House rules: Infantry

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House rules: Infantry

Postby javelin98 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:01 am

So, moving on. Time to talk about crunchies. In most 6mm scale sci-fi games, infantry are either steroid-addled, power-suit-wearing, tac-nuke-carrying superhumans (think OGRE) or they're there to give the tanks something squishy to feel between their roadwheels (BattleTech). Infantry also present a challenge towards the game designer in terms of balancing their advantages and disadvantages and incorporating both in gameable terms.

Let's start with a list of key advantages:
  • Low profile/Can hide easily
  • More mobile in certain terrain (urban, jungle, etc.)
  • Superior infiltration abilities
  • Important communications link (think spotting for artillery)
  • Can enter tight spaces (buildings, tunnels, caverns, etc.)
  • Can capture some objectives better than tanks (buildings, intel, etc.)
Now some disadvantages:
  • Slow
  • Thin-skinned/Lack of armor
  • Undergunned/Lack of firepower
  • Lack of systems (ECM, radar, fire control, etc.)
  • Less mobile in certain terrain (water, swamp, temperature extremes)
(Of course, both of these lists are using a modern concept of infantry, with no provisions made for tech levels or whatnot.)

If we look at Iron Cow as a rule set, it's largely structured along "fast play" lines, so the challenge, is seems to me, is this:

-- Give the infantry enough of a punch to justify including them
-- Don't overbalance them (turning them into little tanks, as it were)
-- Retain the fast-play feel of the overall rule set

Some initial ideas:

General rules:

Close Assault
Infantry who are in base-to-base contact with another unit are considered to be in Close Assault. They receive double their normal effectiveness against hard targets (so, for instance, the ONESS infantry squad would double their effectiveness from 8 to 16). This gives them a chance to actually kill some heavy tanks by overwhelming them with RPG's, satchel charges, and limpet mines.

Targeting infantry (tanks)
Tanks could only target infantry at the 300mm range band or under, and target Static infantry as if the target stand were one range band further away (i.e., infantry 140mm away would normally be in the 150mm range band, but if under a Static order, would have to be engaged using the tank's values for the 300mm range band).

Targeting infantry (artillery)
Artillery can fire at infantry at all range bands, not just 300mm or lower, but firing at Static troops is done as if the infantry were two range bands further away, representing the difficulty of injuring troops who are dug-in.

Urban cover
Infantry in bunkers or in buildings would ignore the first successful attack on them each turn. A subsequent successful attack would kill the stand.


Special infantry teams:

Forward Observers
Infantry designated as Forward Observers (FOs) would have only the "under 50" range band available for direct fire combat, as they are armed only with light personal defense weapons. However, artillery fired on a target within their line of sight would use the range to the target as figured from the FOs. For instance, an FO stand is in woods with line of sight to a target 100mm and calls in artillery from a battery 700mm away. The artillery can roll to hit using its 100mm % to-hit value.

Jump Infantry
Jump troops are equipped with jet packs that allow them to move at normal rate over any terrain. Of course, unit integrity rules still apply! Jump troops attempting to move into Close Assault by air may be fired upon by the target unit as if they were aircraft.

Anti-Tank Infantry
AT teams receive +25% to-hit bonus and +4 to their Penetration when targeting armored targets AND when under a Static order. If not under a Static order, there is no to-hit bonus. Because they are carrying heavy anti-armor weapons, they can only carry light personal defense weapons as small arms; therefore, they can only target other infantry units at the "under 50" range band.

Medics and Mechanics
If using the optional Morale rules, medics reduce morale issues for infantry, and mechanics for vehicles. Not quite sure how much yet; I'll have to sit down and do some math with the morale rules first. But conceptually, that's the idea.

Snipers
If using the optional Morale rules, a sniper stand could cause a decrease in morale for its target. Not sure how much yet, again. There wouldn't be any lethal effect because that's a little too nitpicky for this scale and ruleset.

Mortars
This would allow an infantry unit to fire over blocking terrain, using the artillery rules but infantry range bands. The blast template would only be 30mm across rather than 100mm.

Dragoons
Dragoons are mounted troops who dismount to fight. Dragoons have motorcycles, anti-grav skimmers, or some other unarmored, fast form of transport. Consequently, dragoons under an Advance order could move double their normal speed, but could not make any attacks that turn if they chose to use this ability.

Anti-Aircraft Infantry
Infantry stands equipped with AA missiles target aircraft with increased accuracy or effectiveness, giving them +3 to their AA factor.



Anyway... those are some initial thoughts for giving Iron Cow infantry more flavor. Not that they currently taste like chicken or anything, don't get me wrong... As always, please comment and contribute!
Leo: (July 23—Aug. 22): The wheelchair and the indignity will be bad enough, but the worst part is going to be explaining to your wife exactly what you said to the genie to make him take off your legs like that.
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Postby Erik M » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:55 am

As always looking good. You seem used to write reports. :wink:

(Of course, both of these lists are using a modern concept of infantry, with no provisions made for tech levels or whatnot.)
Isn't factors just a measure of fire effectiveness? Musquet is rather bad at hitting, so tight formations where needed to get any fire power at all. Machine guns made you have to hit the dirt. Laser makes you hit the dirt even before you know there's an enemy shooting at you. Sort of?

