Is it too small a command?

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JMISBEST
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Is it too small a command?

Postby JMISBEST » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:01 pm

For the benefit of A Military Themed Campaign I'm thinking of writing for A moderately experienced GM whose never done in A Entirely Military Campaign before is 400 regular marines, 40 marine sergeants, 16 Marines that are also fully trained part-time Medics, 10 Marine Lieutenants, 5 regular marine captains and the very senior Marine Captain who is the 2nd in command too small or the right size but only just for The Colonel who is the most inexperienced Newly Promoted Colonel in all of Human, not just Imperial, History?. I think its big enough but only just but me and my GM friend want the more knowledgeable opinions of the, in my opinion, great minds on this very great website. Please advise
Sigtrygg
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:48 pm

What is the TL of this military force?

Why don't you research some current and historical real world military tables of organisation rather than just making up numbers? Then when you make up the numbers for your fictitious force at least they will be on par with reality.

You can delve into history for alternative names for squads, platoons and companies, you can also get an idea of the ratio of officers and NCOs to enlisted men.
M J Dougherty
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby M J Dougherty » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:08 pm

This is a good answer. The question is 'what force would a colonel command?'

Which can vary from one military to another, but typically a lt-colonel would be in command of a battalion sized force.
Condottiere
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:19 pm

I'd get hold of Book Four Mercenary and Striker, if only as primers.

If you're clueless about military organization, trying to explain it will only create confusion.

More advanced examples can be found in GURPS Ground Forces and Star Mercs.

What you may be grasping for is span of control, the capability to command and control an optimum number of subunits.

Unless unit commanders are geniuses, a set number of years of experience generally count.
CaladanGuard
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby CaladanGuard » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:16 pm

Not to mention the fact that (as per usual) your scale is just...too large.

For a Marine based military campaign you would likely not want to run anything bigger than a Platoon for your PC's (and even then, it's a lot of bodies to manage) take a look at High Guard: Deployment Shuttle...count the bodies and roles required for even a platoon, then scale down.

Scale down.
phavoc
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby phavoc » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:57 am

There is no such thing as an inexperienced colonel. they have to be promoted through lt col, major, captain, 1st lt, 2nd lt (to use us army as an exsmple). Thats about 15 to 20 years experience.

now they could be bad commanders, but they would always have some experience, especially marines.

if your colonel was an appointed officer that didnt rise through the ranks then thats a different issue.
Pyromancer
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby Pyromancer » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:26 am

JMISBEST wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:01 pm
For the benefit of A Military Themed Campaign I'm thinking of writing for A moderately experienced GM whose never done in A Entirely Military Campaign before is 400 regular marines, 40 marine sergeants, 16 Marines that are also fully trained part-time Medics, 10 Marine Lieutenants, 5 regular marine captains and the very senior Marine Captain who is the 2nd in command too small or the right size but only just for The Colonel who is the most inexperienced Newly Promoted Colonel in all of Human, not just Imperial, History?.
Wasn't Teddy Roosevelt a colonel without any practical experience at all?
Sigtrygg
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:58 pm

Historically the colonel of the regiment was the guy who paid the king for the contract to form a regiment and would then pay for their formation, equipment and training. Military experience was not needed, just money. Those with sense had a second in command who made the military decisions.
Condottiere
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:15 pm

Tenant in lieu of colonel.

The military industrial complex has been with us for a long time.

The First United States Volunteer Cavalry I believe qualifies as a militia unit.

The nobility who tended to get granted these warrants would at least pretend to have some experience in either combat or war; those that did establish regiments who weren't in it for the money or personal glory, did it out of patriotism, or in civil wars, to push a hot topic agenda and back it up with cold steel.

Commissions can be bought and sold in established regiments, generally infantry and cavalry, but it got formalized that an apprenticeship had to be served, and unless you were royalty, you had to at least have some experience at each level of command.
steve98052
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby steve98052 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:33 pm

One thing that's always complicated in gaming is when characters are much more competent at something than the players are. If it's something like shooting or swashbuckling, game rules handle it well: the player rolls dice, applies modifiers that represent the character's skill, and the rules describe the results.

If it's something like tactics, players can role-play it: "Getting through their armor at all is going to be tough, so let's concentrate fire, we three on their center-guy, you three on their center-right guy." Or they can abstract it: "I have Tactics-2, so I'll take the lead. Everyone add two to your initiative, and NPCs get plus two to morale."

But when you get to larger scales, the rules aren't all that capable of modeling character skills; players have to role-play it. "Second and Ninth Cohorts, lay down suppression fire. Fourth through Seventh Cohorts, charge two rounds, or three if your maniple commander sees fit. First and Tenth Cohorts, charge four rounds for flanking and encirclement. Third and Eighth Cohorts, charge one round, then take positions to take over suppression fire while the Second and Ninth pause to cool their weapons. Cohort leaders, any questions?"

Are those good orders? Darned if I know! I don't know how to command a legion of techno-Romans. Chances are that the person playing the enemy legion doesn't know either. So if I don't know, how do I play out the battle like my character is a skilled techno-legate? It's possible to abstract it -- give everyone a bonus to initiative and morale, but if it takes four cohorts worth of suppressing fire to cover a charge instead of just two, I'm still going to get smoked in battle.

It's also possible to abstract it further. Maybe instead of pushing around maniples on a battlefield, I just say, "I have ten fresh cohorts, each with four full strength maniples, and the First Maniple of each is Battle Hardened. I have Tactics-3." (Lots of dice rolling.) First Cohort, no damage. Second Cohort has a wounded Second Maniple leader but passed morale check. Third Cohort First Maniple is disrupted, and Third-Second failed morale. . . ." But that's war-gaming far outside the scope of Traveller rules.

Like MJ Dougherty has said, Traveller is built for a smaller scale than that. Stick to the right scale, or find war-game rules that work for the technology level you have in mind.

Or bring in a hardcore war-gamer to play the enemy colonel, and blast these over-powered characters down to size.
Condottiere
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Re: Is it too small a command?

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:05 am

Ye average commander's attention span tends to get overstretched when he trying to keep track and control more than three line subunits.

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