Ammunition

Have you been playing with some house rules over the years - or even recently invented, that you'd like to share?
Pete E
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:35 am

Ammunition

Post by Pete E » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:37 pm

As I do a lot of solo gaming I try and develop house rules that don't allow me to influence events any more than necessary. One example is the use of ammunition for each battle that dictates its length to some degree. I use the supply tokens Larry provided in the Battle of the Bulge. Here's how they're used:

First, decide what individual battles will be fought. For each battle roll a D6: rolling 1-3 receives one supply token; 4-5 receives two; and a roll of 6 receives three tokens. I link these to each battle so I don't have the burden of deciding how many supply tokens must be imported each turn for each side.

Each supply token equals 12 "points" of ammunition available for that battle.

Next, fight the first battle and then find out how much ammo was used by rolling a D6 or D10 (I prefer the latter to insure shorter battles). The number rolled is then deducted from the 12 points in a "full" ammo token. If the D10 roll was 9, there would be 3 points left. If the resulting points could fall into a negative number on the next battle, you must roll in advance to determine if enough ammo is available to fight a second battle. In this example, if only one supply token was used, any number larger than a 3 means there isn't enough ammo to continue and the battle is over. The attacker retreats and the 3 points not used are returned to HQ to be assigned to a subsequent battle on their next turn.

Should the attacker choose to retreat with more than adequate ammo still on hand I have built in penalties to insure this decision is carefully considered (for example, "full" tokens cannot be returned and are considered destroyed). Also, this obviously won't work for any situation when only one battle is fought, as in strategic bombing raids. Finally, if ammo is still available after the defender has been destroyed, the attacking force may move into a fresh enemy-held territory and battle until his supply tokens are spent and the attacker either wins a second battle or is forced to retreat.

I realize this isn't for everyone, but it adds a little intrigue to the game and that's an enjoyable consequence.
Pete

Pete E
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:35 am

Re: Ammunition

Post by Pete E » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:36 pm

Greetings,
When you study the great battles of WWII, logistics play a key role in every conflict. I might add also at this point, logistics are not necessary for A&A games as Larry has demonstrated through countless variations. But it adds one more feature that enhances the realism of movement and combat that can be incorporated. I also like the idea of consumption: the actual use of gas and ammunition rather than just requiring them to "be there" for the battle to play out.

I have amended and refined the preceding post on "Ammunition" to now include gasoline as well; and have continued to use the supply tokens from Larry's Battle of the Bulge game. Here's how:

1. One gas and one ammunition supply token (ST) are required for each individual battle even if attacking into an empty enemy-held territory. Gas and ammo are required for attackers only (not defenders) and are not necessary for non-combat movement.

2. Each ST equals 10 points.

3. After the first battle roll a D6 for each ST to determine how much gas and ammo was used. For example, the gas roll might be 6 leaving 4 points available and the ammo roll may be 2 leaving 8 points left for the next battle.

4. Prior to the second battle HQ can re-supply gas or ammo used in the first encounter. For each point used in the first battle, roll one D12. In our example you would roll 4 gas dice and 2 ammo dice. A roll of 11 means 1 point is restored; while a roll of 12 equals 2 points replaced. If the rolls were successful (11's or 12's) these points are added to the existing appropriate ST and are ready to use in the next battle. In this example there were no rolls of 11 or 12 for gas, and a single roll of 11 for ammo which means to begin the second battle the attackers have available 4 gas points and 9 ammo points.

5. If, in a susequent battle, there is less than 6 gas or ammo points (4 gas in our example) than a D6 must be rolled prior to fighting the battle to see if enough is on hand to continue. If the roll was 4 or less, proceed with the second battle. If the roll was higher (5 or 6 in this example) consult the Circumstances/Result below and act accordingly.

6. Gas and ammunition can be returned to their respective HQ's by rolling a D12 for each point leftover after the battle is concluded. Roll #11 equals 1 point returned; Roll #12 equals 2 points returned. These points can be distributed in future battles to supplement the initial ST provided for that battle. For example, if a HQ has 4 extra ammo points they can be added to a full ST for a total of 14 ammunition points. Or, HQ can divide the 4 points and use them in multiple battle situations. How the points come back to HQ is a result of battle circumstances shown below.

