Refining the Gap: Fine Grain Troop Quality in Chain of Command

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When I preordered the new version of Sharp Practice, I also picked up Dux Britanniarum by Too Fat Lardies.

After reading it, I fell in love with the campaign system, which allows for long term development of a leader and his war band. However, I couldn’t help but wish there was something similar for World War 2. When I was in High School, I played a lot of Squad Leader and by far my favorite part was the linked campaign where each player started with a 7-0 leader representing themselves and the leader slowly improved over time. The idea of game based improvement over time based on your performance is powerful and seems to make each game more meaningful for me.

So how do we accomplish this for World War 2? The combination of The Sharp End campaign system and Platoon Forward by Too Fat Lardies allow you to personalize your leaders as well as tracking both casualties and opinions about the Platoon Commander. However, currently there’s no mechanism for either your men or your leadership to improve in quality over time. Thinking about my previous blog post on extending the troop quality system in Chain of Command, I think there may be a way to do that.

In my previous post, I proposed creating troop quality levels that are halfway between the existing troop quality levels of Green, Regular and Elite by using a confirmation die roll to check whether a hit on a ‘6’ actually happened. For a half step in quality, the confirmation die roll uses a 4+ to confirm the hit, while a 1-3 results in a miss. However, since we are already using this additional die roll to confirm casualties, nothing limits us to this halfway value of 4+. There are 5 values (2+, 3+, 4+, 5+ and 6) for the confirmation roll that will give us intermediate steps between the quality levels in the rule book. For example, the range of qualities could be Green, Green(2+ confirm), Green(3+ confirm), Green(4+ confirm), Green(5+ confirm), Green(6 confirm), Regular and a similar range of qualities levels going from Regular to Elite.

While this is probably too many quality levels for regular play, having this type of fine grain quality system seems tailor made for slowly changing unit quality over time. I’ll explore this further in a future blog post, but in the meantime, randomly determining small variations from the established levels may be of interest. For this I’d suggest rolling a D6 before the game starts to determine the actual quality of the troops on each side.

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Thanks for looking!

Rat 6, Out!

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