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A plea for a French Army DLC

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9 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

I've always been a fan of french armoured cars. Armoured cars have been around longer than tanks, and it's good to see them evolving. It is also good to see the French army evolving.

My thoughts on the Jaguar:

- Level 4 protection is pretty good for such a vehicle.

- Optics and observation equipment looks stunning.

- 40mm seems to be the future.

- A remote MG for the commander!

- NBC systems are not forgotten!

- Internal missile storage is good, I am guessing they are reloaded from the inside? Hopefully they are easy to reload.

- It's REALLY tall, taller than the AMX or ERC. As a recon vehicle, it may be easier to spot and hit.

- It's very heavy. 25 tons is almost twice of all the previous ones. Lighter cars can better cross bridges and potentially off-road.

It's a jack of all trades. Standardization is great, and the main benefit of this vehicle. Yet, it doesn't master any of the roles it's replacing. VAB HOT has more missiles and AMX and ERC carry more potent guns. All that being said, I think they're on the right path. If they invest in modularity of this vehicle, it can fill those distinct roles better.

Yeah the Jaguar is 8 tons heavier than the AMX10RC, but protection is miles away from what it used to be, Level 4 is the base all around protection while it was the max frontal arc of the 10RC, mines protection has also increased dramatically. Bigger vehicles is a trend that you'll see everywhere in the industry and that's why the A400M program is so critical. The Griffon vehicle for example will also weight 25 tons, which is 10 tons more than the Ultima version of the VAB.

We will have to wait for the mobility trials, but it's indeed a point of concern on my side considering it's much heavier but remains on a 6x6 format. That being said, huge progress were made in the field of wheeled mobility,  and it also has a good power to weight ratio, so time will tell !

Its width was limited by the French rail transportation, otherwise it would've probably been larger. It's indeed almost 1 meter taller than the 10RC, although I suspect those figures to include the optic pods, which are quite tall. The hull is also higher because of different design choices on the chassis (mainly ease of maintenance, mine resistance and cost reductions).

I think it will have an outstanding situationnal awarness and recon capabilities, although, all those optics are quite exposed and could be easilly dammaged. But it's also a problem common with most vehicles today. I guess it's a tradeoff that you have to make if you want to have good SA. All crew members will have both an direct optic channel and a TV/thermal channel though, so there is a good redundancy.

What I would have liked is a coaxial MG for the gunner in addition to the RWS (and maybe a .50 RWS instead of a .30) , so it can use another weapon with more ammo if a shell isn't needed, a coaxial is also more protected than a RWS. MGs are actually used a lot by tank crews. I'm also disapointed that the longer range version of the MMP was postponed. It is a great missile, but it doesn't use the full potential of the platform considering it could have supported a much heavier missile. MMP is first and foremost and man portable missile. 2 ready to fire is enough I think, it's 8 distributed in a platoon, altough they could fit an additional 2 on the other side of the turret (I think it's planned for export). VAB HOT carried more, but it also needed direct LoS and and to stay put to fire, which isn't the case with the MMP (LOAL, F&F).

I'm curious what changes will be brought to the design after the trials.

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Hello guys,

Just a quick update, French army has just used for the first time the Bonus shell (I wrote about it in the OP) in operations. On the 3rd of December, French Artillery received the order to destroy a column of ISIS vehicles on the move, they fired 4 bonus shells from their CAESAR howizers and destroyed 8 technicals.

This happened near the town of Hajin in Syria (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hajin,+Syrie/@34.4214663,40.7112374,10z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x154625b5eac1ec3f:0x7afb8d08c6f735f!8m2!3d34.6866678!4d40.8348715) French gun are only operating in Irak which means they fired over the border, which is at around 30kms of Irak. This means that it was quite a long range shot ! Maximum range of CAESAR guns is around 40kms.

Here is the French report :

 

I was wondering if such a shell could be modelled in CM:BS.

