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Author Topic: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited  (Read 48892 times)

Failure16

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1200 on: 05 June 2022, 18:53:34 »
And we know what Death rides!  :D

Don't be jealous. It's unbecoming of a gentleman of your stature.  ;)

So: a cavalry army? Hrmm. You will always need line doggies to do what they do best, and specialized units or outfits to be the fire b rigades that cover the rest of the army or do the things they just cannot. Sometimes you really need a battalion of heavy armor or light infantry to hold a defensive bastion or patrol a city. Cavalry squadrons can do either job, but they won't be the best for it.

I'm no Marine fanboy (and I've had a sibling who was a jarhead, and I don't hold it against them, either), but they exist for a reason and that reason is something I have no interest at all in doing--which is why I became an Army infantryman and was proud to be so. See what I mean?

I would keep all my generalized log and maintenance assets at the HHT-level (whether that be squadron or regiment as the fit) other than the troop/battery level assets that should be there anyways (company supply sergeants are just as important as first-sergeants and XOs). And if you have enough arty, you could do either method: double up at the squadron level or give the regimental commander an extra hand to play when things get tight. Just remember, artillery requires a lot of logistical support! Your squadrons will already be hard-pressed to keep everything together, so maybe make them a regimental asset (4th Squadron) along with the Air Troop and whatever AT assets you want (guns or ATGWs).

And don't skimp on your sappers! Those boys'll save your collective ass when it comes to breaching an obstacle, protecting a flank, forming the battlefield to something you can (or want to) work with, or preparing your defense (news flash: digging in sucks).

Vietnam-era aircav troops consisted of a Red (Gunship) Platoon of nine gunships, a White (AeroScout) Platoon or nine scout helos, and a Blue (Aero Rifle) platoon of four lift ships with infantry/scout squads (that often lugged around two M60s, demo and chain saws to cut LZs, and everything else you might want to make the other side dead realsoonnow and get out evensoonernow.

Independent aircav troops that were part of an aircav squadron (like the archetypal 1/9*, the lead element of the 1st [Air] Cav Division that scored literally half of the division's KIAs and started every major contact during the entire 1st Cav Div's Vietnam experience!) supposedly had 11 guns, 10 scouts, and 6 lift ships.


*They were called the Headhunters and Matt Brennan has written several books about them that are worth the effort to track down if you have any interest in such things. The outfit was the inspiration for the famous air-assault scene in Apocalypse Now and the original Squadron CO started the cavalry Stetson tradition that persists to this very day:

https://1cda.org/history/history-9cav/
https://patrickbieneman.com/2011/12/15/ist-squadron-9th-cavalry-regiment-commanders-1965-1971/#:~:text=The%201st%2F9th%20Air%20Cavalry%20Squadron%20was%20the%20eyes,percent%20of%20the%20enemy%20killed%20by%20the%20division.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1201 on: 05 June 2022, 23:20:54 »
So: a cavalry army? Hrmm. You will always need line doggies to do what they do best, and specialized units or outfits to be the fire b rigades that cover the rest of the army or do the things they just cannot. Sometimes you really need a battalion of heavy armor or light infantry to hold a defensive bastion or patrol a city. Cavalry squadrons can do either job, but they won't be the best for it.

I suppose I'll stick with the single regiment, but they won't be the whole force.  I went back to my higher figure, based on Bulgarian all-volunteer military personnel, so I've got 5.3 per 1000 people.  That gives me a total of 12,500 personnel in the Land Defense Force, so I'm ballparking nine battalion-equivalents in two divisions, for lack of anything better.   I'm thinking one cavalry squadron, two infantry battalions, and a tank battalion as a makeup for each division, this way I've got the combat power of the cavalry squadron backed up by "line doggies" as you put it.  Each battalion would get its own 152mm SPG battery, with the leftover batteries assigned to the regiment's artillery assets.

I'm no Marine fanboy (and I've had a sibling who was a jarhead, and I don't hold it against them, either), but they exist for a reason and that reason is something I have no interest at all in doing--which is why I became an Army infantryman and was proud to be so. See what I mean?

Someone's gotta be around to eat the crayons...but yeah, I see what you mean.  Having more rounded military organization gives a lot more options to the volunteers joining the service, and sometimes you have missions that a cavalry force isn't optimum for. 

I would keep all my generalized log and maintenance assets at the HHT-level (whether that be squadron or regiment as the fit) other than the troop/battery level assets that should be there anyways (company supply sergeants are just as important as first-sergeants and XOs). And if you have enough arty, you could do either method: double up at the squadron level or give the regimental commander an extra hand to play when things get tight. Just remember, artillery requires a lot of logistical support! Your squadrons will already be hard-pressed to keep everything together, so maybe make them a regimental asset (4th Squadron) along with the Air Troop and whatever AT assets you want (guns or ATGWs).

I'll keep one battery with the squadron/battalion, with the remainder of the artillery at regiment.  There's a lot of artillery, if I keep all of it in service post-conversion.  Six 122mm batteries, eighteen 152mm batteries, six rocket batteries...I've probably got enough 152mm SPGs to fit out the whole army in total.

And don't skimp on your sappers! Those boys'll save your collective ass when it comes to breaching an obstacle, protecting a flank, forming the battlefield to something you can (or want to) work with, or preparing your defense (news flash: digging in sucks).

Mobility and countermobility engineers are very definitely being accounted for; a full company of sappers for each regiment seems to be a common enough placement.  Granted there's only two regiments, but still.

Vietnam-era aircav troops consisted of a Red (Gunship) Platoon of nine gunships, a White (AeroScout) Platoon or nine scout helos, and a Blue (Aero Rifle) platoon of four lift ships with infantry/scout squads (that often lugged around two M60s, demo and chain saws to cut LZs, and everything else you might want to make the other side dead realsoonnow and get out evensoonernow.

I suppose I'll set up an independent air cavalry force.  I can mobilize a matching three platoon system, Blue gunships, Black scouts, and Gold transports to match the flag colors.  I have a total of twelve of each, Mi-24/Mi-2/Mi-8s so I've got enough to do the same job.  That does of course cut into the utility aspect of air capability, but that's the Air Force's job anyway. 

Independent aircav troops that were part of an aircav squadron (like the archetypal 1/9*, the lead element of the 1st [Air] Cav Division that scored literally half of the division's KIAs and started every major contact during the entire 1st Cav Div's Vietnam experience!) supposedly had 11 guns, 10 scouts, and 6 lift ships.

EDIT: Poses a question.  What was the mission of the troops carried in the transports?  Other than damage assessments or clearing LZs for other folks, did they have a lot to do in the field?  I'm just wondering about the idea of mixing an air-cav force with its own infantry, carried in those 12 Mi-8s I have.  Airborne infantry, and since my land-based cavalry forces have their own infantry support perhaps there should be an air-assault capability with my Light Infantry force.

I have that leftover infantry battalion I was originally putting in RG-31s and using those on my UN missions, perhaps they can be trained for air-assault as well?  Each Mi-8 can carry 24 troops, so 288 at a theoretical maximum.  Maybe all three companies are trained, but I only have the transports for a single company-sized force...

