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Hoth_902
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Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 434
Location: Pacific Northwest

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:42 am    Post subject: Modern Vehicle Gaming Details Reply with quote

My current gaming group is not fond of wargaming using modern 1/285th scale vehicles. They prefer to use 1/600 scale, which in my opinion is like playing with Flecks of sand. As a result, It made me curious about a few things.

1. How big is the playing surface you use?
2. What is the ground scale you use?
3. Do you play 1:1 for vehicles or more of a platoon per stand?
4. What rules do you use (ex: purchased vs homegrown)?

I have seen many WWII AARs but few modern. Just curious about how people play with modern 1/285th pieces.
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panzergator
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waaaay back when I took a look at Manhattan Maneuver Group (Manhattan, KANSAS, 1993), the group maintained terrain sets, including one for the National Training Center and a couple WWII-era platoon/company sets, all done for 1:1 gaming. These were done to scale, including terrain features, using model railroading techniques. That would be my ideal.
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redleg
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Joined: 16 Dec 2004
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Location: Riverside, CA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I havenít had a legitimate wargaming experience in many years. I gamed with a group in Los Angeles that used Mein Panzer rules for WW2 gaming (played on an 8í x 8í table), but since then I have only participated in sci-fi wargames and modern solo-play (that sounds dirty!) Iíve messed around with several different rules systems like PZ8 modern rules or Threat by Gary Mills. I keep trying new rules that I find on the internet because Iím hesitant to buy a whole new rule set if itís just me. If I ever do find a gaming group to play with regularly, I will probably just buy whatever rules they use because I would be happy for the company and camaraderie more than the rules.

For my modern action I always play at 1:1 scale. I tried getting out the NATO Division Commander rules where the counters on the map represent battalions, and playing that until units get into contact and then getting the lead out to fight the battles in more detail, but thatís a lot of work. I used much simpler version for the recent imagi-nation war.

Sometimes I play inside on a table that is about 4í x 4í, and sometimes I go outside and push my lead around in the dirt where I can get a much bigger playing area. In both cases I just eye-ball the range. Iíve never been in a situation where I thought my tanks might be out of range of something they were firing at and Iíve never had dismounts firing at anything more than a foot or two away on the table.

A quick note about 1/600 scale minis: I have some too because they are so cheap and the thought of fielding a tank battalion with the money I find in my car ashtray is very appealing. An added bonus is that I canít paint very well and the extremely small size hides that. At one point I wanted to build an entire division in 1/600 scale, but then I thought about moving all those hundreds of tiny vehicles around. Where I do continue to buy in 1/600 scale is fixed wing aircraft. Theyíre big enough to game with and cheap enough to let you build entire squadrons or wings and have giant air battles.
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Cav Dog
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two surfaces, a 3x5 table in my home office I usually play on, although mostly solo lately, and when the spousal unit is out of town, I have access to an 8x4 table that looks strikingly like a dinner table.

Ground scale is normally 1 mm = 1m which fits because 1:1 is how I roll.

Rules are primarily WRG both WWII and Modern Sets although I have toyed with both Threat and FFOT. I am also looking at Sabre Squadron and Jagdpanzer.
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madman



Joined: 19 Nov 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:42 pm    Post subject: My (our) take Reply with quote

Since getting back into gaming a couple years ago the only micro armour I have played is Soviet-Afghan war using Hind & Seek. Four games in around a year. All were on about a 3' x 6' area at a ground scale of 1:1000.

The ground scale is what I want to game at. Vehicles, guns, etc. represent 1 item. Infantry are in groups of squads, fire teams, weapons teams and occasional individuals or small command groups. My local opponent is parkmeyer from this forum. For WWII we are still casting about for a suitable set of rules with the same scale. We want to have company to battalion size units per side.

Nowadays the push seems to be towards skirmish level games where each individual is accounted for separately (fire and casualty) even where groups of figures occupy a single base. This is because most games are meant to "sell" 15 mm to 28 mm figures. There is some adjustments to be made to accommodate 1/285 scale.

