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"Tank Procurement Game Part II" Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Zookie09 Jul 2018 4:39 p.m. PST

Welcome to the Tank Procurement game, where you are the Minister of Defense for the glorious Generic Nation Republic or GNR. The point is you read a summary of events for the fictitious GNR and recommend what MBTs the nation should procure for given scenario. Later I will post a follow up with what happens next. It is like "Choose your own adventure" but with tanks! I recommend you check out this thread first to get up to speed TMP link To play this round and post your choices to the thread. The most popular selections will be used to map out the rest of the story. With that said here is round two:

Summary of events to present day (March 3rd 2002)

1995-With the death of the old dictator the old regime dissolves and in a relatively peaceful revolution the GNR is formed.

1996- The GNR defense forces undergoes dramatic reforms to modernize and transition to a all volunteer force. As part of this process 90 T-72M1s and 60 AMX-30B2 were acquired.

1997- Freed from the shackles of corruption under the old regime, the GNR economy prospers, particularly the agricultural sector. Though still a small and developing economy, the standard of living begins to notably rise in the GNR. In contrast the neighboring PRGBG's economy has collapse without Soviet Bloc aid and the nation is on the verge of famine.

1998-The PRGBG food crisis become critical and the PRGBG politburo eyes with envy the increasingly productive farms of the border region with the GNR. The PRGBG launches a diplomatic campaign of false accusations of mistreatment of ethnic minorities in the region. Using this as a justification PRGBG army crosses the border into GNR. Starting the "August War" (for a summary of the war see the bottom of the thread at: TMP link

1999-The PRGBG is in the mist of famine and its aggression in the "August War" has isolated it from international aid. In a desperation to increase productive farm land, aquifers long though depleted are resurveyed. To the shock of surveyors sizable natural gas deposits are located during the process. This find is kept a State secret, but is soon discovered by KSB intelligence.

2000-The GNR begins refitting of its military as its transition to an all volunteer force is completed and its national economy continues brisk and steady growth. In PRGBG several generals launch a coup and quickly gain the support of the "Elite Battalions." GNR intelligence believes this coup is supported by the KSB who are bankrolling the rebellious generals. The KSB invaded the PRGBG shortly after the coup to designate "Civilian Safety Zones," these zones happen to coincide with locations of all recently discovered natural gas deposits. The PRGBG had not recover from the "August War" and quickly collapsed under joint pressure of the rebels and KSB forces.

2001- The KSB declares the former PRGBG a "semiautonomous protectorate" of the KSB. The international community decries this act a nothing but wanton aggression but takes no action. Foreign investment flows into the KSB as it opens up natural gas deposits for development, which allowed for a substantial military buildup. On December 31, 2001 the KSB formally annexes all territory belonging to the former PRGBG.

2002- Relations between the GNR and the KSB are at an all time low. KSB media is staring to publish maps showing all GNR, PRGBG and KSB territory lumped into "Greater Baddonia." The KSB monarchy routinely signals threats to the GNR and paints the GNR as the aggressor in the August War. Both nations militaries are at a heightened state of readiness and the situation is a powder keg.

The present (March 3, 2002)- GNR leadership are uncertain as to the next course of action and the parliament has requested its Defense Ministry publish a recommendation report. Some believe that a invasion of former PRGBG territory is needed to cut off the KSB access to natural gas income, or else the KSB military will grow too powerful for the GNR to defend against. Others believe a focus on defense is preferable, citing the performance of the GNR Defense Force in the "August War" as an example a smaller GNR forces defeating a larger invasion.

As Defense Minister please recommend if the GNR should support an offensive or defensive strategy? Please note that the GNR Foreign Office believes that an invasion into former PRGBG territory will not be opposed by the international community if the GNR claims no territory for itself and does not enter pre-annexation KSB territory.

Additionally, the KSB forces have modernized with the help of petro dollars and incorporated the remains of the former PRGBG army. Current intelligence reports show the following inventory:

500 T-62s (mostly manned by former PRGBG soldiers, it is unclear how well trained or motivated they are under the KSB regime)

200 T-72Ms (Manned by KSB crews and former Elite Battalions members, both are considered to be much more motivated than former PRGBG conscripts)

100 Leclerc MBTs (Manned by the KSB Royal Guard which GNR intelligence believes to be highly trained and motived)

1500 M113 APCs (Locally modified and patterned after the IDF "Zelda" series).

Large numbers of 4x4 jeeps and light and heavy unarmored trucks.

