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ImpSB Sector Group Organization: How To Improve It
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject: ImpSB Sector Group Organization: How To Improve It Reply with quote

While military organization has always been an area of interest for me (hence why I enjoy this chapter), it isn't the most helpful with regards to plotting out adventures. Save for the squad level of the Army description, most of the units described are too powerful for a group of PCs to take on their own. From a GM's POV, how have you used this chapter to assist your storytelling, and what would you change if you could?
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you view the chapter as a grouping of mini-factions within a faction, you can come up with some interesting scenarios in my opinion.

It's got me coming up with adventure hooks. I'll have to re-read it for more!

-Daniel
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found it really cool in concept, but - like you alluded to in the OP - very difficult to implement in my game, being as the sizes of the units are just way too much for my PCs to encounter.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:
If you view the chapter as a grouping of mini-factions within a faction, you can come up with some interesting scenarios in my opinion.

It's got me coming up with adventure hooks. I'll have to re-read it for more!

-Daniel

Please clarify this, as the idea of rival factions doesn't appear in the chapter.
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Panzerjedi
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More like Rivalry between indivial moffs...... I belive is what he means....

also note: Sector Forces, dependining of Importance of the sector, and affluence of the Moff in charge, may field signicanttly less standardized, CLONE WARS or even OLDER in vintage equipment, vehicles, and vessels. Theorectically, this is the "Reserves" or "National Guards" of the Empire.......

Note: This DOES NOT NECCESARILY mean less effective a force, just older vintage eqquiped/and or bound to the sector for ops unles moblilized due to a "HUGE" military emergency in another sector.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've written capital ship campaigns. Rebels on a Star Cruiser or Corellian Gunship.

I started one campaign with my players in prison and the prison was on a Republic Acclamator Cruiser. If they had taken the bridge I had a capital ship campaign written up for them, but they went to the docking bay and stole a shuttle, and I had a campaign written up for that too.

If you ever get the bug to write a large scale cap ship warfare campaign, let me know. I still have notes on one of .y computers or thumb drives somewhere.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
If you ever get the bug to write a large scale cap ship warfare campaign, let me know. I still have notes on one of .y computers or thumb drives somewhere.

Sure; I'm always looking for new ideas in that area.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, I've been doing some thinking about this, and I'm gonna throw some ideas out there. I have some ideas for units company sized and above, but for the most part, when encountering the Imperial Army, characters will be dealing with them at Squad or Platoon levels, so I will make most of my suggestions there.

First, I would clarify and redefine the Squads listed in the ImpSB as follows:
    Units are as defined in the Imperial Sourcebook, except for the following changes.

    Line Squad
    --Increase strength by adding a Corporal as 2IC of the squad, which will allow the squad to be split into two equal five-man teams if needed.
    --Two of the troopers are assigned light repeating blasters.
    --Reason: Adding the extra man makes the unit a bit more versatile as far as splitting it up into even teams, and adding the light repeating blasters adds additional firepower, which can come in handy sometimes...

    Assault Squad
    --4 two-man heavy weapon teams (1 gunner & 1 spotter/assistant). Heavy Weapons include medium repeating blasters, light laser cannon, and missile or grenade launchers. Their mission is to provide relatively mobile fire support for line units.
    --Sergeant in Command, Corporal as 2IC.
    --Reason: IMO, Assault has two components: 1) laying down heavy fire, and 2) being able to stay mobile at the same time. Crew-served weapons like the E-WEB take time to set-up and tear down, so I decided it would be more appropriate to limit the Assault Squad to heavy weapons that were man-portable and did not require being emplaced to be fired.

    Raider Squad
    --Elite troopers who specialize in stealth and infiltration operations. This type of squad is only found in Commando units (formerly Special Missions units). Weaponry varies based on the mission, but often includes silent slugthrowers with explosive-tipped bullets, as well as other exotic weaponry.
    --Sergeant in Command, Corporal as 2IC.
    --Reason: I decided to do something different with the Sharpshooter Squad by making them dismounted scouts and snipers. As such, I needed something to form the basis of the Commando Platoons, and troopers trained in stealth and infiltration seemed a perfect fit.

