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Old 03-15-2010, 02:36 AM
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Default The 'Escape from Kalisz' scenario, re-examined

The 'Escape from Kalisz' scenario, re-examined

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A couple of days ago I was telling another poster here, ChalkLine, that after much puzzling I think I have the 'Escape from Kalisz' scenario from 1st edition worked out. There are some glaring mistakes in that text, as everybody who has studied the scenario knows. ChalkLine said you people would be very interested in my findings, so I will post the scenario as I think it should read and I will even include the maps I drew to illustrate the text. Why the designers did not do that in the first place, I will never understand.

Without further ado:


Quote:
Escape From Kalisz
Death of a division

The United States 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) jumped off on its raid on June 19th from Chojnice and Człuchów in a converging drive on the Bydgoszcz and Toruń area. Contact was made with partisans of the 2nd Polish Free Legion in Tuchola, and they reported the road ahead clear. Guides were provided and on the 21st advanced elements of the division had reached Toruń, with follow-up forces closing up. Only scattered resistance from some local militia had been encountered. The division spent a week in the Toruń area distilling fuel in anticipation of the second bound. On June 29th it moved out south on the road to Włocławek, which the division's recon battalion (4th squadron of the 12th Cavalry, mounted on horseback) had scouted as far south as Krośniewice. The division closed up on Włocławek by the evening of June 30 and advanced elements were in the strategic road junction of Krośniewice by July 1.

The division again paused for maintenance and fuel distillation while the cavalry scouted south. On July 3rd the 4-12 Cavalry reported a strong blocking position in front of Łódź at the town of Zgierz. Interrogation of prisoners revealed the blocking force to be the Polish 6th Border Guard Brigade. The division commander ordered the division's 256th Mechanized Brigade (Louisiana National Guard) to deploy against the blocking position while the 4-12 Cavalry made a wide turning movement through Kolo, Uniejów, Szadek and Łask to hit Łódź from the southwest. The division's 2nd Brigade consolidated the division base camp area at Krośniewice, while the division's 1st Brigade was pushed west toward Konin to guard against a possible counterattack by the 1st Polish Tank Army, known to be in the Poznan area.



July 3rd – July 8th

July 9th: The 4-12 Cavalry reported by radio that it had encountered Polish cavalry in superior strength at the town of Pabianice, a few kilometres south of Łódź, and that it was failing back to Łask. Later, outposts of the 2nd Brigade guarding the road bridge across the Warta river at Konin successfully resisted an attack by mechanized troops identified as elements of the Polish 10th Tank Division. The Polish troops withdrew, but could be seen digging in several kilometres from the bridge.

July 10th: The division commander ordered the 3-11 Infantry of the 1st Brigade, then in Kutno, to move out east toward Lowice to develop an attack from the northeast against Łódź. At the same time he ordered 256th brigade at Ozorków to detach a battalion and move it overland south to Uniejów in preparation to support the 4-12 Cavalry. Almost immediately, the 3-11 Infantry from Kutno encountered advancing mounted troops in superior numbers and was driven back to Kutno under heavy pressure. By evening, 3-11 infantry had determined that it was facing the advanced elements of the Soviet 89th Cavalry Division (formerly 89th Motorized Rifle Division), which had last been identified as being deep in Byelorussia. 4-1 2 Cavalry had identified its antagonist as the Polish 11th Border Guard Brigade, formerly at Lublin.



July 9th – July 10th

July 11th: German Third Army reported by radio that it was under attack by strong cavalry and mechanized forces from the Piła area, and had identified elements of the 1st Polish Tank Army. It also reported the Toruń area had been overrun by elements of the Soviet 22nd Cavalry Army from Byelorussia. The division commander held an afternoon conference with his brigade commanders and staff and decided that the division should attempt to break out through Łódź and then drive east through Piotrków Trybunalski and Radom to be positioned for a drive north. This would avoid the major enemy troop concentrations, cause maximum damage to the lines of communications of the newly committed 22nd Cavalry Army, and leave the door open for a possible link-up with troops on the northern Baltic coast. Accordingly, 256th Brigade began shifting southwest toward Szadek while 2nd Brigade took over the position at Ozorków.

July 12th and 13th: Little enemy resistance was encountered, and all units successfully completed their planned movements.



