back in December 2008 about my frustration with the way that Combat Commander: Mediterrean’s updated Random Scenario Generator allows only the attacker to start with a radio. This just didn’t work for me at a basic level of historical authenticity. My general reading has taught me that the German army used their company and battalion 81mm mortars as immediate on-call defensive artillery fire. And George R. Blackburn’s monumental The Guns of War is chock full of examples of British and Commonwealth forces in Europe in 1944-45 using artillery directed by an attached Forward Observation Officer to break up attacks in progress. So I just can’t go along with the idea that defenders can only get access to radios via the Reinforcement event, which has a mere 3% chance even with the Americans for whom it is most likely.
|“Give me fire for effect!”|
|8cm Granatwerfer 34|
|Solid German trenchlines|
RS.7 Support Rolls
The player with the lower-cost OB may purchase an available radio, paying the VP cost as usual. This can only be done as the 1st player with the lower-cost OB; ie. should the 1st player's support purchases move the VP marker past 0, the 2nd player can not purchase a radio with their support roll. If the 2nd player wants to try to buy a radio in this situation, they should force the Attack posture with their support purchases and make an Asset Request as per RS11.1.
Radio. If the player with the lower-cost OB purchases a radio as a support option during RS.7 in the RSG sequence:
- They may purchase no other support options.
- +1 Sudden Death.
Defence line. If the ultimate scenario defender has purchased a radio and any fortifications other than foxholes:
- +1 Sudden Death (cumulative with above).
NB. Both of these are conditional on the lower-cost OB/defender purchasing a radio: otherwise purchasing fortifications just cost VP as usual.
|British 25pdr in action|
in the Western Desert
B-4 howitzer model 1931
|The 105mm: workhorse|
of US artillery in WW2
Quirks and caveats?
|Pesky German hero?|
Quick playtest report
Combat Commander: Europe RSG scenario after our play of BP#4’s Scenario M4. Templeton’s Crossing at our last Combat Commander session. Set in 1944, the scenario featured Badger’s Veteran American rifle detachment defending against my SS detachment. Badger opted to try for a radio, and got an 81mm, which gave me a support roll. I made sure to send the VP marker back over to his side of the VP track so that I could make an asset request myself. Badger used these VP to buy foxholes and my asset request gave me an 81mm radio too. The net result was that we both had a radio and that the Sudden Death marker advanced from the 6 space to the 7 space.
I think that the latter is perfectly reasonable since it corresponds to the time track typical of published scenarios of the size we were playing- or even smaller for that matter. As for the fact that we both ended up with radios? Well I know that the idea of my variant is to discourage the ubiquity of radios, but we were testing the variant so that’s fair enough it seems to me. In any event, neither 81mm radio proved overpowering and Badger won with 7VP on time 7. Badger proclaimed himself satisfied and I suggest that the variant looks OK after its first test in the line of fire.
And that's that. I hope some of my readers who are fans of Combat Commander: Europe might care to give these variant rules a try. I'd love to hear some independent feedback about how people think they work. ;)