Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (Full Version)

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demiare -> Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/10/2020 10:14:10 PM)

First. Currently a single battalion of mechanized light infantry have a prohibitive high cost of strategic movement. While it's okay in case of basic truck logistic, railways instead are main way to move troops on large distances. Plus tanks chassis have quite low durability (relatively of course) so it's a huge waste to allow them move on their own in peace time.

My suggestion - mechanized & tank troops should be allowed to use only rail logistic points for strategic movement combined with massive reduction of it's cost (T2 or event T1 station should easily send at least a brigade per turn). Ideally you should be able to use strategic movement for them only in a hex with at Rail Station / Railstop.

Second suggestion. Limit armor of light tanks to ~50mm without researching advanced engines / armor. You can't move them efficiently even with 50mm while 100mm is completely overkill both logically (aren't fitting real world light tanks of WW2) AND it's allow player to abuse design mechanic against AI as AI never go such crazy on armor. Please don't mention that you're capable to place low-caliber gun on tanks, it's useless as main tank purpose is to attack.




Malevolence -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 2:08:36 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: demiare

First. Currently a single battalion of mechanized light infantry have a prohibitive high cost of strategic movement. While it's okay in case of basic truck logistic, railways instead are main way to move troops on large distances. Plus tanks chassis have quite low durability (relatively of course) so it's a huge waste to allow them move on their own in peace time.

My suggestion - mechanized & tank troops should be allowed to use only rail logistic points for strategic movement combined with massive reduction of it's cost (T2 or event T1 station should easily send at least a brigade per turn). Ideally you should be able to use strategic movement for them only in a hex with at Rail Station / Railstop.


I'll add the following simply for consideration.

Wargames' use of strategic movement is never accurate. It's almost always based on a simplified interpretation of WW2 texts and designed as a simple economic choice to allow the rapid movement of counters across the board and sometimes as they enter as reinforcements from off-board.

Given your quoted comment, you probably know that rail movement of a unit's equipment is not the same as road movement (i.e. road transport) over distance.

Rail movement requires significant effort at both load and unload, and is most useful for movement over relatively significant distances (e.g. moving 3ID from Georgia to South Carolina for further sealift).

While locomotives and cars have different capabilities, all other things being equal (track gauge, etc.), the cost for a tank, or a truck, or a standardized container filled with equipment is negligible given the overall cost in mass (e.g. short tons) and number of train cars used. For example, per the image, it's only going to be two vehicles per standard flatcar. Given tanks, trucks, or artillery the cars' effort is equal. Issues with rail movement could be guessed-- tunnels, significant grades, limited clearance, bridges, turns, and busy lines and facilities. Rail movement is unforgiving of bottlenecks and poor scheduling (e.g. capacity and train density).

Rail is a great target. Nuclear targeteers love them.

A few points about some elements in the game and in the real world that could influence the game design and your suggestion:

The spur (i.e. railhead in this game) can be used to load and unload a train. They are usually connected to specific, important facilities (e.g. assets, bases, etc.) and allow easy mode transfer of people and cargo without disrupting the main line. For example, a spur from the main line to a steel works, or to a military depot, or to an assembly plant. Important consideration is that it is paid for and managed by the owner of the facility--based on agreement with railroad company. The size and capability are determined by the needs of the owner. It requires almost no infrastructure beyond the track and whatever handling equipment is on-hand.

Given the scale of the hexes, if it were me, I would consider any hex with rail line capable of being a spur/railhead.

You can load a brigade combat team's equipment on a spur no larger than 10 square kilometers in about 48 hours. (see picture of fancy railhead in subsequent post)

Stations are not yards, but contain terminals to focus on load and unload. The main line connects stations. In other words, you can have a station without a yard, but it will have a passenger or cargo terminal (or both) to load and upload. Some large stations are typically co-located with yards.

Yards are really a separate concern from load and unload. They are used principally for shunting/switching, sorting and transferring cars. They can also have an engine house to fuel and service the locomotives. Per this game, they generate the train points (and in IRL). This is the realm of the railroad companies. It gets sliced and detailed well beyond my experiences with respect to strategic movement.

