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

From: "Robert Mayberry" <robert.mayberry@g...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 08:41:02 -0400
Subject: Re: [GZG] And now for something completely different...

On Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 4:00 AM, John Atkinson <>

> 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.

This is a great point.

This stuff obviously can be very setting-specific at times. In my
background, PA is very, very common (at least, off-world), because 1)
a lot of the fighting happens in uninhabitable environments, 2) you
can turn out large numbers of PA suits in a few days, but training
skilled professional soldiers to fight takes years, and 3) the mass
requirement of a PA suit on a transport is negligible compared to the
life support the soldier uses. So for me, "light" infantry is
typically also hard suited, possibly with light (and optional)
power-assist to alleviate fatigue, and is a specialist unit designed
for the few things that PA aren't good at. Hence my interest in PA
snipers and engineers; which in other settings would make little or no

> 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.

I mainly use infantry walkers in orbital insertions. Organizationally,
they're treated as "heavy infantry" (as opposed to the standard
infantry power armor), but I use them as combat vehicles. Basically,
they're dropped with the PA troops to clear landing zones and for
other "paratrooper" missions. They're also great for fights in rough
terrain or weather, especially since the decreased ranges help make up
for their fragility and high signature. Of course, a unit that has
them won't hold them back if they're in a serious fight, even if
infantry walkers aren't perfect in a straight up battle. In my
setting, an APC can be reconfigured in a shop in a few hours to
transport a single infantry walker instead of a PA squad.

They also make good engineering vehicles: while I also have normal
engineer vehicles, the extra mobility and opposable thumbs really come
in handy for certain combat engineer missions. It doesn't come up in
my forces, but I think infantry walkers have good value for civilian
tasks as well: engineering, setting up a colony, and exploration. I
can imagine an occupied settlement fitting a few out with weapons and
heading out into the rough countryside, supporting hit and run strikes
while the occupier's support ship is below the horizon.

I agree that walker transports/mechs don't make much sense. I'm glad
DS gives you the option to make one, but I wouldn't use it myself.


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