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"Powered armors mixed with unpowered infantry in one squad?" Topic


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1,081 hits since 11 Mar 2012
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Umpapa11 Mar 2012 3:31 p.m. PST

Well, I have some time ago bought all squads of ARC Fleet from CMG.

Have some problems with lovely figures of ARC Fleet Heavy Drop Troopers.
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They are armed with SMGs-like (submachineguns) and do not have any heavy/support weapons. First I wanted to scratchbuild some SAWs for them, but started to think.

Actually it makes sense those heavy armors are not powered. No marathon. Encumbering them additionally with SAW, plasma launchers or other heavy equipment would made them totally immobile.

But frankly squad without support is meh for me. Considered using some Autonomous Gun Platforms/drones. Then eureka!

I have made platoon of ARC Fleet Augments (exoskeletons, powered armors, PA) and have some leftovers (3x plasma, 3x laser):
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Heavy Drop Troopers need some support weapons, but could not carry themselves, so why not add a few PAs? Difference in speed would be nullified by the fact that such Human Gun Platform would have to carry all their ammunition (no PA assistants). They would be slower then regular PA-only squad or light infantry, and prone to fatigue.

Drop Troopers would serve as spotters and hit-absorbers. Since drop troopers are evenly heavily armored as PAs, there would be no gaming problems with uneven armor.

PAs would be glowing in IR, comparing to rest of squad. They would wear bullets eye due to their firepower. So PA would be very susceptible to heavy snipers, guided micromissiles and even ATGMs.

Of course, if such PA would be disabled, there would be no one to pick up such monstrous weapons (in contrast with regular PA-only squads, where every PA of squad can use every weapon). No lasting firepower (similarly to irregulars in TW).

Such squads would be also logistical nightmare.

In case of EMG/EW/grid/impulse attack, non-PAs could help their PAs companions. So in anti-electronics environment such squads would have some tactical advantage.

Finally and most importantly, such mixed squads would be much cheaper alternative to regular PA-only squad.

So what do You think: do such mixed squads have any sense? They are viable?
I do not want to make improbable TO&E, you know…

Personal logo Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2012 3:39 p.m. PST

It is exactly what I was thinking when I saw the title of your post… I see it as no different than a SAW or mortar team… they may be assets attached at the platoon level…

Umpapa11 Mar 2012 3:42 p.m. PST

At platoon level – that is obvious.

But in one squad/fireteam/basic tactical unit?

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian11 Mar 2012 3:44 p.m. PST

Here's another angle, that of the "Imperial officer" in charge of his "sepoys." As the "sepoys" may be non-human or humans of less-than-certain loyalties (ie., penal brigade troops, troops from a human world with a past history of rebellion against Imperial Terra's beneficent rule, etc.) then having the squad leader being clad in powered armor with all the advantages thereof over his own troops as well as those of the enemy makes a certain (perverse) sense if you will.

Just sayin'…evil grin


Leland R. Erickson

P.S. I am thinking of this inspired in part by the historical practices of the British Empire and other colonial powers having British officers leading native troops, as well as a line from one of Poul Anderson's Dominic Flandry novels where Flandry ruminates upon the tottering Terran Empire relying for its defense on among other things penal brigades of reluctant human troops commanded by *robot* (!!!) officers… yikes!

Umpapa11 Mar 2012 3:50 p.m. PST

Power Armored Commissars nice idea for all those totalitarian regimes. :D

In case of necessity – they could throw away big gun and fast withdraw, leaving conscripted soldats.

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member11 Mar 2012 3:50 p.m. PST

I see no reason not to deploy them down to squad level.

A power-armored trooper, or robot to carry the heavy weapons would be great, and certainly less vulnerable than a normal, unarmored human, so a lot more effective. The other troops follow him/it into the breach, and provide flanking support.

Wellspring Inactive Member11 Mar 2012 4:28 p.m. PST

The only way I see this being feasible is if you have a drone-heavy view of combat. That is, a variety of drones of different sizes and weapons load outs, controlled by semi-independent AIs. The AIs take their orders from a human trooper, kept in the decision loop for safety/political/anti-robot-revolution reasons.

In this model, the human isn't really intended to fight-- he's supposed to command and coordinate. As such, he's heavy on defensive tech like armor, and probably has some body-guard bots with him. He does get a gun, but he's not supposed to be slugging it out, so it's more of a PDW than a battle rifle.