    Sharpshooter Squad
    --This squad is equipped with extra camouflage equipment and scoped rifles, and trained for both pathfinding and observation, as well as sniper support. When in the field, sharpshooters generally work in two-man teams, alternating sniper and spotter duties when in position (this includes the sergeant and corporal commanding the squad), for a total of five sharpshooter teams.
    --Reason: I made some changes to the Scout Squadron, and felt that a squad of scout snipers was a better fit to the unit than two squads of line infantry. I'll go into more detail on the Scout Squadron.

    Engineering Squad
    --Add Corporal as 2IC, no other changes.
    --Reason: In the real world, Engineering units aren't found solely in Special Missions units (the way they are in the ImpSB), but are often assigned to front-line combat units to provide combat engineering support. Elite Engineer units are still a part of the Commando Units, but can also be found attached to other Army units as well, doing all the things that combat engineers do so well.

    Scout Lance
    --No changes.

    Mobile Section (Formerly Repulsorlift Squad)
    --2 Light Combat Vehicles (Speeder-Scale) & Crew
    --Reason: The wording in the ImpSB is awfully restrictive, limiting Repulsorlift Sections to only Repulsorlift vehicles. With so much variety of vehicle types in the SWU, I thought it appropriate to define the unit based on mission rather than a specific vehicle description. Vehicles assigned to mobile section, regardless of propulsion type, are always lighter, faster and more numerous.

    Armor Section
    --1 Heavy Combat Vehicle (Walker-Scale) & Crew
    --Reason: No real changes here, apart from clarifying that heavier (Walker-Scale) vehicles are considered Armor, while lighter (Speeder-Scale) vehicles are considered Mobile.

    Artillery Section: Light (Formerly Heavy Weapons Squad)
    --2 Light Crew-Served Weapons & Crew. Example weapons include E-WEBs and other, similar, implacement based weapons, including light anti-vehicle artillery.
    --Reason: E-WEBs have to be transported in pieces and set up in a firing position. As such, they have a lot in common with modern mortars, which are considered artillery. In the interests of simplicity, I felt that any crew-served weapon which had to be disassembled to be transported was considered light artillery.

    Artillery Section: Heavy
    --1 Heavy or Medium Artillery Piece & Crew.
    --No other changes apart from splitting Light Artillery into a separate category.

    I also came up with another squad type that I would like to make use of some day, but I'm not quite sure yet how to fit it into the OB. For those who are interested:
    Tactical Squad
    --8 troopers, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal.
    --Half are equipped with Riot Blasters; the other half are equipped with Power Shields and Heavy Blasters.
    --This type of unit specializes in close assault and urban combat. The power-shield equipped troopers provide mobile cover for the riot blaster troopers, allowing the unit to lay down heavy covering fire while maintaining a rapid advance.
    --Reason: Nothing in particular; I just liked the idea and though it might be fun to throw at some characters some day.

Then, at the platoon level, I would make the following changes:
    Line Platoon
    --Add 2 Comm-Techs to the Command Element (1 each for Lieutenant and Sergeant Major)
    --Reason: Allows for more capable communications capability, as well as freeing up the Command Personnel to command instead of messing with their comm-gear.

    Assault Platoon
    --Same as Line Squad.

    Artillery Line
    --4 Artillery Sections (Light or Heavy)
    --1 Command Section (1 Lieutenant, 1 Sergeant Major, 2 Comm-Techs)

    Mobile Platoon
    --4 Mobile Sections
    --2 Command Vehicles (1 each for Lieutenant & Sergeant Major) & Crew
    --2 Tech Support Vehicles w/ Crew & 4 techs
    --Reason: The only real change here is doubling the number of support vehicles. Since mobile squads have double the vehicles of armor squads, it seemed more appropriate to have more, smaller support vehicles, while armor units would have one large one.

