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JMcL63
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Expanded nationality rules for M44: I'm appealing for feedback on v4 of the rules Sat, 24 March 2007 10:58
This thread is to continue the discussion I started in the Will Battlelore be the killer of M44?. I've moved the topic here to let that thread get back on its own rails.

I don't want to repeat my posts from the other thread (though I'd repost them here if it'd make the discussion easier to follow), so I'm going to offer my ideas for special nationality rules for the Germans.

The German army in WW2 enjoyed a unique grasp of the theory and practice of 'operations'- a level of command and control between the classic duo of strategy and tactics, and which was a result of the sheer scale of 20th century warfare. This military science was the secret of the infamous 'blitzkrieg'. These rules are suggested to represent this.

'Saddle orders'
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units, a German player may choose to discard 1 command card and order no units. The player may then draw 2 cards, choose 1 to keep, and discard the other.

'Kampgruppe'
A German player may combine 2 depleted units into 1 unit. The 2 depleted units must be of the same type: infantry, armour, or artillery. Order both units. Move either or both units so that they are adjacent to each other. Add models from 1 unit to the other until: (a)the restored unit is at full strength- remove any remaining models from the other unit; or (b)there are no further models to add. In either case, the opposing player does not gain a victory medal for the removal of the depleted German unit. The newly restored unit may not move or battle after it has been restored.

If a unit with a special ability combines with a unit without that special ability, that special ability is not retained by the reformed unit- 2 units must each have the same special ability for that ability to be retained by the reformed unit.

The German player's hand capacity is reduced by 1 card for the rest of the game each and every time 2 units are recombined into 1 unit.

That's it. Wink

EDIT. I've changed the name of this thread because it had ended up focussing on the expanded nationality rules. There are many other useful suggestions. These could be dealt with in a new thread.

[Updated on: Sat, 07 July 2007 16:38]

      
neil1967
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Sat, 24 March 2007 11:38
Quote:

'Kampgruppe'
A German player may combine 2 depleted units into 1 unit. The 2 depleted units must be of the same type: infantry, armour, or artillery. Order both units. Move either or both units so that they are adjacent to each other. Add models from 1 unit to the other until: (a)the restored unit is at full strength- remove any remaining models from the other unit; or (b)there are no further models to add. In either case, the opposing player does not gain a victory medal for the removal of the depleted German unit. The newly restored unit may not move or battle after it has been restored.

If a unit with a special ability combines with a unit without that special ability, that special ability is not retained by the reformed unit- 2 units must each have the same special ability for that ability to be retained by the reformed unit.

The German player's hand capacity is reduced by 1 card for the rest of the game each and every time 2 units are recombined into 1 unit.



My one concern about this idea is that of the effect on the victory conditions, by not counting the removed unit as destroyed for victory purposes.

If I could suggest an alternative, make the new combined unit count as 2 units for victory medal purposes (you'd need a marker to keep track of this). If recombined again it counts as however many units are now in it. You could then drop the hand reduction rule, as I assume it is only there as a factor to limit how often a player combines units?

Nice idea though, picking the kampfgruppe as the special ability for the Germans Very Happy
      
JMcL63
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Sat, 24 March 2007 12:12
neil1967 wrote on Sat, 24 March 2007 10:38

My one concern about this idea is that of the effect on the victory conditions, by not counting the removed unit as destroyed for victory purposes.

Frankly, I think that avoiding conceding a victory medal is as much a reason for forming a kampgruppe as is gaining a full-strength unit which you can send back into the fray. But a blunt statement of disagreement is hardly persuasive, so I'll elaborate.
Quote:

If I could suggest an alternative, make the new combined unit count as 2 units for victory medal purposes (you'd need a marker to keep track of this). If recombined again it counts as however many units are now in it. You could then drop the hand reduction rule, as I assume it is only there as a factor to limit how often a player combines units?

Nice idea though, picking the kampfgruppe as the special ability for the Germans Very Happy

One immediate problem with this suggestion neil1967 is the use of markers- I would like to avoid the use of extra status markers as much as possible with the ideas I'm putting forward. More important than this though is that I feel that your suggestion undermines the very idea of reforming a stronger unit for your attack. Why? Because a unit worth 2 or more victory medals to your opponent is too much to risk in the front line. All the more so because those medals are now available by attacking a single unit instead of 2 or more.

You're bang on about the hand-reduction rule of course. The use of 2 orders and the loss of battle opportunities are non-trivial, but the hand-reduction was devised as the essential limit.

Also: I've discussed this subject with my longstanding M44 opponent several times over recent months. Sooner or later we intend to try some of these ideas out. So what I hope this thread will create is a range of houserules which we can playtest and work on. I hope too that other M44 fans will be inspired to join in. Fingers crossed I guess. Wink
      
yangtze
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Sat, 24 March 2007 14:01
Thanks for heads-up on Combat Commander JMc - looks really good, but no tanks! Sad
      
Randwulf
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Sun, 25 March 2007 06:06
I really like the 'Kampgruppe' idea... most scenarios you only have 4-6 cards, and the loss of a card limits your options. so if you want to combine two units at a loss of 17-25% of you options, you will only do it a couple of times at most. Any more and your out of cards... and the Germans regrouped alot!!!


Saddle??? I like it too... American version, dump two cards and draw two cards, no move, no fire, no selecting the cards you want to keep. The American army was most effective due to communications. It allowed them to pull units to where they were needed much faster than other countrys. Just look how much Patton moved around... Americans took the initiative.

British saddle? Russian saddle?
I don't think so... I hate to say it but the British comand structure was so bogged down you could not wipe your back side without written orders... But once you got them you had something to wipe with... The Russians??? Well lets just say they skipped the paper work and just shot you for asking to do anything you were not told to do.

      
clercon
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Mon, 26 March 2007 14:24
I don't know about the combining two units in to one idea. Affects the victory conditions too much in my opinion.

Another idea would be to let the German player in one turn use two command cards instead of one. After the turn the german player would only be allowed to take one card, so after this the german plays with one card less then from the start. Also the german must have three cards in the hand, so when that happens the german player can't use two cards per turn anymore. Another way would be to only let the German player do this move 1 or 2 times per game.