Large numbers of towed artillery, with some light MRLS unit almost entirely of Russian or Chinese manufacture.

Intelligence reports from the occupation of the PRGBG show KSB soldiers to be well trained and motivated. Junior offices are highly competent, but unoriginal in their thinking and can be slow to react to changing situations. At the higher ranks the KSB armed forces suffers from political cronyism with promotions based more on loyalty and political considerations rather than competence.

The KSB army has shown itself to be capable of combined arms operations and its skill in use of ATGMs from M113s was highly impressive to GNR generals.

In 2000 the GNR defense forces underwent refitting and adopted the following (please choose one)

The large numbers of wrecked and abandon PRGBG tanks left in the GNR following the August war were:

A: Sold off for scrap as it was deemed maintaining them would put an undue burden on logistics and 20 new T-72M1M with ERA were purchased. Note this option will increase MBT logistic availability by 100 MBTs in offensive and defensive operations.

B: Contracts were signed with Ukrainian arms manufactures which were able to salvage and update 300 T-55AMV-1 MBTs armed with 9M117 "Bastion" ATGM systems.

C: Contracts were signed with Israeli arms manufactures which were able to salvage and update 250 MBT based on the design of the Tiran 5 (remodeled with rifled 105mm/L51 main gun).

In addition to this inventory the GNR currently (as of 2002) fields:

100 T-72M1M with ERA kit

70 AMX-30B2 with BRENUS kit

100 M3 Panhard armored personnel carriers (of multiple variants)

300 Renault VAB armored personnel carriers (of multiple variants)

200 AMX-10P Infantry fighting vehicles (of multiple variants)

In addition the GNR has a large motor pool of 4x4,6x6 and 8x8 military cargo trucks.

Lastly most GNR artillery is entirely towed and is from western sources dating mostly from the 1980s.

At present the GNR defense force has the logistics to field up to 400 MBT in active defensive operations and 200 MBT in offensive operations. It is estimated that this number will fall somewhat depending on the additions of new MBT models based on the total number and logistical complexity of any new addition. Please note that the MBTs remaining over the logistical limit will still be "in the field" but will need to be held in reserves or in semi-static defense.

One last note, in terms of airpower (both in fixed wing and helicopters) the KSA has an advantage in numbers. However, the GNR has a good inventory of Swedish RBS 70 MANPADS and Minstrel missiles mounted on VAB carries. It is unlikely that either side will maintain air superiority, but the GNR will find itself primarily on the defensive in the air.

The GNR defense force feels that its MBT fleet needs to be increased to counter the expanding and modernizing KSB army. The following purchasing options are submitted to you for your recommendation to parliament.

60 AMX-30B2 with BRENUS kit and 70 T-72M1M with ERA kit (the "August War" mix)

80 Leopard 2A6

90 M1A2 export variant (noted no depleted uranium armor along with other downgrades)

120 AMX-30B2 with BRENUS kit

130 PT91A with ERAWA-2 kit

130 T-90S export variety with 9M119 "Refleks" ATGM system

130 T-80UD (diesel engine variety) with 9M119 "Svir" ATGM system

135 M603 with ERA kit

140 Type 96 MBT

140 T-72M1M with ERA kit

Lastly the USA has offered the GNR a military aid package. The following options are available:

100 mothballed M48A5 MBTs


Logistical support vehicles allowing GNR defense force to increase its ability to field an additional 30 MBTs in offensive and defensive operations.

Lastly do you recommend the GNR prepare for offensive operations into the former PRGBG or focus on defense of borders with KSB and hope for in international solution?

Despite the success of the August War offensive operations will be difficult. Once crossing the border river with the former PRGBG much of the former PRGBG terrain is rolling rugged hill country, forested ridges and valleys spotted with thousands of small lakes. A product of retreating glaciers during the Ice age. It is unclear how the local population will react. Intelligence reports show that the KBS annexation has been popular in the cities but unpopular in the rural areas, which make up the vast majority of the population. The PRGBG was a impoverished country with a poor infrastructure. Most recent development has gone into creating walled luxury neighborhoods for those loyal to the KSB and natural gas extraction . Spending has been lavish on former PRGBG officers to buy their loyalty and keep their troops in line. Whatever the reaction from the locals we should expect a tough fight from the KSB forces and their allies who will take full advantage of the terrain.