    Armor Platoon
    --4 Armor Sections
    --1 Command Vehicle
    --1 Tech Support Vehicle w/ Crew & 8 techs
    --Reason: See Mobile Platoon

    Commando Platoon
    --1 Squad each of Raider, Assault, Sharpshooter and Engineering. All troopers are elites, with above average training and equipment. All troopers are cross-trained in the basics of the duties of the other commandos, and the platoon generally cross-attach into four squad-sized units containing troopers of each type.
    --Reason: The ImpSB originally used Special Missions to define Commando units. However, both WEG and the prequels have used the word commandos on multiple occasions, and since I think Commando sounds cooler than Special Missions, I decided to switch it.

    Scout Squadron
    --2 Scout Lances
    --1 Mobile Section (almost always Recon-modified Repulsorlift vehicles, with sufficient passenger space to transport the Sharpshooter Platoon.
    --1 Sharpshooter Squad
    --1 Command Vehicle
    --1 Light Support Vehicle w/ Crew & 4 Techs
    --Reason: The Scout Squadron always bugged me a little, as it had two scout lances, backed up by 2 line squads. No mention was made of the squads having any additional training. On top of that, scout squadrons were often assigned to mobile and armor units, in which pretty much everything has a vehicle to ride on except those two line squads in the scout squadron. After some consideration, I decided to change out the two line squads for one sharpshooter squad (which serve as dismount scouts and stealthy observers) and one mobile squad (generally recon-modified APCs with enough passenger capacity to transport the sharpshooter squad). I also added a command vehicle and 1 light support vehicle. The result is a highly mobile, highly capable, self-sufficient recon unit that has a mix of biker scouts, snipers and vehicle mounted weaponry that makes for a nasty opponent when skirmishing with Rebel units.

A couple other notes:
    --The Company Support Section is pretty officer-heavy compared to real-world units like the US Army. To fix this, I changed all the support unit lieutenants to sergeants, with 1 lieutenant (who is also the Company XO) in charge of all the support units.

    --It's also important to note that Company Support personnel may be forward deployed with the combat units, especially the medical and technical support personnel. If you are designing an Imperial Army unit as opposition for your characters, it might be appropriate to attach a medic or 1-2 technicians from the Company HQ & Support.

    --In real world military units, HQ at the battalion level and up have a lot more than just medical, technical and logistics staff. Modern HQ/Support Companies group all of those services into a single department (Logistics), then add Intelligence, Operations, Personnel, Signals & Communications. This is then mirrored and magnified in the HQ/Support units at the Regimental, Divisional, Corps and Army levels, with the number of personnel expanding at each level. In the SWU, HQ/Support units would be leaner than those in real life, due to the existence of droids to perform menial, clerical and other support duties, but IMO, there should be at least some presence of real world staff positions in the OB.

    --In the ImpSB, division-level army units are called battlegroups. Normally, this is a term reserved for naval operations, and while the ImpSB lays down an explanation as for why the units are called Battlegroups, there is no other reference to it in all of Star Wars. However, there are multiple instances in the film and EU of units of that size being referred to as a Legion. As such, in my version of the OB, battlegroups are now legions, with the same backstory as battlegroups.

These are just some changes I've been thinking about for a while. I have some others in mind, but they mostly are found in the higher levels of the OB, and aren't really things that characters would need to worry about encountering. For now.

I know this is a lot of info, but IMO, this is a better layout for the kinds of Imperial Army units that characters would be more likely to encounter, as well as opening up unit designations and missions to allow for a wider variety of the types of vehicles and equipment found in the EU.

For those of you who reached this point without thinking TL;DR, I'd appreciate your thoughts.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved this conversation here from this topic.

Naaman wrote:
I do what makes sense for the task at hand, provided that it makes sense the the unit would have access to the relevant equipment.

Agreed. It would also be in keeping with the law of unintended consequences to have an isolated unit with weapons in fixed emplacements have their vehicles reassigned to a different location and suddenly end up needing the mobility in a hurry...

