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ImpSB Sector Group Organization: How To Improve It
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:40 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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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

There are some ideas to draw from in the RAW, as Blaster Carbines suffer a +5 increase in Difficulty at Long Range, while Blaster Rifles receive a +1D bonus if you use the scope and collapsible stock to aim for 1 round.

Quote:
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).

Perhaps you can add a caveat to the initiative bonus in that you only get the bonus to initiative when using that particular weapon, not in general.
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
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.

Feel free. This is a work in progress, and I'd appreciate your input.

Quote:
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.

I can see your point, and I have some ideas for different weapons that could prove useful.

However, something else that has occurred to me is whether or not we should make an Imperial Army OB parallel the US military too closely. At the core, the two forces use vastly differing doctrine at all levels, so what should be changed and what should be kept the same?

Quote:
Infantry also typically employ an SDM (squad designated marksman).

So, if squads are broken up into fire teams, is the marksman assigned to one or the other, or is he separate?

I do find it interesting that, even thought hey are engaged in a guerilla war on a galactic scale, the Imperial Army makes no provision for Light Infantry, which would seem to be the perfect opponent to take on the Alliance on their own ground...
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Commandos

Most of my thoughts on commandos have focused on the Alliance, not the Empire. Much as the various units of the US Military are products of our history, the same is true of special forces in the SWU. Alliance SpecForce, for example, would have been built practically from the ground up based on General Madine's experience. In many ways, they are a mash-up of all the varying missions a group of separate units might accomplish on their own. I've considered my own additions to SpecForce, such as a sub unit similar to the Rangers that is used for assaults on high value targets that are too well defended for regular Alliance units, but too big a target for a SpecForce squad or platoon.

Another facet would be some form of advisory command that sends out units to assist local Alliance forces on a long term basis, helping them develop the trade craft needed to be a true threat instead of a group of motivated amateurs.

The Empire, on the other hand, would seem even more inclined towards multiple special forces units, to the point where they actually compete with each other. Army Special Missions, Storm Commandos, Imperial Intelligence Special Operations Teams, and so on. I'm actually somewhat surprised that CompForce doesn't include its own special ops units; the Political Gains Operations described in the ImpSB would seem to be right up their alley.

Something else worthy of note is that the setting and the technology will change things up for the different types of units. You mentioned the SWCCCs and the SOAR, but the space setting and the existence of repulsorlift technology allow these concepts to be folded into each other. I picture a heavily modified YT-1300 Special Operations Support Freighter, with personnel transport and fire support incorporated into a single platform, almost like an AC-130, MC-130 and MH-53 all in a single hull...
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to agree that the imperial military does not need to mimic the US military.

In fact, the imperial military's main purpose is as a galactic police force, since the rise of the Sith to power brougt about an era of "peace."

The rebeels have the advantage of developing doctrines specifically for the purpose of defeating the imperial military, and are not limited by the programming of a clone army (of course, there are non-clones in the imperial military, too).

Bit being a tyrannical police force, I imagine that the bulk of imperial forces would have a rather generic approach to battle, as well as suffering from a bit of a "rank and file" mentality. That is, I suspect that the politics within the imperial forces would hinder their adaptability to some degree, which is more or less why the rebels have a chance at victory in the first place.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concerning your question about the SDM and the squad breaking into teams, this is generally done as a tactic to deal with a present threat. A team does not usually operate by itself, but functions as an element of the larget squad. The DSM may belong to one fire team or the other, and its important to remember that he is not a "special attache," but he is a regular member of the squad. He just happens to out shoot his buddies, and he probably has a better optic (ACOG, usully), although those optics are often available to whole platoons if not entire companies (my squad had ACOGs, but our company used Aimpoint red-dots; but I was in the commander's PSD squad, so we got a few goodies that were a little harder to come by).
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:

Perhaps you can add a caveat to the initiative bonus in that you only get the bonus to initiative when using that particular weapon, not in general.


Yeah, Ive considered that, but I feel like that would create issues with having to track two different initiative counts each round, and possibly for multiple characters at that.

At the moment, a small to-hit bonus seems to work well. Its more for conceptual purposes than for functional purposes.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Ive considered that, but I feel like that would create issues with having to track two different initiative counts each round, and possibly for multiple characters at that.

