Border Between Companies

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Chapps
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:54 pm

Border Between Companies

Post by Chapps »

Quite enjoying the rules while learning the game solo playing the Cristot scenario! So far the game is going well but I would appreciate some help understanding how to deal with the border between companies.

1) Can B Company forces and reserves deployed to support B Company fire at enemy forces in A Company's area of operations?

Situation: Both the attacking and defending B Companies are on the Cristot village side of the table with the road as division point between their A and B Companies. A situation arose mid-game where the defending B Company has deployed the PaK40 and Panther and neutralized one troop of attacking armour. It is pretty much suicidal for the attacker's remaining armour troop to deploy in B Company's area of operations. Having Rigid Reserves and not wanting to reassign the armour troop to Company A through a Reserves action, the attacking battalion commander decides to use the remaining reserve armour troop in a flanking action on Cristot by moving the boundary between A and B Companies (4.4) about 6" into A Companies area to allow the armour troop to deploy and advance well to the right of the road thus screened from Pak40/Panther fire by the the LOS blocking hedgerows. While the troop advances, the only enemy targets are the enemy's A Company troops. Valid targets?

2) If the defending B Company is in trouble can the battalion commander send an already deployed A Company platoon across the border road to assist B Company? If this is possible, would this be a Reserves action costing two orders but applying it to re-assign an on-table force instead of just for reserves?

Situation: If the objectives in Cristot are threatened can an already deployed platoon from A Company be ordered across the boundary road into one of the Cristot objective BUAs to defend there normally?

The rules in 4.4 clearly define each company's area of operation and indicate no intermixing allowed, but allows the boundary to be changed mid-battle. It would be 'gamey' to make unrealistic and complex border change assignments to accommodate no intermixing. Just wondering if the rules support any reassignment of on-table forces with a restriction on number?

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Gary

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DCRBrown
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Re: Border Between Companies

Post by DCRBrown »

Morning Chapps!

Glad you enjoy the rules.

1) Can B Company forces and reserves deployed to support B Company fire at enemy forces in A Company's area of operations?

Yes. For ease of play, company boundaries do not prohibit cross-boundary fire.
E.G. You have an 88mm gun on a dominate high ground position assigned to 1 Company. Your opponent launches a tank assault against neighbouring 2 Company. No other antitank assets are available and the 88 can target these tanks. You may fire across into 2 Company's area of operations.

2) If the defending B Company is in trouble can the battalion commander send an already deployed A Company platoon across the border road to assist B Company? If this is possible, would this be a Reserves action costing two orders but applying it to re-assign an on-table force instead of just for reserves?

The Reserves Action only applies to armour and not infantry, and cannot be used once units have been committed on table.

The method you use is to alter the Company boundary as you state. (This may lead to temporary inter-mixing of units.)

This should be a simple boundary shift, i.e. "I'm shifting A Company's boundary 12" over to the left to incorporate the village of Cristot, in order to support B Company."

Imagine you are giving this order via the Battalion HQ radio, so the order needs to be accurate, brief and clear. If you cannot give a short, concise order then I suggest you cannot alter the boundary, this should cover any issues or concerns over players taking advantage of this flexible rule. Or of course make a boundary change cost 1 HQ Order!

Hope that helps.

DB

Chapps
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:54 pm

Re: Border Between Companies

Post by Chapps »

Hi Dave,

Thanks, that clarifies all! Requiring a boundary shift to be simple and concise solves it nicely. Since I'm doing solo gaming I can tell my Dr. Strangelove opponent to not consider any complex boundary alterations [grin]. I also like your idea of requiring a Battalion HQ Order to make a boundary change!

Cheers,

Gary

fred
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:05 pm

Re: Border Between Companies

Post by fred »

I too think that a boundary change should require a HQ order - makes that initial planning a bit more important. We’ve been playing a lot of ITLSU lately and units need an order from the Brigade HQ to change what they are doing. Adds a nice layer of friction and can slow things down a bit, to stop units pivoting and reacting too quickly.