So your "platoon" is armored human officers, supported by bots ranging from small armored vehicles to robot infantry to scout drones and microbots. The human's job is to command the bots and not die.

Ambush Alley Games Inactive Member11 Mar 2012 4:54 p.m. PST

Interesting discussion, Umpapa!

Shawn.

FoxtrotPapaRomeo Inactive Member11 Mar 2012 5:27 p.m. PST

I'm thinking for the same reason we curently have dismounted infantry supporting tanks, to stop antiarmour weapons getting within their kill range, identiying targets so the tanks can deal with them and ability to go lots of places a tank can't. So light suits supporting heavy suits. And support weapons would be added depending upon conditions and likely resistance.

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian11 Mar 2012 5:50 p.m. PST

Shawn,

how might one handle a robotic officer running a squad of reluctant (penal battalion) "organic" squaddies in TOMORROW'S WAR?evil grin


Leland R. Erickson

WillieB Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2012 6:49 p.m. PST

Or simply a 3D armour in a 2 or 1D armoured squad?

infojunky11 Mar 2012 6:58 p.m. PST

Looking at the source figures who is to say they aren't two flavors of Powered Armor?

With the Heavies being the designated Support weapons carrier. Heck I can see the leader in Heavy to support the power needed for CC equipement.

I have a army based on GZG's FSE Legionaries that organically mixes both PA and regular infantry at the squad level. Reasoning along the same lines as FoxtrotPapaRomeo's.

To be honest if I where to put that army together today I would probably add in a number of drones mixed between recon and weapons support types.

RTJEBADIA11 Mar 2012 8:36 p.m. PST

I see no reason not to mix the two at a squad level.

We mix weapons at a squad level, why not PA?

Logistically its a bit more complex but if you already have non-PA troops in a company with any PA you've basically got the same situation, so the question is tactical… and there are a lot of reasons you'd want to have the two work together at a low level.

Lion in the Stars11 Mar 2012 10:10 p.m. PST

I do that all the time in Infinity! Oh, wait, this is in the 15mm forum…

I actually assume that mixing PA with unpowered infantry is a less-than-desirable option. You do it because that's what is available to you, not because you'd do it that way given a real choice.

What I mean is, PA troops are likely to look at unpowered troops as "Sandbag, self propelled, biological, 1 each." Unpowered troops can't walk through fire like power-armored troops can, they don't carry as big a gun, etc.

And that doesn't even bring us to the powered exos and soft armor versus sealed crabshells discussion.

freecloud12 Mar 2012 4:40 a.m. PST

I can see PA troops carrying the platoon (even squad) heavy weapons?

Pattus Magnus12 Mar 2012 8:05 a.m. PST

In principle I could see it working in some situations: I like the drone controller and "sepoy" or commisar ideas.

In practice, my experience has been that any time an obviously heavy element is deployed within a unit of lightweights the heavy tends to end up being a fire-magnet – everybody and his dog opens up on the big guy. That's not necessarily a problem if the bug guy can actually absorb that kind of punishment – he'll draw and stand up to fire that would otherwise be cutting down the lightweights – BUT if he can't take that much more punishment then it's just a good way to squander the heavyweights in penny packets.

Of course the viability totally depends on the game system.

When playing Dirtside when I tried attaching an MBT to each APC platoon to "ride shotgun" the MBTs acted as fire magnets but didn't have the damage resistance to last more than 1 turn of incoming fire. I found it was more effective to concentrate the tanks in their own platoon. BUT that's largely due to Dirtside being a very "bloody" game for armour – elements die easily – and the rules don't require that incoming fire be spread across all vehicles in the unit – the firer can deliberately select the desired target (the fire priority rule could be applied here, but whould probably encourage firing on the tank rather than the APCs, since the tank is the most obvously dangerous vehichle in the unit…).

In other game systems, mixing heavies and lights within a unit might be a different matter entirely.

Overall, my personal preference is usually to concentrate force, so I would probably place the PA in a dedicated squad, and operate the light infantry in their own squads. Where the nature of the threat iss unknown, use the lights to locate and pin the opposition, then bring the heavies in to destroy them (heavy reserve). When assaulting a known threat, maybe put the heavies in on point to penetrate aa specific point, then hold and exploit with the lights.

YMMV of course!

Jeff W Inactive Member12 Mar 2012 8:07 a.m. PST

I second Mako11's argument. I've been using GXG Cyclops battlesuits to support my Earth Force marines as squad support.

