Battlegroup location-to-location Campaigns. Revisited.

Battlegroup location-to-location Campaigns. Revisited.

Postby Powermonger » 22 Mar 2017

Hi to all:

After having lots of fun playing the “Last Line” campaign (thank you BG!!!!), our group decided to go for a second try at it. This time, however, will be a different campaign over the same map.

The beaten Germans, withdraw to lick their wounds, and mount a new attack on the Horyn river line. The soviets would try to repeat their deeds, this time helped by elements from 19th mechanized corps.

After having played the last campaign for almost a year, we feel comfortable to add some additional house rules & clarifications. I´m making a summary below for people interested. You can add it to any BG campaign or to an ad-hoc campaing of your own design.

BEWARE: these additions will make the game more complex, and you will NEED an umpire to run the campaign, specially to keep track of the historic pool.

1. Game´s length:
The game will start on monday morning july 01st, until the night of juliy 04th. As this is a continuation of the previous campaign, we moved the timeline accordingly. In addition, at the end of the 12th turn, a dice will be rolled to see if the campaign goes for an additional 13th turn.

Design note: the variable length deters players from going “objective-hunting” in the last turn of the campaign, disregarding everything else.

2. Points per Counters:
The original 300 points per counter is reduced to 250. In addition, reinforcements went down from 200 to 150.

Design note: We found that 4-counters a side battles (1.200 points per side) are huge, time-consuming affairs, and not at all fun. We have an 8´x 6´ table, and wanted to limit the largest battle to a 1.000 points a side encounter. I was glad to see the new Norrey campaign follows this very same pattern.

3. Additional troop types / counters:
To add an additional flavor to the game we introduced armored counters to the original ones available. In addition, each different counter type has now different abilities. As a summary (not the full rules):
Mot. Infantry: they can buy defenses as per infantry lists
Engineers: No limits to engineer purchases. They can buy defenses as per infantry lists. They are always considered to have trench level “3”. They add to the trench level of friendly counters.
Armoured: They allow to buy tanks as per panzer / mechanized division lists
Recce: No limits to recce purchases. A lot of tactical & strategic advantages

Also, we let every counter the possibility of buying a small recce / engineer force even if no specialized counter is present.

Design note: We found that the original difference for recon / engineer special counters does not give a deep “combined arms” approach. In addition, we felt very short of options when fielding battles with no recce/engineer counters. At the cost of complexity, we added these variations.

4. Withdrawals:
Every time you withdraw from a location, not giving battle, you lose the capacity to attack further in the turn (though it can reinforce a battle). In addition, if you withdraw, you reduce your remaining movement points by one.

Design note: We found the original rules to be very lenient to counters that withdraw. We decided to apply some penalties if you withdraw.

5. Attack / Defense:
In order for a battle to qualify for Attack / Defense you must have been there (as a defender) for 3 consecutive activations without moving.
Design note: We found that 90% of battles ended in encounter-type battles. Therefore, we added this to have a little more variance in our battles.

6. Historic poool:
Each side would have a historic “pool” of assets to use. Not all, but the most important assets (AFV´s and others) will be in limited supply. This “pool” has to be tracked. In order to field a certain force for a battle each side must check first if the assets purchased for that battle are “available” in the pool. We also added rules for battle recovery of these assets.

Design note: We got tired of seeing the Russians fielding 17 BT-7´s and the NKVD blocking detachment EVERY battle. And the Germans fielding PzIIIH and armoured schutzen in 251´s EVERY battle. Now, if you field them, you must take care of them, for they are not limitless. It also encourages the use of other assets, historically available, but not always attractive to min-max players. It requires a very precise sense of “balance” when you set up the pool as an umpire.

7. Victory points:
We now give victory points by the size of battle won. 1 VP for 2-3 counters battle. 0,5 VP for 1 counter battles and 1,5 VP for 4 counter battles.

Design note: Just to smooth things out.

8. Suicide attacks:
We give the receiver of an attack the choice to repel the attack with just the same number of counters or more, at his choice.

Design note: This is to limit “suicide attacks”, made on the lasts turns, just to “pin” a large force to a location, at the cost of a single counter.

9. Objectives:
Victory points given at the end of the game awarded for “control” of objectives instead of “being there” at game´s end. To control an objective one side must end his turn with a friendly counter on it. If the counter moves afterwards, control is still retained. We also give location “X” a 1VP value.

10. Voluntary Withdrawal from battle:
One side can, at the start of his turn in a field battle, to opt for a “voluntary withdrawal”. It must still have 10% of his total BR remaining. If it does so, he can recover materiel in more favorable terms than in a lost battle.

Design note: This mod. Allows a commander to save materiel for another battle. In addition, shortens the length of battles played.

We have also some additional minor tweaks I must be forgetting.
Please feel free to try any of the above rules and let me know your comments / additions. If in any doubt please send me a pm.

Best Regards,

Diego
You may be Powermonger, but I´m Powerowner
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Re: Battlegroup location-to-location Campaigns. Revisited.

Postby dead1 » 19 Apr 2017

Very cool.

I do like the idea of limited "historical" pool of assets.
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Re: Battlegroup location-to-location Campaigns. Revisited.

Postby Pedro » 24 Apr 2017

HI

I was wondering how you deal with the arrival of reinforcements. Seems that having them arrive en mass say on turn three (or 6 or 9) can run counter to the spirit of many scenarios. Indeed at the stage the attacker may have only just started to roll for his reinforcements incrementally.

We are tending to say that one should keep to the spirit of the particular scenario rules. A case in point is obviously "Recce Screen".

Pedro
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Re: Battlegroup location-to-location Campaigns. Revisited.

Postby Powermonger » 24 Apr 2017

Pedro: we had the same issues in the last campaign we played. So for this new capaign we ruled out the following:

If you have reinforcements coming (in turn 3, 6 or 9), they would NEVER arrive in better conditions than the established in the designed scenario.
For example, if you play "defence line", the standard scenario determines the defender reinforcements arrive at turn 5. If your campaign reinforcements would arrive at turn 3 (being at a distance 1 location), then they would arrive starting in turn 5 (not 3), and in the predetermined allotments ie, 1D units x turn).
Thi is a fairly staightforward scenario to decide. There are others where the solution is more tricky. But the spirit is that: never give better conditions than the std scenario would provide.
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