Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Desert Eagle...

lookin' good so far!

I have had some nice feedback from Duc and Norm on the first (incomplete) draft. 

AFP Photo: "Elite" troops on the edge of Fallujah with an S60 57mm AA gun(?)
I'm not blowing my own trombone here but I think it is really useful to review feedback and understand the issues. Points from Duc:

Really liked what I saw in Dragoon Rampant, and my hankerin' for a decent modern ruleset made me sit up and take notice when I saw this. Good points re. unit behaviour and the contrast between high and low quality units - and there's no reason why the rules can't work.
With the activation rules in a setting such as Blackhawk Down, we could easily see small units being able to fend off gathering masses...who may not activate so easily. Really good potential here - can't wait to give them a try.
I always hate the 'toughness' term (I think it reminds me of Warhammer LOL) and as it represents ability to hug cover in this instance, have always tried to find a better descriptor - but nothing is jumping to mind...'staying power' just don't cut it. Maybe 'Courage Under Fire (CUF)' for courage.
Love the man down option for CASEVAC. I can these working beautifully for Vietnam - and effectively undermining what the commander would like to do.
Great work - thanks for sharing.

Toughness is difficult to define and name. I see it as a combination of body armour/personal protection equipment and tactics. Good kit and good tactics minimise casualties (which is what we are looking at). Courage or resilience is what the courage test measures. It may be better to refer to toughness as protection or defence. I'll have a think.

The CASEVAC thing is interesting because it is a direct battlefield reaction rather than a casualty evacuation scenario like Blackhawk Down. To my mind, taking casualties will actually immobilise a standard western unit.  

AFP: Photo: An ISF team advancing

Here's a view from Norm:   
Jay - a good start. My initial question before starting reading was wondering how individual items such as HMG or inherent LMG could be handled, but your categories look good ...... Even a sniper, which surprised me. I bought Lion Rampant a few weeks ago and love the artwork, it instantly gave me a nostalgia trip of the sort of imagery used in my childhood Ladybird books like Richard III. 

The sniper thing is really interesting. The US Marine scout sniper motto is "Kill one, terrorise a thousand" (Sun Tzu). I see snipers not as pinpoint killers of key personnel (although they do do this) but as an area denial weapon. I remember watching a fascinating programme about Marines in Iraq occupying the highest building in a town and shooting anyone who looked like they were going to plant an IED. Ignoring possible legal issues, this prevented the enemy operating in the area. A different effect from suppressive fire from an HMG, for example, more a psychological impact. Reminds me of the Sarajevo sniper problem.

I think that Lion Rampant is probably the most revolutionary set of rules I have ever seen. It reminds me of DBA to that extent. But DBA stuff always seemed to be DBA whereas LR can morph into different ages and arenas. I'm excited about undertaking the next stage of this. Maybe I can leave work early tomorrow!


Duc de Gobin said...

Reading through my copy of the rules again - as I wasn't sure how supressive fire could be modelled, but the 'battered' status works pretty well if a courage test is failed.

The 'armour' value, or its equivalent (professionals find cover more easily), could also dictate how easily units take hits.

Hit probability and ability to hug cover seem to melt quite nicely into the mechanisms when considering modern alternatives. Poorly trained rabble vs elite troops should be quite easy to model I think.

...and were you considering a WWII version, the title would be easy - 'Kampfgruppe Rampant'...I suppose 'Operation Rampant' wouldn't work.

Duc de Gobin said...

Was also thinking about the 'toughness' term and wondering if 'Willingness to Fight' might get fitted in as a characteristic...(mainly because it has a nice acronym :) )

'What's the WTF of that unit?'

Old Trousers said...

Hi Duc, Sorry for not responding to your earlier comment. I'm actually working on this right now. Thanks also for your follow up, I love the idea of a WTF roll. I recently watched a video of Russian troops in Syria on a technical firing at a vehicle borne IED coming in their direction. The Russians passed their WTF roll as the car bomb got so close to the technical before being destroyed that the technical went with it. Frightening! You have prompted me to pull out Brains and Bullets for another read. Thanks!


Duc de Gobin said...

Good example...Scary just reading it. And yes - a great book. It was your blog that made me buy it sir :)

A lot of stuff in there that would contribute to the WtF. 'Weapon pull/push' especially, and you have already mentioned the willingness (or otherwise) to take casualties.

Perhaps these rules are the best way to try and distill the thoughts in B&B into a game system. Freezing/Fussing and fear - although it's never easy to break that down into a number for a particular force, I guess.

I played Dragon Rampant today with my regular opponent (see blog). Despite me taking the p*ss on my blog, there's a real gem of a ruleset there - I think you are working in the right direction with what you've done so far.

I noticed that some units (orcs) can easily hit, though their armour is so bad that after a round or two of melee, they're pretty much gone.

This got me thinking that the Wtf of trained troops would be high, and their firepower would also be high - so they would (probably) stay the distance (like knights in DR)

On the other hand, militia who have been supplied, but poorly trained by a superpower - will have high firepower, but low WtF - just like my orcs/barbarians, while the knights will be difficult to shift - good training and weapon push.