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Kalt Krieg ohne Hass

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TITLE:  Kalt Krieg ohne HassKKOH

AUTHOR: Lance Flint

PUBLISHER: KOH Games

PUBLICATION DATE: 2016

WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM: The rules list a Yahoo group (all of which are now defunct).

PRICE (with date): $8.00 (in 2022, for the PDF)

REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin

PERIOD COVERED: Cold War

THE BOOK:

I purchased the rules from Wargame Vault as a PDF. It runs a scant 26 pages, and is a simple black & white document. The rules are a mere 15 pages. There is a QRS and three army lists (West German Panzer Brigade, British Armoured Brigade & Soviet Tank Division).

SCOPE:

KKoH uses a gridded playing surface and players typically command brigades.

ARMY SIZE:

Armies will be relatively small. Stands are companies or platoons. A 1970s West German Panzer Brigade calls for 25 stands.

BASE UNIT:

Units are primarily companies with some specialists like recon having platoon size stands.

GAME SCALES:

  • Ground Scale: The game uses a gridded table with each square in the grid representing 1km
  • Time scale 1 turn = approximately 20 minutes
  • Figure/Base Ratio 1 base = 100 infantry or 8-12 vehicles
  • Recommended Figure Size: The game assumes small figures, either 1/300 (micro armor) or 1/600.
  • Table Size: Not stated, as table size is determined by grid soze.
  • Game Length: Most games should be playable in three hours.

BASING SIZES:

The only requirement for basing troops is that 6 bases must fit in one grid square.

TURN SEQUENCE:

  1. The Command Phase: Players roll for initiative. The loser issues orders first, the winner of initiative second. Test command markers to see if they go “out of command.”
  2. Action Phases: There are 4 action phases in each turn. Different unit types and/or orders determine if a unit is eligible to move in each phase).
    • Direct Fire Phase: Both players conduct simultaneous fire.
    • Movement (A): the player with initiative moves Phase 1 units.
    • Barrage Phase: Players call for barrages, with the initiative winner going second.
    • Resolve Close Assaults
    • Resolve Breakthrough Assaults
    • Movement (b): the player who lost initiative moves Phase 1 units.
    • Barrage Phase: Players call for barrages, initiative winner first.
    • Resolve close assaults
    • Resolve breakthrough assaults.
  3. (Repeat steps 2 thru 10 for each subsequent action phase)
  4. Morale Phase

GAME MECHANICS:

The Action Phase & Orders System:

Each turn consists of four action phases. Each phase includes movement, direct fire, and assaults. Units may be activated in up to four phases, depending on the type of unit, and what orders it is under. Recon stands, for example, may move in all four. Motorised infantry, on the other hand, activates only in phases 3 and 4.

Units are assigned orders each turn by commanders. The orders call for various kinds of attack and defense. Orders must be changed incrementally each turn. So, for example, a Hasty Defense 3 (HD3) can change to a HD2, but not straight to a HD1. There are four kinds of advance/attack orders and 6 defensive orders.

After orders are issued players conduct Electronic Warfare. 2d6 are rolled for each command marker, and a result of 2-4 negates the order, and put those troops “Out of Command.” Such troops can still move in multiple action phases, but suffer negative effects during direct fire, close assaults and counter attacks.

Squares & Battlegroups:

Units in a square must face a specific side (not all units need face the same side). Some units may form battlegroups within a square. These are stands in edge to edge contact. This gives them benefits in combat. Soviet style armies are more restricted in their ability to form such groups.

Stands may be several ranks deep - regardless only three stands in the front rank may fire. Diagonal fire is limited to one unit. If formed as a battle group the “shape” of the battlegroup is fixed for the turn. Note that not all units in a square need be part of a battle group. A square could contain a unit acting as a flank guard facing a different direction.

Movement:

Movement is one square per action phase. Speed is represented by the number of action phases a unit activates in. Most terrain is either passable, passable only via road, or impassable. One or two terrain types restrict certain unit types to one square per game turn (not phase - I assume in this case the unit could still direct fire, even if unable to move in some action phases). Diagonal moves are allowed if the enemy is not in an adjacent square.

Artillery Fire/Barrages:

Barrages in KKoH are limited to supporting close assaults. To use a barrage, teh artillery must be called in. This depends on the action phase it has been called in, and whether the artillery is organic or higher level. In Phase 1 organic artillery only arrives on a roll of 6, but in Phase 4 it arrives on a 3+. Artillery have an arc of fire as well as a range (from 5-15 squares, depending on type). If the artillery is called successfully, it will modify the close assault strength of the friendly side.

Direct Fire:

Direct Fire is limited to firing at adjacent squares (in open terrain such as steppe or desert, double all ranges). In a square only the front rank of stands may fire, and only the enemy front rank may be targeted. A firing unit rolls a D6 which is modified for orders, terrain, etc. A 6 causes a loss and the unit is pushed back. On a 5 the target is pushed back. All units take two hits before being destroyed.

There is no unit strength per se. If the firer is a heavier class, the die is modified +1 for each level of excess (I cannot find in the rules or army lists where “class” is defined - might the author mean Quality?).

Close Assaults (Melee):

Close Assaults are square versus square. Only certain unit types may assault. A Battle Group may assault as a unit. You may not assault a target square from two squares, but may assault it separately from each.

