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"A new battle with Sgt "Just" Jack USMC" Topic


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757 hits since 6 Dec 2019
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Joe Legan06 Dec 2019 5:54 p.m. PST

Played another scenario with my marine squad in Iraq. Found here:
link

Enjoy and ignore any comments Jack makes.

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2019 8:53 a.m. PST

Joe,

First, thanks man, it's great to see the Leathernecks on the table again, particularly given the fact they won, and especially that the victory is primarily attributable to "Sgt Jack's" leadership. Only three small quibbles:

1) How the #$%@ did you get an Abrams knocked out by Iraqis???

2) I thought "Jack" was a Staff Sergeant and the Platoon Sergeant for the Marines, not a Sgt/squad leader?

3) Being a Zero and all, surely you must be smart enough to know that the Marines would be performing their own CAS, not the slovenly, inept Air Force, which would have been just as likely to bomb the Marine grunts as the Iraqis ;)

In any case, great fight, thanks for sharing, and fingers crossed that there are more where that came from.

V/R,
Jack

Sundance08 Dec 2019 6:55 a.m. PST

Just Jack – point #1, yes, in real-life we lost M1s to the Iraqis (they had advanced RPGs, and were testing even more advanced versions for the Russkies) and point #3, ummmmm, well, again in real-life the Marines used AF CAS, so why not in the game?

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2019 12:13 p.m. PST

Sundance,

Regarding point #1:
1) The back and forth with Joe is a little joke we've been running for about 10 years now.

2) Thus, I was making fun of Joe's leadership and tactical decision-making abilities, not insinuating the Iraqis couldn't knock out an Abrams.

3) I know the Iraqis knocked out some M1s, I was there for OIF II with B/1/5 and K/3/1, fought in the first Battle of Fallujah. Though I can't say I ever saw or heard about these 'advanced' RPGs.

Regarding Point #3:
1) I can't dispute that the Marine Corps has received CAS from USAF. Doctrinally, it should be Marine Air providing CAS, that's the point of the Marine Corps having air, though joint battlespace/doctrine sometimes dictates otherwise.

2) My personal experience was that USAF providing CAS for Marines was primarily in Afghanistan, where Marine air did not have a sizeable presence, and in Iraq it was primarily Marine Air for Marines, where the Marine Corps had a sizeable presence (both rotary and fixed wing).

3) I actually called in USAF CAS in April 2002 in Afghanistan (this was back when we were allowed to call in our own 9-line briefs, the restrictions mandating JTACs weren't there yet), and I was a recipient of Marine Air in Iraq (though the Company XO called it in, not me).

4) So, why not in the game? Because I was a Marine and Joe was Air Force, and he's doing it just to Bleeped text me off ;)
So please don't read too much into my cheapshots on the old guy; that's why he said "…ignore any comments Jack makes."

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan10 Dec 2019 7:41 p.m. PST

Sundance,
Thank you for correcting Jack. His grasp on reality is tenuous most of the time.
Jack,
Regarding your second question you actually have a good memory. He did start as a platoon Sgt. As I have narrowed my focus down from platoon to squad I decided to move him to the first squad.
Unfortunately my next post is actually in the snow. It is with the 8th infantry division in southern Germany at the outset of WW III.

Thanks to you both

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP11 Dec 2019 7:25 a.m. PST

Joe,

Nothing tenuous about my grasp of reality, just different realities. To your credit, I wasn't smart enough to get into 5-star hotels, never learn what an MRE is or what it tastes like, have to fly sand into the desert for a volleyball court, or why all ‘those guys' carry guns with real bullets and are pissed off all the time, amongst other things.

Regarding the Plt Sgt, indeed I do, and I understood your concept of just getting a squad or two at a time on the table but, for what it's worth, I would submit that still leaves plenty of room for the platoon HQ (Plt Cedric, Plt Sgt, RTO, Guide, and the corpsman, or two corpsmen, which we had in OIF II). First, you can never have enough leaders in a fight, it allows you additional tactical flexibility, and it can add some spice (the Guide performing combat resupply, PC or Plt Sgt calling one CAS, corpsman treating casualties and linking up with Company Gunny or 1st Sgt for CASEVAC, etc…). For that matter, don't forget about company and battalion, too. So get Sgt Jack his rocker back, ASAP!

And nothing unfortunate about it, looking forward to your return to WWIII.

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan11 Dec 2019 4:04 p.m. PST

Jack,
I guess we will have to agree "war is hell". I once had to live in an unairconditioned tent for 3 days before the engineers got around to hooking it up. : ) We didn't have hot water for over a month!
I have the platoon HQ but those are now NPCs. Jack is such a great character I didn't want him to be an NPC hence no rocker now.

