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Combat Mission C & C House Rules


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This is a 'work around' that we have been using to make much better use of the Battalion and Company HQ units - to give them a command and control function in CM that is otherwise missing from the game. It may seem awkward at first, but it has a logical structure that, with practice, you can soon get the hang of it. It can, however, slow down attacks and meeting engagements, so allow double the amount of time for these at first, or use the ALTERNATIVE below.The effect of using this 'work around' is to force the player to keep Platoon and Company formations together, within reciprocal Line of Sight (LoS) or Lines of Command (LoC) of their Platoon or Company HQ, and to keep the higher level (Company and Battalion HQ units) back out of the line of fire to prevent them becoming 'degraded' or 'non-functional'. Failure to keep the higher level HQ units within reciprocal LoS of their subordinate HQ units, or exposing these higher level HQ units to enemy fire, will severely restrict the player's ability to control the battle. Operating in 'close' country or poor visibility will do the same.

Basic Rules

The basic principle is this: that there should be an unbroken chain of command between a Battalion or a Company HQ unit and its subordinate units, to transmit orders and information in a chain that will extend from a Battalion HQ to a Company HQ (by reciprocal Line of Sight LoS); from a Company HQ to a Platoon HQ (by reciprocal LoS); and from a Platoon HQ to its individual Sections and teams (by Lines of Control LoC).

A Battalion HQ can command as many Company HQs as it has reciprocal LoS to; or one Platoon HQ that it has reciprocal LoS to; or all those sections that it has a LoC to; or one 'orphan' section or unbuttoned vehicle (an 'orphan' section or vehicle being one that has no LoC to an HQ) by reciprocal LoS.

A Company HQ can command as many of its own company Platoon HQs as it has a reciprocal LoS to; or one non-subordinate Platoon HQ that it has reciprocal LoS to (i.e. an independent Platoon HQ, or a Platoon HQ from another company); or all those sections that it has a LoC to; or one 'orphan' section or unbuttoned vehicle by reciprocal LoS.

A Platoon HQ can command all those sections that it has a LoC to; or one 'orphan' section or unbuttoned vehicle by reciprocal LoS.

ALTERNATIVE: In the above, replace or with and to allow HQ units to 'multi-task'. This will move the game on more quickly, and give the player greater control.

Optional Refinements

1. An HQ unit can be either 'Functional', 'Degraded' or 'Non-functional' depending on its morale and movement status. A 'Functional' HQ unit is one that is 'OK', 'Alerted' or 'Cautious'. A 'Degraded' HQ unit is one that is 'Taking Cover', 'Shaken', 'Pinned' or 'Shocked', is moving on foot or hiding. A 'Non-functional' HQ unit is one that is 'Panicked', 'Broken' or 'Routed'. An HQ unit that is 'Degraded' by moral or movement status can command only those sections that it has a LoC to (i.e. a degraded HQ unit can no longer transmit, amend or cancel orders using LoS, and as a movement order would degrade it an otherwise 'Functional' HQ cannot transmit orders by LoS and be issued with a movement order itself in the same orders phase). An HQ unit that has become 'Non-functional' cannot transmit, amend or cancel any orders at all.

2. In the absence of a Battalion or Company HQ unit, or if a Battalion or Company HQ is elliminated or captured, the next most senior HQ unit can become the 'acting' Battalion or Company HQ.

In the absence of, or in the ellimination or capture of a Battalion HQ the most senior Company HQ will become the 'acting' Battalion HQ. The most senior Company HQ will be 'A' Company, followed by 'B' Company, and so on. An 'acting' Battalion HQ that is not 'Degraded' can command only one company (either its own, or a Company HQ to which it has a reciprocal LoS); or one Platoon HQ that it has reciprocal LoS to; or all those sections that it has a LoC to; or one 'orphan' section or unbuttoned vehicle by reciprocal LoS. The difference between a Battalion HQ and an 'acting' Battalion HQ is, therefore, that an 'acting' Battalion HQ can command only one company at a time, not several. In the absence of a Company HQ, the most senior Platoon HQ can become the 'acting' Battalion HQ, but can command only one Platoon at a time (either its own, or a Platoon HQ to which it has a reciprocal LoS); or one 'orphan' section or unbuttoned vehicle by reciprocal LoS. The most senior Platoon HQ will be No.1 Platoon from 'A' Company, followed by No.1 Platoon from 'B' Company, and so on down to No.2 Platoon from 'A' Company, and so on down to an 'independent' Platoon HQ or a vehicle Platoon HQ.