Also, over time, cargo terminals and passenger terminals have separated geographically (i.e. separate stations). Passenger terminals are typically in urban centers (e.g. cities, suburban towns, airports, etc.), while cargo terminals have moved away from urban locations and to intermodal centers (sea ports, fluvial ports, inland production centers, truck distribution center, etc.).

As I think you also pointed out, road movement is different from rail. Given that LP's are used here, I agree and don't think this game's design views strategic movement as using organic equipment to the unit.

Somewhere on the forum, I made a post about units using several different modes (march, battle, assault, etc.) for movement, and their related costs in action points.

HETs (heavy equipment transports) ultimately work like trains (tractors and flatcars), but effort can vary significantly. More dynamic, it is much faster to load and unload, but costly in terms of resources. Best used for shorter movements and anywhere rail movement is unavailable or not secure enough. This is the primary method, at the operational level, to pivot on interior lines. Heavy units (tanks, IFVs, etc.) use HET's whenever possible. It saves significant costs in terms of fuel, spare parts, and maintenance work.

If units did not use HETs for road movement, significant numbers of their equipment would be deadlined and dragged into the tactical assembly areas by wreckers. Units prepare for further action in assembly areas.

[image]local://upfiles/34589/21785DD22F0648A69FA710930863BC76.jpg[/image]




jwarrenw13 -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 3:32:13 AM)

Nice description. I enjoyed reading it. Carry on.




Malevolence -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 4:31:04 AM)

Example of an expeditionary spur/railhead.

Notice the spur does not interrupt the main line.

It is small and requires no significant infrastructure.

This is not a "Siding" which is used for passing.

In truth, these guys probably just grabbed a siding and used it. It's that easy.

[image]local://upfiles/34589/E5E447B581434A5A8C721EAFC9EE3413.jpg[/image]




Malevolence -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 4:33:48 AM)

Example of a fancy spur built to conduct continuous load and unload operations.

If you notice, it's almost all just flat space to marshal the equipment. No special infrastructure or equipment to load and unload.

These are examples of military units using railheads. Bulk cargo, like grain, etc. requires specific cargo handling equipment.

[image]local://upfiles/34589/337BB86944994113A3DDAF1F1A9821DD.jpg[/image]

As I think jwarrenw13 can explain, you end up driving the vehicle up a ramp and then down the flatcars and into position. It's then just an issue of securing the vehicle to the flatcar. A harrowing experience for any driver, but not resource intensive--the unit provides the manpower.

quote:

ORIGINAL: jwarrenw13

Germany 73-75 and 85-88. First time as an enlisted track driver, second time, after finishing college and lots of other adventures in the Army, as a PAO remf, both with 8th ID, Baumholder first time, 8th ID Hqs in Bad Kreuznach the second. Driving an M577 up on a rail car and off as a 19-year-old PFC was quite an adventure. Plus bonus deployment for REFORGER 84 as a company commander.




Malevolence -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 4:52:45 AM)

Example of loading a tank on a HET. Very simple. Done everywhere and often.

However, following NATO doctrine, tactical units (units below Division) do not possess HET's organically. It's usually a Division (or Corps) asset--Combat Heavy Equipment Transport Company. They are important and held for direct and general support (or attached via task org). Simply, it an operational level of war support unit--and correctly used for strategic movement in the game.

Finding and destroying enemy HET's is a priority for the fires plan beyond the FSCL.

[image]local://upfiles/34589/E96390AE85FF47119A24C3EF27E66D8E.jpg[/image]




jwarrenw13 -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 5:13:59 AM)

[image]https://media.defense.gov/2017/Sep/22/2001815365/1280/1280/0/170914-A-CW128-058.JPG[/image]

From an exercise in Poland, 2017. That's an M577 armored command post, M113 variant with a high top, lots of radios usually, no weapons. During my enlisted track driver days I never loaded on a HET, but loaded on rail cars a couple of times. I don't remember much about it except the pucker factor of me at age 19 or 20 driving that thing up onto the rail cars, especially the first time. LOL, that image is still vivid.




jwarrenw13 -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 5:24:02 AM)

And accidents can happen.

https://youtu.be/XyHxEDT9sEM




demiare -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 9:27:09 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Malevolence

HETs (heavy equipment transports) ultimately work like trains (tractors and flatcars), but effort can vary significantly.


