Sunday, 13 November 2016

NEW CAMPAIGN: The Company - A WW2 Force on Force campaign

With the present rise of nationalism, isolationism and appeasement it is looking like we should return to the halcyon days of the last time these policies ruled the roost: June 1944.  So we are leaving the dust of Malikastan and the streets of Grand Brexitia and heading to the fields of Normandy.

"The Company" campaign will follow K Company of the 508 Parachute Infantry Battalion 82nd Airborne Division through the Normandy Campaign.  Kilo Company is led by Captain McNair, born in Minnesota.

Each man in the company will have a name and will be on a roster.  The campaign will start with the miss-drop of the 82nd Airborne into Normandy, and will then follow the men as they group up and eventually fight as a unit.  The campaign will probably stop when we get bored or the 17th SS Division is pushed back.

The campaign will be both played in 15mm (Brisbane) and 28mm (Bunbury) using the Force on Force rules.  We are also thinking of using the Pulp Alley rules for some of the initial games where paratroopers are trying to group up and find weapons, and stay alive.

The Roster

The roster is an Excel worksheet that contains each man's name, if he is a sharpshooter or not, is he KIA, WIA, MIA, Under Commander (UC) or Not Under Commander (N/UC).  The players will not know the condition of men who go MIA/KIA/WIA away from the unit, they will merely remain N/UC.  N/UC men who are alive and hale will have a hidden dice which marks the probability they will join up with one of the companies cores.

A portion of the company roster (Excel worksheet)

The 1944 Normandy US Airborne Platoon OOB that will be used for Force on Force.
As Force on Force has not yet produced a WW2 supplement we have designed the vehicles using AP penetration at 100m and the armor of the various vehicles.  Here is a sub-list containing the vehicles that will be used in the campaign (no King Tigers or Tigers :( ).
The vehicles and guns for the campaign.  No special ammo given.  We may add other rules in time.

[WARNING: The boring rules commences here!  This is a Work in Progress and will be edited over time until we begin play]

The Drop

These are the rules to simulate a disrupted drop that portions of the 82nd Airborne experienced on D-Day.  Only the game master need know these rules, but they are presented here in case you are interested.  The Company is divided between eight C-47 Skytrain's.  The planes begin in groups of three.  A disruption dice is then rolled for each group of planes, the three groups are: [123] [456] [789*]

* Plane 9 contains a platoon from the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion.  These men may land in similar areas to Kilo Company and join up.

Disruption D12:
1-2 [123]
3-4 [1][23]
5-6 [12][3]
7-8 [13][2]
9-12 [1][2][3]
The proposed campaign we are playing is for a bad drop, but we can decide to make it a better drop, by modifying the above dice type used to either a D8 or D10 instead of a D12.

Each group of planes is then given a drop accuracy probability, this denotes how close to the planes designated dropzone the plane starts to drop it's men.  The dropzone is a 2-digit number using a D6-D6, so 1-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-6 etc.  The drop locations are indicated on the map.  The 1-1 is the actual dropzone of this particular company, west of Gueutteville and NE of Ch√Ęteau de Bernaville (the HQ of the German 91st Luftlande Division).
The dropzone of the regiment - Not many of the regiment landed on or even close to this dropzone.
There is a small chance each plane will be hit by FLAK.  Roll a 2D6 for each plane, on a result of 1 or 2 the plane is hit.  Planes with a dropzone starting with a 6-X (i.e. within one space of St. Mere Eglise) have a -1DRM. The plane may still drop paratroopers, roll a 3D6 to see how many men survive and exit the plane before it crashes.

Drop Accuracy D6.   The drop accuracy is how far from the designated dropzone the plane drops its men.  This is the first digit in the two digit location.   The die is modified as follows: a group of 2 planes gets -1drm and a group of 3 planes gets -2drm, +2drm if hit by FLAK.  The logic behind this is that if the planes remain in their V formation they have more eyes to find the correct DZ.

A modified result of below 1 is counted as a 1.

Drop Precision D6.  This is the second digit of the drop location, for example the Drop Accuracy rolled for a plane is 5, now roll the Drop Precision, say a 3 is rolled, this plane therefore drops its men in location 5-3.

A small area of the map.  The map is an area movement style map overlaid on the May 1944 BIGOT map of the area.  The map includes all the German positions that air reconnaissance identified.  I may make a VASSAL module for the campaign, will make it easier in the beginning, but once the company has formed up it will be less needed.  Though...if we played more than one company...

Smooth Exit D10

Each plane gets a Smooth Exit D10 (this is automatically rolled in Excel).  This represents how scattered the plane drops its men in the drop location.  A low number means the man has a low probability of finding his company.  This number denotes the Grouping Up dice for each man.

