Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Charles Grant's BATTLE & Other Gaming Adventures

Did you ever have one of those days where you are constantly busy but at the end of the day, you don't feel like you accomplished much at all?

Today was one of those days.  I finished 3 stands of 15mm Soviet SMG Gunners, 6 Motor-Rifle Infantry stands for modern Battlegroup, sprayed 48 rectangular bases, 3 T72s, 3 BTRs, 1 "Not Leman Russ," base coated my next French Napoleonic Battalion and the 2cm Flak crew, and even got in a small infantry game or two this evening.  But when I look at the pile on my desk - it looks like a disorganized heap of lead.

Anyways, onto the meat of tonight's post - the gaming....

A short game of Charles Grant's BATTLE! with my sequence of play and new modifications.

German Landsers approach a house.  each base is 1 squad
 BATTLE never disappoints, and with the modifications I've added to it, it moves a little faster now.  I'm thinking of disregarding spotting rules altogether to speed things up.  Anyone have thoughts on that?  Spotting or no spotting?  Simple LOS, I think, ought to be good enough.

Another German platoon approaches the house from the west through the cornfield.
 This battle featured 2 German platoons, each with 2 rifle squads and 2 LMG "squads."  As the Germans approached, the Soviet LMG and HMG in the woods opened up and KO'd 2 German squads off the bat!  They barely would have enough to capture the building now.
If you look closely, you can see a Soviet DP LMG team in the prone
  One of the things I want to change is rolling for single squads each time they fire.  I like the idea better of rolling for everyone, and the player on the receiving end choosing which units to take away.
Machine Gun position in the building! 
 Also, something else I was thinking about - Rates of Fire.  In the original rules, every system had its own single die roll.  The power of the weapon gave you a higher probability to-hit at longer ranges however what I was thinking about was sticking to Grant's "To Hit" numbers but adding a "Rate of Fire" to different systems.  So an HMG would have ROF of 4 dice, an LMG 3 dice, an SMG 2 dice and a rifle armed squad 1 die.

Germans moving out!

Cool Pictures of my German infantry

Soviet squad and platoon commander!

Anyways, not much else to report today.  At least I got another game knocked off of my list...slowly but surely.  I have to have another go at the Grant rules.

So what are everyone's thoughts regarding:

Spotting Roll - yes or no?  Originally I broke it down into a roll during the spotting segment in the phasing player's Admin Phase, and if 1 unit spotted an enemy squad, then it was "spotted" for the duration of the game.

Platoons Rolling To Hit at same time?  Instead of rolling 1D6 for each individual squad, roll a handful of them, letting the owning player select casualties.

Rates of Fire - multiple dice for more powerful weapons


  1. Take this with a pinch of salt, since I haven't played Battle, but:

    Platoons rolling together when firing at the same target - Yes, absolutely. If the change in outcome is minimal, do what's fastest.

    Spotting Rolls - I think spotting is better than LOS, personally. It better reflects the fact that the real world isn't a bowling green and that a lot of its scenery isn't shown on most tabletops. In my own modern rules, spotting is as simple as saying you have to be on Overwatch to fire at the enemy at a certain distance (i.e. actively searching for targets). I think there should be room for enemy units to "disappear", and become unspotted. Otherwise flanking manoeuvres are more dangerous to perform than they should be.

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. AH,
      Your 2 cents were exactly what I was after! Thank you for your insight. From the comments I've read so far and reading more "Battle" I think I'm going to keep the spotting and most likely "enhance" the rules making recce able to spot units withing a large template, and single infantry squads able to spot single enemy units.

  2. I agree with A-Historian. Spotting rules tie in with everything I have read on ww2 engagements - it is just not easy to see the enemy, and the tabletop is a more "flat" that real terrain. When I play ww2 games without spotting rules, it just not feel "right"

    Platoons rolling together is a good idea to speed up the game.

    Rate of fire is interesting. With the ratio that Battle is at (1:3?) then I don't mind the higher probability to hit, but rate of fire is what most other games use for the same effect. May be worth trying out.

    1. Shaun,
      See comment above! I'm going to keep spotting as I think the whole thing becomes a dice drill if you dont have it. Restrictions in games is a GOOD thing! Like in some skirmish games you can only shoot with 50% of your force each turn. I kind of like having restrictions imposed on the forces. It prolongs the survival of the enemy and also leads to more realistic casualty rates.

  3. 'Spotting' rolls is a good idea (featurimng in my favorite rule set Command Decision also. Just by the way, I have no particular quarrel with the players reacting to hidden elements, and directing their movements according. There are two reasons for this. First, it can't really be helped; and second, troops would tend to be circumspect about unknown terrain likely to contain hostile folks anyway. The player response tends to reflect this rather well in my view. Ambushes and the like can be used more to direct your enemy where you really want them to go, rather than being, rather optimistically, the battle winning tactic you hope it to be.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Archduke. I am going to keep the spotting rolls as it imposes a suitable restriction on play.
      I do like the idea of having troops placed on ambush orders in which case spotting and recce become all the more important!

  4. I like LOS, and the ROF suggestion. Rather than letting the defender choose who dies, just take casualties from the front to the back. Closest dies first!

  5. Nick,
    That's a neat way to do it - kind of like Epic Armageddon a little. That's not a bad idea.