Cav-Dog
I have a couple sets of WRG (WWII and "modern") from the '80s and have the following "issues". Armour was given abstract levels and you were required to give your units written orders. I come from playing Tractics which specified armour thickness with insane detail. I am also against giving units specific orders if you are not using a referee. How, if at all, do you address these items? I also have Challenger, from back in the day, but remember it as being updated WRG.

Looking for suitable rules advice, especially for WWII. We have tried Squad Leader and Conflict of Heroes so far but have discounted them.
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shawno
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be curious to hear what rules chrisswim uses for ultra-modern! Laughing
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Cav Dog
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Joined: 28 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madman - you are pretty unique if the only issues you have with WRG is that the armor is abstracted and the units are to be given written orders. Most people complain about the infantry rules, the morale rules and the way they adjudicate rolling a 7 or higher.

I don't have a problem with the armor classes, admittedly they do oversimplify the hit and kill process but I much prefer two rolls on a single die to determine hit/kill than a dice fest like the old AH boardgame Tobruk where every shot seemed to take 17 rolls of multiple dice to make anything happen. IIRC, you had to roll to see the target, roll to hit the target, roll to see where the target was hit, roll to see whether it penetrated the armor and roll to see whether it did any actual damage. I don't need that level or granularity in my games, especially since there are ordinarily about 30 miniatures per side on the table. Rule designers have to make certain tradeoffs between realism and playability and I think WRG has a good balance in their armor hit/kill rules. What works for individual gamers really comes down to what you are trying get out of the hobby; are you trying to simulate the physics of tank - anti tank combat, simulate armor maneuver combat or do you just like to play with toy soldiers, and as an adult, you have to have rules to make it more legitimate. I'm definitely in the latter two categories. Your mileage may vary.

As for written orders, the scenario victory conditions should work to fulfill that requirement. If I'm playing a historical scenario solo, I'll have one side deploy and maneuver as they did in the actual battle and I'll try and do better than my historical counterpart, but I do have a scheme of maneuver in mind before the game starts that I will sketch it out on a map. Plus house rules allow a lot of flexibility when it comes to what constitutes "written' orders.

A couple of other 1:! rule sets to look at that I am familiar with are the old stalwart and long out of print Angriff, which does differentiate where a hit occurs on a vehicle but is designed for 1/72 models and fewer units, and Jagpanzer which treats it more like WRG but differentiates between front, side, rear and top armor classes, plus has better (IMHO) infantry rules. I have never looked at or played Mein Panzer rules but they get a lot of good press on this and other sites.
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Hoth_902
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, a lot of great information. Keep it coming. With that said, I have a couple of questions.

Madman - What are the units on 1:1000?

Cavdog - What does WRG Stand for?

I am trying to get the specs on what my group uses but have not heard back.
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madman



Joined: 19 Nov 2016
Posts: 95
Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cav Dog wrote:
Madman - you are pretty unique if the only issues you have with WRG is that the armor is abstracted and the units are to be given written orders. Most people complain about the infantry rules, the morale rules and the way they adjudicate rolling a 7 or higher.


Maybe best stated as those aspects turned me off so I never pursued the rules further. Sitting down with my copy (from the '80s) of the WRG (Wargames Research Group a publishing house) modern set (Cold War now) while my son got a haircut I found the same issues and didn't go much further. I also have Challenger from the '80s or '90s and don't remember them except as cleaned up and updated version of WRG. Perhaps I am being too harsh.
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madman



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hoth_902 wrote:
Wow, a lot of great information. Keep it coming. With that said, I have a couple of questions.

Madman - What are the units on 1:1000?