This would simulate the Germans better tactics and initiative during the war...but also their problem with supply. They were fast in taking the initiative on the battlefield and using the opponents mistakes. But the allies had much more supply and could endure the war better in the end.
      
clercon
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Mon, 26 March 2007 14:39
An idea for the allied side (American/British) to use with my above idea for the Germans would be to let the allies expand their hand. The allies had much more supply then the Germans but were not as aggressive as them on the battlefield. The allied player could therefore instead of handing out a command card during one turn just draw one. Which would extend the allied players hand with one card. This would represent the incoming of more supplies and troops which gave the allies a bigger choice of possibilities in the end.

Maybe the allied player would be allowed to expand his deck of cards with 1 or 2 cards per game.
      
JMcL63
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Tue, 27 March 2007 16:10
clercon wrote on Mon, 26 March 2007 13:24

I don't know about the combining two units in to one idea. Affects the victory conditions too much in my opinion.


The effect on victory conditions is obviously a key issue with my propsed kampgruppe rule clercon, hence the card reduction rule. Randwulf analysed the limitations this would impose rather nicely:
Randwulf wrote on Sun, 25 March 2007 05:06

I really like the 'Kampgruppe' idea... most scenarios you only have 4-6 cards, and the loss of a card limits your options. so if you want to combine two units at a loss of 17-25% of you options, you will only do it a couple of times at most. Any more and your out of cards... and the Germans regrouped alot!!!

There is little that I could add to this.

The other limit is the 2 orders needed, plus the loss of battle for that turn. I'd like to think that this would be a serious limit too: if a German player has suffered losses sufficient to make forming a kampgruppe a worthwhile option, then it is also likely that he would be under pressure which could make a risk not worth taking out of the loss of impetus needed to actually form the kampgruppe.

The truth is that my thoughts on this matter- just like your fears about the victory medal balance issue- cannot be decided in the abstract. They can only be decided one way of the other by trying the rules out to see how they work.

Quote:

Another idea would be to let the German player in one turn use two command cards instead of one. After the turn the german player would only be allowed to take one card, so after this the german plays with one card less then from the start. Also the german must have three cards in the hand, so when that happens the german player can't use two cards per turn anymore. Another way would be to only let the German player do this move 1 or 2 times per game.

I like this idea as a possible special rule- whether it be for a nationality, or to represent something else. I would have to say that I feel the hand reduction rule to be too great a penalty for using this special ability. How about you can only draw 1 card/turn as normal, so that you are on a smaller hand the turn after you use this ability?

Quote:

This would simulate the Germans better tactics and initiative during the war...but also their problem with supply. They were fast in taking the initiative on the battlefield and using the opponents mistakes. But the allies had much more supply and could endure the war better in the end.

As I've suggested, I can also see this rule representing matters other than the Germans' unique ablities. In the end I'd have to say that I'm reluctant to abandon the kampgruppe idea until actual play experience proves it unbalanced as you and neil1967 fear it might be. Wink
      
neil1967
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Tue, 27 March 2007 16:36
Quote:

As I've suggested, I can also see this rule representing matters other than the Germans' unique ablities. In the end I'd have to say that I'm reluctant to abandon the kampgruppe idea until actual play experience proves it unbalanced as you and neil1967 fear it might be.


I'll give you an extreme example, scenario 7, "Vassieux,Vercors". The germans have 6 units, victory condition is 4 medals. What's to stop the germans combining into 3 units and becoming unbeatable? Made worse by the victory conditions giving a win to the axis if undefeated after one run through of the deck.

Like I said, an extreme example Razz

But I do like the idea of kampfgruppes as a german special ability, so don't give up on it because of one example.

      
JMcL63
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Tue, 27 March 2007 16:44
Randwulf wrote on Sun, 25 March 2007 05:06

Saddle??? I like it too... American version, dump two cards and draw two cards, no move, no fire, no selecting the cards you want to keep. The American army was most effective due to communications. It allowed them to pull units to where they were needed much faster than other countrys. Just look how much Patton moved around... Americans took the initiative.


I'm really not sure about the idea of a discard variation for anyone other than the Germans. There are possible historical rationales for this, but I have to be honest that the main reason is a desire to keep the different nationality special rules as distinct from each other as possible.

Taking my cue from the research done for the SL series, I would say that the main feature of the US army that I would like to represent is its logistical superiority and the staying power this offered. I have to confess I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to represent this.

One idea I've had is to give the Americans a 'mulligan'; ie. at the start of each new deck, a US army player has the option of discarding as many cards as desired and redrawing a new hand. This would mean that the US army player could use this ability at the start of the game, and whenever 'Their Finest Hour' was played. This rule could include the option of immediately redrawing less than the full hand, so that it would take 2 (or more?) turns to return to the full hand capacity.

I quite like this idea, although I don't think it is sufficient. Another suggestion- which nicely reflects the logistical superiority- would be to boost the US army's use of 'Medics and Mechanics'. Two ways of doing this would be to:
1. allow the 'Medics and Mechanics' card to apply to 2 units instead of 1.
2. allow 'Recon 1' to be used as a 'Medics and Mechanics' card.

I think that either one of these options might prove sufficient.
Quote:

British saddle? Russian saddle?
I don't think so... I hate to say it but the British comand structure was so bogged down you could not wipe your back side without written orders... But once you got them you had something to wipe with... The Russians??? Well lets just say they skipped the paper work and just shot you for asking to do anything you were not told to do.

Russian or British saddle? I agree- no. For the Russians I have considered just expanding the existing rule a bit. That is to say: you'll no doubt have noticed that the Russian command rule is simply not in play in later war scenarios. My idea is that the Russian command rule is always in play. In later war scenarios, the cards the Russian player may always play from hand are expanded to include all Tactics cards.

And the British? Well I don't know really. I've sometimes wondered if there should be one army which is the baseline army, ie. the army which has no special national abilities at all. As my ideas stand at the moment, this might turn out to be the British army. But I'd much rather prefer to see each army enjoy a unique national character. Following my sources, my immediate thoughts are British marksmanship. The only rule I can think of to represent this is to give British infantry a minimum of 1 battle dice against enemy infantry. The net effect would be to enable British infantry units always to roll 1 battle dice against enemy infantry in cover at 3-hex range.