Okay, hashing this out a bit, and thankful that the numbers worked this way.  I can make the section size eight men, which fits in two RG-31s as one assault group of four each, or the whole section in an Mi-24, with three sections (a full platoon) in an Mi-8.  With 12 of each, that's four platoons in Hinds and twelve in Hips, so four platoons make up a company and three companies make up a battalion.  Each company would use its fourth platoon for heavier weapons - AT-5s are pretty heavy, so I'll probably operate weapons platoons with one AT-5 operator and three assistants for a four man missile team, and PKM machine guns for the third section.  Something like this:

Weapons Platoon
  ATGM Section
    ATGM Team
      ATGM Gunner (AT-5 Spandrel)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
    ATGM Team
      ATGM Gunner (AT-5 Spandrel)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
  ATGM Section
    ATGM Team
      ATGM Gunner (AT-5 Spandrel)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
    ATGM Team
      ATGM Gunner (AT-5 Spandrel)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
      Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
  Machine Gun Section
    Machine Gun Group
      Machine Gunner (PKM)
      Asst. Machine Gunner (AK-74)
      Machine Gunner (PKM)
      Asst. Machine Gunner (AK-74)
    Machine Gun Group
      Machine Gunner (PKM)
      Asst. Machine Gunner (AK-74)
      Machine Gunner (PKM)
      Asst. Machine Gunner (AK-74)


I'd have the platoon commander acting as one of the ATGM team assistants and the deputy as a Machine Gun assistant, so that both sets of weapons have someone telling the others what to do.

*They were called the Headhunters and Matt Brennan has written several books about them that are worth the effort to track down if you have any interest in such things. The outfit was the inspiration for the famous air-assault scene in Apocalypse Now and the original Squadron CO started the cavalry Stetson tradition that persists to this very day:

I'll read up on those links, thanks.  Gives me ideas...
« Last Edit: 06 June 2022, 02:56:58 by ANS Kamas P81 »

Failure16

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1202 on: 06 June 2022, 20:40:54 »
I suppose I'll set up an independent air cavalry force.  I can mobilize a matching three platoon system, Blue gunships, Black scouts, and Gold transports to match the flag colors.  I have a total of twelve of each, Mi-24/Mi-2/Mi-8s so I've got enough to do the same job.  That does of course cut into the utility aspect of air capability, but that's the Air Force's job anyway. 

EDIT: Poses a question.  What was the mission of the troops carried in the transports?  Other than damage assessments or clearing LZs for other folks, did they have a lot to do in the field?  I'm just wondering about the idea of mixing an air-cav force with its own infantry, carried in those 12 Mi-8s I have.  Airborne infantry, and since my land-based cavalry forces have their own infantry support perhaps there should be an air-assault capability with my Light Infantry force.

I have that leftover infantry battalion I was originally putting in RG-31s and using those on my UN missions, perhaps they can be trained for air-assault as well?  Each Mi-8 can carry 24 troops, so 288 at a theoretical maximum.  Maybe all three companies are trained, but I only have the transports for a single company-sized force...

Okay, hashing this out a bit, and thankful that the numbers worked this way.  I can make the section size eight men, which fits in two RG-31s as one assault group of four each, or the whole section in an Mi-24, with three sections (a full platoon) in an Mi-8.  With 12 of each, that's four platoons in Hinds and twelve in Hips, so four platoons make up a company and three companies make up a battalion.  Each company would use its fourth platoon for heavier weapons - AT-5s are pretty heavy, so I'll probably operate weapons platoons with one AT-5 operator and three assistants for a four man missile team, and PKM machine guns for the third section.  Something like this:

I'd have the platoon commander acting as one of the ATGM team assistants and the deputy as a Machine Gun assistant, so that both sets of weapons have someone telling the others what to do.

I'll read up on those links, thanks.  Gives me ideas...

The Blues in a VN-era aircav troop chiefly did BDA and retrieval/security of downed aircrews/craft. The latter was by far their primary role as far as the rest of the troop's aircrew was concerned.

And yes, AT-5s are heavy (but not as heavy as a dismounted TOW-system; one of the few times the OpFor had a system that was more unwieldly than the Warsaw Pact original). They won't be going far from their carriers and will have maybe max 8 reloads for the launchers in those cans. But they will be deadly once they get AT-14 Kornets...

And Mi-24s could theoretically carry eight troops, but that was very rare and supposedly it torched their armament fitment. Just like UH-60s can technically carry weapons on theur stub-wings, but they almost never do. But, I would try it if I had some Hinds in my force ,and you should too!

I think the PL and D-PL of the MG platoon should be the third man ("ammo bearers" in US parlance, though I never once saw a three-man gun-team in my time, and I was in charge of plenty of them). The AG's will be carrying sundry items like tripods, T&E mechanisms, extra barrels, ammo and be responsible to laying next to the gunner when in position, ready to take over the moment the gunner rolls out of the way, dead or wounded. [NOTE: this is how a US gun-team with a -60 or -240B does it, not specifically a PKM, though they have the same gear). In other words, the AG has an important job to do already.

Digging this new turn of events, though.



As an aside, this is an article that hopefully has been superseded by events and the passage of time. If not, I'm officially embarrassed. On the other hand, I cannot imagine a world in which a 10th Mountain team- or squad-leader cannot do what the article supposes they should be doing by rote memory, asleep or drunk or wounded:

https://taskandpurpose.com/news/army-infantry-squad-leaders-navigation/

The 3rd ID they keep picturing in the article...who knows? Maybe. Mech units were never really big on the traditional infantry skills like land-nav, dismounted patrolling and attack/defense preparations in my experience. I will be honest and say that about the 11th ACR as well during my time there*. I was [almost singularly] lucky during my time with the Regiment to do what I did which held me in good stead when I got into the light-fighters.

I hope you boys take note of the last third of the article, it talks succinctly but presciently about NTC and operational-level maneuver-warfare-based training and how it can indeed atrophy (or at least not reinforce) small tactical unit fundamentals. And, Daryk, this article talks a lot of why I have never subscribed to your "every infantryman an astech" theory (let alone the USMC's ridiculous "every Marine a rifleman" shenanigans). I love you, Big D, but infantrymen need to be doing infantrymen stuff, not turning wrenches down at the motor-hole* or a hundred other details the REMFs should be handling on their own.

*The problem with mech-units is that instead of focusing on the critical skills of an infantryman, they often have to spend too much of their time in the motor-pool doing maintenance on their rides, or getting ready for ranges devoted to the vehicles and their crews. The AFV-related portion of their skillset is vital to their normal operational framework, but it detracts significantly from the other skills they do need. On the balance, take a light-infantry platoon and tell them how to work as part of an integrated tank/mech inf team. Get the popcorn ready, because it'll be an interesting first couple of hours/days... ;D

The point is: wargamers in particular have a desire or even a need to put infantrymen into armored vehicles that can blow up other armored vehicles. I believe it to be a function of game-creep: maximizing force listings, the natural desire to blow up the other guy's toys before he blows up your toys...a lot of things.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1203 on: 06 June 2022, 23:47:25 »
The Blues in a VN-era aircav troop chiefly did BDA and retrieval/security of downed aircrews/craft. The latter was by far their primary role as far as the rest of the troop's aircrew was concerned.

And yes, AT-5s are heavy (but not as heavy as a dismounted TOW-system; one of the few times the OpFor had a system that was more unwieldly than the Warsaw Pact original). They won't be going far from their carriers and will have maybe max 8 reloads for the launchers in those cans. But they will be deadly once they get AT-14 Kornets...

