Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Rommel versus de Gaulle

Our Christmas Wargame this year revisited an idea I'd first explored about twenty years ago. What might have happened if Rommel's 7th Panzer Division had encountered Charles de Gaulle's 4th Division Cuirassée de Reserve in France in May 1940?

As we couldn't gather in person, I decided that we'd have a try at gaming by Discord. I set up a server with separate spaces for the French and German commanders and recruited four players; Andy Sangar (de Gaulle), Phil Gray (Rommel), Rob Connolly (Rothenberg - commander of 25th Panzer Regiment), and Richard Phillips (LtCol Sudre - commander of 6e Demi-brigade de Chars de Combat). In addition, Jamie very kindly assisted with moving the models on our table using the TacWW2 rules.

I knew we'd be playing out an encounter battle; something I generally try to avoid because they can be rather one dimensional. So often they degenerate into a race to occupy key terrain at the centre of the table. I thought we could get round that to some extent, though, by careful design of the terrain and by starting some elements of both forces on the table quite close to the enemy.

I set up terrain that used models I already possessed and then converted the table layout into a map (created using Paintbrush on my Mac):

The locations are fictional - justified by the fact that the two formations were never in a position to encounter one another in real life. The Germans entered from the east (top of the map) and the French from the west (bottom). The long axis of the table represents about 7.2km.

The French force consisted of:

  • 10e Cuirassiers - recon battalion (one company of Panhard 178 armoured cars and one of motorcycle infantry)
  • 4e Chasseurs Portées - a battalion of motorised infantry in civilian buses!
  • 6e DBCC - two tank battalions (19e with Chars D2 and 46e with Char B1 bis)
  • 8e DBCC - three tank battalions (2e, 24e and 44e) with Renault R-35s.
  • Plus half a dozen 75mm artillery batteries.

Of these, 10e Cuirassiers could start on the table anywhere up to the line railway-works-Ferme-de-Mesnil.

The German force represented only a portion of the assets available to 7th Panzer. I omitted three motorised infantry battalions, partly because I didn't have enough models and partly because their presence would have slowed the game down. The full force totalled:

  • 7th Motorcycle Battalion
  • 37th Reconnaissance Battalion 
  • 25th Panzer Regiment (mostly Pz38(t) but also some PzII and Pz IV)
  • I battalion 6th Schützen Regiment
  • Divisional assists in the form of six 105mm artillery batteries and two platoons each of 37mm AA guns, 88mm AA guns and 37mm AT guns.

Historically, 7th and 37th battalions were used by 7th Panzer as a forward detachment so I allowed these two to be deployed anywhere as far west as the Chateau St Juste.

I had intended that at the end of each game turn we would use die rolls (Tac rolls) to determine which companies had managed to communicate to their battalions. A second set of die rolls would then determine which battalions managed to send reports to the player commanders. Reports would be sent to the Regimental or Divisional commander depending on who the battalion in question reported to.

In the end we decided on the fly (a) to drop the company level reports and (b) to send all reports to both players of the appropriate side.  The requirement for a Tac roll provided for considerable friction. 10e Cuirassiers, for example, failed to get any communications off to 4DCR HQ for a good half of the action. 

Because the recon units started on the table, Jamie and I were very quickly in action. The French had decided that the 10e Cuirassiers would immediately attempt to occupy Sery l'Etang and their armoured car and motorcyclists quickly did so. The Germans on the other hand decided to advance on both flanks to screen their main force attacks.

Stukas attack Sery l'Etang (a Hungarian 
Air Force model standing in for my damaged
Luftwaffe Ju-87)

Both main forces were a little slow in getting forward. The most aggressive French advance was on their right flank where 6e DBCC pushed forward through Ferme du Mesnil and drove towards Sery. The Char D2 battalion would go on to engage the German 37th battalion's armoured cars.

19e BCC's Char D2s approach Sery.
4e Chasseurs' buses can be seen on the road.

46e BCC's Char B1s pass Ferme du Mesnil

Another early on-the-fly adjustment to our approach was to use 3"x5" index cards to represent the locations of as-yet-undeployed battalions. We also used business cards to represent independent companies - the one in the picture below represents de Gaulle's command elements.

Sery l'Etang rapidly became crowded with
French units.

