PTO Here we go!

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acough2001
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Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by acough2001 »

Specifically, no. Our group got around that by increasing the command dice from the usual 5 to 6. Hardly a perfect solution, but one that is both simple and workable.

Len Tracey
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:33 am

Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by Len Tracey »

G'day all,
I've come late to this thread as I've only just got back from overseas. A lot of interesting ideas and discussions!

First up; the best two books on the Japanese Army (and SNLF) organisation and weapons I've encountered are volume 1 & 2 of Rikugun - Guide to Japanese Forces 1937 - 1945 by Leland Ness and published by Helion & Company. They're extensively researched using original Japanese sources and documents secured after the war. I've found them vastly superior to the old WW2 Japanese Intelligence Handbook.

Second, I've also found that the Japanese platoon can be a handful to fight against. It is a big platoon with four large squads along with 3 x LMG & 3 x light mortars, so it kicks out a lot of firepower. Its all-ranks strength of 54 personnel greatly exceeds British (34) & US Army (38). In CoC terms, at normal battle ranges the Japanese squad puts out 16 dice compared to the British squad (12) and US Army squad (13). Add the fourth (light mortar) squad and the Japanese platoon is generating significantly more firepower dice than its opponents. Also, in a game system based on breaking the enemy’s force morale, the die-hard nature of the Japanese, along with their large platoon size, can make them a tough opponent to shift. What can be done to better reflect the historical advantages the allies had?

The simplest answer would be to greatly increase the Japanese Platoon's Force Rating so as to enable its allied opponents to get more support choices. This is very historical for late war scenarios, given the massive disparity in resources between the allies and Japanese. However, its not so relevant to the early war when allied units didn't have notably greater support. Some other ideas are as follows:

Indirect Fire Support: Allied battalions nearly all had a Mortar platoon included that held between 3 – 6 (sometimes 8) 81mm or 3” medium mortars. These could rapidly generate a reasonable barrage in support of Company and Platoon actions. The Japanese had only two 70mm Infantry Guns at BHQ (the Battalion Gun) that were used for both direct and limited indirect fire support (more like light mortars in the game). To get the equivalent of a medium mortar barrage they had to go to Regimental level and the four-gun platoon of 75mm Mountain Guns (the Regimental Gun). Therefore, one option is to limit (or deny) Japanese access to the FO Team support option, or else make it relatively greater in force support level cost.

Communications Support: Allied radio and line communications were technically superior and vastly more plentiful at all levels than in the Japanese Army. This enabled greater command agility at lower levels and a faster ability to adapt to battlefield changes. One way to simulate this would be to give the allied player one full Chain of Command Dice at the start of the game. This would reflect their higher HQ (Battalion & Company in this case) ability to provide effective command support. Alternatively, a free Adjutant support choice would also be appropriate.

Logistic Superiority: The allies soon realised that the Japanese logistic system was thin and brittle. In fact, early Japanese victories in the Pacific relied on speed and exploiting captured enemy supplies to mitigate this vulnerability. This disparity in logistic capability came to haunt the Japanese more and more as the war went on. Reflecting this in a small unit game such as Chain of Command is not easy outside of campaigns. The simplest way would be to give the allied player an extra D6 (2D6?) support levels for the game. This would reflect the chances of getting extra support forward in time for battle.

Starvation: In many theatres the Japanese troops actually ran out of food in the late war period. Cannibalism was recorded in a number of different theatres by allied troops. Starvation had a significant impact on Japanese fighting ability, making them less effective than allied troops. One way to represent this would be to declare all Japanese troops "Green" once they lose half their starting Force Morale. This should cause them to fade more quickly as they take casualties. A bit of a radical idea I know, but starvation was a real problem for the Japanese in the late war.

Anyway, just a few thoughts on the issue of Japanese imbalance. Happy to hear other's ideas and criticisms.
Cheers all,
Len

Munin
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Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by Munin »

Doesn't the large number of troops in the platoon lead to a very high Force Rating in the first place?

edleland
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:18 pm

Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by edleland »

I think part of the issue with the Japanese (and other large platoons for that matter) is that the Support system makes assets more expensive if they are outside the platoon TO&E than if they integral to the platoon. Light mortar teams are generally 2 support points each, but are only 3 Coculator points each (I.e. Half a support point) if they are integral to the platoon. This same logic applies to snipers, PIAT/Bazookas & Panzerschrecks when they are integral. Also, support choices tend to round up to the next support level, which improves efficiency when assets are integral.

All of which is a round about way of saying that the support system works pretty well when the platoons are close in composition, but becomes less reliable as platoons become very dissimilar. I think the system in SP2 works a bit better and I'd love to see that ported over to CoC!

Ed

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redmist1122
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Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by redmist1122 »

Sooooo...is there a "Lardie" approved Japanese listing? There is a lot of cool information about Japanese formations and the such, but nothing definitive has been presented for CoC. I've downloaded other lists posted by players, but the numbers didn't match through the CoCulator.

Thanks.
Greg P.
Tucson, AZ, USA

Munin
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Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by Munin »


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changl09
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Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by changl09 »

I think in a laddered campaign where the Japanese player need to choose where his assets goes would balance out the army. Chain of Command really shines at having a good campaign builder.

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redmist1122
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Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by redmist1122 »

Munin,
I believe this is the chart which sparked this issue...with 54 guys and the grenade dischargers...but I do believe the Troop ratings are off...I ran them through the Coclator and they are about 9 points off. Plus have these been blessed by the Lardie daddies?
Greg P.
Tucson, AZ, USA

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Nope just ran it through and it came to +2 for Regulars +1 without JL for GL section (with no adjustment for ROF 5 LMG)
The extra crew for GL and LMG are not taken into account with the CoCulator

Munin
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Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:49 pm

Re: PTO Here we go!

Post by Munin »

redmist1122 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 1:16 am
Plus have these been blessed by the Lardie daddies?
It's hosted on their blog, so I'ma say yes.

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