FIX BAYONETS

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Ham and Jam
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FIX BAYONETS

Post by Ham and Jam »

For such a close combat game, I'm surprised that bayonet charges have not been brought up yet. Throughout the Second World War and as recent history in Afghanistan and Iraq has shown, the British are not shy of a bayonet charge.
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Much like the German "HANDGRANATEN" the Brits could replace one of their national characteristics with "FIX BAYONETS"

When a Leader is attached to a Team or Squad and uses two Command Initiatives, he may order "FIX BAYONETS" and charge against any enemy within 12”. The Team or Squad then move with up to 3D6 without receiving shock to try to initiate Close Combat. Since most bayonet charges did not result in close combat and those receiving the charge tended to flee before actual bayonet fighting ensued, the defending player rolls 1D6 and on a 6 their troops retreat 1D6+6". If the charging troops are Airborne/Paratroopers, the defending troops retreat on a 5 or 6. The Leader who ordered "FIX BAYONETS" must also be in front of the charge.

I hope after our current KVL campaign to play test it and see how it works. Feel free to add any comments, inputs, or suggestions.

Cheers,

Ham and Jam
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Truscott Trotter
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Erm many other armies regularly used bayonet charges eg Soviets and Japanese.
In fact the Japanese rarely removed their bayonets it seems 😋

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Ham and Jam
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by Ham and Jam »

Truscott Trotter wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:27 am
Erm many other armies regularly used bayonet charges eg Soviets and Japanese.
In fact the Japanese rarely removed their bayonets it seems 😋
Agreed but most nations also posted grenades before going into close combat as well. Just look at Charles Upham, his favorite move was to pitch in a sacks worth of grenades before closing with his enemy
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OldNick
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by OldNick »

There is already a mechanism -aggressuve troops- that covers this requirement. Why invent more?

Archdukek
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by Archdukek »

Close Combat in CoC includes charging with the bayonet or more likely Close Quarter Battle using short range fire and grenades as well as hand to hand. Why should the enemy be obliged to retreat if some idiot wants to try using cold steel alone? They aren’t 18thC American Militia being charged by British Grenadiers and unable to retaliate by fire.

British infantry, like anyone else, can charge 3D6 already but if the enemy hasn’t been Pinned by Shock they are likely to suffer severely in the subsequent fight.

As Old Nick says the possibility of defining certain troops as Aggressive where justified is more than enough to give them an edge.

John

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Seret
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by Seret »

Truscott Trotter wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:27 am
Erm many other armies regularly used bayonet charges eg Soviets and Japanese.
In fact the Japanese rarely removed their bayonets it seems 😋
This, I wouldn't really say closing with the bayonet was especially British. It's just standard infantry tactics. Everybody trained for it, although I think there was less of it happening than we probably imagine as wargamers. Yes, all the manuals said that infantry combat always naturally progressed on to one side manoeuvring into position for bayonets and grenades. That's not really how it tends to go in the real world, most fights are decided before anybody sticks a bayonet into somebody else. CoC is pretty realistic in this regard, close combat in open country is rare.

Munin
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by Munin »

Yeah, most of the close combat I've seen in games of CoC is either in very tight terrain, as a result of deployment, or as a result of fire-and-maneuver to dig an opponent out of a strong position - and sometimes all three!

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Ham and Jam
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by Ham and Jam »

