Incidentally, I’ve spent a very pleasant day perusing a lot of different rules. I looked through Strike Legion Tactical, Platoon Leader, even Battletech, and in the end I’m leaning heavily towards DS2 since it does pretty much everything I want it to in a package I’m happy with. My thought is that the main USCM force (two Marine platoons, a Tank platoon and two flights of Arapaho heavy dropships) will be a pretty balanced force to start with, possibly supported with some artillery, or a separate command platoon with an AAA vehicle, some Mortar Carriers, and a command APC (and maybe a Marine Medevac, if I feel like being super-close to a Stryker company). In game terms, I’m not going to try to design the UD-12D dropships to “legally” carry two actual physical units, which would be wasteful of their potential and overprice them in game terms for a single-use system. Instead, I think I’ll just model the units such that they simply pay the cost for “interface landing” ability, instead of actually being physically toted around the battlefield one dropship at a time. This makes reasonable combat sense in DS2 terms, as well, since ADS and LAD units are pretty hard on air units generally.
My rationale, in game terms, is that it’s not until the UD-12D ships drop their cargo of tanks and/or APCs that they become effective combat units for air support. Deploying with an extra 70+ tons of armor, stores, artillery and infantry would make the Arapaho difficult to use for anything but LZ-clearing if they were fully laden. Once the bay is empty, it’s far more agile and would linger in the neighborhood to provide fire support from its bevy of guided and unguided missiles (or wait for an emergency evac call, at which point it would load up, fire the boosters and head for orbit posthaste). This means they can’t really do the Pikop Andropov maneuver on the battlefield but I tend to think that won’t really be something I’ll be interested in doing anyway at the scale of game I’m likely to play. So I think that pretty well sets my mind at ease re: the “interface” portion of the USCM tactics and design.
So if you know DS2, that means that the M577 APC and M40 Ridgeway Tank will both be Size 3, the M292A2 Armored Artillery Vehicle will be size 3 or 4, while the UD-12D Dropship is Size 5. Easy.
The British are another story altogether – they will be descending (when they descend) in superheavy armored “Aurora” class ISSCV dropships that carry a whole combined arms company in one supercharged, armor-laden labor-saving operation. The “Aurora” is a Royal Navy interface lander that will simultaneously rain down close air support on the LZ as only the Royal Navy can, but then return to orbit once the cargo is unloaded to prevent the enemy from zeroing in artillery on it while it’s on the ground.