I. Circumstances:
A. Attackers destroy defenders and have enough ST to attack elsewhere but do not.
B. Attackers destroy defenders and don't have enough ST to attack somewhere else.

I. Result: Attackers roll one D12 for each leftover gas and ammo. Any points not returned to attacker's HQ are considered destroyed.

II. Circumstances:
C. Attackers don't have enough gas or ammo and must retreat.

II. Result: Attackers roll first to return points to HQ. Any points not taken by attackers are then rolled for by defenders. Any points leftover are destroyed.

III. Circumstances:
D. Attackers quit the battle even though they have ample gas/ammo to continue.
E. Attackers are wiped out by defenders.

III. Result: Defenders only roll for leftover gas and ammo. Attackers have no roll under these conditions. Any points the defender can't claim are destroyed.

IV. Circumstances:
F. Both attackers and defenders are destroyed.

IV. Result: All gas and ammo is considered destroyed as well.

I must confess I've only tried this in land battles (my favorite game is still Europe 1999) and in my Stalingrad game. They do slow the game down, but if you like wargaming as much as I do, anything that adds value is highly enjoyable and well worth it. As always, thanks to Larry for the opportunity to share ideas.
Pete

timerover51
Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:31 am

Re: Ammunition

Post by timerover51 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:46 pm

I am looking at experimenting with the Oil Certificates from the Attack game to simulate logistics for an A&A variant that I am working on. I am a former US Army supply officer who actually enjoys logistics, so I am looking at a couple of levels. One relatively simple for use in games with our summer historical gaming class and one a bit more complex to more closely simulate actual supply headaches.

I am also looking at variable Production Point levels for the game as well on a Mediterranean Theater game to simulate varying ability of Germany to support Italy and the North African Theater. Oil supply for the Italian Navy will be a major factor in that.

Pete E
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:35 am

Re: Ammunition

Post by Pete E » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:57 am

Timerover51,
Your post seems far more sophisticated than what I have proposed. I trust and hope you will share details as they become available.

Determining production levels for each country has always perplexed my approach to logistics. How, for example, can you trust the figures generated by Russia's five-year plans which were cloaked in secrecy and propaganda?

Which is why I always begin with a simple premise: When purchasing a tank, for example, in one of Larry's games we also get a trained crew, maintenance support, with enough fuel and ammunition to begin to battle. After the initial combat, it's time to think about logistics to continue fresh encounters. That's the reason I use logistics in tactical battles rather than try and figure out strategic national production levels, although combining the two would make for far more interesting gaming.
Pete

timerover51
Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:31 am

Re: Ammunition

Post by timerover51 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:40 pm

If you are interested in National Production Levels, I would recommend you taking a look at Klaus Knorr's book, War Potential of Nations, as that has a lot of data on World War 2 and prior production, especially in terms of military production. However, if you use the data in there for the game, you will have problems. Japan is going to be far weaker in terms of production, while the UK is going to equal Germany. Italy actually does better than Japan in terms of production. And the US is producing as much as the rest of the planet in terms of military equipment by 1944.

I am working on a way of renewing the Oil Certificates during the game and not having only a limited starting supply. I have very good data on Germany's oil production during the war and where it came from, roughly half from natural oil supplies and half from synthetic production. As Germany gains or looses territory, it gains and looses oil resupply, is the way that I think that I may handle it. I have been using the Historical Board Gaming 1939 map in 4' X 8' foot map, which has a lot more territories. I have good data for Japan as well, but just a matter of determining how to handle the dependence on oil supplies from the Netherlands East Indies. Having convoy squares on the map is an aide to that.

For the Allies, the US has no problems, but thinking of requiring successfully getting transports to the UK for resupply there. The Mid East has its own supplies, as does the USSR. Australia is a bit more of a challenge.