Edited by FoxZz

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I was this close to going out for the FFL when I got out, but heard they don't like Brits, Yanks or Canucks and would prefer Eastern Europeans who aren't used to NATO service culture.

Still, the AMX-10RC is a marvelous piece of kit.

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I fully agree with you FoxZz and Combatintman. The French Army and its equipments are not really well known to many peoples and that is unfortunate. I have tried to raise some interest from BF for including them in Nato. I think today that some lack of interest from quite a few potentials customers could be the main reason for not having convinced Steve. We have to understand that in order to do the French Army a lot of time will be needed. Since time and money are directly related, first in the making of a game and second in its sales, I do understand that as long as the balance tilts on the wrong side, it would be unwise to do the venture. That could cost a lot of money to BF, therefore preventing them or slowing them, to do the follow on of the games being asked by the customers following a well thought time schedule.

That is surely the way it is, till customers for the French Army would be so numerous that it will become a good choice.

Edited by snake_eye

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8 hours ago, DougPhresh said:

I was this close to going out for the FFL when I got out, but heard they don't like Brits, Yanks or Canucks and would prefer Eastern Europeans who aren't used to NATO service culture.

Still, the AMX-10RC is a marvelous piece of kit.

It's not really that they don't like them, it's more that westerners are "softer" and hence, don't adapt as easilly to the rough legion lifetsyle, as a result, there is lot more westerners giving up than easterners, especially when you consider that the pay while being crazy good for africans for example, will be quite low for americans. But those who manage to go through are perfectly integrated, furthermore, French work very often with Brits and US soldiers which means native English speakers will always be appreciated as they ease the communication process. Diversity of backgrounds is what makes FFL very effective.

More broadly I'm glad people are supporting the inclusion of French army in the game. And altough I don't expect much, I'll keep posting some interesting news from time to time to make people more familiar with French army and its capabilities. And maybe one day a surprise will happen haha.

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33 minutes ago, FoxZz said:

westerners are "softer" and hence, don't adapt as easilly to the rough legion lifetsyle,

It must be a rewarding challenge for the soft, western, French officers to lead their rougher more adaptable eastern troops.  Or have the French officers been replaced with more adaptable, rougher stock?     

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

It must be a rewarding challenge for the soft, western, French officers to lead their rougher more adaptable eastern troops.  Or have the French officers been replaced with more adaptable, rougher stock?     

Well officers are another matter altogether. There are a lot of sociological differences between officers and soldiers.

Officers are often coming from a military background, they often go through military lycées (high school) before going into military "prepa" which are cramm schools to prepare the competitive exams of the french elite "grandes écoles" among which is St-Cyr, the French army military academy. The cadets then choose their affectation according to their ranking, the best one choose first. Since the Legion is very prestigious, best offficers often choose Legion or Airborne. As a a result, officers that arrive in the Legion at 23 are often in a military environment, with a rough lifestyle and a lot of PE, since they're 16, being in the military is for them a life goal, it's their career. There is of course other ways and trajectories to become an officier in the french army, but in any case, physical level requirred for officers in general is very high because they're supposed to show example and lead from the front.

Regarding soldiers, French army is facing a similar problem than many other western armies which is "softer" youth, a military condition that requires a lot of sacrifices in a more and more individualistic society, and suffers from the private sector competition (no draftees anymore). As a result, a lot of efforts are put in adapting the training and the military lifetsyle to keep soldiers longer. In the meantime, the size of the FFL compared to the rest of the army is growing in part because being able to recruit out of this western pool negates this human ressources issues.

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Back when I was in my 20s I worked as a bike courier in DC.  One of my coworkers decided to join the Legion- no idea why.  His family was from Germany.  Well he joined and quickly found the glamorous lifestyle was nowhere to be found.  He met a member of his family near the border, they gave him his passport.  So ended the career of a legionnaire.

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 9:00 AM, Combatintman said:

I beg to differ.

