A Fields of Fire fan project.

First test at some counters and OOB:

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Here are some basic concepts for counters and an OOB to get started.

For now I think we focus on getting the Company OOB, equipment, assets and attachments nailed down.

I don't know anything about the Canadian Army organization but do feel that we should use as much correct terminology as possible, so if you have suggestions or corrections for phrasing or terminology let me know.

Need a few things in order to fill out the counter mix and order of battle:

Tanks: what type of tanks were used in support?

Universal carrier: VOF-steps-range?

Signal: do I have the wireless sets correct?

---what image to use for the field phone

Pyro: any difference from the FoF pyro?

Graphic controls: anything different from FoF?

Hi Tony,

Re terminology, we call the officer in charge of a platoon the Platoon Commander (Pl Comd); within FoF the "PL HQ" is a game construct anyway (I think the Americans use "Platoon Leader").  Definitely we didn't use the US "S" (staff officer) designations in the WWII/Korea period, and there was no equivalent to an S-3 (Ops O as we'd say nowadays) on the Bn staff anyway, which would have had the Bn CO (LCol), the Bn 2i/c (Maj), and the Bn Adjutant (Capt).  The FoF counter would most likely be the Bn 2i/c.   Here's a ref for the WWII Cdn Rifle Coy establishment: http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/toe/CdnInfantry/rifle%20company...; here's the Inf Bn HQ Coy establishment: http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/toe/CdnInfantry/headquarters%20...

Re tanks, by the time they got into action all Cdn armd units had Shermans and Stuarts; in NWE Cdn infantry would mostly be supported by Cdn armd units (augmented by 79 Armd Div funnies in special circumstances), but in Italy practice was to mix up CW formations, so we'd have to check specific battles for which armd bde was supporting 1 Cdn Div; main alternate to the Sherman would have been some type of Churchill (and there were several types used in Italy).  The 3-tank troop remained the norm in Italy, as there were very few 17-pdr Shermans (although some US 76mm Shermans late in the campaign).

Re the Carrier, at this level we're looking at the carrier being used mostly for transport (e.g., ammo) not as a wpns carrier, although the Coy HQ carrier was armed with a Bren LMG and carried a 2-in mortar.  Even the carriers in the Bn Carrier Platoon, which were similarly equipped, weren't used as wpns platforms (too vulnerable)--the crews would move to location "X", remove the wpns and provide fire spt.

Will have to check refs re Comms & pyro.

Re graphic controls, one diff is that we use "Start Line [SL]" vice "LoD", but will need to confirm the time periods for that.

How do these work?

FoF US --- FoF Cdn

CO HQ = Coy HQ

CO XO = Coy 2i/c

CO 1st SGT = Coy CSM

PLT HQ = Pl Comd

Rgt/Bde Commander = Brigade Commander

Bn Commander = Battalion Commander

Bn XO/S-3 = Battalion Major??? (I've seen that in the Official History on Sicily)

What about the Sections? Any preference? The counters above have a few different options.

I think "Start Line" is period correct, have seen that and "Forming Up Place" in the OH

Hi Tony,

Been busy helping to get the new TCS game Canadian Crucible ready for the printers; that happened last week, so have been able to spend some time on other other projects, incl our Canadian FoF :-)

Re leader titles above are good, except "Battalion Major"; I've heard of "Brigade Major" (= Bde CoS), but not "Battalion Major".  Recommend "Battalion 2i/c".

Like the leader counters w/ the rank & unit ID.

Re unit ID, if we can have a separate set of counters for each campaign then I'd recommend the version with the 1st Cdn Div patch (Red Patch w/ Maple Leaf) on khaki (tan) background for the WWII campaign.  For Korea I'd suggest having either the 25th Brigade patch or the Commonwealth Division  PPCLI cap badge (see: http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/insignia/formations/formation.htm). The PPCLI cap badge would work well for Afghanistan.  On the other hand, if (like FoF v1), we are going to use the same counters for both WWII and Korea, then the PPCLI cap badge is the way to go for all of them.

Re sections, in the abbreviations we use in the field we usually don't write out the ordinal for unit numbers, so it should be shortened to "1 Pl Comd (or HQ)" (not "1st Pl . . ."), "2-in Mtr/1 PL", "1 Sec/1 Pl", etc.

Re Snipers, there were two in the WWII Coy HQ (also Korea, I think).