Beyond that suggestion, I really have no ideas for the British.

That's it for this post. Wink
      
JMcL63
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Tue, 27 March 2007 16:50
neil1967 wrote on Tue, 27 March 2007 15:36

Quote:

As I've suggested, I can also see this rule representing matters other than the Germans' unique ablities. In the end I'd have to say that I'm reluctant to abandon the kampgruppe idea until actual play experience proves it unbalanced as you and neil1967 fear it might be.


I'll give you an extreme example, scenario 7, "Vassieux,Vercors". The germans have 6 units, victory condition is 4 medals. What's to stop the germans combining into 3 units and becoming unbeatable? Made worse by the victory conditions giving a win to the axis if undefeated after one run through of the deck.

Like I said, an extreme example Razz

But I do like the idea of kampfgruppes as a german special ability, so don't give up on it because of one example.

Thanks for this point neil1967. There are 2 ways this could be handled:
1. a scenario special rule which means that the Germans in this scenario can't form kampgruppe;
2. a tweak to the kampgruppe special rule which defines a lower limit to the German hand size- say the Germans can't go below a 3-card hand via forming kampgruppe (which would limit the Germans to using this option once in the example you've brought out).

I'm pleased that the idea is growing on you. Wink
      
neil1967
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Tue, 27 March 2007 23:46
Quote:

And the British? Well I don't know really. I've sometimes wondered if there should be one army which is the baseline army, ie. the army which has no special national abilities at all. As my ideas stand at the moment, this might turn out to be the British army. But I'd much rather prefer to see each army enjoy a unique national character. Following my sources, my immediate thoughts are British marksmanship. The only rule I can think of to represent this is to give British infantry a minimum of 1 battle dice against enemy infantry. The net effect would be to enable British infantry units always to roll 1 battle dice against enemy infantry in cover at 3-hex range.

Beyond that suggestion, I really have no ideas for the British.


A suggestion for the British, if I may? Very Happy

How about a "Monty" rule. Montgomery was famous (infamous?) for wanting everything planned and prepared before attacking. So, in the spirit of this, the British player may place a card face down in front of themself each turn rather than playing a card, and counts this as planning. Once a player has 3 cards face down at the start of the turn they must play them all that turn (instead of their normal go), with the limitation that no unit may be activated twice that turn. The player may still choose to play a card normally rather than plan with it, but planning cards may only be used (and MUST be used) when the player has saved up 3 of them.

Players draw a replacement card as normal when a card is used to plan.

The idea is to allow for the British to make "set piece" attacks, but reduces their ability to act while building up to it. Do they put their best cards into planning for a devestating attack but find them unavailable in a sudden emergancy? Some interesting choices for the player...

This hasn't been playtested, it's just an idea, so any comments are welcome.
      
JMcL63
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Tue, 27 March 2007 23:54
That's a really cool idea neil1967! I'd probably want to restrict it to having 2 face-down cards (playing 2 cards in 1 turn strikes me as enough of a bonus); having to play both face-down cards when you begin your turn with 2 cards face-down; and not drawing new cards for the face-down cards until they are played- so that both cards are replaced in the turn that they are played.

These adjustments aside, this is exactly the sort of idea I was looking for: a way of using simple card-play mechanics to represent national differences. I really like this idea, and hope to try it out as soon as I can. Nice one! Wink
      
Jayne Starlancer
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Wed, 28 March 2007 00:45
Allow me to present some of my thoughts...

Memoir '44 Expanded Rules

Germans - Blitzkrieg: The German Player may play 2 Command Cards during 1 turn. The German Player still only draws 1 Command Card at the end of his turn.

British - Planning: Instead of playing a Command Card normally, the British Player may play 1 Command Card face-down in front of him, then draw 1 Command Card to end his turn. On any subsequent turn, the British player may discard 2 Command Cards from his hand to play all face-down Command Cards at once; the British Player does not draw a Command Card at the end of his turn.

Americans - Communications: Whenever the American Player is about to draw a Command Card, he may instead discard 1 Command Card from his hand, then search through the Draw Deck and take any 1 Command Card into hand; reshuffle.

Russians - Manpower: Instead of playing a Command Card normally, the Russian Player may discard 1 Command Card from his hand and then place 1 Infantry Unit in any unoccupied hex on his edge of the board; the Russian Player does not draw a Command Card at the end of his turn.
      
neil1967
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Wed, 28 March 2007 03:45
Quote:

That's a really cool idea neil1967! I'd probably want to restrict it to having 2 face-down cards (playing 2 cards in 1 turn strikes me as enough of a bonus); having to play both face-down cards when you begin your turn with 2 cards face-down; and not drawing new cards for the face-down cards until they are played- so that both cards are replaced in the turn that they are played.



Sounds better than what I suggested Very Happy

      
neil1967
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Wed, 28 March 2007 03:56
Quote:

Americans - Communications: Whenever the American Player is about to draw a Command Card, he may instead discard 1 Command Card from his hand, then search through the Draw Deck and take any 1 Command Card into hand; reshuffle.


I can see some problems with this one, such as the player knowing the cards in the enemy hand by what is missing from the deck. If this was a modern variant I'd say great, pretty much how superior the americans are to their modern opponents, but for WWII? I'm not so sure. Interesting idea though.

      
JMcL63
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Wed, 28 March 2007 14:51
My regular C&C opponent is coming round on Friday night for some more Epic BL. So we're going to playtest some of the nationality special rules for M44 too. Here are the rules we're going to be working from.

Germans
'Saddle Orders'
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units, a German player may choose to discard 1 command card and order no units. The player may then draw 2 cards, choose 1 to keep, and discard the other.

'Kampgruppe'
A German player may form a Kampgruppe- ie. combine 2 depleted units into 1 unit. The 2 depleted units must be of the same type: infantry, armour, or artillery. Order both units. Move either or both units so that they are adjacent to each other. Add models from 1 unit to the other until:
  • the restored unit is at full strength- remove any remaining models from the other unit
  • or there are no further models to add.

In either case, the opposing player does not gain a victory medal for the removal of the depleted German unit.

