|The Belmont Arms Factory fills another order.|
At first glance it seems easy enough, an old school set of rules would just mirror the organization and let players place their machine guns where they thought best. A modern set of mid level rules or a board game would just "factor them in". When trying to write a simple, mid-level gridded game with a certain sort of toy soldier feel to it however, its a bit harder.
I need to see the machine guns and have them be different but I can't really have a pair of machine guns holding the frontage of a company of infantry without any infantry support. My compromise was to include an MG in one of the infantry companies and give it more firepower when stationary but not be able to move and fire.
When I turned to the Germans I have been torn between two options. The simplest and most Toy Soldierly option would be to use the same rules for both sides and assume that all of the MG sections have been distributed in support of individual battalions, something that was done at least occasionally. The other would be to stick to the book and have pure MG companies and no mixed companies for the Germans. In a multiplayer game this means that some German players will not get to use MG's when they play the game. More than that, I need to tweak the rules so that the all MG companies and the mixed companies have strengths and weaknesses.
Having failed to come to a definite conclusion, I had decided to dodge the issue by doing the German MG's in pairs and doing an extra pair of infantry stands to go with each. That way I will have 3 options:
1. Field 2 stand MG companies if I can get the rules balance right or
2. Field 2 game unit MG units each with an MG and a stand of infantry, just like the British and French ones. The assumption would be that they have been assigned infantry supports and the effect would be that all MG stands would have the same effect, just the distribution would change.
3. Issue one MG to each German battalion so that all players would get at least 1 MG unit and both sides would fight the same way, like Red and Blue armies.
So far I'm leaning to Option 2 but once I finish these 2 MG stands with crew and infantry supports, all options will be available on any given day.