And Mi-24s could theoretically carry eight troops, but that was very rare and supposedly it torched their armament fitment. Just like UH-60s can technically carry weapons on theur stub-wings, but they almost never do. But, I would try it if I had some Hinds in my force ,and you should too!

I think the PL and D-PL of the MG platoon should be the third man ("ammo bearers" in US parlance, though I never once saw a three-man gun-team in my time, and I was in charge of plenty of them). The AG's will be carrying sundry items like tripods, T&E mechanisms, extra barrels, ammo and be responsible to laying next to the gunner when in position, ready to take over the moment the gunner rolls out of the way, dead or wounded. [NOTE: this is how a US gun-team with a -60 or -240B does it, not specifically a PKM, though they have the same gear). In other words, the AG has an important job to do already.

Digging this new turn of events, though.



As an aside, this is an article that hopefully has been superseded by events and the passage of time. If not, I'm officially embarrassed. On the other hand, I cannot imagine a world in which a 10th Mountain team- or squad-leader cannot do what the article supposes they should be doing by rote memory, asleep or drunk or wounded:

https://taskandpurpose.com/news/army-infantry-squad-leaders-navigation/

The 3rd ID they keep picturing in the article...who knows? Maybe. Mech units were never really big on the traditional infantry skills like land-nav, dismounted patrolling and attack/defense preparations in my experience. I will be honest and say that about the 11th ACR as well during my time there*. I was [almost singularly] lucky during my time with the Regiment to do what I did which held me in good stead when I got into the light-fighters.

I hope you boys take note of the last third of the article, it talks succinctly but presciently about NTC and operational-level maneuver-warfare-based training and how it can indeed atrophy (or at least not reinforce) small tactical unit fundamentals. And, Daryk, this article talks a lot of why I have never subscribed to your "every infantryman an astech" theory (let alone the USMC's ridiculous "every Marine a rifleman" shenanigans). I love you, Big D, but infantrymen need to be doing infantrymen stuff, not turning wrenches down at the motor-hole* or a hundred other details the REMFs should be handling on their own.

*The problem with mech-units is that instead of focusing on the critical skills of an infantryman, they often have to spend too much of their time in the motor-pool doing maintenance on their rides, or getting ready for ranges devoted to the vehicles and their crews. The AFV-related portion of their skillset is vital to their normal operational framework, but it detracts significantly from the other skills they do need. On the balance, take a light-infantry platoon and tell them how to work as part of an integrated tank/mech inf team. Get the popcorn ready, because it'll be an interesting first couple of hours/days... ;D

The point is: wargamers in particular have a desire or even a need to put infantrymen into armored vehicles that can blow up other armored vehicles. I believe it to be a function of game-creep: maximizing force listings, the natural desire to blow up the other guy's toys before he blows up your toys...a lot of things.

I mean, call me crazy but a given specialization is a full time job, and rifleman (in the sense of being professional light infantry) is a full time job, as is flying, as is paperwork, and supply, and all the other trades. So to say that every Marine is <their non-infantry specialty> and also a rifleman suggests they've been hiding some time dilation technology from everyone else  :D. Or they've got a very narrow definition of 'rifleman' that != infantryman.

Time (and really human limitations) really are great levelers. I doubt all that time spent practicing on helos and boarding ships and all that other secret squirrel stuff leaves SEAL teams much time to learn and practice arctic survival skills often enough to retain competency. There literally aren't enough hours in a day or days in a year...

As for the power creep - not just wargamers, but also every planner and MIC product manager and...

I've joked before to Gio that the most impressive part of the Chinese naval buildup isn't the pace of ship construction or ship design. It's that they've managed to scope control each successive design (ie, keep it boring and functional).

You try to get too exciting and... well I guess you can say that at least US Navy surface warship design and procurement over the last 30 years hasn't been boring:P

Daryk

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1204 on: 07 June 2022, 03:25:00 »
Thanks for the link F16!  I'll take a look after work tonight.  I have evolved my perspective a little based on your argument, such that with regular 7-trooper squads, six are AsTechs, but the Squad Leader is full-time infantry (along with the platoon commander and First Sergeant at the platoon level).

Daryk

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1205 on: 07 June 2022, 18:38:09 »
It was an interesting read!  Definitely dated, but interesting nonetheless...  8)

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1206 on: 07 June 2022, 20:39:32 »
The Blues in a VN-era aircav troop chiefly did BDA and retrieval/security of downed aircrews/craft. The latter was by far their primary role as far as the rest of the troop's aircrew was concerned.

Ooh, rescue units.  Definitely a big thing for a mission to do, hm...I like the way the 12 Mi-8 team worked for putting together an air assault battalion, so I'll just have to buy some extra Mi-8s to fill out the Air Cavalry force.  Six more of those won't be too expensive on the procurement budget, and it lets me duplicate an air cavalry force.  Then again, I can use the troops in the gunships, say nine of twelve fitting a section in with three evac birds left empty.  That gives me a full company of air cavalry troops still to do the BDA and secure downed aircraft, and room for 24 people to pull out if things go bad.  Still using the Mi-2 as air scouts along with the Mi-24s.

And yes, AT-5s are heavy (but not as heavy as a dismounted TOW-system; one of the few times the OpFor had a system that was more unwieldly than the Warsaw Pact original). They won't be going far from their carriers and will have maybe max 8 reloads for the launchers in those cans. But they will be deadly once they get AT-14 Kornets...

Kornets are pretty decent sized, but that armor penetration is no joke.  There's also the PKM; the gun plus its tripod weighs as much as a bare M240, so that makes it a little more portable as well.  I was figuring each assistant gunner carried two missiles, and I redid things a little dow below, so the whole force has 18 missiles for three launchers.  Enough to blunt an attack, I'd hope.  That's for a single weapons platoon.

And Mi-24s could theoretically carry eight troops, but that was very rare and supposedly it torched their armament fitment. Just like UH-60s can technically carry weapons on theur stub-wings, but they almost never do. But, I would try it if I had some Hinds in my force ,and you should too!

Huh, I haven't seen mention of that...nuts.  Looking through the various websites, I see that they can carry 1500kg on the weapons stations, and have a maximum transportable load of 2500kg, so maybe that extra ton is taken up by the infantry onboard?  That sounds to me like there's enough room for a decent weapons fitment, but I'll defer to anything you find that says otherwise.

I think the PL and D-PL of the MG platoon should be the third man ("ammo bearers" in US parlance, though I never once saw a three-man gun-team in my time, and I was in charge of plenty of them). The AG's will be carrying sundry items like tripods, T&E mechanisms, extra barrels, ammo and be responsible to laying next to the gunner when in position, ready to take over the moment the gunner rolls out of the way, dead or wounded. [NOTE: this is how a US gun-team with a -60 or -240B does it, not specifically a PKM, though they have the same gear). In other words, the AG has an important job to do already.

Digging this new turn of events, though.

Redoing the MG section of the weapons platoon then.

Weapons Section (x3)
  Platoon Leader/Deputy Platoon Leader/Section Leader (PM/AK-74)
  Machine Gunner (PKM)
    Asst. Machine Gunner (AK-74)
    Asst. Machine Gunner (AK-74)
  ATGM Gunner (AT-14 Spriggan)
    Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
    Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)
    Asst. ATGM Gunner (AK-74)


There's your three-man machine gun team, and still backing a four man missile team.  I figure by 2025 I'd switch up to the newer missiles; the AT-14 was "widely exported" and showed up in the late 1990s.  Plenty of time to pick up a few, or even license production, for Serednya Slaviya.