Neither of the 2 depleted units forming the new Kampfgruppe, nor the newly formed Kampgruppe, may move any further or battle at all in the turn in which the Kampgruppe is formed.

If a unit with a special ability combines with a unit without that special ability, that special ability is not retained by the Kampgruppe:

  • 2 units must each have the same special ability for that ability to be retained by the Kampfgruppe.


The German player's hand capacity is reduced by 1 card for the rest of the game each and every time a Kampgruppe is formed:

  • the German player's hand capacity may not be reduced below 3 cards through the formation of Kampgruppe.


British
'Marksmanship'
A British infantry unit may always fire at an opposing infantry unit with a minimum of 1 battle dice after battle dice reductions are applied for the defending infantry unit's terrain. Battle dice reductions due to the attacking unit's terrain may reduce this as normal; eg. British infantry in wire firing at an infantry unit in woods at 3-hex range would have 1-1=0 battle dice and would therefore be unable to fire. Bonus battle dice gained via Tactics cards are always applied on top of this; eg. the aforementioned unit would fire with 1-1+1=1 battle dice if using the 'Their Finest Hour' card.

'Careful preparation'
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units as normal, a British player may choose to play a command card as a plan. The command card is played face-down in front of the British player. The British player does not draw a new card when he plays a card as a plan. In subsequent turns, the British player may either play command cards from his hand as normal; or he may develop his plan, by playing another card face down in front of himself as above.

When the British player starts a turn with 2 planning command cards face down in front of him, he must go ahead with the plan. Both command cards are revealed, and are executed in the same turn. The British player replenishes his hand to its full value after playing his planning cards.

US Army
'Logistical superiority'
Either:

  • allow the 'Medics and Mechanics' card to apply to 2 units instead of 1
  • allow 'Recon 1' to be used as a 'Medics and Mechanics' card.


'Go, go, go!'
At the start of the game, and immediately after (ie. before the card's effects are resolved) the play of the 'Their Finest Hour' card, the US Army may 'mulligan':

  • the US Army player may discard as many cards as he chooses
  • the US Army player then draws 1 card fewer than the number of cards he chose to discard
  • the US Army player then draws 1 extra card on the conclusion of his next turn, to refill his hand to its normal size.


Russians
'Russian command rule'
In late-war scenarios, in which the Russian command rule is taken as not applying:

  • the rule still applies
  • but the command cards which the Russian player may play from their hand now include all Tactics cards as well as those already specified.


I'll be back with our results just as soon as I can. Wink
      
clercon
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Wed, 28 March 2007 15:15
I must say that I really like the buildup idea for the british. It really gives you the feeling of the problems they had during the war.

When it comes to americans and russians I think the special rules for them that we already have are good enough (commisare rules from eastern front and and marine rules from pacific).

When it comes to the germans I still think that the Idea of beeing able to play 2 cards and draw 1 is better then the kampfgruppe where you join two units into one. But we'll se what JMcL63 has to say after his testing.
      
JMcL63
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Wed, 28 March 2007 15:27
clercon wrote on Wed, 28 March 2007 14:15

I must say that I really like the buildup idea for the british. It really gives you the feeling of the problems they had during the war.

Yes, neil1967 was on the ball with that suggestion! Very Happy
Quote:

When it comes to americans and russians I think the special rules for them that we already have are good enough (commisare rules from eastern front and and marine rules from pacific).

Well you'll note that the Russian rules just expand the Commissar rules a wee bit- making it less punitive in later war scenarios to represent the Russians learning from their experience. I thought I'd try this instead of just leaving the rule out as is done in the EF scenarios. And the marines' special rules still leave open the question of special rules for the US Army.
Quote:

When it comes to the germans I still think that the Idea of beeing able to play 2 cards and draw 1 is better then the kampfgruppe where you join two units into one. But we'll se what JMcL63 has to say after his testing.

Well I'm biased naturally enough, but my Kampgruppe rule might prove broken after testing. Fingers crossed I guess. Wink
      
Randwulf
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Wed, 28 March 2007 15:56
I really like the "Kampgruppe rule" and the more I go over it the more I think it will work. However I think the two units should move "into" the same hex, and discard any extra figs, with no combat for that turn.

By the end of the war the Germans had regrouped so much that many units did not even look like what they were suppose to look like. Much less have the equipment to do what the unit was suppose to be able to do.

      
Brummbar44
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Thu, 29 March 2007 18:42
I think you guys mean 'kampfgruppe'?

Excellent idea though!!

I would be willing to trade some ideas I have with those willing to develop the system further.

Contact me via my website for further discussion.
      
JMcL63
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Fri, 30 March 2007 00:20
Brummbär wrote on Thu, 29 March 2007 17:42

I think you guys mean 'kampfgruppe'?

Excellent idea though!!


Oops. Yes, we're talking Kampfgruppe, and not the high-kicking chorus line from The Producers. Very Happy
Quote:

I would be willing to trade some ideas I have with those willing to develop the system further.

Contact me via my website for further discussion.

I expect I'll take you up on that sometime soon. Cheers. Wink
      
JMcL63
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Expanded nationality rules and playtest comments Mon, 02 April 2007 11:36
Here are my rules tweaked and redrafted for improved clarity. Comments appreciated. Smile

Germans
'Saddle Orders'
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units, a German player may choose to discard 1 command card and order no units. The player may then draw 2 cards, choose 1 to keep, and discard the other.

'Kampgruppe'
A German player may form a Kampgruppe- ie. combine 2 depleted units into 1 unit. The 2 depleted units must be of the same type: infantry, armour, or artillery. If a unit with a special ability combines with a unit without that special ability, that special ability is not retained by the Kampgruppe; ie. units must each have the same special ability for that ability to be retained by the Kampfgruppe.

Order both units. Move either or both units so that they are in the same hex as each other. Remove any models in excess of the unit's full strength. The opposing player does not gain a victory medal for the removal of the depleted German unit. Neither of the 2 depleted units forming the new Kampfgruppe, nor the newly formed Kampgruppe, may move any further or battle at all in the turn in which the Kampgruppe is formed.

The German player's hand capacity is reduced by 1 card for the rest of the game each and every time a Kampgruppe is formed; NB. the German player's hand capacity may not be reduced below 3 cards through the formation of Kampgruppe.

