Saturday 18 January 2020

More 4

Two actuaries are grouse shooting. They see a grouse in the air and they both shoot. The first actuary’s shot is 5 metres wide to the left. The second actuary’s shot is 5 metres wide to the right. The actuaries congratulate each other, because on average they hit it.

So, back to BKC4. The following needs to be read in conjunction with the previous post. Once again our imaginary target is an infantry unit with strength 6 and saving throws are ignored.

In the open attackers need 4,5 or 6 to hit. They therefore expect to kill the unit by rolling twelve dice. For every hit that doesn't kill the unit a dice is re-rolled and the same result (i.e. 4,5 or 6 in this case) on any dice will result in the target being suppressed. They therefore expect to suppress the unit by rolling four dice. There are therefore three suppressions per kill.

In light cover 5 or 6 is required. The equivalent figures are 18 dice, 9 dice and 2:1. In heavy cover, with a 6 required, the figures are 36 dice, 36 dice and 1:1. The progressions are therefore:

Suppress:  4, 9, 36
Kill: 12, 18, 36
Suppressions per kill: 3, 2, 1

So, does it require nine times more firepower to suppress someone in hard cover than someone in the open? Maybe it does. Perhaps the rule designers arrived at that conclusion scientifically following much research and designed a mechanism to deliver the required effect. Or possibly they designed a mechanism that happened to give that result and left it at that. Your money your vote.

Would the ratio of suppressions to kills drop as the target moved into heavier cover? I'm going to come right out and say no; in fact I'm going to assert that the exact opposite would be true. And do you know what, I'm not going to offer any evidence beyond saying that it's bleeding obvious. Now, once again it is possible that after much research the designers have established that I am wrong and have designed the perfect system to deliver the result that they want. On the other hand it is also possible that they have not noticed the arithmetic implications of their design, not understood them, or don't care. Once again you can choose for yourself.

As I said in the previous post, whilst this issue irritates me (and let's be fair I'm a grumpy old man in the first place) it's not that important unless one finds oneself in the fifth circle of hell condemned forever to refight Sidi Rezegh by charging pointlessly at infantry dug in on an escarpment. But overall it does seem to me  that the authors are more interested in the ease of playing the mechanisms contained in their rules than the results which arise from them.

 I will return at some point to the issue raised by Hopalong Freitag as to the size and cause of the intersection between the set of mathematicians and the set of wargamers.

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes. I see where I misunderstood the earlier explanation. The Suppression to Kill ratio based on target terrain seems completely backwards to me too. You know on which side of the ledger to make my count.