Crews for 1/2" SW counters

Would you use a crew counter for 1/2" Inf SW's?


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Canadian Dude

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If I can spare the crew and dont need to be on the move I can afford to have him sit around and blast stuff, then yes, I would use the crew, but otherwise, no.
 

kempenfelter

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Yes, most armies use teams of specialists to man SW. But just because Bloggins knows about the care and feeding of a Vickers MG, does not mean he's going to know which end of a Piat to point at a tank. So I guess the logical thing for the realism advocates to do would be to write down the capabilities of each and every leader(nobody does radio like Col Poulter), squad(P can do double double time), half-squad(J likes the woods), and crew(2 is learning to drive standard) before starting the scenario. There's a certain level of abstraction to ASL which moves things along. I don't think we need a bigger rulebook. But hey, I'm in the minority here. Maybe it's time for my tired old brain to switch to Starter Kit...
 

Michael Dorosh

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Yes, most armies use teams of specialists to man SW. But just because Bloggins knows about the care and feeding of a Vickers MG, does not mean he's going to know which end of a Piat to point at a tank. So I guess the logical thing for the realism advocates to do would be to write down the capabilities of each and every leader(nobody does radio like Col Poulter), squad(P can do double double time), half-squad(J likes the woods), and crew(2 is learning to drive standard) before starting the scenario. There's a certain level of abstraction to ASL which moves things along. I don't think we need a bigger rulebook. But hey, I'm in the minority here. Maybe it's time for my tired old brain to switch to Starter Kit...
"British" Machine Gun crews served in entirely different battalions than the riflemen. In the US or German armies, the heavy weapons were in the same battalions, but in different companies. They trained differently. Assaulting at bayonet point wasn't their job. If their gun broke down, they un-assed the area, no different than a tank crew bailing out and heading to the rear (the Japanese were an exception, with bailed tank crews expected to carry on the fight on foot.)

No extra rules needed to portray any of that. Just use crews instead of infantry HS. Very simple.
 

A/CSM Bird

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Crews for SW should be part of the infantry rules IMHO. George Kelln pointed out to Jim McLeod and I how trained machine gunners and infantry trained in the use of, differed in his platoon. The trained MG crew would handle the weapon better overall, with less problems and more effectiveness. (Perhaps more serving/former infantry could add to this discussion with their own experiences in this regard.) This validates the inclusion into the chapter A rules those provisions that the Japanese currently labour under in the employment of SW's for most nationalities. This is historical as has been noted here by other posters and would only enhance the simulation factor of ASL, for those of us who subscribe to the notion of our game as simulation.


Scenario designers could offset any unbalancing by merely decreasing by HS the number it would take to man all those SW's with crews and eliminating a single leader. The squad to crew ratio and the leader to infantry ratio could be tweaked in playtesting to achieve a satisfactory balance.

Jim, you included crews for SW's in your scenario designs didn't you?
 
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Michael Dorosh

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Crews for SW should be part of the infantry rules IMHO. George Kelln pointed out to Jim MacLeod and I how trained machine gunners and infantry trained in the use of, differed in his platoon. The trained MG crew would handle the weapon better overall, with less problems and more effectiveness. (Perhaps more serving/former infantry could add to this discussion with their own experiences in this regard.) This validates the inclusion into the chapter A rules those provisions that the Japanese currently labour under in the employment of SW's for most nationalities. This is historical as has been noted here by other posters and would only enhance the simulation factor of ASL, for those of us who subscribe to the notion of our game as simulation.

Scenario designers could offset any unbalancing by merely decreasing by HS the number it would take to man all those SW's with crews and eliminating a single leader. The squad to crew ratio and the leader to infantry ratio could be tweaked in playtesting to achieve a satisfactory balance.

Jim, you included crews for SW's in your scenario designs didn't you?
Good points. I'll also add that George Kelln served in a period well past the abolishment of separate MG battalions. MGs were integrated into "British" infantry battalions in about 1950. In 1944, a rifle platoon (if that is what George served in) wouldn't have even had trained machine gunners. They were all in separate battalions held at division level.

In fact, in 1944 the reinforcement crisis was so bad for the Canadians that many riflemen had never touched an LMG or thrown a grenade, much less manned a Vickers which very likely none of them had ever touched. I don't even know if it was on the curriculum of the Infantry Training Centres. I realize ASL is not a history lesson, but if we're going to discuss this, may as well start with the basics.
 

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All this "reality" talk....

I guess I misunderstood the question.....

