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Something to be Aware Of

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For scenario designers and players both:

Units between different forces are completely different in capabilities and size. This goes beyond technology--even if the technology was equivalent between them, there would still be vast differences.

For instance, just look at platoons:

US Army Stryker Platoon (Dismounted)

37 Soldiers

3x9-man rifle squads

2xMG teams (3 and 4 men)

1x3-man HQ squad


USMC Rifle Platoon

49 Marines

3x13-man rifle squads

1x4-man assault squad

2xMG teams (3 and 4 men)

1x2-man HQ squad


Syrian Republican Guard Mech Infantry Platoon (Dismounted)

24 Troops

2x8-man rifle squads

1x2-man RPG squad

1x6-man HQ squad


The disparity becomes even more pronounced when it's elevated to Company level--yes, the Syrians have Weapons platoons that add 4 MG teams into play, but at that point both USMC and Army companies have 6 or more.

The point is that a Syrian rifle platoon is certainly not equivalent to an American rifle platoon, even disregarding the disparity in training and equipment. For scenario designers in particular, don't have one Syrian platoon taking on one USMC platoon without some enormous advantage--the USMC platoon has more than 200% of its strength in numbers alone, let alone actual combat power. Similarly, for an American player, be aware that one of your companies vastly outnumbers one of theirs.

Hope some of you find this useful. I found it interesting to research.

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Great post!

This reminds me a lot of the differences in WWII between German (and most other nations) and Soviet forces. Generally you had to go up between half and one level of organization in order to get the equivalent force. For example, most Soviet Tank Companies had 10 tanks, while a German Panzer Company was usually 14 and a US Tank Company 17. Or something like that :D 50%+ more tanks makes a pretty big difference.

While testing some testers wondered if there was a problem because there were so few Javelins available to the Marines Rifle Company compared to an Army Rifle Company. With all those extra men and the SMAWs, I think the Marines aren't really missing the Javs too much :D


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When designing scenarios, the easiest thing to do is to actually look at the fielded forces. Don't bother looking at the upper echelons, count the bodies and their weapons. The organizational disparities are too large.

For the Syrians, in general you need at least 2x the bodycount for the battle to be worth it. 3x is normally what you'd expect IRL.

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Well, I bet the Marines are missing the Javelins since they provide a vastly superior anti-armour capability. A SMAW is more all around though, with thermobaric, HEDP and HEAT warheads, and I'd say it serves much better as long as you fight in urban areas. They sure need all those extra SMAWs, AT-4s and M72s when they come up against tanks. :)

And indeed, a very good OP. In one way it benefits the Syrians with small platoons though. If their HQ (and thus the radio) gets knocked out they don't lost contact with a very large portion of their force. This doesn't really apply to the US forces to the same degree with their incredible amount of communications equipment, but with a different platoon structure (for example 1-2 squads and one or two teams with PKM machine guns more than at the moment) it would be a significant part of the force out of contact with company HQ.

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Oh sure, the Javelins are awesome and I'm sure the real Marines going into a situation like this would love to have them. But on balance I think they stuff they do have makes them a more potent force. If for no other reason than the manpower advantage. Still... I've played battles where I've only had a single Javelin team, on the wrong side of the map while my guys are getting pounded by T-62s. Knocked out one with a SMAW, but they had ERA and that meant the AT-4 and M72A3 hits didn't do more than tick off the tankers.

Keep in mind that headcount is all relative. I've payed scenarios where the Syrians are outnumbered and vastly overmatched in terms of firepower, yet have posed a pretty tough nut to crack in terms of the US forces gaining their objectives. Likewise, I've played scenarios where the Blue is vastly outnumbered and has to use superior tactics to end the battle successfully. Therefore, unlike CMx1 there are a lot more possibilities to play around with than brute force battles where, indeed, the Syrians need to be 2x the norm (on defense that means lowering the force ratio to 1:1 or so) in order to put up a good fight. Which is entirely realistic :D


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Things certainly have changed. I just played a QB against Mech Inf Syrians with Heavy US infantry. I got hit by two artillery concentrations with an infantry assault inbetween backed up by BMP's. Usually I would fend them off no problems but this time the infantry were much harder to deal with.

I ended up with a draw where playing as US I don't think I was ever defeated in a QB vs Syrians. I was outnumbered by about 3:1

Very impressed with it all.

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That's good to know, thanks for posting it. I haven't dived very deep into CMSF and probably won't be buying the Marines pack either. But I'm gonna give it another try with the new 1.10 patch.

Man you don't know what you are missing without Marines! Marines totally made this game rock 10 x more than before.

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As others have pointed out, the Marines have far fewer Javelin than the Army units. In contrast to the Army though, the Marines have their own dedicated combat air wing. I would suspect that this evens the odds considerably, i.e. where the Army would use a Javelin, the Marines would call in an airstrike.

Perhaps we should bear this in mind when designing scenarios. If the Marines are likely to be facing enemy armour then in theory they would have a couple of aircraft on call, making the lack of Javelins moot.

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