Anyhow, all above seem reasonable, but is it IC?
Somehow I feel as if the double in assault, if a morale test has been cleared, is enough.
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Postby javelin98 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:05 pm

Well, that's why these are house rules -- some people will want the additional level of detail and differentiation, and some won't. If nothing else, then the close assault tweak would give tanks a reason to fear infantry! Especially in urban and forested zones, where infantry have traditionally earned their paychecks.

I have fond memories of playing war at the Shughart-Gordon MOUT site at Ft. Polk. We had a company of M1A1's, a platoon of engineer M113's, and a battalion of light infantry (it was a joint exercise between the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which was heavy/mechanized, and 1st Brigade, 25th Light Infantry). Our tanks did great, but we still took casualties when we drove past a building and got jumped from the sides and rear by hostiles. At one point, our friendly infantry established a casualty collection point in a small building in the northwest corner of the MOUT site, and because there was an M113 parked outside, they assumed it was pulling guard for them. Nope -- and when it moved on, the OPFOR stormed the building and killed all our wounded. Ah, those were the days, when I was thin, fit, and armed...
Leo: (July 23—Aug. 22): The wheelchair and the indignity will be bad enough, but the worst part is going to be explaining to your wife exactly what you said to the genie to make him take off your legs like that.
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Postby Erik M » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:26 pm

when I was thin, fit, and armed...
Oh, sorry to hear that, where did you loose them?
*Hm, that was perhaps a bad joke to a professional soldier?*

Ah, I get your point. And from that point of view it's excellent work you've done!
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Re: House rules: Infantry

Postby Erik M » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:46 pm

Repeated pre-amble:
javelin98 wrote:So, moving on. Time to talk about crunchies. In most 6mm scale sci-fi games, infantry are either steroid-addled, power-suit-wearing, tac-nuke-carrying superhumans (think OGRE) or they're there to give the tanks something squishy to feel between their roadwheels (BattleTech). Infantry also present a challenge towards the game designer in terms of balancing their advantages and disadvantages and incorporating both in gameable terms.


Definitivly usable infantry rules:

General rules:

Close Assault
Infantry who are in base-to-base contact with another unit are considered to be in Close Assault. They receive double their normal effectiveness against hard targets (so, for instance, the ONESS infantry squad would double their effectiveness from 8 to 16). This gives them a chance to actually kill some heavy tanks by overwhelming them with RPG's, satchel charges, and limpet mines.

Targeting infantry (tanks)
Tanks could only target infantry at the 300mm range band or under, and target Static infantry as if the target stand were one range band further away (i.e., infantry 140mm away would normally be in the 150mm range band, but if under a Static order, would have to be engaged using the tank's values for the 300mm range band).

Targeting infantry (artillery)
Artillery can fire at infantry at all range bands, not just 300mm or lower, but firing at Static troops is done as if the infantry were two range bands further away, representing the difficulty of injuring troops who are dug-in.

Urban cover
Infantry in bunkers or in buildings would ignore the first successful attack on them each turn. A subsequent successful attack would kill the stand.
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Postby javelin98 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:08 pm

Glad you think so! Game on!
Leo: (July 23—Aug. 22): The wheelchair and the indignity will be bad enough, but the worst part is going to be explaining to your wife exactly what you said to the genie to make him take off your legs like that.
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Postby Erik M » Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:31 am

I could actually think of building another step,, based on sides and Germ's infantry pack.

Apart from the 16 grunts there's 2 AT, 2 AP, 2 Assault and two leaders.

How about giving AT's +5/+5 against AFV's?
And then AP's +5/-- against infantry and +1 AA?
Assault? An on-roll (re-roll a success for another success) at close assault.
The leader then? Well, a re-roll perhaps?

And then we got sides.
The obvious one is that CDSU doesn't give grunts AT. They wouldn't like to see their tanks blown up from inside, right?
Those AT's can be given to E'tranger as a raid force they ought to want them.
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Postby Echo5Hotel » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:20 am

Holy Necroposting Batman!

I just wanted to say "Way Cool!" to your more advanced infantry rules Javelin98. I love them. My first assignment in my Army career was 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry and I like the idea of the infantry having some teeth to bite back with. For my games I may in fact raise their efficiency a little bit further than +4, perhaps even doubling their efficiency against armor but still retaining the same 50m range band for infantry fighting.
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Postby Failure16 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:01 pm

Jav rules are always interesting and eminently usable.

Of-topic here, but when were you with the 10th Mountain, E5H? I was with B-2/14 from '99 to '03. Great times with a great outfit.
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Postby Echo5Hotel » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:27 pm

I was with the 10th from 1989 - 1992, A Co, 110th MI BN Was in the Army from 1988 to 2001.

88-89 Basic/AIT
89-92 10th Mountain Div Ft Drum
92-93 AKTCAE Korea Camp Humphreys
93-95 MI BN (LI) (Florida/South America)
95-98 733rd MI BN (Hawaii)
98-01 National Security Agency

Then I ended up medically retired from the Army because of diabetes.
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