July 12th – July 13th

July 14th: The 2nd and 256th Brigades began their attacks on Łódź, and immediately encountered stronger resistance than had been anticipated. The right hand attack by 256th Brigade along the Łask-Pabianice road brushed aside outlying cavalry pickets, but then encountered entrenched and well-equipped infantry in front of Pabianice. After several of the brigade's remaining tanks and infantry fighting vehicles had been knocked out, the brigade paused to regroup. Within an hour, however, the brigade was struck in the flank by tanks and armoured personnel carriers advancing from Piotrków Trybunalski and was pushed back to Łask. 2nd Brigade's attack had encountered dug-in tanks of the Soviet 20th Tank Division as soon as it crossed its start line and had made no progress all day. The 20th Tank Division had last been reported in the Ukraine as an element of, the 4th Guards Tank Army. At midday, the 1st Brigade's 3-77 Armoured at Kolo was probed by Polish mechanized forces, and the division rearguard at Krośniewice came under attack by the Soviet 96th Cavalry Division.

By nightfall, it was apparent that there had either been a major intelligence failure or the Warsaw Pact had succeeded in moving up reserve formations with more speed than anyone had anticipated. It was also clear that, rather than making headway toward a breakout, the 5th Division was badly scattered and hard pressed on all fronts. The division commander decided that it was time to concentrate and attempt to get some room to manoeuvre. The division would move west toward Kalisz. 1st Brigade would remain roughly in place, with the 3-77 Armoured holding Kolo as a bridgehead across the Warta River. 2nd Brigade and the division command would move overland to Uniejów. A battalion would hold the river crossing while the main body moved into reserve across the river. 256th Brigade was to fall back along the road to Sieradz and hold the Warta River crossing there.



July 14th

July 15th. In the morning, the 2nd brigade began its withdrawal but was hit by the Soviet 20th Tank division while moving across the open ground to Uniejów. By afternoon, over a dozen Soviet tanks were burning and the 20th Tank Division had been driven back badly mauled. 3-11 Infantry, however, had been overrun at Kutno. A badly depleted brigade limped to Uniejów by nightfall, only to find the bridge across the Warta blown. The 7th Engineer Battalion began rebuilding the bridge by torchlight with what local materials it could find. 256th Brigade's main body remained in Łask all day due to lack of fuel, but 4-12 Cavalry moved back and secured Sieradz and the Warta River bridge there. 1st Brigade, with the 1-61 Infantry at Konin and the 3-77 Armored at Kolo, sent its remaining battalion, 1-40 Armoured, south to Kalisz to secure the division rear area.

July 16th: The division's situation began deteriorating rapidly. 256th Brigade at Łask was hit hard from the east and northeast by strong mechanized forces and the brigade headquarters was overrun. Still short of fuel, most of the brigade's tanks fought and died in place, and surviving personnel broke out on foot into the woods to the southwest. The attacking force was identified as the Soviet 124th Motorized Rifle Division, another component of the 4th Guards Tank Army. At the same time that the 256th Brigade was being overrun, advanced elements of the Soviet 21st Motorized Rifle Division appeared behind 4-12 Cavalry's positions at Sieradz, having approached on the road from Złoczew. This was yet another division of the 4th Guards Tank Army. 4-12 Cavalry, by now reduced to only 200 troopers, withdrew up the road to Kalisz.

By late afternoon, the 1-40 Armoured of the 1st Brigade at Kalisz was pushing back infantry probes from the direction of Pleszew to the west and Ostrów Wielkopolski to the southwest. The bridge at Uniejów was completed by late morning and 1st Brigade began bringing across its heavy equipment. Polish cavalry from the west was cautiously probing 2nd Brigade's positions at the crossing point.

That evening, the division commander ordered all elements of the division to blow the Warta River bridges and concentrate at Kalisz. While this was possible at Konin, Kolo and Uniejów, the bridge at Sieradz had already fallen and the 21st Motor Rifle Division had crossed further south at Wieluń, in any event.



July 15th – July 16th

July 17th: By daybreak, the pressure on 1-40 Armoured, by now joined by the remnants of 4-12 Cavalry, was mounting. Polish infantry from Pleszew was now being joined by light armoured vehicles believed to be from the 10th Polish Tank Division. The infantry at Ostrów Wielkopolski had been identified as elements of the Soviet 12th Guards Tank Division, a weak formation which had been in reserve near Legnica. However, it was now being joined by mechanized vehicles believed to belong to 21st Motorized Rifle Division. At midday, advanced pickets of the 4-12 Cavalry reported a large mechanized column advancing up the road from Sieradz toward Kalisz. 1-40 Armoured was beginning to strain under the pressure from the west and southwest and couldn't spare any troops for the new threat.