British
'Marksmanship'
A British infantry unit may always fire at an opposing infantry unit with a minimum of 1 battle dice after battle dice reductions are applied for the defending infantry unit's terrain. Battle dice reductions due to the attacking unit's terrain may reduce this as normal; eg. British infantry in wire firing at an infantry unit in woods at 3-hex range would have 1-1=0 battle dice and would therefore be unable to fire. Bonus battle dice gained via Tactics cards are always applied on top of this; eg. the aforementioned unit would fire with 1-1+1=1 battle dice if using the 'Their Finest Hour' card.

'The 'big' push'
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units as normal, a British player may choose to play a command card as a plan. The command card is played face-down in front of the British player. The British player does not draw a new card when he plays a card as a plan. In subsequent turns, the British player may either play command cards from his hand as normal; or he may develop his plan, by playing another card face down in front of himself as above.

When the British player starts a turn with 2 planning command cards face down in front of him, he must go ahead with the plan. Both command cards are revealed, and are executed in the same turn. The British player replenishes his hand to its full value after playing his planning cards.

US Army
'Logistical superiority'
- The printed 'Medics and Mechanics' card orders 2 units instead
of 1
- 'Recon 1' to be used as a 'Medics and Mechanics' card, but can
only order units in their proper section.

'Go, go, go!'
At the start of the game, and immediately after (ie. after resbefore the card's effects are resolved) the play of the 'Their Finest Hour' card, the US Army may 'mulligan':
- the US Army player may discard as many cards as he chooses
- the US Army player then draws 1 card fewer than the number of
cards he chose to discard
- the US Army player then draws 1 extra card on the conclusion of
his next turn, to refill his hand to its normal size.

Russians
'Russian command rule'
In late-war scenarios, in which the Russian command rule is taken as not applying:
- the rule still applies
- but the command cards which the Russian player may play from
their hand now include all Tactics cards as well as those
already specified.

Playest comments
Pegasus Bridge
We ended up playing multiplayer games, so our C&C session was restricted to 1 game. Forming Kampfgruppe was the least of his worries as he ran rampage across the board in no uncertain terms. I guess he might've been making good use of Saddle Orders. I think I used Careful Preparation twice. I liked the look of it. So far, the rules might not be finished, but they didn't just break. Wink

[Updated on: Mon, 02 April 2007 11:38]

      
Dodo 01
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Re:Expanded nationality rules and playtest comments Mon, 02 April 2007 17:31
I really like the 'Kampgruppe' idea! Smile


A suggestion for defensive playing? May I?

How about diging in tanks, instead diging in four infantry units you can dig in two tank units? And placing barbed wire, once or twice in the game players can play probe section card and place two barbed wires instead of moving?
      
Randwulf
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Re:Developing M44: new rules for the basic game Tue, 03 April 2007 04:56
placing barbed wire??? sounds like a job for Engineers???

they clear mines and ignore terrain modifiers when they attack... I love demo charges...

So why not use a full move with no attack to place a wire in the hex they are in? They would get no die reduction when firing out of it untill after they leave it and then reenter.

or something like that...



Combat Engineers... We will blow your bridges and we will blow your roads, and if we like you, we will blow your nose...
      
JMcL63
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Re:Expanded nationality rules and playtest comments Tue, 03 April 2007 13:21
Dodo 01 wrote on Mon, 02 April 2007 16:31

I really like the 'Kampgruppe' idea! Smile

Thanks for your appreciation.
Quote:

A suggestion for defensive playing? May I?

Of course, the more ideas the better.
Quote:

How about diging in tanks, instead diging in four infantry units you can dig in two tank units? And placing barbed wire, once or twice in the game players can play probe section card and place two barbed wires instead of moving?


These strike me more as part of scenario setup rather than nationality or even unit special rules Dodo 01- prepraring fortifications was long work which was rarely done on the active battlefield. That said, M44 scenarios sometimes represent several days of action. So a scenario special rule allowing these sorts of actions if you play an appropriate card would make sense to me. Wink

PS. I've started a thread on this subject over at BGG:M44.

[Updated on: Tue, 03 April 2007 19:44]

      
JMcL63
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Latest playtest report Sun, 08 April 2007 13:51
Me and badger managed to get 5 games of M44 in last Thursday: 2 each of Sainte Mère-Eglise and Sword Beach, plus 1 of Omaha Beach. The results are listed in the AAR's. Here is what I thought of the various rules these games tested.

Saddle Orders
This was used a few times. I remember finding it helpful at Sword Beach, when I was holding on to 3 good cards to reply to the British, but my 4th card was useless. This aid to hand-building didn't seem overpowerful to me, because you have to pay the price of missing a turn.

Kampfgruppe
This was never used, although there were times in all 3 scenarios in which it could have come in useful. The orders required to form the Kampfgruppe would probably have been a major commitment, so the balance might well be adequate. Time will tell.

Marksmanship
This rule probably saw the most use of all the expanded nationality rules. Its net effect is that British infantry can always fire against enemy infantry at range 3 with 1 dice. This proved useful against the pillboxes on Sword Beach. Badger and I discussed whether Marksmanship should work despite wire, but seeing how it was working, we decided that this would be a bit much.

The Big Push
Another rule that wasn't used. It would've been perfect right at the beginning of Sword Beach though: starting the game with a Big Push or two would've been a great way for the British to get off the beach. I'm hoping to get a chance to try this sort of thing out myself sometime soon.

Logistical Superiority
'Recon 1' cards were used a few times for 'Medics and Mechanics'. This didn't seem overpowered.

Go! Go! Go!
This rule was used often at the start of a game. Because it can only be used so few times, we tweaked it to remove the reduced redraw. The rule proved useful and didn't seem overpowered. I'd really like a new name for this rule, perhaps even a new rule altogether. I chose this rule because I didn't want to give the US Army the Marines' 'Gung ho!', nor some variant of 'Saddle Orders' or 'The Big Push'- to keep all the special rules distinct; but I'm not sure this rule gives me what I'd like to see for the US Army. So far the most interesting idea I've seen in this thread is GeneCirone's suggestion that the US player could draw a card of choice. I'd want to tweak Gene's idea slightly- searching the discards instead of the draw pile being the most important, but this idea is one I'd be interested in trying out if I wanted an alternative US Army special rule.

