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Sgt.Squarehead

Syrian Army OOB (2013)

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An excellent find, I've got some notes on it.

At the beginning of the unrest in 2011, the Syrian Army was structured and oriented to defend against an Israeli invasion and project force into Lebanon, while ensuring that no one force could execute a successful coup attempt. 

Some of the scenario designers picked up on the possibility of internal upheaval in Syria back in 09 before its real life civil war broke out too. It's interesting to note that in spite of this, Assad's regime had enough forces set aside to threaten Lebanon with an invasion. Prospective scenario designers should know that a campaign depicting Syria on the war march into a smaller Arab nation, a pseudo-Lebanon, would be credible.

After Syria’s defeat by Israel in 1976, nine of the Syrian Army’s thirteen divisions were placed under the operational command of three Corps headquarters in an apparent effort to delegate decision-making authority.3 In practice, division commanders still often reported directly to the President. 

This doesn't surprise me that much. The vast demobilizations as a result of the Cold War's end have effectively served to bump every formation as we know it up a level. I think for most nations today, Divisions effectively work like Corps or Armies, while Brigades and Regiments perform what used to be a Division's job etc all the way down. 

Chief item to me is a better understanding of the role military forces equipped with lots of legacy Warsaw Pact arms are expected to perform. For the most part, it's control of the nation by the regime in charge, but some units have been set aside for projection of force outside the borders. How well these units execute a Soviet style Deep-Battle is uncertain I think, but if the wars with Israel are any indication nothing is more important than air power and unfortunately this document doesn't have much to say on the Syrian Air Force. The Civil War however, has revealed them as surprisingly aggressive...and very indiscriminate...in their support of Assad's ground forces. I think the scenario designers should, in the future, be more willing to include air support options for the Syrians in CM scenarios, especially the large ones. 

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2 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Prospective scenario designers should know that a campaign depicting Syria on the war march into a smaller Arab nation, a pseudo-Lebanon, would be credible.

That's an interesting idea, I'm always interested by alternative settings for these games.....The biggest issue I forsee would be modelling the Lebanese. 

I've been considering trying to do something from the Iran-Iraq war, possibly with CM:A as the timing is just about right and it can easily model Type-59s (just use a T-54B).

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Posted (edited)

It's funny to think back to The End Of History where the Soviet and Arab ability to fight was totally disregarded and then look to the past few years in Syria and Ukraine showing that when motivated, they can make it work. A Russian Brigade Group (Regiment?) in Syria or Ukraine would have been decisive, looking at what they've managed with Battalions. Imagine Syria receiving modern Russian weapons at the rate they did in '73.

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Edited by DougPhresh

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Lots of people say that the Syrians seem hard to play...but that's only because they are usually on the defensive and they are not supported very well in most of their scenarios. The assumption that the Syrian Air Force would be irrelevant in any conflict is not only rather uninteresting, but as the Civil War has revealed, inaccurate. Saddam Hussein's useless air force should not be considered the norm by which all other powers in the Middle East are held to. I suppose much was unknown and unclear back in 2007 when Shock Force was released. 

Crucially the Syrian Air Force occupies a role in Soviet Deep-Battle methodology without which the doctrine is really crippled. The Syrians do not seem to be a strictly Soviet-style military force...but they are equipped and organized like one. This means that for the most part it's really unfair to expect much of Syrian forces without more instances of things like the D-30 showing up, the Hind, the SU-25 etc. 

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1 minute ago, SimpleSimon said:

Lots of people say that the Syrians seem hard to play...but that's only because they are usually on the defensive and they are not supported very well in most of their scenarios. The assumption that the Syrian Air Force would be irrelevant in any conflict is not only rather uninteresting, but as the Civil War has revealed, inaccurate. Saddam Hussein's useless air force should not be considered the norm by which all other powers in the Middle East are held to. I suppose much was unknown and unclear back in 2007 when Shock Force was released. 

Crucially the Syrian Air Force occupies a role in Soviet Deep-Battle methodology without which the doctrine is really crippled. The Syrians do not seem to be a strictly Soviet-style military force...but they are equipped and organized like one. This means that for the most part it's really unfair to expect much of Syrian forces without more instances of things like the D-30 showing up, the Hind, the SU-25 etc. 

Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan cemented so many impressions about enemy capabilities in the face of The American Way of War. What I have always feared is what would happen in a scenario like Yom Kippur when American forces come into contact with credible area denial, air defense and anti-armour capabilities. I don't know that Syria had the S-300, AT-14 or RPG-29 at the date Shock Force is set, but I can't imagine strolling to Damascus the way we did to Baghdad.

This goes a hundredfold for Tehran but I won't go into that here.

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Posted (edited)

The official 'Shock Force Plotline' seems to be a replay of OIF set in Syria TBH (but with real WMD & America having a few more friends).....I'd love to see a module bringing the game up to date and providing options for the actual Syrian war.

@MikeyD's Turks could form a part of the basis of such a pack.....The T-72M1V(2001) could be reintroduced as the T-72BA, T-72BM etc.  There are several other vehicles & aircraft that could be ported from other titles, notably armed drones (which combined with a few SF types and a lot of UnCons could form the basis of a whole campaign).  B)

C'mon @Battlefront.com.....Take our money!  ;)

PS - Don't forget the bloody Breach Teams this time!  :P

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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