Thursday, October 6, 2011

More WWII Thoughts

Some more thoughts on WWII;  I've dug out some TOE information (actually I bought some downloadable army lists from Micromark -- already nicely digested for wargames use).  Some preliminary conclusions:
  • I was considering abstracting away companies and just using fixed stand:man or stand:vehicle ratios.  However, this creates more problems than it solves.  In particular, Soviet tank battalions are so much smaller than German that any alignment of stands to battalion commands is a bit wonky.  Aligning stands to companies (for the most part) is no harder although there are some details to resolve.
  • Looking at the constitution of an infantry battalion, and its tactical employment, I think a core of 4 rifle company stands using my current 40x30 basing would be a start point.  Firepower would depend on the number of bayonets and the automatic weapons mix along with morale factors.  Add to this a number of support stands on 30x30mm bases -- Tripod MGs, Mortars, and specialized AT teams would be be in the category.  Normal would probably be 2 x MG, 1 x Mortar, and 1 x ATR or Panzerschreck.  Given the need for either scouts or the forward platoon positions employed at Kursk I think a 30x30 scout stand would also be good to have.
  • The wide spread in vehicle company (and battery) sizes raises some interesting questions.  For example a fresh Soviet tank company is 10 vehicles, while the German equivalent is 15-17.  At the other end German reconnaissance formations operated very small armored car platoons which doubtless increased the flexibility of reconnaissance elements.  Do I want to bring the recon company together as one or break it up - and if it is broken up, to what degree?  A final call will probably have to be somehow capabilities based.  I will also want to avoid having the same vehicle type in two different kinds of formation, a decision which leaves the question of how to deal with the five tank reconnaissance platoon of the German panzer battalion.
  • Then there are the Soviet SU regiments, which are broken up into 4-vehicle batteries.  I'm not going to worry about those right now.
One approach to differing unit sizes is to look at the problem across two dimensions.  Larger formations should have a larger volume of fire, but individual shots should be no more effective.  Larger formations should also be somewhat more durable.  Consider 3 types of formation.
  • "Large" German companies -- or comparably-size SU regimenst -- with roughly 15 vehicles, and a base Rate of Fire (ROF) of 3.
  • "Normal" Soviet companies with around 10 vehicles and a base ROF of 2.
  • Platoon-sized Reconnaissance detachments, with a base ROF of 1 and perhaps some restriction like only being able to return fire -- or at least to not be able to get into duels with tank companies.
  • A recce platoon would disappear at the first destructive hit.  A Large or Normal company might be marked as "reduced" at the first destruction and loose one from its ROF -- at the second, either would be removed.  I don't think carrying one marker around for a that big a problem.  Alternatively, either might disappear but it would be harder to achieve with a Large company than with a Normal company.
Lots to think about.


  1. Sounds like a good use for Morschauser like rosters with a stand getting 1 die for each x vehicles, squads etc and losing 1 for each effective hit.

  2. Yes, although that brings with it the administrative cost of rosters. It might be cleaner to slice the battalion into stands of 10 tanks, and not worry about the company layer.

    That way a full soviet regiment would have about 4 models, and a full strength German battalion 5.