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  #31  
Old 07-15-2017, 06:38 PM
.45cultist .45cultist is offline
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Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
Probably these would be a place to start:

FM 7-0
FM 7-8
FM 7-10


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I think the "31" series are green beret specific, "FM 31-21" is "Guerilla Warfare and Special Forces Operations"
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  #32  
Old 07-16-2017, 07:18 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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I was going to let this go, but decided I really couldn't.

Your original position was that MARS teams weren't military, which when canon shows this is not the case you decided to move the goal posts. "Well trained" somehow doesn't mean they are trained for the mission they are designed for and equipped for. Your argument indicates that an organization that spends a non trivial amount selecting, equipping and freezing a large number of people would skimp on training them and on doing everything it could to preserve its assets in the post war era. This would include selecting and training their protective assets as well as they could.

Comparing the need of Morrow Project to train up its MARS teams to the need to for the US Army to train its line infantry is a false equivalency. Line Infantry has a very important job, Delta Force has another important job and MARS teams have their own set of jobs. They are all different. Also the training of any military unit is geared to the slowest soldier in the group. Both Delta Force and Morrow Project will have less slow learners than your typical 11 Bravo MOS or 13 B MOS course, so instead of spending a lot of time trying to get the slow pokes up to speed the cadre should be very much about polishing skills for "high speed/low drag" students. To say that MP MARS team members are the same as "average" Infantrymen seems absurd. The US Army knows that quantity has a quality all its own and that 11B soldiers are replaceable. MARS teams are NOT replaceable. Once they are needed, they like every Morrow asset, are unique, they are absolutely irreplaceable. No draft, or recruitment drive or shortening of the training cycle will put more MARS teams in the field or replace losses. Period. The Project has to front load as many resources-including training-as possible. This means to me that MARS teams, as well as every other team, is going to be as highly trained as possible.

I focus on what MY project is, not yours, as I have been careful to state many times.




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Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
To add to what others have already noted:

MARS describes the mission profile of an entire branch, it does not imply that every MARS team is capable of every single possible MARS mission.

The statements given in canon are broadly interpretable. "Assault" and "Strike" are roles regularly assigned to line infantry, "Rescue" is, as has been noted, a SWAT role. The fact that there are top-tier military units performing these roles as well does not mean that the Project is at that level. "Well trained" does not indicate for which parts of their mission this applies, nor does it give us any comparison to know how "well" they really ARE trained. I don't have the book with me this weekend, but if I recall correctly the base combat skill numbers for MARS are only about twice as good as the abysmal scores acceptable for Science teams - that doesn't seem that "well".

You focus on what the Project teams SHOULD be, but that is an unrealistic standard. Every US infantryman SHOULD be as proficient as a Delta commando, but realistically we can only get so many men of that caliber and can only spend so much time and money on their training... just like the Project. The Project has very strict recruiting standards (psych profile, willingness/ability to abandon all family and friends, the willingness to abandon the US to destruction and rebuild something presumably at least a little different in its place, etc) and even if they hit up every SOF operator they would probably only get a small number of takers, so I suspect that line MARS teams will probably not have anything more elite than line infantry.

You also note (correctly) that even in MARS units not everyone is a veteran - whatever the standard may be, the Project must be able to train civilians up from scratch to that standard or else send teams into the field with weak sisters. I don't think the latter generally works and the former requires that the Project have a military training organization that (a) hits a particular standard (SOF for you, perhaps AIT or so for me) and (b) can sustain it without tipping anyone off for the entire recruiting phase of the Project. The latter alone is daunting even for the AIT level, I am not sure how the Project could do it for SF.

FWIW, I always assumed a tiered system (as with everything in my Project-Region-District-Group scheme) where MARS units down at the Group level would be tasked with dealing with small scale disturbances - bandits, mostly. Larger or more difficult opponents would involve retreat or holding actions while waiting for the progressively better recruited/trained teams assigned at the higher levels to show up. So if Phoenix represents the top capability of SOF in the Project, then perhaps the Regional commands have a few teams with SEALS and Green Berets and the District teams have some Rangers, EOD techs, and Force Recon Marines. But you cannot maintain that skill level across the entirety of MARS.

