IABSM basics?

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jonrog1
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IABSM basics?

Post by jonrog1 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:50 pm

Ok, I've posted on the ITLSU board about the suitability for the Spanish Civil War, but find myself leaning towards IABSM, after all it's light fast tanks, AT guns and relatively modern units such as The Italian CTV, International Brigades and Army of Africa as well as the more spurious units. In your opinion how well would IABSM cross over to Spanish Civil War which is a predominantly infantry heavy action, with an older tactical structure leaning towards companies as opposed to individual platoon and section fire and manoeuvre doctrine? (I have the SCW special to help in achieving this).

What are the basic units of IABSM?, what is the largest unit - a battalion, Company? What's the general unit organisation structure? I aim to use 10mm figs on 3 fig bases using 30x25mm bases. Big men on 20mm dia MDF discs. How big can you go in terms of game scale - would it be possible to do a battalion plus a side for example?

Any basic guidance before splashing out on the mullah appreciated at this early stage in the project.

Many thanks and salud comrades!

Archdukek
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Re: IABSM basics?

Post by Archdukek » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:05 pm

IABSM is a rule set for Company+ games, so a basic infantry company with perhaps an armoured platoon or troop in support plus other infantry support options. So the scale is still 1:1 with most platoons consisting of 3-4 sections/squads of 8-10 men each, with 3 sometimes 4 platoons in the Company.

A battalion a side would be pushing it beyond its natural boundaries I suspect.

John

JimLeCat
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Re: IABSM basics?

Post by JimLeCat » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:30 pm

IABSM is intended for infantry heavy games, although it copes well with armour too. It scales well, within reason, it just gets slower as the game gets bigger.

The largest game I've put on was 2 full companies of infantry, a squadron of tanks and other supports on one side vs. a weak company and supports on the other side. It used 10mm figures on an 8x6 table. I think that worked pretty well and played out over two evenings.

The largest game I've ever played in had, IIRC, about 3 battalions of infantry, plus heaps of anti-tank guns and some armour on one side vs. a battalion or so and lots of armour on the other, all on something like a 12 x 6 table. And yes, that game was really pushing the envelope! It was fun, but should really have been played using a higher level rule set.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Jim

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Vis Bellica
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Re: IABSM basics?

Post by Vis Bellica » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:19 am

Plenty of AAR to read (over 500!) on www.vislardica.com.

They should give you an idea of how the game plays out.

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TroubleAtTheMill
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Re: IABSM basics?

Post by TroubleAtTheMill » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:30 pm

jonrog1 wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:50 pm
What are the basic units of IABSM?, what is the largest unit - a battalion, Company? What's the general unit organisation structure? I aim to use 10mm figs on 3 fig bases using 30x25mm bases. Big men on 20mm dia MDF discs. How big can you go in terms of game scale - would it be possible to do a battalion plus a side for example?
IABSM is technically company-plus in the same way CoC is platoon-plus. Your basing sounds ideal for 10mm.

As previous folks have said or implied, IABSM is definitely designed for combined arms, with an emphasis if anything on infantry. That said, the armour rules are the spiritual ancestor of CoC and WAT (apart from the different activation mechanism) so tank battles are certainly a possibility/

I've run two "Big" IABSM games - one being 'Bloody Omaha' (most recently at Salute last weekend), which had 18 US boat sections on one side, and the other a staging of the encounter from Ken Macksey's excellent book "Battle"(1), which ran to a battalion plus a platoon of British, a company of Yanks and a battalion of Germans, all with supports. It's certainly feasible, but you need a stand-alone umpire (possibly with an assistant) who is willing to do things like look ahead in the deck to see what activations can be run in parallel, etc. The activation system does start to creak about then, and (especially for the 'Battle' game) I found it very useful that the action was divided into multiple areas, and we could run activations in parallel. (Even if you can't do something straightway, discreetly showing the appropriate player the card so you can say 'be thinking about that' is very useful.)

In general, actually, I think IABSM works better with an umpire, as it they allows the players to get on and act and leave the umpire to handle the details.

(1) Macksey's ex-WW2 forces, and his insight into the dynamics of command matches up with IABSM very well, such that you can read the book and go (for example) 'and that's where the A company CO's big man card came out of the deck'...
Mike Whitaker
Blog: http://troubleatthemill.blogspot.com/
Podcast: The Miller's Tale (see blog)
Club: http://www.peterborough-wargames-club.org.uk/

jonrog1
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Re: IABSM basics?

Post by jonrog1 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:21 pm

Thanks for all the feedback and advice guys, much appreciated, I love the lard, so I think it's a case of downsizing aspirations and scale of the game and going for a company/ battalion format rather than battalion/ brigade. Certainly start the set up from this smaller perspective and see where it evolves. The uncertainty of a card driven format as well as blinds and the crucial input of the Big Man leadership are all outstanding points that I believe capture/ reflect the SCW well.

So rules sorted, now 10mm figs..

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