As an aside, this is an article that hopefully has been superseded by events and the passage of time. If not, I'm officially embarrassed. On the other hand, I cannot imagine a world in which a 10th Mountain team- or squad-leader cannot do what the article supposes they should be doing by rote memory, asleep or drunk or wounded:

https://taskandpurpose.com/news/army-infantry-squad-leaders-navigation/

That's a little scary and disappointing, because what does it say about their other infantry skills, if they can't pass land navigation classes?  The mention of only doing grenade launcher training once every six months is atrocious; you can't build skill with schedules like that.  My own guns, I don't shoot nearly often enough, and I still can't hit for ****.  How often are they even getting rifle practice, at that point?

The 3rd ID they keep picturing in the article...who knows? Maybe. Mech units were never really big on the traditional infantry skills like land-nav, dismounted patrolling and attack/defense preparations in my experience. I will be honest and say that about the 11th ACR as well during my time there*. I was [almost singularly] lucky during my time with the Regiment to do what I did which held me in good stead when I got into the light-fighters.

Maybe it's too much a reliance on technology?  Vehicle GPS and mapping systems being so widespread, and always having your track with you, might be what prompts the loss of skill.

I hope you boys take note of the last third of the article, it talks succinctly but presciently about NTC and operational-level maneuver-warfare-based training and how it can indeed atrophy (or at least not reinforce) small tactical unit fundamentals. And, Daryk, this article talks a lot of why I have never subscribed to your "every infantryman an astech" theory (let alone the USMC's ridiculous "every Marine a rifleman" shenanigans). I love you, Big D, but infantrymen need to be doing infantrymen stuff, not turning wrenches down at the motor-hole* or a hundred other details the REMFs should be handling on their own.

Considering the kind of training they talk about wanting to put to infantry, and the kinds of skills that a trooper should have -- not to mention their NCO leadership needing to be "tactical geniuses" -- it's putting a lot of demand on the infantry's training time.  The infantry has their own job to practice and do, which they should be training for any chance they get, I suppose. 

*The problem with mech-units is that instead of focusing on the critical skills of an infantryman, they often have to spend too much of their time in the motor-pool doing maintenance on their rides, or getting ready for ranges devoted to the vehicles and their crews. The AFV-related portion of their skillset is vital to their normal operational framework, but it detracts significantly from the other skills they do need. On the balance, take a light-infantry platoon and tell them how to work as part of an integrated tank/mech inf team. Get the popcorn ready, because it'll be an interesting first couple of hours/days... ;D

Interesting in what way, I wonder.  ;D  It sounds like the trouble is in the testing, and how the training focuses on teaching to the test.  Too much weight is being given to the vehicle ranges and their scores there, and not enough focus on the infantry side of things.  That's what it sounds like to me...

The point is: wargamers in particular have a desire or even a need to put infantrymen into armored vehicles that can blow up other armored vehicles. I believe it to be a function of game-creep: maximizing force listings, the natural desire to blow up the other guy's toys before he blows up your toys...a lot of things.

But infantry belong in vehicles, they can only move one hex at a time otherwise!  More seriously...I suppose you're right about the armored vehicles, plus there's the idea of protecting infantry units.  Look at things like the Achzarit, using converted tanks to protect precious infantrymen - which for the Israelis is a good idea because they don't have the large numbers of replacements for dead troopers.  The more they can protect their people, the better, but sooner or later you have to spend infantry (and vehicle) capital to achieve a mission success.

I mean, call me crazy but a given specialization is a full time job, and rifleman (in the sense of being professional light infantry) is a full time job, as is flying, as is paperwork, and supply, and all the other trades. So to say that every Marine is <their non-infantry specialty> and also a rifleman suggests they've been hiding some time dilation technology from everyone else  :D. Or they've got a very narrow definition of 'rifleman' that != infantryman.

I'd take the viewpoint that a rifleman is not an infantryman, because there's skills that the infantry use outside of riflery.  Every man a good shooter that can fill in and be led by a dedicated infantryman, maybe, focusing on rifle accuracy and familiarity.  But that's playing a semantic game I shouldn't be playing, I think.  It comes down to "grunts are specialists too" I suppose.

Time (and really human limitations) really are great levelers. I doubt all that time spent practicing on helos and boarding ships and all that other secret squirrel stuff leaves SEAL teams much time to learn and practice arctic survival skills often enough to retain competency. There literally aren't enough hours in a day or days in a year...

I guess it's a case of specializing to a point, and having enough troops that you can specialize them in different ways, so you've got at least something to apply to a situation, even if it's not much.  Manpower budgets are something I've been dealing with for Serednya Slaviya and its 17,000 personnel (including the Air Force) so it makes for some interesting juggling to make it fit.

As for the power creep - not just wargamers, but also every planner and MIC product manager and...

I've joked before to Gio that the most impressive part of the Chinese naval buildup isn't the pace of ship construction or ship design. It's that they've managed to scope control each successive design (ie, keep it boring and functional).

You try to get too exciting and... well I guess you can say that at least US Navy surface warship design and procurement over the last 30 years hasn't been boring:P

Scale creep, power creep, mission creep, and every officer involved requiring they put in some input on the design to pad their own resume...there's definitely endemic problems to the modern western system.  If the Chinese are building "good enough" and keeping it that way, then they've got ahold of something right.

Thanks for the link F16!  I'll take a look after work tonight.  I have evolved my perspective a little based on your argument, such that with regular 7-trooper squads, six are AsTechs, but the Squad Leader is full-time infantry (along with the platoon commander and First Sergeant at the platoon level).

That sounds like my rifleman definition above; each squad member is at least a competent shooter while the SL and PL are trained infantry.  Seems a problem if you lose your leadership, though, who's the only definitive infantryman in the unit.

Failure16

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1207 on: 07 June 2022, 20:39:48 »
I mean, call me crazy but a given specialization is a full time job, and rifleman (in the sense of being professional light infantry) is a full time job, as is flying, as is paperwork, and supply, and all the other trades. So to say that every Marine is <their non-infantry specialty> and also a rifleman suggests they've been hiding some time dilation technology from everyone else  :D. Or they've got a very narrow definition of 'rifleman' that != infantryman.

Time (and really human limitations) really are great levelers. I doubt all that time spent practicing on helos and boarding ships and all that other secret squirrel stuff leaves SEAL teams much time to learn and practice arctic survival skills often enough to retain competency. There literally aren't enough hours in a day or days in a year...


When you are right, you are right. I'm not saying light infantrymen don't spend some decent part of their duty weeks chilling in the barracks. But if that is all they are doing in garrison, then the company leadership needs to be looking long and hard at their platoon leadership. It isn't hard...company areas aren't that big, after all. But if you are constantly pulling your young infantrymen to pick-up trash from the side of the main drag through post, or fix fences, or change tires on trailers they don't even know existed until that moment, then they are doing something that takes them away from training opportunities that may be finite.

The article made a good point of missing ranges. Contrary to popular belief, even the US Army doesn't have so much ammunition kicking around a given unit can go to the range whenever they feel like it. And it takes a lot of cajoling to slot a couple of B/2-14's guys into an A/4-31 range--because then you are taking time and materials away from that company/battalion's finite resources. And if you don't get qualified, you are nondeployable. But, even more importantly, you didn't get the training you needed, so even if you did deploy (and you will, unless you are really sick or hurt), you may not be up to spec--which is a bad spot to be in a faraway place.

