France 1944 Revisions


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France 1944 Revisions

Daniel F. Savarese

Last Updated: 2005-08-10

Background

These revisions are the product of observations and discussions between the following parties on the ConsimWorld France 1944 folder and private emails in 2003:

  • Mark Davidson

  • Mark Herman

  • Michael Mandelberg

  • Randy Maudlin

  • Manuel P. Ron

  • Daniel Savarese

The final presentation of these observations, except for the official errata, are entirely the product of Daniel Savarese and should not be construed in any way to have been approved or endorsed by Mark Herman or any other party.

Revised Rules

Combat Resolution

Table 1. France 1944 Revised Combat Table
 1-41-31-22-31-13-22-13-14-1
RollSMSMSMSMSMSMSMSMSM
1AAAAAAAAAEAEAEBBBD
2AAAAAAAEAEAEBBBBDF
3AAAAAEAEAEBBBBDFDF
4AAAEAEBBBBBBDFDFCC
5AEAEBBBBBBDFDFCCCC
6AEBBBBBBDBDFCCCCCC

  1. The result of a combat is determined by a single die roll which may be adjusted by a combat modifier. Adjusted die rolls greater than 6 are treated as 6 and results lower than 1 are treated as 1.

  2. Calculate the combat modifier by adding the morale and control modifiers (explained below). Determine odds according to the standard rules and then apply a column shift based on the combat modifier. A positive modifier results in an equivalent number of column shifts to the right. A negative modifier results in an equivalent number of column shifts to the left. For example, a combat modifier of -3 at 3-2 odds results in the 1-2 column being used to determine the result.

  3. If the number of column shifts resulting from a combat modifier results in odds greater than 4-1 or less than 1-4, then the excess shifts are used as a die roll modifier. For example, a 1-1 attack with a combat modifier of +5 results in the 4-1 odds column being used to resolve the combat with a +1 die roll modifier. A 1-3 attack with a modifier of -3 results in a 1-4 attack with a -2 die roll modifier.

  4. The morale modifier is computed by subtracting the defender morale (after all adjustments) from the attacker morale. For example, an attacker with a morale of 4 and a defender with a morale of 5 results in a morale modifier of -1. The morale of a defender may not be adjusted to a value greater than 6 or less than 1 by terrain, air power, or other adjustment.

  5. The control modifier is based on the morale of the attacker and the number of attacking units involved in a combat. The maximum number of attacking units that may be involved in a combat without a penalty to the attacker (called the control limit) is derived from the morale of the attacker according to the Control Limit Table. As long as the number of attacking units involved in a combat is less than or equal to the control limit, the control modifier is equal to 0. HQ units are not included in the total. Therefore, an attacker with a morale of 5 (control limit of 8) will never suffer a penalty because the maximum number of attacking units that can be involved in a combat is 8, based on the stacking limits and combat restrictions. For every attacking unit above and beyond the control limit, subtract one from the control modifier. Therefore, the control modifier is simply the number of attacking units involved in a combat minus the control limit. The control modifier may never be positive. It is always either 0 or a negative number. The following table lists the control limit for each morale level.

    Table 2. Control Limit Table
    Attacker MoraleControl Limit
    13
    24
    35
    47
    58

Supply

Out of supply combat units may move (normal movement only; administrative movement is disallowed) or attack using single-piece reaction at the cost of being reduced a step before commencing the first increment of the Single-Piece Reaction Phase. An out of supply unit using single-piece reaction to attack during an attack increment does not suffer the one-half combat strength reduction that is applied to out of supply defending units.

Rationale

The unit has already been reduced a step prior to movement or combat, so no additional penalty is necessary.

Out of supply HQ units may not move, add to the combat strength of an attacking unit, or otherwise be used during a Single-Piece Reaction Phase.

