Author Topic: C# Ground Forces Composition  (Read 3148 times)

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Online DEEPenergy

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C# Ground Forces Composition
« on: September 18, 2018, 10:20:43 PM »
After reading the rules and all the changes for ground units, I was wondering how you all are planning to organize your armies? It looks like defensive and offensive armies both have their merits.
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 01:02:45 AM »
I've done some theorycrafting, and I suspect the main difference with offense and defense will be hit modifier vs fortification level. You can get either one or the other, but not both, and fortification level is clearly much better on the defensive since you'll already have built it up (and possibly have it increased further by construction factories or units), whereas on the offensive hit modifier is better since you don't need to build it up and it works even while assigned to front line attack.

This gives pretty strong roles to two unit types; static has high fortification but no hit modifier at all, so is strong on the defense but horrible on the attack, while light vehicles have a very low hit modifier but not great fortification so are relatively well suited to the offensive. The rest of the units occupy something of a middle ground, with medium vehicles perhaps slightly weighted towards attack and infantry slightly weighted towards defense.

Compounding that, though, is that weapons are far more effective against their intended target. If I know your defenses are nothing but infantry, then I can give my attacking units nothing but anti-infantry weapons. Same for knowing attackers are all light vehicles, etc. Which means that if I attack a planet with a bunch of light infantry weapons and it's defended by heavy tanks I'll probably get slaughtered, even though heavy tanks may not normally be a "good" defense unit.

One thing I did realize from the latest blog is that mixing units with different hit modifiers and fortification levels can be tricky. There may be times when you want your battalion of infantry to charge the enemy, but if so you probably don't want those infantry to have integrated anti-tank static units. So it probably makes sense to have your infantry and your static, or your light vehicles and your heavy vehicles, in different formations.
 

Offline Whitecold

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 01:57:14 AM »
Does anyone have the link with the screenshots of the component stats? I can't seem to find them again, would be useful for the theorycrafting.
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 02:43:59 AM »
There's a good collection of them on the first page of the Real World Ground Templates thread (keep scrolling down).
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 11:43:08 AM »
Under the old system, I used Assault Infantry (10/5) and Garrision units (0/10) exclusively -- until Marine Companies came along, and then I put at least one of them on each of my ships, but not in my regular ground forces.  (Plus Replacement and HQ units, of course.)

My plan is to be inspired by the British Army (circa 1850-1916), and have each 'Regiment' feature one 'Battalion' of crack, front-line troops, a second 'Battalion' of quite good, almost-front-line troops, a third 'Territorial' battalion, a fourth 'training' battalion, a fifth 'reserve' battalion, and a sixth. . . 'Volkssturm' for lack of a better term. . . battalion.

More important formations might end up with a seventh, eighth, ninth, and even tenth 'battalions'.  The implied hierarchy of 'lower battalion number equals better troops' will be kept, so I imagine my Imperial Guard-equivalent will have two crack battalions, and two almost-as-good ones.

Each 'Regiment' will be mainly a single troop type, so infantry, cavalry and artillery Regiments.  Like the Honourable Artillery Company, which will probably mount as many guns as a Soviet-era Artillery Division.  I'm less concerned with matching modern military unit size conceptions than I am with flavour.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2018, 04:02:20 PM »
As far as I understand the new system seem to make mixed formations quite powerful.

I think that you will want to build your formations for what basic task you expect them to perform. You probably will want to have some formation that are good all-round at a decent cost. You will want to have good garrison formations for defending installations at a cheap cost. You then want high powered formations that are meant to be used as the spearhead of any dedicated offensive operations.

Your all-round forces are probably the most numerous in terms of major cost since they should be the mainstay of your army deployed for both defence and offence.

The offensive formations are your special ops. marines and probably heavy mechanised forces. These forces are very expensive and only deployed in really important scenarios with your main forces. Or they simply are used as the initial reactionary forces until more extensive forces can be mobilised to a hotspot.

I don't see how glascannon formations will be that useful in this new system, not in the way that support units and supply works with artillery and air support and stuff.
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2018, 04:39:26 PM »
I do think that if transport space isn't a concern, massing cheap units are the way to go.

