Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Brigade Commander mechanics: I actually read the rules...

Been doing a little reading, first to brush up on how Soviet tactics might have played out on the battlefield.  I have never believed the old hordes of tanks myth, and I have been digging through FM 100-2-1 The Soviet Army Operations and Tactics, 1984, available at that link from the Federation of American Scientists.  Fascinating stuff, especially looking at Regiment and below.  

Not sure how much of this has been proved wrong by information gathered since the end of the Cold War, but I think it is a good resource.  I have been particularly looking at the chapter dealing with artillery tactics.

Also, after some correspondence with Ivan, I realized that I did not have a good enough grip on Company Commander to correctly play test Brigade Commander, so I did something out of character and actually READ the rules!

I discovered I was handling reaction fire incorrectly, so I did a few small run through just to make sure I was getting it correct.

Here is how I am marking combat die results using the excellent markers from Litko.  They have a wide variety to meet any taste, and I rather like them.

First off, I had to clear the cat from the table...
Run #1: M1 Company defending against T-72 battalion with attached BMP company

SOVIET TURN: The Soviet player activates and moves one T-72 company forward.  The M-1 Company fires guard fire, 1 Kill die, to no effect.  The T-72 Company fire 1 Kill / 1 Shock when it completes its move, scoring a 1.  The remaining companies roll forward, fire, but to no effect.
US TURN: The US player activates the M-1 Company and rolls a 3 on the kill die, which allows the unit to act normally this turn.  It immediately fires 1 Kill / 1 Shock, disrupting one of the tank companies.
 SOVIET TURN: The Soviet player activates the other tank company, which rolls forward a few inches and fires 1 Kill / 1 Shock and renders the M-1 Company combat ineffective.

Run #2: M901 ITV Company defending against T-72 battalion with attached BMP company

SOVIET TURN: The Soviet player activates his first tank company and moves into range of the ITV's.  Using the new optional ATGM rules:

  1. The ITV's declare fire against the T-72's
  2. The T-72's get to roll a kill die against the ITV's first, no effect
  3. The ITV's then roll their kill die, with no effect.
The next Tank company and BMP company roll forward in turn, the ITV's guard fire again, all to no effect.
 US TURN: The US player activates his company and fires at one of the tank companies again.

  1. The tank company gets 1K dies first, no effect
  2. The ITV fires 1K / 1S and scores a 6 on the kill die!
  3. The ITV company then withdraws directly to its rear

A few observations on Brigade commander now:

  • I like the optional ATGM rules and will continue to play with them.  IFV / ATGM companies with significant numbers of launchers should be able to KO a tank company, BUT getting into a toe to toe shootout is a bad idea if you don;t get them first shot. (or should that be TOW to TOW?  Get it... oh never mind.)
  • I think I am handling movement correctly, you either fire and move or move and fire. So a defender can take a shot and withdraw.
  • Not pictured here, I also fiddled with Recon over the weekend and I like the recon rules as written.  I did suggest some optional rules, but they really don't add anything to the basic structure.
I feel ready to do a full reset and run my bog standard MRR attack again.  But first, I have to get the cats off the table again and Mrs. Tin Man is painting.  Until then, good gaming!


  1. I think mister kitty is about to bring doom to the Red Army in the last picture.
    As mentioned on the WW forum, some players run it that reaction fire is at full dice but only when you come into view/range.

    That 99% certainly will not be official but it seems to work well enough. Might add it as an option.

  2. Thanks for these 5Core/Brigade Commander posts! One of the reasons I just bought 5Core Company Commander and 5Core Brigade Commander! Cheers!