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Author Topic: Infantry Support Stands  (Read 632 times)
Jerboa
Cadet

Posts: 38



« on: 06 October 2020, 04:17:27 PM »

I'm working on my WWII Western Desert Project and have a few general questions about infantry support stands, and specific questions about BKC army lists from micromark. The questions deal with infantry support stands representing varying numbers of MMGs or mortars.

First, the DAK. Here I have the benefit of using the excellent BKCG2 (DAK 15th Panzer). There are two different MMG platoons in the list.
Each Schultzen rifle company has an MMG platoon (representing 2 weapons only) with points: 50, A/P: 3/60 and hits: 3.
Each Schultzen MG company has an MMG platoon (representing ? weapons) with points: 50, A/P: 3/60, and hits: 5
Notice that the second platoon has the same points and A/P, but more hits.
Questions:
1. Why the difference in hits, but not points or A/P?
2. Should I represent the first with one MG team on a 25x25mm stand, and the second with 2 MG teams on a 25x50mm stand?

Second, a British motor battalion. I'm working off of B399 (4th armored brigade at Gabr Seleh), but don't yet have the benefit of a BKC-specific list. Each company had a weapons platoon with 2 x 3" mortars and 2 x MMG. How should I represent this? A stand in BKC represents 4 weapons, and the DAK stands above are essentially half stands for 2 weapons.
Options:
1. use 'half stands' with reduced stats.
2. aggregate to the battalion level giving every other company a full mortar stand or a full MMG stand.

I'm curious to hear recommendations and looking forward to more BKC-specific lists for the Western desert. Thanks in advance to Mark.

Cheers,
Jerboa
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Ithoriel
Lieutenant General
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Posts: 7404



« Reply #1 on: 06 October 2020, 05:52:42 PM »

BKC, and it's related rulesets, aims to model things from top down. It is concerned with the overall effect of forces and not the minutiae of their equipment and organisation.

I'm guessing the stats difference for the Shutzen MMG units may be a typo. Mark may be along shortly to tell me I'm wrong Smiley

I would field both the same. Having come to BKC from Warmaster all my units are on 40mmx20mm bases wherever that is possible. Tigers, for example, need something a little bigger!

For the British I'd field a stand of MGs and one of Mortars.

Here's the painted part of my own 1943 era German force.

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mad lemmey
Marquis
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Posts: 22186



« Reply #2 on: 06 October 2020, 07:20:30 PM »

Beautiful work there
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sultanbev
Playtester
Major
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Posts: 665



« Reply #3 on: 06 October 2020, 08:15:33 PM »

The Schutzen company MMG platoon with less hits represents the smaller sized unit, it's an idea I put in to represent the difference between them and the MMG platoons of the heavy weapons and machine gun companies, which have 4 MMG and usually more crew per MMG. This is not an official rules thing, but something that makes sense (to me). The precedent for doing it is that Recce infantry in most lists have 4 hits, whereas all other infantry have 6 hits. But in most armies, recce infantry are full size platoons (c40 men), so didn't see why this was the case, but extrapolated that part of the rules to HW sections. Feel free to object loudly or agree louder.

The reasons the points are not different is because I don't have access to the formula for calculating the points, and I forgot, and I don't use points myself, and I've kept the firepower the same. Oooops

The same problem will occur with the British Motor Companies.
The reason I haven't taken the weapons out and pooled them at Bttn HQ level to get a proper number of stands with full hits is because in the desert theatre it was quite common to have the Schutzen and Motor Companies operating independently, especially with the British. It would be unfair to only have one or some companies of the battalion with the heavy weapons and the others without.

I mentioned in previous posts elsewhere we're trying to represent the effect. Such sections with 2 weapons must have been important to the real life company commanders, so keep them in. Keep them at the full hits if you want. Although you'd have to delve into the company and battalion war histories and diaries of each opposing unit to see if such sections were of any effect. If the 3" mortar and 2x Vickers MMG teams in real life made no impact whatsoever on the unit's combat performance, or made absolutely zero impression on their enemy, then it could be justified to leave them out. But I don't have the time to do that level of research Smiley

If you look at some of the late war British lists, the battalion 6pdr platoon is often split into 2-gun sections and allocated one per company (for 3 companies). So where this was of note in that particular unit I've put a 6pdr in each company, but with reduced hits.  Whereas the full battalion platoon of 6 guns would only justify one model. Sucks I know, but the total number of hits I think is the same.

