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  • #176921
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    I’m working on a planet wide campaign, and the participants will already be on the planet. So no worries about shipping.
    But what has got me thinking is just how Sci Fi should tackle higher levels of command. For example, Hell in Microcosm can cope with divisional level actions but will the ‘division’ still exist. At the moment we have Battalion Tactical Groups in the news, but divisions can spawn them if you want. Or will everything drop down to a more ‘Brigade’ level?

     

    Defending Prosperity

     

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    #176923
    Avatar photoThomaston
    Participant

    …Hell in Microcosm can cope with divisional level actions but will the ‘division’ still exist.

    This sounds like the perfect question to answer using wargames. With higher tech, more lethal artilery, sensors, better comms, etc, would a brigade size force be better grouped together for powerful direct fire or disperse and range out to act as eyes for arty?

    In settings with orbital bombardments a division size formation seems like a liability.

    Tired is enough.

    #176924
    Avatar photoPhil Dutré
    Participant

    That all depends on how you define ‘division’ and ‘brigade’. A Napoleonic division is also something different from a 21st century division.

    I guess what it really comes down to is the relationship between typical mission objectives and size of force needed to achieve those and how such a force can act on its own before it needs to be resupplied/replaced/etc.

    What do you need to conquer a planet in the future? Can you do that with a platoon? Or do you need 15 bazillion men and equipment? And will we need men after all, or will everything be relegated to ai-machines?

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
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    #176925
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    …Hell in Microcosm can cope with divisional level actions but will the ‘division’ still exist.

    This sounds like the perfect question to answer using wargames. With higher tech, more lethal artilery, sensors, better comms, etc, would a brigade size force be better grouped together for powerful direct fire or disperse and range out to act as eyes for arty? In settings with orbital bombardments a division size formation seems like a liability.

     

    In this setting orbital bombardment as such is out, it’s an internal struggle, although there could be a place for airpower doing something similar.
    But it’s the brigade size force that I’ve wondered about. More lethal artillery, but with comms and sensors, are we just going to get into the counter and counter counter measures war?
    The Russian answer seems to be strip your brigade of competent troops to produce a Battalion Tactical Group. But the rump brigade is left there as supply,. training, medical etc. I wonder if you’d do that with the division, you’d strip it to produce two or three competent brigades, but it would still exist to train, maintain and suchlike? Perhaps some distance from the front

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #176926
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    That all depends on how you define ‘division’ and ‘brigade’. A Napoleonic division is also something different from a 21st century division. I guess what it really comes down to is the relationship between typical mission objectives and size of force needed to achieve those and how such a force can act on its own before it needs to be resupplied/replaced/etc. What do you need to conquer a planet in the future? Can you do that with a platoon? Or do you need 15 bazillion men and equipment? And will we need men after all, or will everything be relegated to ai-machines?

     

    I did once, many years ago, work out the sort of numbers needed to take on a planet with the size and population of Earth. I’ve forgotten the figures, but there was a Navy fleet of 45,000 ships patrolling your lines of communication ensuring you got supplied. Your Bazillion isn’t that far off the mark
    I’m more looking at actions on the ground between factions already there who have achieved ‘state formation’ and are technically up to speed.
    With Hell in Microcosm I did explore ‘droid’ soldiers. They are good for some things, you can pack an awful lot into a ship when you’re transporting, but they have disadvantages. As infantry they aren’t going to help push the artillery out of the mud et 🙂
    They’re as good as their last upgrade 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #176929
    Avatar photoThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    My best guess is the basic maneuver unit will be something like a battalion combat group, with the brigade being the higher unit and divisions more or less ad hoc and task oriented administrative unit.

    The Russian military plan is not bad for interstellar warfare. You send out a brigade that is very heavy on support units and which has a relatively elite but small combat component, a security component and a training component. You then use local allies as proxy and cannon fodder, building up more combat units.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #176930
    Avatar photoMike Headden
    Participant

    I’ve had almost half a century to refine my idea of how the military work in my own sci-fi background.

    I’ve always been unconvinced by GWs thousand man Space Marine Chapters. A thousand Brothers and ninety thousand Lay Brothers / Sergeants maybe.

    Surely planet wide battles will be huge. In case of invasion, at least, your whole species may be at risk and every possible resource will be mobilised. You’ll weaponise your smart toasters, if you can!

    My own background has droid units, backed by cyber-tanks and smart vehicles. As you say Jim, easy to pack into transports. Advances in battery tech mean they require next to no “food”. If they can be recovered, three or four “corpses” can be rebuilt as a replacement.

    Downsides are that they are not very sophisticated tactically so can be wrong-footed by unconventional tactics.

    On the “guns in the mud” issue, droids are absolutely the troopers you want pushing guns. Stronger than almost all sentients and untiring. Of course there is the issue of how a gun gets stuck in the mud in the first place. Grav-tech is expensive but grav-tanks and artillery grav-platforms are worth the expense.

    Tactically, they are only a little above “human wave” level.

    Next up are the Sentients. Hominids, Canids, Felids, Ursids, and the rest but seen by the Imperium of the Sentient Mind as “a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns.” Small units are usually single species for ease of supply but larger formations are often deliberately mixed.

    Flexible, innovative, capable of acts of heroism and/ or desperation but, to steal a thought from Men In Black, “A sentient is smart, sentients are dumb panicky animals.” Swayed by emotion, sentients may press home an apparently impossible attack to a successful conclusion or bolt in panic.

    Finally, there are the Synths. Vat grown, genetically engineered and trained to be stronger, faster, tougher, smarter, braver than normal sentients. The Synth Revolt saw synths finally accepted as full citizens of the Imperium and not property.

    The Imperium has many military forces, a system of checks and balances which has prevented any major revolt for hundreds of years.

    The Limites man stations, asteroids, etc on the fringes of the Imperium, watching for incoming threats and are mainly Sentients.

    The Legions are planetary forces designed to maintain order on-planet and to defend it against raids, rebellions and invasion. The Legions have a high number of droid units.

    The Marines are mainly synths, housed in their massive motherships, they move from planet to planet as a mobile fire brigade.

    Praetorians are the household troops of planetary governors.

    Houseguard are the personal forces of the Houses Major and Houses Minor of the Chamber of Advisors. Many of the Great Houses have forces to rival the Legions.

    The Guard Imperial are all synths and guard the Jade Throne and it’s complex. Small squads are frequently despatched by the Emperors on errands that the wise do not enquire about.

    The Auxilia are forces provided by races not part of the Imperium but eager for it’s protection. Composed, trained, officered and equipped in local style, the most famous of them are the Khanid Assault Troops provided by the Khanid Empire and frequently acting as the Imperium’s line-breakers.

    Sanctioned Psykers are all sentients and individuals, or small groups, accompany most sentient and synth forces.

    The Inquisitors, as the eyes and ears of the Emperors, have small but powerful forces at their disposal at all times and their psychic connection to the Emperors allows them to summon more support at short notice if the Emperors deem it necessary.

    Yes, I’ve though waaay too carefully about all this 🙂

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    #176938
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    Mike, I love the background. Have you done anything with it, because I tend to miss stuff!

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #176940
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    Nice!

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #176948
    Avatar photoMike Headden
    Participant

    Thanks. Glad you like it.

    My old RPG group would recognise most of those forces, small squads of them were either allies or enemies (or Deus Ex Machina to save their sorry asses) at some point.. 🙂

    At that point I wasn’t posting stuff about the games, though.

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    #176950
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    It wants working up and putting out there, it’s a great background 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

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