Ammunition use/turns of fire/logistics

Started by JJ252, 11 June 2022, 11:42:00 AM

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JJ252

Are the no rules to account for ammunition usage during course of a game?
As a battalion or regimental commander logistics should be a key consideration as to your units current fighting potential.

If a formation can fire away with no regard for ammunition usage is a tadge unrealistic

For example most Russian tanks carry about 40 rounds, split between AT rounds and HE. Most NATO tanks carry around 60 rounds. So all things being equal a Russian unit will run out of ammunition before NATO

A simple way to introduce this would be to assign a maximum number of game turns which a formation may fire.

Ithoriel

It's not that sort of game!

Stop looking at the inputs and look at the outputs.

You roll four attack dice and only get one hit. Maybe they missed, maybe the shots bounced off, maybe ammo is scarce and they didn't take a risky shot, maybe the ammo is duff .... the game doesn't care. It's results not the minutiae of weapon types, ammo loads, etc that is being modeled.

All that said, it's entirely up to you what house rules you want to introduce, well you and any opponent, I guess. The Wargames Police aren't going to kick in your door and drag you away because you don't play the rules as written :) For which I am duly grateful, I'd be in chains :)
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fred.

This is also where command rolls come in. Command roll failures when shooting - could be seen as low on ammo conserving rounds. 

As Ithoriel says the commander series is very much about the overall flow of the battle - not the detail of what a specific tank (or tank troop) is at. Games tend to give the right overall feel to them - but at times a specific turn may feel a little odd - but in the overall game narrative these odd turns often then fit in. It is definitely a different style of gaming. And I'll admit it doesn't always work for me - but when it does work it works very well.
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JJ252

Buts that the whole point of playing a game as a Regimental commander - logistics should be a concern and understanding the morale of your troops and how many running units you have under your command..

The seemingly often quoted response - its not that sort of game / its all considered as pert of the overall command structure isn't working for me.

Appreciate nobody is going to come knocking at my door!!

To put ammunition constraints on a player/game scenario certainly makes a player prioritise who and what to fire at during a game.

What's the saying, concerning warfare - amateurs discuss tactics, professionals discuss logistics.

mrkev

Why not give it a try then?

Quote from: JJ252 on 11 June 2022, 08:23:24 PMWhat's the saying, concerning warfare - amateurs discuss tactics, professionals discuss logistics.

Don't know about you but I'm pretty sure we're all amateurs  ;D  unless you're setting up sand tables at a training school of course!   Personally additional admin isn't going to make me enjoy things more so I'm quite happy keeping that amateur status

sultanbev

11 June 2022, 09:41:10 PM #5 Last Edit: 11 June 2022, 09:46:38 PM by sultanbev
QuoteWhat's the saying, concerning warfare - amateurs discuss tactics, professionals discuss logistics.

Aye, t'is true, but if we all wanted to game logistics we'd play Monopoly or go work at Asda. It's in the title "wargame".

More pertaintly, my understanding is that battalion and regimental commanders don't count ammunition their platoons fire either. At some random point they'll get a radio message that a unit is running low or is out of Carl Gustav reloads or whatever, or worse still, will see a platoon/company driving rearwards without orders. If there is a quiet moment that HQ will be able to do the rounds on the radio and check on ammo stocks in his combat platoons.

In my own games that I play 1:1, I use a CWC command system, but do firing by platoons using 2D6 as a basis, a roll of double-6 means that platoon (or those vehicles/guns/squads that were firing on that activation) has run out of ammo. I then have rules for ammo resupply, but woebetide anyone rolling an activation blunder whilst reloading the platoon (!). I do have limits for off-table artillery and do keep track of them, and for on-table ATGW.

For CWC, I suspect what you would be looking for is an ammunition depletion mechanism, rather than tracking each set of shells fired by each model. My suggestion is:

AMMO DEPLETION
Every time a stand fires direct fire by activation with 2 or more D6 (not opportunity fire) if any two dice are natural 1 results regardless of how many attacks it has, that stand has then gone Low on Ammunition (place a suitable marker next to it). From then on it fires with 1 less attack D6. if it happens again, it has run out of shells and is left with MGs only at A/P = 1/40.

AMMUNITION RESUPPLY
For each Battalion HQ fielded, allow 3 ammo trucks, or if you are being more exact, one per CHQ in the TOE (this is what I do in my tactical games, and my Napoleonic armies have up to 1 ammo wagon per brigade and per battery if desired)
In some cases they may be tracked or armoured, or horse-drawn, depending on your army. British tank regiments in the 1970s-80s could have Stalwarts for example. Regardless, the resupply truck can be activated as a normal unit, but always starts on CV10 {I would argue that motorised supply units were the bravest of troops, as they had to advance towards a hostile front without firepower and rarely armour}.
Or the out of ammo unit can retire to the ammo wagon, or do a combination of moves. Once they meet and are static & adjacent for a full activation, a successful activation roll means the ammo is resupplied. A blunder at this point is a total explosion and both are removed. A bonus allows the unit to reload and do a free move towards where-ever it was meant to be.
Ammo trucks can be targeted by direct fire if no other more dangerous targets are visible, and of course are vulnerable to indirect fire and airstrikes as usual.

Alternatively, you could have ammo dumps somewhere at the rear table edge, bit like an camp in ancients games, where units can retire to reload.

How's that sound?

Smartbomb

How far do you push it though? Yes not tracking ammo is unrealistic, but tracking ammo, but not fuel, spares, POL, crew sustainment and replacement, rear supply line, etc. is "unrealistic" too. Do you track things like ammo manufacturing defects, ammo that is past its "best by", improper storage, etc.?

Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

For a game that does try to have logistics - Battlegroup - the most ignored rules are the logistics ones. Only know of one occasion where tanks in action ran low, and they Isralies cut off at the Mitla pass in 1967. The game does take account of the comonest shortage by only allowing IAT to fire once.

If you insist the following may work. Each Btn HQ (senior if using 2 or more) has to have a soft transport delivered to it every 3rd move (thats arbitory feel free to change). If it fails to get this delivery roll for each subordinate base with 2 D6 - on a score of 11 or more it's got supply problems,roll 1 D6 1-4 it's out of fuel and may not move, 5-6 out of ammuniton.
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JJ252

12 June 2022, 01:10:19 PM #8 Last Edit: 12 June 2022, 01:17:51 PM by JJ252
Quote from: Smartbomb on 12 June 2022, 01:43:56 AMHow far do you push it though? Yes not tracking ammo is unrealistic, but tracking ammo, but not fuel, spares, POL, crew sustainment and replacement, rear supply line, etc. is "unrealistic" too. Do you track things like ammo manufacturing defects, ammo that is past its "best by", improper storage, etc.?

Fuel etc would be taken into account in campaign game (to cover logistics - units are given 'resource points' which are consumed at different rates depending on what a unit does over the course of a campaign turn).
 However I did consider fuel at one point, but did conclude for 1-off games it isn't necessary. When fuel tanks are full just about all modern tanks have sufficient range for daily operations - fuel ranges are often 4-500 miles quoted in many books.

However ammunition is a different matter. For Soviet tanks, most typically carry about 40 rounds. While probably unrealistic, if fired off quickly - a tank would fire all its ammunition in about 15mins at circa 3 rounds per minute. Although out of the, say, 40 rounds 25 might be HE, 15 AP or whatever proportion is loaded. No I wouldn't track ammunition down to each type of ammunition. I don't track ammunition usage for small guns - less than 50mm calibre.

Clearly units are unlikely to fire at maximum rate of fire at every engagement - but I would give Soviet tank unit maybe 6 game turns of ammunition, NATO tank units 8 game turns. Only counting turns when firing takes place.
Ammunition limits really add an extra consideration to a commanders decisions and how you prioritise targets.

sultanbev

Quote from: JJ252 on 12 June 2022, 01:10:19 PMClearly units are unlikely to fire at maximum rate of fire at every engagement - but I would give Soviet tank unit maybe 6 game turns of ammunition, NATO tank units 8 game turns. Only counting turns when firing takes place.

If I recall most CWC games only last 6-8 turns anyway, so it may not be something you need to think about.

Smartbomb

Based on this and other threads it sounds like you want a different play experience than the rules are designed to provide. If you want to track individual unit ammo, reduction in fire power based on hits taken, etc. you want something vastly different than what I think this system is intended to model and goal of the game.

If you modify the game this way everytime you want to order a unit, you check things like command distance, LOS, facing and arcs. Then throw in reduction in firepower, checking ammo status the length of a game turn starts creeping higher and higher.

JJ252

Indeed, so if a typical game is 6-8 turns - which equates to 3-4hrs real time (based on a turn representing 30mins as quoted at the start of the rules).

Such a short game gives limited scope for attack / counter attack, regrouping etc. So really the rules are little removed from 1 v 1 games.

If players deploy a whole regiment - typically HQ Coy, 3 battalions (each 3 Coys + Support coy), AT coy. Plus tank support of maybe 1 battalion with 3-4 tank squadrons. Artillery and air support.

So such a unit could be broken in an afternoons fighting seems barely credible. We have the current Ukraine war to see how difficult the Russian's are finding it to break Ukraine - without throwing in any arguments about equipment and troop  quality etc.

Yes, so I agree, looks like I'll be sticking to Command Decision and/or the modified version of Operational Manoeuvre Group rules.

sultanbev

JJ252 - what are your thoughts on Modern Spearhead?
I remember the OMG rules when they came out, I've probably still got the booklets somewhere.

I've since retired from trying to do brigade/regimental level games at 1 model per platoon (roughly) and gone back to 1:1 gaming, but at battalion/battlegroup level. I missed the intricacy of TOE details, where for example you'd get a unit of 2 weapons that disappear in the higher level sets, or are morphed into a generic combined model at BHQ.

hammurabi70

QuoteIndeed, so if a typical game is 6-8 turns - which equates to 3-4hrs real time (based on a turn representing 30mins as quoted at the start of the rules).

Such a short game gives limited scope for attack / counter attack, regrouping etc. So really the rules are little removed from 1 v 1 games.

If players deploy a whole regiment - typically HQ Coy, 3 battalions (each 3 Coys + Support coy), AT coy. Plus tank support of maybe 1 battalion with 3-4 tank squadrons. Artillery and air support.

So such a unit could be broken in an afternoons fighting seems barely credible. We have the current Ukraine war to see how difficult the Russian's are finding it to break Ukraine - without throwing in any arguments about equipment and troop  quality etc.

Yes, so I agree, looks like I'll be sticking to Command Decision and/or the modified version of Operational Manoeuvre Group rules.

In what ways do you consider those superior rules?  I agree ammunition supply is an important topic but would it normally prove critical for one afternoon of fighting?  I am not familiar with modern approaches but in WWII I would have thought there would be a nightfall withdrawal to B echelon for resupply.

Have you considered Seven Days to the River Rhine or Team Yankee as options?

Asking for ... me!  I have just discovered my old German Cold War army from the 1980s so would be interested to find suitable rules in use today.

pbeccas

Quote from: JJ252 on 11 June 2022, 11:42:00 AMAre the no rules to account for ammunition usage during course of a game?

I hope not. 😀