"Hard Cat Rules v2" A discussion

2Dog

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After the game we're playing at the moment, Bill (not Bil Hardenberger) and I are going to have a CMBN game that implements Bil Hardenberger's and Canadian Cat's "Hard Cat Rules". The rules seem straight forward but we're both interested in how the rules are interpreted, on how to implement them during a battle so that we're both singing from the same sheet as it were. So, to that end, Bill and I are going to take each rule and discuss it here.

Our next battle using the "Hard Cat Rules" will be a testing ground, a place to get used to the rules and get a better understanding of them.
 

2Dog

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BASIC RULES

1. ARTILLERY
a. No Pre-Planned Arty on Turn 1 - EXCEPTION: ATTACKER in an Assault or Attack scenario

Bill, thinking about it now, this rule seems straight forward, whether it's for a scenario or a quick battle.
 

2Dog

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1. ARTILLERY
b. Once placed, indirect artillery cannot be cancelled

The only question I have about this rule is why can't a player cancel an indirect arty mission once placed?
 

A Canadian Cat

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1. ARTILLERY
b. Once placed, indirect artillery cannot be cancelled

The only question I have about this rule is why can't a player cancel an indirect arty mission once placed?
The thought is that cancelling once you "see" the results is too flexible. Real commanders don't have the god like view we do so determining that the mission you ordered has succeeded after half the rounds have been delivered is optimistic. Normally an FO might have some info about how the mission is going or nearly none. Either way cancelling an ongoing mission is too much flexibility.
 

Bill

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2Dog Hard Cat Rules v2 are a bit like HITS for Scourge of War Waterloo and Gettysburg, give a degree of realism to CnC and what a player would know on the state of play on the battlefield.

Assault or Attack scenario to me means QB or scenario. In other words the rules can be applied to scenario or QB.
 

2Dog

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That makes sense, the FO or commander might call in the mission and when fire for effect is given they might move back or withdraw with no line of sight. Thanks.
The thought is that cancelling once you "see" the results is too flexible. Real commanders don't have the god like view we do so determining that the mission you ordered has succeeded after half the rounds have been delivered is optimistic. Normally an FO might have some info about how the mission is going or nearly none. Either way cancelling an ongoing mission is too much flexibility.

I'm happy with attack/defend and what it means in a PBEM game, but how is assault seen by everyone in a PBEM game, is it the same as an attack/defend battle?
Assault or Attack scenario to me means QB or scenario. In other words the rules can be applied to scenario or QB.

They certainly can be applied t a QB but all scenarios have a setting for their type. So, the rules can be applied for any CM battle.
 

2Dog

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I should read the manual more.

Assault -

"Battle Type - Meeting Engagement, Probe, Attack, Assault, or Random. This setting has an impact of what type of Quick Battle Map will be loaded: if you select Meeting Engagement, only maps defined as Meeting Engagement will be considered for loading. If you choose any of the other Battle Types, then only maps which are NOT a Meeting Engagement are considered. The Battle Type also determines how many “purchase points” the defender/attacker will receive to assemble their forces. Additionally, the attacker in an Assault type battle automatically receives a certain level of intelligence/recon information at the beginning of the battle, informing him about a certain % of known enemy positions."

"In an Assault, the attacker will receive even more (all most twice as many), while in a Meeting Engagement, the point values will be nearly identical."
 

2Dog

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ARTILLERY

d. Follow all Area Fire Rules by artillery or (indirect firing) mortars
i. Direct firing mortars fall under Rules 2 and 3

How are TRPs dealt with?
 

2Dog

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I'm a little confused by rule 3b i and ii: does both i and ii need to be true to be able to arty empty terrain, whether there's a TRP or not?
 

A Canadian Cat

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I'm a little confused by rule 3b i and ii: does both i and ii need to be true to be able to arty empty terrain, whether there's a TRP or not?
Yes. The idea is platoon leaders are allowed to fire on likely enemy locations.