7. Kradschützen Bataillon passes the 
Chateau St Juste

The Sery l'Etang traffic jam developing

Part of 37. Aufklärungs Abteilung moves
to pass Sery to the south

Unknown to their Division commander, the men of 10e Cuirassiers were staunchly defending Sery L'Etang. The German recon troops got to within pistol shot and one Cuirassier platoon was overrun and surrendered. However, at that moment the order came through for the German recon troops to turn left and move around Sery to the south. The town would remain in French hands throughout.

44e (nearest camera) and 2e BCC R-35s
(near the green die) approach the works

A view of the table circa Turn 5

A word about air support. I gave the Germans 6 Stuka and 9 Me-109 sorties to call off as they wished. The French would get random air support if a 10 was rolled on a D10 at the start of any turn. This never happened. Shame as I'd rather have liked to get my Fairey Battles onto the table at last!

4e BCP enters Sery

In the foreground the Char D2s of 19e BCC
clash with armoured cars of the 37.AA

I/6. Schützen Regt backed up by the
Panzer Is of 66. Panzer Bataillon

Here come the Panzers!

Towards the end of the game, the 25th Panzer regiment was passing north of Sery. Their two battalions were up against two Renault R-35 battalions of 8e DBCC (near the rectangular walled field on the left in the picture below).
The final positions seen from the west end of the table
over de Gaulle's HQ

The German battalions were considerably stronger than their French counterparts and the quality of the tanks was superior too. A German victory in the north was very likely.

Success to the south would depend on whether the Luftwaffe 88mm FlaK guns supporting I/6. Schützen Regiment could be got into action.

We got to 1730 real-life-time and about 0900 game-time and decided that we'd better stop and have something to eat. A debrief using Discord's voice channel revealed that the players had found the experience "equal parts boredom, frustration and annoyance" but none-the-worse for that. I get the impression that they thought the experience was probably very like the real thing (albeit without the ever present risk of personal injury or death)!

We all concluded that the Discord and remote commanders approach worked well. Jamie's now considering if it could be adapted to ancient warfare.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Discord game tomorrow

 I'd normally be hosting a couple of games in person over the Christmas period but that's obviously not going to happen this year. 

So in lieu I decided to have a go at running a game by Discord. Rather than playing a conventional game with the players able to see the events on-table via webcam, I having another go at the remote-commanders-giving-orders-based-on-a-map-and-reports-from-subordinates approach. I don't think I've done one of those in about twenty years!

We're exploring what might have happened if Rommel's 7th Panzer Division had encountered de Gaulle's 4th Armoured Division in 1940.

We'll be using the Tac:WW2 rules but these will be pretty much invisible to the players with just Jamie and I needing them to work out what happens.

I'll report later on how things go.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus everybody!

That's "Merry Christmas" in Latvian, for no particular reason. I hope everybody's had a suitably indulgent day?  

Traditional display of wargames-related presents received:

I'm really pleased with all of this. The L-shaped ruler is something I've seen terrain-builders using online and thought "Oh that'd really help with marking out walls for scratch-built houses". 

The Copplestone Future Wars miniatures are to form a new gang for Rogue Stars. It'll be fun to paint them up and then stat them for the rules.

Finally, the small ziplock bag is African native accessories from Foundry - baskets, jars, statues, bunches of bananas, and skulls on poles among other items. Great for detailing Woebetideus villages. Some of them may also see use in the Pavis project. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sun Domers vs Wolf Pirates

Diego and I played another game of inter-continental Hordes of the Things on Saturday.  He again chose the Sun Dome Templars whilst I decided to go back to using my favourite Gloranthan army - the Wolf Pirates.

I'm afraid I didn't get a full set of pictures to document the battle but here are the few I did take.

The Wolf Pirates were defending. Their Stronghold, the beached ship, can be seen above. Diagonally, between the two areas of Bad Going, you can see Argrath (Hero) and a Warband unit positioned to hold off an attempt by some Zebra Riders to threaten the Stronghold.

As with the previous battle, Diego seemed determined to avoid Bad Going. This probably wasn't unreasonable as his force of mostly Spears and Hordes is far better suited to the flat plains of Sun County.

He put his Spears, Hero and Paladin in the centre whilst his Shooters, Riders and Hordes formed a right wing that would advance to threaten my left.

The battle was bloody one. Both Paladins (Vega Goldbreath for the Sun Domers and Gunda the Guilty for the Wolf Pirates) were killed early in the action. Harrek the Berserk(Hero General) killed the Champion of Garhound (Hero) to give the Wolf Pirates what I thought would be a game-winning lead but then a 6:1 roll saw me lose two Warbands.

