Squad Transport Flow

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  • #160844
    Eric T Holmes
    Participant

    I was in a local state tournament and got into a discussion concerning the flow of orders in an infantry troop transport situation. (I was giving my opponent the advantage as it was his troop transport.)

    It is my understanding of the rules involving infantry squads, officers, panzergrenadier squads, and armored infantry squads (I won’t involve teams at this time nor tank carried troops) that the vehicle may advance and disgorge its troops in the same order phase, implying the drop of two order dice on the table in sequence in the same order phase for that transport.

    Why do I say this?

    Who commands the transport vehicle? The senior commander in that vehicle. If you look specifically at the tech manuals of the US Army of the time, you will note, especially for the M2/M3/M5 Halftrack, the Squad NCO controls the movement and commands of the Halftrack. Also, by implication, a halftrack/wheeled transport with an Officer on board, is commanded by that officer.

    The situation would look like this:

    Order die selected. Transport selected. Order die requested for squad carried. Transport advances, stops and troops disembark, at the advance or the run. No assault can be performed, but if the troops only advance, they can still fire.

    So, my opponent stated something like this when I suggested he could dump his squad and advance it at the end of a transpport’s road advance, “No, the squad needs to wait for an order phase.”

    Hmm, in all our local games I’ve played, and we have experienced infantry officers and NCOs in our group, a transport advances, and those pesky Panzerfaust, Flame thrower (add your version of special weapon) carrying infantry advance (not assault) on your position. Really happened in the war(s) they fought in. Carried infantry and driver responded to the advance order of the NCO, one smooth movement of the orders.

    If you play Tank Wars, you’d get an officer, partial squad, and full squad to advance in two vehicles. (I’ll talk about the fallicies of only two vehicles in a tank platoon receiving orders in a later discussion.)

    YMMV, please no flames.

    Discussion please.

    That bald-headed, blind, fat bellied old soldier,

    Eric

    #160847
    Nat
    Participant

    I see 2 subjects here…

    1, Rules as per the rulebook
    2, Real World workings

    Now 1 is quite clear in my mind. The transport is a unit and received its order like an other. If it has more than one weapon and there is a transported unit it may fire more than one weapon. If there is no unit on board then the transport may only fire one.

    Next we have the transported unit(s) who receive their order and so long as the transport hasnt received a RUN order may receive an advance or run order them selves and disembark. If the transport has recieved a RUN order then the units may only get a down order…

    Thats it.

    Now point 2 is completely different, and has no real bearing on rules other than being a base starting point. IF we were to go down this rabbit then that opens a number of other game play issues… such as no split fire, being able to pick field guns and attach them to scratch infantry platoon… oh how about a squad of ghurkas, one of paras and a 3rd of commandos being told what to do by a normal infantry officer!

    Nat, an ex-full screw scally back on the underside of 40

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by Nat.
    #160852
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    “It is my understanding of the rules involving infantry squads, officers, panzergrenadier squads, and armored infantry squads (I won’t involve teams at this time nor tank carried troops) that the vehicle may advance and disgorge its troops in the same order phase, implying the drop of two order dice on the table in sequence in the same order phase for that transport.”

    Your understanding is incorrect (at least in game terms). The orders phase is the entire orders part of the turn for all units, ie: the whole process of randomly drawing dice and activating units that goes on between one turn end phase and the next, not one unit activation.

    The transport is the only unit that acts on the transport’s order dice draw. You don’t get to draw any additional dice for transported units, they have to wait for another dice to be randomly drawn from the dice bag.

    “You men, snap to action”(officer ability, p83) is an exception that allows an officer to draw extra dice and activate other units similar to what you suggest, but that doesn’t work with transports – he has to disembark before he use it and can’t use it on embarked units (p116, last para of units aboard transports).

    #160886
    Eric T Holmes
    Participant

    Okay, so I see two different “interpretations” here between Nat’s and Stuart’s.

    Nat
    “Next we have the transported unit(s) who receive their order and so long as the transport hasnt (sic) received a RUN order may receive an advance or run order them selves and disembark. If the transport has recieved (sic) a RUN order then the units may only get a down order…”

    Stuart
    “Your understanding is incorrect (at least in game terms). The orders phase is the entire orders part of the turn for all units, ie: the whole process of randomly drawing dice and activating units that goes on between one turn end phase and the next, not one unit activation.,” etc.