Advanced elements of the 2nd Brigade were approaching from the north, however, and the remaining 10 M1E2s of 3-70 armour turned south off the road between Kalisz and Turek and advanced overland to take the Soviet column in flank. 2-21 Field Artillery pulled its six howitzers off the road behind them and set up to deliver supporting fires. 3-10 Infantry, mostly in trucks, would follow up to support the tanks.

3-70 Armoured reached a position two kilometres north of the road at 1100 hours with nothing left in it’s fuel tanks but fumes. Taking up defilade positions atop a low rise, the battalion, commander saw the main body of the Soviet 124th Motor Rifle Division stretched out on the road below him. At 1110 hours the battalion opened fire and immediately began registering hits along the length of the column. Soon the column was covered tankers could see numerous secondary explosions as ammo vehicles went up.

By 1220 hours the Soviets were counterattacking, but several attempts to storm the position by tanks and armoured personnel carriers were broken up, and the 2000 meters of open ground between 3-70 Armoured's position and the road became littered with the wrecks of most of the Soviet division's remaining armour. A late afternoon attempt to outflank the position was thwarted by the arrival of 3-10 Infantry.

As night fell, the division commander took stock of the situation. 2nd Brigade, with 3-70 Armoured and 3-10 Infantry, was on the left overlooking the Sieradz road. 4-1 2 Cavalry and 1-40 Armoured were holding Kalisz. 1-61 Infantry of 1st Brigade was in the woods north of Kalisz on the road to Konin, guarding the division's right, while 1st Brigade's 3-77 Armoured formed a small division reserve just behind Kalisz. 3-1 9 Field Artillery was deployed with 3-77 Armoured, while 2-21 Field Artillery was still several kilometres to the northeast, along with most of the division supply and maintenance echelon. The Soviet 124th Motor Rifle Division had been shattered on the Sieradz road, but pressure was building from the Soviet 21 st Motor Rifle Division at Ostrow and the Polish 10th Tank Division at Pleszew. Rearguard parties were reporting increased activity along the Warta River line behind the division, and the remnants of the Soviet 20th Tank Division were still out there somewhere.

The division commander decided on a breakout to the south, exploiting the damage 1st Brigade had handed to the 124th Motor Rifles the day before. The division's emergency fuel reserve would be dispersed to the units, everyone would top off and draw as many rations and as much ammo as they could carry. Supply and maintenance parties would split up and attach themselves to the nearest combat unit and follow them out.



July 17th

1st Brigade would spearhead with the 3-77 Armored and 1-61 Infantry (moved down by night from the north), driving south by southeast from behind Kalisz. 2nd Brigade would cover its left flank with a drive south from its blocking position. The division artillery would put every available round on Ostrów Wielkopolski to break up any potential attack from the 21st Motor Rifles. 4-12 Cavalry would follow up the 2nd brigade and work its way into the woods between Ostrów Wielkopolski and Ostrzeszów to cover the right flank. 1-40 Armoured would hold Kalisz until the remaining elements of the division had moved south, and then fight a delaying action against pursuit. Considering the odds, the chances of success were slim, but it was the only show in town.

As it happened, the 21st Motorized Rifle Division and Polish 10th Tank Division struck first. The attack came in hard three hours before dawn, using infrared lights. 1-61 Infantry had already pulled out of its blocking position north of Kalisz and was in road march passing through the crossroads when the first artillery rounds began failing on the town. 1-40 Armoured holding the perimeter had the advantage of being in place and it’s thermal sights were less affected by the smoke that soon covered everything than were the Soviet IR lights. But 10th Polish Tank Division's attack hit empty positions, and within an hour they were behind Kalisz in the division rear. Shortly before sunup, Polish armoured vehicles entered the division headquarters area. The division commander radioed in the clear to all units, "Good luck. You're on your own, now."