I thought the battle was won when Harrek managed to kill the Sun Domer General Solanthos Ironpike thanks to having turned the flank of the Spear unit immediately behind him and then forced him to recoil.  

But I'd forgotten that Diego needed to have lost both is General and more Army Points than me to lose the game. We fought on for one more turn before another 6:1 put paid to the one more Spear unit needed to break the Sun Domers' morale. 

That was a really enjoyable and hard-fought game. I think it was a mistake on Diego's part to strand his Hordes out on the right flank where they were always going to struggle to get into the action. 

I took a calculated risk and threw the Wolf Pirates forward hoping for a quick victory before he could threaten my Stronghold. I should have committed fully to that approach and gone with the full two-Heroes-and-a-Paladin front rank but at the last moment I decided to keep Argrath in reserve to keep the Zebra Riders away from my ship. As a result the big fight in the centre went on longer and was more bloody on my side than maybe it should have been.

Quote of the Day come from Diego: "Strongholds are pretty tough, otherwise they'd call them Weakholds".  


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Crisis Point 2021

Covid-19 population dynamics allowing, Crisis Point 2021 will take place on the 17th and 18th April 2021.

It was a great disappointment to have to cancel this year’s event. Obviously picking a date this coming Spring is something of a hostage to fortune but I’m hoping the availability of a vaccine will have started to lessen the need for isolation.

Crisis Point 2021 sees us return to a single, large game with everyone involved together. We’ll be exploring the “history” of the fictional Woebetide Islands in the Indian Ocean in the early 1700s. There will be the chance to play  fierce pirates and privateers, cunning captains of the English and French East India Companies, dastardly Arab slavers, and fierce native chieftains.

If you take Pirates of the Caribbean, filter out the supernatural elements, lard heavily with The Last of the Mohicans, swirl in the grandfathers of Richard Sharpe and Horatio Hornblower, add a dash of Carry On Up the Khyber, and serve it all with suitably outrageous French, Arab and Indian accents, you’ve probably got a feel for where we’re heading.

As usual you don’t have to bring your own armies, though we’re very grateful to those who do, and knowledge of the rules (Sharp Practice by Too Fat Lardies) is helpful but not necessary.      

The usual structure of the weekend is planned:

Friday 16th, afternoon - take possession of the hall and begin setting up tables and terrain

Saturday 17th - start about 10am and play through to about 5pm (please bring your own packed lunch)

Saturday 17th, evening - for those staying locally a trip to the Royal Hotel for pies and pints will take place

Sunday 17th - again starting about 10am, breaking for lunch at the Royal and wrapping up about 3pm to allow time for packing away and getting off to our respective homes.

If you plan to attend this time, please let me know as soon as possible so I can allocate you a role.  Likewise if you can’t make it, please do let me know early as this will really help with the organising.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Cargo sleds

One of the things I like about Rogue Stars is the scenario generation system.  Before any game you roll three d20s. The first determines the mission, the second the location, and the third adds a complication. That's 8,000 potential combinations. Great for replayability!

However, it does also mean you potentially need a lot of terrain if you're going to cover all the bases (some of them actually bases, if you see what I mean). If you roll Mission 18 - Ice Planet, you'd better have suitably snowy terrain!

Of course in reality we won't have all of the potential terrain so I'm sure I'll re-roll sometimes. However, I have found it quite inspiring to take the random rolls as inspiration to build stuff. In a recent solo game I rolled Mission 4 - Smuggling, which requires that the attacker "must carry three containers of merchandise to the other side of the table". 

It being a solo game I was able to pause and create something for my smugglers to smuggle. Rather than placing boxes next to the characters carrying the merchandise I decided to go for something like the beasty (I believe it's called a hover sled) used to transport Han Solo's carbonite-frozen form in The Empire Strikes Back.

A couple of hours' work with some cardboard of various thicknesses and a few pieces of clear plastic rod gave me these three:

They aren't marvellous bits of modelling but they'll do.

One of the other possibilities is to roll Location 5 - City, civilised world. In this case 1d5 vehicles will be present, some of which may have civilian drivers. Today's weekly shopping trip to Morrisons got me three modern-style plastic sports cars, a little larger than the traditional Matchbox/Hot Wheels size. The pack of three cost £1! Pictures when I've got them suitably prepped for gaming.  