At the moment, a small to-hit bonus seems to work well. Its more for conceptual purposes than for functional purposes.

But a bonus to initiative is already sort of included in the RAW, under the QuickDraw rules in the Corporate Sector Sourcebook. That rule could easily be expanded to cover reaction times for all weapons. Perhaps you could give characters a choice of either rolling initiative as normal or of treating their weapon skill dice like a dice pool to split between Initiative and To Hit. Weapons could, in turn, be customized to speed reaction (initiative) as well as accuracy, with the smaller weapons having a higher bonus, with a penalty for some of the larger ones to offset their increased range and damage.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incidentally, if we're going to keep going on this topic, we should probably move it back over to your tactical combat page...
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:
Incidentally, if we're going to keep going on this topic, we should probably move it back over to your tactical combat page...


LOL!
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
crmcneill wrote:
Incidentally, if we're going to keep going on this topic, we should probably move it back over to your tactical combat page...


LOL!

Just saying. If we keep discussing a rule for weapons' relative reaction times, that's outside the scope of modifying the ImpSB order of battle...
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha! Ive been wondering what "OB" stands for!

Back on topic. Are you considering this merely for the "fluff," or are working on putting a on a caampaign where all of this is important to have laid out?

In the latter case, it would be worthwhile, I think, to figure out how (if at all) the imperial commanders adapt to the rebels' hit and run tactics.

What we did was compile everything we learned from the enemy and lisred what tactics we had tried that worked and what failed. Of course, the whole army was doing this. We would then make our results available to higher comands and the tactics were shared throughout the army. Doctrine remaned umchanged, but the rules of engagement were modified to account for new tactics. Also, "formations" were adjusted, weapons loadouts were adjusted, etc (though this did not usually mean gainimg access to weapons not normally avilable).
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Haha! Ive been wondering what "OB" stands for!

Back on topic. Are you considering this merely for the "fluff," or are working on putting a on a campaign where all of this is important to have laid out?

More as a reference at the small group level, allowing GMs more flexibility when it comes to plotting out some variety in their military opponents. My personal interest is also the "fluff", insofar as the organizational side of things at higher levels. Of course, the incorporation of additional elements at higher levels, such as the inclusion of artillery support or aviation units would also add another threat dimension to a campaign...

Quote:
In the latter case, it would be worthwhile, I think, to figure out how (if at all) the imperial commanders adapt to the rebels' hit and run tactics.

What we did was compile everything we learned from the enemy and listed what tactics we had tried that worked and what failed. Of course, the whole army was doing this. We would then make our results available to higher commands and the tactics were shared throughout the army. Doctrine remained unchanged, but the rules of engagement were modified to account for new tactics. Also, "formations" were adjusted, weapons loadouts were adjusted, etc (though this did not usually mean gaining access to weapons not normally available).

The fact that we are discussing what the Imperial Sourcebook may have gotten wrong obviously undermines its reliability as a source. However, the book does state that Army doctrine is much more doctrinally based than the Navy. They have a procedure for everything, and all officers at all levels are expected to adhere to that procedure or face court-martial (and even execution). It is actually not unheard of for an officer to executed for violation of doctrine, then have his methods studied and adopted posthumously into official doctrine. IMO, a better real world example than the US military would be the old Soviet Red Army.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know much about the Soviet army, except that their Spetnaz train by shooting each other in the chest with real bullets (builds their faith in their body armor, I guess, as well as trains them to "fight through" being shot at).

I wouldn't put it past the emperor to kill his officers for thinking outside the box, either, which gives the Rebels a huge tactical advantage in any fight.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
I don't know much about the Soviet army, except that their Spetnaz train by shooting each other in the chest with real bullets (builds their faith in their body armor, I guess, as well as trains them to "fight through" being shot at).

COMPForce Assault Branch uses live weapons during training exercises, and they have a 22% fatality rate in training. With only an 11% graduation rate, they kill two recruits for every one that makes it through. I suppose they could be doing it for similar reasons; anyone who makes it through that kind of training wouldnt likely see much difference between that and a real battle.

Quote:
I wouldn't put it past the emperor to kill his officers for thinking outside the box, either, which gives the Rebels a huge tactical advantage in any fight.

Indeed, and this is mentioned in the book.
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