Crews for MGs and Light Mortars

Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Messages
829
Reaction score
244
Location
ABQ, NM, USA
Country
llUnited States
All,
When creating scenarios, do you incorporate a Crew Counter for MMGs/HMGs?

Or even Light Mortars?
FWIW, I design so far only for US/German scenarios, so not for those nationalities.

Certainly for JP scenarios one would do it, and it seems to be common in the LFT #14 Italian scenarios.
 

Vinnie

See Dummies in the index
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
15,736
Reaction score
1,662
Location
Aberdeen , Scotland
Country
llUnited Kingdom
If I'm designing a fortified position scenario where the defender has few leaders then yes, otherwise no.
 

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,051
Reaction score
2,887
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
Though not a designer, in general I would not recommend doing so.

There are a few exceptions where I would:
British MMG/HMG would be a case as the Vickers were kept in MG companies and battalions that were not part of the infantry battalions.
US/French 60mm mortars were more akin to medium 80+mm mortars than other nations 50-mm ones which were shorter ranged and a bit more point, guess and shoot.
Possibly Italian MMG/HMG as they were so bad they needed a better class of recruit just to keep them going. The Japanese and Italians had the worst WW2 MGs, in my opinion.

For the rest, the MG were the same (German) or the MG/LtMTR were integrated into the infantry company, platoon or squad (US Paratroops had the M1919A6), so there was some possibility of training in their usage by ordinary grunts. I would reserve Crews for either the 60mm MTRs or MGs that the ordinary infantry would rarely see or were too unreliable.
 

xenovin

Elder Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2010
Messages
1,719
Reaction score
704
Location
Skynet
First name
Vincent
Country
llUnited States
Many players see this as a grudge rule and giving MGs self rally ability is pretty big. But if there is evidence for it during the battle, you could include it but otherwise no.
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
20,071
Reaction score
4,454
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
You have two 4-4-7s, two MMGs and two 2-2-8s. You give the MMGs to the 2-2-8s, you have sixteen FP. You give the MMGs to the 4-4-7s, you have twenty FP. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

JR
 

R Hooks

Smoke Break brb
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
605
Reaction score
90
Location
beaumont texas
Country
llUnited States
Based on what I've read. I would never give LMG's to crews. Most mmg/hmg should have crews. Light mortars should usually have a crew on defense, and a HS on attack. Not reported very often is way Germans formed AT troops in most of their companies to use ATR and later PSK those should be 1-2-7 crews early in war and 2-2-8 later. Yes you can get more firepower from using crew counters differently. Germans and most other nations had a MG company or a Heavy company with crews to serve the MMG/HMG used by that battalion. In the invasion of Poland each German rifle company had 2 MMG/HMG attached, and only 8 MMG/HMG in the battalion MG company. Because of a shortage of machine gun tripods, the rifle companies lost the 6 MMG/HMG's they had and the MG company got 4 more added. This took effect in the entire German Army before France was invaded, the 2 extra MMG/HMG's released from each battalion enabled about 80 more MG companies to be added, taking some pressure off the tripod makers.
 

witchbottles

Elder Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2010
Messages
8,838
Reaction score
1,918
Location
Rio Vista, CA
Country
llUnited States
crews, rarely. designated half-squads, happens all the time both in scenarios and in the official countermix and in many official and TPP products. the "Carrier" is itself a perfect example of a HS designated to man the onboard LMG at setup. - And that's pre-programmed into Chptr H.

BR:T is but one example of many- of products that require MMGs/ HMGs and Mtrs to be manned by a pre-designated HS. In BR:Ts case, the HS 's may also never recombine, per SSRs, and are of a different quality than the HSs that the full squad 6-6-8s / 7-6-8s will generate in the course of the game.