All in all then, badger and I were pleased with how the new rules worked out. They all worked and none of them seemed overpowerful. In addition, even if a particular rule wasn't actually used, its existence as a mere possibility meant we both felt that each army had a different feel. We both enjoyed this. So the new rules have already delivered something important: they have revived our interest in this old favourite of ours. Wink
      
JMcL63
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Expanded nationality rules v3 Sun, 08 April 2007 13:53
Germans
Saddle Orders
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units, a German player may choose to discard 1 command card and order no units. The player may then draw 2 cards, choose 1 to keep, and discard the other.

Kampgruppe
A German player may form a Kampgruppe- ie. combine 2 depleted units into 1 unit. The 2 depleted units must be of the same type: infantry, armour, or artillery. If a unit with a special ability combines with a unit without that special ability, that special ability is not retained by the Kampgruppe; ie. units must each have the same special ability for that ability to be retained by the Kampfgruppe.

Order both units. Move either or both units so that they are in the same hex as each other. Remove any models in excess of the units full strength. The opposing player does not gain a victory medal for the removal of the depleted German unit. Neither of the 2 depleted units forming the new Kampfgruppe, nor the newly formed Kampgruppe, may move any further or battle at all in the turn in which the Kampgruppe is formed.

The German players hand capacity is reduced by 1 card for the rest of the game each and every time a Kampgruppe is formed; NB. the German players hand capacity may not be reduced below 3 cards through the formation of Kampgruppe.

British
Marksmanship
A British infantry unit may always fire at an opposing infantry unit with a minimum of 1 battle dice after battle dice reductions are applied for the defending infantry units terrain. Battle dice reductions due to the attacking units terrain may reduce this as normal; eg. British infantry in wire firing at an infantry unit in woods at 3-hex range would have 1-1=0 battle dice and would therefore be unable to fire. Bonus battle dice gained via Tactics cards are always applied on top of this; eg. the aforementioned unit would fire with 1-1+1=1 battle dice if using the Their Finest Hour card.

The Big Push
Instead of playing a command card and ordering units as normal, a British player may choose to play a command card as a plan. The command card is played face-down in front of the British player. The British player does not draw a new card when he plays a card as a plan. In subsequent turns, the British player may either play command cards from his hand as normal; or he may develop his plan, by playing another card face down in front of himself as above.

When the British player starts a turn with 2 planning command cards face down in front of him, he must go ahead with the plan. Both command cards are revealed, and are executed in the same turn. The British player replenishes his hand to its full value after playing his planning cards.

US Army
Logistical superiority
With the US Army:
- the printed 'Medics and Mechanics' card orders 2 units instead of 1
- 'Recon 1' may be used as a 'Medics and Mechanics' card, but can
only order units in their proper section.

Go, go, go!
At the start of the game, and immediately after the play of the 'Their Finest Hour' card (ie. before rolling any dice for the card), the US Army may mulligan:
- the US Army player may discard as many cards as he chooses
- the US Army player then redraws as many cards as he discarded.

Russians
Russian command rule
In late-war scenarios, in which the Russian command rule is taken as not applying:
- the rule still applies
- but the command cards which the Russian player may play from their hand now include all Tactics cards as well as those already specified.
      
kweniston
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Tue, 10 April 2007 10:17
Nice suggestions guys, love the idea of an advanced version or 'profi version' as the Germans say Smile.


What happened to GeneCirone's idea? I kinda like it.

Russians - Manpower: Instead of playing a Command Card normally, the Russian Player may discard 1 Command Card from his hand and then place 1 Infantry Unit in any unoccupied hex on his edge of the board; the Russian Player does not draw a Command Card at the end of his turn.


Maybe a limit, by stating that the hand size cannot become lower than 2 or something.

[Updated on: Tue, 10 April 2007 10:18]

      
CanuckHero
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Fri, 20 April 2007 05:48
Great ideas everyone! I too really like the idea of a distinctive national character for the armies. Two thoughts while reading throught the thread are the following:

1)
Both for historical accuracy - the Germans only formed kampfgruppen from mangled units - and to prevent gamesmanship in its use, I suggest that eliminated figures count towards victory medals 'once they comprise a full unit'. This might even be able to replace the card limit on its use.

2) In WWI, after the introduction of the screw-in post, all units (silently!) strung wire extensively in no-man's land at night. With the screw-in post one might even return uninjured from this previosly very dangerous activity. I see no reason to limit it to engineers in WWII.

3) While the British were known for their markmanship, the Commonwealth troops had other characteristics. Without intending any slight to the Kiwis and Aussies, perhaps a distinctive national character could be attributed to the Canucks as well. In tribute to General Currie's many artillery innovations at Vimy Ridge (perfecting the walking barrage; locating unspotted enemy artillery by sound-ranging; use of heavy machine guns in an indirect fire, counter-battery, role) perhaps the Canucks get a counter-battery advantage artillery against artillery: kill on a grenade or a star. Their own artillery is risked to do this, which seems a self-balancing factor.

What are your thoughts everyone.

Pieter
----------------------------------------
"In spite of an artillery bombardment lasting for hours, our casualties were small. ... [but] It [had] required all command powers, as well as personal example on the part of unit commanders, to force the tired and hungry men to dig their utmost during the night of September 7-8."

      
JMcL63
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Sat, 02 June 2007 01:06
OK, so after many moons Badger and I finally got the time to sit down to some M44 and some more testing of the new Expanded Nationality rules. We decided to work on the British and German rules, and to play one of the SftF so that we could make a small contribution to the SftF rating project. So we chose Brummbar's Scenario #1525. Operation Charnwood: Phase I - Drive on Caen, a choice which took us into the realms of testing out variant rules for AT artillery as well as the Expanded Nationality rules.

Meanwhile, this post is intended as an update on these rules, so you'll find my battle report to DoW here; my SftF rating here; further comments on RD/KA! (my blog- see also the link in my sig if you hadn't noticed it) here; the discussion Brummbar and I had about his scenario and the variant AT rules in the comments section of RD/KA! here; and the M44:DoW thread where variant AT rules are being discussed in depth here.

