Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

Dave’s Great Idea

On federal holidays, Dave usually comes down from Aberdeen and we run around BWI airport (12.5 miles).  It gives us a chance to talk politics and gaming while getting a workout.  For me it’s a long run, but for Dave it’s a short run.  Today, being Veteran’s Day, Dave and I ran the airport.

Along the way we talked about our Napoleonic 1814 scenario book and the WWII skirmish rules.  Dave hit on a great idea for squad and team leaders.  I was saying that I thought the ranges were too short for weapons  in the WWII skirmish game.  I cut the max effective ranges in half once because you can’t usually see to max effective range on the battlefield and then cut them in half again because people tend to be excited on a battlefield and don’t shoot as well as they do on a rifle range.  Dave suggested that a good role for the team and squad leaders might be that they reduce the range modifier for shooting by one band if the squad leader is not shooting but is instead directing fire.  (In BAPS I did something similar.  If the squad leader wasn’t shooting, he could add is leader rating to the squad’s firepower.)

This idea led down a path of what other things the squad leaders could do.  For instance, if the squad leader is firing his weapon, he probably can’t swap activation dice.  The idea is that the squad should be rewarded when the squad leader is leading his squad instead of firing his weapon.  This perception goes back to my platoon leader days, when I realized that if I was firing my weapon, something had gone wrong.  The platoon leader’s job is to control his squads, his machine-guns, and his radio.  The same is true of squad leaders.

So far, I’ve been able to represent the fact that you don’t get to snipe at the person you want to hit (card flip to determine which figure gets hit) and that a squad fires into an area.  I’ve also represented that better units are more likely to inflict damage.  I think I’ve also represented well enough the difference between a bolt-action rifle and a semi-automatic rifle.  I’ve even — finally — got a decent representation of morale.  Now I’m beginning to address the role of leaders.

I have a lot to think about during tomorrow’s run, but I am excited about this.

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