United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

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cannedfaith
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United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by cannedfaith »

I am a beginning player and have a few questions about the US mortar squads which are built into the platoon being out of ammo:

1. The rules state that on a roll of double one's the mortar is out of ammunition for the rest of the game. For a 60mm mortar with 5 crew of which a number of men will be supplying ammunition, that seems excessive. Furthermore, as a 60mm mortar rolls with 3D6 there is a higher change of rolling two ones than for other light mortars.

2. As the mortar squad is part of the platoon and thus counts towards its overall strength, disabling the squad completely as it is out of ammo seems unfair. According to https://www.battleorder.org/us-airborne-ww2 (see below) all mortar squad members were armed with a M1 Garand Rifle. It would seem illogical if they would not spring into action as riflemen after their mortar was disabled. I would think this doubly true for paratroopers which had to contend with 'missing' men due to misdrops and drop-casualties.

1× Mortar Squad (6 Enlisted)

1× Squad Leader, Sergeant (OR-5), armed with 1 M1 submachine gun [A] and 1 M1911A1 pistol
1× Mortar Gunner, Private First Class (OR-2), armed with 1 60mm mortar and 1 M1 Rifle and 1 M1911A1 pistol
1× Assistant Mortar Gunner, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2), armed with 1 M1 Rifle and 1 M1911A1 pistol
3× Ammunition Bearers, Private (OR-1) to Private First Class (OR-2), armed with 1 M1 Rifle and 1 M1911A1 pistol each

I can think of a couple of solutions, some of which were posted on this forum. However, I wouldn't want to upset the balance of the game. So, I am wondering if anyone has proven house rules that cover this. Or, basically, any thoughts on this are welcome :)

Archdukek
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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by Archdukek »

Id say that the simplest solution would be to allow the squad to use their personal weapons if they run out of ammo. It’s not likely to happen with any frequency.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by Truscott Trotter »

The rules also allow them to deploy off table, I think if they do that they shouldn't run out of ammo.

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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by Peter »

Bear in mind that units like the French grenade launcher team only get three shots, at leaast one of which will be at half effect (unless they spend a lot of points to increase their ammo). I'm not sure about the Japanese knee mortar teams (sections?). SO I'd not argue too hard for the mortar section getting extra ammo, except in the case of them staying off table.

Peter

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Japanese mortars count the same as other 50mm mortars.
I tend to keep mine close to a JOP just in case.🙄

Neil Todd
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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by Neil Todd »

Like TT I tend to keep my LM's near JOPs as we play that they can resupply like antitank weapons. Most games however I never seem to run out of ammo but occasionally, I always do.
Another thing you could consider for the 60mm mortar is rolling 2 dice of one colour and a third of a different colour and it only runs out if the two the same colour are a double 1. Then it has the same chance as everyone else :)
Finally with British and their unlimited smoke I like to roll a second dice when scattering and if that with the scatter dice is double one I run out of smoke ammo until I resupply.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Both reasonable rules Neil, but it did get me thinking

Now bearing in mind these mortars don't do anything powerful, no explosions or multiple hits due to ROF just one measly shot that may or may not reduce cover.

If you are firing a LM out of LOS, a commom occurance and the dice gods smile on you and you get 2 hits instead of the normal 0-1 you have a very good chance of running out of ammo?

I may be wrong here but 50/50 the roll is a double if both are either 5 or 6?

How about making it a double on misses only?

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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by MLB »

Truscott Trotter wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:26 pm
Japanese mortars count the same as other 50mm mortars.
I tend to keep mine close to a JOP just in case.🙄
Hmmm, I seem to recall Len T saying that the size of the grenade discharger squad meant that ammo supply was to be considered plentiful. With four crew per mortar and with mortar rounds the size of a hand grenade I don't think they should be running out in a hurry.
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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by MLB »

This is the rule for the mortars that was used for the Cancon Pacific tournament a few years ago which Len played in, so I'm sure he had input.
Type 89 Grenade Discharger: This weapon is treated a light mortar with a minimum range of 10”. However, due to its rudimentary sight system, it attacks with half firepower dice for its first attack. Subsequent attacks on the same target use full firepower unless the target has moved 6” or more. Owing to the large crew size and number of rounds carried by the squad, it does not run out of ammo on a roll of double 1. The Type 89 is predominantly armed with H.E. Bombs, but does have a small number of smoke rounds. To reflect this, each weapon is allowed one round of smoke. If more smoke rounds are wanted then the team may resupply with individual rounds from a friendly Jump‐Off point as normal.
Separately it adds this:
Notes: All Type 89 GD must fire at the same target. All squad members have rifles, so the squad can either fire the GD or their rifles, not both, in a phase
And I do recall seeing Len say somewhere that not only do they all fire at the same target but they must all fire the same type of round (in other words all HE or all Smoke).
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Re: United States Platoon built-in mortar squads out of ammo

Post by frpat »

Truscott Trotter wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:41 pm
The rules also allow them to deploy off table, I think if they do that they shouldn't run out of ammo.
I thought I read that somewhere, but can't find it again now.
Is it in the RAW, FAQ or somewhere else?

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