Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

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Tom Ballou
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by Tom Ballou »

BTW since SCs assume hidden minefields, I'm going to lift the minefield rules directly from IABSM3, rule 11.2.2. The target unit will suffer 4 hits as if in the open. Also units moving tactical can detect a minefield before entering.

I'm also going to assume the unit stops at the edge of the minefield, and is not trapped within it.
--Tom

Never drive a car when you're dead
--Tom Waits "Telephone Call From Istanbul"

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Tom Ballou
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by Tom Ballou »

siggian wrote:Or
  • T1+ Elite troops with superior leadership (6 dice)
  • T1 Elite troops with ordinary leadership (5 dice)
  • T2 Regular troops with superior leadership (6 dice)
  • T3 Regular troops with ordinary leadership (5 dice)
  • T4 Green troops with ordinary leadership (5 dice) or regular troops with poor leadership (4 dice)
  • T5 Green troops with poor leadership (4 dice)
Thinking more about this, I like it, but there are almost no examples of T1 troops in SC books. But it does keep T2s from being God like vs T3s. The bonus of being able to dodge 1/3rd of the hits, is huge, much more so than the chance of extra actions.

I think this is what I'm going to use tomorrow.
--Tom

Never drive a car when you're dead
--Tom Waits "Telephone Call From Istanbul"

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Tom Ballou
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by Tom Ballou »

Hi All

We ran our game on Saturday at the Hobby Bunker, in Malden, MA. We had a number of players, new to the system, and interested in the Mechanics. John Michaels has written up an AAR, and is going to post a link here and elsewhere. This should be read in conjunction with John's AAR as he has the map and photos to expand on the story.

Overall I think we had a successful conversion, of a SC scenario. The Regular at 6 dice were very dangerous, but not untouchable. The Soviets at Green 5 worked as expected.

Oddly I think one of the biggest learning curves in the game, is arguably the simplest, the Patrol Phase. Careful usage of Patrol Markers, can really influence the outcome of the game as JOP placement is critical.

We played the scenario as Attack/Defense, I had planed on advancing the Soviet initial patrol line to 24" but at the last moment, I decided to move it back to the standard 18". The Soviet players realized they could only cover 4 feet of the table with 4 patrol makers, so they had to decide what to do. They decided on an extended line, that stretched South. Unfortunately the Germans decided to work North.

To add insult to injury, the Germans roll a 6 and got 6 free patrol moves before the Soviets could react. They quickly strung a patrol line cutting north east. When the Soviets could react, they could only react with their furthest southern patrol marker, so it took them a number of phases to get to a point where they could pin down the flanking German markers.

In retrospect, I think the best bet for the Soviets, is to place the 4th patrol marker behind a line of 3 markers centered on the village, then they have a free marker that can shift quickly North or South.

As it was the Germans ended up controlling the Northern end of the table.

The Soviet placement sectors, ended up making all the JoPs being placed in the center of the table. So they had a very vulnerable area for the Germans to move through.

Another lesson to be learned the hard way, was the defender, needs to resist the urge to drop figures on the table. The game started with the Germans getting a double move, this allowed the Germans to place and go on Overwatch, looking for Russians to pop their heads up. The Soviet player instead of keeping their figures off table, promptly placed a squad in front of 2 squads of PzGrds. They where entrenched, and had the best cover on the board, but Green troops, suffer a lot of hits, when 18 dice are thrown at them. It should have been much worse, but the German player, accidentally placed his 2nd squads figures too deep in the woods (>4") and could not see out.

The Russian fire, did a bit of damage to 1 squad of PzGrd, the Squad did more back. In the continuing theme of Insult to injury, the Germans, got a second back to back phase, and the right dice to move up the blocked squad and fire 3 times at the Russians. Who were reduced to 4 figures, and 8 shock, a single hit would break them.

The curse of the double move also hit the Germans. Enthused by the slaughter they where inflicting on the Soviet squad to the north, they deployed their last squad in the woods on the Western edge of the table, and put them on overwatch as well.

Then the German command dice went cold. Getting bad activation dice, and no double turns.

The Russian saw an opportunity, and deployed a squad between the barn and the wood, with a fine LOF to the western squad, but out of sight of the two other squads. The overwatch did a bit of damage, but the unit was OK, until the JL got hit, reducing his ability to remove shock and fire the squad. Damage started to stack up, with the squad being pinned.