In the absence, ellimination or capture of a Company HQ the most senior Platoon HQ in that company will become the 'acting' Company HQ. The most senior Platoon HQ will be No.1 Platoon, followed by No.2 Platoon, and so on, but it can command only one Platoon at a time (either its own by LoC, or a Platoon HQ to which it has a reciprocal LoS); or one 'orphan' section or unbuttoned vehicle by reciprocal LoS. The difference between a Company HQ and an 'acting' Company HQ is, therefore, that an 'acting' Company HQ can command only one Platoon at a time, not several.

3. HQ units (and this also includes Forward Observation Officers) are always considered to be in command of themselves. i.e. the player can add, amend or cancel orders to the HQ section itself, even if it does not have reciprocal LoS to a superior HQ. In addition, a player can select a target for any HQ, and he can also select a target for any section that an HQ has a red LoC to (although this can only be done if the target is within the LoS of the HQ). This can also be done regardless of whether the HQ has a reciprocal LoS to a higher HQ or not. For all other units, the computer will choose which target a unit will shoot at. This will eliminate the Platoon fire at a single target that players often do, but rather spread the fire more sporadically.

4. A vehicle (including tanks) that has a unit 'embarked' on it is regarded as an extension of the embarked unit for command and control purposes. i.e. that vehicle can receive commands from the embarked section or team's HQ unit (or the HQ unit itself if it is embarked), so long as the embarked section or team is itself able to receive commands from that HQ unit (and this regardless of whether the vehicle is itself buttoned or unbuttoned).

5. A vehicle or vehicle HQ unit within reciprocal LoS of a superior HQ unit can only receive commands from that HQ if it is unbuttoned at the start of the orders phase (unless, as above, the command is received via an embarked unit). Otherwise, the only command that a buttoned vehicle can receive from a superior HQ unit within reciprocal LoS is the command to unbutton. A vehicle can, however, receive orders from its own Platoon HQ by LoC whilst buttoned, so long as the vehicle Platoon HQ in question is itself unbuttoned and receiving orders by reciprocal LoS from a superior HQ.

6. All units can receive orders in the first orders phase of an engagement, regardless of the above restrictions. For reinforcements, the turn that they appear on the map edge is regarded as their first orders phase, and they can therefore receive orders on that turn regardless of the above restrictions. All the units listed below will have mandatory firing arcs, anywhere from 1 to 180 degrees with a minimum range of 20 meters and a max range listed below. These are to be asigned in the first orders phase (or the first orders phase they appear on the map, in the case of reinforcements), and will give for more realistic arcs and firing ranges. They can be amended or changed in subsequent order phases, so long as the the section is in LoC of an HQ unit.

- Infantry Squads and HQs 250 meters max.

- HMG & MMG 500 meters max.

- LMG & BAR 250 meters max.

- Sharpshooter 500 meters max.

- Tank Hunter small arms 100 meters max, the armor arc is not mandatory.

- AT Rifle 500 meters.

- ALL other units that are HE, Flame, AT capable are exempt from the above rules.

7. Players have no control over crew members from abandoned or destroyed vehicles or support weapons, the computer will decide their fate. This will help prevent players using them to Spot, Recon, etc. Once the computer has created or designated a section as 'crew' it can no longer receive any orders.

8. Once a Soft Vehicle has disembarked its passengers, next turn it must not advance any further ( unless its intentions are to pickup passengers that turn ) and must attempt to seek cover (behind house or hill) out of LOS from the enemy. You will have to repeat this process every turn by checking LOS from Soft Vehicle to enemy. Soft vehicles are defined as Jeeps or Trucks w/out ammo. This will prevent players using them to spot or recon the enemy.

9. No player can voluntarily exit units off the map, other than via a friendly map edge or a designated exit point.

10. Veteran or better BHQ can give orders to a maximum of 4 CHQs that it has reciprocal LOS to.

Regular BHQ can give orders to a maximum of 3 CHQs it has reciprocal LOS to.

Green BHQ can give orders to a maximum of 2 CHQs it has reciprocal LOS to.

Conscript BHQ can give orders to just 1 CHQ it has reciprocal LOS to.

Veteran CHQ can give orders to a maximum of 4 PHQs that is has reciprocal LOS to.

Regular CHQ can give orders to a maximum of 3 PHQ it has reciprocal LOS to.

Green CHQ can give orders to a maximum of 2 PHQs it has reciprocal LOS to.

Conscript CHQ can give orders to just 1 PHQ it has reciprocal LOS to

Authors: Bletchley/JoMc67

Date: 31st July 2007

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Sounds very good! But why do vehicles have to be unbuttoned to receive orders for? Must a vehicle with a radio also be unbuttoned? Sorry if I'm asking a stupid question again, I haven't followed the original thread as closely as I wanted due to time constraints...

