Author Topic: Moving Infantry  (Read 862 times)

Takiro

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Moving Infantry
« on: 02 September 2011, 19:01:06 »
This topic has been percolating in my mind for a while now and I’d like to get your input on the subject. As I was designing an infantry carrying dropship several glaring issues a rose for me.

1. Drop Priority. The dropship designs currently available make little effort to deploy an organized infantry force across the Human Sphere.

If you go by the traditional three (3) tier structure of most militaries (Successor States, Mercenaries, and the Periphery) there is only one vintage design (see list below) that carries a straight company (3 platoons). Most carry a reinforced company (4 platoons) while the remaining two carry reinforced battalions (12 battalions or 4 companies).

Fury (4 infantry platoons)
Intruder (4 infantry platoons)
Seeker (4 infantry platoons)
Condor (12 infantry platoons)
Triumph (4 infantry platoons)
Fortress (3 infantry platoons)
Excalibur (12 infantry platoons)

So how do you make a clean regiment out of this mishmash? Answer is you really don’t. Seems that infantry despite the number deployed is given a far lower transport priority than Mechs and Vehicles. Often other variants or ad hoc modifications fill gaps but that has got to make things difficult for this arm of your army.

The FWLM often deploys divisions of infantry while the AFFS has 5 such regiments of grunts in its RCTs. Their sheer numbers dwarf the Mech and Vehicle contingents but we don’t have a dropper that carries a regiment of infantry (27 platoons) into battle?

What gives?

Taron Storm

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #1 on: 02 September 2011, 20:21:28 »
I think that the theory is that the grunts aren't the highlight of the game.

Crunch

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #2 on: 02 September 2011, 21:00:33 »
And really the most efficient way to transport infantry is with cargo tonnage. Infantry bays let you deploy faster upon landing, but Infantry shouldn't be your assault troops so having your whole regiment deploying a little bit slower isn't that big a deal.

See Strat Ops p 42 and 43 for the rules on it.
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Bad_Syntax

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #3 on: 02 September 2011, 21:23:53 »
Just because you can fit 7 troops in an M2A2 bradley, doesn't mean anybody does it.  In fact, most drive around with only 4-5.

However, a 2.5 ton truck has a max "official" capacity of like 14, but I've seen nearly 30 in them when its the only ride home.

Those are *capacities*, and there is no reason anything would ever be 100% capacity.  In fact, 100% is really overloaded in most situations.  I'd simply round down to the nearest unit.  4 platoon carriers would typically have 3 platoons, 12 would have 9, etc.

However, when it comes to vehicles things usually carry the maximum capacity.

Infantry just kinda find space where they can.  I'm sure in the BTU the grunts on trips would make hammocks around the vehicles that transport them, engine compartments, hallways, whatever.  Regardless tho, it'll smell like butt pretty quickly :)

- 12 years of Infantry experience
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Chaser

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #4 on: 03 September 2011, 06:08:24 »
A standard company in any military would not be just 3 platoons it would be 3 platoons + its HQ unit.
The HQ unit would be the Company Comand personel, Com Section, and maybe a AT section or other specialized weapon units.   

A ww2 infantry company was typicaly 4 platoons, 3 rifle and a weapons platoon. But most people still considered it a three teir structure.

MadCapellan

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #5 on: 03 September 2011, 06:10:51 »
A standard company in any military would not be just 3 platoons it would be 3 platoons + its HQ unit.
The HQ unit would be the Company Comand personel, Com Section, and maybe a AT section or other specialized weapon units.   

A ww2 infantry company was typicaly 4 platoons, 3 rifle and a weapons platoon. But most people still considered it a three teir structure.

Bingo,.   Additionally, Let's say you just happen to get a wealth of recruits and your battalion becomes reinforced.  Do you think your military really wants to buy a whole additional dropship just to transport your battalion?  Leaving room for growth is a good idea.

Bad_Syntax

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #6 on: 03 September 2011, 11:01:58 »
Bingo,.   Additionally, Let's say you just happen to get a wealth of recruits and your battalion becomes reinforced.  Do you think your military really wants to buy a whole additional dropship just to transport your battalion?  Leaving room for growth is a good idea.

I was in the US Army for 12 years, and never once saw an "overstrength" unit of any size.  Sure, 4 companies from 2 battalions may get together in an operation, but they are still 4 companies from 2 battalions, they don't form "provisional" units like that.  Recruiters don't recruit more than they have space for.  When forming a new unit it'd be *understrength* until formed, and never overstrength.  Units can always be understrength, but in my experience *never* overstrength.
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monty

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #7 on: 03 September 2011, 12:55:35 »
FWLM groups 4 component units together in its infantry formations, so 4 platoons form a company making the Fury, Intruder, Seeker &  Triumph suitable for their transport. It is at the higher formation levels that they will run in to difficulty as they use 4 company (16 platoon) battalions & 4 battalion (64 platoon) regiments.

Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum.
Let him who desires peace prepare for war. (Vegetius)

MadCapellan

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #8 on: 03 September 2011, 17:35:45 »
I was in the US Army for 12 years, and never once saw an "overstrength" unit of any size. 

The modern military may not, but there's ample evidence that the Inner Sphere's militaries do.

Shijima_3085

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #9 on: 03 September 2011, 18:31:57 »
I don't think any of this accounts for the infantry logistics.  There's going to be a lot of tents, light motorized equipment for moving things around, comm gear, tech services probably humps around a good deal of computer and networking gear for the HQ and intel groups.  And then there's engineers, cooks, drivers...

