Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Shattered Aegis Part One: The Greenbacks

So I was mulling over scenarios, listening to audiobooks and reading about young men being sent to shoot other young men. Mainly I'm listening to Last Stand at Khe Sanh, which is a great story that a lot of people know. But it wasn't until around the time President Johnson was considering deploying tactical nukes that people started comparing the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu to Khe Sanh. I was thinking about the differences.

1. High Ground
The Marines held all the outlying high ground around Khe Sanh airbase, and even captured enemy positions along the high ground at a number of points in the seige. The French allowed the Vietnamese to capture the ridges and heights around their positions, then allowed the Vietnamese to bring howitzers up onto the ridges and direct fire onto their positions.
2. Resupply
Marines stubbornly refused to allow themselves to go without supply. Logistics flights continued on the airstrip amid RPGs and mortars at Khe Sanh, and soldiers ran out to pull wounded onto flights and to pull supplies off the tarmac. The French resigned themselves to go without supply, their fliers would dump drops frantically, some of them landing in enemy lines, and their troops refused to risk grabbing crates and boxes of supplies under fire.

There's probably more, but those two are in my head. That being said, it'd be interesting to run a seige scenario of Altis International. Perhaps with the Altis Armed Forces 1st Division in defense as either the 7th Cavalry (US Army) or the 24th Regiment (CSAT) attacks it. We could pick either side to play. But I found some lovely ORBATs from the base game itself that made me get thinking more.

This would be our OPFOR. A full division arrayed in defense of the main airbase in Altis. We're all very familiar with the airbase, since EVERYTHING starts there in every mission. We have some old missions (Part of Operation Brusher's Pike) where a similar concept was brought up. But this time instead of an odd lump of AAF units supported by an odd lump of NATO units, we're going against a German-esque AAF group. I want to model everything we can. Scale our missions to platoon sized actions with a few small scale squad sized actions (Attacking Observation/Listening Posts, recon actions, etc.)

So let's break down the "Greenbacks" shall we?

They're running one combat regiment, but it gives us a template. If we want, we can inflate things to a second regiment. To build the squad, we'll start with the nine man block, like I've read some of the more recent Panzergrenadiers use. So they've got a nine man squad!

Squad Leader (Mk20 UGL)
2x Team Leaders (Mk20 UGL)
2x Automatic Rifleman (Mk200)
2x Assistant AR (Mk20)
2x AT Rifleman (Mk20 w/NLAW)

And they've got three of those. (9x3=27) Then we can safely assume they have a two-man HQ (2+27=29) and then we've got a light infantry platoon (There are three of these per company, bringing the line total to 87)

But then there's the Company level. Most companies bring attachments like AT or medium machine guns or mortars. German light infantry (From my research anyways) bring a command team and a support platoon (Fourth platoon) as support. In it they bring a Milan team (We'd turn that into a two man ATGM team [Titan AT, either shoulder launched with an ammo bearer or a deployable as needed in the mission]) two sniper teams (Blech), and a 40mm GMG team (GMG is self explanatory and horrifying for those that've been hit by them in Arma) so that brings us to ten more. An AAF company HQ looks like this:

Company Commander (Mk20C probably with a heartbeat sensor and silencer, plus a tactical nuke)
Executive Commander (Mk20C, maybe an anti-material sniper rifle with a bayonet)
ATGM Gunner (Mk20C, Titan AT Launcher either shoulder or backpack)
ATGM Assistant (Mk20C, Titan AT rockets or the tripod)
2x Sniper ()
2x Spotter (My leg's messed up, you'll have to carry me.)
GMG Gunner (Mk20C, GMG backpack)
GMG Assistant (Mk20C, GMG tripod)

Alpha and Bravo Company are done, two companies of ninety-seven men each. That leaves Charlie Company and Delta Company. Charlie Coy is mechanized! Now the issue is that we don't have Marders, we have Pandurs. And while the Pandur II (The Gorgon's real counterpart) has twelve seats in the rear, Bohemia is obsessed with eights. The easy solution would be to go full Soviet/Russian here and use our simple block system, but fuck that. I'm going all out here.

[Modeling something with no reference is hard, but I'll get to modeling Charlie Coy!]

That leaves the tank coy, Delta. Three four tank platoons. Twelve men each. A two tank HQ. Six more men. Bam. Thirty eight guys.

So I won't touch too much on the 3rd Regiment, because for some reason they skipped like... all combat forces for it. We can simulate it for something, I'm sure, but it doesn't concern me considering the majority of the modeled actions will be between combat forces and only sometimes include a truck or something from the logistics train.

Let's move onto the air wing! I'm not an expert on aircraft, so forgive me if I'm misunderstanding, but since a whole third of this formation is aircraft. I'll place their total aircraft strength at twenty-eight. Give the 1st Squadron four aircraft for fixed wing CAS. That leaves us twenty-four choppers for the 2nd Squadron. The AAF have a tiny Huey hellcat chopper for light transport and an unarmed transport hopper so big you can fit half a goddamn platoon in it.

The hellcats can zip around, get a nifty laser designation-capable sight, some have miniguns and rocket pods. They're shit for transport, though. We're talking hilariously useless and can only take chalks of six dismounts. Unless we're going to risk some big awesome looking Vietnam-esque airmobile action (Actually that does sound cool) we're going to want to leave the transports for that role.

We've got two light infantry companies and one mechanized. Let's say we need six or seven transport helos. That leaves the 2nd Squadron with seventeen hellcats. These can function as recon, light CAS, and escort for the transports. This fills out the Air Wing. We could potentially model the 3rd Squadron, but that all depends on whether or not they got anything in the helicopters DLC.

Mind you I can't get screenshots of all this right now, as the PC's a workstation without a decent ability to play games. I'd love to model this like I did the CSAT though! Anyone willing to help out, let me know!

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