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Author Topic: Profiles  (Read 299 times)
T13A
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« on: 12 January 2020, 07:43:37 PM »

Hi

Just wondering about the thinking behind Infantry having an 'Average' profile and Sturmgeschütz III having a 'Low' profile (it used to be the other way around in BKC-II)? According to my Bovington reference book a Sturmgeschütz III is 6ft 5 and a half inches high and according to Wickipedia 7ft 1 inch (2.16m). I appreciate that an infantry base represents a platoon and a model Sturmgeschütz III represents 3-4 vehicles.

I also appreciate that I am free to change anything that I do not agree with, but still...…  Huh?

Cheers Paul
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Big Insect
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« Reply #1 on: 13 January 2020, 09:26:02 AM »

Profile is not just about height. It is about the footprint of the unit/formation and the perception of 'size'.
So if you are 'looking out' for an armoured profile, the Sturmgeschütz III is a lower profile than most other armour, so is less visible.
It also employed more of a hide and ambush type approach in specific circumstances.

It is fundamentally a rule mechanism - we originally had Infantry & Infantry Support as Low Profile in BKCIV, but it just made them so hard to see and hit. So it skewed the play-balance.

Generally Profiles is a devilishly complex issue in the Commander sets of rules, as it covers not only ability to spot/see, but also has an impact on to-hit factors.
You can argue the case that no Armour is truely Low Profile compared to an infantry man, but we need some differentiation so that the StUG III has some sort of recognition of its turret-less status and its stalk and ambush doctrine.

A Kettenkrad (for example) has a very small profile, but the tracks kick up a mass of dust and it is unbelievably noisy. Easy to spot, not so easy to hit. But we are getting down to a level of granularity that is below that which BCK is intended to play at.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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T13A
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« Reply #2 on: 13 January 2020, 10:16:51 AM »

Hi Mark

Thanks for the explanation.

Personally I think arguing that a platoon of infantry has a smaller ‘footprint’ (in BKC terms) than a platoon of 3 or 4 Sturmgeschütz III’s is frankly nonsense. I also suspect that a platoon of Sturmgeschütz III’s makes a lot more noise and kicks up a lot more dust than a platoon of infantry (particularly when stationary), from personal experience I would argue that it is easier to see and spot a platoon of 3 or 4 1970’s tanks (albeit a lot bigger than StuG III’s) than it is to spot a platoon of infantry.

I appreciate the difficulty with game mechanics, however from memory, I do not remember this coming up as an issue on the Pendraken forum as being a problem with BKC-II that needed changing. Maybe I missed it?
I genuinely hate to say this but for me this is just another ‘nail in the coffin’ of BKC-IV which is rapidly heading towards the recycling bin.

Back to BKC-II for me.

Apologies for the rant.

Cheers Paul
« Last Edit: 13 January 2020, 11:12:20 AM by T13A » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: 13 January 2020, 01:58:58 PM »

As stated Paul, it's not just the physical profile that is the point here. Profile is a rules mechanism.

Yes, you could argue that a StUGIII or similar is a higher profile than an Infantry platoon - although as you point out the difference is a matter of inches (admittedly 15 inches)
However, it could be perceived as a bigger issue when the Sturmgeschütz III (at 7 feet 1 inch tops) is deemed to be the same height as an M3 Sherman - at over 11 feet 2.85 inches high (for example) which is clearly much taller (some 4 feet higher).

It could be argues that at an average of 5 feet 8 inches (for US soldiers in WW2) the StUG is only c. 26% higher, where as the Sherman is c.100%+ higher.
But in the scheme of a 10mm battlefield we are probably talking negligible differences.
Even when you look at a vehicle we all think of as having a large profile - such as the Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E (King Tiger) it actually had a lower height than the Sherman, at 9 feet 10 inches. Even a Ferdinand (Panzerjäger Tiger (P) ) is only 9 feet 9 inches in height.

Profile amongst other things is purely a rules mechanism - Infantry and Infantry Support already have a lot of the Low Profile advantages built into them as standard. So by making them also Low Profile in BKCIV you were effectively making them doubly effective (as was pointed out in a couple of length errata threads).

There is a danger here that it is tempting to read the rules and draw a conclusion, than play them through and see how they work in practice on-table.

But each to their own.

Thanks
Mark
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Dr Dave
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« Reply #4 on: 13 January 2020, 06:21:20 PM »

The whole profiles discussion seems to boil down to the height of one example of each type. A Stug is an awful lot WIDER than as person. But neither are alone. We’re really discussing 3-4 vehicles and 30 or so infantrymen.

What I don’t get is what was actually wrong with BKCII in this regard. The new rule seems to be open to a huge amount of interpretation and needs some clarification lest it remain vague and open.

If certain units are deemed to be most definitely “low profile” surely it would have been much easier to just give them an extra hit?
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