And I (and I think others) have been assuming that the players in this scenario represented a low-level MARS team, not "the very best of the Project". The very best of the Project is Phoenix, and they (or some reasonable facsimile of them) should be able to outdo an SF team if they really wanted to - I suspect they too would prefer to work with them rather than against them.

One last thing to consider is that most of this discussion has focused on the classic war-game scenario - Red forces entering the board from the left while Blue forces are entering from the right, find the enemy and engage. The reality here is that the SF team is established, and if they are at all competent in their jobs it means that they know the lay of the land and have recruited and trained allied forces. The Project team would probably never see more than a couple of the Green Berets at a time, they would be facing larger numbers of "indigenous" troops with the soldiers in command/advisory roles. This just makes things worse for the team, despite their edge in equipment.
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  #33  
Old 07-17-2017, 09:27 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Sorry this is so long, considering the ongoing failure to communicate, I wanted to be thorough.

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Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
Your original position was that MARS teams weren't military, which when canon shows this is not the case you decided to move the goal posts.
If you are going to accuse me of moving the goalposts, please show where I made this statement. MARS serves as the military for the Project, but that is not their primary job:

3ed Rule Book, pg R1: "All work accomplished up to this point was incidental. Now the real work of the Project could commence. It was the process of rebuilding for which the members of the teams were most carefully trained. During the rebuilding process all teams would work together, not as Recon, MARS, or Science, but as conservators of civilization."

The "up to this point" explicitly includes MARS teams being "sent in order to deal with 'special' problems". This sums up my understanding of the Project pretty well: the Project, although trained and equipped for combat, was primarily a reconstruction organization that expected to delay operation until the need for military action was minimized.

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Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
"Well trained" somehow doesn't mean they are trained for the mission they are designed for and equipped for. Your argument indicates that an organization that spends a non trivial amount selecting, equipping and freezing a large number of people would skimp on training them and on doing everything it could to preserve its assets in the post war era.
No, it does not. My argument is that:

(1) Military action is the primary job for exactly ONE unit in the Project, and that is Phoenix. For everyone else, reconstruction is job 1 and military action is secondary or lower. Training should match the priority, so the focus during training should be on reconstruction, not manufacturing special operations forces.

(2) Training people for military action is indiscreet, especially at top skill levels, and high-level military training would therefore threaten to expose the Project.

(3) The Project does not have the ability to openly recruit, and cannot draft people. The Project must find people who are willing and psychologically able to enter the Project (i.e., abandon the world they know, trust an unsanctioned advanced technology, and walk willingly into a nuclear wasteland with a gun, a shovel, and a first aid kit). After that the emphasis should be on the ability to contribute to reconstruction (the primary job), and only then on the ability to contribute to military operations.

(4) Considering that SOF troops represent a tiny percentage of the US military, it seems unlikely that they would constitute a majority of MARS recruitment. While they would undoubtedly be desired and pursued, a more likely (to me, and it seems most of the other posters) result is that Morrow veteran recruiting reflects the diversity of military careers and that MARS would be happy to get line infantry or SWAT veterans for front-line MARS teams.

(5) While most MARS teamers are veterans, many are non-veterans. At a minimum, MARS would need to restrict the "typical" mission profile to whatever they could train civilians to do from scratch.

(6) Once people are recruited, there is only so much training you can give someone. Even, perhaps especially, on the reconstruction side, additional training will be required. There is also going to be additional training to handle Project equipment and vehicles, and survival training, And for all the non-veterans, a significant starter-level amount of military training is required. When all this is accomplished to a satisfactory level, how much more time can you really spend cranking up the knob on military training?

