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Saturday, 11 August 2018

An idea that just would not go away

I finally decided to see if I could 'create' a World War II Russian Army along similar lines to Thistlebarrow's Napoleonic armies. The result looked like this:

  • An Army Commander
  • 1st Corps
    • Corps Commander
    • Artillery (one base with a heavy gun plus towing vehicle)
    • Four Rifle Divisions (each of four bases of infantry, some of which might be support weapons)
    • Medium Tank Brigade (one base of tanks)
  • 2nd Corps
    • Corps Commander
    • Artillery (one base with a heavy gun plus towing vehicle)
    • Four Rifle Divisions (each of four bases of infantry, some of which might be support weapons)
    • Medium Tank Brigade (one base of tanks)
  • 3rd Corps
    • Corps Commander
    • Artillery (one base with a heavy gun plus towing vehicle)
    • Two Naval Infantry Brigades (each of four bases of Naval infantry, one of which is a support weapon)
    • Two Rifle Divisions (each of four bases of infantry, some of which might be support weapons)
    • Medium Tank Brigade (one base of tanks)
  • 4th Corps
    • Corps Commander
    • Four Rifle Divisions (each of four bases of infantry, some of which might be support weapons)
    • Light Tank Brigade (one base of light tanks)
  • Cavalry/Mechanised Corps
    • Corps Commander
    • Two Medium Tank Brigades (each of one base of tanks)
    • Two Cavalry Regiments (each of one base of cavalry)
    • Motorised Rifle Division (four bases of infantry with trucks [The latter are not shown in the photograph])
No logistics 'tail' is shown above, but I have plenty of suitable trucks and wagons that I could include.

The above is a rather rough-and-ready attempt to see if the concept works. It will not please everyone, but it works for me although I think that it needs a bit more tinkering before I want to take it fully on board.

16 comments:

  1. It will be interesting to see how you progress with this concept. As an idea it is quite appealing.

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    1. Peter,

      It is by no means a perfect solution, but it is a starting point. I think that I'd like the Rifle Divisions to be slightly larger, with each having some sort of anti-tank capability and fire support (e.g. anti-tank gun or rifle and mortar or light field gun).

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. I like this already! The one area of divergence I would take, has been in the field of assigning strength points to formations rather than stands, especially as they apply to infantry and cavalry.

    One test of how the system works is to draw up a German formation to oppose it, and see how that looks - a smallish Panzer Corps, say, of a couple of Pz Divs and an infantry Division. I will admit that this sort of thing has been exercising my mind off and on for a considerable while!

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    Replies
    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I am thinking of seeing how a German Corps would look. I'm not sure if I have enough stuff based up, but I'll see what I can do.

      Strength points for formations rather than vases? I'm not sure how that would work in practice, but it is certainly worth thinking about.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. I'm working on ORBATS for Operation Crusader using a version of Hexblitz with some SPs by Division or Brigade, rather than its individual stands. This particularly applies to infantry.

      I have completed an Italian OOB on Word and EXCEL, but have yet to transcrive the DAK and Allies to the EXCEL format. I'll post these in an article shortly. Unfortunately my eyesight seems to have taken a sudden turn for the worse, so it is likely I'll have to sort out what's going on there. The screen is getting hard to read.

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    3. Archduke Piccolo,

      I am interested in your ideas about allocating SPs by Division or Brigade. I can see why it would appeal, and it might make the record keeping less onerous.

      In my Operational Art rules (which in retrospect I should have printed as an appendix to HEXBLITZ), I included Divisional Morale rules, which restricted what a Division (or group of assets) could do once it had suffered a certain level of losses. It might be worth having a look at again.

      Sorry to read that your eyesight has taken a turn for the worse. My new glasses should be ready this week, and hopefully that will enable me to cope better with my current problems. I hope that your situation is solved quickly and your eyesight is restored to normal.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. That is great Bob- shrunk down to managable porportions but still has the right feel. Out of interest- how big would the logistical tail be for all of that lot? At that level of game logistics are as important as combat imo.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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    Replies
    1. Pete.,

      As I intend to use my HEXBLITZ or PORTABLE WARGANE rules to fight the Operation Barbarossa campaign, it makes sense to use these sort of slimmed-down formations,

      The logistic 'tail' would probably be a horse-drawn wagon per Rifle Division and a truck (or two) for each Corps.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. I'd go with the rifle Corps having 3 to 4 divisions, each of 4 to 6 stands (assuming some sort of battalion equivalence is used as a standard).

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    Replies
    1. Martin Rapier,

      Your suggestion is similar to one of the ideas I am playing around with. It might mean fewer Divisions but they would each be slightly bigger.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Looks good. Good job you have the toys for it๐Ÿ˜€. I was playing around with my toys last night and was stumped over how to represent support units. Perhaps it’s my lack of knowledge (yep) but I notice you have artillery as a corps asset and have attached support units to divisions to represent their assets. I’m sure logistics could be abstracted by requiring units to trace lines of supply rather than cluttering the table with stuff. How much space did/do formations occupy at this scale? Do you know any sources? Or am I being a-retentive again?

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    Replies
    1. Stephen Briddon,

      Some of the Rifle Divisions have light (76.2mm) regimental guns, some have 45mm anti-tank guns (which were capable of firing HE shells), and some have mortars. I thought that the heavier artillery (152mm howitzers) would be used as a Corps asset. Logistics can be left at Corps level, but I like to show it at Divisional level as it takes up space when a Division moves.

      Frontage (and depth) of formations varied considerably depending upon whether they were in defence or attack mode. The sources I have used are too numerous to mention, but are mainly based on modern research done since the fall of Communism and since Western historians have had greater access to the Russian archives.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. This looks like a very good way to represent large formations on a small playing area and I look forward to seeing how it works out, especially when the German formations are compared. One comment, if I may, I think most armies would have some 'Army Assets', perhaps some heavy guns, bridging and construction engineers, air defence etc. These could be allocated to the leading Corps/Divisions for specific operations.

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    Replies
    1. Bob Kett,

      Cheers! I think that your idea for having Army Assets that can be allocated for specific operations makes a lot of sense, and will give me the opportunity to model - and use - troop types that are a little out of the ordinary.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. I can foresee expenses on artillery in the future. Off to JuniorGeneral with me. At least the armies of North Africa were a sensible size. Two army corps plus assets!

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    Replies
    1. Stephen Briddon,

      The North African Campaign sounds like it would be an ideal project for this sort of concept.

      All the best,

      Bob

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