Whew! OK, so now back to the Expanded Nationality rules. First off: the Kampfgruppe rule. Reflecting on this a bit after the comments of CanuckHero and others, I started to feel that saving a VP and losing a card was wrong, that the Kampfgruppe rule should cost a VP for the unit removed. What was nagging at me most was the idea that it was just silly to leave the Germans less operationally flexible- ie. with less cards- thanks to their use of a rule whose purpose is to represent the superiority of their operational doctrines. So I put it to Badger that the rule should now entail losing a VP without loss of a card. He agreed. The rule still hasn't been tested in action though. I guess that might just mean that it's not completely overpowering, else we'd've been using it all the time? Mebbe not.

One rule which really is shining is the British Big Push rule, adapted from the idea put forward by neil1967 back in March. Badger and I are both really enjoy playing with this rule. We find it fun to play, and powerful without being overpowering. In fact, the central concept of this rule- the use of plan cards to allow the play of 2 cards in 1 turn- is coming to dominate our thinking at the moment.

To cut a long story short: we've been finding that the German Saddle Orders rule was falling a bit flat- the ability to get a free Recon-type draw on a discard rarely seemed worth missing a turn's action. So we're beginning to think that we should adapt the planning aspect of the British Big Push rule to give the Germans the ability to play 2 cards in 1 turn, but with more flexibility than the British. We haven't fixed on a version to test yet, but I will return to post the details just as soon as we do. One point on which I was able to satisfy myself though was that this idea is well in keeping with the C&C system, since playing 2 cards in 1 turn is a crucial feature of Epic BL. Hence making the same thing happen due to planning in a WW2 game makes perfect sense to me.

Meanwhile the British Marksmanship rule too seems to be working out just fine. It seems to be just effective enough to be irritating without being overpowering. And the ability it gives the British to stand-off at a 3-hex range and whittle away at enemy infantry units in cover strikes me as exactly what the British riflemen should be feared for!

And that's it for now. I would be delighted and gratified if any fellow M44 fans were to take the time to try these rules out, and to report their findings. Go on, give it a go: you know it makes sense! Wink

[Updated on: Sat, 02 June 2007 13:06]

      
Brummbar44
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Mon, 04 June 2007 07:16
Good call on the Kampfgruppe alteration. I tried it when it was initially incorporated into Randwulf's Poland scenario...the loss of a card was just too much for me and I never did risk it.

What is the concept behind the Saddle Orders. I have an idea in mind for making an alteration to play that might fit but I'm not familiar with that term?
      
JMcL63
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Mon, 04 June 2007 14:05
Brummbär wrote on Mon, 04 June 2007 06:16

Good call on the Kampfgruppe alteration. I tried it when it was initially incorporated into Randwulf's Poland scenario...the loss of a card was just too much for me and I never did risk it.

What is the concept behind the Saddle Orders. I have an idea in mind for making an alteration to play that might fit but I'm not familiar with that term?

Yep, something needed to be done with the Kampfgruppe rule. I've updated RD/KA! with a proper discussion of those playtest games. You'll find more of my thinking there, plus a tweak which I'm hoping you'll find rounds the Kampfgruppe rule off once and for all. Fingers crossed! Smile

Meanwhile, I can't really say any more about Saddle Orders than I've already said here, and in that thread at RD/KA!, because that's as far as Badger and I have got in our discussions of how to implement the idea. If I've missed something in your question, please do explain. Cheers. Wink
      
neil1967
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Mon, 04 June 2007 15:51
Quote:

So we're beginning to think that we should adapt the planning aspect of the British Big Push rule to give the Germans the ability to play 2 cards in 1 turn, but with more flexibility than the British.


A possible rule for the German version of this would be to allow the Germans to play a recon card in addition to another card on any turn, but only draw take one replacement card (drawing 2 and picking which one to keep per the recon card rule). This option can be taken as often as the German player wants. The German could, on any subsequent turn, choose to take no action and return their hand to full size (replacing ALL the cards they are short of in one turn).

Limiting the play of 2 cards to have to include a recon card limits the strength of double play more than Big Push does, but its potential availablity over several turns gives the Germans more flexibility.

Replacing all cards in one turn represents a pause to resupply and regroup, which is fairly historical.

I like the gameplay choices this adds (When do you pause the attack to replenish your hand? In choosing what card to take should you take another recon card to get the double play or a more powerful card?).

Neil
      
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Tue, 05 June 2007 19:37
JMcL63 - With regard to the Saddle Orders I wasn't so much asking about the rule more about the terminology. Was there an actual term used during WWII to describe what you are trying to simulate or is that term something you came up with?

I do have a question about the Big Push rule...I am interested in trying it out but have some concerns.

So if I have built a 2 card Plan and decide to execute it...can a unit ordered with one of the cards in the plan also be ordered with the other (in effect allowing the unit to move and fire twice in one turn).

Also, can you execute the plan in any sequence you like (so in essence it becomes like one super card?)

It sounds very interesting and can see it adding to the game.

Along these lines I would like to introduce a concept I have for discussion. It goes as follows...

Stick with the Plan
When the player plays a Assault or Attack section card at the end of his turn he may decide to Stick with the Plan.

Instead of drawing another card he simply leaves the card face up in front of him and does not take another card.

On his next turn he must execute orders as if he played a section card 2 levels down from what he has in front of him (ie. an Assualt executes as a Probe, an Attack executes as a Recon...thus Probes and Recons don't apply as they would be null).

At the end of this turn, he now discards and takes a new card into his hand (note; the execution of a Recon does not have the same effect as the card, so the player simply discards and only draws one new card unlike the actual Recon card).
      
JMcL63
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Wed, 06 June 2007 02:52
neil1967 wrote on Mon, 04 June 2007 14:51

Quote:

So we're beginning to think that we should adapt the planning aspect of the British Big Push rule to give the Germans the ability to play 2 cards in 1 turn, but with more flexibility than the British.


A possible rule for the German version of this would be to allow the Germans to play a recon card in addition to another card on any turn, but only draw take one replacement card (drawing 2 and picking which one to keep per the recon card rule). This option can be taken as often as the German player wants. The German could, on any subsequent turn, choose to take no action and return their hand to full size (replacing ALL the cards they are short of in one turn).

