03 – Figure Classification & Timescale

Chris Kemp’s Not Quite Mechanised

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FIGURE CLASSIFICATION

Infantry Bases can be classed as either FIGHTING (F), SUPPORT (S), COMMAND (C), LOGISTIC (L) or SPECIALIST stands. The characteristics of each base is as follows:

  • FIGHTING Stands can CLOSE ASSAULT enemy positions, and add to the firefight from the front rank by giving a UNIT OF FIRE (CU) to the firefight. Only unwounded bases can close assault or defend against close assaults. Up to three bases form a strength 3 unit of fire (F3). A Remaining fraction of 3 can still contribute 1 CU.

  • SUPPORT Stands can FIRE IN SUPPORT of a Fighting or Command Stand from the second rank. Battalion Medium Machine Guns (MMGs), Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs), Mortars (Mors), Anti-tank (Atk) and Infantry Guns (IGs) are all Support Stands. Unwounded bases that make up Support Stands can defend against close assaults, but cannot close assault. Support Stands cannot give supporting fire in the attack to disorganised units, or if they are disorganised themselves, but they can fire or defend in self-defence when disorganised. Each support stand adds 1 CU to the firefight.

  • COMMAND Stands initiate attacks (firefights and close assaults). The highest level of Command Stand present decides the level of attack – usually regiment or battalion, but may be brigade . A command base may group with fighting bases to form a CF stand and may close assault. Equally, a command base may group with 1 or 2 support bases to form a CS Stand.

  • SPECIALIST Stands are capable of independent action. They may be fighting or support stands.

RECCE (R) Stands can fire and close assault as normal or can SHOOT and SCOOT.

SNIPER (Sn) Stands can fire, always count as being in cover (M or H) but are overrun if close assaulted.

ENGINEER (E) Stands can close assault, and can fire as heavy (H) when in contact with the enemy.

FORWARD OBSERVER (O) (FOO) Stands are overrun if close assaulted, but receive fire in the same way as other stands. They may be placed on smaller bases for ease of recognition. A specialist stand will often have a strength of 1 or 2 rather than 3.

  • LOGISTIC Stands (L) are overrun if close assaulted, but receive, and can return, fire in the same way as other stands. They cannot close assault or call in artillery fire. They cannot act as support stands to other stands in the front rank.

Beds & Herts orbat at the Battle of Bir Bar 'elBritish infantry form up on the start line for an attack in North Africa

TIMESCALE

Time is divided into bounds for convenience. For campaign purposes it can be useful to divide the day into two 8 hour daylight periods and one 8 hour night. The night period can be abstracted by saying that only resupply takes place, if you wish.

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7 responses to “03 – Figure Classification & Timescale

  1. Excellent post.I absolutely love this website. Continue the good
    work!

  2. Jim Snyder

    I’m sorry but I keep getting confused. The above Ger. unit has 3 round stands, each is a company? Each stand gets one fire die unless it has 3 hits? Tank units get one die for each strength point?

    • Dear Jim,

      Sorry for the confusion. I have updated the page, which was originally written in paper form nearly 30 years ago to reflect current terminology. Since originally written, I have moved to a more flexible scale in the campaign.

      Essentially the round bases of infantry are all BASES of 1 Strength Point (SP). The infantry group together to form STANDS, usually of 3SP. The self-propelled gun behing is a STAND of 3SP as well, even though it is only a single model.

      Please let me know if this is not clearer.

      Regards, Chris

  3. Jim Snyder

    Thanks, that explains the disconnect I’ve been having between your battle reports and the rules. But one last (ha-ha) question. That stand is then a company of three base?

    • On the current scale I use, it is actually a half-battalion, which is probably where the confusion lies. Command Decision originally used a base as a platoon and I hovered around the scale of a base being a company for a long time, before settling on the half battalion of 3 bases, which is where I am now.

      In the campaign, you will notice that I have fought some battles with a battalion of 6 infantry bases (2 stands) pretending to be a division. You are quite entitled to feel disconnected at my fast and loose approach to setting scenarios 🙂

      Regards, Chris.

  4. Dave Carter

    I’ve come to think of the infantry units as 1 SP per (approx) 10 squads, so 1 SP (base) per company. Using 1 SP per (very approx) 10 heavy weapons gives a MMtr and a MMG support base per battalion, to go with the command base. This keeps everything on about the same 30:1 ratio for a full-strength stand/model.
    One question I have: say a Bn has F3 and CS3 stands, and takes 2 F losses. Could the Bn reorganize into CF2 and S2 stands, and would there be any advantage or disadvantage to doing so? [and who chooses which bases take the hits/pins, the owner or the attacker?]

    • Dear Dave,
      I usually allow the owner to decide where casualties go. It evens out across a game and makes the recipient of casualties feel that they have some measure of control of their fate.

      A battalion taking 2 hits could allocate one to each F and CS stand initially. If the battalion ends up with a red pin on two of its its fighting bases each, it would reorganise to 1 black pin and go from F3 to F2. If the F and CS stands had one red pin on each, the owner could decide if they wanted to place the black pin on the F or CS stand during reorganisation.

      As to advantage, it is six of one to half a dozen of the other. A battalion with no fighting bases left cannot close assault, although it can still counter attack. When I am running solo games though, I usually put hits on the attacker from small arms onto the fighting stands, as that is where I believe they should fall. In the end, your opponent and you are free to agree on a consistent way to allocate casualties.

      Your 1:30 scaling is about right for battalions of about 450-600 men, which is why I reverted recently back to 1 base = 1SP

      Regards, Chris

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