(7) This is not "skimping", it is acknowledging that training all MARS teamers to the ideal level endangers the Project and likely inhibits reconstruction - their primary mission, after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
This would include selecting and training their protective assets as well as they could.
If you add "without exposing the Project or impairing their ability to serve in reconstruction" I would agree, with the additional caveat that "as well as they could" should also reflect that they are recruiting from an actual population who all have to volunteer. The Project isn't going to spend $10 million on an APC and $50 training the guys inside it, but it also isn't going to put itself into the position of openly training Green Berets or telling people who signed up to rebuild the world that they must spend 6 months training for combat and 2 weeks training to help people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
Comparing the need of Morrow Project to train up its MARS teams to the need to for the US Army to train its line infantry is a false equivalency. Line Infantry has a very important job, Delta Force has another important job and MARS teams have their own set of jobs. They are all different.
If MARS is the military of the Project, then its missions and training can be compared to those of other militaries, otherwise calling it military has no meaning. There is no reason to expect that MARS is a homogeneous organization with every team able to do every mission, but it certainly seems to me as if the line infantry mission and the Delta Force mission both have places in the MARS spectrum. And I am not trying to say that MARS team = infantry, I am trying to say that the quality of recruit and the amount and type of military training they receive is going to be far closer to infantry than it will be to Delta. Sure, they'll be smarter and better educated than the average 11B but they won't necessarily be any more athletic or anything, and their training isn't going to be a superhuman effort focusing on their secondary mission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
Also the training of any military unit is geared to the slowest soldier in the group. Both Delta Force and Morrow Project will have less slow learners than your typical 11 Bravo MOS or 13 B MOS course, so instead of spending a lot of time trying to get the slow pokes up to speed the cadre should be very much about polishing skills for "high speed/low drag" students.
Many of those skills will need foundational skills, not just polish. Many come in as civilians, and (to most of us) it seems that even the veterans are likely to come from a diverse set of MOSs and may require some additional shaping prior to "polish". And remember that "intelligence" isn't one knob that turns up ability on all skills equally - the fact that someone has more book smarts, on average, does not mean that they are better at physical skills or social skills, and educations and careers generally have an impact on physical readiness for combat. The Project has to recruit for basic Project criteria (willingness to abandon, etc, etc,) first, ability to assist with reconstruction second, and ability to fight 3rd, and there just are not that many supermen around who are going to be great at all three.

Professional military training also comes with a lot of resources the Project lacks: the ability to operate openly, the ability to operate outside civilian safety requirements and regulations, the ability to force some level of participation on the trainees, etc. The Project is dealing in secret with volunteers for a reconstruction program, money and quality of recruit aside, there are limits on what they can do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
To say that MP MARS team members are the same as "average" Infantrymen seems absurd. The US Army knows that quantity has a quality all its own and that 11B soldiers are replaceable. MARS teams are NOT replaceable. Once they are needed, they like every Morrow asset, are unique, they are absolutely irreplaceable. No draft, or recruitment drive or shortening of the training cycle will put more MARS teams in the field or replace losses. Period. The Project has to front load as many resources-including training-as possible. This means to me that MARS teams, as well as every other team, is going to be as highly trained as possible.
I agree with most of this, up to the point where you imply that the end result is a typical MARS team (6-8 people?) going head-to-head with an experienced, entrenched, 12-man SF A-Team and not being outmatched. The Project cannot train every member for an indefinite amount of time, and if there is X amount of time to be spent conditioning and training the candidates, even ignoring the time spent training for non-combat tasks, then there must be a point where you hit "as possible" and I think that point comes before a typical MARS team can expect to outdo the Snake Eaters.

Perhaps it is worthwhile at this point for you to lay out what you think the MARS training pipeline looks like and where you see the results falling. Please bear in mind that the key requirements for Phoenix (meant to be the deus ex machina of the game) were "combat veteran from a SOF, psych pass, a black belt, a language, and a year of extra training", which is I think the only real specified pipeline in canon and with which in decades of recruiting they got 46 guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
I focus on what MY project is, not yours, as I have been careful to state many times.
The entire purpose of your thread was to solicit other people's opinions on how a Morrow team (later specified as MARS) would handle a potential confrontation with Special Forces, and that is exactly what you are getting. When you are getting "this is how I handle it" that is part of the answer to "how I think you should handle it". I did not come onto a random thread and start dissing your ideas, in post #8 you literally asked "Also the SF troops are good but are they better than the best of Morrow Project or the best of the soldiers in Texas?" and all of this has been myself and a few others trying to provide an answer to that question (to which my shortest answer is "SF will be far better than a typical MARS team but not as good as Phoenix").

