Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

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Levi the Ox
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Re: Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

Post by Levi the Ox »

While the differences in the process of force construction are pretty significant, the actual pieces involved don't seem too dissimilar as long as there is still a core infantry force.

Many campaign scenarios in Chain of Command specify higher numbers of support points compared to the basic rules for pick-up games, often to offset the casualties in reduced strength platoons, and several have modified core platoon structures as well. A platoon of 2 squads supported by a towed gun, a tank, and some specialist infantry would not be out of place, as in Chain of Command you probably got there the hard way!
Ledfoot65 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:29 am
I have been trying to get my gaming group to move on from Bolt Action to CoC. They feel CoC is a better game but the list building options and variety of BA lists is an important aspect of the game for them and keeps them from adopting CoC.
Regardless of how you choose your force, the important gameplay considerations of list-building for Chain of Command are going to be the following:

+ Can it reliably activate? +
In Chain of Command it is much easier to activate the infantry squads that make up your platoon (1s, 2s, 3s, 4s with SL) than it is to activate support weapon crews (1s, sometimes 3s, sometimes 4s with SL) and vehicles (usually only 3s, no SLs). If a force has too many support units it will struggle to use them, as they will all compete for 1s and 3s.

There are some options in Chain of Command force construction that can mitigate these difficulties (support infantry squads, multiple senior leaders, red dice, vehicle platoons for vehicle senior leaders) but overall this is an intentional limitation to reflect the difficulty of coordinating a combined-arms force, and it will probably put some constraints on lists built via Bolt Action.

If you play a multiplayer game of Big Chain of Command, it will be easier to take a wide variety of support elements as they can be distributed across several platoons, and any vehicles can be concentrated into a vehicle platoon under one player's control.

+ Does it have enough infantry? +
This is partially related to activations, but it bears repeating because there are other factors involved. Terrain in Chain of Command is fairly harsh on vehicles, both in terms of movement and line-of-fire. Objectives will often be in built-up areas that are dangerous, if not impossible, for vehicles to enter. Finally, a game between a primarily infantry force and a primarily vehicle force has the potential to be very lop-sided, because both sides only have a handful of ways to interact with the other.

I'd say a Senior Leader and two squads is the functional minimum for a game of Chain of Command outside of very specific scenarios. Three squads is the default, both historically and in game, but even then there is a surprising amount of variation.

+ Does that unit work similarly in this game? +
This is going to be pretty much unavoidable. Chain of Command and Bolt Action are two different games, with different rules. This means that the same units in each game are going to interact in different ways. Certain equipment may perform differently (as mentioned above, activations for vehicles in Chain of Command are very limited unless you field a platoon of them) and all of this means that the point costs for one game will not have as much bearing on their effectiveness in the other.

As long as all players are aware of this going in, Chain of Command tends to be fairly forgiving of moderate force disparities, but it is something to be aware of.



Now, once they get more comfortable with Chain of Command, if you want to nudge them into transitioning over to the CoC force construction rules, here are some suggestions of how to make that easier:

Almost all support lists have entries for additional personnel, generally along the lines of the following (condensed for brevity):
- List 2: an additional senior leader (if only one is present)
- List 2: an additional light mortar team, or anti-tank weapon team
- List 3-5: an additional squad of the same type as that of the core platoon, valued depending on its composition.
- List 4-6: an additional squad of specialist troops (cavalry, motorcyclists, scouts, SMGs, engineers, etc.) again valued depending on its composition.

To increase the customization options, you could start with almost any core platoon list, remove one of its core squads, and then take additional support points equal to the value of a support squad of that type. Now, unless you're really starved for support points you are probably going to want to take an additional squad regardless, but it wouldn't have to be of the same type, and if your friends really like that aspect of list-building they may feel better for having the choice.