Quote:
But given the nature of warfare today, most units will change out their M16s for M4s.

That's something I've been meaning to ask. What are the differences in strengths vs. weaknesses for rifles and carbines? This is something I'd like to incorporate into stats at some point, as I have an idea for a weapon stat that incorporates the same basic blaster components to make a rifle, carbine, repeater and precision weapon, with the idea that the commonality of parts will make it easier for supply, repairs and familiarity.



Quote:
With regard to the technology, that is more or less irrelevant to me. I only offered the real world comparisons for the sake of understanding what type of weapon would be considered and in what quantities, etc.

In all fairness, the ImpSB does make mention of the fact that, while the OB is an ideal, there is a lot of variation at the small unit level, almost entirely unofficial, with unit commanders playing shell-games with the bureaucracy to acquire and keep equipment that isn't nominally part of their TO&E.

Quote:
For example, is it an anti-personnel weapon? Anti-materiel? Bunker buster? Anti-aircraft? Etc. What does the mission require? You can be sure that the infantry will be the most flexible in terms of what weapons, vehicles and gear they can bring to the fight. Almost nothing should be off limits to them, and they should be allowed to configure their units (within certain doctrinal limits, such as squad sizes, but not necessarily force sizes) as the commander sees fit.

The ideal (for me, at least) would be a weapon that has as many functions as possible. For example, my suggestion of a laser cannon replacing the various rocket launchers includes the ability of the gunner to fine-tune the settings on his cannon for a specific target. For anti-armor, he could shift the laser to a much tighter, more intense beam that reduces blast effect in favor of overall penetration (and vice versa for anti-personnel).

Quote:
I like the notion of a Mk19/Mortar weapon. Seems perfectly reasonable for Star Wars tech.

The Mk19 is no problem to fire from a tripod. But it is heavy.

I understand the gunner has to sit in a rather awkward position unless the Mk. 19 is set up in a foxhole or a vehicle turret...

Quote:
That is, if the laser is powerful enough to punch through a tank or a bunker and it can be shoulder fired, AND it can fire a whole bunch of shots without being hooked up to a power source, then it makes almost all other weapons irrelevant.

My feeling is that efficiency and economy of ammunition is one of the reasons that blasters have become so prominent in the SWU. I picture blasters functioning much like powerguns in the Hammer's Slammers series, with matter being converted to a linear plasma discharge to get the kinds of energy outputs needed, but using blaster gas contained in a magnetic field as opposed to solids contained in a plastic disc. The pay-off is that the gas expenditure for a blaster bolt is a fraction of that of a solid round, allowing the average soldier to carry several times as many rounds of ammunition in the same volume and weight.

As such, a laser cannon would have the advantage of being able to carry more rounds, but there are other ways to compensate, like giving it a lower fire rate and justifying it with some tech fix like recharge time or something...
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
I was just thinking about this, and I think the discrepancy between SW armies and real life armies is a result of a lack of knowledge/expertise on the part of the writers. That is, there seems to be an assumption that an "army" is composed like its playing a game of 40k. In reality, an operational unit is likely to be scattered across a large area and not even interact with higher headquarters for long periods of time. A squad or platoon might have a mission or AO that exposes them to tanks, foot soldiers, aircraft, booby traps and whatever else the enemy can come up with.

I concur, although I concede your greater level of knowledge and experience in this area compared to mine.

It would seem that, above the small unit level, a successful commander does not involve himself in the tactical command of his engaged units so much as he does his best to equip and deploy those units to meet the projected threat (as well as any unanticipated threats that might present themselves), and then provide appropriate support to those units actually engaged in combat themselves. The allocation of limited resources is where things get tricky...
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ill chime in more on this later when I have some time, but concerning rifles vs carbines, there is very little difference in their performance if we are talking about general purpose systems.

