steve paschal
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Mililani
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I'm the kind of guy that cannot divorce history from my wargame's. Oh, I'm not obsessed with it, but its always there and because of it I'm not particularly interested in 'East front' wargame's. I see both sides, the Germans and the Russians, as having obnoxious regimes antithetical to the welfare of the human race and as a result I simply cannot get worked up playing wargame's that pit the two.

On the other hand, the western allies against the axis forces, no problem, I can identify with this. The west at least, seem a little better than their opponents in terms of life's values...although 65 years later I suppose it can be argued. But I like the COH system, I like the Marines in the Pacific, so I say bring the damn thing on because I intend to play it to death. I also look forward to "First men in" D-Day airborne drop. Ok, end of rant. -----Steve
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Scott Key
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I'm with you 100%.
 
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Leo Zappa
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Well, while I wasn't terribly taken with the CoH Eastern Front games, it had nothing to do with the moral standing of the combatants (I generally love East Front games because of the vast scope of the conflict and the huge, sweeping engagements that were fought there). I just thought the CoH game system was a bit dull and mechanistic. However, I'm actually excited about this one because this is the campaign my dad fought in during the war. I also think that the CoH system might be better suited for jungle infantry warfare. So for me, while I couldn't care less about the particular moral standings of the combatants in general when it comes to wargames, personal or family history can absolutely enhance my interest in a particular wargame.

I just hope the final version of this game captures some of the doctrinal differences between US Marine and US Army infantry organizations (my dad was US Army, with the 27th regiment of the 25th ID). It will not do to homogenize the US units in this game (there were earlier discussions on this topic - hopefully the final product reflects those discussions).

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steve paschal
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Im curious, what kind of doctrinal differences do you need to see?
 
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Leo Zappa
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The Army and Marines had somewhat different TO&E's, in terms of both numbers of men and weapon load-outs. Also, their training differed, including small unit tactics and the employment of artillery. I'd like to see this reflected in the unit strength factors and possibly in other ways.

While the Army's typical infantry squad was about 11-12 soldiers, The Marines usually put 2 fire teams together as a squad - 2 riflemen, 1 BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle), and 1 Thompson submachine gunner.


US Army Infantry Squad - 12 men: Squad leader (Thompson submachine gun 'SMG', M1 carbine, or M1 Garand rifle), 10 rifleman (M1 Garand rifle), 1 automatic rifleman (BAR). Organized as: Able Team (2 scouts); Baker Team (5 rifleman), Charlie Team (3 rifleman + BAR). One rifleman per platoon would generally carry a bazooka in addition to his personal weapon. There were 3 rifle squads per platoon in a rifle company.

USMC Rifle Squad - 13 men (1944): The marine squad evolved throughout the war, adding additional firepower with each increment until settling on the 13-man configuration in mid 1944. Organized with a squad leader (Thompson SMG), and 3 x 4-man fire teams (3 rifles + 1 BAR each). In addition to the assigned personal weapons, the company commander could allocate 1 demolition pack and 1 flame thrower per squad as well as 1 bazooka per platoon, depending on mission requirements. These weapons would be carried by one of the squad's rifleman in addition to a personal weapon (often an M1 carbine to lighten the load). Since marines were often engaged in close-in fighting, they would frequently scrounge Thompson SMG's to replace rifles when available.

Here was an observation from a Marine involved in the Saipan operation:
The Marine Corp's battle philosophy and the Army's tactics were miles apart. It's not a question of which is best. Both get the job done, but they won't work together side-by-side. The Marine strategy is to move forward as rapidly as possible, leap-frogging over pockets of resistance, leaving behind isolated snipers and machine gun nests for the rear echelons to clean out. The Army moves more slowly and deliberately, clearing out all resistance as they advance. The Marines have higher losses per day for fewer days. An Army campaign lasts longer but their daily casualty figures look better. I think it equals out in the end.
http://www.sihope.com/~tipi/chap15.html

I'd just like to see something that delivers the proper appreciation that these were two rather different military organizations that did not always work well side by side. From what I've read, I'm encouraged that the final product will do just that!
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Dean halley

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Steve and Leo,
Guadalcanal will have something for everyone. No German or Russians for Steve , and distinctly different USMC, US Army and Imperial Japanese forces for Leo (and everyone else ).

The Marines have lower firepower than their Army counterparts, but better DRs and range. And Regular US Army units (as Leo pointed out, of the 25th Tropical Lighting Division) have better DRs and range than the Army's National Guard units.

On the other side, the Japanese have better firepower than the Marines, but one less than the regular and National Guard Army squads, and the Japanese have their own hit pool... which includes four "No Effect" foot hit counters. This allows the game system to model the tenacity of the Japanese, and their disregard for casualties. It is disconcerting as the U.S. player to hit a Japanese unit a second time, expecting a kill, only to find out that the first hit on it had no effect. Really screws up your plans...

There are other differences too in the number of Cards a USMC player gets in comparison to the U.S. Army and Japanese players, and the Marine CAPs never fall below 2. There is also a U.S. artillery option that allows the Marine player to fire artillery strikes during a round that the U.S. Army and Japanese players cannot use. These are meant to model the differences between the USMC and US Army philosophies, not to make the Marines supermen.

I really enjoyed the quote from the Marine on Saipan. It is the best summation of the differences between the US Army and USMC that I have ever read. I believe that Guadalcanal will model those differences very well.