Saturday, November 28, 2020

My Rogue Stars set up

As I've noted here previously, I've recently started dabbling with Osprey's Rogue Stars sci fi skirmish rules. Reading them I straight away envisaged an urban street wars kind of setting. Something like 1970s New York in space or the underworld scenes in Demolition Man.

For my first couple of test games I just used bits of scenery I already had. I tried to suggest some kind of fuel refinery fenced off on the edge of a scummy part of town. Pretty soon though I was inspired to have a go at some theme-specific pieces.  First up was an overpass. With the rough streets of Hill Street Blues in my mind I was envisaging the denizens of the under-city picking through rubbish while the corporate wage-slaves in their Datsun-Mercedes electrocars whizzed by above.

I made the overpass out of foam core and cardboard. I originally planned three long pieces but then decided that it'd be more visually interesting to have it cross the board at an angle so I sliced one of my road pieces diagonally. I think I may add some rare earth magnets to make the roadway sections stick together.

The piers holding up the road deck were a simple construction. I obtained some rubber stamps that were surplus to requirements. To the handle of each stamp I glued two Renedra plastic bases - I never use the ones that come with Perry or Warlord figures. The road sections were very much a rushed job to see if I could get something made in a couple of evenings. I really should have primed them with spray paint before painting them.

At first the overpass was completely isolated from the under-city. In a way I quite liked the symbolism of this idea but I always intended that at some point I'd build an access ladder or something. However, after a bit another idea came to me...

If you look at pictures of collapsed highway bridges after earthquakes or bombing attacks it's not unusual to see whole sections of roadway fairly intact but at crazy angles. 

I chopped the foam core road-bed with a craft knife held vertically and then added bent reinforcing bars from pieces of paperclip. The attached piece hangs partly from the paperclip and partly from the intact bottom paper layer of the foam core. It's flexible enough to be adjusted to meet the ground below.

The sporty roadster is a kid's toy. The twins now being in their mid-twenties, I think they can manage without it.

After that I started watching Youtube videos of people building terrain out of junk and thought I should give it a go. First up I made this radar/comms tower. I thought it would work in a spaceport type of setting.

The body of the model is a robust card container for posh hot chocolate glued to a CD as a base. The dish itself is a reflector from one of those rotating warning lights. It's glued to a plastic box and detailed with bits from model kits and part of the mechanism of a deodorant spray can! The whole mechanism is glued to the plastic top of a sauce pot from the local Indian take-away that just happened to be the perfect diameter to fit inside the rim of the cylinder. This means that the radar dish can be rotated or even omitted altogether.

The door and surrounds are cardboard with plastic card and rod detailing.

A little more weathering is probably wanted but I'm declaring this usable as-is.

A trip to Poundland (other Pound-based low-cost stores are available) got me a plastic make-up organiser that I thought had an interesting shape. In the end I decided to make it into a row of lock-up garages to go under the overpass.

The roller doors are textured plastic card. The security entry pads are bits from a plastic kit. All other additions, including the roof, are from cardboard.

In painting the lock-ups I decided to try some painting techniques I'd learned from the videos. Lots of streaking where dirty water has dripped down from the roof as you can see. Perhaps less clear is the extensive rust effect on the doors and door frames. I painted them in patchy brown/orange colours before masking off the door areas and then roughly spraying them with hairspray. I then applied the red and green paint and wiped much of it off while it was still wet. On the patches with hairspray the paint won't adhere fully.

I then got ambitious and started on a larger structure, again using techniques learned from Youtube. I envisaged a small industrial unit that had been abandoned and then taken over as the headquarters of a street gang.

Again two cardboard cylinders make up the tank arrangement. I cut a hole in the top and built in an access shaft up the middle. This was made from the cardboard tube from the middle of a roll of aluminium foil. I added a ladder inside made from square-section bamboo skewer. Jamie then pointed out that figures might fall down the hole and get stuck inside so I painted up a winch from a plastic kit and mounted it vertically in the shaft to stop any based figures fitting. The ring structure around the top of the tower is some plastic doohickey I've had lying around for years. No idea what it was originally

The office-cum-works part of the building is largely courtesy of Steve Jobs. It consists of an old iPhone box with part of the packaging of an iPod Nano glued to the top! I'd previously extended the roof of the building with card to meet the base of the tower. The side walls were also extended with card to follow the roof line.

