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Infantry design/heavy weapons rework

 
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Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/6/2021 3:27:16 AM   
Zanotirn

 

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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 >
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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/6/2021 5:41:42 AM   
Pratapon51

 

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(With a late-game linear tech to gene-bulk your soldiers and raise their base strength as well in exchange for higher food drain, and gyrojet weaponry .. sounds familiar. )

(in reply to Zanotirn)
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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/6/2021 11:14:36 AM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

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.

The soldier carrying the heavy or specialized weapon, needs to carry a smaler gun, less ammo and has more training and focus on deploying the specialized weapon - thus reducing his performance in conventional combat.
Any way you add some weapons, you will decrease the performance for basic infantry roles.
The primary users of Pistols in warfare were leaders (they carry the responsibility) and specialists (they have a heavy load otherwise). While the goal often involved a upgrade from a Pistol to a Machine Pistol, those tended to be rare - and still a bit heavier.

The games mechanic on have X% of the soldier count as "Bazooka Solider" is the closest approximation.

< Message edited by zgrssd -- 6/6/2021 11:15:55 AM >

(in reply to Zanotirn)
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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/6/2021 3:11:15 PM   
Zanotirn

 

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Joined: 3/12/2021
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I understand that if a soldier with a machine gun training is deployed with a machine gun, he will not simultaneously carry an automatic rifle. However if his squad is employed in an operation requiring a quick strike, he will not be fighting with a machine gun in the first place, he'll carry a rifle (though machine guns do have a use on more methodical advance for suppressive fire, unlike RPGs or manpads in the absence of their intended targets). And while not everyone may have specialist weapon training, modern militaries usually do make an effort to ensure that everyone can use their standard-issue rifle. Of course if a squad is deployed on a long-term mission away from the base, everyone carries what they carry. However this isn't the usual mode of SE warfare, rather most of the time soldiers either are fighting next to at least a camp, or are on the offensive that was planned for the specific targets at hand, and thus there should be options to choose an appropriate weapon (again, taking into account that a round is 6 days of fighting and soldiers that matter in the game are part of formations with their own operational logistics and that carry at least a couple months' worth of supplies).

< Message edited by Zanotirn -- 6/6/2021 3:18:08 PM >

(in reply to zgrssd)
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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/6/2021 5:49:35 PM   
Clux


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This made me remember the combat system from Advance wars, if a light tank was facing infantry it would use its mgs to fight them, not its main cannon, but if instead if was another vehicle, it would fire only with the cannon, so while I really like this idea, it would be hard to implement into SE, as it would require a complete overhaul of the Infantry unit types, some changes to the combat system and would require lots of testing/balancing.

_____________________________

Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics!

(in reply to Zanotirn)
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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/7/2021 1:13:25 AM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

I understand that if a soldier with a machine gun training is deployed with a machine gun, he will not simultaneously carry an automatic rifle. However if his squad is employed in an operation requiring a quick strike, he will not be fighting with a machine gun in the first place, he'll carry a rifle (though machine guns do have a use on more methodical advance for suppressive fire, unlike RPGs or manpads in the absence of their intended targets).

A Hex is about 200km on the short diagonal.
1 turn equates to about 2 earth months.

That should give you an idea about teh scale of operations.
The gear will have to be lugged around, limiting how many spare rilfes (if any) can be carried at the sam time. Nevermind spare ammunition.

If you do not think a RPG soldiers is needed, you could just nit bring a RPG soldier in the first place :)

(in reply to Zanotirn)
Post #: 6
RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/7/2021 6:01:56 AM   
Zanotirn

 

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Actually the whole idea is basically "if you don't think a RPG soldier is needed don't bring one". The thing is that in SE you may be fighting in a largely purely infantry warfare at one point and in a a year or two a large number of enemy tanks arrive to the front (compared to mostly stable troops mix in WWII). THe idea is that a larger unit will have RPGs in stocks, and in some cases the soldiers may still need to move them around on their backs, but when they are not actually needed, they will not be carried around in the middle of fighting when they're not expected to be used. MANPADS are somewhat different as they may be needed on a short notice, but because of their narrow niche, in an engagement with enemy ground troops the soldier carrying one is still expected to actually shoot a firearm at an enemy, not stand aside smoking.


My main concern is actually manpads. They are a decent idea (at least for the cold war tech level), but are not practical in game due to requiring a dedicated soldier, which is not the case in real militaries. However if you make manpads more realistic and practical at the same time by being something only used when needed, then logically RPGs deserve the same treatment. And for that matter potentially machine guns (although machine guns are somewhat more broadly useful than the other two - and unlike the other two operating one is in some militaries a full-time position, though these cases are minority currently).

< Message edited by Zanotirn -- 6/7/2021 6:06:39 AM >

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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/7/2021 10:23:42 AM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

THe idea is that a larger unit will have RPGs in stocks, and in some cases the soldiers may still need to move them around on their backs, but when they are not actually needed, they will not be carried around in the middle of fighting when they're not expected to be used. MANPADS are somewhat different as they may be needed on a short notice, but because of their narrow niche, in an engagement with enemy ground troops the soldier carrying one is still expected to actually shoot a firearm at an enemy, not stand aside smoking.

In both cases you still have to carry them around. That one will be a strain on operations - dropping performance compared to a unit that never bothered about with them to begin with.
Which is simulate by the RPG/Manpad soldier having worse performance, if he ends up attacking in a combat.

Note that survival chances are the same, asuming the same level of armor.

< Message edited by zgrssd -- 6/7/2021 10:24:10 AM >

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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 6/7/2021 10:55:18 AM   
Zanotirn

 

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Joined: 3/12/2021
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quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

quote:

THe idea is that a larger unit will have RPGs in stocks, and in some cases the soldiers may still need to move them around on their backs, but when they are not actually needed, they will not be carried around in the middle of fighting when they're not expected to be used. MANPADS are somewhat different as they may be needed on a short notice, but because of their narrow niche, in an engagement with enemy ground troops the soldier carrying one is still expected to actually shoot a firearm at an enemy, not stand aside smoking.

In both cases you still have to carry them around. That one will be a strain on operations - dropping performance compared to a unit that never bothered about with them to begin with.
Which is simulate by the RPG/Manpad soldier having worse performance, if he ends up attacking in a combat.

Note that survival chances are the same, asuming the same level of armor.


They would not necessarily be a strain on soldier's performance if the weight is distributed at least on squad level. Soldiers tend to carry dozens of kilograms in the first place. If the person carrying a manpads ends up carrying less e.g. batteries, the impact on his performance is reduced. Also in game terms they don't actually behave like soldiers attacking with a rifle, just burdened with a heavy weapon. Most importantly, their anti-infantry attack doesn't go up with better rifles. Furthermore, their performance is just too poor. even super-heavy manpads deal less damage than an automatic rifle - far less than you'd expect from a soldier with a laser rifle who is forced to carry 45 kilos rather than 40.

By the way, there's a decent overview of the weight soldiers carry here
https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/research/a25644619/soldier-weight/


< Message edited by Zanotirn -- 6/7/2021 11:03:10 AM >

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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 7/3/2021 3:30:38 PM   
sillygoy

 

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I quite like this idea actually.

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RE: Infantry design/heavy weapons rework - 7/5/2021 4:29:19 PM   
Elver

 

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Something like this sounds very appealing - right now with infantry there's no incentive except production/combat costs to discourage you from building the heaviest troops possible in every case. If you can afford it, it's always better to go heavy, period. Creating more tradeoffs and increasing granularity in design, especially infantry design, would help make the model design mechanics something more than an asymptotically-increasing progression.

(in reply to sillygoy)
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