Roll D10:
1 Very Slow Exit - drop is spread out each man gets a Grouping Up dice of D6
2-3 Slow Exit - drop is somewhat spread out, roll a D6 for each man: 4+ the men get a Grouping Up D8, otherwise they are assigned a Grouping Up D6
4-6 Below Average Exit - roll a D6, on a 1-2 D6, 3-4 D8, 5-6 D10
7-9 Average Exit - roll a D6, on a 1 D6, 2-3 D8, 4-5 D10, 6 D12
10 Perfect Exit - roll a D6 for each man: 1 D8, 2-3 D10, 4-6 D12

The Excel worksheet does all this and is hidden from the players.

Grouping Up D6/D8/D10/D12
After all the planes have dropped their men then each man is assigned a dice, a Grouping Up D6, D8, D10 or D12 (see above(.  The players will not know which dice is assigned to each man.  This dice roll is automatically assigned in the Excel worksheet and is hidden from the players.  Each turn the dice is rolled for each man until he joins a CORE unit of the company, if successful the man finds one of his companies core (becomes Under Command), if not he is considered Not Under Command until the next turn.   If he rolls a 1 he has either been killed, captured or seriously wounded.  Again, players will not know this.  If the roll is successful then he finds the nearest group from his company.  He will automatically move to his own platoon when he is in the area of the platoon or is equally close to it.  The target for grouping up changes per turn.  For example, on turn 1 the target to group up is 7+, on turn 2 it is 6+ until it reaches 4+.

Finding his way Dice results, a 1 he is killed/captured/wounded, on a 2 his assigned dice drops one level (example D10 to D8), if he drops below D6 he is lost.  On a result of 3 his assigned Group Up dice shifts up one level to a maximum of D12 for the next turn.

Each Captain, Lieutenant and Company/Platoon Sergeant is a CORE, on landing they will be marked on the map.  They will slowly grow with men as the men successfully roll to become Under Command.  The players can move their Cores towards their mission objectives by any route.  If a Lieutenant is killed is subordinate becomes the new CORE.

The length of a turn changes through the campaign.  The dice roll score required to group up also becomes easier over time, starting at 7+ and reducing to 4+.
June 6 0200-0300 Grouping Up 7+
June 6 0300-0500 Grouping Up 7+
June 6 0500-0700 Grouping Up 7+
June 6 0700-0900 Grouping Up 6+
June 6 0900-1200 Grouping Up 6+
June 6 1200-1600 Grouping Up 6+
June 6 1600-2400 Grouping Up 5+
June 7 AM Grouping Up 5+
June 7 PM Grouping Up 4+
June 8 AM Grouping Up 4+
June 8 PM Grouping Up 4+
June 9 AM Grouping Up 4+
June 9 PM Grouping Up 4+
June 10 AM Grouping Up 4+
June 10 PM Grouping Up 4+
June 11 Grouping Up 4+
June 12 Grouping Up 4+

At interesting points we will stop and play missions.  There may be more than one mission per turn, depending on our dispersed the Company is at that time.

Other units.
The Company is not alone in D-Day, so other units will appear on the map, other than protecting flanks or giving support or allowing supplies to arrive they have no influence on the company.  Though other units may fight and soften up enemy before an attack for example.

Some units will join the company, like AT Guns (Glider) or tanks and armored cars.  This will occur as these units make contact.

The Enemy
The enemy will move as well.  We may get a player to move them (maybe the game master), and therefore they will not necessarily appear where they did historically.  The enemy must make approach marches, which can be interdicted etc.

A critical factor on both sides, at least for the Americans in the early part of the invasion, is ammunition.  Often attacks halted on lack of ammunition, and often ground had to be given up due to the lack of ammunition.  The enemy ammunition condition will be hidden from the players.

A units available ammunition is scaled from 2  to 12, the level of ammunition corresponds to the Force on Force ammunition supply as follows:
2-3 Untenable Ammunition - Cannot fight due to low ammunition, unit will retreat to adjacent area if clear of enemy or surrender if not.  If the area contains a supplied unit it may remain in the area.
4-5 Low Ammunition, -1D
6-8 Normal Ammunition, -
9-12 High Ammunition, +1D
At the end of each turn in which a unit shared a location with an enemy, or artillery adjacent to an area containing friends and foe the unit loses D3-1 ammunition.

All German Units start the campaign at Level 7.  US Paratroopers start with 1D6+2 (3 to 8)

Resupply Routes

  • US Paratrooper Units can scrounge for ammunition, during the Campaign Maintenance Phase roll the troop quality D8, on a 4+ the unit finds 1 Ammunition.  During the Combat phase a unit not involved in combat can Scrounge a second time.
  • US Units with a Line of Communication to the Utah Beach Exit locations may roll a D3.  Paratroopers with LOC to a Glider Landing Zone (Les Forges) from 0700 on D-Day may use this Supply route instead of Utah Beach Exits.
  • German Units with a Line of Communication to the Grey Exit Locations may roll a D2.
  • A Line of Communication is defined as a contiguous set of location not crossing a red-dashed boundary that is clear of enemy units.

German Units

Well, enough for now...time for Battlefield 1 :)

I will update this post as the rules are written.

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