Takiro

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #10 on: 03 September 2011, 20:16:58 »
A lot of folks who've responded have put forth the infantry as cargo but isn't there two problems with that. One, the infantry bay really allows units to be deployed quickly and efficiently into combat if your carrying an assault force as cargo your gonna need time to unload. {Crunch addressed this concern a bit and I'll take a look at SO} Still I'd like to have my guys ready to fight immediately rather than wait and unpack them. Two, what about life support? This isn't just like hauling stem bolts we are talking about moving people over distances which takes time. Will they be able to breath and be warm while traversing for 2 weeks in space on average. Life support is a cost consideration when constructing dropships and we are cramming a significant number of new persons to some craft. Isn't there an impact?

Not sure I buy the "numbers game" approach but yeah I suppose sometimes you do have more or less personnel to deal with. However I'm gonna approach this as a "by the numbers" deployment. I suppose leaving room for extra troops is a good idea and many nations do have command units for their infantry detachments which could require an extra platoon per company.

I don't think any of this accounts for the infantry logistics.  There's going to be a lot of tents, light motorized equipment for moving things around, comm gear, tech services probably humps around a good deal of computer and networking gear for the HQ and intel groups.  And then there's engineers, cooks, drivers...

I'm gonna get to that very good point soon Shijima!

Crunch

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #11 on: 03 September 2011, 20:40:22 »
A lot of folks who've responded have put forth the infantry as cargo but isn't there two problems with that. One, the infantry bay really allows units to be deployed quickly and efficiently into combat if your carrying an assault force as cargo your gonna need time to unload. {Crunch addressed this concern a bit and I'll take a look at SO} Still I'd like to have my guys ready to fight immediately rather than wait and unpack them. Two, what about life support? This isn't just like hauling stem bolts we are talking about moving people over distances which takes time. Will they be able to breath and be warm while traversing for 2 weeks in space on average. Life support is a cost consideration when constructing dropships and we are cramming a significant number of new persons to some craft. Isn't there an impact?

Not sure I buy the "numbers game" approach but yeah I suppose sometimes you do have more or less personnel to deal with. However I'm gonna approach this as a "by the numbers" deployment. I suppose leaving room for extra troops is a good idea and many nations do have command units for their infantry detachments which could require an extra platoon per company.


Strat Ops addresses both of those issues.

1) It's apparently customary and fairly easy to reconfigure part of the cargo tonnage into either Infantry Bays or Steerage quarters. Infantry bays are actually pretty uncomfortable for long term travel so it's likely that even a dropper with dedicated Infantry bays would want to reconfigure for steerage quarters. Steerage quarters include supplies and life support and come in at 5 tons per person (or 140 tons per 28 man platoon.) Since personnel carried in a bay require 1 ton of supplies per 20 people per day (or 1 ton per 5 people per day for personnel carried in cargo) the steerage quarters come out as much the better deal for anything but the shortest hops. And Strat Ops indicates that reconfiguring cargo for steerage is standard practice even for Infantry dropships.

2) The issues with readying for combat on unloading are largely negated for foot infantry as 1) They are ready to fight as soon as unloaded per strat ops unlike any other unit type and 2) They get to count their personnel for unloading purposes unlike any other unit type.

So a 28 man foot infantry platoon counts as a 3 ton cargo (per strat ops) being unloaded by 28 people each of whom is able to move .2s ton of cargo per minute. So with no help from ships crew a foot infantry platoon can deploy from steerage quarters in a little over 30 seconds limited by number of doors.

That's not as fast as deploying from a dedicated bay, and it takes up doors, but it's not a huge problem, and again foot infantry shouldn't be your shock troops anyway.
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Centurion13

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #12 on: 03 September 2011, 20:58:31 »
In designing and tweaking infantry fighting vehicles for my own fan project (TRO:3063), I discovered that the existing designs - that is, most of the infantry transports designed before the advent of Total Warfare - seemed to be crafted around transporting troops as conceived under the older rules. 

I stand ready to be corrected, but it seems to me the old infantry rules and the new ones are not quite compatible in terms of unit size, tonnage, etc.  Is this so?

If this is true, it seems reasonable to expect that most machines intended to transport troops under the old rules will not work out well under TW.  Which is one reason why we added so many new infantry transports to our fan TRO.  The other reason is that infantry under TW are pretty 'beast' (as my son would say) and while the game is first and foremost about the Big Stompy, grunts are now more than just squishies.  They can bite back - hard.

Cent13
« Last Edit: 03 September 2011, 21:08:55 by Centurion13 »

Takiro

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Re: Moving Infantry
« Reply #13 on: 05 September 2011, 19:48:54 »
2 - Motive Type or Task Oriented. As I got moving on my troop carrier, which was to carry mechanized infantry, I started to try and account for their transportation. But aren’t we paying for that weight already in the infantry bay itself. Aren’t motorized/mechanized bays larger because they accommodate their integral transportation assets? Nothing big mind you as bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, hoversleds, and jeeps mass less then a ton on occasion. Then there is the new rules in Strategic Ops that separates Mechanized and Motorized Troops into different bays based on Unarmored and Armored transport as near as I can tell. Love to hear more about that if you tell me but shouldn’t we forget about Infantry Motive Types and base their Bay Mass on the Task they perform. For example a Hercules Transport Plane that I saw could carry 96 Ground Troops or 64 Paratroops. That makes sense as their equipment is different as is their tasks and deployment style. If we did it that way we could then just count their necessary transportation assets as vehicles to be carried in separate bays of their own. Does this make more sense?