Steve Nagy
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:38 pm

Re: Border Between Companies

Post by Steve Nagy »

I love the idea of using a Bttn HQ order to shift boundaries. Let's face it, company commanders don't decide on their own if they will shift boundaries - that has to come from higher HQ, in this case, Bttn. The req't to use an HQ order ensures this doesn't become a trivial process. I will probably play test scenarios to see whether it would be better to cost 1 HQ order, or - my preference - costing 2 HQ orders. Seems steep, but that kind of planning/changes does cause disruption at Bttn HQ, represented by the 2 HQ order cost.

I must admit, I disagree with Dave's ruling that companies can fire across company boundaries. The risk for a "blue on blue" engagement go up if you fire outside your designated arcs. The whole purpose of designating arcs of fire was to protect adjacent units. Having said that, I strongly suspect that Dave's level of knowledge about WWII actions vastly exceeds mine, but I must say that as a 27 year veteran, I have great difficulty in firing outside my arcs and across company lines! Dave - please feel free to slap me down on this one, but I think that the HQ order/change boundaries mod above adequately covers this situation, and that fire outside your arcs shouldn't be allowed.

chris cornwell
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Location: Richmond, Surrey

Re: Border Between Companies

Post by chris cornwell »

The Domgaming mega games in Cornwall used a set of rules which had very strict boundary rules - no move or fire- and frankly, it led to some bloody stupid situations. Stands sitting literally adjacent with both, or worse, one, unable to fire. Entire armoured battalions in plain sight driving past enemy ATGs etc.
Having said that, I’d go with fire across boundaries only being possible against targets in the open, but even that could lead to some silliness.
The mere fact that FF incidents occur at all shows that troops frequently do fire over boundaries,

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DCRBrown
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Re: Border Between Companies

Post by DCRBrown »

All,

Two very good discussion points:

First: Changing a Company Boundary. You may have guessed but this was initially 1 HQ order in earlier variants but deleted under the "All orders are the same" mantra. We initially had a whole list of things only HQ Orders could do, but this just became too complicated. However I have no objection whatsoever if people want to house rule this one, as it seems to be logical to use a HQ Order to change boundaries.

Second: Firing over Company Boundaries.

1) Realism vs. Game. Boundaries can seem highly restrictive in a wargame as we are simply not used to them. Most rules allow us to go anywhere and do anything, so having flexible boundaries is a compromise to allow players to adjust as they play their game, as opposed to adopting rigid realism that they are not used to and may well not enjoy. Add on to this that actual cross-boundary fire in O Group is almost certainly not a common occurrence. Nonetheless there are many examples where WW2 company commanders supported or assisted a fellow company which must have involved crossing a boundary. Although this wasn't formally altering the boundary it was certainly an informal method, which I think the game reflects.

2) Low Level Units vs. Higher Level Units. Higher level assets such as tanks and antitank guns are far more likely to engage targets of opportunity such as opposing enemy armour if they have a good knowledge of where their own tanks, etc, are. As they are often deployed by higher command they could well have access to this intel. If not, well they then stick to boundaries. However low level units, such as infantry platoons and below are far more likely to keep within a boundary, simply because they are unlikely to be able to fire across to any great effect or have access to good intel on enemy dispositions.
If we expand this to a game, the opponent has a very good knowledge of your dispositions, far better than in any WW2 battle, and therefore can exploit rigid company boundaries to the point of gameyness! :roll:

3) Fire At What You See. Following on from this low level assets tend to fire at what they can see. Most of the time this will be well within a boundary, but not always, especially as your standard squaddie may well not even know where his company boundary is or even cares if he suddenly sees the "enemy" in his sights. I appreciate that fire arcs are standard drill, but I rarely ever stuck to my fire arc if the "enemy" appeared over the horizon or more normally over that hedge just outside of my fire arc! ;)

DB

Steve Nagy
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:38 pm

Re: Border Between Companies

Post by Steve Nagy »

David:

Valid points all. As a gamer, I must admit your design is so elegant and playable that I will certainly accept your views on this topic. Having been involved in playtesting other games before, I fully understand the iterations and heartaches that go into refining a system before publishing. Again, this system plays so well that I am extremely hesitant to mess with any of it. It is as close to the perfect game as I have ever played. Having said that, I think I will house rule the HQ order/boundary change issue as discussed above - with my opponent's approval of course! Once again, thank you for designing and publishing such an excellent game, and for your restraint in replying to me!

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