If you want to make a Project where every MARS teamer is Chuck Norris with a PhD and Snake Eaters are just a little better than, I dunno, 11B's with a little CQB and language training, then go for it. But that is a very different game with a very different feel to it than how I think it was intended or how I or most other people play it. If you don't like what I'm saying, then don't use it, but don't expect me to just abandon my considered position either.

Last edited by cosmicfish; 07-17-2017 at 09:42 AM.
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  #34  
Old 07-17-2017, 09:41 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Originally Posted by .45cultist View Post
The field manuals help here, most show partisans using SF taught skills. Also the manuals are good for cache contents, as they give tool and weapons, equipment packages.
For those interested in SOF units and capabilities, I would also recommend the nonfiction work of Dick Couch, a former SEAL and CIA case officer who has written a number of books on the selection and training of US special ops. "Chosen Soldier" addresses Special Forces and would be particularly relevant to the Project. Plus, they are written for a civilian audience.
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  #35  
Old 07-17-2017, 01:46 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is online now
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Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
Professional military training also comes with a lot of resources the Project lacks: the ability to operate openly, the ability to operate outside civilian safety requirements and regulations, the ability to force some level of participation on the trainees, etc. The Project is dealing in secret with volunteers for a reconstruction program, money and quality of recruit aside, there are limits on what they can do.
Just a quick note here, there is one possibility for openly training and recruiting for the Project. We have to remember that MP is behind an incredibly large, multinational organization with publicly facing business units. It is likely that there would be at least a few private security companies in the mix that operate on foreign soil, opening up the possibility for training and operations like you indicate. This does not completely solve the military training problem, as most of the people in these security units would likely not pass the pre-Project psychological analysis, certainly less than half.
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  #36  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:10 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
Just a quick note here, there is one possibility for openly training and recruiting for the Project. We have to remember that MP is behind an incredibly large, multinational organization with publicly facing business units. It is likely that there would be at least a few private security companies in the mix that operate on foreign soil, opening up the possibility for training and operations like you indicate. This does not completely solve the military training problem, as most of the people in these security units would likely not pass the pre-Project psychological analysis, certainly less than half.
There are two other problems: first, they generally only recruit from experienced soldiers and operators, second, they operate under tremendous scrutiny from government and media. If a few thousand went missing, people would notice.

I figure Morrow weapons and tactics training would happen in a few stages:

First, attendance at one of many schools intended to prepare civilian contractors to work in dangerous areas - basically, a shorter version of boot camp. My company sends people to these regularly.

Second, attendance at private weapons and tactics schools, the same ones that police and special operations use. All-Morrow classes, although not publicly acknowledged as such.

Third, a brief period working for or near a Morrow company that makes heavy weapons - in small groups getting familiar with the heavier weapons and vehicles.

Finally, a trip overseas to a survival course. Again, all-Morrow classes would use this as an extended capstone course, a chance to finalize team assignments, and narrow any mission profiles.

All of these would be run by a variety of companies, going in and out of business, all with legitimate versions as well.

Just a first cut, mind you. And, of course, merely what I am thinking of, YMMV.

Last edited by cosmicfish; 07-17-2017 at 10:55 PM.
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  #37  
Old 07-18-2017, 05:42 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
Just a quick note here, there is one possibility for openly training and recruiting for the Project. We have to remember that MP is behind an incredibly large, multinational organization with publicly facing business units. It is likely that there would be at least a few private security companies in the mix that operate on foreign soil, opening up the possibility for training and operations like you indicate. This does not completely solve the military training problem, as most of the people in these security units would likely not pass the pre-Project psychological analysis, certainly less than half.
Those are good points. Not only that but Morrow doesn't only recruit from American forces but any allied, or perhaps even unaligned nation's forces might well be available. I could see the Project finding and selecting a number of former South Vietnamese soldiers after 1975.
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