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Morale and experience of soldiers....

 Post subject: Morale and experience of soldiers....
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:23 am 
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Master Gunner
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Guys, seriously in war the experience of the troops play a major contribution don't they? Surely a battlehardened orc platoon/mob should be able to hold out against some green imperial guard?

What's your thoughts on this? Sure, tactics is essential, but you know troops aren't ideal. It would be alarming if people played their 40k games watching their own troops panic and run away from the battlefield but....

I'm thinking more of a Panzer General/Vulcan style 40k wargame. Anyone recommend such a game? One where individual contributions don't make so much of a difference.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:56 am 
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Master Sergeant
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what's the question, again?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:09 am 
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Master Gunner
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Hm... Why don't you ask that guy up there?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:54 am 
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I like games where the individual matters...

I think the major difference between your 'veteran' troops and 'green' troops is that the veterans are reliable, and can be trusted to keep their fear in check and fight rather than run away. The basic skill levels may not be that different between them, it's just that you can rely on the veterans to use their skills to the best of their abilities, whereas you never know if the inexperienced troops will fight or cower in fear.
So in a table-top wargame, you would mainly represent this through morale rules. Most of the time in 40K, you only need to start worrying about morale once a squad loses 25% or more of its numbers in one turn. Realistically, a unit would start thinking about acting sensibly long before that.
Improved morale rules ended up being the major topic in this discussion: http://www.easternfringe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1466
Morale rules that are more realistic again, or just intended for a setting where people have a stronger sense of self preservation, would probably have even more modifiers, and start forcing morale tests at the slightest interaction with the enemy. The greenest of recruits needing to test just to see if they have the nerve to attack or leave cover.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:03 am 
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Master Gunner
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I used to enjoy warhammer 40k and used to do so much roleplaying stuff that I kept having people tell me this ain't rpg. Stuff like crashing dreadnoughts and vincent black shadow bikes, clambering onto Rhinos with my Chaplains and attempting to interact with the terrain more. So much room for arguing with in RT.

That's the truth. I think its awkward if your troops are routing all the time but realistically thats a major factor. I suppose in RT this could be more of a factor if you have Space Marines vs some Necromunda punks or Goblins.

But realistically there were many captures in history. I'm thinking of the Battle of Stalingrad, logistics plays a major role there, supply, the surrender of 300,000 troops to the red army because of the lack of supply. What if Space Marines really ran out of munition, would they fight to death with knives and weapon accessories or would they consider surrender? Actually, hard to imagine them surrendering but surely supply should play a greater factor in the future?



Just a side question, do you think Whiteshield imperial guard will panic if they see a Bloodthirster?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:38 am 
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I think the current morale system in 40K has two big features:
1) It exists.
2) It's failry quick and easy.
Point #1 sounds obvious, but you can really tell the difference between a game with no morale system (Classic BattleTech) and a game that does have one. It adds a whole lot more realism if units really can give some thought to their own safety and their orders be damned! 40K's system is not very detailed but at least it's there. If you play campaigns, there are some additional factors like Battle Honours that can make an experienced unit tougher in the face of impending doom.

You could certainly add a lot more realism to the existing system at the expense of making the game slower and more complicated. The key would be deciding where to stop. Some more detailed rules might include:
- If a particular unit has LoS to another friendly unit that is falling back, it suffers a -1 Leadership (non-cumulative).
- Seeing another friendly unit wiped out to the last man might impose a permanent, cumulative -1 Leadership to each squad. Each turn it could make a Leadership test to recover its backbone and remove the modifiers.
- If a squad wipes out an enemy unit, it might gain a +1 Leadership bonus next turn.
- You could have Elites ignore the moral penalties caused by the misfortunes of Troops. HQ units might ignore all modifiers except those from other HQ units.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:30 am 
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Master Gunner
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Heh, my topic is on morale but I'm strongly inclined to talk about supply. Hard to keep track of that. I'm sure Space marines can overcome starvation readily. Reading about the battle of stalingrad on wikipedia and it talks about how some general tried the slim rations and ended up so slim Hitler demanded that he resume a proper diet.


Routing is one thing. But when do they surrender? It's one thing for the commander to throw in the towel but surely troops might surrender by themselves especially if the skwad is reduced to ... 5% strength....



Elite troops... that would be great. Somehow I just don't think a 1 unit change on a 2d6 Cl figure makes all that difference. In RT they should have made Orcs and Imperial guard 6, 4 even.....


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:12 am 
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Venator wrote:
You could certainly add a lot more realism to the existing system at the expense of making the game slower and more complicated.
That's what computers are for! :)

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