Sorry ground scale. So 1000 meters of real world would be 1 meter on the game board. Personally I like hex grids (a left over from many issues and rules lawyer battles back in the day) and find the maps from SL/ASL and Conflict of Heroes nice support items. Plus they usually (except in the case of desert) have enough terrain to limit line of sights. Plus if using 2" hexes (I have a lot of RAFM iron on hexes on sheets) the ground scales equate to the same.
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chrisswim
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Joined: 15 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. How big is the playing surface you use? Used to play weekly on surface of 7x 8 and 7 x 15 feet. Have run games at convention on 6 1/2 or 7 feet by 32 feet a few times. One game was the break up of Yugoslavia: had Croats, Serbs, Slavs, UN, Bosnians, and a few other involved. Now usually on a 5 x 8 ft table.
2. What is the ground scale you use? typcially, 1 inch/CM equals 50 yards.
3. Do you play 1:1 for vehicles or more of a platoon per stand? Usually 1 - 1 ratio.
4. What rules do you use (ex: purchased vs homegrown)? I have used a bunch over the years, have applied different ideas from different sets to create our own.
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madman



Joined: 19 Nov 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than some forms of terrain (hills) in this hobby my weak spot is rules. I started in the hobby in the '70s with Tractics, left in the early '90s for a couple decades and the really wide range of choices is very overwhelming and intimidating. I have enough experience with newer rules sets to have (I hope) an idea of what I would like to see in a set of rules. So does anyone know a set of rules which scratch or avoid the following itches for what I am looking for in a set of rules.

Scale: (nebulous for time and ground) I like one vehicle, gun etc, represents one. For infantry I like a stand to represent a squad, fire or weapons teams with some individual leaders or command teams.

Focus: Since getting back into gaming I am more interested in infantry centric as opposed to armour centric games. For example squad leader as opposed to Tractics. (not necessarily those rules)

Friction: I like where all of your units are not responding, unavailable or otherwise out of your constant and immediate control. Ideally where lower quality or initiative units are more likely to be affected. I do not care for random units to become available at random times (card or die driven where certain units are represented by specific results). I like Chain of Command system where each turn so many of your leaders, or lower units, are available to you and by design they or units subordinate are available or not. I don't like Bolt Action where you draw dice randomly and the units represented by that die is activated. I prefer like CoC where X of your units or leaders are available and you can decide which X units they are. Whether that is done like CoC where you randomly determine a "leadership" spread of units or as you go to activate a unit then you determine if THAT unit is available or maybe limited in its actions. I really like where you can assign leaders to activate units (usually under their command) or to perform whatever actions their leadership entails (such as modifying adverse morale, activating units, adding combat modifiers, etc.). This aspect is the hardest to define.

Quality: Different troops behave or can be called upon to perform based on their quality.

System: I don't want to look up or through innumerable charts to determine the results of combat. I tried SL and ASL and that is what they entail. Not for me. A few tables great. Best would be a system, similar to Conflict of Heroes, where you roll your di(c)e add a combat value, subtract a defense value and you know every time you roll X or less not effect, between X and Y there is an game effect and over Y the unit is eliminated for game purposes.

Other; In Force on Force (a game I really like otherwise) many weapons are generic to the point of nonsense. For example whether you are armed with bolt action rifles, AKs or M4s all weapons operate with the same to hit rolls, ranges, etc. unless your opponent is drastically better or worse. At the ground scales we game at using micro armour many of these weapons could and should have differences, especially with respect to ranges. I agree the troop operating the weapon has perhaps a greater effect (as addressed in FoF) but at our scale there can and should be differences.

Armour/Vehicles?buildings: Are not going to be function exactly like infantry squads. One of the potential issues (I haven't played that far yet) in Conflict of Heroes is armoured vehicles are handled exactly like infantry. The game system gives them different combat results but the mechanism is identical. I feel a single shot (or group of shots from a single gun against a single target) would be different from a lmg attacking infantry spread over a 50 meter area.