The defensive option is not much better. We can hope for international pressure for force a KSB withdrawal and a restoration of sovereignty for the former PRGBG. However, the PRGBG was such a pariah state that it has little support in the international community. It is hopes that if the KSB were show aggression toward the GNR we would receive some international support, but this cannot be counted on as it may amount to little more than words of encouragement. The GNR Defense Force has shown itself to be highly capable in the defense of its homeland. But with the annexation of the PRGBG, the KSB has twice the population of the GNR and with its natural gas income it can now out spend us at a three to one margin. So the disparity between are forces will only grow over time.

Please review the report carefully and provide a report to parliament as to you procurement recommendation and whether the GNR Defense force should focus on preparing offensive or defensive operations in a future conflict with the KSB.

(Summary of choices for the player: 1. What to do with the tank wrecks from the August War. 2. What new MBT acquisitions should be made. 3. What form of US aid should be excepted 4. Should the GNR prepare for a offensive or defensive war.)

28mm Fanatik09 Jul 2018 10:27 p.m. PST

As to Question No. 1, I suggest Option A since T-55's are obsolete and even if refurbished they would serve no other purpose than as reserve tanks in GNR's inventory. However, if GNR desires to keep a sizable force in reserve (like Israel), then go with Options B or C.

As to Question No. 2, I'd go for the T-90's, the mainstay MBT of Russia. It's the "80 percent solution" at a much lower price than the latest over-engineered western tanks. Avoid the Abrams, as tempting as it may be, because you don't want to deal with the maintenance requirements of gas-turbine engines. And don't bother with third party T-72 knock-offs like the Type 96 or PT91-Whatever either. My second choice would be the latest T-72's with ERA, but you can always buy a mix of the two, like maybe 70 to 75 of each type. The only way I would take an American offer along with the mothballed M48's or other "incentives" is if Uncle Sam agrees to sign a bilateral security treaty with GNR (requiring a US troop presence on her soil) or allow it to join NATO.

As to Question 3, I advise maintaining a defensive strategy. I mean, GNR absolutely massacred the poor PRGBG in the "August War." 450 tanks killed while losing only 18, are you kidding me? Playing defense works! The 100 modern LeClercs and 200 T-72M's currently in the KSB's inventory are a concern, but I'm not overly worried about the T-62's. Then there's also the fact that the GNR still has a good natural barrier against attack (rivers).

Another thing to consider is how many tanks can the KSB realistically field logistically. Offensive war strains logistics more than defensive war, not to mention the need to train more crews to man more tanks. The KSB has neither tank experience nor an armored doctrine (unlike the former PRGBG), so there's no reason to believe that it can conduct basic armored warfare – much less effective armored warfare – just yet.

Lion in the Stars10 Jul 2018 6:55 a.m. PST

1) I think I'd have to scrap all the junk and buy another 20 T72s, T55s are worse than AMX30s, even with GL-ATGMs.

2) On top of that, I would push the remaining AMX30s to Reserve or National Guard-type units (strictly defensive employment) and buy either T72M1Ms or T90s.

Since there are issues with different factories all having slightly different tools and spare parts, I'd probably go with T-72M1M, assuming that they have Arena APS and (especially) AT-11 Sniper capability. If Arena APS isn't available, it's not a big deal, but having AT-11 Sniper capability is critical.

The AT-11 Sniper will give you comparable capabilities to the AMX/T72 mix, but you will have the advantage of all the same tanks in your operating units (finally).

This would give you 330 tanks of all types, 70x AMX-30 (battalion of 44 and 26 as trainers) and 260x T-72M1M (5 battalions of 44 and 40 as trainers). It would be worth sacrificing ~10 tanks to get all the GNR's tanks refitted to pack AT-11s, if the original batch doesn't have them (T72M1M are equivalent to T72B, which has uprated armor and AT11 capability).

3) Frankly, the US can pack hot sand, the M48s are equivalent to the AMX30 (on a really good day), so their aid package isn't worth the effort when you can get more tanks by buying T72s. But if the US wants to sell Cobra helicopters, that might be worth considering.

