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Experience of the soviet troops in the US campaign


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1 hour ago, chuckdyke said:

They were capable of the 'Mad Minute'. Here is the record The first Mad Minute record was set by Sergeant Major Jesse Wallingford in 1908, scoring 36 hits on a 48-inch target at 300 yards. It's something people with a semi auto rifle would have trouble with. I am sure you would agree that to empty a magazine of an M16 at 300 yards on the upper torso inside a minute is even nowadays ok. In 1914 experts could do it nowadays a decently trained rifle man should be able to do it. That is 2 seconds per shot. By 1915 infantry tactics were a numbers game. 

I wasn’t being very clear. The pre war British troops were marvelously trained, but by 1915 they were almost all dead or being used for training/cadre. The Empire didn’t have a mass of pre-trained conscript troops they could rapidly be called to the colours to replace the long service soldiers that died in 1914. 
 

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2 hours ago, civdiv said:

Sorry but it is the closest ‘apples to apples’ I could come up with. It isn’t close to perfect but given the timeframe and countries involved it is the closest I could think of.

IMHO, I'd think a better comparison would be the US in the Battle of Ramadi to the Russians in Grozny. Still not ideal but both fought in heavily built up areas.

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10 hours ago, domfluff said:

"Artificially inflating the difficulty" is the least charitable way of saying that. Scenario design is game design, and game design is harder than people think it is.

So true! At least with historical events one can manage the game design to generate a feel of the conflict that replicates history and focusses on the critical factors that were relevant to that situation/battle/campaign.

With a hypothetical, there's very little historical baseline to start from, apart from ones own perceptions of how things would go, manuals, those with experience and the insider view of how competent an army is.

Did you know that the US armor school was complaining recently about how poor their gunnery was, and that more rigor needed to be applied to improving that skill, yet some would say US gunnery always everywhere outmatches all others and is perfection! every organisation has its weaker units, ppl, doctrine, TTP etc

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Easy to say we need a professional army to train and be competitive with the private sector is completely different story. The USSR collapsed economically as its expenditure was not sustainable. Dear editors you do a terrific job and after all the oldest war game is chess and both forces are balanced. We have a high-tech game here and it is marvelous. 

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The assumption (by me at least) is CMCW is a war of choice for the Soviets. That means they could have given themselves some lead time to get serious about training-up the troop, throw in some patriotic indoctrination and a bit of anti-west propaganda on top of it. In the meantime US forces in Germany are smokin' weed, drinkin' beers and readin' Playboy ('79 Playmate of the Year was the ill-fated Dorothy Stratten). ^_^

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

You go back to WW1 the British started with the best professional army on the continent but no experience. A year later green troops were the replacements. I think the same would have happened with the Soviets in the hypothetical WW3 scenario. 

Typically, this is another of those 'gunpowder era' myths that continues to persist... the Germans in 1914 had the best Army in the world, bar none.

The British may have amazing propaganda &, because they eventually win the wars, this propaganda tends to stick (not always, tastes change... few these days believe the British at Mons were blessed by Angels).

However, based on analysis of German regimental histories, the British were swept away at Mons for less than a few thousand casualties (max).

The British retreated because they were beat... not because of "the French" (although they were beat too).

I will agree that, by 1918, the British had a very fine Army (arguably as good as the French).

 

 

Still, this example does make me sympathetic to the idea that "Crack Soviets" would be a decent way of abstracting an overwhelming invasion by Superior forces.

How would you tactically model that every officer was worried that their flanks had been enveloped & that they & all their men were about to be made POW?

One could argue that low US motivation would be a better abstraction... but it's all very subjective.

Edited by 37mm
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Posted (edited)

Gun Powder myths Das Herrenvolk lost both world wars because they were that good. You believed the fairy tales of Eric Von Manstein after world war 2 you took it hook line and sinker. Can't blame the man he looked out for himself after world war 2. The marksmanship of the British is down for the record. I live with the fact that the likes of Putin are not at the least interested of sharing his methods with CM wargamers. The West can take a leave out of their book, want to know tactical know how? Enroll at Sandhurst or WestPoint as a foreign student and bob is your uncle. Information for International Cadets | United States Military Academy West Point   "An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep" That's why they got beat in 1914. But it doesn't matter as long as you win the last battle. 