The three sub sections (b, c, d) together are meant to allow for a reasonable way to allow area fire. What we don't want is the player to be making the all decisoins from their god like view point but instead to reflect that the units them selves are controlling the area fire. The goal is to have a set of rules that cover likely scenarios that come up. Here are some philosophical thoughts on each of the sub rules to help clarify why.

3 b. Area fire against empty terrain:
This is purely speculative. When the platoon is moving and contact has been made or you know it is coming. The platoon leader can direct fire against any strong point or place of cover that would be a good place for the enemy to be. This needs to be done by the platoon leader so they have to have eyes on.

3 c. Area fire controlled by the squad team leader
If a squad or a team have a ? icon then they should be able to independently direct their fire on that location. This is meant to support the autonomy of the NCOs to make decisions to protect their men. They have some idea the enemy is on a location they should be able to fire on them.

3 d. Area fire controlled by the platoon leader
If the platoon leader has a ? icon then they can direct any team they are in C2 with to area fire on that location. In the case of squads that do not have ? icons they can still area fire on that location because they are directed by the platoon leader. You might feel this is the same as 3 b but the subtle difference is the platoon leader does not need LOS to the area if there is a ? icon that they know about.

The goal here is to allow the platoon leader to control fire. Either to an arbitrary location they can see or against a tentative ? that they platoon leader knows about. But we also need to have the squad and team leaders able to direct their own teams to fire on tentative ? icons they know about too.
 

2Dog

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Thanks Canadian Cat, your explanation is very helpful.

I've just started a game with Nathangun using the basic rules and already the battle has taken on new meaning, I'm having to think about every move in much more detail, about how I might move my units if I was actually there on the ground, about what I'd actually do. I'm also playing using only 1 and 9 for the views (on the ground with my men view and map view).

Yes. The idea is platoon leaders are allowed to fire on likely enemy locations.

The three sub sections (b, c, d) together are meant to allow for a reasonable way to allow area fire. What we don't want is the player to be making the all decisoins from their god like view point but instead to reflect that the units them selves are controlling the area fire. The goal is to have a set of rules that cover likely scenarios that come up. Here are some philosophical thoughts on each of the sub rules to help clarify why.

3 b. Area fire against empty terrain:
This is purely speculative. When the platoon is moving and contact has been made or you know it is coming. The platoon leader can direct fire against any strong point or place of cover that would be a good place for the enemy to be. This needs to be done by the platoon leader so they have to have eyes on.

3 c. Area fire controlled by the squad team leader
If a squad or a team have a ? icon then they should be able to independently direct their fire on that location. This is meant to support the autonomy of the NCOs to make decisions to protect their men. They have some idea the enemy is on a location they should be able to fire on them.

3 d. Area fire controlled by the platoon leader
If the platoon leader has a ? icon then they can direct any team they are in C2 with to area fire on that location. In the case of squads that do not have ? icons they can still area fire on that location because they are directed by the platoon leader. You might feel this is the same as 3 b but the subtle difference is the platoon leader does not need LOS to the area if there is a ? icon that they know about.

The goal here is to allow the platoon leader to control fire. Either to an arbitrary location they can see or against a tentative ? that they platoon leader knows about. But we also need to have the squad and team leaders able to direct their own teams to fire on tentative ? icons they know about too.
 

A Canadian Cat

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...already the battle has taken on new meaning, I'm having to think about every move in much more detail, about how I might move my units if I was actually there on the ground, about what I'd actually do. ...
Excellent that is the goal. I hope you guys enjoy it.
 

2Dog

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It's going to be good, planning phase today, moving to our start line tomorrow.

What I'd love to see is something along the lines of rule 4 being implemented in the engine in iron mode some day, that would be something special.

