Randomised forces for campaign battles.

I have been working on a method of developing interesting and varied forces for my campaign battles.  I have used various methods before, but here is my latest idea.  The intention is that strategically the campaign may be planned and administered but the bloke at the sharp end has to work with what he has available.

Units on the campaign map have a type and strength.  If, as I often do, using a board game as the basis for the campaign, the unit strength is simply the attack and defence values added together.  I will take as an example the Simulation Publications game of Arnhem, which I have played as a straight game or adapted many times.

A “standard” infantry battalion in this game is rated as 3-3-7 (attack, defence, movement).  The table-top representation is 3+3=6 “units”.  Taking a standard pack of playing cards I allocate, in this example, red for Allied forces and Black for Germans.  I now deal the cards and use them according to the following table:

In our current example we are looking at an infantry battalion, and let’s say it is the British 4th Dorsets from XXX Corps.  Their value is 6, so I need the first 6 red cards, discarding any that would not be relevant to a British infantry battalion.

As dealt, they are: black 3 discarded, black 5 discarded, black Ace discarded, red 5D usable (1), red 10D usable (2), black 4 discarded, black 3 discarded, red 3D usable (3), red 4d usable (4), black 5 discarded, red Joker usable (5), red 7D usable (6).  If, for example, tanks had been drawn they would have been discarded as were the black cards.

So, the 4th Dorsets have:

  1. 1 Support company of 2 x MG, 2 x mortar
  2. 3 half-tracks for transport or supply
  3. 1 Company of 3 Rifle platoons and 1 MG platoons
  4. 1 Company of 3 Rifle platoons and 1 MG platoons
  5. One potential air strike (but no communication with the RAF)
  6. 2 x 6pr anti-tank guns (with suitable towing vehicles).

If this were a Parachute battalion, let’s say John Frost’s 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment, their value would be 2-2-7 and the first four cards would be used. The only change would be to substitute carriers for the three half-tracks.

To add interest, at the end of each game turn, one card is dealt for potential reinforcements.  The same process as above is applied, but the reinforcements go into the “pool” for red or black.  When an Ace is drawn, the reinforcements for that side become available at their board edge.  Thus, if at any point the 4th Dorsets draw a red King for an HQ unit and then later a red Ace to deploy it they may have communication with the RAF for that air strike in their pocket…

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General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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