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Fire suppression from small arms discussion

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Warts 'n' all,

Fair question. I distinctly recall seeing this on a documentary, reading it or both, but so far, I can't find it! I do recall reading, though, that the British had not only almost completely fled Cairo (recall seeing it described as  "empty, like a ghost town"), but that a full-blown panic was underway in Alexandria, where papers and such were being hurriedly burned. If nothing else, it would seem the British thought they were toast. 

Regards,

John Kettler

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If a scenario designer or campaign overseer wanted to model the effects of genuine fatigue then selecting troops of a lower experience would seem the best way to simulate this. Units that were historically regular or veteran that were set in game to green or conscript will have compromised their spotting ability, accuracy, susceptibility to the effects upon morale of being suppressed & taking casualties, their ability to recover from suppression and their ability to pass on information.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Josey Wales said:

If a scenario designer or campaign overseer wanted to model the effects of genuine fatigue then selecting troops of a lower experience would seem the best way to simulate this. Units that were historically regular or veteran that were set in game to green or conscript will have compromised their spotting ability, accuracy, susceptibility to the effects upon morale of being suppressed & taking casualties, their ability to recover from suppression and their ability to pass on information.

CM2 games include the (sadly underused) "fitness" setting on the unit design screen for a similar purpose.  It has a drop menu allowing the scenario designer to select between "fit", "weakened", and "unfit."  The CMBN manual (for example) on page 131 describes the settings as follows: "FITNESS -- determines the inherent degree of physical readiness of the unit's soldiers.  This influences on how quickly soldiers tire and recover from physical tasks, such as running or being bombarded by enemy fire.  Options include: Fit, Weakened, and Unfit."

For example, I would use the setting for Germans in the late stages of the battle of Stalingrad, weakened by cold and hunger, or some Volksstum troops slowed by age (I think I have enough silver in my hair to make that last observation without offending my age cohort).

Reducing the setting to "weakened" or "unfit" allows the scenario designer to simulate troops entering the scenario in a compromised state such as from battle exhaustion, hunger, and so forth, and will reduce their ability to move without tiring, or to recover from fatigue.  However, I agree with Josey Wales' observation that it may be worthwhile to reduce their experience as well if you wish to have an impact on the troops' spotting ability, accuracy, morale, ability to recover from suppression and ability to pass on information.  None of THOSE appear to be impacted by fitness level.

 

EDITED TO ADD: I just noticed a couple of mentions in the thread that I had missed earlier discussing the "fitness" settings.  To the extent my post unnecessarily repeats old points I apologize.  But I'm keeping my post up because I think a bit of evangelizing about the use of that feature remains worthwhile.

Edited by Rokossovski

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11 hours ago, John Kettler said:

There is considerable evidence in soldier's accounts that simply seeing clearly becomes an issue, too.  Which target to you shoot at when seeing double? How do you aim accurately when your eyes are swimming? Battlefield accounts speak of men so worn out and mentally exhausted they don't react to incoming fire and have to be yanked down by one or more higher functioning comrades.

But the thing that you need to keep in sight is that they are not likely to arrive at that state during the brief course of a one or two hour CM firefight. If we are talking about a multi-day campaign, then yes, this depth of fatigue becomes a real problem. But for a single scenario, not so likely.

Michael

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11 hours ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Are you sure about that? Didn't his extended supply lines, or British AT guns and tanks play any part in halting him short of Cairo?

Heh. Although I can't recall the precise details, I remember someone once saying about a similar situation that "The enemy may have had a hand in that too."

In The Rommel Papers he makes a similar claim that the road to Alexandria and Cairo was wide open but his troops were just too worn out to go any farther. But then, he said things like this quite a lot. A little later on he reports that the Desert Air Force tactic of carpet bombing also made it hard to move, a credible claim that the DAF was quite willing to accept.

Michael

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John, I'm not sure of your sources. But I fail to see how Cairo could be like a "ghost town", when the docks were full of ships bringing in supplies, and the brothels were doing a roaring trade. I suspect that that may have been a bit of wishful thinking on the part of the Germans. As for the "full-blown panic" in Alex, that sounds pretty much the same as what happened in Brussels and Ghent in June 1815, just because the toffs are in a tizzy, it doesn't mean the boys in the front line are. 

My granddad and his mates didn't run away in the summer of '42. They kept the supplies flowing to the front until Rommel was given a bloody nose and F***ed off with his tail between his legs.

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Would be interesting to have a "sleep deprivation" setting. It would make it possible to make a campaign that took place over, say, 3 days, where you start out with fresh core troops of high quality, and while they retain their veteran level and motivation etc. they would get more and more sleep deprived as the campaign went on.

As far as I know, this cannot be accomplished by setting a lower troop level, because the troop experience level is set at the campaign start and can't dynamically change.

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Posted (edited)

Here's a link to what the situation was in Alexandria and Cairo. It's on the third page of chapter 8 in Mitcham's Rommel's Desert War. Would post the paragraph, but Google Books doesn't allow that.And I wasn't taking a shot at anyone's ancestors, merely reporting what I'd read. Had forgotten the Fitness setting altogher, too. Doh!

https://books.google.com/books?id=d4pEEm7OQJMC&pg=PT150&lpg=PT150&dq=british+panic+in+alexandria,+rommel&source=bl&ots=jtR1BRd-HW&sig=BFY-ZgopfJSN2H9h8pXbVO-kD-A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjmbKEttPZAhVHgK0KHfu4D9EQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=british panic in alexandria%2C rommel&f=false

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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On 5/3/2018 at 12:17 AM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I tend to use the 'Weakened' condition in the editor to simulate fatigued troops.....TBH I kind of thought that was what it was there for.

That only makes them less fit; to get winded faster when running. Doesn't affect anything else, as far as I know.

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13 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Indeed, but at present it's the best option we get.

You don't think that reducing their experience level together with reducing their fitness would fit the bill?

Michael

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That could be an option too I suppose, but it has other consequences, so I guess it's up to the individual designer to find the settings that give the required results (or the best approximation thereof) in testing.

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10 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

You don't think that reducing their experience level together with reducing their fitness would fit the bill?

I think it's a very good solution - for single scenarios. It would make them run away more easily too though. But that could be fixed by bumping up their motivation maybe. To represent that they are still grizzled but a bit groggy.

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On 7.1.2018 at 8:08 AM, Oliver_88 said:

Yep sounds great to me also. The fantasy things not so much.

 

:lol::D

Haha the soldier tells correctly that "snaps" are the real deal and the movie makers still add a hiss.

Hollywood...

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