Monday, 12 November 2012

BGK: Q and A

Whilst busy with writing work on the first supplement, I have taken some timeout to compile some questions (and give answers) that have arisen since BGK was released. I will get these up as a downloadable PDF format, when I have somewhere to put them (in the near future - technical work is progressing). In the meantime, the old blog will suffice.

Feel free to circulate as widely as you like.

1. Can light mortars (50mm etc) use the Indirect Fire Rules?
Yes. But with a maximum range of 20” I can’t see this being very practical, especially give the deviation of IDF. Better to use them for Direct Fire with HE up to 20”, or for Area Fire as Very Light HE (probably their best role). They are the only mortars that can do this.

2. If I take individual medium mortars (80mm etc), as Platoon support choices, can I deploy them all together and use them as battery, for communications tests etc?
No. They were bought separately so act separately. If a mortar battery is bought, then they will all fire together, but single mortars can’t ‘gang-up’ into ad-hoc batteries. They can be deployed together, but each would still need its own spotter.

3. If an infantry unit is pinned when it is attacked by a close assault, can it still shoot back?
No, they are in deep trouble. Pinned units don’t shoot back, I guess mostly they surrender.

4. The KV-2s main gun is listed as the 152mmL29, shouldn’t it be the 152mmL24?
Yes, straight typo. It’s the L24 gun.

5. In the Rally phase, if I want to draw multiple counters to rally 2D6 or 3D6 units, do I have to declare this first, or can I do it one after the other and see how it goes first before drawing a second counter?
Declare it first, ie, ‘I’ll take two counters’. We play nice though, and if a player rolls badly and then wants another counter, I let them take it - who I am to stop them taking counters? That’s our house rule though. Literally, declare it.

6. Valentines have the same stats as the Matilda, but less ammo, yet cost more points, why?
Ammunition capacity isn’t factored in points costs, unless it’s very low. Valentines didn’t feature much at Kursk, mostly reaching the front in later 1943, so they a slight points increase to represent scarcity in this period. Other vehicles also have their points tweaked for this – mostly German ones.

7. When units in (or being towed by) transport vehicles arrive from reserve, does this counter as 2 unit, the vehicle and passengers, or just 1?
1 unit. Only the transport or tow counts. Otherwise, German squads in transport count as 3, which is too harsh (and oddly transported infantry would arrive far slower than foot infantry). Same for tank riders, they come with the tank as one. 

8. When an armoured vehicle carrying passengers is destroyed, what happens to the passengers?
This is an omission. It is the same as for tank-riders, so a D3 men are killed (no save) and the squad (or squads) are placed within 4” of the wreck and marked as pinned. They must take a morale test for the casualties. 

9. Do infantry squads have to have all rifles or all SMGs, or can they mix them?
They can freely mix, but only as the models show. Only Russians should have all SMG armed squads. Many players find it easier and faster to stick to one or the other, but some players like to have their NCOs with SMGs, which is fine. Just remember he can fire more than 10” - but he’ll be better in a close assault. 

10. Do gun shields provide any protection to the gun crew?
No. You could make the argument for cover against small arms only, but for ease they count as in the open (unless they are in some other cover – which would be best). 

11. What is squad coherency? How far apart can I position my infantry models?
Roughly 1”, maybe 2” at a push, but I can’t see that spreading squads out would make any difference, except leave lots of men at longer range bands (where majority rules). 

12. Is there a minimum gun crew to allow the gun to keep firing?
Yes, 1 man, but remember last man pinned is removed, and this applies to gun crews too. 

13. On the QRS it says an immobilised vehicle must take a morale counter, in the book it says test, which is right?
No such thing as morale counter, it’s a typo. It should be Morale test. 

14. If a unit freely leaves the tabletop, does it count as destroyed?
No, it counts as nothing, except it can’t comeback. Sometimes it’s worth just bugging out. 

15. How does the mortars minimum and maximum range work, given the range bands given in gun stats?
Don’t be confused by the range bands, mortars have their own minimum and maximum ranges (see page 29). The gun stats just give its AP effect for a direct hit against an armoured vehicle, which is the same regardless of range. The bombs don’t get any larger or smaller, no matter the distance they travel.

16. How far can mortar teams move?
Light and medium mortar teams are infantry, and move as such. Heavy mortars should be light guns (so best not to move them without transport).

17. There are no stats for the German AT rifle, but it’s in the army list as a platoon support option?
This is an omission from the gun stats. It’s the standard issue PzB39 rifle, and they are the same as the Russian PTRD. Not many anti-tank rifles were left by 1943, most had been relegated to second line units, and even they didn’t use them much, but a few survived.

18. If an Infantry unit is pinned, can it still elect to Fallback!? Also, can a unit Fallback! off the table?
No, a pinned unit can’t Fallback! It can only take the damage inflicted as they duck for cover.
Yes it can, and that would probably be routing! So take a counter for a destroyed unit. As it’s the player’s choice, I suggest you don’t do it!

19. How many infantry models can enter a building?
How many people could you get in your house? A lot, practically maybe a hundred or more at a squeeze? It is not really going to be an issue unless you try to get an entire company in a small cottage. As many as you can reasonable fit in is what we say – 20 to 30 even in a smallish building. 

20. When can I use Ambush Fire, can it interrupt midway through an enemy fire order?
No, do it before or after the fire order. You can interrupt between two fire orders though, or midway through a move, say if a target would appear then disappear from view again, that’s what the order is for.

21. How many ‘Beyond the Call of Duty’ tests can a unit take, and pass, in a turn?
As many as it is lucky enough to pass. Our record is 2 for one very heroic T-34 crew.

22. What is the minimum distance I can move using the Stal! Stal! Stal ! rule?
The tanks must make two normal moves towards the enemy or the enemy board edge. The first normal move, for a T-34 would be the full 12”. The second is up to 12” again, with a practical minimum of 1”, so that’s between 13” and 24”. Remember to reduce this for crossing terrain. This should avoid situations with tanks having to go too far forwards, right passed targets for their MGs. 

23. The Marder II is listed as having a turret mounted weapon, hence 360 arc of fire. Is this correct?
No, straight typo, it’s hull mounted. 

24. There is no option for better Russian infantry. What about Guards units?
Deliberately so. ‘Guards’ was a unit citation, for past service, more akin to calling a British Regiment ‘Royal’. But the men were not trained or equipped any differently, and didn’t fight any better. Thinking of Guards as somehow ‘elite’ units is a mistake, and rather a hang-over from previous wargaming conventions.
All Russian infantry are inexperienced, to characterise them against their German enemy. Of course some individuals would have had lots of experience (not many survived that long though), but we are talking in general terms, and the point is to keep the points cost very low when balancing the two sides against each other, and for that mass-effect.  

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