4. MOVEMENT
a. Squads, teams, and vehicles WITHIN C2 to their immediate
superior can plot UNLIMITED waypoint movement paths

b. Squads, teams, and vehicles NOT IN C2 to their immediate superior
can ONLY plot movement paths with one waypoint (two legs)

c. Exceptions:
i. HQ Units – (not XO Teams, etc.) have unlimited
movement
UNLESS the officer in the unit has become a casualty,
then the unit is no longer considered an HQ Unit

ii. Autonomous Units performing a scouting mission and
outside of C2 can always plot unlimited waypoint
movement
A unit is said to be on a scouting mission if the player
thinks it is, usually:
1. The unit is far ahead of the main body
2. The unit is far to one flank of the main body
3. The unit is in an Observation of Listening Post (OP or LP)

iii. Recon platoons act as a normal formation for Movement
as long as units are within C2, if the individual units move
out on separate missions, then they too will fall under
Rule 5.c

Excellent that is the goal. I hope you guys enjoy it.
 

Bulletpoint

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What I'd love to see is something along the lines of rule 4 being implemented in the engine in iron mode some day, that would be something special.
b. Squads, teams, and vehicles NOT IN C2 to their immediate superior
can ONLY plot movement paths with one waypoint (two legs)
Agreed. But I'd wish for the rules to be a bit more restrictive. Giving out of command units two legs of movement is too generous, as you rarely need more - units won't be able to carry out more during one turn. Also a limit to the distance travelled could be interesting. A movement order could be limited to a max of, say, 100m for out of command units.

In any case, I hope some of the design ideas in these house rules get taken in and made part of the official game.
 

A Canadian Cat

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We settled on two legs for out of C2 units be cause I objected to allowing only one on the grounds that often when plotting a withdrawal order you may need to control how to go around an obstacle or ensure your men to through a particular door.

There is a restriction at all because @Bil Hardenberger wanted one (I don't care for them) but we made it two because I wanted to minimize the likely hood of soldiers going through the wrong door or the long way around some obstacle.

When you are playing not how it work and let us know how you feel. It is possible that two legs is too few.
 

2Dog

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If I was part of a platoon or squad and I'd lost contact with my superior then I'd make my way back to either a pre-planned RV or my immediate superior. Two or three waypoint's are helpful.

Agreed. But I'd wish for the rules to be a bit more restrictive. Giving out of command units two legs of movement is too generous, as you rarely need more - units won't be able to carry out more during one turn. Also a limit to the distance travelled could be interesting. A movement order could be limited to a max of, say, 100m for out of command units.


In any case, I hope some of the design ideas in these house rules get taken in and made part of the official game.
When I initially read rule 4b 'one waypoint (two legs)', I thought it meant I could only plot one waypoint: the two legs being my starting location and my ending location. Maybe 'two waypoints (two legs)'?

We settled on two legs for out of C2 units be cause I objected to allowing only one on the grounds that often when plotting a withdrawal order you may need to control how to go around an obstacle or ensure your men to through a particular door.

There is a restriction at all because @Bil Hardenberger wanted one (I don't care for them) but we made it two because I wanted to minimize the likely hood of soldiers going through the wrong door or the long way around some obstacle.

When you are playing not how it work and let us know how you feel. It is possible that two legs is too few.
 

MOS:96B2P

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We settled on two legs for out of C2 units be cause I objected to allowing only one on the grounds that often when plotting a withdrawal order you may need to control how to go around an obstacle or ensure your men to through a particular door.
Interesting. I wonder if changing the rule to a distance in meters would help. The unit can move 50 meters (or whatever distance the rule makers think is best) but can plot as many waypoints as the player wants as long as they are all within 50 meters of the starting point. So if you put a 50 meter 360 degree Target Arc on the unit you could visualize where that unit could move to in that turn.
 

A Canadian Cat

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I wonder if changing the rule to a distance in meters would help. The unit can move 50 meters (or whatever distance the rule makers think is best) but can plot as many waypoints as the player wants as long as they are all within 50 meters of the starting point.
I rather like that idea actually.
 

Nathangun

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Interesting. I wonder if changing the rule to a distance in meters would help. The unit can move 50 meters (or whatever distance the rule makers think is best) but can plot as many waypoints as the player wants as long as they are all within 50 meters of the starting point. So if you put a 50 meter 360 degree Target Arc on the unit you could visualize where that unit could move to in that turn.
An interesting alternative would be to give movement orders to place where the platoon HQ has LOS (Line of Sight).
 
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