In my revised scenario above, I used the organization the 5th ID had in the late 80s, early 90s: 1st Bde is composed of 1-40 Armor, 1-61 Infantry and 3-77 Armor; 2nd Bde is composed of 3-10 Infantry, 3-11 Infantry and 3-70 Armor; and the 256th Brigade is composed of 1-156 Armor, 2-156 Infantry and 3-156 Infantry.

The confusion sterns from the fact that at some points in the original text, they say "1st Brigade" when they mean "2nd Brigade," and vice versa. At one point, the text says: "1st Brigade, with the 3-143 Infantry at Konin and the 3-77 Armored at Kolo, sent its remaining battalion, 1-40 Armoured, south to Kalisz to secure the division rear area." Just a few lines before that, the writers had 1st Bde escorting the division train to Uniejów and fighting off the Soviet 20th Tank Division: "In the morning, the 1st Brigade began its withdrawal but was hit by the Soviet 20th Tank division while moving across the open ground to Uniejów." This can't be right, and the typos don't help either. Somewhere in the text, it says 2-11 was overrun at Kutno. This should read 3-11, obviously.

I can't place 3-143 Infantry as well. I've searched the Internet, but I can't find a record of that battalion anywhere, save for a couple of pages where it is mentioned specifically in connection with Twilight 2000. As far as I can tell, this battalion never existed. It may be that they meant 1-61 Infantry, another battalion that is only mentioned one time, right at the end of the scenario: "1-61 Infantry had already pulled out of its blocking position north of Kalisz and was in road march passing through the crossroads when the first artillery rounds began failing on the town." This battalion could very well be 3-143 that was supposed to spearhead the break-out with 3-77 Armored. It could also be that "2nd Brigade" (in actuality, 1st Brigade) is a reinforced brigade with four battalions, but since the writers specifically mentioned 1st Brigade having only three battalions (i.e., 1-40 Armor, 3-77 Armor and 1-61 ["3-143"] Infantry), I don't think this is likely.

Now that we have the mistakes ironed out, I have a couple of thoughts on the scenario itself as well, but that is a post for a next time.

Questions? Comments?

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Last edited by NoCarrier : 08-14-2006 at 04:22 PM.

NoCarrier




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DeaconR

I think that the reason why the designers did not include the maps you suggest and why they were perhaps not so concerned by details shows up in a lot of the work done for TW2000; the real concern is not actually to be entirely militarily realistic (I believe) but to present an interesting game scenario. So the main thing with "Escape from Kalisz" is to present a background so that the players know what happened. The units in question are largely destroyed anyway.

I can almost picture this as something military historians might hash out later on after the Twilight War. Anyway, I think actually that the maps and the context you present might help out those who want some sense of what happened where and when to give their players more precise details on what they might have been involved with during the battle and aftermath.

DeaconR





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FightingFlamingo

3-143 Inf by it's number should have been a national Guard Battalion from 256th BDE... however it isn't

current 256th BDE...
http://www.globalsecurity.org/milit...y/256in-bde.htm

the 143rd Infantry was part of the 36th Infantry Division in WWII
now it's LRSD for 36th Div so in T2k probably LRSD for 49th Armored Div.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/milit.../army/143in.htm
__________________
Cold Blue Steel - the spirit of the bayonet

FightingFlamingo





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NoCarrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconR
I think that the reason why the designers did not include the maps you suggest and why they were perhaps not so concerned by details shows up in a lot of the work done for TW2000; the real concern is not actually to be entirely militarily realistic (I believe) but to present an interesting game scenario. So the main thing with "Escape from Kalisz" is to present a background so that the players know what happened. The units in question are largely destroyed anyway.

I can almost picture this as something military historians might hash out later on after the Twilight War. Anyway, I think actually that the maps and the context you present might help out those who want some sense of what happened where and when to give their players more precise details on what they might have been involved with during the battle and aftermath.


I do think the designers were concerned about the details, seeing that they included them in the scenario for a reason. They just made a bunch of mistakes which makes it that much harder to understand what happened.

As for what constitutes "entirely military realistic" and "a detail," different strokes for different folks, I guess.

NoCarrier





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kcdusk

i havent read your post yet nocarrier. But will do today.

I know when i first got edition 1, and was reading this, i photocopied the map and started plotting out what units were where etc and had trouble following it all. I thought i was dislexic.

