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Epic Russian Front

 Post subject: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:21 pm 
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I've been toying with the idea of using Epic for my Russian Front 6mm micro-armour games. I currently use the Pz8 two page set which, whilst fun, has its limitations.

The attached word document represents my first pass at translating a Russian late war Tank Corps into Epic. Next I shall have a go at a Panzer Division and after that, who knows, I might even give it a playtest!

EDIT - Please note that this document has been superceded by version 1.1 which can be found further down the thread, thanks.


Attachments:
Russian Tank Corps.docx [31.64 KiB]
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Last edited by Ouroboros on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Interesting, we will have to try this out some time.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:29 am 
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Looks very interesting. Some comments:

- I think it's cool that you made the T-34 a Gunwagon. Some years ago I thought about doing something similar like this project when I read about the orks on armageddon at the same time as I was reading Stalingrad and Berlin (by Beevor). The gunwagons really struck me as similar to the T-34 - large numbers, tank riders etc.

- Why the unit = platoon structure? I've always thought of EA as having a 1:1 scale for minis. This makes it more of a skirmish game than we normally think, but I think it fits. An army would be a battalion, while a formation is either a company or even a platoon. Different scenarios, still a cool game.

- You note that observers and heavy weapons team ignore coherency. Wouldn't it be better to model these as separate formations? Otherwise you get weird stuff were people assault and kill a couple of heavy weapons positions, causing an infantry battalion on the other side of the board to break and even suffer casualties.

Finally, a nitpick or maybe a typo: In Tactical Doctrine: The Offensive the infantry offensive is noted as being conducted on a broad front while the tank offensive used a narrow front. However, they're both noted as having a front of 3-5km.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:36 am 
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Thanks for the comments!

Ulrik, addressing your points:
I had failed to notice the similarity between my interpretation of the T34 and the Gunwagon. This excellent observation might give us a way in to add points values to units.

The unit = platoon structure was used as that is what my collection is set up for and because pretty much all the current popular 6mm WWII rules run on this. However, there is no reason that 1:1 scale of representation could not be used. I might do a list for a 1:1 scale Tank Brigade and see where that takes us.

The "Independent" special ability was added as a last minute afterthought when I realised that the unit coherancy rules did not model how heavy weapons and support elements were used historically. Your point makes its clear that a little more thought needs to go into this.

I see I have failed to make clear that these were allotted frontages rather than actual ones, my bad! The Russians, like the Germans, would concentrate their armour to create a "schwerpunkt". So although a Corps might be allotted a similar frontage to a rifle division when attacking it is highly likely that in reality the attack would place at a picked point within that frontage.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:16 am 
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This is for you, Ulrik. It is the raw data on a 1:1 tank brigade.


Attachments:
1to1 Tank Brigade.docx [11.46 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:25 am 
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Thanks for the Brigade info. I made a go at breaking them down into formations (attached). I'm assuming that each tank can transport one unit of tank riders (around 5 men), but how many in a truck? 2 units/10 men? More? How many mortar units in a truck?

A full Tank Brigade would be 19 activations with my breakdown, and would have 64-65 tanks, 58 SMG infantry units, about 32 infantry units with heavy weapons and some number of trucks. About a 5000 point epic game maybe?


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:36 pm 
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"The Great Patriotic War - an illustrated history of total war" by Peter G. Tsouras is most useful in answering the tank rider question. The answer is 5 men (one stand) in a comabt situation, allowing both riders and tank to fire, or 10 men (two stands) with neither tank or infantry being able to fire effectively. For simplicity's sake I'd just go with a single stand of inf.

The most widely used general purpose truck in the Russian army (that was of Russian manufacture) was the ZIS-5 and it could carry up to about 20 men.

In real life the SMG battalion was authorised to have 30 trucks which is around a 600 man lift capacity. In game terms I would use one truck per mortar, taking into account that the crew and ammunition also need to be moved.

When using trucks I would apply the Grot rule to them so that their loss did not put blast markers on their parent formation. I would also point out that trucks were generally used to get a formation to its start line - which in game terms would be its initial deployment position. After that the trucks were sent back to the motor pool and the infantry moved on foot. I'd let players have it both ways because on the one hand it saves money on buying lots of trucks and on the other it provides a sobering lesson about riding around a battlefield in an unarmoured vehicle!

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Trucks would have transport (4 infantry or 1 mortar) then. I don't think the Grot rule is appropriate actually, because as you say they generally didn't ride around in them in combat situations! If they get Grot they'd be excellent for soaking hits in assaults and make a formation of truck-mounted SMG infantry a juggernaut in firefights, by sticking the trucks in front and letting the (excellent) SMG infantry do the damage. At best, they could have a special rule that you could remove them from play without placing blast markers, representing the trucks heading back to the motor pool.

How do you think the infantry would act during play? To me they seem to be good at sitting in cover and stay there, and not much more. They'd be hard to remove with assaults or shooting when in cover, but they'd be vulnerable in the open and die in droves if they launched an assault. With almost no ranged firepower to speak of (LMGs are nice for prepping assaults, but not for much else) they aren't a shooting threat. They're exactly like guardians, though - which means they're dangerous in assaults if they can get something else to take the hits.