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They already have a command and control function in the game. Since they command any unit, they flex task their platoons.

Any group without a higher level commander is stuck in its cookie-cutter platoon sizes and therefore inflexible and non-robust. Any group with one along more than doubles the in command area for every squad and becomes both robust and flexible.

To me, a talented company commander is the most important leg unit I can have in a game. I build all of my plans and tasking around them. I practically never leave everyone in his "ordinary" platoon.

It seems to me you are breaking a very smart and workable system because you do not understand it or know how to use it as it stands, and are instead trying to impose a very rigid one, that I do not see as remotely more realistic.

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Earl Grey

Yes, most AFVs would have radio contact with their Platoon HQ but, I think, they were unlikely to be patched in to the infantry radio net at individual vehicle/Platoon level. Once buttoned up they were (are) notoriously difficult to communicate with, and armour/infantry cooperation is fraught with difficulty. Using this sytem a buttoned up vehicle can be communicated with - by its own HQ vehicle (if it has one), or by an infantry HQ section that can request that they unbutton (if the AFV is in Line of Sight), or either embark on the AFV itself or embark a subordinate section on the AFV.

Jason C

Thank you for taking an interest smile.gif If you are happy with the current CM C&C sytem, then indeed there is no need to look any further. We felt that, although it works well at the Platoon level, the Company and Battalion HQ sections do not function as CHQs or BHQs should, that their role should be a coordinating one not as a "super" Platoon HQ. But if you disagree, then of course you can disregard this sytem - we have never suggested that it should be written into the game's software - it is indeed restrictive, it adds an extra layer of difficulty (in my opinion, a good thing as the AI is not difficult to beat), and it will probably appeal to only a minority that play the game.

To those who want to try it, I would suggest you use just the "Basic" system first, and then add those "Optional Refinements" that you wish to use once you are happy with the basic concept. You do not have to use all (or any) of the these Optional Refinements. We would appreciate feedback from anyone who has used it, and in particular any suggestions of how it can be altered/improved.

Bletchley

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Originally posted by JasonC:

They already have a command and control function in the game. Since they command any unit, they flex task their platoons.

Any group without a higher level commander is stuck in its cookie-cutter platoon sizes and therefore inflexible and non-robust. Any group with one along more than doubles the in command area for every squad and becomes both robust and flexible.

To me, a talented company commander is the most important leg unit I can have in a game. I build all of my plans and tasking around them. I practically never leave everyone in his "ordinary" platoon.

It seems to me you are breaking a very smart and workable system because you do not understand it or know how to use it as it stands, and are instead trying to impose a very rigid one, that I do not see as remotely more realistic.

I tend to agree; not also that company HQs can be used for other purposes - i.e. grouping a company's worth of mortars under the company CO can be an effective use of his talents.

In real life, the appearance of a company or battalion commander up front with the men might turn the tide of an action; we can see that in CM as is - it also has its own attendant risks, not all of which are modelled in the game. But I think the system as is has a fairly realistic feel to it without modification.

As an example, see Farley Mowat's book AND NO BIRDS SANG and read of the Canadian company commander who personally directed an ambush on an enemy convoy - to the point of leading a charge with Bren Gun in hand.

See also Lieutenant Colonel Cec Merritt's actions at Dieppe, earning him the Victoria Cross (yes, I realize VCs are outliers). Nonetheless, he personally led charges across the bridge over the Scie and against German positions.

For something more accessible, see the Band of Brothers mini-series and the effect a good company commander might have on the company during the assault on Foy. Captain Spear's influence on the company was remarkable, and apparently based on the true unfolding of events.

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Yes indeed - and using this system you could still do that. But the risk is that whilst leading one of his Platoons the Company commander would be out of touch with his other platoons (unless they are all grouped very close together), and perhaps more importantly out of touch with his Battalion HQ.

In exceptional cases a Battalion or a Company commander will want to lead from the front, to inspire his men at a 'tipping' moment or in a make-or-break assault on a key objective. But I would argue that this is atypical behaviour, a memorable exception to the rule, and that for most of the time the most important task of the Company commander in battle is to maintain contact with his Battalion HQ to be able to better command and coordinate the actions of his Platoon commanders, and that the Battalion commander's main task is to do the same for his companies. This system adds that extra dimension of command and control to CM.

Bletchley

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  • 3 weeks later...
Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

Bumping this in light of the email sent to me. Any other thoughts?

JK,

Sorry about the email, I forgot that you responded earlier to this post.

Basically the focus now will be more at the Company and Platoon level. You will only need a reciprical LOS from CHQ to PHQ, and from PHQ to the Section for an order to take affect. When the final version is completed It will be reposted back here.

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