The army, for example, says that the maximum effective range for an M16 is 550m, while for the M4 it is 500m. The qualification requirements are identical for both weapons, which requires the soldier to engage targets from 50m out to 300m. 300m is easy for either gun to achieve (assuming the shooter is capable).

The advantage of the carbine (in particular when it has a collapsible/adjustable stock is its compactness which makes it easier to travel in cramped vehicles, as well as making it a more maneuverable in tight quarters/urban combat.

Now, I'm talking mainly about the 16 inch vs 20 inch barrels, here. The Rangers, for example, use 10-inch barrels, which would further improve handling, but at the cost of increasingly reduced long range accuracy. Since the Rangers lately find themselves fighting in urban/indoor environments, the shorter barrels prove an asset.

If youre going to use static range bands, a stanard carbine would be margially less accurate at the limits of its range compared to a rifle. The easy thhing is to assess a penalty to the carbine at long range relative to its sister weapon. How you want to handle the advantage of maneuverabilty and quickness of handling is a different story.

Carbines are no more accurate up close, so granting a bonus isnt really "authentic." However, I grant a bonus to simulate the faster reactions and target acquisition afforded by a more compact weapon. Ots simple and provides a tangible trade-off during short range vs long range encounters.


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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
The advantage of the carbine (in particular when it has a collapsible/adjustable stock is its compactness which kakes it easier to travel in cramped vehicles, as well as making it amore maneuverable in tight quarters/urban combat.

My intent is to reclassify the stormtrooper blaster rifles from the classic films as carbines, due to the folding stock and short barrel, with the barrel incorporating a series of focusing rings that help a blaster beam maintain cohesion over longer range. Longer barrel = more focusing rings = greater range.

Quote:
If youre going to use static range bands, a stanard carbine would be margially less accurate at the limits of its range compared to a rifle. The easy thhing is to assess a penalty to the carbine at long range relative to its sister weapon. How you want to handle the advantage of maneuverabilty and quickness of handling is a different story.

Carbines are no more accurate up close, so granting a bonus isnt really "authentic." However, I grant a bonus to simulate the faster reactions and target acquisition afforded by a more compact weapon. Ots simple and provides a tangible trade-off during short range vs long range encounters.

I've wanted to do something like this for quite some time, but was never quite sure how to justify it, or what an appropriate bonus/penalty might be. I know WH40K originally included rules that allowed certain ranged weapons to be used in close combat (within a few meters), and anything that wasn't specifically identified as a close combat weapon could only be used as an improvised melee weapon. With that in mind, should pistols have an even higher bonus close in? Should heavier weapons like machine guns be penalized at point blank? Sniper rifles?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:

My intent is to reclassify the stormtrooper blaster rifles from the classic films as carbines, due to the folding stock and short barrel, with the barrel incorporating a series of focusing rings that help a blaster beam maintain cohesion over longer range. Longer barrel = more focusing rings = greater range.


Yes, the "rifles" in the movies look much more like "SBRs" than standard rifles. An SBR is essentially a carbine, but the barrel is shortened to less than the legal length (this legality may or may not apply in SW). But it would be something like the 10" barrels I mentioned earlier.

On the subject of collapsible stocks, if it is a folding stock then using the weapon with the stock folded would incur some penalties.

Quote:

I've wanted to do something like this for quite some time, but was never quite sure how to justify it, or what an appropriate bonus/penalty might be. I know WH40K originally included rules that allowed certain ranged weapons to be used in close combat (within a few meters), and anything that wasn't specifically identified as a close combat weapon could only be used as an improvised melee weapon. With that in mind, should pistols have an even higher bonus close in? Should heavier weapons like machine guns be penalized at point blank? Sniper rifles?


In that tactical combat thread, I tried to address this. I used a bonus to hit, simply because it was a "clean" and tangible way to assign each type of weapon to an appropriate niche. However, in my opinion, the bonus should probably be to initiative, although I cannot think of a way to accomplish this without artificially inflating initiative in other circumstances (PC: I'm carrying my pistol in one hand, so I get an initiative bonus when I toss my grenade across the street).