In the end i decided hey, its war, its gone pear shaped. Shit is everywhere. I'm looking forward to reading this.
__________________
Just play already!

kcdusk





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NoCarrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by FightingFlamingo
3-143 Inf by it's number should have been a national Guard Battalion from 256th BDE... however it isn't


3-143 Infantry is mentioned many times as being in 2nd Bde, though, even in the Play Manual, in the short story under Character Generation. I just realized they do it in the 2.2 edition of the game as well.

NoCarrier





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Radar0313
Fire in the hole!

Just goes to show how much we paid attention to that stuff, in fifteen years of playing Twilight and we never noticed a thing. Always just considered that stuff moot since the 5th ID ceased to exist after the battle. Guess we were more concerned with playing and less on the historical aspect.

That ain't to say that the information you guys just provided isn't outstanding. I plan on using it in the future at least for backstory for where players might come from just in case someone wants more detail in their background than just a unit number.
__________________
Will
Not as lean, or as mean, but always a Marine.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Radar0313





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NoCarrier

Yes, well, I agree with you all this isn't exactly game-breaking stuff and that it borders on the pedantic, perhaps, but I just happen to think that if you're going to provide some details, you should go all the way and make sure they check out, too. The inconsistency of that scenario just bugged me from day one. I'm just pleasantly surprised I could make it all work without fundamentally changing the scenario.

NoCarrier





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ChalkLine

What I find important for me, mainly because I've run out of Kasiz more times than I care to remember, is it gives you a really accurate start point on the brilliant netmaps and Google earth that we have access to today.

In my PbEM, I've been able to zoom in and show the actual farmhouses that the PCs are in. Awesome.

But I kinda get obsessive about detail!
__________________
"Hmm, that didn't work. . .
Go to Plan 'B' guys; kill everything."

ChalkLine





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DeaconR

If you took my remarks to be criticism I apologize, but in fact there are a lot of similar details the game seemed to fudge with, so I felt the original game was consistent with that. For instance there are a lot of things they wrote about Canada and the UK that raised my eyebrows even when I first got the modules or challenge articles on them.

DeaconR





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NoCarrier

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconR
If you took my remarks to be criticism I apologize, but in fact there are a lot of similar details the game seemed to fudge with, so I felt the original game was consistent with that. For instance there are a lot of things they wrote about Canada and the UK that raised my eyebrows even when I first got the modules or challenge articles on them.


No need to apologize, because I did ask for comments after all. I was just puzzled (and a little bit dismayed, I must admit) by the "Who needs details?" vibe that seemed to be coming from some replies. 'Escape from Kalisz' is the most used starting scenario, I wager, and knowing which routes those units took and what battles they fought can be really useful information— it tells you where to look for stragglers, abandoned vehicles and equipment, for example. With a good grasp on the scenario, I think a GM can add a lot of depth to it.

NoCarrier





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Radar0313
Fire in the hole!

In every group I have played and the ones I GM the details of Kalisz mean very little, for the simple fact that if you are still near Kalisz it's only a matter of time before you are captured or eliminated. The first groups I played in did not use the "Escape from Kalisz" adventure, nor do I use it now. At least that is how it was played when I first started with my first two GMs. I understand that not everyone starts the game like that but I guess that stuck with me cause it's how I start games now.

Most of the time our games start with you away from were the battle took place. How you got there wasn't as important as the fact that now you have a fighting chance. And so far to date in fifteen years not one group has gotten the idea to go back near Kalisz so the details weren't all that important to us.

However, I can absolutely see the details being used though. There are plenty of games and game masters that may utilize the information you have provided and clearified. It's great information and I always love information, even if I may never use it other than for background/backstory. I prefer to have and not need than to need and not have.
__________________
Will
Not as lean, or as mean, but always a Marine.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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Last edited by Radar0313 : 08-14-2006 at 09:28 PM.

Radar0313





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shrike6

Quote:
Originally Posted by FightingFlamingo
3-143 Inf by it's number should have been a national Guard Battalion from 256th BDE... however it isn't

current 256th BDE...
http://www.globalsecurity.org/milit...y/256in-bde.htm

the 143rd Infantry was part of the 36th Infantry Division in WWII
now it's LRSD for 36th Div so in T2k probably LRSD for 49th Armored Div.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/milit.../army/143in.htm



Theres no rule that says an NG battalion has to be assigned to an NG Brigade. There were plenty of Separate NG Battalions that rounded out AC Divisions such as the 2-136th Infantry with out being part of a NG Brigade. Also during WWII many regiments were reassigned to different higher HQs than they had at the beginning of the war.
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shrike6





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ChalkLine

What NoCarrier's work does allow, is for players to play out the final days of the 5th Infantry Division.

