CDS Questions

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GavinP
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CDS Questions

Post by GavinP » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:13 pm

Posting here in more hope than expectation given this forum seems dead. Tried posting to the Yahoo group but I can't see it despite it saying it had posted...?

Last night we played our first Charlie Don’t Surf having played a bit of IABSM v3 and I was struck by some of the differences. (Some of those might be my misreading/misinterpreting the rules). We also had a number of questions come up to which I couldn’t find ready answers although they might be in the rules somewhere.



1) The US Medic per platoon. I ruled that this guy could be attached to any of the platoons units and would move with them or could move independently using 3D6 on the platoon card. He could only perform his medic actions (dealing with critical wounds or removing shock) on the Medic card. Is this correct?

2) In the game the VC player had 2 platoons of troops, and 4 blinds, 2 real, 2 dummy. Since they can use any terrain to deploy hidden, I ruled that the troops could be spread out. Concievably if every unit chose to move, that would have created more blinds than the 2 real ones they had access to. Is this correct?

3) When spotting, can a Big Man use additional command initiative to increase his chances like Squads can with Action Dice?

4) On the subject of spotting, it seems almost impossible for the FWF to ever spot stationary VC in heavy or worse terrain, even when almost on top of them, even if using all their actions to do so. While this may be accurate, it doesn’t make for a hugely interesting game in our extremely limited 1 session experience. Are we missing something?

5) One of the differences between CDS and IABSM is in the handling of Pins and Suppressions, with both just disappearing from units on the Time Out card in CDS. What was the rationale behind this, vs the IABSM degradation of Suppression -> Pin mechanism?

6) Another difference between CDS and IABSM is that the Time Out card only goes into the deck when there has been firing. This removes some of the friction when one side or others blinds card doesn’t come up in the early game, and also means that any Suppression/Pin inflicted in the first turn of firing lasts another whole turn. Is that intentional?

7) The VC sprang an ambush on the US troops when they advanced within 9” in some Heavy terrain of a hidden unit. This same unit then fired again the next turn, is this also classed as an ambush since the unit is represented by a fire marker only? I ruled that it was.

8) A Poor Fire Discipline card came up while a unit of VC Guerrillas was represented by a fire marker. Since these were not yet spotted and were closest to the enemy, I determined that this was the unit that should be affected by the ruling. (This was the unit above!)

9) Can units that are suppressed, reserve action dice on their platoon card in case they can be rallied by a Big Man later?

10) How would you adjudicate which column/row of the fire table US troops firing at a bunker that was situated in heavy terrain were on, if they were 9” away and rolled a 13? Ordinarily it’s a close range shot that’s poor, but I wasn’t sure whether a bunker should be a column shift right so poor at effective, or a negative modifier to the roll, or indeed both? Bunkers were notoriously hard to deal with and short of a LAW (which another squad were attempting – with no success over several rounds) I’m not sure how effective return small arms fire would be?

Archdukek
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Re: CDS Questions

Post by Archdukek » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:59 pm

Hi Gavin,
I don't play CDS so can't comment on the specific rules questions, but I would simply observe that they were written some time ago and certainly before IABSM version 3 was released. Indeed the concepts in them were developed by TFL quite early on. I haven't checked but you may find that they have more in common with IABSM 2 or Troops, Weapons and Tactics than with IABSM 3.

On your final question about bunkers, for particular difficult targets in IABSM you would make a column shift or even two to the right and add a penalty if necessary. It's a matter of judgement as to how difficult a target it is. So your instincts are sound.

John

GavinP
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Re: CDS Questions

Post by GavinP » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:24 pm

Thanks John. I had another go at posting on the Yahoo group and it seems to not have swallowed it this time. I hate Yahoo groups because they're so flaky and not very user friendly but there seems to be a large number of participants there that aren't here!

Thanks for the pointer. My CDS was dated 2010 and my IABSM v3 2011 so they seemed relatively contemporary. It's difficult to determine if the differences are "improvements" or deliberate changes for a reason.