In terms of equipment, some support lists also have entries for modifying the weaponry of squads, some examples being:
- List 1: equip one soldier with an automatic rifle (i.e. BAR or FG42) or a satchel charge
- List 1: equip two soldiers with SMGs, or assault rifles, or anti-tank grenades, or panzerfausts
- List 1: equip one squad with semiautomatic rifles
- List 2: equip three soldiers with one LMG

These options usually show up on lists for generic platoons in armies going through periods of transition and/or disorganization, such as early war russians as well as late war germans and americans (for different reasons). If you apply these options more generally and use them in moderation, that should help with the feeling of customization. Note that support list options represent "extra" equipment and tend to be more expensive than the core elements of a platoon, and the actual impact of additions like this is usually pretty minor, but again, it may be important just to have the option.

Hope this helps!

Rich H wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:24 am
For example a MMG is list 3-4 in CofC but only 50 points in BA. An MMG in CofC is a vital and devastating weapon in Bolt Action it's rarely taken as it's poor value.
As an aside, am I missing something about MMGs in Chain of Command?

They seem like a budget option, offering slightly less firepower (10 dice) than a full support squad (12-14 dice) taken from list 4-5, with significantly less durability (5 soldiers vs. 10) and much harder to activate (only 1s vs. 1s, 2s, & 3s). The 24" close range is a minor point in their favor, but I've mulled over some sort of Sustained Fire house rule option (or the one from Great War CoC) because they don't offer anything unique. HMGs are, of course, an entirely different matter because of their cover reduction.

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DougM
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Re: Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

Post by DougM »

A MMG remains at 10 dice after several casualties, it can be ordered (usually) by a SL as well as activating on it's own dice, and is easy to conceal. It's not as effective as a full squad in fire and manouevre, but that 24 inch range can really close down a big chunk of table as an avenue of attack.
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siggian
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Re: Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

Post by siggian »

Also, you can entrench an MMG easier than a two team section, which costs twice as much to do so.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

Post by Truscott Trotter »

siggian wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:55 am
Also, you can entrench an MMG easier than a two team section, which costs twice as much to do so.
Da, I mean nyet :lol:

Rich H
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Re: Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

Post by Rich H »

10 dice until they get down to 1 man, the longer close range significantly improves their effectiveness.
So it brings almost the firepower of a squad in one team, at lower support cost, more robust and it's only a support squad so lest costly in FM to lose than a squad or team.

Compared to Bolt Aciton where they get 5 dice (6 if German) have the same range as an LMG, and can be 1 shotted by a sniper easily.

We use them in prference to full squads as there are always better things to spend points on. I've rarely seen them in BA games unless the player has a themed force and never in a 'competative' list

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Umless they is mounted on a softskin......😋

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Seret
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Re: Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

Post by Seret »

siggian wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:55 am
Also, you can entrench an MMG easier than a two team section, which costs twice as much to do so.
This is the main reason to take them IMO.

You only get four entrenchments maximum. So if you want to create a good defensive position based around an infantry squad and an AT weapon then you've only got one entrenchment left. So the obvious option becomes a machine gun, because if you want the AT weapon you can't dig in a second squad.

Unless you're Soviets, in which case always dig in two squads (especially if they're Type B squads with two LMGs!).

Levi the Ox
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Re: Using Bolt Action lists and points to build CoC forces?

Post by Levi the Ox »

siggian wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:55 am
Also, you can entrench an MMG easier than a two team section, which costs twice as much to do so.
Ooohh, now that I hadn't thought of (and so of course my opponent did it to me just last night!). Thankfully they were too distracted by a local minister (Fifth Columnist) to notice my flanking maneuver!

I don't mean to be too rough on MMGs; they do solid work, look great on the table, and I end up having a lot of uses for engineer teams, so the 1-2 support point difference goes to a good cause. Their rules just seem somewhat bland for such an iconic infantry support weapon.

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And now back to the main event! Got any follow-up thoughts or questions we can help with regarding force construction, Ledfoot? It's cool that you're willing to meet your friends where they're at in regards to what they like about gaming!

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