KGP/ RB/RO/ FB/ VotG - all come with a designated infantry unit of some type to man many of the HMGs and Lt Mtrs in the game. Hundreds of scenarios do so - even for many Russians -and come on, if th Russian gets and OB given HS of any type - who's gonna actually set up the HMG with it instead of giving the HMG to a 4-4-7 and using the HS as a scout, unless a SSR makes its setup mandatory with that infantry HS?

Using a pre-designated inf unit, even for Bren LMGs, is within the scope of the rules and countermixes and expected in many cases. Mostly, the answer narrows down to an "it depends". YMMV.
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
20,071
Reaction score
4,454
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
BR:T is but one example of many- of products that require MMGs/ HMGs and Mtrs to be manned by a pre-designated HS. In BR:Ts case, the HS 's may also never recombine, per SSRs, and are of a different quality than the HSs that the full squad 6-6-8s / 7-6-8s will generate in the course of the game.
Neither Avalon Hill nor HOB BR:T has such a rule. In fact the Japanese MGs can be manned by elite/first-line without penalty in AH, and in HOB any Japanese unit can use a MG without penalty, meaning that the Japanese have no crews for MGs. Neither product changes the rules for SW MTRs.

JR
 
Last edited:

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
20,071
Reaction score
4,454
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
KGP/ RB/RO/ FB/ VotG - all come with a designated infantry unit of some type to man many of the HMGs and Lt Mtrs in the game.
Huh? I have never seen such a rule in any of those products. Do you have a cite? You get infantry to man the HMGs in HW platoons, but those units have no special ability, and the weapons can be used by any infantry normally. MTRs are just part of the infantry coy/plt SW allotment.

JR
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
20,071
Reaction score
4,454
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
Using designated halfsquads is perhaps a worse solution than using crews (which I think is bad enough). In order to play that right, every time you fire I have to ask, "is there a MMG or HMG in that firegroup?" and if there is, "is the unit that is using it qualified?" Every time. What happens when these special halfsquads recombine? Does that special ability disappear? Or do you have to record the squad as having one (or two) MG-qualified halfsquads? Can a full squad that has only one MG-qualified halfsquad use two M/HMGs that it possesses? When a casualty reduction happens, which half is eliminated? What happens on an ELR? Can we change the name of the game from Advanced Squad Leader to Advanced Book Keeper?

JR
 

Gordon

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
291
Reaction score
217
Country
llUnited States
Using designated halfsquads is perhaps a worse solution than using crews (which I think is bad enough). In order to play that right, every time you fire I have to ask, "is there a MMG or HMG in that firegroup?" and if there is, "is the unit that is using it qualified?" Every time. What happens when these special halfsquads recombine? Does that special ability disappear? Or do you have to record the squad as having one (or two) MG-qualified halfsquads? Can a full squad that has only one MG-qualified halfsquad use two M/HMGs that it possesses? When a casualty reduction happens, which half is eliminated? What happens on an ELR? Can we change the name of the game from Advanced Squad Leader to Advanced Book Keeper?

JR
Sounds like we need more status counters.
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
20,071
Reaction score
4,454
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
Sounds like we need more status counters.
Status counters would make tracking somewhat easier. You still have many of the problems when halfsquads combine. It would sure make for some scary stacks. Perhaps better if you decided to this route would be to print "MG qualified" counters. Depending on the rules you create, you might need 0x, 1x & 2x qualified squad counters. There are so many possible rules (e.g. qualified halfsquads may not combine into squads) that exactly what you need depends on your choices.

JR
 

Gordon

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
291
Reaction score
217
Country
llUnited States
Status counters would make tracking somewhat easier. You still have many of the problems when halfsquads combine. It would sure make for some scary stacks. Perhaps better if you decided to this route would be to print "MG qualified" counters. Depending on the rules you create, you might need 0x, 1x & 2x qualified squad counters. There are so many possible rules (e.g. qualified halfsquads may not combine into squads) that exactly what you need depends on your choices.

