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I find repeated references to Close Quarters Battle in my reading, in some it is referred to in the same breath as unarmed self defence, bayonet drill or other techniques.

DC has the option of applying a penalty to DEX for purposes of determining who shoots first, based on weapon length.

The background reading on Commando Training (Fairbairn, Sykes etc.) describes methods of shooting on the move, unarmed combat, etc.

 

Options I can think of for defining CQB:

  1. The DC optional Rule
  2. a KS and/or PS
  3. a variant of a particular martial art (Commando Training, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, or Gunf-Fu)
  4. one or more custom martial art manoeuvres
  5. a combination of CSL's and PSL's
  6. a combination of some or all of the above.

 

How would you define CQB in game terms?

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How would you define CQB in game terms?

CQB: Combat within the same building or even room, ranges rarely over 10m, usually 5 or less. Movement through doorways and other portals. Might include actual hand-to-hand combat, but most gun-armed participants are going to want to keep it at gun range, cos guns are good at killing people. It's fast, confusing and lethally risky unless you stack the odds heavily in your favour by using amonst other factors: numbers; surprise; equipment (mostly explosives of one kind or another); superior skills; having a well-developed plan (which relies on good up-front intel) and SOPs for when the plan inevitably goes South.

 

What do you want to define in game terms? A skill/ability to conduct CQB successfully/advantageously? Teamwork is frighteningly important: knowing to the centimetre where your team mates are going to be when you make dynamic entry into a room is vital so you don't suffer blue-on-blue incidents. Personal proficiency with your weapon is key. Knowing where you're going to need to go, and where to point your weapon is important; that'd be a PS, I reckon, or just "Tactics".

 

Hand-to-hand Martial arts outside the "fantastical" (Gun-fu) have little to do with conducting CQB efficiently: you don't want to be closing to knife/punch/choke range most of the time; those ways of killing are slower and risk more than a three-round burst from surprise ( good muffler won't make much more noise than a near-miss throat-cut and subsequent exclamations... :) ), and if you're able to actually sneak up behind someone to neutralise them with a knife or MA takedown, it's not really CQB, since there's no real "battle" going on. Gun-fu type martial arts (a la Equilibrium) cover the tactics and team-location-awareness, I guess.

 

Whether PSLs are relevant will depend on whether there are penalties being applied for gunplay at close quarters, dynamic situations, snap shooting and poor lighting and visibility. Some ability to mitigate the effects of flashbangs seems to be important to today's SF soldiers, since they do like to disorient their targets... Target discrimination (plain ol' PER rolls, mostly, I guess) can be reallly important in some CQB scenarios: not shooting the hostages or the innocent bystanders is generally considered a Good Thing . Perception in general to recognise threats, both obvious and subtle, before they become actually dangerous ("Is that a gat you have there, Mrs Innocent Bystander, or just your handbag?")

 

It'll depend on how gritty and nitty you want to get with your room-to-room fighting. Will a PS giving a small bonus on some rolls be more use than a single CSL, and is it worth the extra trouble of rolling the supplemental skill all the time?

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Just fighting at short/close range is already covered pretty well in the Hero games combat system. It is nearly impossible to account for all the variables, but a combination of martial maneuvers, CSLs, and PSLs work just fine. If you want to use the optional DC rules, that is just another variable to add to the list.

 

Infiltration into a confined space without exact intel on target location, friendlies versus hostiles, etc. is tricky at best and messy at worst. It is chaos and often, the only way to identify anybody is because they share the same uniform as you. You also have to react with split second timing. In a game, the GM is often meticulous in his descriptions and has a nice, slow-paced combat running. If you are really lucky, there is a battle map with minis laid out for your convenience.

 

To even try simulate something like the chaos of an infiltration would require some outside the comfort zone thinking. Get rid of the maps/minis for the first phase or two, at least. The infiltration team should have a plan. Deviating from that plan could really be a problem. Require PER checks for those first two phases in order to discriminate between Friend/Foe/Hostage. Mostly, demand an instant decision based on obvious factors. Gun/No Gun, Teammate/Other, are all factors to consider in a Shoot/Don't Shoot situation. No hostages\sensitive materials makes it much easier. Toss a flashbang or frag grenade into the room and go in shooting anything that moves.

 

Hero's very ordered initiative structure makes it even more difficult to simulate that sort of thing. If the PC, who has an Initiative of 18 fails to act, the NPC might have to wait until 12 in order to respond to the lack of action. It may be harsh, but the first phase of combat should probably be a "use it or lose it" scenario. You either shoot, dodge or stand there with a stunned expression while the bad guy riddles you and your team with bullets.

 

After the first couple of phases, the infiltration team is going to get their bearings enough to run it like a normal combat. You can even bring out the minis and map if you like. You can also skip the hi-jinks above if you are running something more cinematic. 

 

Just my take on it, based on some pretty intense training that I participated in about two decades ago. I just remember how chaotic it was at first and how drilling down on the basics made it less chaotic. As with any combat, chaos is going to exist. You can try to control it with intel and procedure but I refer back to one of Murphy's laws; no plan survives first contact.

