Saturday, 26 January 2008

Command and Control - ideas (1)

The AWI rules as written were developed before many of the "recent" ideas on command and control were developed and I have been considering how to incorporate them particularly for use in solo games.

In DBx, I've always felt that the pip system was too arbitrary, even with the CinC's ability to switch dice between commanders, it just feels too abstract and doesn't model the individual commanders abilities.

Warmaster (WMA)uses a slower system, but it's more effective at representing different commanders abilities, however, it does allow units to make multiple moves, which can unbalance the game system.

Fire and Fury uses a system that is more unit command/morale driven, but also includes the strength/exhaustion of the unit.

My plan is to use the WMA system with dice rolls (2d6) per unit/group in the order selected by the commander with the following modifiers.

+2 if the commander is with the unit (attached)
-1 Per 12" away from the commander
-2 If out of sight of the commander
-1 If 1 or 2 strength points lost
-2 If 3 or more strength points lost
+1 if a well trained unit
-1 if a poorly trained unit
-1 "group" move (several units belonging to the same commander moving together)
+1 if the CinC is within 6" of the commander (optional)

For example a poor general would have a rating of 7. he attempts to give a command to a militia unit 15" away (-1) that has lost 1 strength point (-1), and as militia it is poorly trained (-1). So a the general needs a 4 or less on 2d6 to succeed. Therefore if the general rolls a 5 with 2d6 he fails to give the unit an order, and can give no more orders to troops under his command.

After all command rolls are completed any individual units that have not tested for command can test independently using a command rating of 6. They cannot use this test unless their commander has failed on another units under his command.



Fitz-Badger said...

As a primarily solo gamer I am interested in rules that incorporate commander ratings and their effect on orders and combat.
So I'll be following your progress with this.

Pete Jones said...


I think this is a good extension of Warmaster. The downside to WM was as you suggested a unit makes multiple moves. I disagree with this 1 unit 1 possible order.

Also I notice that when a general failed a test no other unit under his command would get any orders. In your version a unit would get a chance to do something on a 6 or less. Is that correct?

Fire at Will said...

Pete, correctly observed, I didn't like the idea in WMA that depending on the testing sequence that a unit could be left totally out to dry.

Steve said...

..I like it very much - my only concern is that the "independant" test is better than the "commanded" test??? ie. in the example you give, the militia is deemed more capable of giving themselves an order, than their brigadier? I like the mechanic, I guess I'm asking about what the second test is modelling, and whether it should be as high as 6....???

Steve said...

Will - tried the mechanic in our last game, but found that it really slowed everything down (all the dicing and modifiers) and the only outcome was that may be a unit didn't move - in which case the player who had failed just passed on all their movement, and waited for the next turn...... were we doing something wrong???

Fire at Will said...

Steve, nothing wrong, the delay reflects the unit misinterpreting their orders and overall moving slower than planned. As noted in my update this may cause problems with units being in the fire zone for too long which can be a problem in offense/defense games.

Thanks for the feedback

Dale said...

WM/WMA's method of command and control also bothered me. I like the idea, but when you get multiple turns in a row in which you blow a roll, it isn't fun anymore, no matter how realistic it could be historically.

One way to alleviate the problem is to have a low unit-to-leader ratio (e.g. one commander per two or three units) so that large chunks of the army does not stand immobile if there is a general failure.

Another variation is to have the unit roll for activation and make that modifiable by the factors you listed. The Commanders can then be assigned pips based upon their Tactical rating (or some such), which they assign to units on a turn-by-turn basis, in order to increase their chance of activating.

Just some thoughts.