    Me
    If I understand ‘Tank Wars’ correctly, officers can command various actions based upon their rank/position while onboard transports/AFVs/tanks, so we really are making the rules clear as mud. or are we to treat ‘Tanks Wars’ totally separate from “Bolt Action?”

    Point of discussion
    All my real world veteran friends (I’m a vet as well) are disagreeing with this portion of the order die process, namely (Single Die = Single Action versus Two die [Carried Unit and Vehicle] = Advance, Deploy and Shoot), as that was/is the whole idea behind getting those Panzer Grenadiers and Armored Infantry into the battle. The player has already paid the price for transport and squad. You’ve already assigned the Order Dice to that transport and the carried unit, by placing an order die on board the transport for the carried unit and not including it in the Order Dice Bag.

    Or have we bunged up that process? I’m only saying, it only makes sense if you’ve withheld the carried unit’s order die, and only play it when the transport advances and then you deploy the carried unit from the transport. Start reading the distinction of a carried unit order die versus a normal unit die in the order bag, now implying the use of the transport (noun) to “transport (verb)” the carried unit die/dice.

    No “Snap to” order implied, you are moving units like the transports with their commanders and NCOs intended them to be used (without the “Hollywood” implication of the game.)

    As an aside: How would you treat this if it were horse artillery?…three actions. Run, deploy and shoot. Think in those terms, especially since there are no linear and time scales for this game.

    Oh, and Nat…”oh how about a squad of ghurkas, one of paras and a 3rd of commandos being told what to do by a normal infantry officer!(sic)” Something like that happened at Rourk’e Drift, and is a classic in the study of command (an Engineer Officer commanding Infantry and Commissary troops.)

    YMMV

    Roll Sixes!

    Eric

    #160901
    Nat
    Participant

    Ok I don’t have ‘tank wars’ rules…so what I’ve put above is BA only. Tank wars is an add on, any rules they have either append or over write as appropriate… I can’t say which it is here, but I assume it’s append unless explicitly stated. In which case you follow BA rules and put both die in the bag

    On Rourkes Drift, yep like most things there is an exception to the rule. How ever the rules allow the exception to be the norm. My point was that if you are going full historical then you will need a lot more lists and will have a lot less variety.

    #160912
    Aaron
    Participant

    First thing, Bolt Action is a historical themed game at best or as I like to call it advanced rock, paper scissors.

    It does not matter if a unit is in a transport or not. Every unit requires an order die to activate.

    The exception is snap to. So you draw a die and move the transport. Next die is pulled and you can disembark.

    Tank wars is no different just allows different platoon selectors and everything in that platoon must be mounted. I do not believe a command vehicle can use snap to though like an officer unit.

    I am a 29 year career army officer still serving. Bolt action in its basic form resembles nothing like historical formations unless you go out of your way to make it so.

    Either way it is a fun “game” as long as you do not try to apply to much logic.

    There are other rule sets out that that you can use your same models that are closer to a simulation.

    Hope that helps.

    #160935
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    “If I understand ‘Tank Wars’ correctly, officers can command various actions based upon their rank/position while onboard transports/AFVs/tanks, so we really are making the rules clear as mud. or are we to treat ‘Tanks Wars’ totally separate from “Bolt Action?””

    There is no such provision in Tank Wars. Command Vehicles in Tank War use the same Command Vehicle special rule from the MRB, p118, last words of which are “(but no Snap to action extra dice)”. They only get a +1 morale bonus – they are not an armoured version of officers from the HQ heading, p82. All Tank Wars adds to that is the option for a Radio Network adding a further +1 morale bonus to armoured vehicles in that platoon, the radio network allows provision for higher ranks giving higher morale bonus, but requires multiple platoons with the higher bonus only applying to the commander’s platoon.

    “You’ve already assigned the Order Dice to that transport and the carried unit, by placing an order die on board the transport for the carried unit and not including it in the Order Dice Bag.”

    This is incorrect – all the dice go in the bag.

