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special properties for specialists?


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I wonder whether specialist teams like snipers or forward observers actually have special properties or whether they differ from the other pixel troops only by owning special equipment (like a sniper rifle or binoculars). For example, are snipers and FOs harder to spot because they are trained to conceal themselves. Or do FOs have a bonus when spotting versus regular troops equipped with binoculars?

I know I could test it myself, but maybe someone already knows the answer.

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The impression I've gathered from previous discussion of this is that 'specialist' teams don't have any inherent on-map bonuses. No "Stealthy +2" for snipers... Small teams are harder to spot only because they're smaller. FOs do have a lower artillery call time than HQs do, but I don't think they spot any better than other bino-equipped teams of a similar size.

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Correct, the Teams themselves do not have special properties separate from what it's member Soldiers' can do. Some Soldiers, however, do have Specialities that offer them theoretically better performance than an Soldier trying to perform the same function. Specialities are noted in text over the Soldier's weapon. I say theoretically because aside from variability of circumstances there is the issue of Experience to consider. I'd rather have a simple Crack level Soldier with an ordinary rifle than a Conscript "Sniper" with a scoped rifle. In other words, the Speciality is a bonus that is context sensitive, not absolute.

Steve

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Correct, the Teams themselves do not have special properties separate from what it's member Soldiers' can do. Some Soldiers, however, do have Specialities that offer them theoretically better performance than an Soldier trying to perform the same function. Specialities are noted in text over the Soldier's weapon. I say theoretically because aside from variability of circumstances there is the issue of Experience to consider. I'd rather have a simple Crack level Soldier with an ordinary rifle than a Conscript "Sniper" with a scoped rifle. In other words, the Speciality is a bonus that is context sensitive, not absolute.

Steve

That's interesting to hear (again, I suspect :) ). I can't say I've seen many of these except for 'Antitank', though.

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Leaders are the most commonly seen Specialities. FOs are another one that's quite important. For crew served weapons the Gunner is important as that's the guy specifically trained to shoot straight. But yeah, overall we kept the number of Specialties to a reasonable number based on relative importance.

Steve

Having gone back into the game with an eye open for specialities, I do, indeed, see more than 'antitank': gunner, as you say, and "Asst" as well as "Leader". I remember, I think, seeing the 'Sniper' spec in one or more of the few CMSF games I played, but don't think I've seen that in a BN game yet. Which is entirely understandable :) I guess I didn't register "Asst" and "Leader" as specialisms per se, more as 'jobs' or ranks.

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I'm probably badly misremembering this, but I recall a U.S. General in WWII was asked why they fielded no SAS-style special forces units. His reply was to the effect that for warfighting you just can't beat the good-old American G.I. The G.I. was considered a jack of all trades. War propaganda at the time was all about the little guy giving those Nazi 'superman' what-for. There was a degree of American nationalistic egalitarianism back then that we would scarcely be able to recognize today. So 'specialists' in the vein of modern day highly trained special forces hardly existed, paratroopers excepted.

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How about Rangers?

And engineers. In fact, there were several kinds of engineers. In addition to combat engineers (the kind we see in the game) there were construction engineers, which had a further specialized type in the form of airfield engineers and also railroad engineers. And let us not forget the hallowed Seabees, who were Navy not Army, but nonetheless justly famous.

Michael

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How about Rangers?

The Rangers weren't (and aren't today) so much "SAS Style-special forces units" as they are elite light infantry, intended to operate in Company-strength units or above, often as the spearhead of larger infantry infantry operations, in coup de main assignments and the like. SAS-style units were more like modern Green Beret and SEAL teams, intended to fulfill deep penetration and other extended independent deployments, often as quite small teams, 6 or less.

While U.S. special forces doctrine and training in WWII was nowhere near as developed as they are today, The U.S. actually did have some small-unit special forces units in WWII along the lines of SAS teams, though most of the better examples I can think of operated more in the Pacific Theater -- The Alamo Scouts and the Navy Frogmen are two that come to mind off of the top of my head.

Edit add: And Combat Engineers and Seebees are certainly not comparable to SAS-style spec ops teams. Such engineering units are highly valuable force multipliers, to be sure, but they're nothing like a spec ops team.

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No disagreement, YD. The Rangers were much more like the Commandos, after which they were somewhat patterned, than the SAS. And I didn't intend the engineers to be comparable at all, except in the fact that they were highly specialized, which after all is the subject of the thread.

If we want to look at some units a little more like the SAS, there were the Jedburgh teams, but even there they weren't much like the SAS, rather more like the Green Berets.

Michael

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The Rangers weren't (and aren't today) so much "SAS Style-special forces units" as they are elite light infantry, intended to operate in Company-strength units or above, often as the spearhead of larger infantry infantry operations, in coup de main assignments and the like. SAS-style units were more like modern Green Beret and SEAL teams, intended to fulfill deep penetration and other extended independent deployments, often as quite small teams, 6 or less.

I am not sure that is entirely correct. SAS were used in large raids, as were the Rangers. I also seem to recall that the Rangers were created with the SAS in mind. It is also not true that Rangers were not specially trained in special ops. By today's standards no, but they were not just given elite infantry training.

As far as independent deep penetration operations, the op to free the prisoners of the Bataan death march comes to mind.

I do agree that they were too often misused as elite line infantry.

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I am not sure that is entirely correct. SAS were used in large raids, as were the Rangers. I also seem to recall that the Rangers were created with the SAS in mind. It is also not true that Rangers were not specially trained in special ops. By today's standards no, but they were not just given elite infantry training.

As far as independent deep penetration operations, the op to free the prisoners of the Bataan death march comes to mind.

I do agree that they were too often misused as elite line infantry.

I would not say the Rangers were misused as elite infantry; that's what they were (and are today). I will certainly agree that they were at times misused as line infantry. It is rarely a good idea to expend highly trained, elite units in meat-grinder infantry slugfests.

The use of both the SAS and the Rangers evolved over the course of the war, but in general, the Rangers trained and deployed as much larger formations than the SAS did. The Rangers were generally organized into Battalions, and this is how they trained to fight, though a Ranger battalion was substantially smaller than a line rifle battalion in headcount. The 2nd Battalion attack on Pointe du Hoc, for example, started with initial strength of 225 men. The Cabanatuan Raid (the Op to free the prisoners of the Battaan Death March you mention) had an initial strength of 121 Rangers + Alamo Scouts, and was supported by a larger force of Filipino Guerillas.

Also, note that I said "extended independent deployments" -- the Cabanatuan raid was indeed a deep independent penetration, but it was a relatively quick in and out for the Rangers, the entire formation having been behind enemy lines for 3-4 days, depending on how you count it - they left American lines on Jan. 28th, and were completely back behind friendly lines on Feb. 1st, but the front lines were very fluid and they had passed out of the area that was definitively under Japanese control sometime on the 31st.

The SAS, in contrast, had an initial *total* strength of 65 men. It expanded over the course of the war, but nevertheless, SAS deployments were generally not measured in hundreds.

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