I find the ramshackle military just before collapse a great game, and as most players eventually get back to their lines and reabsorbed, why not play the known weeks before the 5th ID(m) goes down for the last time?

It has a great, tragic 'Stalingrad' feel to it. The final days shooting it out in the streets of Kalisz might be worthwhile in their own right.
__________________
"Hmm, that didn't work. . .
Go to Plan 'B' guys; kill everything."

ChalkLine





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Radar0313
Fire in the hole!

Actually, I like that idea Chalk... I usually play a 'one shot' combat scenario to get new players used to combat, fatigue, game mechanics, etc. Why not make it one before the fall of Kalisz. Have 'em build relationships with various people that might turn up as stragglers or back behind friendly lines or turn out to be a contact later in the game. Nice thinking outside the box.
__________________
Will
Not as lean, or as mean, but always a Marine.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

Radar0313





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Targan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar0313
Just goes to show how much we paid attention to that stuff, in fifteen years of playing Twilight and we never noticed a thing. Always just considered that stuff moot since the 5th ID ceased to exist after the battle. Guess we were more concerned with playing and less on the historical aspect.

I agree with this. Some of the longest and most debated threads on these forums have involved OOBs and details of certain T2K battles and campaigns and while I find them to be interesting reading, I haven't participated much because I don't know enough of the gritty details when it comes to how US divisions/brigades/battalions are set up, or the over-arching strategic plans of the US military. And the reason I don't know those things are that I have had no direct exposure (ie have never been part of the US military) and have never cared enough to research it. The players in my games are almost entirely concerned with small unit tactics and organisation, because that is where the roleplaying is to be found. The larger-scale debates and OOBs and stuff, while interesting, are really more in the realm of wargaming.

Please don't take this as criticism all you guys who have done so much work on OOBS and essays such as the one this thread is based on. It is obvious from the participation in these threads that these topics are of great interest to many people. But for me, I'd much rather read things like, say, DeaconR's playable T2K mini-scenarios, or descriptions of peoples' campaigns. And I guess that is why I write about my campaign at length. Because those topics have a direct correlation with the gaming experience rather than being theoretical and purely background information like OOBs and stuff.
__________________
"I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure" - Corporal Dwayne Hicks, Colonial Marine Corp

Targan





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DeaconR

Hm....Targan has helped me flesh out my thoughts though. I think that this kind of information is helpful for say players who are playing senior officers, since it is perfectly possible (gm permitting) to play a major or lieutenant-colonel who would probably have at least heard reports about larger scale events. It can even give the gm ideas for what the stragglers the players might encounter would say, about what happened to their unit and where. I think that this is good material.

DeaconR





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kcdusk

the most releaving thing for me was realising i didnt get it all wrong. the details as written were wrong. back in the day i never would have thought a published item could contain errors. and i guess i never really got out of that frame of mind even all these years later.

aghhhh. closure. peace of mind. I AM NOT CRAZY.
__________________
Just play already!

kcdusk





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FightingFlamingo

Shrike, I didn't mean to say that the 3-143rd would have still been assigned to 256th BDE, just that's where it likely came from on mobilization... I was more alluding to the fact that it would have been a 49th AD asset as a LRSD...
Generally, NG battalions are assigned to brigades or divisions which trace lineage back to their WWII formations, that is of course taking task orgainzation out of the mix...
__________________
Cold Blue Steel - the spirit of the bayonet

FightingFlamingo





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chico20854

Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
I agree with this. Some of the longest and most debated threads on these forums have involved OOBs and details of certain T2K battles and campaigns and while I find them to be interesting reading, I haven't participated much because I don't know enough of the gritty details when it comes to how US divisions/brigades/battalions are set up, or the over-arching strategic plans of the US military. And the reason I don't know those things are that I have had no direct exposure (ie have never been part of the US military) and have never cared enough to research it. The players in my games are almost entirely concerned with small unit tactics and organisation, because that is where the roleplaying is to be found. The larger-scale debates and OOBs and stuff, while interesting, are really more in the realm of wargaming.

