Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Combat Team! Russian Infantry Assault...

Still muddling through the close combat blues here at Sound Officers Call.  Have run into yet another issue with the close combat system and came up with some unrealistic results after a few close combats where I felt the victor shouldn't have won.

But I'll get to that later.  This game saw a Russian infantry Battalion with some light tank and light assault gun support attempting to take a German position held by infantry with artillery support.  A few observations off the bat?

The artillery delivered less than desirable results...
The close combat system still has bugs to be worked out.
Need overall force morale for when entire Combat Teams go bye-bye.  I would have loved for the Russians to fight on with their last remaining company but in most cases I think they would have run for it (spoiler alert - the Russians lose).

I made this a late war battle and gave the Russians a little better morale/ initiative and gave the Germans slightly worse morale and initiative than they usually enjoy.
Soviet troops at the start point.

 The game started out pretty well and without Armor the game slows down considerably as you're at the mercy of how fast the infantry can get into action.  Plus with only support weapons rolling to hit at range, you really have to get into close combat to unleash the infantry's combat power.

German Landsers in hasty fighting positions...

Soviets move out!

German infantry close assault and the only guys left are the command stand and the assault gun section!
 The Russians assaulted up and down the line at different turns and were unable to dislodge the Germans at any section of the line.  Even when they scored more hits than the 'krauts, they would fail the D6 roll after combat and move back to regroup.  In some cases this occurred 2 or 3 times before a decision was reached, or the losing side would still pass their post-combat morale check, leaving them OK to assault again.  While I like the fact that the infantry have some staying power (I designed it that way), I don't like that a decision isn't reached...
German assault!  the SU-76 is knocked out 
 The German counter-attack was pretty cool and dramatic.  The Russians lost all their infantry in one fell swoop and the Germans saved all their hits.  The 5+ saving throws for infantry completely changed the game in my opinion.

Friendly Fire!  THe FO screws up bigtime!  the mortars land on friendly troops.

upper right a German platoon bears down on the Russian flank.

German infantry platoon (+) moves out.

This Russian company is bugging out.  All that's left are the tank platoon and MG section...  The "2" on the dice means they are 2 above their breakpoint.  Not good!
Final dispositions.  THe Germans hold out!  
Rolling a 1D6 after the close combat really gets some wacky results.  I am thinking about changing the close combat system to give more practical results from the combats.

As I see it, there are a few courses of action I can pursue here.

COA #1:  The side who scores more "unsaved" hits is the absolute winner.  Ties you roll a D6, higher roll wins the combat.

COA #2: There is a close combat table where hits are compared and the result cross-referenced for impacts to both sides / determine winner.

COA #3: Remain the same.  Roll to hit, roll saves, compare ALL hits, add result to a 1D6 to determine winner.

What does everyone think?


  1. #2, while the table might be easy, introduces a table. This may go against what you are trying to achieve with the game.

    #1 may be too deterministic i.e. you can judge the likely outcome fairly easily.

    #3 for the game you had maybe was just luck/unluck.

    From my limited reading of the game report and what you are trying to do, I would go with #1 if you really thing combat is too random and slow (requiring multiple close combats), otherwise stick with what you have for now.

    1. Thank you, Shaun.
      You may be right - the Germans were rolling really hot and were saving almost every hit against them.
      I don't think introducing a really easy to use/read table would go against the spirit of the game, at least for the results. That would also be a handy way of getting auto-suppression in there.

      Originally I had no saves, simply scoring enough hits won you the engagement. The problem was units would completely bleed themselves on 1 combat even, making multiple assaults in one game very unlikely, and also making the attacker very unlikely to succeed.

      More play-testing is in order!

  2. You could dispense with saves altogether in close combat, since it is up close and very deadly. Whoever takes more hits at the end of a round falls back a set distance depending on how one-sided the result is, so, say, four hits, fall back 12" w Broken morale, If a tie, keep fighting. This is essentially the system used in the rules I play and it works well.

    1. Michael,
      In the original version of the rules, I had zero saves in close combat (both from firefight and actual close combat). The problem I kept running into was units would bleed themselves too quickly.

      My units are 2 stands roughly equal a platoon. 6 stands equal a company so with no saves, one round of close combat would render one or both sides completely combat ineffective.

      Introducing the save gave the infantry a little more staying power.

      I like your suggestion about the set distance falling back at the end, depending on losses. I "could" introduce that into a very very small and easy to read table that would essentially give you the result of what happens to the attacker and defender at the end of combat. (this is a battalion / brigade game).

      in Combat Team! as it stands now, the loser of the fight must fall back with all the stands from the attacking unit a full move and take a morale check. If it's reached its breakpoint, there are negative modifiers to the morale check, making it further unlikely that the unit will be able to advance again.

      I guess I'm going to try a table and see how that goes!