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Author Topic: Command Control and Unit Integrity  (Read 3499 times)

bob48

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on: May 26, 2023, 03:37:25 PM
In particular here I'm talking about WW2 tactical (squad level) games although it applies to other periods as well. Note that I do not include card type games here and I would add that I have never played such games, so we are really looking at hex and counter stuff.

Its an aspect of tactical games that has always somewhat frustrated me, although I also understand that, in order to make a game playable, some abstraction are inevitable; however, the fact remains that I feel is not always very well represented.

From my own reasonably extensive playing over the years, I think we can categorise some well-used similar systems as follows;

Individual leaders that, depending on the game, enable various command functions to be carried out. These games include titles such as Advanced Squad Leader (ASL), Advanced Tobruk System(ATS), Band of Brothers (BoB), Lock and Load (LnL),  Combat Commander (CC). No doubt folks will think of others that I have omitted.

games that use Command Points or Action Points such as Conflict of Heroes (CoH) and Assault '41, but do not have individual leader counters.

Games that use a mixture of the above such as Old School Tactical (OSL).

Several common issues I have with the above are that those game that give us leaders do not follow any authentic command structure.
'Select 7 squads and 3 leaders which can be assigned to any squad' or something similar. What happened to command structure? Platoon leader? Squad leaders?
But then, where is the formation integrity?

How about instead of that we had a platoon HQ section and three squads, maybe each squad has a different 'sergeant' level, and the platoon HQ has a Lt level.
If the squads are identifiable to the platoon HQ (does The Last Hundred Yards do this?) then we can formulate rules that make it beneficial for the squads to operate within the command radius of the HQ and not wonder off all over the map. Push this up a level to Company level, or Battalion level.

Its possible, I think, to have a method that assigns support to a platoon from company/battalion assets - HMG's or mortars being obvious additions.

I suppose the big question here is the old one of balancing 'realism' against playability whilst still retaining some degree of authenticity. Nevertheless, I maintain that its an aspect of tactical games that designers tend to gloss and go with older and more established methods.

Discussion?

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bayonetbrant

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Reply #1 on: May 26, 2023, 04:01:43 PM
I will have thoughts, I promise.  But they're unlikely to be found at the bottom of the bottle I'm about to crack open for the weekend, so give me a day or three (holiday weekend here) and I'll try to be coherent for you :)

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Barthheart

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Reply #2 on: May 26, 2023, 05:28:14 PM
We have had this discussion before Bob. I’m on my iPad right now but will give detailed opinions when I get to my PC.
Short version, it’s abstracted for playability. But yes it could be done. Last Hundred Yards comes closest to what you want.

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bob48

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Reply #3 on: May 26, 2023, 05:32:38 PM
I knew I could count on you  ;D :bigthumb:

Yes, you and I have talked about this before, and I do understand the reasons. However, I wanted to throw it out to see if we can generate some discussion.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2023, 05:35:42 PM by bob48 »

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Wolfgang

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Reply #4 on: May 29, 2023, 03:27:19 AM
I think this is a very important issue. And we are thinking about the integration of command structures for our Assault System as well. But the playability should be in the foreground and therefore we will have to abstract.

Currently, our system is based on the so-called formations. These symbolise a superordinate unit for the individual units and could thus be a basis for depicting possible command structures in the future.

The subunit leaders or rather special effects on e.g. the smallest tactical level - squads or teams - are only represented in nuances or symbolically with the command cards.

We plan to emphasise the topic of command structures even more in one of our next expansions. We are thinking of certain leadership frameworks that influence the tactical game.
For example, the players could have a kind of commander who brings certain leadership abilities with him, which are then reflected on the board or in the framework of the game. For example, a character focused on tank formations who has good relationships with, say, an air force commander to get Stuka support more quickly.

Also we are thinking about integrating some kind of leadership units into the game which can be assigned to a group of infantry for example.

I think there are always several possibilities to realise something like that...

You just have to make sure that the game remains playable and that the effects don't overrun the actual tactical game.  ;D



bob48

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Reply #5 on: May 29, 2023, 06:09:03 AM
Great stuff, Wolfgang!  :bigthumb:

I'm looking forwards to see how this develops.

“O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days.”

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