My Own Version of Battle Part 3

I’ve started with tanks and have gone through the infantry basics as well.  Now it is time to worry about artillery and the communications involved in directing fire.

Mr. Grants game is based on a 1 minute game turn and assumes that the units in question will be able to move about with perfect efficiency should the player choose.  I’ve chosen a 5 minute turn, not that it really matters, and assume there will be plenty of “hurry up and wait” involved with moving units.  With that in mind, a forward observer (F/O) will need to raise the gun battery on the radio.  Grant assumed a throw of a 5 or 6 was necessary on a single dice throw.  Given that we would have 5 chances to get this number, I’ve distilled this down to a single dice throw as well.  The chances work out to being roughly 86% which means you would need something like a 2 or better on a single dice throw.  Now that may seem excessive but when you consider how artillery works in some of the other games out there, you would be left wondering how in the world guys got support in on target in a timely fashion!  A friend of mine, who served many years in the army, would agree that games routinely get it wrong.  You can usually get contact in a minute or two, a spotting round down range within the minute and if all goes well you will probably be able to fire for effect a couple of minutes after that.  So, it should follow that you can have artillery raining down on the enemy within a turn or at most two.

So here is how it should work.  The F/O makes contact (2+ on a D6).  Now, he would place a marker and roll to range in.  A 5 or 6 is required.  A failure results in the target being ranged in on the NEXT turn at the point the player selected.  Now, place a 1.5″ X 3″ rectangle down centered on the point of impact.  Each corner will be numbered 1 through 4.  A die roll of 5 or 6 will result in the rounds coming in on target.  On a 1 through 4, the area is shifted to the numbered corner that resulted.  Thus if the upper left corner was labeled 1 and a 1 was rolled, shift the point of impact to the upper left corner.  Any vehicle or figure caught under the blast is subject to being destroyed.  Infantry and gun crew need a 5 or 6 to survive in the open, a 4+ in cover except woods where splintered wood would effectively make the area as dangerous as in the open.   infantry sheltered in slit trenches, fox holes or bunkers are saved on a 3+.  Tanks are immobilized on a 4 or 5 and rendered inoperative on a 6.  Soft skinned vehicles are destroyed on a 3+.  Any passengers make saves as if in the open.

7 Responses to My Own Version of Battle Part 3

  1. Hey John, I see you added LMGs to the mix–or did Grant do that later? In any case, how he missed that in the original version is hard to imagine.

    Awhile back I mentioned I was looking for a straightforward set of rules to use with the German Civil War of 1918-1919. I think what you’ve presented here will do the job, although I will have to come up with stats for the various tanks that may show up.

    Best regards,

    Chris Johnson

  2. acarhj says:

    I have one question, Chris. There was a German Civil War in 1918 and 1919?!

    Grant had SMGs and MGs but no distinction between HMG vs LMG. Also, he used cones. Anything hit in the cone would get hit depending on range.

    I’m trying hard to get back into the swing of things. I have some 3D printed skeletons I just finished up. I’ll post a picture for tomorrow. Got plenty of other primed minis to be painted and plenty of armored vehicles to be prepped and painted. Quite a backlog. I suppose from a gamer perspective, it’s a good problem to have.

    John

  3. Hi,
    Yeah, the German Civil War, although not as “formal” a conflict as the ACW, tore Germany apart for several years, with consequences lasting long afterward. It began right before the armistice, when German sailors refused to venture forth into the North Sea on a suicide voyage, seized their ships, and raised the red flag on most of them to signify they were undertaking this action on behalf of the downtrodden masses, blah blah. Similar actions were erupting elsewhere in Germany, fortunately without any real coordination; but nothing much was done by the Post-Imperial government to quell any of this because it was too new and disorganized to have established control over its own ruling machinery, especially the army. In addition, many governmental officials were sympathetic to the revolutionaries’ goals, and frustrated attempts to take decisive action.

