Suggestions for US Marine special rules

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aktr
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Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by aktr »

Hi,

I’ve designed a US Marine platoon for a friend to use against my Japs but I’m struggling for the 2 special rules for them.

I was just going to use the US special rules from the main book but the marine platoon is for 1942 when the marines had the Springfield and not the M1 so it’s just a normal bolt action rifle so no Marching Fire.

Any ideas what to use instead?

Andy

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Hmm the special rules usually reflect doctrine/training or weapons.
So if there are no nifty weapons you need to look to how they fought and what where some of the defining characteristics.
I know little about this theatre so I have no specific suggestions but I would look for anything that was common across the battle reports of the period.
Is this the Guadalcanal period?

JimLeCat
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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by JimLeCat »

Do the US Marines not have an emphasis on marksmanship? In which case substitute Five Rounds Rapid for Marching Fire as a starting point?

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Teufelhunden
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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by Teufelhunden »

I had planned on staying away from this one, as I'm obviously biased, but the very first thing that came to mind was something to do with marksmanship. There are plenty of anecdotes of Marines at the time not wanting the M1, believing the new fangled semi-auto firing weapon would be less accurate than their trusty Springfields. Of course, once they actually were able to fire a Garand, they changed their tune quickly, and any nearby Army stores were quietly depleted. ;)

I think the Five Rounds Rapid is a very good starting point.

siggian
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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by siggian »

Alternatively, when checking for the results of hits (no effect/shock/kill), reroll all 1s. If a reroll scores a 6, the result is a kill. Might be a bit too powerful though.

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Seret
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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by Seret »

JimLeCat wrote:Do the US Marines not have an emphasis on marksmanship? In which case substitute Five Rounds Rapid for Marching Fire as a starting point?
From my own personal experience of modern US Marines I'd say that their defining characteristic is their heavy indoctrination. They're shock troops, and act like it. I'd give them a bonus for morale and aggression. Their training isn't especially impressive in terms of skills, but a lot of effort is put into building and maintaining an impressive espirit de corps.

Not saying that they don't emphasise marksmanship, because they do. But I would put their nature as assault troops higher on the list of characteristics to model.

JimLeCat
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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by JimLeCat »

So, winging it here, but how about starting by giving them Five Rounds Rapid and making them aggressive troops as a base.

Then give them a close assault rule as their second characteristic. Start with Handgranaten, drop the hand grenades and say they ignore any shock on them for the movement and first round of combat (but not if they are pinned or suppressed to start with).

How does that sound? Too aggressive?

If so, a couple more options based on their morale might be to say that a broken unit doesn't rout at the end of a turn if a CoC dice is played on them, or that when reaching breaking point a unit may be rallied for 1D6 shock by playing a CoC dice.

Cheers,
Jim

Peter
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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by Peter »

Be careful you don't create super troopers. Not all national characteristics are benefits.

Peter

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oozeboss
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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by oozeboss »

My experience from being on exercise with US Marines in the early 80s is that they had extraordinarily high morale to begin with (we used to call them all "Rambo"), but were tactically inflexible and tended to fall to pieces quite quickly if things went wrong to any degree.

But we're not talking early 80s USMC, are we? :lol:

My readings seem to indicate that there are two distinct tactical periods of USMC participation in the Pacific campaigns: Guadalcanal to Tarawa; and post Tarawa. If we are to avoid merely creating uber-troopers, the differentiation would be that the early war versions placed more emphasis on fire-power (their victories in Guadalcanal, as an example, were largely due to excellent shooting and superior use of support weapons).

While the later battles (and I'm thinking Peleliu, Iwo Jima & Okinawa especially here) were savage grinding affairs where they were more ferocious than even those they faced (and of course, had much more fire support available). The losses in men and material were far higher in this latter campaign, and we could debate how and why till the cows come home.

I find it interesting that most USMC forces that I have seen on the tabletop (using any number of rules) tend to be of that late 1944-45 variety, while the ones that I actually find inspiring and exciting are the 'Old Breed' campaigns of 1942 and 1943.

(But then, I do relate far more to Bob Leckie than I do to Eugene Sledge.)

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Re: Suggestions for US Marine special rules

Post by bcantwell »

I agree that you definitely have to separate the Marines into early and later forces. The earlier doctrine was very much informed by the interwar experience of the Marine Corp and the training program and indoctrination did seem to place a great deal of emphasis on individual marksmanship. How much that impacted operations in the field is tough to quantify though. The Marines won their battles, including the close up fights, mainly through firepower and that later "best cannon fodder in the world" attitude was not IMO so evident during the majority of the fighting on Guadalcanal. I suspect a lot of that arose out of the experiences with Japanese defending dug in positions on Mt. Austen and on some of the outlying islands.

For my Guadalcanal era USMC (D-1 TOE), I have them with the scout rule (which seems appropriate based on Marine operations on Guadalcanal) and have given them a Marksmanship rule that allows a junior leader to activate a unit to fire using 2 CI and that unit's riflemen (note, not the BAR, SMG, etc). are allowed to assign their hits to specific enemy teams rather than spread them out as normal. SO far it seems to be a pretty decent mechanism, giving them a firepower-based flavor rule without being gratuitously overpowered.

I previously tried a rule that extended the short range of rifle fire (producing more hits, etc) but that was negligible in my games due to the very short sight lines in the jungle.

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