Jump to content


Photo

Group activation


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 gregoryk

gregoryk

    GQ3 Product Manager

  • ODGW Staff
  • 1,023 posts

Posted 05 November 2007 - 08:25 PM

I uploaded a House rule we have used with good success in Mein Panzer but has even greater applicability to the horse & musket era. Called Group activation, it allows more than one unit to activate at a time as long as they are in command distance with each other and in unit command, thus allowing the general advances that were so famous during the period. I hope some players try it out.Cheers,Gregory

#2 Joe LePard

Joe LePard

    Corporal

  • Members
  • 66 posts
  • LocationAda, MI

Posted 14 November 2007 - 06:26 PM

Gregory,I like the idea. I was a playtester for GHQ's new ACW rules which has that rule.I'll have to use it in my game.Joe

#3 Jonathan Coulter

Jonathan Coulter

    Lt Colonel

  • Members
  • 652 posts
  • LocationStephens City, VA

Posted 15 November 2007 - 09:10 AM

I'm not sure I like this rule as one could potentially activate ALL their units at the same time. If I win initiative and all my units are in command of each other I can move and blast away with everything I have before my opponent has a chance to do anything. Totally upsets the balance (and intent) of the game.As an alternative the below "might" be acceptable but it hasn't been tested. I'm still not sure I like it.Instead of "Group Activation", perhaps call it "Brigade Activation". All regiments which are part of the same brigade may activate simultaneously provided they are within Command Distance of the Brigade Commander [AND] the commander passes a TQ check. If the TQ check is failed, regiments may still activate normally (and individually).For small games this could still result in activation of everything a player has.Going one step further ... allow only Movement actions ... no firing. If you want to mass fire, then use the Brigading rule already in place.

#4 gregoryk

gregoryk

    GQ3 Product Manager

  • ODGW Staff
  • 1,023 posts

Posted 15 November 2007 - 11:14 AM

jcoulter wrote:

I'm not sure I like this rule as one could potentially activate ALL their units at the same time. If I win initiative and all my units are in command of each other I can move and blast away with everything I have before my opponent has a chance to do anything. Totally upsets the balance (and intent) of the game.As an alternative the below "might" be acceptable but it hasn't been tested. I'm still not sure I like it.Instead of "Group Activation", perhaps call it "Brigade Activation". All regiments which are part of the same brigade may activate simultaneously provided they are within Command Distance of the Brigade Commander [AND] the commander passes a TQ check. If the TQ check is failed, regiments may still activate normally (and individually).For small games this could still result in activation of everything a player has.Going one step further ... allow only Movement actions ... no firing. If you want to mass fire, then use the Brigading rule already in place.

Yes, indeed it could result in activation of all units on a side. In fact, however, we have found that rarely occurs.Firstly, there is no way to simulate the mass movement of troops like Pickett's Charge, and some of the large movements of forces in Napoleonic battles without this rule, or something similar. Secondly, there is a significant downside, which players find out about right after they pull off their "big" move the other side has not moved yet, and has a free hand. Talk about ouch! This more than anything restores the balance quickly, as one side now has the ability to move and fire without response because of the commitment of the other side's forces to one combined effort.This happened several times in our France '40 game this weekend, and the French commander once considered a particularly mass activation. The referee expressed his reservations about the rule. However, the German player was tight-lipped, knowing that he would have a flanking opportunity if the French followed through on their move. Balance has not been an issue in the many WWII games we have used the rule.I will certainly have a chance to use the ABL rules for AWI games soon. I will then see how they work in an other-than-solo format.Cheers,Gregory

#5 Jonathan Coulter

Jonathan Coulter

    Lt Colonel

  • Members
  • 652 posts
  • LocationStephens City, VA

Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:05 PM

I think you will find it will not work nearly as well for BattleLines, but give it a whirl. The way morale works in HB will, IMO, make it unworkable and can easily cause the enemy to have several units break at once, triggering numerous residual morale checks. With one huge activation you could destroy your opponent in HB. Similar conditions do not exist in Mein Panzer.Mass Fire already exists in BattleLines via the Brigading rule.Mass Movement, I will agree, is not provided for. Having a Brigade (or Group) Activation would be workable for movement only. I think it would also be workable for charging as the enemy has the benefit of reacting to the charge(s). Allowing group fire will upset the balance of the game.Keeping within the spirit (and intent) of the rules I think the following will work well:1. Units must be part of the same Brigade2. Units must be within command distance of the Brigade Commander3. Units may take only movement actions4. Units may charge (double action) normally5. Not all units in a Brigade must participate in the activationA player would be able to use a Command (if available) normally. For example, he could use a Command marker to fire artillery and follow up with a Brigade Activation to charge.My "free hand" at reacting won't mean squat if most of my units are broken and/or shaken as a result. My two cents ... but knowing how differently morale works in HB I can see game imbalance easily (yes, "easily") if units are allowed to fire. While MP and HB are similar in many respects, they are also very different.Please, give your idea a try. But I think you'll quickly discover allowing group fire will not work.

#6 Jonathan Coulter

Jonathan Coulter

    Lt Colonel

  • Members
  • 652 posts
  • LocationStephens City, VA

Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:33 PM

Consider this.In BattleLines you want to pick on one enemy unit if possible. You keep pounding it with fire until it fails a morale check and becomes Shaken. At that point, you stop picking on it and POUNCE! This is a good point to use those precious Command markers and get a free Fire action. Because you want to do everything you can to cause it fail another morale check while its still Shaken. And when it does, its Broken and running ... and causing nearby units all along its path to make morale checks. If any of those units are already Shaken, they may break too. Others may fail their check and become Shaken ... which halts all movement toward the enemy until the Shaken is removed.I have, in MANY games, caused a flank or center to crumble by using this tactic. The same tactic was used in real battles. I have also been on the receiving end. All from the activation of ONE unit. Crumbled flanks (or centers) were not uncommon in real battles, nor are they uncommon in BattleLines.Now imagine I'm facing several Shaken units and I activate everything I can. Unit after unit of my Group Activation pour fire into those enemy Shaken units. If I hit one of your Shaken units with fire from two (or more) of my units, you'll have to make a morale check for EACH of my units that causes casualties. Odds are you're gonna break. Once you start running, you're not going to recover close to the battle line to be effective for several turns ... if you recover. And you will probably cause several nearby unit to go Shaken as a result ... possibly even causing them to Break. After my Group Activation the odds are good that you'll have many Broken and Shaken units. What isn't running won't be able to advance.This isn't a possible example, but a probable example if used properly.As I said in my previous post ... I agree the rules could use some way to recreate mass movement and mass charges. I think Group Activation can ultimately do that and I will certainly add what is determined to be workable to the next edition. But I've seen too many times what well placed fire can do from one unit. Allowing this from multiple units would be devastating.

#7 gregoryk

gregoryk

    GQ3 Product Manager

  • ODGW Staff
  • 1,023 posts

Posted 15 November 2007 - 03:56 PM

Jon,I see your point, and it lies in the way Morale is handled in HBL. Still, there should be a way to handle those mass movements, which did have the potential for shattering an enemy line.In any case, the Group Activation works smashingly well in MP. You should give it a try.Cheers,Gregory

#8 Jonathan Coulter

Jonathan Coulter

    Lt Colonel

  • Members
  • 652 posts
  • LocationStephens City, VA

Posted 15 November 2007 - 04:21 PM

I agree ... mass movement is something I overlooked when writing the game. I think I will diddle up a "Brigade Activation" rule and post it as a house rule for now.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users