Instead, I "justify" the small to hit bonus (+1 to +2 for "useful" weapons, and as much as +5 for "optimum" weapons) by saying that a target that can be acquired faster is easier to hit since it has less time to react to (dodge) your attack.

Generally, for close range weapons I say that they get a bonus up close. A pistol would be perhaps +1 or +2 at point blank, and +0 or +1 at short range, with a penalty at medium range, and an automatic miss beyond that.

A carbine is a medium/long-ish range weapon, and would get a small bonus (+1 or +2) at short range and +0 or +1 at medium range. With a small penalty at long range.

A basic rifle is the "standard" blaster weapon, and has no penalty or bonus at any range.

The more a weapon is optimized toward engagements at a specific range, the more it is penalized at other ranges.

A sniper rifle with a large magnification scope and no iron sights would be terribly ineffective at close ranges since there is no way to acquire a mobile target through a scope with such a narrow focus.

For what its worth, I also wrote up some close combat rules involving pistols, and have been considering how to write up rifle retention via the brawling skill as well (tactical combat thread).
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding your reconfiguration of the fighting elements (the various squads), it looks pretty good. There are things I would do differently, but that's neither here nor there. What follows is just information for the sake of offering something that may be found useful.

I glossed over this earlier, but in general, I would give the infantry access to a large variety of weapons and equipment which will allow them to engage various kinds of targets effectively.

Generally speaking, infantry are equipped for "general warfare" against enemy personnel (other infantry). But they are certain to encounter armor and aircraft, possibly even watercraft if they are patrolling near a river or lake or ocean.

They will generally have at least the firepower to deal with one enemy tank (maybe two) or other non-infantry targets (weapon/artillery emplacements or perhaps an enemy scout helicopter or whatever).

We used to carry one AT-4 per squad (it was what we had available). In addition, the HEDP grenades we carried could (theoretically) punch through a vehicle and then detonate once inside (there was a "delay" in the grenade to allow it to blow up right after penetration).

I suppose that the grenade launcher and the AT-4 could be covered by the missile weapons skill, though the grenade launcher (either the M203/320 or the Mk19) do require the shots to be lobbed.

Also, there are certain qualifications that every soldier must maintain. Driving a HMMWV is one of those. That is, if a soldier is not qualified on the HMMWV, then he is effectively disqualified from being a soldier until he gets his qualifications renewed (of course, he's still drawing a paycheck, so he can be put to use with a mop and a bucket, etc). That being said, even a basic infantryman is expected to have access to a HMMWV throughout his career. Though his mission may preclude the use of vehicles, it doesn't mean that his commander (at some level, perhaps company, perhaps brigade or division, or whatever) can't get a hold of them, or won't receive a fragmentary order changing the mission to one that requires vehicular mobility. Every soldier should at least know how to drive the basic vehicle in use. Whether this means giving everyone a pip of repulsorlift operations or ground vehicles (or whatever that organization uses) or if it just means that they roll the attribute with the understanding that they have been familiarized would depend upon the GM's notion of such things for the campaign.

There would also be specialized infantry units which ride around in small troop transport tanks (like the Bradley) or the Stryker. These infantryman are every bit as "grunt" as their footslogging brethren (same skill set and expectations), but they are also trained on their specific vehicles and relative equipment.

Then there are the airborne and air assault infantry. In the United States, that is the 82nd (Airborne) and 101st (Air Assault). The difference is that Airborne troops deploy by airplane or helicopter using parachutes from a typical altitude of 1250 feet. The air assault troops deploy from helicopters by fast roping to the ground. They can also bring HMMWVs with them (the helicopters carry them on hoists) so that they can then perform mounted operations once they arrive at their destination.

There are, of course, other Airborne units, but the 82nd (and previously the 101st as well) are the most famous units in the American military. For example, every single special operations unit in the US military (not just the Army, but Navy, Marines, Air Force, etc), all attend the army's airborne school as a job requirement for special operations. Interestingly, Marine Corps infantry do not have any airborne units. Only Force Recon (and now MARSOC) are trained for airborne operations.