Limiting the play of 2 cards to have to include a recon card limits the strength of double play more than Big Push does, but its potential availablity over several turns gives the Germans more flexibility.

Replacing all cards in one turn represents a pause to resupply and regroup, which is fairly historical.

I like the gameplay choices this adds (When do you pause the attack to replenish your hand? In choosing what card to take should you take another recon card to get the double play or a more powerful card?).

Neil

This is an interesting idea Neil. I remember Badger and I discussed the use of Recon in our last session because the original version of the Saddle Orders rule was- as I have already noted- really just a free Recon-type redraw on a no-action discard. The hampered redraw option is a natural sort of clause to include in any rule of this kind- flowing naturally as it does from the nature of cardplay. I'll have to think about your suggestions here, consider alternate versions of the same cardplay concept, and see what I think. Such caveats aside, I like the cut of your jib sir! Cheers. Wink
      
JMcL63
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Wed, 06 June 2007 03:23
Brummbär wrote on Tue, 05 June 2007 18:37

JMcL63 - With regard to the Saddle Orders I wasn't so much asking about the rule more about the terminology. Was there an actual term used during WWII to describe what you are trying to simulate or is that term something you came up with?

'Saddle Orders' is a term from my military historical reading Brummbär, one I chose as a colourful phrase to represent the specific superiority of German military doctrines in WW2. It refers to the particular way in which the German army planned and carried out their operations. The notable features were the dispersal of detailed plans to the most junior officers, and the reliance on the initiative of the field officers to assess and respond to local situations as they saw fit according to their understanding of the overall plan, and in accordance with their overall military doctrines. I don't have references handy right now, but I will see what I can dig up just as soon as I can. Smile

Quote:

I do have a question about the Big Push rule...I am interested in trying it out but have some concerns.

So if I have built a 2 card Plan and decide to execute it...can a unit ordered with one of the cards in the plan also be ordered with the other (in effect allowing the unit to move and fire twice in one turn).

Also, can you execute the plan in any sequence you like (so in essence it becomes like one super card?)

You are here touching on some fundamental points about how rules based on these concepts would work Brummbär. Badger and I are only beginning to become aware of the full scope of these concepts now that we are seeing just how well neil1967's basic idea has turned out in the Big Push rule. As things stand right now, we have been playing the Big Push rule so that the cards are effectively played in parallel; ie. each unit ordered during a Big Push may only be ordered once in that turn as per usual; all the orders from both cards played in the Big Push must be issued before any of the units so ordered are moved; once the units are ordered, the turn proceeds as normal.

Quote:

It sounds very interesting and can see it adding to the game.

Thank you for those kind words Brummbär. Smile
Quote:

Along these lines I would like to introduce a concept I have for discussion. It goes as follows...

Stick with the Plan
When the player plays a Assault or Attack section card at the end of his turn he may decide to Stick with the Plan.

Instead of drawing another card he simply leaves the card face up in front of him and does not take another card.

On his next turn he must execute orders as if he played a section card 2 levels down from what he has in front of him (ie. an Assualt executes as a Probe, an Attack executes as a Recon...thus Probes and Recons don't apply as they would be null).

At the end of this turn, he now discards and takes a new card into his hand (note; the execution of a Recon does not have the same effect as the card, so the player simply discards and only draws one new card unlike the actual Recon card).

So, to 'Stick with the Plan' would be to allow you to maintain momentum in a given section if you'd already played a Section card in that section on your previous turn. The net effect would be to allow you to make use of the same Section card twice, albeit at a reduced effectiveness which makes this option viable only for the 'Order 3' and 'Order All' Section cards.

Hmm. This ability to use the same Command card TWICE strikes me as being too far outside the envelope of the core C&C system for comfort to be honest. But I do like its approach to cardplay, which leaves me thinking that it'd be a good scenario special rule to represent particularly well-prepared forces; eg. the Germans in the opening stages of the Battle of the Bulge? And even then? Hmm. I need to think some more about this one! Hope this makes sense. Cheers Brummbär. Wink

PS. And I haven't forgotten the AT debate Brummbär. I've just been too busy to marshal my random musings into some kind of adequate analysis. Still hoping to get there before the week is out! Arrow

[Updated on: Wed, 06 June 2007 03:26]

      
Brummbar44
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Wed, 06 June 2007 19:13
Quote:

Hmm. This ability to use the same Command card TWICE strikes me as being too far outside the envelope of the core C&C system for comfort to be honest. But I do like its approach to cardplay, which leaves me thinking that it'd be a good scenario special rule to represent particularly well-prepared forces; eg. the Germans in the opening stages of the Battle of the Bulge? And even then? Hmm. I need to think some more about this one! Hope this makes sense. Cheers Brummbär.


Point taken...however, I think it only enhances the C&C system. Especially for those who do complain about it's inflexibilty, this would address that without being overbearing to the system.

Further, it would be a risk playing the card in this fashion. You expose not only your planning but also leave yourself open to a potentially devestating counter-attack (the card is now exposed twice and your opponent would get the full effect of the card no matter the phase it is in).

Usage of this rule would be, I think, more limiting than it appears and as a result would probably more used in a desperation situation than a common occurence.
      
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Thu, 07 June 2007 08:21
Playtested the "Stick to the Plan" rule and it worked out very well.

Better than I expected actually.

My wife didn't give it a second thought and I was sure she would call BS on me. But as it turned out, I used it on a handful of ocassions where I thought I could use that extra little push.

I ended up handcuffing myself twice and regreting it altogether once. But it did give me that little extra slap a couple of times as well. Wasn't at all overpowering and I actually felt like I was a little in control (was I wrong! but it felt good).

There could be occasions where I could see it maybe getting out of hand still.

So if you try it, let me know how it works out for you.

...However, I just realized this isn't a Nation specific rule I'll stop hijacking this thread!

Let's get back to those Saddle Orders...

      
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Re:Expanded nationality rules for M44 Thu, 07 June 2007 09:17
Saddle Orders

The German player has two options when he plays a Recon card.

He may either play the card as it is

Or

He may immediately follow it with another card and keep both cards that he would draw as a result of the Recon card.

      
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