Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Rule Tweak: Morale for Detachments

The Wargames Research Group rules that I used for many years insisted that the separation of elements of an infantry platoon should not exceed 50m. This forced the unit to remain together in what I think is a somewhat arbitrary 'footprint' and prevented the tasking of sections out to a flank or, for example, to spread itself 'too thin' defending a number of canal bridging points. I suppose the rules were after all designed for 'company level actions' and so such excursions were not part of the remit. In itself, the 50m separation of elements within a unit relying on voice and hand signals seem realistic enough to me (in fact, I have restricted it to 25m when the elements are in cover or drifting smoke).

Green tiddlywink markers: not that intrusive and a visual summary for a solo player

So how to manage this procedure? Having detached a section on a task which takes it beyond the normal comms separation distance, the morale of this subunit branches off with its own Morale Level. Although separated, parent unit and section do not neccesarily suffer directly as a result but the reduced numbers in each may make them vulnerable under certain circumstances.
Consider the detached section. It may well have an initial ML of 100 but as it only consists of three or four elements, the loss of one of them will reduce the Level by 25-30%, whereas loss of an element in a full compliment parent unit reduces morale typically by 7-11%. This replicates the possible vulnerability of sections split away from the main body. The parent unit, devoid of information regarding the detachment, does not suffer under these rules until the section rejoins it at the rendezvous point and any casualties are realised.

I would prefer to avoid whipping out a calculator when reuniting the two parts of the original unit but until I come up with a method, that will have to do. More mulling over ideas and insomnia, no doubt...