lower and lower, but at least there is a chance that the unit might be commanded.

I'd value your thoughts please.

mark

Mark
« Last Edit: 16 November 2019, 08:08:52 PM by Big Insect » Logged
Shedman
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« Reply #1 on: 16 November 2019, 07:37:13 PM »

I'd propose if we do allow this, that each time the HQ is replaced the -1 to the CV is applied on a cumulative basis - reflecting the impact of the erosion of the formations chain of command. This might ultimately end up with a similar result as the replacement HQs CV get lower and lower, but at least there is a chance that the unit might be commanded.

Sounds good to me
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Steve J
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« Reply #2 on: 16 November 2019, 08:16:56 PM »

I see no reason not to do so. However I like to roll to see if the CV goes up or down, as it can be fun to suddenly have a better HQ (within the army limits) than the one you lost Cheesy.
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #3 on: 16 November 2019, 08:58:25 PM »

We've had a few of goes using die with "+", "-" and blank sides in such situations.

We haven't allowed CVs to exceed the list value.

Perhaps we should. A heavily shelled Russian heavy tank unit with a CV10 junior lieutenant in charge could be interesting Cheesy
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Raider4
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« Reply #4 on: 16 November 2019, 10:19:40 PM »

. . . avoid the unrealistic situation of units stranded without commanders.

Is that really an unrealistic situation?
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paulr
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« Reply #5 on: 17 November 2019, 02:49:05 AM »

Is that really an unrealistic situation?

That was also my though, but then I haven't played the rules so am not sure how crippling the lack of commanders would be Undecided

Perhaps the moral is to not get your commanders spotted and so stonked Wink
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #6 on: 17 November 2019, 03:16:48 AM »

As noted above, a unit with no commander is pretty much reduced to opportunity fire - assuming the enemy are obliging enough to offer the opportunity!

Ideally, in BKC, commanders need to be close to their units, so hiding them isn't always an option and they aren't necessarily the intended target in any case.
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Dr Dave
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« Reply #7 on: 17 November 2019, 07:46:50 AM »

On the + / - cv point. The new cv CANNOT be higher than the CO. So youd never get a Russian cv10 Lt  Sad

Id allow a new officer to be created, but at the second chance Id not allow him to be better than the one being replaced.
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Big Insect
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« Reply #8 on: 17 November 2019, 04:15:15 PM »

Is that really an unrealistic situation?

I would agree that it might not be an unrealistic situation.
I'm not actually sure what would happen in 'real life' - does anybody know of any historical situations?

I had assumed that command would default down the chain. With a tank unit you might end up with the separate squadron commanders taking the initiative I suppose.
But as stated above - without a CO to take on the command roll (or a spare HQ attached as a 2iC - which is something I do in my CWC Soviet formations - who can speed across the battle-field to pick up the reins of command, the formation) without an HQ the units are pretty much useless.

I like the idea of dicing for the quality of the new commander but would agree that they shouldn/t end up with a higher CV than the maximum in the army list.
That might be one to go in the optional rules section.

Interesting
Thanks
Mark
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Sandinista
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« Reply #9 on: 18 November 2019, 06:38:21 AM »

On the + / - cv point. The new cv CANNOT be higher than the CO. So youd never get a Russian cv10 Lt  Sad

Id allow a new officer to be created, but at the second chance Id not allow him to be better than the one being replaced.

I wouldn't have a problem with a higher CV, an inspired moment for a junior officer winning his nations top awards under fire...
Until Uncle Joe carts him away to Siberia's icy plains for being dangerously free thinking  Cry

Cheers
Ian
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Big Insect
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« Reply #10 on: 18 November 2019, 08:15:04 AM »

Also worth remembering that this current rule applies to COs, FAOs and FACs as well (but not Recce or Sniper Teams).

I think allowing more reincarnations would most certainly work.
Having the upgrade & downgrade dice option as an Optional Rule would also be a good option but with a limitation that the upgraded CV cannot be greater than that of the CO makes a lot of sense.

Generally HQs are cheap (in low CV armies) so having as many as you can lay your hands on might also help (in a none-foxed formation game).
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holdfast
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« Reply #11 on: 18 February 2020, 07:59:48 PM »

Coming late to this, but the issue of the communications kit is as important as the gifted individual. If a HQ is destroyed it probably loses much of its equipment so the new commander's ability to command is highly likely to be less due to his inferior communications, however charismatic he is. Not much scope for heroic leadership then.
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Big Insect
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« Reply #12 on: 18 February 2020, 09:34:24 PM »

Agreed - Command units are a network, rather than an individual - so a destroyed network is big loss, but as 'units'/bases they can relatively easily be destroyed if caught in artillery or air templates.

However, the loss of a Command unit (if it cannot be replaced) is catastrophic from a game-play perspective - especially if using fixed formations.
It means that a large % of the army cannot be commanded at all - so has to fight on using Initiative only. Which makes continuing playing the game pretty pointless in most instances.

Game-play is a balance between portraying reality and creating a game that is fun for all players. It's not an easy choice.
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Orcs
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« Reply #13 on: 19 February 2020, 12:35:43 AM »

I have not played the BKC4 rules, but in BKC2 it is unusual for an HQ to get destroyed.  I assume they are still 6 to hit with a 6 to save. 

I would say the base deployment line for a flanking force is the flank they came on. so should have been on that edge.

Secondly as you cannot directly target an HQ  you must have had them very close to the fighting units or had some spectacular deviation.  That is the risk you take putting commanders to near the action.  They either end up dead or take too much local interest in the action rather than commanding.

I believe their were similar comments when Colonel H Jones was killed leading the attack at Goose Green. While his actions were no doubt heroic it was questioned as to what a battalion commander was doing leading a what was a section/platoon assault.
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Big Insect
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« Reply #14 on: 19 February 2020, 11:26:35 AM »

I'd agree, but HQs are often close to the fighting front in BKCIV (or BKC II) as their command radius is limited.

In the case of Flank Attacks they are especially vulnerable, as they move onto the table ahead of their units, which can only come on-table within a certain radius of their position, which means that if the units only make one move on-table (and that move might be shortened by enemy fire and suppression) you can end up with a concentration of units around the HQ. Which mean the HQ can very often get caught in either a Bombardment or Airstrike template.

I the game in question, the flanking armoured formation - that consisted of 2 HQs and 2 lots of MBTs - got repeatedly hit by MRLs (so a large template and a lot of attack dice) and also repeated air strikes, from a very close to target FAC. So whilst there was little deviation the HQs inevitably got caught under the templates. With both HQs dead, that left c.24 MBTs and supports (or what was left of them after the air and artillery strikes) paralysed on the table edge, to be 'picked-off' by more artillery and airstrikes. The enemy armour within range did nothing so as not to attract opportunity fire ... it was a ludicrous situation.
The CO was too far away (across the other side of the table to rake command).
Now it could be argued that this is an exceptional situation - but with Flank Attacks we are increasingly finding this not to be the case.

As in BKCII, in BKCIV  Commanders are a 6 to hit but a 6 to save - but if you are throwing 18-24 dice at a unit under a template and that is happening on multiple occasions you still end up with a lot of hits. and a lot of knocked-out units (including commanders).
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