Monday, November 29, 2010

Pendraken 88 mm FLAK 36

I received all my pendraken stuff, so I'm unpacking everything and looking at putting it together, how to base etc.  This is the German 88 FLAK 36.  One of the things I had to do was bend up the tubes as illustrated below.
That way the barrel and the tubes run parallel.  This is how they go together.
Add the gunshield like this.  Careful, the opening in the gun shield is just a little to small, you have to make it bigger to allow for the tubes to come lower, if not the base will not fit properly.
I put it together and on a 40 x 50 base, that's ample room for the gun plus crew.  Bases are 0,6 mm galvanised steel, they are strong, thin and attracted by magnets!
You can also point it upwards, it's an anti aircraft gun after all.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pendraken models arrived

4 Battlepacks and some assorted goodies, mainly US airborne and German Wehrmacht.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HE Fire Effects table, version 4

After some intense simulation and modification this is the table that we are going to be using for the version 0.1 rules.  They work OK, we had units going from green (Q3) over average (Q4), hardened (Q5) and elite (Q6) with leaders (Q4 to 6) with modifiers ranging from +1 (very poor commander) up to -2 (excellent commander).  Although luck still plays a role, the general feel was just right, and it will probably be even more so when more units are in play and luck evens out.
The pinned | retreat | rout | surrender system seems to work to satisfaction.  The baby dice are a simple way of keeping track of suppression per team.  One thing still to look into is how leaders react to suppression.

S-n / S+n: defender performs a suppression roll with a -n / +n modifier
n: defender automatically suffers n point(s) of suppression
E: defender is eliminated
*: doubles creates fire in target hex (woods, buildings)

Attacker leader modifier:
Shift the number of columns to the right for a negative modifier (better leader)
Shift the number of columns to the left for a positive modifier (worse leader)
Attacker has the high ground: shift one column to the right
Target is in:
Soft cover, Tank rider, Soft Top vehicle: shift one column to the left
Bocage, ditch, entrenchment: shift two columns to the left
Wooden building, wooden wall: shift two buildings to the left
Armored Vehicle, Gun shield: shift two buildings to the left
Stone building, stone wall: shift three buildings to the left
Attacker Pinned: shift one column to the left
Attacker Retreating (defensive fire only): shift two columns to the left

Suppression roll:
The defender rolls one die, adds the indicated modifier and the leader modifier to the roll, and compares the result with the unit quality. If the roll result is equal to or lower than the quality the target unit does not incur suppression. If the roll result is higher than the unit quality, the unit suffers one point of suppression. The unit's suppression is indicated with a baby D6.

Unit suffers suppression:
This result omits the suppression roll and the target unit automatically incurs the indicated number of suppression points. Effect are identical to suppression incurred via suppression rolls.

Suppression effects:
When a number of suppression points equal to half the quality (rounded up) is reached, the unit must check quality. The roll is modified by the difference between quality and suppression. If this fails the unit is pinned, it can no longer move towards the enemy, but can still fire normally. If the check is successful, nothing happens.
When a number of suppression points equal to the quality is reached, the unit must check quality. The roll is modified by the difference between quality and suppression. If this fails the unit retreats: it must move away from the enemy, and can only perform defensive fire. If the check is successful, the unit becomes / remains pinned.
A unit that is retreating and that incurs additional suppression points, must check quality, again with the difference modifier, and rout when the roll fails.
When retreating is impossible because of enemy troops, the unit remains pinned instead.
When routing is impossible because of enemy troops, the unit surrenders or is eliminated if unit type does not allow surrender.

The targeted team is eliminated. All units that are adjacent to the eliminated unit must perform a suppression roll.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

HE Fire Effects table, version 3

We did some simulations with the previous HE FE Table, but the D6 rolls make it too random.  I hope the bell curve of the 2D6 die roll will flatten that out a little.  On this table, 2 out of 3 times the result will come out of the middle 5 rows, but exceptionally good or bad results are still possible.

Also, rather than working with modifiers, I intend to use column shifts.  So a fire team delivers 1 Fire Strength, but good leadership, elite troops, close range may cause right column shifts (increasing the damage) just as good cover, long range or being suppressed may cause left shifts, and therefore less damage.

The thing I worry about is whether it will be useful to form fire groups: Will two teams with a good leader prefer one roll on the 2+ column or 2 rolls on the 1+ column?  It will probably depend on troop quality, I still have to do the maths on that.  32/36 chance on a S-1 or S?  Or 16/32 chance on a S?  Will a leader influence only one team?  That would even the odds somewhat:  In order to have more units benefit from leadership, they would have to form a firegroup.  Then the result would be 2 S-1 results versus 1 S result.  For a Q3 target, two times 33% chance they incur suppression, or one 50% chance, plus a small chance of fire.  Or do I change the suppression checks to 2D6 as well?

I hope to get some units ready after Nikfest in December, so we can test a bit more thoroughly.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 mm WW II Terrain: French country house and factory

Here's another piece of terrain ready: I acquired a bag full of railroad leftover bits and incomplete kits, and I scrounged some of the bits in order to make houses in an appropriate scale, with decent detail.  For some reason, the pictures didn't perfectly focus, but I'll be buggered if I descend the stairs into the cold again now that I'm sitting here warm and cosy...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Some thoughts on basing

Basically, the idea is to play on a scale of one base = one team or one squad.  After an afternoon of trying and messing about with bases, rules, and so on, things are becoming clear:  Although I would like the squad per base scale, there are some things to be said for team per base as well:
  1. Accurate representation: one base has 3 soldiers on it, being spot-on for a crew and not too bad for a 4-5 soldier team.
  2. Squad leaders can become independent leaders, which has been the idea from the outset.
  3. If a squad operates as one unit, they just remain in base contact, but in case of a loss one base can simply be removed.
The tests we have been doing seem to work well with this.  We have to decide whether we dump the squad - from a game mechanics point of view - which means version 3 of the HE table is coming up.  That's not too bad.
If we do dump the squad, it will be the number of NCO's that determine how many squads are actually in the game, be it 2 team squads, 3 team squads or 2 team plus support squads.

Considering the firepower of a team is 1, this means a lot of the rolling will take place on a column that cannot yield an 'eliminated' result.  So in team vs. team fire combat, all combat will be resolved by suppression.  When grenades, MG's and other small ordnance comes into play, this will change.  This is the next thing to test, once I return from my trip to Germany this week.

So in regard of all this, the base of choice would be the 20x20 base, with three soldiers, or a support weapon.  Leaders are based on a 1  Cent piece (the cheapest base known to man).  Headquarters could be based bigger, like 40x40, considering there will only be one or two in a game this scale.