4) I'd consider kicking the KSB out, but it really doesn't sound like PRGBG is good tank country. Probably be easier to infiltrate special ops teams and stir things up that way than invade en masse.

bishnak13 Jul 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

Cool game, I like the concept and the background you've come up with! I may even try these forces out on the tabletop, using Fistful of TOWs.

I personally would go with the following (questions a little out of order):

Q4 – Offensive or Defensive strategy? I think the experience of the August War, plus the terrain of the GNR means a defensive strategy is better. Keeps the international community on side, allows you to double your logistically supportable MBT force in the field, and tactically provides more advantages.

Q1 – On the Q of what to do with the August War wrecks? It's pretty hard to pass up Option C IMO. Given that I've opted for the defensive strategy, 250 Tiran-5s will be pretty handy in a defensive fight! I'd retire the AMX30s and go with these as they have equivalent armour (no ERA, but that could be fixed!) and the 105mm NATO gun is equivalent too. So you'd get twice as many tanks to equip your reserve or 2nd line tank battalions, plus have the logistics and training advantage of operating an entire fleet of Soviet style tanks. Some Tiran-5s would be in reserve also (see below).

Q2 – New MBT acquisitions: Given the choices above, I'd opt to keep my MBT support and training as common as possible through operating Soviet style tanks. Given a total logistically sustainable force in defence of 400 MBTs, I think the best option to complement our 250 Titan-5s is to retain our 100 T72M1s and go for the 130 T-90S. This gives us 480 MBTs – more than our 400 MBT maximum that is supportable (leaving some to go into reserve stocks). On defense, the T90S will allow us to deal with the modern Leclerc MBTs the enemy have, using their gun launched ATGMs, or their main armament. Used skilfully, the Tiran-5s and T72M1s will also be able to reach out and destroy the T72s and T62s that make up the remainder of the enemy inventory.

Q3 – what US support package? I'd go the logistic support option (the second option), allowing us to support an extra 30 MBTs (so a total of 430 in defence). So our operational MBT force would be 130 T-90S, 100 T-72M1, and 200 Tiran-5. 50 Tiran-5s would be in reserve war stocks for attrition. Not bad to counter what they'd be facing IMO.

bishnak13 Jul 2018 10:11 p.m. PST

To get even further into this, I'm thinking how the MBTs in my previous could be organised?

I will assume as the GNR is moving towards a volunteer force, it uses a westernised doctrine? If so, assume western style 14 tank companies (three 4-tank platoons, plus two HQ tanks). So with a couple of HQ MBTs, tank battalions would contain 44 MBTs (3 companies) or 58 MBTs (4 companies)? Our force could look something like this then:

130x T-90S in two large battalions (with some held at the Armor school for training)

100x T72M1 in two battalions (with some at the school for training)

200x Tiran-5 in four battalions (with some at the school for training)

Eight battalions of tanks is pretty good for a small country. Hopefully they have sufficient mechanised / motorised infantry to support them in several Brigades? I also asssume as a largely volunteer force, they will rely on Reserves as well. Perhaps something like this:

A tank Brigade with the two T90S battalions, plus a Mechanized (IFV) infantry battalion;

A Mechanized Brigade with the two T72M1 battalions plus two Mechanized (IFV or APC) infantry battalions; and

Two Motorized Brigades with a Tiran-5 Battalion and two to three Motorized infantry battalions (APC).

Two Reserve Brigades with a Tiran-5 battalion and two Motorized infantry battalions (APC or Truck)

As each Brigade has MBTs and infantry to a greater or lesser extent, they would be able to task organise and cross-attach companies between units.

Just some thoughts… : )

Zookie14 Jul 2018 10:20 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the interesting posts. I've been a little busy and have not been able to get writing the end of the story. I hope to have it done Monday. in the meantime I welcome an additional participation or discussion.

Zookie16 Jul 2018 4:11 p.m. PST

Thanks for the participating posts!

Here are the options that I am going with:

The GNR refurbishes old PRGBG tanks and fields 250 Tiran 5 MBTs. It adds 130 T-90S MBTs, accepts US logistical aid and opts for a defensive posture against the KSB.