A really big order but this is the ideas I have as to what makes a good game for me. I don't much care if I am rolling a single die or a pair of dice for each combat roll. I would prefer to make a single roll for each unit as opposed to handful of dice (one plus per individual) and follow that up with "saving" throws despite the terminology. I know I am missing things but that is what I can think of for now. Suggestions are welcome on rules to pursue. Thank you.
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Mk 1
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a fair amount of modern gaming in the 1980s and 90s. Don't think I've been in a moderns battle in 20 years now, so all that kit I collected doesn't even qualify as "modern" anymore, but more like "post war" or "cold war".

I've always struggled to find gamers (and time for gaming). In the modern (cold war and late cold war) era I also had some trouble finding rules I liked.

I played WRG (Wargames Research Group) rules for WW2 and post-war up through about 1980. I finally gave up on the originals. I wandered through Combat Commander, Battlefield Commander, and Challenger (through 3 updates and 5 digests). I had some good and memorable games, but never settled on a ruleset I liked. I had a similar wander on WW2 rules, but finally in the last 15 years I've settled on one ruleset I quite like (Mein Panzer) and one I can repeatedly play and not grouse too much (JagdPanzer). I'm still not settled on a moderns set.

During the '80s and early 90s, as often as not our playing area was a garage floor. Rather expansive, perhaps 10' x 12' or more. We would give it a good sweeping, tape off the boundaries, lay out the terrain, and off we'd go. Lost surprisingly few pieces to step-and-crunch accidents. But it was far too tough on the knees for me to continue that approach.

Gaming since 2000 was mostly on my ping-pong table. Again I put taped boundaries for a game area that is usually smaller than the full table-top, generally measured out at 5' x 8' or 4' x 6'. It's about the limit of reach for me -- I can just get to the middle of the table.

Since I lost my house in the 2008 downturn, I find putting a game together far more difficult, as I no longer have garage space and a ping-pong table available to set up as a gathering place. Poor me. Crying or Very sad

As with several others here, my preference is 1-to-1 vehicle unit scales (one model = 1 vehicle), and 1-to-squad infantry unit scale. One of my major complaints about WRG was the 1-to-fireteam infantry unit scale. It makes too great of a difference between vehicle game play and infantry game play. 10-12 APCs to a Russian mech company, but 36 stands of Russian infantry, means that the game comes to a screeching halt as soon as the infantry get out of their APCs.

My guiding principal these days is no more than 20 - 25 gaming pieces for each gamer. Seems to be the best way to keep the game flowing. With a consistent unit scale (vehicles and squads) that means typically one reinforced company per player. It works pretty well.

I use hidden movement. I can hardly imagine playing without it anymore. My approach is pretty simple to add on to any ruleset. A paper "chit" is provided for each playing pice (vehicle, squad, whatever). Usually I just slice up a brown paper grocery bag into ~1cm / quarter inch squares, and on one side I write an identifier for the unit (ie: BMP-1 Plt CO). At game time I may also put the gamer's initials on the other side of the chits, if there are several players involved.

The chits are played face-down on the table just like the actual models. You move, you measure, you spot, etc. When a chit is "spotted" as per the rules (whatever ruleset you use), you replace the chit with the model.

I give each gamer a surplus of about 25% blank chits. Gamers can move and play with these blanks as if they were real units, except of course they never actually spot or shoot anything. Keeping up the charade of the blanks is a bit of a learned skill, but once learned even a shadow force of even 25% can lead to substantial uncertainty for opponents.

If the gamers want, they can replace models that are no longer in line-of-site to the enemy with 2 chits -- their real unit and a blank. The moment the two chits go separate directions, the charade is on again.

Players are allowed to react to the chits in any way they choose. Divert resources, adjust orders, call for interdiction area fires, or just ignore them (at your peril). They are the commanders' suspicions, the reports of noises or dust clouds, etc. that drive any CO to distraction.

Once you play with chits, you'll never go back. Really. Not knowing, not having a God's eye view of the enemy's force changes everything in the gaming experience. And it adds very little overhead to the game mechanisms.