Let's look at the math. For most units (planet to space weapons and a few others are exceptions, I think), armor and cost scale linearly. Which is to say, a unit with twice as much armor costs twice as much to build and maintain. Meanwhile, armor scales by the power of 2 if not penetrated. We can therefor do the math like so:

We have infantry (armor 10) and power armor infantry (armor 20). For the same cost, we can have either 2 infantry or 1 power armor infantry; the power armor infantry takes 1/4 as much damage from any weapon that doesn't have armor penetration >10. Therefor in a fight against low armor pen units, 2 infantry take four times as much damage, but they have twice as much health and twice as much firepower, so they effectively take only twice as much damage (as a percentage of their health) and deal twice as much damage.

Thus we can conclude that the same cost of low armor units are as effective as high armor units even in situations ideal for the high armor units (enemy weapons don't penetrate their armor) and considerably better in situations that are not ideal (if enemy weapons penetrate the armor, both normal infantry and power armor infantry take the same damage, but the normal infantry have twice the health and twice the firepower for the same price).

However, and this is what fundamentally balances the system, cost isn't the only consideration. You also need to transport the ground units, and that's particularly an issue when on the assault - not only do you not have time to make multiple trips to pick up hundreds of thousands of unarmored infantry, but big and bulky troop transports are much more vulnerable than smaller, faster, and/or armored ones - the more of the space you use on transport bays, the more vulnerable the transport is. The powered armor infantry are indisputably much more powerful than the normal infantry per unit of transportation weight.

So you end up with at least two situations, possibly three: Attack, which favors high armor units, and defense, which favors low armor. Additionally defense can possibly be further divided into colonies which can train their own ground forces and thus transportation doesn't matter at all (so could probably be defended by like a million cheap infantry if you wanted), and smaller colonies where units have to be brought in and therefor transportation is still an issue, just less of one than on the attack.

It also shouldn't be confused as saying infantry are always better; there are certainly advantages to vehicles and statics as well. Instead it's armor that is of questionable cost effectiveness if transportation isn't an issue. You might want tanks in your defense formations, but if they don't serve a dual purpose as attack formations lightly armored tanks are more cost efficient.
 

Offline Hazard

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2018, 05:20:03 PM »
You are, I think, forgetting a major factor: Bombardment support.

If you aren't stacking your military with Bombardment units that can provide supporting fire from the Support line you aren't doing it right. Even Light Bombardment assets grant 3 attacks that, if they hit unarmoured infantry, guarantee kills. And you need Counter Battery units to hit them unless you can break through the Attack and Defense lines, which are going to be notably bigger and thus fewer in number. It's because of this I'm presuming that armoured infantry units will replace unarmoured infantry units in all roles over time except unrest suppression.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2018, 05:28:03 PM »
Yes.. was just about to comment that exact thing... Comparing only two things on their own make no sense since that is not a realistic combat scenario. Quality will require less HQ overhead as well as transport capacity and will be more effective in conjunction with support element than less heavily armoured opponents.

In my opinion they will all serve a functional role in your military for different reasons. Having more troops on the front line will protect the rear support elements more efficiently while being weaker against retaliation strikes from enemy support weapons.

It will be your overall economy that dictate what type of troops you will deploy, that much is clear. But I'm inclined to agree that you will want to make them as good as possible over time but always make sure you have enough cheap elements to fill your front lines to keep the support element from being attacked.
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2018, 05:31:40 PM »
You are, I think, forgetting a major factor: Bombardment support.

If you aren't stacking your military with Bombardment units that can provide supporting fire from the Support line you aren't doing it right. Even Light Bombardment assets grant 3 attacks that, if they hit unarmoured infantry, guarantee kills. And you need Counter Battery units to hit them unless you can break through the Attack and Defense lines, which are going to be notably bigger and thus fewer in number. It's because of this I'm presuming that armoured infantry units will replace unarmoured infantry units in all roles over time except unrest suppression.

It doesn't make a difference, though. It doesn't matter if an attack is coming from front line or support, it still inflicts the same damage unless I'm missing something.