While there were a lot of failures, there were some pretty swept up French operations/actions in Indochina if you get past the Dien Bien Phu and GM-100 stories which dominate popular imagination of that conflict.

Then of course there is the Algerian conflict which the French military is widely recognised to have fought the FLN to brink of collapse.

Elements of the French Army deployed on Musketeer were recognised by the British participants to be far better equipped and far more experienced than many of their British equivalents for that type of operation.

You are nearly all the way right. I was in Algeria at the time of the war, younger to be in the Army but able to see many things. I also had many opportunities to meet Foreign Legion troopers and officers (quite a few German) and other regular officers that had returned from Indochina, either when the troops left or when they were liberated from the Viets POW's camps. Yes, the FLN had been brought to a near collapse. The Army had its share, but also the special Ops that triggered an FLN Blue on Blue internal fight, many thinking that others were traitors, they killed each other leaders. That was an almost untold dirty war. today the French Army is highly regarded for its intervention in Mali and Syria. The Air Force was able to deploy their attack fighters and troops in Mali few years ago within a delay never achieved d by the US. They did recognize it humbly.

LLF do not have the French fighting the US in your scenario, that is not credible !  Close things might happen in a battleground, but Coms are there to prevent Blue on Blue and fratricide errors.

Edited by snake_eye

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3 hours ago, sburke said:

Back when I was in my 20s I worked as a bike courier in DC.  One of my coworkers decided to join the Legion- no idea why.  His family was from Germany.  Well he joined and quickly found the glamorous lifestyle was nowhere to be found.  He met a member of his family near the border, they gave him his passport.  So ended the career of a legionnaire.

Sburke, once you get into the Foreign Legion,being a foreigner,  they keep all your papers, like passport, Id cards ………..If you leave before your term you are researched as an AWOL at least or a deserter at the best. You better not be found on a French soil later on.

Edited by snake_eye

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9 hours ago, snake_eye said:

today the French Army is highly regarded for its intervention in Mali and Syria. 

That is why I am supporting a French army DLC for both CMBS and CMSF2:

. In the context of CMSF2: The old cavalry with VAB, ERC-90 Sagaie, AMX-10 RC, ...

. In the context of CMBS: The new stuff coming VBCI, VBMR, all the Scorpion program (Jaguar, Griffon, ...)

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It's not like the Canadian (or US, or Australian, or UK etc. etc.) Army is "soft", so much as I think we've moved past beatings and hazing as discipline and rucking until socks are bled through as effective PT. 

Still, the French Army has a great TOE and OOB and would be great in game. ;)

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1 hour ago, DougPhresh said:

It's not like the Canadian (or US, or Australian, or UK etc. etc.) Army is "soft", so much as I think we've moved past beatings and hazing as discipline and rucking until socks are bled through as effective PT. 

Still, the French Army has a great TOE and OOB and would be great in game. ;)

It's not about the army but more about the society we live in. For example, living in Ukraine is much harsher than living in Canada.

Yeah hope more armies make it into CM:BS, it's a great game, would be even better with more diversity.

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16 hours ago, snake_eye said:

Sburke, once you get into the Foreign Legion,being a foreigner,  they keep all your papers, like passport, Id cards ………..If you leave before your term you are researched as an AWOL at least or a deserter at the best. You better not be found on a French soil later on.

Yep, that's why he met his family that had one and left the country. Paris is not on his list of places to visit again apparently.

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So I was thinking of making a little presentation of the French concept of SGTIA and GTIAs, but first, let's look at the French Army OOB :

image.thumb.png.b93785ceda36971df95f66b428dcb428.png

Bulk of the French army is made of 2 divisions each one encompassing specialisd arty and egineer units, 1 armoured brigade, 1 mechanised brigade and 1 light brigade (moutain or airborne). Each brigade is made of 2 tank regiments, 3 infantry regiments, one artilley regiment and one engineer regiment. The light brigades only have 1 cavalry regiment (but the airborne brigade has 1 more infantry regiment).