As for the power creep - not just wargamers, but also every planner and MIC product manager and...

I've joked before to Gio that the most impressive part of the Chinese naval buildup isn't the pace of ship construction or ship design. It's that they've managed to scope control each successive design (ie, keep it boring and functional).

You try to get too exciting and... well I guess you can say that at least US Navy surface warship design and procurement over the last 30 years hasn't been boring:P

You are right again; it's not just gamers. But it is very visible in the wargaming community. Even I find myself succumbing to it. The real-world may show me that a light-infantry force mounted on trucks is a reality for much of the world's fighting forces. But when it comes to game-time, that's just not as exciting as a company team of super-sexy main-battle tanks with the latest in ECM, ERA, and APD and infantry fighting vehicles sporting 40mm main-guns and advanced ATGWs to cart around their [now heavily truncated] dismount detachments.

In BattleTech parlance, we all know that the Inner Sphere fields approximately 3 AFVs and 5 infantry units per BattleMech. And that is great to portray that on the tabletop. But on game-day, how many of us simply say, "Ah, screw it. Here are my twelve 'Mechs. You got yours? Let's do this!"?

Regarding the PLN, well, things look okay from the outside now.  Maybe they managed to tamp down on excesses like you say. In my own line of work, the owner is trying to ram a new software system through and make it do things it is not intended to do--or at least things it is not ideal at. The new system certainly has its uses, and it costs/ed so much, it will get used. Even if the legacy system had advantages that outshine the new system for certain things (like scheduling, for example).



It was an interesting read!  Definitely dated, but interesting nonetheless...  8)

Yeah. I hope the intervening four or so years made a difference. Lord.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1208 on: 07 June 2022, 21:02:30 »
When you are right, you are right. I'm not saying light infantrymen don't spend some decent part of their duty weeks chilling in the barracks. But if that is all they are doing in garrison, then the company leadership needs to be looking long and hard at their platoon leadership. It isn't hard...company areas aren't that big, after all. But if you are constantly pulling your young infantrymen to pick-up trash from the side of the main drag through post, or fix fences, or change tires on trailers they don't even know existed until that moment, then they are doing something that takes them away from training opportunities that may be finite.

My uncle was stationed at Homestead in his Air Force duty and was assigned as a groundskeeper.  If the military has people for that job, they shouldn't be pulling infantrymen (or other personnel "not doing anything important") to take care of what's basically scut work.  Either have base caretakers or contract it out.  I guess people approach the infantry as in the quote from Aliens - "He can't make that kind of decision, he's just a grunt!" 

The article made a good point of missing ranges. Contrary to popular belief, even the US Army doesn't have so much ammunition kicking around a given unit can go to the range whenever they feel like it. And it takes a lot of cajoling to slot a couple of B/2-14's guys into an A/4-31 range--because then you are taking time and materials away from that company/battalion's finite resources. And if you don't get qualified, you are nondeployable. But, even more importantly, you didn't get the training you needed, so even if you did deploy (and you will, unless you are really sick or hurt), you may not be up to spec--which is a bad spot to be in a faraway place.

Which comes back to my previous question of how much range time do soldiers in general and infantry in particular actually get?  That and teaching to the test, doing just enough training to qualify for deployability probably means you're hurting in everything that's not being tested for.  That gets people killed in foreign lands.

You are right again; it's not just gamers. But it is very visible in the wargaming community. Even I find myself succumbing to it. The real-world may show me that a light-infantry force mounted on trucks is a reality for much of the world's fighting forces. But when it comes to game-time, that's just not as exciting as a company team of super-sexy main-battle tanks with the latest in ECM, ERA, and APD and infantry fighting vehicles sporting 40mm main-guns and advanced ATGWs to cart around their [now heavily truncated] dismount detachments.

Our prior discussions on the makeup of cavalry forces comes to mind, and your statement that an all-cav force is going to find missions it's not made up for that "line doggies" can do better - and those line doggies aren't the glamorous combined-arms forces either.  And I hear you on the dismount detachments, things like breaking up three section of troops into four Bradleys because they can only carry so many, and uparmoring vehicles reducing the number of troops they carry.  It's a long distance from that "optimum" rule of three subunits platoon design I was faffing around with a while back.

In BattleTech parlance, we all know that the Inner Sphere fields approximately 3 AFVs and 5 infantry units per BattleMech. And that is great to portray that on the tabletop. But on game-day, how many of us simply say, "Ah, screw it. Here are my twelve 'Mechs. You got yours? Let's do this!"?

Which may translate to similar mindsets in wargame planners, and a focus on the mechanized aspects of things and less on the "mere infantry."  I'm just spitballing here, but people are people - and if we mostly ignore the combined arms aspects of things, who else is?

Regarding the PLN, well, things look okay from the outside now.  Maybe they managed to tamp down on excesses like you say. In my own line of work, the owner is trying to ram a new software system through and make it do things it is not intended to do--or at least things it is not ideal at. The new system certainly has its uses, and it costs/ed so much, it will get used. Even if the legacy system had advantages that outshine the new system for certain things (like scheduling, for example).

I'm reminded of my time at UPS, where we supported all sorts of things in the 2000s.  Despite having several generations of software after it, including the New Hotness that did all the paperwork for you (sort of) we still had people shipping on antiquated MS-DOS machines because they'd been so used to them they didn't want to give up and modernize.

EDIT: Moved to a new post.
« Last Edit: 07 June 2022, 23:06:45 by ANS Kamas P81 »

Failure16

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1209 on: 07 June 2022, 22:38:52 »
Digging the new heavy weapons platoon.

Just real quick, look for the following book regarding Hind use as an "Aerial IFV":

Mil Mi-24 Hind, Attack Helicopter by Gordon, Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitry (2001), Airlife. ISBN 9781840372380.

I think it is very worth it if you can find it. But the pages you are looking for are on 17 and 59. Essentially, carrying troops distracted the crews, stressed out the aircraft, took weight away from the warload (already lightened in places like Afghanistan because of conditions), and generally made a hash of things. I don't recall seeing an explicit mention in that book, but I do recall reading elsewhere that a load of troops in a Mi-24 meant a rolling takeoff and inability to make clean insertions and departures from the LZs you'd encounter in the field. There was a mention of Hinds dropping off Spetsnaz in the Zapad-81 maneuvers where six operators would unass the helo from a "couple dozen feet and 50 [kph]" (p. 18). Sounds like how I'd unass my school bus at the end of the day as a kid in Athens, Greece!

I might be able to help selected individuals who PM me with more data about this book.

People think infantrymen are stupid and couldn't get a better MOS. My experience was that most infantrymen had GT scores on the ASVAB well in excess of 100, they were physically fit, able to react properly in a crisis (which is not a common virtue) and were willing to do Bad Things for Good People because they were young and invincible. Of course, for every high-speed trooper, there was ones that made you realize the movies weren't all wrong... ::) ;D Some of those got promoted to team- and [rarely] squad leaders or above. But it did happen. On that balance, I always wondered why people joined the Army to be a truck driver--not because it wasn't an honest, honorable line of work that had a calling outside the military--but because you could do that as a civilian without all the ridiculosity. Hell, as GW through OIF and beyond showed, it wasn't even much safer than being in the combat arms!