As for a Marine squad. In 1942 it "officially" contained nine men armed with 8x bolt action rifles and 1x BAR. Not a lot of firepower in game terms or in real life! Compare this to the Army squad that Leo described above, and you can see why the US Army squads have much better firepower than the Marines. The Japanese squad "officially" contained 12 men armed with 11x bolt action rifles and 1x LMG. Its firepower in the game falls between the Marine and US Army squads.

All in all, there are numerous nuances in the values of each nationality that make for an interesting and good game. At least I think so, but then I am a little biased towards it.

take care,
Dean Halley




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steve paschal
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In the initial weeks of Guadalcanal the Marine officers and non-coms were issued the 'Reising submachine gun'...later dumped because of its reliability problems (it jammed easily and was a bitch to field strip and put back together) Is this factored into the mix? Also the Thompson?
Looking forward to this for sure.
 
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Barry Kendall
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Since the Guadalcanal game will accurately depict the early ('42) Marine squad To&E and relative lack of firepower, I'm hoping this means that we will see a '43-'44 game allowing representations of fighting on Tarawa, Pelelieu, etc. down the road in the CoH family.

I'm also hoping that Guadalcanal will feature some deadly Marine machine guns!
 
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Dean halley

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Steve,
The game system does not allow for individual weapon portrayal, so no individual Reisings for the Officers and NCOs... BUT the USMC 1st parachute Battalion's official TO&E at that point in the war was armed with the reising, so that is what the Paramarine squads get in the game. That translates into a 4FP and a range of 3 (the reising was uncommonly accurate for a submachine gun). The Paramarines would have gotten 5FP if the things didn't jam so often. As for the thompson... nothing specific. That kind of detail is best left to games based on individual soldiers. And the maximum firepower a squad can have so far in the CoH system is 5. So any squad with a 5 FP is assumed to be armed semi and/or fully automatic weapons, which would include a Thompson or two if they are Americans. Sorry its the best I can do.

Barry,
There are at least three CoH games and a Gettysburg game already in the works for publication in 2012, so I doubt there will be a CoH game on Tarawa or Peleilu until 2013 at the earliest. NOW don't take that to mean that there are Tarawa and Peleilu games just waiting for Uwe to get them into the queue, because as I understand it, that is not the case.

Someone was working on a Peleilu game earlier this year, but I haven't heard from him for awhile, so I have no idea what progress has been made on it. And I have been doing some preliminary work working on a Tarawa myself, but it is on the back burner for now. I may pick it up again next year.

The concern for both games is their appeal to the CoH community at large. The Japanese cannot not win a campaign game of either battle, and after the beach assault, the combat portrayed by firefights can becomes repetitious. Regardless of that, I would buy each game even if I didn't design them, but how many others would? Uwe could lose quite a bit of money if copies of a game he published doesn't sell. That is the reality of game publishing, so I can't blame him.

I am floating around an idea of designing Tarawa as solitaire games with face-to-face options, or vice versa, but that option will not be seriously looked at until the Uwe evaluates the success of Fire and Ice (John Butterfield's solitaire CoH game that will be published next year). So time will tell. In the mean time, I image there will eventually be a CoH games with 1944 and 1945 USMC units, but I am not sure when.

And for Marine MGs in Guadalcanal. The MGs are there at Bloody Ridge, The battle for Henderson Field (where Manila John Basilone won his MoH), F/2/7's battle for a ridge where Platoon Sgt. Michael Paige won a MoH too, and in other firefights... but again, the system does not allow the portrayal of individual men. The best I can do is special firefight rules that give certain MGs better FP or make it cheeper for them to fire at moving targets. Kind of lame I admit, but it was a design design decision to keep the system from being cluttered with new rules.

Take care,
Dean




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Leo Zappa
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BY the way - can I get a link to the pre-order page for this one? I assume pre-orders are open?
 
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steve paschal
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Leo, here's the link to Academy Games: http://academy-games.com/

The pre-order page doesn't have Guadalcanal up for pre-order as yet but you might want to call to find out when it will go up.-----Steve
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Scott Key
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It's funny because I was just thinking that, from purely gaming stand point, it might be best to design a game on the FIRST year of the Pacific war. Malaya, Kokoda Trail, Philipines etc. Before the Japanese were on the defensive. Personally I do wonder about how fun some of the island hopping stuff really would be on a tactical level... But from a marketing perspective I know Early War is not what people want....
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Dean halley

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Scott,
I have all kinds of ideas for the first year in the Pacific, and I think they would be well received. Now if I just had the time, and lived as a hermit to do it all... :D

The Philipians would be a very good project, because there can be firefights from 1942 and 1945. The Kokoda trail would show the Japanese on the offense and bring in the Australians. It would be a smaller game, and ideal for campaign rules.

And as for island hopping games... ASL has some very good scenarios from many of the battles, so it can be done for CoH too. It just means that an island-hopping game would have to be a AtB approach where the firefights come from a varioery of loactions and times.

The Japanese forces remained fairly consistant through out the war in structure and weapons, so what was used at Guadalcanal was used on Okinawa too. That makes it easy to design games for the Japanese. But for the Marines... not so much. Marine Corps squads evolved in firepower and structure as the war progressed, so you will need different squad types for 1942, 1943, and 1944-1945. That limits each potential game to a specifc time period and battles, which could limit the number of firefights avaiable to each game too. Its all a puzzel, so we will see what happens.

take care,
Dean


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Andrew Swan
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All you need to do is throw in a few AIF squads in khaki uniforms and some scenarios featuring SWPA locations where they served (PNG, Tarakan, Bougainville, Borneo, etc.), and you've added the massive Australian wargaming population to the potential market for this game! thumbsup
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steve paschal
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Mr.Swan is absolutely right about that, and its a stellar suggestion
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