With column shifts, I'm wary that with only 3 columns, you quickly lose the ability to modify as the range to target increases. I've often wished someone would publish an IABSM "interpreting the fire table" guide as to how they would adjudicate a number of common scenarios beyond the soft cover, hard cover type basics.

Archdukek
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Re: CDS Questions

Post by Archdukek » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:40 pm

Hi Gavin,
My understanding is that CDS was a long time in gestation and indeed the original draft rules predated the first publication of IABSM, so the relatively contemporary publication dates are a little misleading. Why Rich made the changes only he can say.

Hopefully you will get an answer on the Yahoo Group where, as you say, there seems to be more CDS players. Not everyone in that Group liked the new fangled Forum when it was introduced preferring the anarchy of Yahoo. Don't know why. I'm a member of both and the Facebook Group. :-)

John

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Vis Bellica
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Re: CDS Questions

Post by Vis Bellica » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:04 am

Hi

The second edition of CDS was something Rich and I worked on together, and basically brought CDS in line with all the changes that had been made to IABSM since it's first publication...so whilst respecting the "play the period, not the rules" philosophy that is so important to Lardy games, IABSM v3 can act as a first-step reference for clearing up any rules queries.

That said, here are my answers to your questions:

1) The US Medic per platoon. I ruled that this guy could be attached to any of the platoons units and would move with them or could move independently using 3D6 on the platoon card. He could only perform his medic actions (dealing with critical wounds or removing shock) on the Medic card. Is this correct?

Yes.

2) In the game the VC player had 2 platoons of troops, and 4 blinds, 2 real, 2 dummy. Since they can use any terrain to deploy hidden, I ruled that the troops could be spread out. Concievably if every unit chose to move, that would have created more blinds than the 2 real ones they had access to. Is this correct?


No. Although the VC could conceivably be anywhere, the number of Blinds they have limits how fragmented their force can be at deployment/Blinds stage. The two platoons have two real Blinds at their disposal. That means that they can only deploy in two places on the table at the beginning of the game: their command ability just won't allow any more ("I'm not going over there on my own, Comrade!"). So, as they are hidden Blinds, at the beginning of the game you note down the position of the two real Blinds and what's underneath them (the obvious is one platoon underneath each, but you could choose to weight one if you preferred), and the position of the two scouting parties represented by the two Dummy Blinds. Once the game begins, your troops remain under hidden Blinds unless they move, in which case the Blinds markers are placed on the table, representing rustling in the undergrowth etc. Some Umpires might allow you to split your Blinds ("I want to move the platoon under the Blind over here, but drop off a section to guard the bridge") in which case your hidden Blind would split into two Blind markers, but personally I would be cautious about doing that because of the command limitation your initial number of Blinds implies. Funnily enough, I probably would allow my example of dropping off a squad at the bridge, as it is a very defined order: it's easy for the squad commander to comply...whereas "move over there a bit" is far les defined and requires more command ability.

3) When spotting, can a Big Man use additional command initiative to increase his chances like Squads can with Action Dice?

Yes

4) On the subject of spotting, it seems almost impossible for the FWF to ever spot stationary VC in heavy or worse terrain, even when almost on top of them, even if using all their actions to do so. While this may be accurate, it doesn’t make for a hugely interesting game in our extremely limited 1 session experience. Are we missing something?


No. It represents how frustrating and difficult dealing with VC in heavy terrain was supposed to be. It's a bit like complaining you can't get at the English archers quickly because the field is all muddy!

5) One of the differences between CDS and IABSM is in the handling of Pins and Suppressions, with both just disappearing from units on the Time Out card in CDS. What was the rationale behind this, vs the IABSM degradation of Suppression -> Pin mechanism?

Errrr...didn't know that was the case! I play it just as in IABSM. Or what's the fun of having all those lovely gunships and artillery batteries to counteract the VC's jungle-hiding abilities?

