Your interpretation of detach is more literal than mine. I mean when a company sets up an attack it will get support weapons from the weapons platoon. The HMG and small mortars are assigned to support the attak, based on a commanders plan. The entire weapons platoon is not still connected to the HQ of the weapons platoon. It may be formal, or it may be ad hoc.
Yes, this is what I'm getting at. Just when do you believe this "commander's plan" is being made? I'm suggesting that the commander's plan to attach a support weapon to a platoon is made at set-up or scenario start; not once the game begins. I suppose there could be an in-game process for this, where the platoon leader determines the need, gets radio contact with his CO, makes the request, awaits confirmation, awaits arrival of the support unit, etc. How many turns would this be? In games like ASL and CM (derived from ASL), you do not need to wait. There is no hierarchy to worry about. Some lieutenant doesn't just reformulate an attack and begin adding units to be under his command. He's already got his marching orders.
I think you need to look at what kinds of tactical machinations these platoon leaders with their own orders to fulfill could be expected to perform within the confines of the battle plan at game start.
If you are going to have platoon orders, you have to have the tools and flexibility that a real world commander would have, especially if you are not expected to take the role of squad/team leader. At the same time, penalties should be there for someone not following the command structure. If I decide to take a squad and move to the other side of the map and it wasn't part of the commanders plan, make them pay the penalty.
But who is "the commander"? The player is presumably the Company or higher commander in charge of the platoons. He also makes the constrained decisions for lower commanders at the platoon/squad level, which cannot be perfectly communicated to the relevant parties due to the nature of the battlefield.
I'm not sure what it is you're wanting to do that you say you cannot do. Most games generally allow far too much independent control over unit actions. And this gets to the major thing that turned me off on ASL and CM. There are no real organizational control requirements in those games. The player is allowed to use squads and vehicles as a kind of "game currency" which can be grouped or exchanged to achieve any tactical goal he wishes. In pbem games of CM, I would see players moving and positioning units like surgeons, achieving pinpoint accuracy in every detail. That is not warfare to me. Wargames need to reflect command with much more blunt instruments. Frustrate those who desire intricate precision and concert of forces. No plan survives contact with the enemy. Have the Russians bring on the human waves because the troops cannot be controlled effectively. Force the players to make a good but simple overall plan, not pirouette around from covered site to covered site, looking to snipe or ambush at every turn.
Oh, you can still play a finesse style in PCK, but the game makes you work at it a little more, and forces the command hierarchy on your plans.
Look at CMBB's handling of split squads. You can do it all day, but they are brittle, tend to break, and are slow to react. That is because BFC made the decision that squads is as low as they want to control. But if I need to split them, make it easy to manage and not a burden on the interface.
Yes, but orders transmission and subordination is the main issue to be reflected by command and control, not the brittleness or slowness of the detachment, necessarily. How much command latitude does a half squad have? Does the army want enlisted men running off in an independent command? How realistic would it be to make this option generally available as a rule? Again, this *seems* a case of playing a game and assuming that game (ASL or CM) reflects reality.
PCK embraces a much more sophisticated approach to command by limiting the means by which players control their forces. You must respect the units' organization and, to a certain extent, the limits of communication on the battlefield. (The latter could be a little beefed up IMO.) The turns are ONLY 80 seconds, with a chance to react every 40 seconds. These parameters can be debated, but Erik has put a lot of thought into this and his judgment should be respected. I honestly don't see orders changes happening in real life as often as some players claim to need to make them.
In the end all I'm saying is that if you put platoon orders in place for a game that details squads, give the player the tools to manage the squads as needed, with the penalties needed to make the player feel the burden of real command. Otherwisw, why not make a platoon level game that doesn't show the squads or abstracts them.
The tools are there. They just aren't the surgical instruments you're used to. Blunt instruments for brutal business.
Also, as Prince of Eckmuhl noted above, the issues with squad manipulation become much more acute when forces are small. Were a battalion or division represented on the map, the clamor for more precise controls for squads wouldn't likely be present. But it is entirely proper to place the orders limits that presently exist. I've acknowledged on my own that certain exceptions should be made for squads or vehicles in certain situations being discussed, but the concept represented by platoon orders is a very sound one in my estimation. And the organizational freedom allowed to players in ASL and CM is very unrealistic; enough so that I could no longer tolerate playing them.