The Russians where loath to put their final squad on the table, since the Germans had not put any tanks on the table yet. Finally they decided to go for the gusto, and placed the last squad entrenched across the road from the barn, to fire on the isolated squad, and brought the Commissar in to rally the second squad.

The combined fire of the 2 squads started taking its toll on the isolated German squad, and pinned it as well. (FWIW, I had screwed up at this point forgetting pinned squads gain one level of cover).

The German player, then realized to his horror, that though he had shattered the flank, the terrain was very difficult to advance through as he had to cross, either a gully or a stream, and his dice were ice cold. The ensuing phases, the isolated squad was nearly broken, and the German player, was forced to bring in his SL to rally the unit to keep it in the fight. But he had put 2 leader now in the line of fire.

However the Soviets could never seal the deal, they got within 1 point of shock of breaking the unit, but on the following phase the Germans would rally off 4 points.

At this point the Germans rolled another back to back move, as a end of turn. The end of turn event became critical.

Finally the flank attack, occurred, but not as expected, the two PzGrd squads, had become separated by bad movement dice, so a single squad (the most shot up one) went into the woods alone.

The player though he could carry the day with CC, but the PzGrds lost all their LMG edge, Because Mike had rolled the end of turn event, the Pinned Russian squad between the barn and woods, that the Commissar had been rallying, but unable to unpin due to lack of CI, became unpinned courtesy of the Huns. Now the once one sided fight became a bloodbath. Both squads where effectively wiped out, with the worst going to the Russians with both the Commissar being outright killed and the JL being wounded a second time and dying. The German leader was knocked out, but survived with a single broken soldaten.

The Soviet FM collapsed at that point, and they where down to 3 dice, Desperate for a lucky event the Soviet Sniper tagged the SL, in the western wood, but he was only knocked out, and the fight was out of the Russians. They had to try to extract off the table, to avoid being shot to hell by the on coming Mk IVs.

The Soviet 45mm ATG hidden away in the barn had been plinking away at the Mk IVe, but had failed to penetrate the front armor, when the Gemmans, roll 4 sixes on the command dice, the random event was a building on fire, closest to the center of the table, the BARN.

The Russians were forced out of the barn into the open by the fire, and promptly fired on by the recovering isolated PzGrd squad, killing the JL and some gunners.

Game Set Match.

It could have easily gone the other way, if when the German SL attached the Russians had rolled any kills, or their sniper had been effective.

The key lesson is if your on the defense, don't place figures on the table till its to your advantage. But to give the Russian player his due, he was worried about losing his bunched up JoPs, and he too failed to realize how treacherous the flank terrain was, and how long it would take the Germans to advance.

The Germans where also running out of time, the game ended on phase 19 or so, and they where a long way from capturing all the buildings. If the Soviets had preserved their force, they could have won the scenario. Most likely they would have lost on points, but would have recovered 5 of them for the victory.

There was really on one question I have to ask the group. Per SC scenarios, mines are hidden and placed before the start of the game. In CoC they are in the open and placed after the patrol phase. So in our game, the Soviets had placed their mines before the start of the game, and the Germans bypassed one field, in the patrol phase, and deployed beyond it.

Because it was a relatively static game, the Germans never reached the others.

Should they be placed before or after the patrol phase? My personal preference is before, as minefields take time to place.
--Tom

Never drive a car when you're dead
--Tom Waits "Telephone Call From Istanbul"

JimLeCat
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by JimLeCat »

Sounds like a great game!

Was there anything you feel you need to tweak about your conversion, or are you happy with it?

As to minefields, I would say place them after the Patrol phase, because while it takes a while to place one, isn't part of the Patrol phase finding out where the enemy has placed them.

Cheers,
Jim

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Tom Ballou
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by Tom Ballou »

Hi Jim

We are going to run this game again on Friday and one more time at the Hobby Bunker, for some noon-lardies. Overall I like the conversion, at least for this scenario. A few more runs will make me feel better.

The commissar rule worked great too!
--Tom

Never drive a car when you're dead
--Tom Waits "Telephone Call From Istanbul"

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john de terre neuve
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by john de terre neuve »

Here is the link to my blog with plenty of photos, but Tom's narration is so good the photos are almost superflous.
http://fuentesdeonoro.blogspot.com/

John

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Tom Ballou
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by Tom Ballou »

Well we just finished an epic game of CoC, on the second run of the Stronghold scenario. It went the distance 30 phases, 1 turn, 3.5 hours start to finish. Russian victory 25 to 24. My I depth defense worked pretty well, but the end game got real bloody real fast. Both sides roll max Force Morale, by the end of the game, the Russians where down to 3, the Germans 6.

