Something that has been bothering me about units like manpads if that both in SE's gameplay and actual militaries it doesn’t make sense to have a dedicated person do nothing other than carry this thing around just in case his unit gets attacked by low-flying aircraft. Similarly, contrary to what simplified RTS games show, real-world solders don’t usually exclusively carry RPGs and use them even to fight against infantry. Such dedicated weapons did exist in historic settings, but in modern infantry heavy weapons tend to be issued to the unit and used when appropriate, while everyone is still capable of fighting with a general firearm like automatic rifle.
I was thinking of how it could be implemented in SE, and I think it should be possible using an infantry weight-based design system previously suggested in a few threads.
At the core would be an infantry design system that is more similar to current vehicle design:
There is an "engine" determining weight carrying ability - soldier’s physical strength at T3, followed perhaps by supplementary load-bearing exoskeletons at the same tech level as combat armor, followed by power armor (battledress).
The weight capacity is used for:
- Environmental resistance gear
- Armor (higher tier armor may give "discount" on enviroresistance weight as they already include many of the same elements.
- General-purpose firearm (rifle)
- A certain weight required for expected general-purpose gear (camping/sleeping equipment, food, first aid, night vision gear, etc.)
- Heavy weapons issued at unit level
Heavy weapons and general gear weight is averaged for the unit - i.e. it is expected that people who carry heavy weapons have to carry less general purpose stuff. Ideally weight would also be affected by gravity for greater replayability (e.g. high G may lead to soldiers being able to afford less armor at lower tech while lower G may lead to greater use of heavy weapons).
In this system everyone is capable of using a rifle (or equivalent) when appropriate, and if the unit is issued X amount of a particular heavy weapon, it means that X soldiers will use these when the situation calls for it and convert to corresponding subinit type for the battle - i.e. machine guns are used on defense and in a pinch against air, RPGs against hard targets and manpads against low-flying air units.
Some other heavy weapons are possible such as mortars (allow an artillery-range attack) or portable nukes at the end of the tech tree.
The way it would work in practice is that at design phase a certain weight-carrying potential may be left over before hitting a limit, which then during operationalization phase is used to determine potential ability of the unit to include heavy weapons. Some extra steps may be needed when resolving losses, such as part of heavy weapons being even lost if the soldiers were killed while fighting with rifles.
Some additional rules may be possible, e.g:
- Ability to sacrifice part of general-purpose gear during design at the cost of a permanent readiness penalty
- Motorized infantry ignoring part of general-purpose/heavy weapons weight
- When subunits fighting with heavy weapons are destroyed, the unit they belong to loses only a portion of this heavy weapon (e.g. half, rounded up) unless it had a disorganized retreat - representing some weapons recovered and put to use by other soldiers.
- If a unit walks into a battle without detecting enemy hard-armor units, subunits can switch to RPGs during a battle once these are detected (each round is almost a week of fighting after all) but might take a combat penalty for a round.
Also in theory more complicated unit-based mechanics can be replaced by RPG and manpad soldiers coming with a "rifle mode" by default and fighting in it if appropriate.
< Message edited by Zanotirn -- 6/6/2021 3:42:03 AM >