Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

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Condottiere
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Condottiere » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:53 pm

Trading space and time.

If you have the time, you could do a slow materiel build up, and recruit and possibly train recruits ready to graduate when the stockpile was large enough, which is why cadre that specialize in training, and being able to take command would be highly sought after.

I'd have one or two companies of mechanics and/or combat engineers who'd requisition local supplies, vehicles and/or weapon systems, and adapt them for their unit's use, which I had in mind for Confederation CAVALRY companies.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Linwood » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:27 am

I could see a few desperate potential employers trying a “come to our world and you’ll have a job.” In terms of combat effectiveness it wouldn’t be much better than an armed rabble, but for low-end security work (like mall cops, or keeping low-tech serfs or slaves in line) someone might see it as being more cost-effective.

Until a real military force drops in and thoroughly kicks their sorry butts into high orbit... :)
Condottiere
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Condottiere » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:35 pm

What you want is as close as possible to a guaranteed outcome, with minimal disruption.

So strategically, the control aspect would be emphasized by the contracting party.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby locarno24 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:14 am

Moppy wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:23 pm
1) How many weeks supply does that MEU have? (I don't know)
Depends how many you send it with.
This will very with TL - the transition from large magazines to rechargeable power cells for weapon ammunition, for example, but also the rise of every-single-thing-you-carry-having-a-battery-in-it.

In Operation Barbaross, Army Group Centre would consume 20 tonnes of supplies per day per 2,000 men, and whilst spares and fuel changes, food and water doesn't, so that's a good rule of thumb to start with.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Old School » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:04 pm

The MEU as described has 15 days self supply. The idea being that it can get to where it is needed to be quickly, and the military then has two weeks to get supply lines operational.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Moppy » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:57 pm

locarno24 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:14 am
Moppy wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:23 pm
1) How many weeks supply does that MEU have? (I don't know)
Depends how many you send it with.
An MEU is supposed to be ready to go without waiting for anyone else. Therefore he's asking about its organic supplies - the stuff onboard the ship with the marines. It's stated to be 15 days, but we all know what happens to plans when they contact the enemy.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:49 pm

Ammunition, fuel and water.

Usually vastly underestimated in usage during combat. Or wastage.

Then you have rations.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby phavoc » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:51 pm

Get Dunnigan's 4th Edition How to Make War. It will tell you how much supplies/ammo you will need based on statistics. Extrapolate that to 52nd century and there you are.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Moppy » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:12 pm

phavoc wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:51 pm
Get Dunnigan's 4th Edition How to Make War. It will tell you how much supplies/ammo you will need based on statistics. Extrapolate that to 52nd century and there you are.
It's a good read but heavily weighted towards conventional forces. What do you recommend for something like Afghanistan? (Or has it been updated?)

edit: By example, I think one of the key differences is how much more vulnerable your supply lines are when you have to get stuff halfway up a mountain through an area of uncertain and changing allegience.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby phavoc » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:26 pm

Well, that's going to be an interesting question. There are probably a few books out there on irregular warfare logistics, but you'd have to understand better which side you are on - the irregular side or the regular one (or are both irregular?). And just how irregular your logistics has to be. In those kinds of wars you often have regular civilian equipment and vehicles and food supply, with just arms and ammunition (usually light) to worry about. With the exception of probably the US, it's rather hard to go down to the local store and buy a few hundred rounds of ammo, extended magazines, etc. :)

Plus Dunnigan figured his numbers based on, like you said, regular warfare. Irregular warfare is going to be a lot tougher to determine supply needs. Like how often will they strike, how much, etc. I'd look for books on NVA/VC actions during the Vietnam war to start. That would be a good primer. Then look at Afghanistan, both during the time the US backed the rebels and when the US was present. Between the two area you should get a better understanding to get a model.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:58 pm

It's really dependent on lines of communications.

Foreign support is easily cut; local populace could be regarded as interior.

My favourite anecdote is when the British discovered that rice grains were being smuggled out to the Communist insurgents in bicycle frames.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby paltrysum » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:45 am

Going back to the viability of mercenary units in Traveller, how likely might it be for a mercenary company to actually have very few hardware items and simply lease them? It's possible that many employers will be looking for units to serve as auxiliaries to existing forces. If you're being hired to work with a unit on a TL8-9 world, they might not want you to show up with combat armor and gauss rifles (or PGMPs, or whatever). It might serve the merc unit better to blend in with the domestic forces to some degree.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby phavoc » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:16 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:45 am
Going back to the viability of mercenary units in Traveller, how likely might it be for a mercenary company to actually have very few hardware items and simply lease them? It's possible that many employers will be looking for units to serve as auxiliaries to existing forces. If you're being hired to work with a unit on a TL8-9 world, they might not want you to show up with combat armor and gauss rifles (or PGMPs, or whatever). It might serve the merc unit better to blend in with the domestic forces to some degree.
I would say that's not probable. Soldiers need to fight with the same weapons they have trained with. Plus there is a huge mental part to his as well. That rifle you take of is YOURS. That vehicle you maintain is YOURS. To an extent they are interchangeable, but to an extent they are not as well. Once you learn all the specific idiosyncrancies of YOUR thing you know how to deal with them in combat and you adapt to it without thinking about it.