6) Another difference between CDS and IABSM is that the Time Out card only goes into the deck when there has been firing. This removes some of the friction when one side or others blinds card doesn’t come up in the early game, and also means that any Suppression/Pin inflicted in the first turn of firing lasts another whole turn. Is that intentional?

Yes. And I sometimes do the same with the Tea Break card in IABSM, particularly if the sides start the game quite far apart with heavy terrain in between.

7) The VC sprang an ambush on the US troops when they advanced within 9” in some Heavy terrain of a hidden unit. This same unit then fired again the next turn, is this also classed as an ambush since the unit is represented by a fire marker only? I ruled that it was.

I think I'd probably disagree with you here (i.e. the ambush is sprung in my opinion) but I'd need to see that overall game situation to make a final ruling.

8) A Poor Fire Discipline card came up while a unit of VC Guerrillas was represented by a fire marker. Since these were not yet spotted and were closest to the enemy, I determined that this was the unit that should be affected by the ruling. (This was the unit above!)

Again, would depend on the game as a whole. The key here is the question of whether their unintentional fire was a good or bad thing for the VC force as a whole. Technically, that force is already spotted, so the card shouldn't apply...especially if this allows them to pour fire down onto an enemy unit when perhaps a Time Out card might have stopped them doing so. However, if they fired in a way that was almost sure not to do any damage, but that risked them running out of ammo, then I might designate them as the unit that fired. The Poor Fire Discipline card is a penalty card, and should be played a such. Embrace it as part of your army list!

9) Can units that are suppressed, reserve action dice on their platoon card in case they can be rallied by a Big Man later?

Yes

10) How would you adjudicate which column/row of the fire table US troops firing at a bunker that was situated in heavy terrain were on, if they were 9” away and rolled a 13? Ordinarily it’s a close range shot that’s poor, but I wasn’t sure whether a bunker should be a column shift right so poor at effective, or a negative modifier to the roll, or indeed both? Bunkers were notoriously hard to deal with and short of a LAW (which another squad were attempting – with no success over several rounds) I’m not sure how effective return small arms fire would be?

So the troops are actually firing at the VC inside the bunker, not at the bunker. So, initially, the bunker gives excellent cover, so a Poor shot at Close range. However, the bunker is in Heavy terrain, making it more difficult to hit the chaps inside: shift one column to the right: Poor shot at Effective range.

Hope all that helps: CDS is a very period-specific Lardy game in that it only has to deal with one period and one theatre. IABSM is necessarily a little more fluid: dealing with multiple theatres (eg desert vs jungle) and different phases of the war that could almost be defined as different periods (eg early war vs late war is a bit like Napoleonics vs WW1).

As for the comments about this forum being dead, I don't agree with you. The forum as a whole is very healthy (about 20 active topics at any one time) it's just that the CDS section is quiet...but that's down to the fact that CDS is like Marmite. You either love it or hate it. Although I have full Communist and US forces, I don't play it much because I don't enjoy the period/theatre:
assymetric warfare is just not to my taste.

As an example, one of the Lardy Vietnam day games involved a company of US troops advancing against two Communist snipers run by the Umpire. A hundred men versus two men. A really great time seemed to be had by all, including loads of slow creeping forwards by the Free Worlders accompanied by lots of spectacular artillery fire and gunship assaults ("you just spent $100,000,000 in ordnance in order to take out two men...and one of them got away!") but it left me cold.

Cheers

R

GavinP
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Re: CDS Questions

Post by GavinP » Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:26 pm

Hi, thanks a lot for the detailed response.

When I said the forum, I meant this area specifically. Clearly the newer rulesets are popular!

From what you wrote, I'm clear on pretty much everything except a couple of issues around blinds and "spotted".

Does a fire marker mean a unit is spotted or not?

And if I have only 2 blinds and have 2 platoons, how can I do anything but place one plt on each blind? Aren't they supposed to have a limit?

Thanks again. Understand entirely about the asymmetric nature not necessarily being for everyone. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed a company level sniper hunt much either.

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