Here is part one of the "what happened next" phase. This post will take you from 2003 to when conflict breaks out in 2009 (so more it coming).

By the way if anyone is interested in gaming out this scenario with their favor rule set I am happy to answer any questions that would be helpful, also I would love to hear how it turned out!

So here is what happened:

2003-The GNR Defense Force undergoes expansion and moderation in reaction to KSB aggression, and heavily trains, and prepares for a defensive war against KSB. This includes some permanent defensive structures and the use of landmines along portions of the border with the KSB and former PRGBG. The language coming from the KSB foreign ministry becomes more bellicose every day. International attitudes towards the KSB remain negative, but it is clear by now that no action will be taken in reaction to the PRGBG annexation.

2004-The KSB releases 12 part drama miniseries on state televisions about ancient royal family of the KSB that portrays the territories of the current KSB, PRGBG, and the GNR as a single kingdom under the rule of the royal line which currently rules the KSB. The extensive use of romance and swashbuckling makes it a hit in the KSB and former PRGBG. GNR intelligence services believe this is not so subtle propaganda move. The series essentially rewrites history to give a KSB claim to GNR territory, and essentially portrays the ancestors of the people of the KSB as noble warriors, and the ancestors of the people PRGBG as decent, hardworking peasant folk, who are easily led astray by the scheming, greedy and dishonest ancestors of the people of the GNR, who ultimately caused the collapse of the old grand unified kingdom.

2005- The KSB undergoes yet another round of military buildup. About half of its outdated T-62 fleet has been equipped with ATGM systems and much of its T-72 fleet. Additionally, 50 more Leclerc MBTs were purchased through the UAE (as in intermediary), as France would no longer export them to the KSB. The UAE would not part with any more MBTs but continues to sell spare parts from France to the KSB. France makes no efforts to plug this loop hole. The GNR cannot match this military spending. To adapt the situations the GNR reinstates limited conscription for a reserve force. This is extremely unpopular and the measure is altered to be limited to non-combat reserve units. The GNR begins to train what it calls "Support Battalions" which are led by professional officers, but are manned by conscripted reservists who enter into engineering/labor battalions, medical battalions, and maintenance/supply battalions. Though called "battalions" for propaganda purpose these groups will be deployed as independent companies.

2006- Tensions continue to build between the GNR and the KSB. KSB citizens take to calling the GNR citizens "donkeys," an insult derived from the still popular and still rerunning 2004 drama series. This term is also picked up in the former PRGBG as many citizens their start to blame the people of the GNR for the fracture of the fictitious "greater kingdom" long ago which they believe in turn led to their future enslavement under a communist system centuries later. In response. GNR soldiers began to paint imagines of a kicking donkey on their vehicles and sowing similar patches to uniforms. At fist high command attempts to stop this but then encourages it once they see the positive moral effect.

2007- The KSB continues to import weapons. The most recent additions being 200 MBT-2000s from china. In addition the KSB constructs factories to manufacture license build MBT-2000 with the plan to phase out all other models and replace them locally built MBT-2000. Anti GNR rhetoric remains high in the KSB. Meanwhile in the GNR, donkeys have become the most popular tattoo in the GNR armed forces GNR media uses the term "J******es" as an affectionate term for GNR soldiers. Much like the USA used terms like doughboy, GI, and Grunt in the past.

2008- As the international community becomes engulfed in the worldwide financial crises little attention can be spared for GNR-KSB relations. Natural Gas prices plummet and the KSB cannot hope to maintain it expanded military for long. The GNR economy as taken a hit as well but was weathering the storm well as had gradually built up a modest gold reserve over the past decade of steady economic growth. With the price of gold sky rocking the GNR gold reserves help maintain economic stability. Between the wish to create a "Greater Baddonia" and a desire to confiscate GNR gold to stabilize the KSB economy, KSB leadership approved "Operation Green." The long planned invasion of the GNR. An explosion was manufactured at the KSB natural gas fields killing several work crews of former PRGBG origin. This was deemed a terrorist actions by the "donkeys" from GNR intelligence services. Weeks were spent in feigned outrage by KSB officials while the KSB prepares for an invasion. The GNR calls up its reserves and fully mobilizes.

January 11, 2009- KSB declares war on the GNR and launches an invasion to remove the "criminal regime". The "White War," as it would later known, begins.

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