Regiments however, are not an operationnal unit, they're not meant to be deployed as a whole. Instead they're the administrative and training echellon. By the way they're called regiment even if they're battalion size, that's tradition. In French army, the first echellon to be deployed organically is the compagny.

Those compagnies once deployed will constitute a SGTIA (combined arms  task force of the size of a big company). Those SGTIAs are made of combination of 4/5 melee units such as infantry, cavalry and light aviation in variable proportions supported by elements from the support arms : engineering, artillery, logistics. The core of a SGTIA is a company from a melee arm, supported by 1/2 platoons from the other melee arms. So you can generate SGTIAs with a cavalry, infantry or airmobile emphasis. However, SGTIA are fisrt and foremost a flexible structure adapted to the needs of the mission. Hence, they can have a mixed emphasis with cavalry and infantry in equal proportions for example. Support arms can also generate specialised SGTIAs to operate at a higher level. For example, an Artillery SGTIA based on an artillery battery of 8 guns and an artilley radar, with attachments of a cavalry recon platoon, infantry protection platoon and engineer road recon and clearance element. SGTIAs are the smallest autonomous element, but are not meant to fight alone. Instead, several SGTIAs make a GTIA (combined arms battalion size task force).

A GTIA is the elementary unit of the french army in a combat zone. It's the same concept as the SGTIA but bigger and can be operated independatly. It's made out of minimum 4 and maximum 6 melee elements, usually SGTIAs of infantry, cavalry or airmobile emphasis and support elements such as an artillery battry, an engineer company, logistics, drones, etc. Those support elements can be deployed as an organic compagny or have the form of a SGTIA if extra support is needed to protect them. GTIAs will also have a dominant arm although they can be mixed. GTIAs don't have to use their melee component as SGTIAs, they can use them as organic compagnies as well if a low level of combined arms is not necessary. A typical infantry focused GTIA will be made out of 3 infantry companies, 1 cavalry company, 1 artillery battery, 1 engineer company, logistic element, and other support elements such as Manpads, Drones, Commando recon platoon, etc. It can be reinforced by additional elements such as an ATGM platoon, a CIMIC or a Gendarmerie element depending of the context it is used in.

SGTIAs and GTIAs can also have different types of equipment, for example a cavalry focuses SGTIA can be equipped with Leclerc or AMX10RCR tanks, while an infantry focused SGTIA can be equipped with VCBI, VAB or BvS10 transports. It can also have a mix of those, for example, 1 Leclerc platoon, 1 AMX 10 platoon, 1 VBCI platoon and 3 VAB platoons.

Combined arms elements at the platoon level can also be assembled in the form of a DIA (Détachement inter-armes), often used as a liaison and support unit to mentor allied elements of a lesser military capabilities.

Several GTIAs will make a Combined Arms Brigade with dedicated support GTIAs (artillery, long range recon) and reinforcements. Each Divsion of the French army is supposed to be able to generate one Combined Arms brigade for an high intensity engagement within a coalition such as Ukraine.

This decentralisation is permitted by the digitalisation of the battlespace that occured in the French army since the 2000s, that basically allows blue on blue tracking and brings a comprehensive C2 and transmission system.

This battlegrouping strategy allows the French army to deploy tailor made units to suit the needs of the mission and to dipose of autonomous units up to the platoon level if needed. Furthermore, it simplify training and maintenance when not deployed as it allows pools of specialty. It also allow to have true specialist that have mastered their craft.However, the downside of such a modular system is that soldiers of the different units pulled together don't know themselves very much, they might not know how the other arms work, similarly, there is not a strong esprit de corps because those are ad-hoc units. This issue is adressed with the Brigade system, units are pulled from the same Brigade and will train themselves at SGTIA and GTIA level regularly. Similarly, if the deployment is planned ahead, the units that will be deployed together will prepare their projection together. This system allows those disparate task force to work well together and give the military leader a great adaptability and responsiveness.

