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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Armoured Action - Units and Scale

Having cobbled together  a set of tables for movement, visibility and firing for tanks based upon hexes, I need to think about unit size and the area they occupy. Starting off with Grant's book 'Battle' and also looking at other rules by early wargamers, including Wise, Featherstone, Lyall & Son, Quarrie and Asquith, there seems to be a consensus that one tank model represents a platoon/troop and a group of three models represents a squadron. If I were to go along with this, it would make sense for one tank to represent a 'unit' and a unit fits into one hex. Thus a Company/Squadron can be made up of 3-5 tanks, occupying the same number of adjacent hexes.  I have decidd to have three tanks per Company and set out would look like this:
Using the same model my Battalion/Regiment, would be nine tanks and would look something like this:
This is likely to be close to the limit of tanks on my table, possibly I could add one more company; but I think it looks about right. Any more tanks per hex would be too crowded. For the time being this is what I will go with.

Whilst looking at this issue, I decided to give some thought to infantry structures.  Looking at the same sources they all have settled for an organisation of 10 - 12 figures representing either a platoon or a company.Most have a leader, 4-5 riflemen, a couple of submachine (SMG) gunners, a light machine gun (LMG) team and an antitank (Atk) team; although Grant does not have any heavier machine guns at this level in his rules. I have settled on a leader with SMG, a two man LMG, a second SMG, four riflemen and two Atk men; giving a unit of 10, which I will call a platoon.  I tried this on my table, but sqeezing so many figures in to one hex did not look right at all.

So, I have decided that an infantry unit can occupy two adjacent hexes, looking like this:
Three of these units/platoons will make up a company, with an additional command team:
Three companies put together will create a battlion. In addtion to the above, a battalion will have a support comapny, with a heavy machine gun platoon, a mortar platoon and heavy anti-tank platoon, as well as a command group. Eachsupport  platoon occupies one hex; although I will probably allow these platoons to split when on the table. In such a case they would have to be adjacent to at least one unit. In this example I have used Russians, as illustrated here:
My initial thoughts.

Next I hope to play test the armour rules; although I am also thinking about how to convert Grant's infantry rules so that they work on a hex table.


  1. That looks great, Bob. Those hexes of your look pretty big - you might get away with allowing two AFVs per hex.

    I started to say something about organising a British Battalion, but I see you are using Russians. Playing Panzer Marsch I used 1-1 ratios, but prefer to scale things. Russian rifle companies weren't large, BUT they seem to have had attached and subordinated to them Machine gun companies.

    A rifle company comprised 3 platoons, each of 2 10-man sections and an 8-man HQ section. The HQ comprised maybe half a dozen guys.

    The Machine company was pretty formidable:
    1 Platoon with 4xMMG (Maksim) and 2 LMG (Degtyarev)
    1 Platoon with 5 LMG
    1 platoon with 3 light (50mm) mortars.

    The rifle coy scaled down, say, to 10-man platoons, the attached MG coy could comprise 1 Maksim, 2 LMG (this over and above those carried in the rifle platoons) and 1 light mortar. Quite a nice support group for the attacking rifle companies.

    1. Thanks for your very useful comments. I have tended to follow the thinking of the early rule writers, having somewhat generic structures; however, I like your idea of attaching the Maxims out to company level. I will need to increase the battalion machine gun platoons by one gun team. You have also reminded me of the need to consider light mortars. Perhaps one 50mm/2" mortar per nfantry company HQ?

  2. Good stuff Bob. Have you played any games with these?

    1. Not so far. I am working up to a small game to try out the armoured rules. Assembling my forces at the moment.

  3. My initial reaction was also "looks like room for 2 tanks" but I think you are right to go with one or it could get crowded, especially if moving along a road etc. One tank could also allow an infantry platoon to stack with a supporting tank platoon when appropriate.

    This all looks very enticing!