I would use crews for SW if and only if I could use the unique characteristics of a crew (self rally, morale, stacking in a steeple mayhaps?) to my advantage. I would use a full squad at the drop of a hat if it served my purposes. If I get extra crews, I see that has one more dimension of flexiblity available to me as to the positioning of an 8 ML MMC that does not need a leader to rally. I'll put german crews out to serve as PF generators as soon using them as a MG crew....if it served my purposes.

Please note that this is not a reality-influenced call or a call to require crews to serve certain SW other then when they are required by the rules (e.g. Japanese HMG/MMG).
 

A/CSM Bird

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Good points. I'll also add that George Kelln served in a period well past the abolishment of separate MG battalions. MGs were integrated into "British" infantry battalions in about 1950. In 1944, a rifle platoon (if that is what George served in) wouldn't have even had trained machine gunners. They were all in separate battalions held at division level.

In fact, in 1944 the reinforcement crisis was so bad for the Canadians that many riflemen had never touched an LMG or thrown a grenade, much less manned a Vickers which very likely none of them had ever touched. I don't even know if it was on the curriculum of the Infantry Training Centres. I realize ASL is not a history lesson, but if we're going to discuss this, may as well start with the basics.
George Kellen of 'Lone Canuck' fame served in the PPCLI through the 80's till 2000 or so. Michael you are no doubt familiar with all the cross training that goes on in Canadian infantry units especially long-serving members. I hope George posts here, he relates the tale much better than a poor wannaneverwas that I am.;)
 

Michael Dorosh

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George Kellen of 'Lone Canuck' fame served in the PPCLI through the 80's till 2000 or so. Michael you are no doubt familiar with all the cross training that goes on in Canadian infantry units especially long-serving members. I hope George posts here, he relates the tale much better than a poor wannaneverwas that I am.;)
It wasn't cross training. MG qualification was necessary for promotion to corporal in an infantry unit in the 1980s (still is, actually) but qualification as a driver or communicator could also get you your ticket to your second hook. In 1944 it was very much a different kettle of fish. The MG course included training on the GPMG (a platoon support weapon) and the .50 (particularly the Reg Force mech units who used them on the M113 and treated it as a section weapon in West Germany). In the Second World War, there were no automatic-fire platoon support weapons.

Anyway, I agree with your (his) comments about trained crewmen being much better with the weapon, but the Army of the 1980s was much different than in 1944. Trained machine gunners were integrated right into the rifle sections. They had to be - the .50 on the M113 was part of the section and the raison d'etre of the infantry section in 1985 was to fight the Warsaw Pact on North German Plain. In 1944, riflemen received no MG training, and probably went through all of NW Europe without even talking to a machine gunner, or touching a Vickers. They had no reason to. Conversely, the Vickers Gunners probably did very little "infantry" training and knew more about a clinometer and a cooling hose than they did a PIAT. :) I still need to go through Fendick's book on his experience as a CANLOAN MG battalion officer - there is little in print about these unique units.
 

dspurlock

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Where the heck is Steve Swann when this comes up? He would give you all a hell of a discussion on the topic… Steve?
 

Jim McLeod

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Using Inf. Crews leads to HMG/MMG/etc. trained personnel suddenly being better at taking out tanks in CC, not sure that is very historic either.
Which is why we need specific counters and rules for MG crews.

I would even have crews that have an inherent DRM as opposed to requiring a Leadership DRM to affect their IFT attacks.

I would also reduce their effectiveness in CC of all kind.

There would be your basic MG crew, a 2-2-7 that can self rally, won't cower and has a 0 DRM for it's MG IFT fire attacks. Give them 4 PP and 6 MF.

A 2-2-8 MG crew that is the same as the 2-2-7 MG crew but it may have either a -1 a -2 or god forbid a -3 inherent DRM.

Its all good. :)
 

jwb3

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I think the reality of crew-served SWs, as so ably discussed by others here already, can't be properly represented by Infantry Crews...
...or by half-squads...
...or by full squads.

A new unit type would be needed -- or perhaps a MMG/HMG counter would just become a Personnel unit -- but in either case, doing it right would mean rewriting a bunch of rules from the ground up, and creating new counters in every nationality. The role of leaders would also need to be revised.

Given this, my opinion is that the current system and its several thousand existing scenarios (almost all of which are) without "realistically" crew-served SWs is "good enough". If I were re-designing the game, that would be a different matter.


Jim, is Ortona going to have any rules covering this subject?