The chits have occasionally generated very amusing, but also somewhat realistic, battlefield "friction". For example in one game, while I was advancing my Soviet BTR motor rifle battalion with a company of T-62s in support, my opponent was moving quickly to take up advantageous positions to block my advance with a tank-heavy combat team of M60A3s and Mech Infantry in M113s (with a ITVs in support). He came into a town in column, and then split his force to take positions with his tanks on some high ground, with edge-of-town flanks covered by the mech infantry. About two turns later he suddenly got frantic. "Wait a minute... what the?.... Where did they go?" It turns out he had forgotten which chits were his blanks and which were his units, and had moved a whole platoon of actual mech infantry off to a bluffing position, while a vital flank approach was being guarded by blanks. There was no reason he could not have checked under the chits as he disbursed his formations, but he just didn't. And the newly minted butter-bar for the 2nd platoon evidently didn't know his left from his right, or maybe just wasn't confident enough to ask for clarification of his orders: "And when you get to point Bravo, what do you do? " "I go left, sir...?" "Right!" "... uh ...yes sir!"

For terrain I have learned the following approach. I make terrain heights out of corrugated cardboard. Just cutting shapes with a box-cutter out of various boxes that stuff comes in to our house. For years, whether it was TVs, computers, appliances, whatever we got, if it came in a box, I cut it up. Some were sequences of of similar shapes but declining sizes, others just random shapes. Ticky-tack (sticky but removable "stuff" bought at the crafts store) will hold them in place on the table. Then a game cloth is laid over them again with ticky-tack to hold it down in multiple locations. Better not to use felt ... just a cloth of appropriate base color (green or tan). Then pastels to draw the roads, water courses, dirt / mud fields, highlighted slopes, etc. Then my terrain pieces like buildings, houses, bridges, trees, hedges, walls, etc. Can be sparse or crowded, and the area is large enough to be both -- some denser terrain and some open portions.

At least that's my approach. Your mileage may vary.
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madman



Joined: 19 Nov 2016
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Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark

Thank you for the well thought out reply.Just the sort of thing I was hoping to elicit.

Back in the day (BitD) I played a few games of modern (Cold War now) and found the overwhelming effects of ATGMs dulled the fun. That could be the rules used, lack of knowledge of how to employ or defend against them or most likely my background in WWII micro armour and wanting to play pure tank vs tank games. BitD it didn't seem as hard to find suitable opponents but that seems to apply for all aspects of wargaming now.

As for the games you like, Mein Panzer primarily, what aspects have you found the most satisfying, least and what may be missing. Given my new found interest in Soviet Afghan war along with a near total lack of interest in Cold War, and ultra modern above large skirmish actions, I have found Hind & Seek really close to what I like. However, there are a few areas which I am modifying and some areas which totally ignore aspects I want in a set of rules. More to come on that if people are interested please PM me or ask here.

BitD as a teen and young adult I had access to a 4x8 in the parent's garage or my bachelor pad. I got more into board wargames after so not as much room needed and got out of gaming for a couple decades until a few years ago. The current emphasis is on smaller actions and I find by keeping with micro armour the games I like can be played on 3x4 tables, although I have a ping pong table 5x9 available. This is most affected by my primary interest in infantry centric actions.

Your scale preference matches mine but I am happy to hold at platoon to company level, especially for infantry heavy gaming, same reasons of number of units to control.

I always played with hidden units, usually some variation of what you describe. I have never played with or as a referee hence my aversion to rules which require (orders based) or benefit from (some hidden rules) an umpire. As we both said it is often difficult to find opponents let alone someone who is that good but will just stand by watching others play. I also like the way inattention can screw up your best laid plans even when, but much less when, it is my mess up!

I like you ideas for hills. That is my weakest parts and I am always looking for ways to avoid the topic as much as possible. Lots of buildings, moss for trees or treed areas, fields from felt or corduroy, felt for lots of terrain and either that or tape roads.
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Hoth_902
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Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 434
Location: Pacific Northwest

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff guys. I am still wading through all the information. As I do so, I had an additional question. How many pieces do you typically use in a game? Number of infantry and vehicles.

Thanks in advance.
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