Notes

The revised combat table is based on the idea that the defender has an inherent advantage in combat, but that units of higher quality—either through training or experience—have an advantage over units of lower quality. The combat table itself reflects the first assumption. The morale modifier reflects the second assumption. Furthermore, it is more difficult to coordinate attacks involving a greater number of participants. Higher quality units can coordinate attacks involving more participants better than units of lower quality. The control modifier incorporates this consideration.

Mobile combat results are based on the idea that mobility gives the attacker an advantage over a static defender. A straight substitution of E for A, F for B, B for D, and C for C in the revised set-piece table to generate mobile combat results (as is done in the original table) generates aberrant results. Therefore, an attempt has been made to translate results in a manner that preserves the original intent that a mobile attacker has a better chance of escaping harm (although the new table makes low odds attacks dangerous without a favorable morale differential). An additional consideration that mobile combat tends to occur when pursuing a retreating defender has been incorporated, yielding more damaging results to the defender than the original table at high odds.

Out of supply units can cannibalize resources and abandon equipment in order to move. Allowing out of supply units to move during single-piece reaction at the cost of a step reduction simulates this. It is unclear if this adversely affects play balance, but the new rule is intended to improve play balance as well as for simulational value.

Standard Rules Clarifications

Combat Declaration

The standard rule requiring that all hexes involved in a combat be adjacent to all others is to be interpreted so that at most 3 hexes can be involved in a combat. Attackers in two adjacent hexes may attack a single mutually adjacent defending hex or attackers in a single hex may attack defending units in two mutually adjacent defending hexes or attackers in a single hex may attack defending units in a single adjacent defending hex.

Combat Resolution Order

All combats in an attack increment must be declared before being resolved. Declaring a combat requires the specification of which attacking units are attacking which defending units. Combats may be resolved in any order chosen by the attacking player, but the units involved in a declared combat may not be changed based on the results of a previous combat and a declared combat may not be canceled after it has been declared. For example, if you declare three combats in an attack increment, you cannot reallocate a unit from the third declared combat to the second declared combat after the first combat is resolved unfavorably and you fail to cut off supply for the second combat. Nor can you decide to cancel the second or third combat altogether after determining the results of the first.

Morale Adjustment

The Combat Modifications listing on the map indicates that terrain can modify defender morale only by either +1 or +2. You cannot add a fortress hex modifier to a rough terrain modifier to a river modifier to derive a +5 adjustment to defender morale. You may apply only the most favorable morale modifier (either +1 or +2) provided by the terrain. For example, a fortress hex containing a city would provide a morale adjustment of +2 (using the fortress hex morale adjustment), not +1 (for the city) or +3 (the sum of fortress and city adjustments). As stated in the rulebook, however, the morale adjustment from the 79th British Armored Division is cumulative. Therefore, heavy bombing plus the effects of the 79th would yield a -3 adjustment. The worst possible adjustment to defender morale is -3 and the best possible adjustment is +2.

Single-Piece Reaction Phase

Treat the spending of reaction points by the Reaction Player as a Reaction Segment. The Reaction Segment may consist of a single Army Activation Phase or up to three Single-Piece Reaction Phases. No combat or HQ unit may be activated more than once during a Reaction Segment. Therefore, each Single-Piece Reaction Phase in a Reaction Segment must activate a different unit.

Optional Rules

These rules have not undergone as much evaluation as the others and are therefore offered as optional rules. After further evaluation some number of them may become recommended revisions.

Reaction Point Expenditure

The standard rules allow the German player to prevent the Allied player from using the bulk of his reaction points in the latter stages of the game by spending them one at a time. In other words, the Germans can spend a single reaction point simply to deny the Allies the ability to spend reaction points. This game mechanism does not appear to simulate anything. The tactic becomes unbalancing when a reasonably orchestrated German defense entrenches itself behind river lines and inside fortress hexes toward the end of the game, becoming impossible to dislodge without the use of Allied Reaction Phases.

