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To say that infantry cannot attack armour in the open is odd. The Chinese used human wave charges against unsupported British Centurions in Korea behind the Gloucester’s last stand, and in Gulf War 2 it appears that a whole Fedayeen infantry brigade equipped with Syrian AT-14s attacked American armoured units in Iraq, accounting for one or more Abrams. Australians at Bardia in 1941 did it against dug-in Italian tanks. Whilst it is acknowledged that it is usually a very bad idea for dismounted infantry to assault armour in the open, it can happen physically unless the tanks drive off in reverse, so should be allowed for in the rules, especially as the order system mentioned above might force moving foot infantry to advance into tanks coming the other way (on the rare occasions when two opposing forces are generally advancing on each other).
Moving under defend orders
That is a bit of a revelation that moving towards the enemy allows movement backing away from the enemy. This is compromised by the rule that a stand cannot pivot more than 45° a turn - in nearly all cases the enemy would overrun or bypass the vehicle attempting to retire within the four moves it takes to about face. 2 hours of real time. Perhaps it would be easier to allow reverse movement (at half rate for vehicles) within the CZ if so required. Infantry and Recce vehicles could reverse at full rate perhaps as long as the CZ is not exceeded. As we are not really making decisions at the company/BGHQ level, these are circumstances that normally would be allowed to the discretion of the BG commander and another case of the BHQ looking after it’s own affairs. Perhaps just Recce units, plus infantry in woods or BUA are only allowed a reverse move. Ideas, anyone???
I included this rule adding extra ranges because it is claimed to be a major war-winning piece of equipment if one-side has it and the other doesn’t. In the 1st Gulf War it certainly was in the poor daylight conditions that occurred on several occasions, never mind night. In tactical games wily wargamers and armchair theorists with advancing NATO type armies can pop smoke on being ambushed to block the enemy line of sight, or even lay smoke on their own tanks with indirect fire assets, then use the TI to see through the smoke to pick of the enemy. I doubt if they would go so far in real life, due to IFF problems, and the existing rules cover for poor weather conditions. However it is also claimed that TI is useful in clear conditions to spot targets that are in cover beyond the normal visibility ranges, which is why I added the 3”.
As John says, it probably won’t have much impact on most games, as the movement rates usually allow you to get close enough to hidden infantry anyway, fairly quickly. Just an option to consider.
Glad to see an idea well received, I don’t think it was my mate Phil’s idea after all, I think he had seen it on a website, so we can’t take the credit, but the rule as adapted by John makes sense. Particularly the 3” spotting range – (now all those Recce Jeeps and occasional cavalry are really useful rather than being vulnerable targets. I like it!)
I have not had chance to produce any further stuff, due to moving and work, but I have various ideas on the boil, mostly organisation charts and new data charts. Some one expressed an interest in NATO-Russia 1949, and I intend to do Iraq 1961. In the news today was the revelation that the US had plans to invade Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi in 1973 after the Arab-Israeli war, to secure the oilfields. They feared a Soviet backed counter-attack through Iraq into Kuwait. Scenarios galore!
Again, if anyone has any WW2/Modem Spearhead organisation they would like to see, I can present my version through the Journal. Many thanks to John for replying to my run of articles, and I hope he can use the Journal as a medium for presenting new rules thoughts and information. There are a lot of garners without ready Internet access so even publishing details from the websites would be helpful. If John and co-authors are looking to produce a TOE book supplement for MSH, I would be happy be involved.
John Moher subsequently replied to this reply in the SOTCW's Journal 56 (Christmas 2006) and you can read his reply reproduced here in More Thoughts & Musings.
Contributor: © 2004 Mark Bevis.