Tuesday, March 19, 2013

House Rules for Cold War Commander

In the Battle of Montana Libre report I mentioned some modifications to the Cold War Commander rules.   There are a number of reasons for those modifications.   A Nato battalion was expected at times to be defending a 5km front.   Another item that I found on the internet http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/caj/documents/vol_05/iss_4/CAJ_vol5.4_05_e.pdf provided information on company and platoon frontages.   At the 1cm = 20m scale of the rules a battalion would defend a 2.5m(about 100 inches) frontage on the game table.  A company would defend as much as 1.4m(5 feet) and a platoon 60cm(2 feet).  With one stand  representing a platoon this would be almost impossible.
Soviet tactical doctrine is similar and unit frontages are as follows

The second item was the difficulty of achieving a kill against modern tanks.  This has been mentioned in a number of posts on the CWC forums.   Modern tanks are difficult to kill.  Especially when a stand represents a platoon instead of an individual vehicle.  However, during the gulf wars allied forces did achieve quite a few kills.   Many of these from air and helicopter strikes, but also from tanks and ifv's.   The Battle of 73 Easterly being one notable encounter.
Also we did not want to have to keep track of the number of hits from turn to turn or make a die roll to see if a stand was knocked out when the number of hits remaining was not enough to knock out a stand.   We considered the hits do be a temporary disruption of the platoon and that the removal of the hits at the end of the turn to be recovery of platoon cohesion.
The following house rules were implemented to allow a battalion to defend a 5km frontage on a reasonably sized game table and to increase the possibility of knocking out tanks.

1)  Ground scale is doubled to 1cm = 40m   A 5km frontage would then be about 1.25m(50 inches or just over 4 feet) on the game table.
2)  Although not mentioned in the rules, the amount of time per turn was doubled keeping movement rates the same.  This was done so that units moved a reasonable distance per turn instead of just creeping along.
3)  Gun ranges were kept the same, but infantry anti-tank, anti-tank missile, and mortar/artillery ranges were halved or adjusted to fit the revised ground scale.
4)  The basic infantry ranges might be adjusted at a later date though as 30cm is about 1.2km at the revised ground scale which is a bit far for most light machine guns.  Though it is isn't too excessive. 
5)  Instead of adding only one die for half range, the number of dice was doubled when firing at half range or less.  This does not apply to infantry weapons,  IATW or ATGM.   This was done to reflect the greater rate of fire for guns and in the doubling of the time scale per turn.  (update infantry range reduced from 30 to 20cm)
7)  ATGM may fire twice per turn, instead of just once, provided they have more than one command activation.
8)  The number of dice for indirect fire has not been modified. During the game neither side was able to call their artillery enough to determine if the number of dice should be adjusted or if indirect fire should be allowed to be called twice during a turn.  The later of the two options might fit better with the doubled time per turn and with the modification to the number of times ATGW can be fired during a turn.  (update - artillery rules kept as written after further games determined that a well placed battalion barrage was quite effective )
9)  Russian tanks firing ATGW can use them at over half range even though their modified ranges are not greater than the range of the gun as they have more attack dice at that range.   With the doubling of dice at half range or less this gives the tank guns more dice when using regular ammunition at those ranges than they would have if they used the missiles.   This would be in keeping with the tactical doctrine for tank gun missiles being used at long range.
10) The command distance modifier was kept at the 20cm modifier of the rules and initiative distances remained the same

All of the above was done in order allow formations to to use tactical doctrine frontages on a reasonably sized table and to avoid modifying as few of the rules in Cold War Commander as possible.  Pete's rules are very good and provide a fun and great game.   Not all of the participants in the Battle of Montana Libre game had experienced the rules before.  Comments were that the rules were very good for representing modern warfare.   One participant who had only been gaming with 20mm figures using Force on Force reported that he had purchased modern GHQ Soviet and British forces after playing the game.

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