The Allies can counter this game-mechanic-driven tactic by playing the odds and hoping to trade enough steps to break German defenses with more lower odds attacks instead of fewer higher odds attacks. Still, enough Allied activation opportunities are sapped to stall the Allies. The final Reaction Phase opportunities at the end of a turn mitigate this somewhat, but it's quite odd when this tactic forces an Allied player with 10 reaction points and four initiative markers (vs. a German with 6 reaction points and one initiative marker) to be able to spend only 3 reaction points by the end of the turn.

Solutions to the reaction point stalling tactic have to be evaluated after a series of games, which has not yet occurred. Two possible solutions have been put forth for evaluation. The second one appears to be preferable to the first and more in keeping with the spirit of the original rules, but we present both and give you the option to decide which to evaluate. Please report the results of your experience with these rules to the ConsimWorld France 1944 folder.

Reaction Phase Proposal 1

If the initiative player can spend reaction points when his opponent foregoes the spending of points, why can't he spend some even when his opponent spends some?

Treat the spending of reaction points as occuring in a Reaction Segment as described in the Rules Clarification section. Allow a total of 3 reaction points to be spent during the Reaction Segment. The reacting player has the first opportunity to spend reaction points and the initiative player gets to spend up to the remainder, if any are left.

For example, the Allied player completes his initiative phase, the German player spends 2 points on single-piece reaction and the Allied player spends 1 point on single-piece reaction.

Reaction Phase Proposal 2

All or nothing. Spend 3 points or no points.

Treat the spending of reaction points as occuring in a Reaction Segment as described in the Rules Clarification section. The reacting player may engage in Reaction Phases according to the standard rules. Upon completion of the last reaction phase in the Reaction Segment, if he has not spent 3 reaction points, he loses immediately an additional number of reaction points to bring the total of reaction points spent to 3. If an insufficient number of reaction points remain to bring the total spent to 3, then the remainder of reaction points are forfeited and the reaction point track is set to 0. If no reaction points are available, then no additional points are spent. If a player declines to engage in a Reaction Segment, then he loses no reaction points. A player can only lose reaction points if he engages in a Reaction Segment and spends at least one reaction point in a Reaction Phase.

Example 1

The German player decides to engage in a Reaction Segment after the Allied Initiative Phase. He engages in an Army Reaction Phase, spending 3 reaction points. He loses no additional reaction points.

Example 2

The German player declines to engage in a Reaction Segment after the Allied Initiative Phase. He loses no reaction points. The Allied player is now allowed to engage in a Reaction Segment because the German player declined. The Allied player decides to do so and spends 1 reaction point for a Single-Piece Reaction Phase, moving an HQ unit using administrative movement. He declines to spend any more reaction points on Reaction Phases, thus terminating the Reaction Segment. He immediately loses 2 reaction points (if available), bringing the total spent to 3.

Official Errata

The contents of the Official Errata Section is Copyright © 1990 Victory Games and is reprinted here with the understanding that Victory Games has granted permission for the game errata to be reproduced and redistributed. It was obtained from http://www.grognard.com/errata/france44.txt

France 1944 Errata as of 15 January 1990 Initiative and Reaction Phases (Addition) No Headquarters unit may be activated more than twice per game turn. On all game turns, except game turn one, a Headquarters unit may not be activated twice in a row. Another friendly Headquarters unit must be activated between a Headquarters two activations. On game turn 1 this rule is not in effect. Administrative Movement (Addition) A Combat or Headquarters unit may not use Administrative Movement to move out of supply at any time in its movement. The unit can be in supply with any friendly Headquarters unit not necessarily the one that activated it. A Combat unit may move out of supply when using normal movement only. Out of Supply Effects (Addition) During the Replacement Segment of the Administrative Phase before any replacements are taken any combat unit that is out of supply loses one step. If the unit is at cadre level when this step is lost the combat unit is placed in the Eliminated Units Box and may be brought back into play immediately or later using replacement points.