To get the Germans to build submarines and fight the Battle of the Atlantic, I give the UK and the US 5 IPC for transport surviving at the end or their turn, capping this at 15 for the UK and 25 for the US. That is also one way of boosting US production throughout the game. That is a house rule for the Classic game we have been playing and works quite well. The added IPC also goes for Japan, with a cap of 15 due to the low Japanese industrial base. I do give the Japanese a Factory in Manchuria to more accurately reflect reality, but limit production to the total IPC for Manchuria. I am giving thought to increasing Manchurian IPC based on my research in that area.

I have done some IPC boosting in the 1st Edition of Pacific War for Japan, which the Japanese player likes and the Allied Players (5 of them) have no problem understanding. I have the US, the Australians, the Chinese, the Netherlands East Indies, and the UK Indian players for that game. Getting 5 teams to cooperate is not easy. The Japanese have won a few times because of lack of cooperation.

Pete E
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:35 am

Re: Ammunition

Post by Pete E » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:08 am

Very interesting and innovative ideas. While arriving at accurate National Production Levels is difficult, we really don't have that worry: Larry has already done it for us! My dilemma is using IPCs to purchase oil and ammo without drastically diminishing the fighting forces I could have purchased if I hadn't bought supplies. It doesn't make much sense to have plenty of fuel and ordnance on hand with fewer units to use it.

But as I assume 99.9% of A & A players don't bother with logistics we're "beating a dead horse" without generating a lot of interest. So I'll wait until perhaps someday Larry introduces logistics in a future game based on National Production Levels. Maybe "War Room"!!!
Pete

timerover51
Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:31 am

Re: Ammunition

Post by timerover51 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:41 am

I will not get into National Production Levels, as those are based on what is required for game balance, and not what is accurate historically. Japan's industrial production capacity was roughly one-tenth of the United States historically, while the UK probably produced more than Germany, without counting the contribution of Canada, India, and Australia. i am looking at working up more of an accurate simulation for use in our World War 2 class.

I have found online a complete collection of the US Bureau of Mines Mineral Yearbooks from 1931 to 1993, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin. As each yearbook covered not just the US but the World's production of given commodities, they are an extremely valuable resource for mineral production in World War 2.

With respect to balancing IPC and supplies, I would make supplies a separate issue, and not use IPCs to get them. With respect to using the Oil Certificates, I will readily confess to borrowing the idea from the Attack game, where each action per turn cost you Oil Certificates, which are hard to replace. What I would suggest for supplies is simply figuring that you get an amount of supply tokens equal to the IPC value of the areas where you have Industrial Centers located. That will give you a lot less supply tokens than IPC, but it would avoid the problem of buying additional units or supplies.

I am playing around with a total rewrite of the Guadalcanal rules, have been out there, and will do some experimenting with supply rules there on a more tactical level.

Pete E
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:35 am

Re: Ammunition

Post by Pete E » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:05 pm

Greetings,
Battles are organized around forces, opportunities, time and logistics. But of the four, logistics seem to dominate. How do you sustain an attack without ammunition, no matter how large your force? Why would you mount an attack without adequate ammunition?

Here is what I do now: I roll a D12 for each ordered conflict and an additional D12 for HQ to do with in the best interest of the coming battles (I confess I use this only in my Stalingrad battles, but I assume it would also work in an A & A setting).

Available Ammunition:
Roll: 1: 0 available
2-4: 1 available
5-10: 2 available
11: 3 available
12: 4 available

How does this work? If I'm attacking in three battle zone/territories and roll: 1 - 4 - 10 - 11 = 0 + 1 + 2 + 3 ammo. 6 ammo are available to be distributed per HQ's preference. Because each battle initially ordered must be fought at least once, there are 3 ammo still to be doled out by HQ. The remaining ammunition may be used in one conflict only: or distributed individually to each of three battles; or all may be retained by HQ. You decide: You are the commander. That's the beauty of Larry's games: You're in charge! To his credit, what Larry has unleashed will last for generations.
Pete

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