Re PIATs, they were held at Coy HQ but they did not have designated crews like the 2-in mortars (or the US bazookas), so the most accurate solution would be the "asset" version of the counter, with, say, 3 rounds of ammo, but that doesn't quite fit the FoF approach to such things.  Probably the most appropriate "FoF solution" would be to use the "unit" PIAT counter and "create" a PIAT "team" with an action rather like the "Create a Runner" action--i.e., when the PIAT is assigned to a rifle section that section is reduced by one step and the PIAT "team" is placed on the map in the same location as the section; the PIAT "team" would have 3 (or whatever) rounds of ammo, which could be replenished.  The PIAT was strictly WWII; by the time the Patricias got into action in Korea they had been issued the US 3.5-in bazooka (possibly one per platoon, based on a single reference in the Canadian Army Official History to a PPCLI platoon commander ordering "his" 3.5-inch rocket launcher to fire on a target).

Other new weapons that the Canadians did use in Korea from their first arrival were the US M19 60mm Mortar (the lighter "airborne" 60mm, not the standard M2 used by the 9th infantry in FoF) and the US M1 81mm Mortar (same as in FoF); these replaced the British 2-inch and 3-inch mortars that we used in WWII.  The 81mm were at battalion level, six tubes (three sections of two tubes each), mounted on halftracks; it appears that the 60mm mortars may simply have been swopped for the 2-inch at platoon level, but I have also seen comments from veterans that the 60mm didn't fit the same niche as the 2-inch and were used at the company level instead (so perhaps, in FoF terms, we might end up with an option similar to what we have with the US WWII 60mm mortars--either three one-tube units, one organic to each platoon, or one consolidated three-tube unit held at company level.  Also have a reference to the Patricias having retained one 2-inch mortar at company level to use for illumination because its Illum rounds were more reliable than those of the 60mm (the Brits retained the 2-in mortar in service for many years for firing illum, smoke and other pyrotechnics).

When 25 Canadian Brigade Group arrived in Korea in April 1951 the Bde Comd arranged for the infantry battalions to get six US 75mm RR for their AT Platoons (in lieu of their six British 17-pdr AT guns), but the Patricias (who arrived in December 1950) still had their 17-pdrs up to that point (I have seen one photo of a PPCLI 17-pdr with a caption stating that it was used for "bunker-busting") and they only received their 75mm RRs at the end of May 1951, just before they joined 25 Brigade.

Re MGs, I'd suggest "Vickers .303" (most common name); these were usually attached to a company in sections of two guns (like the US .30-cal HMGs). In WWII the Vickers were division-level assets (each infantry division had a MG battalion with three MG companies of 12 Vickers each plus a Mortar company of 16 4.2-in mortars) that were normally assigned to brigades (one MG company, 1-2 mortar platoons), who then typically assigned one MG platoon (4 guns) to each infantry battalion; I'd say it would be rather uncommon for a single company to get all four battalion Vickers.  In Korea each battalion had an MG platoon with six Vickers (three sections of two guns) in the Support Company; contrary to what is sometimes seen on line the Canadians in Korea did not adopt the US .30-cal HMG in place of the Vickers, so the Vickers counters will do for both campaigns.

RE wireless sets, in WWII the Coy/Bn nets (poss the others) should be the WS 58, which was the Canadian version of the WS 18.  For Korea I have come across a couple references to the WS 88 (a post-war British wireless set in the same series as the 18, 58, etc) being used by the Patricias, but the Canadian Army Official History has several references to the Canadian force being equipped with US wireless equipment.  Bercuson states that when they arrived in Korea the Patricias were issued the US SCR-300 for the battalion/company radio net and the British WS 88 for comms with the battalion 81mm mortar platoon.  Not enough of a techie to know why the differences between the two types of man-pack sets would have led to that distribution.

Re pyrotechnics I have not come across anything with any detail that is period-specific, either on the Canadian or British, except perhaps that the 2-in mortar is frequently mentioned in this context.  Rottman provides some observations on British practice (http://books.google.ca/books?id=rp2O9UcHbEoC&pg=PA11&lpg=PA...).  On the canadian side the best I found is the generalized listing here: http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/weapons/grenades/handgrenades.htm.  So all in all the pyrotechnics come out similar to FoF v1.

Hope this helps.

Rick   

Not a Canadian but wanted to give you a "thumbs up" and encourage you to continue with this project, Tony.  I think it's very cool and it could start productive discussions about nationality traits in all aspects of small unit combat (organization, weapons effectiveness, communications, etc.).  It's entirely possible these could turn into future C3i components if not something more if GMT finds the success of FoF-II and FoF-2nd Ed. to their liking.

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