A hit from a light bombardment weapon is a certain kill against equivalent tech normal infantry, and a 1 in 4 chance against a 20 armor power armor infantry. But you would have twice as many normal infantry for the same cost, so you're only taking twice as many casualties as a percentage of what you have - and you're also inflicting twice as many, since you have twice as many guns. In no way does this make power armor infantry any more effective against bombardment weapons than normal infantry.

And even if there were some mechanical reason you need counter-battery bombardment weapons, those can be unarmored too and perform just as well. Better, even, since they'll have twice as many.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 05:46:17 PM by Bremen »
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2018, 05:46:47 PM »
No... that is not really how it works...

Let's say you have 100 light infantry with 10 light bombardment artillery in support versus 50 power armoured infantry with 10 light bombardment artillery in support. Roughly the same cost in upkeep and building costs. The same goes for vehicles with lighter anti-personnel weapons. Will there also not be some impact on Academy production of officers and such for filling of HQ and formations as well.

Here the power armoured infantry will quickly gain an advantage all else being equal.

You also need less HQ formations for high quality troops.

The way I see it... you will want to use quality formations and lots of support element with good firepower to back them up. As in real life you want the main firepower to come from supportive elements, the forward elements are there to take and hold ground.

**Edit**
Also not sure of loosing twice as many men from its formation the lower quality formation will loose more morale while the higher quality will loose less morale... which will effect the overall outcome of the battle as well.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 06:07:38 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline Hazard

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2018, 06:13:42 PM »
Let's presume that's we're using Infantry troops only, equipped with either Personal Weapons (Size 5) or Light Bombardment (Size 20)

PWs and LB have the same damage and AP traits, while Light Bombardment has 3 shots to PWs 1.

Let's presume that there's 2 parties to this conflict whose only relevant combatants are a total of 600 Size infantry Formations.

Let's also presume that one side has equipped its troops with Power Armour and the other has not.

Finally, let's presume that we can abstract away Fortification and the vagaries of random chance outside of non-integer results when dividing.


Let us first presume that both sides have 120 PW equipped infantry.

Both sides fire. Every unarmoured infantry unit dies. 1/4th of every armoured infantry unit dies. Definite advantage to the armoured unit.

Although both sides need to replace losses, the armoured infantry side has to pay half the cost of the unarmoured side, and more importantly, still has units on the field with which to press the attack.


Let us now presume that both sides have 100 PW equipped infantry and 5 LB equipped infantry on the Support line.

Both sides fire, every unarmoured infantry unit dies, 28.75 armoured infantry units die, the attack is pressed likely killing another 3 or four armoured infantry units while wiping out the Light Bombardment infantry units. Unless a Breakthrough was calculated, in which case I'm not sure what happens but might be resolved in the same combat round.

Still a massive advantage to armoured infantry presuming similar numbers.


Let's check on the same cost idea.

This means that the unarmoured side has twice the numbers of the armoured side.

240 unarmoured infantry against 120 armoured infantry. Both sides fire, half the unarmoured side dies, and so does half the armoured side. This repeats until the armoured side hits 7.5 units and the result becomes a toss up to who gets the advantage.

Let's check with LB weapons.

200 unarmoured infantry and 10 LB weapons against 100 armoured infantry and 5 LB weapons.

Both sides fire, 230 shots go out against 100 armoured infantry and kill 57.5. 115 shots go out against the unarmoured infantry and kill 115.

85 unarmoured infantry are left with 10 LB weapons, against 42.5 with 5 LB weapons.

115 shots go out and kill 28.75 more armoured infantry. 57 or 58 shots go out and kill 57 or 58 unarmoured infantry.

27 or 28 unarmoured infantry are left, against 13, 14 or 15 armoured infantry.

57 or 58 shots go out and kill 14.25 or 14.5 armoured infantry, offering a good chance wiping them all. 28, 29 or 30 shots go out and wipe the unarmoured infantry. There's a small chance there's 1 surviving armoured infantry unit left.

The unarmoured Support line has now become the Front line. The armoured Support Line may have become the Front Line.

Presume it has.

30 shots go out and hit the armoured line, killing all LB units. 15 shots go out of the armoured line and hit the unarmoured line, killing all LB units.

Presume the armoured Support Line has not become the Front Line because there's a surviving armoured infantry man.