Seret wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:18 am
Truscott Trotter wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:27 am
Erm many other armies regularly used bayonet charges eg Soviets and Japanese.
In fact the Japanese rarely removed their bayonets it seems 😋
This, I wouldn't really say closing with the bayonet was especially British. It's just standard infantry tactics. Everybody trained for it, although I think there was less of it happening than we probably imagine as wargamers. Yes, all the manuals said that infantry combat always naturally progressed on to one side manoeuvring into position for bayonets and grenades. That's not really how it tends to go in the real world, most fights are decided before anybody sticks a bayonet into somebody else. CoC is pretty realistic in this regard, close combat in open country is rare.
I do agree that other nations used bayonets but other nations also would post grenades before going into close combat so the HANDGRANATEN characteristic could fall to the same argument. I think that CoC does a good job in representing close combat as well. You also do not need a lot of open country to conduct a bayonet charge, it very well could be an enemy force coming along a street or a hedge line and a section of you come barreling around a corner or hop a garden fence with bayonets fixed and screaming bloody murder.
Archdukek wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:12 am
Close Combat in CoC includes charging with the bayonet or more likely Close Quarter Battle using short range fire and grenades as well as hand to hand. Why should the enemy be obliged to retreat if some idiot wants to try using cold steel alone? They aren’t 18thC American Militia being charged by British Grenadiers and unable to retaliate by fire.
The bayonet charge is just as much of a psychological weapon and maybe even more than the physical harm that it can bring. There are at least a dozen incidents of vastly outnumbered Canadian Paratroopers on 6/7 June '44 fixing bayonets and charging at Germans preparing to attack or attacking, only to have them run away. As Mark Zuehlke writes in Holding Juno when large elements of the 346th Grenadier Division’s 857th and 858th regiments tried to break through the Canadian lines:

"German infantry came out of the woods west of the Canadians and headed across the open ground. The paratroops cut into them with a deluge of small-arms fire that dropped several dozen of the grenadiers, but the rest charged doggedly onward. When they closed to within a hundred yards, ‘B’ Company fixed bayonets and rushed out to meet the enemy rather than being overrun in their holes. Stunned by the ferocity of this charge, the grenadiers took to their heels and several were taken prisoner. One of the captured soldiers warned that the “Germans were desperate to capture the brickyard and the crossroads.” Having had the wind knocked out of them, however, the grenadiers opted against launching a second attack in favour of sniping at the Canadian lines and harassing them with mortar and artillery fire."

When he mentions 'B' Coy, it wasn't so much a Coy but about 30-40 men.

Another example is from Dan Harvey's A Bloody Week the Irish at Arnhem:

"“Charge!” came the shout and, as one, 150 airborne troops emerged over the rim of the large natural crater with bayonets fixed on their rifles, yelling, roaring, bawling, running straight at their disbelieving German attackers. In a scene more reminiscent of an old-style “over the top” bayonet charge from the trench warfare of the Great War, it was all the more remarkable because it worked. It was 4th Parachute Brigade’s Brig Gen John “Shan” Hackett, whose Irish father came from Tipperary, who ordered and led the desperate manoeuvre – given the near hopeless situation his troops found themselves in. Breaking cover, running bald-headed with weapons blazing, yelling and screaming, they made their seemingly suicidal breakout. They charged at the astonished Germans who were so shocked that they scattered."

Side point, both of these are excellent books which I highly recommend.

I also agree that yes the enemy always has a say and can fire back, but 10+ troops charging you down and yelling with bayonets gleaming can be enough to put the wind up most troops. Your opponent can play an interrupt if he has one and shoot you before you reach close combat and with the Leader out front I'm sure most players can come to a reasonable agreement that he has a higher chance of being hit if fired upon. I never said it wouldn't be a risky move.
Last edited by Ham and Jam on Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MLB
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by MLB »

There’s a high degree of uncertainty in close combat. I’d be wary about attacking a single junior leader armed with an SMG in hard cover. With 6 dice plus however many dice the attacker rolled to move, he has the potential to take out close to an entire squad.

The rules already cover a unit retreating before close combat if the odds are bad enough. In my experience this is often the outcome as I rarely want to get into close combat until I feel the odds are well stacked in my favour.
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Archdukek
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Re: FIX BAYONETS

Post by Archdukek »

From the descriptions you quote it sounds like they were recorded because they were seen as exceptional and not commonplace. I don’t doubt it could happen, but basing a national characteristic on historical exceptions would make it far more commonplace than it was in reality. National Characteristics are intended to emphasise particular aspects of a nation’s tactical training and emphasis to add flavour.

I still think making the paratroopers Aggressive in those cases would work.

John

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