I think I might add some weathered, old lettering advertising the former business to the plinth above the front of the building. I'll also, when I've decided what they are called, add some graffiti tags from the occupying gang.

I've really enjoyed the freedom of building sci fi scenery from junk. I have a couple more plans in mind. I have a disc of MDF that'll make a good landing pad and I'd love to build a small shuttle craft to sit on it.  I also have some ideas for advertising alongside the highway but more of that later.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Intercontinental Hordes

After making contact on the Hordes of the Things Facebook group, Diego Correa and I played a couple of, rather quick, games of Hordes yesterday. We played by Skype; me in Yorkshire and Diego in Santiago, Chile!

Diego's fairly new to the game and although his English is very good, he's struggling a bit with the very precise Barkerese language in which the rules are written. I volunteered to run him through a game. There's no substitute for actual game-time when learning a system.

I thought 28mm was the best scale to use given the limitations of an iPad camera and less-than-stellar lighting. That meant using my Gloranthan armies. Diego chose the Sun Dome Templars (4x Sp inc Gen, 1x Pd, 4x Hd, 1x Sh, 1x He, 1x Rd).

My preferred Gloranthan force is the Wolf Pirates (2x He inc Gen, 1x Pd, 6x Wb) but I decided to make things interesting by wheeling out the Morokanth (5x Wb inc Gen, 3x Mg, 2x Lk).

We played two games and at no time in either game did any of Diego's forces enter the Bad Going. So my Lurkers were wasted? Well, not really, avoiding the Bad Going channelled his army into a narrow space so he wasn't able to outflank me with a Hero/Paladin/Rider strike force.

However, in the first game he didn't need to. The Champion of Garhound (Hero), Vega Goldbreath (Paladin) and the Zebra riders managed to get into close combat with my three elements of Morokanth shaman (Magicians). Diego rolled, I think, three sixes for the combats and I rolled a one, a two, and another one! Three dead Magicians; game over!

Having finished the first game so quickly, we decided to go again starting from the same initial positions. This time there wasn't the early PIP drought that had prevented me getting into any kind of good position in the first game.

Diego had moved his strike force in the beginnings of a flanking move on my left. He would have to go through Bad Going, though, so he would be slowed down from reaching my Magicians. I decided that this game me a chance to take on his Spears with a marginally better-than-even chance if I got in first.

The Morokanth warbands charged forward and managed to hit Solanthos Ironpike and his fellow leaders in the flank while the Morokanth khan's warriors attacked from the front... 

It was only an even chance (+5 versus +5) but if I won Solanthos was dead and the game was over unless Diego could kill my remaining two Warband with a 6:1. 

I think there was a point in it in my favour in the end and Solanthos was sent to meet Yelmalio. General dead and more points lost than the opposition: game over!

So two games played in a couple of hours with time for chatting, eating cheesecake (Diego) drinking wine (me), and a little tactical discussion.  I very much enjoyed meeting Diego and playing my first Hordes in five years (apart from a quick solo session of can-I-remember-these-rules? on Friday evening).  We agreed that we'll definitely do it again sometime.  



Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A Bit of Rogue Stars

I recently picked up a copy of Rogue Stars from the Osprey Wargames range. It had been on my radar for a couple of years. I'd given a copy to Leo, one of the young local gamers, as a Christmas present. I thought it might be a game he could set up on his own as the figure count (4-6 figures a side) is manageably low.

In retrospect, it might not have been the best choice. I'd been anticipating a science fiction version of designer Andrea Sfiligoi's excellent Song of Blades and Heroes but Rogue Stars is considerably more complex. 

However, I thought I'd give is a solo try out using the few 25/28mm sci fi models in my collection. 

The rather pulp-esque aliens I bought at the Penkridge wargames sale a few years back I've statted-up as interstellar police-for-hire like the Judoon in Doctor Who.

They are up against a motley collection of street-warrior types, some of who were painted by Stella three decades ago!

I've decided that a lot of the apparent complexity can be got around reasonably well if you design your force rosters carefully. There are a lot of rules and some variations in target numbers that seem a bit unnecessary but knowing SOBH helped with understanding the basic concepts.

In playing for a couple of hours this evening I've already learned quite a bit. For starters, my police squad, who have only two-handed melee weapons and no medics, are in severe need of reorganising!  

I'm going to persevere with Rogue Stars for a bit - it's fun to build sci fi terrain from bits of junk apart from anything else.  I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Woebetides - the Spongebob Ship

Some years ago I picked up a bright blue plastic Spongebob Squarepants pirate ship from the local flea market.