To resolve a close assault, a list of 30 (!) modifiers is consulted. The attack strength is the sum of these modifiers. Having barrages, outnumbering the enemy, being of better quality all add to the strength. Cover, unit type, etc. can subtract from it. Once the final tally is determined, each side’s orders are cross referenced for one more modifier. For example, an attacker on Prepared Attack against a defender on Move nets a +3 to the attacker.

Once the final tally is determined, a die is rolled and the Close Assault Result Table consulted. The defender may be pushed back, or may counter attack. It is possible the assault will go in to multiple rounds.

After each round a number of units on each side - depending on the combat result - must check for attrition. A d6 is rolled and on a 1 that unit takes a loss (in some cases a loss is incurred on a 1 or 2).

Once all rounds have been resolved, one of the sides will have been pushed back.

Morale:

Morale is simple: units at or below half strength are demoralized, and suffer penalties in combat etc. There are no rally rules - once a battalion or battle group is demoralized, it is effectively out of the fight.

Beyond the above, there are short rules for aircraft, counter battery fire, EW etc.

ARMY LISTS/SCENARIOS:

There are no scenarios included.

There are three army lists for a W German Panzer Brigade, a Soviet tank division, and a British armoured brigade.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS:

There are some interesting concepts here, and given the design aims of a fast playing game with large units, the abstractions required are substantial. But the rules are sloppily written. Important rules are buried in the middle of paragraphs. Concepts are often unclear.

For example, in Close Assaults there is a note that when checking for attrition, “a maximum of one may be caused from any assault...” Does that mean one loss per unit, or one loss for the entire assault? It is not clear which, and a case could be made either way. There is a Close Assault example but it glosses over the details, so is not helpful.

These rules are very short but the addition of some detailed examples, and some better use of layout would make them much clearer. I was puzzled for quite a while until I realized there was no base unit strength! Every unit simply rolls a D6 (it kind of reminds me of DBA where the unit abilities are in the modifiers).

PLAYER’S COMMENTS:

Not played.

NOTE: The author responded to this summary (see his comments below). As a result I edited the original review. Most notably I expanded the section about orders.

Lance Flint writes:

    Reply to the review of Kalt Krieg ohne Hass.

    Hi Mark, thank you for purchasing the rules and taking the time and effort to release your summary.

    This product was a natural follow on from Krieg ohne Hass, my first attempt at rule writing back in 2002! Since then I have learnt a lot, gradually improved content and had a cracking time in the process, whether it be in problem solving, doing refights or just fighting battles.

    We have tried to tackle either unusual, albeit mainstream subjects, through either innovation or scale. A big battle 20th century game was my first attempt to close a gap in rules sets.

    KoH games aims to produce a very reasonably priced product, that is cost effective to print out at home, gives a decent historical result and is enjoyable.

    Emphasis on certain aspects of warfare is deliberate and seems all to frequently to be completely missed by many gamers! Never mind, we dont try and tell players how to fight their troops, but would rather have them work that out for themselves.

    Since then we have released:

    • Gott mit Uns “ grid based rules for the ECW and TYW.
    • Yankee Peas and Crackers “ half battalion scale rules for the AWI.
    • Match and Flint “ battalion scale rules for the WSS.
    • Scnellfeur und Stosstaktik “ regimental/brigade scale rules for the second half of the 19th century.
    • Sitz Krieg ohne Hass “ KoH but bigger, faster and much, much slicker although basic game mechanics are very similar.
    • Four divisional level orbat books for the above.

    They are all designed to be played with any figure scale and without any rebasing being required.

    Right on to your review.

    Indeed, Yahoo groups have gone and for reasons of cost I don’t have a website, but I always include my email address and with hard copy sales always invite any questions.

    Scope “Soviet” style players may frequently command a Division.

    Core to the system is the ability to “battlegroup” and the imposition of national doctrine. Many, many rules simply ignore this and allow soviet style units to operate exactly as western European ones. So KKoH have suitable and simple constraints that means that the respective opponents actually use different tactics. 

    Also key is the orders system, frequently over looked in its significance, that means that preplanning and focusing on a plan are very important, indeed crucial to success. This ties in closely with the above to allow NATO style forces more agility in their force mix and forces WARPAC battalions to be more compact.

    Close Assaults. Yes there are 30 factors but they are batched for ease of application and very few apply in any given assault. At this scale of game to allow the importance of the mutually supporting elements of a battle group to come through we thought this essential and gave maximum tactical choice and “feel” for the respective commanders.

    Reviewers Comments: Oh dear! You obviously don’t like them, have you read them more than once?

    I am always happy with abstract mechanisms if they produce good historically justified and acceptable results. Some folk think that the mechanics in themselves need to be historical, but I see them as a means to an end.

    Your particular reference to not understanding one part of the rules, specifically the para at the bottom of the Close Assault results page, the penultimate para in your review.

    The Troops and Overview, first para states that each unit has two `strength points`, so if it takes a hit it then carries a `loss`, two hits destroying it. There are subsequently several references to units with `losses`.

    Attrition at the bottom of the Close Assaults Results page refers to each `unit`  having to be diced for.

    As for the rules being `sloppily ` written, this seems very harsh? They certainly could be clearer in parts at the risk of being more long winded, but clarity is an issue that all rules have?

    Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to do the review,

    Best regards, Lance. KoH Games.

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