The primary difference between the army's infantry and the marines' is that the marines as a whole specialize in amphibious assault (beach landings), while the army will deliver its infantrymen by air or land (rolling along behind the tanks in the latter case).

Infantry also typically employ an SDM (squad designated marksman). He generally carries the same type of gun as the rest of the squad (I have heard they use an accurized version, but I'm not sure if this is true). This shooter is basically the best shooter in the squad and he functions kind of like a sniper, or sharpshooter... but obviously, true "sniping" requires a specific skill set and training to shoot beyond "normal" ranges. In any case, the SDM may have a better optic and will probably be the one guy in the squad that has one more D in blaster than the rest of the squad (maybe... maybe just +2 pips... whatever... GM's call).

Snipers are usually maintained at the battalion level and assigned according to the mission. Basically, they are "support" personnel.

Then there are those "units" that employ an element of snipers. In the army they are called LRRPs or LRRs (long range reconnaissance platoon/squad). Usually, we call them "Lerps." They usually belong to military intelligence units. They are infantrymen, but their commander is literally the intel company's commander. They are not "attached" to the intel unit, but a part of it.

For that matter, there are other "pseudo" snipers that are found in artillery units. They are called forward observers and they are basically trained to gather information for the purpose of target identification, but they are not true snipers (though, from what I understand, they have some ability to shoot beyond just the standard rifle qualification). A true sniper, or course, could fulfill this role, too.

One of my coworkers is a high ranking scout, and I can ask him about his job to get more of an idea later on.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Commandos

Concerning commandos, the US military does it in an interesting way. Each branch of the military has their own special operations niche, with the Army having the largest "need" for a variety of special operators (and hence, the most special ops troops of any branch). Perhaps the most famous or "mystical" special ops troops in the US military are the Navy SEALs. Truth be told, SEALs are generally considered Tier 2 or Tier 3.

With regard to special operations, the Navy has a few particular units, but the most relevant to a SW adventure would be the SEALs and the SWCCC (Swicks).

SEALs:
Primary specialty is under water demolitions. Basically, blowing up enemy submarines or boats with strategically placed explosives. Other than that, they are general purpose special operations troops: airborne or water insertions, CQB, urban warfare, wilderness warfare, etc. Every SEAL would have a good swimming skill, as this is fundamental to the SEALs' basic qualifications.

SWCCC
Special Warfare Combat Craft Crewman. These guys' purpose is to deploy SEALs to their mission and pick them up at their extraction points. This is for a beach landing (either off of a river bank or lake bed or shoreline, etc). For air drops, the SEALs rely on the Army for helicopters or the Air Force for airplanes. The SWCCCs use really fast, heavily armed watercraft to accomplish their missions. They are spec ops troops whose specialty is quick deployment and support of SEALs. For example, SEALs being extracted under fire will need the extra support of their SWCCC brethren who arrive with .50 cals, mini-guns and whatever else mounted on their boats.

SEAL Team Six
These guys are a Tier 1 asset. They are Navy SEALs (they wear the SEAL Trident), but they are not actually "Navy SEALs" anymore, from what I understand. They are, according to my limited understanding, equivalent to the Army's Delta Force. If so, then they can do any kind of special mission without regard to the Navy's maritime emphasis on warfare.

Marine Force Recon
I don't know much about the Marines, and even less about Force Recon. All I can say is that they do special reconnaissance missions whose priority is gathering intelligence, though they are referred to as "special operations capable," which means that they can do what other spec ops can do (direct action, personnel recovery, target interdiction, etc). I do know from one of my old drill sergeants (a former recon marine) that they can be trained for underwater operations, as he used to wear his scuba badge on his uniform. According to the show "Surviving the Cut" the recon prospects spend a lot of time on the beach and in the water doing training, which is consistent with the Marine Corps amphibious nature.