    For its part, the German General Staff was appalled at the chaos in the streets (especially in Berlin); they counted on the army to re-establish order upon their return from the front, but most of the units simply dissolved as they reached Der Vaterland, long before they reached Berlin. Simply put, the men in the ranks had had enough of war, and saw no reason to fight a new one at home. Worse, the troops who did stay in the ranks were frequently more in agreement with the Red Sailors than the Government.

    This became apparent when troops were called out to confront revolutionary elements (backed by a reasonably organized and disciplined “Naval Division” made up of Red Sailors) ready to establish a Bolshevik-style Government in Berlin: much of the army refused to leave its barracks, and of that which did venture forth, much of it quickly switched sides, complete with their weapons and equipment.

    The formal attempt to establish a Communist state did not last long, in part because the various revolutionary factions hated each other as much as they hated the Old Order, and wasted a LOT of time in interminable debate over arcane revolutionary issues. More importantly, the General Staff began deploying Freikorps, formed from highly-motivated former soldiers whose political orientation was at least militaristic if not downright fascist. (It’s interesting to see how many Freikorps helmets and vehicles bore the swastika, although admittedly it had not yet been adopted by the NSDAP.)

    This is not to say that armed conflict had ended when the Freikorps showed up, however. To the contrary, fighting broke out throughout Berlin, mostly in the streets, but also around government buildings seized by the revolutionaries. A google image search for Berlin 1919 will turn up scores of photographs of troops manning machine-guns, armored cars, tanks, and artillery (with a surprising number of spectators standing around nearby to watch the action, ignoring the obvious risk to themselves from wild shots!)

    Fighting went on and on, not only in Berlin but throughout Germany, with the Freikorps usually able to beat the Red elements in open battle, but unable to prevent new revolutionary outbreaks from occurring elsewhere. Then revolutions began from the right as well. The “Kapp Putsch” came close to taking control of Berlin, but the General Staff was unwilling to go that far, even though the action was instigated by military forces, and it collapsed. (Hitler’s Putsch in Munich failed for much the same reason.) Ultimately the war petered out, as the General Staff (which had been given free rein by the Government) re-established control over key areas, including the naval bases which had given rise to the rebellion in the first place.

    I’ll send along some articles (including a wargame AAR) illustrating the possibilities.

    Best regards,

    Chris

  4. Chris Johnson says:

    John,

    Let me know if these do not come through.

    Chris

    On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 3:58 PM John’s Wargame Page wrote:

    > acarhj commented: “I have one question, Chris. There was a German Civil > War in 1918 and 1919?! Grant had SMGs and MGs but no distinction between > HMG vs LMG. Also, he used cones. Anything hit in the cone would get hit > depending on range. I’m trying hard to get b” >

  5. acarhj says:

    Pretty interesting stuff, Chris. I had no idea this sort of thing went on. Might have even been part of the catalyst that plunged Germany into the NAZI dictatorship that it was in the early 30s through mid 40s.

  6. Ayuh, very likely. The Weimar government was despised for its inability to keep order, and hated after it had no choice but to sign the Treaty of Versailles. It did recover a bit as things calmed down during the booming 1920’s, but when the Depression hit, and the government was again unable to cope with a major crisis, a lot of people once more saw violence as a good way to somehow “effect a change”.

    Inasmuch as the various Freikorps had been disbanded less than 10 years before, and the Treaty forbade enlarging the Reichswehr in order to absorb them, the unemployed included a lot of bitter ex-soldiers who remembered the good ol’ days, and were glad to return to some kind of “active duty” (especially as it was PAID active duty).
    The leading contenders for their services were of course either the far right (eventually the Nazis) or the far left (the Communists); as always, moderates refrained from hiring thugs to promote reason and compromise.

    Unfortunately (if that’s the word), like the ex-soldiers, the Reds also remembered the “good ol’ days” and were disinclined to hire their former enemies, had there even been any anxious to join up. The Nazis, almost by default, thus began with a tremendous advantage when it came to organizing and fomenting civil bloodshed, especially as their leadership had no qualms at all about resorting to it.

    Later, Dude.

    Chris

  7. […] 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my design notes.  In part 4 I’ll go through our design methodology for vehicles and […]

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