However, it is not the only reason. French army thanks to its colonial history and the wars it fought the last 60 years has acquirred tradition of combined arms at the lower echellon and an emphasis on mission command and lower echellon initiative, thats is since the proffesionalisation shared among all the army. The capability of all the arms and corps to work together on the fly comes from this history and allows the battlegrouping system. However, if such a system is often used to spread a small amount of forces on great distances to suit counter-insurrection needs in remote place, in the event of a conventionnal war such as depicted in the game, the battlegroups would operate much more closely, with more support, and sometimes with a more direct command. This is planned in the doctrine.

So, how does this system translates into the game ? Well the SGTIA is the perfect echellon for the scale of the game, and this plug and play approach fits what players effectively do in game editor. When creating their battlegroup, players should be able to choose among the typical battlegroups depictable in the game : SGTIA Infantry, Cavalry and mixed, but should also have at their disposal the main organic companies to pick the individual platoons they need to reinforce their core.

I've joint a powerpoint that presents different examples of what a SGTIA, GTIA, BIA and DIA looks like.

I really hope French army will be depicted in CM:BS to try those organisations and interesting kits. It's very rare to be able to play France in a video game. I hope other nations will be added too of course, such as UK, Great Britain and Poland. And maybe also smaller armies such as Canada and Netherlands

GTIA.pptx

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22 hours ago, Zveroboy1 said:

I'd love to have the French army in CM but personally I think it would make more sense if it was in SF2.

Well it would have made sense back then for sure, I think it would be a pity to make all the effort of creating the faction and implementing it in the previous game. Especially since a lot, I mean A LOT changed in the French army since then.I think gameplay wise it would also be more interesting to play the French against a challenging faction like the Russians, rather than against the Syrian army. French army would also be a nice contender against Russia in multiplayer, as it would be more on par with Russia than the US.

Lastly, from a political standpoint, Eastern Europe is a major point of interest for French diplomacy, it would be very unlikely for the fisrt military power on the continent, always talking about european defense, not to get involved in a conflict at the border of the EU. For example, France is taking part in the NATO task force in the Baltics, in the last Trident Juncture it was one of the main contributor, so it would probably send a sizeable force in Ukraine.

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Posted (edited)

Hello guys,

So I figured that the main difficulty devs would get trying to implement the French is language barrier and finding sources especially considering French army organisation was quite significantly tweaked in 2014-2016.

So I've managed to build a quite precise Order of Battle from online ressources, and magazines. I've not taken into account units out of the scope of the game such as logistic and non-combat support elements and command elements are greatly simplify (as a result command element are the least accurate I think). This may not be 100% accurate, especially regarding support elements, but main combat formations should be exact.

The document presents the main formations from which are drawn the GTIAs and SGTIAs as well as off-map assets that would make it in the game scope.

Except when specified otherwise, all soldiers are carrying a Famas assault rifle.

Doctrine wise, when it comes to fire suport, French army is quite close from the US army. For Artillery Fires, Squad Leader and Platoon Leaders can order simple artillery fires, while Foward Observers will provide more advanced fires (danger close fires, predicted fires, special effect shells, large bombardments). When directed by foward observers and their observation vehicles, fires don't require ranging shot.

For CAS, Foward Observers and TACP teams are allowed to guide an airstrike, but also a Platoon Leader in certain circonstances. The main difference (at least from how US army is depicted ingame) is for helicopters and CCS. In French doctrine, Helicopters will enter in direct radio contact with the supported units and are responsible for the fires they make, all units from Squad Leaders and upwards can guide helicopters. They will also provide them recon and intel directly.

Next time I'll try to present the different vehicles and armaments with "stats" similarly as how US, Ukrainian and Russian weapons are presented in the Game Manual.

ToE France CMBS2.docx

Edited by FoxZz

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