Edited by chuckdyke
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We've pretty much gone full circle with this.  You've heard from the designer and the approach that was used mirrors the way I generally tackle soft factors in that you start with what you think looks right from the historical perspective and then test and adjust to arrive at levels that give you the effect you want to achieve in order to make the scenario/campaign to work.  Sometimes the two align - my Ap Bac Scenario called 'A miserable damn performance' for @37mm's Heaven and Earth project is one such example.  The ARVN were shocking that day, hence the title, to the point that I cannot understand how Lt-Col Vann, their advisor, did not suffer an aneurysm that day.  I started the ARVN troops with most leadership ratings in the 0 to -2 range, experience at regular and below (with most below) and the motivation settings in the low or poor range.  The results against a motivated, well-led and reasonably well trained VC force pretty much reflected the real-life experiences of the day in that the moment troops come under fire, they hunker down.  As my intent was to present the player with the same challenges that Lt-Col Vann experienced, this works to good effect and if you ever play it, you will find that it is easy to get your @$$ handed to you by a small VC force despite commanding three battalion equivalents backed up by M-113s, a sh1t tin of artillery and air support. 

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6 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

You believed the fairy tales of Eric Von Manstein after world war 2 you took it hook line and sinker.

I don't believe Von Manstein was at Mons... or that he wrote the Regimental histories of the German units at Mons.

British Marksmanship was good in 1914 however battles are won by combined arms (and in 1914 that mostly means artillery).

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20 minutes ago, 37mm said:

British Marksmanship was good in 1914 however battles are won by combined arms (and in 1914 that mostly means artillery).

I don't believe any country in 1914 was capable of combined arms. The reason they got stuck in the trenches, by 1917 they were capable of the "rolling barrage" when the Canadians took Vimy Ridge it meant the required synchronization was at last achieved. Plus, the innovation of the tank played a role. Germany had their stormtroopers the pioneers of modern infantry tactics. But by WW2 the planning was of the last war except German armor had a 3 men turret and a radio. 

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1 minute ago, chuckdyke said:

I don't believe any country in 1914 was capable of combined arms.

They most certainly were capable of it & were trained as such... which is why all 1914 Divisions featured Rifle, Cavalry, Machine Gun & Artillery units.

As for Mons, there are a number of good threads on The Great War Forums about "The Machine Guns of Mons" as well as Zubers analysis of the German histories... generally, even the most ardent Anglophiles accept that the German casualties at Mons have been exagerrated by the British & that German tactics were not as usually portrayed (close order mass assaults).

Still this is all a topic for another time & place.

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It seems reasonable that troops with very high training should be classified as veteran or better. By definition, historically speaking, extremely well trained troops with excellent unit cohesion are 'crack troops'.

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On 5/17/2021 at 9:32 AM, THH149 said:

US front line soldiers were smoking joints and smoking their officers,

They segregated their national servicemen from the professionals. You had McNamara's morons' people were called up who never should have called up. He later admitted the Tonkin Incidence was made up. But you don't know what to believe a trade deal with the Vietnamese depended on it. Vietnam nowadays, just like any other SE Asian country. Comparable with the Philippines the Vietnamese public transport system is actually not bad.  

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31 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

It seems reasonable that troops with very high training should be classified as veteran or better. By definition, historically speaking, extremely well trained troops with excellent unit cohesion are 'crack troops'.

I'd agree with the training and veteran linkage.  Personally I think the problem with all of this is the labels - if the experience levels were numbered 0-5 say, people would probably have less issues or fewer discussions about it.  Anyway ... back to Vietnamese public transport ... 😏

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Indeed, it's down to labels, and (perhaps more importantly), it's modelling subjective, fluffy things. You can give hard numbers for the glacis plate of a Panther, and take just those numbers and recreate them elsewhere, and get the same result.

How motivated do you feel today? Seven? It's inherently vague and complex, and it's only ever going to be a fudge, that will need to be tweaked to get the desired result for their behaviour.

Now, it's completely possible that the designer's desired behavioural result doesn't mesh with your understanding of the situation, but that's a very different form of argument to "they should have motivation 4, but they have motivation 5".

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36 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

It seems reasonable that troops with very high training should be classified as veteran or better. By definition, historically speaking, extremely well trained troops with excellent unit cohesion are 'crack troops'.

But then you get paradoxical behavior in RL.  Green troops do not know any better so they will blindly charge in, while experienced troops with tight communities have well established informal leaders and may very well simply disobey a really dumb order....like the kind players often give them (I know I do). 

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Some randomness would help.  Maybe someone is set with a factor of (say) 3, but there is a randomness whenever he is in combat so there is some % possibility that he will function at level 2 or 4 etc.  IIRC in CM1, a Veteran formation would automatically provide units with ratings from Regular to Crack.

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