Sign.

1) I'm not crazy maniac seeking 100% realism. My reasons for suggestion were purely gameplay-based.

Do you tried to rely on mechanized forces on super-large planet while you're already controlling >20% of surface? Fuel costs became prohibitive simply because I can't use my rails to transport them around my empire. 10k+ points cost is almost equal to "strategic movement is forbidden for that case of troops".

Why I need mechanized forces so much? Because I'm trying to roleplay and save manpower as much as possible. Simply because humanity is close to extinction at beginning of our game.

This what you're forgetting when speaking about railhead in every hex - we lack population to maintain them. In fact we lack population to do almost everything industrial but let's believe that some small ultra-tech robo-factories are still going :)

2) HET in you example are highly specialized and highly expensive, so as for me they're simply unavailable to post-apocalypse civilization. While rails ARE in game already and simple platforms aren't hard to made.

HET's used as part of military assets not because they're cool or giving advantage but because of MBT used by NATO, whom became too heavy in constant efforts to compensate their weak armor at least a bit and failing to do it again and again (low structural design roll [:D]).




Malevolence -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 3:08:32 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: demiare

Do you tried to rely on mechanized forces on super-large planet while you're already controlling >20% of surface? Fuel costs became prohibitive simply because I can't use my rails to transport them around my empire. 10k+ points cost is almost equal to "strategic movement is forbidden for that case of troops".

Why I need mechanized forces so much? Because I'm trying to roleplay and save manpower as much as possible. Simply because humanity is close to extinction at beginning of our game.


In order to keep my post short (for once), I'll just address this point.

There is only one nation in our modern world that can move heavy units across the world in usable formations. Even regarding light infantry, few nations (about 25) have the ability to project force (i.e. Force Projection). Among those few actors, there is a wide spectrum of capabilities. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

Finally, I understand your wishes and why. I also understand realism is not necessarily the goal, that fun is the goal. However, you offer two diametrically opposed wishes:

First, that the game portrays a less advanced civilization where technology and regime capacity is significantly diminished from our modern world. Humans are building up from near extinction.

Then second, in the same request, that the game provide the ability to easily move advanced, sophisticated weapons and massive formations across the world without inconvenience.

I highlight that for consideration. Fun is still fun.

[image]local://upfiles/34589/2EB6F4BC08E645AE83FB24D64E5172FF.jpg[/image]

These guys drove from Tchad to Mali uncoordinated and on their own initiative in 2013. Arrived without remaining food and fuel; quickly ran out of ammunition. Saved by French special forces and put to good use per the link.




demiare -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 4:09:31 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Malevolence

There is only one nation in our modern world that can move heavy units across the world in usable formations.


You're quite wrong about it, huh. Even more fun that you're wrong in that statement triple times. [:D] We aren't in some kind of chat so I prefer to continue this complete off-topic debates.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Malevolence
First, that the game portrays a less advanced civilization where technology and regime capacity is significantly diminished from our modern world. Humans are building up from near extinction.


C'mon. Game is fantasy enough as in similar circumstances human population is 100% doomed. Survival of any civilization on all planets but Siwa is 100% pure fantasy magic.

I want to increase importance and value of rail network. Please notice again - I don't request a easy way to move whole tank armies, no. Being able to move 1 battalion per turn (=season!) is a fine for me.

And yes, I find hilarious being unable to relocate single mechanized light infantry battalion using a strategic move without having lvl 7 rail station (>10k cost to move it). Not a pack of monitor tanks but a mere infantry + APC, while I still able to relocate motorized light infantry battalion with ease. Do you really think that APC will use 10 times more place on rail platform then a military truck? [:D]




Malevolence -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 6:30:45 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: demiare

quote:

ORIGINAL: Malevolence

There is only one nation in our modern world that can move heavy units across the world in usable formations.