MARSOC
Marine Special Operations Command. Essentially, from what I understand, these guys are new to the SpecOps community, and are essentially duplicates of the Army's Green Berets.

Pararescue
The Air Force pararescue is probably the most "qualified" special ops troop in the military. Their specialty is personnel recovery (crashed pilots), but they must infiltrate hostile territory to get there. They are (according to my understanding) scuba trained, HALO trained, and have qualifications in field medicine equivalent to the Army's Special Forces medics (very highly qualified). I believe these guys are Tier 3 (if they even fit in the "tier" structure).

Combat Controller
My understanding with the Air Force combat controllers is that they are a lot like army pathfinders, but perhaps better trained. They (to my knowledge) seize an airfield and direct air traffic through hostile territory from the ground. I believe they are a Tier 3 element.

Rangers
This is your bread and butter special ops unit. Basically, they are your all purpose direct action element, able to destroy whatever target they are given. They are standard infantrymen who train for high priority missions. They can fight a typical war just like regular infantry, or they can do special operations including personnel recovery, HVT capture/kill missions, reconnaissance, etc. When Delta need a security force for their operations, they use the Rangers. Rangers are a Tier 2 element.

Within the Rangers is a special reconnaissance platoon that belongs to the headquarters element. There is also a regimental reconnaissance element, which is known throughout the regiment as "Baby Delta." I have heard that any regimental recon Ranger can "walk on" to Delta Force if he wants, and vice versa, since the selection process for regimental recon is so hard, it approximates the the challenge level of Delta Force's selection process.

Special Forces
Green Berets are, in my opinion, the most well rounded troops in the US military (all branches considered). Their mission capabilities are very diverse. A basic ODA is generally considered a Tier 3 element (also known as "white" special forces). There are also "direct action" ODAs which are known as "black" special forces, which are considered Tier 2 elements. According to my understanding, a special forces soldier can go back and forth between black and white. There isn't a special "qualification" to be on the Tier 2 side of the fence. What special forces does that is unique is unconventional warfare. They are guerrilla fighters and can also train an army to defeat guerrillas or can train indigenous folk in guerrilla tactics to fight against an enemy military.

Other than that, they seem to be able to duplicate almost all of the other special operations units, regardless of military branch. They have their own scuba school (which is considered one of the hardest schools in the army), they have their own sniper school (beyond "Army Sniper School"). They have HALO, too, and even military working dogs that are trained to jump out of planes withe them, as well as some other stuff that I'm not too familiar with. Their medics are able to perform life saving surgery in the field. And Special Forces are generally competent to perform a wide variety of covert operations.

Nightstalkers 160th SOAR
Special Operations Aviation Regiment is the Army's primary troop transport element for special operations. Basically, any special operations missions that require aerial delivery (other than a Tier 1 element) will be transported by SOAR (even the SEALs or the Air Force, which does not have many, if any, helicopters). Of course, like the SWCCCs, they will be more competent pilots and gunners and generally have access to better weapons and equipment than their regular air cav brethren.

Delta Force
The Army's Tier 1 element. These guys are primarily drawn from the Rangers and Green Berets, although the selection process is open to any soldier, whether active duty or reserve or even IRR. Who knows what they are capable of? But if we know they came from the ranks of the Army's cream of the crop, then we know that they can at least do anything a Ranger or Green Beret can do, and of course, their assets are virtually limitless with regard to weapons, vehicles and intelligence available to them (they have their own helicopters and "civilian" vehicles). It's my understanding the Delta Force "trumps" Seal Team Six with regard to budgetary concerns and other administrative issues... but that is mostly conjecture.

Now, all of these units, with the exception of Force Recon, fall under what is known as JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command). The "special ops" community do not fall into the normal chain of command, but instead, are "at the disposal" of a conglomeration of the higher command elements made up from each branch. This is done in order to more fluidly coordinate operations that might require the combined specialties of different units from different branches.
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