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Historical Gamer Town Square

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General Historical Gaming Discussion Group, where you can discuss anything historical and point visitors to your threads and activities elsewhere on Beasts of War’s Hubs and Forums.

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Recent Army List Builder for Battlegroup? (5 posts)

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  • Avatar Image roguellama67p said 10 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Is there an online army list builder for Battlegroup up to and including the information in the Tobruk book? I love the books, of course, but sometimes I’d like a quicker and easier alternative. Am I wrong? Is constant leafing through the books an essential part of the game?

    Your thoughts please.

  • Avatar Image koraski727p said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    I had been using at @piers recommendation but it seems to be offline right now. Not sure if it will be back or if it had/will be updated with Tobruk lists. If you find anything please let us know.

    “Putting the gruntled back in disgruntled since 1971!”
  • Avatar Image oriskany13205p said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Great question and great thread, @roguellama

    Army list creation in Battlegroup is one of the very very very few things I wish was just a little more straightforward. Two things mitigate this problem for me …

    One, I know the armies in question pretty well, which makes the list system in BG a little more “retroactively intuitive.”

    Two, I’m not a big “lists” guy in the first place.

    I’ve found the lists builder in Kursk, Fall of the Reich, Barbarossa, and Blitzkrieg pretty flexible and easy to use, but it did take some doing.

    For quicker and easier list building:

    Most BG books have tons of great play-tested and balanced scenarios in them. Grab one of those and make a few tweaks for each side, maybe switching out a set number of tank platoons for better tanks (allow the Soviets to switch one platoon of T-34cs for one platoon of IS2s, allow the Germans to switch out one platoon of Mark IIIs for one platoon of Tiger Is, that kind of thing).

    Or, when I’m in a hurry, just “block build” the list using the larger-scale formations listed in the books. in the game I’m showing on this thread:

    … I just slapped in a full company of T-34/76s. 10 tanks, 350 points. That’s half my list in one shot. Add on one platoon of T-34/85s, the required infantry platoon, and voila, I was basically done. I had a few points to spare so I filled in the rest with 1st and 2nd priority artillery requests, and a communications team to make my rolls a little easier.

    So my whole list is basically four items. T-34/cs, T-34/85s, rifle platoon, artillery. Honestly, took about ten minutes.

    Now, in complete fairness, I sunk a lot more time into the German list. That panzergrenadier platoon is tricked out with a number of special options that made the math a little tougher.

    I don’t want to speak for the designers, but I THINK this is what they were going for. Picking historical, non-customized units is quicker, easier, and to be honest, for effective in gameplay.

    Look under the surface at the “gears and pulleys” of the math. A big, generic, historical unit like my T-34 tank company only costs 350 points, but gives me 30 battle rating factors. You start adding all kinds of support options and the like, and your jacking UP the points cost of your force, but these upgrades almost never increase the battle rating of your force.

    Adding these additional assets as their own unit may be roughly the same in points cost, but they also add to your list’s battle rating.

    Example: 10 T-34s/76s (Fall of the Reich) as a tank company (three platoons of 3, + company commander, exactly historical) costs 350 points, and gives me a BR rating of 30. But if I start buying tanks individually in some kind of imaginary custom force, they cost 40 points each … i.e., that same company would cost 400. Meanwhile, each tank only gives me 3 BR, so I wind up with the same BR rating of 30.

    So this encourages simpler list construction, more historical unit construction, and is more realistic even in a non-historical sense. Units that have trained and fought together and come to the battlefield as a bloc will be more resilient to the chaos and terror of combat (i.e., higher BT rating / list cost ratio) than an ad-hoc unit of soldiers tossed together at the last minute.

    As far as “flipping throgh the rule book goes,” I’ve found the best way to defeat that is to make up 3×5 cards for your units before the battle. Take care of the cards and keep them, adding new ones as you try out new units in successive games. Before you know it you’ll have a nice little file of cards for easy reference.

    The fact that Battlegroup lists the VEHICLE stats and the GUN stats in different sections of the book (I totally understand WHY they did that, but it does get a little annoying during the actual game) makes this important.

    I hear that IronFist Publishing is coming out with unit cards like those we see in Flames of War and Team Yankee. An absolutely brilliant idea. If you can get hold of some of these cards, I can’t recommend them enough. If not, 3×5 cards remain a more tedious, but still effective, solution.

    Battle of Villers-Bretonneux – April 24, 1918 – 100th Anniversary
    History’s First Tank vs. Tank Engagement

    Historical Editor – Beasts of War
  • Avatar Image piers3330p said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    The Data Cards for all vehicles were released several months ago. The Tobruk book also contains a selection (as does the new hardback rulebook).

    The BattlegroupBuilder by Greg Farrell was a fan build, and he only covered a few books as it took so much work.

    Its still available under his own web address, the Builder named location has gone though. I shall dig out the web address.

    But yer… Pen and paper are about as advanced as we get.

  • Avatar Image civilcourage19p said 9 months, 1 week ago:

    Here is the link to the builder as it is now, its a nice extra when you havent got the books to hand but have a device nearby.

    It doesnt include Tobruk but is amazing for a fan build, wish there was an official version i find i have access to my phone more often than i have access to my books and somewhere to write lists, i guess its different for everyone though.