    When you draw a dice, you can allocate it to the transport (ie: bringing it onto the table from reserve, advancing to a position you want to dismount your passengers from etc) or you can allocate it to the transported unit to dismount there (or go down, remaining on the transport for the turn). When you draw another dice you can then activate the one you didn’t activate before (ie: empty transport moves away from the enemy, or transported unit advances to dismount and shoot).

    “As an aside: How would you treat this if it were horse artillery?…three actions. Run, deploy and shoot. Think in those terms, especially since there are no linear and time scales for this game.”

    There are no horse artillery in Bolt Action to the best of my knowledge. Artillery have to use a Run order to unlimber, they also all have the fixed rule preventing anything but a rotate and fire on an advance order. Introducing special provisions for them puts you firmly in house rule territory/importing mechanics from another game.

    #160969
    Eric T Holmes
    Participant

    Thanks guys. I think I been “edjudimicated” on this topic.

    As far as “There are no horse artillery in Bolt Action to the best of my knowledge. Artillery have to use a Run order to unlimber, they also all have the fixed rule preventing anything but a rotate and fire on an advance order.” I was thinking of the Soviet Horse Drawn Machine guns. But that begs the question about “Horse Drawn” artillery for early war play like German Horse teams, etc. I was actually reading about how some artillery during the early war scenarios use horse drawn limbers. After that initial unlimber and set up, can that artillery piece fire?

    #160972
    Nat
    Participant

    No, following the transport rules artillery need a run command to unhitch. Next turn they can receive a fire order (or advance for turn and shoot)

    #160979
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    Those soviet horse drawn machine guns act like a vehicle, not as a transported unit that dismounts – the entry for them is in AoSU, p50 – they appear under the name “Tachanka” and are classed as SP artillery. They are basically a soft skinned vehicle with a rear arc MMG (and a low damage value plus additional pin each time it takes one or more pins to reflect that horses and modern battlefields is not a good combination). The Polish also have one treated the same way.

    For horse drawn artillery, the horse team/limber is treated the same as a tow vehicle (again, with a lower damage value, slow etc). It doesn’t get any special treatment for unlimbering etc.

    #161187
    Alan Tibbetts
    Participant

    If the officer is also a passenger in the vehicle he can issue snap to orders to the vehicle and other passengers, so a 1LT (or a German 2LT) could pull command dice for the vehicle and one other passenger.

    The enemy always gets a vote. Ambush orders could interrupt this “flow” at one or more points. Actually, the order dice is fair. The enemy spots the loaded vehicle as it approaches their position and, if they get the next dice, should be well prepared to greet the advancing vehicle/passengers.

    I can recall a maneuver rights exercise in Germany where my tank platoon sat in a wood line watching a platoon of M113’s advance across 2 km of open fields, drive up to 50m in front of us, then disembark and conduct a standard fire and maneuver assault against my tanks.

    They were toast 200m from their start point, and again at 400m, and again at 800m, . . . .

    #161198
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    Alan Tibbets – the only benefit a transported officer can confer on the transport and other transported units is his morale bonus. See p116, Vehicles, Transport Vehicles, Units Aboard Transports, last paragraph. First sentence of the paragraph is specific about this being the only benefit and the last sentence of the paragraph is specific about having to dismount to use “you men snap to action”.

    #161291
    Master Chief
    Participant

    Hi, would this work in game terms. Have a 1st Lt officer unit within 6in range and near the transport. Draw an Order die and give it to the officer, and use “Snap to action” to get 2 more Order dice, assign one to the transport and one to its passengers. Use one Order die to Advance the transport (and fire one weapon), unload the passengers with the last Order die, and Advance+Fire or Run the dismounted unit as desired.

    #161296
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    No. An officer outside the transport can’t affect a unit inside the transport, snap to it is specifically ruled out – paragraph before the one telling you HQs can ride in transports but their benefits don’t generally work while transported (final para
    of units aboard transports is the exception for officer’s morale bonus). P116, Vehicles, Transport Vehicles, Units Aboard Transports, last three paras.

    #161299
    Master Chief
    Participant

    Thanks I see it now:

    Units inside transports cannot be influenced by beneficial friendly rules either, such as the morale bonus or ‘You men snap to action’ ability of an officer near the vehicle.

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