Ambush Alley Games Inactive Member12 Mar 2012 10:53 a.m. PST

how might one handle a robotic officer running a squad of reluctant (penal battalion) "organic" squaddies in TOMORROW'S WAR?

Oooh! That's switching it up – I usually get asked about a single organic NCO leading a group of robots. My first thought might seem counter-intuitive, but I'd consider giving the squad high confidence and low to average morale (D6 to D8) to represent that the penal troops definitely jump when their robot master tells them to, but once they start feeling the heat their sense of self-preservation kicks in. You could also give them a modified version of the SHRINK rule, but say that it represents troopers being killed by the robot master (via bomb collars or whatever) for not showing enough zeal. Maybe say that their morale gets a +1 die shift on the next turn because they know the enemy might kill them, but the robo-commissar DEFINITELY will. ;)

Or simply a 3D armour in a 2 or 1D armoured squad?

Our intent is that you go with the "majority" rule (use the armor value of the majority troop type, use the lowest value in the case of an equal split). This does make PAs attached to large squishy units more vulnerable – our logic is that the trooper in the PA suit probably has to carry more of the combat load and winds up more exposed than he would have if he were working with a pure PA team – it's not that his armor isn't as effective, it's that he's getting more than his fair share of incoming fire.

Hope this helps!

Shawn.

infojunky13 Mar 2012 5:25 a.m. PST

I have been pondering this question again, the question comes up. How would a unit of PA and not be organized?

Referring back to my own the core organisation, the maneuver element is the section consisting of a team (5 men) of regular infantry, a team of PA (3 men), and their transport (generally some flavor of IFV) or is a AFV (either a tank or something along the lines of a ACAV or Combat Car). Organizationally each Troop has 5 sections.

With all that it really depends on the objective is for operational organisation. In built up terrain I can see using 2 infantry teams to each PA team, reserving the PA as a reaction force brought up to take care of hard points. Though reading through some recent things on Urban combat I can see a much smaller amount of PA being used, as mouse-holing through the terrain avoiding open streets as much as possible.

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian13 Mar 2012 2:00 p.m. PST

Oooh! That's switching it up I usually get asked about a single organic NCO leading a group of robots.


Blame Poul Anderson for that one; no school like The Old School…evil grin


My first thought might seem counter-intuitive, but I'd consider giving the squad high confidence and low to average morale (D6 to D8) to represent that the penal troops definitely jump when their robot master tells them to, but once they start feeling the heat their sense of self-preservation kicks in. You could also give them a modified version of the SHRINK rule, but say that it represents troopers being killed by the robot master (via bomb collars or whatever) for not showing enough zeal. Maybe say that their morale gets a +1 die shift on the next turn because they know the enemy might kill them, but the robo-commissar DEFINITELY will. ;)


I LIKE IT! Thank you, kind sir!*evilgrin*


Leland R. Erickson

Ambush Alley Games Inactive Member13 Mar 2012 4:33 p.m. PST

Happy to help! I am evil, you know! ;)

Anyway my wife tells me I am – that's why she won't allow me to have an strength boosting exo-skeleton or heat-ray gun . . .

Shawn.

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian13 Mar 2012 4:48 p.m. PST

Happy to help! I am evil, you know! ;)

That's why we get along… evil grin

Anyway my wife tells me I am that's why she won't allow me to have an strength boosting exo-skeleton or heat-ray gun . . .


At our modest abode Her Majesty and I compromised; no death ray projectors or powered armor in the house (those stay in the storage unit except when in use), but razor-sharp edged weapons are OK as long as She Who Must Be Obeyed (who is a black belt) gets equal access to them in the event of marital disagreements… evil grin

Now I've got to decide what human troops to use for the Imperial Terran Penal Battalion and what 'bots to use as their inhuman officer cadre….evil grin


Leland R. Erickson

PeggyC Inactive Member13 Mar 2012 6:26 p.m. PST

I have never told Shawn he cannot have that stuff. I have merely relayed the decision of the International Organization to Prevent Wholesale DOOM and Protect the People of Earth.

THEY say he can't have one. I just agree. :)

BlackWidowPilot Supporting Member of TMP Fezian13 Mar 2012 9:20 p.m. PST

I have never told Shawn he cannot have that stuff. I have merely relayed the decision of the International Organization to Prevent Wholesale DOOM and Protect the People of Earth.

THEY say he can't have one. I just agree. :)


Killjoys, the lot of you!evil grin

LOL!!evil grin

Leland R. Erickson

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