Finally, you'd need to rework the satchel charges. (base contact) range only applies to CC attacks (you can't get into b2b without charging). Maybe reduce CC to 5+ and give the satchel charges Assault Weapons, EA+1, MW? They'd be a bit better in CC vs unarmored targets (like other infantry - 1x4+ vs 2x5+) but would be a danger to even heavy tanks, just to make the tanks think twice before parking in support range (15cm).


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Ulrik wrote:
I don't think the Grot rule is appropriate actually...At best, they could have a special rule that you could remove them from play without placing blast markers, representing the trucks heading back to the motor pool.

What you have there is a far better idea than my Grot suggestion.

Quote:
How do you think the infantry would act during play? To me they seem to be good at sitting in cover and stay there, and not much more. They'd be hard to remove with assaults or shooting when in cover, but they'd be vulnerable in the open and die in droves if they launched an assault. With almost no ranged firepower to speak of (LMGs are nice for prepping assaults, but not for much else) they aren't a shooting threat. They're exactly like guardians, though - which means they're dangerous in assaults if they can get something else to take the hits.

Their primary purpose should be to counter the presence of enemy infantry, particularly if that infantry is in terrain. Dying in droves in the open is exactly what Russian infantry should do. It was not unknown for German machine guns to melt their barrels due to the sustained fire required to kill off an infantry assault, nor was it unheard of that a single German machine gun nest could wreck an entire assaulting regiment.

Quote:
Finally, you'd need to rework the satchel charges. (base contact) range only applies to CC attacks (you can't get into b2b without charging). Maybe reduce CC to 5+ and give the satchel charges Assault Weapons, EA+1, MW? They'd be a bit better in CC vs unarmored targets (like other infantry - 1x4+ vs 2x5+) but would be a danger to even heavy tanks, just to make the tanks think twice before parking in support range (15cm).

The idea was to give the SMG infantry one go at a MW6+ in CC against enemy armour - emphasising the Molotovs over the satchel charges (in other words the chance of a lucky hit). If that is not what I have written any chance you can help out with how to formulate the stats correctly. My enthusiasm overwhelms my rules knowledge I'm sorry to say.

Also, Russian infantry should not cause enemy armour to think twice about anything, the poor sods were frighteningly vulnerable to tanks and AFVs. Unlike the Germans with their Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck the best they had for most of the war was the PTRD ATR, which in the late war was found to be more useful as a sniping weapon than in its intended role.

Your suggestion however would seem quite good for possibly representing Combat Engineers. They would have a greater preponderance of satchel charges and also flamethrowers.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Happy to give it a go sometime. I may have to go for Imperial Guard army with loads of Super Heavy Tanks to get the feel of small force of heavily armoured Germans vs Russian horde!

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:08 pm 
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Ouroboros wrote:
Their primary purpose should be to counter the presence of enemy infantry, particularly if that infantry is in terrain. Dying in droves in the open is exactly what Russian infantry should do. It was not unknown for German machine guns to melt their barrels due to the sustained fire required to kill off an infantry assault, nor was it unheard of that a single German machine gun nest could wreck an entire assaulting regiment.


Assuming they can get something like a 2:1 advantage they could perhaps dig a german infantry formation out of cover, but the germans do gain a big benefit from being on the defensive (cover saves). One infantry formation moving to support and placing a BM followed by another assaulting could do the trick.

Quote:
The idea was to give the SMG infantry one go at a MW6+ in CC against enemy armour - emphasising the Molotovs over the satchel charges (in other words the chance of a lucky hit). If that is not what I have written any chance you can help out with how to formulate the stats correctly. My enthusiasm overwhelms my rules knowledge I'm sorry to say.


Actually, I think maybe abstracting out the satchel charges entirely could work well. Perhaps keep it on the profile, but as a simple Assault Weapon without special rules (like chainswords). Infantry assaulting in Epic are already a lot more dangerous vs armoured vehicles just using the base rules (as FF and CC does not make a difference between AVs and Inf), and a single CC4+ attack is plenty, really.

Take Assault Marines vs tanks: a 3+ attack vs tanks would assume something like melta bombs or at least krak grenades already. They certainly aren't hacking the leman russ tank up with their chainswords.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Errata!
The following units should have Fixed Forward Arcs: SU76, SU85, SU100, JSU122, JSU152
Reduce AAHMG Platoon range to 30cm.

Sorry about that.

Expect the Panzer Division list soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:57 pm 
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OK, in light a recent discussions and errata I am now offering you the Russian Tank Corps (version 1.1). I consider this document to be playtest worthy.

I am not going to issue another playtest version until this one has had some feedback whether it be from me or you, dear reader.

The problem is (as some of you will be aware) you can just go on tinkering and tweaking forever, it's practically a hobby in and of itself! So a line has been drawn. Have fun.


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Russian Tank Corps v1.1.docx [31.6 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:06 pm 
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And here, as promised, is the Panzer Division list (version 1.0). Given the lessons learned already this should be good for a playtest.

If you get the impression that the Germans are throb-monsters capable of taking on large amounts of Russians then that's how it should be.

Next up for EA:GPW is Document 3 (version 1.0) "Air Power on the Ostfront" in which I shall look at both Russian and German aircraft.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Russian Front
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Interesting ... don't see why it couldn't work ...

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