Commander Ability

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Grenadier
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Commander Ability

Post by Grenadier » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:41 am

OK, I have yet to play a game but was wondering how most of you use the "Commander Ability" rules. I take it that, as written, just the player/CinC rolls for his side to determine the number of units that can be ordered, which does simulate some of the vagaries of command and control, but I thought it would be interesting if we could simulate the fragility of the chain of command by having this roll made by every command at every level of command ie:
The Army commander rolls to give orders to the commands directly under him, say, left wing, center and right wing. If these successfully receive orders, they, in turn, roll for their commands(brigades) and finally, the successfully ordered brigade commanders roll for their battalions. This would very neatly and easily simulate the real frustration the CinC encountered when dealing with the many egos, skill levels and foibles of his subordinates. With this system in place, even the most gifted CinC can have his plans dashed by plodders at any level, and, conversely, the most plodding nincompoop can be saved by a gifted wing or brigade commander. Of course, at the start of the game every commander at every level of command must be rolled for but it would sure make for some entertaining battles and campaigns.
What do you think?

Brian
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Re: Commander Ability

Post by flick40 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:18 pm

Hi Brian,
The rules are taking everything you just said into consideration but consolidating it into one roll. The command phase of the turn could get bogged with rolling for every commander. You are free to play how you would like by adding your house rules here and there, we have ours as well. I don't think Barry will be over to admonish us for not following the rules to the letter of the law. At least he didn't look Prussian to me when I met him. :)

If you want to add true frustration a commander would feel with his subordinates make a separate roll on a D6 for each brigadier to see if they follow the order. Make the roll after orders are placed. ie 1 they do nothing, 2 they do the opposite, 3-5 as ordered, 6 uncontrollable move towards the enemy for glory and fame.

Joe
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Re: Commander Ability

Post by barr7430 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:26 pm

Agree with Joe on this. By all means try your idea but you may be overcomplicating a mechanism which works pretty well and in my experience creates a level of frustration which mirrors reality to a large extent. The biggest frustration you may experience with your idea is the complaints of your gaming group who don't get to move much at all and think the rules are too slow and procedural.
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Re: Commander Ability

Post by Grenadier » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:45 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. My idea was to take away some of the control the player has, for, as written, even if I'm limited to giving 6 of my 24 units orders, I still get to choose WHICH units get them- not the way it works in real life! Joe, your random "interpretation of orders" would indeed put a kink into the CinC's plans but it doesn't exactly tackle the chain of command issue.
I also considered this method:
Any and all orders are placed and then order activation rolls are made from the top down, again, modified by the ability of the commander at each level.
1d6 Result
1-3 Command not Activated
4-6 Command Activated
Modifiers
Plodder -1
Competent -
Skilled +1
Gifted +2
Attached +1

Other modifiers could be used such as within or outside of command radius, unit status, etc.

The CinC rolls to activate each of his commands/wings. If the wing is successfully activated then the brigades under it's command roll for activation followed by the individual units. If an activation roll fails at any level, any orders below that level of command are nullified and removed. This not only adds elements of chaos and uncertainty of a battlefield, it takes away the CinC's power of choice when doling out orders. If the CinC has a bunch of incompetents under him but he wants to ensure an order is followed, he should probably see to it personally by attaching to that particular command. Of course, if he has decent subordinates, he can take a more hands off approach. This whole approach makes for a more interesting command and control component to any rules system
I don't see this slowing down play much, it only takes 1-2 seconds to roll each activation and the result is a simple no or yes.
I'm just spit balling here, Barry, I like the rules as written, I'm just one of those overly cerebral gamers trying to get closer to "simulation" rather than "fun".

Brian
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Re: Commander Ability

Post by flick40 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:13 pm

There were many playability vs realism discussions when we were play testing the rules. Some survivors are in the optional rule section. Not knowing how many games you have under your belt or if you play with like minded opponents. I would give a few games a try as written then modify with house rules. It really helps that one understand how the core rules play out before trying to modify them. See how they play on the table then discuss your change ideas with your opponents and try them out.

Have fun.
Joe
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