Anyways, training is where you find it. At NTC I spent 281 days in the box in my first year. Not all of that was shooting stuff, but it was all training. That is an aberration, of course (and Fort Irwin had and likely still has the highest divorce rate in the US Army for permanent staff). At Fort Drum there were probably ranges every couple of months with qualifications every six months and live-fire exercises probably quarterly. Land nav, road marches (3-5 miler [bi-]weekly, 12-miler monthly, 24-miler quarterly required), endless battle drills and soldier-skills could be had almost anywhere and any time. Two-week field problems/FTXs probably quarterly as well (with a big battalion or brigade FTX done at least once a year if not two).

Most US Army units act of a cycle where a battalion is Red or Green status. Red Cycle is when you are not deployable, and that is where all those details crop up, easy and irritating--the Army at its stupidest. Green Cycle means you are deployable and that is where the training and suck come in. I suppose there was a Yellow Cycle of sorts where you were getting ready for Green Cycle, but no one ever called it that officially.

It's kind of like the movie Fury: "Now you killin', now you ain't."

I'm and old, broken-down former infantryman, but that blue cord will never be off my shoulder, but I still want to break out my shiny 'Mech and tank models at the table more than a bunch of 6mm tall dudes. Maybe I identify with those 6mm tall dudes and don't want them murderized? Who knows? The ruleset we all worked on some time back I thought got the nuances of the infantry fight down pretty well.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1210 on: 07 June 2022, 23:49:35 »
Attacking that helicopter force again.  Alright, good points on the Hinds - I've heard of them having to do rolling takeoffs, but I wasn't aware of the lack of transportability.  I'll keep the Hinds as pure gunships, and skip their troop transport capability.  That leaves me with twelve gunships, twelve scouts, and I'll add six Hips to the fleet to carry four platoons worth of troops - three rifle platoons and one weapons platoon like I detailed above.  That leaves two Hips empty for evac or other needs, and brings enough troops on the ground to secure an LZ or do widespread BDA.  I'd need to buy the six extra helicopters, but that's cheap enough.  The basic assault group is below, three of those platoons plus the one weapons platoon mixed around each helicopter.

Rifle Platoon
Rifle Section (x3)
Assault Group (x2)
  Group/Section/Platoon/Company Leader (AK-74/PM)
  Rifleman (AK-74)
  Grenadier (AK-74 w/ GP-34)
  LMG Gunner (RPK)


As far as the rest of the army goes...

So I've got two brigades, with one cavalry battalion, two mech infantry battalions, and a tank battalion each.  Each battalion comes with a 152mm SPG battery, plus a four-battery battalion of 152mm SPGs at brigade level, along with an air defense company (9 SA-6, 9 SA-9, 9 Shilka), and recon, engineer, EW, military police, material support, maintenance, medical, and signals companies, with a chemical warfare platoon to fill out both brigades.

I'm left wondering how independent an independent air cavalry unit would be - I suppose I could bring a third brigade up with the air cavalry squadron, the air assault battalion (12 Hips with 288 infantry), and then one battalion of light mechanized infantry in RG-31s that is the primary UN mission contribution. 

Digging the new heavy weapons platoon.

Just real quick, look for the following book regarding Hind use as an "Aerial IFV":

Mil Mi-24 Hind, Attack Helicopter by Gordon, Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitry (2001), Airlife. ISBN 9781840372380.

Youch.  128 bucks on Amazon is way out of my price range.

I think it is very worth it if you can find it. But the pages you are looking for are on 17 and 59. Essentially, carrying troops distracted the crews, stressed out the aircraft, took weight away from the warload (already lightened in places like Afghanistan because of conditions), and generally made a hash of things. I don't recall seeing an explicit mention in that book, but I do recall reading elsewhere that a load of troops in a Mi-24 meant a rolling takeoff and inability to make clean insertions and departures from the LZs you'd encounter in the field. There was a mention of Hinds dropping off Spetsnaz in the Zapad-81 maneuvers where six operators would unass the helo from a "couple dozen feet and 50 [kph]" (p. 18). Sounds like how I'd unass my school bus at the end of the day as a kid in Athens, Greece!

Alright, I believe it - the Hind sucks at carrying troops.  Even my idea of only loading four troops and leaving the rest empty probably wouldn't work, at that.  Oh well, that's what the extra Hips are for.  And LOL at departing your stick at speed and altitude, that's crazy...but it's spetznaz crazy.  I remember an old documentary on the Hind when I was a kid that described its operations as closer to a light plane doing attack runs rather than the typical American style of hovering behind cover and lobbing missiles at tanks.

People think infantrymen are stupid and couldn't get a better MOS. My experience was that most infantrymen had GT scores on the ASVAB well in excess of 100, they were physically fit, able to react properly in a crisis (which is not a common virtue) and were willing to do Bad Things for Good People because they were young and invincible. Of course, for every high-speed trooper, there was ones that made you realize the movies weren't all wrong... ::) ;D Some of those got promoted to team- and [rarely] squad leaders or above. But it did happen. On that balance, I always wondered why people joined the Army to be a truck driver--not because it wasn't an honest, honorable line of work that had a calling outside the military--but because you could do that as a civilian without all the ridiculosity. Hell, as GW through OIF and beyond showed, it wasn't even much safer than being in the combat arms!

Training to be a trucker in the civilian word's pretty expensive, getting it for free in the army is something to consider.  Hell, training for all kinds of stuff can get pretty pricey, doing it on the gubmint's dime has its advantages.

Anyways, training is where you find it. At NTC I spent 281 days in the box in my first year. Not all of that was shooting stuff, but it was all training. That is an aberration, of course (and Fort Irwin had and likely still has the highest divorce rate in the US Army for permanent staff). At Fort Drum there were probably ranges every couple of months with qualifications every six months and live-fire exercises probably quarterly. Land nav, road marches (3-5 miler [bi-]weekly, 12-miler monthly, 24-miler quarterly required), endless battle drills and soldier-skills could be had almost anywhere and any time. Two-week field problems/FTXs probably quarterly as well (with a big battalion or brigade FTX done at least once a year if not two).

Spending 80% of your first year there must have been interesting.  At least that's a good set of requirements, though I wonder how much of those were being met by those units that couldn't pass qualifications.  Budget slippage, schedule slippage, all sorts of things to ruin planned exercises.  Though as far as the ranges go, that kinda hurts...riflery isn't an easy skill to get good at, and staying good requires more than a quarterly trip to the range.  At least, in my attempts to learn to shoot well.  I'll stick with shotguns, myself...

Most US Army units act of a cycle where a battalion is Red or Green status. Red Cycle is when you are not deployable, and that is where all those details crop up, easy and irritating--the Army at its stupidest. Green Cycle means you are deployable and that is where the training and suck come in. I suppose there was a Yellow Cycle of sorts where you were getting ready for Green Cycle, but no one ever called it that officially.

I imagine there's a lot of effort made to keep that Green Cycle status, because it makes the battalion leadership look good.  What kinds of details came up when you got Red status?

It's kind of like the movie Fury: "Now you killin', now you ain't."

I'm and old, broken-down former infantryman, but that blue cord will never be off my shoulder, but I still want to break out my shiny 'Mech and tank models at the table more than a bunch of 6mm tall dudes. Maybe I identify with those 6mm tall dudes and don't want them murderized? Who knows? The ruleset we all worked on some time back I thought got the nuances of the infantry fight down pretty well.

I'd still like to see a Fringe thread again, with the construction rules and all.  It was a lot of fun coming up with various vehicles and writing up stuff from other IPs for it. 

