British Cromwell hunts Whittman!

British Cromwell hunts Whittman!
A pic from a Fireball game at Fall In 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New armor combat rules to be tested...and more thoughts on arty.

After playtesting the armor rules for about a year everyone seemd to feel they were right except for one item: tanks v. tank combat did not seem deadly enough at close range. My intrepid playtesters in Charlotte, NC pointed this out and all of the games at the cons illicited the same response. I have to agree. The question is how to fix it. That is where Jonathan Miller and his big math/science brain come in. He ran some number comparing our numbers to Cross of Iron and came up with a simple system that is not much different from what we have now. His initial calculations seem to point to results very close to COI. We are going to try them out on Tuesday...I will let you know how they turn out.

Creating rules with Jonathan is quite interesting beacause we create rules with a mix of artistry and science. I am a television/film producer and he is a genius scientist (not the evil kind.) I think this collboration leads to rules that appeal to a broad range of people.

Also - had a good conversation yesterday with Mark Tabbert about artillery (he was a former infantry man) and I think I can develop rules for calling in artillery. It will have to be scenario specific and mainly used in a prepared defense or as prep fire in an attack. The US used prep fire in the their attack on Haut Vents which I will be modelling in my next scenarios. Stay tuned.


  1. Mark,
    (I had actually expanded a bit on the below, but blogger wouldn't post it and then ate it when I tried the second I have more detailed argument if this causes any discussion - CB)

    But in furtherance of the short discussion we had at the wings place on short range tank v. tank fighting, you huys should bear in mind that:

    Tanks that were designed to kill other tanks (Tiger, Panther, Firefly, etc)(Soviet tanks are a diferent breed all together), were designed to do it at long or perhaps medium range (depending on how you define it).

    Tanks that were designed to support the infantry (like Shermans and most British tanks) were designed for closer-in work, and are more or less ineffective at the ranges favored by the tank-killing designs.

    None of the tanks were designed to fight each other at close range (and here I'm assuming we're talking about extremely short ranges, say under 100 meters). The problem is not penetration of armor, it's laying the gun on target - the closer you get to the other guy, the more you have to slew the turret to keep your gun on him (assuming, of course that you're not both sitting still and simply slugging it out). In a swirling dogfight, just getting a hit is going to be an impressive feat.

    I'm not familiar enough with your dice system to make any educated suggestions, but maybe you might think about something along the lines of - at very long and very short ranges, make the to hit dice harder; if either the target or the firer is moving and at very short range make the too hit dice even harder; if both are moving and at very short range, make the to hit dice almost impossible. Then, because penetration should be easier the shorter the range, make the to kill dice much better at very short range - for instance, this should be about the only way a standard Sherman should be able to kill a Tiger.

    The bottom line, in my opinion, is that it's not the science of round vs armor but the skill of putting rounds on target that makes the difference.

  2. Okay, so I really do need to expand on this one point in the above posting - -

    When I said "The problem is not penetration of armor, it's laying the gun on target - the closer you get to the other guy, the more you have to slew the turret to keep your gun on him", what I mean is this:

    It's not a matter of laying your gun on the target, or even of tracking the target with your gun. The issue here is that you have to LEAD a moving target, and the closer he is the MORE you have to lead him (assuming of course that he's not moving directly into or away from your gunsight). When you get down to extreme short range, in order to lead the target enough to hit it, it may not even be inside the field of view of your gunsight! If you can't see it, you can't hit it, and if you can't hit it, you can't kill it, no matter how well your round will penetrate his armor.

  3. Cool discussion. After the game last night I cranked the numbers again for the revised system, and I included Panzie-fausts, schreck & bazookas this time. Looks ok.