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP12 Dec 2019 6:38 a.m. PST

Joe,

Indeed, Sir! Damn engineers…

But NPCs!!!??? Again you are screwing me over! How the hell can you do platoon-level gaming without a lootenat, platoon sergeant, and corpsman? Wargamers these days, just do whatever the hell they want, no damn discipline ;)

So, I'll still read it, but I won't like it ;)

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan12 Dec 2019 2:44 p.m. PST

Jack,
So we agree on another point-- engineers. ( Actually our engineers were amazing. They kept the base humming like a top despite rockets and mortars knocking stuff out. I never operated in the dark.)
So now we see why the NCOs do the tactical and leave the officers to the bigger picture. Jack I am not doing a platoon level game here. I have transitioned to a squad level game!!!
I am focusing on the Squad leader and the 3 fire team leaders.The other folks are in the game but are not the focus; hence it is a squad level game. The Company CO, LT, PLT Sgt and 2 other SQ Ldrs are NPCs.

Joe

Wolfhag12 Dec 2019 6:33 p.m. PST

Jack,
I'm motivated just reading these accounts. It puts me right there. I don't see how any low level 1:1 skirmish game cannot have corpsman and walking wounded, even with a sucking chest wound, not leaving their brothers on the battlefield. Patch me up and get me back in there Doc. I'm sure you witnessed it many times.

Squad Leaders are the backbone of any skirmish and should have some type of RPG/character traits to make them stand out. They are that special.

Keep up the good work. You guys nailed it!

Wolfhag

Joe Legan12 Dec 2019 7:41 p.m. PST

Wolfhag,

Thanks for your comments. You also know from your experience.

Cheers

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP12 Dec 2019 9:46 p.m. PST

Joe – I actually have a deep regard for our combat engineers; got some really funny stories, but also some definitively not-funny stories… No surgery in the dark? And you call yourself a professional? ;)

And yes, I'm sure you Zeroes are good at… whatever officers do, but… I was merely suggesting that even in a squad-level game the Plr Cmdr, Plt Sgt, and Doc are so important to the function of the platoon in action that they should be included. The point being, Tables of Organization for whichever echelon, from platoon to echelons above corps, will list the HQ element as a ‘unit,' but that is not how they operate, they are always split (how they are split depends on the character of the commander and how he influenced SOPs), I.e., a division will have its CP and Div-Forward (at its simplest).

So the "platoon HQ" is nothing near static, and the Plt Cmdr and Plt Sgt are hardly ever near each other once the firefight starts. So the two senior leaders will be split up; invariably, one will be with one squad and the other will be with another, leaving only 1/3 of the platoon's rifle squads without a senior leader. What this means in game terms is that you could roll up at the start of every single fight to see if your ‘character' squad will have a senior leader with it, and 2/3 of the time it will. I'm not a mathematician, but 2/3 seems like a lot, about 16% more than half the time ;). Which seems enough to me that you'd not have those oft-recurring characters be NPCs.

So, as always say ‘do what you wish,' I just wanted to take the opportunity to dispel the notion that the platoon HQ stays together (IF anyone wasn't aware of that), and note it's effect on our tabletop, without even getting into the issue of the corpsman. Hopefully it helps. But either way, you're in trouble, another Jarhead has arrived!

Wolfhag – Hey man, hope all is well with you and your family! Joe's alrigt; he chose the noble profession of healer, but despite being a surgeon he can't paint worth a damn, and somehow he became a Colonel in the Air Force after getting a BCD from the Army! ;)

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan13 Dec 2019 5:59 p.m. PST

Jack,
You might or might not recall in the Army before medical school I was a platoon leader for a combat MP platoon. I actually experienced what a "platoon HQ" was. That is actually where I learned most of my early leadership lessons from; my platoon sgt. I know it isn't static.
I agree those are all important factors in a squads life. Unlike you I can't keep track of more than 3-5 characters at a time. Don't forget I will play one game and then won't play another for 4=8 months. Thus it is easier for me to make those characters NPCs. They are still important and have traits; they just aren't narrated and followed. [ In the pathfinders scenario just posted the LT is present as well as the corpsman. You just don't see them.] I do like your idea of rolling to see if the LT or platoon Sgt Accompanies the squad on a single squad mission.
Hope that explains my perspective.

Cheers

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2019 9:30 a.m. PST

Joe,

I did not forget you were a platoon leader for a division-MP platoon, because we never discussed that! I had not idea what you did in the Army, just that you were in the Army, which is why I thought my earlier comment about "…somehow he became a Colonel in the Air Force after getting a BCD from the Army…" was particularly clever ;) It's also why I qualified my description with "…(IF anyone wasn't aware of that)…"

Am I to assume your time in the Army is your tie-in with 8th ID? And an MP, eh? No wonder you're such a popular guy ;)

"Unlike you I can't keep track of more than 3-5 characters at a time."
Yes, no one is denying you're lazy and nowhere near as capable as me, but don't beat yourself up. It's all those years of institutional mediocrity ingrained in you by the Army and USAAF.

In any case, you have definitely explained your perspective, and my belief is that you should do whatever you feel like doing, regardless of what this old knucklehead says (I certainly do!), I just like running my mouth about tactics and game mechanics. As always, looking forward to more.

V/R,
Jack

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