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1211 on: 07 June 2022, 23:59:04 »

When you are right, you are right. I'm not saying light infantrymen don't spend some decent part of their duty weeks chilling in the barracks. But if that is all they are doing in garrison, then the company leadership needs to be looking long and hard at their platoon leadership. It isn't hard...company areas aren't that big, after all. But if you are constantly pulling your young infantrymen to pick-up trash from the side of the main drag through post, or fix fences, or change tires on trailers they don't even know existed until that moment, then they are doing something that takes them away from training opportunities that may be finite.

The article made a good point of missing ranges. Contrary to popular belief, even the US Army doesn't have so much ammunition kicking around a given unit can go to the range whenever they feel like it. And it takes a lot of cajoling to slot a couple of B/2-14's guys into an A/4-31 range--because then you are taking time and materials away from that company/battalion's finite resources. And if you don't get qualified, you are nondeployable. But, even more importantly, you didn't get the training you needed, so even if you did deploy (and you will, unless you are really sick or hurt), you may not be up to spec--which is a bad spot to be in a faraway place.

Back when Canadians were deploying the regular army in Afghanistan (in Kandahar), the full deployment cycle took 18 months - 6 month workup, 6 month deployment, 6 month drawdown. My suspicion was that the length and intensity of the workup was not just to learn the lessons from the previous rotations, but to get into practice... and set muscle memory for all of the complicated things to be done in hot dusty places. My bet is that units doing that workup got lots of range time, and on more dynamic environments than the typical shooting range.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2010/07/28/final_act_for_afghan_actors_at_cfb_wainwright.html

Quote
You are right again; it's not just gamers. But it is very visible in the wargaming community. Even I find myself succumbing to it. The real-world may show me that a light-infantry force mounted on trucks is a reality for much of the world's fighting forces. But when it comes to game-time, that's just not as exciting as a company team of super-sexy main-battle tanks with the latest in ECM, ERA, and APD and infantry fighting vehicles sporting 40mm main-guns and advanced ATGWs to cart around their [now heavily truncated] dismount detachments.

In BattleTech parlance, we all know that the Inner Sphere fields approximately 3 AFVs and 5 infantry units per BattleMech. And that is great to portray that on the tabletop. But on game-day, how many of us simply say, "Ah, screw it. Here are my twelve 'Mechs. You got yours? Let's do this!"?

There's a lot of gear fetishization, but I think there's also a subtext. The usual advantage the expeditionary (colonial, imperialist...) force has is technology and resources. They can and really have to fight relatively (as all things are) capital-heavy and labour-light whether they're constrained by recruitment, manning, low casualty tolerances, budgetary issues because each troop comes with so much expensive gear... But you know, those are 'your' guys. Just like the Roman legions. The auxiliaries, mercenaries, contractors, merchants, translators, rent-a-guards, those are... 'your-ish' guys. Making it the man over the machine (and guile, stubbornness, resourcefulness, leadership, planning, organization, creativity over cold hard cash and bigger effin' guns) should be cause for doubt (and no one likes doubt) that maybe you're not the hero of this story. And maybe it won't be victory and home by Christmas...

Quote
Regarding the PLN, well, things look okay from the outside now.  Maybe they managed to tamp down on excesses like you say. In my own line of work, the owner is trying to ram a new software system through and make it do things it is not intended to do--or at least things it is not ideal at. The new system certainly has its uses, and it costs/ed so much, it will get used. Even if the legacy system had advantages that outshine the new system for certain things (like scheduling, for example).

It's cyclical, and maybe there should be a momento mori for the generals or admirals or whomever watching a plan come together. It can also just be a case of organizational incentives. Google (sorry, Alphabet) infamously has an internal career progression that prioritizes spinning up new projects/products over refining and maintaining existing ones, leading to well... this: https://killedbygoogle.com/

Maybe the US Navy for whatever reason prioritizes daring revolutionary doctrinal shifts and designs to fit them, with decade long lead times and using lots of untested technology all at once.

In terms of software, my thought is that:

1) No one anywhere really knows all the things the old software is doing. Not everything happens in view, not all users are aware of the things being done, and some functionality will always be taken for granted until it goes missing

2) Software can only built around the rules and business requirements provided and the known assumptions. It's always the implicit unspoken stuff that will cause endless headaches all around

3) Industries often don't learn or can't implement best practices. I don't think there's a single engineering methodology that doesn't emphasize the early involvement of end-users for input and feedback because at the end of the day, they are the subject matter experts in the things they do. Never stops layers of analysts and managers and executives all putting their own spin and requests on things...

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1212 on: 08 June 2022, 00:29:37 »
I think some Hinds in Afghanistan did make use of the passenger compartment... not for dismounts but to bring a ride-along to or two to man some door guns to provide extra eyes and covering fire. Which yes, pretty much makes it a flying ACAV.

Incidentally, the Soviets have a particular gun pod sometimes used with the Hind that contains THREE miniguns per pod - one .50 flanked by a pair of .30s. Add in the nose gun (turreted .50 minigun or a fixed 23mm cannon) and the door guns, and... well, I guess there's a reason they call them gunships. But maybe it'd be more accurate to call them lots-of-guns-ships

Daryk

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1213 on: 08 June 2022, 03:26:32 »
*snip*
On that balance, I always wondered why people joined the Army to be a truck driver--not because it wasn't an honest, honorable line of work that had a calling outside the military--but because you could do that as a civilian without all the ridiculosity. Hell, as GW through OIF and beyond showed, it wasn't even much safer than being in the combat arms!
*snip*
Well, my wife joined as a truck driver because it was what they had available at the time...  ^-^

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1214 on: 09 June 2022, 01:14:36 »
I think some Hinds in Afghanistan did make use of the passenger compartment... not for dismounts but to bring a ride-along to or two to man some door guns to provide extra eyes and covering fire. Which yes, pretty much makes it a flying ACAV.

Incidentally, the Soviets have a particular gun pod sometimes used with the Hind that contains THREE miniguns per pod - one .50 flanked by a pair of .30s. Add in the nose gun (turreted .50 minigun or a fixed 23mm cannon) and the door guns, and... well, I guess there's a reason they call them gunships. But maybe it'd be more accurate to call them lots-of-guns-ships



I call it BRRRRTacles.

Seriously though, that's a lot of firepower to put down in a strafing run.  I wonder how much ammo they have on board, and how fast those quad barrels chew through it.

So organizing the Air Cavalry, how often do they work alongside regular cavalry units?  I'm debating what to do with it as part of the Land Forces, that rough TOE I mentioned earlier.  Would it fold into the existing Cavalry Squadron or make a squadron of its own?  I'm probably going to need a third brigade's support elements to cover the light battalion and the air assault battalion, so slotting it in there is a possibility too.  Just not sure where to go with it.

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1215 on: 09 June 2022, 01:30:54 »


I call it BRRRRTacles.

Seriously though, that's a lot of firepower to put down in a strafing run.  I wonder how much ammo they have on board, and how fast those quad barrels chew through it.

So organizing the Air Cavalry, how often do they work alongside regular cavalry units?  I'm debating what to do with it as part of the Land Forces, that rough TOE I mentioned earlier.  Would it fold into the existing Cavalry Squadron or make a squadron of its own?  I'm probably going to need a third brigade's support elements to cover the light battalion and the air assault battalion, so slotting it in there is a possibility too.  Just not sure where to go with it.