Other things, especially those things that go kablooey, well, you never get attached to those because you never get them back once you use them. :)

If you are hiring a unit that unit will have it's own weapons, trained with them and fight with them. Bringing in soldiers who trained and fought with gauss rifles and PGMP-14 and then handing them assault rifles is a recipe for disaster. You would be better off hiring trainers to train local forces than bring in others to fight with local gear.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby baithammer » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:34 am

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:45 am
Going back to the viability of mercenary units in Traveller, how likely might it be for a mercenary company to actually have very few hardware items and simply lease them? It's possible that many employers will be looking for units to serve as auxiliaries to existing forces. If you're being hired to work with a unit on a TL8-9 world, they might not want you to show up with combat armor and gauss rifles (or PGMPs, or whatever). It might serve the merc unit better to blend in with the domestic forces to some degree.
Leasing wouldn't be done as the risk is too great to be viable, more likely the unit would take out a loan and go from there.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:47 am

The default infantry longarm should be the Advanced Combat Rifle.

While in theory the less number of troops you have, and the more trained they are, they should be far better equipped.

However, I bet the Imperium would frown upon finding that a Chapter of Space Marines have set up shop in the middle of their empire, and that anyone can hire them.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Moppy » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:16 am

Condottiere wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:47 am
The default infantry longarm should be the Advanced Combat Rifle.

While in theory the less number of troops you have, and the more trained they are, they should be far better equipped.

However, I bet the Imperium would frown upon finding that a Chapter of Space Marines have set up shop in the middle of their empire, and that anyone can hire them.
Which advanced combat rifle? They all work, unjam & maintain different and it matters. If you don't have a rifle, try changing your controls in a video game and see what happens.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:13 pm

The Imperial standard ACR - the Imperium insists on standardisation across the empire in order to simplify the supply chain.

An ACR purchased of Regina will quite happily use spare parts and fire ammo purchased on Efate, or even Terra for that matter.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby paltrysum » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:57 pm

phavoc wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:16 pm

I would say that's not probable. Soldiers need to fight with the same weapons they have trained with. Plus there is a huge mental part to his as well. That rifle you take of is YOURS. That vehicle you maintain is YOURS. To an extent they are interchangeable, but to an extent they are not as well. Once you learn all the specific idiosyncrancies of YOUR thing you know how to deal with them in combat and you adapt to it without thinking about it.
Thanks for the insight on this. Very interesting points that will fuel any future merc campaigns. 😁
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby phavoc » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:07 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:13 pm
The Imperial standard ACR - the Imperium insists on standardisation across the empire in order to simplify the supply chain.

An ACR purchased of Regina will quite happily use spare parts and fire ammo purchased on Efate, or even Terra for that matter.
You are missing the valuable point as far as standardization of weapons go. First I seriously doubt the ACR introduced in 789 is the same one that is made in 1100. That defies logic because minor tweaks and changes will be made over the course time. If they aren't then that means the Imperium is a static culture, much like it's predecessor which was destroyed by the Terrans. And the existing history and writeups of Imperium point towards an empire that is expanding and growing, both technologically and spatially.

The part, about parts being interchangeable, that should be true, to an extent. Some parts will be the same, but others cannot due to differences in the configurations and other changes. So, for example, your bolt and spring might remain the same across all models. But that may be the only difference (as in one model is standard assault rifle configuration, one may be bullpup, another may have different butt and barrel pieces. Just look at the evolution of automatic rifles and you'll see what I'm talking about).

And every weapons is going to be slightly different once you get to really know it. In the hands of a person who has no knowledge and very little skill they won't notice. When you change that up to the person who operates it, carries it, does the maintenance on it, sleeps with it, etc, they will know the difference. And as their skill level increases they will adjust their habits to accommodate the peculiarities of that weapon. It may be subtle, it may be a little more than subtle, but it is there. Notice how people at the height of their skills in sports like shooting or other sports, don't casually change their weapons out. Call it mental, physical, or whatever, but it's a very real part of the human condition.
paltrysum wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:57 pm
phavoc wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:16 pm

I would say that's not probable. Soldiers need to fight with the same weapons they have trained with. Plus there is a huge mental part to his as well. That rifle you take of is YOURS. That vehicle you maintain is YOURS. To an extent they are interchangeable, but to an extent they are not as well. Once you learn all the specific idiosyncrancies of YOUR thing you know how to deal with them in combat and you adapt to it without thinking about it.
Thanks for the insight on this. Very interesting points that will fuel any future merc campaigns. 😁
Not a problem. As a former soldier you kind of learn these things. :) I only used an M-16, grenade launcher and M-60 with any regularity (this was the day of iron sights only, none of that fancy-schmancy stuff they get today). Snipers and weapons with more advanced parts just escalate this issue. I consider it much like how an audiophile can hear the difference between stereo equipment that I cannot. For me the sound peaks out a certain level, aside from volume, and that's that. I can tell the difference between crappy & cheap, average, and really good. But I can't go above the really good level. Still, there is an noticeable difference. People who don't use weapons or military gear don't realize that, but maybe with the stereo explanation it will make more sense.
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Re: Putting a self sufficient fighting force in a strange land

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:23 pm

The Advanced Combat Rifle is likely the equivalent of the Em Four, and let's disparage the Kalashnikov by associating it with assault rifles.

The next step up is the Gauss Rifle, but that's been described as the weapon of choice by unpowered troops, which probably would be default at technological level thirteen.

Those trained on these specific types are likely to recognize fairly quickly how to operate a variant; the real issue is usually the ammunition, which has to fit the weapon platform; one neat trick has been to produce slightly larger than standard ammunition, that can only be fired by guns designed to use them, but could also use slightly smaller calibre, with some less accuracy.

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