John
 

Michael Dorosh

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I think the reality of crew-served SWs, as so ably discussed by others here already, can't be properly represented by Infantry Crews...
...or by half-squads...
...or by full squads.

A new unit type would be needed -- or perhaps a MMG/HMG counter would just become a Personnel unit -- but in either case, doing it right would mean rewriting a bunch of rules from the ground up, and creating new counters in every nationality. The role of leaders would also need to be revised.

Given this, my opinion is that the current system and its several thousand existing scenarios (almost all of which are) without "realistically" crew-served SWs is "good enough". If I were re-designing the game, that would be a different matter.


Jim, is Ortona going to have any rules covering this subject?


John

Ortona shouldn't need them - I don't think the Saskatoon Light Infantry operated in the city proper, did they? Therefore no MMG or HMGs in the campaign for the Canadians.
 

Jim McLeod

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Jim, is Ortona going to have any rules covering this subject?


John
It did originally.

Now the MG RG for both sides come with Infantry Crews.

What you choose to do with those crews is up to you. During the CG you are going to lose the crews that came with the Guns intheir specific RG. Byhaving Infantry Crews in the MG RG, you can use those crews as replacements.

Or, you can use the Infantry Crew to serve the MG that that crew came with.

It is up to you the player.

There are no MG crew rules though.
 

Jim McLeod

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Ortona shouldn't need them - I don't think the Saskatoon Light Infantry operated in the city proper, did they? Therefore no MMG or HMGs in the campaign for the Canadians.
The nearest confirmed presensce of the SLI to the town itself was 20 December when MG platoons from the SLI were brought up to the outskirts of the town.

Did the SLI MG platoon actually fight 'in' the town of Ortona itself? I'm not 100% sure. Did SLI personell get killed/wounded near Ortona during the week of 20-27 December? Pretty sure they did.

In ASL world do the Canadians need some 2 and 3 ROF weapons in Ortona to help dislodge the defenders? Yes, an HMG or three does help. :)

As always, ASL the game system cannot replicate WWII the reality. At some point design for effect must step in.

For example, from what I have read, the FJ more often than not fought in small groups against the Canadians, at what we would term the HS level. The Canadians would often go into battle a section at a time (sections that in reality were 4-6 men strong). The FoW in the real battle permitted these small groups of soldiers. In ASL world, the player's omniscience makes replicating this situation and those tactics nigh on impossible.

Historically, as a rule, tanks were seldom knowingly driven into enemy held buildings or into very close proximity (ie: VBM) of the enemy. In ASL we do because it suits our purpose when we need to do such things.

Bottomline is, were you entertained? Did you have fun?
 

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Ortona shouldn't need them - I don't think the Saskatoon Light Infantry operated in the city proper, did they? Therefore no MMG or HMGs in the campaign for the Canadians.

Can you say that for sure? They didn't acquire one or two that were kept off the official order of drill so the rest of the army woudln't try to nab 'em?

Playing the Brits (and Commonwealth) in modern scenarios is becoming very tiresome with no MMG or HMG alloted. Some must have been deployed in diect fire that weren't divisional...
 

Jazz

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Playing the Brits (and Commonwealth) in modern scenarios is becoming very tiresome with no MMG or HMG alloted. Some must have been deployed in diect fire that weren't divisional...
Gotta agree with Mr. Trevor. As an example, Scotland The Brave is historically accurate...to a fault. I really appreciate the commitment and work that Ian put into STB I and II, I will buy all of Ian's stuff just to support his efforts, but it really don't play out fun....I play to have fun....I suppose others may play for other reasons.

Rigorously historical ASL might be satisfying as the culmination of a research and design effort, but it very often really isn't fun ASL.
 

Jim McLeod

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Rigorously historical ASL might be satisfying as the culmination of a research and design effort, but it very often really isn't fun ASL.
Agreed.

At some point historicity must take a back seat to fun and playability.

It is a balancing act.
 

A/CSM Bird

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Agreed.

At some point historicity must take a back seat to fun and playability.

It is a balancing act.
Which shouldn't stop scenario designers from including some crews for Lt.Mtr's, HMG's et al. No special rules neccessary, but could be included. Balance the infantry and leadership ratio accordingly and playtest until it's as balanced as possible.
If enough designers are on the crews-for-infantry-weapons bandwagon and enough scenarios are published the practice will be accepted eventually. I don't think MMP will ever be up to changing the bible to include crew rules any time soon but a subtle grassroots campaign could start the ball rolling.
 
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