JR
Or maybe two-tone counters for the qualified units. Note: severe sarcasm warning ...
 

witchbottles

Elder Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2010
Messages
8,838
Reaction score
1,918
Location
Rio Vista, CA
Country
llUnited States
T15.4 - CG 2.2 Formation Table Notes:



"...[c] 3x Leader, 3x MG Platoon [3x 2-4-8, 2-2-8 crew, 3x dmMMG. dmHMG(.50-cal.)], 4x 2-2-8 crew, 4x dm81mm MTR ..."

O11.619 RG Table Notes:
"...c - Each MG is accompanied by a 1-2-7 crew; each Gun by a 2-2-8 crew. ..." (For both German and Russian HW RGs.)

V12.620 RG Group Table Notes:

"...c Each MG is accompanied by a 1-2-7 crew; each Gun by a 2-2-8 crew. .."
I could continue but why bother- you can deny that HS and 1-2-7 crews are bing provided specifically for setup with the SWs if you wish - but the rules are quite clear otherwise.

You will also find in these CG's a rule that is similar to V12.6223:
"... Each Weapon received by a HW/MOL-P Pltn must set-up/enter possessed by a unit of its respective RG ..."

As for the Marine 2-4-8s in BR:T - T15.611:

"...All retained same-class HS with the same Strength Factors within the same Setup_Area must now Recombine (A1.32) so that no more than one of each HS type is Retained in that area [EXC: Marine 2-4-8s; ..."

Marine 2-4-8s may not recombine, nor are they created by any means in play from either the 6-6-8 or the 7-6-8 squad types.

G17.12 "...HS: The 3-4-8 is the HS of both the 6-6-8 and 7-6-8 squad..."


As for Carrier Half squads being "pre assigned" to the mounted SWs of their Carrier:

D6.82:

"... CREWS/HS: Carrier crews usually dismounted to make an attack as normal Infantry; therefore, their inherent crews are really 2-4-7 HS (or 2-4-8 if representing an elite unit) ..."

D6.83: "...6.83 A Carrier HS/crew may also abandon/re-occupy a Carrier along with the Carrier's MG/ATR/mortar ..."


Seems fairly clear overall - but feel free to pick nits. Fact is that both official and TPP products often use pre-assigned half squads and/or 1-2-7 or 2-2-8 crews to set up with pre-assigned SW's only.

I can continue ad nauseum with rules citations that illustrate HS or inf crew initial set up restrictions across numerous products, but really, if you are not grasping the concept with this limited example, doing it for every single product I know has this is not going to make a real difference.
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
20,071
Reaction score
4,454
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
I could continue but why bother- you can deny that HS and 1-2-7 crews are bing provided specifically for setup with the SWs if you wish - but the rules are quite clear otherwise.

You will also find in these CG's a rule that is similar to V12.6223:
"... Each Weapon received by a HW/MOL-P Pltn must set-up/enter possessed by a unit of its respective RG ..."

As for the Marine 2-4-8s in BR:T - T15.611:

"...All retained same-class HS with the same Strength Factors within the same Setup_Area must now Recombine (A1.32) so that no more than one of each HS type is Retained in that area [EXC: Marine 2-4-8s; ..."

Marine 2-4-8s may not recombine, nor are they created by any means in play from either the 6-6-8 or the 7-6-8 squad types.
None of these has any special ability to use the weapons, and any other unit can use those weapons just as well. There is no recording of units that have MG ability or MTR ability. If you give me 2-2-8s, they get DCs and/or FTs. 1-2-7s? Not sure, but the MGs go with squads unless firing at very long range. Probably as bump-scouts with self-rally. Might give them DCs. 2-4-8s? Probably as bump scouts, although in Tarawa they are the weakest units so they might get the 60mm MTRs for long range fire. For closer ops the MTRs go to squads. That they have to set up with/enter with those special units, that's a minor annoyance, and easily fixed.