5x YakB at 4000-5000 rpm
4x GShG at 6000 rpm

Gives something along the lines of 44000-49000 rpm. Actually, given the location of the doors relative to the weapons pylons, I'm not sure if Hinds could/would use door gunners, but I digress.

I think there's only 10-20 seconds of endurance on the ammo.

On the other hand, if you can't solve your problems within 10,000 rounds (per aircraft in a flight!)...

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1216 on: 09 June 2022, 01:43:31 »
At that point, you've cleared an LZ yourself, no need for the guys with chainsaws!

Failure16

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1217 on: 09 June 2022, 18:39:09 »
More on the Hinds, later.

But, I'm just going to drop this here...East German PanzerBoy Scouts:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_zZeWpJ9Hg
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

Daryk

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1218 on: 09 June 2022, 18:45:24 »
That was HILARIOUS! :toofunny:

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1219 on: 09 June 2022, 18:52:02 »
More on the Hinds, later.

But, I'm just going to drop this here...East German PanzerBoy Scouts:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_zZeWpJ9Hg

I always did use 'paramilitary boy scouts' as the shorthand description for the various Commonwealth cadet programs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVV846Of4ww

Daryk

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1220 on: 09 June 2022, 19:38:36 »
Either those children were particularly tall, or that inspeciting officer was particularly short...  ^-^

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1221 on: 09 June 2022, 20:29:56 »
Either those children were particularly tall, or that inspeciting officer was particularly short...  ^-^

That one kid at the 1:00 mark could probably join the NBA!

But, I'm just going to drop this here...East German PanzerBoy Scouts:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_zZeWpJ9Hg

See I come up with an idea to have Girls und Panzer be justified and the real world goes and does one better on me!  Sigh, the real world is just too unrealistic.

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1222 on: 15 June 2022, 13:37:56 »
Soooo when are we going to see some painted microarmor?  :D

Looking at GHQ, they have all of the models needed for your Cold War formation, although you'd need to kitbash or mod the MT-LB mortar and ATGM carriers.

You would end up with some excess models, which you could address by consolidating some of the wheeled utility vehicles together...

T-72 x 9 (2 blisters, 1 leftover)
BTR-80 x 2 (1 blister, 3 leftover)
BREM-1 x 1 (1 blister, 1 leftover)
KamAZ-5350 x 2 (1 blister, 3 leftover)
UAZ-469 x 2(1 blister, 3 leftover)
BRDM-2 x 4 (1 blister)
BMP-1 x 4 (1 blister, 1 leftover)
Infantry rifle x 4 (1 blister)
MT-LB ATGM x 2 (1 blister, 1 leftover)
MT-LB Mortar x 2 (same blister as above)
BRDM-9P31 x 1 (1 blister, 4 leftover)

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1223 on: 15 June 2022, 15:22:16 »
Soooo when are we going to see some painted microarmor?  :D

Hah, my painting skills are somewhere around "two year old on the wall" so not anytime soon.  Neat that GHQ has all those, though; I did once look at making a formation but I have nowhere to put it, and everything would be green anyway.

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1224 on: 15 June 2022, 15:37:00 »
Hah, my painting skills are somewhere around "two year old on the wall" so not anytime soon.  Neat that GHQ has all those, though; I did once look at making a formation but I have nowhere to put it, and everything would be green anyway.

I mean a big dip or spray with OD green and then re-painting the wheels and tires would get you most of the way there, right?

Or, as I recall, you're in SoCal. Leave it outside to build up some dust and then spray a clear coat over it. Authentic.  :thumbsup:

truetanker

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1225 on: 15 June 2022, 16:43:36 »
Alternative is sweep off your sidewalk and apply same coating after, especially when the OD is wet!

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1226 on: 24 June 2022, 16:56:26 »
Small corrections, with actual exercise ToE from Infantry School in front of me:
As an example: For "medium infantry" in the German Army the tentative medium-term operational layout per company assembled from forces at this and other levels is:
  • (command) squad with 1 2 Boxer, 1 MRAP, 1 LAPV plus 4 trucks and 3 trailers
  • (battle damage) squad with 1 MRAP, one LAPV and a mobile crane
  • (JFST) squad with 2 Fennek with .50cal MG
  • (Recce) squad with 2 Fennek with 40mm AGL jeeps and surveillance sensor network for emplacement, 2 RABE small UGV, 1 ALADIN UAV, 1 Mikado UAV
  • (Infantry) platoon with 4 Boxer with 40mm AGL, carrying 8 dismounts each + 1 Mikado UAV
  • (Infantry) platoon with 4 Boxer with 40mm AGL, carrying 8 dismounts each + 1 Mikado UAV
  • (Infantry) platoon with 4 Boxer with 40mm AGL, carrying 8 dismounts each + 1 Mikado UAV
  • (Fire Support) platoon with 4 Boxer with 30mm gun and Spike LR2 launcher, no dismounts
  • (Heavy Weapons) platoon with 1 Boxer, 1 Aladin UAV, 6 UGV and about 6 LAPV as well as 3 Eagle V LAPV and 6 Dingo 2 MRAP carrying three dismounted 40mm AGL, three Spike LR2 launchers and 3 sniper teams.
  • (Mortar) platoon with 4 Fuchs 3 M113 with 120mm mortars, 1 Fuchs for fire control
  • (Engineer) squad with 1 Fuchs, carrying 6 dismounts
  • (Medical) troop with 1 Fuchs or Boxer
  • (Signals) troop with 1 truck
  • (Field kitchen) troop with 1 truck and trailer
It's a handful more vehicles than before, pushing the company further beyond Battletech battalion dimensions.  ::)

Also added in UAV types since they're quite numerous nowadays. Mikado is short-range for close recce, Aladin covers the wider area out to 5 km mission range. Actually didn't know they're now issuing Mikado directly to infantry platoons. Maybe for an added interesting figure, also spread around this company are 40 shoulder-fired anti-tank and anti-structure rocket launchers.
« Last Edit: 24 June 2022, 16:58:47 by kato »

Failure16

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1227 on: 24 June 2022, 20:14:57 »
I eagerly await the hot-washes and AARs from the company and platoon commanders and senior NCOs to see how all those slice elements/force-multipliers are controlled in not only an active combat scenario but on a month-long deployment in the field/extended FTX. I bet the order-group is fun because you'd have twenty troopers standing around looking at each other vice four or five. Talk about a party...

I mean, I am a life-long proponent of US Army cav troops and squadron structures, but that company MTOE/task-org is getting...expansive.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1228 on: 24 June 2022, 20:18:16 »
I eagerly await the hot-washes and AARs from the company and platoon commanders and senior NCOs to see how all those slice elements/force-multipliers are controlled in not only an active combat scenario but on a month-long deployment in the field/extended FTX. I bet the order-group is fun because you'd have twenty troopers standing around looking at each other vice four or five. Talk about a party...

I mean, I am a life-long proponent of US Army cav troops and squadron structures, but that company MTOE/task-org is getting...expansive.

You're going to need a line of UAV succession for priority of whose UAVs will be cannibalized to support other UAVs or replaced someone else's crashed/lost/damaged UAVs  :D

Failure16

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #1229 on: 24 June 2022, 20:42:02 »
Naw, the guys whose UAVs are down will probably just capture the working ones and somehow reprogram them to work with their controllers.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

 

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