30 shots go out and hit the surviving armoured infantry man, tearing him to shreds. 15 shots go out and wipe the unarmoured LB units. Small but definite armoured advantage due to preservation of Light Bombardment assets.

Overall: Slight advantage to armoured units in same cost combat, strong advantage to armoured units in same numbers combat.

The way I see it... you will want to use quality formations and lots of support element with good firepower to back them up. As in real life you want the main firepower to come from supportive elements, the forward elements are there to take and hold ground.

In modern day combat forward elements are there to find the enemy and keep them found. Support units will then deliver most of the damage while the forward elements keep the information up to date. This has basically been true since the Napoleonic era, where artillery became the main damage dealer to enemy armies.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 06:17:18 PM by Hazard »
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2018, 06:24:18 PM »
You could easily also say that both forces use the same number of rear support forces for the same cost. You will not armour your rear echelon troops in the same way you do front line units.

It is far more realistic to presume that both sides rear support assets cost roughly the same amount of build cost. This will give a significant advantage to high quality front line with high powered bombardment in support.

If you also add vehicles into the front line you add yet another dimension that can put advantage to the high quality troops as well, depending in how said vehicles are equipped.
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2018, 06:33:53 PM »
No... that is not really how it works...

Let's say you have 100 light infantry with 10 light bombardment artillery in support versus 50 power armoured infantry with 10 light bombardment artillery in support. Roughly the same cost in upkeep and building costs. The same goes for vehicles with lighter anti-personnel weapons. Will there also not be some impact on Academy production of officers and such for filling of HQ and formations as well.

Here the power armoured infantry will quickly gain an advantage all else being equal.

You also need less HQ formations for high quality troops.

The way I see it... you will want to use quality formations and lots of support element with good firepower to back them up. As in real life you want the main firepower to come from supportive elements, the forward elements are there to take and hold ground.

**Edit**
Also not sure of loosing twice as many men from its formation the lower quality formation will loose more morale while the higher quality will loose less morale... which will effect the overall outcome of the battle as well.

This isn't a valid comparison. The point of having bombardment support would be to have them be less armored than the front line units, and that isn't possible with 1 armor infantry, so you would never use that combination.

So instead, let's do it as 50 power armor infantry (Size 250, cost 500) and 10 light bombardment infantry (Size 200 cost 200) vs 140 light armored infantry (size 700 cost 700).

It works out as basically a tie (the light infantry take 80 equivalent hits and inflict 140, but have twice the health, and will slaughter the artillery on a breakthrough or once the power armor is gone). A slight advantage to the power armor at most. And this is absolutely ideal circumstances where your heavily armored force is designed to massacre lightly armored infantry, while the light infantry have no weapons designed for use against power armor. If more realistically both the light and powered armor forces had a mix weapons, then the light infantry would massacre the power armor infantry. The same is also true if one side has a tech advantage; having more than 10 AP doesn't help against the light infantry, but it definitely does against the power armor.

Overall: Slight advantage to armoured units in same cost combat, strong advantage to armoured units in same numbers combat.

My whole point was that this only applies when transport size doesn't matter. And like Jorgen, you cherry picked an example where the power armor side was perfectly designed to kill unarmored infantry but the unarmored infantry had no anti-power armor weapons, and it still came down to a tie, not a slight advantage.

You could easily also say that both forces use the same number of rear support forces for the same cost. You will not armour your rear echelon troops in the same way you do front line units.

It is far more realistic to presume that both sides rear support assets cost roughly the same amount of build cost. This will give a significant advantage to high quality front line with high powered bombardment in support.

If you also add vehicles into the front line you add yet another dimension that can put advantage to the high quality troops as well, depending in how said vehicles are equipped.

Note that I never said there was no reason to use vehicles. I said that there was no reason other than transport size to use heavy armor.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 06:36:37 PM by Bremen »
 
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Offline Hazard

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Re: C# Ground Forces Composition
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2018, 06:34:26 PM »
True, but I wanted to keep things simple.

If we presume the Support line in my examples are not armoured though, the advantage swings well into Armoured side's favour. Those extra 15 kills in the first round matter a lot.



Of course, once you add Medium and Heavy Bombardment the situation changes again, because those can perform Counter Battery.
 

 

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