That is what happens when you provide special units like crews for MGs/MTRs. Unless other units are penalized for the use, special units get used for other purposes. If you choose relatively weak special units (like 2-4-8s in Tarawa) they might get used as you intend, but then they might get used as fodder. In a night scenario, for example, my 2-4-8s are probably out front, and probably not with a MTR.

JR
 

witchbottles

Elder Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2010
Messages
8,838
Reaction score
1,918
Location
Rio Vista, CA
Country
llUnited States
None of these has any special ability to use the weapons, and any other unit can use those weapons just as well. There is no recording of units that have MG ability or MTR ability. If you give me 2-2-8s, they get DCs and/or FTs. 1-2-7s? Not sure, but the MGs go with squads unless firing at very long range. Probably as bump-scouts with self-rally. Might give them DCs. 2-4-8s? Probably as bump scouts, although in Tarawa they are the weakest units so they might get the 60mm MTRs for long range fire. For closer ops the MTRs go to squads. That they have to set up with/enter with those special units, that's a minor annoyance, and easily fixed.

That is what happens when you provide special units like crews for MGs/MTRs. Unless other units are penalized for the use, special units get used for other purposes. If you choose relatively weak special units (like 2-4-8s in Tarawa) they might get used as you intend, but then they might get used as fodder. In a night scenario, for example, my 2-4-8s are probably out front, and probably not with a MTR.

JR
the item you are failing to understand is that that designated 2-4-8, that designated 1-2-7, and that designated 2-2-8 are the ONLY units allowed to either set up or enter the map area in play with their designated SW's in possession. no other entering or setting up unit can possess them at game start. you can buy or set up any other RGs or at start units you prefer, but those SWs can ONLY enter or be set up at game start, in possession of the RG they belong to, not any other RG or any other unit. Now, once they are on map, you can do anything you please with either the unit or the SW, IAW the rules for possession, transfer and abandonment and recovery. That 2-4-8 is the only unit hiking the .50 cal HMG onto the map from off map as part of an assault wave in BR:T. If you want to pause him out in the surf and then have him transfer it in a subsequent RPh/APh to a 6-6-8 that also stopped there in the surf, well, that's your choice. The 6-6-8 did not and never will, enter the map carrying a SW assigned to the HW RG, unless you do choose to not play that game of ASL by the rules as written. The language seems pretty unambiguous to me:


"...You will also find in these CG's a rule that is similar to V12.6223:
"... Each Weapon received by a HW/MOL-P Pltn must set-up/enter possessed by a unit of its respective RG ..." ..."



i think that's exactly what I posted - as you asked for rules references, I did provide them. So now let me ask you to please provide rules references that specifically allow a unit that is NOT part of the entering or setting up RG to begin the scenario it is purchased in possession of an SW that was NOT part of that RG to begin with - in BR:T, in Red Barricades, in VoitG, in Festung Budapest, in AbtF, in Peg Bridge, in Singling, in KGP, in Suicide Creek, in Primosole Bridge, or in any other printed MMP HASL CG for that matter.

Please provide a rules reference, in short, that the .50 cal HMG in BR:T does NOT have to enter the map in possession of a unit from the HW company RG it came with. (Or a MOL-P that may enter the map or set up with a 4-2-6 or a 4-4-7 INSTEAD of the designated unit given in its RG in Red Barricades or VotG, etc, ad nauseum.)
 

Rock SgtDan

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
2,525
Reaction score
107
Location
State of Confusion
First name
Dan
Country
llSlovenia
That is what happens when you provide special units like crews for MGs/MTRs. Unless other units are penalized for the use, special units get used for other purposes. If you choose relatively weak special units (like 2-4-8s in Tarawa) they might get used as you intend, but then they might get used as fodder. In a night scenario, for example, my 2-4-8s are probably out front, and probably not with a MTR.
JR
Only by people who are min/max'ers instead of respectful of the bits of historical TOE & doctrine & "reality" that the designer worked very hard to create.
So you need to see an SSR that says any other type using the weapon has a tripled breakdown and cannot repair it?
 
Top