You're quite wrong about it, huh. Even more fun that you're wrong in that statement triple times. [:D]


Sorry if that feels offensive or is counter to some anecdotally held beliefs. That's not my intent.

It's also not based on some flag waving pride of my own.

Only one country in the world has the needed sealift capacity and protection to project that level power anywhere in the world... and into multiple theaters at the same time. Believe me, the closest peers know that too and they work hard to close that significant gap.

I will say with pride, however, be personally glad of it. The world would be far different if this was not the case (despite being far from perfect as it is).




demiare -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 8:56:14 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Malevolence

and protection to project that level power anywhere in the world...



[:D] You keep making my day. Sorry but are you speaking about country that no longer capable to produce their own obsolete sub-sonic ASM so now they trying to buy them from another country (and still obsolete one)? [:D] Country that done one of most idiotic decision to unify ASM and AA missiles? And ofk AA missiles are another painful question for them. Tactical nukes? Not exist anymore, lol.

And your joke about "sealift capability" is a good one too. A little hint - commercial ships could be easily enlisted and used to transport armored forces. If you'd tried to say "amphibious landing" than it will be a bit closer to reality, but still untrue as this country tanks&APC are lacking amphibious ability.

Please take a note - I asked you to not dive deeper into this off-topic. You decided to ignore my wish.




Malevolence -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/11/2020 9:28:33 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: demiare

[:D] You keep making my day. Sorry but are you speaking about country that no longer capable to produce their own obsolete sub-sonic ASM so now they trying to buy them from another country (and still obsolete one)? [:D] Country that done one of most idiotic decision to unify ASM and AA missiles? And ofk AA missiles are another painful question for them. Tactical nukes? Not exist anymore, lol.

And your joke about "sealift capability" is a good one too. A little hint - commercial ships could be easily enlisted and used to transport armored forces. If you'd tried to say "amphibious landing" than it will be a bit closer to reality, but still untrue as this country tanks&APC are lacking amphibious ability.

Please take a note - I asked you to not dive deeper into this off-topic. You decided to ignore my wish.


You did give me an out. Now here I am, egg all over my face. Please, consider me thoroughly schooled.
[image]local://upfiles/34589/2924B2827287441BADD2F5ADDEE3DF9E.jpg[/image]




Malevolence -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/12/2020 12:41:51 PM)

For reference, [1.04b7] Remove the 200km/Hex Absolute Value.




Hazard151 -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/12/2020 1:28:33 PM)

Keep in mind that 1) Multiple nations before the invention of railroads had effective power projection across large distances and 2) Massed petrol fueled transportation permits considerable transportation capacity even across continents. It comes with a few constraints, but it's quite possible, and the game abstracts that building a road or railway includes pipelines for fuel and water and power lines for energy, all operating with irrelevant loss rates. Which is quite a trick for energy I will admit.




Daza99 -> RE: Mechanized troops should be movable strategically using rails (7/28/2020 11:44:08 PM)

Interesting thread/read.


quote:

Stations are not yards, but contain terminals to focus on load and unload. The main line connects stations. In other words, you can have a station without a yard, but it will have a passenger or cargo terminal (or both) to load and upload. Some large stations are typically co-located with yards.

Yards are really a separate concern from load and unload. They are used principally for shunting/switching, sorting and transferring cars. They can also have an engine house to fuel and service the locomotives. Per this game, they generate the train points (and in IRL). This is the realm of the railroad companies. It gets sliced and detailed well beyond my experiences with respect to strategic movement.



1# So A Rail Head in the game is essentially a Yard?

2# Do we need a Rail Station and Rail Head at every city or destination (such as loading and unloading areas not in a city) together?

3# Would there be situations where you can just have a Rail Head by itself? eg. close to the front lines? or end of the line? say you want to move inf to pass through mountain hexes on foot.





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