Please don't take this as criticism all you guys who have done so much work on OOBS and essays such as the one this thread is based on. It is obvious from the participation in these threads that these topics are of great interest to many people. But for me, I'd much rather read things like, say, DeaconR's playable T2K mini-scenarios, or descriptions of peoples' campaigns. And I guess that is why I write about my campaign at length. Because those topics have a direct correlation with the gaming experience rather than being theoretical and purely background information like OOBs and stuff.



Targan-

I understand your sentiment and can see where you're coming from. You're in an enviable position, as I haven't played in a FTF T2k game in almost 15 years! I can see why the detailed back history and orders of battles are not that relevant to the conduct of your game. For those of us that don't have access/time for a FTF game, or who have had the big questions about canon gnawing at us for 20 years, the back story is something that we can work on solo or in a collabarative manner online, like so much of what we do here. And it has to get detailed, unfortunately, in order to try to explain (or at least examine before throwing our hands up in disgust, as we seem to have done with the Alaska and Mexican invasions) some of the canon. At this point I'm once again looking at having to become a wargamer and learning a new set of rules, etc, in order to get good ideas. I'm backing off of that and trying alternative approach - collabaration.

The quality of the content we turn out here (IMHO) is fantastic, partly because some (many) of us have prior or current military experience, but more importantly because there is a lot of knowledge people here share freely, fostered by the open, respectful attitude that predominates in this forum. (And in my case, for example, prior military experience isn't that big of a help, since most of the Cold War-era plans and strategies were already gone when I served. My training as a historian is much more valuable for the sorts of projects I'm working on nowadays).

So, while I can see you're not annoyed, I apoligize for boring you! Maybe some of these projects will inspire new campaigns (for those that like to start earlier in the war) or to flesh out a character's background more i.e. say that Major Polotkin was captured after being surrounded at Narvik by US forces from the 6th ID(L), who then evacuated him to Germany when the division moved. He then was able to link up with the 5th ID for the 2000 offensive. It's a lot more realistic than saying "He joined NATO forces after being captured." It also gives the opportunity to flesh out some generic contacts... if the party encounters a pilot, depending on the unit he was assigned to, maybe the pilot flew the Major into Narvik and they can joke about old times or something.

With all that said (and this is getting novel-length!) you may be able to use one of my next projects (which is coming along nicely)... the Allied raid on Cam Ranh bay. If you want a night off of the post-Apoc depression, there will be the opportunity to play six hours of fun in the dark, either as an ANZAC SAS trooper, US Army Ranger, US or Filipino Marine, Soviet Motor Rifle conscript or Naval Infantryman or even shot down pilot, clueless sailor (Navy or merchant) or lost tourist! Stay tuned!

chico20854





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ChalkLine

There is one thing I'd like to repsectfully broach though;

I know no one has really done this, but saying 'This is a waste of time' is known as threadcrapping.

Rather than say that it's not valid, just ignore it. Don't post in the thread if you're not interested.

Especially when it's someone's first post guys.
__________________
"Hmm, that didn't work. . .
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ChalkLine





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Targan

Never said anything was a waste of time. Specifically said I was not criticising the work. Just said what it is I like reading. Also specifically said that such topics as the one this thread is based on are popular with many readers. No need for anyone to get upset. Chill out.
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Targan





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ReHerakhte

I'm hanging out with Targan on this one, I was never that concerned about all the minor detail that some folk were putting into some aspects such as OOBs and the conduct of battles. However, after reading Chico's reply I am now actually a whole lot less clueless about why some people do it.
I understand exactly where Targan is coming from because I typically feel the same way with my group and I didn't feel as though he was crapping on the thread... however, I also understand what ChalkLine is getting at. And more importantly, I now know more about why some people do get so involved in those aspects.

From my perspective, I'll say something I mentioned in another thread a while back... being a part of this forum gives me access to resources that I either don't have or can't easily get so anyone's work on OOBs etc is another resource I don't have to create or research. I might not want it for my own game at the moment but knowing that someone has done such work, I can get access to it when I need to.

Far freakin' out, I'm getting all group hug on everybody!
Apologies everyone, I finally got my broadband connection problems solved five minutes ago so I'm feelingly all "nice" towards the world at the moment... don't worry, I'm sure it won't last to infect another thread!

Cheers,
Kevin
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