Friday, November 21, 2014

On the Road to Doing It Right (6mm Modern Rules)


I played a test game the other night, didn't like how it worked, and posted a plea for help on The Miniatures Page, The Wargamers Website, and the Pendraken Forum.  I am greatly indebted to my fellow gamers, as quite a few of them took the time to read my lengthy post and provide sage words of advice.  I apologize that I am not responding directly to each person's points, but there are simply too many, but please don't underestimate how much I appreciate everyone's responses.

The first thing I want to do is make the unfair comment that a few of the many comments were a little off base, but that is because I didn't fully explain myself, so let me add three points of clarity:

1) a lot of folks commented that my test game was too big, i.e., had too many units.  First, partly this is due to the fact there were so many vehicles; please understand you see individual vehicles, but the company is the basic unit (this is how activations occur), and the platoon of three vehicles is equal to a 'stand.'  The second part is that this was a small game: the defender didn't even have a full battalion, whilst the attacker had a little over two battalions.  My goal is for 'real' games to have fights in terms of battalions: 5 on 3, 4 on 2, 3 on 3.

2) some folks had some excellent conceptual points regarding aspects of modern warfare that I'm not taking into consideration in my lashed up rules.  Please forgive me, I'm nothing if not simple, and aside from simplicity for the sake of simplicity, the pure size of the games I intend on holding requires that I leave out all but the most basic functions.

3) quite a few gentlemen made recommendations suitable to NATO vs. Warsaw Pact games.  Please understand that I am not/will not be playing NATO vs. WarPac games.  I'm working on a modern Imagi-nation/alternate history in which two doctrinally and qualitatively similar forces will fight, both possessing NATO and WarPac equipment.  The basic outline is a civil war in a former Soviet Republic which was courted by NATO (who provided arms and equipment), then the split occurred between pro-Western and pro-Russian factions, with military leaders essentially taking their units whole to whichever side they supported.  So my command and control mechanism will remain the same for both sides, and the difference between NATO and WarPac equipment will be purely technical, treated in the way of WWII light, medium, and heavy tanks (for example, light: T-55/62, medium: T-72/80 and Leopard I/M-60, and heavy: M-1/Challenger/Leopard II).

So, there's all of the things I'm aware of that I needed to explain but hadn't previously.  Now on to the good stuff, a catalog of the ideas I intend on using:

1) First up is activation: I will not activate strictly by company, but via company (homogeneous) or company team (heterogeneous), depending on what makes more sense in relation to geography.  For example, if a tank company is split up, a platoon in the front right, a platoon in the front left, and a platoon in the second line center, they will not activate together.  In the case above there was a mech company co-located (or could have easily been changed to be co-located).  I will keep company teams at three-platoon elements, doing my best for it to make sense.  The problem is that you have to make compromises somewhere; what to do with the odd recon, engineer, or artillery platoon?  Again, I will do my best to have it make sense.

2) I will keep the card activation and D6 roll for action points, but I will keep each company/company team to one activation, vice multiple activations, per turn.

3) There have been a lot of great ideas regarding Command, Control, and Communications, all sorts of different mechanisms and variations of mechanisms.  But, due to the sheer size of the games I wish to hold, I must keep my rules simple.  However, based on your wise counsel, I have decided to add another potential action, expanding from fire, move, and rally.  Rather than try to add a complicated system for opportunity or reaction fire, I will add another action: Overwatch.  The rules are simple: a company will activate once per turn, rolling a D6 to determine the number of Action Points available for the company/company team's three platoons, with each platoon able to use two Action Points.  Thereby, each platoon of the company/company team may allot up to two Action Points to Overwatch.  The Overwatch Action Points may be used to shoot, move, or rally, as soon as any enemy platoon carries out an action within LOS.  That's good enough to take care of this particular problem as I experienced it the other night.  You may be thinking the rule is not particularly 'tight,' but it doesn't need to be as I don't cheat while playing solo ;)

I think that's it for now.  I have the table set up for tomorrow morning, some more Legion in Estonia.


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