What's more, even for the most 'fortified' of fortified positions, much or most of what isn't needed isn't a army-level engineer regiment showing up and saying 'how can I help' -- but simply shipments of barbed wire, mines, power tools, etc. You won't be able to simulate the presence or absence of that by adding more complex engineers.
So it all comes back to that discussion about supplies!
You could say that. I was thinking about this in a more general way.
TOAW is made up of a series of gross over-simplifications. Take a 'port.' What's that? Depending on the context, it could be anything from a somewhat sheltered roadstead and a reasonably firm beach to Antwerp in full swing -- and it's capacity could be anything from a few tons of crated supplies a day plus all the riflemen that can be ferried ashore to a full armored division in 24 hours if you've let them know you're coming -- or somewhere in between.
So what's involved in building it -- or destroying it? That kinda depends...
Similarly with fortifications. Obviously, units become 'fortified' with little more than some mines and barbed wire, some logs, and a whole lot of shovel time. 'Fortifications' can also mean reinforced concrete, observation ports, subterranean galleries, etc.
So what impact should engineers have, and which 'engineers' are people talking about?
It varies. There may be a generic 'hill' in TOAW, but there ain't no such animal in the real world. Just a whole series of situations, each bearing some similarities to others, but each also peculiar to itself in some way.
When one reads about combat operations, there are constant special cases. It's obviously hopeless to try to cover all of these in TOAW -- and it's even a bad idea to try.
Sometimes I get the feeling people notice some one element or situation and just immediately ask 'how should the system be changed to reflect this?'
Maybe it shouldn't be changed at all. Maybe the system is actually better tuned for the more general run of cases, and it can more or less passably handle the special case, so put the time and effort into changing something else.
People sometimes seem to never look at the big picture. So they say 'engineers should have some unique ability to help in assaults on fortified positions.' Should they? Witness my example of the Australian pioneers in Syria. I mean, these guys performed credibly, but specially equipped assault troops they were not.
I'm not saying that some special type of 'assault engineer' would go amiss. But just give this special ability to all engineering squads, and make it especially effective on all fortified hexes? You might improve matters for the cases you're considering, but it might just skew the system further, overall. After all, now I'll be bringing up my poor civil engineers and railway workers from Sydney to assault those hill forts outside Damascus. After all, they never knew it when they were signing up, but now they're specially equipped and trained, elite assault troops.
< Message edited by ColinWright -- 8/24/2011 11:25:51 PM >
I am not Charlie Hebdo