The Russians got ground up under the PzGrd fire power. On the defense the only way to survive is to stay off table. But the Germans forced us on as they moved into the village. We had a MMG but we couldn't find a good place to put it as the fields of fire are very tight.

I'll post up my next revision of the conversion.

Rules used:
Hidden mines (This cost the German's a Pz IV).
Turns converted to 3 phases.
Defender gets bonus pips as the start of the game for CoC dice.
All gun weapon teams are given Junior Leaders.

Next Rule up for test is allowing a defender, who starts the scenario with a setup zone 75% or greater, will be allowed to place an Ambush up to 24" from their JoPs. This will give the defenders, the ambushed that type of scenario is expecting. Once past the half way point, of phases, the advantage is lost, as its assumed to have been lost.

I hope to get one more run in, the next scenario is called Ambush Bypass. In this scenario, the defenders control the entire board, and the attackers are going to drive on. So in this case, I don't think they should have JoPs at the start of the game.

There be a patrol phase, to control the placement of defender JoPs, but how do I allow the Germans to bring on JoPs during the course of the game? I'm thinking, allow them to place a JoP at the entry point, and move it on a CoC die, and place or move them per the normal CoC dice.
--Tom

Never drive a car when you're dead
--Tom Waits "Telephone Call From Istanbul"

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john de terre neuve
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by john de terre neuve »

Hi Tom,

I wanted to get some clarification re the above.
Hidden mines (This cost the German's a Pz IV).
When are the mines placed after or before patrol phase? how big are they? Since the Germans do not have engineers, I am presuming that they can not be cleared. What happens when the Germans hit a hidden mine? Different for infantry vs armour?
Turns converted to 3 phases
I am not sure what you mean? Every 3 phases a new turn?
Defender gets bonus pips as the start of the game for CoC dice
I think we did this in the first game, how many pips?
All gun weapon teams are given Junior Leaders.
Are you talking about the AT and AI gun teams, in the CoC rules these do have JL's. How about the MMG teams etc, who do not have JL in the rules. I think returning the JL's to the AT and AI teams is good, they were too hard to activate on a 1. The addition of 2 or 3 to allow activation is good.


So are you still planning to play the first scenario this Saturday Nov 16th at Hobby Bunker?

John

JimLeCat
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by JimLeCat »

Hi Tom,

Posted my thoughts over on the list, but I thought I'd repeat them here.

I think you should have a Patrol Phase as normal, but simply require the German player to ignore on-table cover and place their Jump-Off Points at the edge of the table, according to the usual rules. That way, both players have something to gain (or lose!) in the Patrol Phase and you can then use the usual rules for Jump-Off Points during the game.

How does that sound?

Cheers,
Jim

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Tom Ballou
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Re: Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

Post by Tom Ballou »

john de terre neuve wrote:Hi Tom,

I wanted to get some clarification re the above.
Hidden mines (This cost the German's a Pz IV).
When are the mines placed after or before patrol phase? how big are they? Since the Germans do not have engineers, I am presuming that they can not be cleared. What happens when the Germans hit a hidden mine? Different for infantry vs armour?

1x3 per scenario rule, placed prior to the patrol phase. 2x anti-personnel 1x anti-tank. Mine rules lifted directly from IABSM.
Turns converted to 3 phases
I am not sure what you mean? Every 3 phases a new turn?

No each SC turn is equal to 3 CoC phases.
Defender gets bonus pips as the start of the game for CoC dice
I think we did this in the first game, how many pips?

Correct, 3
All gun weapon teams are given Junior Leaders.
Are you talking about the AT and AI gun teams, in the CoC rules these do have JL's. How about the MMG teams etc, who do not have JL in the rules. I think returning the JL's to the AT and AI teams is good, they were too hard to activate on a 1. The addition of 2 or 3 to allow activation is good.

Also correct only "guns" get leaders, MMG and ATR teams do not.


So are you still planning to play the first scenario this Saturday Nov 16th at Hobby Bunker?

I would not be adverse to a third run, it's a good scenario.

John
--Tom

Never drive a car when you're dead
--Tom Waits "Telephone Call From Istanbul"

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