Whereas a 14 tank-company isn't fielded as 3 full strength models and one half-strength model, it is assumed that of the 14 a few are probably broken down somewhere, or the next effect isn't sufficiently greater to warrent fielding more than 3 normal strength models.

These are the limitations of any abstracted system that doesn't use a 1:1 representation I'm afraid.

Base sizes, is a whole different ball game. I know FoW do their MMGs & ATG on far too big bases, so you can't get the density of fire you might otherwise get. Certainly I would do a full platoon of MMGs on the same frontage as your normal infantry bases, with whatever number of models fit, so doing the "half-platoons" on smaller bases sounds a good idea.

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Jerboa
Cadet

Posts: 38



« Reply #4 on: 06 October 2020, 09:02:15 PM »

Thanks for the prompt and detailed response Mark!

Then, that's the plan.

DAK:
MMG platoons attached to Schutzen rifle companies are 'half stands' with reduced stats representing 2 weapons.
MMG platoons attached to Schutzen MG companies are 'full stands' with normal stats.

For 8th army motor battalions:
Weapons platoons attached to rifle companies include a 'half stand' of 3" mortars and a 'half stand' of Vickers MMG, each representing 2 weapons each. 'Half stands' will have reduced stats.

For 8th army motorized infantry battalions:
MMG and mortar platoons attached to support company are 'full stands' representing 4 weapons each.

I don't use points either, but the hits and A/P stats are important. Reducing hits from 5 to 3 makes sense. How about the A/P?

Other comments welcome!

Cheers,
John




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sultanbev
Playtester
Major
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Posts: 665



« Reply #5 on: 06 October 2020, 09:19:45 PM »

Excellent stuff John.

"How about the A/P?"

I did think about that but decided it was a heresy too far  Grin

I do like to think the firing dice represent the weapon type more than anything else, ie, a combination of accuracy, shell weight, rate of fire and armour penetration, so haven't reduce factors because of less numbers. For some late war lists I have added APDS/APCR stats as appropriate, but it's often 10pts a shot, so kinda expensive.

What you could do, as a simple and effective blanket rule, is to dissallow any "half-platoon" stands from having the +1 extra dice at half range or under (page 35 of the rulebook). I think this would be a neat way of representing the reduced number of weapons without weakening them too much.

Mark


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sean66
Lieutenant
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Posts: 246


WWW
« Reply #6 on: 20 October 2020, 12:28:41 PM »

SultanBev wrote:
BKC, and it's related rulesets, aims to model things from top down. It is concerned with the overall effect of forces and not the minutiae of their equipment and organization.

I routinely give my Bn's 3 stands of MMG's and 3 stands of Mortars. that way they can be split up a stand of each
per company.

I know weapon quantities fluctuate during the campaign/war but feel that most of the times they'd try their damnest to get a full compliment of weapons. (apart from long running Eastern Front units).

one of the main things about Germany nearing the end of the war was that production actually went up under Speer ! even with the massive bombing raids, and the massive loss of equipment in both fighting Operation Overlord and Operation Bagration.

just my input.
regards
Sean
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sean66
Lieutenant
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Posts: 246


WWW
« Reply #7 on: 20 October 2020, 12:45:34 PM »

The problem with the western desert campaign was that both sides were at the end of a very long supply chain.
the Axis had great difficulty getting their supply ships across the Mediterranean.
so much so that every time Rommel wanted to attack he had to wait patiently for the build up from shipping to give him the power
to start an attack, and hope the convoys bringing in follow on supplies got through.
the Allies also had a very long supply chain but also had the benefit of holding Egypt as a supply Dump but again still had to wait
for months to build up enough supplies to be able to stage an attack.
I see the Micromark lists as good information but I also see them as the 'IDEAL'. Most commanders would happily disband or severely deplete their support weapons teams/companies to put more bayonets into the Rifle Companies.
Regards
Sean
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Itinerant Hobbyist
Playtester
Second Lieutenant
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Posts: 121


WWW
« Reply #8 on: 24 October 2020, 02:45:03 AM »

Great looking army.
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