Here's what it was originally supposed to look like (mine was missing some parts):

And here's one part-way through the process of turning it to something useful.

I've tried to convert it into an unarmed two-masted merchantman that could be used for the early eighteenth century Woebetides campaign. I've now reached the point where I'm considering it done.  

I've added the decks with coffee-stirrers, including the plastic card quarterdeck you can see under construction in the top picture. The masts and boom are from two paintbrush handles and a chopstick!

I've added anchors and a ship's wheel from Games of War. The hold cover is from cartridge paper over a piece of foamcore. 

Finally, the ladders up to the quarterdeck are from an Airfix RAF control tower kit!

I've kept the rigging both absolute minimum. Enough to keep the masts secure without making it difficult to move figures around on the decks.  

The ship (and others like it) will serve as scenery and possibly as a Deployment Point in next year's Crisis Point Woebetides game.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Adapting Bob Mackenzie’s Scenarios to TacWWII

These notes are largely for my own purposes. I don’t think there are very many people using TacWWII these days, which is a shame as they’re a nice set of rules.

Table Size

Bob’s scenarios assume 50 metre per inch scale. To convert to Tac’s 40m per centimetre, simply halve the linear dimensions. Thus a 12’ by 6’ table becomes 6’ by 3’.

Orders of Battle

Obviously the terminology between the rules is different - an “infantry stand” will usually become a “Rifle platoon” in TacWWII. A “command stand” becomes a “command rifle platoon”. Staff stands can be ignored. Any company level "command stands" simply appear as fighting platoons.

Note that any “stand” marked (+) by Bob becomes a high firepower rifle platoon in Tac. I treat German “weapons stands” as either MMG platoons or medium mortars usually determined by the availability of models.

Bob often shows headquarters broken down into the HQ and the HQ Company (Stab and Stabs Kompanie for the Germans) and treats these as separate companies.  I’m in two minds as to whether to follow this (thus increasing the number of small companies floating around) or to merge them into a single HQ company. Note though that where the separate HQ company is designated as “recce” you should keep them as a separate company if you wish to take advantage of Tac’s special rule about Mode changes (page 20).

Tac doesn't allow for companies to start the game with just one element. Because I am mostly playing late war scenarios where the Germans are often fielding small numbers of tanks, I ignore this rule.

Battalions and companies are handled differently in Tac. Battalions have written orders while companies have Modes.  I’d advise being flexible as to what you treat as a battalion. Some Soviet tank Brigades can have fewer than half a dozen models at Tac scale. In these cases I treat the brigade as a battalion in Tac terms and its component two-model “battalions” as companies.

Any independent companies floating around in the OOB should be treated for morale and communications purposes as part of a battalion they are designated to support or at a pinch organised into very small battalions of their own.

I like to have typed up orders of battle available while I play.  My convention in formatting these is as follows:

Bold type, not indented - higher level formations not represented on the table but possibly appearing on the communications net (see below).

Underlined, not indented - any formations treated as battalions under the rules. This can include small headquarters of brigades or Kampfgruppen as well as actual fighting battalions (or small brigades or regiments that are being treated as battalions).

Normal typeface, indented one space - anything being treated as a company.

Communications Net

I write battalion orders on the backs of old business cards. Tac suggests that you have a single Company - Battalion - Brigade - Division track to mark the transmission of orders and support requests. I’m experimenting with something that looks more like a communications net and shows who’s supporting whom.

Soviet communications net - 37th Mechanised Brigade HQ
needs to make a Tac roll to transmit the order to get
1st Tank Regiment's stalled attack moving again!

Morale and Tac

Both TacWWII and Command Decision rate units separately for morale and for their technical proficiency. Morale is dead easy:

Command Decision Morale          TacWWII Morale

10                                                      Excellent

9                                                        Good

8                                                        Average

7                                                        Poor

6                                                        Shaky

Converting CD’s Troop Quality into TacWWII’s Tac score is more involved as the former has six grades while the latter has only five.  

CD Force Quality                         TacWWII Tac Rating

Elite                                                 4

Veteran                                            5

Experienced                                    5 or 6

Regular                                            6 or 7

Trained                                            7

Green                                               8

Where there's a choice I'll be guided by scenario specific considerations. I'll certainly go with the higher of the two numbers for units with outdated kit or using SP guns rather than tanks.