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Thanks for the input guys... I am currently reworking military package deals, the frequent references to CQB training got me interested in how to define CQB itself and the training in game.

What do you want to define in game terms? A skill/ability to conduct CQB successfully/advantageously? Teamwork is frighteningly important: knowing to the centimetre where your team mates are going to be when you make dynamic entry into a room is vital so you don't suffer blue-on-blue incidents. Personal proficiency with your weapon is key. Knowing where you're going to need to go, and where to point your weapon is important; that'd be a PS, I reckon, or just "Tactics".

 

Hand-to-hand Martial arts outside the "fantastical" (Gun-fu) have little to do with conducting CQB efficiently:

 

Whether PSLs are relevant will depend on whether there are penalties being applied for gunplay at close quarters, dynamic situations, snap shooting and poor lighting and visibility. Some ability to mitigate the effects of flashbangs seems to be important to today's SF soldiers, since they do like to disorient their targets... Target discrimination (plain ol' PER rolls, mostly, I guess) can be reallly important in some CQB scenarios: not shooting the hostages or the innocent bystanders is generally considered a Good Thing . Perception in general to recognise threats, both obvious and subtle, before they become actually dangerous ("Is that a gat you have there, Mrs Innocent Bystander, or just your handbag?")

 

It'll depend on how gritty and nitty you want to get with your room-to-room fighting. Will a PS giving a small bonus on some rolls be more use than a single CSL, and is it worth the extra trouble of rolling the supplemental skill all the time?

 

So Teamwork, PS: CQB? and/or Tactics

Perhaps some of the ranged manoeuvres from Gun-fu.

I'd use the DC CQB penalties for weapon size (p.193), so maybe PSL's would be appropriate.

 

It is nearly impossible to account for all the variables, but a combination of martial maneuvers, CSLs, and PSLs work just fine. If you want to use the optional DC rules, that is just another variable to add to the list.

 

To even try simulate something like the chaos of an infiltration would require some outside the comfort zone thinking. Get rid of the maps/minis for the first phase or two, at least. The infiltration team should have a plan. Deviating from that plan could really be a problem. Require PER checks for those first two phases in order to discriminate between Friend/Foe/Hostage. Mostly, demand an instant decision based on obvious factors. Gun/No Gun, Teammate/Other, are all factors to consider in a Shoot/Don't Shoot situation. No hostages\sensitive materials makes it much easier. Toss a flashbang or frag grenade into the room and go in shooting anything that moves.

 

Hero's very ordered initiative structure makes it even more difficult to simulate that sort of thing. If the PC, who has an Initiative of 18 fails to act, the NPC might have to wait until 12 in order to respond to the lack of action. It may be harsh, but the first phase of combat should probably be a "use it or lose it" scenario. You either shoot, dodge or stand there with a stunned expression while the bad guy riddles you and your team with bullets.

 

After the first couple of phases, the infiltration team is going to get their bearings enough to run it like a normal combat. You can even bring out the minis and map if you like. You can also skip the hi-jinks above if you are running something more cinematic. 

 

Just my take on it, based on some pretty intense training that I participated in about two decades ago. I just remember how chaotic it was at first and how drilling down on the basics made it less chaotic. As with any combat, chaos is going to exist. You can try to control it with intel and procedure but I refer back to one of Murphy's laws; no plan survives first contact.

Manoeuvres, CSLs and PSLs

PER Checks

"Use it or Lose it for the first phase", I like

 

So from both your input I'm getting, (correct me if I'm wrong):

 

CQB should be Use it or lose it for the first phase, requiring PER checks to identify  targets, with a Weapon size penalties (DC p.193)

 

CQB training teaches PS: CQB and/or Tactics, Teamwork, CSLs and PSLs, and Ranged Manoeuvres.

 

CQB Training Package Deal

Cost     Ability

4          +2 OCV with weapon of choice

3          +1 vs weapon size modifier in CQB (this covers any weapon the character is familiar with, hence the 3 points per level cost)

3          +1 vs movement penalty while shooting (this covers any weapon the character is familiar with, hence the 3 points per level cost)

3          Teamwork 11-

2          PS: CQB

3          Tactics 11-

Total Coast of Package Abilities: 18

 

Complications

Value    Complications

None

Total Value Of Package Complications: 0

 

Options

Value     Ability

+2         Observant: +1 PER with Sight Group

+10       Martial Arts: CQB (10 points worth of manoeuvres) (CQB is a stripped down version of Gun-fu, (need to design this))

 

Suggestions? Comments? Be ruthless :)

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Ask questions of your players is my first bit of advice. Everything I suggested is predicated on that sort of chaos being something that the players want to participate in. I've had players that would freak out if they didn't have time to analyse the battlefield before making a move. I've had others scream in frustration at the turtle-like pace of the analyzers. Make sure this is something your group would be into before getting too wrapped up with it.

 

If they are.....BE RUTHLESS.  :eg:

 

EDIT: And the package of skills looks pretty appropriate too.

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