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Re: [GZG] And now for something completely different...

From: "John Atkinson" <johnmatkinson@g...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 11:00:13 +0300
Subject: Re: [GZG] And now for something completely different...

Lots of good stuff has been said, let me throw in just a few comments.

I prefer to have a sort of 'core force' then buy support elements to
attach to that core force, then expand some of the support elements to
be a core force of their own.

What I mean is (using DSII as an example) my first sort of 'core'
element was high-tech grav tank heavy.	I bought up the various
attachments necessary to build well-balanced and tailored reinforced
company teams (each of which would punch way above its weight
numerically, due to the high techn emphasis) first of tanks reinforced
by infantry, then expanding the infantry so I could build a
infantry-heavy force supported by tanks if I wanted to.

Know what each element is supposed to do.  Fact of life is that few
pieces of military equipment and few military organizations do all
things well.  Most tactical situations are best met by a mixed force
wherein each element does something that is its forte.	Example is
street fighting, where tanks blast strongpoints but are protected by
infantry from RPG gunners.

I like even numbers for vehicles so that each vehicle has a 'wingman'.
 I like having at least 3 subunits at each level of command because
that lets me have a main effort, a supporting attack, and a reserve.
That's not with attachments and supports, that's three subunits as a
core.  The only exception is at the squad level, but that's a whole
'nother discussion.  Four subunits is nice, but a lot more than that
gets to be too much to deal with (real world, at least).

Sounds like you've got the core of a company team, right?  Decide
whether it's to be light or mechanized.  You can use the figures for
both, but there may be some organizational differences.  It's not
terribly hard to have the same bunch of models with different options
do double duty--if they are light infantry on Tuesday they have jeeps
with machine guns and GMS launchers rolling out with them, but when
they are mechanized they have the APCs.

Light infantry means you can have larger squads (12-13) with three
fireteams if you want them.  Not necessary, but it's an option.  Light
infantry also requires dedicated heavy weaponry if it is going to face
anything heavier than bandits or insurgents.  Machine guns and
anti-armor weapons, and by anti-armor weapons I don't mean IAVRs or
GMS-Ps.  Those are a joke against real armor.

Mechanized infantry has two models generally available.  One is the
"battle taxi" approach with machine-gun armed APCs which provide
operational and tactical mobility but aren't mean to get into the
fight in a seroius way.  M-113s, Strykers, etc.  These have a limit on
max squad size (size of vehicle) and require much the same level of
anti-armor support that light infantry does.

What could be called "armored infantry" itegrates more heavily armed
infantry fighting vehicles into tactics as both transportation and as
fire support.  They may or may not have integral anti-armor
capabilities (due to space in the vehicles, I'd rather drop the GMS
launcher and have a seperate anti-armor platoon in the company)  but
the weaponry is going to sharply limit squad size even further.

What I've done is to presume that not only do mechanized troops have
integral fire support, but can be more heavily armored.  I use NI
figures for my mechanized troops but my light infantry have vests
only.  That's from personal experience--humping a vest with ceramic
plates limits mobility and endurance a great deal, I can't imagine
foot patrolling in a full suit, much less an approach march.

Power armor can fill a number of roles.  You can use them as scouts,
although I think that's a waste of time.  You can use them as fire
support or assault elements.  Or you can presume that power armor is
concentrated in certain units and unavailable in others.  Most sample
organizations I've seen tend to use them in the assault or fire
support roles, but I personally disagree.  If any power armor is on
the table, it's all I have on the table--and it comes with IFVs.  I
don't use my armored infantry very often.  When it comes to mixed
PA/line forces, I find that integrating the different speed is a bit
tricky--either you slow your PA down to the speed of your line dogs,
which wastes capability, or you basically keep your PA as a reserve.
That works best if your PA is all consolidated as your force reserve
at the highest echelon of command present on the table.

Walkers I don't use, but I can see them supporting light infantry
easily, or power armor that isn't also mechanized.  I have a hard time
seeing them integrated with mechanized infantry because they are less
mobile than the carriers the troops move in.  Once you start building
walker transports, that gets silly.  It's easier to replace them with
a "fire support platoon" consisting of RFAC-armed vehicles mounting
GMS-Hs.  The vehicles will be just as capable, if not more so, and
more heavily armed and armored.

And yes, I use basically the same force structures for SG and DS.
There's some complication translating infantry platoons, but that's
trivia.  In fact, I know my organization tables up to division level.
That's not necessary, but its not a bad idea to do them up to
battalion level at least, so that you have a good idea what your
organizations have as organic support and what is unusual.  If your
battalion includes, say, a motorcycle recon platoon than you might
want to put together a stargrunt motorcycle recon team for some games.

I'm boring, and I think I annoy some people, because I assume that
without some drastic changes to modes of warfare (and making more
powerful direct-fire weapons and faster hovertanks aren't enough) then
modern-style organizations are going to work better than "more
interesting" ones.  On the other hand, they work and work well.  YMMV.

"Thousands of Sarmatians, Thousands of Franks, we've slain them again
and again.  We're looking for thousands of Persians."
--Vita Aureliani

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